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ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

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ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
ISEAS headquarters in Singapore
Established7 June 1968; 55 years ago (1968-06-07) (as Institute of Southeast Asian Studies)
FocusSouth-east Asia
ChairChan Heng Chee
Key peopleChoi Shing Kwok, Director & CEO

Terence Chong, Deputy CEO & Director of Research

Tan Tai Tiong, Director (Corporate Services)
Address30 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Singapore 119614
Coordinates01°17′30″N 103°46′36″E / 1.29167°N 103.77667°E / 1.29167; 103.77667
Institute overview
JurisdictionGovernment of Singapore
Parent InstituteMinistry of Education

The ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute is a research institution and statutory board under the purview of the Ministry of Education in Singapore. It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1968.[1]

Previously known as the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, the organisation was renamed as ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute on 12 August 2015, in honour of Singapore's first President, Yusof Ishak.[2] The institute celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivering a lecture[3] on 13 March that year.

According to its website, the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute's primary objectives are:

  • To be a leading research centre dedicated to the study of socio-political, security, and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia and its wider geo-strategic and economic environment;
  • To stimulate research and debate within scholarly circles, enhance public awareness of the region, and facilitate the search for viable solutions to the varied problems confronting the region;
  • To nurture a community of scholars interested in the region and to engage in research on the multi-faceted dimensions and issues of stability and security, economic development, and political, social and cultural change.

The institute conducts a range of research programmes; holds conferences, workshops, lectures and seminars; publishes briefs, research journals and books; and generally provides a range of research support facilities, including a large library collection.

Research programmes

  • Regional Economic Studies
  • Regional Strategic and Political Studies
  • Regional Social and Cultural Studies

Country Studies Programmes

The country-focused programmes are meant to complement the institute's three basic disciplinary programmes, with the cross-affiliation of researchers between the two sets of programmes helping to encourage research projects which are more comparative in nature and are conceptually bolder.

The five country-specific programmes are Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam (including Indochina).[4]

Research Centres

  • ASEAN Studies Centre
    • Established in 2008 to research on issues pertaining to the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as an institution and a process.
  • Singapore APEC Study Centre
    • Established in 1994 to research, disseminates information, facilitates discussions on APEC-related issues, and promotes linkages with other APEC Study Centres.
  • Temasek History Research Centre
    • Established in 2019 to research Singapore's pre-modern history, its economic and socio-cultural links to the region, as well as its historical role as a trading centre.

ISEAS Publishing

The publishing arm of the institution has produced more than 2,000 titles, consisting of books and journals, since the early 1970s.[5] ISEAS Publishing is the largest scholarly publisher of research about south-east Asia and Asia-Pacific from within the region and works with many other academic and trade publishers and distributors to disseminate important research and analyses from and about south-east Asia to the rest of the world. In recent years, ISEAS has published an average of 50 new titles a year. In addition, ISEAS Publishing issues the institute's three tri-annual academic journal: Journal of Southeast Asian Economies;[6][7] Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia;[8] and Contemporary Southeast Asia,[9] as well as the annual Southeast Asian Affairs.[10]

ISEAS books and journals are distributed to over 100 countries worldwide, and are available in both electronic and print versions, via the bookshop located within the institute, and its website.[11]

ISEAS Library

The library houses over half a million items related to south-east Asia in the area of economics, politics, international relations, culture, and social studies. The collections, built up over decades, are both historical and contemporary, including a range of multimedia titles.[12]

The ISEAS library is open to all members of the public interested in the study of the south-east Asian region.


  1. ^ "Institute of Southeast Asian Studies". Singapore Government. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  2. ^ Siau, Ming En (16 July 2015). "Board-member clause in ISEAS Bill 'will have no material impact'". TODAY.
  3. ^ "PMO – PM Lee Hsien Loong at the ISEAS 50th Anniversary Lecture". 27 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Country Studies Programme - ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute". ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute. 25 July 2015.
  5. ^ "ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute". Cambridge Core. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Journal of Southeast Asian Economies on JSTOR". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  7. ^ Project MUSE journal 347 Journal of Southeast Asian Economies
  8. ^ "Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia on JSTOR". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Contemporary Southeast Asia on JSTOR". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Southeast Asian Affairs". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Home –". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  12. ^ "ISEAS Library". ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute. 8 December 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
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ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
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