Panel 5: Soft Security Challenges in East Asia

Date & Time: Friday, 8.04.2016; 14.0018.00

Location: Jakobi 2-130

Panel Convener:

Linas Didvalis (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania),


Soft (non-traditional) security issues are of growing importance among practitioners and scholars alike due to their often elusive nature accompanied by a capacity to destabilize security situations both on national and international level. Cases such as climate change, diaspora integration, cyber or information wars illustrate that quite well. Therefore, there is a need to dedicate more attention to how soft security challenges appear and develop, what response they provoke from governments and civil society, how could these challenges be managed, and what lessons have been learned so far.

The East Asia region is especially prone to tensions caused by soft security issues: China is facing a variety of environmental issues and is the leading emitter of greenhouse gases, liberal and conservative camps in Japan have disagreements about migration and diaspora integration policies, the unsolved historical legacy among all East Asian countries raises concerns about the strategic use of information in public diplomacy and accusations of propaganda. These are just a few examples of topics that will be discussed in this proposed panel presentation. Presenters will prioritize the least analyzed issues and seek to answer such questions as how soft security issues evolved in the East Asia region; what role does each regional power play in escalating or diminishing soft security concerns; how regional powers cooperate to govern international threats.

Panelists (click on the title for an abstract):

Part 1 (14.0015.40):

  1. Linas Didvalis “The Role of National Self-interest Factors in Environmental Cooperation Among East Asian Countries”
  2. Arvydas Kumpis (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania) “Ethnic Minority as a Threat to National Security: the Case of Koreans in Japan”
  3. Ene Selart (University of Tartu, Estonia) “The Development of the Yellow Peril Discourse in the Estonian Media from 1890s up to 1905”

Part 2 (16.0018.00):

  1. Konstantinas Andrijauskas (Vilnius University, Lithuania) “Manchuria’s Contemporary Soft Security Threats to the Central Government in Beijing”
  2. Branimir Vidmarović (Dag Hammarskjöld University College of International Relations and Diplomacy, Zagreb, Croatia) “North Korea as a Chinese Soft Security Factor in East Asia”
  3. Zdzislaw Śliwa (Baltic Defence College, Tartu, Estonia) “China – Japan Relations in the Shadow of Islands Disputes”