Thursday, 31 August 2017 11:42am
The Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies at Rangsit University in Thailand was so impressed with Otago PhD candidate Nutthathiratta (Jib) Withitwinyuchon that they appointed her to a full-time teaching position in February 2017 even before she completed her PhD. Rangsit University is ranked no. 1 among 43 private universities in Thailand and no. 19 among all 185 private and public universities in Thailand (as of 2017). It is located north of Bangkok, near Donmueng International Airport. She teaches International Politics, Thai Business and Government, Thai Government and Politics, Regionalism in East Asia, ASEAN Integration, International Organizations, and World History, and she has been earmarked to become the director of their M.A. programme in 2018.
Nutthathiratta joined Otago after completing an MA at the International University of Japan, and receiving an Otago PhD scholarship. In mid-August 2017, she learnt the good news that her PhD thesis, on the rivalry between China and Japan, has been approved and that she can graduate at the next graduation ceremony. In her thesis, Jib analyses the origin of the rivalry in East Asia, but also highlights the factors that contribute to the escalation and the de-escalation of the rivalry over the whole of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. We are currently experiencing an escalation of this rivalry, and Nutthathiratta’s study is a timely reminder that this dynamic is not inevitable.