Stanford University's Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) is pleased to unveil the Stanford Next Asia Policy Lab (SNAPL), an interdisciplinary initiative committed to producing evidence-based, actionable policy research to facilitate structural reform and propel Asia toward a future defined by growth, maturity, and innovation. Based at APARC and led by sociologist Gi-Wook Shin, the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, SNAPL seeks to tackle pressing social, cultural, economic, and political challenges facing Asian countries, including aging populations, escalating inequality, brain drain, environmental threats, and institutional deficiencies in areas like the rule of law and cultural intolerance.
"SNAPL represents a significant milestone in our commitment to building research networks that engage academics, policymakers, business leaders, and civil society organizations interested in regional and global perspectives on contemporary Asia," said Shin, who is also the director of APARC and the Korea Program within APARC. “Through an interdisciplinary, solution-oriented, and comparative lens, we aim to set a research and policy agenda to help Asian nations create their unique roadmaps to becoming and remaining innovation-driven economics at the center of 21st-century dynamism and growth. At the same time, we believe that research on Asia could uncover important implications and lessons for the United States and European countries as they grapple with their own social, cultural, economic, and political challenges.”
Combining theoretical and field studies, SNAPL researchers will initially examine issues such as the prospects for reform of educational institutions, immigration policy, and cultural attitudes in Asia; paths to combating recent democratic declines; and U.S.-Asia relations. In addition to Shin, the lab director and principal investigator, the SNAPL inaugural research team includes Research Scholar Xinru Ma, Postdoctoral Fellows Gidong Kim and Junki Nakahara, Research Associates Haley Gordon and Irene Kyoung, and a cohort of Stanford undergraduate and graduate students serving as research assistants. The lab plans to continue offering fellowship and training opportunities to scholars and students.
“SNAPL’s education mission is to nurture the next generation of researchers, including students and visiting scholars, and we firmly believe that the laboratory model, proven successful in the sciences — with its mentorship and hands-on engagement — holds immense potential for nurturing talent in the social sciences,” notes Shin. “I look forward to our team’s contributions to U.S.-Asia dialogue and Asia’s security and prosperity, and I am grateful to our supporters for providing foundational funding for the lab.”
On August 29-30, 2023, SNAPL will co-host its inaugural event, the Sustainable Democracy Roundtable, jointly with the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies and APARC's Korea Program. The two-day event will convene scholars and students from the United States and South Korea to present solutions that address global democratic backsliding, promote social progress, and advance long-term development.
For more information about SNAPL, visit the lab’s website at aparc.stanford.edu/snapl.