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  • Author: Christopher G. Baker
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • 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 Studies (NTS)
  • 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 Studies (NTS)
  • 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: Arpita Mathur
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • 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 Studies (NTS)
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: Over the last three years, the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) coordinated cluster three of the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative, which focused on internal challenges in Asia. The Centre developed an active research agenda that drew on its own resources as well as that of its network partners around the region to deliver policy-relevant outputs. The research addressed many of the most pressing challenges faced by Asia's policymaking communities, from climate change, natural disasters, and energy, to internal and cross-border conflict.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: Five years have passed since the signing of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, when United Nations (UN) member states agreed to the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). Contained in paragraph 138 of the World Summit Outcome Document is a commitment by states to prevent four specific types of mass atrocities – ethnic cleansing, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It was a significant commitment outlining sovereignty as responsibility. ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states were part of this historic signing, recalling incidents of mass atrocities in their own region, such as in Cambodia and East Timor. Since the 2005 World Summit, there have been numerous regional developments, within Southeast Asia, in the areas of conflict prevention, early warning mechanisms and protection frameworks for its populations, such as the recent establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC). However, there has been little discussion on what traction exists and how to operationalise RtoP in the region. In addition, there have been few avenues in Southeast Asia, for policymakers, civil society members, academics and the media to collectively discuss how RtoP is viewed in the region, how it can be better promoted and whether there are any lessons to be learned from past experiences in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Asia