Current Research


Since 2016, Japan has shown remarkable leadership on several dimensions of global and regional economic governance, including trade governance, economic and data governance, regional rules-based order, and environmental governance. How significant is this new phase of Japanese international leadership in historical perspective? What factors are driving this new global leadership? What are implications for Japan’s partners, including Canada, and the US?

Sponsored by the University of British Columbia

Disaster Management in the Asia-Pacific

University of California, Berkeley

Effective disaster management in the Asia-Pacific is becoming a critical issue as the region encounters increasingly frequent and unpredictable natural disasters. According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), over half of the 226 natural disasters that occurred during 2014 took place in this region, impacting close to 79.6 million people. In 2005, the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) formed the Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) to improve regional disaster management and build a more resilient community. However, since then APEC’s disaster-related initiatives, including the most recent “new collaborative platform” introduced in November 2015, omitted considerations of various crucial challenges such as the problem of an uncoordinated bureaucracy, the lack of medical doctors involved, and the absence of gender perspective. This project aims to address these three major shortcomings for which the current disaster management community fails to account.

Sponsored by the Center for Global Partnership, Japan Foundation

Middle Powers in an Age of Strategic Competition

University of California, Berkeley

How will middle powers cope with the rise of Great Power competition in the 21st century? With the rise of China as a peer competitor to the United States, as well as the growth of India, resurgence of Russia, and the retreat of other actors such as the European Union, the question of appropriate policies and strategies for middle powers in a world of superpower competition looms large. Our conference on geoeconomics and middle power strategies, held on October 25, 2019, linked the issue of US-China strategic competition across a host of issues regarding trade, investment, and industrial policy including financial regulation, environmental protection, and the digital economy, as well as to other issue areas in which middle powers operate. This conference was supported by the UC Laboratory Fees Research Program.

BASC is hosting a subsequent conference in May 2021, supported by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, which will address the topic of geo-economic strategic competition amongst middle powers in the Indo-Pacific. Papers will cover the overarching concepts and theory of this issue and specific dynamics in the areas of finance, energy, and technology competition. Papers will explore the impact of renewed great power competition between Washington and Beijing in the Indo-Pacific across these three issue areas.

Great Power Competition in the 21st Century

University of California, Berkeley

In collaboration with UC San Diego, UC Irvine, and UCLA, the Berkeley APEC Study Center has received a large grant from the UC Laboratory Fees Research Program. This project, “Great Power Competition in the 21st Century: The Struggle for Technological, Economic, and Strategic Supremacy” runs from April 2018 to March 2021. BASC hosted a conference on October 24, 2019, focusing on three highly inter-related elements of geo-economic competition with critical implications for strategic rivalry. These are: 1) the pursuit of industrial policy; 2) the creation of new trading arrangements; and 3) the changing landscape of investment. Participants attended from around the globe, with a subsequent conference scheduled for late 2021.