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Invitation to an International Conference

Cultural Traditions and Sustainable Development


Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences

Hanoi, Vietnam

July 7-8, 2011





This theme has itself evolved in three broad strokes. At first “development” was understood as an economic phenomenon. Second it was noted that as development projects could have relatively brief or even negative effect it was necessary to plan with a view to their sustainability. Third the United Nations agencies discovered that a major indicator of such sustainability was whether in the planning those effected were consulted so that their cultural traditions and expectations could be taken into account.


All of this was brought together by the Indian scholar, Amartya Sen, in his thematization of development as freedom. This focuses on human capabilities as both processes and opportunities which enable people to do and be what they value, for which he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. This raises a number of specific issues such as: (1) what should be considered authentic development, (2) the conditions for sustainability, (3) the relation to cultural traditions as enabling and/or impeding development, and (4) the significance of this for intercultural relations in global times within Southeast Asia and with other world regions in terms of economics, politics and human dignity.


To register please contact Professor Pham Van Duc, Director of the Institute of Philosophy, Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (ducphilosophy@yahoo.com) and Mr. Tran Tuan Phong (ttphong59@yahoo.com.au).


For many years philosophers of the Southeast Asian region have met to discuss themes of common concern. This has provided a unique opportunity for them to think through common issues and to develop the in-depth and mutual understanding between peoples required for our global times.

These meetings have been held throughout the region from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and from Jakarta to Phnom Penh. This year the Institute of Philosophy at Hanoi has offered to host the meeting and suggested among other possibilities the theme “Cultural Traditions and Sustainable Development”. An initial sketch of some of the issues this involves is attached as an invitation to philosophers of the region to submit papers for presentation, discussion and subsequent publication.


The conference will be held at Institute of Philosophy, in Hanoi on July 9-10, 2011. You are warmly invited to take part. To register please forward the following information to Pham Van Duc, Director of the Institute of Philosophy, Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (ducphilosophy@yahoo.com) and Mr. Tran Tuan Phong (ttphong59@yahoo.com.au):


-         Name:

-         Institutional Address:

-         Email address:

-         Theme of your presentation:












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