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Jing-Syuan Wong

GEM-DIAMOND doctoral fellow

ESR 14 – Responding to competing authoritarian models: Japan and EU’s respective neighbourhoods compared

Serious, Efficient, and Creative in my research/ analytical works. I am interested in research/analysis in political science in general, political economy, diplomacy and international relations, welfare state transformations, ESG impact investment consulting, and equitable digital-ecological transformation.

Host Institutions

How have authoritarian turns in the neighboring countries reshaped the EU and Japan’s strategies of democracy support in regional political dynamics?


  • Luca Tomini
  • Ken Miichi
  • Thomas Christiansen

Research abstract

Parallel to Ian Manners (2002) Normative Power Europe thesis, the European Union (EU) has been fostering democratic values and norms for decades through its external actions and diplomacy. From the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), European Endowment for Democracy (EED), enlargement processes, to the multiplicity of partnerships, the promotion of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law have been omnipresent.

However, despite the decades of democratization endeavors, from the early 2000s up until the present moment, the world has witnessed mixed results of such promotion. Democratic backsliding has concurrently been the buzzword in both academic and policy domains. The inherent ambiguity of the EU’s democratic agenda, and the growing assertiveness of external state actors are the principal, yet not exclusive, reasons behind such developments.

In terms of the structure of the global theater, multipolarity has been on the rise for decades. With the growth in economic development and military capacity, the ambition of some states has also been manifesting. With the gradually visible geopolitical competition, Europe and Asia appear to be at the center of the global stage. Partnerships and alliances under the banner of liberal democracy have been pursued. Likewise, gravity centers of authoritarian governance have also been holding hands. However, the term “Cold War 2.0” does not adequately characterize the current global space. With intimate interdependency in global supply chains which has been developed since the 1980s thanks to the growing affordability of cargo shipping, the current state of affairs is characterized by the great power competitions with entrenched interconnectedness, a rather entangled rivalry, unlike during the Cold War. Within this evolving power structure, there are states who find themselves inbetween great powers in terms of culture, history, geography, and governance model. In-betweenness is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the space for sovereign decision making could be oppressed by the power constraints. On the other hand, the multiple layers of belonging have the potential to capacitate in-between states with leverage and relational capital when negotiating their national interests.

In the European theater, Turkey, which bridges the African-European-Asian continent, emerges as one prominent in-between case in point. This dynamic is visibly manifested by the Turkish engagement in the United Nations (UN)’s Black Sea Grain Initiative following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The recent approval of Finland’s membership in The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with Turkey’s conditionalities also appears to be one of the ironies of history, seen from the lens of Turkey’s application for EU membership since 1999.

On the Asia-Pacific stage, Southeast-Asian countries find themselves in between two giants, the US and China. In this power dynamic, Japan also plays a significant role in counterbalancing China, as one of the most important American allies in East Asia. Leader of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and regional hegemon, Indonesia seems to be gradually active in bridging the conflicting worldviews of major powers with the incumbent president Joko Widodo (also known as Jokowi) coming into power in 2014. The elegant success of Widodo as the host of the 2022 G20 Bali summit at the height of heated tensions between the US and China, along with the ongoing War in Ukraine was the best practice of Indonesia’s inbetween diplomacy. At this event, Widodo was able to put Biden and Xi on the same negotiation table, and Zelensky on the screen while Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov being in the room.

With the growing complexity of world affairs, with the ones mentioned above being just a handful of examples, multidisciplinary approaches are needed more than ever to decipher the big trends and the nuances of global politics. Situating at the crossroad of international relations, comparative politics, and area studies (Europe and Asia), while drawing inspiration from history, economics, and international law, this paper explores the changes and continuities of Turkey and Indonesia’s in-betweenness in their foreign policy making, and how this lens helps us understand the evolution of the bilateral relations between the EU and Turkey, Japan and Indonesia.

In the following, I will first present the theoretical framework of classical realism as the analytical lens employed in addressing the questions raised. This will be followed by (I) the disentanglement of the ambiguities of the EU’s promotion of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in its international relations, and the case of Turkey, (II) relations between Japan and Indonesia, and (III) Turkey and Indonesia’s in-betweenness compared: linkage between domestic diverse identities and external balancing acts. The conclusion will synthesize the analysis and mention the limitations of the paper.

Research Question(s)

From the above preliminary overview, several questions may arise: what have gone wrong with the promotion of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law from the EU towards Turkey? What characterizes the relations between Japan and Indonesia? How do Turkey and Indonesia employ in-betweenness to advance their national interests? Synthesizing them together, what role has in-betweenness played in Turkey and Indonesia’s bilateral relations with the EU and Japan respectively since 2000s? Given the material and symbolic power of the US in all these, its role in shaping the interactive dynamics will also be illustrated in the analysis.

Research Hypothesis(es)

Turkey and Indonesia’s in-betweenness compared: linkage between domestic diverse identities and external balancing acts:

“Since the mid-2000s, the world has increasingly witnessed the emergence of new poles of powers from the Global South challenging the long prevailed global distribution of power among the immediate post-Cold War era’s winning Western countries” (Parlar Dal 2022: 1). Established in 2008, G20 marks the milestone of global reshuffling of power balance.

In the era of multipolarity, rising economies and states may favor a transformation of global order to better reflect the distribution of power. In 2013, Fontaine and Kliman estimates that:

“The more likely scenario is fragmentation of the global order. Principles which the
order has advanced would become less universally binding; different parts of the
world would interpret and apply the order’s principles based on local consensus or the
desires of the regionally dominant power. And institutions and arrangements that have
successfully regulated key areas of state behavior would become less effective as they
are replicated. Such fragmentation would be inimical to all countries that depend upon
an open and stable world for their peace and prosperity” (97).

While “changes to the balance of power over time” may be the “primal engine of conflict” (Kirshner 2022: 14), if such transformation can be wisely managed by both established powers and newly emerged giants, the new global order has the potential to become more democratic and just.

As neighbors to the EU and Japan, Turkey and Indonesia have the greatest potential to become the new regional hegemons, if they have the purpose in mind and the capacity to act. While the mounting normative dissensus and contestation over the world order are as old as international relations, with the rise of China and assertive moves of Russia around the 2010s, it has since been manifesting itself in a starkly intense manner. Following this development, Turkey and Indonesia as in-between states could enable the bridge among contesting worldviews. Nevertheless, one shall not be naïve as to dismiss their own political and economic agendas which remain contingent at best.

Before comparing the in-betweenness of Turkey and Indonesia in both their internal and external dimensions, it is crucial to first define in-betweenness.

Definition of In-betweenness:

In-betweenness is defined as geographical, historical, political, and cultural intertwining identity and positionality which are not only conditioned by the spatial attribute of one state in relation to others, but also, if not more so, realized and performed by state actors in contingent manners.

In-betweenness of states is characterized by the geographical affiliation with continents, such as Turkey lying in the middle of Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is also performed by the multiple national attachments and importantly, potential rejection as well. Such that in-betweenness transcends the binary distinction of identity and belonging. In portraying the ambiguity in post-colonial state identity, Bhabha (2012) articulates that it “lies in the stage of colonial signifier in the narrative uncertainty of culture’s in-between” (Bhabha 2012: 180). The ambiguity, in turn, could be strategically played out in advancement of political objectives when actors see fit.

In-betweenness of states is characterized by the geographical affiliation with continents, such as Turkey lying in the middle of Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is also performed by the multiple national attachments and importantly, potential rejection as well. Such that in-betweenness transcends the binary distinction of identity and belonging. In portraying the ambiguity in post-colonial state identity, Bhabha (2012) articulates that it “lies in the stage of colonial signifier in the narrative uncertainty of culture’s in-between” (Bhabha 2012: 180). The ambiguity, in turn, could be strategically played out in advancement of political objectives when actors see fit.

In the academic literature, similar terms to in-between states include, while not limited to, torn countries (Huntington 1993) and cusp states (Herzog and Robins 2014). In The Clash of Civilizations? (1993), Huntington characterized Turkey as “the most obvious and prototypical torn country” (42) as it bridges three continents and host to a plethora of identities.

The multiplicity of belonging lies in both internal and external dimensions of the state. The influence of domestic and foreign policies on each other goes both ways. While the external behavior of the state can be conditioned by the imagined judgment of domestic audiences, the external political dynamics also formulate and shape the identity construction of citizens and subjects. As the nature of politics, the crosscutting lines of attachment coexist in an uneasy and dynamic equilibrium.

In The Role, Position and Agency of Cusp States in International Relations (2014) edited by Herzog and Robins, Chan defines cusp states as:
“those that are under some significant cross influence or pressure. This broad definition
captures a diverse and rich array of phenomena whereby governments and societies are
subject to possible identity dissonance, cultural ambivalence, or strategic vulnerability.
At the same time, their rather special position at the crossroads of cultures, or as
occupants of a pivotal strategic position, confers upon Cusp States important advantages
and opportunities to exploit their cultural versatility, to adapt to international trends, and
to hedge and balance against competing foreign powers…and that gives their diplomacy
special standing, leverage and credibility in the eyes of pertinent foreign audiences.
Being located at the intersection of competing foreign spheres of political or cultural
influence, and having often attained rather impressive socio-economic-political
development, some Cusp States have managed to gain effective diplomatic autonomy in
the shadow of their larger neighbors” (168).

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Personal Methods-Specific Bibliography (So Far)

Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Indonesia (2023)

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World Bank, GINI index, Turkey and Indonesia compared

World Bank, Indonesia (

World Bank, Turkey (

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World Bank, World Integrated Trade Solution, Turkey

Selected Case Studies

Methodological Strategy: Triangulation of data will be mobilized. Guided by previous research, quantitative survey data and statistical data on economic performance, this paper will conduct semi-structured elite interviews (and decision-makers in the EU and Japan, as well as their neighborhood countries, ASEAN officials, scholars, NGO activists, business operators, etc.), and content analysis of relevant policy frameworks and instruments to process-trace the transformations in economic conditions and political characters of the neighborhood countries, and the adaptive strategies of the EU and Japan to strengthen their democratic support in the regions. A number of detailed archival analysis and media mapping will also be conducted to enrich the comparative political analysis.

Change and Continuities of Turkish in-between: from Kemalist-western modernization to neo-Ottoman foreign policy, promoting multipolarity while advancing Islamic ideologies:

“The most prominent representation of Turkey as in-between has been in reference to Europe and the Middle East” (Altunışık 2014: 25). As such, it “has ties with all, and different levels of historical and cultural affinities with each, and yet is not completely grounded in any of the surrounding regions” (26-27). The inbetweenness has been at times employed in its advantage, while others, it has been suppressed by the embracement of one identity above others (27).

In 2002, the AKP came to power. In 2003 Erdoğan became the Prime Minister. In 2004, Erdoğan’s Chief Adviser Ahmet Davutoğlu announced Zero Problems with the Neighbours as one of the leading principles of Turkish foreign policies. In his own words, Turkey “should be seen neither as a bridge country which only connects two points, nor a frontier country, which sits at the edge of the Middle East or the West” (Davutoğlu 2007). Instead of limiting Turkey to the two blocks, Davutoğlu argues that “Turkey’s new geographical imagination, based on its geography, history and identity, accorded it a new role in mediating” (Altunışık 2014: 36) and wide engagement with the neighborhood, ranging from Africa to Western Balkans.

According to Eralp (2016), “Turkey’s transition into active international mediation started as a personal initiative of then–foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in late 2000s” starting from the “dispute between the Palestinian factions, Israeli control of Golan Heights, ongoing civil war in Somalia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s rocky relationship with its neighbor Serbia” (xiii). And despite “Turkey’s general failure to facilitate agreements in most of its mediation efforts, this foreign policy tool became useful domestically” (Altunışık 2014: 38).

Along the same line, changes in foreign policy approaches were often “developed ad hoc by the AKP government due to events on the ground, sensitivities of Turkish public opinion and concerns of the AKP leadership” (Altunisik and Cuhadar 2010: 389).

Beyond efforts at domestic recognition, “Davutoğlu’s preference for establishing multiple bilateral alliances on a regional basis, and improved relations with neighboring countries” was also aimed at counterbalancing “traditional allies such as the US, the EU and NATO” (Herzog 2014: 47).

As discussed in the previous sections, while the AKP government implemented neoliberal and democratic reforms during the early 2000s, the systematic denial of EU membership acts as an invitation for them to change course strategically. Graph 4 shows 2005 as the turning point of Turkish democratization efforts, in parallel to the return of the vicious cycle in EU membership application. Turkey also starts to rebalance the external relations (Triantaphyllou 2014) by distancing itself from the west and establishing relations with partner such as Russia, from whom Turkey purchases several weapon systems such as the polemical S-500 aerial missile defense system.

However, the authoritarian turns from 2005 and exacerbated in the 2010s (Tziarras 2022) weren’t without consequences for the consistency and legitimacy in its mediating endeavors. Indeed, the “gap between the pro-democracy rhetoric in Turkey’s foreign policy and its authoritarian domestic politics is a threat to the credibility of Turkey as a mediator” (Eralp 2016: xiv).

