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  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Asian cities are often cited as being particularly susceptible to extreme events, shifting weather patterns and environmental decline. They are the economic and social hubs of the region's developing countries, yet are highly exposed to risks that can weaken and damage critical urban systems and undermine progress on development goals.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Demographics, Economics, Environment, Migration
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Christopher G. Baker
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The rapid hydropower development in the Mekong River Basin brings with it a growing number of security challenges for state and regional policymakers. While the interrelated challenges range from local, human security issues, to regional-level concerns, all stem from the externalities brought about by hydro-development. This paper analyses the ramifications of the current 'hydropower gold-rush' on and around the Mekong. By specifically examining the non-traditional security concerns of food and water security and how these threaten to drive human insecurity, migration and instability within the region, it is able to challenge the dominant development and economic mindset that continues to encourage development at the cost of livelihoods. Instead of an economic hydro-boom as anticipated by many, continued dam building on the Mekong and its tributaries could result in a non-traditional security disaster characterised by severe food shortages, destruction of livelihoods and large irregular movements of people.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Aries A. Arugay
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The militaries of developing countries have often gone beyond the mission of external defence, to perform unconventional roles ranging from disaster relief and economic management to law enforcement and internal security. This paper focuses on development missions carried out by the armed forces of the Philippines and Thailand in and out of conflict zones, and provides an analysis of the causes behind the re-emergence of such missions in recent years. Based on a comparison of the two countries' experience, this paper argues that the military's renewed involvement in development work stems from two factors: their significant role in political succession; and the increasing salience of concepts linking security and development, in particular, the notion of non-traditional security. The effectiveness of such projects could, however, be hampered by the lack of a clear, well-implemented national development framework and by systemic weaknesses in security sector governance. This paper thus argues that, in order to address the various non-traditional security threats in the two countries, security sector reform would have to be implemented and civilian oversight over security institutions improved.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Governance
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Philippines, Thailand
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: On 30–31 July 2012, a Policy Roundtable on Asian Non-Traditional Security was held at the Hotel Novotel Beijing Peace, China, with the aim of sharing the research findings of participating institutions. The Roundtable was organised by the Center for Regional Security Studies (CRSS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS); the National Institute of International Strategy (NIIS), CASS; and the Center for Non-Traditional Security and Peaceful Development Studies (NTS-PD), Zhejiang University.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Environment, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Political Economy, Natural Disasters, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Jochen Prantl, Ryoko Nakano
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the problem of global norm diffusion in international relations with particular reference to the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) in East Asia. Exposing the limits of previous work on norm localisation, the authors propose a norm diffusion loop framework. Rather than understanding norm diffusion as a linear top-down process, the authors demonstrate that the reception to RtoP has evolved in a far more dynamic way which can best be described as a feedback loop. This paper first looks into the processes and causal mechanisms that helped to construct RtoP as an emerging transnational soft norm; then, it analyses the challenges of diffusing RtoP from the global to the regional and domestic levels; and, finally, it examines the variation of norm effects across states within the same region, focusing in particular on how RtoP has shaped Chinese and Japanese policy responses.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Fitrian Ardiansyah, Desak Putu Adhityani Putri
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the security impacts of climate change in three Southeast Asian cross-border areas– the Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle – through an examination of the ways in which climate change results in human insecurity and possibly social unrest, tension and conflict. The three cross-border areas are significant in that they host unique but threatened large-scale freshwater, terrestrial forest, coastal and marine ecosystems. In addition, they are home to more than 400 million people and provide important ecosystem goods and services to many countries in the region. This paper explores and evaluates regional agreements and actions in each of the three areas, with an emphasis on the mainstreaming of climate adaptation as well as mitigation in the development agenda. The analysis also points to the importance of reaching out to other actors beyond state and intergovernmental ones if adaptation and mitigation efforts were to succeed. There is a need to identify other actors, such as the business sector, local communities and the public, with the aim of getting them involved in these important issues.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Climate Change, Territorial Disputes, Water
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Arpita Mathur
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Women are a social group vulnerable to food insecurity despite being primary actors in the food chain. The problem of food insecurity among women is especially rampant in parts of South Asia and Southeast Asia. Vulnerability to food insecurity has a definite effect on the health of women and children, as well as social and economic impacts in terms of fewer opportunities for education and greater instances of early marriages. A comparison of indicators used to assess vulnerabilities of women in the two regions shows that the overall situation in South Asia is worse than that in Southeast Asia. The primary securitising actors at the national, regional and international levels have to play an individual and collective role in rectifying the situation. It is equally mandatory for regional groupings such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to provide a sound systemic environment for individual countries to work towards achieving these objectives.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Food
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: K. U. Menon
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, also known as the swine flu pandemic, was a test of risk communications methodology and processes. Governments were called upon to make tough decisions in the absence of substantive epidemiological data and baffling case fatality rates (CFRs). While New York adopted mitigation measures, Hong Kong and Singapore followed aggressive containment protocols. Recent studies however suggest that the benefits of such measures – achieved at great cost and allocation of resources – are minimal. This review looks primarily at the experience of a small city-state, Singapore, and compares it with two other equally densely populated cities – New York and Hong Kong – and how all three confronted the challenge and the lessons to be drawn from their experience in risk communications. Communicating risk required deft handling by political leaders and officials to persuade people to adopt strict measures. In the wake of the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, there were high expectations in Hong Kong and Singapore for visible containment measures to continue in the event of future pandemics even when benefits were known to be minimal. Cultural differences may explain the receptivity of the populace in these countries to the stiff measures put in place to contain the disease. However, this requires further study.
  • Topic: Health
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The International Conference on Asian Food Security (ICAFS) took place on 10–12 August 2011 at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Singapore. ICAFS 2011, themed 'Feeding Asia in the 21st Century: Building Urban- Rural Alliances', was convened in the context of complex and multifaceted challenges throughout food systems in Asia. The conference sought to address timely questions relating to these challenges, and foster discussions among a range of stakeholders from Asia's food sectors.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: J. Jackson Ewing (ed), Alistair D.B. Cook (ed)
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The year 2011 has seen the further prioritisation of nontraditional security (NTS) issues throughout research and policymaking circles in the Asia-Pacific region. Regional trends and events have highlighted the need for strategies that can help people, communities, states and organisations address multifarious security challenges, thus propelling the NTS platform to a higher stratum of political and institutional discourse.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Climate Change, Development, Economics, Health, Poverty, Natural Disasters, Food
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific