Searched the resource database for : All Results AND Regions=Northeast Asia
Haven't found what you are looking for? To further refine your search: Click on the 'advanced search' menu to filter by title, abstract, source, and/or publication date; to include or exclude multiple resource categories, regions or topics.
Abstract: The ‘human security’ paradigm emerged in the early 1990s as a means of refocusing the security referent away from the state to the individual. It is a theory that is grounded in human rights and the provision of basic needs for all of humanity, regardless of their locale, identity or citizenship status. As a theory, it was not intended to replace notions of traditional security, but was instead intended to be a complementary theory on security as it has been argued that human insecurity actually threatens state security. While the concept itself remains somewhat contested in the political sciences, human security nonetheless provides a useful analysis of non-state security issues and dilemmas, particularly those that concern the human condition. In recent years there has been increasing recognition that the human security paradigm has overlooked the vulnerabilities often faced by women, many of which are gender-based and thereby not shared by men. To counter this, there have been attempts to ‘engender’ human security discourse in academic literature. This paper considers the vulnerabilities faced by female rural to urban migrants in the People’s Republic of China and intersects the mainstream discourse on human security in an attempt to contribute further to the engendering of human security discourse.
Abstract: After the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement, Cambodia set about the difficult process of state-building. Despite violent clashes in 1997-98, the Cambodian government has been largely successful in establishing full control of military forces, into which former Khmer Rouge soldiers have been reintegrated. The Cambodian government, with support of donors, successfully improved infrastructure throughout the country, built up capacity in key state institutions, and provided basic public services to the people. Behind these achievements was assistance from a grassroots network built by the Cambodian People‟s Party in the 1980s. This network is characterized by patronage connections between the government and village chiefs, and between the latter and villagers. Consequently, the legitimacy of the state has been strengthened. In contrast, social empowerment has been delayed, and people's political rights and freedoms have been restricted by the state. As shown by the recent increase of corruption charges and land tenure disputes, the imbalance between the powerful state and a stunted civil society is a potential factor of instability.
Abstract: The death of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011 has once again put the media spotlight on Al-Qaeda. The movement’s weakening due to the loss of its main leader does not amount to its elimination: Al- Qaeda has become a brand, mainly targeting the international community, and several scattered movements will continue to lay claim to it, whether situated in Europe, the Maghreb, Yemen and the Sudan, or Indonesia. Al-Qaeda’s weakening does not settle the political and social conflicts which have served as its background. There is hoped however that the erroneous prism constituted by the US-led ‘war on terror’ waged after 11 September 2001 will be abandoned. This ‘war’ contributed to the overlap of an internationalised Jihadi movement with situations of local tension in which Islam was, to very diverse degrees, claimed as a narrative by which to explain the conflict. The idea that every conflict affecting Muslim populations had a more or less direct link to international terrorism distorted Western readings not only of the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, of that between Tamils and government forces in Sri- Lanka, as well as, the understanding of Pakistan’s domestic frailty due to the emergence of its own Taliban movements.
The international community pays regular attention to the Islam issue in the Middle-East. Today it is in a better position to understand the lack of unity that characterises radical Islam in the Maghreb, Mashrek and the Persian Gulf, and has realised the importance of social and political questions (radical Islam is a response to social marginalisation and political repression).
Abstract: As the number of defectors from North Korea arriving in
the South has surged in the past decade, there is a growing
understanding of how difficult it would be to absorb a
massive flow of refugees. South Korea is prosperous and
generous, with a committed government and civil society,
and yet refugees from the North almost all fail to integrate
or thrive. Part of this is the change in the people coming;
it is no longer just senior officials and fighter pilots who
were useful and privileged propaganda tools. Nowadays
many are women who have endured terrible deprivation
in the North and abuse on their way to the South. Reconfiguring
programs for defectors to take account of this
change is essential if new defectors are to find a place in
their new home.
