In the last decade, impressive and steady economic growth in Asia has been associated with growing income inequality. The distribution of benefits from economic development could be constrained by these inequalities. This requires building effective institutions, and strengthening inclusive societies. Upholding SDG 16, our aim is to promote knowledge and understanding on peace and justice, in order to build an inclusive society. Establishing a global research network with academics and researchers, CPJ will conduct rigorous research from a multi-disciplinary approach. Our research will be clustered on three thematics: peace and fragility; social justice and open society. These include cross-cutting themes such as gender, urbanization, faith and religion, youth, media and geopolitics in Asia. We expect to produce periodical flagship publications as well as longitudinal studies as part of our research work.
Peace and Fragility
Political and socio-economic stability has an instrumental role in the development of any country. In South Asia for example, Bangladesh is moving towards middle income country status, while experiencing challenges like climate change-induced vulnerability, radicalization, a refugee crisis, and youth unrest and unemployment. Other Asian countries experience similar issues, which threaten the current pace of socio-economic progress. In this cluster, research sub-themes also include peace-building; ethnic, political, social and cultural conflict; fragility mapping; displacements; radicalization; truth and reconciliation; securitization; and violent and non-violent extremism.
Although ensuring social justice is an integral aspect of sustainable development, many countries in Asia, including Bangladesh, are failing to develop strong institutions that can protect the rights and dignity of men and women, minority and disadvantaged groups. Research sub-themes in this cluster will also focus on access to justice, paralegalism, legal empowerment, grassroots engagement, climate justice, redress inequalities, and combatting poverty and discrimination.
Growing intolerance and declining peaceful co-existence of different communities in many parts of Asia hinder the process of building an open society. Space for civil society, freedom of speech and expression, and rights of mobilization are coming under threat in the contemporary world. Research sub-themes under this cluster include human rights, democratization, responsive government, tolerance, secularism, diversity, cultural pluralism, humanitarianism and freedom of the press and speech.
CPJ implemented and/or initiated a total of five research project during April-December 2018. In addition, two research workshops on were organised on Identifying Knowledge Gaps in Research on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Access to Justice in Asia.