Jan 21 2020 13:00

【REPORT】The second meeting of the Series: “Challenges of Global Studies” “Politics of Border Reconfiguration”

Institute for Advanced Global Studies

【REPORT】The second meeting of the Series: “Challenges of Global Studies” “Politics of Border Reconfiguration”

The second meeting of the Series: “Challenges of Global Studies”
“Politics of Border Reconfiguration”

ISHIDA Atsushi(Department of Advanced Social and International Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

TANABE Akio(Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
BAJI Tomohito(Department of Advanced Social and International Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
DATE Kiyonobu(Department of Area Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

To learn more about the Global Studies Seminar series “Challenges in Global Studies,” click here.


On 21 January 2020, the second session of the Global Studies Seminar (“Challenges in the Global Studies”) was held at the Komaba Campus. Professor Atsushi Ishida from the Department of Advanced Social and International Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, delivered a speech entitled “Politics of Border Reconfiguration.” His speech focused on how International Politics, his major research field, interplays with “Global Studies.”


Professor Ishida began his speech by analyzing thoroughly the current situation of Global Studies at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He examined the content of “the Global Studies Initiative” which aims at the coexistence of knowledge from plural fields and the sustainable development of such knowledge at the four departments (dealing with social sciences and humanities) in the Graduate School, with examples of the open lectures at the 68th Komaba Festival and the launch of the World-leading Innovative Graduate Study Program in 2019. Then, concerning his methodological approach to Global Studies, he proposed that it would be possible to consider human beings and their society with a particular focus on the relationship between “the whole and individuals” in a global context while noting the challenge of experts from different fields to share their perspectives.


Professor Ishida discussed the “the reciprocal reconfiguration of international and domestic order” as a study relevant to Global Studies. When there is a global reorganization of territories, the former majority of the population become the minority (for example, Russian and Serbs living outside of Russian or Serb area became a minority in the dissolution of the Soviet Union), which would lead to an increase of anxiety among the local vulnerable and to the confusion of domestic order. Thus, the international society interferes with sovereign states by guaranteeing the rights of those vulnerable in a country to provide them a sense of assurance which reduces the “anxiety of the vulnerable.”


There is a global chain in which the fluctuations in the international order affect the domestic order, and the international order, which is worried about the influence, intervenes in the domestic order to offset the changes in the current situation that cause concerns for the weak. Professor Ishida mentioned that we should consider not only the context of international society but also the destabilization of domestic governance to explain the change of international society, with a reservation that this is only applicable to the discussions on the change of international order associated with territorial changes in the history since the 20th century.


Subsequently, Professor Ishida added further analysis by applying historical cases from the three periods after World War I, after World War II, and after the end of the Cold War to the model of “reciprocal reconfiguration.” He emphasized that this model can not only highlight blind spots that could not be explained by existing theories of change in international politics such as domestic analogy that assume the same stabilizing factors for international and domestic order, but also deepen insight into the roles of the international society exemplified by “the R to P” over territorial states.


Professor Ishida’s inspiring speech prompted many questions from the discussants and the audience in the seminar, which deepened the seminar. The questions included how the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples should be interpreted in “the theory of reciprocal reconfiguration”; and how regional order and value systems (such as one in the South Asian region) relate to this model in the dichotomy between domestic order and international order. On the other hand, a question was also raised on how capital, religion, and environment which penetrate globally beyond borders effect “the reciprocal reconfiguration theory.” Another question was whether a framework like “reciprocal reconfiguration theory” can capture changes of order when it comes to unrecognized states such as Taiwan or Kosovo, which have not been given formal membership.


Many questions and comments, followed by answers by Professor Ishida, led to a heated discussion, which lasted until the closure of the seminar.

【HARADA Toki(Graduate Student at the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology)】

【translated by HATANO Ayako(Ph. D. Student at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences )】