Asia in Washington: How Washington is Changing and How Asian Nations Respond


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When: Apr 23 2014 - 12:00pm until Apr 23 2014 - 1:30pm
Where: 1819 L St, NW, Washington, DC. Sixth Floor Conference Room

Asia in Washington: How Washington is Changing and How Asian Nations Respond

An Asia Pacific Seminar and book launch featuring:

Dr. Kent E. Calder
Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, SAIS

Asia in Washington: How Washington is Changing and How Asian Nations Respond from East-West Center on Vimeo.

Dr. Kent Calder disccuses the findings of his new book Asia in Washington: How Washington is Changing and How Asian Nations Respond

In his latest book, Asia in Washington: Exploring the Penumbra of Transnational Power (Brookings, 2014), Dr. Kent E. Calder explored the changing profile of the world’s premier political city in an increasingly global age, and how the key nations of Asia work to influence it. Drawing on his experience as an Asia specialist with over twenty years of Washington think tank, diplomatic, and Congressional as well as academic experience, Calder’s book considers in detail the public diplomacy and private lobbying efforts of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Myanmar, Indonesia and Singapore in the U.S. national capital.

 During his talk, Dr. Calder gave a brief outline of the findings described in his book. The first half of the book focused on the changing dynamics of Washington itself, specifically its new status as a "global political entity" on par with London and New York. Countries in Asia have recognized this new status and begun courting Washington all the more, including China which has made it a point to maintain good relations with the US capital.

One of the factors influencing this change is the growing influential and, more importantly, international population in Washington. Asian Americans, many of whom have historical ties to the area, have been settling in Washington and weathly counties around the DC beltway in increasing numbers. Through an increase in activism brought on by a renewed discovery of identity, it is these communities that aid in the success of their home countries' ability to court Washington. According to Dr. Calder, contrary to what one might think size and manifestations of physical power (i.e. military might) often do not translate into visibility or influence in Washington. Rather, countries that have governmental or non-governmental representation on the ground in Washington do much better at attracting the attention they wish for.

As an example, Dr. Calder brought up the recent move by Virginian officials to pass legislation on the dual naming of the Sea of Japan/ East Sea after Virginia's vocal Korean American community rallied behind the issue. South Korea has also enjoyed success in gaining influence in Washington proper, with all but one Korean president addressing Congress since South Korea became democratic; last year Koreans and/or Korean Americans participated in 6 addresses to Congress. 


 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 

Dr. Kent E. Calder is Director of the Reischauer Center for East Asian studies, the Director of Japan Studies, and the Acting Director of Korean Studies, at SAIS/ Johns Hopkins University. Previously he was a professor for 20 years at Princeton University and also taught at Harvard University and served as the Japan Chair at CSIS. Dr. Calder has spent his career working on US-Japan issues and served as Special Adviser to three U.S. Ambassadors. A specialist in East Asian political economy, Calder has spent fifteen years living and researching in East Asia. He has written extensively on Asian energy geopolitics and U.S.-Japan relations and authored and co-authored several books including: The New Continentalism: Energy and Twenty-First Century Eurasian Geopolitics (Yale, 2012), The Making of Northeast Asia (Stanford, 2010), and Pacific Alliance (Yale, 2009). Dr. Calder received his Ph.D. and M.A. from Harvard University, and B.A. from the University of Utah.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Grace Ruch
Phone: 202-327-9762