The research program of GEAS is based on the systematic and comparative study of East Asia in its wider global context. GEAS focuses on institutions: rules, norms, and practices, both those that are globally general and regionally specific. The research program aims at developing a theoretically informed and empirically grounded understanding of the origins, effects, and interdependence of institutions in East Asia, both contemporary and historical. The research approach combines regional expertise with a strong social science focus in a relevant discipline.
Individual projects address specific topics within an institutional field such as politics, the legal system, the economy, business and management, education, the arts, religion or core social institutions such as kinship and family systems. The research program of the Graduate School explores these institutions in relation to key internal and external challenges, as well as the ways in which these institutions influence the responses of East Asian countries to contemporary challenges with regional or global implications. This perspective emphasizes the influence of the international context on East Asia, as well as the influence of East Asia in the world.
GEAS builds on the large body of research on European and North American settings and builds a coherent, cohesive project to examine East Asia in the context of several varieties of institutional theory, with the additional aim of contributing to theoretical innovation with empirical data from East Asia.