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NTS-Asia Newsletter

NTS-Asia Newsletter No.21

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


Upcoming Events

Inception Meeting on ‘Dealing with Energy Vulnerabilities: Case Studies of Cooperation and Collaboration in East Asia’

RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
4 June 2010

Source: Reinbow/Wikipedia
Much literature on East Asia’s energy security has focused on the dynamics of competition over resources and how potential conflicts could arise from this. While this analytical perspective identifies potential risks and problems, it precludes the possibility that interstate cooperation is possible. Hence, going beyond the themes of competition and conflict, this project endeavours to examine interstate cooperation and collaboration in East Asia against the backdrop of continuing geopolitical uncertainties and tension. Specifically, this project aims to examine how transnational projects of energy cooperation and collaboration have taken place in East Asia, despite the emphasis on geopolitics in determining policy. It is hoped that findings obtained from this project can stimulate debates about energy policymaking and institutionalisation in the region, and add value to contemporary energy security studies in East Asia.

To mark the beginning phase of this project, an energy study group inception meeting will be held on 4 June 2010, at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore. This full-day closed-door meeting gathers interested specialists in the field of energy-related policy and cooperation studies, with the goal of finalising the research roadmap for the project. Thereafter, the project will move on to its second phase whereby commissioned writers will conduct individual research over a six-month period. This will culminate in a regional energy workshop to be held in December 2010, at which the writers will present their research findings.

Workshop on the Responsibility to Protect in Cambodia and the Philippines

Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APR2P)
June 2010
Cambodia and the Philippines

APR2P will be holding a workshop and seminars on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) in Cambodia and the Philippines respectively in June 2010. The purpose of this is to bring together members of civil society organisations, academics, members of the media and government officials to discuss RtoP and strategies for implementation in both countries. These events are held by APR2P as part of its on-going national programmes in Southeast Asia. For more information, please contact APR2P Executive Director, Dr Noel Morada (n.morada@uq.edu.au) or Outreach Director, Ms Sarah Teitt (s.teitt@uq.edu.au).

Ilmin International Relations Institute-Ministry of Unification Korea Global Forum

Ilmin International Relations Institute (IIRI)
8–10 September 2010
South Korea

IIRI and the Ministry of Unification will jointly host a three-day semi-governmental Korea Global Forum (KGF) from 8 to 10 September in Seoul this year. The KGF will be unique and unprecedented in its discussion of achieving the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula as discussions will involve the international community. Forum attendees will include prominent government officers and private experts from South Korea, the USA, Japan, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Australia and Indonesia.


The purpose of this forum is to seek out international concerns and collect extensive opinions related to the peaceful unification of Korea. The KGF is scheduled to be held annually with the intention of spreading interest in the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula across the globe and discussing realisable unification plans.

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Call for Applications for the Kodikara Awards for South Asian Strategic Studies 2010

The Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) invites applications for research grants under the Kodikara Awards programme. The grants will be awarded to young South Asian scholars to conduct policy-oriented research on strategic and international issues of contemporary South Asian interest. Nationals of all South Asian countries below 35 years of age are eligible for the grants. Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.


  • Candidates should have a Master’s degree in international relations, strategic studies, or any other related subject
  • Each grantee receives a total of US$2,000 for the study
  • Eligible candidates who wish to be considered for the awards should apply to the RCSS together with the following:

a) Full resume and contact details including telephone, fax and e-mail if any,
b) A research proposal of 750 to 1,000 words, outlining the theme, its importance, objectives, methodology, and budget,
c) Copies of up to two recently-published works if any, and
d) Two confidential letters of academic reference (to be sent directly to RCSS).

Applications via email will be preferred. Additional references may be sent by post or as scanned attachments via email.

The deadline for all applications is Thursday, 15 July 2010.

Applications and further inquiries may be addressed to:

Programme Officer
Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS)
410/27, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7
Tel: (+94-11) 2690913-4; Fax: 2690769
E-mail: programmes@rcss.org

Call for Applications for the Position of Post-Doctoral Fellow in Food Security at the Centre for International Security Studies (CISS)

The Centre for International Security Studies (CISS), based in the University of Sydney, was established to produce innovative, multidisciplinary academic research and education programmes focusing on international security and foreign policy issues. CISS analyses international and human security challenges facing Australia, Asia and the world, and is uniquely positioned to analyse and interpret strategic implications of world events for governments, businesses and individuals.

The Centre has recently been awarded a large grant from the MacArthur Foundation, one of the top 10 philanthropic organisations in the US, to conduct research in food security in the Asia-Pacific region. As part of this project, CISS seeks a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Food Security, with significant expertise in the Asia-Pacific region.

The successful applicant will be expected to lead the food security research team, comprising two PhD candidates and a research assistant, to deliver on the outcomes of the research project. Further, the successful applicant will have an opportunity to contribute to the publication of an Adelphi Paper with the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and the development of policy documents for use in the Asia-Pacific region.

