Cultivating Talented Individuals

Political Integration and Identity

Cultivating Talented Individuals:Support Scheme:Support Scheme for Presentation at International Conference, etc. (for student)

WIRTH Christian / Monterey (California) and Portland (Oregon), USA


Affiliation: GSAPS/GIARI RA
Year: D3
Name: WIRTH Christian
Itinerary: 06/15/2010 - 06/22/2010(Month/Date/Year)

Destination (Name of city and country)

Monterey (California) and Portland (Oregon), USA

Research Objectives

The concerned PhD research project shall contribute to the understanding of regional cooperation in Northeast Asia by looking at Japan-China security relations. It analyzes the interplay between policies in traditional security on the one hand and non-traditional security on the other hand, and discusses the resulting consequences for regional cooperation and integration in Northeast Asia.

Based on neo-functionalist explanations of regionalism, it is often argued that East Asian regional cooperation in response to non-traditional security concerns is easier to achieve than cooperation in traditional security matters (Akaha 2004; Valencia 2000; Wang Yong 2005). The main argument is that non-traditional security threats are of a kind which create imperatives for states to work together in order to solve the problems affecting their national security successfully. Moreover, it is argued that cooperation in areas of non-traditional security, or ‘functional cooperation’, contributes to the building of political trust and therefore leads to increased international cooperation. So as to assess the neo-functionalist claim, and given the profound impact of globalization and rapid economic development on East Asian states and societies, an important question is therefore how issues of non-traditional security and issues of traditional national security relate to each-other.

Research project

This conference trip had the purpose of presenting and discussing with other scholars a paper on ocean governance and maritime affairs related to a chapter of the PhD thesis.


High economic growth rates, the revolution in telecommunication, and the end of the Cold War have brought about rapid and profound changes to the domestic as well as regional environments of Northeast Asian governments. The maritime sphere, where increasingly militarized state boundaries delineate political authority and economic activities link increasingly interdependent communities therein, bears high significance for the study of regional cooperation. This paper looks at how the maritime sphere of Northeast Asia is represented in common political and academic discourses of international relations. It finds that maritime affairs are strongly cast in the language of national security, and that empirical evidence standing against perceived threats and related security imperatives is often neglected if not completely ignored. The paper argues that the maritime space, due to its special character, has become the stage on which the consequences of modernity appear particularly strong, and in various guises. The relentless quest to develop and control the ocean clashes with the notion of the sea as a space of global trade and communication flow. At the same time, the ocean as an entity itself is excluded from the discourse, as it falls squarely in between the modern conception of territorial sovereignty. As a result, the maritime sphere is seen as a dividing element between nations rather than a connecting element, and salient environmental problems of the maritime space remain off political and academic agendas. This is also a consequence of mainstream methods of political science that continue to reproduce hegemonic discourses of territorial division and fail to offer alternative approaches suitable for the study of contemporary Northeast Asia.


  • Presentation of a paper titled: `Ocean Governance, Maritime Security, and the Consequences for Regional Cooperation in Northeast Asia` at the 2010 Annual Conference of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast (ASPAC) at the Portland State University as part of a panel about 'The Role of Major Powers in Regional Cooperation and Integration in East Asia: China, the U.S., and Japan'
  • In preparation thereof, the same paper was presented and discussed in a workshop at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). The achieved aim of the preparatory session was to increase the skills of presenting academic papers and participating in academic panel discussions, as well as to increase the quality of the paper itself in view of its future publication.
WIRTH Christian at ASPAC2010

Confirmed by person in charge of project promotion

Academic Adviser: Satoshi AMAKO