IIAS | IIAS Newsletter Online | No.17 | Institutes

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Reconstitution of the ESF Asia Committee

In 1997 the ESF Executive Council decided to continue the Asian Studies Programme for another period of three years, following the recommendations of an external review panel. The contents of the new programme, which have been published in the previous IIAS Newsletter, were the result of a debate between the Standing Committees for the Humanities and the Social Sciences. That is why it has taken a while before the programme could be restarted. The Asian Studies Programme will focus on contemporary issues in Asia, while taking into account the cultural and historical context.

By Max Sparreboom

In the mean time, the ESF Member Organisations that have a potential interest in Asian Studies have been approached with a suggestion for a financial contribution. They were also requested to make nominations for membership of the new Asia Committee that will be responsible for the execution of this programme. Presently, most research organisations have replied. At their October meetings (this is written before the meetings had taken place), the Standing Committees will take a decision on the proposed composition of the new Asia Committee. Thirteen European countries will be represented on this Committee. The composition should take account of a fair spread of disciplinary and regional expertise and is subject to careful scrutiny by the two Standing Committees of ESF. If the Standing Committees come to an agreement and if the proposed new Asia Committee members accept their nomination, the Committee will be established in November. A first meeting could then in principle take place in December 1998.

The total budget for 1999 to be raised through -la-carte contributions from ESF Member Organisations, national governments and private foundations amounts to FF 2.820.000. The amount of money requested from the ESF Member Organisations is FF 1.450.000. At present, some seventy-five percent of this amount is secured; further commitments are awaited or are under discussion. Private foundations are being approached for further contributions.

Ongoing Activities
In the mean time, the workshops selected in 1997 are taking place, and the fellows selected by the Asia Committee in June 1997 have started work in Leiden. Attached is an update on activities of the Asian Studies Programme. These activities are being paid from remaining funds of 1997 and from an extra contribution to the workshop scheme in 1997 by the government of the Netherlands. More about the activities of the new Asia Committee will be published in the next IIAS Newsletter.

   IIAS | IIAS Newsletter Online | No.17 | Institutes