Cultivating Talented Individuals

Political Integration and Identity

Cultivating Talented Individuals:Support Scheme:Investigative Research Assistance (for student)

Zhou Ying / Investigation Area: Monterey, California and Washington D.C., the USA


Affiliation: GSAPS
Year: 2010
Name: Zhou Ying
Itinerary: 01/20/2010 - 02/01/2010(Month/Date/Year)

Destination (Name of city and country)

Monterey, California and Washington D.C., the USA

Research objectives

First, this research trip is mainly to consult with some experts and scholars who are quit into China’s soft power or foreign policy as well as Asian issues in order to better off my PhD dissertation.

Second, it intends to visit some think tanks and research institutions like the CRS (Congress Research Service,), CSIS (Centre for Strategic and International Studies), CEIP (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Asia Society etc which are on international affairs or Asia Pacific issues in an effort to learn about their main academic concerns, with more attention on their Asian integration studies. It also intends to pay visits on two elite universities located in Washington D.C. that are George Washington University and Georgetown University.

Third, this research trip will be armed with the task to introduce the research of Asian integration of the GIRIA in Waseda university in the hope to establish some academic linkage with other Asia Societies in the U.S. Forth, this research trip expect to set up individual social network which is of significance for the future academic opportunities and improvement.

Research project

According the research plan of the PhD thesis, and in order to assess China’s soft power in Asian integration or cooperation, the interviews conducted during this research trip had the following objectives:
  • To Ask General Questions on Soft Power and China’s Soft Power
  • To Ask Questions on My Research Focus which is to Assess China’s soft Power in Asia and its implications toward Asian integration. They are including: to examine how China has been building its soft power through its diplomatic activities in Asia since the 1990s; to evaluate if China’s soft power work well in Asia bilaterally and multilaterally; to verify the assumption that China’s diplomatic efforts in regional arrangement can help build its soft power in Asia.
  • Added Questions to the Interviewees based on their academic focus in the field of international relations


The research trip is successful to meet its objectives. The designed questions related to China’s soft power and Asia issues were answered by those elite professors or experts even though there are a lot of differences among them. Those discussions sparked my ideas on my topic and will be doing good for furthering the research.

From January 20 to January 24, Firstly, I conducted interviews with professor Cristina Hansell who is specialized in nonproliferation studies, Yuan Jing-Dong who is in policy studies, and Tsuneo Akaha who is in Russia and East Asia program in Monterey Institute of International Studies. They gave me a lot of suggestions on how to do research work, and answered the questions presented to them. Their different thinking on China’s soft power were informative to my research and my rethinking about my topic. Some of them even extended my questions which informed me a lot about knowledge in international relations. Secondly, Professor Akaha introduced me a lot of information about the MIIS and the research work there.

From January 25 to January 30, I stayed in Washington D.C. , having conducted interviews with five professors from local elite universities and think-tanks. They are professor Edward Chow who is quite into the energy and national security, Melissa Murphy who is a fellow in China studies in CSIS, Bonnie Glaser who is a senior fellow in China studies in CSIS, David Michael Lampton who is a direct in China studies in Johns Hopkins University, Robert Sutter who is a professor in Asian Studies program at Georgetown University. Those nice professors give me a lot of comments on China’s soft power. These primary data are useful to the empirical studies and background introductory chapter of my research project.

As far as I am concerned, it is a very encouraging research trip. I benefited a lot from the eleven days in the US, in terms of obtaining comments and advises on my research work, and getting to know those nice professors there. I received a lot of assistances from some of them, especially professor Akaha when I was in Monterey, not only academically but also in terms of life. And I think the latter is much more significant to my life career. This research trip not only allowed me to learn the experiences of doing interviews but also helped me establish my academic social network with them. Professors I interviewed all said that they will support my research job and give me further feedback on my research questions.

Finally, I earnestly say thanks to the GIARI for giving me the financial support generously and say thanks to my advisor Amako who gave me a lot of valuable guidance on my research and his helping hands on the Visa issuance.

Confirmed by person in charge of project promotion

Academic Adviser: AMAKO, Satoshi
Sub Adviser: UEKI, Chikako Kawakatsu