Past Events

On Monday, April 14, 2014, the American Politics and Policy Program at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies and the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat co-hosted a roundtable discussion with Dr. Kent E. Calder, Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, Director and Professor of Japan Studies, and Acting Director of Korean Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies at the John Hopkins University.

Dr. Calder was in Seoul to discuss his latest book, Asia in Washington: Exploring the Penumbra of Transnational Power (Brookings Institution Press, 2014).

About the Book

In Asia in Washington, longtime Asia analyst Kent Calder examines the concept of “global city” in the context of international affairs. The term typically has been used in an economic context, referring to centers of international finance and commerce such as New York, Tokyo, and London. But Calder extends the concept to political centers as well – particularly in this case, Washington, D.C.

Improved communications, enhanced transportation, greater economic integration and activity have created a new economic village, and global political cities are arising within the new structure – distinguished not by their CEOs or stock markets but by their influence over policy decisions, and their amassing of strategic intelligence on topics from national policy trends to geopolitical risk.

Calder describes the rise of Washington, D.C., as perhaps the preeminent global political city – seat of the world’s most powerful government, center of NGO and multilateral policy activity, the locale of institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, and home to numerous think tanks and universities.

Within Washington, the role of Asia is especially relevant for several reasons. It represents the core of the non-Western industrialized world and the most challenge to Western dominance. It also raises the delicate issue of how race matters in international global governance – a factor crucially important during a time of globalization. And since Asia developed later than the West, its changing role in Washington raises major issues regarding how rising powers assimilate themselves into global governance structure. How do Asian nations establish, increase, and leverage their Washington presence, and what is the impact on Washington itself and the decisions made there? Kent Calder explains it all in Asia in Washington.

To view more photos from this event, please click here.

Date/Time: Monday, April 14, 2014 / 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Venue: The Asan Institute for Policy Studies



Kent E. Calder is currently Director of the Reischauer Center for East Asian studies, and the Director of Japan Studies, at SAIS/ Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C. Before arriving at SAIS in 2003, he taught for twenty years at Princeton University, and also as visiting professor at Seoul National University, and Lecturer on Government at Harvard University. Calder has also served as Special Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan (1997-2001) , Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (1989-1993 and 1996); and as the first Executive Director of Harvard University’s Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, during 1979-1980. Calder received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1979, where he worked under the direction of Edwin Reischauer, and is the recipient of the Ohira, Arisawa, and Mainichi Asia-Pacific Prizes for his academic work. A specialist in East Asian political economy, Calder has spent fifteen years living and researching in East Asia, including eleven years in Japan. His most recent work is Asia in Washington, Exploring the Penumbra of Transnational Power (2013), The New Continentalism: Energy and Twenty-First Century Eurasian Geopolitics in Japanese (2012), which was also translated during 2013 into Japanese and Korean. Other recent works include The Making of Northeast Asia, co-author (2010); Pacific Alliance: Reviving U.S.-Japan Relations (2009); East Asian Multilateralism: Prospects for Regional Stability, co-editor (2008); Embattled Garrisons: Comparative Base Politics and American Globalism (2007); and Pacific Defense (1996).