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NTS-Asia Newsletter

NTS-Asia Newsletter No.19

Contents:
The NTS-Asia Newsletter Team
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Cheryl Lim, Roderick Chia, Sofiah Jamil and Steven Poh.

Websites:

Event Highlight

3rd NTS-Asia Annual Convention 2009

3-4 November 2009
NTS-Asia Secretariat
Singapore

The 3rd Consortium of Non-Traditional Security Studies in Asia (NTS-Asia) Annual Convention organised by the NTS-Asia Secretariat, based in the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), allowed consortium members to take stock of the group’s activities for the year and to chart directions for the future. The convention also gave members an opportunity to discuss prevailing non-traditional security (NTS) issues affecting the region, particularly with respect to the problems of climate change, natural disasters, conflict and crime, the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), and an assortment of various other issues affecting Asia.

The panel on ‘Climate Change, Insecurities and Challenges’ focused on various themes. One was the climate change implications in Bangladesh and the need for state and non-state actors to develop adaptation strategies. Another presentation was on the value of mitigation and adaptation strategies in climate change studies and the need for the formulation of regional and global mechanisms to optimise existing resources. A third presentation was the issue of access to natural resources as part of the adaptation aspect of climate change. The last presentation was on the positioning of the human security approach in the current climate security debate.

The second panel of the convention focused on ‘Natural Disasters and Humanitarian Emergencies’, with presenters deliberating on the social and economic consequences of natural disasters based on country-specific examples. Discussions covered the source of vulnerabilities experienced by victims of natural disasters and the need for more ground-level research on environmental and human security. Panelists also spoke on the importance of building a common framework to measure the economic costs of natural disasters, and discussed the issue of disaster management and its attendant challenges. There was a general consensus to move towards capacity building in the form of increased coordination and collaboration across all sectors and levels of government.

Presentations in the session on ‘Conflicts, Crimes and Human Vulnerabilities’ first examined conflict in the southern Philippines and the subsequent displacement of Filipino women in the area. Focus then shifted to corruption in Bangladesh with its root causes and potential feasible solutions. Due attention was also given to governance failures in fisheries and its socio-economic ramifications, as well as maritime insecurity perpetuated by non-state actors in the Indian Ocean and how they affected the security of individuals and communities.

Discussion in the fourth panel focused on the prospects of the RtoP dictum in Asia. Debate was centred on the concept of the RtoP, the prospects and challenges of implementing the RtoP in Asia, and on a case study which examined the extent of the application of the RtoP in Indonesia.

The final two panels on ‘NTS Issues in the Region’ examined an interesting array of NTS themes. These included radicalisation in Bangladesh and the value of adopting a secular cultural approach to manage the threat, the challenges of multiculturalism in Malaysia, the development of theoretical concepts of frontier security studies and its link to minority communities in China, the management of risk perception and risk communication in an environment of apocalyptic language, the pattern of Chinese migration in the region as influenced by the policies of source and destination countries, an overview of the human security landscape in Japan, and the prospects of a proposal to establish a Nansha Energy Development Organisation to resolve the Spratly Islands dispute.

The ensuing panel discussions witnessed a vigorous exchange of views on the issues raised. Key takeaways from these discussions included the need for governments to recognise the severity of NTS challenges and the impact they exacted on individuals and communities, the urgent need for state and non-state actors to work towards capacity building to handle NTS threats, as well as the need to move beyond the local to establish regional and global mechanisms to tackle these insecurities.

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Announcements

Call for Applications for ­NTS-Asia Research Fellowship (2010)

The Consortium of NTS-Asia through the support of the Ford Foundation invites applications for the NTS-Asia Research Fellowship. To commence in July, this three-month research fellowship programme offers successful applicants an opportunity to work on a wide range of NTS issues in Asia. Three fellowship positions are available this year and each fellowship comes with a stipend of US$8,000 (all inclusive* for the duration of the fellowship). Young scholars are encouraged to apply.

Successful candidates can choose to conduct their research at any of the 21 NTS-Asia member institutes. Member institutes are listed below:

  1. Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APCR2P), University of Queensland, Australia
  2. Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), Bangladesh
  3. Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), Bangladesh
  4. Centre for International Security Studies (CISS), University of Sydney, Australia
  5. Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Indonesia
  6. Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), India
  7. Centre of Asian Studies (CAS), University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  8. Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
  9. Delhi Policy Group, India
  10. Ilmin International Relations Institute (IIRI) Korea University, South Korea
  11. Institute for Human Security, Latrobe University, Australia
  12. Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (ISDS), The Philippines
  13. Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (IAPS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), China
  14. Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
  15. Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), Vietnam
  16. Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
  17. Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), Sri Lanka
  18. RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  19. WorldFish Center, Malaysia
  20. Waseda University, Japan
  21. Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), Foundation for Universal Responsibility, India

NTS-Asia research fellows are expected to produce at least one publishable research paper – in the form of a journal article, monograph or working paper - at the end of the fellowship period. All interested applicants should submit their applications via email by Friday, 16 April 2010, with the following information:

  1. A research proposal of about 2,000 words which should include a statement on the aims and objectives of the project, the time frame for the project, the NTS-Asia institution of choice, and reasons why it is the most suitable institution for such research, and  output.
  2. Information on his/her expertise in relation to the research that is to be carried out.
  3. Two recommendation letters, including one from the applicant’s organisation.
  4. A curriculum vitae and a copy of his/her highest level of education reached.

All interested applicants should submit proposals via email to:

Ms Cheryl Lim, Programme Officer at the NTS-Asia Secretariat and the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies at ischeryllim@ntu.edu.sg.

Or via mail to the NTS-Asia Secretariat at the following address:

The NTS-Asia Secretariat
c/o Associate-Professor Mely Caballero-Anthony
Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)
Nanyang Technological University
Block S4, Level B4, Nanyang Avenue
Singapore 639798

The closing deadline for all applications is Friday, 16 April 2010.

*All inclusive refers to airfare, visa fees, room and board as well as any other incidentals during the duration of the fellowship.


Call for Presentation Proposals for 3rd Annual Biosecurity Symposium

The National Centre for Biosecurity plans to hold the 3rd Annual Biosecurity Symposium at the Australian National University, Canberra, from 1 to 2 February 2010 and invites proposals for presentations addressing the theme of  ‘Global Health Security’ in one or more of the following areas:

  • Responding to infectious disease crises in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.
  • The epidemiology of public health and animal health emergencies.
  • The development and use of biological weapons by state and non-state actors.
  • Ethical dilemmas and security risks of research on pathogenic micro-organisms.
  • International law and domestic regulation.
  • Relevance and applications of new technologies to biosecurity challenges.
  • Ethical, social and cultural dimensions of biosecurity.

More information on the symposium is available here.

