Global Level


Project on: Sources of Peace in East Asia

A common view within the policy community of East Asia is that the region is in a period of transition. While debates have largely focused on the potential for conflict arising from this transition, there also exist resilient features that could play a critical role in ensuring regional stability amid these changes. The project’s research aims are: (a) to shift the discussion on East Asia focused on war and rivalry to understanding how peace can be achieved or sustained in East Asia; (b) to identify the sources that have sustained peace in the region, including US leadership, the ASEAN and non-ASEAN-led multilateral platforms, defence diplomacy, actions by East Asian states, such as Japan and China, to name just a few; (c) to analyse how to harness these features so that peace is sustained in East Asia; and (d) to come up with policy recommendations for policy and academic communities within East Asia, that would help to ensure peace is sustained in the region. Read More

Organizers: Bhubhindar Singh, GRENPEC East Asia Regional Coordinator and Associate Professor, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Project on De-globalization?  The Future of the Liberal International Order

The current corona virus crisis is the latest of a series of challenges that the liberal international order (LIO) has faced during the past several decades. A number of illiberal, populist leaders have emerged in the US, Brazil, India, Turkey, and Hungary in particular who represent the ideological challenge from within. Illiberal Russia and China are taunting the liberal order from outside! As globalization’s appeal appears to wane, liberalism is likely to confront new challenges all across the world in the coming years.  Today, we are increasingly talking about de-globalization and a real possibility of states seeking to become more autarkic with protectionist policies, economic nationalism and breaking off from the supply chains that undergird economic globalization. The project is  concerned about this challenge to liberalism in view of the global pandemics crisis and the several other challenges that emerged in the deepened globalization era. A special Journal issue is planned.

Organizers: T.V. Paul, McGill University and Markus Kornprobst, Vienna School of International Studies


OUP Handbook on Peaceful Change in International Relations, Project Proposal 

With the rise of China and the attempted resurgence of Russia, power transition has returned as a crucial issue in international relations. However, much of the international relations scholarship on power transitions deals with war as the main mechanism for shifts in the international order (Organski 1958; Organski and Kugler 1980; Gilpin 1981; Modelski 1987; Kennedy 1987; Mearsheimer, 2000; Allison, 2017). Barring rare exceptions (e.g., Doran 1971), power cycle and long cycle theories also view war as the chief instrument of change (Modelski and Thompson 1989). Other structural theories such as World System and Marxist-Leninist consider war and conflict as requisite for change (Lenin 1939; Hobson 1965; Wallerstein 1974).

Read more


Project on “Great Power Rivalries and Regional Orders: Past, Present and Future”

Great power rivalries are once again at the forefront of international politics, although taking a different form than we witnessed during the Cold War. Following a period of nearly two decades of peace after the collapse of the Soviet Union, what we are witnessing today is a curious resurgence of great power competition in both old and new domains. This include competition in the world’s key regions. These interactions have generated changed dynamics in regional orders in recent years as rivalry becomes the dominant mode of interaction among great powers. Regional states have made use of the opportunities provided by the new great power rivalry to further their security and economic interests. How different are today’s rivalries from the Cold war era when the US-Soviet rivalry defined the contours of many regional conflicts? When the Cold War ended some regional conflicts were settled (e.g. Cambodia, Nicaragua, Southern Africa), while others persisted (Israel-Palestine, South Asia and the Korean Peninsula), showing that systemic forces are only one critical variable that determine conflict and cooperation in the regions. These variations need an assessment on their own merit now that we have the luxury of perspective on both Cold War rivalries and can perceive the contours us new ones. The current great power order is characterized by economically interdependent rising China, using economic, technological and military instruments to gain ascendency, and a declining Russia attempting to shape regional and global orders using the formidable military and diplomatic capacity Moscow retains. The US efforts to restrict China’s goal of achieving hegemony by 2050, especially through the Belt and Road Initiative, asymmetrical technological superiority and militarization of the South China Sea, are generating conflict, but of a different type than we saw during the Cold War. Is the scholarship on systemic/regional interactions, mainly developed during the Cold War era sufficient to understand the new dynamics? What does the past tell us of the present and the future? What new tools we need to explain patterns of regional orders and the impact of systemic rivalries on these orders and vice versa?

