Living in Eastphalia? Encounters with a Post-Western World

Published: Wednesday 29th April 2015

Living in Eastphalia

An unintended outcome of the turbulence that marked the post-Cold War "new world order" has been the gradual shift in the focus of world affairs to the East. Thus, while in the early 1990s commentators were pondering how far Western norms would spread in an environment marked by "the end of history"; today, the debate tends to be about how far Asian ideas will reach.

The workshop aims to examine these propositions by discussing the changes and continuities in the Westphalian framework of global life. At the same time, it will consider whether these transformations suggest the emergence of a nascent “Eastphalian” world order.

Some of the queries that will guide our conversations are:

  • Does the current language of International Relations require new (non-Western) terms and concepts for depicting the complexity and turbulence of global life? Which ones? Why?
  • Are Asian/non-Western international actors becoming more like Western ones, or more different from them?
  • Is the current shape of world affairs qualitatively new – or at least new enough – to demand a paradigm shift in the analysis of international relations?
  • Does the so-called "rise of Asia" (which more often than not is shorthand for the "rise of China") already frame the explanation, understanding, and practices of what still passes for "the international"?
  • What would an Eastphalian International Theory look like? Does it already exist? Is it needed? Or is the "Westphalian" narrative of IR merely being supplanted by an "Eastphilian" one?

Event details

When: 9am to 5pm on 13 May and 9am to 3pm on 14 May 2015
Where: Australian Catholic University, Level 22, Tenison Woods House, 8-20 Napier Street, North Sydney NSW
Registration: Confirm your participation by emailing

For further details visit the Institute for Social Justice website. Alternatively, download the event flyer.

Coming up in May

Living in Eastphalia? forms part of an extensive program of events hosted by the Institute for Social Justice during the month of May.

Email or visit the News and Events page of the Institute for Social Justice website for more information about future events.