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Recent Events

Second International Workshop: Himalayan Sub-Regional Cooperation on Water Security

15-16 January 2010
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)
Bangladesh

Trans-boundary collaboration on the issue of shared water is critical since water is scarce in most areas. Today, the Himalayan region is facing severe water stress; due to the retreat of glaciers, resulting in a decline in river flows in parts of the region and flooding in other parts, tectonic changes in the Himalayan region, and threats to food security. To overcome the challenge, there is a need to promote Himalayan sub-regional cooperation to ensure water security and a climate of peace and progress.

Against this backdrop, BIPSS recently hosted the Second International Workshop on Himalayan Sub-regional Cooperation for Water Security in Dhaka from 15 to 16 January, 2010, in collaboration with the Strategic Foresight Group, India. The workshop was attended by delegations from China, India, Nepal, Bangladesh as well as representatives from other international organisations. The delegations comprised water experts, specialists and scholars including the former ministers of water resources of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. This is the second in a series of workshops that deals with water management in the Himalayan basin. The first workshop was held in Kathmandu in August 2009. More details on the workshop are available here.


BIPSS participates in UN Meeting on Climate Change and International Security in Copenhagen

15 December 2009
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)
Bangladesh

A major United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-15) event titled Climate Change and International Security aimed at discussing the security implications of climate change was organised by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 15 December 2009. The speakers in this special event included Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); European Union President, Carl Biltt; United Nations Development Programme Administrator and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark; and BIPSS President, Maj. Gen. A. N. M. Muniruzzaman (Retd) who is a member of the Institute for Environmental Security Military Advisory Council and an expert on Himalayan glacial melt.

This conference is significant as it is the first time that NATO has been involved in climate change issues at the global level. It was attended by ministerial officials and policymakers from various countries, with speakers discussing at length the various security challenges posed by climate change and its implications on the international security order. Gen. Muniruzzaman, in his presentation, noted how militaries across the world were likely to assist their respective governments in dealing with this challenge. He also highlighted the implications of climate change on Bangladesh.


Workshop on the Chinese Circulatory Diaspora

9-10 December 2009
Centre of Asian Studies (CAS)
Hong Kong

Co-organised by the School of Population Health and the School of Asian Studies of the University of Auckland, and CAS in the University of Hong Kong, this Chinese Circulatory Diaspora workshop provided an opportunity for Hong Kong returnees who have stayed for extended lengths of time in New Zealand to share their insights and experiences on re-settlement in Hong Kong. During the workshop, participants highlighted the challenges they faced, the re-adjustments that had to be made and the opportunities presented to them during their re-integration into Hong Kong society. The workshop was held from 9 to 10 December 2009 in the University of Hong Kong.


BIPSS Roundtables

6-7 December 2009
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)
Bangladesh

BIPSS also recently organised The Roundtable on Understanding Aviation Security and the Roundtable on Sino-US Relationship: Emerging Trends and Possibilities, held on 7 and 6 December 2009 respectively. More details on the roundtables are available here.


From Race Discrimination Legislation to the Development of Equal Opportunities in Postcolonial Hong Kong

25 November 2009
Centre of Asian Studies (CAS)
Hong Kong

The seminar From Race Discrimination Legislation to the Development of Equal Opportunities in Postcolonial Hong Kong was organised by CAS on 25 November 2009. The speaker, Ms Baig Raees Begum, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration based in the University of Hong Kong, presented her study on the relationships between Hong Kong’s civil society, the Chinese government and the United Nations. Members of Hong Kong’s civil society have been increasingly lobbying the United Nations to strengthen their influence on local policymaking. As stipulated in the Basic Law, the Chinese Central People’s Government is responsible for all foreign affairs related to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. However, the internationalisation of the current race discrimination legislation debate has not only enriched the dynamics of this relationship; it has also drawn the sovereign state into the debate.

Through an exploration of the relationships among the four policymaking forces that shaped the development of race relations in Hong Kong, Ms Begum’s study found that the relationships among the political actors have never been static and that their evolving relationships have shaped the outcome of the legislation. As the first equal opportunity debate after the handover of Hong Kong to China, it serves as an example for future equal opportunity debates in contemporary Hong Kong.

More information on CAS activities is available here.


Conference on Human Security Approach to Counter Extremism in South Asia: Relevance of Japanese Culture

24-25 November 2009
Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS)
Bangladesh

BIISS with the support of the Japan Foundation organised a two-day international conference on Human Security Approach to Counter Extremism in South Asia: Relevance of Japanese Culture from 24 to 25 November 2009. Maj. Gen. Sheikh Md Monirul Islam, Director General of BIISS, delivered the welcome address. Advocate Shahara Khatun, Member of Parliament and Honourable Minister for Home Affairs of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest at the inaugural session of the conference. His Excellency, Mr Tamotsu Shinotsuka, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh was also present as the Special Guest at the inaugural session. Maj. Gen. Muhammed Firdaus Mian, BIISS Chairman of Board of Governors chaired the session.

Scholars from Bangladesh, India, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka presented papers at the conference. In the first working session, papers presented included ‘State of Human Security in South Asia’ and ‘Mapping Extremism in South Asia’.

Presentations in the second and third working sessions centred on the theme of ‘Human Security and Extremism: Synergy and Conflict’ in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. A paper on ‘Human Security as a Policy Tool in Japan’ was also presented.

In the fourth and concluding session, the Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Tokyo, Japan, and BIISS jointly presented papers on ‘Japan and Its Culture of Peace: Relevance for South Asia’ and ‘A Comparative Study of the Solutions and their Practicability’. The two-day conference witnessed enthusiastic participation and lively debate from academics, media representatives, government officials, businessmen, representatives from civil society and non-governmental organisations, as well as other concerned professionals who attended the conference.

Papers presented during the conference are available here.


Follow-up Workshop of the Shimla Summer School

21-22 November 2009
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)
India

A two-day follow-up workshop of the previous summer school on Research Methodology: Analysing Quantitative Data on Indian Politics organised by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, in partnership with the Lokniti Programme for Comparative Democracy in CSDS was conducted by Prof. Pradeep Chhibber, Director of the Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, from 21 to 22 November 2009 at CSDS, in New Delhi. The five papers discussed issues such as satisfaction among Indian Muslims with respect to democracy, factors affecting political attitudes and electoral choices, as well as the support for democracy and the understanding of democracy in India. The workshop was conducted to refine the methodology used and the arguments made, while providing a definite direction to the various research questions explored by the authors. All five papers used the National Election 2004 data set.

The November 2009 edition of the Lokniti Newsletter is available here.


National Security and Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh Workshop

16-19 November 2009
Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS)
Bangladesh

A four-day workshop on National Security and Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh was held at Hotel Westin, Dhaka, from 16 to 19 November 2009. It was jointly organised by BIISS and the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) with the support of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

The aim of the workshop was to discuss the priorities outlined by Bangladesh in achieving national security development and civil-military interactions, how these priorities should be ranked, and what challenges lay ahead when it came to formulating ideas that were meant to materialise into permanent practices. Forty high-level Bangladeshi officials and practitioners from the security and civil sectors, including experts from think-tanks, deliberated on national security and civil-military relations priorities, the challenges to these priorities and the responses needed to face the challenges. Apart from the two plenary sessions, there were several sessions in which keynote speeches were delivered by distinguished speakers.

Presentations delivered during the workshop included ‘National Security Priorities’, ‘Civil-Military Relations’, ‘National Security and Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh’, ‘Issues and Challenges to Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh’, and ‘Meeting the Challenges to Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh’. The concluding session saw participants presenting a ‘Final Report: Priorities, Challenges and Responses’ arising from the workshop.

Papers presented during the conference are available here.


WISI-RSIS Centre for NTS Studies Workshop on Non-Traditional Security

2 November 2009
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
Singapore

Under the Warwick International Security Initiative (WISI), the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies and the University of Warwick co-organised a day-long NTS workshop on 2 November 2009. This was one of three workshops held to mark the official launch of the Nanyang Technological University-Warwick Double Masters Programme in International Studies.

The WISI-RSIS Centre for NTS Studies NTS workshop provided an invaluable opportunity to showcase both European and Asian perspectives on NTS issues and allowed participants to identify best practices in tackling current NTS challenges. The growing importance and significance of NTS issues worldwide highlights a need for the international community to understand, prepare and devise innovative ways to respond to NTS challenges. Collaborative workshops such as this one are not only timely but are also useful in generating greater interaction and fostering dialogue between the Asian and European communities, in order to address the various global NTS themes of energy security, economic underdevelopment, migration and human security, and food security.

Presentations and discussions during the workshop focused on a wide range of NTS topics. Session One focused on conceptual and theoretical issues that underpin NTS with relation to climate change and environmental security, as well as the history of securitisation and its consequences for the securitisation of NTS issues. Session Two concentrated on the energy security landscape in Southeast Asia with a special focus on nuclear energy, the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in energy security in the region and the problematisation of energy security through government policy, with the United Kingdom as a case study. Session Three’s presentations focused on food security challenges that arise in fisheries and aquaculture, as well as a presentation on the use of the Complexity Science Theory to examine NTS issues. The final session examined labour migration trends of Southeast Asian women and the attendant human security concerns surrounding their international movements, in addition to a presentation on the conceptual and policy benefits when considering economic security in Asia in relation to governance issues.

A conference report comprising the proceedings of all three Warwick workshops will be made available online soon.

For more information on RSIS Centre for NTS Studies’ events click here.


CISS discusses Climate Change and National Security Planning in the US

21 and 26 October 2009
Centre for International Security Studies (CISS)
Australia

On 21 October 2009, CISS Director, Prof. Alan Dupont, spoke on the strategic implications of climate change at the influential Council on Foreign Relations during his visit to New York. The select audience included representatives from business, government, academe and the US national security community.

Five days later, Prof. Dupont visited the Centre for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University in California for discussions on national security planning with Prof. Bill Reckmeyer and Dr Stephen Stedman. Prof. Reckmeyer is a former chief systems scientist for the US Department of Defence and Dr Stedman is a former Assistant Secretary-General and special adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Prof. Dupont and Prof. Reckmeyer will work together early this year on a joint study that will develop an efficacious set of metrics for assessing strategic risk in an era of multiple security challenges.


Conference on Energy Security in Southeast Asia and Beyond – From Competition to Cooperation? Civil Society’s Stake in Asia’s and Europe’s Energy Policy

20-22 October 2009
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
Singapore

The RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia, hosted a conference from 20 to 22 October 2009 in Singapore, titled Energy Security in Southeast Asia and Beyond – from Competition to Cooperation? Civil Society’s Stake in Asia’s and Europe’s Energy Policy. This event was particularly timely, in view of the twin-pillared global energy challenges Asia and Europe are currently facing, namely increasing energy consumption needs and climate change. The conference served as a common platform for policymakers and CSO representatives from Asia and Europe specialising in the field of energy security, to discuss pertinent issues and share regional insights related to the roles of CSOs in energy policymaking processes.

A sustainable, low-carbon, development path can no longer operate without taking into account the increasingly important roles of CSOs in the energy policymaking process. Ultimately, CSOs strive to improve governance through the empowerment of the general public; enhancement of government transparency and accountability; and to complement states’ capacities in providing energy security to the people. CSOs’ involvement in energy security, revolving around the ‘3As’ of awareness, action and advocacy was a recurring theme throughout the conference. The conference also served to highlight the continued relevance and significance of increased CSO engagement in energy security.

In general, participants agreed that CSOs would play an increasing role in energy security in the foreseeable future, especially in Asia where governance deficits in some countries have more often than not obstructed effective energy policymaking. During the second part of the conference, participants engaged in lively brainstorming sessions on the trajectory of CSOs’ activities in the area of energy security, and mapped out ideas which could better position CSOs in augmenting governments’ roles in energy policymaking. Interesting initiatives, from seeking ways to forge an integrated framework for CSOs involved in energy policymaking, to advocating local energy self-reliance at community levels, were thoughtfully conceived by the participants.

A briefing paper on the outcomes of the workshop and presentations by the CSO participants are available here.


Non-Traditional Security and Set Pair Analysis Conference

17-18 October 2009
Center for Non-Traditional Security & Peaceful Development (NTS-PD) Studies
Zhejiang University
China

The Non-Traditional Security and Set Pair Analysis National Conference was held on 17 and 18 October 2009, by the Center for NTS-PD Studies of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. More than 64 experts, professors, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students from Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and 13 other provinces attended the conference, 

The conference was opened by Prof. Yu Xiaofeng, Director of the Center for NTS-PD Studies. A total of 29 speakers presented their research, including Prof. Mi Hong, Vice-Director of the Center for NTS-PD Studies; Prof. Jiang Yuqiang, Vice-Dean of the College of Economics of Zhejiang University; Prof. Wang Dong from Nanjing University; Prof. Jing Juliang from Hefei Industrial University; Prof. Wang Decai from Zhejiang Industrial University; and Prof. Zhao Keqing, Director of the Connection Mathematics Institute, who also delivered the closing speech.

The topics presented at the conference included the following: NTS model research, environmental security, water resource security, information security, geological and natural hazard security, mining security, non-military equipment safety, public crises, and more. In addition, there was an extensive discussion on the development and theories of Set Pair Analysis, which is a mathematical approach that uses matrix pairs to analyse uncertain events and predict real-life crises. The participants also debated how Set Pair Analysis should deal with the ‘certain’ and its relationship with the ‘uncertain’ from the philosophical and mathematical perspectives.

NTS issues pose an ongoing challenge for all countries, a challenge that is largely influenced by ‘uncertain’ societal factors. To address this, the Center for NTS-PD Studies announced that it would establish the Institute for Non-Traditional Security and Set Pair Analysis with Prof. Zhao Keqing as the institute’s director. In addition, it was decided that the Center for NTS-PD Studies will edit and publish a volume of collected works on the topic of NTS and Set Pair Analysis.


