CFP: The San Francisco System at 70 (abstract deadline: 28 Feb 2021)

Yone Sugita's picture

Dear Colleagues:


We have the following book project. You are welcome to submit a detailed chapter proposal (deadline: 28 Feb 2021).







The San Francisco System at 70:

Opportunities and Challenges in the post Trump Pandemic Era


On the 8 September 2021, the world will witness the 70th anniversary of the San Francisco Treaty of Peace which the United States, on behalf of the Allied Nations signed in 1951 with Japan. The Treaty officially ended the state of war and established relations with Japan. Contemporaneously, the US and Japan also concluded their bilateral 1951 Security Treaty (precursor to the revised 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security) that is still in-force today.  The signing of the  San Francisco Treaty was an important milestone not only for US-Japan relations, but also for the wider Asia-Pacific region. The Soviet Union had opposed the Treaty and did not attend the signing ceremony. While some Asian countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines were invited, the Chinese, Indians and Koreans were not represented. Notwithstanding this, the Treaty established the perimeters by which the American policymakers shaped the post war order, known today as the “San Francisco System”. This references the “hub and spokes” network of bilateral alliances that US has constructed and maintained in Asia. This system has become central to the regional security architecture and is widely credited for underpinning the region’s peace,  security and prosperity today. There is however also a recognition that the Treaty had also effectively crystallised many disputes that could and should have been resolved right after the War.  Some scholars have argued that the institutionalisation of the San Francisco Treaty meant that these disagreements were allowed to fester and ferment into some of the region’s most intractable territorial disputes or geopolitical flashpoints today.


Even though the Asia-Pacific region as a whole thrived and prospered by the turn of the century, there have been important systemic shocks to the San Francisco System. The end of the Cold War, the collapse of the USSR, the rise of China and the series of financial crises have affected the assumptions the region holds about its security arrangements, how problems are framed and possible solutions conceived. Even though the San Francisco System has ultimately endured, regional countries have continue to debate existing arrangements and adjust to minimise the inherent risks and prevent future shocks. In particular, the reign of the Trump administration and their corresponding challenges in US foreign policy, and the ongoing pandemic has threw up numerous questions about the continued salience of the San Francisco system, as well as the roles and future direction of US and Japan in the region.


To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the San Francisco Treaty, the organisers  now invite scholars and practitioners to submit papers to address research gaps on the issues and challenges facing the San Francisco system today.  We are particularly interested in to papers would make a theoretical and empirical contribution to enhance our understanding in:


  1. US-Japan Relations, particular in areas of traditional co-operation that have been disrupted by the Trump administration and the pandemic
  2. US-Japan-Asia patterns of regional cooperation and conflict since 1951
  3. Points of friction in Asia that had its origins in the establishment of San Francisco Treaty
  4. Legacies, achievements and consequences of the San Francisco Treaty, on the domestic politics and cultures Asia-Pacific nations e.g. US-Japan alliance in relation to the divided nations in East Asia; historical debates and legacies of post-war judicial judgements and settlements
  5. Asymmetries and dislocations that have resulted from the mechanisms and workings of the San Francisco Treaty in East and Southeast Asia                                                            
  6. Any other relevant themes pertaining to the San Francisco Treaty or System e.g. Media, Social relations, Health cooperation, Technological cooperation between the US-Japan since 1951


Please submit abstracts to Yone Sugita ( ) AND to Victor Teo ( ) by end of Feb 2021.


Workshop Timeline:


Submission of  detailed chapter proposal approximately 400 words

End of February 2021


Notification of Acceptance:

Mid-March 2021


Submission of Papers:8,000 – 10,000 words including notes, graphics. Chicago-style

(In-text citation with reference list)

18 July 2021


Online Workshop:

25 July 2021


Submission of final Revised Papers for peer review: 8,000 – 10,000 words

1 August 2021



April 2022