With the domestic presidentialization of politics, autocratization, insistence on neoliberalism, and promotion of political Islam (Roy 1994), “Turkey’s in-betweenness has been undermined, ultimately weakening Turkey’s position and role” (Altunışık 2022: 1) because it “limits Turkey’s pragmatism and flexibility as a mediator in protracted conflicts” (Eralp 2016: xiv). The anachronistic ambition of the AKP to restore the Ottoman past was also called upon by critics as under the call for multipolarity, the expansionist pursuit may well be hidden.

Continuity of Indonesian in-between: pragmatism and balance of power:

Indonesia’s “foreign policy doctrine of ‘bebas dan aktif’ (‘free and active’) was coined by then-Vice President Muhammad Hatta in 1948 as a response to the polarization of the emerging Cold War” (Pitsuwan 2014: 237). In the same speech, he succinctly describes the danger of living in-between bipolar giants as rowing between two reefs (Novotny 2010: 300-301). Retrospectively, this vivid illustration still applies to the entangled rivalry characterizing today’s great power competitions.

According to Sukma (2003), the
“politics of bebas-aktif as defined by Hatta consisted of four significant premises.
First, the conduct of Indonesia’s foreign policy should be based on an ideological
foundation: the state’s philosophy of Pancasila. Second, foreign policy should be
aimed at safeguarding the national interest as defined by the state’s Constitution.
Third, the pursuit of national interests would be best served through an independent
foreign policy. Fourth, Indonesian foreign policy should be conducted pragmatically,
namely, it should be resolved in the light of its own interests and should be executed
in consonance with the situations and facts it has to face” (25).

While “the foundational nature of Indonesia’s independent and active doctrine is a ‘constant,’…its implementation could be ‘recalibrated’” (Laksmana 2018: 118) depending on the needs at the moment.

Founder and leader of the Non-Aligned Movement since the Cold War era, Indonesia’s in-betweenness has been operationalized as “policy of equidistance” and “balancing act” by former president Abdurrahman Wahid (1999-2001). And by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as “a thousand friends, zero enemy” echoing Turkish former PM Ahmet Davutoğlu’s Zero Problems with the Neighbours (2004) doctrine.

“When Yudhoyono proclaimed the ‘thousand friends, zero enemy’slogan of his foreign policy, Jokowi bluntly stated, ‘What’s the point of having many friends but we only get the disadvantages? Many friends should bring many benefits’’’ (Sulaiman 2019: 616). Following this line of thinking, Indonesian in-betweenness can be characterized as characterized as attracting FDI from diverse state actors in order to counterbalance one from another, in particular, the US, China, and Japan.

In Novotny (2010)’s words, “the current process of China’s ascendancy is welcome in Jakarta insofar as it helps Indonesia to eliminate negative implications of the perceived assertive and unilateralist policies of the United States. Yet, the discussion on China also highlighted the elite’s continuing deep-rooted suspicions and uneasiness about Beijing’s perceived expansionist aspirations” (248).

Indonesian stance towards China illustrates its in-betweenness in a peculiar way as it relates to the fear/respect complex for the Chinese dominance in the distant past, the discrimination and stigmatization towards the ethnic Chinese population in Indonesia as they control most of the economic resources and holdings, the deep distrust towards China due to its expansionist threat, and the desperate need for Chinese investment for infrastructure-building. The back and forth of Widodo towards the competing claims of sovereignty in South China Sea illustrates this complex vividly: “a few months after renaming waters around Natuna Island into North Natuna Sea, Indonesia in the end quietly backtracked on renaming the sea” (Sulaiman 2019: 618). For Indonesia and other southeast Asian countries, balancing between national sovereignty along with territorial integrity and trade relations with China is equivalent to walking on the tightrope.

In short, facing the existential threat from and economic dependence on China, “Australia, Japan, India and ASEAN countries are all considered as important elements in Jakarta’s hedging strategy…Indonesian policymakers clearly want the country’s foreign relations to remain on an open course, and remain multidirectional” (Novotny 2010: 289).

Comparison between Turkish and Indonesian in-between:

From the analysis above, one observes that Turkey’s in-between character has been shaped by the gradual abandonment of EU membership aspiration in the mid2000s, and the pursuit to establish diplomatic relations with non-western countries. This runs parallel to the autocratization and concentration of power in the hands of the AKP ruling elites with the instrumentalization of Islam for political gains.

