Workshop Summary: Friendship and Politics: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Graham M Smith, Huang Chiung-chiu, and Astrid HM Nordin

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Smith, G.M., Huang, C., Nordin, A.H.M (2018) Workshop Summary: Friendship and Politics: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. AMITY: The Journal of Friendship Studies, 5:1, pp. 30-42. doi: 10.5518/AMITY/26

Abstract

This workshop brought into conversation some of the interlocutors from the Chinese and Western traditions who have argued for the study of politics to turn its focus from the prevalence of enmity to the possibility of friendship. There is a wealth of thinking about friendship in both the Chinese and Western traditions and even significant overlap between the two perspectives. Yet, to date, there has been little direct dialogue between these interlocutors, and little development of cross-cultural understandings of friendship and its importance for politics. The workshop contributed to the construction of a cross-cultural exploration of friendship and politics, moving ‘beyond the West’ through engagement with Chinese thought on the mainland and on Taiwan. Looking at models and practices of friendship in politics in both the Chinese and Western traditions, the workshop explored friendship in both its normative and analytical dimensions, and understood it have both theoretical and empirical manifestations. In so doing, the workshop formulated and discussed a number of questions about friendship and politics, including to raise questions about the possibilities and limitations of its own ‘cross-cultural’ approach. The workshop was also an important step in building global relations between scholars with a view to establishing a wider network in the longer term. Although considered an important first step, the workshop also pointed to the need to move the study of friendship and politics beyond the Chinese and Western traditions to consider the much wider cultural and global perspectives on this topic.

本工作坊成功地建立起一個對話平台,提供來自中華與西方傳統文化背景的研究者,就如何將政治學研究的焦點從著重分析敵對狀態轉移至探討友誼存在與發展的可能性,進行極具深度的觀點交流與辯論。事實上,在東西方政治思想傳統裡,皆對人類各個生活面向中的友誼多有關注,甚至兩種思想傳統在友誼的思辨方面有著極相近之處。但是直至今日,兩種思想背景的學界之間卻甚少有就友誼與政治生活的關聯性進行跨文化與跨學科對話者。本工作坊之設計即在此基礎之上,建立起跨越不同文化與思想背景的平台,並超越西方政治理論與學科分際的框架,連結中國大陸與台灣的思想學界,為探討友誼在人類政治生活之中扮演的角色與影響作出貢獻。本工作坊的討論焦點不僅著重友誼作為一個概念在理論與規範層次的意義,也著重分析其在實務層面的作用與影響。而透過跨文化與學科的交流,在討論進行時,與會學者分別援引來自中國與西方傳統政治思想的內容,進行辯論與意見交換。而在此過程中,友誼與政治作為本工作坊的主題,來自不同文化背景的與會者就此主題,共同歸納並集中討論幾項議題(詳見報告內文),其中包含了

友誼作為政治生活的一個面向,在使用跨文化分析時的可能性與潛在限制。除此之外,參與本工作坊的學者,不論是文化背景或研究專長皆具相當程度的多元性;能夠透過本工作坊的舉行,將來自世界各角落的學者齊聚一堂,並合作建立起長程研究議程與聯繫網絡,此過程本身即已相當符合本工作坊的主旨(友誼與政治)。雖然本工作坊已成功建立起以友誼與政治為研究主旨的研究群和對話平台,但這僅是這個長程研究議程的第一步;本工作坊期待未來能更進一步超越中國與西方政治思想傳統的範疇,廣納其他文明與文化思想傳統,邀請其加入我們已建立起的研究群和長程研究議程,讓友誼與政治的研究更具深度、廣度和多元性。

Keywords Friendship; Chinese traditions; Western traditions; politics; cross-cultural

關鍵詞:友誼,中華傳統,西方傳統,政治,跨文化

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