AY2014 Beyond Nationalism?

Past Symposia>AY2014
 

Beyond Nationalism?
Peacebuilding and Religion in Asia


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Date
10:30 – 17:30, Saturday, 20 December, 2014
Venue
International Conference Room, Kiyoshi Togasaki Memorial Dialogue House, ICU
Sponsors
Social Science Research Institute (SSRI – ICU)
Co-sponsors
Institute of Global Concern (IGC – Sophia University)
Peace Research Institute (PRI – ICU)
 
Morning Session (the first few minutes lacks the sound)

Afternoon Session (The sound level varies after 10mins)

Opening Remarks

Prof. Junko HIBIYA (President of ICU)
 
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Overview of Symposium

Prof. Giorgio SHANI (Director of SSRI, ICU)
 
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Beyond Nationalism? Tagore and Modern India

Tagore and Critical Nationalism

Prof. Sudipta KAVIRAJ (Professor, Columbia University)【Profile
Abstract

I shall argue that Tagore, and Gandhi as well occupied an unusual position on the question of nationalism. They realized that successful opposition to British colonial rule required the spread of a collective sentiment across the different social groups in Indian society: an anti-imperialist nationalism. Yet Tagore showed deep concern at the career of nationalist ideas in world history – particularly the form it assumed in Europe. He was wary of the institutions of a typical European style nation-state; and did not want Indian society to develop nationalism in that form. This produced a very interesting form of nationalist reflection in Tagore. The lecture will illustrate his deep and complex reflections on a critical form of nationalism from his political writings and literary texts.

Discussant: Prof. Giorgio SHANI (Director of SSRI, ICU)
Chair: Prof. Katsuhiko MORI (Professor, ICU)

 
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Nationalism in Abe’s Japan

Japanese Politics at the Crossroad and the Future of East Asia: Coup d’état against the Constitution, Yasukuni Nationalism, and the Task of Peace-building

Prof. Shin CHIBA (Director of PRI, ICU)【Profile
Abstract

This paper will deal with the following three issues: 1) Critique of a series of anti-constitutional measures such as the Cabinet’s decision about the use of collective self-defense right which were made on July 1 this year. And I will argue that these measures signify coup d’état against the Constitution on the part of the Abe administration. (2) Critique of Yasukuni nationalism of Prime Minister Abe and its defining features. (3) Finally, I will suggest a few things about the need for non-military security measures in East Asia today by referring to recent developments of the theories and practices of peace-building, cooperative security, reconciliation and peace, and so on.

History, Politics and Identity in Japan

Prof. Koichi NAKANO (Professor, Sophia University)【Profile
Abstract

The politics of national identity and historical memory continues to play a key role in shaping the international relations of Northeast Asia today. This chapter seeks to shed light on the vexing regional situation by offering an account of the issues from a Japanese perspective. In order to do so, I shall first provide an analysis of what is often termed the “Yasukuni view of history” (Yasukuni shikan). We shall then take an overview of the postwar contestation over historical narratives, with particular reference to the textbook issue. It is important to note that, between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, with the rise of a certain liberal/neoliberal, internationalist orientation that became dominant in the newly politically assertive and economically affluent Japan, serious political efforts to reach settlements (if not solutions) over the “history” issues with China and South Korea were made by the country’s ruling elites. This was, however, followed by a revisionist backlash since the late 1990s that challenged and undid the fragile compromise with its neighbors as a revisionist, nationalist orientation took over in Japan, shaken by the social disruptions caused by a globalizing economy, and now on relative decline in Northeast Asia. Finally, this chapter closes by placing the impact of the resurgence of the Yasukuni view of history in the contemporary regional context.

