CFP: Radicalism in Theory and Practice – Hong Kong, 6-8 December 2016

CFP: Radicalism in Theory and Practice – Hong Kong, 6-8 December 2016:
Call for Papers. Posted on behalf of Wing-Shing Tang

For the 8th Meeting of East Asian Regional Conference in Alternative Geography (EARCAG)

Radicalism in Theory and Practice

This is the eighth meeting of East Asian Regional Conference in Alternative Geography. Its objective is to provide a forum for scholars from all parts of the world to discuss critically geographical issues of East Asia (and its related areas).

Like elsewhere, we have recently observed a proliferation of activism and social movements in East Asia. As the backdrop, one could not forget about the activism against the construction of the Narita airport, the student movement in Gwangju and the student demonstration outside Tiananmen Square in Beijing. More recent examples include the strike launched by dismissed temporary workers and labour unions of the supermarket chain owned by E-Land Group; hunger strikes of family members of the victims of Sewol Ferry disaster in Seoul; the Sunflower Protests in Taiwan; the protests against moral and national education in Hong Kong; the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong; and demonstrations outside the Japanese National Diet in response to the enactment of the 2015 legislation for Peace and Security in Japan.

The issue is that these activisms and social movements have seldom been meticulously documented and analysed. Even more serious is that in understanding these events, there is a tendency to draw on theories and concepts popular in the West. This is especially the case for more recent events such as the Sunflower Protests and the Umbrella Movement. These events are usually conceived as no different from the jasmine revolution in Tunisia or the lotus in Egypt: in this view, it is all about democratisation for late-coming countries to be modelled on their more advanced counterparts. According to Andy Merrifield, especially in his new books The Politics of Encounter and The New Urban Question, occupy movements across the world are the manifestation of the new urban question. People gather together to develop a new social contract by the politics of encounter. Deep in his formulation is the prevalence of capitalism and capital logics. Is this the case? Is East Asia another variegated capitalism?

We believe that the world consists of many inter-connected parts. Accordingly, activity and social movements in East Asia would have their emergence both rooted in the region and interrelated with the world. It is the objective of this conference to make sense of the theory and practice of these activism and social movements in East Asia. This would involve researchers from a broad range of disciplines and of practitioners and activists, joining hands in the conference. They could contribute by deciphering the contexts and processes of development leading to the emergence of activism and social movements in their specific region or country, interrogating them conceptually and addressing the possible policy implication of these events.

The objective of this conference is to understand the theme issue of activism and social movements, and other geographical issues. We are interested in the following papers:

  • socio- and politico-economic developments leading to activism and social movements
  • knowledge production breeding as well as deterring activism and social movements
  • on activists, their mobilities and their networks
  • on utopianisms
  • articulations and spaces of capitalism in East Asia
  • geo-politics of capitalism and socialism in East Asia
  • political ecology of the region
  • any other relevant alternative geographical topics

Language: English
Date: 6th – 8th December, 2016 (with a post-conference field trip to the Pearl River Delta region starting 9th December)
Venue: Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University

Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts of not more than 500 words should be sent to before 15th Februrary, 2016.

Organised Sessions

Those planning to organise a session please send the title and description of the session, and the papers in it, to by 15th February, 2016
Registration Fee

  • Participants from the OECD member countries, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong (US$150 (faculty), US$70 (students))
  • Participants elsewhere (US$70 (faculty), US$35 (students))


Participants can stay at the NTT Guest House, Hong Kong Baptist University.
Organising Committee

Amirah Buang (National University of Malaysia, Malaysia)

Byung-doo Choi (Daegu University, South Korea)

Jim Glassman (University of British Columbia, Canada)

Chu-joe Hsia (Nanjing University, China)

Jinn-yuh Hsu (National Taiwan University, Taiwan)

Fujio Mizuoka (Hitotsubashi University, Japan)

Toshio Mizuuchi (Osaka City University, Japan)

Bae-gyoon Park (Seoul National University, South Korea)

Wing-Shing Tang (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)

Programme Committee

Wing-Shing Tang, Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University (e-mail:



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