Organizers: Harold Trinkunas (Stanford University) and T.V. Paul (McGill University)


Project on International Institutions and Peaceful Change

“The rise of the rest,” especially China, has triggered an inevitable transformation of the so-called liberal international order. Rising powers, like China and other BRICS countries, started to challenge and push for reform of existing institutions like the IMF or create new ones, such as the AIIB. The United States, under the Trump Administration, on the other hand, begun to retreat from the international institutions that it once led or created, such as the TPP, the Paris Climate Accord as well as the Iran nuclear deal. It is also currently attempting to dismantle the WTO and trade regime built around it. Challenging power transition theory that predicts military conflicts or the so-called “Thucydides trap” between the ruling hegemon and rising powers, we argue that despite attempts to scuttle, peaceful institutional competition and transformation are becoming central features of international order transition. Consequently, this project focuses on the sources, mechanisms, and processes of possible peaceful change of international institutions and by international institutions in the current and future international order. Leading scholars in the International Relations field will offer diverse theoretical and empirical perspectives on the mechanisms of peaceful change and international institutions, focusing both on theoretical innovation and bridging the gap between the theory and practice of power transition. A special journal issue and an edited volume are planned.

Organizer: Kai He, Griffith University

Bhubhindar Singh is an Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Before joining NTU, Bhubhindar was a Sasakawa Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield. He is a recipient of the Fulbright Award, and has held visiting positions at George Washington University, and National Institute of Defense Studies (NIDS), Japan. At RSIS, Bhubhindar is the Coordinator of the Regional Security Architecture Programme (RSAP), and Deputy Head of the Graduate Programmes Office (GPO). Bhubhindar’s main research area is in the international relations of Northeast Asia with a special focus on Japan’s security policy. His secondary research areas are international relations of Southeast Asia and security regionalism in East Asia. Bhubhindar has published in the European Journal of International Relations, International Relations of Asia-Pacific, The Pacific Review, Australian Journal of International Affairs, Asian Survey, Asian Security, Asia Policy, Japanese Journal of Political Science, Korean Journal of Defense Analyses, The Round Table, Contemporary Southeast Asia and Issues & Studies; and his book is entitled Japanese Security Identity Transformation: From a Peace-State to an International-State (Routledge 2013). Bhubhindar is a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the Asia Policy journal (published by the National Bureau of Asian Research).

T.V. Paul  is  James McGill Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at McGill University, Montreal, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He served as President of the International Studies Association (ISA) during 2016-17. Paul specializes in International Relations, especially international security and South Asia.  He received his undergraduate education from Kerala University, India; MPhil in International Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Paul is the author or editor of 20 books, nearly 75 journal articles and book chapters, and has lectured at universities and research institutions internationally. His 7 authored books are: Restraining Great Powers: Soft Balancing from Empires to the Global Era (Yale University Press, 2018); The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World (Oxford University Press, 2014, with multiple editions and translations); Globalization and the National Security State (with N. Ripsman), (Oxford University Press, 2010); The Tradition of Non-use of Nuclear Weapons (Stanford University Press, 2009);  India in the World Order (Cambridge University Press, 2002, with B. Nayar); Power versus Prudence: Why Nations Forgo Nuclear Weapons (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000); and Asymmetric Conflicts: War Initiation by Weaker Powers (Cambridge University Press, 1994).

