Bridging Asia-Pacific-focused research and policy for over 35 years
Welcome to APARC
The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center is Stanford University's hub for contemporary Asia studies. Learn more about our community of experts, fellowship and training opportunities, and public events, and join us!
The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) addresses critical issues affecting the countries of Asia, their regional and global affairs, and U.S.-Asia relations. As Stanford University’s hub for the interdisciplinary study of contemporary Asia, we produce policy-relevant research, provide education and training to students, scholars, and practitioners, and strengthen dialogue and cooperation between counterparts in the Asia-Pacific and the United States.
Founded in 1983, Shorenstein APARC today encompasses seven regional and thematic programs that advance our mission. They include six vibrant research programs—focusing on China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and comparative health policy in the Asia-Pacific—and a Global Affiliates Program that strengthens relations and creates new opportunities for collaboration between the Center and Asian partners in the public and private sectors.
Our research is broad and wide-ranging, covering topics including innovation and entrepreneurship, education and development, political economy, governance and political movements, comparative health and health policy, Asia-Pacific regional cooperation, and U.S.-Asia relations.
We share our research findings through an active publishing program and pursue our education mission and public engagement goals by offering courses and training opportunities, policy outreach, numerous events, and expert commentary on topics in the news. APARC is a gathering place for leaders from academia, business, government, and the social sector, as well as for community members to examine together timely, policy-relevant topics that shape contemporary Asia and are of mutual importance to the United States and Asian nations. Through these activities, our scholars bring multiple disciplines and new insights to bear on matters of vital importance to Asian nations and the United States
Each year, Shorenstein APARC produces an annual report highlighting our collective work and its impact.
The Center is led by distinguished faculty director and deputy director with extensive records of scholarly and teaching accomplishment in the areas of development, international relations, social movements, health economics, and global health policy.
We are home to dedicated staff and a community of outstanding resident scholars that includes academics and practitioners, and, each year a new, international group of postdoctoral fellows, research fellows, and visiting scholars.
The key to Shorenstein APARC’s success is its ability to look to the future, enabled by the extraordinary people who take part in its research, publishing, and outreach activities.
The Center counts 1983 as its founding year, when it became part of Stanford’s International Strategic Institute, now the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. It traces its origins, however, even earlier: to 1978, when a visionary group of Stanford scholars committed to strengthening U.S.-Asia ties decided to address the need for a hub of Asia research that bridges disciplines and looks at Asia in regional and global contexts. It was the dawn of what later proved to be a transformative era marked by the rise of Japan as an economic superpower and the early moments of China’s opening to the world.
The new organization’s work was imbued with the desire to promote cooperative relations with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region rather than the distrust of the Cold War. From the early stages of Asia’s transformation through the twilight of the Cold War era, research projects on themes such as Northeast Asia regional security and the development of the high-tech industry brought together leading scholars from Asia and Stanford to join with high-level U.S. and Asian policymakers for fruitful collaboration and dialogue.
Since then, the Center has grown from a small core of China and Japan scholars to a premier research institution with a team of faculty and experts specializing in contemporary issues facing Northeast, South, and Southeast Asia and in trends that cut across the entire Asia-Pacific region.
In 2005, the Center was renamed the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center in recognition of its long-time benefactor and friend, Walter H. Shorenstein (1915-2010).
Daniel Okimoto, Co-Director, 1983–1997
John Lewis, Co-Director, 1983–1990
Lawrence Lau, Co-Director, 1992–1996
Henry Rowen, Director, 1997–2001; Co-director, 2000–2001
Andrew Walder, Co-Director, 2000–2001; Director, 2000–2005