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Philippine Studies Project


The Philippine Studies Project is a three-year initiative under the Regional Political and Studies Programme (RSPS) to enhance ISEAS research on the Philippines. Running from June 2019 to June 2022, the Project receives funding support from the Philippine Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Singapore.

The Philippine Studies Project aims to support the research capabilities and coverage of Philippine studies at ISEAS through publications and events. It also offers opportunities for both established and young scholars and experts from the Philippines to share their views and perspectives on multifaceted developments in the country.

From October 2021 to June 2022, the overall theme of the Philippine Studies Project is Electoral Politics and Foreign Policy in the Philippines. As the coming 2022 general elections will bring the Duterte administration (2016–2022) to a close, the Project will review and assess the outgoing president’s performance and impact on domestic politics, economics, and external relations. The Project will also track developments related to the elections to understand the aspects of continuity and change in Philippine politics. Another area of focus would be possible trajectories of the Philippines’ foreign policy under the new administration, especially towards the United States, China, ASEAN and other powers in the region.

The current Manager of the Philippine Studies Project is Dr Aries Arugay. He can be contacted at aries_ayuson_arugay@iseas.edu.sg. Dr Malcolm Cook managed the project until June 2021.


Title Speaker(s) Date 
Seminar on Moving Muslim Mindanao Forward Amihilda “Ämie” Sangcopan 13 February 2020 
Webinar on Building Back Better: Philippines’ Pandemic Recovery Ronald U. Mendoza 30 June 2020 
Webinar on Philippines and the Climate Crisis Loren Legarda 12 July 2021 


Title Author(s) Date  
ASEAN Centrality: An Autoethnographic Account by a Philippine Diplomat Elizabeth Buensuceso 2021 


Title Author(s) Date 
The Philippines’ Alliance Problems with the USA  Malcolm Cook 13 June 2019 
The Duterte Administration’s China Tensions Malcolm Cook 13 August 2019 
China-Philippine Relations: Duterte’s China Visit and Prospects for Oil and Gas Exploration Lye Liang Fook 3 October 2019 
Philippine Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers: Solving Community Problems and Bridging Development Gaps Rafaelita M. Aldaba 10 October 2019 
The Death of EDCA and Philippine-U.S. Security Relations Renato Cruz De Castro 11 May 2020 
Economics of Lockdown: Insights on Building Back Better in Post-Pandemic Philippines Ronald U. Mendoza 9 July 2020 
The Bilateral Consultative Mechanism on the South China Sea and Philippines-China Relations Rommel C. Banlaoi 22 April 2021 
“Political Connectivity”: A New Dimension of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the Philippines Aaron Jed Rabena 26 April 2021 
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s Southeast Asia Tour: Assurances and Dividends William Choong, Hoang Thi Ha, Le Hong Hiep, Ian Storey 5 August 2021 
The Philippines and the South China Sea Arbitration Award: External Appeasement and Internal Dissension Jay L. Batongbacal 24 September 2021 

Fulcrum Commentaries 

Title Author(s) Date 
Philippine Sovereign Limits Malcolm Cook 8 July 2019 
The Post-Sovereign Philippines Malcolm Cook 12 July 2019 
A Mindanao Test for China-Philippine Relations Malcolm Cook 18 July 2019 
Duterte’s Trip to Russia Results in Modest Gains Ian Storey 10 October 2019 
Philippine Critical Infrastructure and China Malcolm Cook 2 December 2019 
President Duterte’s China Benefits Malcolm Cook 12 December 2019 
Manila’s VFA Termination: A Win for China and Russia Ian Storey 17 February 2020 
Duterte’s ‘Independent’ Foreign Policy: Independence from Criticism Malcolm Cook 10 March 2020 
Covid-19: A Particular Philippine Problem Malcolm Cook 27 March 2020 
Covid-19 in the Philippines: Star Mayors, Malacanang Material? Malcolm Cook 27 April 2020 
Visiting Forces Agreement: Uncle Sam Still Welcome for Another Year Ian Storey 4 June 2020 
Covid-19 in the Philippines: Corporate Bigwigs to the Rescue Malcolm Cook 8 June 2020 
The Philippine Pandemic and the Plague on Pedagogy Malcolm Cook 22 July 2020 
Philippine Remittances and Covid-19: Stayin’ Alive Malcolm Cook 28 August 2020 
Duterte the (Economic) Liberal Malcolm Cook 1 December 2020 
A Duterte-Democrat President Redux? Malcolm Cook 17 December 2020 
The Philippine-US Alliance: Keeping Things on an Even Keel Renato Cruz De Castro 1 February 2021 
The US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement: The Duterte Punchbag That Will Probably Survive the Blows Ian Storey 19 February 2021 
Bangsamoro Elections: Choosing Between Two Bad Options Malcolm Cook 12 March 2021 
The Philippines’ Vexed Vaccine Rollout Malcolm Cook 30 March 2021 
Philippine-US Cooperation on Whitsun Reef: A “Win” for the Biden Team in Southeast Asia? Robert Sutter 21 May 2021 
Following the Money: Changes to Philippine Remittance Inflows Malcolm Cook 3 June 2021 
After 70 Years, It’s Time to Modernise the US-Philippines Alliance Ian Storey 23 September 2021 


