The Blog

Welcome to the AAGS Blog. Here you will find updates and announcements on what is going on at AAGS and with what our members are doing. There will also be some commentary on global events and issues by our execs, and anything else of interest to our community as academics working on Asian and global issues. 

2017 Conference

posted Jan 30, 2017, 12:48 AM by AAGS Director   [ updated Jan 30, 2017, 12:49 AM ]

Finally it's here. After much time spent discussing, organising and planning the 2017 AAGS Annual International Conference is all set to go at Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University, in Bacolor, Pampanga, Luzon, the Philippines, on February 3-5, 2017. The theme is Education in a Globalising Asia and we have a few new things added to the bill such as an Ed Tech workshop and campus area tour of some interesting sights. So we hope those of you coming enjoy the conference. Full details are on our site in the usual place for forthcoming events. If you've lost the link it's here Hopefully see some of you soon.


Rab Paterson
2017 AAGS Director


posted Apr 6, 2015, 9:00 PM by Unknown user

A big congratulations to our Vice President Patrick Strefford on his new publication. The cover image is below and following is the blurb from the book.

This text has been written specifically for students in East Asia. Therefore, to the extent possible, this textbook has been written in relatively easy-to-understand English. Having said that, the focus of this textbook is the theories and issues of international development.
It seems, and is perhaps inevitable, that the vast majority of International Development textbooks written in English are either Eurocentric or Americentric, or both. This textbook is an attempt to counter that imbalance by focusing instead on the East Asian region. For this reason, the textbook has been written, to some extent at least, from an East Asian perspective. Most case studies have been chosen from East Asia, and wherever possible, examples have also been drawn from East Asia.
While Japanese higher education regrettably remains far behind its regional peers in terms of globalizing and global standards, the number of courses offered by Japanese universities in the English language has increased considerable over the last few years. But, there are virtually no academic textbooks that are suitable for use by non-native speakers of English. So, the main purpose of this textbook is to fill this gap in the academic discipline of international development. It is the hope of the author that this textbook will encourage and assist in the seemingly laborious task of globalizing higher education in Japan.
This textbook (Part I) is intended to be used in a one-semester, 15-week course, although it has been designed in such a way as to allow for considerable flexibility. For a one-year, course, this textbook can be used in conjunction with Part II.
Each chapter has some discussion points, and a number of discussion/ essay questions at the end of each chapter. Key concepts are highlighted in bold when they first appear.
This textbook has been divided into two parts; Part I provides the framework for looking in detail at the reality of international development. It gives the necessary historical background, models, and main actors. Knowledge of this will enable us to analyze issues in international development. Part II will deal with issues of international development, such as the environment, security, gender, human rights, education, health, poverty and urbanization.

2015 Conference Update!

posted Dec 19, 2014, 7:30 PM by Unknown user

Hi all,

just a quick note to say our call for papers for next year's conference is now on the site at, if you are reading this blog on the site look under the events tab and click forthcoming events. The conference will be held at ICU in Tokyo in July this year and is our 10th anniversary conference. So hopefully we will see some familiar faces there.



2015 Conference

posted Sep 6, 2014, 1:24 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 6, 2014, 1:25 AM ]

2015 Conference

The AAGS execs are currently in negotiations with a number of universities in Japan to host the 10th annual AAGS conference in Japan. Japan was where the AAGS was started by Derrick M. Nault back in 2006 in Nishinomiya and we thought it would be a nice touch to bring it back to Japan for our 10th anniversary. So watch this space for details.

Conference Report

posted Apr 8, 2014, 8:05 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 9:05 PM ]

Last month we held our annual international conference at the Center for Global Studies @Shantou University in China. Due to the excellence organisation skills of the team at Shantou - Wuming, James, Angel, and also their keen student helpers - Amelie, Lynn, Jessica, Helen, Joy and Alex the conference was a success. I think it's no exaggeration to say everyone really enjoyed themselves, especially from the emails I received afterwards. Anyway we started off with an introduction by Professor Wuming Zhao, Director of Shantou University's Center of Global Studies,

 and then had our Keynote lecture by Professor Colin Sparks of Hong Kong Baptist University.
This was a good opening presentation and we ran over time given the volume of questions and discussions that sprang from his talk. AAGS Members can see the full set of photos in the AAGS Google+ Community but this post will have a few of them to give a flavour of the conference.

