Publication in Economics, Politics and Public Policy in East Asia and the Pacific

Australia and the G20

Author: Colin I. Bradford, Brookings Institution

Australia assumes the presidency of the G20 Summit for 2014 at the end of this year. Already, there is great anticipation — Australia’s history of internationalism gives hope that it can help launch global economic recovery and global governance reform. Read more…

Explaining North Korea’s irrationality

Author: Ulv Hanssen, Swedish Institute of International Affairs

The recent North Korean bluster following the latest UN sanctions against Pyongyang ranged from the bizarre to the scary.

Perhaps more significantly it again spurred questions about the capability of rational policymaking in the isolated country. Read more…

Challenges to ASEAN as an Indo-Pacific security connector

Author: Awidya Santikajaya, ANU

Southeast Asia is emerging in global strategic thinking as a key region.

Not only is Southeast Asia pivotal for its close geographical proximity to China, but it also occupies a strategic position connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Southeast Asia could even serve as the geographic centre of the emerging Indo-Pacific system. Read more…

Can India help undo the Syrian knot?

Author: Sukalpa Chakrabarti, Symbiosis School of Economics

Syria is set to turn into one of India’s most complex foreign policy challenges, given the conflicting stakes of regional and extra regional players.

Successful negotiations at the Geneva II peace conference are the only hope for avoiding yet another worst-case scenario of humanitarian crisis and extensive civil war. Read more…

Pakistan’s new prime minister shows extremism wins elections

Author: Vidya S Sharma, Melbourne

The war on terror is ‘not our war’. ‘Pakistan’s sovereignty must be respected’. These slogans sum up the anti-American strategy of Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan in Pakistan’s elections. It worked. Since Sharif won Pakistan’s elections in May 2013, three minor parties and more than 20 independents have joined his party (the PML-N). Read more…

Communal harmony: a missing cornerstone of reform in Myanmar

Author: Iftekharul Bashar, RSIS

In an article published on 2 May 2013 on the Voice of al Islam website, radical Indonesian ideologue Abu Bakar Bashir called for jihad to end the ‘genocide’ of the Rohingyas in Myanmar. Bashir’s call was made earlier on 23 April 2013. This demonstrates the growing sensitivity about the Rohingya issue among the wider Muslim community, especially those with a more radical tinge.  Read more…

Indonesia’s floating elites and democratic consolidation

Author: Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge, Northwestern University

In the lead up to the incumbent Democratic Party’s national convention in September this year and the Indonesian presidential election next year, a number of prominent political figures are jostling to be selected as the party’s presidential candidate.

Many of these potential candidates are external figures rather than inner-party elites. Read more…

How will India be a part of the Asian century?

Author: Shekhar Shah, NCAER

The 19th century was thought of as belonging to Britain and the 20th century to America. Many now believe that the 21st century will be Asia’s.

The sheer market size and growth potential of China and India place them at the centre of the Asian century. Over the past 20 years, these two countries have almost tripled their share of the global economy. Read more…

China’s contribution to the global mitigation effort

Author: Ross Garnaut, ANU, University of Melbourne

As the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) observed in its first survey of Chinese climate change policies in November 2012, ‘China is one of the countries most vulnerable to the adverse impact of climate change’.

This is one reason why it should come as no surprise that China has taken decisive action in recent years towards a more environmentally sustainable growth model. Read more…

Does prison incubate violent Islamist extremists?

Authors: Roderic Broadhurst, Greg Fealy and Clarke Jones, ANU

As convictions for terrorism offences continue to rise in many countries, how should those offenders be managed in prison? The challenge is to determine whether terrorist inmates should be dispersed among the general prison population or segregated from other inmates.

The different Indonesian and Philippine prison regimes for terrorist inmates offer a rare opportunity to test policies of concentration or dispersal. Read more…

Japan’s radical incrementalism in energy

Author: Llewelyn Hughes, GWU

Japan has embarked on a new experiment in its energy system, encompassing changes to the mix of fuels used domestically and the corporate organisation of energy production.

Sunk costs mean changing energy systems takes decades, yet the incremental changes being implemented today promise to have a radical effect on the ways Japanese industry and citizens use energy. Read more…

The new security order

Author: Hugh White, ANU

Coming to terms with the Asian century means coming to terms with the biggest change in the global distribution of wealth and power since the Industrial Revolution. This change is driving nothing less than a revolution in the Asian regional order. Read more…

A breakthrough for Asian integration?

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

There has been a surge of interest in the conclusion of mega-regional trade deals in the past few years. The United States, as part of its pivot to Asia strategy, pressed ahead with serious negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in 2011 at the APEC Summit in Honolulu. Read more…

The challenge facing Asia’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Author: Jayant Menon, ADB and ANU

The first round of negotiations to establish the Asian Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) — a free trade agreement (FTA) across ASEAN+6 (the 10 ASEAN members plus Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, and New Zealand) — was held in Brunei in May. Read more…

Will Washington give Seoul Hawks to monitor the Norks?

Author: Soon Ho Lee, University of Hull

With the scheduled transfer of wartime operational command of the allied South Korean forces from the US to South Korea in December 2015 fast approaching, South Korea is seeking to improve its intelligence gathering capabilities vis-à-vis North Korea.

In particular, South Korea was negotiating with the US to purchase Global Hawks (high-altitude reconnaissance drones). Read more…