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News from NIAS

Scholarships for MA and PhD students Autumn 2012

If you are working on a MA or PhD thesis during Autumn 2012 and need some inspiration, literature or simply just time to write on your thesis, then NIAS has something to offer: the Nordic Scholarship!

The Nordic Scholarship covers inexpensive travel to Copenhagen, two weeks board and accommodation plus a working place at NIAS! A perfect chance to concentrate on your thesis, have inspirational talks with our researchers or collect material in Northern Europe's most comprehensive Asian studies library.

More information about SUPRA students' experiences at NIAS and practical information as well as application form.

NB: SUPRA scholarships are primarily for students from NNC member institutions.

New Deadline for application: 6 June 2012

For more information, please contact Erik Svanström, SUPRA student Assistant

Catherine Earl new guest researcher at NIAS

Catherine is currently a guest researcher at NIAS. She is a social anthropologist from Monash University, in Melbourne. Her research interests center on social change, social mobility and social differentiation in late twentieth and twenty-first century urban Vietnam and Australia. She is preparing a manuscript based on her doctoral thesis, an ethnographic study exploring migration, cultural capital and social change among Ho Chi Minh City’s re-emerging middle classes.
She is the author of commissioned community histories of a Melbourne-based Vietnamese women’s community organization (2008), a community health service in regional Australia (2011) and co-author of teaching-led research monograph on the experiences of undergraduate students in Australia and South Africa (2012). She has also published in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies and Children in War: The International Journal of Evacuee and War Child Studies. Catherine will stay at NIAS until the end of June 2012.

2nd CFP 6th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference at Aalto University, Nov. 27-30, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 to Friday, November 30, 2012

China's Economy and Society: Regional and global implications of a growing Chinese influence

The conference and PhD Course are co-organized by NIAS and the Center for Markets in Transition (CEMAT) and the Department of Management and International Business at Aalto University School of Business.

Conference 27-28 November and PhD Course 29-30 November

The conference will mainly focus on the increasingly prominent Chinese economy that has a growing impact both on the regional and global levels. What drives China’s economic and political expansion, and under what circumstances can this growth be assumed to continue? What kind of implications does the ‘rising China’ have in the economic, societal, and political scene in other Asian countries, and elsewhere? What is the relationship between politics and business in the Chinese hybrid economy? Will the strategic sectors of the economy continue to be dominated by large state-owned enterprises under Party control?
Hence, the conference will discuss the 'rising China' and its influence on the economies, societies, and politics of wider Asia, as well as other parts of the world.

The following keynote speakers will inspire our proceedings

  • Bruce Dickson, Professor, Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Linda Jakobson, Director, East Asia Program, Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Riitta Kosonen, Professor, Center for Markets in Transition, Aalto University School of Business
  • Claes Alvstam, Professor, Centre for International Business Studies, Univ. of Gothenburg
  • Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Professor, Asia Research Institute, Copenhagen Business School
  • Pang Zhongying, Professor, School of International Studies, Renmin University
  • Ilan Alon, Professor, Rollins College, USA

Confirmed commentators at the PhD course are:

  • Bruce Dickson, Professor, Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Professor, Asia Research Institute, Copenhagen Business School
  • Timo Kaartinen, Professor, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
  • Erja Kettunen-Matilainen, Research Manager, Center for Markets in Transition, Aalto University, School of Business
  • Bent Nielsen, Associate Professor, Department of Cross-Cultural and regional Studies, University of Copenhagen
  • Matti Nojonen, Department of Management and International Business, Aalto University School of Business
  • Pang Zhongying, Professor, School of International Studies, Renmin University

For more information go to the conference website:

The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul celebrates its 50th Anniversary

The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul was founded in 1962 by the Swedish Ministry of Education and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012 with a workshop and a seminar 31 May - 1 June. NIAS Director Geir Helgesen will participate in the celebrations and hold a lecture at the seminar.

About SRII
The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul – SRII – is an institute for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in a Turkish and Eurasian perspective. The aim of SRII is to promote academic research on Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia, particularly in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Fields of study represented at the Institute are first and foremost Turkic and West Asian Languages and Literatures, Archaeology, Classical and Byzantine Studies, Art and Architectural History, General History, with the emphasis on Ottoman and modern Turkish history, Religion, Anthropology, Sociology, Educational Studies, and Political Science, including International Relations. 

