Connecting Oceans: Inter-regionalism, Connectivity and Inclusive Development is an Interdisciplinary Research Programme funded By the Research Grant from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Ministry of International Trade And Industry through the Institute of Malaysia and International Studies (IKMAS)
IKMAS was established on 1 April 1995. IKMAS has always focused on issues related to globalization and development studies. One of the major programmes is Globalization Studies propelled by scholars such as James Mittleman, Joan Nelson and Anthony Milner. The works of IKMAS Fellows such as the late Ishak Shari, Osman Rani, Ragayah Mat Zin, Tham Siew Yean, Norani Othman and Abdul Rahman Embong thrusted IKMAS as a centre of excellence for social sciences on globalization studies.
In 2013, IKMAS expanded with the addition of four study centre: Centre for Asian Studies, Centre for Occidental Studies, Centre for Latin American Studies and Centre for West Asian Studies. IKMAS developed the IKMAS Knowledge Platform with four pillars: Governance, Market, Society and Culture. The interdisciplinary and thematic approaches provide the tool for knowledge development at IKMAS.
By 2017, IKMAS developed the IKMAS Research Program for 2018-2022. Building on globalization studies and being well anchored with a Malaysian perspective, IKMAS embarked on a research program to connect oceans. The program pays attention to multiple forces affecting regional integration within Southeast Asia and at the dynamics of inter-regionalism. Firmly grounded in on the IKMAS Knowledge Platform of Market, Governance, Culture and Society and the three regions of focus, i.e. Asia, Occident, and Latin America, researchers are able to develop linkages between drivers and factors impacting integration, connectivity and inclusive development. Researchers can pursue fundamental, applied and translational research.
Based on the research projects anchored by the Pok Rafeah Chair for International Studies, IKMAS developed the IKMAS Research Programme. It is known as Connecting Oceans: Inter-regionalism, Connectivity and Inclusive Development. This five-year programme (2018-2022) has two thrusts i.e. Inter-regionalism and Inclusive Development with Connectivity as a concept linking stakeholders through multiple channels. All research projects by fellows and students are linked to the two research thrusts within the IKMAS Research Program.
IKMAS provides policy input to areas of concern such as ASEAN Integration, International Trade and Sustainability with a goal towards inclusive development where no one is left behind. Three documents that IKMAS adhere to are the Global Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals, The ASEAN Integration Forging Ahead 2025 and the 11th Malaysian Plan.
IKMAS follows the Malaysian Research Assessment (MyRA) Framework. Based on the number of fellows and students, IKMAS formulate targets in line with requirement set by UKM. Concurrent to this, IKMAS provides immediate policy inputs as and when required by ministries and agencies.