About Irasec


IRASEC aims to develop French research on contemporary Southeast Asia. The Institute’s various research projects cover political, social, economic and environmental processes, as well as regional integration dynamics among the region’s 11 countries — Brunei Darussalam, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. In addition to producing regional and country-based research works, the Institute identifies ASEAN as an object of study in itself.

IRASEC’s mission includes the four following areas:

  • Development of Fundamental Research: At IRASEC, this is coordinated by a team of CNRS French National Centre for Scientific Research independent researchers or appointed research lecturers, and young researchers (Ph.D. candidates, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers) who benefit from IRASEC’s financial and/or research support. The team’s members are specialists in Southeast Asian politics, economics and social sciences (anthropology, sociology, geography, law, and contemporary history).
  • Expertise in Todays Social and Economic Challenges: With its own researchers based in the various countries of Southeast Asia, IRASEC may closely observe the region’s social and geopolitical realities and recompositions. The works produced are not limited to academia, as they are also directly aimed at reaching development actors and decision-makers, as well as members of the general public who are interested in Southeast Asia’s contemporary challenges.
  • Academic Publications: IRASEC produces a wide variety of editorial collections, ranging from national and transnational monographs to online publications (Occasional Papers and Discussion Papers). As one of the spearheads of research in Southeast Asia, IRASEC adopts a cross-cultural and pluridisciplinary approach in its publications. The Institute’s books, which are produced in both French and English languages, are reviewed by an editorial review committee and are published in partnership with renowned publishers in the field of academic research (CNRS Editions, Les Indes Savantes, Perrin, NUS Press, ISEAS Publishing, I.B. Tauris, Palgrave Macmillan, etc.).
  • Knowledge Transmission and Dissemination: IRASEC organizes academic events (i.e. conferences, seminars and publications) with local partners among the region’s academic centres (universities, research institutes, Alliances françaises/French Institutes, etc.) whenever an IRASEC-coordinated publication is launched.


International Network

Headquartered in Bangkok, IRASEC benefits from a wide network of French researchers, lecturers and research fellows based in the various countries of the Southeast Asian region, who may be affiliated to IRASEC either independently or by appointment for a period of two to four years.

From its headquarters in Bangkok and its branches throughout the rest of Southeast Asia, the Institute coordinates and supports research and publication projects by reaching out to academic experts specializing in the ASEAN region and beyond. In developing this network, IRASEC is supported by the best international experts in conducting and furthering existing research areas.

In addition to calling upon the expertise of experienced researchers, the Institute engages young researchers in renewing its existing areas of research. To this end, IRASEC offers fieldwork scholarships (for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers) every two or three years, with the end aim of producing a publication. In addition, the Institute offers four-month internships to Master’s degree students.


Cooperation with Local Partners

One of IRASEC’s priorities is the forging of partnerships with universities, research centres and think tanks across the Southeast Asian region.

Through these cooperation efforts, IRASEC engages local researchers in its publications, project-related conferences and book-launch events.

Each IRASEC researcher is not only based in a Southeast Asian country, but is also affiliated to a university or research centre. This IRASEC policy of good practice contributes to the strengthening of regional cooperation.