RCAPS Online Current Research Seminar: “Politics and International Relations in Southeast Asia amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.”


Jul 16, 2020

On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, APU hosted an online RCAPS Seminar entitled “Politics and International Relations in Southeast Asia amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The Ritsumeikan Center for Asia Pacific Studies (RCAPS) holds regular seminars to showcase the research findings of APU faculty. This was the second time a RCAPS seminar was held online to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Approximately 100 people from APU and other institutions joined the seminar.

The speakers for this seminar were Dr. Ian J. Storey of ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore and Dr. Ying Hooi Khoo of the Department of International and Strategic Studies, University of Malaya, with Professor Yoichiro Sato of APU’s College of Asia Pacific Studies moderating the event.

The seminar featured lectures of approximately 10-15 minutes each by Dr. Storey and Dr. Khoo, followed by a session moderated by Professor Sato that opened up to questions from the seminar participants. The lectures, discussion, and Q&A session covered a wide range of topics: International security and diplomatic relations in Southeast Asia in general, specific international maritime issues in the South China Sea dispute, and domestic political issues in the current context of the coronavirus pandemic. Central to the overall seminar was looking at how national responses to the pandemic crisis by key Southeast Asian countries reveal both their domestic socio-economic-political contexts as well as foreign policy and international security strategy involving other regional actors like ASEAN, China, Japan, and the US.

The moderated session further highlighted key scholarly debates and policy questions, while the Q&A session attracted many thoughtful questions, resulting in engaging discussions with the speakers. The seminar content not only provided insights to Southeast Asian politics in terms of geostrategic competition centered on the South China Sea dispute, but also threw light on public health management and human security dimensions.

You can view a video recording of this seminar on YouTube.

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