Call for Papers – The Broken Umbrella – Shifting Security Architecture in Europe and the Asia-Pacific


Call for Papers for international workshop on 9-11 December 2020 in Antwerp (Belgium)

-deadline for submission: 1 June 2020
-Notice of acceptance: 1 July 2020


On 9-11 December 2020 UCSIA organizes an academic workshop on shifting security architecture in Europe and the Asia-Pacific at the University of Antwerp.

Regional fears of possible US disengagement in the post-Cold War era were initially about Washington’s political willingness. However, America’s relative decline has gradually turned the question into that of US ability to sustain its security commitments, as well as a matter of alliance burden-sharing. Notwithstanding the significant increase in America’s defence budget, President Donald Trump’s “America first” foreign policy has questioned the credibility of the US alliance commitments. The perceived Russia threat, especially in the Eastern part of Europe, and the perceived China threat, notably in Asia’s maritime domain, have raised European and Asian “abandonment” concerns, respectively.

This is an opportune time to comparatively examine regional responses to the perceived decline in US alliance credibility by focusing on the period from the early to mid-2000s onwards.

Confirmed guest lecturers:

  • Stephen G. Brooks, Professor of Government at Dartmouth College
  • Emil Kirchner, Jean Monnet Professor and Emeritus Professor at the University of Essex
  • Sten Rynning, Professor of International Relations at the Department of Political Science and Head of the Center for War Studies at the University of Southern Denmark
  • Yoichiro Sato, Professor in the College of Asia Pacific Studies and Dean of International Cooperation and Research, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Tokyo
  • Thomas S. Wilkins, Senior Lecturer in International Security at the University of Sydney and Senior Visiting Fellow at the Japan Institute for International Affairs

The workshop consists of a two-day international meeting with specialized lectures and presentations and debates by invited senior and junior scholars. The aim is to offer a platform to scholars to present their research on the topic and exchange their ideas on research findings. Such a meeting may open up new multidisciplinary horizons to think about the topic.

We invite theoretical and empirical papers on the following themes and questions:

  • Given the changes in America’s willingness to maintain its security commitments as a result of its relative decline, how are the US-led alliances in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region being transformed in terms of objectives, burden-sharing and operational capabilities? Is there a strengthening or a weakening of the examined alliance relationships? To what extent are the interests of the allies diverging?
  • How are the American allies responding to the changing power relations beyond their alliance framework with the US, both intra-regionally and inter-regionally (i.e., at the Europe-Asia level)? What are the main trends in alignment formation?
  • What accounts for the similarities and differences between the alliance and alignment dynamics in the two regions?
  • Based on the current trends in alliance transformation, what are the future prospects for the US-led alliances from both a short-term (5 years) and mid- to long-term (10-15 years) perspective?

The main contribution of the proposed workshop to the current scholarly debates on US-led alliances will be its comprehensive and comparative aspect. Not only will the workshop provide an in-depth examination of the transformation of the American-led alliances, as well as of US allies’ responses to potential American disengagement from regional security, it will also place this analysis within a comparative framework by bridging the dynamics in the European and Asian-Pacific contexts. This will also allow for a more accurate projection of current trends into the near- to mid-term future, as well as for the formulation of specific future scenarios on the evolution of alliances and alignments, in general.

Read more.


Practical information

Call for papers – The Broken Umbrella:
Shifting Security Architecture in Europe and the Asia-Pacific
for international workshop
on 9-11 December 2020 at the University of Antwerp (Belgium)
deadline for submission: 1 June 2020

Barbara Segaert, Project Coordinator
E |
T | +32 (0) 3 265 45 94

Doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers are welcome to submit a well written paper proposal, related to the main topic of the workshop and representative of their research work, indicating the methodology and theoretical underpinning of their research. The application deadline is 1 June 2020.