Seminar Archive 2007 Term 1 - NCRE - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Details of Past Seminars

2010 - Semester Two

Friday 10th September 2010, 2:00pm Commander Robert Green on Security Without Nuclear Deterrence

Over twenty years after the Cold War ended, some 23,000 nuclear weapons remain. The nuclear weapon states cite nuclear deterrence doctrine as the final, indispensable justification for maintaining their nuclear arsenals. This drives the spread of nuclear weapons to paranoid regimes and extremists who are least likely to be deterred. The fallacies of nuclear deterrence must therefore be exposed and alternatives offered if there is to be any serious prospect of eliminating nuclear weapons.

Rob Green served in the British Royal Navy from 1962 to 1982, navigating Buccaneer nuclear strike aircraft and anti-submarine helicopters. Promoted to Commander in 1978, he served in the Ministry of Defense in London and finally as Staff Officer (Intelligence) to the Commander-in-Chief Fleet during the Falklands War.

Several events during 1984 and 1991 caused him to speak out against nuclear weapons – the first ex-Commander with nuclear weapon experience to do so. In 1996 the International Court of Justice at The Hague confirmed that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be illegal.

He is using his twenty years’ military experience to promote alternative thinking about security and disarmament, and to help build bridges between the military and the peace movement.

(Virtual Europe)

Friday 20th August 2010, 2:00pm Belgian Ambassador Patrick Renault on New Zealand and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)

The Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) process has been launched in 1996. This dialogue now counts 48 partners: the 27 EU member states, 16 Asian, the European Commission and the ASEAN secretariat. Australia, Russia and New Zealand will officially accede to ASEM at the Brussels Leaders Summit in October 2010.

The ASEM Summit will be the eighth privileged occasion to give expression to the common views of Asia and Europe. Representing 58 % of global population, 50 % of global GDP and over 60% of global trade, this gathering will hopefully inspire the world community.

ASEM Leaders will address these and other global challenges but they will naturally also focus on the relationship between the two regions. They will seek to strengthen their political dialogue, enhance their trade and investment relationship, expand people to people and cultural exchanges and further develop ASEM as their common strategic asset.

Under the principle of ‘issue-based leadership’, one of the most dynamic features of ASEM, Asian and European partners will organize a dozen of preparatory events of high relevance to the evolving Summit agenda, on e.a. piracy at sea, sustainable development and climate change, people to people relations, social cohesion, democracy and human rights, global security, and other important subjects.

(Virtual Europe)

Friday 13th August 2010, 2:00pm Dr Georg Wiessala on 'Constructing New Silk Routes? The Role of Higher Education and Exchange in Asia-Europe Relations'

This inter-active workshop seeks to encourage participants to explore the role which education and higher education are playing in the relations between European and Asian countries. The presentation will begin with a look at three short case-studies from the wider educational and cultural history of Europe-Asia relations, to set the scene for the investigation which follows.
These case-studies will revolve around the international outlook of Nalanda University in India (5th-12th Centuries), the curriculum of the Jesuits in China (16th and 17th Centuries) and the significance of the ‘Dutch-Learning’ (Rangaku) movement for Japanese art in the Edo period (17th and 18th Centuries).
Taking some personalities and examples of an ‘early cultural and educational globalisation’ as a starting point, the workshop will explore the possible ways in which today’s intellectual exchange between the European Union (EU) and its Asian partners can be conceptualised. The talk will include a short look at those ‘Asia-Strategies’ of the European Union that have a particular focus on the role of Higher Education in the East-West exchange, specifically in India, Central Asia and Australia.
The intervention will subsequently examine some examples of contemporary research regarding ‘European’ teaching experience in ‘Asian’ classrooms, and investigate the development of the discipline of ‘European Studies’ in Asian Universities, think-tanks and research institutes.
The presentation will close by suggesting a few criteria for the ‘viability’ and ‘success’ of the subject-area of ‘European Studies in Asia’, and by drawing some preliminary conclusions about the role of ‘European Studies’ and ‘Intellectual Exchange’ as foreign policy tools in EU-Asia Relations. The workshop will end with a question-and-answer session.

Dr Georg Wiessala is Professor of International Relations in the School of Education & Social Science (ESS) of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston, United Kingdom. He co-edited The Journal of Common Market Studies; the European Union: Annual Review, from 1999 to 2003, and acted as a Committee member of UACES, the UK’s University Association for Contemporary European Studies. He currently teaches on EU International Relations, European Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies and Criminology degree programmes and holds visiting teaching positions at a number of institutions in Europe and Australasia. Georg has an acknowledged research track record in EU Foreign Policy, Human Rights and EU-Asia-Pacific relations. His latest books are: Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations (Ashgate, 2006) and Reflections and Reorientations: EU-Asia Dialogue in the New Millennium (Rodopi, October 2007). He has just published The EU and China: Interests and Dilemmas (Rodopi, 2009) and is currently working on a new, single-authored, book investigating the intellectual, cultural and academic dimensions of Asia-Europe exchange (Routledge, 2010), from which this current presentation is drawn. Contact: gwiessala@uclan.ac.uk.

(Virtual Europe)

Friday 6th August 2010, 2:00pm Dr Peter Low on Hiroshima Day Topic ‘Disarmament, Europe and the Oslo Process’.

How can we reduce the unacceptable harm done by certain weapons of war? The overall legal structures (Geneva Conventions etc) are improving. Certain categories of weapons are being outlawed by international convention, as happened with land-mines (the Ottawa Process) and now with cluster munitions (by the Oslo Convention, which comes into force this week).
Meanwhile, more people than ever wish to abolish so-called nuclear weapons. And a growing movement is working to ban the uranium weapons that are causing much unacceptable harm now, particularly in Iraq.

(Virtual Europe)

Friday 19th July 2010, 2:00pm Rose Stewart on "Foreign Interest Dictates Public Policy in Papua New Guinea:  Good Governance or Betrayal?"

In June this year the Papua New Guinean government introduced controversial amendments to their Environment Act 2000.  These amendments prevent interested parties such as the landowners the right of redress for devastation and protection of their environment.  The European Union believe that environmental sustainability is crucial to the reduction of poverty and continued development in developing countries.
Good governance is the key to all economic and environmental sustainability.

Kirsty Schmutsch on Wheying Up the Options: How does the application of Geographical Indications by the European Union influence the trade of specialty cheeses made in New Zealand?

This research examines how the application of Geographical Indications by the European Union can influence New Zealand made specialty cheeses. It aims to argue that while there is not an official system for the control of labels of origin for the names of specialty cheeses in New Zealand, they are used nonetheless. The practical impact of this study is to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages of Geographical Indications used by the EU for New Zealand specialty cheese producers..

(Virtual Europe)

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