Tackling development challenges such as climate change and ageing demographics requires an understanding of the many different factors contributing to the problem. Global solutions are not always the answer – local approaches combined with systems thinking can prove more effective, writes veteran management consultant Arun Maira, Chairman of HelpAge International, a global NGO aimed at helping the elderly lead dignified lives.
Attempts by "like-minded" Western allies to strengthen the global system will have limited impact if their aim is to assert liberal values rather than shape a new order.
Persistent and widespread misconduct has fueled distrust in the financial services sector. After an investigation lasting over a year, a commission of inquiry in Australia uncovered a shocking level of systemic malpractice and the culture of self-interest and lack of accountability that led to it. Asia-Pacific countries, where economies and services sectors are expanding rapidly, would be wise to learn from those mistakes, writes business ethics expert Eva Tsahuridu of RMIT University in Melbourne.
With the process for selecting a new managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) starting, Vasuki Shastry, who worked in senior communications and public affairs roles at the organization, argues that Asian countries should overcome their traditional reluctance and geopolitical impediments and differences to support a candidate from the region.
Japan’s interwar period between 1925 and 1937 was marked by a gradual backsliding in the liberal democratic political system that had developed since the Meiji Constitution was adopted in 1889. Hiroyuki Yamamoto of Tokyo International University draws parallels between the heightened partisan politics of that time that gave way to anti-democratic forces and the unchecked party competition today in many countries including the US.
The governance gap between the US and China - the former focuses on the rule of law, the latter on the rule by the Communist Party - suggests differences in their perceptions of what a rules-based international order should be. This disconnect is better understood by looking at how, at the beginning of the 20th century, lawyer-diplomats took over from military generals in negotiating international treaties, writes Zhiwu Chen, Director of the Asia Global Institute.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's blend of hyper-nationalism with a welfare-state development narrative successfully bolstered his claim to be the “only man for the job”. It has also given his party wider and deeper appeal, solidifying its national footprint. Armed with a strengthened mandate, Modi could propel India forward to take a leadership role in Asian affairs, writes New Delhi-based Preeti Singh, Senior Advisor at 9.9 Insights.
The resounding election triumph of the ruling BJP gives Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a strong second mandate and a fresh opportunity to make his ambitious dreams for India a reality, says Hong Kong-based strategic adviser and entrepreneur Alan Rosling, the author of "Boom Country?: The New Wave of Indian Enterprise".
As China embraces the digital economy, subcontracting—the practice of using intermediaries to contract workers, whether through agencies or other multilayered contracting—is raising new challenges over legal protections and corporate responsibility, as well as labor unrest.
Since Xi Jinping ascended to the presidency, he has spearheaded a reorientation of China’s major power diplomacy. With China’s foreign policy in the spotlight during the annual meeting of its legislature, Yoshikazu Kato of the Asia Global Institute outlines his thoughts on what this diplomacy is and how it came about.
The recent impeachment and subsequent removal from office of South Korean President Park Geun-hye have revealed the extent of state-business collusion in the country. But this is far from being a solely Korean story, as it puts ties between public and private actors under the spotlight.
Anticompetitive practices are rife in the internet-enabled economy, and lawmakers have struggled to keep up. Authorities must find a balance between regulation and fostering an open, healthy environment for this economy to thrive.
Many parts of Asia are affected by high levels of air pollution. The continent is home to some of the most polluted megacities in the world, including Beijing and Shanghai in China, and Delhi and Kolkata in India. While these places suffer all year round, several countries in Southeast Asia face a unique air pollution problem that is seasonal, but no less dire.
Many maritime disputes are motivated by material factors like oil, gas, and fishing stocks. Weaker countries tend to insist on sovereignty claims, at the risk of stretching legal definitions, while those with access to resources are inclined to maintain the status quo. The Timor-Leste-Australia dispute shows how sovereign claims risk weakening the international sea regime.
Climate change means that drought is likely to scourge larger parts of the world, and more often, with serious impacts on agriculture and food supply. Drought episodes are generally tackled via ad hoc policy support measures. As the Australian case shows, such responses should be replaced with longer-term policy interventions across good and bad seasonal conditions.
China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001 was greeted with great fanfare. But near silence has greeted the recent removal by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission of caps on foreign ownership of Chinese financial institutions. For Beijing, the apparent lack of interest might be an issue of too little, too late.