Title Author(s) Date 
The Philippine standoff over China Malcolm Cook 28 August 2019 
US-Philippines alliance faces major stress test Ian Storey 14 February 2020 
A reprieve for the US–Philippines military alliance Malcolm Cook 16 June 2020 
As His Presidency Winds Down, Can the Philippines’ Duterte Defy History Again? Malcolm Cook 6 July 2020 
Duterte the defier Malcolm Cook 21 May 2021 


Climate Change in Southeast Asia Programme


Photo credit: Roschetzky Photography

Southeast Asia Climate Outlook Survey Reports

The Southeast Asia Climate Outlook Survey Report is the first comprehensive report of climate change perspectives specific to the Southeast Asian region. Conducted yearly since 2020, the surveys aim to provide a general sense of the prevailing views of Southeast Asian citizens towards climate change issues. The reports contain the results and analysis of views towards questions such as climate adaptation and mitigation, climate change impacts, low-carbon transitions and climate policy, among other topics.

To access the reports, visit here.


The Climate Change in Southeast Asia Programme (CCSEAP) was established in 2020 to examine the phenomenon of climate change, its impact, and policy responses across the region and in key Southeast Asian countries. Through Visiting Fellowships, the Programme hopes to cultivate a network of scholars at the forefront of climate change research. The Programme aims to build on ISEAS’ thought leadership to advance climate discourse and knowledge in Southeast Asia through a series of publications and seminars.

The Programme conducts an annual Climate Change in Southeast Asia Survey. Inaugurated in 2020, the survey probes the attitudes and concerns of Southeast Asian citizens towards climate change, governmental actions, and the role of different stakeholders in climate action. It aims to obtain views on climate change impacts, mitigation, adaptation, food security, agricultural production, cities’ adaptation measures, renewable energy and the transition to low-carbon economies.

If any researcher is interested in contributing to the work areas above, please contact us at climatechange@iseas.edu.sg

The Programme will focus on 5 key research areas:

1. Regional Climate Change Outlook

• ASEAN Member States’ climate change agendas, laws, policies, and institutional bodies, including the examination of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS), among other issues.
• ASEAN’s institutional governance and initiatives on environmental and climate issues.
• Effectiveness of Southeast Asian countries’ current and planned mitigation and adaptation measures.

2. Agriculture, Forestry, and Food Security

• Regional inter-dependencies of agricultural production and food supply chains, including comparative advantages of Southeast Asian countries.
• Land-use, land-use change and forestry issues

3. Cities and Urban Development

• Climate vulnerability, resiliency and climate finance governance in the context of Southeast Asian cities.

4. Energy and Decarbonisation

• Trends in renewable energy deployment, energy efficiency improvement, as well as the successes and failures of government policies including energy subsidies, grants and incentives in Southeast Asia.

5. Finance

• Voluntary corporate climate-related disclosures in Southeast Asian countries.


•  Ms Sharon Li-Lian SEAH
Programme Coordinator

•  Ms Melinda MARTINUS
Lead Researcher, ASEAN Studies Centre

•  Dr LEE Poh Onn
Senior Fellow, Regional Economic Studies Programme and Malaysia Studies Programme

•  Dr Serina Abdul RAHMAN
Visiting Fellow, Regional Economic Studies Programme

•  Dr Michael Theodore SCHAPER
Visiting Senior Fellow, Climate Change in Southeast Programme

•  Dr WONG Yee Yang Ryan
Lead Researcher, Climate Change in Southeast Programme

•  Prof Paul TENG Piang Siong
Associate Senior Fellow, Climate Change in Southeast Programme

• Ms QIU Jiahui
Research Officer, Climate Change in Southeast Programme


The Climate Change in Southeast Asia Programme is accepting applications for ISEAS Visiting Fellowships.

Visiting Fellowships will be awarded on a competitive basis or by invitation to researchers who wish to study and write about climate change issues in the context of Southeast Asia. Applicants may submit a two-page research proposal together with their CVs by email to climatechange@iseas.edu.sg. The research proposal should be aligned with one or more of the Programme’s workstreams, which can be found in the Overview section above.

