Why do we need Relational Studies in understanding Global Crises?

Professor Keiko Sakai has been leading a major Japanese project of Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (equivalent to ARC), which has proposed a new field of study, ‘Relational Studies on Global Crises: RSGC’, for the past five years. Based on Relational Sociology, the proposed field would focus on diverse and crucial changing relations and dynamics which have been contributing to global crises, instead of assuming and using standard (and fixated and often essentialized) ‘analytical categories’ of key actors. This new field of study proposes new approaches to ‘Area Studies’, and it is also a response to the criticism of the Euro-American centricity of the disciplinary knowledge of IR. It suggests new ways for us to work together across the fields of Area Studies, IR, and transnational and global histories. The seminar coincides with the recent publication of the seven-volume series on this new field of study, Global Relational Studies (RSGC), by Iwanami Publishing Company (September 2020), for which Professor Sakai is the lead editor. This publication is one culmination of her on-going project. The seminar hopes to tell the key ideas of this new field of study and about the publication, and inspire many who are exploring new approaches and frameworks in the relevant fields. All are welcome, and PhDs and ECR in these fields are most welcome!

Presenter: Professor Keiko Sakai (Chiba University)

Commentator: Professor George Lawson (Bell, CAP, ANU)

Chair: A/Professor Tomoko Akami (CHL, CAP, ANU)

About the Presenter:

Professor Keiko SAKAI: Professor Sakai is Dean of Centre for Relational Studies on Global Crises, Chiba University. Her expertise is Middle Eastern Politics and International Politics. She has worked as Researcher at the Embassy of Japan in Iraq in the late 1980s, and also at the American University in Cairo in the 1990s. She was also the president of the Japan Association of International Relations in 2012-2014. She has published extensively in Japanese, Arabic, and English. Her publications in Japanese include the recent seven-volume series on Global Relational Studies (Iwanami, 2020), as well as the award-winning Iraq and the US (2002). Her most recent publications in English include Iraq since the Invasion: People and Politics in a State of Conflict (co-ed with Phllip Marfleet) (2020).

About the Commentator:

Professor George LAWSON: George Lawson is Professor of International Relations at the ANU. Recently moved from LSE, he has published extensively, especially on revolutions, including two books, Anatomies of Revolution (2019) and Negotiated Revolutions: The Czech Republic, South Africa and Chile (2005), and on relationships between history and international relations, such as The Global Transformation (2015: co-authored with Barry Buzan) and Global Historical Sociology (2017: co-authored with Julian Go). He is the Lead Editor of the Cambridge University book series, LSE International Studies, and a former Co-Editor of the Review of International Studies. His work has won the Francesco Guicciardini Prize and the Joseph Fletcher Prize from the International Studies Association, and the Hedley Bull Prize from the European Consortium of Political Research.

This is a one-off CAP-CASS joint webinar on the proposed new field, Relational Studies on Global Crises, by Professor Keiko Sakai (Chiba University).

Supported by:

School of Culture, History, and Language, and IR, Coral Bell School and CAP, ANU

School of Politics and IR, School of History, Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, CASS, ANU

Centre for Relational Studies on Global Crises, Chiba University

Please do not record or take screenshots of the seminar.

For further information contact tomoko.akami@anu.edu.au

For those who are interested in the publication of the series (in Japanese), please see https://www.iwanami.co.jp/book/b527913.html

Those who are interested in joining a series of the seminars (in Japanese) on the series launch, please register at: https://forms.gle/75Aszi9KXXn3ePZCA

Date & time

Fri 04 Dec 2020, 3.30–5pm


Online - Zoom


Professor Keiko Sakai (Chiba University)


School of History


Tomoko Akami


Updated:  23 November 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications