Why Southeast Asia is Prone to North Korea’s Crisis

Regional instability remains one of the serious concerns for Southeast Asian countries. ASEAN itself is facing unresolved conflicts and disputes that push the regional institution into stalemate position. Rohingya Refugees’ crisis, Pattani insurgency in Southern Thailand, and extremist terrorism in the Southern part of the Philippines are just a glimpse among many causes to regional instability. Disputes also occurred because of the pursuit of interest, such as the current South China Sea dispute. read more

ASEAN at 50: Has the Philippines Enhanced the Power of ASEAN’s People?

ASEAN agreed to put its concern on the importance of its people through the pillar of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). Among the three pillars, ASCC is conceivably the one given least attention. The critics have risen along the establishment of ASEAN as an elite-centered institusion where the policies outcome is not relevant for its people. Enhancing the people centrality of ASEAN will create more inclusive institution within the ASEAN to narrow the inequality between the elite and the society. In this sense, ASEAN must ensure in its 50th year of its establishment, to benefit its people and to become more inclusive. read more

Is Single-sex Education Promoting Education Equality?

Seeking to promote the education equality for boys and girls, ‘Single-sex Education’ has become a growing trend. Sex segregated education, which separates boys and girls, or commonly known as Single-sex Education, has become a question of considerable value in both developed and developing countries. In ASEAN, some member countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand have a number of primary schools operating as the single-sex school, in which Indonesia has already established the first all-girl school since 1857. read more

Socialising Human Rights in ASEAN

U Ko Ni, a legal advisor of National League for Democracy (NLD), was shot in Rangoon  Airport on February. He was returning from an official visit to Indonesia addressing crisis in Rakhine State. Mr Ko Ni has been an outspoken lawyer, who has always committed to political reform and democracy, and a notable defender of minority rights in the country.

His death was undoubtedly a huge loss, both for Burmese Human Rights activists and Burmese Muslim Community.

What is worrying from his murder is not only that U Ko Ni was shot in the midst of Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, but also the fact that there has been a rising hate crimes and intolerance in the country. This is, however, not only the case in Myanmar, but also in several other countries in Southeast Asia, for example with rising anti-Chinese sentiments in Indonesia or political turbulence in Malaysia. read more

Modelling International Lawmaking in ASEAN

ASEAN and its model of international law has always being questioned by many international lawyers for its informal nature of law-making processes in concluding agreements among member states. For them, this phenomenon is unusual because normally international law is being concluded in a formal manner to show its commitment in tackling global problems.

In 2012, The University of Oxford released a book entitled, “Informal International Lawmaking”. This book is written after the realization on the increasing number of Informal International Law (IN-LAW), which being made within the international community. In this book, Joost Pauwelyn identifies the characteristics of IN-LAW which consists of output informality, process informality, and actor informality. read more

Why Indonesia Needs to Reform Maritime Security Governance

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) seems not to show any significant progress in the aspect of maritime security governance. The reason lies under the ignorance towards the existence and role of maritime security governance as a guarantor of Indonesia’s maritime economy development. As if we invite and let people invest in our company, President Jokowi did not realize that there has been a high rate of crimes occurring inside the company, which will be taken into consideration by investors. To that end, President Jokowi needs to gaze slightly the issues of maritime security governance in Indonesia before figuring the way to reform it. read more

Is Indonesia Choosing the Indian Ocean Rim Association Over ASEAN?

Indonesia’s substantial involvement in IORA signifies a stage of crisis for ASEAN.

From March 5 to 7, Jakarta played host to the leader’s summit of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), which was also commemorating its 20th anniversary. Given the chance to lead the summit, Indonesia has pursued significant initiatives, including the enactment of the IORA Concord, or so-called Jakarta Concord. This document, which will be used to govern the Indian Ocean and IORA members, highlights several important agendas, including maritime safety and security, the blue economy, and gender empowerment. read more

ASEAN Economic Community Today: From Neo-liberalism to New Structuralism?

In 2010, the World Bank published a book that shed light on a new framework for world development: New Structural Economics. Authored by the Bank’s Chief Economist Justin Yifu Lin, this book aims to combine old neoclassical economics with the tradition of structuralism in political economy.

This attempt was resulted in what Lin called as “new structural economics” (NSE).

Basically, this idea is not necessarily new. During 2000s, some idea of ‘neostructuralism’ has also been developed by Latin American economists to refer to the economic strategies undertaken by extractive-rich countries, which did not follow neoliberal prescription. The idea was soon dissolved after the low commodity price in 2010s, which leads the regional economy in crisis. read more

ASEAN Countries Should Find a Solution to End the Persecution of Rohingya

Ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are transported to a temporary shelter in Krueng Raya in Aceh Besar in 2013. Photo: Reuters

Ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are transported to a temporary shelter in Krueng Raya in Aceh Besar in 2013. Photo: Reuters

Ahmad Rizky M. Umar – Research Fellow at the ASEAN Studies Center, Universitas Gadjah Mada

ASEAN’s non-intervention is aggravating the plight of ethnic Rohingya Muslims suffering widespread abuse by the Burmese military in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The Rohingya are one the of the world’s most persecuted ethnic minorities.

Human Rights Watch reported the Burmese military launched a campaign of killings, rape and arson against ethnic Rohingya following attacks by militants against government border guards in Rakhine State on October 9, 2016. HRW reported in December that, since the day of the attack, at least 1,500 homes have been burned in retaliation, displacing thousands of Rohingya people. read more

The Future of ASEAN-Russian Relations

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Shane Preuss, Research Intern at the ASEAN Studies Center, Universitas Gadjah Mada

ASEAN’s strength is demonstrated by its ‘convening power’ and its ability to attract the courtship of the world’s great powers. However, these strengths also present challenges, as ASEAN must not only navigate its relations of these powers, but also the various relationships of its individual members with respective powers. In light of this, significant commentary has been dedicated to the threat of rising US-China tensions for ASEAN’s unity and coherence. These tensions, often centered on the South China Sea dispute, are set to amplify as President-Elect Trump establishes a firm, even aggressive position toward China. read more