Japan bound - to launch our new dual degree

13 November 2018

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Program Convenor - Bachelor of Asia Pacific Affairs

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Dr Christopher Hobson has joined the Bell School as Program Convenor for the Bachelor of Asia Pacific Affairs – a new program being offered as part of our dual-degree with Ritsumeikan University (RU). The dual-degree program offers students the unique opportunity to study in both Japan and Australia, and graduate with two degrees - from ANU and Ritsumeikan University – in four years.

It is the first undergraduate dual-degree program between an Australian university and a Japanese university, and students will graduate with a ‘Bachelor of Asia Pacific Affairs’ from ANU and a ‘Bachelor of Global Liberal Arts’ from RU. The ANU courses focus on: politics and government, international relations and security, conflict and peacebuilding, history and cultural identity. At RU, students will undertake studies in the liberal arts, considering a wide range of areas such as cultural studies, management theories and technological transformations. This new dual-degree program gives students a unique opportunity to understand the transnational forces and contemporary challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region, and will deepen their understanding of this region’s history, culture and society and its role in the global context.

Christopher will be based in Osaka, Japan where he will be a friendly face and a guiding hand for students enrolling in our first cohort commencing in early 2019. He has been based in Japan since 2010 - first as a Research Associate at the United Nations University, and then at Waseda University for the past five years. Christopher is looking forward to teaching into the dual-degree program, and bringing the ANU student experience to Japan. He enjoys teaching and mentoring students, and is excited to be part of this innovative collaboration with RU.

Christopher is delighted to be back at the Bell School where he completed his PhD from the Department of International Relations in 2009. His main research interests are democracy, non-traditional security, and international political theory.

Christopher will also teach an intensive summer course here in Canberra from 11 to 15 February 2019 on Power, Inequality and Ethics (STST2004). The summer course will explore how actors understand their ethical responsibilities, and how that helps to shape the way violence works, how force is used, and the manner in which communities interact. The course poses questions of how far our responsibilities and duties extend, as individuals, and as a country. For example, do states need to take care of refugees from conflicts they have no involvement in? Do we have any connection to people in extreme poverty in other parts of the world? How do politicians decide on a course of action when every option involves potential harm and damage? How should we live and act in a world marked by inequality, suffering and violence?

These are some of the fundamental issues that our summer students will be grappling with, as Christopher guides them through the ethics of power and inequality.

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