Paul is the editor or co-editor of 13 volumes including: International Institutions and Power Politics (with A. Wivel, Georgetown, forthcoming, 2019; China-India Rivalry in the Globalization Era, Georgetown, 2018;  Accommodating Rising Powers: Past, Present and Future, Cambridge, 2016; Status in World Politics, with W. Wholforth and D. Larson, Cambridge, 2014; International Relations Theory and Regional Transformation, Cambridge, 2012; South Asia’s Weak States: Understanding the Regional Insecurity Predicament, Stanford, 2010; Complex Deterrence: Strategy In the Global Age (with P.M. Morgan and J. J. Wirtz, Chicago, 2009; The India-Pakistan Conflict: An Enduring Rivalry, Cambridge, 2005; Balance of Power: Theory and Practice in the 21st Century, with J.J. Wirtz and M. Fortmann, Stanford, 2004; International Order and the Future of World Politics, with J.A. Hall, Cambridge, 1999, 2000 (twice), 2001, 2002 & 2003; and The Absolute Weapon Revisited: Nuclear Arms and the Emerging International Order, with R. Harknett and  J.J. Wirtz, Michigan, 1998 & 2000.

In November 2018, Paul was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada as a Fellow. In December 2009, Paul’s Book, The Tradition of Non-use of Nuclear Weapons was selected for inclusion in the Peace Prize Laureate Exhibition honoring President Barack Obama by the Nobel Peace Center, Oslo. Power versus Prudence was selected as an ‘Outstanding Academic Title for 2001’ by the Choice Magazine and as a “Book for Understanding’ by the American Association of University Presses. In March 2005 Maclean Magazine’s Guide to Canadian Universities rated Paul as one of the “most popular professors” at McGill University and in May 2005 Paul became the recipient of High Distinction in Research Award by McGill’s Faculty of Arts. During 2009-12 he served as the Director (Founding) of the McGill University/Université de Montreal Centre for International Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS). He has held visiting positions at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2014, 2017 &2018); Diplomatic Academy, Vienna (2014 onwards); UC Berkeley (2013); East-West Center, Honolulu (2013); the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey (2002-03), Harvard University (1997-98), and as the KPS Menon Visiting Chair for Diplomacy (2011) and Erudite Fellow (2016) at the MG University, Kottayam, India. In addition to President, during 2009-11, he served as the Chair of the International Security Section (ISSS) of the ISA; in 2013-14 as Vice-President of ISA. As ISA president, he spearheaded a taskforce on improving conditions of Global South scholars in international studies. In 2010 he was appointed as the editor of the Georgetown University Press book series: South Asia in World Affairs. He is the founding director of GRENPEC and currently developing the network’s research agenda along with several colleagues from different parts of the world. For more, see:

Arie M. Kacowicz is Professor of International Relations and the Chaim Weizmann Chair in International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.  He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1992 and has been a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, Universidad Salvador (Buenos Aires), Alfonso X (Madrid), and the University of Notre Dame.  A Faculty member since 1993, he was the Chair of the Department of International Relations in 2005-2008 and currently is the President of the Israeli Association of Israeli Studies.  His research interests include peace studies, international relations of Latin America, globalization and global governance, and the normative dimension of international relations. His publications include Globalization and the Distribution of Wealth: The Latin American Experience, 1982-2008 (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Routledge Handbook of Latin American Security (co-edited with David Mares, Routledge 2016), and The Relevance of Regions in a Globalized World: Bridging the Social Sciences – Humanities Gap (co-edited with Galia Press-Barnathan and Ruth Fine, Routledge 2019); Peaceful Territorial Change (University of South Carolina Press: Columbia, SC, 1994);  Zones of Peace in the Third World: South America and West Africa in Comparative Perspective (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1998).

Kate Sullivan de Estrada is Director of the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme and Associate Professor in the International Relations of South Asia at the University of Oxford. Her research seeks to understand India’s identity as a rising power and its behavior in relation to key institutions and norms of global governance. Her work on India and status seeking has engaged with the strategies Indian elites have adopted to seek accommodation and recognition within the global order, most extensively in her book with Rajesh BasrurRising India: Status and Power (2017). Other single-authored and co-authored works centre on conceptions of Indian exceptionalismpractices of compliance and resistance in India’s self-projection as a rising power; India’s conformity and innovation in relation to the nuclear non-proliferation regime (with Nicola Leveringhaus); and continuity and change in India’s approaches to non-proliferation and global climate governance (with Manjari Chatterjee Miller). What unites this work is Kate’s interest in deeply understanding the agency of rising powers — in particular how non-Western rising powers experience, respond to, and often (but certainly not always) reproduce hegemony ‘from below’. Deeply understanding rising power agency is crucial for assessing and proposing pathways for global peaceful change. Will rising powers conform to expectations of conflict-driven power transition or seek to avoid these? Will they uphold existing institutional norms and practices of global governance or seek to innovate new ones?  A deeper theorization of rising power agency, centered on the case of India, is the subject of Kate’s new monograph-in-progress.

