May 2013 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Over the three decades of the Center’s existence, immense change has taken place in the Asia-Pacific.
The early 1980s were a time for tremendous, transformative ripples of social, political, and economic change in many Asian countries; many of those changes set in motion trends, institutions, and events that are prominent aspects of the Asian landscape today.
In Northeast Asia, China embraced market reforms and opened its doors to foreign investment and trade, setting the stage for its role as a contemporary global leader. Japan experienced the peak of its post-war boom, consolidating its role as a pioneer in technology and manufacturing. South Korea underwent a dramatic transformation that, paired with its rapid economic growth, created a regional powerhouse. Southeast Asia emerged from the shadow of war to become a region of economic tigers and emerging powers.
At Stanford, the Northeast Asia-United States Forum on International Policy and the Center for International Security and Arms Control (CISAC) were established in May 1983 as independent, but complementary, entities. The Northeast Asia-United States Forum later grew into the Asia/Pacific Research Center and, in 2005, was endowed as the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC). The two centers still closely collaborate on research and events. In the ensuing three decades, Shorenstein APARC expanded its reach beyond core expertise on Northeast Asia to the fast-developing region of Southeast Asia and to South Asia, which has emerged as a new center of power in the Asia-Pacific. The Center has focused increasingly on the crosscurrents of growing economic, cultural, and institutional integration in the region alongside a troubling rise of tensions driven by intensifying nationalism.
Today, Shorenstein APARC boasts five vibrant programs focusing on contemporary Asia and engaged in policy-oriented research, training, and publishing: the Asia Health Policy Program, Japan Studies Program, Korean Studies Program, Southeast Asia Forum, and the Stanford China Program. It also takes great pride in its unique Corporate Affiliates Program, whose alumni roster of over 300 Asian business, government, and media professionals continues to expand. Rounding out Shorenstein APARC’s Asia expertise, its South Asia Initiative has produced many important publications and events for over a decade.
On May 2, 2013, Shorenstein APARC will celebrate its anniversary with a special public symposium exploring Asia’s transformation over the past three decades, developments in U.S.-Asia relations, and the trajectory of Shorenstein APARC’s own history. You are invited to join us in marking this historic occasion.