Like Africa, Southeast Asia has spontaneously given rise to its own history, which has been developed and influenced by the characteristic ecology of the tropical zones around the equator. Over the last few decades, this region has seen a rapid transformation in its economy and societies at the level of the nation-state. At the same time, we have also witnessed several movements toward regional integration that transcend the boundaries of the nation-state. Along with the dramatic economic developments that are taking place, Southeast Asia is in fact in the process of achieving a multi-faceted transformation, one in which its ecology, society and cultures are all working together to produce something entirely new.
The Division of Southeast Asian Area Studies offers a program comprising three areas of research guidance that are designed to reflect the three points outlined above, and to allow investigation of the particular issues involved in each. These are: “Ecology and Environment”; “Society and Development” and “Environment, Society and Culture”.
Ecology and Environment
A program of education and research in ecological history and environmental ecology, designed to introduce the distinct features of the ecology and environment of Southeast Asia, so shaped by interaction with human beings.
Society and Development
A program of education and research on regional development and transformation, with a focus on the spontaneously generated energy and dynamism that lie behind development and transformation in Southeast Asia.
Environment, Society and Culture
A program of education and research on the interactions between environment, society and region, with a focus on actual case histories that show the diverse ways in which such interactions take place.