Our primary aim is to provide analysis, anecdote and new perspectives on Southeast Asia on issues ranging from politics and international relations, modern history, religion, culture, ecology, economy, language, and migration, all based on regional expertise and local sources (fieldwork, oral history, archives, local media, etc.).
The goal of the Southeast Asia Platform is also to establish a network of cooperation between experts across various regional and disciplinary fields of expertise. Countries of Mainland Southeast Asia like Myanmar or Vietnam, are often studied separately from the nations of Insular Southeast Asia such as Indonesia and the Philippines. We aim to bridge these conceptual and disciplinary boundaries (as well as the state-centered analysis) that prevent the sharing of research results and restrict opportunities for establishing broader theoretical debates.
The platform organizes thematic conferences and workshops in cooperation with scholars and experts from Czech research institutes and universities as well as academic institutions across Europe and other parts of the world. The Platform for Southeast Asian Studies will also be represented through regular scholarly seminars in Prague on themes relevant to Southeast Asia (the Southeast Asia Lecture Series ), where invited experts present their most recent research findings from the region.
The platform plans to launch a regular blog on Southeast Asian affairs that will provide short topical analytical pieces and comments on the studied region, called New Monsoon, monsoon winds representing a key climatic phenomenon, which facilitated trade and cultural exchange in the Indian Ocean basin and southwestern Pacific.
From a long-term perspective, our goal is to contribute to the consolidation of the tradition of Southeast Asian studies at Czech academic institutions and serve as a Prague Southeast Asian Platform that will collect and share top research findings on the region as well as provide a networking umbrella for all relevant activities. In line with that, we seek to enhance our joint capacity to network with other prestigious research institutions in Central Europe, the wider European context, and elsewhere across the globe.
Activities associated with the platform will build on the long-standing commitment to collaboration that already exists between the Oriental Institute researchers and academics from the Institute for International Relations in Prague, the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts (the Institute of Asian Studies) of Charles University, together with Palacký University in Olomouc, the University of Vienna, the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the University of Passau, etc.