IV-14. “The Urban Dynamics and Stratification in the Global Cities in Southeast Asia” (H27 FY2015)

  • Project Leader : Endo Tamaki (Saitama University, Faculty of Economics)
  • Collaborators : Okamoto Masaaki (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)
  • : Oizumi Keiichiro (The Japan Research Institute, Department of Economics)
  • : Goto Kenta (Kansai University, Faculty of Economics)
  • : Aizawa Nobuhiro (Kyusyu University, Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies)
  • : Kusaka Wataru (Nagoya University, Graduate School of International Development)
  • : Kawano Motoko (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Graduate School of Policy Studies)

Outline of Research

This workshop focuses on global cities in Southeast Asia and seeks a new framework for analyzing, both theoretically and empirically, the recent urban dynamism, internal working, and stratification in the cities. The targets are Southeast Asian cities such as Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila, where compressed changes are typically observed and as a result, evince multilayered internal structure. The workshop also aims to create an academic arena for young academics with different backgrounds, such as area studies, economics and political science, and use this opportunity to plan future joint projects on Southeast Asian mega cities.


Urbanization in Southeast Asia has been rapidly proceeding in tandem with those in other areas around the world. Global cities in Southeast Asia have become global hubs of finance, production, and consumption, and the urban network has been expanding. These cities are experiencing ‘compressed changes’ in economy and society, followed by multilayered stratification. They are different from the kind of cities described in the “Asian Mega City” book series (Osaka City University Project) based on research in the 1990s. This workshop will conduct a survey of new urban theories and empirical analysis and adopt a multi-disciplinary framework for future analysis of recent cities’ dynamics. In 2015, we will organize three seminars to discuss the theoretical framework and review urban studies by other scholars of the frontier. In 2016, we will use secondary data to analyze urban stratification and seek to employ new analytical framework.

The features and structures of urban economics and society-in other words, economic functions, employment opportunities and social situations created therein are not determined only by domestic factors but also by international factors. Our theoretical and empirical study of cities will present a new analytical perspective and understanding of what is actually happening on the ground in Southeast Asia, using the ‘city’ as an analytical unit rather than ‘nation state’. After we finish this workshop series, we aim to plan and apply for external funding to promote theoretical and empirical urban research project and publish our findings in both English and Japanese and make the new study of Asian Mega-Cities available to international audiences.

Street vendor (Bangkok, 2005)

Foggy Shanghai Night View (2011)