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Could Peace in East Asia Last? Historical Memory, Nationalism and Sino-Japanese Relations

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 12:15pm - 2:00pm
Columbia University, Morningside Campus, International Affairs Building, Room 1302

The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies presents: "Could Peace in East Asia Last?  Historical Memory, Nationalism and Sino-Japanese Relations" A book talk with Dr. Zheng Wang Associate Professor, John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations
Seton Hall University

Moderated by Professor Robert JervisAdlai E. Stevenson Professor of Political Science, Columbia University

Member, SIWPS

Abstract

With the rising tensions between China and Japan, people have begun to worry about whether peace in East Asia could continue. Maintaining peace and concentrating on economic development have been the open secrets for the rise and prosperities of the Eastern Asian countries in the recent three or four decades. Would the tendency turn over? What role has historical memory played in the formation of national identity and nationalism and how would the clash of nationalism influences the peace and security in East Asia?

With this background, Dr. Zheng Wang will present his new book, Never Forget National Humiliation: Historic Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations (Columbia University Press, 2012). This book uses historical memory to decode China's political transition, popular sentiment, and international behavior in the Post-Tiananmen and Post-Cold War era. It explores the role that historical memory plays in China's rise: its manipulation by political elites, its resonance in the popular imagination, and its ability to constrain and shape China's foreign relations with major powers.

Bio

Dr. Zheng Wang is an Associate Professor in the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He has been Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and is a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations (NCUSCR). In the 1990s, Zheng Wang served eight years as a research fellow and then as the Deputy Director of Research at one of China's think tanks on international peace and security issues.

Dr. Wang's research interests lie in two closely connected areas: (1) peace and conflict management in East Asia, with special focus on U.S.-China relations and China's external conflicts; (2) nationalism and identity politics in China and East Asia. His recent projects investigate China's disputes with its neighboring countries, such as the islands dispute with Japan and the South China Sea disputes. Dr. Wang's Wilson Center project is a new book examining the rising strategic suspicion and rivalry between the U.S. and China in the Asia Pacific region.

Dr. Wang is the author of the Columbia University Press new book Never Forget National Humiliation: Historic Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations. His articles and book chapters have appeared in various peer-reviewed publications, including: International Studies Quarterly; International Negotiation; History and Memory; and Journal of Contemporary China.