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General articles and reports on regional and global dynamics

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Title: The New Geopolitics of Southeast Asia
Date of publication: November 2012
Description/subject: "Southeast Asian states risk becoming pawns in a geopolitical clash between two extra-regional superpowers. This report analyses how the states in the region are responding to the challenge posed by the strategic interests of the US and China in their geography and economy. If the Southeast Asian states are to take advantage of the opportunities presented by China’s rise and the United States’ pivot, they must stand together in the geopolitical contest currently taking place in the region. However, this is not an easy task: regional states are caught in what game theory would view as a classic ‘prisoners’ dilemma’ that will require a deep degree of trust to escape."..... Executive Summary, Nicholas Kitchen, Editor, IDEAS Reports... The Clash: Indispensable Nation? The United States in Southeast Asia Michael Cox... China and Southeast Asia, Odd Arne Westad ... Southeast Asia between China and the United States, Munir Majid... The Theatre of Competition: Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) . Ang Cheng Guan... Indonesia, Rizal Sukma... Malaysia, Johan Saravanamuttu... Myanmar, Jürgen Haacke... The Philippines, Emmanuel Yujuico... Singapore, Robyn Klingler Vidra... Thailand, Thitinan Pongsudhirak... Conclusion: The Regional Dynamic Forging a Regional Response, Munir Majid.
Language: English
Source/publisher: London School of Economics (LSE)
Format/size: html. pdf
Date of entry/update: 31 May 2013

Title: *Youtube search for Burma OR Myanmar international relations Asia* (video)
Description/subject: About 5,580 results (August 2017)
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Various sources via Youtube
Format/size: Adobe Flash or html5
Date of entry/update: 22 August 2017

Description/subject: "Myanmar ISIS is a research and policy analysis institute working on international relations and Myanmar foreign policy...What do we do? • Contributes timely inputs, views, research papers and recommendations to support policy and decision-making on bilateral and multilateral issues. • Serves Myanmar’s national interest while promoting peace, friendship and cooperation with other countries. • Organizes and hosts seminars, workshops and debates in Myanmar in cooperation with internationally recognized institutions. • Sends representatives to meetings, seminars, workshops and roundtable discussions organized by other institutes of international studies and think tanks in Asia and other parts of the world. What is our role in Myanmar? While much research is carried out on domestic issues in Myanmar, less is done on foreign policy. Myanmar ISIS is the sole think-tank taking attempting to fulfill the gap. A foreign-policy think-tank can both give foreign actors a better understanding of Myanmar's stances, policies and actions and provide advice to Myanmar representatives in their decision-making at a regional or global level. What are our goals? • Carry out quality research on international issues relevant for Myanmar • Cultivate a new generation of international affairs experts in Myanmar • Communicate policy-relevant content to decision-makers • Raising awareness of Myanmar ISIS’ activities in Myanmar and abroad • Actively maintain contact with other Myanmar governmental institutions, and inform their policies..."...Has aboout 25 publications for doiwnload
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar-ISIS
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 March 2018

Individual Documents

Title: Impact of Climate Change on ASEAN International Affairs:Risk and Opportunity Multiplier
Date of publication: 06 November 2017
Description/subject: Executive summary: "• Failure to move away from fossil fuels, especially coal, may damage the international reputation of the ASEAN countries. Counter to the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) which the ASEAN countries themselves have formulated under the Paris Agreement, the region’s coal-based electricity generation capacity has been expanding rapidly. This may also lead to a large number of stranded coal assets in the future. • All the ASEAN member states have ratified the Kyoto Protocol and signed the Paris Agreement, and nine out of ten have also ratified the Paris Agreement. At least half of the ASEAN member states reacted publicly to President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, criticizing it and/or reiterating their own country’s commitment to climate action. ASEAN has identified climate change as a priority issue since the 2007 ASEAN Summit in Singapore. This declared commitment of ASEAN and its member states to international climate policy can provide a good foundation for joint regional climate policy formulation and action. • However, despite their positive stances on climate change, most ASEAN countries have not taken on prominent roles in international climate policy. As a result, they remain takers rather than makers in international climate politics. ASEAN as an organization stands to gain or lose status by following up or not following up its member states on climate issues, and by member states succeeding or failing to meet their NDCs. The ASEAN Secretariat can fulfill an important function by promoting a team spirit around this status drive. • ASEAN could formulate a regionally determined contribution (RDC) for ASEAN by adding up the nationally determined contributions of the ASEAN member states. This could help create a team spirit related to the NDCs, as well as possible peer review/pressure. • ASEAN could implement several other concrete measures to energize its work on climate change: maintain a focus on the NDCs of its member states under the Paris Agreement; ensure that current and future initiatives under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) are ambitious and detailed as to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; highlight the vulnerability of Southeast Asia to climate change by publishing and sharing relevant analysis; advocate improved disclosure and reporting of the financial risks of climate change to governments and investors; put climate change high on the agenda of every ASEAN summit; involve and connect relevant civil society and academic organizations across Southeast Asia; facilitate regional electricity trade through the expansion of the ASEAN Power Grid for better handling of the intermittency of renewable energy; promote the accelerated phase- out of fossil-fuel subsidies—which is also a prerequisite for developing trans-border electricity trade in Southeast Asia. • To be successful, climate-related initiatives will need to consider the ASEAN way of conducting business, with its emphasis on national sovereignty, non-interference and consensus in decision-making. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has set an example of common but differentiated capabilities and responsibilities, further developed with the Paris Agreement’s concept of nationally determined contributions, which are precisely that—nationally determined. This approach is highly compatible with the traditional ASEAN approach to interstate cooperation. • ASEAN may be experiencing a problem of collective action on international climate policy: the member states are looking to ASEAN to adopt a stronger role, whereas the ASEAN Secretariat looks to the member states to take the lead and give clear signals. A first step towards solving this conundrum could be for the ASEAN Secretariat to further expand and strengthen its climate policy staffing—which will require funding and capacity enhancement."
Author/creator: Indra Overland et al
Language: English
Source/publisher: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies
Format/size: pdf (3.85MB)
Alternate URLs: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320622312_Impact_of_Climate_Change_on_ASEAN_International_...
Date of entry/update: 09 March 2018

Title: Silk road bottom up: Regional perspectives on the 'Belt and Road Initiative'
Date of publication: November 2017
Description/subject: "Asia, and above all, China is playing a major role in implementing development and sustainability goals, as well as working towards global climate projection. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) marks China’s efforts to carve out a more active international role. The purpose of the BRI project of the Stiftung Asienhaus is to examine the effects of this initiative on the development perspectives of participating countries. Together with partner chinadialogue, we want to elaborate the opportunities and challenges of the initiative, and the impact it is having on the environment, social stability and international relations. Thereby we hope to feed into the discourse on development policy, including China’s development strategy, which is seeing China expand its role as a global development partner and also donor. The effects of this are varied and require critical monitoring and commentary by Chinese, Asian, and European civil society."
Author/creator: Conception, coordination and editing: Nora Sausmikat. Editorial cooperation: Christopher Davy, Vivien Markert, Gisa Dang, Courtney Tenz, Lena Marie Hufnagel, Frederik Schmitz
Language: English
Source/publisher: Stiftung Asienhaus, Chinadialogue
Format/size: pdf (6.2MB)
Date of entry/update: 06 November 2017

