In this webinar, Dr John Lee offers some insight into what will remain the same and what will be different when it comes to the Free and Open Indo-Pacific a Biden presidency might employ for the Indo-Pacific region – when it comes to strategy, practice, mindset and expectations of partners in Southeast Asia.
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.
REGIONAL STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME
About the Seminar
President Trump and questions about how he and his administration are changing US foreign policy and place in the world dominate front and opinion pages, and many of our social media feeds. It is still not clear what the Trump administration’s Asia policy is and where Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian states fit within it. The Obama administration’s pivot and rebalance have been declared dead. What will take their place?
Looking at the first five months of the Trump administration, the three panellists will analyse what has and has not changed in US-Southeast Asia relations and what guidance this initial transition period provides for the rest of the current Trump administration’s approach to our region.
About the Speakers
Walter Lohman is the Director of the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, the largest, most broadly-supported conservative research and educational institution in the United States, and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University where he teaches courses on US-East Asia relations. Prior to joining the Heritage Foundation in 2006, Walter was the Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council. He has years of experience working on Asian matters in the US Senate.
Joseph Liow Chin Yong is Dean and Professor of Comparative and International Politics at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. From 2014 to 2016, Joseph held the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew Chair in Southeast Asia Studies at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC, where he was also a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program.
Ian Storey is a Senior Fellow and Editor of the academic journal Contemporary Southeast Asia at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. Dr Storey specializes in Asian security issues, with a focus on Southeast Asia and the South China Sea dispute.
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.
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).