Research

Conference on contemporary security challenges in Asia

POLIS - Conference

A major one day event hosted at the University on Friday 25 April will consider the emerging security challenges across Asia.

From the world’s largest elections in India to the first democratic handover of power in Afghanistan, major changes are afoot in Asia. The makeup of the contemporary continent is undergoing profound transition, and these changes pose challenges not only for Asia's estimated three billion residents, but also for the rest of the world.

As internal and external events play out and threaten to further destabilise the regional dynamics, a major one day event will take place at the University to debate the contemporary security challenges currently facing the continent. The event includes a line-up of distinguished speakers from across the UK and beyond.

Taking place on Friday, 25 April 2014, the conference will address flashpoints across the continent. The agenda will highlight the 'AfPak' region, where ongoing India-Pakistan rivalries are likely to play out after the scheduled American withdrawal this June. The tensions over Kashmir are also set to escalate in the near future given the nationalist rhetoric being voiced by Narendra Modi, the likely next Prime Minister of India.

On the other side of the continent, simmering conflicts between an increasingly assertive Japan, an erratic North Korea and a confident China have made the region the centre of attention for the West. Other themes of the conference include the ongoing Shia-Sunni conflict in South Asia; nuclear programs in Iran and Pakistan and the US response; and the use of drones in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. With the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan this summer in mind, speakers will also address the foreign policy priorities of China and Russia in the country.

Lecturer in International Relations, from our Department of Politics, Languages & International StudiesDr Wali Aslam explains: "Asia has emerged as a key region of interest for governments in Europe and the US over the past decade. Eastern Europe and Russia, once the centre of Western attention during the Cold War, have been replaced by the sub-regions of Northeast Asia and South Asia. The UK has spent valuable resources in stabilising Afghanistan helping it to recover from years of Taliban misrule. Meanwhile, the US has been pursuing a policy of pivoting towards Asia. Our one-day event at the University will examine very significant Asian security challenges from multiple perspectives."

"Though Asia has been acquiring greater geopolitical significance recently, not many universities in the UK dedicate their attention to studying the continent's security issues in depth. Holding this event is proof that the University of Bath is committed to providing scholars with platforms from which to present ground-breaking research on relatively under-studied topics. With participants specialising in and presenting different aspects of Asian politics and security, the event will provide a valuable window into the continent."

The conference is free to attend but registration is recommended. To find out more and to register to attend, please see http://www.bath.ac.uk/polis/events/news_0058.html 

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