Previous Events 2011

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Previous Events 2011


Experts from the United States and Japan speak on maritime security challenges at the East-West Center in WashingtonDecember 6 Event: The United States-Japan Alliance and Maritime Security Challenges

Dr. Akihiro Iwashita, identified a major problem in Japan’s border security: there is no clear maritime border. While much of the focus on Asian maritime security tensions has centered on the South China Sea, there are also maritime and territorial disputes in Northeast Asia. Dr. Iwashita, head of the Border Studies program at Hokkaido University, brought two Japanese experts on Japan’s border and security policies from Chukyo University, Mr. Koji Furukawa, and Dr. Akihiro Sado, to the East-West Center in Washington to discuss these maritime security challenges. They were joined by Dr. Andrew Oros, and Dr. Richard Bush, who examined the role of the US-Japan alliance in addressing these issues. Read more...


Southeast Asia expert, Dr. Bridget Walsh, explained the drivers, obstacles, and trajectories of Malaysian political reform at the East-West Center in Washington.November 18 Event: Political Reform in Malaysia: Reality or Rhetoric?

In an off-the-record program at the East-West Center in Washington, co-sponsored by the ASEAN Studies Center at American University, Dr. Bridget Welsh, drew on her expertise of politics in Southeast Asia and on the ground observations of this political sea-change, to explain the current state of political reform in Malaysia. Read more...


Dr. Pravkar Sahoo at the East-West Center in WashingtonNovember 16 Event: The US-India Economic Partnership: Issues and Opportunities

In the decade from 2001 to 2010, the value of trade between the United States and India grew four-fold, making India the twelfth largest US trading partner. Having intensely researched bilateral trade, investment, and future cooperation prospects between these two significant economies, visiting fellow Dr. Pravakar Sahoo argued that while trade and investment constitutes the core of the Indo-US strategic dialogue, such cooperation in its current form lacks focus. Despite this, he feels a lot can be done to strengthen the US-India economic partnership. Read more...


Dr. Julie Chernov Hwang at the East-West Center in WashingtonNovember 15 Event: Assessing Violence: The Disengagement of Indonesian Jihadis

Once thought to be the next hotbed and safe haven for radical Muslims, visiting fellow Dr. Julie Chernov Hwang’s in-depth and in-person research over the past few years in Indonesia reveals an interesting trend in the country’s most notable Jihadi movements. Increasingly, members of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and Mujahedeen KOMPAK are disengaging from violence. Through her interviews with current and former JI and KOMPAK members, Dr. Chernov Hwang was able to penetrate the minds and lives of militants to discover why they would either migrate from a violent to a non-violent role within their respective movement or leave the movement altogether. Read more...


ANU Delegation at the East-West Center in WashingtonNovember 9 Event: Bilateral and Multilateral Security Structures in the Asia-Pacific: Coexistence of Competition?

The “economic-security nexus”, the network of US alliances in the Pacific, regional architecture, and arms control were just a few of the topics discussed at a roundtable featuring Asia Pacific security experts from Australia National University. The panelists, Dr. John Ravenhill, Dr. William Tow, Dr. Brendan Taylor, and Dr. David Envall each presented their findings from focus groups on Asia Pacific security thought that were conducted as part of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supported ANU-MacArthur Asia Security Initiative Partnership Project(ANU-MASI). Read more...


Endy Bayuni at East-West Center in Washington

October 19 Event:

Religion and Politics in Indonesia

As Indonesia evolves into a modern, open and democratic society, the Muslim-majority nation is struggling in trying to define the role that religion plays in state affairs. However, as Mr. Endy Bayuni explained in his presentation at the East-West Center in Washington, the real political fault line in Indonesia and other Muslim-majority states is not between Islamists and secularists, but rather along the classic liberal-conservative divide. Read more...


September 16 Event: The New China

“China has changed in ways we haven’t caught up with yet in recent years,” argued Dr. William Overholt in his seminar on “The New China”, at the East West Center in Washington. Dr. Overholt described how dramatically China has changed since the 1990s, and not just in terms of economic significance. Members of China’s leadership have changed from charismatic, entrepreneurial figures to administrators. A trend toward centralized power has been reversed by the rise of interest group and regional influence. Formerly rapid political reform has ceased. Read more...


