Research profiles


Leiden University has selected 11 research profile areas, most of them with a strong multidisciplinary focus. These areas offer ample opportunity for first-class fundamental research, but they are also strongly linked to key issues prevalent in modern national and international societies. The Institute of CA-DS participates in the research profiles 'Global Interactions' and 'Asian Modernities and Traditions'.

Asian Modernities and Traditions

The research profile ‘Asian Modernities and Traditions' (AMT) aims to raise the strength and visibility of research, teaching and dissemination of Asian studies at Leiden University. Within and beyond the University, AMT will actively engage academic specialists and government, business, NGOs and the media to build institutional partnerships that will help sustain Asia as one of the University’s key areas in the 21st century.

Prof. Patricia Spyer is one of the coordinators of the research profile Asian Modernities and Traditions.

Global Interactions

Global Interactions of Civilizations and Languages offers an intellectual platform for the interdisciplinary engagement with the effects of global interconnectivity, while leaving room for reflection on interconnectivity’s building blocks in themselves. A central idea that unites research within this initiative is a shift away from a classical Weberian approach that views historical development (and modernization) as emanating from Europe and ‘the West’, to a truly global approach allowing for multiple perspectives in a multipolar world. Leiden’s internationally renowned strength in area studies within the humanities, archaeology and anthropology provides a strong basis for building on and developing new modes of scholarly collaboration that take this shift seriously, not only in theory but also in practice.

Prof. Peter Pels is one of the coordinators of the research profile Global Interactions.