The heart of the issue is humanitarian: those who arrive in
the South are often fleeing material deprivation and political
persecution and under South Korean law must be accepted
and helped. But as with all humanitarian issues, it
is complicated by politics. Defectors have been used by
both sides. The South once rewarded them with wealth
and public regard but that changed when rapprochement
with the North began in the late 1990s. Defectors became
something of an embarrassment, and policies to help them
did not keep up with the numbers and types of people
As the difficulties of absorbing North Koreans become
clear, the South is also wrestling with the possibility that
it one day might have to handle a vast outflow of refugees
from a collapsing North. The two sides of the Demilitarised
Zone have diverged so much in economics, politics,
language and social organisation that the people are now
strangers to each other. South Korean law and opinion
from some quarters would likely demand a rapid unification,
but economic and social realities suggest such a move
could be catastrophic. The difficulties of handling just over
20,000 refugees over a few decades should be a warning
to those who wish to encourage the collapse of the North
rather than a more gentle integration.
Abstract: This monograph provides a timely analysis and thoughtful insights into the challenges faced by the United States in developing a strategy for North Korea. The author examines the complex history of U.S. policy toward North Korea over the last decade that has left the United States in a position of having virtually no influence over the country. He addresses the complicated regional concerns and interests of North Korea’s neighbors and how these concerns impact on each of their approaches to North Korea. Most importantly, he looks at how the North Korean culture and history have influenced the attitudes of North Korean society and their relationship with other countries. He concludes by pointing out that despite the numerous challenges, the United States must develop a strategy focused on engaging Pyongyang if we expect to have any influence over the future direction of events in North Korea.
Abstract: China and India remain locked in a stagnant embrace when it comes to the most intractable of security dilemmas: the Sino-Indian border issue. A closer look at Chinese and Indian strategic, scientific and academic experts' security perceptions vis-à-vis one another reveals that there is much more to the Sino-Indian security dynamic than meets the eye. Chinese and Indian strategic analysts hold divergent interests when evaluating each other's military modernization, the former preoccupied with India's naval development and the latter with China's army. Technical analysts in each country share a similar level of interest in the other's aviation and aerospace programs. Scholars exhibit a strong, if not symmetrical, level of focus on the other country's nuclear strategy and status. Using this tripartite discourse as a baseline, this essay provides both a quantitative and qualitative analysis of each group's perceptions to better understand Sino-Indian security relations and to propose measures within each arena to enhance mutual understanding. It shows that the Sino-Indian security dilemma cannot be simply viewed through the prism of the border anymore.
Abstract: This report updates Amnesty International’s Breaking the law: Crackdown on human rights
lawyers and legal activists in China (ASA 17/042/2009) published in 2009. Focusing on
new regulatory and policy instruments, the current report documents how the government
exerts control over lawyers in three ways: first, by trying to rein in their behaviour through
increasing demands to conform to party ideology; second, by using administrative procedures
to discipline and stop lawyers and others who have taken on human rights cases; and third,
by carrying out violent acts, illegal under China’s own laws, against people who persist when
all other forms of pressure on them have failed to end their human rights activism. In the most extreme case, human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has now been forcibly disappeared for
more than a year in a second lengthy detention, leading to serious concerns for his safety. In
the last few months, other lawyers have also been subject to enforced disappearances; most
recently, Shanghai lawyer Li Tiantian was held incommunicado for three months before being
released in her home town in Xinjiang on 24 May 2011.
The report also sets out the latest developments in the cases highlighted in the 2009 report,
considers ways lawyers have challenged efforts to control them, and analyzes recent trends in
the development of the rule of law and in patterns of repression. It provides some evidence of
the impact that controls on human rights lawyers have had on citizens access to justice.
Abstract: The sea lanes of Indo-Pacific Asia are becoming more crowded, contested and
vulnerable to armed strife. The changing deterrence and
warfighting strategies of China, the United States and Japan involve expanded
maritime patrolling and intrusive surveillance, bringing an uncertain mix of
stabilising and destabilising effects.
Nationalism and resource needs, meanwhile, are reinforcing the value of territorial
claims in the East and South China seas, making maritime sovereignty disputes
harder to manage. Chinese forces continue to show troubling signs of assertiveness
at sea, though there is debate about the origins or extent of such moves. All of these factors are making Asia a danger zone for incidents at sea.
While the chance that such incidents will lead to major military clashes should not be
overstated, the drivers – in particular China’s frictions with the United States, Japan
and India – are likely to persist and intensify. As the number and tempo of incidents
increases, so does the likelihood that an episode will escalate to armed confrontation,
diplomatic crisis or possibly even conflict.
This report, part of the Lowy Institute’s MacArthur Foundation Asia Security
Project, explores the major-power maritime security dynamics surrounding China’s
rise. It focuses on the risks and the management of incidents at sea involving Chinese
interactions with the United States, Japan and India. The report concludes with some realistic recommendations to reduce risks of crisis
and escalation under conditions of continued mistrust.
Abstract: There are many definitions of terrorism and many ways to count it. The key, from a US policy viewpoint,
is how the US government makes that count and what data it uses for measuring the threat and shaping its
counterterrorism policies. With this in mind, the Burke Chair has compiled a set of tables showing
terrorist attacks in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia from 2007-2010.
Abstract: After World War II, nations got largely divided between the two blocs dominated
by the United States of America (USA) and the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics (USSR). With the end of the Cold War, the international power equation
unilaterally shifted towards the USA, which emerged as the world’s only superpower.
Since then, the regional, ethnic, linguistic, resource, geo-political, and religious
issues began to have more importance. But, whenever a state failed to
properly address these problems, the latent conflicts turned violent. Poor and
developing countries have been found more vulnerable to violent conflicts due to
inequality in distribution of resources and opportunities, inadequate service delivery
system, injustice to identities and beliefs, ineffective governance and administration,
inefficient socio-political transformation and intolerant leadership. Therefore,
while most violent conflicts of the twentieth century were waged between
the states, almost all the major conflicts around the world that took place in the
1990s were fought within the state. As a result, the frequency and intensity of the
volatile internal conflicts are significantly increasing in number around the world.
Between 1989 and 1996, 95 of the 101 armed conflicts identified around the
world were such internal confrontations. Describing the intensity
of the violent conflicts around the world, Bishnu Raj Upreti writes: “In 1999 there
were 40 armed conflicts being fought within the territories of 36 countries, up
from 36 armed conflicts in 31 countries in 1998, and 37 in 32 countries in 1997.
The People’s War initiated in Nepal in 1996 is considered as the creation of
interwoven and complex web of socioeconomic, legal and politico-ideological problems.
Little attention was paid to it in the beginning both at national and international
levels, but it quickly intensified across the country. It has now become
Nepal’s most pressing political, socio-cultural and economic problem.
The escalation of armed violence due to the People’s War has resulted in disruption
of lives, livelihoods and security; serious damage or destruction of public
and private properties; possible disintegration of unity in diversity and disturbance in harmonious relationship among communities; massive exodus and displacement
of people; and increased hardship for the poor, marginalized, disadvantaged
and vulnerable people in getting access to basic needs, resources and services as
basic rights. I agree with Upreti as he writes, “When conflict escalates into violence
and civil war, persuasive despair, sorrow, and grief are the unwanted realities
and irrepressible damage to society is unavoidable. Building peace in such a
situation becomes far more costly and difficult than to address the root causes of
social conflict before it escalates into such violence”. Therefore, the
armed conflict or People’s War has become a grave threat to life, liberty, security
and dignity of poverty-stricken people and its frequency and intensity are continuously
escalating the violations and abuses of human rights in Nepal.
Abstract: The United States is at a strategic inflection point in South and Central Asia. The death of Osama bin Laden, together with the projected transition to a smaller U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, presents a new opportunity for the United States to protect its enduring interests in the region. In Beyond Afghanistan: A Regional Security Strategy for South and Central Asia, CNAS authors Lieutenant General David W. Barno, USA (Ret.), Andrew Exum and Matthew Irvine identify key priorities for the United States and the key components of a regional strategy in light of fast-changing current events.