Brahma Challaney at the East-West Center in Washington

September 14 Event: Water: Asia's New Battleground

Water stress is set to become Asia's defining crisis of the twenty-first century, creating obstacles to continued rapid economic growth, stoking interstate tensions over shared resources, exacerbating long-time territorial disputes, and imposing further hardships on the poor. As Dr. Brahma Chellaney described at the launch of his new book, Water: Asia's New Battleground, at the East-West Center in Washington, high economic and population growth in Asia is leading to a spiraling demand for water as water intensive industries spread and standards of living rise. Read more...

Korea Matters for America launchSeptember 13 Event: Korea Matters for America Launch

Experts on key facets of the United States-Korea relationship participated in a panel event at the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington DC, to launch Korea Matters for America, the latest publication in the East-West Center in Washington’s ongoing Asia Matters for America initiative. Representing both the public and private sectors, the panelists highlighted various aspects of the bilateral partnership with the widest reaching effect on both sides.  Read more...

August 4 Event: Toward New Security Management and Cooperation in Northeast Asia

For the project entitled Toward New Security Management and Cooperation in Northeast Asia, Professors Kiichi Fujiwara, Suk-hee Han, and T.J. Pempel, were among a group of researchers from the ROK, China, Europe, Japan, and the United States who produced a series of papers addressing multiple aspects of a central puzzle in Northeast Asian security; namely, that despite considerable rhetoric and saber-rattling from various quarters, the region has actually been devoid of state-to-state shooting wars since the Korean armistice. The three explained their views that the relatively peaceful conditions of the region defy the popular models found in international relations theory. Read more...


Dr. Marcus Noland at the East-West Center in Washington

July 19 Event: Engaging North Korea: The Role of Economic Statecraft


The efficacy of economic inducements and sanctions is hotly contested on the Korean peninsula. Dr. Marcus Noland argues, however, that both strategies are equally ineffective. This in part stems from his view that the North Korean government “has no accountability and the total ability to inflict misery on its citizens.” As a Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, at this event the speaker launched his most recent publication, Engaging North Korea: The Role of Economic Statecraft, a part of the East-West Center's Policy Studies Series. Read more...


Dr. Masako Ikegami at the East-West Center in Washington

July 12 Event: The New Imperial China: A US-Japanese Strategic Response


Asia is volatile; an epicenter of insecurity in terms of risks of armed conflicts, failing states possessing weapons of mass destruction, proliferation of WMD technology, clandestine arms transfers, and human and drug trafficking. Understanding the nature of a rising China in this volatile environment is critical. Dr. Masako Ikegami argued that China’s strategy toward strategically important countries with rich natural resources, such as North Korea and Myanmar/Burma, parallel Imperial Japan’s strategy toward Manchuria in the 1930s. Read more...


Dr. Christopher Candland at the East-West Center in WashingtonJuly 7 Event: Private Initiatives for Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan: Faith and Philanthropy in an Islamic Republic

Tens of millions of Pakistani citizens survive without health services, clean water, adequate nutrition, or formal education. Even as the Pakistani economy grows, poverty in Pakistan increases – in both absolute and in proportional terms. Philanthropists have stepped up to provide millions of Pakistanis with essential social services; each of the major political parties now operates social welfare associations. Dr. Christopher Candland presented his research on effects of the religious provision of social goods on the Pakistani state. Read more...


Mara Hvistendahl at the East-West Center in WashingtonJune 13 Event: Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men

Sex selection has yielded an imbalance of 160 million more males than females throughout the developing world -- in China and India, but also in Vietnam and Korea, among other countries. In her first book, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men , Mara Hvistendahl argues that sex selection is spreading as countries develop; development leads to falling fertility rates and increases pressure on women to make their first or second child a boy. Read more...


Japan Matters for America launch in Los AngelesJune 7 Event: Japan Matters for America Initiative Launched in Southern California

Japan’s economy faces short term challenges in the wake of the devastating March 11 earthquake and longer term challenges related to its debt, aging population, and economic malaise, but the country nevertheless continues to remain an important partner of the United States. Such were the conclusions of a panel of business leaders and academics at a conference entitled “Japan Matters: Japan’s Positive Impact on the Southern California Economy.” The panel participants analyzed the many ways Japan and the Los Angeles area have become very close partners in many areas. Read more...


The East-West Center in Washington hosted a reception in honor of the student recipients of the U.S.-South Pacific (USSP) and the U.S.-Timor-Leste (USTL) Scholarship Programs, which are funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and administered by the East-West Center (EWC) in Honolulu, Hawaii. This group of thirteen students was led by Mr. Gene Vricella, Scholarship Program Coordinator with the Education Program at the East-West Center. Read more...


Three Indonesian speakers, Mr. Djuahari Oratmangun, Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya, and Ms. Connie Rahakundini Bakrie, delegation members of the 24th ASEAN-US Dialogue, gave a detailed presentation examining Indonesia's priorities as the 2011 Chair of ASEAN, its agenda for the year, as well as how Indonesia will work to realize these goals. Mr. Oratmangun outlined four goals for Indonesia as ASEAN chair that centered on solidifying the institution and looking beyond 2015 with an eye toward augmenting its role as a regional community. Read more...


Malaysian journalists, Hariati Azizan, Rita Jong, and Lydia Edwina, at the East-West Center in WashingtonMay 11 Event: Addressing  Human Trafficking Issues in Malaysia and Southeast Asia

Many countries within Southeast Asia are making substantial efforts to address the issue of human trafficking, which is both a global and regional concern. Three Malaysian journalists, who were also participants in the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program, Ms. Hariati Azizan, Ms. Rita Jong, and Ms. Lydia Edwina Gomez discussed the current human trafficking concerns that exist in their country, as well as efforts being made by the grassroots community and the Malaysian government to address this issue. Read more...


Amb. Kurt Tong at the East-West Center in WashingtonMay 10 Event: Japan's Economic Resilience

Ambassador Kurt Tong, U.S. Ambassador to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)Forum, along with panelists Ms. Alicia Ogawa, of the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at the Columbia University Business School, and Mr. Carl J. Green, the Senior Advisor in the Washington, DC office of Hitachi Ltd., discussed the economic impact of the recent tsunami and earthquake, as well as challenges and opportunities for rebuilding in the coming years. Read More...


May 4 Event: Asia-Pacific Regionalism: More a Competition Than a Community

At first glance, 2010 was a boon for Asia-Pacific regionalism, especially with Russia and the United States being invited to join the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the first meeting of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Plus Eight (ADMM+8) forum. However, Professor Malcolm Cook argues that "there is a growing level of competition between and within the different individual regional bodies that will start to play out much more." Read More...


April 14 Event: Indonesia's Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2011: Can It Deliver?

As Chair of ASEAN in 2011, Indonesia has set a rather ambitious agenda for the Association to accomplish. In addition to accelerating the implementation of ASEAN Community agendas, it also seeks to shape the emerging regional architecture in East Asia and lay the foundation for ASEAN to play a role in the global community of nations. However, managing intra-regional and extra-regional challenges will not be an easy feat. Dr. Rizal Sukma discussed the priorities of Indonesia's chairmanship of ASEAN in 2011 and examined the challenges Indonesia and the ASEAN Community may face as it attempts to implement these agendas. Read More...


William Tow at the East West CenterApril 13 Event: Regional Order-Building in the Asia-Pacific: An Australian Perspective

The March 2011 distasters in Japan focused international attention on the importance 'non-traditional security' contingencies and planning in the Asian region. Professor William Tow argued that over the longer-term, peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific will be shaped primarily by the success of the great powers and other countries in that part of the world in identifying and negotiating mutually acceptable frameworks for regional security. Read more...


Dr. Mark Borthwick, director of the US Asia Pacific Council, and Dr. Christopher A. McNally discuss China's political economy.

April 12 Event: Rebalancing China's Political Economy

According to Dr. Christopher A. McNally, the recently released 12th Five-Year Plan demonstrates a "distinct seriousness on the part of the Chinese government to really do something about what is an unbalanced and ‘GDP-growth-addicted’ model of developing the economy." He added that the new policies will focus on centralization, standardization, and regulation under state guidance. Read more...

Mr. Muhammad Ejaz Khan, Ms. Mehmal Sarfraz and Mr. Kamal Siddiqi, participants in the East-West Center's US-Pakistan Journalists Exchange, discuss rising extremism in Pakistan and the role of the media with Dr. Satu Limaye, director of the East-West Center in Washington.

