Centre activities for 2014-2016

The Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies provides an ongoing focus for research, teaching, interdisciplinary applications and public education on the interactions among culture, society, economics and politics in the dynamic Indo-Pacific region.

The Centre continues to be part of an expanding core between  Bond University and the international academic community. This joint cooperation has fostered a new research agenda, including a historical analysis of Chinese foreign policy orientations, an analysis of China’s conceptions of strategic and soft power options and a collaborative assessment of the D8 developing nations. The Centre continues to administer a successful staff/student exchange program with the prestigious China Foreign Affairs University, along with links to other universities in the People’s Republic of China and Turkey.  

The Centre’s research overlaps with many undergraduate and postgraduate subjects taught within the Faculty, and its members regularly supervise Masters and PhD theses on related topics.  The Centre and Faculty continue to actively expand its pool of higher degree research students and has sought to provide improved supervision and mentoring teams to support this.

The Centre operates both within the Faculty of Society & Design and as a ‘virtual think-tank’ that links diverse scholars worldwide. Director of the Centre, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Dr R.James Ferguson is an expert on  Eurasian politics, Chinese history in its global context, as well as the interaction between regionalism and globalization. Dr Rosita Dellios, Associate Professor of International Relations, one of the Centre’s primary researchers, focusses on China and East Asia, with a special interest on Chinese defence policy and philosophy, geopolitics, concepts for world order and future trends in global politics. Dr Alica Kizekova, Centre Honorary Adjunct Fellow, maintains a strong research base on soft balancing, the SCO and ASEAN, and Japan-China relations in their historical content.

As the Centre’s research field expands and deepens as part of the centre’s continued growth, it has welcomed new members including Carl Ungerer, Senior Honorary Adjunct Fellow, who holds a sustained publishing and teaching background on Asia-Pacific security affairs and has previously undertaken research in Japan, China and Indonesia. Associate Professor Bhishna Bajracharya has brought his expertise in urban planning, smart cities, disaster management and policy research in the Asia Pacific Region. Dr Caitlin Byrne has joined with her teaching and research interests in public diplomacy, East-West diplomacy, global institutions and conflict resolution, as well as policy reform.

The Global Development Forum (GDF), co-founded by Professor Ahmed Khalid (PhD, John Hopkins) and Dr Maziar Falarti (PhD, QUT), is a new focus area that was developed from 2014. This interdisciplinary research forum explores socio-economic, political and global developments with respect to emerging global economies. This ongoing project will focus on the D8, a group of mid-level developing  Muslim countries that represent four different regions in the world. The Forum is the midst of producing the publication ‘The Developing-8: Economic Integration And Global Governance in Emerging Muslim Countries’ which will consist of a collection of edited chapters focusing on the D8 as an institution as well as the particular challenges each country faces.

Valuable links have been developed with other institutions, including Beijing Foreign Studies University, Suzhou University (China) and the prominent Koch University in Turkey. External advisors to the Centre include Ms Vivian Man Wai Fung (Chairman, Sino-Australia Cultural Association),  Dr Shan Chun (Professor, Law School of The China University of Politics and Law), and Reg Little (writer and former diplomat who is an active commentator on Asian and Chinese value systems)

The Centre is proud of their emerging strengths in Asian and Chinese affairs, strategic studies, international relations, and new perspectives on inter-cultural relations. The Centre promotes research and dialogue through regular contacts with Australian and international academics, including colleagues in PRC, USA, Germany, Turkey, Taiwan, Malaysia, the EU and India.

Alan Chan Fellowship Exchanges with China 

Since 2013, the Alan Chan Fellowship has facilitated annual staff and postgraduate student exchanges between Bond University and China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU). The inaugural staff exchange in 2014 was undertaken by prominent Chinese international scholar, Professor Su Hao, followed by Associate Professor Ren Yuanzhe in 2015 along with PhD candidate  Hui Zhou as the student exchange candidate. In the following year, Bond University welcomed Professor Tang Xiao (Dean of the Department of Diplomacy) and Jiali Zhou, a PhD student and lecturer.

