CALL FOR PAPERS

JOURNAL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES XXXV 2023

THE AMERICAN CENTURY & ITS CHALLENGES:
U.S., RUSSIA, P. R. CHINA

It is by now legendary that the 20th century was “the American Century.”  But, did the West celebrate prematurely the implosion of the Soviet empire?  Apart from the “Havana Syndrome,” Putin’s Russia, and its war in Ukraine, remains a major geopolitical rival, with its hackers holding U.S. companies hostage for ransom.  Among communist one-party states–People’s Republic of China, N. Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cuba–“China” poses the greatest challenge.  China’s hackers steal U.S. civilian and military tech secrets, while its trade and investment policies, 5G broadband, quantum communications, and Artificial Intelligence aim to create dependent “vassal” states, undermining democracies abroad, and suppressing dissent at home (laogai-the Chinese Gulag).  Thus, U.S. companies are constrained by lack of parts that are manufactured abroad, including strategic high tech and medicines.  A 2020 student petition demanded the closure of Confucius institutes in U.S., most of which reopened under different names reflecting China’s Playbook of disinformation, censorship, and control, enticing foreign entities with gifts (Trojan Horses), with strings attached.  The question arises: Can the U.S. heal its unprecedented internal social divisions of identity politics, and find the courage to withstand China’s “smoke-and-mirrors” gambit for world domination?  According to David P. Goldman’s You Will Be Assimilated: China’s Plan to Sino-Form the World, “China” has seized the Fourth Industrial Revolution and thrown down the gauntlet globally, seeking the ultimate triumph of its “Made in China” strategy.  Can democracies compete with dictatorships in the 21st century without becoming like their adversaries?  And, can the U.S. declare its economic independence, rebuild its manufacturing, and strengthen democratic institutions, while reclaiming its technological leadership?

This proposed thematic volume has a double-focus:
(A) Russia-Ukraine Conflict;
(B) P.R. China’s Quest for World Dominance.

In (A), we’re interested especially in papers addressing:

    (1) Ukraine’s Struggle for Independence, 1918-1922; 1991-2022, punctuated by Euromaidan (2013), Russian annexation of Crimea (2014); Ukrainian Orthodox Church autocephalos (2019), another pretext for Russia’s “special military operation” in Feb. 2022.  If Ukrainian farmers cannot plant new crops due to war, will there be another Holodomor in 2023?  For geopolitics experts, note that Russia historically wanted buffer states, friendly or neutral.  What are the chances of Ukraine as a neutral country that may join the European Union but not NATO: would such an agreement have prevented the war or restore peace?

    (2) In 1988, there was a celebration of Millennium of Christianity in Rus.  What are the chances for another Vladimir the Great who in 988 united various East Slavic tribes and chose Eastern Orthodox Christianity as a common faith, one ring to bind them all, for a paper on: “Russia-Ukraine: Two Peoples, One Faith.”

    (3) What is the role of Eastern Orthodoxy in the current Russia-Ukraine conflict?  How many tomos will it take to reconcile Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox?  Or, is there a need for spiritual renewal in and out of churches as a precondition for reconciliation and genuine peace?  Eastern Orthodox may find deep spiritual roots in the icon, not the Internet meme, but religious art: cf. Gruenwald, Oskar. 1990. The Icon in Russian Art, Society and Culture. In Christianity and Russian Culture in Soviet Society, ed. Nicolai N. Petro. Boulder, CO: Westview Press: 161-182.

In (B), we are interested in U.S. and other countries’ experience with P.R. China’s quest for world dominance by extension of “soft power” addressing:

   (1) The role of Confucius Institutes as propaganda, control over Chinese students abroad, censorship, disinformation, denial of free speech on such taboo topics as human rights.

    (2) The Soviet Gulag was dismantled by the 1980s in part because it was no longer economically viable.  In contrast, Nicole Kempton’s Laogai, The Machinery of Repression in China (2009), estimated the Chinese Gulag at 3-5 million incarcerated in its system of forced labor camps, prisons, and prison-factories.  But recent estimates are that another est. 8 million were incarcerated in the last 6 years, probably includes at least 1 million Uighurs.  Unlike Eastern Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, there is no large-scale organized dissent in P.R. China, or, at least not visible to the rest of the world due to Chinese Communist Party’s total control.  What are the chances of really free elections, multi-party system, and democracy in P.R. China?

   (3) Many countries around the world are becoming “vassal” states to P.R. China, as much manufacturing, in part by free slave labor in prison-factories, has created a global market for cheap “Made in China” goods from toys and iPhones to medicines.  According to David Goldman’s book, You Will Be Assimilated, “China” has seized the Fourth Industrial Revolution as part of its global trade and investment policies, offering foreign entities, esp. in the developing countries, to build roads, infrastructure, etc. (Trojan Horses) over which P.R. China retains control.  Can nations withstand P.R. China’s gambit that undermines democracies abroad, while repressing dissent at home?

Mss. Deadline: January 15, 2023.  Send 1 electronic file (in MS Word or RTF), including 150-175 word Abstract, typed, double-spaced, in-text citation format, via e-mail attachment  + 1 Both-Sided copy of: 15-25 page manuscript (ca. 5,000-7,500 words), author identification on a separate sheet, via regular mail, to:  Dr. O. Gruenwald, JIS Editor, Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, 1065 Pine Bluff Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA.  Early mss. submissions recommended.  View Mss. Guidelines.  E-mail inquiries: info at jis3.org.