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International Politics

Webster Thailand Regional Dynamics in Asia Conference
International Politics

Webster University Thailand Gathers Regional International Relations Experts

From 22-23 February 2017, the Department of International Relations, Webster University Thailand, hosted an international seminar titled ‘Regional Dynamics in Asia: Case Studies from South and Southeast Asia’. This seminar was the second stage of a larger collaborative project between Webster University Thailand and Calcutta University, and was organized as a formal activity under a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in 2015. The first activity between the two institutions took place in early 2016 at Calcutta University in India. The two-day seminar included keynote addresses and speeches by distinguished individuals from Thailand and abroad. Keynote speakers included Dr. Suriya Chindawongse, Deputy Director General of ASEAN at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ms. Nina Raasakka from the United Nations Environment’s Asia and the Pacific Office. Furthermore, Dr. Lindsey Kingston, associate professor at Webster University, St. Louis and director of its Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies provided a thought-provoking speech…

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International Politics

Teaching Trump through a Human Rights Lens

The political campaign and subsequent election of Donald Trump as president of the United States raises important questions about neutrality in university classrooms. Across disciplines, but particularly within the realms of international relations and political science, my colleagues struggle to identify fair and ethical approaches for “teaching Trump”. Yet as a human rights professor, the need to offer a critical perspective on current events has taken on a new, incredible sense of urgency. My perspective on politics – one viewed through a “human rights lens,” if you will – requires me to assess U.S. domestic and foreign policies with an eye toward human rights frameworks such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and various binding instruments of international law. These rights are universal (meaning they belong to everyone, by virtue of being human) and are inalienable (meaning nothing you can do or say can strip you of your…

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International Politics

Are the Philippines bandwagoning with the People’s Republic of China?

After the People’s Republic of China started to translate its economic and military rise in growing assertiveness in regard to the South China Sea dispute around 2009, the Philippines, since 2011, spearheaded the Southeast Asian claimant states’ efforts to balance Beijing’s maritime influence in the region. Under the leadership of president Benigno S. Aquino III, Manila resorted to internal as well as external balancing. In terms of internal balancing, the Philippines strengthened their naval and aerial capabilities through the purchase of cutters and jet fighters from the United States of America (USA), Japan, and South Korea. In terms of external balancing, Manila secured diplomatic support and military assistance from Washington and Tokyo. In a crucial attempt to raise global awareness, Manila filed a complaint against Beijing at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague which ruled in favour of the Philippines in July 2016. A SHIFT IN STRATEGY? However,…

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