About the Southeast Asia Program

"The Southeast Asia Program seeks to bring Southeast Asia to Stanford, and Stanford to Southeast Asia." - Don Emmerson, Director, Southeast Asia Program

Southeast Asia is an economically vibrant, politically varied region of half a billion people in ten countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Southeast Asia Program (formerly the Southeast Asia Forum (SEAF)) in the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) is uniquely focused and placed to study this region. It is the only university-based program in the United States dedicated to researching contemporary, policy-relevant Southeast Asian affairs. Its location at Stanford University, on the Pacific Rim, affords easier interaction with scholars and institutions in Asia, while its distance from Washington, D.C., encourages broad, non-partisan consideration of key issues.

The Southeast Asia Program seeks to:

  • undertake and encourage innovative research on Southeast Asian issues and conditions;

  • stimulate fresh perspectives on the policy implications of regional events and trends;

  • create opportunities for scholars and other professionals with Southeast Asian expertise to discuss and refine their ideas;

  • help Stanford University students learn more about Southeast Asia; and thus

  • bring Southeast Asia to Stanford and Stanford to Southeast Asia.

The Southeast Asia Program sponsors the burgeoning Southeast Asian Leadership Network, launched by Stanford students, which brings computers and educational software to disadvantaged secondary schools in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. The Program also works with the Malaysia Forum—an independent but Southeast Asia Program-inspired organization of Malaysians that convenes meetings at Stanford and elsewhere on contemporary issues in that country.

Throughout the academic year, the Program invites experts and practitioners from around the world to come to Stanford to share their thinking and writing on Southeast Asia. The Southeast Asia Program director lectures frequently, gives media interviews, travels to and in Southeast Asia, writes widely for general and scholarly publication, and teaches courses on the region. These courses include a three-week overseas seminar, conducted in Singapore, for selected Stanford undergraduates.

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