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  • Author: Marjorie Pajaron
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: COVID-19 presents humanity with not just a health crisis but also a governance crisis as leaders around the globe confront the challenges of stemming the spread of the virus. Various governments have responded in various ways to slow the transmission of the virus. Ideally, the leaders of a country should approach the crisis with a two-pronged attack. The first is to flatten the epidemic curve (epi curve), which is simply a graphical representation of the number of cases and date of onset of the illness, and the second is to raise or strengthen the capacity of the health system. Flattening the epi curve includes mass testing for COVID-19, which has been done in South Korea, for example. Decreasing the incidence also includes quarantine, isolation, and other social distancing strategies, which have been done by various countries in varying degrees. For example, in China, total lockdown (cordon sanitaire) was implemented in Wuhan, of the Hubei province, while in the Philippines, the entire Luzon, which consists of eight administrative regions, including the national capital region (NCR), was in total lockdown (enhanced community quarantine, or ECQ) since March 16 (World Health Organization [WHO] 2020a). Other parts of the Philippines were under different degrees of quarantine at different periods since the appearance of local transmission. Raising the health care system capacity of a country may include, but is not limited to, training of health care workers, increasing facilities or hospitals that receive COVID patients, and providing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). This paper offers a brief epidemiological review of COVID-19 since its first case in China and how the hotspots for this disease evolved and changed over a relatively short period. This paper also aims to provide a short descriptive review of the existing data on COVID-19 in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and the government response of its ten member countries, so that we can somehow draw lessons and learn from these myriad experiences as we continue to combat the spread of this dangerous pathogen. The findings in this paper are preliminary, and more rigorous analysis is expected to be performed as the data becomes more extensive and available.
  • Topic: Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Travel , Quarantine
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Todd Richardson
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: From October 22–23, 2018, the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative (USASI) at Stanford University, in conjunction with the Institute for China-U.S. People-to-People Exchange at Peking University and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), gathered scholars and policy practitioners at the Stanford Center at Peking University to participate in the “Civil Wars, Intrastate Violence, and International Responses” workshop. The workshop was an extension of a project examining the threats posed by intrastate warfare launched in 2015 and led by AAAS and Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. The goal of this workshop was to facilitate frank discussions exposing participants to a wide range of views on intrastate violence and international responses. The workshop was divided into sessions that assessed trends in intrastate violence since the end of the Cold War, examined the threats to international security posed by civil wars and intrastate violence, and evaluated international responses, including an analysis of the limits of intervention and a discussion of policy recommendations. Participants also had an opportunity to make closing comments and recommendations for future research. This report provides an executive summary and summaries of the workshop sessions on a non-attribution basis.
  • Topic: Civil War, Humanitarian Intervention, Conflict, Violence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gi-Wook Shin, Rennie Moon
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The development community has increased its focus on higher education over the past two decades, recognizing that education can contribute to building up a country’s capacity for participation in an increasingly knowledge-based world economy and accelerate economic growth. The value added by higher education to economies—job creation, innovation, enhanced entrepreneurship, and research, a core higher education activity—has been highlighted by an important body of literature. Yet experts remain concerned that investing in higher education in less-developed countries may lead to a “brain drain”--highly educated students and professionals permanently leaving their home countries. In the 2016 Kauffman report on international science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students in the United States, for instance, 48 percent among a randomly sampled survey of 2,322 foreign doctoral students in the United States wished to stay there after graduation, with only 12 percent wanting to leave and 40.5 percent being undecided. In fact, high percentages of foreign students in the United States with doctorates in science and engineering continue to stay in the United States, creating a brain drain problem for the sending countries. Because students tend to move from developing to developed countries to study, brain drain is more problematic for developing countries. In addition, given accelerated talent flows around the world and the increasing integration of less-developed countries into global value chains, the negative impact of brain drain could be further amplified. As demonstrated by the studies reviewed in this paper, the migration of high-skilled professionals from developing countries may indeed create brain drain for them, but at the same time can significantly enhance the social and economic development of their home countries, regardless of whether or not they decide to return home, thus complicating what used to be seen as a straightforward case of brain drain. From Brain Drain to Brain Circulation and Linkage examines how brain drain can contribute to development for the sending countries through brain circulation and linkage. It provides an overview of the conceptual framework to map out high-skilled labor flows, identifies empirical cases and policies in Asia that demonstrate high-skilled migrant professionals actually make significant contributions to their home countries (beyond monetary remittances), summarizes key social and economic enabling factors that are important in attracting and motivating migrant high-skilled professionals to return or engage with their home countries, and concludes with policy implications and suggestions for further research based on these findings.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Higher Education, Socioeconomics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kenji E. Kushida
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming one of the underlying drivers of the next wave of industrial transformations. There is every reason to believe that we are on the cusp of a sea change in how human activities and decision-making are transformed by abundant computing power. This research note will provide the basis for understanding the conceptual building blocks and paradigmatic examples of how the development of AI is accelerating, and how its deployment will be transformative.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology, Entrepreneurship, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marjorie Pajaron
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), which are disorders of the heart and blood vessels, are the world’s leading cause of death (WHO, 2016). The transition from infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), primarily CVDs, as the primary cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide— combined with the economic burden associated with heart-related diseases—prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) and its regional offices to identify CVDs’ risk factors (WHO, 2016). This paper examines these risk factors with a focus on the fetal environment and its interaction with adult body mass index (BMI), using longitudinal data from the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (CLHNS). Using a Cox proportional hazards model to estimate hazard ratios adjusted for age and risk factors in adulthood, such as cigarette smoking, the results suggest that there is a positive association between birth weight and heart disease. In addition, when birth weight is interacted with BMI, raised blood pressure is found to be higher among those who were bigger infants at birth and grew to be lighter adults, suggesting centile crossing. Probit models are also used for sensitivity analysis, and the results are consistent with those of the hazards model. Other factors such as adult obesity and a smoking habit are also positively associated with hypertension and CVD.
  • Topic: Health, Medicine , Risk Factors, Birthing
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Sneider
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: President-elect Moon has gained office riding a wave of demand for social justice and a reform of democratic governance in South Korea. These are the issues that are certain to consume his attention and that of voters. U.S. policymakers need to be mindful that the domestic factors that led to this shift in power in South Korea will remain paramount. That said, the return to power of South Korea’s progressives augurs a significant shift in several areas of policy that will have a clear impact on alliance relations with the United States.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus