This presentation discusses the principal themes from our forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia (edited by Saadia Pekkanen, John Ravenhill, and Rosemary Foot, publication date anticipated August 2014). This Handbook is about the theory and practice of the international relations (IR) of Asia as a whole, meaning the actors and societies in the dominant, middle, and smaller countries in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia. We approach the IR of Asia by concentrating not just on the countries that are pivotal to understanding Asia’s role in global and regional politics, but also the processes that are responsible for the region’s particular characteristics. The presentation will concentrate on four major questions that both frame and also draw together the findings from the contributors. The questions are centered on the contemporary characteristics of Asia: what they are, whether they are unique to this region, how to explain them, and what they portend for future trajectories.
Saadia M. Pekkanen is the founding Director of the Jackson School Ph.D. Program. She is also the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professor at the Jackson School of International Studies, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Adjunct Professor at the School of Law where she also teaches courses. Her graduate work includes a Master’s from Columbia University and Yale Law School, and a doctorate from Harvard University. Her areas of research interest include international relations and foreign policy, international law, space security and policy, and the international relations of Japan/Asia. In addition to several articles, she is the author of Picking Winners? From Technology Catch-up to the Space Race in Japan (Stanford University Press, 2003); Japan’s Aggressive Legalism: Law and Foreign Trade Politics Beyond the WTO (Stanford University Press, 2008); co-editor of Japan and China in the World Political Economy (Routledge, 2005); co-author of In Defense of Japan: From the Market to the Military in Space Policy (Stanford University Press, 2010); co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia (forthcoming, Oxford University Press 2014); and editor of Asian Designs: Risen Powers and the Struggle for International Governance (framework chapter available online at the following URL: http://www.princeton.edu/politics/graduate/departmental-colloquia/international-relations/. Her work has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, the Center for Global Partnership (CGP), the Abe Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Further information on her can be found at http://jsis.washington.edu/faculty/smp1.shtml.