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York Centre for Asian Research Updates                    Issue 63, Friday, October 13, 2006

In this issue

Academic Events

 Distinguished scholars to talk on their research at York
  Call for Proposals  UCGS invites graduate student papers for global south dissertation workshop

Asia Job Postings

 CRS seeks regional information officer for Southeast Asia

Research Competitions

 OMAFRA calls for letters of intent for new directions research program

Asia News Analysis

 With North Korea, Bush suddenly finds virtue in diplomacy

Kay Li to speak on her new book on Bernard Shaw and China: Cross-Cultural Encounters

Dr. Kay Li is a Research Associate at the Asian Institute of the University of Toronto and YCAR.  She is one of the founders of the International Shaw Society and has published a number of articles on transnational literary and cultural transmission such as Bernard Shaw and China, Virginia Woolf and China, Bernard Shaw and Hong Kong, and intersections of arts and technologies in contemporary films. Her presentation which focuses on her upcoming book will give a historical-empirical review showing the meaningful presence of Shaw in the development of modern Chinese literature, particularly the drama and the essay, documenting the cross-cultural performances of Shaw’s plays in Chinese in China, examining the cultural interactions between Shaw and his Chinese audience/readers/translators. Date, time and location: Monday, October 16, 12-1:30 pm, York Lanes 270B.

Reminder: David Wurfel Award Competition for scholars engaged in Philippine studies due October 15

The David Wurfel Award provides financial support to an honors undergraduate or masters graduate student who intends to conduct thesis research on the topic of Filipino history, culture, or society. Value (2006): $1,500 CAD. The award is open to students enrolled in York University in social sciences or humanities programs (including the Faculties of Law and Environmental Studies), who are Canadian citizens/permanent residents/protected persons, have a grade point average of at least 6.0, and demonstrate financial need. Application Deadline: October 15, 2006 (date falls on a Sunday and as such interested applicants can submit their applications on Monday, October 16). For more information, visit the YCAR website at:

UCGS Colloquium presents Ilan Kapoor to talk on Foreign Aid as G(r)ift
Wednesday, October 18 (2:30-4:30 pm) Room 305 York Lanes, York University

Ilan Kapoor is Associate Professor and Undergraduate Programme Director at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. His teaching and research are in Development Studies, focusing on participation, democratic theory, and postcolonial studies/politics. Previous to joining York, he carried out assignments with various development agencies, including CIDA, UNDP, IDRC and ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. His talk will draw on Derrida's work on the gift, in which he points out it is ”the impossible” because it is always contaminated (by economy). His paper focuses on the aporia (impasse) of Western foreign aid: on the one hand, the discourse of aid is constructed as non-reciprocated gift; on the other hand, the discursive practice of aid is closely tied to conditionalities, be they ideological (neoliberalism), economic (tied aid) or political (foreign policy objectives). His main argument is that foreign aid regimes have been successful in publicizing the former (aid as gift) and covering up the latter (aid conditionalities) so as to shore up the donors’ national self-image as benevolent and generous. The talk is co-sponsored by South Asia Studies Program.

Hopper International Lecturer to speak on creating a social floor for informal labour in India
Friday, October 20, 12-2:00pm, York Lanes 305

Dr. Ravi Srivastava, Professor of Economics at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, has been invited by the University of Guelph to deliver the David Hopper International Lecture on October 17, 2006 and will come to York as well to share his views on India's social security issues. The talk is co-sponsored by York Department of Sociology, South Asian Studies and YCAR. Below is the abstract of his talk:

The Indian economy has been growing at a rate of about six percent for nearly two and a half decades. Together with Chinese economy it is today considered to be not only the strongest among the emerging economies, but a global competitor to the developed countries. However, India still has one of the highest incidence of ‘capability failure’ and deprivation in the world which is concentrated among poorly paid wage workers and self-employed. The sections of society which bear the brunt of deprivation and increased insecurity form part of the informal workforce which today accounts for about 92 percent of all workers in India. The relative size of its vast informal workforce has increased under the impact of globalisation and reforms. The absence of a clear link between high growth and mass deprivation has led the Indian government to opt for a reform process that is oriented towards the ‘common man’. On the ground, there has been a campaign to extend social protection through a ‘rights’ based approach. In the last few years, important legal and semi-legal entitlements have been created in health, education, employment, access to information and food. The National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector, of which the author is a member, has now proposed a universal national minimum social security legislation, and a floor of labour rights and working conditions. This rights based approach, which has gained wide currency, creates its own paradox, because of the contending claims on the state’s resources in the context of the state’s general bias towards markets and capital. In his talk, Dr. Srivastava will examine possible outcomes of this contention, in a predominant globalised and neo-liberal environment. Dr. Srivastava is a full-time Member (in the rank of Secretary, Government of India) of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector. He is on the Editorial Board of Social Concern, the Journal of Agrarian Change, the Indian Journal of Labour Economics and Sarvekshana.

UCGS invites graduate student papers for global south dissertation workshop

The University Consortium on the Global South (UCGS), York University, is organizing a dissertation workshop for 8-12 PhD students at the end of the Fall semester, scheduled from 5-7 December 2006. PhD students interested in participating in the workshop are invited to submit their 8-10 pages project proposal (pre-fieldwork) or description of research (post-fieldwork), no later than Friday October 28 (4 pm).

Theme: South-North Perspectives on Social Justice Eligibility. Selection Criteria: Applications from PhD students enrolled in Toronto area universities, and whose research engages social justice questions, are welcome to apply. York University graduate students will be given preference, however 3-4 spots will be available to non-York students. The completed or proposed research must involve fieldwork in Global South sites, which includes Global South diasporas and Indigenous populations in the North. Other criteria include: fit with workshop theme, overlapping interests, multidisciplinarity, geographic distribution, gender, etc. The workshop will be particularly useful for students who have recently completed PhD fieldwork, although students preparing research proposals may also apply.

Proposal Submission date – Friday 28 October 2006. Electronic copies can be sent to Joelle Reid, UCGS Coordinator at

The UCGS is a new initiative that encourages critical engagement with what has been broadly defined as the Global South. During the academic year, it hosts a weekly colloquium whose objective is to create a pluralistic open space for dialogue and debate among faculty, graduate students, policy makers, visiting speakers, social activists and NGOs around issues related to human development, equity and social justice, ecology and sustainability, gender, ethnicity, racialization, rural and grassroots development, North-South relations, global-national-local linkages, and public policy. The colloquium also provides a discussion venue for promoting trans-regional and inter-disciplinary approaches to these issues, and in so doing aims to stimulate new forms of critical research, including critical analyses of Canadian policies towards the Global South. For more information on the UCGS, please check their website at:

CRS seeks regional information officer for South East Asia

The Jakarta-based Regional Information Officer (RIO) will build upon and implement a media/communications strategy for the South East Asia region in order to build awareness about Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its programs to the U.S. media. The candidate will provide timely information on CRS activities to HQ staff, U.S. correspondents in the region and U.S.-based news outlets during times of emergency and heightened media coverage.

Media Relations:

1. Develop and implement, in collaboration with the Communications Officer in Baltimore, a comprehensive media strategy for the South East Asia region, focusing efforts on outreach to U.S. audiences – media outlets & CRS donors.
2. Establish and maintain relationships with national and international media representatives based in the South East Asia region to increase awareness in the U.S. of CRS projects and priority issues. Become a vital resource of information for journalists, feed them story ideas and keep them abreast of CRS activities. Consistently seek out newsworthy stories for U.S. media consumption.
3. Serve as media spokesperson for the South East Asia region, under the direction of the SEA Regional Director. Represent CRS in meetings with NGOs on issues relating to media, information exchange, or joint public statements.
4. Serve as regionally based resource for staff on all issues relating to media and public relations, public appearances, and external information exchange. Host media training workshops and communications/PR training for CRS field staff.
5. Coordinate all visits by the media in the field, arrange interviews with key CRS staff when necessary, and provide key messages and talking points to interviewees for interview preparation.
6. Research, analyze, and write press releases, position papers, articles, country profiles for the web, op-eds and other pieces that further the objectives of the CRS headquarters Communications Unit & the South East Asia region.