Title: Old dominance, new dominos in Southeast Asia
Date of publication: 25 October 2017
Description/subject: "Not since World War II has liberal democracy, and the intergroup tolerance that sustains it, seemed so deeply endangered in so many places at once. For the first time in three quarters of a century, illiberalism and chauvinism have stolen the march, virtually all over the globe, on their liberal and cosmopolitan rivals. With narrow voices for exclusion and nativism making frightening headway against broader visions of inclusion and diversity in Britain, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Poland, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States, it seems fair to conclude that they can now gain major ground just about anywhere at any time. If the flu of political and social illiberalism is circumnavigating the globe, Southeast Asia has precious little immunity with which to withstand it. This is a region where authoritarian regimes have always easily outnumbered democracies, and where liberalism and universalism have always struggled to gain traction against religion, nationalism, and communalism as forms of ideology and identification. So it should be no surprise that in a historical moment when democracy feels unsafe even in formerly safe-seeming spaces, it feels in Southeast Asia as if democracy could readily be extinguished entirely. It wouldn’t be the first time since decolonisation that Southeast Asia suffered a complete democratic wipe-out. Historically speaking, the region’s democratic nadir ran from the early 1970s, when Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional and the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos converted their electoral legitimacy into outright authoritarian powers, until the mid-1980s. For most of that decade and a half, Southeast Asia boasted literally zero regimes that met even minimally democratic standards—with the minor exceptions of Thailand’s fleeting democratic experiment from 1973–76 and grudging democratic opening over the course of the mid-to-late 1980s. The Cold War did not produce the dominos of successive collapse from capitalism to communism across Southeast Asia that American interventionists feared, at least outside of what was formerly French Indochina. What it did help produce, though, was a region-wide domino effect of democratic collapses into authoritarianism..."
Author/creator: Dan Slater
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 December 2017

Title: Goodbye Pacific Pivot, Hello Pacific Retreat Who Will Take America’s Place in Asia?
Date of publication: 01 June 2017
Description/subject: "...it’s not surprising that when foreign policy elites think about what will replace a U.S. superpower in relative decline -- speculation that has grown more feverish in the Trump era -- they, too, look East. But no longer to Japan, which is passé, or South Korea, which has also perhaps peaked. Instead, they tremble before China, which has already surpassed the United States in gross economic output, while steadily enhancing its military capabilities. It seems like the only country remotely capable of challenging the United States as the world’s sole superpower. The anxiety of declining U.S. influence became so intense during the Obama years that the notion of a Group of Two (G2) gained considerable currency: if we can’t beat ‘em, went the thinking at the time, then maybe we should join ‘em. However seriously intended such a proposal to co-rule the world with China might have been, the Obama administration never followed up beyond agreements on climate change and bilateral investment..."
Author/creator: John Feffer
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Tom Dispatch.com
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 June 2017

Title: New role for India in Myanmar
Date of publication: 13 September 2013
Description/subject: "Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing. With ongoing communal and ethnic violence on one hand and the implementation of bold reform initiatives on the other, Myanmar's transition from authoritarianism to democracy presents immense challenges as well as opportunities for neighboring India. How New Delhi reacts to these tests will have wide-ranging impacts on the future of India-Myanmar relations. The challenges are many. The diplomatic row over pillar number 76 in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur on the Indo-Myanmar border in Holenphai village near Moreh has added to long-running border problems. Although the two sides have agreed to negotiate the issue peacefully, past misunderstandings and alleged intrusions have raised alarm bells on both sides of the border..."
Author/creator: Sonu Trivedi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2014

Title: Asian Development Bank Interim Country Partnership Strategy: Myanmar, 2012-2014 REGIONAL COOPERATION AND INTEGRATION (SUMMARY)
Date of publication: September 2012
Description/subject: Role of Regional Cooperation and Integration in Myanmar’s Development: 1. Myanmar is strategically located in Asia. Having the largest land area in mainland Southeast Asia, it shares borders with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on the north and northeast, Lao PDR and Thailand on the east and southeast, and Bangladesh and India on the west and northwest. It has a long coastline of around 2,800 km which provides access to sea routes and deep-sea ports. It has the potential to serve as a land bridge between Southeast and South Asia, and between Southeast Asia and the PRC. Regional cooperation and integration (RCI), therefore, provides Myanmar with a great opportunity to secure benefits in terms of access to regional and global markets, technology, and finance and management expertise. It can also promote inflows of foreign direct investment which can enable Myanmar to link up with regional and global supply networks. Besides expanding employment opportunities, RCI can also help in addressing social and environmental concerns through cooperation with neighboring countries...II. The GMS Program... III. Myanmar and the GMS Program...IV. GMS Economic Corridors ...V. Myanmar’s Participation in BIMSTEC... VI. Issues facing the GMS Program including Myanmar...VII. RCI Opportunities in Myanmar...
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Format/size: pdf (106K)
Date of entry/update: 28 September 2012

