Political healing in East Asian International Relations: A TWQ Special Issue

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Hear from Special Issue guest editors Ching-Chang Chen and Astrid H.M. Nordin.

The Third World Quarterly Special IssuePolitical healing in East Asian International Relations’ (Volume 45, Issue 6) invites academics and practitioners of international relations to rethink and transform, not merely observe and contain, long-standing conflicts in East Asia as illness of a shared communal body. Traditionally, such conflicts have been put into practice through a series of dichotomous, hierarchical, and exclusionary frameworks associated with the modernity permeating the Westphalian state system. We need alternative paradigms in political discourse to think and do differently.

In the footsteps of the late political theorist, L.H.M. Ling, this special issue examines how East Asian medical thought and practice can enable political healing in/of/for the region. Zhongyi, or East Asian medicine, stresses attention to balance, ontological parity, and inter-connectedness. Individual articles within the special issue contribute to such an effort with concepts from Mahayana Buddhist medical practice, Daoist yinyang perspectives, analyses of flows of qi and the wuxin thought (the ‘five elements’), as well as other insights in East Asian medicine. They variously diagnose problems, and prescribe remedies, in the contexts of US security policy; the two Koreas’ relations between themselves and with Japan; China’s thorny interactions with Hong Kong and Taiwan; and territorial disputes between China, Japan, and Taiwan.

As a whole, the special issue offers a creative analytical approach, metaphorical imagination, and normative inspiration to diagnose the aforementioned confrontations and treat them accordingly.

Read the full Introduction to ‘Political healing in East Asian International Relations’ (Volume 45, Issue 6).

About the Special Issue Guest Editors

Ching-Chang Chen is Professor of the Department of Global Studies and Director of the Global Affairs Research Centre, both at Ryukoku University, Japan. He has recently published with the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Oxford Bibliographies, Third World Quarterly, International Studies Perspectives, and Pacific Review. He is a co-author of China and International Theory: The Balance of Relationships (Routledge, 2019).

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Astrid H. M. Nordin holds the Lau Chair of Chinese International Relations at the Lau China Institute, King’s College London, UK. She has published articles in journals such as International Affairs, Review of International Studies, Millennium, Alternatives and China Information. She is the author of the monograph China’s International Relations and Harmonious World (Routledge, 2016), and co-editor of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs special issue ‘Towards Global Relational Theorising’.