SEARC carves a niche
SEARC's mission is to develop into a world-class research centre for the study of
A different approach
"No one else in
In fact, with its broad Asian studies tradition and links to political science, anthropology and sociology, the Centre may well be unique worldwide. "If you compare us with other Southeast Asian studies centres in the region, and even if you go as far as
Most of these centres tend to have a very broad focus, extending their purview to cover anyone working on any aspect of
The fact that SEARC is purely a research centre is also unusual, Professor Hewison said. "There are few Southeast Asian institutes in the region that don't have teaching attached. It gives us a different focus. I hope that this will mean that we can be successful in developing a distinctive and vigorous research programme."
Seminars and forums
The seminars offered by the Centre to date have been very successful, with presentations from a wide range of renowned scholars, including SEARC's three visiting professors from Murdoch University in Australia, the University of California, Berkeley, and Xiamen University in China. One seminar was held jointly with the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Hong Kong and another with CityU's Centre for Comparative Public Management and Social Policy. Other presentations have been held in conjunction with the Hong Kong Forum. And, Professor Hewison is happy to note, the seminars and forums are attracting people from NGOs, the business community and the general public, in addition to students and academics.
SEARC's Working Paper Series website has proved to be popular since it was set up in April. "We're very pleased, considering we haven't advertised," Professor Hewison said. The papers include one given as the keynote address by Dr Michael Vatikiotis, Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, to a one-day symposium held in June this year. The symposium-Contemporary
Other speakers were Professor Frederick Deyo, State University of New York, Binghampton; Professor Richard Robison, Murdoch University; Dr Duncan McCargo, Leeds University; Dr Khoo Boo Teik, Universiti Sains Malaysia; Dr Vedi Renandi Hadiz, National University of Singapore; and Professor Hewison himself. "The symposium was very successful and brought together people from most of the local universities, local companies and the public and raised the profile of research on
The second edition of The Political Economy of South-East Asia: Conflicts, Crises and Change, edited by Garry Rodan, Kevin Hewison and Richard Robison, has recently been published. Many of the contributors to the book have been visitors to SEARC, either as visiting professors or guest lecturers.
Promoting Southeast Asian studies
As far as research proposals go, funding has already been approved for seven proposals from staff in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Hewison said. "They're an interesting range of projects, including research into labour relations; atavistic movements in