In January 2012 Professor Birgit N. Schlyter, previously Head of the Department of Central Asian Studies at Stockholm University, assumed the position of Director or SRII.
More information about SRII here.
​Gunnar Jarring Central Asia Book Collection 
A collection of Central Asia publications originating from the private library of  the diplomat and Turkologist Gunnar Jarring (1907–2002) has been donated to SRII/Istanbul. The collection consists of almost 5000 volumes, a number of manuscripts, catalogues and maps as well as more than 3000 offprints. All of the most renowned accounts of expeditions to Central Asia from the late 19th and early 20th centuries can be found here, along with a great number of less known accounts, some of which are very rare and accessible at just a few or perhaps even no other libraries in the world. After transportation to Istanbul in the spring of 2012, it will be set up as a special section of the SRII Library.
More information on the library and the Gunnar Jarring collection here.
Scholarships and guest researcher facilities
SRII provides scholarships for Nordic researchers or students focusing on Turkey and regions related historically, linguistically or culturally to Turkey and the former Ottoman Empire, including Central Asia and parts of South Asia. Advanced graduate students (Master or C/D-level) can apply for one month scholarships and doctoral students or Post-Docs can apply for three months scholarships at the institute. 
More information incl. deadlines here.

The institute also has a guest house and conference rooms which can be used by researchers from the Nordic countries.
More information and prices here

Associated PhD Vera Altmeyer on fieldwork in Indonesia

Vera Altmeyer, associated PhD student at NIAS, has been granted a visiting fellowship at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, Indonesia, from May to July this year. During her time at CSIS she will conduct fieldwork for her PhD thesis on Local Election Campaigns in Indonesia and the Philippines. As the first of four case studies Vera will analyse the campaigns for the election of Governor and Vice-Governor of Jakarta Province, which is to be held in early July. She will look at the campaign practices of the various candidates, the actors and institutions shaping them, as well as potential consequences these might have for the outcome of the election. Overall her research aims to investigate how these factors influence the power relations between groups of actors in the national and local political sphere.

Barbara Schulte New Researcher at NIAS

Barbara Schulte started as a senior researcher at NIAS 1 April. Barbara has a PhD in Comparative Education, History, and Sinology from Humboldt University of Berlin, and before coming to NIAS she was a post-doctoral Research Fellow at Lund University. Barbara has received funding from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond for her project entitled "Regulation of education in China: a neoliberal global discourse in a communist market context".

Barbara has previously been featured in the NIAS Newsletter as Researcher in Profile, to read this open the pdf below.

Window on Korea at NIAS Linc

As the Nordic central library for Asian Studies NIAS Library has been chosen as host for an extensive collection of around 1700 newer books on Korea. 

The programme Window on Korea is run by the Korean National Library and offers book donations and access to Korean language databases.

NIAS will host the collection on separate shelves clearly marked with Window on Korea. Librarian Per Hansen has been appointed as the responsible librarian. The books will be catalogued and made available through our library catalogue which is searchable throughout the Nordic countries. The library will be able to put the collection to use for all the Nordic Korean Scholars either by walk in use in the library or through our Portal Academic Resource section.

For more information please contact Per Hansen

Stewart Watters New Affiliated Researcher at NIAS

Stewart Watters is tasked with establishing a NIAS Arctic Research Group to look at the growing interest in the Arctic region by Asian countries and, in particular, what this means for the Nordic countries and the Arctic Council.
Stewart has previously worked as Advocacy Director at an international NGO focused on political dialogue with China and before joining NIAS he worked on foreign policy and human rights at the UK Parliament in London. He has conducted assignments at foreign ministries across Europe, in Washington DC, New Delhi, Beijing and Tokyo.
Stewart is a British national but speaks Danish and has previously studied at Aarhus University. He studied for a joint Masters in Politics and Scandinavian Studies at Edinburgh University. His Masters thesis looked at the strategic role of Greenland during the Cold War and its impact on Greenlandic autonomy.

Edyta Roszko gets Rechtskulturen-fellowship

Edyta Roszko, NIAS affiliate, has been selected and nominated as a Fellow of the Berlin Postdoctoral Fellow Program “Rechtskulturen: Confrontations Beyond Comparison" at the Wissenschaftkolleg zu Berlin for the academic year 2012/2013. Rechtskulturen is a program of the Berlin Research Network Recht im Kontext at the Forum Transregionale Studien, a new research platform designed to promote research that connects systematic and region specific questions from a perspective that addresses entanglements and interactions, beyond national, cultural, or regional framework. During her Rechtskulturen-fellowship, Edyta will research aspects of the legal and customary procedures simultaneously facilitating and constraining the use of marine spaces and goods in the South China Sea.

New guest researcher at NIAS

Sasikumar is a Master’s student at Central European University (CEU) studying International Relations and European Studies. Before matriculating to CEU he was an Assistant Researcher at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. At IDSA he researched and reported on India’s Foreign and Security Policy, Nuclear deterrence in the Asian Region, China’s naval modernization and maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region. Before IDSA he worked as a Research Fellow on a major research project analyzing India’s nuclear and missile policy making. He has written for Strategic Analysis, CBW Magazine as well as several IDSA reports. At NIAS he is working on India’s grand strategy in the South Asia region as a part of his Master’s dissertation at CEU.