The 10th International Malaysian Studies Conference (MSC10)

The 10th International Malaysian Studies Conference (MSC10)



Persatuan Sains Sosial Malaysia (Malaysian Social Science Association – PSSM), in cooperation with UMS’s Faculty of Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage, Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), and Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM will be convening the 10th International Malaysian Studies Conference (MSC10) from 15-17 August, 2016 in Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.


  1. To bring together scholars, both Malaysians and Malaysianists, for the purpose of scholarly exchange and interaction based on their research findings and reflections on Malaysia.
  2. To analyse issues and problems relating to contemporary Malaysia, and to compare the Malaysian experience with that of various countries especially in the context of ASEAN Community Building
  3. To examine the state of Malaysian studies and to suggest ways for its advancement, within the broader context of ASEAN Studies.


With accelerated globalization in the 21st century, people across the region and the world are now more connected than ever before. Flows of people, capital, goods, services, technology, news, views, ideas, ideologies etc. take place continuously across borders. Actors across the region and the world are not just states, private corporations and multilateral institutions but also non-state actors. Civil society as a key non-state actor has emerged as an important institution in ensuring checks and balances on governments, private sector and multilateral institutions. Their role is very significant in ensuring a 2 globalization that has a human face, and also in ensuring regionalism and regional community building integrate the perspectives from below besides those from above.

ASEAN as a centerpiece of Asian regionalism has to grapple with globalization. It has offered leadership in three ways. First, it is the institutional hub around which new and wider regional institutions have been anchored and established. Hence, the expressions: ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN Plus Three Plus Three (East Asian Summit), etc. Second, some of the processes and approaches originally developed by ASEAN have been adopted by new regional institutions such ARF, APT and APEC.

However today, there are signs of growing dissatisfaction with the leadership of ASEAN in Asian regional institutions. This is due to several reasons. First, the credibility of ASEAN as a regional organization has not recovered from the blow it received in the Asian financial crisis. Disputes among ASEAN members have created the image of a house divided against itself. Second, this lack of internal cohesiveness has coincided with the simultaneous rise of China and India, hence contributing to the relative decline, of ASEAN in the Asian balance of power. Third, Asian regional organizations face a number of transnational challenges that require a wider regional perspective and approach and greater dose of resources than what ASEAN itself can provide. Having said these, ASEAN is nevertheless making an effort towards building a community that will embrace the Southeast Asian diversity, and act as a counterweight in the regional balance of power.

These and other questions should be addressed in a critical and scholarly manner using the perspectives of the social sciences and the humanities, and applied to the contemporary Malaysian situation considered from the broader perspective of the ASEAN region. In so doing, the Conference is departing somewhat from its previous traditionally Malaysiancentric concerns—although these were not parochial or inward looking—towards a broader regional approach consistent with the developments of the time. Hence, the rationale for the current 10th International Malaysian Studies Conference (MSC10).


In light of the above, MSC10 has set as its theme, Globalization and Regionalism: Malaysia in the Context of ASEAN Community Building, in order to provide a forum where these and related issues can be critically discussed. The theme is broadly conceived so as to avoid a seemingly narrow focus. Thus even contributions which are not directly related to the theme, but occur within the broader scope of Malaysian and ASEAN studies, are also welcomed including comparative studies on Malaysia and other countries within and beyond the region.

Date: 5-17 August 2016 (Monday-Wednesday)
Venue: Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

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