Singapore, the first half

The first half of my postdoctoral fellowship in Singapore went by. I arrived in Singapore on August 1, 2015. It was right after my second summer at GW-CIBER and my first experience with the APSA Centennial Center. And now I am headed for my second affiliation with the APSA Centennial Center, which I will write about upon completing the visiting scholar experience.

Living and working in Singapore as an academic has many pluses as well as caveats. It is a great place for Southeast Asianists. The caveats come from the fact that the academic network here is quite small. I would think that I am one of the rare academics that work on trade remedy and intellectual property issues from the political economic and not the legal perspective. The biggest things I lack are the lively academic forums of discussion and the network of colleagues who are genuinely interested in political economy and security issues. Singapore is a hub, and is used as a hub. Many academics from abroad fly in and out and give lectures. I think for those doing business this would be great, but as an academic I find that a strong core support is lacking.

The past year was spent writing articles on intellectual property to cool my head from the dissertation writing phase. Indulging in a field that is relevant to my training but also new and challenging has been rewarding. I wrote on IP policies of China, India, United States, and South Korea, all the while working on the book proposal and revision of chapters.  One year past, I am able to see and think more clearly how writing should be done for my work. I am able to make clear decisions about productivity in a new country and climate. I think overall the experience has built me into a stronger person as an academic. The goal is to finish the book manuscript and also to publish several journal articles prior to my departure from Singapore in August 2017.

Living in Singapore makes you think about many things. About this region, the climate, and the people. The mix of people that is ordained in a very specific way, as apposed to the melting pot in the United States.

As I start the second half of my stay in Singapore, I stay focused on my goals.


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