Dr. Zheng Wang is the Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) and Professor in the School of
Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. He is currently also a Global Fellow at the Kissinger
Institute on China and the United States of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Fellow of
International Security at New America, and a member of the National Committee on United States- China Relations
Dr. Wang has extensive professional and academic experience in the Asia Pacific region. He has been a Jennings
Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), a Visiting Fellow at Saltz man Institute of War
& Peace Studies of Columbia University, a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore,
and a Dr. Seaker Chan Endowed Visiting Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Dr. Wang’s research interests lie in three closely connected areas: (1) identity- based conflicts, nationalism, and the politics of historical memory; (2) peace and conflict management in East Asia; (3) foreign- domestic linkage in Chinese politics and foreign relations.
Dr. Wang is the author of the book Never Forget National Humiliation: Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and
Foreign Relations (Columbia University Press, 2012). This book received International Studies Association’s The
Yale H. Ferguson Award for the “Book of the Year.” Its Japanese version 中国の歴史認識はどう作られたのか was
published in Japan in 2014.
Peace and prosperity in East Asia are possible only if the United States, Japan, and China reach a stable balance of power and achieve a high level of cooperation to deal with the dangers to the region. This triangle relationship is currently experiencing its most profound transition and is in its most unstable period since 1972, when the US and Japan realized normalization of relations with China. On the surface, while it appears that this change has been caused by altered geopolitical landscape and power transition, an important driving force however has been the rising nationalism and populism, especially in the United States and China. This proposed research aims to survey the implications of the rising populism and nationalism on this important triangle relationship. This project is a comparative study which will include case studies that assess the impact of rising populism and nationalism on each of the three country's foreign policies, particularly in relation to the other two countries. For a long time, the discussions and debates relating to this triangle relationship have focused on geopolitics and security factors, the role of identity politics, nationalism and populism have not been sufficiently studied, this research strives to better understanding the deep causes leading to the current instability within the relationship. It aims to fill the literature gap and inform the policy communities about the roots, dynamics and the impacts of nationalism and populism on foreign policy. This project will use the case study method and will incorporating both quantitative and qualitative methods. Instead of relying on secondhand information, this research will be based mainly on extensive interviews in Japan, China and the US. This research will also use discourse analysis as the analytical tool and will use a diverse variety of quantitative sources including public opinion polls, surveys, and national statistics for research. This proposed project will be conducted in four phases in the three countries, but a major part of this research will be conducted in Japan. As an internationally recognized expert on nationalism and identity-based conflict, I have undertaken a lot of research on this topic and have published many books and articles on this subject, including an award-winning book on Chinese nationalism and foreign policy. If I were to receive this grant, I would begin my tenure with a half-complete set of interviews from the Chinese and American sides for case studies. Throughout my multifaceted career I have established close collaboration with scholars, officials and media professionals in the three countries and these connections will be extremely useful to this project where I plan to conduct intensive interviews. This research will result in multiple publications: (1) A book on this subject with a deep analysis of the change in the triangle relationship and the role of identity politics in it. (2) One or two policy articles published in leading policy magazines. (3) I also expect to publish opinion articles in major news outlets and give presentations to academic and policy communities in the three countries.