Applicants will need to possess a PhD in international relations or cognate discipline awarded no earlier than December 2005. He/she should possess a background in international security and a willingness to work in a cross-disciplinary way on food security issues. Preference will be given to candidates with an additional focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

The position is a two-year appointment commencing in July 2010 to the completion of a satisfactory probation period for new appointees with the possibility of a further offer of employment. Membership of a university-approved superannuation scheme is a condition of employment for new appointees.

Interested applications should contact Gemma Connolly at gemma.connolly@sydney.edu.au

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Recent Events

7th Ilmin Forum for International Affairs and Security

Ilmin International Relations Institute (IIRI)
18 May 2010
South Korea

IIRI held the 7th edition of the Ilmin Forum for International Affairs and Security (IFIAS) on 18 May. President of the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU), Dr Suh Jae Jean, gave a talk entitled ‘Social Consequences of North Korea’s Collapse’. Through close inspection of the German unification process, Dr Suh identified possible implications for the unification of the Korean peninsula.

IIRI has successfully held seven IFIAS events since August 2009. The forum invites experts on North Korea to discuss critical issues such as contingency planning and state failure in North Korea. Speakers of past IFIAS events include Joel Wit, Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University and former Korea Desk Officer at the US State Department; and Prof. Victor Cha of Georgetown University and current CSIS Korea Chair. IIRI is a recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Asia Security Initiative research fund.

Summer Workshop on Quantitative Methods in Political Science

Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)
14–24 May 2010

Organised by Lokniti-CSDS* in collaboration with Jain University, this fourth summer workshop on ‘Analysing Quantitative Data on India Politics’ was held in Bangalore, from 14 to 24 May 2010. The objective of this summer workshop was to provide a group of political scientists an opportunity to improve their skills in quantitative analysis. Participants were given a set of readings before attending the workshop and were expected to attend lectures and practical data analysis sessions. Pradeep Chhibber from the University of California and Irfar Nooruddin from Ohio State University were the main resource persons for the workshop. Other resource persons included Ashutosh Varshney from Brown University, Sandeep Shastri from Jain University, Sanjay Kumar from CSDS and Suhas Palshikar from the University of Pune.

*Lokniti – CSDS Programme for Comparative Democracy

Expert Roundtable on the ‘Role of NATO in The New Security Order’

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)
12 May 2010

BIPSS organised a roundtable on the ‘Role of NATO in The New Security Order’ on 12 May 2010 at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. The roundtable’s objective was to outline the present and possible role of NATO in the new security order.

As the global security architecture evolves, new security concepts would have to be devised to deal not only with states but also with non-state actors. In view of the new balance of power, security issues such as terrorism, cyber-terrorism, piracy, environmental security, and refugee issues would have to be considered in the new security order.

BIPSS President, Major General ANM Muniruzzaman (Retd), military personnel, diplomats, academics, journalists, and other think tank experts, participated in the roundtable. H.E. Anders Christian Sjaastad, former Defence Minister of Norway, presented the keynote paper. Participants shared their views and concluded that NATO should conduct a review of its policies.

International Workshop on ‘New Donors and Actors in Development and Human Security’

Centre for Non-Traditional Security and Peaceful Development (NTS-PD)
7 May 2010
South Korea

The international workshop on ‘New Donors and Actors in Development and Human Security’ was held on 7 May 2010. Jointly organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Korea International Studies Association, the event was an opportunity for 26 participants from Korea, China, Japan and Australia to engage in discussions on human security, official development assistance (ODA) and future developments for Asia’s security.

Prof. Yu Xiaofeng, Director of the Centre for NTS-PD in Zhejiang University, delivered an oral presentation on ‘Human Security: Its Value and Prospects in the Chinese Context’, in which he elaborated that the single focus on national security has shifted to a combined focus on human security, societal security and national security. The notion that human security has become the core of security marks a turning point in the historical transformation of security studies, and also delineates the basic boundary between non-traditional and traditional security. Prof. Yu also observed that human security in China is a people-centred concept that has potential for development.

Centre for NTS-PD research assistants Li Jia and Liao Danzi also made presentations on ‘Non-traditional Security Capabilities Building from the Perspective of Human Security’ and ‘Human Security and China: A Constructive Relationship’ respectively.

RSIS-NTS Workshop on Nuclear Energy and Human Security

RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
23 April 2010

The RSIS Centre for NTS Studies conducted a workshop titled ‘Nuclear Energy and Human Security’ on 23 April 2010 at Traders Hotel, Singapore. The event was particularly timely in view of the recent spate of developments surrounding nuclear energy, especially with the announcement by Singapore’s Economic Strategies Committee on exploring possibilities in harnessing this form of energy. This workshop served as a common platform for policymakers, the academe and non-governmental organisations to discuss pertinent issues related to nuclear energy and exchange views.

During the workshop, participants generally agreed that the projected rising energy needs of the world, and Asia in particular, require a sustainable energy strategy. This need is also especially urgent if climate change is to be mitigated in the long-term. Alternative energy sources play a central role in energy diversification by reducing reliance on fossil fuels which are not only polluting, but are also subject to price volatility. Nuclear energy is widely perceived as an attractive solution in this sustainable energy paradigm. However, the pursuit of nuclear energy is also encumbered by a range of crucial issues.

Participants debated over issues associated with the environmental, economic and security aspects of nuclear energy development. The common agreement is that, while nuclear energy has its benefits, it also has its pitfalls. Nonetheless, it would be imprudent to totally dismiss the nuclear option from the holistic, sustainable energy portfolio of the future, which includes a range of renewable energy types depending on country context. In order to fully appreciate the risks associated with nuclear energy, participants agreed that more research is required. In particular, rather than just looking at the scientific and technical aspects of nuclear energy, more studies need to be done on issues such as governance and the safety culture of countries aspiring to pursue nuclear energy.

Prior to the end of the workshop, a session was held on the roles of civil society organisations (CSOs) in nuclear energy development. It was acknowledged that CSOs are relatively nascent in Asia, especially Southeast Asia. Nonetheless, the emergence of CSOs in the region’s nuclear energy arena cannot be overlooked. In particular, CSOs can continue to serve the advocacy role in bringing to fore pertinent issues of concern in order to assist policymakers in crafting sound judgment and policies on nuclear energy development.

Click here to access the presentations delivered at the workshop.

Seminar on ‘The Obama Vision: Are We Moving toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons?’

RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
22 April 2010

This seminar on ‘The Obama Vision: Are We Moving toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons?’ organised by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, focused on US President Barack Obama’s policy on nuclear proliferation and his call on the international community to move toward a ‘world free of nuclear weapons’.

Seminar speaker, Mr Miles Pomper, a senior research associate in the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Washington DC, outlined the complexities and discussed the prospects of achieving this goal.

Mr Pomper first described President Obama’s nuclear security strategy, and its goals pertaining to Iran and North Korea in particular. Next, he drew up a ‘scorecard’ to evaluate the success of President Obama’s strategy to date. Finally, Mr Pomper outlined the prospects for realising a ‘nuclear weapons-free world’. He postulated a ‘Copenhagen Half-Loaf’ outcome for the May 2010 review conference; an outcome that is insufficient in satisfying everyone’s expectations and insufficient when parties to the conference fail to reach any significant consensus, leading to a disaster akin to that in 2005 (the 2005 review conference saw mutual finger-pointing among states which threatened future global nuclear security prospects). Mr Pomper argued that for the conference to be a success, universal compliance by nuclear weapons states and non-nuclear weapon states, not a consensus document, is what is clearly needed.

Click here to read the full article.

Seminar on ‘India and China: Conflict and Cooperation’

RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
21 April 2010

Organised by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, this seminar on ‘India and China: Conflict and Cooperation’ focused on a journal article by President of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Dr David Malone, titled ‘India and China: Conflict and Cooperation’ published in February this year in Survival – an International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) publication.

In the seminar, Dr Malone traced the development of relations between China and India from the 18th century to the present, and discussed the existing commonalities and asymmetries that exist between them.

He then argued that China and India should be able to manage their parallel rise without generating shocks in their own continent. However, this will require careful management of bilateral irritants and potential regional crises. Dr Malone proposed that a more systematic dialogue process, going well beyond high-level visits, that acknowledges their differences rather than emphasising imagined similarities could lay the foundations for a better understanding of the domestic compulsions that drive each nation's foreign policy.

Click here to read the full article.

Indo–Bangladesh Security Dialogue 2010

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)
12–13 April 2010

BIPSS in collaboration with The United Service Institution of India (USI) held a two-day bilateral meeting on ‘Indo- Bangladesh Security Dialogue’ at the Track 1.5 level from 12 to 13 April 2010, at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel in Bangladesh.

The bilateral meeting was the second in a series of dialogues. The first dialogue was held in Delhi last year. This year’s event examined a broad range of issues of pressing concern. This included Indo-Bangladesh environmental security, as well as terrorism and radicalisation threats and its attendant implications for Indo-Bangladesh security relations. The dialogue concluded with a call for a ‘cooperative approach’ in solving bilateral problems to build an atmosphere of understanding across the region.

Indian delegates at the meeting included Air Marshal Vinod Patney, SYSM, PVSM, AVSM, VrC (Retd), Former Vice Chief of Air Staff and Delegation Leader of the Indian Air Force; and Lieutenant General Arvind Sharma, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command, among others. Leading the Bangladeshi delegation was Major-General A.N.M. Muniruzzaman (Retd), President of BIPSS. Participants from Bangladesh included Dr Syed Mahmud Ali, Former Senior Editorial Coordinator (Asia Pacific), BBC World Service; and Shafqat Munir, Research Analyst, International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The bilateral meeting was also attended by experts, analysts, and think tank representatives. A dialogue report will be compiled by BIPSS and circulated to the relevant stakeholders from both countries soon.

Seminar on ‘Misrepresenting Norms and RtoP: An Alternative Norm Cascade?’

RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
12 April 2010

The seminar on ‘Misrepresenting Norms and RtoP: An Alternative Norm Cascade?’, organised by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, inspected the development of RtoP and determined its relevance in international affairs. During the seminar, Prof. Thomas Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science, The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center; and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, investigated three cases of states’ misuse of RtoP to justify actual or potential military intervention. These cases occurred even though most in the international community questioned its invocation — except for the state citing it. The cases examined were the US and UK invasion of Iraq, the Russian invasion of South Ossetia in Georgia, and the French invocation of RtoP in Myanmar in the wake of Cyclone Nargis. Prof. Weiss contended that these cases suggest that norm misuse can assist in clarifying the concept of RtoP. Its use in these cases was contested and prompted debate, denial, and tactical concessions on RtoP. He drew on the early stages of two theoretical models: the ‘spiral’ of human rights change and the ‘cascade’ of norm development, to further explain the development of RtoP.

Click here to read the full article.

Regional Consultation on the Responsibility to Protect

RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
8–9 April 2010

The ‘Regional Consultation on the Responsibility to Protect’ organised by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies aimed to explore how Asian states can benefit through a common appreciation of the RtoP principles. The larger objective however, was to map out and understand the different voices on RtoP in Asia – both from state and non-state actors in an effort to operationalise the RtoP doctrine. The meeting brought together more than 20 international scholars including experts on international security and RtoP, representatives from civil society, and the media. Among them were Lieutenant-General Satish Nambiar, the first Force Commander and Head of Mission of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in the former Yugoslavia; and Mr Omar Halim, who is the Former United Nations Secretary-General Special Representative on Nagorno-Karabakh and Bekkasi Peninsula, Indonesia.

Participants held the consensus that the RtoP doctrine should be implemented in the region particularly in Southeast Asia. However, the greater concern among them is in addressing the impediments surrounding the implementation of the RtoP doctrine in the region. Three issues repeatedly emerged as core concerns on the feasibility of implementing RtoP. First, is whether Southeast Asian states could actually choose to adopt either one of the three RtoP pillars or if they should embrace the doctrine in its entirety; highlighting the need to raise awareness surrounding the RtoP pillars. Second, is how these states could be persuaded to institutionalise RtoP norms and finally, how the RtoP doctrine could be institutionalised within the larger regional framework.

Click here to read the full article.

2nd Annual MacArthur Project Planning Conference

Ilmin International Relations Institute (IIRI)
3–4 April 2010
South Korea

IIRI (headed by Director Kim Sung-han, Professor of the Graduate School of International Studies, Korea University) recently held the 2nd Annual MacArthur Project Planning Conference from 3 to 4 April 2010.

The conference focused on the topic of ‘The Political, Military, Economic, Social, and Legal Consequences of North Korea’s Collapse’ and included presenters Prof. Han Yong-seop of the National Defense University; Senior Researcher at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, Yoon Teok-ryong; Director of the Korea Institute for National Unification, Seo Jae-jin; and Senior Researcher at the Ministry of National Defense, Shin Beom-cheol. Also in attendance as debaters were professors from the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, Seoul National University’s Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, the Sejong Institute, the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis, as well as the Samsung Economic Research Institute.

IRII will publish the topics and opinions discussed during the conference in the form of a working paper as part of the MacArthur Foundation’s Asia Security Initiative.

Public Lecture on ‘"Political Will" in International Decision Making'

Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APR2P)
31 March 2010

Prof. Gareth Evans AO, QC, former Australian Foreign Minister, patron of APR2P, Co-Chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), and current Co-Chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, delivered the University of Queensland Centenary Oration and Inaugural Annual Lecture in Politics and International Affairs on 31 March 2010. In his address, Prof. Evans developed themes he wrote about in his book, The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocities Once and For All, and in the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament report, ‘Eliminating Nuclear Threats - A Practical Agenda for Global Policymakers’ (released in December 2009).

Click here for further information about the oration, including a transcript and more information about Prof. Evans.

Click here to listen to the podcast of the address.

Expert Roundtable on the ‘Security Implications of Climate Change in South Asia’

Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) and
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)
28–29 March 2010

An expert roundtable on the ‘Security Implications of Climate Change in South Asia’ was held from 28 to 29 March 2010 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The roundtable was organised by RCSS, BIPSS, International Alert, and the Peacebuilding and Development Institute in Sri Lanka (PDI-SL). The two-day roundtable focused on the impact of climate change on countries in the South Asian region and policy responses to climate change. Eminent participants from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka elaborated on the climate change impacts in their respective countries in order to give a broader insight into the problems faced by countries in the region. The roundtable thereafter took into consideration the prevailing institutional responses and made an attempt to identify policy challenges and knowledge gaps in forging regional cooperation.

Secretary-General Dan Smith and Mr Markus Mayer of International Alert; Mr Mohammed Mahuruf, Director of PDI-SL in Colombo; and Major-General A.N.M. Muniruzzaman (Retd), President of BIPSS, represented their respective organisations at the roundtable. RCSS was represented by Amb. Geetha de Silva, Associate Director; and Ms Dilkie Koelmeyer, Finance and Administrative Officer.

