New & Noteworthy

Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia
Economic Losses from the 2011 Thailand Floods: A Study of Bangkok Metropolitan Region

Economic Losses from the 2011 Thailand Floods: A Study of Bangkok Metropolitan Region

The potential effect of such extreme weather was shown in 2011 when Thailand was hit by the worst flood it had experienced in 50 years. This study produced the first comprehensive estimate of the economic losses experienced by households that were badly affected by the 2011 Bangkok flood. The study finds that the median household economic cost of the 2011 Bangkok floods was equivalent to about half of an average household’s annual expenditure.

Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia
Landowners’ Preferences for a Payment for Environmental Services Program: A Case Study in East Thailand

Landowners’ Preferences for a Payment for Environmental Services Program: A Case Study in East Thailand

This study aimed to design a desirable payment for environmental services (PES) program to be implemented in Eastern Thailand. Landowners’ preferences on program factors were both identified and quantified using a choice experiment. The results showed that all hypothetical programs attributes were statistically significant to landowners’ participation decisions, except free-to-choose in-kind benefits. Willingness to accept (WTA) calculations suggested that higher monetary incentives could help induce landowners to participate in PES programs that generate desirable environmental benefits.

Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia
A Review of PES Implementation In Cambodia

A Review of PES Implementation In Cambodia

Payment for Environmental Services (PES) programs have been implemented in PES and PES-like forms in Cambodia focusing on watershed, biodiversity conservation, recreation/landscape beauty, and carbon sequestration and storage. However, a specific PES law or policy has yet to be developed. This report presents a review of selected current literature on PES and/or PES-like schemes implemented in Cambodia. Local and international NGOs were visited and interviewed in order to capture the elements of the individual programs.

Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict
The Anti-Salafi Campaign in Aceh

The Anti-Salafi Campaign in Aceh

In its latest report, The Anti-Salafi Campaign in Aceh, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) examines the background to the latest phase of the ideological struggle between traditionalist clerics in rural Aceh and their urban rivals. The report explores the the risk of violence this rivalry poses.

Action for Economic Reforms – Industrial Policy Team
Economic Transformation, Equality, Resilience: Challenges for the Duterte Administration and Beyond

Economic Transformation, Equality, Resilience: Challenges for the Duterte Administration and Beyond

The ever insightful team at Action for Economic Reforms have released a new report analyzing the current state of the Philippine economy and the performance of the Aquino administration and proposes a framework for the Duterte administration and beyond that focuses on an innovative industrial policy that would address the structural weaknesses in the Philippine economy as well as policies to address vulnerability.

Unredacted
Declassified U.S. Documents Help Fill Void Left by Thailand’s Silence on 38th Anniversary of Thammasat University Massacre

Declassified U.S. Documents Help Fill Void Left by Thailand’s Silence on 38th Anniversary of Thammasat University Massacre

This week marks the 38th anniversary of the student massacre at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand on October 6, 1976, which saw between 50 and 100 leftist student protesters tortured and killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands arrested. Thanks to the declassification efforts of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), over 75 previously classified documents are available, helping fill the void left by the Thai government’s silence on the event.

Voice of America News
Thailand to Mark 40th Anniversary of Bloody 1976 Massacre

Thailand to Mark 40th Anniversary of Bloody 1976 Massacre

The events surrounding the 40th anniversary of the tragedy, seen by many as the darkest day in modern Thai political history, includes conferences, art works, plays and cultural events and come amid heightened political sensitivities in Thailand under a ruling military government since May 2014.

The Guardian
Philippines secret death squads: officer claims police teams behind wave of killings

Philippines secret death squads: officer claims police teams behind wave of killings

Thousands of people have been killed since Rodrigo Duterte became president and, according to one officer, secret police teams are partly responsible

The Atlantic
I Will Kill All the Drug Lords

I Will Kill All the Drug Lords

In May, Rodrigo Duterte, who served as Davao’s mayor for 21 years, was elected president of the Philippines, defeating four other challengers with a promise to purge the country of drug dealers.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2016

OECD, Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2016: Enhancing Regional Ties

The annual Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and Indiaexamines Asia’s regional economic growth, development and regional integration process. It focuses on the economic conditions of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. It also addresses relevant economic issues in People’s Republic of China and India to fully reflect economic developments in the region.

