CENTRE FOR EAST-WEST CULTURAL & ECONOMIC STUDIES,

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES,

BOND UNIVERSITY

Queensland, Australia

Director: Dr. Martin Lu (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director East Asian Studies)

Members and Associates: Dr. Rosita Dellios (Associate Prof. of International Relations, International Relations Adviser); James Ferguson (Assistant Director for the Centre, Assistant Prof. of International Relations and Philosophy); Reginald Little (Associate, Writer and Visiting Lecturer). Through its outreach into the wider university, into local society and the global community (through linkages with institutions and scholars in Australia, the PRC, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia and India), the Centre draws on the resources of an international 'virtual think tank'.

 

MISSION:

The Centre was established in 1993 with the purpose of facilitating research, teaching and interdisciplinary applications focusing on the interactions among cultural, social, economic and political aspects of international affairs. The Centre is particularly concerned to examine the changes at the cultural and political levels which have radically altered the international, strategic and economic relationships of the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific regions. The debate concerning the direction of Australian interaction with Asia is fundamental to the Centre’s research and teaching roles. Throughout, the Centre is concerned to bring innovative and up-date viewpoints to bear on the rapid changes occurring in the International Relations discipline, on transformations to the Asian region, and to emerging concepts of global and regional governance.

The Centre is involved in local community workshops as well as exchange of ideas with organisations and researchers in the Asia-Pacific region. For example, at the local level the Centre was co-convener of the symposium Cultural Identity and Social Integration of Chinese in Australia, held on the Gold Coast, and has run a series of monthly public seminars during 1997-1999. Centre staff have also given public lectures to local organisations, e.g. to the Society of Chinese Australian Academics in Queensland, and to the Gold Coast Chinese Club. At the regional level the Centre is engaged in cooperative links with the Total Education Institute in Yogyakarta, and with a number of Chinese universities, including institutions at Suzhou and Qufu. Since January 1997, the Centre has also been affiliated with the Culture Regeneration Research Society (CRRS), an international organisation concerned with the study of Chinese culture and its global impact.

The Centre runs research M.A. or research Ph.D. programs, with the possibility of doing research at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Suzhou University (near Singapore's Industrial Park at Suzhou), Nanjing University, Qufu Teachers University and other institutions of higher learning in China. Apart from areas within International Relations, research topics could also cover "Chinese Culture and Economic Reform in China", "Business Ethics and Market Economy in China", "Confucianism as World Philosophy", "Chinese Culture and Its Contemporary Relevance", "Chinese Culture and Chinese Politics", "The New Regionalism", and "Concepts of International Governance" as well as the kind of topics listed in the Research Profile below. The Centre is also active in supporting the teaching of East Asian Studies, including Chinese and Japanese studies at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. For details, please contact the university, or the Director, Associate Professor Martin Lu (e-mail: martin_lu@bond.edu.au), the Assistant Director, James Ferguson (e-mail: james_ferguson@bond.edu.au), or its International Relations adviser, Rosita Dellios (e-mail: rosita_dellios@bond.edu.au).

In addition to these activities, the Centre supports several publications (see below). One is The Culture Mandala, a non-technical bulletin aimed at increasing academic and public awareness of cultural, economic and political affairs which impact on East-West relations. The Centre’s other publication is a series of Research Papers, including research on Chinese strategic culture, East Timor, Sufism as an international force, and on religious tolerance as the main-spring for the development of Western human rights. It is intended that papers commissioned for the Centre embrace a range of innovative approaches to Asian studies, East-West dialogue, or globalisation issues. The mailing list for these publications includes academics, diplomats, foreign policy advisers, students and business people. Copies are also held at the National Library of Australia (Canberra), the State Library of Queensland, and at Bond University Library on the Gold Coast. Most of these publications appear in the International Relations and Cultural Diversity Homepage.

KEY COLLABORATIONS:

The Centre is involved in local, national and international conferences, as well as the exchange of ideas with research institutes and universities in the Asia-Pacific region. These activities have included:


PUBLICATIONS SUPPORTED BY THE CENTRE:

STUDENTS AND THE CENTRE:

From its inception, the research output and publications have spun-on to teaching modules in the International Relations, International Diplomacy, Cultural and Ethical Values, Philosophy, and Executive MBA programs. From 2001, the research of the Centre will feed into its new teaching arm, the East Asian Studies program, which includes Chinese and Japanese studies. The Centre also offers an opportunity for students to learn how to successfully do business with Asians through an understanding of their culture and practices. Students develop cultural skills that are the basis of genuine relations with their Asian peers, thereby helping them better pursue their careers and personal development.

