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  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Human activities, technology and climate change drive changes to our environmental landscape and societal order. Marine microplastics arising from woeful human use of plastics threaten marine ecology. Excessive consumption of fossil fuels disrupts weather systems and consequently undermines food security. Unequal access between the “haves and have nots” aggravates food insecurity. Without meaningful intervention, annual deaths from food-borne diseases (FBDs) caused by anti-microbial resistant (AMR) bacteria will reach 10 million in 2050. Human displacement continues unabated across state lines as humanitarian crises require fresh responses. Ubiquitous use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) has created a new landscape where cyber-threats target both hardware and software and where truth has become its latest victim. Moreover, social media has been weaponized to breed intolerance. The Annual Conference of the Consortium of Non-Traditional Security (NTS) in Asia held in Singapore recently examined responses to these uncertainties, if not threats to humanity, arising from key disruptions. This report captures the responses and hopes touted by experts at the Conference with the view of providing policy makers and invested scholars interested in such developments with some recommendations towards building resilience within and across states.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • 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: 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: 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
  • Author: Mika Toyota
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the securitization process of unauthorised migration in Thailand, in particular how the cross-border flows of marginalised minorities, the so-called 'hill tribes' came to be seen as an 'existential threat' to Thai national identity by the state. The paper aims to present a case of societal security by highlighting the importance of national identity. It intends to explore the reasons for portraying cross-border mobility of border minorities as existential threats to the integrity of the Thai state. More specifically, it will investigate the motives of the securitising actor, the Thai state-and examine why the issue evoked security concerns in the wake of the 1997 economic crisis and the way 'emergency measures' were introduced. This paper will illustrate the importance of ethnocized discourses on national identity by broadening the traditional security studies' framework on states and political-military competition at the borderlands.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Migration
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: James Laki
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Transnational crime involving all forms of domestic crime that traverse the international boundary with another one or more states have become a concern amongst all peoples of the Asia Pacific region. Although there are many forms of transnational crime this paper focuses on Human and Drug Smuggling, as these have become existential threats affecting many people throughout the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Crime
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Deborah Elms
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This article considers bargaining strategies used by government negotiators in the context of bilateral trade disputes. I argue that trade officials reach the most durable agreements by using an integrative, or value creating, strategy and avoiding the use of threats. By contrast, a highly distributive, value claiming strategy coupled with loud public threats is unlikely to result in a durable agreement and frequently leads to deadlocked negotiations. The irony, however, is that American officials use the latter approach more frequently in bilateral trade disputes, rather than the former. These strategies are usually chosen unconsciously in response to perceptions of losses that drive negotiators to select risky approaches to resolve disputes
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Manjeet Singh Pardesi
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to answer if a rising India will repeat the pattern of all rising great powers since the Napoleonic times by attempting regional hegemony. This research deduces India's grand strategy of regional hegemony from historical and conceptual perspectives. The underlying assumption is that even though India has never consciously and deliberately pursues a grand strategy, its historical experience and geo-strategic environment have substantially conditioned its security behaviour and desired goals. To this extent, this research develops a theoretical framework to analyse grand strategy. This framework is then applied to five pan-Indian powers–the Mauryas, the Guptas, the Mughals, British India and the Republic of India–to understand their security behavior.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: India, Asia