Some 120 participants attended the inaugural Congress of the Asian Political and International Studies Association (APISA) in Singapore on 28 30 November 2003. Asians from universities and institutes in many countries accounted for about 70 per cent of the participants. The First Congress had been two years in the making. In November 2001, 30 academics from research institutes, think tanks, and universities introduced the idea of launching an Asian based academic organisation dedicated to the advancement of political and international studies. It was the general consensus of the meeting that Asian scholars had been marginalised from the decision making processes of the Western based associations of a similar nature. Asian schools of thought had been stifled as a consequence of the American hegemony in the social sciences, and that the state of Asian studies in general was underdeveloped. In the light of these concerns, the APISA was established. Drawn from academia and think tanks from across Asia and the Pacific, the political and security specialists, sociologists, historians, and economists exchanged ideas and charted new intellectual terrain on the theme: 'Asia in the New Millennium: Development, Democracy, and Security'. The keynote speaker at the Congress was Dr Surin Pituswan, former Foreign Minister of Thailand and Member of the Commission for Human Security, who focused on the need to pursue prominence in Asian scholarship. Panels at the APISA Congress transcended disciplinary contours, national and regional boundaries, and historical confines. The panels' themes ranged from globalisation, identity and community in Asia to electronic government and theory and modernity. Offering more regional lenses were panels that discussed understanding and explaining Asia Pacific security and the welfare state in Southeast Asia, China and her neighbours. Among the many panels that engaged other disciplines were the discussions on state vs.market the historical contributions in the panel on defining Southeast Asia as a region and sociological inclinations in the panel on culture, politics, and cooperation. READERSHIP: Policy makers, researchers, tertiary students and all those interested in politics and international relations.