CRISEA (2017-2020)

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Competing Regional Integrations in Southeast Asia (CRISEA)

Drawn up by a group of seven European and six Southeast Asian institutions, the research project 'Competing Regional Integrations in Southeast Asia' (CRISEA) coordinated by the EFEO has received financing of 2.5 M€ from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.

Officially launched on 1st November 2017 for three years, CRISEA is coordinated by Yves goudineau ( and Jacques Leider ( on the scientific level and administered by Elisabeth Lacroix ( A dedicated website is available at

CRISEA has three objectives 1) study the multiple forces affecting regional integration in Southeast Asia and the challenges they present to the peoples of SEA and its regional framework ASEAN; 2) reach beyond academia to engage in public debate and impact on practitioners in government and non-government spheres; and 3) reinforce the European Research Area (ERA) through coordinated EU-ASEAN academic exchange and network development.

Structured around five thematic Work Packages, CRISEA conducts interdisciplinary research on the following ‘arenas' where regional forces compete:

1. The Environment: Securing the Commons

The University of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and the University of Lodz, Poland, will lead the team of researchers examining to what extent competition over the regional ‘commons' - in the milieus of sea, river, land, forest and air - is reaching a tipping point, with potentially wide-ranging consequences for national security. It is CRISEA's hypothesis that failure to face transnational environmental challenges could undermine the legitimacy of the ASEAN project.

2. The Economy: Competing Models and Practices of Capitalism

The University of Malaya, in collaboration with the University of Naples L'Orientale, Italy, will study whether the ‘uneven development trap', ensnaring the labour force in precarious circulatory migration and undermining social stability, can erode SEA states' models of developmental capitalism and the regional integration model of ASEAN.

3. The State: Contesting the Liberal State

The University of Cambridge, UK, and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences will analyse the forces that nowadays contest the liberal State within and beyond the region, asking whether they herald a new era for SEA, where governance is openly legitimized by group interests that challenge the liberal values central to ASEAN's political model.

4. Identity: Forging Regional Belonging

The University of Hamburg, Germany, and Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines, will evaluate to what extent the embrace and celebration of difference - which CRISEA sees is at the heart of regional integration - is currently being undermined by the crisis of globalisation and risks being subsumed in nationally and culturally conferred legitimacy.

5. The Region: ASEAN's Contested Centrality

The EFEO, France, and the University of Mandalay, Myanmar, will assess ASEAN's capacity to rise to the challenges facing the region in a rapidly evolving global geopolitical environment and provide solutions to non-traditional security issues (environment, trafficking, migration etc.) thus contributing to maintain its central role in ensuring a peaceful regional order. With contributions from the University of Lisbon's Institute of Social and Political Sciences, Timor Leste's admission to ASEAN will be surveyed within this Work Package.

Three transversal themes - migration, gender and security - are examined within all five Work Packages.

The Jakarta-based think tank The Centre for Strategic and International Studies, in collaboration with the University of Oslo, Norway, is in charge of disseminating project results. Designed to maximise mobility and people to people contact, CRISEA's 'dissemination through dialogue' strategy includes:

  • the organization of events for targeted audiences to be held in both Europe and SEA (workshops, public lectures, briefing sessions, policy forums and conferences)
  • publications, press coverage, documentary films and policy briefs


In addition to producing innovative research on regional integration in Southeast Asia, CRISEA aims at improving the dialogue - initiated in the EFEO's FP7 projects IDEAS and SEATIDE - between social scientists and policymakers. CRISEA will thus significantly contribute to furthering European science diplomacy by raising awareness of the value and importance of science and of the EU as a global actor in its promotion.