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  • 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: Rohan Gunaratna Gunaratna
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Transnational terrorism is likely to remain the most profound threat in 2011. Politically motivated groups that seek to legitimize their thinking and actions by using, misusing and misinterpreting the religious text , will continue to dominate the global threat landscape. While homegrown and group terrorism are likely to remain at the forefront, homegrown terrorism in particular will continue to be a formidable challenge for security. There will also be more pressure for Western military troops in Afghanistan, both in combat and support roles, to return home due to the decreasing public support for the war and domestic political considerations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism, International Security, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan
  • Author: Elena Pavlova
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The General Guide for the Struggle of AlJama'ah Al-Islamiyah (Pedoman Umum Perjuangan Al-Jama'ah Al-Islamiyah) – commonly known under its acronym PUPJI – is an essential document for understanding Southeast Asia's most deadly terror network. Issued by Jemaah Islamiyah's Central Executive Council (Qiyadah Markaziyah), it outlines the group's administrative structure and guiding religious principles, in addition to providing insights into its organizational development, membership recruitment, and operational strategy. From the time Jemaah Islamiyah was established on January 1, 1993 – as the result of an internal split within the Darul Islam (DI) movement – until the time it first engaged in terrorist activities – with the Medan church bombings on May 28, 2000 – the group was structured and managed in accordance with this handbook. To understand Jemaah Islamiyah, therefore, we must understand PUPJI.
  • Topic: International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Ong Wei Chong
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This Working Paper series presents papers in a preliminary form and serves to stimulate comment and discussion. The views expressed are entirely the author's own and not that of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies.
  • Topic: International Relations, Communism, Government
  • Author: Iqbal Singh Sevea
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS) was established in July 1996 as an autonomous research institute within the Nanyang Technological University. Its objectives are to: Conduct research on security, strategic and international issues. Provide general and graduate education in strategic studies, international relations, defence management and defence technology. Promote joint and exchange programmes with similar regional and international institutions; and organise seminars/conferences on topics salient to the strategic and policy communities of the Asia-Pacific.
  • Topic: International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Christoph Marcinkowski
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Recent political events surrounding the Iranian “nuclear crisis”, as well as the still unsettled fate of Iraq have resulted in a renewed interest in the Shi'ite dimension of Islam among political observers. This paper attempts to present an outline of some of the “essential features” of Twelver Shi'ite Islam as it distinguishes itself today from majority Sunnism. In particular, the different approaches of Sunnite and Shi'ite Muslims towards the issue of religious and political authority - resulting in history often in violent clashes - have been highlighted. Moreover, throughout their history, Shi'ites had put high emphasis on intellectual pursuit and reasoning, on philosophy and science. Although the paper focuses of the “Twelver Shi'ites” (today numerically and politically the strongest Shi'ite group), the today rather un-political Isma'ilis or “Sevener” Shi'ites, too, shall be referred to briefly, as they have also some pockets in Singapore among the Indian Muslim community. Of special interest to the political observer of contemporary Islam shall be the status of Shi'ite clerics (Arab. 'ulama') vis-à-vis their Sunnite colleagues.
  • Topic: International Relations, National Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Kwa Chong Guan
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: “Indonesians have in the midst of all their political crises since 1945 explicitly looked back into their past for rationalizations of their present and more critically, redefine a “golden era” from which they can chart anew paths into their future. This paper examines the different challenges to the New Order version of Indonesian history and rewriting of that history for Indonesia's future. Specifically, the paper looks at the rewriting of Indonesian history (1) for the restructuring of the state and its Constitution for a more egalitarian and democratic future, (3) that reviews the swing of the pendulum in Jakarta's control of the provinces and justifies the devolution of power and decentralization of administration to the provinces, (2) which reviews the contribution of the Indonesian Armed Forces to the making of Indonesia's past and justification of its future role, (3) that acknowledges a greater role for Islam in Indonesia's past and its future.”
  • Topic: International Relations, National Security
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Paul T. Mitchell
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Militaries around the world are pursuing the idea of Network Centric Warfare as the fundamental basis for how they will conduct operations in the future. NCW suggests that "a robustly networked force improves information sharing and collaboration, which enhances the quality of information and shared situational awareness. This enables further collaboration and self-synchronization and improves sustainability and speed of command, which ultimately result in dramatically increased mission effectiveness." In many respects, NCW seeks to develop military power in the same way that the Internet has enhanced both business and individual knowledge.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, National Security
  • Author: Sam Bateman
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provides the foundation for an effective regional maritime security regime. However, this large and complex Convention is not without its limitations. There are many examples of apparent noncompliance with its norms and principles, and the United States, as a key player in regional maritime security, is still not a party to it. The root causes of these problems lie in basic conflicts of interest between countries on law of the sea issues, the "built-in" ambiguity of UNCLOS in several of its key regimes, and the geographical complexity of the East Asian region in particular.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Law, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ralf Emmers
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Working Paper analyses whether an international regime against the illicit trafficking and abuse of drugs has been established in Southeast Asia. Its objective is to consider the circumstances that could have led to its formation as well as the conditions under which it may operate. The Working Paper claims that the existing cooperative structures for drug control in ASEAN present most of the characteristics of an international regime, though a relatively weak one. The cooperative process is based on a multilateral, long-term and normative dimension as well as on a convergence of views and interest on the need to tackle the illicit production, trafficking and abuse of drugs. The process has also been translated into an institutional structure. The Working Paper starts by reviewing how international regimes are discussed theoretically. It then discusses efforts made by ASEAN since 1972 to address the illicit trafficking and abuse of drugs problem. Adopting a neoliberal institutionalist perspective, the final section examines the dynamics of the anti-drugs regime by analysing the existence of common interests, its institutional form, its geographic scope, its complementary approach to domestic efforts on drug control as well as its influence on states' behaviour.
  • Topic: International Relations, Crime
  • Political Geography: Asia