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Past Events

Seminar: Martial Law in Mindanao

17 Aug 2017
REGIONAL STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

From the beginning of his term in June 2016, President Duterte frequently discussed the possibility of declaring martial law in the Philippines. On 23 May this year, at the beginning of the Marawi City siege pitting government forces against an alliance of terrorist groups, President Duterte declared martial law and lifted the writ of habeas corpus for all of Mindanao. On 22 July, Congress renewed both until the end of 2017. In both cases, the Marawi City siege and the larger threat of Islamic State-affiliated terrorist groups in Muslim Mindanao were used as the main justification for the declaration of martial law.

This seminar will analyse the impact of the declaration of martial law on the struggle against Islamic State-affiliated groups in Muslim Mindanao; the likelihood for the further extension of martial law in Mindanao and beyond; and the domestic political implications of President Duterte’s martial law declarations given the history of martial law in the Philippines.  

About the Speakers

Joseph Franco specialises in countering violent extremism, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism.  As Research Fellow with the Centre of Excellence for National Security at RSIS, Joseph examines terrorist networks in maritime Southeast Asia and best practices in countering violent extremism (CVE). He obtained his MSc in International Relations at RSIS through an ASEAN Graduate Scholarship. Joseph previously worked for the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the J3, AFP; researching extensively on internal conflict, peacekeeping operations, defence procurement, Asia-Pacific security, and special operations forces.

Sol Iglesias is a PhD candidate with the Southeast Asian Studies Department at the National University of Singapore. She is researching patterns of state repression in the Philippines in the post-Marcos democratic period.

Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents2@iseas.edu.sg by 16 August 2017.

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Seminar: China’s “New Assertiveness” and the Decline in East Asian Regionalism: Implications for ASEAN

13 Jun 2017
REGIONAL STRATEGIC & POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME
AND ASEAN STUDIES CENTRE

About the Seminar

The Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998 awakened a decade of vibrant scholarly and political debate touting East Asian regionalism as “inevitable and necessary”. Today, however, the prospect of regionalism seems to have lost its luster in favour of a darker regional narrative. Has the heyday of East Asian regionalism and ASEAN’s vision of an emerging Asian community now come to pass? This presentation explores the declining policy and scholarly narrative of Asian regionalism since 2011 within the broader context of Asian security trends. Until recently, discussion of East Asia’s future vacillated between two different narratives: one marked by robust economic growth, increased interdependence, and the growth of Asian regionalism, and the other characterized by increased tensions, rising military budgets, and slower economic growth with conflict looming on the horizon. Since 2011, however, the discourse has shifted in favour of the latter narrative, casting a pall over the future of Asian regionalism. In particular, perceptions of China’s increasing assertiveness have resulted in a turn to more pragmatic interpretations of Asian regionalism defined by power balancing and institutional complexity. Thus, if ASEAN remains the driver of East Asian regionalism, China holds the key to further integration.

About the Speaker

Andrew I. Yeo is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of Asian Studies at The Catholic University of America. He is the author of Activists, Alliances, and Anti-U.S. Base Protests (Cambridge University Press, 2011). Dr Yeo is currently completing two book projects: the first explores the evolution of East Asia’s institutional architecture from 1945 to the present. The second is a co-edited volume titled Living in an Age of Mistrust (forthcoming with Routledge Press). His other research has appeared in International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, Perspectives on Politics, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Comparative Politics, and Journal of East Asian Studies among others. He is the principal investigator of a two-year Korea Foundation sponsored project on North Korean human rights discourse and transnational advocacy. Dr Yeo is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, and was a Mansfield Foundation U.S.-Korea Scholar-Policymaker Nexus Fellow in 2013-2014. He received his Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University in 2008 and a BA magna cum laude in Psychology and International Studies from Northwestern University.

Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents2@iseas.edu.sg by 12 June 2017.