If you are interested in upcoming activities and events by the Programme, including our annual Southeast Asia Climate Outlook Survey, please sign up for updates here.


Vietnam Forum 2016


“Vietnam: Thirty Years of Doi Moi and Beyond”
7-8 April 2016
ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute



Please click here for the List of Selected Abstracts.

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) adopted the Doi Moi (Renovation) policy at its sixth National Congress in 1986, opening up a new chapter in the country’s modern history. Under Doi Moi, Vietnam has undergone significant socio-economic reforms that transformed the country from a backward centrally-planned, autarkic economy into a dynamic market-based and highly internationally integrated one, and one of the most successful stories in terms of poverty reduction in Asia’s contemporary history. The country’s political system has also adopted various reforms to facilitate economic development and good governance. At the same time, Vietnam’s foreign policy has also been renovated under Doi Moi as Hanoi abandoned the ideology-based foreign policy making to pursue the “diversification and multilateralisation” of its international relations. As such, Vietnam has transformed itself into a well respected international partner with increasing influence over regional affairs.

Next year will witness another milestone in the country’s development as the CPV will convene its 12thNational Congress to review the past 30 years of Doi Moi and to introduce new policies to guide the country’s future development. In particular, there have been calls for a second Doi Moi (Doi Moi 2.0) to lift Vietnam out of prolonged economic difficulties since 2008 and to establish a new growth model for the country. Therefore, economic reforms, if any, introduced by the Party at the Congress will have important implications for Vietnam’s future economic performance. Moreover, official documents adopted by the Congress may also shed light on how the CPV will deal with mounting pressures for further political reforms as well as foreign policy challenges brought about by China’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea.
Theme and Topics

Against this backdrop, ISEAS will organize the Vietnam Forum 2016 on “Vietnam: Thirty years of Doi Moi and beyond”. The Forum will provide a timely opportunity for Vietnam watchers to review and examine the various socio-economic, political and foreign policy transformations that Doi Moi has produced over the past 30 years as well as their national and regional implications. Held at a critical juncture of the country’s development, the Forum will also be an appropriate platform for scholars and policy makers to share their views on Vietnam’s contemporary challenges and its future trajectories.

The Forum is multidisciplinary, and we welcome papers on a broad range of topics as long as they address the general theme of the Forum. Papers with comparative approaches (especially between Vietnam and China) are also welcome.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Vietnam’s current economic restructuring; SOE reforms; the role of private and foreign-invested sectors; the role of foreign aid and foreign actors in Vietnam’s economic development; Vietnam’s outward FDI; the role of overseas Vietnamese in Vietnam’s economic development; the development of Vietnam’s financial sector.
  • Vietnam’s political reforms under Doi Moi; the CPV’s legitimacy and political challenges; politics within the CPV; administrative and judicial reforms; corruption and the fight against corruption; constitutional reform.
  • Vietnam’s social and cultural changes under Doi Moi; immigration and demographic changes; urbanization process; inequality; middle class; Vietnam’s education reform.
  • Vietnam’s foreign policy evolution under Doi Moi; Vietnam’s contemporary foreign policy challenges; Vietnam’s relations with major countries and ASEAN; Vietnam and the South China Sea disputes; Vietnam’s international economic integration.

Forum’s Format

The Forum will be divided into eight consecutive panels, focusing on four research areas: economics; politics; social and cultural issues; and foreign policy. Each panel will address the overall theme of the Forum with a focus on their specific area.

Each panel will be composed of 4-5 participants, each participant has 15 minutes to present their paper and 10 minutes for Q&A. Depending on the quality of the papers submitted, however, the number of participants in each panel may be increased or decreased so that the best participants/papers will be selected.

It is expected that an edited book based on a number of selected papers will be published within 12-18 months after the Forum concludes.

Submission of Abstracts and Full Papers

Interested scholars should submit author information, paper title and an abstract (maximum 250 words) before 17 July 2015. Selected authors will be notified via email on 24 July 2015.

The deadline for full papers to be submitted is 29 January 2016. Please note that authors who do not submit completed papers by due date may be asked to give up their place in the Forum.

The papers must be original research that have not been published or are not being considered for publication anywhere else.

The papers should be between 6000-8000 words, using endnotes and following the rules set out in Chapter 15 of the Chicago Manual Style, 12th edition, 1969.

Conference Grants

ISEAS will cover economy class round-trip airfare and accommodation (2 to 3 nights) for selected participants, plus per diems during the Forum.

