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Professor Baviera Talks about Gray Zone Conflicts in SCS in Paris Roundtable on War and Politics

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List of panelists for the roundtable, Guerre et Politique: Cross-Perspectives in Various Regions of the World (C) Professor Baviera.


Professor Aileen Baviera of the UP Asian Center took part in a roundtable at the forum, “Guerre et Politique: Analysing War and the Rebuilding of Social Relationships,” which was held from 2 to 5 November in Paris, France.

In the roundtable, “Guerre et Politique: Cross-Perspectives in Various Regions of the World,” Professor Baviera argued that “geopolitical competition among the major powers leads to greater complexity in the search for solutions to East Asia’s maritime territorial and jurisdiction disputes. In the South China Sea, littoral states of Southeast Asia have to employ several different approaches in the face of an assertive China.”

She adds that “in the South China Sea where legal jurisdictions are not clear, and where multiple actors from several states engage in competitive activities, the risk of outbreak of conflict increases. China is the most powerful and most assertive claimant. Southeast Asian states cope with this situation through various means such as arms buildup and ASEAN regional diplomacy. Some also engage China in confidence-building measures as well as deepening of economic and sociocultural linkages. Several states have, however, invigorated security ties with the United States in order to promote their strategic interests. Whether or not this portends better solutions or creates new conflict dynamics is not clear.”

Her insights were submitted as “War and Conflict in East Asia: Focus on Maritime Gray Zones.”

“Gray zone conflict is best understood as activity that is coercive and aggressive in nature, but that is deliberately designed to remain below the threshold of conventional military conflict and open interstate war” (Brands 2016).

The forum seeks “to establish a discussion space for all those interested in question of war and its impact on the building of social relationships.” It features “four days of collective reflection in various formats:” presentations, roundtables, workshop, screenings, and debates. Visit the forum website to view the program, list of speakers and topics, concept note, etc.

The forum is organized by the team of Guerre & Po research project in partnership with Gaîté Lyrique, L’Ecole Des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and Institut des mondes africains, among others.

Dr. Aileen SP. Baviera is Professor at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman. She specializes on and writes about contemporary China studies, China-Southeast Asia relations, Asia-Pacific security, territorial and maritime disputes, and regional integration. The editor in chief of the journal, "Asian Politics & Policy," she is the author of many academic publications, including the "The Domestic Mediations of China's Influence in the Philippines," which appears in Rising China's Influence in Developing Asia, edited by Evelyn Goh and published by Oxford University Press. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman. VIEW FULL PROFILE. 


The UP Asian Center offers M.A. programs in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Get an overview of these programs. The Asian Center also houses a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia. It has published several books and monographs, and hosts or organizes various lectures and conferences.   

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