International Institute for Asian Studies
Global Asia -IIAS pushes the understanding of the process of globalisation by challenging western assumptions and acknowledging the central role of Asia as an agent of global transformations | Read more
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Paying attention to past and present trends, the 'Global Asia' cluster addresses contemporary issues related to transnational interactions within the Asian region as well as throughout the world via the flows of people, goods, capital and ideas.

The cluster aims to expand the understanding of the process of globalisation by considering the various ways Asian and other world regions are interconnected within a long-term historical framework, recognising Asia's historic economic prominence and geopolitical influence from before the colonial era. Acknowledging the central role of Asia as an agent of global transformations, it challenges western perspectives that underlie much of the current literature on the subject, and it explores new forms of non-hegemonic intellectual interactions in the form of 'south-south-north' and 'east-west' dialogue models. IIAS also aims to develop a more evenly balanced field of Asian Studies, by collaborating in trans-regional capacity building initiatives and by working on new types of methodological approaches that encourage synergies and interactions between disciplines, regions and practices.

In principle, any research dealing with Asian global interactions is of interest. Topics include, but are not limited to, the migration of peoples and their diasporas, religious transnational pilgrimages and networks, forms of economic expansion, cultural dissemination, geo-strategic projections and engagements. Also of interest are issues that are central to the contemporary discussion on knowledge production and its circulation within a globalised world.

ABRNEnergy Programme AsiaIIAS Centre for Regulation adn GovernanceJARAKAsian Studies in Africa


Global Asia Updates

Call for applications
20 March 2017

A Summer School devoted to the academic study of Asian Food for MA/PhD students and early career scholars.

3 March 2017

First part of a two-parts conference jointly organized by: Seoul National University, Asia Centre (Seoul), Vietnam National University (Hanoi), International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden), Leiden University (Leiden), École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris). An initiative directed by IIAS.

IIAS Lunch Lecture
28 February 2017

In this lecture, Dr Radu Leca will illustrate recent theoretical developments from global history and cartographic studies to maps of Japan held in the Leiden University Libraries. By studying seals, inscriptions and other cartographic paratexts preserved on the maps, we can recover their social and material agency. This approach contributes to the decentering of the Eurocentric narrative by acknowledging the synchronicity and intermeshing of multiple ‘movable centers’.


Burma and ethnicity are nearly synonymous, whether when thinking about the diversity of the country, or when analyzing the conflict that has yet to be fully resolved. Ethnicity forms such a naturalized part of the intellectual landscape dealing with the country that few have stopped to consider...


The People’s Republic of China resumed sending Chinese Muslim students to al-Azhar University in Egypt in 1982. A small number of the students are sent by the Islamic Association of China, headquartered in Beijing, and approved by the Chinese Embassy in Cairo. These students can enjoy the...


China is home to a large Muslim population. According to the Islamic Association of China, the country has over 25 million Muslims, 40,000 mosques and more than 50,000 Akhond, a Persian title for the Islamic clerics who serve the scattered communities all over the country. Every year, more than...


I reached Shadian Town after a three hour drive from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, China. As I stepped out of the car in the chill of a late November night, the site of Shadian's magnificent Grand Mosque and the call to night prayers reminded me that I was in a zone quite different...


On 29 May 1781, the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736-95) of China issued an imperial edict to conduct an empire-wide investigation of Hui communities. The order was in response to the ‘FanHui’ rebellion (also known as the 'Salar Rebellion') by the Hui minority in Gansu province. It was immediately...