By mandate of the Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991, or R.A. 7157, the FSI maintains a Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS). CIRSS undertakes studies in support of the formulation, review and dissemination of Philippine foreign policy.

Since its establishment in 1993, CIRSS has undertaken numerous strategic and policy studies.  These studies are submitted to the DFA as inputs for foreign policy consideration, and some of these papers are published as monographs of the Institute or articles in the Institute’s own publications such as the CIRSS Commentaries and FSI Insights.

CIRSS is composed of the following sections:

  • Strategic, Territorial and Maritime Issues Section examines the international security environment and the states’ response to various global and regional security issues, threats, problems, and forces. The section focuses on maritime and territorial issues in East Asia, particularly the South China Sea disputes, and the international and regional measures to promote confidence-building and cooperation.
  • International Trade and Development Studies Section examines developments in international trade, the World Trade Organization (WTO), regional integration arrangements, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and other economic/trade organizations. It also studies the Philippines’ bilateral economic relations with other states and impact of regional trade arrangements to the Philippine economy.
  • Asia Pacific Studies Section undertakes interdisciplinary studies on Northeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, and Oceania. It monitors significant developments in the region as they impinge on Philippine interests.
  • ASEAN Studies Section undertakes studies that relate to developments and issues on ASEAN, including challenges to ASEAN community-building, and ASEAN’s relations with its dialogue partners.
  • Europe and Americas Studies Section undertakes interdisciplinary studies on these regions. It monitors significant developments as they impinge on Philippine interests.
  • Middle East and Africa Studies Section undertakes interdisciplinary studies on these regions. It monitors significant developments as they impinge on Philippine interests.
  • Special Projects Section spearheads the organization of the Mabini Dialogue Series, the Mangrove Forum on International Relations and other CIRSS forums.

CIRSS also organizes conferences, round table discussions (RTD), lectures, and forums as channels for interaction, cooperation and integration of the efforts of local and foreign experts from government, private and academic sectors on foreign policy issues and their domestic implications.

  • Mabini Dialogue Series (MDS) is a venue where specialists, experts, and practitioners could engage in discussions with the Department of Foreign Affairs and other institutions on national, regional, and global issues that have political, economic, and socio-cultural impact on the Philippines.
  • Mangrove Forum on International Relations is a venue for high-level government officials, experts, and practitioners to engage in discussion of regional and global issues that have political, economic, and socio-cultural impact on the Philippines. It aims to strengthen linkages and facilitate greater cooperation and interaction among the various stakeholders in different issues. It is FSI’s contribution to promoting dialogue and cooperation among the various stakeholders of the Philippines’ foreign policy.
  • Heneral Luna Colloquium is a platform for a free and open discussion among specialists, experts, and practitioners on issues that have significant impact on national defense and security. It is jointly organized by the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Office for Strategic Studies and Strategy Management (AFP-OSSSM), the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), and the Foreign Service Institute (FSI).

CIRSS also maintains institutional linkages by participating in various networks of organizations such as the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) Philippines, Network of ASEAN-China Think Tanks (NACT), Philippine APEC Study Center Network (PASCN), Philippine Academic Consortium for Latin American Studies (PACLAS), and the Network of ASEAN-Russia Think Tanks (NARTT), to name a few.

CIRSS utilizes social media to disseminate information not only to address misinformation and disinformation but also to ensure that complex concepts are accessible to a wider audience. Such information includes infographics on key issues and research findings, press releases of the Mabini Dialogue and other events. New FSI Insights and CIRSS Commentaries issues published on FSI’s official website are promoted on social media to ensure broader readership of research papers. Currently, FSI Philippines has Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Threads, and YouTube accounts.

The West Philippine Sea Online Resource aims to empower the public with essential information on this critical geopolitical issue that holds significant implications for the Philippines. This microsite features key information on the Arbitral Award, infographics on important Philippine maritime and territorial issues, independent analyses on the South China Sea disputes, press-releases of related FSI events, and frequently asked questions.