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  • Author: Sienna Craig
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: For centuries, people from Mustang, Nepal, have relied on agriculture, pastoralism, and trade as a way of life. Seasonal migrations to South Asian cities for trade as well as temporary wage labo abroad and Mustang-based tourism have shaped their experiences for decades. Yet, more recently, permanent migrations to New York City are reshaping lives and social worlds. Drawing on more than two decades of fieldwork and friendship with people in and from Mustang, The Ends of Kinship: Connecting Himalayan Lives between Nepal and New York, the book on which this presentation is based, combines narrative ethnography and short fiction to explore how individuals, families, and communities care for each other and carve out spaces of belonging in and through diaspora, at the nexus of environmental, economic, and cultural change. This presentation will also discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the lives of Himalayan and Tibetan New Yorkers, and how regional cultural practices and Tibetan Buddhist philosophies are shaping responses to this pandemic. This event was organized by the Modern Tibetan Studies Program and cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Diaspora, Ethnography, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: New York, Asia, Nepal, Tibet
  • Author: Luke Patey, Elizabeth Wishnick
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: From its Belt and Road Initiative linking Asia and Europe, to its "Made in China 2025" strategy to dominate high-tech industries, to its significant economic reach into Africa and Latin America, China is rapidly expanding its influence around the globe. Many fear that China's economic clout, tech innovations, and military power will allow it to remake the world in its own authoritarian image. But despite all these strengths, a future with China in charge is far from certain. Rich and poor, big and small, countries around the world are recognizing that engaging China produces new strategic vulnerabilities to their independence and competitiveness. Researching the book took Dr. Patey to East Africa, Latin America, Europe, and East Asia over the past five years and he will discuss how countries in these parts of the world are responding to China’s rise and assertiveness. This event was cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, the APEC Study Center and the Columbia Harvard China and the World Program at Columbia University.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Geopolitics, Soft Power, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jason Po-Nien Chen
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This talk was composed of three main sections. First, Dr. Chen introduced the DPP's evolving cross-Strait policy by breaking it down into three respective phrases:1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Then he explained why the party changed from championing independence versus unification in 1990s; intraparty power struggle between de facto and de jure independence in 2000s; and reach the current position of "opposition to de facto unification under one China" rather than "pursuit of Taiwan de jure independence" in 2010s. Second, he shared his research finding and understanding regarding the DPP's view towards the status quo of cross-Strait relations. Third, he discussed the change and continuity of the DPP's position towards sovereignty and cross-Strait relations. Jason Chen has served in different positions in the Democratic Progressive Party for years mainly covering the party's external relations including cross-Strait relations and national security. His last position with the DPP was advisor (Section of National Security) in New Frontier Foundation, the DPP's think tank.
  • Topic: Sovereignty, Geopolitics, Domestic politics, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Xi Chen, Qi Gao
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: A considerable amount of attention has been paid to the relationship between education and the promotion of one’s own health. This talk presents the latest evidence and discusses both the upward and downward multigenerational impacts of educational reforms in China over the past few decades on healthy aging. Cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, the Columbia China Center for Social Policy, and the Columbia School of Social Work.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Aging, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Nicola Di Cosmo
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Nicola Di Cosmo, Henry Luce Foundation Professor of East Asian History, Institute for Advanced Study; Associate Member at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University Moderated by: Gray Tuttle, Leila Hadley Luce Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University Three decades of climatological research in Mongolia and neighboring regions have transformed our knowledge about the environmental history of Inner Asian empires. The processes that gave rise to these political formations, many of which have played a distinct and crucial role in Chinese history, are still very poorly understood. High-resolution climatic reconstructions, when placed in historical contexts, provide clues about the nomads' responses to climatic variability, and thus illuminate critical nexuses between economic production, social structures, and political change. By illustrating a range of representative historical cases studies, this lecture will explore both the nature of the data and the methods that historians and climatologists have adopted to gauge the impact of climate upon pre-modern nomadic peoples.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Politics, History, Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Mongolia, Asia
  • Author: Carla Freeman, Cengiz Günay
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP)