CISS congratulates its First Graduate in the Master of International Security

9 October 2009
Centre for International Security Studies (CISS)
Australia

Ms Jennifer Hunt (left) and Dr Leanne Piggott (right)
Ms Jennifer Hunt became the first graduate of the CISS Master of International Security (MIntSec) at a ceremony on Friday, 9 October 2009. The ceremony was also attended by MIntSec Programme Director, Dr Leanne Piggott.

Ms Hunt is an international student from America who was attracted to the MIntSec by the mix of both traditional and non-traditional security topics on offer. She enjoyed the time spent working closely with world-class academics and appreciated the small-class settings that encouraged lively debate. While completing her degree, she also worked as a research assistant and tutor, which she regarded as part of her professional training.

Hooked on international security, Ms Hunt is now enrolled in a postgraduate research degree with CISS. In July last year, she was given the opportunity to present a paper at a conference held at The University of Sydney. Her paper, entitled ‘Great Expectations: Prospect Theory and Oil Price Volatility’, has been accepted for publication in an edited book, The Economics of Peace and War, which is due for publication this year.

The MIntSec programme continues to build in scope and prestige, enrolling around 40 new students each year. CISS aims to further develop the programme this year with its largest cohort of students to date.


CISS runs First Ever Executive Education Course on National Security in Australia

28 September to 2 October 2009
Centre for International Security Studies (CISS)
Australia

CISS successfully ran the first ever executive education course in Australia on national security for middle-level officers of the Public Service, military and police from 28 Sept to 2 October 2009. The departments and agencies represented included Prime Minister and Cabinet, Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Attorney Generals, AusAID (the Australian government overseas aid programme), the Australian Federal Police and the New South Wales Police. Distinguished speakers included former Defence Minister and Member of Parliament, the Honorary Joel Fitzgibbon; former Deputy Premier of New South Wales, the Honorary John Watkins; former Prime Ministerial Chief of Staff, Arthur Sinodinos; and the current Deputy National Security Advisor Angus Campbell and Ambassador for Counter Terrorism, Mr William Paterson. The centre is currently in the process of negotiating another executive education course for leading members of the Public Service, military and police.


The Nexus of Traditional and Non-Traditional Security Dynamics: Chinese Experiences Meet Global Challenges

18-20 September 2009
Center for Non-Traditional Security & Peaceful Development (NTS-PD) Studies
Zhejiang University
China

An international conference titled The Nexus of Traditional and Non-Traditional Security Dynamics: Chinese Experiences Meet Global Challenges was held at Zhejiang University National Science Park, Hangzhou, China from 18 to 20 September 2009. The conference was hosted and organised by the Center for NTS-PD Studies, Zhejiang University.

The conference’s theme reflects recent developments in China, especially the growing awareness in both academic and policymaking circles of the importance of NTS studies. It is commonly accepted that security issues of one kind or another affect more areas of national and international life than was the case in the past – or at any rate more areas than was previously appreciated. In the new security environment, traditional and non-traditional security threats, comprising political, military, economic, cultural and other dimensions, are perceived as intertwined and overlapping. As Chinese President Hu Jintao, suggested when addressing the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the security of all countries has never been as closely interconnected as it is today. Thus, at the academic level, it becomes necessary to view security itself in a broader perspective. More immediately, new and more cooperative approaches are required to meet more diverse and complex NTS challenges in an increasingly globalised world.

The conference brought together some 20 world-class scholars from the fields of international relations and international security studies. It explored the nexus of traditional and non-traditional security dynamics, especially in terms of China’s response to NTS threats. The group analysed and compared NTS challenges faced by China and by the international community, and then sought to develop new approaches to these challenges.

In one session, Prof. Barry Buzan, Montague Burton Professor of International Relations from the London School of Economics; Prof. Amitav Acharya, Professor of International Relations from the American University; and Prof. Lene Hansen, Professor of International Relations in the University of Copenhagen, examined conceptual and methodological perspectives with the aim of developing a more viable and comprehensive framework for NTS studies.

In another session, Prof. Shen Dingli, Executive Vice Dean of the Institute of International Studies in Fudan University; Prof. Wang Yizhou, Deputy Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; and Prof. Yu Xiaofeng, Director of the Center for NTS-PD Studies in Zhejiang University, discussed China’s view and approaches to NTS issues.

Prof. Zhu Feng, Deputy Director of the Centre for International and Strategic Studies in Peking University and Prof. Chen Zhimin, Deputy Director of the Centre for European Studies in Fudan University, addressed NTS issues in East Asian and European regional contexts.

Another group of speakers comprising Prof. Rosemary Foot, Professor of International Relations and Swire Senior Research Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford University; Prof. Brian Job, Director of the Centre for International Relations in the University of British Columbia; and Prof. Dennis Altman, Professor of Politics and Director of the Institute for Human Security in La Trobe University, considered human security issues, focusing particular attention on the issues of AIDS and the RtoP.

Lastly, Prof. Mi Hong, Deputy Director of the Center for NTS-PD Studies in Zhejiang University; Prof. Xu Lili, Deputy Director of the Centre for Studies of Ethnic Minorities in Northwest China at Lanzhou University; Prof. Yang Chuang, Professor of International Relations in China Foreign Affairs University; Prof. Zhang Junhua, Professor of Political Science in Zhejiang University; Prof. Katherine Morton, Research Fellow at the Australian National University; Prof. Wang Jiangli, Lecturer of International Politics in Zhejiang University; and Prof. Cui Shunji, Lecturer of International Politics in Zhejiang University, analysed various NTS issues in China, including social security, climate change, and ethnic frontier regional security.

More information on the conference is available here.


GPPAC-SA marks International Peace Day

7 September 2009
The Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS)
Sri Lanka

As the South Asian regional initiator for the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) that focuses on International Peace Day as a rallying point, RCSS organised a wall painting event in the town of Kantale, 46 kilometres south of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.

With the ready support of the Zonal Education Office of Kantale, GPPAC-South Asia (GGPAC-SA) brought together youths from 12 schools in the area, representing the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities. An art competition among schools was conducted on 7 September through which skilled students were selected to paint the wall of the Zonal Education Office of Kantale. The Zonal Education Office of Kantale coordinates the educational activities of 13,000 students in schools in the area.

The outer wall of the office was the most appropriate space where the dreams, hopes and skills of Kantale’s multi-ethnic youth could be captured in paintings on the themes of peace and nature. This was indeed a groundbreaking collaboration between GPPAC-SA and the educational establishment in the area.

Multi-ethnic interaction, nature appreciation, and a focus on common positive platforms of convergence such as the link between humanity, peace and nature were some of the principle objectives of the project. This activity was also the first in the area that brought youths of different ethnicities and religions together over a period of six consecutive days.

Among those that spoke at the event was Prof. R. A. Ariyaratne, Director of the RCSS/GPPAC-SA, who spoke on the importance of co-existence in a multi-ethnic country. He expressed deep appreciation for the efforts of the Zonal Education Office and noted that these initiatives would bring about proper interaction among the students in the area and enhance reconciliation efforts.

To read more about this event click here.


International Policy Towards Burma/Myanmar: A Roundtable Discussion

5 September 2009
Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (ISDS)
The Philippines

The ISDS, together with the Asia Society in New York, hosted a roundtable discussion on Burma/Myanmar on 5 September 2009. The event brought together scholars, think-tank analysts, academics, and representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Defense, the Commission on Human Rights, as well as appropriate committees in the legislature. Participants brainstormed the direction and substance of the Philippines’ current policy towards Burma/Myanmar and formulated policy recommendations.


Seminar on From Winning the War to Winning Peace: Postwar Rebuilding of the Society in Sri Lanka

28-29 August 2009
The Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS)
Sri Lanka

The seminar From Winning the War to Winning Peace: Postwar Rebuilding of the Society in Sri Lanka, jointly organised by the RCSS in Colombo and the Centre for Security Analysis (CSA) in Chennai, India, was an opportunity for academics, analysts and professionals to study and comment on the future and opportunities of Sri Lanka, post-The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The two-day seminar which took place at Hotel Taj Samudra in Colombo attracted members of leading government agencies and think-tanks, experts, the media and members of the diplomatic corps and international agencies. ‘Voices from Across the Palk Strait’ joined ‘Voices from Sri Lanka’ to lead the deliberations of the seminar.

In his opening address, Prof. Amal Jayawardane, Executive Director of RCSS, thanked Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe, and Minister for Science and Technology, Tissa Vitharana, for their participation in the seminar and welcomed the large number of participants present. He outlined the background of the seminar and emphasised its objective which was to reflect on the reconstruction and peacebuilding activities in Sri Lanka that would allow long-term social, economic and political stability to take root in the aftermath of the military defeat of the LTTE. Prof. Jayawardane also offered his thanks to CSA President, Lt Gen. V. Raghavan, for the opportunity to work together in organising the event, and expressed the hope that it would be the beginning of a fruitful partnership with CSA.

Delivering the introductory remarks on the seminar’s concept, Lt Gen. V. Ragahavan observed that the seminar was a timely event, with the participation of the ‘Friends of Sri Lanka’ in India, particularly those in Chennai. He went on to introduce the themes of ‘Economic Reconstruction’, ‘Socio-Ethnic Cohesion’ and ‘Political Accommodation’, under which panel discussions would take place during the working sessions of the seminar.

The first session, ‘Economic Reconstruction’was chaired by Prof. W. D. Lakshman, Senior Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, and Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Taxation, with three experts presenting papers. The first presentation was made on ‘Strategies to Accelerate Infrastructural Development in Sri Lanka’by Dr Partha Mukhopadhyay, Senior Fellow in the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. The second presentation on ‘Economic Development and Reconstruction of the North-East: Problems and Prospects’ was made by Dr Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka. The third on ‘Economic Freedom: The Path to Economic cum Political Empowerment of the Conflict Region’was delivered by Dr Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, Principal Researcher in the Point Pedro Institute of Development.

Ambassador Sumith Nakandala, Additional Director-General of the United Nations and Multilateral Organisations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chaired the second session on ‘Socio-Ethnic Cohesion’with three other experts making presentations. Mr B. G. Verghese, Visiting Professor in the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, spoke on ‘Reconciling Ethnic Diversities’.Prof. R. A. Ariyaratne, Director of RCSS, focused on ‘Conflict-Induced Displaced Population of Sri Lanka: Challenges for the Future’. Mrs Deshabandu Jezima Ismail, Founder Co-ordinator of the Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum, presented the third paper on ‘Transformation of Conflict with a Focus on Stabilising and Rebuilding of Relationships’.

Prof. Tissa Vitharana, Minister of Science and Technology and Chairman of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) of Sri Lanka, delivered the opening remarks at the commencement of the third session of the seminar, on ‘Political Accommodation’. Outlining the action taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to prepare the final resolution to the North East problem, Minister Vitharana referred to the work of the APRC and stated that the summary of the APRC proposals prepared at the conclusion of the meetings, would recommend ‘a home- grown’ solution to the issues of concern.

The third and final session was chaired by Lt Gen. V. R. Raghavan. A paper on ‘Some Parameters of Political Reforms in Winning Peace after the War’was presented by Prof. Laksiri Fernando, Professor in the University of Colombo. A presentation on ‘Postwar Rebuilding: Constitutional Recipe for Political Accommodation’was delivered by Mr N. Selvakkumaran, Dean of the Faculty of Law in the University of Colombo. Bringing the seminar to a conclusion was a paper on ‘Testing the Waters and Testing the Will’by Mr N. Sathiya Moorthy, Director of the Observer Research Foundation, Chennai Chapter. The papers presented at each session led to a vibrant discussion of the respective themes, and positive recommendations emerged at the end of the event.


Conference on Climate Insecurities, Human Security and Social Resilience

27-28 August 2009
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
Singapore

In recent years, scientific analyses on climate change have called for the increased adoption of both mitigation and adaptation strategies, with mitigation enjoying relatively more attention compared to adaptation. In response to this gap in knowledge and policy, the Asia Security Initiative (ASI) project on climate change and environmental security, led by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies and funded by the MacArthur Foundation, held a conference in Singapore aimed at examining the importance of adaptation and building social resilience for those communities and countries most affected by climate change, of which there are many in the Asia-Pacific.

The Conference on Climate Insecurities, Human Security and Social Resilience aimed to come to a better understanding of the implications of climate change for Southeast and Northeast Asia, so that specific ‘climate security’ measures could be formulated. Bringing together reputable security and political analysts, economists and environmentalists, it examined climate change from a human security perspective at both national and regional levels.

During the opening session, Assoc. Prof. Mely Caballero-Anthony, Head of the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies and Ambassador Barry Desker, Dean of RSIS, stressed the importance of measuring the potential impact of climate change in Asia, as well as increasing the general awareness of climate change. The next session, titled ‘Balancing Knowledge and Policy’ discussed ways in which policies in Asia have taken into account scientific findings and existing knowledge on climate change in the region. The session also elaborated on multilateral agreements, as well as the preparedness of Asian societies and states in dealing with the problems generated by climate change.

Throughout the conference, there was an emphasis on social resilience which reflects an NTS approach to the study of climate change. Building social resilience is pertinent for communities that aim to cope with the changes caused by climate change. As such, the session on the ‘Vulnerabilities of Communities in Asia’ specifically examined the different challenges faced by different communities in the region as a consequence of climate change. It drew on examples from forestry communities, coastal communities, the urban poor and women in different parts of Asia.

The next session, ‘Understanding Human Insecurities in Climate-Conflict’ examined climate change as a threat multiplier, explored the potential consequences of climate change on forced migration in Bangladesh and measured cooperation on cross-border resource management in Southeast Asia.

Strategies discussed at the conference for dealing with climate change were multi-level as well as multilateral in nature, involving governments, regional institutions, local communities and non-governmental actors. The session on ‘Stakeholders’ Roles and Responsibilities’ discussed the roles of development agencies, non-governmental organisations and the military in addressing climate change. The session titled ‘Integrating Climate Change to Regional and National Policies’ examined the case of water security regimes based on a case study of the Lower Mekong Basin, and the need to integrate adaptation strategies for a sustainable development agenda. The importance of building regional cooperation among governments, business and civil society as well as the sharing of knowledge was highlighted.

The conference concluded that a new way of thinking is needed in addressing the unorthodox security consequences of climate change, which must take into consideration existing societal layers within communities and power asymmetry in the region. It was also acknowledged that there is an urgent need to translate this knowledge into policies and to a wider public.

To read the climate change report click here.


Global Consortium on Security Transformation Study Group on Regional Security Inception Meeting

Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (ISDS)
15 August 2009
The Philippines

As the implementing institution of the Working Group of Regional Security, ISDS Philippines organised the inception meeting of this working group on 15 August 2009. Working group members  discussed various aspects of the project that focuses on perspectives, conceptions, discourses, debates, processes and activities, amongst others, of formal institutionalised intergovernmental organisations (‘above’) and informal, non-institutionalised non-governmental groups (‘below’) in order to determine how regional security is viewed by these two sets of security actors in Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and West Africa. The goal was to find ways in which views regarding regional security by security actors from ‘below’ might be able to provide inputs to and be reflected in the security policymaking of those from ‘above’.


CISS conducts field research in Pakistan

August 2009
Centre for International Security Studies (CISS)
Australia

In August 2009, Dr Sarah Phillips conducted field research in Pakistan for three weeks, where she collected material for her ongoing research on the relationship between tribes, militant jihadis and the state in fragile countries. This, combined with first-hand observations of the obstacles to international aid delivery in these environments, provided her Master’s unit ‘Fragile States and State-Building’ with useful insights from the field for students interested in pursuing a career overseas.

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Recent Publications

National Security Bangladesh 2008
Edited by Sheikh Mohd Monirul Islam, Book, Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), 2009

The National Security Bangladesh 2008 is an annual publication produced by BIISS. The book was launched by the institute on 24 November 2009 and offers multidisciplinary and multidimensional analyses of national security, highlighting the challenges to security at the national, regional and international levels. This volume is the second in a BIISS series that covers developments in the year 2008.

 

Pakistan: Haunting Shadows of Human Security
Edited by Jennifer Bennett, Book, Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), 2009

This book discusses human security issues in Pakistan as part of a series of books on South Asian Human Security. Topics covered include democracy, governance and human security; prospects and challenges of education reform; women, violence and rights; water security and food security, amongst others. It then goes on to provide policy recommendations for the themes discussed.

 

Solution to the Dilemma of the Migrant Labor Shortage and the Rural Labor Surplus in China
Guifu Chen and Shigeyuki Hamori, Journal Article, China & World Economy, Volume 17 Issue 4, pp. 53 – 71

Since 2003, China's labour market has been facing two co-existing crises: A rural labour surplus and a severe shortage of migrant labour. Using data extracted from the 2000 China Health and Nutrition Survey questionnaire, which covered 288 villages in 36 counties, this paper attempts to find a solution to this dilemma. Various models, namely, a multinomial logit model, a Mincer-type model and a probit model were applied to examine the effect of educational levels on the employment choices of rural labourers, and on the wages and the employment status of migrants. Based on the results of the analysis, a policy proposal aimed at increasing the educational levels of rural dwellers, in conjunction with other policies to eliminate all artificial barriers, to facilitate the migration of rural labourers, was put forward.

 

Developing a Security Sector Reform Index in the Philippines: Towards Conflict Prevention and Peace-Building
Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (ISDS), Report, 2009

With the support of the United Nations Development Programme’s Conflict Prevention and Peace-Building Programme, ISDS has undertaken the second phase of the Project entitled Developing a Security Sector Reform Index (SSRI) in the Philippines: Towards Conflict Prevention and Peace-Building. In 2006, the Project sought to pilot-test the draft SSRI and to generate a baseline of the state of security sector governance in the country. This report covers the project’s developments.

 

Fish Supply and Food Security in South Asia
Worldfish Center, Flyer, July 2009

The combined population of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal is expected to rise from the current 1.5 billion to 2.2 billion by 2050, with the biggest increases occurring in rural areas where the poorest people live. These five South Asian countries have great potential to expand and intensify aquaculture to meet rising demand and contribute to poverty reduction and rural development. This flyer highlights the important role fisheries and aquaculture play in the alleviation of food shortage and in boosting the national economy.

 

Aquaculture Options for Alternative Livelihoods: The Experience of the Adivasi Fisheries Project in Bangladesh
Worldfish Center, Brief, 2009

The Adivasi Fisheries Project set out in 2007 to help Adivasis in the north and northwest of Bangladesh find new, more sustainable livelihoods. It is based on two decades of WorldFish Center research in Bangladesh on aquaculture techniques for smallholders and community fisheries management and targeted at a disadvantaged rural minority group known as the Adivasi. The project significantly improved Adivasi households’ livelihoods. Monitoring survey results found all of the fishery-related livelihood options profitable. This brief details the different methods employed by the center to enhance the Adivasi fisheries’ management.

 

Women Can’t Swim: Tsunami, Survival and the Gender Dimension
S. Gautham, Discussion Paper, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2009

Nineteenth in the Discussion Paperseries, ‘Women Can’t Swim: Tsunami, Survival and the Gender Dimension’ is a compilation of articles and blog posts written by the author during the course of his field trips to Tamil Nadu’s coastal areas that were affected by the tsunami in 2004. The monograph documented the many voices and concerns of women survivors of the tsunami and simultaneously opened up a space for understanding the gendered impact of disasters, relief and rehabilitation.

 

The Responsibility to Protect and the Protection of Civilians: Asia-Pacific in the UN Security Council Update No. 2
Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APCR2P), Brief, November 2009

This update briefing sets out the positions taken by Asia-Pacific governments at the most recent United Nations Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians and examines their implications for the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), particularly in light of the recent United Nations General Assembly debate on the subject. Whilst recognising that the RtoP and the protection of civilians agendas are distinct concepts, albeit with significant overlap, the report suggests that the Security Council’s most recent deliberations on the protection of civilians indicates that the Asia-Pacific region remains cautiously supportive of the RtoP, and continues to endorse protection strategies and operational concepts that can contribute to the realisation of the principle.

 

Implementing the Responsibility to Protect: Asia-Pacific in the 2009 General Assembly Dialogue
Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APCR2P), Report, October 2009

According to the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, one of the most significant aspects of the ‘Interactive and Informal Dialogue and Plenary Session’, organised by the United Nations General Assembly, was the positive transformation of attitudes towards the RtoP within the Asia-Pacific region. Having previously been considered the region most opposed to the RtoP, the region now boasts near unanimity in its endorsement of the principle and the Secretary-General’s efforts towards its implementation. As a basis for thinking about pathways to implementation, this report analyses the comments made by the region’s governments at the recent General Assembly debate. It draws attention to each nation’s respective position, and identifies both areas of regional consensus and areas that require more study and dialogue. In clarifying key commonalities and key challenges for implementing the RtoP in the Asia-Pacific region, the report provides insight into efforts which might facilitate a transition from conceptual discussions to policy and practice.

 

Nationality & Identity Shifts in Jammu and Kashmir’s Armed Conflict
Alpana Kishore, Monograph, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2009

Thirtieth in the WISCOMP Perspectives series, this monograph focuses on the way religious faultlines have shaped the creation of identity and nationality issues and affected the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir. Based on ethnographic sources and interviews, the monograph examines the beliefs and attitudes among those who have been affected by the conflict in one form or another, and the multiple identities that have clashed and coalesced as the trajectory of the conflict changed over time.

 

The Veiled Wolesi: Representing Gender in Afghanistan’s National Assembly
Swapna Kona Nayadu, Monograph, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2009

Twenty-ninth in the WISCOMP Perspectives series, ‘The Veiled Wolesi: Representing Gender in Afghanistan’s National Assembly’ documents the experiences of women members of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of the Afghan Parliament) as political representatives. Through in-depth interviews with these legislators, the researcher maps the obstacles they encounter in putting forth a gender-sensitive policy agenda. The researcher attributes these obstacles to both the historical marginalisation of women in Afghan politics and the patriarchal nature of current institutional structures. By way of conclusion, she provides some recommendations for ameliorating the marginalisation of women and their concerns in Afghan politics.

 

Whither Women’s Rights?
Annelise Ebbe and Ila Pathak, Report, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2009


‘Whither Women’s Rights?’ is the outcome of an action research project facilitated by WISCOMP, in keeping with its vision to initiate a more people-oriented and gender-sensitive dialogue on issues of security in the context of post-conflict reconstruction, rehabilitation and peace initiatives. The report documents the findings and recommendations of a team of researchers and activists from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom that visited Kandhamal, Orissa, in the aftermath of one of the worst communal carnages against the Christian minority in August 2008. The central concern of this report remains the problems associated with the abdication of the states’ responsibility to protect the human rights of its citizens, particularly those of women and children. It not only questions the insensitivity of the state machinery to the needs of women in the aftermath of the carnage, but also the silence of civil society in voicing women’s concerns. It also makes recommendations for intervention and the initiation of peace processes.

 

Reaching across Faultlines: Initiatives for Reconciliation in Gujarat
Amritha Venkatraman, Report, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2009

This publication documents the proceedings of a WISCOMP roundtable that sought to synergise the work of three peacebuilding organisations working in ‘post-conflict’ Gujarat. It examines some of the ongoing community-based initiatives in Gujarat that seek to facilitate processes of justice and reconciliation between Muslims and Hindus in the state.

 

Seeking Peace in Changing Worlds: Conflict Transformation and the New Geopolitics of Power
Manjrika Sewak, Report, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2009

This publication is based on the proceedings of the Seventh Annual WISCOMP Conflict Transformation workshop that brought together youth leaders from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and India for a dialogue-cum-training session on issues of peacebuilding in the South Asian region. Some of the themes discussed include ‘Terror and The Other’, ‘Geopolitics and Conflict Transformation’, ‘The Nuclear Conundrum’, ‘The Role of the Media in Conflict Generation and Conflict Transformation’, and ‘Exploring the Place of the Sacred in Activism for Social Change’.

 

Eliciting Grassroots Voices: Joint Samanbal Workshop on Domestic Violence, Building Constituencies of Peace: Stakeholders in Dialogue XV
Navanita Sinha and Ashima Kaul, Report, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2009

WISCOMP initiated a series of workshops on domestic violence to apprise women at the grassroots level on questions surrounding women’s rights and violence against women, as well as highlight linkages between the private and public, cultural and political violence spheres as part of its Athwaasinitiative in Jammu and Kashmir. This report documents the proceedings of the workshop.

 

Peace Prints: South Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, Vol. 2
Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), Journal, 2009

Peace Prints is a bi-annual journal designed to meet the need for generating literature and resources on peacebuilding theory, research and praxis in South Asia. The focus is on a wide range of issues that make up the map of peacebuilding, such as gender, identity, human rights, justice, trauma healing, reconciliation, conflict transformation, peace journalism, conflict-sensitive development, grassroots’ community mobilisation, policy advocacy, women’s roles in peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance, non-violent action, and peace education. The journal serves as a space for the exchange of perspectives between individuals working at the grassroots level and those from the worlds of policymaking, academia and research.

 

Al-Qa’ida, Tribes and Instability in Yemen
Sarah Phillips and Rodger Shanahan, Report, The Lowy Institute for International Policy, 2009

In a new Lowy Institute Analysis, Sarah Phillips and Rodger Shanahan discuss the re-emergence of a significant al-Qa’ida presence in Yemen. The authors focus on Al-Qa’ida’s efforts to build relations with local Yemeni tribes, something that will be central to the movement’s prospects of cementing a long-term presence in the country. The authors point to the importance of undermining any potential nexus between Al-Qaida and the tribes as critical to Western counter-terrorism efforts in the region.

 

Middle East Outlook and Energy Security in the Asia-Pacific Region
Leanne Piggott, Special Report, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Issue 23, 2009

This Special Report, authored by Leanne Piggott, explores the issue of energy security in the context of a growing dependence of the energy-hungry Asian economies on Middle Eastern supplies. While some might believe that the world is fast running out of oil, in truth the main threats to energy security are geopolitical rather than physical. For the next 30 to 50 years, energy disruptions and price hikes are more likely to result from the political and social volatility of the Middle Eastern supplier-countries, under-investment in productive capacity by national oil companies, and competitive, predatory behaviour amongst the large consumers, than from the depletion of energy reserves. Australia, if it wishes to play its part in assuring security in an energy-hungry world, should do more than explore increased fuel efficiencies and alternative sources: It should act to soften the geopolitical tensions which are the main threats to stable and reliable supplies, supporting market-based solutions that facilitate trust and promote multilateral cooperation on energy issues.

 

Is Pandemic Flu a Security Threat?
Christian Enemark, Journal Article, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, Volume 51 Issue 1, pp. 191 – 214

Historical experience indicates that the world is overdue for an influenza pandemic, and a virus with pandemic potential – the H5N1 avian influenza, which emerged in late 2003 – is still out of control. Past pandemics were all the more damaging because they took the world by surprise; however, the stakes are still high in the twenty-first century because increased human interconnectedness facilitates the global spread of disease. In the first identifiable pre-pandemic phase of human history, it makes sense to be thinking seriously about how best to prepare and respond. Yet as some governments move to prioritise this health issue by framing it in security terms, two risks emerge: Firstly, that emergency responses implemented at the domestic level might do more harm than good; secondly, that placing too great an emphasis on the health and security interests of individual states might detract from the need for long-term international cooperation on resisting pandemic influenza.

 

Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies Year in Review 2009
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, Report, 2009

Many high-impact events affecting the lives of ordinary people occurred in 2009, highlighting the growing list of NTS threats facing the region today. These include an unspooling global economy; ongoing political turmoil in China, Thailand and Myanmar; countless natural disasters, such as droughts, floods, earthquakes and storms; as well as communicable diseases — including a novel strain of the influenza virus — spreading widely. These are complex times and they are changing fast. This Year in Review showcases highlights of major NTS events that have affected states and societies in Southeast Asia, the current policy challenges and possible ways ahead.

 

Converging Peril: Climate Change and Conflict in the Southern Philippines
John Jackson Ewing, Working Paper, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, 2009

The provinces of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in the southern Philippines are experiencing convergence risks from climate change and violent conflict. These provinces combine a natural vulnerability to the effects of climate change with a low adaptive capacity to meet the challenges posed by detrimental climate shifts. Physical and societal vulnerability to climate change in ARMM provinces combines with an established conflict dynamic between elements of the Moro population and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. This NTS-Asia Research Fellowship 2008 working paper argues that recognising the interplay between climate change and insecurity is a central step towards adopting comprehensive strategies for promoting stability in Mindanao and other vulnerable regions.

 

Climate Insecurities, Human Security and Social Resilience
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, Conference Report, 2009

This report summarises the proceedings of the conference on Climate Insecurities, Human Security and Social Resilience held from 27 to 28 August 2009. The conference was conducted as part of the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative project on climate change and environmental security. It aimed to address the knowledge gap found in climate change adaptation strategies as mitigation became the focus of international debates in recent years.

 

Regional Support for Southeast Asia Disaster Preparedness
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Irene Kuntjoro and Pau Khan Khup Hangzo, NTS Alert, NTS-Asia Secretariat, November 2009

This edition of the NTS Alert seeks to map out the development of regional initiatives to support national efforts on disaster management in Southeast Asia. It is a follow-up to the first edition of the November Alert which highlighted the level of preparedness of governments in Southeast Asia, whose countries had been struck by natural disasters in the period from September to early November 2009,

 

Ensuring Good Health During the Hajj in a Time of the H1N1 Pandemic
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Sofiah Jamil and Julie Balen, NTS Alert Special Edition, NTS-Asia Secretariat, November 2009

Concerns over the continued spread of H1N1 have put the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the spotlight as a potential source of disease transmission and pandemic outbreak in 2009. This Alert sought to highlight that despite the complex circumstances surrounding pandemic preparedness during the Hajj, successful mitigation of a pandemic spread is possible with efficient multi-sectoral cooperation amongst Hajj officials and pilgrims.

 

Disaster Preparedness in Southeast Asia
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Irene Kuntjoro and Pau Khan Khup Hangzo, NTS Alert, NTS-Asia Secretariat, November 2009

In the final quarter of 2009, Southeast Asia witnessed a number of disasters that affected several countries in the region, putting affected countries’ levels of national preparedness in dealing with disasters to the test. This Alert explores how governments in this disaster-prone region responded to the impact of these large-scale events.

 

The Final Frontier: Non-Traditional Approaches to Cyber Security
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Nur Azha Putra and Kevin Punzalan, NTS Alert, NTS-Asia Secretariat, October 2009

The discourse on cyber security, a relatively new field in NTS studies, has been dominated by the need to protect information infrastructures from both state and non-state actors. However, this conception fails to consider alternative definitions of cyber security. This Alert explores alternate conceptions of cyber security which regard information access and integrity as equal to the need to protect the confidentiality of information, and allow non-state actors to act as agents of securitisation.

 

The AICHR Framework for Action
Alistair Cook, Irene Kuntjoro, Belinda Chng, NTS Insight, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, October 2009

On 23 October 2009, ASEAN formally launched the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) at the 15th ASEAN Summit in Thailand. ASEAN leaders also announced the ‘Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on the Inauguration of the AICHR’. In the Declaration, member states pledged full support to the new ASEAN body and emphasised their commitment to further develop cooperation to promote and protect human rights in the region. This Insight investigates current developments at the national, regional and international levels and how these developments can assist in formulating a framework for action for the new regional human rights body.

 

Special Edition: The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Alistair Cook, Nur Azha Putra, Steven Poh, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, October 2009

This publication gives a list of the member state representatives to the AICHR while providing a brief overview of their professional backgrounds.

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Commentaries

Climate Change Set to Trigger Conflicts in South Asia, Says Bangladeshi Security Expert
Interview of Maj. Gen. Muniruzzaman, Associate Press, 26 December 2009

COP-15: A Step Forward or a Step Backward?
Lorraine Elliott, RSIS Commentary, 130/2009, 24 December 2009

How Prepared Are We?
Irene Kuntjoro, AsiaViews, 16 December 2009

The Obama Doctrine and Southeast Asia
Alistair Cook, RSIS Commentary, 127/2009, 18 December 2009

The Curious Case of Indonesia's Democracy
Evan A. Laksmana, Foreign Policy, 7 December 2009

Digital People Power is Just Getting Started in Indonesia
Evan A. Laksmana, Today (Singapore), 21 November 2009

The Race for Land
Peter Curson and Laura Costello, ABC, 13 November 2009

Consensus Lies Far from Copenhagen
Alan Dupont, The Australian, 11 November 2009

Climate Change is Also a Defense and Security Problem
Evan A. Laksmana, The Jakarta Post, 2 November 2009

The US and Myanmar: Moving into a New Phase
Alistair Cook, RSIS Commentary, 102/2009, 20 October 2009

Managing the Terrorist Threat from Southeast Asia: A Strategic Response
Alan Dupont and Leanne Piggott, Australian Federal Police, 2009

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About the Consortium of NTS-Asia

The Consortium of NTS-Asia is a network of research institutes and think-tanks in the Asia-Pacific.

Its primary objectives are to advance the field of non-traditional security (NTS) studies in Asia, develop long-term and sustainable regional capacity for research and policy studies on a wide range of NTS issues, and develop further the process of networking among scholars and analysts working on NTS issues in the region.

Website: www.rsis-ntsasia.org; Email: NTS_Centre@ntu.edu.sg


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