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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute SEA ASEAN

Groningen Research Centre for Southeast Asia and ASEAN (SEA ASEAN)



The aim of the SEA-ASEAN centre is to further inter-disciplinary research on contemporary Southeast Asia and ASEAN.

Highly Networked

We build on the successful framework of inter-faculty cooperation within Globalization Studies Groningen (GSG) and will serve side by side with our sister organization the Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen (CEASG) in the broad study of Asia.

Quality Research

We aim to bridge high quality scholarly research, with policy relevance and a concern for societal outcomes, in the study of the nations and societies of Southeast Asia and ASEAN as a regional actor.


Middle-Income and Transition. A special focus is placed on middle-income developing countries in the region with a democratic tradition - Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand - as well as countries in economic and political transition, especially Vietnam and Myanmar.


April 2024

Report SEA ASEAN Overview of Achievements and Further Plans

March 2024

SEA ASEAN welcomes our most recent Doctor, Dr. Titissari back to Groningen.  She successfully defended her PhD dissertation on Thursday morning, March 14 in the Aula.  Her dissertation is titled 'The Geography of the Banking System, Migration, Remittances and Financial Inclusion: Evidence from Indonesia' and was supervised by Prof. P. McCann, Prof. C.L.Hermes, and Dr. V.A. Venhorst. The dissertation was assessed by Prof. S. Nazara, Prof. F. Franklin and Prof. L.J.G van Wissen.  

Prof. Nazara, in addition to being Professor at the University of Indonesia, also serves as the Indonesian Vice Minister for Finance.  Following the defense in the Aula and the reception for the many invited guests, the Vice Minister delivered an address in the nearby Van Swinderen Huis titled ''Economic Development in an Emerging Country: An Update.' 

The Ministerial address was organized by SEA ASEAN and moderated by Director Prof. Ronald Holzhacker.  The Vice Minister was introduced by Mr. Mervin Bakker, representing the President Jouke de Vries.  In addition, the Vice Minister was welcomed by Prof. Bayu Jayawardhana (Faculty of Science and Engineering) and Dean Johan Woltjer (Faculty of Spatial Sciences).  

Many current SEA ASEAN PhD candidates, as well as bachelor and master students from across the university,  were present in the audience in both the Aula and the Van Swinderen Huis.

Titissari, Academy building, with diploma
Titissari, Academy building, with diploma (14 March 2024)
Defense Mbak Titis - Vice minister in aula
Defense Mbak Titis - Vice minister in aula (14 March 2024)
Dean Johan Woltjer greeting the vice minister
Dean Johan Woltjer greeting the vice minister (14 March 2024)

December 2022

On December 12th, 2022 the summit Celebrating EU-ASEAN People-to-People Cooperation on Higher Education took place in Brussels. Prof. Ronald Holzhacker was one of the speakers in a session about Enhancing the EU and ASEAN’s Higher Education Integration.

Prof. Ronald Holzhacker presenting in Brussels, EU-ASEAN pre-summit higher education 12 December 2022, see left sidebar for remarks
Prof. Ronald Holzhacker presenting in Brussels, EU-ASEAN pre-summit higher education 12 December 2022, see left sidebar for remarks
Celebratory Dinner with PhD Candidates and Supervisors, 1 December 2022
Celebratory Dinner with PhD Candidates and Supervisors, 1 December 2022

November 2022

The G20 and the Netherlands: Towards Longer-Term Thinking

Next week, our PM Mark Rutte will be departing for the G20 Summit in Indonesia. Leaders and governments from across the globe, representing citizens from the largest, most powerful upper and middle-income countries, will be gathering in Bali. These summits, and the media attention surrounding them, are often dominated by debates on important world crises that are in need of immediate attention, such as the tragic, ongoing war being waged by Russia in Ukraine.

However, it is important that our leaders, beyond discussing these crises, also pay critical attention to longer-term global challenges during the G20 Summit.

Read the full article by prof. Jouke de Vries and prof. Ron Holzhacker

5 July 2021

Isti Hidayati from the Faculty of Spatial Sciences won the Wierenga-Rengerink Prize – and 7,500 euros in prize money – for the UG’s best dissertation of 2020.

Readmore about her dissertation in this Ukrant article:

Participants seminar sea-asean
Participants seminar sea-asean

February 18, 2021, the Netherlands' ASEAN Treaty Accession

The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) is a peace treaty among Southeast Asian countries established by the founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a geo-political and economic organization of 10 countries located in Southeast Asia.

During the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits held through video-conference on 17-21 November 2020, ASEAN consensually approved the Netherlands’ TAC accession.

Indonesia believes that this is a much-welcomed development and one that merit discussions on the possible future cooperation between ASEAN and the Netherlands.

In this end, the upcoming webinar aims to serve as a platform of dialogue between ACTH and The Netherlands on issues, such as, but not limited to:

I. the role of TAC in building trust and maintaining security and stability in the region;
II. The Netherlands’ considerations to become the High Contracting Parties to the TAC, and the added value The Netherlands could bring; and
III. ASEAN’s expectation from its high-contracting parties.

This webinar will also identify and explore possible cooperation between ASEAN and the Netherlands, within the framework of TAC and ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

As stated above, the webinar could benefit from knowing first-hand the reasoning behind The Netherlands’ consideration to be one of the High Contracting Parties (HCP) to the TAC, expectations and what the Netherlands’ can bring to ASEAN in terms of cooperation in the 3 pillars of ASEAN Community, namely Political-Security, Economic and Socio-Cultural.

Against this background, the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in the Netherlands and the ASEAN Committee in The Hague (ACTH) cordially invite you to a web- seminar (webinar) under the theme of:


DATE: Thursday, 18 February 2021
TIME: 10.00 CET (Amsterdam) / 16.00 WIB
WHERE: Zoom Webinar
COST: Free

January 25, 2021

Today SEA ASEAN successfully concluded its conference on 'Climate and Sustainable Development'  with scientists and policymakers from across the Asia Pacific. The conference was held on the occasion of the opening of the Global Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS 21) in the Hague.  The first session of our SEA ASEAN conference opened with the broad scientific debate, the second session focused on implementation of the science by cities in Southeast Asia, and the final session focused on the policy and political dynamics of this agenda.  

The President of UG, Prof, Jouke de Vries opened this final session of the conference with contributions from Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Adaptation Center, the Ambassador Pham Viet Ahn of Vietnam (ASEAN chairmanship 2020), and the Netherlands Minister Cora van Niewenhuizen.

The program of the conference is available below, as is the YouTube broadcast of the conference, currently with more than 500 unique views.

(The final picture below is the 'behind the scenes' view of the broadcast studio set-up for the conference within the Van Swinderenhuys next door to the Academy Building of the University of Groningen.  Highly skilled professionals mixed the sound and visual images coming from those presenting live in the building with those connecting in from across the Asia Pacific.)  
UG president Jouke de Vries
UG president Jouke de Vries
Background of the technical broadcast studio
Background of the technical broadcast studio

A very proud day for Tri Efriandi, successfully defending his PhD thesis 'Decentralization and the Challenges of Local Governance in Indonesia: Four case studies on public provision and democratization in Papua and West Papua.' He defended his Phd in the Aula accompanied by his promoters Prof. Oscar Couwenberg and Prof. Ronald Holzhacker, Faculty of Spatial Sciences. Tri will be returning shortly to a position at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Indonesia, as a new Dr. with new insights and perspectives on governance.

January 29, 2021
January 29, 2021

For older news, please go to our news archive:

Archive 2019-2020
Archive 2018
Archive 2017
Archive 2016

Last modified:04 April 2024 12.56 p.m.