Discussants: Prof. Masaki INA (Professor, ICU)
Discussants: Prof. Takashi KIBE (Professor, ICU)
Chair: Prof. Toshiro TERADA (Professor, Sophia University)

 
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Nationalism, Religion and Peacebuilding in North-East Asia

Religious Nationalism with Reciprocal Non-domination: Ahn Changho’s Humanitarian Cosmopolitanism
– Prof. Jun-Hyeok KWAK (Associate Professor, Soongsil University)【Profile
Abstract

This paper examines Ahn Changho’s writings which arguably referred not only to his longing for national independence but also to his aspiration of peaceful coexistence in Northeast Asia. Although it has been frequently noted that the connection between Ahn’s advocacy of national independence and his suggestion of humanitarian cosmopolitanism may have been much closer than is usually assumed, there were only a few scholarly attempts to see about his conception of non-domination in terms of a coherent logic as something bracketing together with mutually exclusive extremes. By juxtaposing Ahn’s political thoughts with Giuseppe Mazzini’s then-popular thesis on ‘one’s love for humanity,’ I make the following two claims. (1) Ahn retains the politics of non-domination that gives epistemological coherence to his ideas ranging from the advocacy of the reconstruction of the nation to the assertion of peaceful coexistence in Northeast Asia. (2) Ahn’s conception of non-domination embodied in his religious aspiration for love for humanity demonstrates the need for overcoming the simple antinomies between resistance and coexistence on the one hand, and between national and cosmopolitan on the other hand.

Moments of Subversion and Resistance: Unintended Consequences of Nationalist/Imperialist Ideas in the Japanese Empire
– Prof. Atsuko ICHIJO (Associate Professor, Kingston University)【Profile
Abstract

Nationalism, and nationalism applied in an imperial setting in particular, are generally regarded to be a set of totalising ideas which contribute to domination by homogenisation, a tool of oppression in other words. The paper examines this widely-held understanding by investigating some of the ways in which ideas produce unintended consequences. In particular, it examines three intertwined ‘moments’ when the oppressed and subjugated by Japanese imperialism/nationalism appeared to succeed in taking advantage of imperial/nationalistic ideas to subvert or resist Japanese imperial rule. The three moments are: the world-historical standpoint, the East Asian Community initiative and the idea of the unity of Japanese and Korean races. The world-historical standpoint, an approach developed by the Kyoto School of philosophy, aimed to achieve a more comprehensive, therefore, truer way of capturing the reality of the world and is often seen as constituting an intellectual backdrop to Japanese imperial expansion in the first half of the twentieth century. However, because of its appeal to ‘true’ universality, it necessarily contained rejection of the particular in the form of self-expanding nationalism and the nation-state framework. The short-lived East Asian Community initiative, largely supported by intellectual frameworks based on the world-historical standpoint, also contained similar contradiction that its emphasis on the universality/commonality amongst Asian peoples necessitated acknowledgement of the equality among the imperial subjects, which could be used by the subjugated as a tool of resisting homogenisation and of protecting their particularity, their rights. As the paper shows, a small number of left-wing Korean intellectuals saw an opportunity for overcoming imperialism in the East Asian Community initiative. They also saw the idea of the unity of Japanese and Korean races that accompanied the initiative as an opportunity to preserve Korean nationality rather than a sign of elimination of Koreanness. Their attempts were limited, cerebral and short lived and did not lead to tangible outcomes. The fact that these attempts existed does not compensate for the brutality of Japanese imperialism, either. However, by examining the ways in which the oppressed and subjugated tried to mobilise the ideas of the oppressor to subvert and resist oppression, the paper presents a more-agency centred understanding of workings of nationalism as a set of ideas.

Buddhism, Reason, and Great East Asian Co-prosperity Area: Multiculturalism and Nationalism in the Pre-war Period Japan
– Prof. Kosuke SHIMIZU (Professor, Ryukoku University)【Profile
Abstract

Despite the wide-spread understanding of the pre-war Japan, the society of the nation of the time can be characterized with its multicultural political orientation. This does not necessarily mean that Japan was actively engaged in accepting diversity of races, but it was an inevitable consequence of the expansion of its political territory, which naturally brought diverse races under control of imperial Japan. Multiculturalizing Japan was not an easy task, and certainly needed a core of political body which was to ensure the unity of the expanding imperial body. This presentation critically investigates the role religion and philosophy performed in the context of Japan’s imperialism, and introduces retrospect religious and philosophical self-reflections of the post-war period which bring us a cautionary tale in engaging in contemporary international politics of post-modernity.

Two types of Nationalism in Modern Japan: Authoritarian Dictatorship and Narcissistic Aggressiveness
– Prof. Takeshi DEGUCHI (Associate Professor, University of Tokyo)【Profile
Abstract

Nationalism is an ambivalent phenomenon as it empowers oppressed people to emancipate themselves and wins their political independence and freedom, and at the same time, it easily rationalises persecution of ethnic minorities. In many historical cases, the dual aspects of nationalism, i.e. emancipation and persecution, have hardly been differentiated, and even if so, only at a superficial level of discourse. Therefore, it is essential to illuminate the inner drive that motivates people’s behaviour and produces an ideology that extends beyond the individual and appeals to the collective consciousness of the masses. In particular, it is essential to clarify the kind of ‘violence’ that prevails in each discourse or ideology. In this paper, I will introduce ‘analytical social psychology’ developed by Erich Fromm—author of Escape from Freedom—to elucidate the inner social psychological drive for domination and aggression, hidden under the observable nationalistic discourse. In this regard, Erich Fromm and Rainer Funk, his biographer and last personal assistant, differentiate two kinds of violence, namely ‘authoritarian’ dictatorship and ‘narcissistic’ aggressiveness, in the same manner in which pre-war National Socialism and post-war Neo-Nazism were distinguished. On the basis of their discussion, I will first develop the theory and methodology of analytical social psychology. Thereafter, I will redefine Japanese imperial fascism as ‘traditional authoritarianism’. Finally, I will describe the deep violent structure of recent extreme right-wing ideology with the aid of narcissistic aggressiveness as the underlying basis.

Discussants: Prof. Takashi KIBE (Professor, ICU)
Discussants: Prof. Jae-Jung SUH (Senior Associate Professor, ICU)
Chair: Prof. Wilhelm VOSSE (Professor, ICU)
 
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Joint Prayer

Prof. Juan HAIDAR S.J. (Professor, Sophia University)
Prof. Johannes Unsok RO (Senior Associate Professor, ICU)
 
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Closing Remarks

Prof. Nina HASEGAWA (Professor, Sophia University)
 
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Concept Note
The centenary commemorations of the First World War serve as a stark reminder of the perils of nationalism which have as yet remained unheeded throughout Asia. In a lecture given in Japan as the war unfolded, the Bengali poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore criticized the nation-state and offered a vision of a society independent of it. This symposium seeks to pose the question of what has happened to that vision with special reference to Asia and Europe. Although the spectacular rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India, along with other members of the BRICS, has constituted a powerful challenge to the hegemony of the West in world politics, the dominant form of political community in contemporary international relations (IR) remains the nation-state. A product of European political history, the nation-state model has been globalized, first coercively through the colonization of much of Asia by European powers, and then subsequently through decolonization.
In Japan, however, the nation-state was adopted after the Meiji Restoration and is widely accepted as a ‘natural’ political community built upon pre-existing ethnic foundations. In recent years, the revival of Japanese ‘ethno-nationalism’ which has remain dormant since the Second World War, and the increasing use of nationalist rhetoric by the PRC has threatened peace and stability in the region. These have come to a head with the territorial disputes over the Senkaku islands which are also claimed by Taiwan. In many ways, the rise of ethno-nationalism in East Asia mirrors the prior emergence of religious nationalism in South Asia with the added danger posed by the possession of nuclear weapons by both India and Pakistan. It remains to be seen what the impact of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and their controversial leader, Narendra Modi, will be on peace and stability in the region.
This symposium, the 34th joint symposium held by SSRI and the Institute for Global Concern (Sophia University), will critically interrogate the prospects for peace in Asia by posing the following question: What can be done to counter the rise of nationalism within Asia and what role, if any, can inter-faith dialogue play in peacebuilding in the region?