Conference on Inter-Asian Connections: Dubai, UAE February 21-23, 2008

The conference was organized around twelve concurrent workshops showcasing innovative research from across the social sciences and related disciplines, on themes of particular relevance across Asia. The structure and schedule of the conference were designed to enable intensive ‘working group’ interactions on a specific research theme, as well as broader interactions on topics of mutual interest and concern to all participants. Accordingly, there was a public keynote panel (“The Asian Century”) as well as plenaries addressing different aspects of Inter-Asian research that was open to all participants as well as the general public. The concluding day of the conference brought all the workshops together in a public presentation and exchange of research agendas that have emerged over the course of the deliberations in Dubai.

The conference also include a plenary session entitled “Dubai: Interconnecting Asia” which explored issues of pressing relevance to the Gulf region within the context of Asia as well as highlight the distinctive relations between corporate, private, and state organizations in the United Arab Emirates and their potential role in connecting local and international research communities.

List of workshops

Border Problems: Theory, Culture, and Political Economy

Workshop directors:

  • David Ludden, New York University, US
  • Julie Mostov, Drexel University, Pennsylvania, US
  • Dina Siddiqi, University of Pennsylvania, US

Distant Divides and Intimate Connections: Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia

Workshop director:

  • Nicole Constable, University of Pittsburgh, US

Initiatives of Regional Integration in Asia in Comparative Perspective: Concepts, Contents, and Prospects

Workshop directors:

  • Howard Loewen, German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Germany
  • Anja Zorob, German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Germany

Inter-referencing Asia: Urban Experiments and the Art of Being Global

Workshop directors:

  • Aihwa Ong, University of California, Berkeley, US
  • Ananya Roy, University of California, Berkeley, US

Law-in-Action in Asian Societies and Civilizations

Workshop directors:

  • Baudouin Dupret, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
  • Zouhair Ghazzal, Loyola University, Chicago, US

Multiple Flexibilities: Nation–States, Global Business, and Precarious Labor

Workshop directors:

  • Kevin Hewison, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US
  • Arne Kalleberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US

Neoliberal Globalization and Governmentality: State, Civil Society, and the NGO Phenomenon in Asia

Workshop director:

  • Sangeeta Kamat, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, US

Networks of Islamic Learning across Asia:The Role of International Centers of Islamic Learning in Building Ties and Forging New Identities

Workshop director:

  • Jacqueline Armijo-Hussein, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Postcollective Economic Lives and Livelihoods: Studies of Economy, Institutions, and Everyday Practice in Postsocialist Eurasia and Asia

Workshop directors:

  • Beth Mitchneck, University of Arizona, US
  • John Pickles, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US

Sites of Inter-Asian Interaction

Workshop directors:

  • Sunil Amrith, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK
  • Timothy Harper, University of Cambridge, UK

Transnational Circuits: “Muslim Women” in Asia

Workshop director:

  • Annelies Moors, ISIM/University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

South Asia Regional Fellowship Program: Collaborative Research

Workshop directors:

  • Gopalan Balachandran, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Srirupa Roy, Social Science Research Council, New York, and University of Massachusetts at Amherst, US

Conference proceedings, including detailed reports on each of the workshops and analyses of the applicant and participant pools, can be found here. Please contact us directly at for specific inquiries.