April 11 Event: Rising Extremism in Pakistan: Perspectives from the Media

Pakistani society is increasingly becoming radicalized. The determinants of the growing extremism and violence are both internal and external, including the controversial blasphemy law, conflict in Afghanistan, and low capacity of the civilian government to maintain internal security. Mr. Muhammad Ejaz Khan, Ms. Mehmal Sarfraz, and Mr. Kamal Siddiqi, discussed how the growing radicalization of society is affecting media and freedom of expression. Read more...


International aid has been critical in supporting non-state actors in Southeast Asia, specifically non-governmental organizations active in development and related issue areas, such as public health, food security, the environment, and human rights. However, Dr. Sheila Nair believes that the many problems associated with aid are generally being approached by technocrats and solutions are not exactly fitting recipients’ needs. Read more...

March 31 Event: Failing to Deliver: Defense Reforms in India

Despite some incremental progress, Mr. Anit Mukherjee argues that Indian defense reforms have failed to deliver, due to bureaucratic politics and the absence of dialogue between politicians, bureaucrats and the military. Discussant Dr. Stephen P. Cohen also explained that there is confusion in India, regarding the strategic purpose of the military. Read more...


Dr. Thitinan Pongsudhirak and Dr. Satu Limaye discuss the Thai-Cambodian border dispute. Domestic Drivers, Regional Dynamics: ASEAN and the Thai-Cambodian Border Dispute

March 25 Event: Domestic Drivers, Regional Dynamics: ASEAN and the Thai-Cambodian Border Dispute

The border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over the Preah Vihear temple complex is a legacy of colonial history and an ongoing source of bilateral tension that has periodically flared up behind guns and tanks and in the corridors of international legal adjudication. Dr. Thitinan Pongsudhirak explained that the contested land and Thai-Cambodian relations have now become pawns in the Thai domestic political game. Read more..

Professor Carlyle Thayer and Dr. Nguyen Manh Hung discuss the positive outlook for US-Vietnam relations.

March 23 Event: The Outlook for US-Vietnam Relations

In 2010, both the United States and Vietnam affirmed their commitment to improving bilateral relations. Although US concerns regarding human rights in Vietnam may complicate these efforts, Dr. Nguyen Manh Hung and Professor Carlyle Thayer agree that there is much room for positive growth, especially because there is no longer a conflict of strategic interests between the two countries. Read more...




Sixty-three years after independence, the issue of national identity remains unsettled in India. In fact, Mr. Gautam Adhikari argues that the debate has intensified within the past decade. Adhikari, the author of the newly-released book The Intolerant Indian: Why We Must Rediscover a Liberal Space , discussed how extremist religious ideologies and violent politics of forces on the right and the left have overshadowed the idea of a liberal, tolerant society that India’s founding fathers hoped to establish. Read more...

The Indian Ocean has recently grown in strategic importance, due to the evolving economic relationships located around the Pacific Rim. Thus,  Dr. Michael Wesley  believes that Southeast Asia, which straddles both the Indian and Pacific oceans, will be at the center of Asia's evolving order in the decade ahead. He argues that "we need to start talking and thinking in terms of the 'Indo-Pacific,' a single geostrategic realm." Read more...


February 2 Event: Southeast Asian Military Modernization: A New Arms Race?

Recent arms acquisitions in Southeast Asia may not fit prevailing theories about the pattern of an “arms race,” however, the regional re-arming process is significant in that the types of arms being acquired go beyond the mere modernization of regional armed forces, and could greatly change the nature and character of potential regional conflicts. Mr. Richard A. Bitzinger and Mr. Bronson Percival discussed the resulting arms competition or “arms dynamic” and its potential for undermining the security and stability of the region.  Read more...


Panelists Professor Geremie Barmé , director of the Australian Centre on China in the World, Professor Andrew MacIntyre , dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University (ANU), and Dr. Richard Rigby, executive director of the China Institute at ANU, discussed the importance of understanding China’s many different voices- especially as the country becomes a major economic and political player.  Read more...

Ms. Jessica Evans discussed the recent Human Rights Watch which investigated numerous rights abuses implicating the Ampatuan family in the southern Philippines. Discussant  Dr. Patricio Abinales  placed these cases of abuse within the broader context of the human rights and domestic political situation.  Read more...


Archieved 2010 Events