Southeast Asian Studies, part of the broader field of Area Studies, is an interdisciplinary field of study which focuses on the Southeast Asian region. Among the principal subjects of scholarship and research in Southeast Asian Studies are history, economy, politics, society, culture, ethnicity, religion, language, and environment.
As globalization has accelerated the process of global integration, Southeast Asia has assumed a position of ever greater importance to Thailand’s international political and economic strategy. Thailand has played an important role as a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), and the proposed ASEAN Community, due to be established by 2015. Thailand has close economic relations with the other countries of Southeast Asia, as well as longstanding historical, social and cultural links.
Today the countries of the Southeast Asian region face many significant challenges. Sustainable responses need to be found jointly by the countries of the region to meet these challenges, making research and scholarship into the major issues confronting the Southeast Asian region a priority.
The field of Southeast Asian Studies was formerly primarily developed in academic institutions in the West. The study of Southeast Asia thus naturally reflected the questions, assumptions, and the perspectives of Western scholars and the priorities of the countries in which they worked. However, today the study of Southeast Asia is developing rapidly in the Southeast Asian region itself. Southeast Asian universities, as well as the regional organization ASEAN, are increasingly promoting scholarship and research into Southeast Asian matters out of a desire to find solutions to the many problems facing the people of the region. Walailak University’s position in southern Thailand, at the juncture of mainland and archipelagic Southeast Asia, provides an ideal location in which to study this dynamic region.
Research strengths of the Staff of the Regional Studies Program (Southeast Asia) include: Southern Thai Studies; Patani Malay History and Literature; Malayness; the Islamic Revival in Southeast Asia; Southeast Asian Film; Ethnicity in Myanmar; Thai History, Politics and Cultural Studies in Southeast Asia; and Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asia.
Program Contact Person
Name: Asst.Prof.Dr. Davisakd Puaksom
Contact Phone No.: +66 7567 2069, +66 7567 2002-3