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New Directions, New Challenges


Burma/Myanmar, Laos and North Korea


The Focus Asia symposium in May 2012 focuses on three countries — Burma/Myanmar, Laos and North Korea. Each of these countries in different ways is currently experiencing new directions in its political, economic and social development, developments that have been widely reported in the global media. During the Focus Asia symposium, in addition to accounts of each country by recent visitors, leading international scholars will present and analyse these current developments, and position them in the context of the rapid transformations currently being witnessed in South-East and North-East Asia.

The lectures are open to the general public and entry is free of charge.


Tuesday 8 May : Burma/Myanmar panel


Abstracts Burma/Myanmar panel




What can Aung San Suu Kyi Learn from PM Nu’s mistake?
Dr Hiroko Kawanami, Lecturer in Buddhist Studies, Department of Politics, Philosophy & Religion, Lancaster University




Challenges and opportunities for advancing gender equality in Myanmar: a personal reflection
Annami Löfving, Development Consultant, Myanmar




Coffee break




Myanmar and her Challenges in Peace and Democratization Processes: a Minority’s Perspective
Salai Isaac Khen, Founder and Executive Director, Gender and Development Initiative & Gender and Peace Study Center, Myanmar




Myanmar’s Reforms and Japan’s Response
Toshihiro Kudo, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), 
Institute of Developing Economies, Tokyo, Japan


Wednesday 9 May

09:30-13:00 Laos panel

Abstracts Laos panel







Globalization, Inequality and Social Structures in Laos
Boike Rehbein, Professor of Society and Transformation in Asia and Africa, Humboldt University, Berlin




Does Ethnicity Matter? - Inequalities in Self-Rated Health in Lao PDR
Dr. Magnus Andersson, Research Fellow, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University




Coffee break




State-Owned Enterprises and Fiscal Revenue in Laos’ State-Building: Between Nationalization, Privatization and Commercialization
Souknilanh Keola, Research Fellow, Development Studies Center, Institute of Developing Economies, Tokyo, Japan



The Impact of Emerging Chinese Outward Investment: Evidence from Uneven Development in Northern Laos
Dr. Phanhpakit Onphanhdala, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Economics and Business Management, National University of Laos




Lunch break


14:15-17:30 North Korea panel

Abstracts North Korea panel




One year after the 'Arab spring': Any lessons for North Korea?
Patrick Köllner, Director, GIGA Institute of Asian Studies, German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg and permanent member of the German-Korean Forum




An ordinary autumn week in North Korea: Images from Pyongyang
Mathias Dowler, Real Estate Manager,  Lund University




Coffee break




The dynamics of Northeast Asian economic cooperation: A role for North Korea?
Werner Pascha, Professor of East Asian Economic Studies, Duisburg-Essen University, and Chairman of the Advisory Board on Japan-Korea, German Association for Asian Studies





Closing discussion



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Last modified 22 Jan 2014

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