Conference Call: Asian Powers in the Eastern Mediterranean

Asian Powers in the Eastern Mediterranean

Conference, 24 September 2021


(09:00-18:00 UTC+3, Izmir)

(14:00-23:00 UTC+8, Guangdong)

(07:00-16:00 UTC+1, London)


Abstract booklet


Click here for the Chinese version



Yaşar University Center for Mediterranean Studies, International Business School of Guangdong University of Finance & Economics, and University of East London Centre for the Study of States, Markets & People (STAMP) are pleased to announce the jointly organized conference on theme of “Asian Powers in the Eastern Mediterranean”.


In the new multipolar world order, several transformations are taking place with significant implications for the Eastern Mediterranean. The region is destabilized by multi-faceted conflicts with the involvement of many local, regional, and global actors. Adding to the contemporary fragmentations, the rapidly shifting global framework is constantly altering the alliances and the balance of power in the region. The consequences of Arab uprisings, Syrian Civil War, COVID-19 pandemic, continuous migratory movements, cycles of violence in Iraq and Libya, problems between Turkey and Egypt, depressing socio-economic pressures, economic crisis in several countries and rising religious movements produce mixed feelings about the future of the transformations of the region.


Introduction of the recent “Belt and Road Initiative” in the mid-2010s, however, aims to enhance trade and investment relationships in the region and with China. China has been undertaking a massive land and maritime initiative for stimulating connection of East Asia to Europe by also passing through the Mediterranean region. Nevertheless, the discoveries of energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean since the 2010s have prompted mounting tensions over the delimitation of maritime zones, transportation routes and energy politics. Despite the region’s exceptional vulnerability to climate change and its extensive renewable energy resources, the competition over oil and gas reserves is ongoing creating multiple conflicts.


Hence, the region represents various geopolitical challenges and is also particularly disposed to international involvement. This conference & special issue will focus on the role of Asian powers in the region through critical geopolitics, political economy, and political ecology perspectives. It will examine the engagement of Asian powers, such as China, Russia, India, Iran, South Korea, Japan in the Eastern Mediterranean, through critical lenses.


Potential research focus might include:

  • How have the relations between the Asian powers and the actors in the Eastern Mediterranean evolved?
  • What forms of relationships – e.g. South-South cooperation, new form of dependencies etc. – are occurring?
  • How to explain the political economy of the Belt and Road Initiative in the Eastern Mediterranean?
  • What is the political ecology of the Chinese green investments in the region?
  • How has been the tone of engagement of Japan and South Korea with the region?


Instructions for authors:

Researchers are welcome to submit an abstract (no more than 300 words) together with max. 5 key words to [email protected] and [email protected]Submissions should also include a title, full name, affiliation and current position of the author. All abstracts will be reviewed within two weeks after the deadline. An abstract booklet with an ISBN number will be prepared. All presenters will also receive a presentation certificate.

*A selection of papers will be considered for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies.


Conference Date: 24 September 2021

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 22 August 2021

Theme: Engagements of Asian Powers in the Eastern Mediterranean

Key-note Speech: “State competition and capital accumulation regimes in the Eastern Mediterranean” by Prof. Vassilis Fouskas

Address for Abstract Submissions: [email protected] and [email protected]

Conference Fee: Conference participation is free of charge.

Place: Online

Language: English

Version in Chinese: Please click here for the Chinese version of this page.

Scientific Board: Prof. Qingan (Angus) Huang, Prof. Emre İşeri, Dr. Defne Gönenç