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  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: In the last quarter of the 18th century, Warren Hastings, the first de facto Governor General of India from 1774 to 1785 initiated and set up the English East India Company’s relations with Tibet. The first contact in this reference was initiated by the Tibetans, when, upon hearing the news of the defeat of Bhutan’s King Desi Shidariva by the British forces in the battle for Cooch Behar (1772-1774), the Panchen Lama, Palden Yeshe, wrote a historic letter of mediation addressed to the Governor General. Hastings seized the opportunity, and, in his response proposed a general treaty of amity and peace between Bengal and Tibet.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Affairs, History, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, England, Tibet
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: In the last quarter of the 18th century, Warren Hastings, the first de facto Governor General of India from 1774 to 1785 initiated and set up the English East India Company’s relations with Tibet. The backdrop to this was created when the ruler (sde-srid or srid-skyon) of Bhutan overran Sikkim some years prior. In 1771, the Bhutanese descended on the plains and invaded Cooch-Behar, taking in the Raja (King) as a prisoner. The royal family called on Warren Hastings for assistance, who, in turn, dispatched a battalion of sepoys. The Bhutanese were driven away from Cooch-Behar and chased into the Duars around winter 1772-1773.1 In the given circumstances, the Bhutanese government appealed the Tashi Lama (who was the acting Regent of Tibet during the infancy of the Dalai Lama) to intervene on their behalf.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, History, Trade
  • Political Geography: India, Asia, England, Tibet
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Bilateral defense cooperation agreements (DCAs) have become the most common form of institutionalized defense cooperation. These formal agreements establish broad defense-oriented legal frameworks between signatories, facilitating cooperation in fundamental areas such as defense policy coordination, research and development, joint military exercises, education and training, arms procurement, and exchange of classified information. Nearly a thousand DCAs are currently in force, with potentially wideranging impacts on national and international security outcomes. A theory that integrates cooperation theory with insights from social network analysis explains the significance and need for DCAs. Shifts in the global security environment since the 1980s fueled the demand for DCAs. Ever since, States are known to have used DCAs to modernize their militaries, respond to shared security threats, and establish security umbrellas with like-minded states. However, the DCA proliferation cannot be attributed to the demand factor alone. Nations are required also to overcome dilemmas of mistrust and distributional conflicts. Network influences can increase the supply of DCAs by providing governments with information about the trustworthiness of partners and the risk of asymmetric distributions of gains. Two specific network influences that can be identified here are—preferential attachment and triadic closure. They show that these influences are largely responsible for the post-Cold War diffusion of DCAs. Novel empirical strategies further indicate that these influences derive from the proposed informational mechanism. States use the DCA ties of others to glean information about prospective defense partners, thus endogenously fueling further growth of the global DCA network.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia
  • Author: Valerie Niquet
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: China plays a significant role in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, where the current Director-General of the WHO was Minister of Health and then Minister of Foreign Affairs. This opaque influence and the support given by Beijing to Dr. Tedros seems to have weighed on the positions taken by the WHO in the face of the Covid 19 crisis. The consequences of these decisions are now being felt worldwide and contribute to undermining the credibility of a fragile multilateral system.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, United Nations, World Health Organization, Multilateralism, Soft Power, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Valerie Niquet
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: During two critical meetings, Prime Minister Abe’s visit to France in May 2019, followed by President Macron’s visit to Japan in June of the same year, several elements were highlighted that demonstrate a close convergence of analysis on the strategic situation in the Indo-Pacific region. This convergence paves the way for increased opportunities for cooperation. Internal evolutions on defense-related issues in Japan since 2012 have made this type of cooperation more accessible. On the French side, a more assertive ambition for engagement in a critical area has been expressed on many occasions.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe, Asia, France, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Archival accounts of 19th centur y Tibet describe it as the forbidden, inaccessible, daunting and remotely unreachable territory of the Himalayas. Lhasa, the religious and administrative capital of Tibet since the mid-17th century literally meant “Place of the Gods” located at an elevation of about 3,600 m (11,800 ft) at the center of the Tibetan Plateau with the surrounding mountains rising to 5,500 m (18,000 ft). The air in this part contained only 68 percent oxygen compared to sea level, thereby indicating the geographic difficulties of the terrain. Tibet has stirred the curiosity amongst explorers, adventurists and researchers as being amongst the few places in the world that fired the imagination of adventurers. Owing to Buddhism, Japan, quite evidently had far more incentive than most others to reach Tibet, and ultimately, Lhasa. It was in the backdrop of these existential conditions that Ekai Kawaguchi (1866-1945) a Buddhist monk became the first Japanese explorer to embark upon a journey fraught with danger and uncertainty in May 1897 from Tokyo, to have succeeded in touching the frontier of the roof of the world, as he stepped on Tibetan soil for the first time on July 4, 1900.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, History, Trade
