Past Event

'The Ripple Effect: China’s Complex Presence in Southeast Asia' with CWP alum Enze Han

March 25, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
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Abstract: Many studies of China's relations with and influence on Southeast Asia tend to focus on how Beijing has used its power asymmetry to achieve regional influence. Yet, scholars and pundits often fail to appreciate the complexity of the contemporary Chinese state and society, and just how fragmented, decentralized, and internationalized China is today.  This talk points out that a focus on the Chinese state alone is not sufficient for a comprehensive understanding of China's influence in Southeast Asia. Instead, we must look beyond the Chinese state, to non-state actors from China, such as private businesses and Chinese migrants. These actors affect people's perception of China in a variety of ways, and they often have wide-ranging as well as long-lasting effects on bilateral relations. Looking beyond the Chinese state's intentional influence reveals many situations that result in unanticipated changes in Southeast Asia. This talk proposes that to understand this increasingly globalized China, we need more conceptual flexibility regarding which Chinese actors are important to China's relations, and how they wield this influence, whether intentional or not.

Bio: Dr. Enze Han is Associate Professor at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong. His recent publications include The Ripple Effect: China’s Complex Presence in Southeast Asia (Oxford University Press, 2024), Asymmetrical Neighbors: Borderland State Building between China and Southeast Asia (Oxford University Press, 2019), Contestation and Adaptation: The Politics of National Identity in China (Oxford University Press, 2013), and various articles appearing in The Journal of Politics, International Affairs, World Development, The China Quarterly, Security Studies, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies among many others. During 2015-2016, he was a Friends Founders' Circle Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, United States. His research has been supported by the Leverhulme Research Fellowship and British Council/Newton Fund. He has been awarded the Distinguished Fellow on Contemporary Southeast Asia by the Lee Kong Chian NUS-Stanford Initiative on Southeast Asia in 2021. Dr. Han received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the George Washington University, and he was also a postdoctoral research fellow in the China and the World Program at Princeton University.

This event is a hybrid with both in-person attendees and an online audience. It is sponsored by the China and the World Program and co-sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. To register for the online event please register here or If you are attending in-person, please go to 'INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BUILDING AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - 420 W. 118TH ST., NEW YORK, NY 10027 ROOM 918' 

Enze Han HKU 2021 Headshot