This report culminates a year-long project examining the future of U.S. strategy in South and Central Asia given the pending drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Barno, Exum and Irvine examine U.S. relationships with Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and offer immediate and long-term policy recommendations for protecting U.S. interests in the region.
Abstract: The Burke Chair has updated its analysis of the military balance in Asia released late last year. This report traces developments in the balance since 1990, and provides a detailed comparison of military forces as of 2011. It is titled "The Military Balance in Asia, 1990-2011: A Quantitative Analysis" and is available on the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/files/publication/110516_South_Asia-AsiaMilitaryBalance2011.pdf
The report focuses on force strength, and does not attempt to make a narrative analysis. It does, however, address force quality as well as force quantity by showing the comparative strength of key equipment affecting force quality.
It is divided in to ten sections, covering the range of possible comparisons from a focus on major Asian powers to US forces normally deployed in the region, and comparative nuclear capable forces. It provides regional break outs for Northeast Asia, the Taiwan Straits, Southeast Asia, and South Asia - including comparisons of India and Pakistan.
All material is unclassified and drawn from readily available sources with limited updates or modifications in a few cases. We would greatly appreciate further comments, suggestions, and further updates, please send to [email protected].
Abstract: A heated debate was initiated in 1989 when Francis Fukuyama published
his immediately famous essay “The End of History?” in which the author
argued that the world had settled for liberal democracy after the end of
the Cold War: “What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold
War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end
of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution
and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of
human government.” The ensuing debate saw arguments for and against
Fukuyama’s thesis. Some ridiculed his arguments as they – maybe deliberately
– misinterpreted him and made him a strawman for the argument
that events will stop occurring in the future; others took his reasoning seriously
and adopted his ideas as a starting-point for penetrating analyses
of modern history. If interpreted literally, however, the “end of history”
thesis was hollow already when Fukuyama wrote it. History as we know
it is a constant flow with no particular beginning and no particular end,
but “history” is nevertheless used to denote a certain period or a particular
chain of events.
Considerations brought to the fore by the debate over Fukuyama’s
essay were pertinent for the conference “Security and Development in
Asia: New Threats and Challenges in the Post-Postwar Era” that took
place on June 2–3, 2008, organized by the Institute for Security and Development
Policy (ISDP). As the title of the conference indicates, the geographical
focus was Asia. This geographical entity is often written about
as being a homogenous region. To use the concept of “region” for this part of the world is questionable, however. Asia is vast, stretching as it does
from Japan to the Middle East, and from the Arctic to the Indian and the
Pacific Oceans. To point out that Asia is an area in flux, characterized by
diversity and heterogeneity, verges on a prosaic observation. It is not easy
to come to grips with the bewildering array of historical legacies, colonial
imprints, regional disputes, and developmental disparities. It is also commonplace,
but nonetheless equally important, to point out that interdependence
and globalization have made an imprint. While Asia encompasses
a large portion of the earth’s surface, interdependence and globalization
reduce the distance between countries and nations, peoples and
individuals, friends and foes, serving to cause frictions and contentions as
well as promoting mutual interests. To suspicions and fears based on lingering
memories of a history marked by wars and conflict have been added
disputes stemming from religious and ethnic factors, increasing nationalism,
and unequal economic development, among others. It is no exaggeration
to say that security threats and challenges seen as pertinent for
Asia are relevant also in a global context, with events and developments
on that continent having repercussions elsewhere.
Abstract: This is a study of how human security was introduced into Japan’s
foreign policy. Human security is a security idea that came into the limelight
in 1994 when the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
issued its annual report. In a speech in the United Nations the following
year Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi of Japan endorsed the concept
and three years later Prime Minister Obuchi Keizo declared that human
security was going to be a key element of Japan’s foreign policy. Subsequently,
the Japanese government began to put in what has been described
by a pundit as ‘a considerable effort’ to implement this new priority.
Soon after Obuchi’s announcement, the concept was part and parcel
of Japan’s foreign policy liturgy. As Eva Block has pointed out in her
discussion of the heavily ritualized communications that constitute the
foreign policy liturgy of a country, certain things ‘must’ be said, even if
the concepts behind them have little substantive import, and certain other
things ‘must not’ be said despite the fact that they could be justified. In
Japan, human security became a buzz-word and showed up in official
declarations and statements to such a degree that the country began to be
described as a leading proponent of human security.
The aim of the present study is to trace how human security was added
to the Japanese political agenda and made part and parcel of governmental
policies; to clarify the theoretical context and historical background of the
new policy that positioned human security as a key consideration of policies
pursued by the Japanese government; to analyze how its introduction into Japanese foreign policy was implemented in practice; and to study
how it impacted on and resulted in modifications of policies pursued by
Abstract: Amnesty International has published satellite imagery and new testimony that shed light on the horrific conditions in North Korea’s network of political prison camps, which hold an estimated 200,000 people.
The images reveal the location, size and conditions inside the camps. Amnesty International spoke to a number of people, including former inmates from the political prison camp at Yodok as well as guards in other political prison camps, to obtain information about life in the camps.
According to former detainees at the political prison camp at Yodok, prisoners are forced to work in conditions approaching slavery and are frequently subjected to torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment. All the detainees at Yodok have witnessed public executions.
Abstract: Despite perceptions in Washington and New Delhi that China enjoys unique privileges and exercises inordinate influence in Pakistan, Beijing has shown little inclination to directly shape Pakistani behavior. As China’s global portfolio of economic and security interests expands, it is increasingly sensitive to new opportunity costs entailed in sustaining the Sino-Pakistani partnership.
Abstract: The world’s worst online oppressors are using an array of tactics, some reflecting astonishing levels of sophistication, others reminiscent of old-school techniques. From China’s high-level malware attacks to Syria’s brute-force imprisonments, this may be only the dawn of online oppression.
In reporting news from the world’s most troubled nations, journalists have made a seismic shift this year in their reliance on the Internet and other digital tools. Blogging, video sharing, text messaging, and live-streaming from cellphones brought images of popular unrest from the central square of Cairo and the main boulevard of Tunis to the rest of the world. Yet the technology used to report the news has been matched in many ways by the tools used to suppress information. Many of the oppressors’ tactics show an increasing sophistication, from the state-supported email in China designed to take over journalists’ personal computers, to the carefully timed cyber-attacks on news websites in Belarus. Still other tools in the oppressor’s kit are as old as the press itself, including imprisonment of online writers in Syria, and the use of violence against bloggers in Russia.
To mark World Press Freedom Day, May 3, the Committee to Protect Journalists is examining the 10 prevailing tactics of online oppression worldwide and the countries that have taken the lead in their use. What is most surprising about these Online Oppressors is not who they are—they are all nations with long records of repression—but how swiftly they adapted old strategies to the online world.
In two nations we cite, Egypt and Tunisia, the regimes have changed, but their successors have not categorically broken with past repressive practices. The tactics of other nations—such as Iran, which employs sophisticated tools to destroy anti-censorship technology, and Ethiopia, which exerts monopolistic control over the Internet—are being watched, and emulated, by repressive regimes worldwide.
Here are the 10 prevalent tools for online oppression.
Abstract: Is Afghanistan a playground for the India-Pakistan conflict? Or, are the countries in South Asia – Pakistan in particular – the recipients of unrest that spills over from Afghanistan? Alternatively, is the larger neighbourhood, South Asia and Afghanistan included, a mere victim of rivalry between global powers? Views on the relationship between Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries vary widely, with fundamental consequences for how one understands the conflict, and what policies one finds constructive. Cognizant of the roles of actors in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf region, and excluding neither the importance of Afghan domestic factors nor global forces, this paper focuses on the way that the India-Pakistan conflict – the primary security dynamic in the South Asian region – informs the two countries’ engagement in Afghanistan.
The paper argues that because the problem of Afghanistan is at the periphery, rather than at the core, of the security problems of the South Asian Security Complex, any ambitions for influence in the future of Afghanistan that Pakistan and India, as the key players of South Asia, may have are related to resolving their own internal insecurities, their own security dilemmas within the South Asia region and their own global ambitions rather than in ‘entering’ Afghanistan and replacing the US and NATO troops after they depart. If both want influence there, it is primarily because they seek solutions to their own insecurities, as well as guarantees from the US against each other. This means that as long as the core insecurities within the South Asia RSC are not resolved, negative influences may continue to hamper stabilization efforts in Afghanistan.
Abstract: The risks posed by fragile states have moved to the
centre-stage of Western security consciousness only in
recent years, fundamentally as the result of globalisation
and precipitously due to the 9/11 attacks on the United
States.1 The threats posed by fragile states to the Western
countries are palpable and proximate—for instance, in the
form of terrorist plots, influx of refugees and organised
crime—but the origins of the threats are relatively remote.
Western policymakers and publics, therefore, enjoy a
certain geographical and temporal insulation, not only
allowing for detached analysis but also allowing a broader
range of policy options.
It is different for India. Both its immediate and its extended
neighbourhoods consist of several states that are in the
turbulence of transition, contending with institutional
weaknesses, political fragility and governance failure. For
India, history and proximity turn what might have been
largely matters of foreign policy into a number of interconnected
issues of domestic politics.
Abstract: This Security Policy Brief looks at the vote
on the UNSC resolution on Libya and tries
to see in it some signs of the new
international order in the making. Why did
the BRIC countries abstain? Why was the
US so shy? What does it all mean for the
Abstract: This issue of CrisisWatch summarizes developments during the month of March 2011 in some 70 situations of ongoing or potential conflict. It assesses whether the overall situation in each case has, during the previous month, significantly deteriorated, improved or on balance remained unchanged. Moreover, it alerts readers to situations where there is a particular risk of escalated conflict or, on the other hand, a conflict resolution opportunity.
Abstract: The Mekong River – Southeast Asia’s largest river – runs from the Tibetan Plateau and through China’s
Yunnan province. This part of the river is heavily dammed. South of China, as it goes through Burma,
Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, has been spared. That might soon be changing as Laos, backed by Thailand,
is set to start the construction of the 1260 megawatt Xayaburi hydroelectric plant. Vietnam opposes
this plan and claims that the future of the river, and the communities along it, will be threatened. National
interests are clearly pitted against each other. The split regarding the future of the Mekong River threatens
to damage the relations between Laos and Vietnam and increase regional insecurity.
Abstract: Japan has played a central role internationally to promote and mainstream human security, the alternative security concept launched by the UNDP in 1994. Two key instruments devised by Japan are the Trust Fund for Human Security within the United Nations (established 1999) and the Commission on Human Security (2001-03). This report focuses on Japan’s policy for human security and the place of human security in Japan’s foreign policy.
Abstract: This briefer provides up-to-date information on the Burma-China gas and oil pipelines. Through firsthand accounts, leaked documents, and publicly available information, EarthRights International analyzes corporate responsibility and accountability with respect to the pipelines, according to international laws and standards, and Burmese law. It discusses how to mitigate harmful impacts and improve the benefits for the people of Burma, and concludes with practical recommendations for key stakeholders.
Abstract: Zimbabwe has suffered from high levels of political violence since 2000. While some states and the European Union (EU) have responded by imposing arms embargoes, other states have expressed no concerns about the situation. The most prominent supplier of arms to Zimbabwe has been China, which supplied more than one-third of the volume of Zimbabwe’s major weapons between 1980 and 2009. Russia has identified Zimbabwe as a potential market for its arms, but has yet to make many deliveries. While the United Kingdom was a major supplier in the 1980s and 1990s, it has since stopped selling arms to Zimbabwe.