Composed of more than 47 countries, Asia is considered to be as one of the largest and most populated continent across the globe. Its complex geography, alongside with the diversity of the region, has played its role in the shaping of its history. Several attempts of regionalising Asia took place just after the Second World War, such as the Asian Relations Conference (ARC) in 1947, where countries across the region wished to achieve Asian unity. In 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established, aiming to forge unity across Southeast Asia. Several other regional organisations were made such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 1981, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in 1985, and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) in 2002, which are aimed at promoting economic, as well political stability at their respective areas of concern.
Just as how the other parts of the globe are responding to the waves of digitalisation, prior to the introduction of the Internet, the region was introduced extensively to new thoughts and ideas. These ideas shaped the general public’s attention over the political, social, and economic development in the region, which would, later on, increase their indirect participation to different active discourses in social media. The emergence of fake news in Asia has threatened the integrity and accountability of different institutions in the region. But social media isn’t the only actor that is shaping the new wave of Asian politics. Different academic institutions, such as think-tanks, research institutes, and universities, as well student organisations have also played a role in generating consciousness among the general public. The International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) aims to educate the general public through different initiatives and activities, and in the light of the changing narrative of political development, its Asia Outreach Program hopes to be one of the movers in the discourse by partnering with different political science student organisations in the region. Our vision is to fortify Political Science both as a theory and as a practice in Asia in the light of the emergence of illiberal (and failing) democracies, as well as the widespread of fake news in the region. Our mission is to integrate all stakeholders across Asia by creating meaningful partnerships with different actors, despite its extensive geographic feature.
About IAPSS Asia
One of the six IAPSS regional offices, IAPSS Asia aims to promote the development of Political Science, as well as other related fields, in the region through different activities such as the Regional Academic Convention, Summer Schools, among others. Considering the extensive geographical feature of the region, one of the main goals of IAPSS in Asia is to establish connectivity among different stakeholders; from the members of the academe to the general public, by developing a series of audio, as well as video podcasts which will be made available to IAPSS’ YouTube page, as well as to the IAPSS Asia’s SoundCloud page. These podcasts do include a weekly run-down of political developments in Asia, exclusive interviews from different prominent members of academia in the region, as well as local programming which would provide a space to IAPSS members in Asia to share their own personal narratives, in what would we wish to call it as the ‘everyday politics.’
The organisation is also planning to provide training and internships to IAPSS members based in Asia through collaboration with different academic institutions in the region. These opportunities will provide IAPSS Asia members to apply their own skills and knowledge to the actual workplace. Developing new Student Research Committees (SRC) based from different topics of concern (e.g. Asian Political Thought, East Asian Politics, ASEAN Political Economy) are also in line with the IAPSS Asia’s response to the fortification of Asian Studies in the region. For the next three years, IAPSS Asia also wishes to introduce its own student journal, which would showcase different research outputs from political science students across the region. One of the long-term proposals of IAPSS Asia does include the establishment of its own office in Manila, Philippines, as well as the conduction of its very own Regional Congress, adopted from the IAPSS Global’s World Congress.
These hopeful dreams and aspirations of IAPSS Asia wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for strong active participation of IAPSS members based in Asia. Several strategic planning and meetings will take place in making these proposals turn into actual outputs. The regional chairperson, in the light of the unique geographic feature of the region, aims to promote a grassroots-based initiative in establishing IAPSS Asia. For its first year, IAPSS Asia aims to represent different political science student organisations in the region by building a strong and sustainable partnership with them. Active involvement with different student organisations in the region will help further introduce IAPSS as a whole. The second year of IAPSS Asia will focus at integrating these partnerships into a collective action, where we wish to use the outputs we’ve produced in our first year into a much more sustainable and long-term project such as the establishment of an IAPSS Asia Research Journal. Partnerships with different academic organisations will also take place in our second year.