The Dao of World Politics Book Launch (Video)

Video from the launch of The New School for Public Engagement Professor L.H.M. Ling’s new book, The Dao of World Politics: Towards a Post-Westphalian, Worldist International Relations.

This book draws on Daoist yin/yang dialectics to move world politics from the current stasis of hegemony, hierarchy, and violence to a more balanced engagement with parity, fluidity, and ethics.

The author theorizes that we may develop a richer, more representative approach towards sustainable and democratic governance by offering a non-Western alternative to hegemonic debates in IR. The book presents the story of world politics by integrating folk tales and popular culture with policy analysis. It does not exclude current models of liberal internationalism but rather brackets them for another day, another purpose. The deconstruction of IR as a singular unifying school of thought through the lens of a non-Westphalian analytic shows a unique perspective on the forces that drive and shape world politics. This book suggests new ways to articulate and act so that global politics is more inclusive and less coercive. Only then, the book claims, could IR realize what the dao has always stood for: a world of compassion and care.

The Dao of World Politics bridges the humanities and social sciences, and will be of interest to scholars and students of the global/international, as well as policymakers and activists of the local/domestic.

This event was sponsored by the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy and the India China Institute at The New School.

ERSEH Project Groups

Four Thematic Groups were formed during the October, 2010 Conference, consisting of esteemed scholars from India, China, Nepal and the United States. Each group will work on a collaborative project addressing a different aspect of the ERSEH initiative. Bios of the participants can be found here.

A. Atlas/mapping of the continuities and changes in sacred conceptions of the environment:
- David Germano
- Pankaj Jain
- Mark Larrimore
- Thomas Mathew
- Tudeng Nima
- Pitambar Sharma
- Dong Shikui

B. Dynamics of local knowledge and practices:
- Anil Chitrakar
- Kul Chandra Gautam
- LHM Ling
- Sonam Puntso
- KC Sivaramakrishnan
- Anne Rademacher
- Chukey Wangchuck

C. Urbanization/migration/ globalization:
- Elizabeth Alison
- Narendra Bajracharya
- Sanjay Chaturvedi
- Ashok Gurung
- Xiaoli Shen
- Cameron Tonkinwise

D. Bridging institutions and perspectives: monastery/temple, civil society, government, science-culture interface:
- Du Fachun
- Sumitra M. Gurung
- Nimmi Kurian
- Mahendra Lama
- Deepak Tamang
- Sara Winter

October Inaugural Workshop Resources

The official launch of ERSEH took place at at 5-day workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal (October 24-28, 2010). Thirty scholars and experts from India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, and United States, representing the disciplines of religious studies, environmental studies, international affairs, and Himalayan studies, collaboratively developed the foundational research questions, established project goals, and, began to build a community of experts to explore new perspectives in religion, sustainability, and their policy implications.

Faculty members from The New School — Ashok Gurung, L.H.M. Ling, Cameron Tonkinwise, Mark Larrimore, and Sara Winter — make up the core members of ERSEH.
They led small group discussions on the themes of:
- Dynamics of local knowledge and practices
- Urbanization/migration/globalization)
- Mapping continuities and changes in sacred conceptions of the environment

(See workshop agenda, full list of participants and their bios, and research questions below.)

Culminating with a range of interpretations and perspectives, the workshop was a strong starting point to grapple with the complexities of international environmental policy and the role of religion within it. It laid the groundwork for the next few years as ICI continues to spearhead further inquires on the Himalayas’ pressing issue of environmental policy and climate change.

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