Our Centre members are actively publishing new books, conference papers and articles, and have either completed or are in the midst of major book projects.

In addition, they also present papers at major international conferences on a yearly basis. The Centre has grown its online presence through its ongoing E-publication pages, such as the Culture Mandala, which provide an avenue for postgraduates, alumni and overseas academics to publish and promote their ideas and research papers. A new awareness blog ‘Confucian Weekly Bulletin’ was created to provide ongoing public coverage of a range of international relations and philosophy issues.

An active community of scholars has been sustained through facilitations of numerous seminar programs and presentations including:

  • Reflections on the Atomic Age (Professor Joseph M. Siracusa)
  • AIDS and Instability in China’s ‘New Frontier’ (Dr Anna Hayes)
  • Understanding Australia’s International Behaviour – Perspectives from Middle Power

Diplomacy (Yue Cui, PhD student, CFAU)

  • Nuclear Extended Deterrence and a Northeast Asian Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone: Could They Co-exist? (Professor Peter Hayes)
  • China’s Vision of Global Order: Harmony Versus Power? (Dr Rosita Dellios, Dr R. James Ferguson, and Alan Chan).
  • China Maritime Strategy (Associate Professor Ren Yuanzhe, CFAU)
  • India's Strategic Choice in the Great Power Game (Hui Zhou, PhD student, CFAU)
  • Exceptional Cases of Diplomatic Protocol and Etiquette (Jiali Zhou, PhD student, CFAU)

Likewise, the Centre has given Bond University a strong presence at major international conferences including those facilitated by the International Confucius Association, International Studies Association in Singapore and at the annual East Asia Security Conference held in Beijing.

The Centre has an emerging profile in supporting university and external research. Thus it has built collaborative teams across members and honorary fellows, as well as drawing in foreign scholars and participates in ongoing engagement with Chinese universities.

Members and fellows such as Rosita Dellios and Carl Ungerer are often consulted by national and international media, and facilitate seminars both in Australia and during international research visits. They are either current members of, or have had active roles in, major professional organizations, e.g. the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Australian Institute of International Affairs, and the International Confucian Association.

In May 2015, the Faculty and Centre delivered its inaugural international symposium, Confucianism and Modern Society, which  provided presenters from China, Singapore, South Korea, the US, New Zealand and Australia the opportunity to engage in a fresh assessment of Confucian contributions to the 21st century. The Centre is the co-sponsor of International Symposium entitled Confucianism, Governance and the Emerging Economic Order, to be held at Beijing in October 2016. Initial planning has begun for the next international symposium to be held on campus in 2017.

Selected publications

Samad Aftab "Viewpoint: Of What Use is An Ancient Philosopher, Confucius, to 21st Century China", Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1, September- December 2014, pp7-9

Scott Blakemore "Chinese Regionalism: China's Engagement with ASEAN and SCO", Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1, September-December 2014, pp22-28

William Cannon "How Will Australia's Strategic Culture Inform Its Engagement in the Indo-Pacific Region?", Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1, September-December 2014, pp10-21

Natasha Graham "An Analysis of the Opportunities for Brand Business Development within the Chinese Social Media Landscape", Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1, September-December 2014, pp1-6.

