This division fosters Area Studies approaches through the dynamic development of information resources and pioneering study resources with the intention of utilizing Area Studies that benefits the public sphere through social cooperation and practice-oriented area studies.
Political & Economic Coexistence
Southeast Asia has now emerged as one of the most rapidly developing areas in the world. Poverty rates have amazingly decreased over the last thirty years and Southeast Asia is witnessing the rise of its middle classes. This positive socio-economic transformation has not been instantaneous nor directly translated into positive political transformation in the region. The Philippines and Indonesia (and, maybe Myanmar) are the only democratic countries out of ten Southeast Asian countries and others are socialist or authoritarian regimes that offer less freedom and with token or no elections.
The political and co-existence division analyzes these dynamic politico-economic transformations and other issues in Southeast Asia. Through a comparative perspective with other developing countries in the world it present relevant frameworks to understand the region and make concrete academic contributions to Southeast Asian societies in collaboration with stakeholders.
This division studies the plural co-existence of cultures in Asia by looking at the changing interactions between culture, society, and ecology. It explores issues such as social, religious, linguistic transformations, politics of culture and knowledge production, and family, gender and sexuality, in both contemporary and historical contexts. This is done through perspectives that challenge the disciplinary and geographic boundaries shaping past studies of Southeast Asia and beyond.
Confronting global warming and climate change, environmental pollution, forest degradation and loss of biodiversity and over-exploitation of natural resources, harmonious coexistence of nature and human society are crucial issues in the 21st century for the whole world in general and for the tropics in particular. There is a need to reconsider the productivity-driven development path that has been pursued over the 20th century and explore a humanosphere-driven path to strengthen the sustainability of human societies through a long-term perspective. This division contributes to this by developing knowledge and theories through interdisciplinary natural science approaches that include medical science, agricultural science, hydrology, ecology and informatics.
By promoting dynamic comparative studies among more than one area of the world, this division engages with critical questions relating to global issues such themes as human development, global economy and governance, environment and natural resources usage and peace and security in order to find sustainable and peaceful coexistence of human societies in the 21st century.