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Contemporary Tibetan Studies Program (CTSP)

Welcome to the Contemporary Tibetan Studies Program (CTSP), a new research and learning opportunity that is unique in Canada. The CTSP supports an integrated program of: 1) research, 2) student training, 3) publications, and 4) policy seminars and public lectures.

The CTSP’s formal launch took place in conjunction with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s visit to Vancouver, April 18-20, 2004. Alongside an elaborate program of activities for the visit, the Institute hosted an inaugural two-day academic conference assembling world-class international scholars on contemporary Tibet, April 19-20, with His Holiness delivering the keynote address.

As a legacy of those momentous events, the CTSP developed a dual vision for its future activities, one looking inward at Tibetan societies, and the other looking outward from the Tibetan wisdom tradition:

Looking Inward

Globalization and domestic policies are having a profound effect on Tibetans in China and in Diaspora communities. Interdisciplinary and collaborative research is urgently needed to capture the living Tibetan culture in its religious, socio-economic and political dimensions. The CTSP is a means of engaging Chinese, Tibetan and other scholars in constructive, forward-looking policy dialogue to benefit the people of Tibet in these times of rapid change.

Looking Outward

His Holiness’ messages about universal responsibility and secular ethics pose challenging questions for contemporary policy studies. It is important to understand how such ideals can realistically inform choices where competing interests come together. The CTSP is a means of engaging scholars and community groups in an exploration of the opportunity structures through which these principles can be exercised.

Objectives of the CTSP

The objectives of the CTSP are:

  • To generate knowledge that will be useful for elected officials, social service agencies and non-governmental organizations around the world who can build on policy-relevant findings to develop effective programming
  • To provide opportunities for graduate students interested in exploring Tibetan issues under the rubric either of Area Studies or Religion and Public Policy
  • To facilitate interaction among faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars currently doing research relevant to contemporary Tibetan issues
  • To stimulate increased academic and institutional collaboration in research projects focused on Tibetan societies
  • To build up the University’s collection of Tibetan resource materials
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