Raison d'être of Réseau Asia - Asia Network

Raison d'être of Réseau Asia - Asia Network

Among the obvious reasons campaigning for the setting-up of the Réseau Asie-Asia Network are: a better knowledge of French research on the Asian problems, more interdisciplinarity, a better representation in the administrations. I would also like to emphasize on other reasons that have motivated my commitment to Réseau Asie-Asia Network. And they are something to reckon with.

The first one is that a Réseau Asie-Asia Network must and can first of all serve the young researchers. It is they who have the greater need to get to know the others and make themselves known, and it is they who can get the most out of interdisciplinary exchanges, finally it is they who are in greater need of contacts with the external world. I therefore believe that the Réseau Asie-Asia Network should orient its activity according to their needs insofar as possible: give them the main part in the preparation of colloquiums and circulate the required information on scholarships and posts available to them. It goes without saying that the Réseau Asie-Asia Network will also cater to the needs of the scholars-researchers and the Senior researchers.

The second reason is the Paris-province, Paris-abroad problem (some greatly talented researchers are sent abroad while in post to foreign or French institutions). It is true that Paris absorbs a large part of the means and publicity. There is no use despairing of it, one must act: not by making big gesticulations, but in a realistic manner. Thank God, it is also true that a significant part of skills is found in the regions and abroad. The Network should therefore endeavor to invite the researchers to be part of it, expose them and make them meet the Parisians. If possible it should make an Asian University map in France as accurately as possible. And hold one of its future meetings in a city in the regions.
The third reason is Europe. One must not get deceived: if we form a group, it is because the other European countries set the example for a large part and because the existing reassembling does not always reserve us the place we think we deserve; and it is also because an ever increasing part of research in Human and Social Sciences like in other domains will be assigned by European institutions in future and through European cooperation. I therefore suggest that Réseau Asie-Asia Network establishes contacts with its European counterparts, with big European associations specialized in the study of various Asian regions and with the big European research institutions like IIAS as soon as possible. I also suggest that the information for researchers stated above be ‘Europeanized'.
The young, the regions, Europe. There is a method in this apparent disorder. The logic is as follows: according to our European neighbors (especially the North European ones), our teaching institutions are all poor or very poor. This should not be a reason for us to turn a blind eye to the intellectual specificities that I don't neglect. This should on the contrary encourage us to come together, pick up our strengths, all our strengths, that are real, to join forces with the young, with the future and immerse completely, intellectually into Europe. It is in Europe that we will find one part of the required means, cooperation and examples: for example, from our British or Dutch colleagues, we can learn how to make the European credits ‘work'!

A last word about Asia: one of our weaknesses with respect to our better-equipped European neighbors (apart from Americans) concerns access to the land, which is decisive. By collaborating with our European colleagues, we can find an easier access to our Asian partners, either through ASEF, or by joining the cooperations that were already initiated by other European universities. The term ‘cooperation' is only the administrative translation of something essential, often restricted by the poverty of our institutions: in order to work on the Asian countries and problems, one must also work, discuss, eat, drink, live with our Asian colleagues. Our research objective is not just abstract; it is also a subject, a subject of dialogue. My conclusion: the Réseau Asie-Asia Network should be an instrument to muster up all our strengths together, by concentrating on the young, in order to position ourselves towards European cooperation and reach the land of Asia and undertake cooperation with the Asian researchers themselves.