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Rallying for Democracy? Thailand's Latest Student Protests

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 18:30 to 19:30

ASIANET: fokus webinar with NIAS Director Duncan McCargo, Senior Researcher with the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Marte Nilsen, and foreign news journalist and former Asia correspondent for Aftenposten Kristoffer Rønneberg.

Although Thailand held an election in March 2019, the clique of generals who seized power in the 2014 military coup remain in office. Student-led political protests against Thailand's hybrid regime began on 18 July, when speakers at a Bangkok rally demanded the dissolution of parliament, constitutional reform and an end to the official harassment of those with dissenting voices. On 10 August, students at Thammasat University made unprecedented public calls for the reform of the monarchy - proposals that sparked considerable controversy. The Thai Parliament is now working on plans to amend and then completely rewrite the constitution.

In this ASIANET: fokus seminar, we will discuss what these unexpected developments signify, and explore the possible scenarios for the months ahead.

Organized by Asianettverket, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) and Peace Research Institute (PRIO)

To register, click here.

What Happened To The 'New Malaysia'? Politics Since The 2018 Elections

Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 02:00

Webinar sponsored by the New York Southeast Asia Network, NYU Wagner, and the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies.

NOTE: This virtual event will take place on September 23 at 8PM NY/September 24 at 2AM in Denmark/September 24 at 8AM Malaysia.

May 2018 saw a momentous change of government in Malaysia, ending the 50-year-run of one of Asia's most resilient authoritarian coalitions. March 2020 saw another—this time, without an election. Amid public-health and economic turmoil, Malaysia has been navigating uncharted political waters ever since. The new government has all but rolled back reform. And the prospect of a snap election, that might bring back the once discredited “kleptocratic” leadership of Barisan Nasional, puts into question many of the assumptions behind hopes for a “New Malaysia.” 
Our panelists cannot tell you what’s next, but they can at least discuss how we got here and what buoys and shoals might lie ahead.

This event will be moderated by Margaret Scott, a NYSEAN co-founder and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU Wagner.


  • Meredith Weiss - Professor and Chair of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy of the University at Albany, SUNY. She is most recently the author of The Roots of Resilience: Party Machines and Grassroots Politics in Southeast Asia and co-editor of Toward a New Malaysia: The 2018 Election and Its Aftermath.
  • Sharaad Kuttan - A senior anchor with Astro Awani TV in Malaysia and host of an English-language current affairs show.
  • Ibrahim "Ben" Suffian - He is the co-founder and programs director of the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, Malaysia's leading polling firm. He offers perspective on voter attitudes and values, and how they shape the country's politics. The polls shed light on the issues and topics that unite and divide the country, and how elites use them to mobilize support.

To register, click here.

SUPRA Nordic Scholarship for Spring 2021

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Are you writing your PhD or MA thesis in the spring of 2021? Are you looking for inspiration, materials or a space for concentrating on your writing? Then apply for the NIAS SUPRA Nordic Scholarship!

The Nordic Scholarship covers inexpensive travel to Copenhagen, board and accommodation plus a working place at NIAS! A perfect chance to focus on your thesis, have inspirational talks with our researchers or collect material from our library resources.

Deadline for application is 15 October 2020

Master Students: Apply for a stay of two weeks. Please specify your preferred dates in the application. Stays are available between 1 February and the end of June 2021.

PhD Candidates: Apply for a stay from two weeks up to one month. Please specify your preferred dates in the application. Stays are available between 1 February and the end of June 2021.

More information and application form can be found here.

CFP PhD Workshop

Monday, October 19, 2020 to Tuesday, October 20, 2020

19-20 October 2020 │ University of Copenhagen

NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and Asian Dynamics Initiative

Though the annual 2020 NNC/ADI conference has been postponed to 2021 as a consequence of the global coronavirus, the PhD workshop will take place on the dates initially planned. It will be an intensive workshop for a limited number of PhD students working on Asia.

Depending on prevailing conditions at the time it is likely to be a hybrid event, with the possibility of attending in person or via an online platform. However, if necessary the workshop will be held entirely online.

The aim of the PhD workshop is to bring together promising doctoral students from various disciplines focusing on a diverse range of Asia related topics. In light of the forthcoming ADI/NNC conference Asia and Africa in Transition  (June 2021) Asia-Africa related topics are very welcome. 

We especially encourage PhD students from the Nordic region to apply.

The students present their research proposal or a key chapter from their thesis to all other participants. A panel of senior scholars will provide constructive feedback on the submissions.

Paper session format
5 minute introduction by student, followed by 3 discussants (2 faculty discussants and 1 student participant, up to 5 minutes each), total 20 minutes structured discussion.
This will be followed by 25 minutes of general discussion for each presentation.

Discussants will include

  • Duncan McCargo, Director, NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Professor of Political Science, University of Copenhagen
  • May Tan-Mullins, Vice-Provost and Professor of International Relations, University of Nottingham Ningbo, China

Doctoral students accepted for the PhD workshop can apply for funding to support travel and/or accommodation expenses. Reimbursements will be carried out after the PhD workshop has taken place.

Please note that it will also be possible to attend the workshop online.

Applying for the workshop
Applications for the PhD workshop should be submitted to no later than 31 July and include:

  • cover letter
  • 1 page CV
  • project description of max 1000 words
  • letter of recommendation from the supervisor
  • budget (if you require funding for travel and/or accommodation)

Prior to the workshop, students are expected to submit a paper of 6000-10000 words.


  • A draft chapter or section from the PhD thesis
  • An elaborated thesis proposal including research questions, chapter outline and a discussion of methods and analytical challenges

Readings and requirements for receiving 3 ECTS (to be approved by the individual student’s home university/institution):

  • Active participation in the PhD workshop 19-20 October
    This includes submitting and presenting a paper (6000-10000 words), reading the other participants’ papers, and giving comments on a fellow PhD student’s paper.
  • Readings (200 pages)


  • 31 July: Deadline for submitting application
  • 15 August: Notification of acceptance by organising committee
  • 1 October: Deadline for submitting paper

For further information, please contact Katrine Herold, Project Coordinator, NIAS,

China’s New Minority: Africans in China, Their Identities and Well-Being

Friday, October 23, 2020 - 10:15 to 11:30

Online seminar
Friday 23 October, 10:15-11:30 (Copenhagen Time, Prague Time) / 11:15-12:30 (Helsinki Time)

Sign up for the event here -->

In the past decade, the relations between China and African countries have transcended from state-level multi-lateral and bilateral exchanges to the micro-level, with important implications for households and individuals. Of note has been the varying forms of population migrations between the two places for reasons ranging from business ventures, education, asylum-seeking and family making and reunification. The focus of this seminar is on the well-beings of Africans, as a new kind of minority in China. Topics range from psychological distress of Africans in Hong Kong, recent tensions in Guangzhou between African residents and city authorities over perceived discriminatory COVID-19 control measures, and African students’ dream to elevate themselves on the social ladder through further education in China.

Opening: Duncan McCargo, Director of NIAS - Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen

Moderator: Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Helsinki

Speakers: (Each speaker has 10 minutes)

Psychological Wellbeing in Diaspora Space: A Study of African Economic Migrants in Hong Kong 
Dr. Padmore Adusei Amoah, Research Assistant Professor, School of Graduate Studies; Asia Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies; Center for Social Policy and Social Change, Lingnan University

Bridging the Asymmetries? African Students’ Mobility to China 
Dr. Obert Hodzi, Lecturer, Department of Politics, University of Liverpool

Africans in Post-COVID-19 Pandemic China: Is there a Future for China's 'New Minority'?
Dr. Roberto Castillo, Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University

Discussants: (Each discussant has 5 minutes)

Dr. Hang Kei Ho, Researcher, Sociology Discipline, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki

Dr. Runya Qiaoan, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian Studies, Palacky University

This event is co-organized by NIAS - Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Journal of Asian Ethnicity (Taylor &Francis), Department of Asian Studies at Palacky University as well as Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki.
The seminar is part of ADI/NIAS’ Africa-Asia Week events.

POSTPONED! Gendering Tranformations: Feminist Knowledge Production and Trans/national Activist Engagement

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 09:00 to Friday, October 30, 2020 - 14:00


International Conference
7th Sino-Nordic Women and Gender Studies Conference

Gendering Transformations: Feminist Knowledge Production and Trans/national Activist Engagement


Venue: National Central Library, Taiwan


Dear Colleagues,

We regret to inform you that due to the current situation with COVID-19, we have decided to postpone the conference til next year.
More information, including the new conference dates, will follow.


National Central Library, Taiwan
Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
Taiwanese Feminist Scholars Association

CFP Asia and Africa in Transition 28-30 June 2021

Monday, June 28, 2021 - 12:00 to Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 16:00

International Conference
University of Copenhagen | 28–30 June 2021

In 2021, the annual ADI conference and the annual NNC conference will join forces with a number of globally oriented networks and centres at the University of Copenhagen.

The organisers are:

  • Asian Dynamics Initiative
  • NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
  • School of Global Health
  • Sustainability Science Centre
  • ThinkChina
  • UCPH Global Development

Call for Papers and Panels

Linkages between Asia and Africa have a transformative impact across the globe in areas ranging from economic development, climate and demography to health and health care, politics and entertainment. Placing Asia-Africa engagement and dynamics as focal points, this conference will feature keynote speeches and a range of panels and roundtables across disciplines, temporalities and themes.

We invite abstracts for paper presentations addressing one of the panels listed below:

• Asian partners in the transition of ports in Africa … »
• Banal democracies: Beyond electoral temporality … »
• China going global: Historical trajectories, current debates, and future prospects … »
• Constructing historical and identity narratives in Central Eurasia … »
• Engendering humanity in Africa and Asia … »
• Foreign agricultural investments as driver of rural transformation? … »
• From recipients to donors: New engagement of Asian countries in humanitarian aid in Africa … »
• Health systems in transition: Human health resources as agents of change … »
• Local expressions of global ideas: Negotiating modernity, aesthetics and cultural heritage in African and Asian museums … »
• Situated natalisms – familial and filial forms in Africa and Asia … »
• The geopolitics of China’s rise in Africa: Implications and challenges for democratisation and human rights … »
• The geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific … »
• The making of Belt and Road Initiative projects in African states: Local actors, interests and policy link-ups … »
• Urbanization in rural regions of Africa and Asia … »

Your submission should include:

• Name, affiliation, short bio
• Abstract including title (up to 250 words)
• Intended panel

We also invite full panel proposals on Asia – Africa related themes. Your submission should include:

• Name, affiliation and contact details of convener/contact person
• Title and description of panel (up to 250 words)
• Name and affiliation of 3-4 presenters in the panel, title of their presentations and abstracts (each up to 250 words)

Read the full call here

Deadline for submitting abstracts or full panel proposals: 31 January 2021
Proposals should be submitted via email to

In the event that we receive more proposals than we can accommodate, the organisers and conveners will decide among the submitted proposals.

Keynote Speakers

  •     Ching Kwan Lee, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles
  •     Jonathan Rigg, Professor and Chair in Human Geography at the University of Bristol
  •     Reiner Klingholz, Former Director of Berlin Institute for Population and Development

Read more about the conference here