This includes the opportunity for regular study-travels trips to East Asia (2-3 are run each year), focusing on various parts of the region. In August 2000, this resulted in over 60 students visiting northern China in two study programs. The Discover China Tour, scheduled for 26 August to 5 September 2000, for example, was designed to give students first-hand experience of China, its business environment, international orientation and civilisational greatness. During a 10-day period in the inter-semester vacation, students will visit Beijing, the Chinese capital and Qufu, Confucius’ birthplace and a major cultural town. In Beijing, Bond students will be hosted by the University of International Business & Economics, visit the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the commercial district, the Australian Embassy and Austrade. They will be taken on an industry tour, as well as a banquet with business people. Culturally, there is an excellent mix of visits to the Great Wall, a night at the Peking Opera, a tour of the Forbidden City where the emperors of China lived and where Mao Zedong's portrait still hangs on the outer wall, facing Tiananmen Square. The overnight train to Qufu in Shandong Province brings students to the cultural heart of China where Confucius, China's most respected philosopher, was born and raised. There students will attend a seminar at the local university with Chinese students. They will also visit the key sites of Qufu: Confucius' temple, mansion and forest (family cemetery), plus traditional performances at the Confucius Six Arts City cultural centre. The tour concludes with the train trip back to Beijing. Other tours have been arranged for Shanghai and Qufu, as well as trips to Singapore, Indonesia and Japan. Extension studies and higher learning can also be provided at a number of Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese institutions.

THEMATIC RESEARCH PROFILE:

The Centre has developed major new perspectives on global economic and cultural trends. In conjunction with the Department of International Relations within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bond University, it has also influenced teaching and research at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These perspectives have been developed by the Centre members in their own writing as well as through editing and publishing. Selected publications (far from complete) include: -

1. Application of the mandala metaphor to contemporary regional and global politics

This has been developed by the members of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies at Bond University, specifically: Martin Lu, "Sino-British Disputes Over Hong Kong in the Light of the Chinese Culture Mandala", The Culture Mandala, Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Bond University, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1994, pp. 3-15; R. James Ferguson, "Complexity in the Centre: The New Southeast Asian Mandala", The Culture Mandala, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1994, pp. 16-40; Rosita Dellios "Mandala-Building in International Relations as a Paradigm for Peace", Social Alternatives, Vol. 15, No. 3, July 1996, pp. 58-63; and Rosita Dellios, '"How May the World be at Peace?": Idealism as Realism in Chinese Strategic Culture', in Valerie M. Hudson (ed.), Culture and Foreign Policy, Lynne Rienner, Boulder, Colorado, 1997, pp. 201-230. Further work includes: Rosita Dellios, "Reconceptualising Development as a Culture Mandala", 4th International Conference on Development, Institute for Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kabangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia, 2-4 September 1997 and Rosita Dellios "Globalisation and the Mandala: 'Software' for the Millennium", The Culture Mandala, Vol. 4 No. 1, January 2000, pp.1-10.

2. Civilisational and regional dialogue

This theme has been explored by the Centre, as well as by the Department of International Relations. Publications and conference papers include: Budi Ismail East Timor: An InternationalAffair, Research Paper No. 3, The Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Bond University, 1995; R. James Ferguson Meeting on the Road: Cosmopolitan Islamic Culture and the Politics of Sufism, Research Paper No. 4, The Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, 1996; Maggie Grey "Ramrajya Ki Aur", Culture Mandala, Vol. 2 No. 1, December 1996, pp21-40; R. James Ferguson "Shaping New Relationships: Asia, Europe and the New Trilateralism", International Politics, Vol. 34 No. 4, December 1997, pp395-415; R. James Ferguson, "The Missing Relationship: Asia, Europe and Open Regionalism", in HIRANO, K. (ed.) Japan, Asia and the World in the 21st Century, Tokyo, Kokusai Shoin Publishers, forthcoming, Spring 1998 (translated into Japanese); R. James Ferguson and Rosita Dellios "ASEAN and Australia: A Submission to the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee", Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, ASEAN Inquiry, Canberra, March 1997, Volume I, pp.98-121. Further research includes: R. James Ferguson presented "Trading Cultures: Regional and Global Interactions in the Indo-Pacific Region" for the 4th International Conference on Development, Institute for Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kabangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia, 2-4 September 1997 & Sharif M. Shuja "Islamic Culture and Globalisation", The Culture Mandala, Vol. 4 No. 1, January 2000, pp38-41.

3. Comprehensive security and strategic culture

R. James Ferguson and others have been working on alternative formulations of comprehensive security derived from Chinese, Japanese and contemporary Western formulations. Current trends in strategic culture are also analysed within their cultural frameworks. Work from this project includes: Mitchell McGuire China's Nuclear Environment and the US Theatre Missile Defence Initiative, Research Paper no. 6, The Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, May 1999; R. James Ferguson "Positive-Sum Games in the Asia-Pacific Region", The Culture Mandala, vol. 1, no. 2, September, 1995, pp35-58; R. James Ferguson "Inclusive Strategies for Restraining Aggression - Lessons from Classical Chinese Culture", Asian Philosophy, Vol. 8 No. 1, March 1998, pp31-46. Work in progress includes a major research project entitled Mo Tzu and Comprehensive Security: From Ancient to Modern Doctrines, (a project originally funded by a small ARC research grant). This work also formed the basis for a successful Ford-IDSS grant in the 1999-2000 FORD-IDSS Program on Non-Traditional Security Issues in Southeast Asia, R. James Ferguson "New Forms of Southeast Asian Regional Governance: From 'Codes of Conduct' to 'Greater East Asia'".

