Our Mission and Work
Established in 1999, the Southeast Asia Program (SeAP) at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) generates new knowledge and fresh perspectives to better understand contemporary Southeast Asia and help policymakers address pressing problems faced by its polities, economies, and societies.
We study current Southeast Asian issues and conditions and the policy implications of regional events and trends. One of the world’s most dynamic areas, Southeast Asia is a culturally, economically, politically, and religiously varied region of over half a billion people in eleven countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. If Southeast Asia is diverse, so is SeAP’s scholarly agenda. We cover a wide range of topics, including democracy and autocracy in the region, political and economic reform, the intersection of nationalism and regionalism, the interactions among Southeast Asian countries, and their relations with China, Japan, and the United States, among other outside powers.
We pursue our mission by conducting policy-relevant research; offering fellowship opportunities to emerging and established scholars; convening academic and public forums that draw participants from Asia and around the world; sharing our research findings and policy recommendations in a variety of academic and general publications; and engaging in trans-Pacific outreach, including travel to Southeast to conduct field research, lecture, participate in policy workshops, and interact with Southeast Asian scholars and other professionals.
SeAP is one of several research programs housed at Shorenstein APARC in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI).
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SeAP is led by Program Director Donald K. Emmerson, an expert on Southeast Asian affairs whose policy concerns include issues such as sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea, China-Southeast Asia relations, U.S. Asia policy, and the future of ASEAN.