Center for Southeast Asian Studies has integrated Center for Information Area Studies from January 1st 2017.

     During the latter half of twentieth century, human society had great scientific and technological development, and market economy has spread over every part in the world. On one hand, we have experienced rapid economic growth by this development. While on the other hand, we face with many global tasks varied from economic stagnation, environmental deterioration, exhaustion of fossil resource, poverty, aging as well as declining birthrate society, recurrence of infection, ethnic as well as religious conflict, and to spread of terrorism. For the sake of economic development in the twentieth century, twenty first century has begun carrying over problems originated in the prosperity of past century. These global tasks are interrelated and therefore one counter-solution to the particular issue exposes its limitation. In order to solve such intricate tasks in the world, interdisciplinary as well as integrated studies are emergently needed. Furthermore, rapid growth of globalization does not allow us consider local society as closed system anymore. Rather, we have to consider local society opened and interconnected with current rapid globalization. Therefore, we strongly believe that the creation of new academic institution is inevitably required, which goes beyond the established fields of area studies and frameworks of disciplines, in order to design guidelines for social development which can challenge and solve various complicated global tasks.

      Our new center critically reconsiders former approach in area studies whose main objective was to understand local society in a comprehensive sense. Rather, our center aims at 1) strengthening our commitment to the local society where we conduct our area studies, 2) accelerating and mediating knowledge flows between local society and global human society. The purpose of our commitments is to produce shared knowledge, based on various realities surrounding local society, for the development of global human society. For solving global tasks, we strengthen our approaches of interdisciplinary studies, by centering Humanities and Social Sciences, in order to provide diversified paths for developmental in both local society and global society. We strongly believe that we need further interactions with human resources who have diversified backgrounds of study fields, diversified ideas, and diversified knowledge, to accumulate diversified knowledge at our center.

       The central focus of our center is Southeast Asia with paying attention to other regions in the world. It is true that societies in Southeast Asia are experiencing rapid economic growth recently. Our studies, however, suggest that societies in Southeast Asia have not necessarily been functioned in accordance with the logic of market principle. The societies are consisted from various ethnicities, religions, cultures, and these differences sometime evoke conflicts. However, it is also true that such conflict does not yet end up with the crucial war by balancing the harmony of co-existence. Inflectional disease and natural disaster frequently hit the societies in Southeast Asia, but the societies have responded with showing their strong resilience. We strongly believe such lessons learned from the societies in Southeast Asia provide us rich knowledge for living in the human society in the twenty-first century.

       Our center challenges to equip a long-term perspective for developing area studies. This challenge shall be only fruitful one if we can continue to have various opinions and instructions from you all. We would like to express our deep gratitude toward whom have kindly supported our center.



  • To engage with and develop solutions to complex global issues
  • To strengthen social- and humanities- centered interdisciplinary
    research approaches
  • To enhance understanding and appreciation of the value of
    diversity in human societies

Promotion of trans-disciplinary collaborative research

  • To form academic communities that can deal
    with transnational issues
  • To move toward life-oriented research
    approaches attuned to regional diversity
  • To create socially innovative approaches to the
    needs of the environment
  • To share and use global information resources

Social Contributions

    CSEAS conducts research into common social issues identified through discussions with communities and local specialists. It also disseminates knowledge gained from research through mutual exchange programs and information technology both in English and local vernaculars.

Commitment to Education

    CSEAS provides scholars and postdoctoral researchers with opportunities for interdisciplinary and international research, and encourages participation in inter-regional discussion. CSEAS is also involved in several school and university educational programs, and participates in English-based undergraduate teaching on campus.

The 42nd Southeast Asia Seminar, 6-12 December 2018, Thimphu, Bhutan