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Distinguished professor from China to conduct research at the Jagiellonian University

Distinguished professor from China to conduct research at the Jagiellonian University

The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) has announced the results of the first edition of the NAWA Chair programme. As part of the programme, the Jagiellonian University will be visited by Prof. Emilian Kavalski from China, who is going to run the project “Promoting Order in the Period of Turbulence”, together with Dr hab. Marcin Grabowski from the JU Faculty of International and Political Studies. The research will be carried out at the JU Centre for International Studies and Development (CISD) with the support from the FOB Future Society.

The NAWA Chair programme offers universities and other research institutions a long-term financial package from the NAWA that covers the stay of a foreign researcher of world renown as well as the funding for fundamental research from the National Science Centre (NCN). The first edition of the programme was directed at higher education institutions and other academic entities that carry out research in the area of humanities as well as social and theological sciences.  The prestigious grants will be received by 5 universities, which will be given a total of 10 million zlotys to cover the remuneration of the visiting scholars as well as members of their newly formed project teams.

The grant recipients include Prof. Emilian Kavalski from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, who will carry out studies at the JU Centre for International Studies and Development together with the research team of Dr hab. Marcin Grabowski from the JU Faculty of International and Political Studies.  

Uncertainty has always been a defining feature of world affairs. So why then are policy-makers, scholars, and the news-thirsty publics so surprised when the world turns out to be unpredictable?
The contention is that the discipline has increasingly immersed itself in debates on the substantiation of particular paradigms rather than engaging the dynamics of global life. The project “Promoting Order in the Period of Turbulence” (POET) claims that Complexity Thinking (CT) can rectify this trend by providing new forms of knowledge to respond to emerging complex challenges.

By taking CT beyond broad principles to specific theory in a unique, academically-rigorous and highly usable way, the POET project opens important new horizons in understanding the promotion of sustainable order in a complex and unpredictable global life. The investigation pivots on three taxonomies: power, governance, and context. Combining these three perspectives informs the examination of three work packages: Parallel Connectivity in Eurasia, Digital Geopolitics in a Fracturing World, and Engaging China’s Pandemic Diplomacy. The results will be of significant interest across the social sciences, and indeed for all who seek to understand governance and power in contemporary global life.

“Professor Kavalski specialises in Asian politics, with special focus on China, and the theory of international relations, especially the complexity theory, which is closely linked to my own research interests. Hence, we talked to each other at international conferences and recently we have started collaboration on a joint project devoted to complex systems. Inviting him to Kraków is related to the idea of creating the Global Complex Systems Lab at the JU Centre for International Studies and Development, which began last month. Prof. Kawalski’s experience and the development of international CISD programmes will allow to the establishment of a unique research programme and team at the Jagiellonian University, making it one of several research centres in the world to conduct studies in this field,” explains Dr hab. Michał Grabowski, the Head of CISD.  

The project implementation ought to begin in February 2021, but some minor delays are possible due to the pandemic. Prof. Grabowski stresses that the researchers have already begun collaboration related to the planned joint research activities. The CISD is also going to apply for new grants and publish new papers in the field of complex systems. The project is also expected to increase the internationalisation of the CISD and the entire JU Faculty of International and Political Studies, including the cooperation with foreign researchers and research centres and improve the quality of research as well as the impact of its results.

Emilian Kavalski is the Li Dak Sum Chair Professor in China-Eurasia Relations and International Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo (China), and Non-Resident Research Fellow at the Center for Contemporary China Studies, National Chung Hsing University (Taiwan). His work explores the interconnections between the simultaneous decentring of international relations by post-Western perspectives and non-anthropocentric approaches. He is the author of four books, most recently The Guanxi of Relational International Theory, the Book Series Editor for Routledge's Rethinking Asia and International Relations series, and the Central and West Asia Regional Editor for Asian Studies Review.

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