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News Asian Studies Lecture - Sept. 7

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Speaker to discuss ‘American Distance and Chinese Influence’


Article by UDaily staff August 30, 2016

John Ciorciari, whose research focuses on international politics and law in Southeast Asia, will give a lecture from 3:30-5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 7, in 108 Memorial Hall on the University of Delaware’s Newark campus.

The talk, “American Distance and Chinese Influence in Mainland Southeast Asia,” is sponsored by UD’s Asian Studies Program and is free and open to the public.

In recent years, China's expanding economic and political footprint in mainland Southeast Asia has led some analysts to conclude that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) "northern tier" of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam is falling increasingly within a Chinese sphere of influence.

Ciorciari’s presentation will stress that neighbors’ acceptance of Chinese influence is not solely a result of their proximity to China and resulting exposure to its power. He will examine how the extent to which these nations accommodate China also depends heavily on their geographic and political distance from other major powers that could provide alternative sources of support — above all, the United States.

Ciorciari will discuss how U.S. foreign policies have sometimes undermined America’s appeal as a partner, stunted mainland Southeast Asian states’ ability to diversify and integrate into regional institutions like ASEAN, and thus left them more inclined to turn to China for support and accept the risks of that dependency. He will introduce some of the relevant theoretical concepts, survey the mainland states and conclude with brief policy implications for the next U.S. administration.

Ciorciari is an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. His research focuses on international politics and law, particularly in Southeast Asia. He is the author of The Limits of Alignment: Southeast Asia and the Great Powers since 1975. He is currently part of the inaugural class of Andrew Carnegie fellows and is pursuing a research project on UN sovereignty-sharing arrangements with the support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

For more information about the lecture, contact the Center for Global and Area Studies at 302-831-3202 or Download a flyer here.

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Asian Studies Lecture - Sept. 7
  • Center for Global and Area Studies
  • 77 East Main Street - Room 217
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19711, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3202
  • E-mail: