Event Date: September 29, 2016 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm Location: FSS 4006, Pavillon des Sciences Sociales. 120, University Pvt., Ottawa
Presented by CIPS and the Security Studies Network
Most analysts and commentators concentrate on one of three considerations when attempting to explain the causes and dynamics of the South China Sea dispute: history, politics, or law. Few consider the role of psychology. In this talk I argue that psychology is in fact the missing piece of the puzzle that ties the other three together. By looking at the role of psychology, we can understand how history, politics, and law are connected to each other, rather than discrete desiderata, and how collectively they render the dispute so difficult to resolve. Psychology does offer a degree of hope, however: for it is through processes of belief change and reference point adjustment that agents and structures eventually converge on a normative understanding.
David A. Welch is CIGI Chair of Global Security at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, and Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. His 2005 book Painful Choices: A Theory of Foreign Policy Change (Princeton University Press) is the inaugural winner of the International Studies Association ISSS Book Award for the best book published in 2005 or 2006, and his 1993 book Justice and the Genesis of War (Cambridge University Press) is the winner of the 1994 Edgar S. Furniss Award for an Outstanding Contribution to National Security Studies. He is co-author of Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation, 10th ed. (Pearson Longman), with Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Hereceived his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1990.