Seton Hall University

Dr. Zheng Wang Explores Themes of Reconciliation and Asia-Pacific Relations  

Zheng WangA new book titled Contested Memories and Reconciliation Challenges: Japan and the Asia-Pacific on the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II, was recently published as the result of a multi-party conflict resolution dialogue at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. This publication is not a traditional text published by an academic scholar, rather it is the result of a real conflict resolution practice project that has been conducted since 2012, making it quite unique. School of Diplomacy Associate Professor Dr. Zheng Wang acted as both a co-editor of the book and co-facilitator of the dialogue. Contested Memories and Reconciliation Challenges is the second book published as a result of this project, the first being Clash of National Identities: China, Japan, and the East China Sea Territorial Dispute. In both books, scholars from South Korea, Japan, China, and the US conducted closed-door facilitated dialogues using the analytic problem solving workshops (APSWs) approach.

Dr. Zheng Wang is the director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) at Seton Hall University. Since its establishment in January 2014, CPCS is committed to advancing the understanding of social conflict, global peace and conflict issues through multidisciplinary, multilevel, and multicultural approaches. Through the Center's ongoing research projects as well as education and practice activities, faculty, students, alumni and colleagues work together to engage with and develop the interdisciplinary field of peace and conflict studies. The Center maintains working relationships with the New America Foundation, Wilson Center, George Mason University, and various institutions and practitioners to conduct activities, conflict resolution research and practice.

This semester, CPCS co-hosted a panel discussion with the Center for Catholic Studies. The discussion, Working with Violent Past: Historical Memory and Conflict Resolution, explored the relationship between the theory and practice of working with deep-rooted conflicts, and offered solutions for overcoming the barrier of historic memory through the process of education, dialogue and other conflict resolution activities. The School of Diplomacy Dean Andrea Bartoli moderated the event, and the participating panelists included Monsignor Richard Liddy, Dr. Borislava Manojlovic, and Dr. Tatsushi Arai, a professor at the SIT Graduate Institute.

In recent years, the territory disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea have emerged as a major international issue, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. The policy community in this region has enthusiastically received Dr. Wang's very timely research, and attention to his work has been growing. Since 2012, several visiting fellowships from distinguished universities in the Asia-Pacific region have resulted from his work, including a role as a Global Fellow at the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore; a Dr. Seaker Chan Endowed Visiting Professorship at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs (SIRPA) of Fudan University in Shanghai, China; and a senior visiting fellow at the China Center for the South China Sea Studies of Nanjing University, China. These exchanges and collaboration opportunities have positively impacted Dr. Wang's exploration of approaches for conflict management.

Currently, Dr. Wang is working on a new book focused on maritime conflict and nationalism, which has already sparked attention. Through a very competitive process, he received the New America Foundation's fellowship to complete the book. Other themes and topics to be explored in the book include how to interpret China's rise and the future of US-China relations, and insight for the policy community on how to contextually understand and respond to China's new diplomatic initiatives.

To learn more about Dr. Wang visit his faculty profile, read about Contested Memories and Reconciliation Challenges, his foreign policy op-ed blog at The Diplomat and visit the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies webpage by clicking here »

Categories: Arts and Culture , Nation and World

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