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October 6, 2021

Southeast Asia
Is COVID-19 Shaking Up Politics in Southeast Asia?

Many Southeast Asian leaders’ pandemic responses have sparked public outrage and damaged their legitimacy. This could prompt the biggest political changes across the region since the 1990s.

Protesters lay on the ground in front of a line of police and raise their hands in a three-finger salute.

July 26, 2021

Southeast Asia
Malaysia’s Political Crisis Is Dooming Its COVID-19 Response

Southeast Asia has in recent weeks become an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indonesia is recording the highest number of confirmed new cases per day in the world, and even one-time success stori…

A cemetery worker wearing a protective suit helps to bury a victim of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a cemetery in Shah Alam, Malaysia, on July 14, 2021.

February 12, 2021

Southeast Asia
The Regional Implications of Myanmar’s Coup

The coup in Myanmar in early February, the country’s first in more than three decades, has reshaped Myanmar’s political landscape. The country had been on a shaky path toward some kind of democracy, …

Myanmar Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing salutes as he attends an event marking the anniversary of Martyrs' Day at the Martyrs' Mausoleum in Yangon on July 19, 2016.

February 12, 2021

Southeast Asia
After Trump: Lessons From Other Post-Populist Democracies

Over the past decade, illiberal populist leaders from across the political spectrum have won elections and taken power in many of the world’s biggest democracies, from the United States to India, the…

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte checks the scope of a 7.62mm sniper rifle during the turnover ceremony of China's urgent military assistance given "gratis" to the Philippines, at Clark Air Base, near Angeles City, Philippines, on June 28, 2017.

June 16, 2021

Southeast Asia
Duterte’s Ingratiating Approach to China Has Been a Bust

Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. was peeved at Beijing. It was early May, and hundreds of Chinese vessels had been regularly intruding into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in t…

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk to a meeting at the Great Hall of People in Beijing, China, on on April 25, 2019.

December 2, 2020

Southeast Asia
What Will the Biden Administration Mean for Southeast Asia?

Although President Donald Trump has not conceded the United States presidential election and is mounting multiple dubious legal challenges to the results, President-elect Joe Biden is moving ahead wi…

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the press next to Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (R) at the Istana presidential palace in Singapore on July 26, 2013.

January 20, 2021

Southeast Asia
COVID-19 Batters Asia’s Already-Struggling Democracies

This article was first published in the Japan Times.  Over the past 15 years, democracy across Asia has regressed. Although the region still has strong democracies like South Korea, Japan and Taiw…

A police officer checks a passenger's body temperature at a quarantine checkpoint amid the reimposed strict lockdown to curb COVID-19 infections, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, on August 5, 2020.

April 19, 2021

Myanmar
Post-Coup Myanmar Could Become a Failed State

In the days after Myanmar’s military staged a coup on Feb. 1, it likely hoped to consolidate power with minimal bloodshed. Having overthrown the elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Tatmad…

A fire burns on the street during a protest against the military coup, in Mandalay, Myanmar on April 1, 2021.

October 26, 2020

Southeast Asia
COVID-19 Won’t Stop Myanmar From Plowing Ahead With a Flawed Election

Myanmar is set to hold general elections next month, for the second time since the end of military rule in 2011. The last election, in 2015, ushered Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy i…

Myanmar State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi leaves after paying her respects to her late father during a ceremony to mark the 73rd anniversary of Martyrs' Day in Yangon on July 19, 2020.

August 11, 2020

Southeast Asia
What’s Behind Mainland Southeast Asia’s Surprising Success Against COVID-19

With the exception of Thailand, the five countries of mainland Southeast Asia are some of the poorest in the Asia-Pacific region. According to the World Bank, Cambodia has a per capita GDP of around …

Students wearing face masks and face shields sit as they attend a flag-raising ceremony as schools nationwide reopened, in Pathum Thani province, Thailand on July 1, 2020.