The German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Good Governance and Public Policy (CPG) was founded in 2009, with funding from the Federal Foreign Office and with administrative support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Its foundation goes back to an open tender in the context of the “Initiative for Excellence of the German Federal Government” as a part of the Federal Foreign Office´s Research and Academic Relations Initiative. Originally, the initiative focused on the advancement of German elite universities to promote cutting-edge research, to create outstanding conditions for scholars, to deepen cooperation between disciplines and institutions, and to strengthen international cooperation of research. It has then been taken up by the Foreign Office’s efforts in the field of external research and academic relations in close cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

This initiative ultimately led to the establishment of four Centers of Excellence worldwide. Besides CPG, these are the Center of Excellence in Marine Sciences (CEMarin), Santa Marta, Columbia (German partner university: Justus Liebig University Gießen); the German-Russian Interdisciplinary Science Centre (G-RISC), St. Petersburg, Russia (German partner university: Free University Berlin); and the Heidelberg Centre Latin America, Santiago de Chile, Chile (German partner university: Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg).
CPG’s philosophy is based on three basic premises. These are:

  • First, that a good theory is the best practice, while a good theory has to be based on practice;
  • Second, that the engagement with the human condition in an increasingly interconnected and shifting world requires interdisciplinary approaches; and
  • Third, that the best approach for successful exchange between different cultural spaces is pursued from the inside.

In our activities, we seek to translate academic theory into practices of governance while developing a clear understanding of the realities of governance. To this end, we initiate fruitful debates among our various stakeholders and equip them with knowledge and skills. The high momentum of our activities enables a corresponding level of synergy and interconnectivity within and between our main program lines. We serve the academic discourse and the exchange between theory and practice, as well as the dialogue of state and civil society.

Besides our partner universities and several other partners, CPG cooperates particularly closely with the Supreme Administrative Court of Thailand, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), the German Embassy in Bangkok, the Hanns Seidel Foundation (Bangkok Office), the Viadrina Compliance Center (Frankfurt/Oder), and Jember University (Indonesia).

Fostering academic relations between Thailand/Southeast Asia and Germany

CPG facilitates the exchange of academic excellence

Institutional Profile

Situated at the Faculty of Law of Thammasat University in Bangkok, CPG is a joint institute of Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt, Westfälische Wilhelms University Münster, and Thammasat. It is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office with administrative support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

CPG is an academic institution, think tank, and provider of advisory services. Our work focuses on developments in public policy and good governance, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. Based on an interdisciplinary approach involving legal, political, and social sciences, we provide platforms for the exchange of ideas and the development of solutions. We cooperate with passion and dedication, and we value our partners and clients.

CPG is active in research and education as well as in training and consultancy, and supports a wide circle of stakeholders. We host academic events; publish research and knowledge; advise scholars, professionals, and institutions; and bring together theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Our network of partners comprises academic institutions, scholars and students, governmental agencies and professionals, non-governmental organizations, and activists.

Our expertise extends to comparative constitutional and administrative law, human rights, peace and security studies, and governance and compliance, as well as law and policy reform. CPG – throughout its members and partners – offers conferences and seminars, training courses and workshops, and project evaluations and consultancy services to the public and interested parties.

CPG is also a center for the promotion of knowledge on German and Thai culture, law, and governance, as well as of Europe and Southeast Asia as integrated regions. Regularly, we offer scholarships for German language courses at Thammasat University, as well as for our academies in Germany, Thailand, and other countries. Introductory courses to German law taught by CPG members are permanently integrated into the graduate and undergraduate curriculum at the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University.

Further, on special occasions, our members are honored to convey knowledge on Thailand and Germany, Southeast Asia, and Europe from legal, political and cultural perspectives.

CPG is located at the Faculty of Law of Thammasat University

Our Partner Universities and Funding Institutions

Thammasat University, Faculty of Law

Located in the historic heart of Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok, close to the Grand Palace, the Council of State, and the Supreme Court of Justice, Thammasat University is one of the most prestigious Southeast Asian universities. The Faculty of Law, in which CPG is embedded, is considered as “the first and the best” faculty of law in Thailand. With its more than 3,500 students it is also the biggest.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt, Faculty of Law

Located in Europe’s banking capital, the Faculty of Law of Frankfurt’s Goethe University, with its more than 4,000 students, is one of the most important law faculties in Germany. In addition, Goethe University’s interdisciplinary Cluster of Excellence The Formation of Normative Orders and the Interdisciplinary Centre for East Asian Studies (IZO) represent two highly reputed sources of expertise, and both are relevant for areas of CPG’s work focus.

Westfälische Wilhelms University Münster, Faculty of Law

With 5,500 students, the Faculty of Law at Westfälische Wilhelms University Münster is one of the biggest law faculties in Germany. With its esteemed faculty of law, the interdisciplinary Cluster of Excellence Religion and Politics, Münster University provides another valuable source of competence for CPG’s activities.

Federal Foreign Office, Federal Republic of Germany

The Federal Foreign Office represents Germany’s interests to the world. It promotes international exchange and offers protection and assistance to Germans abroad. The Federal Foreign Office considers Asia a key region in German foreign policy. CPG works in close cooperation and coordination with the German Embassy in Bangkok.

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a globally operating agent for the promotion of higher education. It is the world’s largest funding organization for international exchange of students and scholars. The DAAD runs more than 200 programs worldwide, open to students and scholars from all academic fields. In Thailand, the DAAD regularly provides scholarships for Thai students and scholars, runs a well-staffed information center providing comprehensive counseling services, and supports German guest and long term lecturers at several Thai universities, including the Faculty of Law of Thammasat University.