Academic Seminar

Date & Time: March 14 (Thu.) 2019, 15:00~18:00
Venue: Seminar Room (room no.107) on the 1st Floor of East Building, CSEAS, Kyoto University

Dr. Alan H. Yang
(Executive Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies(cseas) at National Chengchi University and Executive Director of Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation)

Taiwan’s Southeast Asia policy during the past three decades has already evolved into more than just external trade and investment policy as it entails social and cultural connotations since 2016 as well. The most obvious discursive change is a shift from developing relations between Taiwan AND Southeast Asia toward exploring more linkages and presence of Taiwan IN Southeast Asia or vice versa Southeast Asia IN Taiwan). Moreover, this also reflects a self-transformation of Taiwan’s role and the recalibration of strategic choices in regionalization, as a change of course from thin regionalization to thick regionalization. The thin regionalization emphasizes on quantity changes in regional cooperation in form of trade and investment, while the thick regionalization focuses on deep-seated qualitative changes, namely a profound socialization process. Interestingly, Taiwan’s contacts with Southeast Asia and the neighboring countries are not just a pure moving southwards, but a path that Taiwan must take as it goes global amid the current trade rivalry between two global giants, China and the United States. This lecture will highlight the strategic rationale and structure of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy and share some updates of its implementation and tentative achievement.

About Speaker:
Dr. Alan Hao Yang is currently Executive Director of Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF), which is the pilot think tank facilitating Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy (NSP) to Asia. He is also leading TAEF in organizing annual “Yushan Forum: Asian Dialogue for Innovation and Progress.” Dr. Yang is Policy Advisor to Executive Yuan of Taiwan since 2018. He also serves as Deputy Director of the Institute of International Relations (IIR) and Executive Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) at National Chengchi University, Taiwan. CSEAS serves as the international secretariat of the Consortium for Southeast Asian Studies in Asia (SEASIA), initiated by Kyoto University in partnership with 13 leading Asian studies institutions cross 10 countries. He teaches at the Graduate Institute of East Asian Studies (GIEAS) on Southeast Asia regionalism and Sino-Southeast Asian relations. Dr. Yang engages in track II diplomacy as the Executive Director of the Secretariat of Taiwan Participatory Group to the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP Taiwan).

Dr. Yang was awarded the SUSI Fellowship from the US Department of State in capacity of visiting professor of U.S. foreign policy at the Department of Political Science, University of Florida in 2011. He was also affiliated with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University in Japan as visiting scholar in 2015. As for academic services, he serves in the international editorial board of the leading international study journal International Studies Review and the Journal of Human Values. In 2018, he was awarded the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) sponsored by US State Department on Asian Disaster Resilience Project. Dr. Yang’s research interests cover ASEAN regionalism, disaster governance, border politics and resistance politics in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Yang has published more than 70 journal articles on China-ASEAN relations, international relations of Southeast Asia, international political economy in the Asia-Pacific in international referred journals such as Pacific Affairs, Pacific Review, Issues & Studies, Journal of Asian Public Policy, China Brief, and his latest co-edited book China’s Footprint in Southeast Asia will be published by the National University of Singapore Press. He usually contributed to the Diplomat, the Interpreter (Lowy Institute), Taiwan Insight (Nottingham University), Global Taiwan Brief (Global Taiwan Institute based in Washington D.C.) and other international platform on regional political economic and security dynamics.


Dr. Mukda Pratheepwatanawong
(Researcher of Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University)

The use of social networking sites (SNSs) have been a significant part of political communication and election campaigning in Thailand. Regardless of political figures being new or veteran, the content of communication and the way they manage their social networking page could determine the amount and type of attention they gain from their followers and mainstream media. With the upcoming and long-waited 2019 General Election in Thailand, Facebook will play an increasingly dominant role on individual candidate’s campaign with the attempt to use their own Facebook to develop digital vote-canvassing network, communicate their policies and influence voters’ decision-making. With the use of “political public relations” as a conceptual framework, this paper sets out to determine the challenging characteristics of digital vote-canvassing network in the 2019 General Election in Thailand, looking from Thai political figures’ and their public relations personnel’s perspective. The theme of analysis include, relationship management between candidates and followers on Facebook, image management of candidates’ on Facebook and content management between candidates’ Facebook page and mainstream media. This paper argues that political public relations work on Facebook during the 2019 General Election campaign in Thailand is transforming from being centralize to decentralize. Digital vote-canvassing network in the 2019 General Election in Thailand constitute of candidates competing to gain followers’ attention to develop their relationship, which have been structured to build a closer relationship with their followers, while followers play a crucial role in responding to candidate’s image, which determines the way candidates will be perceived during the election campaign. This implies that it has now been more challenging to compete in Thai election, not only because of the challenging political issues but because of the communication technology available to challenge political public relations work.

About Speaker:
Mukda Pratheepwatanawong received her Ph.D. from The University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, in International Communication Studies and is currently working on a number of research projects at Mekong Studies Center, Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Her Ph.D. research, which was fully funded by The University of Nottingham, explored into political communication, political public relations on social media during the 2013 Bangkok Gubernatorial Election campaign with the use of mixed methods. Currently, she is doing her research on digital vote-canvassing network and the use of social media for the 2019 General Election campaign in Thailand. She also studies ASEAN connectivity, foreign investment, labour mobility, digital divide and social media, with Vietnam as area of focus.