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ISA’s long-term research focus lies on “Consensus and Conflict in Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean.” We are especially interested in transnational developments in Asia, such as regional integration and cooperation, transformations of family and kinship relations, as well as regional and internal migration.

ISA’s regional focus and expertise lies on the Islamic Middle East, Buddhist Central Asia, and Southeast Asia and the islands of the Indian Ocean.

ISA pursues gender-sensitive ethnographic fieldwork in local languages, systematic cross-cultural comparison, as well as analyses and interpretations of socio-cultural processes in past and present.

ISA’s current medium-term research program (2012-2016) is titled “Engaging with Crisis, Mobility and Transformation in Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean.” This research program consists of a clear focus on systemic and biographic crises in Asia’s past and present, on the relationships between crises and mobility, and on major transformations in this regard. In short, we are problematizing how Asian societies engage with crises, mobility and transformation.