Past ACSS Conferences

The Asian Conference on the Social Sciences (ACSS) is one of IAFOR's longest established and best attended events, bringing together delegates from many different national, cultural and linguistic backgrounds to Kobe, Japan, to present new research and exchange ideas. This exceptional platform welcomes speakers and delegates working in any area of the social sciences, from academics and theorists to policymakers and practitioners, in both the private and public sectors, for challenging debate and stimulating discussions around the latest concepts and newest approaches.

IAFOR’s social sciences programme is developed by leading scholars, and in partnership with some of the world’s leading academic institutions, including University of Michigan, Nihon University, University of Tokyo, Birkbeck, University of London, Lehigh University, University of Indonesia, Virginia Tech, Waseda, Monash and Duke-NUS Medical School. These partnerships attest to the excellence of our programme, but also mean that our conferences are exceptional platforms to disseminate your research.


Conference Theme: “Justice and Sustainability”

June 9–12, 2016 | Art Center Kobe, Kobe, Japan


Conference Theme: “Power”

June 11–14, 2015 | Art Center Kobe, Kobe, Japan


Conference Theme: “Individual, Community & Society: Conflict, Resolution & Synergy”

June 12–15, 2014 | Osaka International Conference Center, Osaka, Japan


Conference Theme: “Working Together Towards a Sustainable World”

June 9–12, 2013 | The Ramada Osaka, Osaka, Japan

The Fourth Annual Asian Conference on the Social Sciences 2013 (ACSS) and Third Annual Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy and the Environment 2013 (ACSEE) welcomed 280 delegates from around the globe to share, explore and discuss the conference themes of Sustainability, Society, Environment and Trust.IAFOR were pleased to have available as the conference keynote speaker, Professor Eric Uslaner of the University of Maryland (USA). Professor Uslaner is one of the world’s leading academics in the field of ‘Trust’. In his address titled ‘Segregation and Mistrust,’ Professor Uslaner emphasized that those countries promoting close personal ties within integrated diverse communities, build far greater levels of intra-community trust, than those countries whose policies promote multiculturalism and segregation into distinct in-group identities. The plenary session then transitioned to the Featured Speaker, Professor Thomas Simon from John Hopkins University in Nanjing, China. His topic ‘Future Governance and Disappearing Nations: Canaries in the Sustainability Mine?’ postulated on the refugee fallout and international legal consequences, from the loss of small island nation states through climatic and environmental change. Professor Simon in his address called for immediate international cooperation in dealing with, both the legal and human issues, before they escalated into more profound and intractable problems. The plenary session was closed by an energetic Taiko Drum performance by the students of Akutagawa High School from Osaka, who have won numerous awards and will next be performing in Europe.This years’ conference featured a strong line up of Spotlight Speakers. Dr Ernie Ko of the National Taiwan University of Arts presentation, ‘An INGO’s Development and Fission – A Case Study on Transparency International,’ was a fascinating behind the scenes look at the internal politics and personalities of a prominent global NGO and how this can affect the morale and direction of the organisation. His presentation was then followed by an extended IAFOR lead discussion session titled, ‘Sustaining Good Governance in the 21st Century through Trust and Transparency’. IAFOR wishes to thank Dr Ernie Ko, Dr Lillian Woo, Professor Stuart Picken and Dr Alex Petrisor for their insights and contributions during this session. Dr Joseph Wunderlich from Elizabethtown College (USA) began the Saturday Spotlight Session with his presentation on recent trends in green architecture and environmental design by relating his experiences using ‘Sandbox,’ a social network based rapid prototyping tool. Dr Wunderlich revealed the advantages of how new technologies can greatly assist in the modeling and creation of sustainable architecture. Emeritus Professor John Regan of Texas A&M University closed the Spotlight Session speaking on innovation through syntactic manipulation. Professor Regan demonstrated how individuals can learn to make sense of any new situation they encounter and then create from seemingly opposite characteristics, a single innovative new idea. Though many artists have intuitively used this syntactic manipulation approach, Professor Regan believes that researchers and educators can themselves harness this interdisciplinary process to create new and innovative directions.The featured speaker for the conferences’ closing ceremony was IAFOR’s Advisory Board Vice Chairperson Professor Jerry Platt from Akita International University (Japan). Professor Platt’s spirited and well received critique of the inconsistencies and foibles of University ranking, used humour, reminiscences of college football, and sound statistical analysis to bust much of the criteria and bias used in formulating these widely quoted ranking systems that have become the bane of many University departments. Earlier on Sunday delegates got the opportunity to try the ancient art of Japanese Calligraphy during a workshop held by Art Students from Ritsumeikan University from Kyoto. It was a unique chance for delegates to take home their own creative souvenir from ACSEE/ACSS 2013.

