Originally: ASIA Network
Created on June 18, 2001 at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH), the Asia Network was born from an initiative taken by researchers and supported by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Learning and Research (MEN-ESR), the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the National Political Science Foundation (FNSP), and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).
Today, it has a little more than 1,500 members of which 1,400 are Francophone researchers and teachers including doctoral candidates in the social sciences and some one hundred experts with professional ties to the geo-cultural areas of Asia and Oceania, from Iran to the Pacific islands.
The initiators of the Asia Network set four main objectives:
- to assess and bring together the available resources in the social and human sciences in order to identify any shortcomings, but mainly to be in a position to mobilize them as well as ensure greater visibility and recognition of researchers’ work;
- to create conditions allowing them to work together on problems that are no longer restricted to only one country, one language, or one single culture but which now affect all or an entire portion of the Asian continent;
- to spark interest in and curiosity about Asia from specialists from other regions or other disciplines;
- to build a firmly structured Francophone and multilingual knowledge pole for cooperating on equal footing with other poles of the same nature.
The website, which is updated daily, provides information about the activities of various research, teaching, and assessment structures as well as a database in the social and human sciences on Asia.
From the Asia Network to IMASIA
The CNRS, a player in the Asia Network, created on March 1, 2006 an independent service unit called the Asia Network (UPS 2999), a forerunner of the Institute of Asian Worlds (IMASIA), which is housed by the FMSH.
This service unit is led by Jean-François Sabouret, who is also responsible for the Asia network.
IMASIA is widely recognized for the diversity of its: approaches, disciplines, research areas, and affiliate organizations.
This diversity has made debates and reflection lively and multifaceted. The comparative approach in studies on or with Asia has been greatly stimulated and adopted by a significant number of researchers or teams.
In addition, in-depth research focusing on one precise question specific to one country continues to be a privileged area.
Membership and participation in the network project has been very high among almost all affiliated researchers. This confirms that cooperation efforts are seen as interesting and useful by all those involved.
Moreover, meetings with the business world, political and social actors, and reinforced exchanges with Europe all while promoting knowledge diffusion in several languages make the Asia Network – IMASIA – a forward looking and constructive structure at the service of studies and research on Asia.
Lastly, the role of the FMSH, which began hosting the Asia Network in 2001, continues to increase during the current growth phase thanks to the additional means it brought to the network: larger office space and increased resources, which will facilitate implementing the objectives set.
European IMASIA Partners