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ASEAN

Politics

Democracy in Southeast Asia: Elites are an Obstacle

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Robin Ramcharan of the Asia Centre in Bangkok offers an approach for strengthening democratization in the region.

Geopolitics

Crossing the Rubicon: Duterte Moves to End the Philippine-US Alliance

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Behind Duterte's façade of triviality and pettiness is a concerted plan to shift the Philippines away from the US and closer to China.

Geopolitics

Asia 2020: Learn the Lessons of 2019

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Vasuki Shastry, Associate Asia Fellow of Chatham House in London, offers lessons from the past year and considers what they may portend at the beginning of a new decade.

Security

Can New ASEAN Chair Vietnam Make Progress on the South China Sea?

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Vietnam’s taking the ASEAN chair in January 2020 offers a diplomatic opportunity, says Vietnam scholar Truong-Minh Vu.

Geopolitics

Blowing Hot and Cold Over the South China Sea

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Could Manila's soft-pedaling of its territorial dispute with Beijing lead to a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that fits Chinese interests?

Development

ASEAN’s Infrastructure Dilemma

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Japan-financed urban railway project in Ho Chi Minh City: ASEAN needs a collaborative and coordinated approach to infrastructure development

Geopolitics

Flawed Assumptions: Why the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific is Defective

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Foreign ministers including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (4th from left) and China's Wang Yi (far right) demonstrate ASEAN centrality

Geopolitics

Belt and Road in Southeast Asia: Inevitable Storms

Thursday, July 11, 2019

China recognizes that poor governance and lack of transparency of Belt and Road Initiative projects could undermine its strategic interests in Southeast Asia. While Beijing will continue to build economic cooperation networks in the region, China’s interests could collide with those of other major powers, leading to geopolitical storms, which ASEAN member states will have to weather, argues Xue Gong of the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.

Economy

Splintering Global Supply Chains: Asia’s Worst Nightmare?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Disruption, diversification...decoupling?: The fracturing of global supply chains is a major concern for Asian economies

Population & Society

Reckoning with Graying Asia

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Asia-Pacific population has been undergoing dramatic aging, which is transforming the region’s demographic landscape beyond recognition. The region is currently ill-equipped to meet this critical challenge, particularly due to a lack of sound and efficient pension systems.

Security

The Philippines’ Maritime Conundrum

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Philippines, a major maritime nation, must better protect its resources and exclusive sovereign rights. The South China Sea disputes, where China has exerted increasing dominance over one of the planet’s vital waterways, have been a sorely-needed wakeup call.

Environment

Together We Fall? Southeast Asia and Transboundary Haze

Thursday, November 8, 2018

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.

Environment

Renewable Energy in Southeast Asia: Debunking Popular Myths

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The worldwide debate over more environmentally friendly energy is replete with myths that slow down the uptake of renewables. In fact, renewable energy is increasingly competitive, and the transition is entirely feasible for ASEAN countries today.

Technology

Trolls for Sale in the World’s Social Media Capital

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Before the world learned of Cambridge Analytica and Russian trolls, there was Rodrigo Duterte’s presidential campaign in the Philippines. Regarded as “patient zero” in our current era of disinformation, the Duterte campaign and the culture that made it possible provide valuable insight into the psychology of disinformation workers.

Geopolitics

India and Indonesia Standing in the Way of the Indo-Pacific

Thursday, August 23, 2018

There are many who would like to see the concept of the “Indo-Pacific” region evolve from an idea to reality. These supporters are looking to India and Indonesia, two of the most populous countries in the region, to lead the way. This, however, is currently unlikely, owing to misalignment between the two countries’ political-economic goals and actions.

Environment

Renewable Energy Is Not Always Sustainable in Southeast Asia

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The transition to renewable energy in Southeast Asia has been widely publicized and lauded, but a closer look reveals that non-carbon-intensive power sources can also cause damage and enhance inequalities. A more effective strategy would focus on reducing demand.

Development

China’s Railway Dreams Have Missing Link

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Pan-Asia Railway, meant to stretch from Kunming to Singapore, is seen by China as one of the crown jewels of its Belt and Road Initiative. While the project has seen early success in Laos, stronger Southeast Asian countries are pushing back against Beijing’s plans.

Media, Science & the Arts

A Matter of Trust: Media and Politics in Southeast Asia

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Southeast Asians have dwindling confidence in traditional journalism. As a result, social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp have become the main source of information for voters. A combination of wider access to the internet and declining trust in longstanding news sources is changing the dynamics of democracy across the region.