Between 2-6 July 2013 I was in Lissabon for the bi-annual meeting of the European Association of Southeast Asian Studies. Its venu was the new campus of the Technical University of Lissabon. A huge compound at the north-western border of the town, exactly the end of the town and in the hot, sunny atmosphere making a rather desolate impression.
On the building of the faculty of social and political sciences (Sospol is the Indonesian abbreviation) there was a great sign: we value people. Does this mean that here science cares for people, of that this science judges and evaluates people? The new bureaucrats are educated here, politicians, people who are to talk and write, probably.
Above (below) Mieke Schouten and Gerrit Knaap, just some of the more the 25 Dutch scholars I met here in Lissabon. Just one quote: 'soft power has to play a role!'