Date: Tuesday, June 13, 2023 6:30 PM
Location: Temple University, Japan Campus (Access) 1-14-29 Taishido, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 154-0004


  • Pascal Lottaz (Kyoto University and ICAS Fellow)


  • Robert Dujarric (ICAS Co-Director)


The Finnish and Swedish accessions to NATO—even though incomplete as of now—have been interpreted in some corners as the beginning of the end for neutrality. Not picking sides in a war of aggression is untenable, they hold, cheering the decisions of some former neutrals to give up their signature foreign policies while berating those who still do not send weapons to Ukraine or sanction Russia. Whatever one’s stance on the policy side is, one point has been lost in the debate: neutrality is not a question of ideology but a fact of conflict dynamics. It just won’t go away. Not even the two World Wars or the 40 years of the Cold War could get rid of the “fence-sitters.”

Neutrality, always and everywhere, is a reaction to conflict(s). The current one over Ukraine is no exception, giving rise to neutral policies in roughly two-thirds of the world. It is a moot question if there should be neutrality or not. Nonaligned behavior of third-party states is a fact of international life and will remain one. There are really only two questions that matter: First, which neutrals will leave the stage, and which ones will be born? Second, will the neutrals play a constructive role in the new global conflict, or will they be relegated to the margins?

This talk will disentangle the neutrality debate by differentiating the legal components from the political and strategic aspects and discuss recent neutrality developments in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Date & Time:

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 18:30


Temple University, Japan Campus Room 304 (Access)


Registration is not required (e-mail to


This event is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).

Note: All ICAS events are held in English, open to the public, and admission is free unless otherwise noted.


Pascal Lottaz

Pascal Lottaz

Pascal Lottaz is an ICAS Fellow and Associate Professor for neutrality studies at Kyoto University. He studies neutrality in international relations and directs the research network He received his MA and PhD from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) and previously researched and taught at Waseda University and Temple University Japan. His recent books include Sweden, Japan, and the Long Second World War (Routledge, 2022), Neutral Beyond the Cold: Neutral States and the Post-Cold War International System (Lexington Books, 2022), and Notions of Neutralities (Lexington Books, 2019). He also wrote articles on “Neutrality Studies” for Oxford Encyclopedia and “The Politics and Diplomacy of Neutrality” for Oxford Bibliography.

He can be followed on YouTube:

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