[URBANTH-L] ANN: Dissertation Workshop on Social Capital and Civic Engagement in Asia (Toronto)

Angela Jancius jancius3022 at comcast.net
Fri Oct 10 15:10:14 EDT 2008

Dissertation Workshop on
May 3-6, 2009
Asian Institute
Munk Centre for International Studies
1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3K7 Canada

This dissertation workshop seeks to engage scholars whose work explores the 
impacts of collective action and social capital, and its various component 
parts (trust, norms, networks and associations) in diverse parts of Asia, 
where the nature of state, civil society and alternate civilities is 
changing rapidly. Our premise is that the "productivity" of civic engagement 
in terms of enhancing the economic and political vitality of local 
communities depends, to a large extent, on the responsiveness of the local 
government and the nature of civil society/alternate civilities in the 
region under examination. As such, empirical research that seeks to discover 
and document how social capital and civic engagement interact with other 
aspects of social and political life to enhance, or perhaps diminish, 
well-being is important to both intellectual and policy debates taking place 
across a variety of academic disciplines. Further, researchers who focus on 
Asia are well positioned to contribute to theoretical debates about the 
relative usefulness of the concept of "social capital" and associated terms 
such as social cohesion, cooperation, public participation, empowerment, and 
community as ways of apprehending the complex dynamics of Asian settings. 
The workshop thus seeks to bring empirical research and re-theorizations 
from Asia into a productive dialogue.

The workshop is intended for doctoral students whose dissertation projects 
concern the role of civic engagement and social capital, in its many 
variations, in fostering dynamic change in any part of contemporary Asia. 
The purpose of the workshop is to encourage and assist doctoral students who 
are just beginning work on these issues, as well as those who are farther 
along in their projects. The workshop will involve intensive discussion of 
the individual projects and also the larger theoretical and methodological 
issues that they raise. Possibilities for continuing associations among 
interested students and faculty will be explored. Applicants must be 
enrolled in a full-time doctoral program. They must have drafted a 
dissertation research proposal, even though it may not yet be approved by 
their committees. They must be prepared to engage in some work prior to the 
meeting, namely reading and commenting on the proposals of other 
participants to establish a basis for productive exchange at the event.

The workshop will take place over three days on the campus of the University 
of Toronto. It will include twelve students and four faculty members from a 
variety of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields. The Asian Institute at 
the University of Toronto will cover the costs of work, meals, and 
accommodation. Travel will be subsidized up to a maximum of CDN$600 per 


Applications consist of two items: 1) a current curriculum vitae and 2) an 8 
to 10 page double spaced dissertation proposal. Alternatively, if the work 
is well underway, an 8 to 10 page double spaced description of the specific 
issues being addressed, the intellectual approach, and the materials being 
studied. Workshop participants will be selected on the content of the 
submitted projects, the potential for useful exchanges among them, and the 
benefits of including a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary 
approaches and intellectual traditions. Applications should be sent in an 
email attachment to ai.soc at utoronto.ca. Applicants will be informed about 
whether or not they have been selected for the workshop by February 6th 
2009. For further information about the workshop or eligibility, please 
contact the workshop assistant at ai.soc at utoronto.ca


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