  • Political Geography: India, Asia, Nepal, Tibet
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Standing atop the point where the snowcapped heads of the skyreaching Dhavalgiri ranges get interspersed with the undulating stretch of the northeast prairies of Tibet, scattered with shining streams of water, Ekai Kawaguchi was to keep heading north until arriving at Lake Mānsarovar. Having nothing else to guide him but a compass and a survey that he carried along with, Kawaguchi recalled that at the time of bidding adieu to his folks and friends back home in Japan, he had claimed to enter Tibet in three years. That day was June 26, 1897, and “… here I was, stepping on the soil of Tibet on July 4, 1900” filled with mixed feelings of joy, gratitude and hope.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, History, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Tibet
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Around the decade of 1880s, a substantial number of native Indians (usually pilgrims and priests visiting sacred places) were permitted to enter Tibet. Ekai Kawaguchi recalled his experience and understanding of the Tibetans and described them as inherently hospitable people, by and large. Assessing the relationship existing formerly between British India and Tibet, Kawaguchi acknowledged that British India was closely connected with Tibet since long. In the initial phase, Tibet’s attitude towards the British Indian Government could not be termed resentful or hostile.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, History, Trade
  • Political Geography: Britain, India, Asia, Tibet
  • Author: Thomas S. Wilkins
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The US-Japan-Australia-India Quadrilateral Strategic Dialogue (QSD), or simply “Quad,” process continues to attract the attention of policy-makers, analysts, and scholars interested in the impact of this new and potentially significant alignment formation on the security dynamics of the Indo Pacific region. The reemergence of the Quad meetings in 2017 after their abrupt termination over a decade ago in 2007 has led analysts to wonder if it is now here to stay this time as an enduring additional component of the region’s multifarious security architecture. It has also animated a heated debate about its true nature and purpose, with commentators bitterly divided in their appraisal. Some believe it lacks real substance and cohesion, whilst others argue it has the portentous makings of a new military alliance aimed at containing the PRC. Nevertheless, despite prodigious efforts on behalf of the strategic commentariat, the actual substance and nature of the Quad itself remains enveloped by mixed signals, misapprehensions, and mischaracterizations. As Graeme Dobell recounts: ‘The Quad is more notable for the questions it provokes than the answers it offers.’
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Histor y often tends to repeat itself, or as Spanish-American philosopher, Jorge Agustín Santayana wrote in 1905-06 in The Life of Reason, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. While setting out to write on, or about Tibet, it is inevitable to conclude that there never was, or will be, a long walk to freedom either for Tibet, or for the holy chair of the successive Dalai Lamas – the god and king-in-one incarnation of Chen-re-zi, the Lord of Mercy – the patron deity of Tibet. The Dalai Lama not only governs his subjects in this life, but can influence their rebirth in the next, or as Tibetans believe is the “Ruler in this life, the Uplifter in the hereafter.” The journeys of the Dalai Lamas in and out of Tibet recount being perennially those, which forced them out of their homeland in the most pressing, dark, and arduous circumstances. These have been recorded most persuasively by Sir Charles Bell, British civil servant, and former British Political Representative in Tibet, Bhutan, and Sikkim, whose accounts dedicated to the memory of the 13th Dalai Lama stand testament to their long and affectionate friendship. Bell’s work Portrait of The Dalai Lama published in 1946 is amongst the finest accounts on Tibet’s chequered history. It’s important to understand Tibet’s geography and the course of events that shaped its historical and political destiny in order to realize the relations that Tibet shared with the powers that encircled it. The Chinese overlord ship, which commenced early in the 18th century and ended in 1912, was often little more than nominal. China’s endeavor to control the foreign policy of Tibet sprang mainly from two reasons: First, the Chinese desired the country as a barrier on the west; and second, from 1642, when the supreme authority of the Dalai Lama was established– China sought his spiritual backing to restrain the turbulent Mongols from invading the northern Chinese provinces.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Religion, History, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Asia, Tibet, Bhutan
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The Paris Peace Conference opened on January 18, 1919, paving way for an ensuing legacy of peacemaking. It aimed at fortifying the conceptual foundations in reference to the very essential premise on which peacemaking rests – i.e., bringing a conflict/war to a halt, and thereafter initiating a diplomatic process that seeks to provide a platform for initiating the process of reconciliation. Held at the Palace of Versailles, the Peace Conference saw delegates from 27 parties, with rigorous deliberations and recommendations that eventually got included into the Treaty of Versailles with Germany, held at the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, on June 28, 1919.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, History, Peace
  • Political Geography: India, Asia