Title: Development of Border Economic Zones in Thailand: Expansion of Border Trade and Formation of Border Economic Zones
Date of publication: May 2008
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "In the wake of economic globalization and development in Thailand, movement of people and commodities at the Thai borders is also becoming pronounced. Economic interdependence between Thailand and neighboring countries is growing through border customhouses. As a policy, Thailand is trying to stimulate trade and investment with neighboring countries following the ACMECS (Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy) scheme. In this report, first, movement of people and goods at the borders will be examined. Second, clarification of where and how development is proceeding will be presented. Last, this study will attempt to review the perspectives of policies on neighboring countries after Thaksin."... Keywords: migrant worker, border trade, border economic zone, ACMECS, contract farming, CBTA (Cross Border Transport Agreement), economic corridor... JEL classification: O53, R11
Author/creator: Takao TSUNEISHI
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies (IDE Discussion paper No, 153)
Format/size: pdf (843K)
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2008

Title: LOOK EAST, LOOK SOUTH:- Backward Border Regions in India and China
Date of publication: March 2008
Description/subject: "...Even by the standards of developing countries, the border between India and China is characterized by large regions that are economically backward and under developed. Moreover, ethnic strife and people’s movements for autonomy are distinctively noticeable and common on both sides of the border. It’s only in recent years that both the countries have tried to launch new initiatives to develop these regions. This short paper attempts to trace the policies of the two neighbours towards their border regions and understand the recent changes in strategy for regional development against the background of the two booming Asian economies and its increasing integration in the global economy. In the case of India this region comprises the so-called north-eastern states (formerly known as Assam and NEFA) and includes the state of Sikkim, which in 1976 was forcibly included in the Indian Union. In the case of China, the western and south western tip of the country comprise of the provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou and the autonomous region of Tibet (we exclude the north western border regions of Xinjiang and Inner Mangolia). It is significant that in both the countries, the border regions are the most backward and underdeveloped (Table 1 and 2). The high rate of growth in the two economies has only increased the regional gap and inequalities in both the countries. It’s only during the last decade or so that both the governments have sought to tackle the growing inequality and discontentment among the people of these sensitive regions. In the case of India, the problem is further compounded by the ethnic strife and armed insurgencies that have resulted in wide-spread violence and state repression accompanied by the militarization of the entire region..."
Author/creator: Sushil Khanna
Language: English
Source/publisher: Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
Format/size: pdf (101K)
Date of entry/update: 22 March 2008

Title: Border Industry in Myanmar: Turning the Periphery into the Center of Growth
Date of publication: October 2007
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "The Myanmar economy has not been deeply integrated into East Asia's production and distribution networks, despite its location advantages and notably abundant, reasonably well-educated, cheap labor force. Underdeveloped infrastructure, logistics in particular, and an unfavorable business and investment environment hinder it from participating in such networks in East Asia. Service link costs, for connecting production sites in Myanmar and other remote fragmented production blocks or markets, have not fallen sufficiently low to enable firms, including multi-national corporations to reduce total costs, and so the Myanmar economy has failed to attract foreign direct investments. Border industry offers a solution. The Myanmar economy can be connected to the regional and global economy through its borders with neighboring countries, Thailand in particular, which already have logistic hubs such as deep-sea ports, airports and trunk roads. This paper examines the source of competitiveness of border industry by considering an example of the garment industry located in the Myanmar-Thai border area. Based on such analysis, we recognize the prospects of border industry and propose some policy measures to promote this on Myanmar soil." Keywords: Myanmar (Burma), Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), regional cooperation, border industry, cross-border trade, migrant workers, logistics, center-periphery JEL classification: F15, F22, J31, L67
Author/creator: Toshihiro Kudo
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies (IDE Discussion Paper 122)
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008