  • Abstract: THIS EVENT WAS PART OF THE "A BRAND NEW WORLD? SHIFTING POWERS IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS OIIP ONLINE SERIES. Ever since President Obama’s "pivot to Asia" it has become clear that the US foreign and security policies are increasingly focused on China’s regional and global ambitions as a challenge to US interests in the Asia-Pacific. The Trump administration extended US security policy vis a vis Beijing to the economic arena through a protracted trade war, also banning several online apps and platforms such as TikTok, as well as the telecommunications giant Huawei. The European Union and its member states have remained silent and refrained from harsh rhetoric and policies towards China. What is the difference between US and European policies? What might change or remain the same under the Biden administration and what can be expected from China in the near future? We will discuss these and more questions with Carla Freeman, Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Institute and Associate research professor in China Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Conversation with: CARLA FREEMAN Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Moderated by: CENGIZ GÜNAY Austrian Institute for international Affairs. Supported by the U.S. Embassy Vienna.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Trade Wars, Telecommunications
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Sherene Razack
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Center for Security, Race and Rights (CSRR), Rutgers University School of Law
  • Abstract: Race, Women and the Global War on Terror
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Gender Issues, Race, Women, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Asia, Global
  • Author: Abe Denmark
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This event was held on September 21, 2020 and featured Abe Denmark, Director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Senior Fellow at the Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States; and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The event was moderated by Tom Christensen, Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University As the Indo-Pacific emerges as the world’s most strategically consequential region and competition with China intensifies, the United States must adapt its approach if it seeks to preserve its power and sustain regional stability and prosperity. Yet as China grows more powerful and aggressive and the United States appears increasingly unreliable, the Indo-Pacific has become riven with uncertainty. These dynamics threaten to undermine the region’s unprecedented peace and prosperity. U.S. Strategy in the Asian Century offers vital perspective on the future of power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific, focusing on the critical roles that American allies and partners can play. Abraham M. Denmark argues that these alliances and partnerships represent indispensable strategic assets for the United States. They will be necessary in any effort by Washington to compete with China, promote prosperity, and preserve a liberal order in the Indo-Pacific. Blending academic rigor and practical policy experience, Denmark analyzes the future of major-power competition in the region, with an eye toward American security interests. He details a pragmatic approach for the United States to harness the power of its allies and partners to ensure long-term regional stability and successfully navigate the complexities of the new era. This event was cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and the Columbia-Harvard China and the World Program
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Partnerships, Alliance, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Bi-khim Hsiao
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: On October 6, 2020, newly appointed Representative of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the United States, Bi-khim Hsiao discussed the challenges and opportunities in US-Taiwan relations with Professor Tom Christensen. Representative Bi-khim Hsiao assumed her position as Taiwan’s Representative to the United States in July 2020, after serving as a Senior Adviser to the President at the National Security Council of Taiwan. Representative Hsiao previously served four terms in the Taiwan Legislature, representing overseas citizens for the first term, and then the constituents of Taipei City and Hualien County through different terms. For many years she was ranking member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and previously the chair of the USA Caucus in the Legislative Yuan. She began her political career serving as Director of the Democratic Progressive Party International Affairs Department. After Taiwan’s first democratic change of government in 2000, she became an Adviser in the Office of the President, and was international spokesperson for all DPP presidential elections between 2000 and 2012. Representative Hsiao has taken on numerous leadership roles in international organizations. She was the Chair of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), an organization representing Asian democratic political parties. Between 2005 and 2012, she was elected Vice President on the Bureau of Liberal International (LI), a London-based global political party organization. She is also a founding Board Member of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. Born in Kobe, Japan, Representative Hsiao grew up in Tainan, a city in southern Taiwan. She has an MA in Political Science from Columbia University in New York and BA in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College, Ohio.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Wang Feng
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: On October 7, 2020, Wang Feng, Professor of Sociology at UC Irvine joined Columbia's Qin Gao, Professor of Social Policy and Social Work and director of the China Center for Social Policy for an event: "Public Transfers and Inequality in China." With expanded fiscal capacity and rising concerns over economic inequality, the Chinese government in the last decade and a half has vastly rebuilt and expanded its social welfare regime. Using the National Transfer Accounts (NTA) methodology and both micro-level survey data and macro-level government statistics, this study examines the distribution of public transfers in education, health care and pension across generations and income groups in 2014 and compare it with those in 2010. While per capita public transfers in absolute terms remained in favor of higher-income groups and the elderly in 2014, as in 2010, the gap in receiving public transfers between the rich and the poor was reduced notably in this short time period. Public transfers also became more progressive in relative terms, with the bottom income group receiving much higher public transfers relative to their per capita household income than the wealthier groups. These results reveal that although the unequal distribution of public transfers continues and it in part results from the fragmented program design and the legacies of socialist inequalities, China’s expanded social welfare programs have contributed to narrowing the vast income inequality in this country.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Inequality, Welfare
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Xian Huang
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: On October 14, 2020, Xian Huang, Assistant Professor of Political Sciencee at Rutgers University joined Qin Gao, Professor of Social Policy and Social Work and director of the China Center for Social Policy for an event: "Social Protection under Authoritarianism: Health Politics and Policy in China." Why would an authoritarian regime expand social welfare provision in the absence of democratization? Yet China, the world's largest and most powerful authoritarian state, has expanded its social health insurance system at an unprecedented rate, increasing enrollment from 20 percent of its population in 2000 to 95 percent in 2012. Significantly, people who were uninsured, such as peasants and the urban poor, are now covered, but their insurance is less comprehensive than that of China's elite. With the wellbeing of 1.4 billion people and the stability of the regime at stake, social health insurance is now a major political issue for Chinese leadership and ordinary citizens. In this book talk, Xian Huang analyzes the transformation of China's social health insurance in the first decade of the 2000s, addressing its expansion and how it is distributed. Drawing from government documents, filed interviews, survey data, and government statistics, she reveals that Chinese leaders have a strategy of "stratified expansion," perpetuating a particularly privileged program for the elites while developing an essentially modest health provision for the masses. She contends that this strategy effectively balances between elites and masses to maximize the regime's prospects of stability.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Health, Authoritarianism, Political stability
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Ronald Schramm
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Ronald Schramm, Visiting Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Moderated by: Shang-Jin Wei, N. T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School Professor Jin Wei will interview Ron Schramm about new and important developments in China’s financial and economic system since the first edition of Schramm's textbook in 2015 (Routledge/Taylor&Francis): China Macro Finance: A US Perspective. Both new reforms and retrenchments in the Chinese economy will be discussed as well as the fraught economic relationship with the United States. Students and scholars of China will benefit by putting their own research in the context of how far China has come and where it is going in terms of economic and financial reform.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Reform, Finance, Business
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Felicity Aulino, Nicholas Bartlett, Lyle Fearnley, Ting Hui Lau, Emily Ng, Saiba Varma
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Care has become a crucial concern of anthropological inquiry, and current global conditions have renewed its poignancy. To paraphrase Lisa Stevenson, care involves an ethics of attending, corresponding to particular ways that someone (or something) comes to matter. The drive to care, as she and others have noted, is far from innocent, and may be filled with ambivalence whether in intimate or institutional forms. Connecting fieldwork from three provinces in China, Thailand, and contested Kashmir territory, this series brings together the authors of five new books and a dissertation to explore the therapeutic politics of care across multiple logics and scales.
  • Topic: Ethics, Anthropology, Ethnography, Care
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Kashmir, Thailand
  • Author: Eric Chung, Atsuko Abe, Garcia Liu-Farrer, Michael Sharpe, Takako Hikotani
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This event will discuss the growing debate around whether or not Japan will become a country of immigration and the related and under addressed subject of racism. Japan is one of the few liberal democracies in the world to have successfully resisted immigration in its postwar economy. However, in the last twenty years, immigration in Japan has increased substantially with various side doors for unskilled labor as well as official entry points for skilled labor with options for fast tracked permanent residency. In 2018, Prime Minister Abe proposed some 500,000 unskilled workers by 2025 to fill jobs in industries with labor shortages while at the same time declaring that this is not an immigration policy. In the face of ageing population and low birthrate, Japan find itself at a crossroads of whether, how, and when to accept the increasing reality of immigration as a solution to its demographic decline and labor shortage. Will Japan follow the path of Western liberal democracies in accepting immigrants and extending rights of citizenship? How are immigrants being received? Do immigrants exercise political rights and build coalition with other marginalized groups? What is the role of race, ethnicity, and racism in all of this? Will Japan go the way of Western liberal democracies or in the direction of illiberal autocracies such as Saudi Arabia or United Arab Emirates. This event will provide an opportunity to discuss issues of immigration and racism in Japan. It will bring together leading scholars in the field of immigration and racism with a focus on Japan.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Immigration, Democracy, Racism
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia
  • Author: Duncan McCargo, Andrew J. Nathan
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Thai politics have been extremely polarized in recent years: “yellow” (conservative) versus “red” (pro-Thaksin) contestations have divided the country, reflecting deep-rooted regional, class and identity cleavages. But Thailand’s newest cleavage, apparent only since 2018, is a generational divide that cuts across all other categories. Generation Z – Thais under 25 – seem to have a radically different understanding of themselves from older people. Digital natives who grew up online, and access information, virtually are rejecting deference, hierarchy and paternalism. They voted in large numbers for the short-lived Future Forward Party, which became the third largest party in the Thai parliament after the March 2019 elections. Since the dissolution of Future Forward by the Constitutional Court on 21 February 2020, many of these young people have become profoundly alienated from Thailand’s state and society, and have taken to the streets to demand far-reaching reforms. This talk will examine how intra-generational contestation is re-shaping Thailand’s politics.