Story Development:
1. Establish and maintain relationships with HQ-based Fundraising and Marketing staff, including communications, publications, web and direct response fundraising. Become a vital resource of regional stories for fundraising and marketing staff, and keep them abreast of CRS activities.
2. Travel throughout the South East Asia region to gather information on CRS and partner programs. Write compelling human interest and CRS success stories, photos/captions and other public relations information pieces.
3. In conjunction with media and publications staff, coordinate visits of videographers/photographers to the region.

Marketing & Public Relations:
1. Incorporate emphasis on appropriate branding in regional training; ensure that CRS staff who are interviewed or photographed have access to appropriate CRS-branded wear, and, where feasible, that appropriate signage is visible on program vehicles, buildings, and items to be distributed.
2. Provide on-the-ground support for visiting delegations by members of the Executive Leadership Team, bishops, key CRS donors or U.S. diocesan partners.

Qualifications:  Masters degree in journalism/communications preferable; 5 – 7 years work experience in journalism, communications and public/media relations; Solid understanding of U.S. media and U.S. audience; Experience working with international non-governmental organizations; Excellent written and oral communication skills; Overseas work experience, preferably in the developing world.

How to Apply:
To apply for this position please go to our website at  In your cover letter please include requisition number I 06 099, source code IDEALIST and salary requirements. Preferred method of submitting your resume is through: Deadline for application: November 28, 2006.

OMAFRA calls for letters of intent for new directions research program

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is issuing the 2007 Call for Letters of Intent for the New Directions Research Program. Through investment in innovative and high quality agricultural research, this program contributes to the Ontario government’s priorities of “Better Health” and “Strong People, Strong Economy”. The Call for Letters of Intent document and program information can be accessed at the OMAFRA web site:

OBJECTIVES: Letters of Intent are solicited that will generate new knowledge and/or technologies in the following areas: · New Frontiers in Sustainable Production Systems · Organic Agriculture · Capturing Value in Emerging Markets · Environmental Sustainability · Life Sciences. The New Directions Research Program uses a two-stage application process: 1) Submission of a Letter of Intent; and 2) Submission of a Full Proposal (following approval of the Letter of Intent).

DEADLINES: November 1, 2006 at 4:00 p.m. for Letters of Intent; February 5, 2007: Deadline for submission of full proposals at 4:00 PM

York University researchers are reminded that all applications for external research funding, including Letters of Intent, must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Research Services before they are submitted to the granting agency. For internal approval, the application must be accompanied by a completed ORS Application Checklist, which requires the Chair’s and Dean’s signatures. To ensure that the approved application is ready by the agency deadline, a complete application folder must be submitted to the ORS ten (10) working days prior to final submission date. For more info, contact: Office of Research Services, 214 York Lanes, York University,, Tel: 416-736-2100 Fax: 416-736-5512.

With North Korea, Bush suddenly finds virtue in diplomacy, by Marc Sandalow,
Washington Bureau Chief, San Francisco Chronicle News Analysis, October 12, 2006

Washington -- President Bush posed perhaps the two most insightful questions of his own news conference Tuesday, asking himself: "How come you don't use military action'' in North Korea, then following up with: "Why did you use military action in Iraq?'' The answer, Bush stated plainly, is that in North Korea, the United States "remains committed to diplomacy.'' In Iraq, diplomacy had reached an end. His words implied that war with North Korea is not imminent, and they provided a consistent-sounding explanation to two vexing foreign policy matters four weeks before a national election. (Right photo: Anti-North Korea protesters chant slogans at a protest denouncing both the North's nuclear device test and former President Kim Dae-jung's 'sunshine policy' toward the North, near Kim's place in Seoul October 11, 2006. (Lee Jae-Won/Reuters)

Yet many Bush observers marveled at his sudden embrace of diplomacy and offered different explanations as to why U.S. troops are in Baghdad but not Pyongyang. During a news conference Wednesday in which Bush flatly predicted that Republicans will retain their majorities in the House and Senate, took a swipe at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and boasted about the performance of the nation's economy, the most remarkable development was his enthusiasm for diplomacy, the virtues of which he cited no less than 28 times.

"One has a stronger hand when there's more people playing your same cards,'' Bush said, arguing that it is critical to include the Chinese, the Russians, the Japanese and the South Koreans in any negotiations with North Korea over their nuclear threat. "It is much easier for a nation to hear what I believe are legitimate demands if there's more than one voice speaking.''

The endorsement of diplomacy is not characteristic of the president who declared at a news conference in March 2003, the week before the U.S. attacked Iraq, that "when it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission.'' It was Bush who reneged on his promise to bring an Iraq war resolution back to the U.N. Security Council, who walked away from at least half a dozen international treaties and who has presided over a period in which U.S. relations with many traditional allies -- most notably France and other Western European nations -- have been severely strained. So it struck some as disingenuous Wednesday when Bush insisted, "I believe the commander in chief must try all diplomatic measures before we commit our military.''

Three years ago in Iraq, he said, "we tried diplomacy. Matter of fact, we tried resolution after resolution after resolution.'' "It's a remarkable rewriting of history,'' Steven Weber, director of the Institute of International Studies at UC Berkeley, said of the president's explanations.

Weber offered a less politically expedient explanation: Overthrowing Saddam Hussein posed less of a military risk than overthrowing Kim Jong Il. "The immediate goal, overthrowing the Saddam regime, was an achievable goal,'' Weber said.

In contrast, the North Koreans, "even without nuclear weapons, have a million-man army, a huge artillery ... less than an hour's drive from Seoul.'' Coit Blacker, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, agreed that Baghdad was a riper target because it appeared much less risky from a military stance. He added that the war in Iraq has strained the Pentagon's resources as the White House considers options against North Korea. "We're completely overstretched as it is,'' Blacker said. "We don't have the capability to undertake another large-scale theater at the same time.''

Some suggested other explanations for the different reactions to the threats posed by Iraq three years ago and North Korea today, ranging from Bush's desire to keep Middle Eastern oil under U.S. control, a desire to complete the job begun by his father during the first Gulf War and perhaps even wisdom gained from the setbacks in Iraq. "I think this administration and this president have been sobered by what they have encountered in Iraq,'' Blacker said.

Bush tried to turn the table on those who criticize him for not agreeing to North Korea's demand for one-on-one talks, saying peace can be achieved only if the other nations in the region participate in a deal. "I can remember the time when it was said that the Bush administration goes it alone too often in the world, which I always thought was a bogus claim to begin with,'' Bush said. "And now, all of a sudden, people are saying, you know, the Bush administration ought to be going alone with North Korea. But it didn't work in the past. ... I learned a lesson from that and decided that the best way to convince Kim Jong Il to change his mind on a nuclear weapons program is to have others send the same message.''

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice buttressed the president's point by insisting that multilateral talks hold the most promise. 'There is a much better chance of getting them to reconsider their course and to find another way to enter the international system than through threat and intimidation,'' Rice told Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders in an interview Wednesday. "But the best way to do that is to have a coalition of states that have the same interest and can bring pressure on the North Koreans."

At his news conference, Bush defended his characterization of some Democratic critics as wanting to "cut and run,'' quoting Sen. John Kerry as calling for a "date certain" to leave Iraq. "They may not use 'cut and run,' but they say 'date certain' as to when to get out before the job is done. That is cut and run. "Nobody's accused me of having a real sophisticated vocabulary ... and maybe their words are more sophisticated than mine. But when you pull out before the job is done, that's cut and run as far as I'm concerned,'' Bush said.

However, moments later he objected to the Democrats criticizing his Iraq policy as "stay the course,'' insisting the strategy changes to meet changing circumstances. "I think the characterization of, you know, 'It's stay the course,' is about a quarter right,'' Bush said.

Asked whether the war in Iraq would be a drag on his party in November, Bush said he believes the election will be decided by security and the economy. Bush mocked Pelosi, D-San Francisco, whom he inadvertently referred to as the "leader of the House,'' for saying at a speech at Georgetown University last week that "I love tax cuts.'' If she loved them so much, how come she voted against a lot of tax cuts?'' Bush said.

The comment brought a sharp response from Pelosi, who said: "President Bush and his rubber-stamp Republican Congress can't seem to grasp that Democrats have long fought for middle-income tax cuts. This is in stark contrast to the Republican tax breaks for the super rich that have led to a budget that is grossly out of balance and a national debt that is morally indefensible." E-mail Marc Sandalow at

York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). For further information, contact
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