ICAS 2 was hosted by the Freie Universitat Berlin and took place in 2001 (19-21 August). About 800 scholars attended around 100 panels and 500 papers were presented. During this convention the ICAS secretariat was founded. It was also decided to have future meetings of ICAS in Asia and make it a biennial meeting.
All Asia Scholars around the world were invited to participate in the Second International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS 2) to be held in Berlin, Germany, between August 9 and 12, 2001.
In view of the growing international cooperation in the field of Asian studies, the idea on which ICAS 1, held in the Netherlands in June 1998 was based, was governing ICAS 2, as well. The conference is aimed at providing a broad and inclusive forum for all scholars working on issues related to Asian studies and seeking a way of establishing or improving their international networks. Across continents, disciplines, regional specializations and conceptual approaches, the main purpose of ICAS2 will be to present both a formal platform and an academic stimulus to improving the exchange of scholarly contacts in Asian Studies. After the success of the first convention, ICAS 2 thus is meant to be another major step towards a continuous improvement of internationalization and cooperation in all fields of Asian studies. ICAS 2 is co-organized by the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and the European Science Foundation (ESF) Asia Committee, representing the following six European Associations: Association for Korean Studies in Europe (AKSE), European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS), European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS), European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS), European Society for Central Asia Studies (ESCAS), and European Association for South East Asian Studies (EUROSEAS). Furthermore involved is the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, as the organizing unit of ICAS 1. At the present stage, other associations of Asian studies are cordially invited to join us in the endeavor to establish a global network of scholarly exchange in Asian studies. The Association of Chinese Political Studies (ACPS) followed this call and joined the ICAS 2 Organisation. The National University of Singapore as host of ICAS 3 joined the organisation as an observer.
ICAS organization will be based on a broad spectrum of panels, roundtable discussions, poster presentations and papers presented from the field. An informal program will include cultural activities, book exhibitions and a series of activities which will be closely connected to activities of the Third Asia Pacific Weeks in Berlin.
In cooperation with the German Association of Asian Studies (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Asienkunde, (DGA) ICAS 2 will be organized by an executive committee (for formal organisation) and a program committee of representatives of the co-sponsoring associations. Local organisation in Berlin lies with the Center for Chinese and East Asian Studies and its director Prof. Dr. Eberhard Sandschneider of the Freie Universität Berlin.
ICAS 2 was hosted by the Freie Universitat Berlin and took place from. About 800 scholars from all over the world covering a huge variety of topics, disciplines, approaches and regional focuses, met in Berlin. There were around 100 sessions and 50 posters were presented. In addition, a video show, inaugural meetings, meetings in conjunction and book presentations offered a lot of opportunities to get in contact with each other. Especially the extended presentation time - 4 hours for each session - left enough time for discussion. The calm and suburban character of the beautiful campus of the Freie Universität Berlin, together with the bright sunny weather backed the good atmosphere among the participants. Proffesor Wang Gungwu gave the keynote address entitled "Divergence and Dominance: Challenges to Asian Studies". Wang characterized the development of Asian studies and mentioned the risks, but also the chances of different ways of Asian studies in present times. During a meeting of representatives of the partcipating organizations it was decided to found a permanent ICAS secretariat which is hosted by the IIAS. Furthermore it was decided that ICAS 3 should be in Asia.