The Asia Foundation
Laos: Reaping the Benefits of a New Era of International Cooperation

Laos: Reaping the Benefits of a New Era of International Cooperation

This month, the Southeast Asian nation of Laos hosted two of the region’s most important annual gatherings—the ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit—in its capital, Vientiane. President Barack Obama, who led the U.S. delegation, made historyby becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the country.

The New York Times
Southeast Asia Blazes May Have Led to Deaths of Over 100,000, Study Says

Southeast Asia Blazes May Have Led to Deaths of Over 100,000, Study Says

A study by public health experts from Columbia and Harvard reveal that pollution from burning forests may have led to premature deaths of more than 100,000 people in the region. 

The Muslim World
Islamic Studies or Asian Studies? Islam in Southeast Asia

Islamic Studies or Asian Studies? Islam in Southeast Asia

Chiara Formichi's article in The Muslim World is a huge contribution to the study of Islam in Southeast Asia. She explores why Islamic Studies and Southeast Studies were separated and how this separation has impoverished both fields. 

East Asia Forum
ASEAN centrality losing ground

ASEAN centrality losing ground

Mathew Davies of ANU argues that ASEAN is losing its centrality in the Asia-Pacific in the face of great power machinations and a lack of leadership within the organization.

Nikkei Asian Review
US move on Myanmar sanctions sparks jubilation, dismay

US move on Myanmar sanctions sparks jubilation, dismay

Gwen Robinson delves into what the lifting of sanctions means for Aung San Suu Kyi, her relationship with the still powerful military and for Myanmar's economy. She analyses the reasons for President Obama's decision and why human rights groups are opposed.

Center for a New American Security
CNAS Commentary: Can the U.S.-Philippine Alliance Endure Duterte?

CNAS Commentary: Can the U.S.-Philippine Alliance Endure Duterte?

As new Philippine President Duterte continues his anti-American campaign CNAS experts assess the damage it is doing to the U.S.-Philippine Alliance.

Pages

NYSEAN Voices

half

Interview: On the United Nations and Youth Policy in Myanmar

It is often difficult for members of local organisations to voice their concerns, especially about the shortcomings of international aid agency approaches. They may rely on funding partnerships, or simply find it difficult to communicate directly to international groups about the concerns they have. Yet their insights can be important. Today we hear from a staff member from a local organisation in Shan State on the U.N. and youth policy.  Read more

Turnout was relatively poor in Thailand's Aug. 7 referendum compared to the last time in 2007, but the vote was more decisively in favor of the latest constitution. (Photo by Keiichiro Asahara)

Thailand's Ambiguous Referendum Result

Thailand's junta can breathe a sigh of relief, but only for the moment. The result of its Aug. 7 referendum on a new constitution has to be measured against a similar poll held in 2007: on both occasions, voters approved a charter drafted by a military-appointed committee created in the wake of a coup d'etat... Read more

half

Interview: Reflections from a Kachin NGO

Read more

Indonesia: the Battle Over Islam

The Islamic State’s butchery and takeover of territory in Iraq and Syria dominate the headlines, but a much less violent yet little-known conflict exists in Indonesia, where more Muslims live than in all of the Middle East. It is a battle to define Islam in Indonesia and it matters because it is taking place in one of the few democracies with a Muslim majority. There are more Muslims in Indonesia who can be loosely called progressives than there are anywhere else, but they are in constant struggle with conservative Muslims. Read more

 Photograph taken at the Museum Brawijaya by Vannessa Hearman

A Primer on the 1965 Killings in Indonesia

For two days in April, many Indonesians focused on a dark and long-buried chapter in their nation’s history thanks to a government-supported conference entitled “National Symposium: Dissecting the 1965 Tragedy, An Historical Approach.”  Already there is much debate...

Read more

Latest on the U.S. and the Philippines

A recent article in the New York Times  discusses recent shifts in U.S.-Philippines security relations. Fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S.-Philippines relationship has moved more explicitly to containing China and less focused on counter-terrorism. Read more

Thai junta marches toward day of reckoning

After a couple of false starts since the May 2014 coup, Thailand now has a draft constitution, and Aug. 7 has been set for a referendum on adopting... Read more

Thai Update 2016—what you missed

The 2016 Thailand Update at Columbia was attended by around 50 people throughout the day, drawn by the line-up of expert speakers discussing different aspects of Thailand's politics, society and economy. Read more

Pages