Key dates

•Abstract submission: 17 July 2015
•Selected participants announced: 24 July 2015
•Full paper submission: 29 January 2016
•Forum organized: 7-8 April 2016

Further Information and Contact Details

Further information about the Forum is available at the Forum’s website: Vietnamforum.info. All queries should be directed to:

Dr. Le Hong Hiep
Visiting Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
30 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Singapore 119614
Email: le_hong_hiep@iseas.edu.sg
Tel: +65 6870 4545



Vietnam Forum 2016: List of Selected Abstracts


“Vietnam: Thirty Years of Doi Moi and Beyond”
7-8 April 2016
ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute



Session 1: The Political Economy of Doi Moi
1. Vietnam: Economic Strategy and Economic Reality

Prof. Adam Fforde, Professorial Fellow, Victorian Institute for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, Australia

2. The Political Economy of Industrial Development in Vietnam (1986-2012)

Dr. Tu Anh Vu Thanh, Director of Research, Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, Ho Chi Minh City

3. SOE Restructuring in Vietnam: Where Do We Stand and What Are the Challenges Ahead?

Dr. Konstantin Wacker, Assistant Professor, University of Mainz, Germany

4. Does Fiscal Decentralisation Help Improve Socio-Economic Outcomes? Evidence from Vietnam’s Poverty Reduction and Health Outcomes

Mr. Tai Dang Nguyen, PhD Scholar, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

Session 2: The Sectoral Dynamics of Doi Moi

1. Impacts of Foreign Investment on Vietnam’s Economy under Doi Moi

Dr. Tuan Ho, Lecturer in Finance and Accounting, University of Bristol, UK
Trang Thi Ngoc Nguyen, School of Finance University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City
Tho Ngoc Tran, School of Finance University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City

2. Industrial Spatial Localization and the Involvement Of MNEs– Comparison between the Red River Delta and the Southeast in Vietnam

Prof. Javier Revilla Diez, Chair, Institute of Geography, University of Cologne, Germany

3. Changes in Ownership, Employment, and Wages in Vietnamese Firms

Dr. Eric D. Ramstetter, Research Professor, Asian Growth Research Institute, Japan
Dr. Nguyen Trung Kien, Lecturer, School of Economics, University of Danang, Vietnam

4. The China Factor in Vietnam’s Energy Industry

Mr. Min Pham, PhD Student, University of South Australia, Australia
Ms. Cecilia Han Springer, PhD Student, University of California, Berkeley, USA


Session 3: Urban and Rural Transformations under Doi Moi

1. Rural Vietnam: Transformational Dynamics and Regional Variation

Dr. Hy Luong, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto, Canada

2. Vietnam’s Land Reforms and the Implications on Insecure and Unequal Access to Land in Practice: A Case Study In a Rural Community in Central Vietnam

Dr. Phuong Huynh, Chair Department of Social Work, Hue University of Sciences (HUSC), Vietnam

3. Driving Doi Moi: Cars, Class and Capitalism in Contemporary Vietnam

Mr. Arve Hansen, Research Fellow, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Norway

Session 4: Doi Moi’s Impacts Revisited: Education, Health, Labour and Religion

1. Reform Process and Productive Efficiency in Vietnamese Higher Education: A Case Study of Public Universities

Dr. Dung Tran Thi Thanh, Academic staff, The University of New England, Australia

2. Vietnam’s Religion Policy under Doi Moi: The Case of Mariamman Temple

Dr. Chi Pham, Researcher, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Ha Noi

3. Affective Expertise: Social Work and the Management of Femininity and Class in Ho Chi Minh City

Dr. Ann Marie Leshkowich, Professor of Anthropology, College of the Holy Cross, USA


Session 5: Vietnam’s Transforming Political Landscape under Doi Moi

1. The Struggle for a Constitutional Moment in Vietnam

Dr. Ngoc Son Bui, Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Asian Legal Studies, NUS Law Faculty

2. The Influence of Social Media in Vietnam’s Elite Politics

Dr. Hai Thiem Bui, Senior Fellow, Institute for Legislative Studies, Ha Noi

3. Autonomy of Public Service Delivery Agencies in Vietnam and OECD: A Comparative Institutional Perspective

Ms. Thi Hai Minh Vo PhD candidate, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington
Dr. Karl Löfgren, Associate Professor, School of Government Victoria University of Wellington

Session 6: Doi Moi, Political Legitimacy and Implications for the CPV

1. The Communist Party of Vietnam’s Resilient Authoritarianism: Adaption Strategies since Doi Moi

Dr. Hai Nguyen, Research Fellow Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the University of Queensland

2. Vietnamese Civic Organizations: Supporters of or Obstacles to Further Democratization? Results from an Empirical Survey

Dr. Joerg Wischermann, Senior Research Fellow , Institute of Asian Studies/GIGA Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Bui The Cuong, Senior Researcher, Southern Institute of Social Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Ho Chi Minh City.
Dang Thi Viet Phuong, Researcher, Institute of Sociology, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Hanoi

3. The Making of National Ancestry: The Worship of Hung Kings and Vietnamese Struggle with the Post-War Political Culture

Mr. Liem Vu Duc, PhD candidate, Hamburg University


Session 7: Vietnam’s relations with major powers under Doi Moi

1. Ideology vs. Realpolitik: Another New Shift in Vietnam’s Foreign Policy?

Dr. Loc Doan, Research Fellow, Global Policy Institute, UK

2. The Evolution of Strategic Trust in Vietnam’s Foreign Policy: A Case Study of Relations with The United States through the Doi Moi Years

Ms. Phuong Nguyen, Research Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), USA

3. China-Vietnam Relations after the Oil Rig HYSY-981: The Politics of “Struggling Co-Evolution“

Dr. Truong-Minh Vu, Director of Center for International Studies (SCIS), University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Trung, PhD Student, Hong Kong Baptist University

Session 8: Beyond “Diversification and Multilateralization”: New Opportunities & Challenges for Vietnam’s Diplomacy

1. India-Vietnam Partnership: The Maritime Imperatives

Mr. Rajeev Ranjan Chaturvedy, Research Associate, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

2. Vietnam’s Foreign Policy towards Its Smaller Neighbours

Dr. Vannarith Chheang, Senior Fellow, Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, Cambodia

3. The EU’s Norm Diffusion through Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Negotiations and Vietnam’s Reaction

Dr. Ha Hai Hoang, Lecturer, Hanoi National University of Education, Ha Noi


Country Studies Programme


ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute has five Country Studies Programmes, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam (including Indochina). Aside from the evident country focus, country programmes are best suited to complement the Institute’s three basic disciplinary programmes. Most importantly, cross-affiliation of researchers between the two sets of programmes is encouraging research projects which are more comparative in nature and that are conceptually bolder.

Please click the links below for more information on each Programme:


Regional Strategic & Political Studies


The RSPS programme focuses on the dynamics of political change within the regional states and also studies strategic issues in the Southeast Asian region and the wider Asia Pacific. The focus has been on the security and stability of the region as well as the region’s relationship with major powers.

The programme organises workshops, conferences and seminars; produces books, articles and working papers; and publishes the internationally refereed journal Contemporary Southeast Asia three times a year. The journal covers topics on regionalism, security and strategic affairs, domestic political developments, and international relations relevant to Southeast Asia. The programme also publishes Southeast Asian Affairs, an annual review of Southeast Asia which is regarded as a flagship publication of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

For researchers, please click here.


ASEAN, China, America and the South China Sea Dispute
For more information, please contact Ian Storey at ijstorey@iseas.edu.sg

Contemporary Southeast Asian Issues
For more information, please contact Mr Daljit Singh: daljit@iseas.edu.sg

Singapore and the Arctic
For more information, please contact Dr Ian Storey at ijstorey@iseas.edu.sg

Today’s Philippines
For more information, please contact Dr Aries Arugay: aries_ayuson_arugay@iseas.edu.sg

Image Source: Wikimedia


Regional Social & Cultural Studies


banner for RSCS
Image Source: Wikimedia

The RSCS programme studies and examines the history, sociology and anthropology of national and transnational processes within Southeast Asia. RSCS is concerned with ethnographic practices and theory-building in contemporary histories, nation-building, civil society and religion, cultural globalisation and identity-making, contemporary politics, and democratisation and multiculturalism in Southeast Asia.

The programme publishes the internationally-refereed SOJOURN thrice a year. The journal covers topics on urbanisation, migration, ethnicity, religion, popular culture, nation-building, civil society, family and gender.

For more information on RSCS researchers, please click here.


  1. Religion in Southeast Asia

The projects under this theme examine the impact of religious growth and revival on multicultural and multi-religious societies and their role in shaping politics and public debates. They analyze, among others, the role of religious elites, religious movements, religious education, and new modes of religious transmission.

For more information, please contact the Coordinators Dr Norshahril Saat norshahril_saat@iseas.edu.sg and Dr Terence Chong terence_chong@iseas.edu.sg

  1. China and Southeast Asia in the 21st Century

This project seeks to monitor and understand the extent to which Chinese political and cultural influence is impacting Southeast Asia, overseas Chinese and new Chinese migrants. It also investigates new forms of governance and organization of Chinese owned industries and investments in Southeast Asia.

For more information, please contact the Coordinator Professor Leo Suryadinata leo_suryadinata@iseas.edu.sg

  1. Media, Technology and Society

This programme studies the different ways in which social media influences the state, politics, and everyday life in Southeast Asia. It focuses on the digital revolution that has extended access to information to many across the region, and the potential of the revolution in mobilising collective actions and behaviours.

For more information, please contact the Coordinator Ms Lee Sue-Ann lee_sue_ann@iseas.edu.sg

Past Events

Selected Seminar series

Selected Workshops

Past Publications of RSCS Researchers

Selected Books

Selected TRENDS

Religion in Southeast Asia  Mohd Faizal Musa, Naquib Al-Attas’ Islamization of Knowledge: Its Impact on Malay Religious Life, Literature, Language and Culture (2021)

A’an Suryana and Nur Syafiqah Mohd Taufek, The Serious Social Impact of Non-violent Extremism in Indonesia (2021)

A’an Suryana, Challenges in Tackling Extremism in the Indonesian Civil Service (2020)

Quinton Temby, Terrorism in Indonesia after “Islamic State” (2020)

Syafiq Hasyim and Norshahril Saat, Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs under Joko Widodo (2020)

Leo Suryadinata, Pancasila and the Challenge of Political Islam: Past and Present (2018)

Norshahril Saat, The Traditionalist Response to Wahhabi-Salafism in Batam by Norshahril Saat (2017)

Norshahril Saat, Johor Remains the Bastion of Kaum Tua by Norshahril Saat (2017)    
China and Southeast Asia in the 21st Century  Danielle Labbé, Urban Transition in Hanoi: Huge Challenges Ahead (2021)

Enze Han, Non-State Chinese Actors and Their Impact on Relations between China and Mainland Southeast Asia (2021)

Siwage Dharma Negara and Leo Suryadinata, Indonesia and China’s Belt and Road Initiatives: Perspectives, Issues and Prospects (2018)

Leo Suryadinata, The Growing “Strategic Partnership” between Indonesia and China Faces Difficult Challenges (2017)

Vannarith Chheang, The Political Economy of Chinese Investment in Cambodia (2017)  
Media, Technology and Society  Pauline Pooi Yin Leong, Digital Mediatization and the Sharpening of Malaysian Political Contests (2021)

Dien Nguyen An Luong, The Growing Salience of Online Vietnamese Nationalism (2021)

Ross Tapsell, Deepening the Understanding of Social Media’s Impact in Southeast Asia (2020)  

Some of these titles are available in PDF and hard copies. For a more comprehensive list, please check our bookshop.

Concluded Projects

  • Demographic Change in Southeast Asia
  • Singapore’s Islamic Studies Graduates
  • State Responses to Extremism in Post-Authoritarianism Southeast Asia
  • Christianity in Southeast Asia: Comparative Growth, Politics and Networks in Urban Centres

Image Gallery


Regional Economic Studies


The Regional Economic Studies Programme focuses on a range of economic issues in Southeast Asia. Emphasis is on timely, policy-related research that is relevant to decision-makers as well as researchers.

Key research areas are: macroeconomic developments in Southeast Asia; international trade and finance; country-level studies on themes relating to socio-economic development; sub-national economic dynamics; ASEAN regionalism and its linkages with Asian neighbours. 

The programme organises workshops, conferences and seminars; produces books, articles and working papers; and publishes the tri-annual Journal of Southeast Asian Economies (JSEAE) – formerly the ASEAN Economic Bulletin (AEB) – a leading journal on the region’s economies.  

RES also hosts the Singapore APEC Study Centre, which analyses developments in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) process. Besides regular publications, the Centre manages seminars and symposia on issues related to APEC.

For researchers, please click here.


Global Economic Uncertainties
For further information, please contact Dr Francis Hutchinson: fhutchinson@iseas.edu.sg

Regional Economic Issues

For more information, please contact Dr Francis Hutchinson: fhutchinson@iseas.edu.sg and Dr Cassey Lee: Cassey_lee@iseas.edu.sg

Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
For more information, please contact Dr Cassey Lee: Cassey_lee@iseas.edu.sg

Social Protection

For more information on this research project, please contact Dr Lee Poh Onn: polee@iseas.edu.sg

Sub-national Economies
For more information, please contact Dr Francis Hutchinson: fhutchinson@iseas.edu.sg


Vietnam Studies


Vietnam is a major Southeast Asian country of considerable strategic, political, and economic importance. It has a population of about 90 million and is a significant factor in the geopolitics of both continental and maritime Southeast Asia, the latter because of its claims in the South China Sea. It is an important and active member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Vietnam Study Group works on critical issues relating to Vietnam’s internal situation: political economy; internal political and leadership dynamics which affect domestic and foreign policies; mass organisations and social change; and socio-cultural issues, including Vietnamese ground sentiments on, and perceptions of, China and Vietnam-China relations. The Group also works on Vietnam’s relations with the major powers, and its role in ASEAN.

Programme Coordinator

The Coordinator of the Vietnam Studies Programme is Dr Le Hong Hiep (le_hong_hiep@iseas.edu.sg). Please contact him for further information on the Vietnam Studies Programme.

