York University Professors Ian Roberge and Thomas Klassen co-organized and co-hosted the conference Asymmetric Neighbours and International Relations: Living in the Shadow of Elephants alongside Professor Nara Park of Yonsei University on June 20 and 21.
The event took place in Seoul, South Korea and was hosted by Yonsei University who York University has a longstanding partnership agreement with.
The two-day event explored how smaller nations sharing a border with a larger country survive in the shadow of their more powerful neighbour. This timely conference, especially given events in Eastern Europe, examined asymmetrical bilateral relations between states sharing a border particularly from the perspective of the smaller of the two neighbours.
Roberge, who is currently a visiting professor at Yonsei University said, “the rise and return of populism and nativism, the intensity of the competition between the United States, China and Russia, highlight the challenges of international and bilateral relations in the third decade of the 21st century.”
Klassen added, “the conference was an opportunity to look at what the world order might look like for the rest of this century based on the research of experts from around the globe.”
More than 100 individuals from around the world registered for the conference which was held in a hybrid format. The keynote at the conference, titled “Genuine Progress and Sustainability in Turbulent Times” was provided by Young Jun Choi, director of the Institute for Welfare State Research at Yonsei University. A diverse group of researchers presented at the conference which included at least one case study from every continent to provide a global perspective.
The conference was supported by Yonsei University, York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and Glendon Campus. The outcome of the conference will be an edited book.