New release


METAMORPHOSIS, Studies in social and political change in Myanmar
R. Egreteau & F. Robinne (eds.)
Singapore / NUS Press in association with IRASEC
XV + 428 p. (ISBN 978-997-1698-66-9)

With a young population of more than 52 million, an ambitious roadmap for political reform, and on the cusp of rapid economic development, since 2010 the world’s attention has been drawn to Myanmar or Burma.
But underlying recent political transitions are other wrenching social changes and shocks, a set of transformations less clearly mapped out. Relations between ethnic and religious groups, in the context of Burma’s political model of a state composed of ethnic groups, are a particularly important “unsolved equation”.

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October 2, 2015


" France, Thailand and the GMS : Past-Present-Future "

10th year anniversary French-Upper Mekong Sub-region
Academic Cooperation Center

On the occasion of 10th anniversary of French-Upper Mekong Sub-region Academic Cooperation Centre of Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai, the seminar was organized at Mae Fah Luang University on 17 September 2015 on the theme of « France in Thailand: Past, Present, Future ».

Irasec represented by François Robinne and Jean Baffie who is a researcher of CNRS, recently appointed at Irasec Bangkok with the speech title: France and Thailand, beloved enemies.

Download the programme here.

September 18, 2015


“Religious Practitioners in Bhutan”

Conférence de F. Pommaret
IRASEC / Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (SAC)

The religious categories in Bhutan are often puzzling for the outsiders even if they are Buddhist themselves. The term lama used freely to label any male religious person does not help to understand the complexity of this religious culture.

The tradition of Bhutanese Buddhism is similar to Tibetan Buddhism and belongs to Vajrayana which has different set of rules from Theravada.

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September 7, 2015

New Release

Vietnam: One-Party State and the Mimicry of Civil Society

Le nouveau carnet de l'Irasec, Vietnam: One-Party State and the Mimicry of Civil Society, vient de paraître en ligne.

Fiche complète de l'ouvrage.

John Kleinen

August 27, 2015


8th international conference of the European Association for Southeast Asian Studies (EUROSEAS)

Abigaël Pesses, directrice adjointe de l’Irasec interviendra avec Elodie Coffre (boursière IRASEC) le 13 août 2015 à la conférence internationale de l’Euroseas organisée à l’Université de Vienne du 11 au 14 août 2015.

Panel: Are there Women’s Practices? Questioning Women’s Activities in Southeast Asian Societies

Based on ethnographic data collected among Karen communities and indigenous associations of Chiang Mai province within the past 15 years, this presentation aims at questioning the opportunities and limits of women's empowerment through the strategies driven by development actors into the local arena. 

By integrating gender issues in the development discourse, the role and abilities assigned to indigenous women has been embedded into national and global political frames: from state integration policies that emphasize women’s role as a pillar of the household economy to the contest of world environmental policies and the promotion of women’s indigenous skills in the safeguarding of biodiversity.

As observed, this empowerment is continuously negotiated within an institutionalized process which categorizes gender field and people. This historical and localized process activates new dynamics in social organization paving the way to a range of actors' strategies in development policies. This paper will question how the promotion of the “locality” became one of the main human and ideological resource, by mobilizing together women and development actors in civil society debate and economic local arena.

July 24, 2015


International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies Conference (ICBMS)

François Robinne, director of Irasec, presents his paper on "Religion from the Margin: Religious Movements across Thailand-China-Myanmar Borders" and Benedicte Brac de la Perrière also presents her paper on "Dharmma Predication and Political Transition" during the international conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies (ICBMS) which will be organised from 24 to 26 July 2015 at Chiang Mai University.

For more information, please click here for programme.

July 20, 2015


International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES)

Jean-Marc de Grave has animated the panel on "School Education and Socialisation. Ethnographic and Analytic Perspectives." during the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) organized during 15-17 July 2015 at Thammasat University.

