UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
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December 4 – 6, 2000

Pre Conference Symposium
December 1, 2000 
MOST Programme       CAPSTRANS

This has been the first of an international series of five UNESCO-MOST sponsored conferences exploring the specific characteristics of globalisation and social transformation in the various world regions.

The conference was jointly convened by the Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies (CAPSTRANS) and the UNESCO-MOST (Management of Social Transformations) Programme.

CAPSTRANS has been established jointly by the University of Wollongong and the University of Newcastle, Australia, to analyse processes of social transformation in the Asia Pacific region. CAPSTRANS works closely with UNESCO-MOST through the coordination of research networks involving many Asia Pacific countries.

Globalisation and regional integration are changing the way people live, work and relate to each other all over the world. Societies and communities often have no choice about participating in global networks, but the character of their participation is shaped by specific social, cultural, economic and political conditions. This complex multi-level process of mediation between the global and the local is the focus of a new inter-disciplinary field of research: social transformation studies.

Unlike traditional development studies, this new approach does not take the western model as the aspired goal, but rather sees social transformation as an open-ended process affecting all parts of the world.

This Conference brought together leading global theorists and Asia Pacific scholars who analysed social transformation in the region. Representatives of government, business and non-governmental organisations were invited to contribute to debates on strategies for managing social transformation and achieving sustainable human development.

The results will be published as a major international book.

The Conference Program:

  • Keynote session
    • Global Trends and Asia Pacific Responses.
  • Five plenary sessions
    • From Development Studies to the Analysis of Social Transformation: new perspectives
    • Improving the Development Performance of the International Community
    • Democracy, Civil Society and the State
    • Eastern and Western Philosophies in the Transformation Process
    • Globalisation from Below
  • Roundtable Discussion
    • Responding to Social Transformations: Researchers, Policymakers and Communities Working Together
  • Series of Parallel Sessions (focussing on a range of crucial themes)
    • Migration, multicultural societies and the post-colonial Nation-State
    • Technological innovation and societal effects
    • Human resource development
    • Asian labour in the era of globalisation
    • Social policy and welfare in post-crisis Asia
    • Culture, identity and community in the transformation process
    • The human costs of development
    • ‘Asian values’, modernisation and development
  • Pre Conference Symposium on December 1 at the University of Newcastle.

  • The Pre Conference Symposium brought some of the leading international and Australian speakers from the main conference to Newcastle to make the debate on social transformation in the Asia Pacific region available to a wider public.

More information and conference papers are available at the CAPSTRANS website.


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