Currently, presentations at the NATO Defense College in Rome, running since 2011, continued with twice-yearly presentations in 2016 and again in 2017 on China, Japan & the Koreas. Similar presentations started at the Baltic Defence College in March 2017 on China and on the Indo-Pacific; while also appearing as an invited discussant on Indian Ocean security at the Foreign Office in July 2017. A range of articles and book chapters continued to appear throughout 2015-2017 on the rise of China, the rise of India, China-India relations, Japan-NATO relation, and on Indo-Pacific geopolitics. Regular guest columnist materials continue to appear at the China-India Brief and the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC).
As a successful lecturer in international relations at Brunel University, from where I retired in 2015, there was particular focus on teaching and research on Asia-Pacific international relations as well as the rise of China and the rise of India in a Western-dominated international system undergoing change. Such teaching and prolific research incorporated the way in which perceptions and images (IR constructivism) play a key role alongside traditional geopolitics, critical geopolitics and power processes.
They also led to presentations at the Ministry of Defence in the UK, the European Parliament in Brussels, the NATO Defence College in Rome, and US agencies in Washington.
East-West themes had initially been pursued by me at Brunel University in its Religious Studies programme with particular regard to Buddhism and to Inter-faith issues; and in its History programme with regard to India, China, and East-West encounters. This progression from religious studies through history to international relations reflected Akira Iriye’s sense of “international relations as intercultural relations“. It came out of my earlier overlaying of a B.A in International Relations (School of African & Asian Studies) gained at Sussex, with an M.A in Religious Studies gained at Lancaster, and a Ph.D on East-West encounters in Afghanistan gained at Lancaster. Consequently from 1984-2000 a swathe of Buddhism-related and inter-faith encounters articles appeared, while from 2001-present various articles on the theme of “Orientalism” (i.e. Western perceptions of “the East”) have continued to appear.