Asia Research Institute


Research in both the social and cognitive sciences has increasingly focused on the complex dynamic between cultural meaning and practices with cognitive processes. From the sociology of science to the anthropology of religion, cultural studies have taken a cognitive turn to explore a wide range of topics including distributed cognition in technological systems, memory and religious rituals, and the neuroeconomics of decisions about risk. Cognitive neuroscientists have likewise begun to more closely examine how culture influences cognition in areas such as perception and attention, healing and placebo effects, language processing and speech disorders, and even the psychosomatics of meditation.

Emerging out of this multidisciplinary interest in culture and cognition is a new understanding of the plasticity of embodiment that emphasizes change in how cultural practices, human cognition and behavior, and even the natural environment influence each other. Cultural change and neurocognitive plasticity are the result of active human agency rather than purely passive inscription by social, technological, or biological systems.

Awarding Body: Asia Research Institute and Fetzer Franklin Trust


Philip CHO
Governing Compound Disasters in Urbanizaing Asia

The expansion of the Disaster Governance theme has been facilitated by an MOE Tier-2 grant on Governing Compound Disasters in Urbanizing Asia [MOE2014-T2-1-017], awarded in 2014. Led by the AUC, this 3-year multidisciplinary programme involves cooperation with ARI’s Asian Urbanisms and Science, Technology and Society cluster. It aims to improve understandings of the changing risks, vulnerabilities, responses and resilience to compounded environmental disasters in an increasingly interconnected urbanizing Asia. Research on Disaster Governance in an age of urban transitions and global climate change has produced extensive international research collaborations and publications, with a longer term objective of establishing Singapore as a centre of leadership in Asia in the growing field of Disaster Studies. The programme is the only university-based disaster research effort in Asia that brings together the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and related technical disciplines.
Our mission:

  • Explore Asia’s diverse urban experiences: historically, contemporaneously, and towards the future
  • Contribute to theory and applied research through comparative studies with other world region
  • Publish research that speaks in transformative ways to urban-related theories, debates and public policy issue
  • Fill missing gaps in humanities and social sciences perspectives
01 September 2014 to 30 September 2017
Religion and NGOs in Asia

The project is designed to explore the ways in which interactions between the spheres of ‘religion’ and ‘development’ are shaping transformations in both fields through focused examinations of engagements of religious NGOs in Asia with policy and regulatory frameworks at multiple levels – sub-national, national, and transnational.
Our work is focused on four dimensions: policies implemented by states towards religious NGOs, policies of development organizations in engaging with religious NGOs, policies and tactics of religious NGOs in responding to states and transnational actors, and internal policies and practices of religious NGOs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s