During the upcoming IPSA 2012 World Congress in Madrid on July 8-12, our Research Committee on Geopolitics (RC-41) is planning to organize 4 panels:
1. THE GEOGRAPHY, POLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF PROJECTED GLOBAL RESOURCE SCARCITY
2. THE IMPACT OF THE ‘ARAB SPRING’ ON EURO-MED RELATIONS
3. BACK TO THE BALANCE OF POWER? ASIAN-PACIFIC CONTESTS AND REALIGNMENTS
4. BUSINESS MEETING. WHERE DO WE GO FROM MADRID?
Please find the full description of the panels below.
If you are planning to submit one or more abstracts to any of these panels, please contact the specific panel convener/chair by e-mail indicated in the full description below.
Please note, however, that formal submission of paper proposals must be filed -- directly and officially – to the Organizers of the Conference.
Additional information on the Congress and about the abstracts submission procedure can be found on the official IPSA web-site (www.ipsa.org).
THE GEOGRAPHY, POLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF PROJECTED GLOBAL RESOURCE SCARCITY
Organized jointly by Research Committee RC-15: Political Geography and Research Committee RC-41: Geopolitics
Conveners & Co-Chairs:
Aharon Klieman (RC-41) firstname.lastname@example.org,
Sanjay Chaturvedi (RC-15) email@example.com,
TakashiYamazaki (RC-15) Takashiyamataka@lit.osaka-cu.ac.jp
“Scarcity is the new norm”.
The warning has been sounded of a new and unprecedented era now emerging in which food scarcity in particular will increasingly dominate and shape world affairs. At issue are the most basic staples for sustained human life and social development, questioning the mobilizing and carrying capacity of the earth -- and our own professional ability as students of political geography to contribute meaningfully both at understanding and alleviating the crisis.
“Maldistribution” has long endured as one of the primary causes frustrating the emergence of a strong international system. Yet, what Mackinder referred to as “the science of distribution” remains sorely underdeveloped even as signposts of this looming resource crisis appear.
The cause is patently simple. We are using up the Earth’s resources far faster than they can be sustainably replenished. In effect, we are eating into the future.
This panel, marked by a sense of urgency, aims at probing the deeper underlying causes (an expanding global population, increased consumption, water shortages, climate changes) as well as the potential dire consequences (social unrest, bread riots, upheaval and even revolution; intensifying competition for sources of food supply; armed conflicts; failed states).
Practical, down-to-earth recommendations (individual, national, multilateral) are invited from different disciplines, approaches, perspectives.
THE IMPACT OF THE ‘ARAB SPRING’ ON EURO-MED RELATIONS
Convener and Chair, Pere Vilanova, Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals
The Mediterranean Sea area is widely considered to represent a distinctive geopolitical region of the world system, with common features and a dynamic of its own. Objectively, therefore, the analyst ought to be able to understand conflict, cooperation and coexistence within this geopolitical framework of a single Mediterranean regional complex.
While generally accepted, the hypothesis of a unified physical and geographic space is questionable, however. Our panel presents an alternative construct of the Mediterranean as a fragmented and heterogeneous space -- a space where conflicts, cooperation processes, negotiations and all kind of interactions (cultural, political, economic, etc) take on a quite different dynamic.
Special attention will be paid to recent, ongoing transformations associated with the so-called “Arab Spring” that offers an exceptional case of “regional transition”, with deep consequences on at least three levels:
• the change, reform or continuity of State political systems and regimes,
• the impact upon the Mediterranean as a region of stability, security and development,
• broader repercussions at the international level.
The session on “fragmented regionalism” is open to papers exploring any of the following suggested specific topics: consequences of the “Arab spring” on some of the enduring conflicts in the region; its implications for greater regional integration; the reaction of EU and NATO policies and attitudes towards democratic change.
Paper presentations will lead to a general discussion on the prospects for a genuine Mediterranean regional process, as well as its global relevance in the second decade of the 21st century.
BACK TO THE BALANCE OF POWER?
ASIAN-PACIFIC CONTESTS AND REALIGNMENTS
Convener and Chair: Igor Okunev, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
The expansive Asian-Pacific region (Northeast and Southeast Asia, the South Pacific basin and North America) is assuming greater prominence in world politics. This shift of strategic emphasis from the North Atlantic zone and Europe poses a series of questions for geopolitics.
To what extent are regional realignments a function of Great Power contests (USA, China, Russia, Japan)? In light of its maritime buildup, what pivotal role should we anticipate China, in particular, to play? What place do other significant regional players like Australia, Canada, Indonesia and Vietnam have in shaping this emerging balance? And what are prospects for the smaller nations in the shadow of stronger actors to preserve their independence and room for maneuver?
Similarly, how will this rebalancing of power influence the opposing poles of integration and separatism throughout the region? What is advisably the best formula for regional stability? Bilateral ties, or multilateral frameworks like ANZUS? Mutual security pacts, or regional economic integration structures modeled on APEC and ASEAN? Should realignments already underway prove destabilizing, what are plausible scenarios for regional conflict centering on North Korea, Taiwan and rival territorial claims in the South China and Japan Seas?
From the perspective of the international system, to what extent can developments in the Asian-Pacific region influence the global agenda and the nature of international relations? Lastly, which concepts and methods for the scientific study of geopolitics deepen our understanding of processes at work in this region of both promise and peril?
WHERE DO WE GO FROM MADRID?
Relating Geography to Politics:
Our Research Agenda for the Next 2 – 5 Years
Convenors: Aharon Klieman email@example.com, Pere Vilanova firstname.lastname@example.org, Igor Okunev email@example.com
This planning session is open to RC-41 members, as well as all others interested in Geopolitics from a multidisciplinary perspective wishing to pool resources with us and join our range of professional and research activities.