New project on the South China Sea after the ruling of the International Court of Arbitration

New project on The Beijing-Washington Power Shift in the South China Sea after the ruling of the International Court of Arbitration in collaboration with The Association of Foreign Relations, Taipei, Taiwan.

The project looks to track political, military and diplomatic developments in the South China Sea and compare the impacts of the afore-mentioned in addition to those of other significant cases. The project also seeks to examine the role and use of soft power and its projection in the South China Sea. It is hoped that different viewpoints and perspectives could be shared, exchanged and discussed between the two sides.

Besides research on the topic, seminars and workshops will be held in Taiwan and in Sweden. The project also includes exchange, with a Vincent Siew Fellow being based at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs during spring 2017 to conduct research within the scope of this project.

Partners:
The Association of Foreign Relations, Taipei, Taiwan
The Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden

Key participants:
Dr. Mikael Weissmann (principal investigator, Sweden)
Assoc. Prof. Kwei-Bo Huang, AFR Secretary-General (principal investigator, Taiwan)
Dr. Emma Björnehed (project manager)

For more information see the project page.

 

 

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Global Shadow War – new article

“Global shadow war: a conceptual analysis”, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, Vol. 8, Iss. 3, 2015 (with Markus Lyckman)

Abstract:

The US strategic shift from nation-building to what has been labelled “light footprint” has carried with it a number of changes in the practices used when waging war on terrorism. These activities include covert and clandestine action by special operations and paramilitary forces, and others, operating under a shadowy mandate. It is essential to analyse these changes, due to the nature of the actions taken and the global reach and consequences of US foreign policies. The concept of “global shadow war” has been used by scholars and journalists alike to describe the practices associated with the light footprint framework, although the concept is ambiguous, lacks clear conceptual boundaries and is yet to be defined. This article attempts to resolve the problem of ambiguity through a systematic analysis of how and when the concept is used, in the process establishing its conceptual boundaries and definitional qualities. Using a method for concept analysis developed by Giovanni Sartori, the article provides a conceptual definition which is more clearly delineated, encompasses the characteristics found in the sources studied, and can be used when theorizing about the many practices taking place within the light footprint framework.

[Link to full text of published version]
[Link to accepted pre-publication version (PDF)]

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Paid PhD position in International Relations

We are looking for a PhD candidate for our Pwer Shift in East Asia project. It is a paid PhD position in International Relations at the Stockholm University Graduate School of International Studies.The position has a specialization in East Asian Security, with a focus on the question of a regional power shift. It is fully funded with scholarships for three years and a salaried position during the fourth and final year. The position is based at Stockholm University but the PhD candidate will also have a second workplace at the Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership at the Swedish Defence University.

Please find more details here: http://www.su.se/english/about/vacancies/vacancies-new-list?rmpage=job&rmjob=727&rmlang=UK

Deadline: 1 Dec 2015

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Special Issue on “China’s Maritime Embroilments”

asian_survey_coverA special issue on “China’s Maritime Embroilments” that I have co-edited has just been published in Asian Survey. This issue originates in a conference I orgainsed on “Collaboration at Sea”, kindly funded by a grant from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

I have co-written the introduction with Prof. Lowell Dittmer (“China’s Maritime Embroilments” [FULL TEXT]) and an article titled “The South China Sea: Still No War on the Horizon” [FULL TEXT]. In my article I am using a conflict transformation framework to demonstrate that in fact positive transformations have taken place in the South China Sea between 1991 and 2007. I am arguing that even though these transformations have been weakened in recent years, particularly regarding actor behaviour, a major armed conflict is still highly unlikely.

The full table of content is as follows (PDF):

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Chinese Foreign Policy in a Global Perspective

cover_issue_115_en_USIn a new article I am arguing that it is vital to understand what is guiding Chinese foreign policy, why this is so, and not least what kind of power China is and will be in the future. The article analyses the vital elements and thinking that guides Chinese foreign policy, its priorities and decision making process, concluding that China under Xi Jinping will not be a status que power accepting the world as it is, but nor are we to expect China to become a revisionist power aiming to remodel the global order. Instead, China is what can best be described as a responsible reformer “striving for achievements”.

Chinese Foreign Policy in a Global Perspective: A Responsible Reformer “Striving For Achievement”“, Journal of China and International Relations, 3(1), 2015: 151-166.

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China and Russia

FOI_picDo you want to understand the relations between China and Russia? Then you should have a look at this report I have co-written for the Swedish Defence Research Agency.

China and Russia – A Study on Cooperation, Competition and Distrust (with Märta Carlsson & Susanne Oxenstierna), Report no FOI-R- -4087-SE, Stockholm: Swedish Defence Research Agency, 2015, pp.100.

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Chinese Soft Power and ASEAN’s Constructive Engagement: Sino-ASEAN relations and the South China Sea

In an article in Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia I address the question what is left of two decades of positive engagement under the umbrella of Chinese Soft Power and ASEAN Constructive Engagement after the South China Sea having once again arisen to the top of the East Asian security debate after a decade of silence. This conflict is in many ways a litmus test of China’s relations with ASEAN and its member states, a conflict embedded in, and a manifestation of, the overarching relations. If the two sides cannot manage the SCS, what is next?

You can read my article on the Kyoto Review website:

Chinese Soft Power and ASEAN’s Constructive Engagement: Sino-ASEAN relations and the South China Sea (Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, Issue 15: South China Sea, March 2014)

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What should a European Strategy towards East Asia look like?

As part of the Towards European Global Strategy at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs I wrote a paper on what should a European Strategy towards East Asia look like. The space given to Asia in the final report may have been limited, but Asia is cruial for Europe as we are in the process of a Global Power Shift from the West to the East. I think my paper give some pointers what our strategy should look like. 

A European Strategy towards East Asia: moving from good intentions to action (UI Occasional Paper No. 19, Stockholm: The Swedish Institute of International Affairs, 2013)

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