Deborah Welch Larson is professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University.  Her research interests include the role of status concerns in influencing foreign policy, trust, and the use of psychology to explain American foreign policy decision making.  Her publications include: Origins of Containment: A Psychological Explanation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985); Anatomy of Mistrust: US-Soviet Relations during the Cold War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997); and Status and World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014) (co-edited with T. V. Paul and William Wohlforth). Her book Anatomy of Mistrust applies social psychology to history to show how mistrust led to missed opportunities for U.S.-Soviet cooperation. That book continues to provoke scholarly interest and was featured at a 2011 conference of political scientists and historians at the Woodrow Wilson Center and in a subsequent edited volume by Stanford University Press, Trust but Verify (2016). She has most recently published Quest for Status: Chinese and Russian Foreign Policy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019), with Alexei Shevchenko, which uses social identity theory from social psychology to explain how China and Russia have used various strategies of emulation, competition, and creativity to gain recognition from other countries and thus validate their respective identities. Larson was a member of the Distinguished Jury for the 2019 Grawemeyer World Order Award.  Larson has served as Chair of the International History and Politics Section and President of the Foreign Policy Section for the American Political Science Association.  She was President of the Foreign Policy Analysis Section of the International Studies Association.  She is currently an Associate Editor for the journal Foreign Policy Analysis.

Markus Kornprobst holds the Chair of Political Science and International Relations at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies. Previously holding positions at the University of Toronto, the Ohio State University, Oxford University and University College London, his research interests encompass Diplomacy, International Peace and Security, International Relations Theory, African Politics and European Politics. His research appears in leading journals such as the European Journal of International Relations, International Organization, International Studies Review, International Theory, Journal of Modern African Studies, Millennium, Nations and Nationalism, and the Review of International Studies. He is the author of Co-managing International Crises (Cambridge University Press 2019), Irredentism in European Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2008), co-author of Understanding International Diplomacy (Routledge, 2013 and 2018) as well as co-editor of Arguing Global Governance (Routledge, 2010), Metaphors of Globalization (Palgrave, 2007), and Communication, Legitimation and Morality in Modern Politics (Routledge, 2018). In 2018, he organized, together with Annette Seegers and Katharina P. Coleman an International Studies Association Catalytic Workshop, which was the first ISA workshop or conference in Africa. The outcome of the workshop, an edited volume entitled African Order, World Order: Diplomacy and Borderlands is forthcoming in the Routledge New Diplomacy Series. In addition to his scholarly work, Kornprobst has conducted numerous workshops to train African diplomats. Thus far, they have taken place in Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia (for Libyan diplomats) and Uganda.

Kai He is Professor of International Relations at Griffith Asia Institute and Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University, Australia. He is a visiting Chair Professor of International Relations at the Zhou Enlai School of Government, Nankai University, China (2018-2021). He is currently an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow (2017-2020). He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program (2009-2010). He is the author of Institutional Balancing in the Asia Pacific: Economic Interdependence and China’s Rise (Routledge, 2009), Prospect Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis in the Asia Pacific: Rational Leaders and Risky Behavior (co-authored with Huiyun Feng, Routledge, 2013), and China’s Crisis Behavior: Political Survival and Foreign Policy (Cambridge, 2016). He is a co-editor (with Huiyun Feng) of US-China Competition and the South China Sea Disputes (Routledge, 2018) and Chinese Scholars and Foreign Policy: Debating International Relations (with Huiyun Feng and Xuetong Yan, Routledge, 2019). He is currently leading a research project “How China Sees the World” funded by the MacArthur Foundation, USA (2016-2019).

