New & Noteworthy
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thousands of people have been killed since Rodrigo Duterte became president and, according to one officer, secret police teams are partly responsible
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As new Philippine President Duterte continues his anti-American campaign CNAS experts assess the damage it is doing to the U.S.-Philippine Alliance.
This paper, commissioned as part of a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) 'learning journey' on inclusive land governance, inquires whether these reforms constitute durable institutional change, or temporary and calculated forms of social inclusion aimed at managing an increasingly volatile political and economic landscape.
Many island nations like the Philippines are already being affected by rising sea levels, a specter of what lies ahead for low-lying cities such as Miami, Florida. This reading list and discussion questions explores these issues in the context of the Philippines. How is the encroaching threat of climate change reshaping culture, politics, and even faith in these communities? How can the claim of economic prosperity be reconciled with the equally valid claim of sustainability and conservation?
As Obama makes his historic visit, ABC correspondent Bob Woodruff travels across Laos, meeting victims new and old bearing witness to the legacy left behind by America’s secret war.
If you’ve been hospitalized in Europe, North America, Australia or the Middle East in recent years, chances are that at some point a nurse from the Philippines has had some part in your treatment. As Megha Amrith writes in the introduction to Caring for Strangers: Filipino Medical Workers in Asia (NIAS Press, 2017), Filipinos today comprise one of the largest global diasporas of medical workers, with the Philippines having over 400 nursing colleges, many of them aimed primarily at preparing graduates for work abroad.Read more
Matthew Walton, author of Buddhism, Politics and Political Thought in Myanmar, speaks with New Books in Southeast Asian StudiesRead more
Endy Bayuni, the chief editor of the Jakarta Post, recently spoke at Columbia University, giving his assessment of the Jokowi administration at the halfway mark. Bayuni described how Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has gone from being an outsider elected president in 2014 to being the most powerful president to date in 2017. Initially, Jokowi struggled to gain support even from his own party, the PDIP (Partai Indonesia Perjuangan). Gradually, according to Bayuni, Jokowi employed strategic political moves and transformed his weak position into one of strength and now presides over the parliament, the cabinet, and even the national police.Read more
In recent months, public life in Thailand has been overshadowed by the momentous October 13, 2016 passing of long-reigning King Bhumibol, and the December 1 accession of the King Vajiralongkorn to the throne. Although a popular referendum approved the 2016 draft constitution last August, that constitution has yet to pass into law, and no date has been set for the next general election. As the ruling military junta completes its third year in power, freedom of expression remains severely constrained, and Thailand faces a range of economic and social challenges. During this third Columbia Thailand Update event, eight speakers will present their research and views on the latest developments and prospects, at a crucial juncture in the country’s history.Read more