Building Australian research capacity on Asia

20 Jan 2012


Key Points:

  • Asia literacy – literacy about the region – has been the dominant underlying rationale for public investment in research about Australia’s region leading to a strong focus on country based centres with a considerable area studies and humanities focus.
  • This conventional Asia literacy strategy is prone to rent seeking, and is less effective in generating knowledge about the new social and political dynamics of the region than a strategy geared towards understanding contemporary problems of capitalist transformation in the region.
  • This Policy Brief advocates a problem-oriented research strategy that addresses problems and puzzles of social, economic, and political transformations that are often transnational in nature and scope.
  • Public investment on research in the region via major public funding bodies such as the Australian Research Council and AusAID as well as through public universities should develop a strategic and coordinated approach to building research capacity on the region.

Image: IceNineJon / flickr

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