The Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), established on 1 April 1995, is a centre for research in the social sciences within Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). The Institute which adopts a multidisciplinary perspective conducts research, post-graduate teaching and other academic activities. Staffed by a team of scholars from various disciplines (especially economics, sociology, political science, law and literature), IKMAS is devoted to Malaysian and International Studies within the framework of inter-regionalism, connectivity and inclusive development.
On 15 August 2013, IKMAS was merged with the Institute of Occidental Studies (IKON) and the Institute of West Asian Studies (IKRAB). Following the restructuring, this postgraduate institute now has four centres focusing on New Area Studies applied to four regions: (1) Asia; (2) the Occidental regions; (3) Latin America; and (4) West Asia and to some extent, Africa. The thrust of study in IKMAS is deepening in its understanding of historical and contemporary transformation, bearing in mind the interests of Malaysian society.
In developing the Knowledge Mapping of IKMAS, IKMAS aligns itself to The MOHE-Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015, The Internationalisation Policy for Higher Education Malaysia 2011, the UKM Strategic Plan (2000-2020), and the UKM Key Result Areas (KRA) Performance Indicators. Since 2013, the growth of IKMAS was divided into three phases.
To be a research centre of excellence on regional and transregional studies leading to an understanding of historical and contemporary transformation, bearing in mind the interests of Malaysian society.
To engage in collaborative research, education and service that seek to establish IKMAS as a nationally and globally recognised institute for inter-disciplinary research.
• To conduct basic, applied and strategic research including policy input that is beneficial to society;
• To promote collaborative research and dialogue at the national and global level;
• To contribute to the discourse on globalization, occidentalism and social transformation from the perspective of developing nations;
• To build human capital and nurture independent scholarship through post-graduate studies.
Our approach to Malaysian Studies is multidisciplinary and the context is Malaysia in the globalising world and the processes and effects of its interaction with the outside world, including influence of major powers. The impact of globalisation and occidentalism explored includes the processes of social inequalities, for example: economic differentiation and competition, as well as processes that impact class, ethic, gender, politics and identity. Studies are strengthened by linking to the possible influence of international treaties and events on Malaysia.
International Studies, on the other hand, focuses on the multiple dimensions of globalization and occidentalism (for example, inequalities, competiveness, connectivity, responses to globalisation including integration, regionalism, homogenisation and differentiation, as well as science and technology) as they impact the international community and regions such as Asia (especially Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia), the Occidents ( North America, Europe and Australia), Latin America and West Asia. The societies and states – taken as case studies – are examined not only in the framework of new area studies, but also how these societies and states are impacted by the various dimensions of globalisation. Additionally, the responses of these societies and states to the phenomena and processes of globalisation are also studied. Finally, a comparative approach is applied to understand inter-regionalism.
Knowledge in IKMAS is based on New Area Studies approach where regions can be studied from four thematic platforms (Box A) :
Market —> Governance —> Society —> Culture
This approach is different for the traditional Area Studies where studies are based on disciplines.
The IKMAS Knowledge Platform and Knowledge Mapping provides the academic basis in the execution of the graduate studies, research and publications, networking recruiting academic staff and projection.
Each knowledge platform is firmly grounded in at least two academic disciplines. (Box A)
Furthermore, studies are grounded theoretically by perspectives on Globalization and Occidentalism (Box B)
Finally, cross cutting knowledge such as History, Gender, Media and Science & Technology completes IKMAS Knowledge Mapping (Box C)
The refinement of IKMAS Knowledge Mapping was an organic process. It was firmly established by 2015 after IKMAS went through external review by eminent scholars. The report of the External Panel Review is included as Appendix 1.