Southeast Asia

The Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) has a growing research interest in conflicts, security and development issues in Southeast Asia.

Since 2007, ISDP has actively sought to develop closer ties with academic and research organizations throughout Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore. In September 2007, ISDP together with Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) organized a two-day conference gathering top scholars and senior practioners from Asia, Europe and the United States to discuss Asia's energy and security challenges. ISDP is also deepening its cooperation with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) based in Singapore, with the intention to initiate a new field of research. Constituent of this is an increasing focus on the domain of non-traditional security challenges, including the environment, and research into regional cooperation and mechanisms in countering transboundary threats. ISDP organized with ISEAS the conference entitled "Regional Cooperation in Environmental Protection: Lessons from Two Regions" in cooperation with ISEAS in February 2010 in Singapore. It is expected, furthermore, that the initiation grant applied for will facilitate the longer-term intention of establishing a new ISDP initiative on non-traditional security challenges in Asia, with the region of Southeast Asia forming a core component of this.

Presently, ISDP has an exchange relationship with the School of International Relations, Yunnan University, China's leading research institute for Southeast Asia studies. The ISDP Myanmar/Burma project has stimulated, and equally benefited from, international engagement. In 2008, ISDP held workshops in Stockholm and Kunming, drawing participants from Asia, Europe and North America. Issues discussed at these workshops ranged from the current state of the pro-democracy movement inside and outside Myanmar/Burma, and national reconciliation, to political development in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis and the adoption of the new Constitution; other issues discussed included the roles of regional players in promoting democratic change in Myanmar/Burma, and the sanctions policy favored by Western powers. In the autumn-winter of 2009, with financial support from the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT), ISDP hosted a guest researcher from Yangon who conducted research on informal economic practices in Myanmar/Burma with a focus on cross-border trade. The Myanmar/Burma project at ISDP is currently expanding to establish further contacts and widen its research scope.

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Asia Program - Projects

Myanmar is an area of interest in international relations to both academic and policy circles. Recent developments in the country and the positive reactions by the international community allow for cautious optimism. Of many questions begging for answers at the moment, the most important concern is the role of the military in the political transition, competition for power among alternative political forces inside the country, the extent of participation in the political process by the country's population at large and the recent ceasefire agreements between the government and the various ethnic insurgent groups. Recognizing these questions and realising that a lack of understanding has, in the past, hindered policymaking toward Myanmar, ISDP is intensifying its efforts in research and engagement with various stakeholders to assist the on-going policy review process and whatever is to follow. ISDP is also focusing on development issues in Myanmar, with a focus on economic engagement and fiscal policy.


Publications on Southeast Asia

Elliot Brennan
ISIS' Role Model: Pol Pot's 'Genocidal' Khmer Rouge
COMMENTARY, The National Interest, The Buzz, March 13, 2015 Webpage Link
Ramses Amer
Dispute Management in the South China Sea
REPORT, NISCSS Report, No. 1, March 06, 2015 Webpage Link
Bernt Berger
Is Beijing supporting rebel groups in Myanmar?
COMMENTARY, The Lowy Interpreter, February 24, 2015 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
Thailand is stuck in a US-China tug of war
ARTICLE, China Spectator, February 11, 2015 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
Religion in Southeast Asia: Diversity and the threat of extremes
COMMENTARY, The Interpreter, September 19, 2014 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
Al Qaeda's new Indian subcontinent branch: What it means for Myanmar
COMMENTARY, The Interpreter, September 05, 2014 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
Media suppression imperils Myanmar reform
COMMENTARY, Asia Times Online, August 18, 2014 Webpage Link
Ramses Amer
Looting Chinese factories won’t help the Vietnamese economy
COMMENTARY, The Conversation, May 16, 2014 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
MERS-CoV: Deadly SARS-like virus a warning to Southeast Asia
COMMENTARY, Lowy Interpreter, April 30, 2014 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
Thailand's judicial coup
COMMENTARY, The Interpreter, March 31, 2014 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
Court Ruling Reinforces Thailand’s Coup Culture and Augurs More Turmoil
COMMENTARY, World Politics Review, March 27, 2014 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
From tragedy to diplomatic mess: MH370 and the South China Sea
COMMENTARY, The Interpreter, March 19, 2014 Webpage Link
Ramses Amer
Vietnam’s Relations with China – A Multifaceted Partnership
COMMENTARY, China Policy Institute Blog, March 17, 2014 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
The trouble with Myanmar’s census
COMMENTARY, The Interpreter, March 05, 2014 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
Why Myanmar needs to ratify the Weapons Conventions
COMMENTARY, The Interpreter, February 07, 2014 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
No Winners, Only Losers in Thailand’s Elections
COMMENTARY, The Diplomat, February 03, 2014 Webpage Link
Elliot Brennan
A new wave of violence and Buddhist nationalism in Myanmar
COMMENTARY, The Interpreter, January 10, 2014 Webpage Link
Ramses Amer, Nguyen Hong Thao
Conflict resolution and dispute settlement in the South China Sea region
JOURNAL ARTICLE, Vietnam Law & Legal Forum, Volume 20, No. 231-232 2014, pp. 14-17 Webpage Link
Ramses Amer, Nguyen Hong Thao
Conflict resolution and dispute settlement in the South China Sea region (part 2)
JOURNAL ARTICLE, Vietnam Law & Legal Forum, Volume 20, No. 233 2014, pp. 9-12 Webpage Link
Ramses Amer
Post-Conflict Developments in the Vietnamese Context – Reform, Conflict Resolution and Regional Integration
BOOK CHAPTER, in Post-Conflict Development in East Asia 2014, pp. 91-133

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