However, in Indonesia, while there is constant recalibration of foreign policies facing changing political environment at home and abroad, non-alignment has remained the strategy to counterbalance one power from another. Since the establishment of the bebas dan aktif (free and active) foreign policy doctrine, it has served as the lighthouse to guide the policy makers in troubled waters, as to how to row in two reefs without getting the boat sinking. Nonetheless, when examining the trade dependency of Indonesia on China (in 2020, China is the top trading partner of Indonesia. It represents 19.48% of export market to Indonesia, and 10.5% of total import, see the table in Appendix), the aspiration remains largely constrained by economics. However, Indonesia welcomes other trade partners to mitigate the consequences of over-reliance and potential political influence of China through trade.

Comparatively, with the legacy of NAM, Indonesia tends to avoid choosing sides systematically. Turkey, on the other hand, has been historically aligned with the western camp since the Kemalist establishment, with NATO membership and application of EU membership. However, with the domestic autocratization under AKP, de-Europeanization (Tomini and Gürkan 2020) has been undergoing for more than a decade. In the Turkish context, what characterizes the in-betweenness is the distancing from the western partners in parallel with the bridging efforts with nonwestern allies. This is often portrait domestically by the AKP with nationalist sentiments, with slogans such as the “Turkish Century” widely employed ahead of the presidential campaign in May 2023.

In short, contrary to Turkey, who experiences re-orientation of foreign policies with its main partners, Indonesia experiences more continuity than change in terms of the overarching principle of pragmatism and the enterprise of power balance.

Key Findings (So Far)

We live in extraordinary moments in world history. With rising multipolarity, conflicting claims over the global order are also on the rise.

Underneath the EU’s normative discourse on democracy and the rule of law, lies the projection of power and strategic interests of industries. In practice, democracy does not come alone. Democracy comes with many conditions and impositions. The lens of classical realism equips us with attentiveness to the relation and employment of power for politically determined ends. In the age of intense great power competition with entrenched interdependency, in-betweenness allows states to maneuver diplomatic relations. As the external dimension of politics is intricately linked to the domestic one, the way in-betweenness is employed shapes the perception of actors regarding their identities with reference to the others.

While in-betweenness in Turkish foreign policy has transformed from western alignment to the distancing from this club following the sense of rejection by the EU and AKP’s consolidation of power, the presence of Japan and the US is welcomed by Indonesia as they offer counterbalance weight to resist Chinese domination.

Only when regional powers like the EU and Japan understand the nature of the political dynamics in their respective neighborhoods, can they effectively cater to the needs of their regional partners, notably Turkey and Indonesia. While this is not a guarantee of diplomatic success, it significantly enhances the legitimacy and credibility of the EU and Japan vis-à-vis their counterparts to foster a more harmonious approach in their respective regions.

In the age of uncertainty, “global engagement on each issue will” no longer resemble “a boxing match—where victory and defeat can be rapidly judged in terms of decisive punches or counter punches—as it will a chess grandmasters’ game, where each move will have to be mindful of several other pieces on the board and the game is played as part of a long strategic interaction” (Khilnani et al. 2012: 9).

Beyond NAM, non-alignment also occurs between normative discourse and practice on the ground. To mitigate this discrepancy to foster a more peaceful and just world order, established power needs to address the real concerns of the emerging powers. And the emerging powers need to seek the common good of global peace and justice. How to translate this ideal to practice is the common struggle of all humankind. And this paper hopes to contribute to this common endeavor no matter how modest this contribution may be.

Social Relevance of your Research

To address the stated research puzzle and questions, this study will mobilize the interdisciplinary literatures on the political economy of democracy/ democratization and economic development, coupled with the literature on the competing governance models (namely the liberal democratic vision and the authoritarian ones promoted by Russia and China). The necessity to draw references from the intersection of politics, economics, and governance could be summed by Kolodziej (2022): “Given the porousness of state boundaries, global politics is no longer just a struggle among nations for power, nor just what economic system will produce the most material wealth and equitably distribute that welfare among a population. Nor is the struggle just about who has a right to rule and who is obliged to obey. All three dimensions of governance – the geopolitical order, global economic systems, and contending claims of legitimacy – must be understood, as the moving, perpetually interactive, and mutually contingent parts out of which human societies fashion an effective and legitimate government” (xii). Given the interdependent nature of global economy, how the EU and Japan can help foster a more democratic, just, inclusive, and sustainable neighborhood without overtly harming its economy (given trade relations with China and to a lesser extent Russia) may be an important issue in the second part of the analysis. All of the above are socially relevant and salient.
Since little, I have always loved to read and explore diverse theme from books, films, documentaries, and other sorts of publication. My passion for social science and humanities has gradually motivated me to pursue systematic approaches, from the Class of Humanities and Social Sciences in Taipei First Girls High School to Sciences Po. The former, beyond the most academically rigorous high school in Taiwan for females, has opened the door of academic research and seminars to me. And the latter has a special place in my intellectual and personal trajectory. It provides me with motivation and means to broaden my perspectives on current socio-political phenomena through its rigorous academic trainings and research. Sciences Po also motivates me to reach my intellectual heights, through the innovative Capstone Report (bachelor thesis), master thesis, and the rigorous academic trainings over the years at Sciences Po (Menton for bachelor and Paris for master) and the University of Pompeu Fabra (UPF) during my third-year exchange.