Rosita Dellios "A Brief Overview of Chinese and Confucian Studies in Australia", Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1, September-December 2014, pp29-34

Rosita Dellios “China: An old Hand at Soft Power,” Asia and the Pacific Society Policy Forum, 14 August 2015 [http://www.policyforum.net/china-an-old-hand-at-soft-power/]

Rosita Dellios “The City-God Temple of Shanghai: A Protective Presence” Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 11 no. 2, September-December 2015, pp55-60

Rosita Dellios & R. James Ferguson China’s Quest for Global Order: From Peaceful Rise to Harmonious World (Lexington Books, Lanham Md, 2013)

Rosita Dellios & R. James Ferguson “Confucian Geopolitics in the Age of Competitive Regionalism”, International Symposium in commemorating 2565th Anniversary of Confucius’ Birthday: The 5th Meeting of International Confucian Association Beijing, PRC 23-29 Sept. 2014

Rosita Dellios & R. James Ferguson “Thinking Through Srivijaya: Polycentric Networks in Traditional Southeast Asia.” Paper presented at the Second Global South International Relations Conference – Voices from Outside: Re-shaping International Relations Theory and Practice in an Era of Global Transformation, 8-10 January 2015, Connecticut, US, International Studies Association (ISA).

Rosita Dellios & R. James Ferguson “Confucian Geopolitics in the Age of Competitive Regionalism, Proceedings Vol. 1, International Symposium Commemorating 2565th Anniversary of Confucius’ Birthday, International Confucian Association,  Jiuzhou Press, Beijing, 2015, pp. 668-683

Rosita Dellios and R. James Ferguson, “New Buddhist Silk Roads,” Conference paper, Fourth World Buddhist Forum, Wuxi, China, 24-25 October 2015; Published in Buddhist Association of China and the China Religions Cultural Communication Association, Fourth World Buddhist Forum, Conference Proceedings, Vol. 2, Lingshan, Wuxi, PRC, 24 October 2015, pp174-195

R. James Ferguson & Rosita Dellios The Politics and Philosophy of Chinese Power: The Timeless and the Timely, Lanham MD, Lexington Books, forthcoming 2016

R. James Ferguson “Gnosticism: The Wise Sister of Christianity,” The Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 11 no. 2, September-December 2015, pp24-54

R. James Ferguson The Ancient Egyptian Concept of Maat: Reflections on Social Order and Natural Justice, Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Research Paper No 15, February 2016 [http://epublications.bond.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1012&context=cewces_papers]

R. James Ferguson “The Forgotten Ingredient in Classical Chinese Governance: The Art of Persuasion,” Confucian Weekly Bulletin, 11 March 2016 [https://confucianweekly.com/2016/03/11/featured-article-the-forgotten-ingredient-in-classical-chinese-governance-the-art-of-persuasion/]

Jason Fritz “Satellite Hacking: A Guide for the Perplexed”, Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, May 2013, pp21-50

Vivian Fung “Conference Report on the 4th World Buddhist Forum in China: Exploring the Value of Buddhism in Modern Times”, Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 11 no. 2, September-December 2015, pp61-64

Alica Kizekova “Russia and Southeast Asia: Reciprocity in Engagements and Transnational Crime,” Russian Analytical Digest, no. 169, 6 July 2015, pp9-11

Darryl Lupton, “Can the 'Apology Standoff' between China and Japan be Resolved?” Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 11 no. 2, September-December 2015, pp19-23

Keith Sypott “India's Military Modernisation: Assessing the Impact on India's Relative Power and Foreign Relations,” Culture Mandala: Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, Vol. 11 no. 2, September-December 2015, pp1-18

Future projects

Major future projects (2016-2017) include:

  • Malcolm Davis War, Transformation and Asian Security, 2016 (book, forthcoming)
  • Rosita Dellios, The Defence of the People’s Republic of China: Philosophy, Capabilities and Contingencies (book project)
  • R. James Ferguson China’s Eurasian Dilemmas (major book project, contracted for publication in late 2017).
  • Ahmed Khalid, Maziar Falarti and R. James Ferguson (eds) The Developing-8: Economic Integration And Global Governance in Emerging Muslim Countries (this is part of an ongoing joint project with research funding and independent donor funds, being developed through 2015-2017)
  • Online course (MOCC) that will explore the foundations of Confucianism and how its applies to modern society
  • 3rd Annual Symposium to be held in 2017