Current Researchers

Past Affiliates

ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute has a long history of hosting researchers and scholars who work on Vietnam. Among those previously affiliated with the Institute are the following:

Dr Russell Heng Hiang Khng Mrs Nguyen Kim Anh
Dr David Koh Wee Hock Mr Le Xuan Sang
Mr Nguyen Nam Duong Dr Yul Kwon
Dr Nick Freeman Dr Carolyn L. Gates
Mr Phan Le Minh Dr Nguyen Hong Thach
Dr Hoang Anh Tuan Dr Jason Morris-Jung
Dr Huong Le Thu Dr Ngo Vinh Long
Dr Hun Kee Kim Mr Daljit Singh
Dr Hoang Thi Tuan Oanh Dr Teo Ee Leong Victor
Mr Lye Liang Fook Dr Ivan Victor Small
Mr Chong Zhi Quan Joel


For upcoming seminars, please refer to the events section of the main ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute website. Our past seminars include:

  • Dr Le Dang Doanh, “Vietnam Joining the TPP and FTA with the EU: Benefits and Challenges,” 11th June 2015.
  • Dr Thomas Jandl, “What Developing Countries Can Learn from Vietnam, and What Vietnam Needs to Learn from its Own Development Path?” 29th April 2015.
  • Dr Le Hong Hiep, “Vietnam’s Alliance Politics in the South China Sea,” 27th March 2015.
  • Dr Thaveeporn Vasavakul, “Recrafting the State: Public Administration Reform and Anti-Corruption in Vietnam,” 13th February 2015.
  • Dr Tran Thi Lien, “Catholics in Vietnam: National Identity and the Making of a Religious Minority,” 22nd August 2014.
  • Dr Ian Storey, Dr Jason Morris-Jung, Dr Huong Le Thu, Dr Zhao Hong, “The Implications of the Vietnam-China Crisis on the South China Sea,” 3rd June 2014.
  • Professor Peter Zinoman, “Vietnamese Colonial Republican: The Political Vision of Vu Trong Phung,” 23rd May 2014.
  • Dr Huong Le Thu, “Trafficking in Persons in Vietnam: Responding to the Human Security Threat,” 22nd January 2014.
  • Professor Sorn Samnang, “The Preah Vihear Temple Case – What Happens Now?” 4th December 2013.
  • Professor Ngo Vinh Long, “The (Existential) Challenges Facing the Party-State of Vietnam: How will it cope?” 14th Aug 2013.
  • Mr. Le Hong Hiep, “The economic determinants of Vietnam’s South China Sea Dispute with China,” 2nd Aug 2013.
  • Mr. Le Hong Hiep, “The Political Economy of Vietnam’s Economic Relations with China,” 31st July 2013.
  • Dr Nolwen Henaff, “Education and Poverty in Vietnam,” 17 April 2012.
  • Mr Mathieu Tromme, “Corruption in Vietnam,” 27 February 2012.
  • Professor Hermann Waibel, “Urban Migration and Income Improvement in Thailand and Vietnam,” 16 February 2012.


ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute has published research and analyses on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Each edition of the annual Southeast Asian Affairs covers Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and the bimonthly ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute Monitor surveys Vietnam and Cambodia. Scholarship and research on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos appear in the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute journals: Contemporary Southeast Asia, Journal of Southeast Asian Economies and SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia. Other recent publications include:

ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute Perspective Issues

Jason Morris-Jung Online Petitions: Promoting a Public Voice in Vietnamese Politics (20 July 2015)
Jason Morris-Jung An Ethnographic Glimpse: On the Trail of Chinese-Vietnamese Mining Cooperation (25 May 2015)
Le Hong Hiep Vietnam’s Leadership Transition in 2016: A Preliminary Analysis (18 May 2015)
Huong Le Thu The Middle Class in Hanoi: Vulnerability and Concerns (11 February 2015)
Ha Hoang Hop The Oil Rig Incident: A Line Has Been Crossed in Vietnam’s Relations with China (18 November 2014)
Ian Storey The Sino-Vietnamese Oil Rig Crisis: Implications for the South China Sea Dispute (15 October 2014)
Nguyen Van Chinh Chinese Labour Migration into Vietnam’s Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Sectors (19 August 2014)
Jason Morris-Jung Reflections on the Oil Rig Crisis: Vietnam’s Domestic Opposition Grows (30 July 2014)
John Lee Reforms Will Decide Vietnam’s Ability To Resist Economic Dominance By China (2 June 2014)
Jason Morris-Jung Reflections on the Oil Rig Crisis: Vietnam’s Domestic Opposition Grows (30 July 2014)
John Lee Reforms Will Decide Vietnam’s Ability To Resist Economic Dominance By China (2 June 2014)
Huong Le Thu The Anti-Chinese Riots in Vietnam: Responses from the Ground (27 May 2014)
Danielle Tan China in Laos: Is There Cause For Worry? (16 May 2014)
Le Hong Hiep Will Development Lead to Democratisation in Vietnam and China? (15 April 2014)
Huong Le Thu Bumper Harvest in 2013 for Vietnamese Diplomacy (23 January 2014)
Le Hong Hiep The One Party-State and Prospects for Democratization in Vietnam (9 Dec 2013)
Terence Chong Chinese Capital and Immigration into CLMV: Trends and Impact” (29 August 2013)
Ha Hoang Hop The Seventh Plenum of the Communist Party of Vietnam: The Gains of the Central Committee (12 July 2013)
Le Hong Hiep South China Sea Disputes Keep Vietnam – China Relations Cold (15 April 2013)
David Koh Vietnamese Reactions over the South China Sea: Divergence between Society and Government (21 January 2013)
David Koh The Sixth Plenum in Vietnam: Thunder Without Rain (29 October 2012)