After Professor Sparks we had a number of interesting topics presented and this time we changed the set up for AAGS conferences. In the past we had concurrent streams of presentations and attendees chose the ones they wanted to attend. This year we had all presenters in one consecutive stream so all attendees saw all presentations. This meant each presenter had a larger audience and a greater range of questions and comments after the presentations and was such a success we may continue with this approach. After the first day's sessions were over we also managed a surprise birthday cake delivery for Professor Kelly Nicholson of Shantou University who had a birthday during the conference,

and the cake was enjoyed by all as we had more than one!

Then the ever helpful student guides took us on a tour of Shantou University's campus. I had seen it before when I attended a symposium on Global Studies in Nov 2012 but was keen to see more this time as it is a very large and beautiful campus. The library was of special interest as I didn't get to see it last time. It's a very impressive building,
and was visually stunning in the way it blended the traditional with the modern,
 and the AAGS visitors were impressed by it.

On day two we had another intro by Professor James McDougall of Shantou University (and our AAGS China Representative) to set us up for the 2nd day of presentations.

After another day of presentations we had our usual AGM conducted by myself, 

and received some good feedback for our next conference, tentatively being scheduled for Sophia University in Tokyo where our Director Derrick Nault teaches. And then it was the final group photo time.
All the photos in this post were taken by myself (Rab Paterson) and Lynn Gia Kwok from Shantou University. 

Global Studies recognised by Yale MBA program

posted Apr 2, 2014, 5:44 AM by Unknown user

Interesting story here on how Yale MBA's will have to take Global Studies classes in future to graduate.
"After wrapping up its third Global Network Week of the year last week, the School of Management is looking to bring more global initiatives into the MBA classroom.
Starting with the MBA class entering in the fall of 2014, the SOM students will have to fulfill a Global Studies Requirement by the time they graduate. The implementation of this new requirement, which will replace the current International Experience Requirement, was inspired by the progress of the Global Network — an international network of schools founded in 2012 by SOM Dean Edward Snyder. To fulfill the GSR, students can take one of several specifically designated courses, participate in a Global Network Week or in an international exchange with one of the schools in the network." Continues @

The new AAGS

posted Mar 30, 2014, 9:45 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 2, 2014, 3:17 AM ]

I am now in the process of rolling out our new AAGS social network services and the new site here will take over from the old one at although we will leave it up for a few months to allow people to get any information they may want from it. But everything there will be available here on the new site along with much more! For example those of you with Gmail accounts will have already been added to our Google Group and will probably be added to Google+ Circles by some or all of our execs over the next few weeks. Also those of you with Gmail accounts and Google+ enabled will have been invited to our new AAGS Google+ Community. For those of you without Gmail accounts, please set one up, enable Google+ and email me at with your details and I will add you as soon as I receive your email. Also over the next few days we will be inviting those of you on LinkedIn to join our LinkedIn group, so if you are interested in being part of that networking group sign up and apply to join the group via the LinkedIn function or email me at and I will add you. lastly our Twitter account is now up and running  - we are on Twitter at @AAGSPresident. Looking forward to linking up with you all online.

Yours sincerely,

Rab Paterson

2014 AAGS President, Conference Chair and Webmaster

TEDXTokyoTeachers & Conference Presenting

posted Dec 13, 2013, 4:11 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 13, 2013, 4:11 PM ]

Rab Paterson, AAGS President gave a presentation at TEDxTokyoTeachers in spring 2013. The video of his presentation is below.

YouTube Video

If you are interested in improving your academic presentations Rab has a set of videos on slideshow design on his YouTube channel at Good luck with preparing your presentations for our conference in China in March 2014.

New SNS Groups for Members

posted Dec 13, 2013, 4:00 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 13, 2013, 7:41 PM ]

As part of the updating and upgrading of the AAGS site and overall web presence we will be setting up an online Google Group for members very soon and all members will be able to access this, although those with Gmail accounts will have a slightly better user experience. We will also be setting up a Google+ Community but this is only accessible to those members that have a Gmail account and who have enabled Google+ on their account. In addition we will be setting up a Twitter feed for announcements for those members who prefer to use Twitter rather than follow the blog here. Lastly we will be creating a group on Linkedin for those members who are on Linkedin.

2014 AAGS Conference at Shantou University in China

posted Dec 13, 2013, 2:58 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 13, 2013, 2:58 PM ]

The call for papers has now closed. We hope to announce the presenters, schedule and keynote speaker very soon. Watch this space for details.

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