Research Projects: Full List

Below is a list of current research projects at the East-West Center. Each link gives a description of project activities along with selected publications, collaborating scholars, contact information for associated staff members, and related conferences, workshops, and other events. View older, archived research projects here.

Addressing Drought in Hawaii and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands

In Hawai‘i and the US Affiliated Pacific Islands, East-West Center researchers are working with collaborators at the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa to pilot Drought Knowledge Exchange projects in which researchers collaborate with land managers to co-produce site-specific drought information. Improving our understanding of drought and having readily available and relevant drought-related information can increase the drought resilience and response of land managers, helping to reduce wildfire risk and protect threatened and endangered species.

Changes in Rice Farming in Mainland Southeast Asia

East-West Center researchers recently launched a collaborative study on changes in rice farming in mainland Southeast Asia, supported by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Researchers will examine one of the most intriguing agricultural-development questions in the region—how have fewer, older farmers with fewer agricultural laborers and smaller farms managed to more than double total rice production over the past 20 years?

Climate, Health, and Migration from the Marshall Islands

The East-West Center in participating in a collaborative research project on climate-induced migration from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), both internally between islands and internationally to Hawaiʻi and the U.S. mainland.

Community-Building Activities on China's Internet

Focusing on the Chinese social media apps WeChat and TicTok, each of which has more than one billion active users worldwide, research considers how globalization of these technologies is affecting social, political, and economic development outside of China's borders.

Economic Development and Land-Use Change: Expansion of Rubber Plantations in Southeast Asia

A collaborative study investigates the conversion of traditional mixed farming to commercial rubber plantations in the mountainous areas of mainland Southeast Asia, focusing on the implications for water and carbon dynamics and the wellbeing of local farmers.

Economic Policy Issues: Joint Project with the Korea Development Institute

For more than 35 years, the East-West Center and the Korea Development Institute have organized annual meetings of authors and published book-length studies on economic issues facing countries around the world.

Exposure to Air Pollution and Health Effects in the Future Smart Cities of Vietnam

The East-West Center has initiated a project to promote air quality management in the future smart cities of Vietnam. The goal is to create a multi-disciplinary action-research network.

Forests, Agriculture, and Urban Transitions in Mainland Southeast Asia

This research initiative studies transitions in forests, cash crops, and urban areas using remote-sensing and socioeconomic data from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Vietnam.

HIV Policy Analysis, Research, and Training

Center researchers work with national partners throughout Asia and with colleagues from regional and international agencies to improve understanding of national HIV epidemics and help policymakers achieve the maximum impact in countering epidemics with the limited available resources.

Mapping Forest Dynamics after 25 Years of Community Management in the Middle Hills of Nepal

Multi-disciplinary research is analyzing forest transitions and associated socioeconomic variables in Nepal, where an innovative system of community forest management has received worldwide recognition but little documentation, in part due to the difficulty of mapping forest cover in mountainous environments.

North Pacific Arctic Conference

Beginning in 2011, an annual North Pacific Arctic Conference has brought together an international group of participants from the public and private sectors and civil society for discussions around a broad theme, with the presented papers published in a series of proceedings on The Arctic in World Affairs.

Pacific RISA (Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments) Program

The RISA program helps communities in Hawai‘i and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands understand, plan for, and respond to the impacts of climate variability and change.

Population and the Generational Economy

Throughout the world, including Asia and the Pacific, rapid demographic change is having an important impact on national economies. To improve the analysis of the economic impact of population change, research teams in more than 80 countries have developed a new set of economic accounts, National Transfer Accounts (NTA), that estimate how people at every stage of life acquire and use economic resources to support themselves, their families, and—through public programs—others in their societies. These new data add an important dimension to estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other measures of national economies.

Rise of China and the Strategic Environment in Northeast Asia

Research explores Chinese foreign policy, the North Korea nuclear weapons crisis, and China's relations with Japan and Taiwan. One focus is on tensions arising from disputed claims in the South China Sea.

Southeast Asia in Transition: Plastic Runs Through It
Spatial Information Laboratory

The Spatial Information Laboratory is working to develop and increase the use of remote sensing data, geographic information systems (GIS), and global positioning system (GPS) technology for mapping and assessing environmental conditions throughout Asia and the Pacific region, including Hawaii.

The Mekong, China, & Southeast Asian Transitions Series

In recent decades, people living in the Lower Mekong Region have witnessed major shifts from predominantly subsistence agriculture to industrializing economies, with attendant changes in migration, crop production systems, and major infrastructure(roads, dams, industrial estates). This series of four webinars will explore how communities in the region are experiencing the economic, social, and cultural dislocations of these transformations.