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October 22, 2019

Southeast Asia
Thailand’s King Consolidates Power—Stripping His Consort of Titles is Just a Tiny Fraction of His Increasing Power

Earlier this week, Thailand’s King Vajiralongkorn stripped his consort of all her titles, claiming that she had been disloyal and was essentially trying to take the place of the king. He had only app…

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn and General Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, the royal consort, pose at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters August 27, 2019.

September 26, 2019

Southeast Asia
While Bangladesh and Myanmar Plan Rohingya Repatriation, Rohingya in Myanmar Remain at Grave Risk

In recent months, the Myanmar government has begun pushing for some of the over one million Rohingya living in Bangladesh to return to Myanmar’s Rakhine State. As I noted in a blog post for CFR.org e…

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at the Rakhine State Investment Fair at Ngapali beach in Thandwe, Rakhine, Myanmar on February 22, 2019.

October 10, 2019

Southeast Asia
A Review of “The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century”

By Hunter Marston and Joshua Kurlantzick Hunter Marston is a doctoral candidate at Australian National University. In the run-up to Myanmar’s elections next year, there is little positive news …

Myanmar Author Thant Myint-U speaks during the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) in Jaipur on January 23, 2012.

June 3, 2016

China
Forty-Five Minutes With Joshua Wong

Four years ago, when he was just fifteen years old, Joshua Wong launched a campaign to prevent Beijing from enforcing its own version of history in Hong Kong schools. Along with other student activis…

Joshua Wong Umbrella Revolution Protests

September 4, 2019

Southeast Asia
Authoritarian Modernism in East Asia: A Review

Over the past decade, democracy has regressed in much of Asia, though there are notable exceptions including Malaysia and Taiwan. Southeast Asia has witnessed a reversal in Thailand, weakening instit…

Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects troops at the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison as part of events marking the twentieth anniversary of the city's handover from British to Chinese rule, in Hong Kong, China on June 30, 2017.

September 4, 2019

Southeast Asia
What Happens if Rohingya Stay in Bangladesh Forever?

Earlier this month, the Myanmar government embarked upon a new plan to begin repatriating Rohingya who had fled Rakhine State after waves of brutal violence there. It was the second time Naypyidaw tr…

Rohingya refugees play football at Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, March 27, 2018.

August 15, 2019

Southeast Asia
Nuon Chea and the Failures of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Earlier this month, Nuon Chea, the former number two in the Khmer Rouge’s genocidal 1975–1979 regime, died in a hospital in Phnom Penh. He was ninety-three years old.  Nuon Chea had served under Khme…

The Khmer Rouge's most senior surviving leader, “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, is held as he approaches the municipal court in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh on December 13, 2002.

August 6, 2019

Southeast Asia
Can Indonesia Reclaim Its Dominance of Southeast Asian Strategic Policymaking?

For the latter half of the twentieth century, after the United Nations officially recognized Indonesian independence in 1949, Indonesia dominated regional politics in Southeast Asia. But during its s…

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo sits in the cockpit of a Sukhoi fighter jet while attending a military exercise at Ranai military airbase in Natuna Island, Riau Islands province, Indonesia October 6, 2016.

August 5, 2019

Southeast Asia
Pressure Increases on Thai Activists Abroad

Over the past two years, and even as Thailand has made a transition from junta rule to, now, some kind of hybrid rule, following hotly contested but unfair elections, Thai activists living abroad hav…

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha attends the 2019 National Anti-Trafficking in Persons Day at a Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand, June 5, 2019.

July 10, 2019

Southeast Asia
Can Democracy’s Breakdown in Asia be Stopped?

It has become, at this point, almost a trope to conclude that global democracy is increasingly imperiled, but there is considerable evidence backing this theory. In response to the global threats to …

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) and Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, attend the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN at a hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia May 11, 2017.