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  • Author: Christopher Chen, Angelo Paolo L. Trias
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Water is a fundamental element of survival and growth on Earth. As a prerequisite for life and an important economic resource, it supports all aspects of everyday activity. Ensuring that water is available, accessible and safe for current and future generations is among humanity’s greatest challenge. One of the most important Non-Traditional Security (NTS) challenges facing Southeast Asia is water security. This NTS Insight explores water security issues in Southeast Asia and examines the ways it threatens states and societies. While water security challenges are not new in the region, the nature of issues are changing, making it important to assess how such threats are defined, negotiated, and managed. The NTS governance process begins with identifying and understanding NTS challenges, and ways they are securitised. By looking at case studies at the sub-national, national and regional level, this paper seeks to present some of the major water security issues in the region, how they affect states and societies, and why they merit urgent attention and resources. This Insight explains why addressing sub-national water security challenges require consultative and participatory approaches that facilitate open democratic dialogue and local collective action. It will also lay out how deliberate planning, careful implementation, and judicious monitoring of water management policies are needed at both the national and regional levels. Further, while it is not easy to reconcile developmental goals with environmental protection, the gravity of the situation requires more preventive diplomacy and subregional collaborative mechanisms which are geared towards averting water conflicts. Overall, it aims to help formal and informal NTS actors working through various channels to gain further understanding of emerging water security challenges in Southeast Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Margareth Sembiring
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Low carbon transition is an important climate change mitigation measure. It entails a switch from fossil fuels to renewable sources. The presence of cost-competitive domestic coal in coal-producing countries like Indonesia is often cited as a major stumbling block to renewable energy development. This article aims to probe the cheap domestic coal argument. It does so by examining the changing share of renewable energy sources in electricity production over a certain timeframe. The study finds mixed observations across important coal-producing countries. It thus argues that there is a need to go beyond the low-cost domestic coal axiom and examine deeper underlying factors that support or hinder renewable energy development in coal-producing countries.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Coal
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Paul Teng, Jose Ma, Luis Montesclaros, Rob Hulme, Andrew Powell
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Singapore agrifood ecosystem is fast changing from one focused primarily on food security to one which also addresses a new economic sub-sector for export of processed food and “disruptive technologies”. Recently there has been a marked convergence of various technologies including FoodTech, AgTech, FinTech and MedTech. In 2019, exciting initiatives were announced which included the development of a new 18 ha AgriFood Innovation Park (AFIP), a new food security strategy of 30% food self-sufficiency by 2030, the launch of the Enterprise Singapore backed Seeds Capital investment for several new AgriFoodTech Accelerators and the launch of the new Singapore Food Agency (SFA) under the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR). All these have come at a time when there is an increasing number of new startups and commercial enterprises engaged in farming and food processing, including indoor plant factories growing a range of fruit and vegetables and land-based fish farms. How do all these developments compare with similar ecosystems in successful agrifood countries like the Netherlands? Building on a previous NTS INSIGHT on developing a successful urban food cluster, this INSIGHT will explore ways to successfully integrate the key elements such as research and development; retail and consumers; human resources and education; financing; and policy. It concludes with some foresighted insights on the future direction of the ecosystem.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Science and Technology, Food Security
  • Political Geography: Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Margareth Sembiring
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: International garbage disputes are rare. Lately, however, the world witnesses waves of newsworthy trash saga. From the Philippines shipping containers of rubbish back to Canada, to Malaysia planning to return tons of garbage back to countries of origin, to China’s near-total ban of plastic waste import, it is hard not to wonder whether this is a real sign of rising environmentalism. Have countries begun to think that the environment is worthy of a similar priority as the economy? This Insight argues that behind the seemingly growing pro-environment attitudes, it still remains to be seen whether this trend is sustainable in the long run. Considering that the global waste trade is a multi-billion dollar industry, the balance may tip to favour the economic activities again once the dust has settled back. The paper first looks at a brief description of the global waste trade industry. It then discusses some of the contemporary development in the global waste industry particularly on the issues of waste smuggling and China’s plastic waste import ban. It describes related experiences in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Economy, Trade, Waste
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Canada, Philippines, Southeast Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Julius Caesar Trajano
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Philippines and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development, demonstrating their willingness to explore joint development as a pathway to collaboration, notwithstanding their territorial disputes. Recent commentaries on joint development are mostly framed on legal challenges, South China Sea (SCS) rows, geopolitics, and state-centric security issues. However, there have been no extensive discussions on the potential contributions from non-state stakeholders that can make joint development agreements environmentally sound, sustainable, and less political. These stakeholders are the oil companies, fishermen and coastal communities. In this regard, this NTS Insight explores potential roles of these stakeholders in promoting joint initiatives to share and develop resources in the SCS. It argues that the engagement and participation of non-state stakeholders in resource sharing and joint management must be pursued to address key non-traditional security challenges in the SCS. It also examines mechanisms to integrate marine environmental protection and sustainable fishing management into joint development agreements.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: China, Philippines, Southeast Asia, South China Sea
  • Author: Margareth Sembiring, Foo Yen Ne, Christopher Chen
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Since Southeast Asian leaders signed the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) in 2005, the region has prioritised developing national and regional disaster management capabilities to respond to disasters. However, the recent back-to-back disasters that occurred between July and August 2018 tested the response capacities of national governments and the humanitarian community. Parts of Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines battled floods of varying severity induced by seasonal monsoon rains, tropical storms and a dam collapse on a tributary of the Mekong River. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara was hit by multiple earthquakes and aftershocks between 29 July and 19 August. The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) reported that at the peak of these disasters, over 588,000 people were displaced and more than 5.2 million people in Southeast Asia were affected. Against the backdrop recent disasters generating simultaneous responses, this NTS Insight makes key observations on Southeast Asia’s ability to meet the immediate needs of disaster-affected communities while building greater disaster resilience for the future. It assesses the (i) institutionalisation of disaster management in ASEAN; (ii) localisation of disaster response; and (iii) opportunities for financial risk management for building disaster-resilient communities.
  • Topic: Security, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Southeast Asia, Laos, Myanmar
  • Author: Foo Yen Ne
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Almost two decades since the adoption of the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, and specifically the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, the debates on addressing human trafficking have not veered far beyond questions of law enforcement efficacy. What makes law enforcement against human trafficking so challenging in the East Asia region? This NTS Insight examines the nature of international legal frameworks that address human trafficking and the way they influence regional and domestic anti-trafficking legislation in East Asia. It argues that human trafficking as a crime is often “hidden” from the one-size-fits-all anti-trafficking legal regime adopted in domestic or national settings. The report argues that drawing the crime of human trafficking out of the shadows is made difficult by (i) the ambiguous definition of human trafficking in international law; (ii) the disjuncture between human trafficking contexts in East Asia and what international anti-trafficking legal regimes seek to address.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, Women, Human Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Farish A. Noor
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Today, there is much talk about the 'American pivot' back to Southeast Asia, and the role that America continues to play in terms of the geo-strategic relations between the countries in the region. That America has been a player in Southeast Asian affairs is well-known, as America's presence in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam has been well documented since the Cold War. However, there has been less scholarship devoted to America's role in Southeast Asia prior to the 20th century, lending the impression that the United States is a latecomer as far as Southeast Asian affairs is concerned.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Yuddy Chrisnandi, Adhi Priamarizki
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Following the implementation of Law No. 2/1999 on political parties by former president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habbibie, the multiparty system has been championed as the more prominent feature of the rapidly democratized Indonesian political landscape in the post-Suharto era. he implementation of such a law replaced the three-party system that had previously been dominated by the single hegemonic political vehicle of the New Order, Golkar or Golongan Karya [the Functional Groups], for almost 26 years. In the 1999 General Elections (GE), Indonesia witnessed an exuberance of new political parties. A total of forty-eight new political parties joined the 1999 election, the first free and fair democratic election since the 1955 GE. While the number of political parties may seem overwhelming, such a political turnout is not surprising given the degree of plurality of Indonesian society. In the 2004, 2009, and 2014 GE respectively, 24, 38, and 12 national political parties competed.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Farish A. Noor
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past few years Indonesia's political landscape has altered somewhat as a result of the rise of new nationalist NGOs and mass movements, that have called upon the Indonesian government to take a stronger stand when defending Indonesia's national identity and position in ASEAN. Observers of Indonesian politics have asked if this marks the rise of hyper-nationalism in the country, and how this may affect Indonesia's relationship with its ASEAN neighbours. This paper looks at how Indonesia's school textbooks present the other countries and societies of ASEAN to ordinary school children in Indonesia, and looks at how Indonesian identity is framed in relation to the other countries around it. It argues that Indonesian school textbooks do indeed give a rudimentary but objective and correct view of the other countries in ASEAN, and that the rise of nationalism among some groups in Indonesia today cannot be attributed to the education that millions of Indonesian students are given on an annual basis.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Labor Issues, Intellectual Property/Copyright
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Kei Koga
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper, focusing on the 1968-1976 institutional changes of ASEAN, a Third World Security-Oriented Institution (SOI), attempts to develop a theoretical model of institutional transformation by utilizing a punctuated equilibrium model. This theoretical model illustrates interactions between structure and agent to explain both why and how institutional transformation occurs: first, changes in the external security environment foster or hinder SOI's functions, and thus, they trigger internal political discussions among member states; and second, internal political discussions define the direction of SOI's institutional transformation. Focusing on changes in the regional balance of power in Southeast Asia from 1968 to 1971 and from 1972-1976, this paper examines the process of ASEAN's creation of the Zone of Peace, Freedom, and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) in 1971, and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) and the Bali Concord in 1976.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Political Theory, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Desmond Ball
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper recounts the East Asian experience with the construction of Defence-related architecture to date. It recalls some earlier history of the ARF, viz: the adoption of a Concept Paper, containing a large menu of possible confidence building measures and other proposals for security cooperation, including numerous Defence-related measures, in 1995. It also describes in some detail the recent history of the ASEAN-led forums for Defence dialogue and cooperation which contributes to the identification and elucidation of at least some of the principal elements of a 'Southeast Asian Defence Model' which frames the agenda for prospective cooperation. The paper discusses recent developments in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and European Union (EU), and argues that the purposes, structures, operational modalities and achievements of these organisations are not central to any consideration of East Asian security architecture. On the other hand, their recent experiences in important areas such as peace-keeping, missile defence and cyber security warrant serious reflection. The paper offers some proposals concerning half a dozen areas for substantive future consultation and cooperation by the constituent mechanisms of the Defence component of the East Asian security architecture. They involve a composition of the unremitting security challenges requiring regional resolution and the principal elements of a Southeast Asian Defence Model, as manifested in the record of achievements to date. Construction of the Defence part of the architecture sufficiently robust to effectively address the regional security challenges will require both reform of the Defence pieces into a more integrated, coherent and efficient structure and also disposal of some of the more! dysfunctional aspects of the Southeast Asian Defence Model.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: KUIK Cheng-Chwee
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper adopts a neoclassical realist perspective to explain Malaysia's evolving policy towards the United States under Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. It argues that to the extent that there is a “shift” in Malaysia's U.S. policy under the current leadership, the substance and symbolism in Najib's U.S. policy has been driven and limited by the needs of the ruling elite to strike a balance between a variety of structural imperatives and domestic considerations. Structurally, in the face of a fast rising China (with whom Malaysia has come to develop an increasingly productive relation in both economic and diplomatic domains, but with whom it has unresolved territorial issues), the leader of the smaller state is increasingly confronted with the geostrategic need to keep a more balanced relationship with all the major players. This is especially so with the United States, which, under the Obama administration's “pivot” to Asia policy, has demonstrated a renewed and enhanced commitment to engage countries in the Asia-Pacific, including Malaysia. This structural push, however, has been counteracted by the smaller state's desire of not wanting to be entrapped in any big power rivalry, and by its concern about the uncertainties of great power commitments. Domestically, there is a strong economic need to further enhance two-way trade and increase the flow of American capital and technology into Malaysia, deemed vital to Najib's Economic Transformation Program. Perhaps more importantly, there is also a political calculation by the governing elite to capitalize on the increasingly warm and close bilateral ties as a leverage to reduce – if not neutralize – Washington's support for the Anwar Ibrahim-led opposition and civil society movements, which have presented a growing challenge to the ruling BN coalition. This calculation, however, has been counteracted by UMNO's domestic concern of not wanting to appear too closely aligned with America, in order not to alienate the country's Muslim majority voters who have been critical of U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These structural and domestic determinants together explain Malaysia's evolving policy toward the superpower under the current leadership.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Islam, Political Economy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Malaysia, Israel, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Evelyn Goh
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on China's relations with its relatively weak neighbours in Southeast Asia where we ought to find evidence of China getting other states to do what they otherwise would not have done, this paper asks how and how effectively China has converted its growing resources into influence over other states, their strategic choices and the outcomes of events. First, it adopts the framework of structural and relational power, further disaggregating the latter into persuasion, inducement and coercion as modes of exercising power. Second, it accounts for the reception to power by offering an analytical framework based on variations in the alignment of the extant preferences of the subjects and wielders of power, which determine the degree to which alterations are necessary as part of an exercise of power. The analysis identifies key cases particularly demonstrating three categories of Chinese power: its power as 'multiplier' when extent preferences are aligned; its power to persuade when pre-existing preferences are debated; and its power to prevail in instances of conflicting preferences. It finds that the first two categories of power have been most prevalent, while there have been very few instances where Southeast Asian states have done what they would otherwise not have done as a result of Chinese behaviour. These findings suggest that even though China's power resources have increased significantly, the way in which it has managed to convert these resources into control over outcomes is uneven.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Leonard C. Sebastian, Iisgindarsah
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Indonesian military remains one of the most crucial institutions in a democratising Indonesia and continues to be a key factor in any discussion regarding the future of the country. Forced to withdraw from formal politics at the end of the New Order regime, the military leadership has been embarking on a series of reforms to "professionalise" the armed forces, while maintaining their standing within Indonesian society. This paper attempts to provide an assessment of the military reform process during the last 12 years in Indonesia. To this end, it will provide an overview regarding the role of the Indonesian military during the Suharto era; analyse to what extent the process of democratisation has shaped the role and mission of the military; explore the perceptions and motivations of the actors involved in the reform process; review what has been achieved; and highlight the outstanding issues that remain unaddressed. With regard to the final point, this paper discerns three major strategic gaps that undermine the processes of military reform in Indonesia, namely: the "regulation loophole", the "defence-economic gap" and the "shortcomings of democratic civilian control". Considering these problems, this paper concludes that while the military officers' interest in day-to-day politics will gradually diminish, the military professionalism will ebb and flow depending more on the behaviour of political elites and their attempts to address the major strategic gaps in the next stage of the country's military reform.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Farish A. Noor
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Partai Keadilan Sejahtera PKS is one of the younger parties in Indonesia today, yet it has established itself as a national party with branch offices all over the Indonesian archipelago and representation in government at all levels. When it first came onto the scene of Indonesian politics it was criticized by Indonesian liberal intellectuals as a 'Trojan horse' for further Islamisation of Indonesia. However some of Indonesia's more radical and militant Islamist groups have in turn criticized the PKS for 'selling out' by joining the democratic political process.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Islam, Politics, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Kog Yue-Choong
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Land-scarce Singapore has no choice but to carry out massive reclamation to cope with its population growth and economic development. The ability for Singapore to continue to carry out its reclamation to enlarge its territory is tied to its survival as a competitive economy. Land reclamation works have been carried out in Singapore since the late 19th century when Singapore was a British colony. After Singapore was separated from Malaysia in 1965, massive land reclamation has been ongoing almost non-stop since then without giving rise to any dispute with its neighbours. Dredged sea sand has been used for reclamation in Singapore long ago, initially the sea sand come from seabed within Singapore's territory and later from Malaysia and Indonesia. But for the first time in 2002, such reclamation works have figured in volatile ties between Singapore and Malaysia when Malaysia protested vehemently about the trans-boundary environmental impact of Singapore's reclamation works. At the same time, Indonesian leaders imposed an export ban of sea sand from Indonesia to Singapore because they felt that sea sand was being shipped to enlarge Singapore's territory at environmental costs that surpassed the economic benefits from selling the sand. This paper will review the reclamation efforts by Singapore and the perceived threat that it poses to neighbouring countries including Malaysia and Indonesia in the context of the concerns over environmental degradation, territorial rights and the tensions engendered in the relations among these countries. This paper will argue that the dispute between Singapore and Malaysia as well as Singapore and Indonesia should not be securitised. Instead, such non-traditional security issues should be viewed as 'desecuritised'. This need is particularly acute in this uncertain time because of the threats of terrorism and the challenge of escalation in economic rivalry brought about by globalisation and the opening of China and India.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Environment, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: José N. Franco
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Today's outward migration of millions of Filipinos has rendered international borders porous and blurred the already thin-line between legal and illegal overseas workers, making both documented and undocumented migrants from the Philippines a responsibility of their government. Every case affecting Filipinos abroad, therefore, is a potential non-traditional security issue because, while migration poses no direct threat to the territorial security of sovereign states, it could threaten the survival of government if left unattended. It could make or unmake politicians, remove officials from public office, or, at worst, strain diplomatic relations between labor-sending and -receiving countries. It's also an economic issue that spills over to other related cases, such as human rights, sexual and reproductive health topics, national politics, and foreign affairs. The concept of securitization and desecuritization—as advanced by the Euro-centric Copenhagen School and adopted, with some modifications, by the Asia-centric Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, in Singapore—is a powerful tool used by actors in identifying an existential threat to a referent object in migration cases, and in resolving the issue at hand.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Bruce Tolentino
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The forces of globalization, in tandem with realities of domestic natural resources, economics and politics, and the influence of international institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), are re-shaping the food security policy and strategy of nations such as the Philippines. This paper describes the forces that have come to bear on the shaping of food security policy in the Philippines in recent years, and the Philippine Government's responses to the challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Health
  • Political Geography: Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Nankyung Choi
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: In this essay, I examine the dynamics and outcomes of Indonesia's first ever direct local executive elections in a case study of the gubernatorial election in the Riau Archipelago. Specifically, I examine the election processes, identify the major issues before, during, and after the elections, and assess voters' participation. I then examine the ways direct local executive elections have affected the dynamics of local politics in the country. Overall, this essay aims to further develop our understanding of political dynamics in the Riau Archipelago and grasp the practical significance of local political change in Indonesia more broadly.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Catherine Zara Raymond
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Piracy has plagued the region of Southeast Asia for many centuries and continues to do so to the present day. Despite increased efforts by the regional countries to reduce the problem, pirate attacks take place on an alarmingly regular basis in what are some of the world's most strategically important waterways. This paper will examine the phenomenon of piracy in Southeast Asia, in particular that which occurs in and around the waters of Indonesia and the Straits of Malacca. The trends which have emerged in recent years will be highlighted; specifically the types of attacks which take place, the different groups carrying out the attacks, the equipment they use and their targeting patterns. The study will then examine the causes of piracy, its impact and finally the responses of the region's states to the problem.
  • Topic: Crime, Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Evelyn Goh
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The small and medium-sized states in Southeast Asia have undergone significant geostrategic changes with the end of the Cold War and the rise of China. There has been a lively debate over the last decade about whether these countries would balance against or bandwagon with China, and how their relations with the other major powers in the region would change. Recent works that argue against the simple dichotomy of balancing versus bandwangoning are correct in asserting that Southeast Asian countries do not want to choose between the two major powers, the U.S. and China. But this paper goes further to present the results of an empirical study that fleshes out the conceptual thinking that underlies this avoidance strategy. It finds that instead of merely adopting tactical or time-buying policies, key Southeast Asian states have actively tried to influence the shaping of the new regional order. It argues that key Southeast Asian states in fact have (a) distinct coneptualisations of two main pathways to order in the region–omni-enmeshment of major powers and complex balance of influence; and (b) a concrete vision of the preferred power distribution outcome, which is a hierarchical regional order.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Southeast Asia
  • Author: John Bradford
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: At the beginning of 2005, Southeast Asian security cooperation is still regarded as inadequate to defend the region against maritime threats. However, structural, economic and normative factors are enabling greater cooperation in the post-9/11 “Age of Terror”. This article open with a brief outline of the history of Southeast Asian maritime security cooperation from 1990 to December 2004, and then discusses the various maritime threats faced by the region. It next described five factors that are enabling greater maritime security cooperation in the age of Terror. The potential application of those factors is assessed to anticipate the most likely forms of future regional cooperation. While cooperation will expand on many levels, the most fruitful cooperation will result from improved networks of bilateral relationships. Information in this working paper will be of interest to these seeking to understand the cooperation and security dynamics of this important and intensely maritime region. It should be of specific interest to those policymakers seeking to improve international cooperation to combat Southeast Asian transnational maritime threats such as terrorism, piracy and smuggling.</p
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Catherine Zara Raymond
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This article seeks to investigate the extent of the threat posed by maritime terrorism to commercial ports and shipping in Southeast Asia. It will focus in particular on the threat from the terrorist groups located in Indonesia and the Philippines and the vulnerability of vessels passing through Southeast Asia's strategic sea-lanes
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: John Bradford
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: As parallel and co-dependent entities, Indonesia's civil government and military (TNI) defy many of the most basic precepts of conventional civil-military relations theory. By analyzing the unique Indonesian relationship, this essay supplements conventional theory. Judging the TNI against three criteria --responsibility, expertise, and corporateness-- reveals a potent, fiercely independent institution with a powerful sense of duty. However, TNI capabilities are undermined by a lack of expertise, a factionalized corporate body, and a membership which pursues excessive self-interest. Such analysis confirms that for democracy to thrive in Indonesia the TNI must "professionalize" but those reforms must be accompanied by the strengthening of civil institutions' ability to both provide for the nation and protect the TNI's material and ideological interests.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Joseph Liow
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: When Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dissolved the Malaysian Parliament on 4 March 2004, it was an indication that general elections will be held in Malaysia within the next 60 days. The forthcoming general elections will be the 11th in Malaysian history. Given that it will be his first general election at the helm of the Malaysian government, this election has been billed as a test of Prime Minister Abdullah's mandate by the local and international media. Beyond that however, the elections will also put to test UMNO's performance over the past 4 years. Since losing substantial Malay support to the Islamic opposition PAS, UMNO has embarked on a "rejuvenation" exercise that gained impetus on the back of economic recovery, peaked with the resignation of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the ascension of Abdullah Badawi as Prime Minister of Malaysia. UMNO's revival has also been aided by external factors such as the fallout from the events of September 11. Indeed, recent developments do indicate that UMNO and the National Front will enter the 2004 general elections from a much stronger position that in 1999, and is likely not only to secure a two-thirds parliamentary majority, but also to repel the challenge from PAS and the opposition alliance nationwide.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Malaysia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Helen E.S. Nesadurai
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explains Malaysia-US relations in terms of national interests derived from the nature of the Malaysian political economy and the salience of Islam in Malay(sian) politics as they interact with US foreign policy postures derived from distinct US grand strategies. The paper compares Malaysia's responses to the US under the Clinton and the first George W. Bush Administrations in terms of the following: (a) instances of cooperation and non-cooperation on key US initiatives; (b) pursuit of alternative economic and defence/security relationships; and (c) construction of alternative discourses and coalitions aimed at challenging US initiatives and its hegemony more broadly. Malaysia's responses to the US can be summed up in the phrase, 'rejecting dominance, embracing engagement', evident during both the Clinton and the Bush Administrations and consistent under the Mahathir and the current Abdullah Badawi governments. The Malaysian government's attempts to develop coalitions to challenge US initiatives and its hegemony have not alwyas been successful. The government has, nonetheless, stood firm and rejected US initiatives and actions that directly threatened national interests. The US, on its part, has accommodated itself to Malaysia's positions on a number of occasions since September 11, reflecting Malaysia's valuable role in Washington's fight against terrorism. Both governments also cooperation extensively in economics, defence and transnational crime from which both parties draw benefits.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Malaysia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Eduardo Lachica
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Indonesia and the donor community are agreed that security sector reforms are needed to restore investor confidence and sustain the pace of economic recovery. However, donor-assisted programmes have had only a limited success so far and the army's post-Suharto reforms appeared to have ground to a halt. This paper offers some suggestions on how to restore the momentum for reform in the light of donor limitations, the military's historical circumstances and the current mood of intense nationalism. Donors should initiate a quiet Track II (non-official) dialogue with the military, the police, the civilian authorities and civil society to scope out a doable programme of cooperation. The issue of civilian supremacy should be dealt with pragmatically, allowing for a process of negotiation to find an effective working relationship between civilian and military authorities. The dialogue should frame the reform process as a burden for the entire society, reminding civilian leaders that they too have a responsibility to improve their performance and demonstrate their ability to oversee military affairs capably and fairly. Since U.S. assistance to the Indonesian military is likely to remain constrained, the paper proposes a "military donors club" that can expand the donor base and work informally with the World Bank-led Consultative Group on Indonesia. The dialogue should deal creatively and patiently with two of the most vexing issues relating to the army — restructuring its network of territorial commands and phasing out its controversial tradition of self-financing. This could be a difficult learning process for both sides of the civilian-military divide that could last a decade or more.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Irman Lanti, Leonard Sebastian
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, the ever-growing Post Suharto era radical Islamic discourse in Indonesia became more dominant and was in itself shaped by themes evident in the global sphere, where the rhetoric of a clash between Islamand the West became a major theme in international relations.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia