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Next LSE Asia Forum to be held in Singapore in spring 2008

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LSE will host its fourth Asia Forum in Singapore on Friday 11 April 2008, with prime minister Lee Hsien Loong delivering the keynote speech.

The Forum was announced by LSE Director Howard Davies today (Tuesday 23 October) at an event for alumni of LSE taking place at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. The Forum will take The Politics of Knowledge as its theme.

The Asia Forum aims to address the challenging issues facing policymakers, business people and others in supporting and promoting the growth of knowledge-based economies. A particular focus will be approaches suitable for Asian nations and the Asia region - approaches which often differ from those adopted in the US and Europe.

Director of LSE Howard Davies said: 'These days it is almost a cliché to say that we live in a knowledge economy. But what does it mean? Knowledge is not like the tangible assets that have driven the early development of most nations. This forum will bring together a group of top academics, policy makers and others to answer the question, and we are honoured that Prime Minister Lee and Education Minister and LSE alumnus Tharman Shanmugaratnam have agreed to participate.'

Tharman Shanmugaratnam said: 'I am glad that LSE will host its fourth Asia Forum in Singapore, and on a theme that occupies many of us in Asia. It should be an exciting and dynamic exchange of ideas.'

The 2008 Forum will be hosted in association with the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies (ISEAS), an autonomous research institute in Singapore.

Ambassador Kesavapany, director of ISEAS, which is LSE's partner in this event, said: 'At a time when globalisation, IT, and other factors have led to an explosion of knowledge, it is timely and pertinent that LSE and ISEAS have joined forces to dwell on the theme of the politics of knowledge.'

Following the prime minister's address, the Forum will comprise four sessions, each investigating a key area:

  • Session 1: Knowledge as a Driver for Economic Growth
  • Session 2: Protecting Knowledge: balancing commercial needs and public benefits
  • Session 3: Controlling Knowledge: responding to contest and change in control over religious knowledge
  • Session 4: Sharing Knowledge: reconciling conflicting aims on climate change and the environment

Each session will be led by an LSE academic speaker. Other participants include Singapore education minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Zainah Anwar, executive director of Sisters in Islam, Professor Tariq Ramadan, senior research fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford University, Justice Ribeiro, permanent judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, and Peter Sutherland KCMG, chairman of BP, president of the Federal Trust and chair of LSE's Council from 1 January 2008,

Discussions will be led by LSE Professors Danny Quah, head of the LSE Economics Department; Conor Gearty, director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE; Nikolas Rose, James Martin White Professor of Sociology; John Sidel, Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics; and Sir Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government and director of the Asia Research Centre at LSE. Howard Davies, Director of LSE, will open and close the Forum.

The Forum will serve to renew and develop LSE's strong links with Singaporean academic institutions, government and corporate bodies, and to exchange knowledge and contribute to policy. The Forum will promote an exchange of ideas between key Asian and European experts. It will engage Asian government and business leaders in dialogue with leading international experts on managing the dynamics of change in these areas.


Bimla Safka, Asia Forum and events executive, LSE, email asiaforum@lse.ac.uk|

Mr Tan Keng Jin, head of public affairs, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Tel. +65.6840.4527, Fax. +65.6775.6264


The LSE Asia Forum is a regular event bringing together LSE's key partners in the region. The first three Asia Forums have been hosted in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Delhi respectively.

LSE has a long-standing association with Asia and has historically attracted very talented students and staff from all major Asian countries, and has been active in building partnerships with business and governments for many years. LSE has been at the forefront of the analysis of globalisation and is the alma mater of many public leaders in Asia. LSE Asia Forum|

LSE and Singapore
LSE has a formal institutional partnership with the National University of Singapore which was agreed in March 2007. Initially this link is with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (who are based at the National University of Singapore), in order for it to become a core member of the Global Public Policy Network and its successor body the IP3, and to develop a dual MPA programme. Professor Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy spoke at last year's Asia Forum in Delhi.

The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies is a regional research centre dedicated to the study of socio-political, security and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia and its wider geostrategic and economic environment. The aim of the Institute is to nurture a community of scholars interested in the region and to engage in research on the multi-faceted dimensions and issues of stability and security, economic development, and political, social and cultural change. The intention is not only to stimulate research and debate within scholarly circles, but also to enhance public awareness of the region and facilitate the search for viable solutions to the varied problems confronting the region.

Press Cuttings

Business Times, Singapore (24 October)
LSE to host 4th Asia Forum in Singapore next April
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will host its fourth Asia Forum in Singapore on April 11 next year. in partnership with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and the Singapore Exchange. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be keynote speaker at the forum, which will centre on the theme, The Politics of Knowledge.

Straits Times, Singapore (24 October)
PM Lee to speak at 4th Asia Forum
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be the keynote speaker at the fourth Asia Forum to be held in Singapore next year. It will be hosted by the London School of Economics (LSE) in association with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Straits Times, Singapore (24 October)
The Changing Politics of Religious Knowledge in Asia
Article by Professor John T Sidel, marking the launch of the Asia Forum, held this year in Singapore with The Politics of Knowledge as its theme. Professor Sidel is Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics at LSE.

23 October 2007