At the end of the two-day discussion, the roundtable decided unanimously to initiate a process to continue with its efforts to identify and address the gaps in policy and institutional understanding of climate change and its security impacts in South Asia. Accordingly, the group will reach out to lawmakers, policymakers and opinion-makers, at the national and regional levels, with the decisions taken at the roundtable.

Upon the discussion’s conclusion, organisers conducted a well-attended briefing with the media on the roundtable and its outcomes.

Launch of Think Tanks of Islamic Countries Network

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)
28–30 January 2010

BIPSS joined other prominent think tanks from Islamic countries when it was inducted into a newly-formed Network of the Think Tanks of the Islamic countries. The Network was formally launched at the Istanbul Forum of the Think Tanks of the Member Countries of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference held in Istanbul, Turkey, in January 2010. Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, inaugurated the conference in the presence of heads of member think tanks and academics. BIPSS President, Major General ANM Muniruzzman (Retd), attended the meeting. He also chaired a session and delivered a talk on conflict resolution during the conference.

Click here for more information.

Seminar on ‘Non-Traditional Security Problems in the Relations between China and its Neighbours’

Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (IAPS)
24–25 December 2010

The seminar on ‘Non-Traditional Security Problems in the Relations between China and its Neighbours’ was held in the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (IAPS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). More than 20 experts and scholars from the Chinese provinces and autonomous regions of Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Jilin, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Guangxi, Shandong, Guangdong and Shanghai participated in the seminar. The event was an opportunity for participants to discuss non-traditional security issues that have arisen following the development of relations between China and its neighbouring countries.

The discussion first focused on China’s economic and trade cooperation with neighbouring countries. It was observed that Sino-Russian border trade has developed rapidly in recent years, but that the pace of economic and social development in China’s border regions exceeded that in Russia’s border regions. On Sino-ASEAN relations, participants noted that some ASEAN countries have expressed concern that the construction of a China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone would harm the regional bloc’s economic interests. For example, China’s agricultural exports potentially exceed those of some ASEAN countries. Also, some Laotians have become tenants of their own farmland in Laos as their land is contracted to China. The issue of trade imbalances between China and some countries was also raised with North Korea’s growing trade deficit a source of concern. Participants also discussed the potential impact on China as Mongolia expands its economic and cultural ties with the US, India and Japan. The opposition of some Mongolians to China’s involvement in the building of Mongolia’s infrastructure was also mentioned.

Talks then turned to territorial water disputes between China and its neighbours that occur primarily in the South and East China Seas. These disputes are often related not only to the issue of sovereignty, but also to the development and utilisation of the rich natural resources found in these areas.

Participants then moved to the topic of trans-border migration where the recent migration of Chinese nationals to neighbouring countries has become an issue. In addition, the emergence of illegal cross-border migration along the Sino-Korean and Sino-Russian borders has led to the problem of protection of the rights and interests of these migrants. Transnational crime in the form of kidnapping and selling of women and children, and drug trafficking along the border areas is also taking place. The trend has implications on social stability along these borders as well as on the development of relations between the countries concerned. The presence of many ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang and Tibet was also discussed with the issue of national identification among the different ethnic groups in these border regions recognised as a major challenge for the Chinese central government.

Attention finally turned to China’s problems with neighbouring countries on the development and utilisation of water resources. Domestic politics and political disputes within countries along the Lantsang River have hindered the international joint development of the valley to a certain extent. Participants noted that the development of the Mekong River in China has brought to question the issue of water security of countries in the Lower Mekong River region.

Upon the seminar’s conclusion, consensus was reached that the above-mentioned problems would affect the smooth development of China’s relations with its neighbours. The former should thus focus on studying these issues and formulating appropriate policies, with the aim of building stable and peaceful ties with its neighbours.

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Recent Publications

Changing Cityscapes: Signs of Development or Disaster?
Sofiah Jamil and Irene A. Kuntjoro, NTS Perspectives Issue No. 1, May 2010

The RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies presents an all new publication titled NTS Perspectives. A quarterly publication, NTS Perspectives aims to bridge the interests of researchers, teachers and practitioners working within any and all subfields of non-traditional security (NTS) studies. The publication is devoted to three types of contributions: policy research and commentary, visions of the discipline, and pieces of interest to NTS studies. In this inaugural issue on ‘Changing Citiscapes: Signs of Development or Disaster’, authors Sofiah Jamil and Irene A. Kuntjoro examine the adaptation measures that Southeast Asian cities can adopt to respond effectively to weather-related disasters.


Report on the RSIS-Warwick Joint Conference on Radicalisation, Non-Traditional Security and International Economic Cooperation
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Conference Report, November 2009

This report summarises the proceedings of all three workshops on radicalisation, non-traditional security and international economic cooperation, jointly organised by the University of Warwick and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies from 1 to 4 November 2009.


Oiling the Wheels of Foreign Policy? Energy Security and China’s International Relations
Zha Daojiong, Asia Security Initiative Policy Series Working Paper No. 1, March 2010

This paper offers a review of a broad set of issues that are recurrent in international discussions about the interconnectedness of energy and security in China’s international relations. The primary purpose of this exercise is to identify points of convergence and divergence in Chinese and international commentaries about the motivations behind and consequences of the increasing presence of China in the international energy markets.


‘Human Securitising’ the Climate Security Debate
Lorraine Elliott, Asia Security Initiative Policy Series Working Paper No. 2, March 2010

Efforts to understand the connection between climate change and national, regional and international security have fuelled something of a climate security industry, evidenced in a range of reports from governments, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations. In much of this, particularly those works produced by defence agencies and individual governments, the focus has been on threats to national security through civil unrest and violence that derive from competition for resources, access to environmental services, and the unregulated movement of people in the face of ecosystem collapse. This paper reinstates a human security approach.


Operationalising Regimes and Recognising Actors: Responding to Crises in Southeast Asia
Alistair D.B. Cook, Asia Security Initiative Policy Series Working Paper No. 3, March 2010

Southeast Asia as a region has a unique history, and the evolving relationships between its communities, states, regional organisations and the international community reflect this. Given this context, there is a need to better understand the motivations of the actors in negotiations, to account for the finished agreement and its impact on the region both in the short and long terms. This paper investigates the motivations behind two regional responses in two different periods of time. The first case under investigation is the set of regional responses formulated to address the Indochinese exodus in the 1970s and 1980s. The second case under investigation is the regional response to those affected by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar during the late 2000s and early 2010.


Positioning Adaptation in the Climate Change Debate
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Sadhavi Sharma, NTS Alert April Issue 1, April 2010

Climate change adaptation as a means for reducing vulnerability to climate change and building resilience in developing countries is steadily climbing the international agenda. While adaptation is acknowledged by some as a necessary complement to mitigation, others have expressed reservations about promoting it as a policy goal. Still others, increasingly so in developing countries, are even suggesting adaptation as an alternative to climate mitigation. Underpinning these views is the lack of a consensual understanding of what constitutes adaptation. This NTS Alert provides an overview of adaptation and what it means, examining the position of adaptation in the climate change debate and the different perspectives on it.


Integrating Adaption into Development Policy in Southeast Asia
Mely Caballero-Anthony and Sadhavi Sharma, NTS Alert April Issue 2, April 2010

Southeast Asia is potentially one of the more vulnerable regions to climate change impacts, as many of the countries in the region have relatively low levels of development, weak infrastructure, long coastlines, and a significant percentage of the population is still dependent on agriculture – a sector which is more climate-sensitive. Recognising this, developing countries in the region have been vociferous in their support for adaptation. This NTS Alert looks at three countries – Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines – to examine the place of adaptation in government policy.


'Land Grabbing': The Global Search for Food Security in Southeast Asia
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Nur Azha Putra and Pau Khan Khup Hangzo, NTS Alert May Issue 1, May 2010

By the end of the last decade, the total area of farmland globally that was acquired by government-backed foreign investors amounted to nearly half the size of Europe. In addition to Latin America, Africa and Central Asia, this trend has also reached Southeast Asia. The civil society and media refer to these land acquisition investments, encouraged by governments to boost the national economy, as ‘land grab’. It is against this background that this May's first Issue of the NTS Alert attempts to highlight the ‘land grab’ phenomenon in the region.


‘Land Grab’ and its Discontents
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Nur Azha Putra and Pau Khan Khup Hangzo, NTS Alert May Issue 2, May 2010

In the last two years, there has been a proliferation of acquisitions of farmland in resource-rich but capital-starved countries in the Global South. International reports attribute this trend to governments who are driven by long-term food security concerns, and who have lost faith in the market system as a consequence of the 2008 global food crisis, which saw food exporting nations imposing export restrictions when faced with global ‘food shortages’ and rising prices. What are the implications of these ‘land grab’ deals on the affected communities? This month’s second issue of the NTS Alert discusses the opposing views on ‘land grab’, and offers recommendations on how governments and business corporations can protect their investments while preserving the human rights of affected communities.


Enhancing Energy Security, Underpinning Development: The Future of Nuclear Energy in ASEAN
Ryan Clarke, Collin Koh and Kevin Punzalan, NTS Insight May, May 2010

This NTS Insight argues that if ASEAN intends to meaningfully enhance its energy security, take greater steps to protect itself from instabilities in the international energy market, and effectively underpin its continued development, it should move beyond simple public pronouncements, to begin a serious consistent debate on developing nuclear power in the region whilst ensuring its effective governance. Several ASEAN states have already taken concrete policy measures; the effectiveness of which can be assessed and built upon for the betterment of the entire region.


Worlds in Transition
Joseph A. Camilleri and Jim Falk, Book, January 2010

This book focuses on governance, that distinctively human effort to shape the present and future to meet objectives, not the least, that of long term survival, and in the course of that, successful adaptation to rapidly changing circumstances.

Worlds in Transition is a sequel to a much cited book written by the same authors 18 years ago titled The End of Sovereignty: The Politics of a Shrinking and Fragmenting World. Controversial at the time, the arguments are now widely accepted. However, the world has changed a lot in 18 years, and so have the issues. This new book focuses not so much on the issue of sovereignty, but on the overarching question of governance in a rapidly changing world.

Prof. Joseph Camilleri is Director of the Centre for Dialogue at LaTrobe University and Prof. Jim Falk is Director of the Australian Centre for Science, Innovation and Society in the University of Melbourne.


The Responsibility to Prevent: Opportunities, Challlenges and Strategies for Operationalisation
Conference Report, Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APR2P), May 2010

At the 2005 World Summit, heads of state and government unanimously endorsed RtoP. Member states agreed that each state is responsible for protecting its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. The international community acknowledged a collective responsibility to assist states in providing this protection. Furthermore, in circumstances in which states are ‘manifestly failing’ to protect their own populations, the international community recognised its responsibility to take ‘timely and decisive’ action to do so. This report examines this responsibility, and considers what may constitute ‘appropriate and necessary means’ to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.


What Comes Next in Yemen? Al-Qaeda, the Tribes, and State-Building
Sarah Phillips, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Paper, March 2010

Western policymakers are scrambling to respond decisively to Yemen's instability after the failed Christmas Day attack on a US passenger jet was tied to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. However, there are limits to how much foreign intervention can accomplish. This new paper by Sarah Phillips concludes that Yemen's political system needs to become less centralised and more inclusive.


Determinants of Household Income Mobility in Rural China
Xuehua Shi, Xiaoyun Liu, Alexander Nuetah and Xian Xin, China & World Economy, Volume 18 Issue 2, pp 41 – 59, 15 March 2010

This article uses multivariate regression and decomposition analyses to assess household income mobility determinants and their contributions to income mobility in rural China from 1989 to 2006. The findings indicate that households with lower initial income levels, higher shares of wage income, higher educational levels, larger numbers of non-agricultural employed household members and younger members are more mobile. Moreover, besides initial income, changes in the share of wage income and changes in the number of non-agricultural employed household members, and changes in average number of years of education of household members are the most important factors that account for income mobility. These findings necessitate more emphasis on policies that promote non-agricultural employment and education to enhance household income mobility in rural China.


Labor Mobility within China: Border Effects on Interregional Wage Differentials
Cheng Li, China & World Economy, Volume 18 Issue 2, pp 60 – 72, 15 March 2010

Labour migration is institutionally restricted within China under the hukou system – China's registration system. However, what is the pecuniary impact of labour immobility on inter-regional wage inequality? To answer this question, a simple wage gap equation was derived that included educational attainment, market potential and provincial border indicators. The regressions based on city- and sector-level data show that, other things being equal, the wage dispersions within Chinese provincial borders are significantly less pronounced than those among provinces. Such border effects on spatial wage differentials, which have been shown to pervasively exist in all sectors considered in the present paper, reflect the distortions generated by migration controls. Finally, the paper shows that despite the recent hukou reforms aimed at relaxing the restrictions on population movement, border effects appear to persist over the period 2003 to 2005.


The End of the Line: Who is Most at Risk from the Crisis in Global Fisheries?
Stephen J. Hall, Patrick Dugan, Edward H. Allison and Neil L. Andrew, Film Review in AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, Volume 39, No. 1, February 2010

This document is a review of Rupert Murray’s recent film The End of the Line. The crisis of global overfishing has been widely covered in both scientific literature and popular media over the last decade. However, with his 2009 film The End of the Line, Rupert Murray tells the story with unprecedented power. Heralded as the ‘Inconvenient Truth’ for fisheries – a reference to David Guggenheim's influential film on the perils of climate change – The End of the Line provides a rich, well-argued and sobering picture of how people, the oceans' top predator, have brought many of the worlds’ fisheries to collapse.


Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies’ Journal
BIISS, Journal, Volume 30, No. 1, January 2010

This edition of the BIISS Journal includes the following articles:

  • Constitution of Bangladesh: Implications for the Process of Democratisation by Sabbir Ahmed
  • Manpower Export from Bangladesh: Problems and Prospects by Md. Abu Raihan and S. M. Mostafa Kamal
  • Terrorism: A New Framework for Analysis by Zohra Akhter
  • Regional Transport Connectivity: Opportunities for Bangladesh by M. Rahmatullah
  • On the Integration of South Asia by Mahfuz Kabir

Climate change and fisheries: vulnerability and adaptation in Cambodia
Issue brief 2008, WorldFish Center, 2009

Cambodia is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change on fisheries – which supply livelihoods for millions, and where fish comprises up to 80 per cent of all animal protein in the diet. Most fisheries are highly variable by nature and subject to environmental change, including climate change. Hydropower dam construction, intensified fishing pressure and macroeconomic drivers are likely to affect Cambodian fisheries more immediately and visibly than climate change. Building fisher communities' capacity to adapt to these more immediate changes goes hand-in-hand with improving their capacity to adapt to climate change. A far-reaching strategy to improve adaptive capacity and strengthen resilience promises to reduce poverty and enhance food production now and in the years to come.


Fisheries and aquaculture can provide solutions to cope with climate change
Issue Brief No. 1707, WorldFish Center, 2009

This brief explains how climate change will affect aquatic systems and how fisheries and aquaculture will need to adapt to meet these changes. It provides a number of examples of how Worldfish Center projects are providing solutions to cope with climate change


Migration and Circles of Insecurity
Paula Banerjee and Ranabir Samaddar, Book, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2010

The study addresses the issue of population flow across and within borders and boundaries in India’s north-east, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. This research is essentially a study of the complex relationship between the three variables of migration, insecurity and gender. The study finds that within a secure circle there are insecure spaces. It draws attention to the circular way in which insecurity is reinforced and experienced by the migrant. It also critiques the ‘pull-push’ framework of voluntary versus forced migration. To purchase a copy of the book, please email WISCOMP at wiscomp2006@gmail.com.


Gender and Armed Conflict in Kashmir
Sudha Ramachandran and Siddharth Mallavarapu, Book, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2010

The study opens up a dialogic space between constructivist and feminist approaches to security. The focus is on the seemingly ‘antagonistic’ approaches in national and human security paradigms. It also focuses on the tensions between them as played out in situations of conflict, how agency is both perceived and developed in a situation of conflict and how it is mediated by gender. To purchase a copy of the book, please email WISCOMP at wiscomp2006@gmail.com .


Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want? Rethinking Security in Bangladesh
Hameeda Hossain, Meghna Guhathakurta and Malini Sur, Book, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2010

The study is an exposé on how state formation and political governance can breed fear, violence and insecurities by privileging gendered experiences. The state and the globalising markets are etched here as continuing sources of insecurity for women, in particular from among religious minorities, especially in Bangladesh.

The study is structured around three accounts. The first, by Hossain, describes the legacy of the 1971 war and the violence experienced by women. When the events of 1971 were subsequently recorded, women’s experiences of violence were overlooked creating incomplete histories. Guhathakurta writes about women in the minority communities of Bangladesh, and the impact on their lives of the interweaving of patriarchy, kinship and community politics. Sur’s ethnographic research draws on stories and folk songs to relate how the entry of global market forces has affected the lives and livelihoods of women in fishing communities. Want and fear, as the conclusion states, ‘coexist in a complex matrix of silences and collective expression’. Silence about women’s experiences and history of resistance results in gaps in historiography that this study begins to address by using a wide variety of sources — archival, textual, interviews and songs. To purchase a copy of the book, please email WISCOMP at wiscomp2006@gmail.com.


Ownership or Death: Women and Tenant Struggles in Pakistani Punjab
Rubina Saigol, Book, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2010

This study engages with questions of food and water security and land rights with reference to Pakistan. Women’s activism in a farmer’s movement in Pakistan Punjab is explored where the ubiquity of the military–economic elite and indeed the force of the state is a continuing source of violence and insecurity. To purchase a copy of the book, please email WISCOMP at wiscomp2006@gmail.com.


The Centrality of Gender in Securing Peace: The Case of Sri Lanka
Kumudini Samuel, Book, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2010

The study surveys the history of women in Sri Lankan politics, with special reference to women’s peace activism as well as the unusual role that women have played in the conflict itself, particularly women combatants in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. It reconstructs the experiences of some members of the Subcommittee on Gender Issues, thereby providing insight into the politics and process of the subcommittee. What becomes clear is the potential that women’s active participation in official peace talks has for bringing women’s issues to the peace agenda. However, their mere presence guarantees nothing, especially if those involved work at a distance from their community grassroots. Women’s needs and concerns also cannot be relegated to special subcommittees; they need to make an appearance at the peace table itself. The study highlights the challenges of ‘mainstreaming’ women’s concerns at the peace table, made more acute, by their under representation in legislatures and formal structures of decision-making. To purchase a copy of the book, please email WISCOMP at wiscomp2006@gmail.com.


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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Food Security in Southeast Asia
Ryan Clarke and Nur Azha Putra, Asia Security Initiative Blog Entry, 19 May 2010

Nuclear Energy in Southeast Asia: Will it Enhance Human Security?
Ryan Clarke, Nur Azha Putra, Mely Caballero-Anthony and Rajesh Basrur, RSIS Commentaries No. 48, 14 May 2010

Insight: As riots return, the government needs to reflect
Rizal Sukma, The Jakarta Post, 27 April 2010

Responsibility to Protect: How Should Southeast Asia Respond?
Yang Razali Kassim and Nur Azha Putra, RSIS Commentaries No. 43, 26 April 2010

Miners fear secrets stolen by Chinese cyber-spies
Interview of Alan Dupont by Jennifer Hewett, The Australian, 20 April 2010

Many shared interests but few shared values with China
Alan Dupont, The Australian, 12 April 2010

Yemen asks for aid to ward off al-Qa’ida
Sarah Phillips, The Australian, 16 March 2010

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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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