Call for papers

Environmental Asia: Conference and PhD course

The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) invites PhD students to attend the 10th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference and PhD course in Oslo, 20-22 and 23-24 November. 

The theme of the conference and consecutive PhD course is ‘Environmental Asia’. Participation by PhD students from universities in The Netherlands is organised in the context of the European Alliance for Asian Studies. Deadline for the submission of abstracts for the conference and PhD course is 29 August (EXtended deadline)

By the end of August the Academic Committee of the Conference and PhD course will decide upon acceptance. The fee for PhD students is 250 euros, which covers conference/course fee, accommodation (4 nights), lunches and dinners, according to the programme. IIAS provides a limited number of grants to cover the fee for participation. Request for a grant can be submitted to IIAS after acceptance of abstract.

For registration and further information, please go to the conference website:

The conference & PhD course

Global environmental degradation and climate change are possibly the greatest challenges of our times. They have roots in humanity’s long history of creatively making use of natural resources to generate change, often with unforeseen and unpredictable consequences. As the gravity of the world economy shifts east, Asia finds itself at the center of the global environmental crisis. It is home not just to 60 percent of the world’s population, but also to some of the world’s most rapidly expanding middle classes in the largest emerging economies. As a consequence of climate change, Asia is already feeling the social and economic impact of intensified droughts, floods, storms and pollution.

Asia has a history of sophisticated philosophical debates on man and nature, intertwined with pre-modern practices of transforming and redesigning the environment to serve human needs. At the same time, shifting regimes of capitalism, socialism, colonialism, neo-liberalism and authoritarianism have co-existed and informed environmental debates, practices and policies. While Asia is an extremely complex region to engage, it remains crucial for understanding both the historical roots of current environmental problems as well as for exploring joint future solutions.

The aim of this conference is to facilitate critical discussions about Asia’s environmental pathways. What interests are at stake in current environmental policies, and who represents them? How will Asian societies deal with the double-bind of economic development and environmental protection? What roles do Asian religions and philosophies play in environmental debates? How have people reacted to and coped with major environmental changes in the past, and how do they anticipate the future? By exploring these questions, the conference aspires to promote a deeper understanding of environmental change in Asia.

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