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University of Westminster Fyvie Hall
Conversation on Small States (CoSS) is an event series set up by Dr Nitasha Kaul at the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) at the School of Social Sciences, University of Westminster. The CoSS events focus on different small states, and on different aspects of various small states, in order to encourage new ways about or thinking about power and identity in international relations. The events are free and aimed at academics, students, and any other members of the public. Prior online registration is required.
The event focusing on Taiwan will be the third one in the series. The speakers, distinguished for their work and expertise on Taiwan, will address various aspects of how Taiwan as a small state has managed at various levels and in a creative manner to assert its own identity.
Date and Time: Thursday, February 23, 2023, 1800-2030 GMT
Where: Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street London W1B 2UW
Registration Free and Open to all
About the event
• 6:00 - 6:30 pm - On-site Registration
• 6:30 - 6:45 pm - Introduction to CoSS and the speakers by Dr Nitasha Kaul, Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations and Director, Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD)
• 6:45 - 7:00 pm - Professor Christopher Hughes, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), on "Negotiating Taiwan’s International Identity"
• 7:00 - 7:15 pm - Mariah Thornton, PhD candidate, Department of International Relations and researcher at LSE IDEAS, on "Taiwan's Digital Diplomacy"
• 7:15 - 7:30 pm - Dr Ssu-Han Yu, Senior Research Fellow in Taiwan Studies Programme at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA), on "Mediating political talk in the Taiwanese family"
• 7:30 - 8:00 pm - Response from Dr Nitasha Kaul and Q&A from the floor for the three speakers
• 8:00 - 8:30 pm - Drinks Reception (with Finger Food)
Professor Christopher R. Hughes is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he also served as Director of the Asia Research Centre from 2002 to 2005. His PhD (from the LSE) was on the topic Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism: National Identity and Status in International Society and was awarded the British International Studies Association best thesis of the year prize for 1995. He teaches specialist courses in the International Politics of the Asia Pacific, Chinese Foreign and Security Policy and Foreign Policy Analysis. His research focuses on the Asia-Pacific with special reference to Chinese foreign policy and politics, with monographs on Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism (Routledge 1997), China and the Internet: Politics of the Digital Leap Forward (edited with Gudrun Wacker, Routledge 2003) and Chinese Nationalism in the Global Era (Routledge 2006). He has various articles on Chinese politics and foreign policy, the international politics of the Asia Pacific, international relations theory and foreign policy in leading academic journals. He first visited China in 1986 and studied Mandarin at the National Normal University in Taiwan in 1989, where he also lived for most of the 1990s. He is active in developing academic links with leading universities in East Asia, and has organised a number of joint projects with Renmin (People’s) University in Beijing, Fudan University in Shanghai and the Shanghai Institutes for International Relations. He has also developed ties with leading universities in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, and has been a visiting fellow at Lingnan University (Hong Kong) Aichi University (Japan) and Waseda Universtity (Japan). He is happy to share his knowledge and experience with government and corporate sectors, often working with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Cabinet Office and the EU’s External Action Service.
Mariah Thornton is a MPhil/PhD student at the Department of International Relations and a researcher at LSE IDEAS. Her research focuses on China’s foreign policy and strategy toward Taiwan, cross-Strait relations, as well as Taiwan in digital IR. Before joining LSE, Mariah worked as a press and communications officer at the Taipei Representative Office for over two years under Taiwan’s then representative to the UK and former foreign minister David Lin. Mariah also worked in business development at an international education consultancy with a focus on China and East Asia. Mariah completed a BA in Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford (2011-2015) and an MSc in Chinese Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2016-2017). Mariah was awarded the Huayu scholarship to study Chinese at National Taiwan Normal University (2015-2016) as well as the Fung scholarship to fund her Mandarin studies at Peking University (2012-2013).
Dr Ssu-Han Yu is Senior Research Fellow in Taiwan Studies Programme at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA). She holds an MSc and PhD from the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science. Her doctoral work examined Taiwan's transition to democracy by focusing on the role of the media and their relation to generations, comparing the Democratic Consolidation generation with the Soft Authoritarianism generation and showing how the two generations identify similar political problems but deal with them in separate mediated spaces, thus revealing the material, symbolic, and social roles of the media in these meaning-making processes. At OSGA, she continues her research at the intersection of media and politics, working on political generations and communication. Her book chapter on 'Exploring the "the authentic" in Taiwanese politics: An intergenerational analysis' is forthcoming in a volume titled Cultures of Authenticity (2022). This will present the similarities and differences in the way that the Soft Authoritarianism and Democratic Consolidation generations engage with unconventional politicians and perceive their authenticity. At OSGA, she teaches the course 'Taiwan in Comparative Perspective', which introduces various interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to researching Taiwan. She also lectures on the course 'Digital Governance in China and Taiwan', and on the core course 'The Study of Contemporary China'.
Dr Nitasha Kaul is a multidisciplinary academic, novelist, poet, artist, and economist. She is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD), home of politics and international relations at the University of Westminster, and Reader (Associate Professor) in Politics and International Relations. Over the last two decades, she has published on themes concerning international relations, democracy, political economy, technology/AI, identity, rise of right-wing nationalism, feminist and postcolonial critiques, Bhutan, India and Kashmir. A continuing strand of her research over time has been on small states and on different aspects of small-state representation, political history, and international relations. The Himalayas, small state geo/politics, and Bhutan have been an important focus area in her work. She set up the CoSS series in spring 2021 to focus on creating public intellectual conversations on various aspects of small states. She is the author of over 140 publications, including seven single-authored or edited scholarly and literary books, book chapters in numerous critical and ground-breaking edited collections, plus peer-reviewed original research articles in numerous journals across humanities and social science disciplines. She is on twitter at @NitashaKaul. For details and links to all her work, see here.
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