The socialisation aspect of school practice is not much considered outside the utilitarian conception of the goal assigned to introduce students into active working life. In this perspective, I propose here to develop a reflection on schooling period of education as a means of socialisation and learning socialisation, with the idea that school represent an important contribution to the effective formation of social models although not the only one. In this aim, papers will present ethnographic data, methodology and analysis to propose reflective elements on the socialising nature of education and its impact on social life.

July 20, 2015

New Release

The Kachin Conflict: Testing the Limits of the Political Transition in Myanmar

Le nouveau carnet de l'Irasec, The Kachin Conflict: Testing the Limits of the Political Transition in Myanmar, vient de paraître en ligne.

Fiche complète de l'ouvrage.

Carine Jaquet

June 29, 2015


International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES)

In the framework of the organisation of the IUAES Inter-Congress 2015 "Re-imagining Anthropological and Sociological Boundaries" organised by Thammasat University between 15-17 July 2015Jean-Marc de Grave participates to the panel on the theme "School education, socialisation and the configutation of social models".

The panel is inviting to develop a reflection on school education as a means of socialization and learning socialization, with the idea that school represent an important contribution to the effective formation of social models. In this aim, papers will present ethnographic data, descriptions of educational systems or programs, questionnaires based surveys, comparative approaches of different school or didactic systems, historical investigations of school models, etc., to propose reflective elements on the socializing nature of education and its impact on social life.

Click here for more information.

June 2, 2015

Debate on stage N°5 : «Power issues and social challenges in Southeast Asia»

While nearly 52 percent of the Burmese population remains without electricity compared to 69 percent in Cambodia and 45 percent in Laos, the demand for power has skyrocketed in megacities such as Jakarta, Singapore and Bangkok.

To help us comprehend the gap between the ever-growing demand for electricity and the limited energy supply, the discussion will focus on the interdependence between power issues and social challenges.

  • Two straightforward and concrete examples will illustrate this far more eloquently than complex theories: the development of Brunei, which is in itself a paradox encapsulated in three elements: petroleum/education/shariah; and the fact that Thailand must reconcile national and local interest with economic and environmental consideration that often clash with each other.     
  • Faced with such challenges, Asean countries lean toward renewable energy among which figure the Mekong River countries’ electrical dams which caused deforestation and communities’ expropriation. 
  • Energy and social challenges are so inextricably linked that it brings up this question: Won’t the 2015 Asean Economic Community depend on the future Asean Power Grid? 

Four distinguished experts in political science, economy and social sciences will address this through specific cases of global scope that they have studied.

The roundtable and debate will be simultaneously translated into French and Thai. This event is organized by Alliance française with IRASEC (Institut de recherche sur l'Asie du Sud-Est contemporaine) in partnership with the Department of Cooperation and Cultural Programs of the French Embassy in Thailand.Many times a year, with focus on the themes of: “Contemporary Challenges”, “Arts and Literature” and “History: Which Histories?”, Debates on Stage allows the public to meet with personalities from the artistic, economic, political and scientific world.

Participants of roundtable :

  • Dr. Thitisak Boonpramote (Head of the Department of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, Chulalongkorn University)
  • Prof Dr. Marie-Sybille de Vienne (Vice-president, INALCO)
  • Prof. Dr. Eric Mottet (Professor in geopolitics, University of Quebec in Montreal)
  • Prof. Dr. Nawal Kamel (Visiting Professor, Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University and Coordinator of the AEMI Project)
  • Moderator: Dr. François Robinne (Director of Irasec)

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June 2, 2015

Résultat de bourses de terrain

2 candidats ont été sélectionnés pour la campagne de bourses Irasec en 2015

1) Bethsabée Souris – (doctorante –Science politique - University College of London) : Impact des communautés transnationales karen sur le conflit ethnique en Birmanie (terrains: diaspora karen londonienne, camps de réfugiés à la frontière birmano-thaïlandaise).

2) Adeline Martinez  (Doctorante – anthropologie – Université d’Aix-Marseille ) :  Déplacement forcé de populations en Indonésie suite à la catastrophe naturelle  (terrain : région du volcan Merapi, Java centre, Indonésie).

May 27, 2015