Governance, Security, and Justice

Regional security and good governance, including support for human rights, are central to political stability and social and economic development in Asia and the Pacific. Working with regional collaborators, East-West Center researchers address issues of domestic and international political change, security, conflict and cooperation, governance, the role of civil society, the rule of law, human rights, and international humanitarian law. As with other Center research, many of these efforts have a strong capacity-building component. Collaborative research and training in this area include:


AIJI monitoring team at the Extradorinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, also known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

The Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI). Since 2003, the East-West Center and the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice have worked together to foster justice initiatives and capacity-building programs that promote human rights. The Initiative helps governments pursue a human rights-oriented approach to policymaking, partnering with a range of local and intergovernmental organizations that work on transitional justice initiatives and justice-sector reform.

Asia-Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative (AGDI). Effective democratic governance is central to the East-West Center's mission of promoting a peaceful, prosperous, and just Asia-Pacific region. In pursuit of this mission, the Asia-Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative (AGDI) is a multi-year project that undertakes policy-relevant research, organizes capacity development and leadership workshops and senior-level dialogues among scholars and policymakers, and publishes books and policy briefs on important governance and democracy topics in the region. Current work focuses on issues of local governance, public-administration reform, and disaster management. To better understand the role of cities in economic growth and reasons for expanding inequalities in urban areas, a new collaborative project within AGDI is focusing on Urban Governance for Sustainable Development in Asia.

Rise of China and the Strategic Environment in Northeast Asia. Studies on the impact of China's rise on regional security include specific issues such as China-U.S. strategic disputes, relations across the Taiwan Strait, the North Korea nuclear weapons crisis, and managing tensions in the South China Sea.

Cities at Risk: Building Institutional Capacity for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Cities of Asia and the Pacific. The East-West Center has been involved in a collaborative project to help planners and policymakers develop climate change adaptation and resilience policies at the municipal and regional level and mainstream these policies into the existing mechanisms of government. One project activity has been the development of a five-day urban climate adaptation training course.

North Pacific Arctic Conference. Beginning in 2011, the East-West Center and the Korea Maritime Institute have held an annual North Pacific Arctic Conference in Honolulu. Papers presented at the conferences are published every year in a series of proceedings on The Arctic in World Affairs.

POSCO Visiting Fellows Program. This program brings four to six scholars to the East-West Center every year to study current political, security, and economic issues relating to Korea.The Research Program in Honolulu also works with the East-West Center's Washington, DC office on projects related to conflict and security.

Selected Publications

Research Staff