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  • 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
  • Author: Noriyuki Shikata, Takako Hikotani, Gerald Curtis
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The Abe administration (2012-) and its diplomacy has been remarkably stable despite the geopolitical challenges and instability of its alliance partner, the United States. Is Japan going to stay its course, or are we going to witness major changes in the years ahead? How will Japan respond to recent developments, such as the Coronavirus outbreak? Noriyuki Shikata, Former Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Beijing, will discuss how he forecasts Japan’s diplomacy in 2030.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Geopolitics, Alliance, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Elie Podeh, Moran Zaga, Ksenia Svetlova, Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Mitvim Institute experts, Prof. Elie Podeh, Dr. Moran Zaga, Former MK Ksenia Svetlova, and Dr. Nimrod Goren, share analysis on why the diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and the UAE happened, and what are its implications for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and for Israel's relations in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Peace, Normalization
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, UAE