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U.S. and the Rise of Asia: A keynote to honor Prof. Kenneth B. Pyle on Oct. 27

Chinese President Xi meets with President Obama during a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Netherlands in 2014.
Chinese President Xi meets with President Obama during a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Netherlands in 2014.

October 26, 2015

kpKenneth B. Pyle is retiring after 51 consecutive years of teaching at the University of Washington. In his honor, the Jackson School will host a keynote speech on “U.S. and the Rise of Asia” on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 3:30 p.m. in the Walker-Ames Room.

U.S. and the Rise of Asia
A program in celebration of Kenneth B. Pyle’s career

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015
3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Walker-Ames Room (Kane Hall 225)
University of Washington, Seattle

Keynote:  T.J. Pempel, Jack M. Forcey Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley


  • Anand Yang College of Arts & Sciences Term Professor of International Studies and History. Chair, Department of History
  • David Bachman: Henry M. Jackson Professor of International Studies
  • Marie Anchordoguy, Professor, Jackson School of International Studies
  • Daniel Bessner, Assistant Professor, Jackson School of International Studies

Concluding Remarks:

  • Kenneth B. Pyle, Professor Emeritus, Jackson School of International Studies and Department of History

Kenneth B. Pyle is the author of numerous books and articles on modern Japan and its history. Pyle has been honored by the Japanese government with the Order of the Rising Sun for his contributions to Japanese Studies. He was also the recipient of the Japan Foundation’s 2008 Special Prize in Japanese Studies.

Dr. Pyle served as director of the Jackson School from 1978 to 1988. It was under his leadership that the School acquired its current structure, name, and stature, making it one of the leading institutions of its kind. Dr. Pyle is also the cofounder of the National Bureau of Asian Research, a nonpartisan think tank with offices in Seattle and Washington, D.C.

About the Keynote

World War II altered the territorial map of Asia in sweeping ways. Most fundamentally it eliminated the colonial empires of Japan, Britain, France, the Netherlands, and the U.S. replacing empires with an order privileging nationalism and national independence.

The new order was also structured by Cold War bipolarity with the U.S. playing a major role in shaping the security and economic profiles of its allies in Asia. The military and economic dimensions overlapped for decades as America’s allies traded largely with one another but rarely across the bipolar divide.

America’s security strengths allowed most of its allies to pivot their legitimacy less on military prowess and foreign confrontations and more on national economic development and improved living conditions for their citizens. The so-called East Asian miracle was the consequence, as economic development eventually swept even prior communist regimes such as Vietnam and China into its orbit.

Yet regional economic success and increased interdependence have not obliterated the impetus toward security challenges and nationalism. Northeast Asia remains particularly riven by nationalisms rooted in security and territorial sensitivities plus a resurgence of dueling historical narratives about the war, how it developed, what it means, and who was most brutally victimized. All of these shifts pose problems for American policymakers as the U.S. seeks to “reposition” itself in East Asia and to attempt to reduce the regional temptations toward xenophobia and security clashes in the interests of enhanced regional interdependence and the integrative powers of economic interdependence.

About T.J. Pempel:

PempelProfessor Pempel was the Boeing Professor of International Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies from 1997 to 2001. Professor Pempel’s research and teaching focus on comparative politics, political economy, contemporary Japan, and Asian regional ties. In 2015, he coedited Two Crises, Different Outcomes,published by Cornell University Press. His other works include Remapping East Asia: The Construction of a Region and Regime Shift: Comparative Dynamics of the Japanese Political Economy. He is coeditor ofSecurity Cooperation in Northeast Asia and editor ofThe Economic-Security Nexus in Northeast Asia.