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Seminar: Power Shift in Cambodia? The Implications of the Commune Elections

12 Jun 2017
REGIONAL STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

The political environment in Cambodia is getting complex and opaque. The country, if not yet in the phase of power transition, is undergoing a new turn in tandem with a fast-changing politico-social system and emerging new political actors. Though since 1993 Cambodia has successfully organized five national elections and three local elections, historically, power transitions in the country have not always been smooth and peaceful. Hence Cambodia could encounter a critical turning point in the upcoming elections – the commune elections this year and the general elections in 2018. The commune elections, taking place on June 4th under close international scrutiny, will be a benchmark in assessing the political trends and power shifts in the kingdom. The long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has been under mounting pressure since the general election in 2013, which saw significant gains for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), to speed up reforms and deliver concrete results to restore public trust and confidence. The power competition between two main parties is intensifying as their popular powerbase is equalized. The seminar will discuss the commune election results and their implications for the 2018 national election and general power shift in Cambodia. Will the CPP remain in power? If not, will the power transition be peaceful?

About the Speaker

Vannarith Chheang is a Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He is also a consultant at The Nippon Foundation in Tokyo, Chairman of Advisory Board at the Cambodia Institute for Strategic Studies, and adjunct Senior Fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace where he previously served as the Executive Director from 2009 to 2013. He was a Lecturer of Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Leeds from 2013 to 2016 and was also Visiting Fellow at China’s Institute for International Studies (Beijing, China), Nippon Foundation’s Asian Public Intellectuals (Tokyo, Japan), the Institute for Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO) (Chiba, Japan), and East-West Center (Washington DC, USA). Chheang also served as a technical adviser to the Cambodian National Assembly in 2011 and assistant to Cambodia’s Defense Minister from 2011 to 2012. He was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and a World Cities Summit Young Leader and has also been a recipient of numerous leadership fellowships from different parts of the world, including T-wai's Global Emerging Voices (Italy), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France, and CSIS Pacific Young Leaders Program (USA).

Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents2@iseas.edu.sg by 9 June 2017.

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Seminar: The United States and China in Southeast Asia: Competitive Coexistence?

01 Jun 2017
REGIONAL STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

Southeast Asia has become an increasing geographic epicenter of the strategic competition and perceived power shift between the region's two major powers, the United States and China. In this session, Professor David Shambaugh will discuss the dynamics of the competition, as well as the assets and liabilities that each power possesses in the region. Will ASEAN countries be able to continue to successfully "balance", "engage", and "hedge" both America and China? Where are the tension points, and what are the likely consequences of an inability to maintain a "competitive coexistence"?

About the Speaker

David Shambaugh is an internationally recognized authority and author on contemporary China and the international relations of Asia. He has visited or lived in China every year since 1979 and is fluent in Chinese. He is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he is on sabbatical from his position as Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University. He was formerly the Editor of The China Quarterly and Reader in Chinese Politics at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). As an author, he has published more than 300 articles and 30 books – most recently China's Future and The China Reader: Rising Power (both 2016).

 

Note:  This seminar was originally scheduled for 17 May 2017 but had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. ISEAS apologises for the inconvenience caused to those who came on 17 May to attend a seminar which did not take place.

Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents2@iseas.edu.sg by 31 May 2017.

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Seminar: The United States and China in Southeast Asia: Competitive Coexistence?

17 May 2017
REGIONAL STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

Southeast Asia has become an increasing geographic epicenter of the strategic competition and perceived power shift between the region's two major powers, the United States and China. In this session, Professor David Shambaugh will discuss the dynamics of the competition, as well as the assets and liabilities that each power possesses in the region. Will ASEAN countries be able to continue to successfully "balance", "engage", and "hedge" both America and China? Where are the tension points, and what are the likely consequences of an inability to maintain a "competitive coexistence"?

About the Speaker

David Shambaugh is an internationally recognized authority and author on contemporary China and the international relations of Asia. He has visited or lived in China every year since 1979 and is fluent in Chinese. He is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he is on sabbatical from his position as Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University. He was formerly the Editor of The China Quarterly and Reader in Chinese Politics at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). As an author, he has published more than 300 articles and 30 books – most recently China's Future and The China Reader: Rising Power (both 2016).

Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents2@iseas.edu.sg by 16 May 2017.

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Seminar: A Federal Philippines: President Duterte’s Greatest Ambition

28 Apr 2017
REGIONAL STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

Since Independence, a debate about the very nature of the Philippine state has persisted between those in favour of the current unitary system of government and those in favour of a federal alternative. The very diversity of the Philippines – the world’s second largest archipelago with over 7,600 islands and 180 active languages – has been used by both sides to bolster their arguments. President Duterte, a committed federalist, is seeking to introduce a federal political system before or by the end of his single six-year term in 2022.

Professor Muego will analyse the manifold political and constitutional challenges facing the president’s top priority. The current Metro Manila-centred unitary system has many powerful vested interests supporting it, including hundreds of local political dynasties. If President Duterte succeeds, this will be the most important political change in the Philippines since Independence.   

About the Speaker

Benjamin N Muego is a former tenured Professor of Political Science at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Currently, he is a Professorial Lecturer in International Law, Comparative Foreign Policy, Comparative Government and International Organization in the School of Diplomacy and Governance of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Manila. Professor Muego was a Visiting Fellow at ISEAS four decades ago and is a repeat contributor to the Institute’s annual Southeast Asian Affairs series.

Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents2@iseas.edu.sg by 27 April 2017.

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Seminar: Uncertainties in the Relationships between Great and Small Powers in Asia

18 Apr 2017

REGIONAL STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME SEMINAR


About the Seminar

Reflecting the lack of a clear structure to international relations more generally, the Indo-Pacific has become a region where uncertainty has become the main characteristic of relations between Great Powers, as well as between them and smaller countries. The Trump administration has yet to articulate a policy towards Asia and meanwhile it is not clear who speaks for the administration on particular issues, or indeed what are Trump’s priorities in foreign affairs and on China in particular. For example, how far will Trump go in pressing China to toughen its policies towards North Korea, or to change its trade policies? Smaller countries such North Korea and the Philippines have at times openly defied their allies and longtime protectors – China and the US respectively – without adverse consequences. Much vaunted trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been halted or abandoned. I shall argue, however, that the disorder is more apparent than real. The Great Powers of the region are more focused on domestic issues and these would be imperiled if they allowed mutual antagonisms to grow into major military conflicts. Likewise for the smaller countries, the one major achievement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is largely unheralded, is that its member states have also avoided military conflict despite their many deep antagonisms.

About the Speaker

Michael Yahuda is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he served from 1973 to 2003. Prior to that he was a lecturer in the Politics Department of the University of Southampton from 1966 to 1973. Since coming to the US in August 2003 he has served as a Visiting Scholar at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. He enjoys an international reputation as a specialist on China’s foreign relations and on the international politics of East Asia. He has authored and edited ten books, the latest being, The International Politics of the Asia Pacific (3rd revised edition, 2011) and Sino-Japanese Relations after the Cold War: Two Tigers Sharing a Mountain (2013) He has also written more than 250 scholarly articles and chapters in books.

Registration

To register, please fill in this form and email it to iseasevents2@iseas.edu.sg by 17 April 2017.

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Seminar: Contending Paradigms of Japanese Diplomacy

06 Mar 2017
REGIONAL STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

The standard understanding of Japanese diplomacy is that policy outcomes result from an interaction between three approaches: conservative nationalism (right), liberal pacifism (left), and the centrist line. The balance has now shifted toward the right, rendering the influence of the left virtually ineffective. However, this does not mean that the contestation of differing approaches has disappeared. Rather, there now appears to be a newly emerging line between the two approaches or paradigms of foreign policy, with the rise of China functioning as the point of difference. The lecture will discuss the implications of these changes for Japanese diplomacy toward Southeast Asia.

 

About the Speaker

Yoshihide Soeya is Professor of international relations at the Faculty of Law of Keio University. His areas of interest are politics and security in East Asia, and Japanese diplomacy and its external relations. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1987, majoring in world politics.  Dr Soeya served, in 1999-2000, as a member of the “Prime Minister's Commission on Japan's Goals in the 21st Century,” and, in 2010, as a member of “the Council on Security and Defense Capabilities in the New Era,” both in the Prime Minister’s Office. His recent publications in English includes “The Evolution of Japan’s Public Diplomacy: Haunted by its Past History”, Jan Melissen and Yul Sohn, eds., Understanding Public Diplomacy in East Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

Registration

To register, please fill in this form and email it to iseasevents2@iseas.edu.sg by morning of 6 March 2017.

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Seminar-Cum-Book Launch: "The Rise of China and the Chinese Overseas"

02 Mar 2017
REGIONAL STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME

Author:

Dr Leo Suryadinata

Visiting Senior Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

 

Guest of Honour and Speaker:

PROFESSOR WANG GUNGWU

Chairman, ISEAS Board of Trustees; and

Chairman, Management Board, East Asian Institute

National University of Singapore


The Rise of China and the Chinese Overseas:
A Study of Beijing's Changing Policy in Southeast Asia and Beyond


About the Book

With the rise of China and massive new migrations out of it, China has adjusted its policy towards the Chinese overseas in Southeast Asia and beyond. This book deals with Beijing‘s policy which has been a response to external events involving the Chinese overseas as well as internal needs of China. It appears that a rising China considers the Chinese overseas as a source of socio-political and economic capital and would extend its protection to them whenever this is not in conflict with its core national interest. The impacts on and the responses of the relevant countries, especially those in Southeast Asia, are examined.


Programme

9.30 am – 10.00 am          Registration

                                              Moderator: Dr Ooi Kee Beng, Deputy Director, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

10.00 am – 10.10 am        Remarks by Author

                                              Dr Leo Suryadinata, Visiting Senior Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

10.10 am – 11.00 am        Speech by Guest of Honour and Speaker

                                              Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman, ISEAS Board of Trustees; and Chairman,
                                              Management Board, East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore

11.00 am – 11.30 am        Questions and Answers


Registration

To register, please fill in this form and email it to iseasevents2@iseas.edu.sg by 1 March 2017.

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Seminar: Taking Stock of Sino-Indonesian Relations under the Jokowi Presidency

13 Oct 2016
REGIONAL STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

Under the Jokowi presidency, Indonesia and China are again enjoying a “honeymoon” period. Anything related to China is seemingly popular among the Indonesian public. Symbolizing the close relationship are, among others, the Mandarin Language, Confucius Institute, Zheng He, and infrastructural loans from China. But despite the current Sino-Indonesian relations being in a “honeymoon” period, the two countries have historically been disturbed by various crises. These are, among others, the question of the nationality status and the “loyalty” of Indonesian ethnic Chinese to their country of birth, Chinese claim over area or areas traditionally owned by Indonesia, and China’s claim over the South China Sea which has threatened to disrupt ASEAN unity. Moreover, the flood of Chinese cheap products to the Indonesian market has drawn antipathy from Indonesian producers. In addition, the presence of Chinese workers in Indonesia’s infrastructure build-up could also provoke the ire of Indonesian workers. Meanwhile, the fact that Indonesia’s political system has several weaknesses may also render the formulation and implementation of her domestic and foreign policies ineffective. The extent to which the aforementioned crises and challenges impacts Sino-Indonesian relations will form the basis of this presentation.

About the Speaker

Abdullah Dahana, known by his pen name A. Dahana, is a retired Professor of Chinese Studies, and a former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Indonesia. After receiving his undergraduate education in Chinese Studies at the University of Indonesia, Professor Dahana received his MA in Chinese Literature from Cornell University and subsequently, his PhD in History from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In the course of doing his PhD,
Professor Dahana was a Research Fellow at ISEAS in 1982-1983. He was also International News Editor for Tempo Weekly News Magazine and Executive Director of AMINEF which administers the Fulbright Program in Indonesia. He writes academic as well as popular articles, mostly on China, in Bahasa Indonesia as well as in English.

Registration
To register, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents2@iseas.edu.sg by 12 October 2016.
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