Blog

“The Global Commons Stewardship: Enacting Systemic Transformations” (Naoko Ishii seminar)

by Sophie Welsh

Our planet earth has been undergoing a cascade of environmental crises, as human society has experienced economic development on a global scale. We are approaching multiple major environmental tipping points and risks, which pose existential threats to human society. In her stimulating seminar, Professor Naoko Ishii (University of Tokyo) argued that we have only about a decade left to set fundamental systemic changes on track across a wide range of areas, including...
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"Why Has the East Asian COVID Model Diverged over Delta and Omicron?” (Yves Tiberghien seminar)

by Sophie Welsh

[Video recording]

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted many activities worldwide.  Much of the media has covered national responses, from the relative success of various Asian and Oceanian countries to news about the polarized attitudes toward the virus in the United States.  There are many lessons to learn from the factors that led to the diverging responses in each country and the success of various national...
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When and How States Restructure Alliances

by Aki Nakai

From the classical works of Thucydides, Kautilya, and Machiavelli, to the more contemporary writings of Hans Morgenthau and Kenneth Waltz, to name a few, all have discussed the subject of alliances among political units or sovereign states. Alliances are a universal phenomenon, regardless of the times and their locations. Are there particular tendencies in how allies behave? What external and internal factors determine or...
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“UN’s Role in the Global Disarmament Agenda” (Izumi Nakamitsu seminar)

by Sophie Welsh

[Video recording]

The Program on U.S.-Japan Relations welcomed Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary- General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. United Nations, as its Distinguished Visitor to Harvard campus. Below is an excerpt of her Distinguished Visitor Lecture.

Ms. Nakamitsu argued that disarmament should be thought of as a security policy instrument...
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“Japan and South Korea’s Legalistic Turn” (Celeste Arrington seminar)

by Sophie Welsh

[Video recording]

Japan and South Korea have historically adopted a more bureaucratic, non-legalistic, flexible approach to governance, due to institutional hurdles (such as small number of lawyers) and cultural deterrents to litigation (such as the pro-government bias among judges). However, their systems of governance underwent parallel reforms in the past two decades. What accounts for this legalistic turn in Japan and...
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