Upcoming Conference “Radical Nationalism and Fascism in East Asia: New Approaches in Research”

Masaryk University, Czech Republic
25-26th Apr 2020
Extended Deadline: 14th Feb 2020

Despite intense scholarly interest in the history of radical nationalism and fascism, the connections between fascist/radical nationalist ideas and particular East Asian nationalist thinkers is an important theme that appears to have been mostly ignored by ‘Western scholars’. The European study of fascism and the study of major strands of East Asian nationalisms and fascisms do not seem to be connected and two well-established academic disciplines – studies of nationalism and fascism studies in East Asia – often seem ignorant of each other. The electoral successes of radical nationalist and right-wing populist parties across Western democracies have increased the interest of scholars specialising in this area. The last decade has seen “fascism” come back into fashion. It is evident that there is an increasing importance of radical nationalist and (neo)fascist movements on the political spectrum, which is part and parcel of a resurgence in authoritarianism that is currently being experienced throughout the world, from Europe to China.

However, despite the deluge of publications trading in the subject with varying degrees of insight, scholarly works that explicitly aim to link the two phenomena, that is, to analyse their contemporary iterations and, especially, to compare their manifestations in Europe and East Asia, are largely absent. Key features of European right-wing populist and radical nationalist parties are nativism, a division of society into two groups (a homogenous and an antagonistic group) and authoritarian ideology. Can we, however, observe similar trends also in East Asia? Can there be any talk of a rise in radical nationalism in societies such as China, Japan and Vietnam in recent years? How to explain the growth of such movements and tendencies?

Similarly, historians of fascism long failed to recognize the transnational character of fascism and radical nationalism and cross-border cooperation between fascists and different radical nationalist movements. Both fascism and radical nationalism has been investigated largely in the framework of national histories. Although rooted in national communities and domestic tradition, fascism is a transnational phenomenon. This is finally being recognized in historiography, as one of the main research topics in recent years has been fascist internationalism and the interactions, entanglements, and cooperation among fascist movements and regimes. But is this also the case with radical nationalism? The research is, nonetheless, mostly confined to European movements, as it is carried out predominantly by ‘Western’ scholars, who tend to ignore both extra-European research and extra-European developments. However, Western imperialism, fascism and Nazism had a huge influence on countries elsewhere in the world, including Imperial Japan and the Blue Shirt movement in China.

The chief aim of this conference is, therefore, to bring together experts from across the social sciences and humanities, from within and from outside Europe and to ignite an interdisciplinary discussion about the origins, nature, ideology and manifestations of fascism and radical nationalism in East Asia, and about transnational links between European and East Asian movements; to study the borderlands of East Asian engagement with fascism, the idea of the authenticity of the organicist ideas of community and nation in the twentieth century whose protagonists recognized affinities with fascism and, later, Nazism. Individual panels will also incorporate a particular conceptual aspect from which to offer a space for national comparisons, including economic policy, and intellectual and ideological transfers.

We will be joined by, among others, Professor Roger Griffin (Oxford Brookes University) and Professor Peter Gries (Manchester University), who will be keynote speakers.

Interested participants are kindly asked to send the title of their presentations by email to ChineseStudiesConference@phil.muni.cz by February 14th, 2020, together with a summary of up to 300 words and a short biography of the author/authors in English. We welcome individual papers and panel proposals. Proposals will be peer-reviewed and chosen by a committee of academics. Each applicant will receive a response from the organizing committee.

Fees: There are no fees payable in order to attend this conference. The organizers will provide meals for the participants during the conference; transport costs and accommodation will be covered by the participants. The organizers will help with finding accommodation.

Publication: If there is sufficient interest, the conference organizers intend to publish a volume of collected papers from presenters.


Possible topics:

  • Methodological questions: was there fascism in East Asia? Can we categorize different East Asian movements and parties as being radical right?
  • Transnational/cross-border cooperation between fascists and contemporary radical nationalist movements
  • What are the key factors that can explain why radical nationalism is on the rise in East Asia?
  • The rise of radical nationalism in Europe and in Asia: A comparison
  • The influence of Western fascism/radical nationalism on countries in East Asia
  • The Blue Shirt movement and the nationalism of Chiang Kai-shek
  • Imperial Japan as a fascist empire?
  • National comparisons, including economic policy and intellectual and ideological transfers
  • Fascist culture in East Asia; fascism as a cultural phenomenon
  • Contemporary radical right-wing and nationalist movements in East Asia: a form of neo-fascism/neo-Nazism?

Visit this event’s website: https://cinskastudia.phil.muni.cz/en/news-and-events/news/deadline-extended-call-for-papers-radical-nationalism-and-fascism-in-east-asia-new-approaches-in-research