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SARS: Tensions Created by Emerging Diseases and Global Health Governance in an Increasingly Post-Westphalian World

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There is no doubt that globalization has been a force in history , and especially in the past one hundred years. This is extremely evident in the implications of global epidemics. The global response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

There is no doubt that globalization has been a force in history , and especially in the past one hundred years. This is extremely evident in the implications of global epidemics. The global response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) revealed tensions between nation states and international health organization such as the World Health Organization) collectively called "Global Health Governance"). The issue was sovereignty. SARS showed us that there was more state-centric resistance to the Post-Westphalian world than previously thought. Where infectious diseases are concerned, however, the eventual compliance of states with the WHO shows reluctant but tacit compliance with international intervention.

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2012-05

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Underbalancing and state policies: how China interacts with its East Asian neighbors

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East Asia in the aftermath of the Cold War might provide the most favorable case for realist theory due to historical rivalries, territorial disputes, economic competition, great power politics and deep-rooted realist beliefs among politicians in the region. Yet the

East Asia in the aftermath of the Cold War might provide the most favorable case for realist theory due to historical rivalries, territorial disputes, economic competition, great power politics and deep-rooted realist beliefs among politicians in the region. Yet the fundamental realist prediction of balance of power in the region has not materialized. Neither internal nor external balancing in their original senses is explicitly present. This poses a serious challenge to realism and more broadly, western international relations theories for understanding regional dynamics. Several explanations have been put forward in previous research, such as a total rejection of the applicability of realism for explaining East Asian politics, modifying realism by adding new variables, and focusing on domestic variables. Using a neoclassical realist term, underbalancing, this dissertation goes beyond neoclassical realist theory of underbalancing by reintroducing the distinction between external and internal balancing, which has direct implications for the resources needed for a balancing policy and external reactions to balancing policy. In particular, this approach emphasizes the effect of interaction between states on underbalancing. By doing so, it also highlights what is omitted by realism, namely, the agency of the targeted state at risk of being balanced. In other words, the policy of the state that is aware of its risk of being balanced could draw upon foreign policy tools it possesses to neutralize the balancing efforts from others. This notion of state policies influencing the outcome of balance of power is tested with post-Cold War East Asian politics. The cases included China-Japan and China-ASEAN strategic interactions after the Cold War. Based on materials from public media outlets, official documents and recently leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, this dissertation argues that China's policies towards neighboring states- policies expressed variously through cultural, diplomatic, economic and security initiatives- are indispensable to explain the fact of underbalancing in the region.

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2014

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Hunting Baraka: The Spiritual Materiality and Material Spirituality Reconfiguring the Indonesian Islamic Landscape

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Much of the anthropological and Islamic studies focus in recent years has addressed the shifting forms of Islamic piety across Muslim majority societies. The analysis of this shift in Islamic practice and belief has enveloped the changing sensibilities around technologies,

Much of the anthropological and Islamic studies focus in recent years has addressed the shifting forms of Islamic piety across Muslim majority societies. The analysis of this shift in Islamic practice and belief has enveloped the changing sensibilities around technologies, social strata, democracy, law, and everyday life. In light of these transformations, after the fall of the Indonesian New Order in 1998, the performances of Islamic devotional songs (salawat) by Habib Syech bin Abdul Qadir Assegaf (Habib Syech) began bringing millions of people together across Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Although salawat has typically been performed in remembrance of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (mawlid) in localized celebrations. The performances of salawat by Habib Syech, on the other hand, occur fifteen or more times a month with crowds swelling to tens of thousands across multiple nation-states. Habib Syech’s salawat performances furthermore appeal to and bring together diverse Muslim populations that have historically been more divided. Habib Syech’s gatherings reveal how popular forms of piety are shifting in conjunction with profound societal changes in Indonesia and other Muslim communities. In untangling the popularity of Habib Syech’s gatherings, it was not until I became entangled in the rhythm of salawat that baraka, often translated as blessings, emerged as a slippery, elusive, and living helping propel the popularity of this phenomena. The guttural cries of my interlocutors (baraka, baraka, baraka) resonate and summon a methodology that takes the visible and invisible together in understanding the concept and life of baraka. I, like my interlocutors, began hunting baraka as an alternative, living concept that challenges understandings of Islam in Indonesia driven by Islamic civil organizations, prescriptive vs everyday Islamic piety, and Western interpretations of the world as disenchanted. This dissertation is an exploration of new opportunities for understanding religion in the modern world that emerge from the ethnographic field through the life of baraka.

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2021