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  • Author: Carl Ungerer, Katy Dr. Oh Hassig
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Asia and Europe share a border, but not much else. Although the Mongols invaded Eastern Europe, and Marco Polo made it to China, a common assumption among policy makers and academics alike has been that the security challenges and perspectives between these contiguous continents have had little in common, and less to learn from each other. Past efforts to build academic and policy bridges have been nascent at best. But today’s threats to global and regional security have no problem crossing international borders. From the rise of violent extremism to the threat of pandemic diseases and cyber criminals, solutions to security problems will overwhelm any national, or indeed regional, effort to ‘go it alone’. Increasingly, as transnational threats become simultaneously local and global, the challenge for countries across both Asia and Europe is to find points of common interest and opportunities for genuine security cooperation.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Security, Violent Extremism, ISIL
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Robert A. Manning
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: US extended deterrence in Asia, involving the full spectrum from nuclear to conventional capabilities, faces an array of new challenges. Indeed, a dynamic, volatile, and more complex security landscape in the Asia-Pacific and globally has heightened regional security concerns and given deterrence and strategic stability a renewed importance in the period extending to 2025.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The situation in Rakhine State contains a toxic mixture of historical centre-periphery tensions, serious intercommunal and inter-religious conflict with minority Muslim communities, and extreme poverty and under-development. This led to major violence in 2012 and further sporadic outbreaks since then. The political temperature is high, and likely to increase as Myanmar moves closer to national elections at the end of 2015. It represents a significant threat to the overall success of the transition, and has severely damaged the reputation of the government when it most needs international support and investment. Any policy approach must start from the recognition that there will be no easy fixes or quick solutions. The problems faced by Rakhine State are rooted in decades of armed violence, authoritarian rule and state-society conflict. This crisis has affected the whole of the state and all communities within it. It requires a sustained and multi-pronged response, as well as critical humanitarian and protection interventions in the interim.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Post Colonialism, Religion, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: David A. Welch
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As events demonstrate on a regular basis, the Asia-Pacific is a region prone to crisis. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the use of military force to signal interests or resolve, and even, in some cases, to alter the status quo, particularly in the East and South China Seas. Fortunately, none of these “mini crises” have escalated to the level of a shooting war. The received wisdom is that, all other things being equal, no country in the region desires conflict, owing to their high levels of economic interdependence. However, it is clear that in a context of rising nationalism, unresolved historical grievances and increasing hostility and suspicion, there is no reason to be complacent about the prospect of managing every future crisis successfully. Hence the recent surge in interest in crisis management “mechanisms” (CMMs). This paper explores the dangers of thinking of crisis management in an overly technical or mechanistic fashion, but also argues that sensitivity to those very dangers can be immensely useful. It draws upon US and Soviet experiences in the Cuban missile crisis to inform management of a hypothetical future Sino-American crisis in the East China Sea, and to identify general principles for designing and implementing CMMs.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, International Security, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US extended deterrent in Northeast Asia is strong. US alliances with Japan and South Korea are each arguably in the best shape in years, with alliance modernization efforts proceeding in tandem with domestic adjustments to security policy that strengthen the foundation for cooperative action. Policy toward North Korea, historically a wedge between Washington and allied governments in the region, is largely aligned, and serving as a glue rather than a source of discord. This otherwise sunny outlook is darkened by the difficulties in the Seoul-Tokyo relationship. The (from a US perspective) obvious convergence of interests among the three governments is overshadowed by a lengthy and depressingly well-rehearsed list of problems. The second US-ROK-Japan Trilateral Extended Deterrence Dialogue, hosted by Pacific Forum CSIS and the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, with indirect support from the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD (PASCC) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), explored ways to overcome those obstacles to enhanced cooperation. In an attempt to push the envelope, the 43 senior participants from the three countries joined 17 Pacific Forum Young Leaders (all attending in their private capacities) in discussions and a tabletop exercise that was designed to explore reactions to a nuclear contingency on the Korean Peninsula. The results were sobering and underscored the need for increased coordination and planning among the three governments to prepare for such a crisis in Northeast Asia.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Bangladesh could face a protracted political crisis in the lead-up to the 2013 elections unless Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government changes course and takes a more conciliatory approach towards the political opposition and the military. In December 2008, following two years of a military-backed caretaker government, the Awami League (AL) secured a landslide victory in what were widely acknowledged to be the fairest elections in the country's history. The hope, both at home and abroad, was that Sheikh Hasina would use her mandate to revitalise democratic institutions and pursue national reconciliation, ending the pernicious cycle of zero-sum politics between her AL and its rival, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Three and a half years on, hope has been replaced by deep disillusionment, as two familiar threats to Bangladesh's democracy have returned: the prospect of election-related violence and the risks stemming from an unstable and hostile military.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, Asia
  • Author: T.X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: As America ends its military commitment to Iraq and continues its drawdown in Afghanistan, a lively discussion has emerged on what future challenges the Nation faces. High on every list is the requirement to deal with a rising China. In his remarks to the Australian Parliament on November 17, 2011, President Barack Obama stated, “As we end today's wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and mission in the Asia Pacific a top priority.” As part of this re-balancing to Asia, the administration has stated that it seeks “to identify and expand areas of common interest, to work with China to build mutual trust, and to encourage China's active efforts in global problem-solving.” Clearly, the United States seeks prudent and coordinated political, economic, and military actions to further integrate China into the international system.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, 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: Daniel Markey, Paul B. Stares, Evan A. Feigenbaum, Scott A. Snyder, John W. Vessey, Joshua Kurlantzick
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If past experience is any guide, the United States and China will find themselves embroiled in a serious crisis at some point in the future. Such crises have occurred with some regularity in recent years, and often with little or no warning. Relatively recent examples include the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1996, the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999, and the EP-3 reconnaissance plane incident in 2001, as well as several minor naval skirmishes since then. The ensuing tension has typically dissipated without major or lasting harm to U.S.-China relations. With China's rise as a global power, however, the next major crisis is likely to be freighted with greater significance for the relationship than in previous instances. Policymakers in both Washington and Beijing, not to mention their respective publics, have become more sensitive to each other's moves and intentions as the balance of power has shifted in recent years. As anxieties and uncertainties have grown, the level of mutual trust has inevitably diminished. How the two countries manage a future crisis or string of crises, therefore, could have profound and prolonged consequences for the U.S.-China relationship. Given the importance of this relationship to not only the future evolution of the Asia-Pacific region but also to the management of a host of international challenges, the stakes could not be higher.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Su Hao
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: After the Cold War, although the danger of conflict and war between the east and west has been removed, some latent hot issues have emerged in the East Asia area, among which the South China Sea issue became a prominent regional security problem. Because this issue is related to China-the fast developing big power in this region, it then turned into an important foundation for the so-called "China threat" theory which has been prevalent since the 1990s. The western countries have always been taking advantage of the South China Sea issue to damage China's image, and at the same time some claimant states in the South China Sea also made use of the complicated Asia-Pacific security situation to extend their own interests in the South China Sea. Due to the interweaving historical factors, differences in current security interests, disagreements in sea boundaries, and the ambiguousness in international law, the South China Sea issue, therefore, is exceptionally complex and complicated. However, thanks to the only big power of the South China Sea-China's responsible attitude and rational position, the South China Sea conflict has been well managed, the occasional friction has never upgraded to military clash, and the tensions caused by some countries' irresponsible acts have been effectively controlled. All those constructive functions exerted by China are possible to be realized only on condition that China abides by its explicit standpoint and principles, takes a rational and responsible attitude, and acts through coordination and cooperation.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Australia/Pacific