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12th International Conference

Forthcoming Events - 12th Annual International Conference - Kyoto, Japan - March 2-4, 2018

Populism in a Post-truth World: A Multidisciplinary Conference
(in association with Kyoto Sangyo University’s Institute for World Affairs)

The unexpected rise to power of President Donald Trump in the US, and the UK referendum resulting in Brexit, highlighted 2016 as a year of populism and post-truth. Both campaigns were driven by appeals to emotion, not reason, and were characterized by the widespread use of non-truths. The winners were appealing to those frustrated with regular politics, and those hit by the negative impacts of globalization. While populism and post-truth are neither new nor limited to our two examples, do these results therefore signal a greater crisis within the two key architects of the global system? What will be the impacts on the economic order that has been in place since WWII? Will brakes be applied to the various processes of globalization that have continued virtually unabated for more than 50 years? How are international and domestic institutions responding to the post-truth world that may threaten their legitimacy and even existence? What does the seeming rise in populism and post-truth say about civil society and its crucial role in democracy? While it may be that the shift towards populism could be interpreted as a domestic shift in power from elites to citizens, should we also understand it in terms of the ongoing global shift in power from the West to the rest?

The AAGS conference organizing committee invites paper proposals seeking to answer these and other related questions concerning any aspect of Populism and Post-Truth, and its Global Impacts. Proposals should be between 150 to 200 words and include the paper's title and the author's name, affiliation, and contact information. A bio of 100 to 125 words describing the author's background, accomplishments and research interests should also accompany the proposal. Both proposals and bios should be written following the guidelines on the templates provided at: and and sent to us. Applications should then be submitted as MS Word email attachments or Google Documents to  Documents not using the templates or not following the specified format will not be accepted.

Please note that we can offer no travel support or funding to participants. Thus, please only submit a proposal if you are certain you will have your own financial means to attend the conference.

Deadline for proposals: November 30th, 2017

Notification of proposal result: December 10th, 2017

Deadline for early bird registration payment (18,000 yen): January 1st, 2018

Deadline for presenters' registration payment (20,000 yen): January 24th, 2018

Payment Details:

Deadline for refunds: February 4th, 2018

Event: March 2-4, 2018

Accommodation: There will be no conference hotel, so please arrange your own accommodation. There are plenty of options, but Kyoto is an extremely popular tourist destination, so please book as early as possible. If you have any queries regarding accommodation, please contact the conference chair. Access to Kyoto Sangyo University (KSU): KSU is located in the north of Kyoto City. There are plenty of public transport links, as can be seen in the following link []. The conference will be held in building number 5 [], which is about 5 minutes walk from the main gates, where the buses will drop you off. There will be signs and students around on the days of the conference to guide you to the conference building.

All other enquiries:

Keynote Speaker

What is the ‘world thinking’ emanating from Japan?

Professor Kazuhiko Togo

Professor and Director of the Institute for World Affairs, Kyoto Sangyo University


Japan has arguably reached its height of ‘modernization’ at the end of the Cold-War, and since then is navigating through its hard voyage of ‘post-modern world’. Changing social structure, globalization, rise of Chinese civilization, challenge from Islamic world are, among others, issues which it is facing, and ‘truth’ has become less discernible than before. But are we really living in a ‘post-truth’ era? And whether ‘post-truth’ or not, what should be the criterion with which Japan is expected to navigate through this era of uncertainty? There is no doubt about the necessity of seeking answers to these questions by facing contemporary emerging phenomena squarely. But another way might be to go back into the history and tradition of thoughts within the Japanese Islands, and seeking guidance from there with sufficient transparency and universality, to guide Japan and the World into the future.

Bio Kazuhiko Togo, (Ph.D. 2009, Leiden University) is Professor and Director of the Institute for World Affairs, Kyoto Sangyo University (since 2010). He served in the Japanese Foreign Ministry from 1968. Half of his career was devoted to Russia, and he retired in 2002 as Ambassador to the Netherlands. Since then, he taught at universities around the world, including those in Leiden, Princeton, Santa Barbara, Seoul and Taiwan. His recent publication in English includes Japan's Foreign Policy 1945-2009, (editor) Japan and Reconciliation in Post-war Asia: The Murayama Statement and its Implications; and (co-editor) East Asia’s Haunted Present: Historical Memories and the Resurgence of Nationalism; (co-editor) Building Confidence in East Asia: Maritime Conflicts, Interdependence and Asian Identity Thinking For other books and articles refer to

Plenary Speaker

Asian Studies in an Era of Populism and Post-Truth Dr. Sandra Fahy

Associate Professor - Sophia University Abstract:

The 12th Annual International Conference of the Asia Association for Global Studies has framed the theme of our conference around the question of post-truth and populism in the wake of political decisions in Europe and North America. What makes these shocking political choices in the UK and the United States more shocking still is that they were made by those citizens most badly affected by globalization. Seeking to find improvement for their individual lot, the disenfranchised made decisions that reasserted nationalism and the power of the sovereign through subscribing to populism and post-truth. Populism, sometimes manifesting as xenophobia, has pushed forward a view of two antagonistic camps of ‘pure people’ against the ‘corrupt elite’ who disempower and cannot be trusted. In an effort to improve the lot of the poor from the costs of global capitalism, their political choices have made things worse. The era of populism and post-truth is with us, but this is a frame lifted most notably from surprising political events in the UK and the United States, namely Trump and Brexit. What interests me in our contemporary time is the question of what it means to study Asia in an era of populism and post-truth emerging from two architects of the global system. This is not to suggest that populism and post-truth are exclusive to the UK and the United States, but rather to acknowledge that these states have long self-identified as the seat of global truths born through democratic process. This leads me to ask what it means to study contemporary Asian conflict and crises when the UK and the United States contributed to these. While the United States and the UK are letting a thousand flowers of populism and post-truth bloom, what impact does this have upon regions of continued conflict in Asia, and our study of these? Bio Sandra Fahy is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Sophia University in Tokyo Japan. Her research has focused on structural violence and collective social suffering with particular reference to North Korea, and by extension South Korea, Japan and China. She is especially interested in the relationship between language and political violence, globally, but with special attention to East Asia. Her first book was nominated for several awards. Her publications include: Marching through Suffering: Loss, Survival and North Korea. New York: Columbia University Press (2015), peer review articles in Anthropology Today; Food, Culture and Society: an interdisciplinary journal, among others. She has published policy pieces on the Japan-ROK-US alliance, health and human rights in North Korea, and Internally Displaced People in DPRK, in the Harvard Journal of Health and Human Rights, and Asia Policy. Her second book Human Rights and North Korea is under contract with Columbia University Press.


The schedule is now online here.