The Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD) was established as an academic unit under the Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University in 1998. By linking graduate training and research to development theories, policies and practice, RCSD aims to create a deeper understanding of the social, environmental and cultural challenges of modernization and development processes, in particular the impacts of the processes of regionalization and economic integration on local people and the environment.
Over the past decade, RCSD has focused its main interest on social transformation processes in the broader framework of increasing regional connectivity in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) by highlighting a number of key issues in the region, such as land governance, transboundary resource management, exploitation of nature and cross-border mobility.
Today, RCSD serves as a leading regional hub for academic exchange, quality research and education on sustainable development issues. The Center stands out from other programs due to its strong global, regional, and local connectivity through broad networks and alliances with the international development community.
The academic node encompasses four key areas of academic work: