ISEAS Library Selects
Monthly Journal Articles on the
Southeast Asian Region
Extracted from Internet Sources
November 2019

This issue of Monthly Article Alert includes the following article attributed to a researcher at ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute. You can click on his name to go to the article directly.

This is an information alert service put together by the ISEAS Library that contains links to commentaries, blog and journal articles extracted from Internet sources covering Southeast Asia and special topics relevant to the research interest/direction/agenda of ISEAS.  

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Country Studies
Southeast Asia Countries
Brunei Darussalam
Timor-Leste (East Timor)
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China's debt trap diplomacy strikes again: China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) no doubt will not wish to miss out on the Realm Naval Base that would provide Beijing greater leverage in Southeast Asia and the SCS, and also a further strengthened position in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) by projecting its military prowess, securing its sea lines of communication (SLOCs) through which its trade passes.

Debalina Ghoshal is a Non Resident Fellow, Council on International Policy Asia Pacific, EastWest Institute.
Strategic Review

Cambodia: Country Partnership Strategy (2019-2023)
[29-page PDF document]

Asian Development Bank



Analysis: Indonesian policymaking is not supported by quality research and academic freedom

Inaya Rakhmani, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Indonesia; Zulfa Sakhiyya, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Languages and Arts, Universitas Negeri Semarang.

Jokowi needs to implement strategic moves to transform Indonesia's ambition as a maritime power. Here's how to do it:

Yety Rochwulaningsih, Professor of Sociology and Maritime History, Universitas Diponegoro


International Trade Barrier Index 2019: The Health and Price Effects of Indonesia's Trade Restrictions on Rice
[6-page PDF document]

Galuh Octania Muhammad Diheim Biru
Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS)

FTA Strategies to Strengthen Indonesian Exports: Using the Computable General Equilibrium Model: This paper aims at evaluating the economic impacts of the various Indonesian free trade agreement (FTA) strategies in enhancing export-led growth. The potential impact of abolishing tariffs on three key sectors or commodities - (i) oil seeds, vegetable oils, and fats (VegOil); (ii) fishery and processed foods (FisheryPFD); and (iii) textile and apparel products (TextWapp) - with three trading partners - the European Union (EU28), members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and India - is calculated using a computable general equilibrium model. To explore the long-term influence, we also take into account capital deepening and technological spillovers induced by trade.
[27-page PDF document]

Masahiko Tsutsumi, Masahito Ambashi, Asuna Okubo
Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)


Numbers Matter: The 2020 Census and Conflict in Papua: "Numbers Matter: The 2020 Census and Conflict in Papua," the latest report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), analyses the consequences of falsified data. The inflated statistics do not just fuel corruption but also have security implications. The problem is most acute in the central highlands where the pro-independence movement is strongest and many local politicians are sympathetic.
[27-page PDF document]

Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict

With his new cabinet, Indonesia's president Jokowi prioritises national stability over everything else: Jokowi is making a bold and risky step by giving Prabowo the defence minister position. Prabowo, who has been Jokowi's arch-rival in the past elections is a former military general with checkered human rights records. Jokowi risks losing trust from the public, especially voters who do not want Prabowo in power. Jokowi also risks creating tension in the cabinet due to their historical rivalry.

Justito Adiprasetio, Assistant Professor, Universitas Padjadjaran; Juwita Hayyuning Prastiwi, Lecturer in Political Science, Universitas Brawijaya; Muhammad Ryan Sanjaya, Lecturer in Economics, Universitas Gadjah Mada

A requiem for Reformasi as Joko Widodo unravels Indonesia's democratic legacy: Soeharto's corruption franchise allowed Indonesia's commercial world to be dominated by a tiny group of interconnected families. But pulling this apart could never even be attempted unless Indonesia established something it never had before - an independent, powerful, committed and untouchable anti-graft institution. To the surprise of many, the KPK, established in 2002, became precisely this. So it's not hard to understand why the political and commercial elite have always utterly loathed - and feared - it.

Tim Lindsey, Malcolm Smith Professor of Asian Law and Director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, University of Melbourne

A requiem for 'Reformasi' as Joko Widodo unravels Indonesia's democratic legacy: Jokowi is the first president since Soeharto not to have been a political player under the New Order. He was first elected because he was seen as a cleanskin outsider, not comprised by elite politics. Yet it is he who has allowed the KPK - a key institution of democratic governance, created by the post-New Order reforms - to be crushed.

Tim Lindsey, Malcolm Smith Professor of Asian Law and Director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, University of Melbourne

OPINION: 5 things you need to know from Indonesia's 2020 state budget

Muhamad Ikhsan, Paramadina University


Policies to Support Investment Requirements of Indonesia's Food and Agriculture Development during 2020-2045
[148-page PDF document]

Asian Development Bank


The Evolution of Indonesia's Participation in Global Value Chains
[135-page PDF document]

Asian Development Bank

Combating Unrecorded Alcohol Through Law Enforcement: A Case Study in Greater Bandung
[28-page PDF report]

Mercyta Jorsvinna Glorya and Kidung Asmara Sigit
Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS)


Chinese Investments in Indonesia's Fintech Sector: Their Interaction with Indonesia's Evolving Regulatory Governance
[44-page PDF document]

Ajisatria Suleiman
Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS)



On the Many Economic Benefits of Flexible Work Arrangements
[12-page PDF document]

Darshan Joshi and Dr Khor Swee Kheng
Penang Institute


GLC Monitor 2019: State of Play Since GE14: Before the general election in 2018, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition promised to reform governance of government-linked companies (GLCs). These reforms included ensuring that the appointment of members of these boards of directors would be made based on merit, not on political considerations.
[16-page PDF document]

Terence Gomez, Lau Zheng Zhou, Yash Shewandas
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) (Malaysia)



China's Enduring Influence over Wa State in Myanmar: In the northern part of Myanmar next to the Chinese border, there lies a Wa state where the way of life resembles that across the border in China. [...] This article will discuss the reasons behind such a phenomenon in Wa state, the way and the extent of China's intervention, and also the challenges faced by the Myanmar government.

Ming Wai Sit & Tin Yau Cheung
Geopolitical Monitor


"Caught in the middle": Abuses against civilians amid conflict in Myanmar's northern Shan State.
[44-page PDF document]

Amnesty International

How China Pushes Its Agenda In Myanmar Media: China announced in 2009 that it planned to spend $6.6 billion on expanding its global media presence. It has since set about hiring foreign nationals to work for its state-run outlets and opening up news bureaus around the world. The Director General of China Radio International (CRI), Wang Gengnian, who visited Myanmar in 2012 to sign an agreement to broadcast Chinese TV shows, is known for describing Beijing's efforts to spread its message internationally as "borrowing a boat to go to sea." The phrase refers to a strategy of using established media in foreign countries to push the Chinese narrative.

Myanmar Now


Philippines: Country Operations Business Plan (2020-2022)
[25-page PDF document]

Asian Development Bank



To Speak Out is Dangerous: Criminalization of Peaceful Expression in Thailand: In the 1990s, Thailand earned a reputation as an emerging Southeast Asian democracy that respected freedom of expression. That is no longer the case. The five years since the 2014 military coup have been marked by intense government repression of those viewed as political threats, whether opposition politicians, activists seeking a return to democracy, or online critics of military rule. Starting with the week-long "attitude adjustment" sessions imposed on opponents of the coup, the military junta, called the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), sought to intimidate and silence opposition to its rule through harassing criminal charges, abusive prosecutions, arbitrary closure of tv, radio, and internet stations, and censorship of online content.

Human Rights Watch


Can Vietnam Be America's New Ally Against China?

Anders Corr, Ph.D., is Principal at Corr Analytics, Publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and worked as a civilian in military intelligence for five years
National Interest

Economic Consequences of Trade and Investment Liberalisation: The Case of Viet Nam: Since Doi Moi (Renovation) in 1986, economic integration has been an important pillar of Viet Nam's reforms. Economic integration has gradually deepened, and even World Trade Organization accession in 2007 marked no end to Viet Nam's economic integration process. Impact assessments of trade and investment liberalisation indicate that deepened economic integration has broadened economic opportunities, raising GDP growth, trade and foreign investment, and incomes. However, liberalisation requires Viet Nam to rethink and reinvigorate its approach to economic integration. This paper recommends ways to more effectively pursue economic integration in the new context.
[33-page PDF document]

Thanh Tri VO, Duong Anh NGUYEN, Thien Thi Nhan DO
Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)

Nature-Based Solutions for Cities in Viet Nam: Water Sensitive Urban Design
[22-page PDF document]

Asian Development Bank


ASEANASEAN/Southeast Asia

Working Women and Economic Security in Southeast Asia: This policy report examines the barriers to greater integration of women in the economies of the region and addresses some challenges that can affect women's participation in the labour market.
[19-page PDF document]

Tamara Nair
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)

Trade in the Sulu Archipelago: Informal Economies Amidst Maritime Security Challenges
[24-page PDF document]

Asia Foundation

US-SOUTHEAST ASIA TRADE IS INCREASING, BUT SO ARE DEFICITS: Conventional narratives are either supported by facts or overcome them. Recent increased trade flows between the US and the ten economies of Southeast Asia suggest that the predominant narrative of the commercial displacement of the United States by China in Southeast Asia is incorrect. However, the United States's growing trade deficits and shrinking surpluses with Southeast Asia do bolster an American mercantilist narrative that bilateral deficits are an economic loss for the US caused by Southeast Asian governments' unfair trade policies.
[2-page PDF document]

Malcolm Cook, Senior Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore
East-West Center

Electric Vehicles and Energy Insecurity in ASEAN Countries: Renewable Energy Integration and Urban Air Quality
[21-page PDF document]

Youngho Chang and Yanfei Li
Asian Development Bank Institute


SME Finance in Asia: Recent Innovations in Fintech Credit, Trade Finance, and Beyond
[14-page PDF document]

Giulio Cornelli, Vukile Davidson, Jon Frost, Leonardo Gambacorta, and Kyoko Oishi
Asian Development Bank Institute


Strategic Violence After Democratic Transitions in ASEAN: Democracy's durability (and desirability) is a topic of debate worldwide, and the conversation is no less contentious in Southeast Asia. It is, of course, a region that has experienced numerous transitions toward and away from democratic practice in recent years. New research on Myanmar's recent political evolution provides some novel insights on transitions. These insights can be used to see how similar dynamics played out during Indonesia's reformasi period, and could potentially occur during hypothetical transitions in Thailand and Vietnam.

Renard Sexton
Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia



The ASEAN-U.S. Maritime Exercises Are More Important Than Ever

Lucio Blanco Pitlo III is a Research Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation. He is an analyst on regional security and connectivity issues and Southeast Asia's interaction with major powers
National Interest

AsiaAsia Pacific

Opinion: Belt and Road Initiative: Challenges for South and Southeast Asia: This year, the debates concerning the BRI are again becoming prevalent after Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, as Indonesia's representative, signed 28 BRI projects last April. Among the various debated subjects is the growing concern about the real nature of the BRI. Is it a Chinese developmental initiative or a geopolitical instrument that uses debt-trap as a tool to bring targeted countries into the desired terms?

Dr. Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat & Dendy Indramawan
Geopolitical Monitor

America Can Beat China In Asia, But Not Alone

Julia Famularo is a research affiliate at the Project 2049 Institute and former editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.
National Interest

Asian Economic Integration Report 2019/2020: Demographic Change, Productivity, and the Role of Technology
[contains link to the main report (246-page PDF document) and highlights (16-page PDF document)]

Asian Development Bank

ASEAN+3 Bond Market Guide: Exchange Bond Market in the People's Republic of China
[180-page PDF document]

Asian Development Bank



International Migration in Asia and the Pacific: Determinants and Role of Economic Integration
[36-page PDF document]

Aiko Kikkawa, Raymond Gaspar, and Cyn-Young Park
Asian Development Bank Institute


The 33rd Asia-Pacific Roundtable: Tan Sri Rastam Mohd Isa, Chairman and Chief Executive of ISIS Malaysia, and Professor Aileen SP Baviera, Chair of the ASEAN-ISIS Network and President of Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, delivered the welcoming and opening remarks respectively at the opening of the 33rd APR in Kuala Lumpur on 24th June 2019. The full texts of the welcoming and opening remarks are attached at the end of the report.
[30-page PDF document]

Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia


SCSEast/South China Sea

If A Chinese-American War Happens, It Will Start In The South China Sea

Kerry K. Gershaneck James E. Fanell
National Interest

How to Break the Legal Logjam in the South China Sea

Mark Rosen is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at CNA and is an international maritime lawyer. Rebecca Wolfson, JD, is a legal/regulatory specialist at CNA who focuses on national security law and policy matters.
National Interest

SpecialGlobal Economy

Global Index of Economic Openness
[Contains link to 120-page PDF document]




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