CfP: Asia in Science Diplomacy

2nd Annual Conference of the DHST Commission on Science, Technology and Diplomacy

co-sponsored by The Pacific Circle

10-12 July 2020 | Beijing, China

The last decade has seen increasing interest in the concept, practice, and history of science diplomacy in international affairs during the modern period. Such discussions and debates have been dominated by ‘Western’ perspectives, tending to focus on the agency, activities, and influence of actors from Europe and North America. Yet, the danger of treating the ‘Euro-American’ context and norms as defaults against which non-Western ones are measured can often implicitly underpin or reinforce problematic value-judgements, as Phalkey and Lam (2016) have argued in relation to the wider history of science, technology, and medicine.

Building on the global focus of the DHST Commission of Science, Technology and Diplomacy’s first conference in 2019, this conference will centre on Asia, emphasising the agency, activities, and influence of Asian actors within both the intra- and inter-regional contexts of what we call today science diplomacy. We wish to address a number of interconnected questions including: what would be gained through looking at Asian history through the lenses of science diplomacy? What actors, processes, regions and activities would these new narratives encompass? Could these reflections lead to re-consider the concept and meanings of science diplomacy? 

In order to address these questions, we invite contributions exploring the entangled histories of science, technology and diplomacy in Asia. We expect contributions to involve or engage with:

  • nationalism, regionalism and/or internationalism in STM
  • official and unofficial/informal diplomatic channels
  • colonialism, imperialism and anti-imperialism, decolonisation, and development
  • alliances, non-alignment, and ‘South-South’ cooperation
  • state and non-state actors (including religious, commercial and industrial actors, international organisations, transnational networks, and party-to-party relations

We invite submission of paper proposals which include:
a title, abstract (300 words maximum), and a short CV (150 words maximum)
to Gordon Barrett (gordon[.]barrett [at]history[.]ox[.]ac[.]uk) by 30 January 2020.

Co-hosted by:
Department of History of Science, Technology and Medicine of Peking University
School of Humanities of the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences


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