IAFOR would like to thank the IAFOR Advisory Board and Conference Chair, Reverend Professor Stuart Picken, the Osaka Conference Organising Committee, and the Conference Programme Advisers Drs Alex Petrisor and Andrea Molle for their continued and committed academic support and guidance, as well as all the participants that attended ACSEE/ACSS 2013. We look forward to seeing you again next year!


Conference Theme: “Trust”

March 28–30, 2012 | The Ramada Osaka, Osaka, Japan

The Third Annual Asian Conference on the Social Sciences was held again this year with the Second Annual Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment in Osaka, Japan. We are proud to announce that this year’s conference saw a resurgence in attendance since the March 2011 earthquake and its aftermath notably affected the participation, and we are proud to continue to contribute and be a part of Japan’s recovery.

IAFOR conferences are interdisciplinary, international, and intercultural conferences that invite academics, practitioners, scholars and researchers from around the world to meet and exchange ideas.These joint conferences encouraged us to reflect upon how we think, as well as reason, believe, and behave, under the theme of “Working Together Towards a Sustainable World””. The conference theme is an important one to all delegates, and was reflected in the friendships and bonds that were created, strengthened and renewed during our short time together in Osaka.We would like to thank all the delegates who made the event so enjoyable, including keynote and featured speakers Yozo Yokota and Lowell Sheppard. We would also like to thank our global academic partners and affiliates for their role in the conference, and last, but not least, the small team of volunteers who staffed the event.


Conference Theme: "Brave New World"

March 20–22, 2011 | The Ramada Osaka, Osaka, Japan

The Inaugural Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy and the Environment, was held this year with the Second Asian Conference on the Social Sciences, in Osaka, Japan. The event offered a diverse variety of papers that encouraged interdisciplinary reflection, and the forging of new relations across national borders. Around 200 registrants and speakers from around the world joined together in Osaka, where the recent earthquake and nuclear situation in Japan was a strong point of discussion in the context of sustainability.

We would like to thank all the delegates who made the event so enjoyable, including conference programme adviser, Professor June Henton, and conference keynotes Keith Miller and Lowell Sheppard.


Conference Theme: "East Meets West"

June 18–20, 2010 | The Ramada Osaka, Osaka, Japan

The Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities was held jointly with the Asian Conference on the Social Sciences on the weekend of June 18 and 21, 2010 and was a great success. More than 450 participants from 42 countries around the world congregated in Osaka for the inaugural conference on Humanities and Social Sciences.

IAFOR aims to make internationalization in the university world a reality by encouraging academics throughout the world to forge partnerships across boundaries of subject discipline, creed, and nationality. We were greatly encouraged to see the well-attended sessions challenge and inspire serious and challenging debate in a climate of mutual respect.

We have every reason to hope that the conference will grow in the future, and are optimistic that the goals of IAFOR to facilitate and inspire closer links between peoples are being met.

We would like to thank the keynote speaker, the featured speakers, and each and every participant for making ACAH & ACSS 2010 a success. We would also like to thank our global academic affiliates for their role in the conference, as well as our sponsors and exhibitors, and last, but not least, the small team of volunteers who staffed the event.