Today’s dominant intellectual framework of international affairs is shaped by realism and power politics. Notions of nation-state, national interest, zero-sum competition, and big power rivalry underlie these debates and inform policymaking. While these notions are helpful in analyzing the power balance of international affairs, they are inadequate in helping us understand the deeper motivations and aspirations driving, directing, and shaping policy making. A closer look at embedded values, philosophical traditions and historical experiences will promote deep cross-cultural understanding and allow building strategic trust among the world’s great powers.
We started exploring the prevailing model of world governance from the cultural perspectives of China, India, Africa, and the Muslim world by organizing international workshops, including the “Classical Indian and Chinese World Views” and Tianxia series. We will hold a second workshop on Tianxia in global context in the first half of 2020. In addition, we currently plan to host a small-scale workshop on geopolitics versus geo-civilization in Singapore. In this workshop, we will invite historians, philosophers, cultural scholars in addition to international relations experts to explore questions such as – In what way have China’s ancient philosophical traditions and historical lessons shaped its world views and its domestic and foreign policies? What values and thought frameworks is China likely to offer to the world? What civilizational values and historical experiences have shaped the American approach to foreign policy and national priorities? In what ways have U.S. state and social constructs, stakeholder groups, and opinion leaders helped shape American foreign policy toward China? Finally, in what ways will frontier technologies impact geo-civilizational and geopolitical analyses?
Achievements in 2019:
• Proposed book publication: the volume of the first Tianxia conference is ready to be published in the first half of 2020; the publishing contract with CITIC has been signed
• International workshop “Classical Indian and Chinese World Views,“ July 2019, Beijing: it was organized in collaboration with Tsinghua University’s World Peace Forum, and a volume of papers is expected to be published in 2020.