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Focus Asia 2012

8-9 May & 6-7 November

New Directions, New Challenges - Burma/Myanmar, Laos and North Korea

The Focus Asia symposium in May 2012 focused on three countries — Burma/Myanmar, Laos and North Korea. Each of these countries in different ways is currently experiencing new directions in its political, economic and social development, developments that have been widely reported in the global media. During the Focus Asia symposium, in addition to accounts of each country by recent visitors, leading international scholars will present and analyse these current developments, and position them in the context of the rapid transformations currently being witnessed in South-East and North-East Asia.


Collective Memory, Identity and International Relations in East Asia

In 2012, international relations in East Asia have been disturbed by severe tensions over territory with the largest anti-Japanese protests in China since the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations 40 years ago. Traditionally, the study of international relations in East Asia has been dominated by a focus on material factors and issues having to do with geopolitics and military security. However, since the end of the Cold War, international relations in East Asia have increasingly been disrupted by clashes over war memory and nationalistic outbursts have become more frequent in the 2000s. In this situation, approaches to the study of international relations in the region emphasizing the importance of ideas have challenged conventional theories. Scholars have explored the impact identity and narratives about the past have on international relations in East Asia.

The Focus Asia symposium that was held in Lund 6-7 November 2012 brought together a number of leading scholars who share a deep interest in issues having to do with collective memory, identity and international relations in East Asia.