EUAP Annual Conference: Security Communities and Security Risk Management in Europe and East Asia

Summary of the Conference 2013:

Speakers in Panel session 1

Effective security risk management is a growing challenge for governments around the world. New security challenges – ranging from humanitarian intervention to terrorism and environmental degradation – have become major concerns in their own right. However, there are crucial differences between the way security is generated and organized in different regions around the world.

This was the main topic of the first annual EUAP conference that was held on November 28-29, 2013 at the University of Hong Kong. Participants from Hong Kong, Europe, and South East Asia discussed a variety of aspects and dimensions of the concept of ‘security communities’ and the diverging pathways that have emerged in the security governance architecture in Europe and East Asia. By centering the discussion around the notion of ‘security communities’ the conference addressed the possibilities and limitations of creating salient security governance mechanisms on a continental scale.

Around 30 participants joined the conference.

In Europe the logic of interstate rivalry and mistrust has largely been overcome due to a combination of alliance commitments (NATO), institution-building (EU), the emergence of common legal frameworks, and growing trade interdependence. But in East Asia, increasing trade has not brought about significant cooperation on defence and security matters. Instead, the prospect of a more influential and powerful China has triggered anxieties among its neighbours, a theme that was widely discussed at the conference.

Prof. Richard Whitman

The conference participants analysed the different trajectories of security risk management in Europe and East Asia, shed light on significant security challenges (Korean peninsula, Taiwan straits, maritime conflicts in the South China and East China seas, border conflicts), explored common Sino-European endeavours of security cooperation (in Africa or on climate change), and examined political and cultural factors (rule of law, political cultures, meaningful attempts to deal with historical traumas and conflict legacies) that influence the effectiveness of security governance arrangements.

This conference is part of a broader engagement of the EUAP to explore the evolution of security in the 21st century and to investigate the roles Asia, China, and Europe play in security terms. Over the next few years, we plan to dedicate further events and workshops to this topic.

Speakers, representatives from the consul-general and participants on the 1st day
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