Research Activity - Fall 2019

Foppiani and Fatton Co-Author Monograph on Japan’s Emerging Autonomous Security Policy

Fall 2019 ResearchDr. Lionel Fatton and Dr. Oreste Foppiani of the International Relations Department have co-authored a monograph on Japan’s emerging autonomous security policy entitled Japan’s Awakening: Moving Toward an Autonomous Security Policy published by Peter Lang (see below link). In their book, the two authors argue that Japan has been moving toward a more independent security policy since the early 2010s, duplicating the military assets of the United States and re-organizing the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. Fatton and Foppiani posit that Tokyo is facing an “entrapment-abandonment dilemma” in which any attempt to prevent abandonment by the USA vis-à-vis China negatively affects its national security by heightening the risk of entrapment in the Korean Peninsula. A move toward autonomy is the only way for Japan to resolve this dilemma. The new policy is a departure from traditional Japanese security policy and the assumption of everlasting reliance on the United States for protection.

From Job crafting to Duty of Care: Employee well-being initiatives in Geneva

Fall 2019 ResearchJob crafting can be a powerful tool for re-energizing your work life. Dr Liza Jachens offered job crafting workshops to employees in two different settings, one at Collège du Léman International School and the other at the United Nations. Job crafting is about taking actions to redesign what we do at work by changing and influencing the tasks, relationships, and perceptions of our jobs. The main premise is that we can get more meaning out of our jobs by changing what we do and how we think about our roles. Employees learn how to ‘craft’ themselves a job where they can excel, and simultaneously be more aligned to their strengths, motives, and passions. Job crafting has been linked to better performance, engagement and well-being.

Duty of care is being increasingly discussed within the humanitarian community and becoming a vital area within risk management practice for organisation's wishing to better address health, safety, and security issues for their staff. Dr Jachens was an invited guest speaker for this topic at the IFRC Global HR Conference. Around 60 HR professionals from many Red Cross National societies came together to discuss this important topic. Some of the key messages from her talk will be published soon in an editorial paper in Europe's Journal of Psychology entitled "Humanitarian Aid Workers' Mental Health and Duty of Care". A new collaborative occupational health research project between Webster University and ICRC is soon to be launched. Updates will follow soon!

Dr Jachens has also recently qualified as a mental health first aid instructor in order to continue to offer mental health support and training to organisations. This qualification is new to Switzerland, it is the Swiss Version of the Australian Mental Health First Aid programme (MHFA) . It was launched in Switzerland in 2019 by the Swiss Foundation Pro Mente Sana with the support of the Beisheim Foundation. The objective is to provide a first aid training program for mental health problems similar to the broadly accepted principles for physical first aid. "The idea is to train and empower non-experts to provide initial support to people close to them who are developing mental health issues, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or an acute mental health crisis. In the ensa first aid course, specially trained instructors teach basic knowledge about mental health disorders in four modules of three hours each, as well as concrete first aid measures for problems and crises" (https://ensa.swiss/en/what-ensa/)

Foppiani Present Monograph in Leiden

Fall 2019 ResearchOn September 27, Dr. Oreste Foppiani, Associate Professor of International History & Politics and Head of the Department of International Relations, presented his latest co-authored monograph and gave a guest lecture at Webster University Leiden focused on Japan’s new autonomous security policy. A score of curious IR undergraduate students of Webster’s Dutch campus attended the lecture and engaged in a lively Q&A session (Webster Leiden Campus - Webster University USA).

Sociocultural Political Psychology Forum

Fall 2019 ResearchOn the 8th of December the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Webster University Geneva co-organised in London with the Department of Psychological and Behavioral Science at the LSE and the Digital Humanities at EPFL / Swiss National Science Foundation the first meeting of the Sociocultural Political Psychology Forum (SPPF). This forum brings together world leading experts working in areas of research at the intersection between social, cultural, and political psychology. This first meeting was attended by colleagues from five different countries (Estonia, Malta, Portugal, Switzerland, and the UK) and represents a forum for exchanging ideas and exploring new opportunities for research and practice in sociocultural political psychology. The second meeting of the SPPF will take place in Switzerland in the spring and the third one in Portugal next fall.

Publication of Book Chapter by International Relations Department Faculty Member in Major Volume on the Syrian Conflict

Fall 2019 ResearchJubin Goodarzi, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the International Relations Department at Webster University Geneva, recently published a chapter in a major volume on the role and importance of regional and international actors in the eight-year-long Syrian war. The main editor of the volume was Professor Raymond Hinnebusch, a distinguished and long-time scholar of Middle Eastern politics, Syria and the international relations of the region, who is also the founder and head of the Centre for Syrian Studies at St. Andrews University in Scotland, and the author and editor of many books and publications over the past three decades. Jubin Goodarzi contributed a chapter on the role of Iran, the main regional backer of the Syrian regime in the ongoing civil war. Other chapters by prominent scholars covered the involvement of other important actors such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar, Russia, the United States, the European Union and non-state actors such as Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinians in the Syrian tragedy. The book was published by Routledge in the UK, and is available in hardback, paperback and electronic format.

Glaveanu Conference Keynote Presentations

Vlad Glaveanu, Head of the Department of Psychology and Counseling and Director of the Webster Center for Creativity and Innovation (WCCI) gave an invited keynote at the International Conference on Creativity, Emotions and the Arts that took place at the Centro Botín in Santander, Spain, between the 9th and 11th of October. Vlad’s talk was titled “Crafting the future: The role of creativity in economical, societal, and cultural growth” and spoke about the multiple ways in which creativity contributes to the creation, maintenance and transformation of the societies we live in. His session can be viewed online (with a simultaneous translation in Spanish here). This conference was one of the few events dedicated to the links between creativity and emotion and brought together a group of prominent international speakers who considered the many facets of this relationship.

Dr. Glaveanu was also an invited keynote at the ECHA Thematic Conference ‘Creativity Research & Innovation in Gifted Education’ that took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, between the 16th and 18th of October 2019. The keynote, titled “Cultivating creativity, expanding the possible: Sociocultural reflections”, proposed and developed the notion of ‘pedagogy of the possible’ as a way of identifying and fostering the special abilities of each student in the classroom. This was the first time the European Council for High Ability (ECHA) had a special conference dedicated to creativity research and a short video from the event can be viewed here.

Fatton on RTS/TV5Monde and interviewed by Svenska Dagbladet, 24heures, Tribune de Genève, Global Times

Dr. Lionel Fatton, Assistant Professor of International Relations, discussed the evolution of Japan’s foreign and security policies in the TV program Géopolitis. The program was screened by the Swiss public channel RTS on September 29, Sunday, and by the French television network TV5Monde one week later. Géopolitis website.

On October 5, Dr. Fatton was interviewed by the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet on the working-level talks between the United States and North Korea in Stockholm.

In late July, he was interviewed by the Swiss newspapers 24heures and Tribune de Genève on the unstable situation in Hong Kong and its impact on Taiwan.

In early July, Dr. Fatton was interviewed by the Chinese newspaper Global Times on the evolution of Japan’s security and foreign policies toward China and the United States.

Fatton tours Asia and Europe for book promotion

Dr. Lionel Fatton, Assistant Professor of International Relations, embarked in early July on a tour in Asia and Europe to promote his new book entitled Japan’s Awakening: Moving toward an Autonomous Security Policy, co-authored with Prof. Oreste Foppiani. In Asia, he gave conferences at The Charhar Institute in Beijing and at Meiji University and Waseda University in Tokyo. In Europe, he presented the book at the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS11), which took place in Leiden.