At Taipei First Girls High School, I conducted my first academic research with two colleagues on the Cultural and Spatial Identities of Southeast Asian Migrant Workers and Immigrants in Taiwan (2016), through the case study on Southeast Asia Bookstore Alliance, an NGO aims to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding and appreciation between South East Asians and Taiwanese, notably with the founding and principle function of book exchange and sharing, while providing Southeast Asian migrant workers and immigrants with a variety of services and activities to help them adapt and integrate into Taiwanese society. Following the publication and presentation of this year-long research endeavor, in various academic seminars and conferences, we have been final-listed as national competitors for 2017 International Geography Olympiad, which I was later qualified as one of the four Taiwanese representatives in this competition held in Belgrade, Serbia, in the summer of 2017. In such research endeavor and the competition, I have gradually realized that I have been intellectually curious about the diversity of mechanisms leading to and affecting people’s decision making, both on individual and collective levels. While culture, religion, ideology, perception are the most prominent cognitive candidates, power, institution, economy, international relations are indispensable for comprehensive analysis.

At UPF, I was a member of European Law Student Association (ELSA) and was selected as one of the four delegates to the 128th session of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in United Nations Commission on Human Rights’ Geneva office. However, upon security check, I was rejected entry on the basis that Taiwanese passport is not recognized by the UN, and that a VISA issued by Chinese government would be required for entrance. After the shock and profound disappointment that the inquiry into civil and political rights are being infringed on the very same basis, I have worked closely with Bureau de Genève, Délégation Culturelle et Economique de Taipei, an informal title of Taiwanese “embassy”, to report such violation of human rights by its very body of incarnation to local and international journalists as well as members of Grand Council of Geneva. The experience in Geneva has made me much more determined to prepare my academic and professional skills to contribute to the transformation of the global society in making it more just, inclusive, and democratic, as a researcher, advocate, and practitioner. Throughout the studies, I have been exploring various fields of work. After making such a tour around the future venues of my professional trajectory, I think returning to the academic realm allows me to critically examine the complex world in which we live. While complete objectivity is unattainable, rigorous academic research encourages one to have a bird eye view on the relation between the self and the world, which we truly need in this chaotic world. When the world is at war, it is particularly important for the academics to step up and propose ways to foster a more peaceful, humane, sustainable, inclusive, and just global society.

The mobility and publication opportunities, the combined advantaged of comparative politics and area studies, with the concentration on the neighborhood area of the EU and southeast Asia are the very attractive elements in the project 14 of GEMDIAMOND’s research and training agendas for me. The repeated moves would mean enlightened and enriched understanding of how the EU and Japan, as well as other link-minded entities could strategically learn from the best practices from one another. With the growing assertiveness of authoritarian powers, liberal democratic countries have to stand firm together. And I truly wish to be able to contribute within my modest intellectual capacity in this regard.
Communication: Presentations and conferences
1. EU-Japan Forum Monday 6 March 2023: Panel ‘Projecting National/Regional Identity and Values: Diplomacy and Higher Education (Brussels, Belgium
2. EUDIPLO 21/04/2023 8th Jean Monnet Doctoral Workshop (Groningen, the Netherlands, online)
3. GrUE 01-03/06/2023 Maison Jean Monnet Second Doctoriales (Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France)
4. École d'Été Interdisciplinaire de l'ITI MAKErs (03-06/07/2023 Strasbourg, France
5. Jean Monnet Module MEDIATE summer school: Turkey-EU Relations in the Wider Neighborhood: Foreign Policy and Security Dimensions Summer School (21/08-02/09/2023, online)
6. SISP 2023: 14-16/09/2023 (Genoa, Italy)
7. EU-RENEW International Conference: Africa and Europe in a Disorderly World: Navigating Complexities in a Changing Global System at University of Pretoria 18-21/09/2023 (Pretoria, South Africa, participation online due to scheduling conflicts)