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Successful international conference by FRIAS Research Focus “Dynamic Alignments and Dealignments in Global Southeast Asia”, June 24-26, 2015

Combining insights from economics, anthropology, history and political science, the FRIAS Research Focus Southeast Asia put together an inspiring conference with researchers from all over the world.

The international conference "Dynamic Alignments and Dealignments in Global Southeast Asia", held by the four organizers of the FRIAS Research Focus, Jürgen Rüland, Judith Schlehe, Günther Schulze and Sabine Dabringhaus, brought together both young and experienced scholars with various disciplinary backgrounds from Asia, Europe, Australia and the US. The unique international and interdisciplinary character of the conference created a thriving dialogue about mechanisms of conflict and cooperation in Southeast Asia. The Research Focus examined how global flows and challenges impact actors, patterns and processes that drive social and institutional adjustments in this strategically important, economically vibrant, culturally diverse and politically volatile region. The conference served as a stocktaking exercise of current work within the FRIAS Research Focus, presenting the work in progress of FRIAS Fellows and guests, as well as seeking further input from invited colleagues.

The opening keynote speech, held within the framework of the FRIAS “Freiburger Horizonte” series, on “The Economic Rise of Southeast Asia: Narratives, Lessons, Implications” by FRIAS Fellow Hal Hill from the Australian National University marked the beginning of an exciting two day conference. By highlighting the ever increasing importance of the Asian-Pacific region for global economics and politics, Hal Hill managed to immediately capture the audience with his insightful perspectives on economic developments in Southeast Asia (more information on the lecture here).


The discussion focused on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with its norms, transformations and challenges. The political and economic dynamics of the region, pressures of democratization, trajectories of regional governance, the rise of China and India and the renewed presence of the United States under its “rebalancing policy” were especially highlighted. Among the speakers and chairs were Mikko Huotari from the Mercator Institute for China Studies, Berlin, FRIAS Fellow Mark Beeson from the University of Western Australia, Perth, FRIAS Fellow Stefan Rother from the University of Freiburg, Muhadi Sugiono from the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Pavin Chachavalpongpun from the University of Kyoto, Jürgen Rüland from the University of Freiburg and Salvador Santino Regilme from the Nothern Illinois University, De Kalb.