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What's AIIB all about? China, Asia and A Contested Global Order

Date :  31/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
Institute of Security and International Studies (ISIS) Public Forum “What’s AIIB All About? China, Asia and A Contested Global Order ” at 09.00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Monday, 31st October 2016. 

Islamist Movements and Middle East Turmoil: Lessons from and Implications for Southeast Asia

Date :  27/10/2016 - 27/10/2016
Institute of Security and International Studies (ISIS) Public Forum “Islamist Movements and Middle East Turmoil: Lessons from and Implications for Southeast Asia” at 09.30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Thursday, 27th October 2016. 
  Articles View All>> 

Thailand as we knew it is now at an end 

When it comes to public readership, I was taught more than 30 years ago to write invariably in the third person. The time has come for change and exception because there is no better way for me to describe what has just happened in Thailand. What was once unimaginable when I was a schoolboy eventually became inevitable, and now is undeniable in my midlife. 

Why no one wants to rule Thailand other than the military 

While it is always topsy-turvy and unwieldy, Thailand’s political environment has rarely been as tumultuous as in the past decade, characterised by recurrent street protests along pro- and anti-establishment lines. 

After a decade of polarisation, a new balance in Thailand 

The Aug 7 referendum in Thailand yielded a surprising result, with most voters backing a charter drafted by the military government. The result shows that voters want compromise and reconciliation for Thailand, with both monarchist and democratic elements in the right mix. 

Rivalries and excessive arms spending threaten regional peace 

Ahead of its 50th birthday next year, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is discovering that its recipe for success is being put to the test. 

Thailand attacks: who are the likely perpetrators? 

The coordinated bomb and arson attacks across Thailand’s southern provinces may signal a new phase of confrontation and brinkmanship, following the vote in favour of a military-backed constitution in a referendum on Sunday. 

The conundrum of Thailand's resounding referendum result 

The overwhelmingly favorable result of Thailand's second-ever referendum has much deeper and wider significance than as a mere verdict on a military-backed constitution. 

Thitinan Pongsudhirak: China's alarming 'water diplomacy' on the Mekong 

At first glance, it looks beneficent. As countries along the Lower Mekong river that snakes through mainland Southeast Asia struggled in the grip of a severe drought, China announced it would release water from its upstream Jinghong dam over nearly a month from March 15. 

Puey's passage stirs up old questions, issues 

As Thai society has been caught up in a cultish and contentious search for the khon dee, or "good people", few can be more justifiably glorified than Puey Ungphakorn, a heroic Thai patriot from the Second World War and a quintessential technocrat who worked under military-authoritarian rule without selling his soul to it. 

The US-Asean summit put in perspective 

It is easy to read too much into the first-ever United States-Asean summit. True, the just-concluded top-level gathering between the 10 Asean leaders and President Barack Obama was a watershed in many ways. It underscored America’s attention and intention behind the Obama administration’s geo-strategic “rebalance” to Asia. 

'Asian values' become region's new battlefront 

Geopolitical tensions have soared alongside risk perceptions amid intensifying major-power rivalry in 21st century Asia, from the East and South China seas to the Indian and Pacific oceans. Yet the crucial battle that could determine the region's broader fate is not about territory. Rather, it revolves around the values that underpin Asia's authoritarian and democratic regimes. 

Thai-US treaty alliance needs realigning 

That the United States' role in Asia's fluid and dynamic geopolitical canvas is considered indispensable is not a matter of dispute. Governments and states in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia have all been in favour of a continued American engagement that dates back more than a century, and which intensified after World War II and throughout the Cold War. 

Thailand's rocky road for 2016 and beyond 

No country in Southeast Asia has been shooting itself in the foot more than Thailand. With so much going for it, the second-largest economy in the region manages to underperform spectacularly. 

Between authoritarianism and democracy 

So far in the 21st century, political fortunes in Southeast Asian states have been mixed. As the world's only region that harbours all political regimes from absolutism in Brunei and authoritarianism in Thailand to thriving democracy in Indonesia and communist one-party rule in Vietnam, Southeast Asia's political future will likely be sandwiched between a rule by the few and government by the majority. 

Thailand's uphill outlook for 2016 and beyond 

Constitutional machinations and the ongoing tussle between a monarchist elite and democratic forces look set to put Thailand on track for another difficult year.