Programme

The Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences 2018 (ACP2018) is an interdisciplinary conference held alongside The Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy 2018 (ACERP2018). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either conference will allow participants to attend sessions in both.

This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


  • Law, Religion and Authoritarianism: From State Shinto to Religio-Trumpism
    Law, Religion and Authoritarianism: From State Shinto to Religio-Trumpism
    Keynote Presentation: Professor Frank S. Ravitch
  • IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
    IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
  • IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening
    IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening

Additional programming will be announced here shortly.


Previous Programming

View details of programming for past ACP conferences via the links below.

Law, Religion and Authoritarianism: From State Shinto to Religio-Trumpism
Keynote Presentation: Professor Frank S. Ravitch

In recent years authoritarianism has become an increasing threat to democratic institutions, human rights, and the rule of law. Authoritarian regimes have taken hold throughout the world. One of the most troubling trends has been the rise of authoritarian movements, leaders, and policies buoyed by populist politicians in longstanding democracies such as the United States. This has occurred at the same time as authoritarian regimes in Russia and Turkey have increased their holds on power.

Law has proven an inadequate tool to stem this tide and in some cases has been used to reinforce authoritarian agendas. Moreover, even in democratic countries constitutional structures have sometimes proven inadequate to prevent authoritarian actors from inflicting significant harm to human rights and the rule of law. To protect against the damage that is being inflicted we must first understand the dynamics underlying authoritarianism and dispel some myths that may confuse policymakers and social justice advocates as they work to stem the tide.

One such myth involves the relationship between religion and authoritarianism. This talk will address that myth, which confuses the relationship between authoritarianism and religion by assuming that religion is a driving force for authoritarian leaders and especially for many of their followers and acolytes. Certainly religion is an especially powerful tool in the hands of authoritarians, but without that tool authoritarians and their followers will, and have, found other tools to use.

A better understanding of the real relationship between religion and authoritarianism (where religion is a tool rather than a cause of authoritarianism) can be explored by studying two seemingly different situations: the role and use of State Shinto in Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa periods in Japan and the use of religious culture war issues and religio-patriotism by Trump and his followers in the U.S. today. Eerily, these two seemingly different situations have significant commonalities.

Read presenter biographies.

IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session

As an organization, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In 2018, we are excited to launch a major new and ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative which uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges.

IAFOR is headquartered in Japan, and the 2018 inauguration of this project aligns with the 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when Japan opened its doors to the trade and ideas that would precipitate its rapid modernisation and its emergence as a global power. At a time when global trends can seem unpredictable, and futures fearful, the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative gives the opportunity to revisit the question of the impact of international relations from a long-term perspective.

This ambitious initiative will encourage individuals and institutions working across the world to support and undertake research centring on the contact between countries and regions in Europe and Asia – from Gibraltar to Japan – and the maritime routes that went beyond, into the South-East Continent and the Philippines, and later out into the Pacific Islands and the United States. The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative will be concerned with all aspects of this contact, and will examine both material and intellectual traces, as well as consequences.

For more information about the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative, click here.

IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) in 2015 as an international photography award that seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. The award has benefitted since the outset from the expertise of an outstanding panel of internationally renowned photographers, including Dr Paul Lowe as the Founding Judge, and Ed Kashi, Monica Allende, Simon Roberts, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Simon Norfolk and Emma Bowkett as Guest Judges. Now in its third year, the award has already been widely recognised by those in the industry and has been supported by World Press Photo, Metro Imaging, MediaStorm, Think Tank Photo, University of the Arts London, RMIT University, British Journal of Photography, The Centre for Documentary Practice, and the Medill School of Journalism.

As an organisation, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In keeping with this mission, in appreciation of the great value of photography as a medium that can be shared across borders of language, culture and nation, and to influence and inform our academic work and programmes, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched as a competition that would help underline the importance of the organisation’s aims, and would promote and recognise best practice and excellence.

Winners of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 were announced at The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film 2017 (EuroMedia2017) in Brighton, UK. The award follows the theme of the EuroMedia conference, with 2017’s theme being “History, Story, Narrative”. In support of up-and-coming talent, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is free to enter.

Access to the Award Winners Screening is included in the conference registration fee. For more information about the award, click here.

Image | From the project Single Mothers of Afghanistan by IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 Grand Prize Winner, Kiana Hayeri.