Exchanges in the human and social sciences with East and Southeast Asia – which are too often reserved for ‘orientalists’ specialized in this region’s societies and civilizations – remain rather limited and unfamiliar to the public.
However, starting in the early 1980s, the FMSH initiated several bilateral programs with institutions and researchers from this region, which contains more than half of the world’s population.
The Indian activities in the India and Southeast Asia Program attest to the vivacity and the intensity of exchanges between these communities’ researchers. However, for the Southeast part of the continent and Korea, the FMSH is currently seeking to forge partnerships that will lead to more concrete scientific relationships.
The progress of the China Program also attests to the scope of FMSH’s commitments to this country, whereas the currently limited exchanges under the Japan Program are set to rapidly increase in the near future. In effect, the Foundation is being called upon to meet Japanese institutions’ demands for research networks.
On a more global level, its relations with Asia are also being bolstered via the IMASIE Asia Network. The FMSH supported the 2001 creation of this network and houses it. Its objective is to bring together French and Francophone researchers and specialists working on or with this continent through multilateral programs. It symbolizes the FMSH’s will to stimulate cross-disciplinary research on several different countries. This is the case for countries of central Asia participating in the Russia & CIS Program.