CENTER FOR OCCIDENTAL STUDIES iKON – BACKGROUND
The Center for Occidental Studies (iKON) was first established as the Institute of Occidental Studies, or as it is also known by its Malay acronym IKON, in October 2003. As a research institute, it specializes in the study of Western or Occidental civilization in all its complex variations and ramifications, primarily of Europe and the other Occidental regions of the world, inclusive of Russia, the Mediterranean regions, the Nordic countries and other parts of the world where Europeans, in the last thousand years, have settled, such as, North and South America and Australasia.
Not only have Europeans made a civilizational and cultural impact in the continents and regions they settled in, several countries in the Occidental world have clearly impacted global order, policy and politics as world powers. Given its geopolitical impact and significance, the Occident not only merits study, but more so from Non-Occidental perspectives that move away from the divisiveness of the “West versus the rest’ polemic in the form of intercultural and intercivilisational discourse.
In 2013, IKON merged with the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS) and the Institute of West Asian Studies (IKRAB) under a restructuring exercise. Today, the Center for Occidental Studies is one of the centers within the new Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS). The Center continues to promote research and networking with relevant partners in the region and beyond.