Opinion

Reform or stagnate – Achieving sustainable and inclusive development in Laos

Despite achieving tremendous development since the 1980s, economic growth amongst ASEAN nations has been accompanied by persistent, and in some cases rising, income and wealth inequalities. These factors raises questions as to whether growth can be sustained in the longer term. These dynamics are particularly evident in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), which …

Reform or stagnate – Achieving sustainable and inclusive development in Laos Read More »

Fast Fashion Nation: Indonesia’s textiles industry in a COVID-19 world

Indonesia’s textiles industry is on the rise, but a number of issues threaten to unhinge it. A global pandemic, foreign ownership, the US-China trade war and the lack of coherent policies are one of the many issues that will not only break an industry, but also endanger the livelihoods of Indonesian textile workers and their …

Fast Fashion Nation: Indonesia’s textiles industry in a COVID-19 world Read More »

The infodemic and authoritarianism in the Indo-Pacific

The authoritarianism of some pandemic responses in the Indo-Pacific has received considerable international criticism. However, many responses to the veritable infodemic afflicting the region have often been no less authoritarian and deserve no less condemnation. The term ‘infodemic’ refers to seismic increases in information about a given topic in a short space of time. Further, …

The infodemic and authoritarianism in the Indo-Pacific Read More »

The fox and the wolf: Liberal Islamophobia and the pressure of ‘moderate’ Islam

Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem, In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Becoming a Muslim convert is a unique experience. It allows you to truly see how comfortable people are in their bias. The first thing that I noticed in the people around me was the discomfort towards my change. They would make …

The fox and the wolf: Liberal Islamophobia and the pressure of ‘moderate’ Islam Read More »

How Australia’s ‘pale, male and stale’ media is hindering our relationship with ASEAN

With Asian-Australians facing heightened racial abuse, Australia’s lack of diversity in media newsrooms has damaged Australia’s relationship with ASEAN through sensationalist reporting of COVID-19.  As coverage of COVID-19 continues to dominate the media, an increasing dark sentiment towards Asians has been made apparent with the pandemic fueling verbal harassment, physical intimidation towards Asians in Australia …

How Australia’s ‘pale, male and stale’ media is hindering our relationship with ASEAN Read More »

Disinformation, Disunity, and Division in Southeast Asian Elections

The outcome of Malaysia’s 14th General Election in 2018 was not decided in the public forums, on television, or even in the streets. It was settled in WhatsApp chats, by chain messages, and on Facebook. The election saw the opposition led by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad end the ruling Barisan National coalition’s 60-year rule of Malaysia. The result …

Disinformation, Disunity, and Division in Southeast Asian Elections Read More »

Out of sight, out of mind: Lessons from COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter for Criminal Justice Reform

Locked behind bars, forced into overcrowded rooms, and lacking basic sanitary equipment such as soap, tensions rise as inmates fear for their lives. Social distancing in prison is impossible. “We’re just waiting to die here,” are the words of one 61-year-old detainee.  The vast majority of offenders commit low-level, non-violent crimes, and they are imprisoned …

Out of sight, out of mind: Lessons from COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter for Criminal Justice Reform Read More »

Marine environmental security in the South China Sea

Australia should lead a marine environmental security initiative in the South China Sea, acting as a mediator between claimant states in forming a policy framework for the region where marine environmental security is the focus. In recent years, disputed territorial claims over the South China Sea has led to increased geopolitical tension in the Indo-Pacific. …

Marine environmental security in the South China Sea Read More »

The New Great Game: Contested Regional Leadership in the South Pacific Theatre

The practice of international relations has historically been understood as a Great Game played between opposing players vying for geopolitical control and influence. Within the context, as the world’s eyes begin to turn towards the South Pacific Region, what can Australia do to formulate an effective regional foreign policy? The Great Game was a concept …

The New Great Game: Contested Regional Leadership in the South Pacific Theatre Read More »

Are China and Australia now ‘frenemies’? What recent developments really say about our relationship.

Tensions between China and Australia are at an all-time high in wake of an escalating political crisis between the two countries. Australia’s diplomatic relationship with China has traversed on rocky ground for years, albeit occurring somewhat more covertly prior to 2020. The recent cancellation of two leading Chinese scholars Australian visas, the evacuation of Australian …

Are China and Australia now ‘frenemies’? What recent developments really say about our relationship. Read More »