International Institute for Asian Studies

Partners and network


Global Networker in Asian Studies

As an institute created to promote Asian studies ‘in context’, yet, internationally, collaboration is fundamental to the activities of IIAS.

All IIAS activities (research programmes, fellowships, roundtables, summer schools, etc.) are undertaken in cooperation with a wide variety of national and international partners. It is thanks to these contacts and networks that IIAS can effectively fulfill its role as the global networker in Asian studies, bringing together multiple trans-regional actors who each contribute their specific knowledge and expertise to the dialogue.  

IIAS initiated networks
IIAS is the initiator of several networks, such as the European Alliance for Asian Studies, and, at a global level, the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA), and that of the Mellon-supported research programme 'Humanities across Border: Asia and Africa in the World'. 

Engaging Asia
Within the purview of its three thematic clusters Asian cities, Asian heritages, and Global Asia, IIAS supports activities aimed at the production of knowledge of Asia in the globalised context of today. To this end, IIAS is keen to directly engage institutes from Asia, and many activities take place in Asia. However, IIAS takes an inclusive approach: it neither seeks to build ‘enclaves’ in Asia, nor does it wish to act on its own without engaging other partners, from different parts of the world. 

Partners and networks overview

  • Leiden and the Netherlands
    - Leiden Network
    - Other Leiden partners
    - LeidenGlobal
    - The Netherlands

  • Europe
    - European Alliance for Asian Studies
    - By country

  • Beyond Europe
    - International Convention of Asia Scholars, ICAS
    - Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA)
    - Rethinking Asian Studies in a Global Context
    - Humanities across Borders: Asia and Africa in the World  
    - Asian Borderlands Research Network
    - By country

  • Sponsors


Leiden and the Netherlands

Leiden Network for Asian Studies

The Leiden Network for Asian Studies is an intra-university network initiated by IIAS to further the scientific cooperation in the field of Asian studies. The institutes involved include:

Other partners in Leiden

In addition, IIAS maintains close working relationships with many other institutes in Leiden and at Leiden University, including, for example, the Faculty of Archaeology and the Institute of History, the National Museum of Antiquities, the National Museum of Ethnology, Brill Academic Publishers and Leiden University Press. (The IIAS Publication Series are published by Amsterdam University Press).


IIAS is a founding member of LeidenGlobal (2013). This Leiden-based platform for global expertise brings together the respective and complementary scientific and cultural knowledge of eight institutions with expertise on different world regions. LeidenGlobal aims to organise and help organise a plethora of activities, ranging from academic conferences, to exhibitions, to political debates, and is intended to be a meeting place for everyone interested in the world, its history, its peoples and cultures, and the dynamics that interlink them. 

  • African Studies Centre (ASC), Leiden
  • International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden
  • National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden
  • National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden
  • Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO), Leiden
  • Leiden University, Leiden
  • Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), Leiden
  • Roosevelt Study Centre (RSC), Middelburg

Other partners in the Netherlands



European Alliance for Asian Studies 

The European Alliance for Asian Studies is a co-operative framework and information platform of a number of European institutes that share a common interest in the interdisciplinary study of Asia, with the Humanities and Social Sciences as the two main academic fields included. Its secretariat is jointly held by IIAS and NIAS.

  • Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAO), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI), SciencesPo, Paris, France
  • Institut d’ Asie Orientale, Lyon, France 
  • International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Institute of Asian Studies (IAS) of the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg, Germany
  • Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), Copenhagen, Denmark
  • School of Orientaland African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK
  • Romanian Institute for European-Asian Studies (IRSEA ), Bucharest, Romania

Association for Korean Studies in Europe

AKSE is the main scholarly society for Korean studies in greater Europe.

Partners by country



  • European Policy Centre (EPC)
  • University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve





see above under Leiden / Amsterdam and the Netherlands





  • Swedish School of Advanced Asia Pacific Studies (SSAAPS), Stockholm

United Kingdom


Beyond Europe

International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS)

  • IIAS (initiator and secretariat)
  • Participants from 60 different countries representing 500 institutions

Founded in 1997 at the initiative of IIAS, ICAS is the largest global platform bringing together representatives from academia and civil society focusing on issues critical to Asia, and, by implication, the rest of the world. The biennial ICAS conventions are typically attended by scholars and other experts, institutions and publishers from some 60 countries, and always organised - by the IIAS-hosted ICAS secretariat - in cooperation with local universities, cities and institutions.

