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Southeast Asia at the Heart of Indo-Pacific Strategies (International Summer School)

June 19 - June 27

Jointly hosted by the CÉRIUM Chair in Asian and Indo-Pacific Studies, University of Montreal, the Asian Studies Centre (CETASE), University of Montreal, the German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance (CPG), and the Institute for Research on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC)

June 19 to 27, 2024, Thammasat University (Tha Prachan Campus), Bangkok, Thailand

I. Background

For several years, the challenge of a rising China to a waning unipolar world order under American auspices has boiled down to an entrenching strategic competition between these two global powers as the defining feature of today’s international relations. The war in Ukraine and the upheavals in the Middle East have underscored how volatile the relationship between great powers is, impacting in some way or other the Indo-Pacific region. Within this great power competition, the Indo-Pacific has become the most prominent geopolitical theater of the struggle for regional hegemony between Washington and Beijing.

In recognition of the Indo-Pacific’s geostrategic importance, numerous countries worldwide, alongside Canada, the US, and the European Union, have formulated distinct Indo-Pacific strategies in recent years.

Within these strategies, Southeast Asia is prominently addressed as the US-China competition is intensifying in this region, with China seeking to expand its influence there and the US attempting to counter Beijing’s efforts.

Southeast Asia’s strategic significance is reinforced by its location overseeing major sea lanes, such as the Southeast China Sea, and its potential diplomatic role through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In economic terms, the region is gaining external attraction as it is projected to become the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2030, trailing only behind the US, China, and India, with a population nearing 700 million, robust growth rates, rapid urbanization, and a swiftly advancing digital economy. In addition, de-risking and diversification strategies away from China have seen Southeast Asia benefitting from multinational companies shifting their investments and operations.

Against this backdrop, the international Summer School offers the opportunity for an engagement with the region and an in-depth introduction to the growing significance of Southeast Asia in global politics. The nine-day certificate course will explore multiple factors relevant to the region’s rising significance in the global geopolitical landscape and analyze how this significance is reflected within various Indo-Pacific strategies and related official sources. The participants will gain input and knowledge to review the strategies and critically assess them.

The Summer School will combine various learning formats including lectures, panel discussions, talks with relevant stakeholders, and a practical exercise conducted by the participants applying what has been learned during the program.

II. Content description

The Summer School will explore Southeast Asia’s role as delineated in various strategic concepts focusing on the Indo-Pacific as reflected in Indo-Pacific strategies and related official documents, texts, and statements, elucidating the actual approaches of external actors toward the region. Depending on the respective actors, this may include scrutinizing national security and economic strategy papers, white papers, policy guidelines, and similar materials.

Lectures and panels will explore the geostrategic significance and dynamics in the Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asia to include perspectives on geopolitical trends, international trade, and collective identities.

Talks and discussions with representatives of relevant stakeholders – including the governmental and civil society organizations, the academia and think tanks, as well as the business sector – will provide an opportunity to dig deeper into issues to develop ideas for improving strategic concepts dealing with Southeast Asia.

The Summer School will culminate in a practical exercise in which teams will critique the approach toward Southeast Asia in Indo-Pacific strategies from within their own logic, evaluating internal coherence and resonance with regional geopolitical, political, and socio-cultural realities, anticipating potential resistance, and examining potential outcomes for relations with Southeast Asia.

III. Eligibility

This course welcomes Asian graduate students, advanced undergraduates, young academics, and professionals with an interest in the international relations and geopolitical dynamics of Asia.

A total of 12 seats are available for application. Successful candidates will join a group of 26 participants from Canada.

Tuition fees for Asian participants will be waived. However, they are responsible for their travel expenses to and from Bangkok, as well as their accommodation costs during the program. Lunch meals and refreshments during the Summer School will be provided.


Application form

Please acknowledge:

1. Your personal information, such as your gender, age, full name, email, organization and position, educational background, address, etc. will be gathered. We will use the data collected to generate course statistics, which will be organized by event and year. The data will also be stored as electronic files in separate folders for each course. All data is for internal use only and will be treated as confidential. During the event, photos will be taken. Some of them will be used for our institute’s public relations.

2. Please prepare a Curriculum Vitae (CV), a Transcript (for students), and a Cover Letter in order to complete your application.

3. To avoid misuse of the opportunity and ensure that only those who intend to duly attend the program will be admitted to the program, a deposit of USD 150 is required which will be returned after due completion of the program. The deposit is to be made on the first day of the Academy prior to the first session.

4. During the duration of the program, organizers will provide a daily lunch and we are unable to offer customized meals.

5. Your email address will be utilized to disseminate information regarding upcoming events and other relevant communication related to the activities of CPG/AGF. You can unsubscribe from the information at any time by following the instructions provided in the emails or by contacting us at events@cpg-online.de directly.

6. For questions relating to the administration of the program, please contact CPG event manager Ms. Venus Phuangkom at events@cpg-online.de. For questions relating to the content of the program, please contact Dr. Duc Quang Ly at duc.quang.ly@cpg-online.de.

7. The application deadline is by April 25, 2024.

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Full Name:
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a Curriculum vitae (CV)/ Resume
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a Transcript of records (for students. Please upload a blank document for professionals.)
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a Cover letter (brief statement of approximately 250 words outlining your reasons for wishing to attend the program)


June 19
June 27
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