The Department of International Studies of Miriam College began its International Experts Lecture Series on Regionalism on 21 November 2020 with Dr. Lailufar Yasmin of the Department of International Relations of the University of Dhaka as Resource Speaker on South Asia Regionalism. This is the first session in a four-part lecture series that will discuss Regionalism in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Pacific.
In her lecture, “Old and New Regionalism: The Well of the Past is too Deep in South Asia,” Dr. Yasmin discussed regionalism through a historical lens arguing that the past continues to impede regionalism in South Asia. From a scholarly perspective, she enlightened the audience on the various factors that impact regionalism and regionalization in this strategic region. She elaborated on endogenous factors such as political mistrust, cross-border conflicts, and regional rivalry between India and Pakistan, among others. She also expounded on exogenous factors such as colonial legacies particularly the partition of the region and the competition between the United States and China.
The lecture was followed by an engaging open forum where participants took the chance of having a South Asian expert to answer their queries about the region. The open forum further illuminated Dr. Yasmin’s extensive knowledge and well-thought-of insights about the different issues concerning South Asia. Around 100 participants from various universities in the Philippines and different government agencies attended Dr. Yasmin’s lecture showing a strong interest in South Asia among Filipino scholars and practitioners.
Prof. Lorna Israel, the Graduate Program Coordinator of the Department of International Studies, highlighted the importance of Dr. Yasmin’s talk considering the ironies and complexities of South Asia. Ending the event, Prof. Jonalyn Villasante, thanked Dr. Yasmin for generously sharing her valuable time and expertise to enlighten the Filipino audience about South Asia Regionalism and other relevant issues about the region. The Department of International Studies also appreciated the presence of Dr. Yasmin, a remarkable scholar, for being instrumental in broadening international understanding and making scholarly exchanges of knowledge possible. -- By Meryl Louise P. Guazon