4. Cultural China

Through 1996-2000 Martin Lu and Rosita Dellios have been actively involved in researching aspects of ‘Cultural China’ which look beyond the ‘Two Chinas’ (PRC and Taiwan) to the broader Chinese diaspora, and to the role of Chinese culture and politics globally. This has resulted in: Rosita Dellios, "Global Politics with Chinese Characteristics", International Studies Association-Japan Association of International Relations Joint Convention, Globalism, Regionalism and Nationalism: Asia in Search of Its Role in the 21st Century, Makuhari, Japan, 20-22 September 1996 and Martin Lu and Rosita Dellios, "'One Culture, Two Systems': A Cultural Approach to Inter-Chinese Politics", The Culture Mandala, vol. 3 no. 1, November 1998, pp18-40. Work on Chinese culture includes: Li Tianchen "To Learn from the Past is to Serve the Present: A Confucian Lesson", The Culture Mandala, vol. 3 no. 1, November 1998, pp70-75; Martin Lu Chinese Cultural Sentiments, Taipei, Publishing House of World Chinese Writers, 2000; R. James Ferguson "Confucius, Mencius, and the Participatory Society", in Confucius in the Twenty-First Century: Proceedings of the Commemoration Conference of Confucius' 2550th Birthday & The 2nd Congress of the International Confucian Association, Beijing, 7-11 October, 1999, Beijing, ICA, 1999, Volume I, pp219-255. These themes have also influenced the consulting and teaching activities of the staff team, who have prepared a module on Chinese Culture for business persons. This module has been part of the Executive MBA program at Bond University each January during the period 1996-2000. The Centre has also been keen to provide an opportunity for Chinese scholars to find a stronger voice in English publications. Scholars including Fan Qi, Li Tianchen, Tong Yun Kai, Yan Ming, and Zhang Xiangming published on these themes through the Culture Mandala in the 1999 and 2000.

5. Regional China

From 1998 the Centre has also been engaged in a study of regional centres in China, and other foci of Chinese culture in the Asia-Pacific region. Research trips commenced in 1998, with initial visits to Suzhou, Nanning, Beijing and Qufu. The first articles on these regional cities were published through 1999-2000 in The Culture Mandala. They include: Fan Qi & Ma Boling "The Soochow 'Complex' and Modernisation", The Culture Mandala, Vol. 4 No. 1, January 2000, pp.42-47; Rosita Dellios "Qufu: A Civilizational Centre of Northern China", The Culture Mandala, Vol 3. No. 2, August 1999, pp39-43; & R. James Ferguson "Nanning and Guangxi: China's Gateway to the South-West", The Culture Mandala, Vol. 4 No. 1, January 2000, pp.48-69.

6. Southeast Asia: Crisis, governance and transformation

Since 1997 the Centre has been monitoring the enormous changes that have influenced all of East Asia, with particular work on China and Southeast Asia. Published work to date includes Anne Cullen "The Role of Governance in the 1998 Indonesia Crisis", The Culture Mandala, Vol. 3 No. 1, November 1998, pp1-18; R. James Ferguson "The Dynamics of Culture in Contemporary Asia: Politics and Performance During' Uneven Globalisation'", Paper Presented at the Asian Cultures At the Crossroads: An East-West Dialogue in the New World Order Conference, November 16-18 1998, Hong Kong Baptist University (Co-sponsored by Ohio University); Rosita Dellios "China-United States Relations: The New Superpower Politics", The Culture Mandala, Vol. 3 No. 2, August 1999, pp.1-20; & R. James Ferguson "East Asian Regionalism: The Challenge of Political Reform and Systemic Crisis in the Late 1990s", Paper Presented at the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation Conference: After the Global Crisis: What Next for Regionalism? University of Warwick, 16-17th September 1999.

7. South Asia: The missing linkage

India and South Asia are key elements of the Asian world, and are now playing a more active role in relation to Southeast Asia, Australia and the global economy. The Centre has been active in exploring some of these cultural and political legacies, including Maggie Grey "Ramrajya Ki Aur", The Culture Mandala, Vol. 2 No. 1, December 1996, pp.21-41; Maggie Grey, Rosita Dellios & James Ferguson Submission on Australia-India Trade to the Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee, Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Canberra, June 1997; R. James Ferguson "Trading Cultures: Regional and Global Interactions in the Indo-Pacific Region", in SEN, R. (ed.) Economic Development in the 21st Century, Calcutta, IIDA, (forthcoming).
 

FUNDING:

The Centre staff and office space are funded through their normal teaching and research roles at Bond University. Extra funding for publications and special projects are provided through public relations budgets, small private donations and grant funds secured from external governmental or research organisations.
 

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