Current Research Projects

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.

Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI)

The Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI) develops capacities and partnerships related to international justice, judicial reform, the rule of law, and human rights in the Asia-Pacific region, with a specific focus on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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?

Cities at Risk: Building Institutional Capacity for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Cities of Asia and the Pacific

This initiative helps planners and policymakers develop and implement climate-change adaptation and resilience policies at the municipal and regional level.

Community-Building Activities on China's Internet

Focusing on the messaging app WeChat, which has more than 400 million active Chinese users, research considers how the formation of small virtual communities is affecting the course of Chinese social, political, and economic development.

East Asian Trade Interdependence: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Collaborative research analyzed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and evaluated its likely impact on the Asia Pacific region and the United States.

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

A collaborative study investigated 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 30 year, the East-West Center and the Korea Development Institute have organized annual conferences and published book-length studies on economic issues, including international financial regulations, social policy, and the global economic crisis.

Exposure to Air Pollution and Health Effects in Hanoi, Vietnam

Collaborative environmental studies, socio-economic surveys, training workshops, and capacity building for local researchers focused on urban air pollution and associated health risks in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Family Change in Asia and the United States

Collaborative research examines attitudes and behavior in such areas as education, marriage, cohabitation, divorce, childbearing, childcare, employment, and relationships with parents and children using national survey data from Japan, South Korea, other Asian countries, and the United States.

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.

Modernization and Emerging Infectious Diseases: The Case of Avian Influenza in Vietnam

Collaborative research has looked at whether the risks and perceptions of risk associated with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) are associated with processes of modernization.

National Transfer Accounts (NTA): Assessing the Economic Impact of Population Change

Active in more than 70 countries around the world, the NTA project provides estimates of income, consumption, saving, and public and private transfers for specific age groups, adding an important dimension to measures of GDP and other economic indicators and shedding light on the economic impact of population change.

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 Basin Consortium for Environment and Health

The Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment and Health promotes technology and information exchange by providing a forum for diverse individuals and organizations to discuss issues, engage in cooperative research, and develop and disseminate innovative strategies for addressing environment and health concerns.

Pacific RISA (Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments) Program

The East-West Center’s Pacific 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.

Policy Responses to Low Fertility: An International Comparative Study

The East-West Center led a collaborative study to improve understanding of fertility decline in 18 highly developed countries around the world and to consider the implications for policies and programs in such areas as education, labor markets, pension systems, and healthcare.

Rebalancing China’s Political Economy

Research focuses on China’s attempts to transition away from development based on extensive growth that relies on exports, low wages, and environmental exploitation to intensive growth driven by rising investment in new technologies, enhanced wages and skills, and improved worker and environmental protections.

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.

Rural-to-Urban Transitions and the Peri-Urban Interface: Identifying, Mapping, and Understanding Peri-Urban Areas in India and Pakistan

A two-year collaborative research initiative brought together scholars, students, and professionals from India and Pakistan to collect and integrate socioeconomic and ecological data with information from remotely sensed images and thematic maps. Data were analyzed to assess environmental and human-health issues and related governance challenges.

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.

Trade and Innovation within Global Networks: Transforming US-Asia Economic Relations

Research focuses on three areas: (1) Mega-regionalism—new challenges for trade and innovation; (2) China’s innovation policy and its impact on economic relations with the US; and (3) Innovation and trade policies and corporate strategies in India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia, all major exporters of information and communications technology.