Ten conventions have been held since 1997, in Leiden, Berlin, Singapore, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Daejon, Honolulu, Macau, Adelaide and Chiang Mai. In 2019, ICAS will return to where it began, in Leiden, the Netherlands.

IIAS serves as the permanent secretariat of ICAS. In addition, ICAS benefits from the advise of an International Council, composed of prominent scholars in the field of Asian Sudies as well as representatives of regional and national Asian studies organisations.

More information:

Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA)

Consisting of over 100 researchers with affiliations at 17 institutes in Europe, China, India, and Southeast Asia, the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) is the largest global academic network on Asian cities of its kind. Its overall objective is to nurture contextualised and policy-relevant knowledge on Asian cities, seeking to influence policy by contributing insights that put people at the centre of urban governance and development strategies.

grant under the Marie Curie Actions 'International Research Staff Exchange Scheme' (IRSES) of the European Union

Between 2012 and 2016, extensive EU-funded research staff exchanges were carried out, focusing on China and India. The success of the UKNA synergy encouraged the network’s partners to carry on its activities, among others, expanding their orientation to include urban development in Southeast Asia in the framework of the ‘Southeast Asia Neighborhoods Network’ programme (2017-2020).


  • Ambedkar University (AUD), Delhi, India 
  • College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China
  • China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD), Beijing, China 
  • Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, Ahmedabad, India 
  • Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai, China
  • Department of Architecture, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong 
  • Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), Bengaluru, India 
  • School of Architecture, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China 
  • Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Macau, Macau* 
  • Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore* 
  • Graduate Institute of Planning and Building, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan*


  • Development and Planning Unit (DPU), University College London, UK 
  • Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville (ENSAPB), France 
  • International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden, the Netherlands 
  • Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands 
  • Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA (until 2016)

* Strategic partners, not participating in research staff exchanges covered by the grant under the Marie Curie Actions 'International Research Staff Exchange Scheme' (IRSES) of the European Union.

Rethinking Asian Studies in a Global Context - Research Network

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York, and coordinated by IIAS in collaboration with forty leading international  institutes, this exploratory programme (2014-2016) was aimed at rethinking rethink the scholarly practice of area (Asia) studies in today’s global postcolonial context. The programme was built upon an inclusive network of scholars, artists and other social leaders, and their institutions in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. 

For extensive information see: Rethinking Asian Studies in a Global Context 

Humanities across Borders: Asia and Africa in the World - Research Network

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York (2017-2020), this IIAS programme for global collaboration on humanistic education is carried out by a consortium of twenty-three leading institutes in Asia, West Africa, Europe and the United States, and their local partners in Asia and Africa. Information: Humanities across Borders: Asia and Africa in the World  

  • Ambedkar University (Delhi)
  • Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong
  • Bennington College, USA
  • Brown University, USA
  • Centre for African Studies, Switzerland
  • Chiang Mai University, Thailand
  • Collège d’études Mondiales, France
  • Columbia University, USA
  • Cotton University, India
  • Gaston Berger University, Senegal
  • Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Institut des Sciences Humaines, Mali
  • International Institute for Asian Studies, Netherlands
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies, India
  • Leiden University College, Netherlands
  • National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • Northern Illinois University, USA
  • Seoul National University, South Korea
  • Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan
  • University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • University of Ghana, Ghana
  • University of Mandalay, Myanmar
  • Yangon University of Distance Education, Myanmar

Asian Borderlands Research Network

  • IIAS (secretariat)
  • Leiden University
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Researchers and Asia Scholars from various institutions worldwide

The Asian Borderlands Research Network has been developed with the intention of focusing particularly on the border regions between South Asia, Central/East and Southeast Asia. A conference is organised in one of these border regions in co-operation with a local partner every two year.
More information:

Partners by country




Asia and Australia














South Korea

Sri Lanka





IIAS research programmes, fellowships and activities are made possible thanks to the generous contribution by various sponsors, including:.