Society

Society

FSI researchers work to understand continuity and change in societies as they confront their problems and opportunities. This includes the implications of migration and human trafficking. What happens to a society when young girls exit the sex trade? How do groups moving between locations impact societies, economies, self-identity and citizenship? What are the ethnic challenges faced by an increasingly diverse European Union? From a policy perspective, scholars also work to investigate the consequences of security-related measures for society and its values.

The Europe Center reflects much of FSI’s agenda of investigating societies, serving as a forum for experts to research the cultures, religions and people of Europe. The Center sponsors several seminars and lectures, as well as visiting scholars.

Societal research also addresses issues of demography and aging, such as the social and economic challenges of providing health care for an aging population. How do older adults make decisions, and what societal tools need to be in place to ensure the resulting decisions are well-informed? FSI regularly brings in international scholars to look at these issues. They discuss how adults care for their older parents in rural China as well as the economic aspects of aging populations in China and India.

Recent Events

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Weathering the Storm: Poverty and Indonesia’s Social Protection System Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 2, 2020

This event is part of the Asia Health Policy Program (AHPP) 2020-21 Colloquium series "Health, medicine, and longevity: Exploring public and private roles" Co-sponsored by the Asia Health Policy...

“Crazy Rich Asians”? Southeast Asia's Billionaires and Their Business Empires in the Age of China's Rise

January 17, 2020

The hit movie Crazy Rich Asians shone a light on the extreme wealth of Southeast Asia's ethnically Chinese ultra-wealthy, who have long topped billionaire rankings and dominated stock-markets...

Return of the Pontianak: Popular Cinema, Decolonization, and Malay Identities in the 21st Century

November 1, 2019

The pontianak, or female vampire, is one of the most significant supernatural creatures, or hantu, in Malay cinema.

Nation-State-izing Religion: Bureaucratic Islam in Southeast Asia

February 14, 2018

Co-sponsored by the Southeast Asia Program and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies Transnational Islam lacks the centralized leadership and institutions associated with Catholicism.

Relapse Symptoms: the Rise of Authoritarianism in Thailand

February 6, 2018

After the Cold War, Thailand became a poster child of democratizing processes in Southeast Asia.

The Future of Asia: Voices from Asia’s Next Generation

October 16, 2017

Asia’s transformation presents both challenges and opportunities at international, regional, and domestic levels.

The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt against Elite Democracy

October 13, 2017

Co-sponsored by the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Center for East Asian Studies, and the Southeast Asia Program Who is Rodrigo Duterte?  How did he become president of the...

Hospitality or Human Rights? Indonesia Welcomes the Rohingya

October 11, 2017

Indonesia has not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention and does not offer legal pathways for the permanent integration of refugees into its society.

Are Refugees Making ASEAN Rethink Human Rights?

January 12, 2017

Long a laggard on human rights, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is being pressed from within to reconsider its indifference.

Singapore's Cartographic Cinema: Mapping an Identity

October 24, 2016

Singapore brandishes an unusual post-colonial identity.

Religion or Politics? Elections and the Adoption of Shari’a Law in Muslim-Majority Democracies—The Case of Indonesia

April 8, 2016

Debate surrounding democratization in Muslim-majority countries has centered on the potential for the political process to strengthen or constrain radical Islamist forces.

"The Divine Grace of Islam Nusantara": Cultural Diversity in Islam, in Indonesia, and in the Muslim World —A Film Screening and A Conversation

April 7, 2016

The New York Times has described The Divine Grace of Islam Nusantara as “a 90-minute film that amounts to a relentless, religious repudiation of the [self-styled] Islamic State and the opening...

"The Divine Grace of Islam Nusantara": Cultural Diversity in Islam, in Indonesia, and in the Muslim World —A Film Screening and A Conversation

April 6, 2016

The New York Times has described The Divine Grace of Islam Nusantara as “a 90-minute film that amounts to a relentless, religious repudiation of the [self-styled] Islamic State and the opening...

The Effects of Early-Life Exposure to Pollution on Children's Human Capital Formation: the Case of Indonesia

January 6, 2016

Co-sponsored by the Asia Health Policy Program & the Southeast Asia Program This paper analyzes the effects of an early-life shock in Indonesia on children’s human capital formation and...

What Is Beijing Thinking? Geography, History, and the South China Sea

April 24, 2014

This event has moved to the Philippines Conference Room Professor Paine will explore China’s outlook on the territorial disputes in the South China Sea within the larger settings of Chinese...

What Explains Indonesia’s Defense Transformation? Beyond Democratic Reform and the “China Threat”

April 16, 2014

Since the democratization of Indonesia began in 1998, the country’s military has been undergoing major change.

Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora

November 7, 2013

Vietnamese diasporic relations affect and are affected by events inside Viet Nam.  In her recent book, Transnationalizing Viet Nam, Prof.

Ties That Bind: Cultural Identity, Class, and Law in Vietnam's Labor Resistance

November 6, 2013

Vietnamese news accounts of labor-management conflicts, including strikes, and even reports of owners fleeing their factories raise potent questions about labor activism in light of this self...

Jesus, Lenin, and Victor Hugo: The “Outrageous” Syncretism of Caodai Religion in Vietnam and California

May 8, 2013

Co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies The Caodai religion is unique.  Born in French Indochina in 1926, it mixes Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism with organizational elements from...

Is the Party Over? The Obsolescence of Authoritarian Growth in Singapore and Malaysia

April 8, 2013

In Singapore the People’s Action Party has held power continuously since 1959, having won 13 more or less constrained legislative elections in a row over more than half a century.

Indonesia Is No Model for Muslim Democracy

March 5, 2013

Since the resignation of Indonesia’s authoritarian president Suharto in 1998, the country has made great strides in consolidating a democratic government.

Muslim Politics and Popular Culture in Malaysia: PAS, Hudud, and Rock 'n' Roll

February 26, 2013

Malaysia’s 13th general election is imminent and the opposition coalition (Pakatan Rakyat) is fragile.

Drawing Lines in the Water: A Multimedia Presentation and Prognosis on the South China Sea

February 20, 2013

Gregory Poling will begin with a multimedia presentation highlighting the most important aspects of the South China Sea disputes, including the competing legal claims, recent clashes, and the oil,...

Neither Rebels nor Dupes: The New Politics of Thai Peasants

October 25, 2012

Since Thailand’s coup of September 2006, which forced the controversial government of billionaire businessman Thaksin Shinawatra out of office, pro- and anti-Thaksin forces have waged an intense...

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lisa leestanford1015crop 2x3 Lisa Lee Program Coordinator, Asia Health Policy Program and Southeast Asia Program