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Clarke Program Annual Report 2011-12 Header short

Meridian 180


Meridian 180 is a unique, non-partisan community of exceptional intellectuals and visionary policymakers based in Asia, the United States, and around the world, who are interested in new ways of thinking about the challenges that confront the peoples and nations within Asia and across the Pacific.

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Unlike typical “think-tank” formats, Meridian 180 carries out true collaboration, builds networks, fosters intensive, long-term dialogue, and is training a new generation of scholarship in new methodologies. Meridian 180’s online platform allows members to converse remotely in English, Chinese, or Japanese, with translation provided by our Clarke Program Postdoctoral Fellows. These conversations are often continued in workshops and conferences and other types of collaborative projects and developed and disseminated in various types of publications.

It has been a whirlwind of activity for Meridian 180 this year. Meridian 180 was officially launched in a joyous celebration held at Cornell University’s Johnson Museum of Art on March 12, 2012 (see page 1). Yet even before this, our first forum was held back in March 2011, and since then we have hosted sixteen multilingual forums and our membership has reached 422 members. Forum topics in 2011 included the repercussions of the environmental disasters in Japan during March 2011; methodological questions in comparative law; current problems in financial-markets regulation; role of global intellectuals; financial governance; the “Occupy” movement; and central banks in question.

This year, visits to our website have increased by 30% compared with last year. Forum topics in 2012 included:

  • Privacy and privacy rights
  • How to bring closure to crises?
  • What role can intellectuals and professionals play in crises…?
  • Keyword: Risk
  • Keyword: Apology
  • Keyword: Privacy 2.0
  • A Strategic Plan for Meridian 180
  • Keyword: Happiness 

One of Meridian 180’s ongoing projects has concerned the conten-tious issue of the so-called “comfort women.” In Fall 2012 Meridian 180 held a cross-campus and inter-disciplinary “brainstorming session” at Cornell Law School and the session’s participants included prominent visiting scholars from Korea and Japan. Watch for continuing developments in 2013 with this important project.
Meridian 180 and Korea Another milestone for our program in 2012 is the Korean interface completed for the Meridian 180 website, and we look forward to Korean language conversation and debates in our forums. Korea occupies a crucial strategic position in East Asia—politically, economically, and culturally— and the addition of the Korean language medium will enable us to further engage Korean communities within and without Korea. The Clarke Program is deeply grateful to Cornell University’s East Asia Program for their grant to make this possible.

New Faces

This year, Meridian 180 welcomed a new Executive Director of the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture, Elise Anne DeVido, Ph.D.; Naruhito Cho, J.D., Postdoctoral Associate and Japanese translator for the Meridian program; and Zhaoxin Jiang, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate and Chinese translator for the Meridian program. Eojean Kim, J.D., serves as Korean Consultant and Diana Biller, J.D. candidate, served as Fall 2012 Editor.

Strategic Plan

Now that Meridian 180 is over one and a half years old, a “Strategic Plan” has been drawn up to guide the growth and development of the Meridian for the next three to five years and we invite all Meridian 180 members to offer comments and suggestions to improve this draft, a work in progress.

Forthcoming Forums

Meridian 180 will hold two forums in late January 2013 in tandem with a Symposium entitled “The Changing Politics of Central Banks” organized by the Cornell International Law Journal, followed later in the year by Meridian 180’s exciting collaborative project at the World Trade Organization Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.

Learn more about Meridian 180

Visit us at; apply for an account to become a member of this unique community; and read summaries of our forums

Meridian 180 is the most significant part of our larger initiative to broaden the Clarke Program’s online presence.
See what’s new on our Facebook pages: (English) (Japanese)

Join in on Twitter: and on Weibo, China’s major microblog: