International Institute for Asian Studies
Established in 1993, and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, IIAS is a global humanities and social sciences public service academic institute facilitating postdoctoral and collaborative research engaging Asian and non-Asian scholars, institutions and civil society partners world-wide. It is closely associated with Leiden University, one of Europe’s most comprehensive educational investments in the study of non-Western languages and societies.
IIAS is an unusual institutional setting. From its inception, it was designed to act as an open and inclusive, facilitating interstitial space, located within a university setting but also flexible beyond its confines, to catalyze new modes of intellectual interactions with, in and on Asia, in the world.
IIAS’s scope was conceived to be ‘international’, with the objective of embracing and influencing global trends impacting Asia with the possibility that Dutch and European scholars could participate in these developments. Whilst running conventional academic activities such as a postdoctoral fellowship program and research publications, IIAS has mastered the art of shaping networks and flows of ideas into new practices that enable uncommon dialogues and collaborations across disciplinary, sectorial, geographic and institutional limits.
IIAS, with its alchemic forging of connections across conventional boundaries, has also been the substratum for the creation of new formats of academic engagement that privilege a multi-stakeholder participatory approach embedded in particular local contexts. IIAS-led academic initiatives such as the ICAS conferences, graduate schools, thematic research projects, and double degree programs, reflect the institute’s decentering, inclusive and collaborative approach to knowledge production and transmission. Implemented and refined over two decades, these innovations are, not only the bedrock of IIAS’s interventions in academic practice but also, the foundation of the HaB program. IIAS’s agility and skill in initiating pioneering networks such as the Africa-Asia axis, moreover, guarantees not only the expansion of the HaB Consortium but also its consolidation into a lasting platform.
Dr. Philippe Peycam, IIAS and HaB Director
Dr. Aarti Kawlra, HaB Program Academic Director
Erica van Bentem, IIAS Financial Controller