Trends in Southeast Asia

Danielle Tan Chinese Engagement in Laos: Past, Present, and Uncertain Future (6 May 2015)
Le Hong Hiep Vietnam’s Alliance Politics in the South China Sea (5 May 2015)
Huong Le Thu Vietnam: Straddling Southeast Asia’s Divide (22 September 2014)
John Lee Reforms will Determine Degree of Vietnam’s Dependence on China (2 September 2014)
Ha Hoang Hop More Change Awaits Vietnam’s Political Economy (31 December 2013)

Working Papers

Vu Quoc Ngu The State-Owned Enterprise Reform in Vietnam: Process and Achievements Visiting Researchers Series No. 4 (2002)


  • Le Hong Hiep, Anton Tsvetov (eds.), Vietnam’s Foreign Policy under Doi Moi (2018)
  • Daljit Singh and Malcolm Cook (ed.) Southeast Asian Affairs 2018 (2018)
  • Le Hong Hiep (ed.) Living Next to the Giant: The Political Economy of Vietnam’s Relations with China under Doi Moi (2017)
  • Setsuko Shibuya, Living with Uncertainty: Social Change and the Vietnamese Family in the Rural Mekong Delta (2015)
  • Hossein Jalilian, Sothorn Kem, Glenda Reyes, Kimsun Tong, Surviving the Global Financial and Economic Downturn: The Cambodian Experience (2014)
  • Nathalie Fau, Sirivanh Khonthapone, Christian Taillard (eds.), Transnational Dynamics in Southeast Asia: The Greater Mekong Subregion and Malacca Straits Economic Corridors (2013)
  • Omkar Lal Shrestha, Aekapol Chongvilaivan (eds.), Greater Mekong Subregion: From Geographical to Socio-economic Integration (2013)
  • Hossein Jalilian (ed.), Assessing China’s Impact on Poverty in the Greater Mekong Subregion (2013)
  • Nola Cooke, Li Tana, James A Anderson (eds.), The Tongking Gulf Through History (2013)
  • Hossein Jalilian (ed.), Costs and Benefits of Cross-Country Labour Migration in the GMS (2012
  • Kerstin Priwitzer, The Vietnamese Health Care System in Change: A Policy Network Analysis of a Southeast Asian Welfare Regime (2012)
  • Pou Sothirak, Geoff Wade, Mark Hong (eds.), Cambodia: Progress and Challenges since 1991 (2012)
  • Hang Chuon Naron, Cambodian Economy: Charting the Course of a Brighter Future – A Survey of Progress, Problems and Prospects (2012)
  • Jonathan D London (ed.), Education in Vietnam (2011)
  • Anita Chan (ed.), Labour in Vietnam (2011)
  • Philip Taylor, (ed.), Minorities at Large: New Approaches to Minority Ethnicity in Vietnam (2011)
  • The Cambodia Forum (2011)
  • Hossein Jalilian, Vicheth Sen (eds.), Improving Health Sector Performance: Institutions, Motivations and Incentives – the Cambodia Dialogue (2011)
  • Patrick Gubry, Franck Castiglioni, Jean-Michel Cusset, Nguyen Thi Thieng, Pham Thuy Huong (eds.), The Vietnamese City in Transition (2010)
  • Francois Molle, Tira Foran, Mira Kakonen (eds.), Contested Waterscapes in the Mekong Region: Hydropower, Livelihoods and Governance (2010)
  • Touch Visalsok, Ker Monthivuth, Southeast Asian Agriculture and Development Primer Series: Cambodia (2010)