Andrej Krickovic is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, Higher School of Economics, Moscow. Before coming to HSE,  Krickovic completed his dissertation at the University of California at Berkeley and a postdoc at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Dr. Krickovic’s primary area of research are in International Security and International Relations Theory, with an empirical focus on China and Russia.  His articles have been published in International Studies Review, the Chinese Journal of International Relations, Post-Soviet Affairs, the Journal of Global Governance, Eurasian Geography and Economics, and the Journal of Global Security Studies.

Harold Trinkunas is the Deputy Director of and a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Prior to arriving at Stanford, Trinkunas served as the Charles W. Robinson Chair and senior fellow and director of the Latin America Initiative in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. His research focuses on issues related to foreign policy, governance, and security, particularly in Latin America. Trinkunas has co-authored Militants, Criminals and Warlords: The Challenge of Local Governance in an Age of Disorder (Brookings Institution Press, 2017), Aspirational Power: Brazil’s Long Road to Global Influence (Brookings Institution Press, 2016) and authored Crafting Civilian Control of the Military in Venezuela (University of North Carolina Press, 2005). He co-edited and contributed to American Crossings: Border Politics in the Western Hemisphere (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), Ungoverned Spaces: Alternatives to State Authority in an Era of Softened Sovereignty(Stanford University Press, 2010),  and Terrorism Financing and State Responses (Stanford University Press, 2007).  Trinkunas previously served as an associate professor and chair of the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He received his doctorate in political science from Stanford University in 1999.

Anders Wivel is Professor with special responsibilities in the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. His research interests include foreign policy, in particular the foreign policies of small states, and international relations theory, in particular the realist tradition. His work has been published in a large number of academic journals including, e.g. Cooperation and Conflict, International Studies Review, Journal of Common Market Studies and Journal of European Integration. His most recent books are The Routledge Handbook of Scandinavian Politics (Routledge, 2018, co-edited with Peter Nedergaard) and International Institutions and Power Politics: Bridging the Divide (Georgetown University Press, 2019, co-edited with T.V. Paul). From 2017 to 2019 he served as chief investigator and deputy director of research at The Independent Inquiry of Denmark’s Military Participation in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Attendees at the GRENPEC Launch Meeting in Toronto, March 27, 2019

Rajesh Basrur (Nanyang Technological University)
Steve Chan (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Peter Markus Christensen (University of Copenhagen)
Anne Clunan (Naval Postgraduate School)
Neta C. Crawford (Boston University)
Feliciano de Sa Guimares (University of Sao Paulo)
Kal Holsti (University of British Columbia)
Arie Kacowicz (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)
Miles Kahler (American University)
Benny Miller (University of Haifa)
T.V. Paul (McGill University)
Norrin Ripsman (Lehigh University)
Bhubhindar Singh (Nanyang Technological University)
Lars Skalnes (University of Oregon)
Arturo Sotomayor (George Washington University)
Jeffrey W. Taliaferro (Tufts University)
Harold Trinkunas (Stanford University)
Shiping Tang (Fudan University, Shanghai)
Ole Waever (University of Copenhagen)
Anders Wivel (University of Copenhagen)

WC29: Understanding Peaceful Change in World Politics

When: Wednesday, March 27, 1:45 PM – 3:30 PM

 Where:Lismer, Hilton Toronto

 About this Roundtable


Understanding Peaceful Change in World Politics

Sponsored By


Abstract and Keywords

This roundtable will examine the causes and conditions that generate peaceful change in world politics, both at macro and micro-levels. When do we get peaceful power transitions, and non-violent accommodations and when do the opposite happen? Are all peaceful transitions good? What structural, and normative conditions are associated with peaceful change? What policy advice IR theorists can offer for transitions without war, especially in the current context involving China and the US?

Peace; Social Change; China