Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia based in Thailand


Creation date: 2001


179 Thanon Witthayu Lumphini, Pathum Wan – Bangkok 10330 Thailand

5 researchers, 12 affiliated researchers, 2 post-doc, 4 PhD students, 3 trainees per year.


Launch of the annual Irasec South East Asia Review Bilan, Enjeux et Perspective in Jakarta (March 2019) Credits: IRASEC

IRN SustainAsia panel organized by C. Cabasset at the IIAS/GIS Asie conference in Leiden (July 2019) Credits: IRASEC



Based in Bangkok, Irasec is a French leading research unit dedicated to the study of Contemporary Southeast Asia. Supported by the French Foreign Affairs, it belongs to the large networks of the 27 CNRS research institutes abroad. Engaging the Humanities and Social Sciences in an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, it analyzes the major developments that affect individually and collectively the Southeast Asian countries (Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Timor Leste) and the Asean organization. Deeply anchored in the Thai academic landscape, the center is also developing partnerships all over the region.
A team of researchers seconded from France in the region, are completed by a network of associated researchers, Master trainers, PhD students and Post doc. Irasec researchers are organizing international events with local Universities in Southeast Asian countries, associating international confirmed researchers, young researchers and PhD students from Asia and Europe. Irasec also enhances public awareness of the region through debates. It copublishes books with international academic editors, mainly in French and in English, and provides free access to its online publications (Open Editions).
The IRL IRASEC is currently directed by Dr. CLaire Thi Liên Tran.  It is one of the 75 IRL developed by the CNRS with strategic partners across the world and one of the 6 IRL in Southeast Asia. It is the only IRL in Thailand.

Mission and research themes

Research projects on Contemporary Southeast Asia
Regional & international cooperation
Support to young scholars
Publications and Open Access plateform

Research Themes 
Political transitions and Religious Issues
Territorial and Urban Issues
Asean and regional integration
Social dynamics, Migrations and Gender Issues 
Society and Environment, Climate change

MAIN projects of research

  • SustainAsia (2019-2023)
  • Gemmes Vietnam (2019- 2023)
  • ANR Vinorosa (2020-2024)

Academic partners

EHESS : Centre Asie du Sud-Est, Paris (CASE, UMR 8170)
National School of Architecture ENSA Paris-Belleville, (IPRAUS-UMR 3329)
Institut de Recherches Asiatiques (IrAsia), Aix- Marseille University
Institut d’Asie Orientale, Lyon (IAO, UMR5062)
Bretagne Occidentale University : laboratoire Géoarchitecture (EA7462).
Paris 1 University : Equipe de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur le Tourisme (EIREST, EA7337)
Nice Sophia Antipolis University
Paris University: Centre d’études en sciences sociales sur les mondes africains, américains et asiatiques (Cessma), Urmis (Unité de recherches Migrations et Société)
Rouen Normandie University : Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée à la Mondialisation (CREAM)

Southeast Asia

Thailand. In Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University: Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS),  Urban Design and Development Center (UddC),  Center for European Studies (CES) Thammassat University, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT, ). In Chiang Mai: IRD, Cirad, AFD, Chiang Mai University: Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD).

Cambodia. Royal university of Fine Art (Phnom Penh)

Singapore. National University of Singapore (NUS), Asian Research Institute (ARI)

Vietnam. In Hanoi: Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), Foreign Trade University (FTU). In Ho Chi Minh City: Southern institute of Social Sciences (SISS), Open University (OU), Van Lang University (Departement of Tourism).

Indonesia. Udayana University (Bali),

Timor-Leste. National University of Timor-Leste


China. Centre d’études français sur la Chine contemporaine (CEFC, Hong Kong)

Japan. CSEAS U Kyoto, l’Institut français de recherche sur le Japon à la Maison franco-japonaise (IFRJ-MFJ, Tokyo), International Christian University (Tokyo)

India. Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH, Delhi), Institut Français de Pondichéry (IFP)

South Korea. Seoul National University Asia Center (SNUAC)

Other. Canada. Mc Gill University, Montréal University (Montréal)

The Irasec team at the Alliance française (November 2018) Credits: IRASEC

Meeting with the Secretary of State for the Environment of Timor Leste, D. Amaral de Carvalho, following the conference on Coastal Zone Governance organized by C. Cabasset with the National U of Timor Leste (February 2019) Credits: IRASEC

FJ Ruggiu in Bangkok with the Irasec research team, CNRS representative in Singapore L. Le Calvez and Prof C Vaddhanaphuti, Chiang Mai U (March 2019) Credits: IRASEC

International Conference Rethinking Asian Capitalism, organized by TAD. Tran and C.Tran with the Southern Institute of Social Sciences and Open U in HCM City (November 2019) Credits: IRASEC