ASIANET: The Asian Century

The 21st Century is Asia's Century. At ASIANET 2019 we focus on four domains where the rise of Asia is already palpable: economy, politics, environment and culture.

Economically, the gravity of the world economy has been shifting eastwards for decades. Starting with Japan and followed by the Asian Tigers, China and its increasingly global presence that includes the highly ambitious “Belt and Road Initiative” now dominate the headlines, even as Japan keeps playing a crucial role amidst other newly ‘emerging economies’. How does China influence regional development and what kinds of competing development models are visible in contemporary Asia?

Politically, Asia is home to both the world’s largest democracy and the world’s largest authoritarian regime but also displays a wide range of other modes of governance. This include both national and transnational modes, including the ambitious process to unite the highly diverse governing regimes of Southeast Asia through ASEAN. Perhaps most important of all is China’s strategic expansion and the renewed importance of regional security policy. What are the regional and global ramifications of the emergence of regional superpowers, and what can we learn from Asian perspectives on politics and diplomacy?

Rapid economic growth has serious environmental consequences that are global in scope. While China has long been seen as a villain, the country under Xi Jinping appears to now be taking a leading role in global climate diplomacy. And East Asia more generally will play a key role in advancing the technological shifts required to move towards sustainability. At the same time, the consumption levels among the rapidly emerging middle classes is increasing at astounding rates.  What is the role of Asia in solving global environmental challenges and can Asian perspectives on the sustainable society contribute towards global sustainability?

The major economic transformations in many Asian countries are key drivers of social and cultural change both locally and globally. New consumer cultures manifest new hybrid forms that merge the old and the new, and Asian cultural forms, images and artefacts that subtly fuse popular culture and soft power are ever more global in scope. How can we best approach and understand cultural changes in contemporary Asian societies and what are the impacts and reception of Asian popular culture abroad?

The ASIANET conference on 'The Asian Century' takes place in Oslo, 6-7 June 2019. It is supported by the Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation.


Individual paper proposals: Title and an abstract of maximum 200 words, clearly indicating which domain(s) will be addressed.

Panel proposals: We only accept full panels with 3-4 (single session) or 6-8 (double session) papers listed. Please include a panel description (max 200 words) clearly indicating which domain is addressed, as well as titles and abstracts (max 200 words) for each paper.

Submit panel and individual paper proposals to network coordinators Arve Hansen ( and Kenneth Bo Nielsen ( by February 1st 2019.

Tags: Asianettverket, Asia, Japan, conference
Published Oct. 11, 2018 4:28 PM - Last modified Oct. 18, 2018 6:54 PM