  • Topic: Politics, Science and Technology, Reform, Political Parties, Generation
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand
  • Author: Syaru Shirley Lin, C. Jason Wang, Vincent Wang, Andrew J. Nathan
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: During the coronavirus crisis, what was expected to be one of the hardest hit countries in the world has not only fared relatively well so far, but is now being widely lauded as a success story—Taiwan. With a population of 23.4 million, Taiwan has only reported 440 confirmed cases and seven deaths as of May 12. This panel will explore a series of questions. How did Taiwan manage the crisis and what are the secrets of its success so far? What are the risks that the pandemic could still worsen in Taiwan? How has the Covid-19 crisis affected Taiwan’s relations with mainland China? What has Taiwan done to assist other countries in managing the pandemic? How has Taiwan’s exclusion from World Health Organization (WHO) meetings and activities affected its ability both to manage the crisis at home, and to contribute to international management of the crisis? What can other countries learn from Taiwan about managing pandemic disease? What paths are available for Taiwan to contribute to global public health efforts? Has the crisis affected global support for Taiwan’s membership in the WHO? What are the implications for Taiwan’s global status beyond the WHO?
  • Topic: Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Andrey Makarychev, Elizabeth Wishnick, Andrew J. Nathan
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Taiwan and Estonia are known as digital democracies. As both face threats from neighbors, their degree of digitization typically has been seen as a vulnerability. The DNS attack from Russia that Estonia faced in 2007 brought home the potential for cyberspace to be used as a domain of war. Similarly Taiwan has faced repeated cyberthreats from the People’s Republic of China. Nonetheless, in their successful responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan and Estonia have highlighted the strengths of digital democracy in combating a non-traditional security threat without employing the strongarm tactics of authoritarian states. In this article we reexamine the digital vulnerability of democracies and put forward a conception of digital power to explain the success of Estonia and Taiwan in using their digital prowess to combat COVID-19. On the one hand their reliance on cybertechnology make them particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks, but on the other hand their digital power enhances their global stature and domestic capacity to address threats like COVID-19.
  • Topic: Security, Cybersecurity, Democracy, COVID-19, Non-Traditional Threats, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia, Estonia
  • Author: Rong Zhao
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: How does gender-based discrimination play out in the workplace? What are the overt and covert forms of gender discrimination existing in the Chinese and Western societies? What have been done and what more need to be done to address this profound inequality that has held generations of women back in gaining independence and equal rights? Drawing on economic, sociological, and feminist organizational theories, Rong Zhao, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Hunter College, City University of New York, analyzes: 1) how women have been kept in the low-paying secondary professions and the lower level of organizations; 2) how the discrimination in the workplace is related to the state-led patriarchal society that purposefully restricts women in the domestic world; and 3) what kind of social policies need to be developed and implemented to address this pressing issue. In the end, the speaker will also speak about strategies that individual women may adopt to mitigate the negative influences of gender discrimination on their career development. Rong Zhao is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Hunter College, City University of New York. She earned her doctorate from Columbia University School of Social Work in May 2018, and previously studied at Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China. Dr. Zhao’s research deals with social welfare practice and policy in a global perspective. Her specific research interests include gender inequality in the workplace, human service workforce, gender in relation to nonprofits, volunteering, and service contracting. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed publications such as the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, and Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Discrimination
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Diana Fu, Elizabeth Knup, Jing Wang, Nick Bartlett
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This panel, part of the WEAI in a COVID-19 remote lecture series, features brief presentations and discussion by scholars and practitioners who have studied and participated in Chinese civil society activities. The conversation covers changes to the role of and spaces for non-government actors in the Hu and Xi eras, as well as recent developments in light of the COVID pandemic and the rise of Hong Kong and Black Lives Matter protests.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Protests, NGOs, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Hong Kong
  • Author: Edward Wong, Gray Tuttle
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Speaker: Edward Wong, Diplomatic Correspondent, The New York Times Moderated by: Gray Tuttle, Leila Hadley Luce Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Media, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Asia, Tibet