The Newsletter

Chinese and EU Energy Security

The energy security challenge of the 21st century

China and the European Union have common vulnerabilities and interests in the areas of energy, environmental protection, and sustainability. In this edition of the Focus, Guest editors Mehdi P. Amineh and Yang Guang ask how they should proceed with regards to mutual cooperation

Swiss photographic collections on Asia

When you understand where you come from and the environment around you, you can take the future into your hands and contribute to a better destiny. Guest editors Paul Bucherer-Dietschi and Anke Schürer-Ries introduce the photographic collections on Asia in Swiss archives, comment on their significance to research and cultural heritage, and reflect on the technical and methodological aspects of building and maintaining such collections.

Africa and the Chinese way

China is both a global power and a developing country – clearly still finding its way in the international system. Guest editor, Frans-Paul van der Putten, focuses on China’s relations with the African continent and how they diff er from those of other influential actors. The Focus articles identify specific elements of the Chinese way of dealing with political-economic diversity in the developing world; elements which allow China to clearly distinguish itself from the West.

Postcolonial dialogues

Guest editor Michiel Baas offers a selection of examples of the confusing image painted by postcolonial dialogues, in which certain colonial pasts are celebrated, yet simultaneously recognised for the atrocities committed. The discussion brings us to the question of the post in postcolonial, and thus to the present day, because even though structures of inequality were put in place during colonial days, they often see their perpetuation and/or reinvention for many years after Independence.

Food Security and Land Grabbing

Local crop or foreign commodity? Guest editor Annelies Zoomers considers the food security debate in Asia, in the context of domestic and international land acquisitions intended to meet increasing demands for both food and (bio)energy. Various strategies, such as offshore farming, the creation of agro-hubs, and foreign investors, aim to increase food security, yet often have an adverse impact on local communities and their ecosystems.

Cultural Heritage

“Cultural heritage projects mediate what we behold, and what we are told, of the past,” states guest editor Imran bin Tajudeen. “They involve representations and narrations of, and interventions on, aspects of the histories of specifically-defined communities within contemporary frames of reference and signification.”

Supplementary education in Asia

Guest editors Mark Bray and Julian Dierkes introduce the theme of supplementary education by showing how it has become a huge enterprise, occupying significant proportions of the time of students and the budgets of their families.

Urbanisation in East Asia

Economically and politically, Asia’s increasing importance has led some to see the 21st century as the Asian century. One of the major factors fuelling Asia’s remarkable growth is urbanisation. Gregory Bracken is the guest editor of The Focus, which zeroes in on Urbanisation in East Asia.

Religion and Global Empire

Guest Editor Kiri Paramore brings together ideas of religion, power and identity in Asia in his theme Religion and Global Empire.

‘Indigenous’ India

Markus Schleiter and Erik de Maaker present ‘Indigenous’ India – six essays focussing on a deeper understanding of the processes by which ‘tribes’ and ‘tribal identities’ are being sustained, redefined, created and denied.


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