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January 26, 2021

Religion
Nigeria: “A Nation In Search Of Vindication”

Roman Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Matthew Kukah in a Christmas message delivered a blistering critique of Nigeria's governance and political economy. In it he accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari swears in ministers into his cabinet in Abuja, Nigeria on November 11, 2015. The room is well-lit with a green carpeted floor, with the Nigerian coat of arms surrounded by four pots of flowers. The ministers are standing around the room, while Buhari is seated at the head.

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.

January 12, 2021

Southeast Asia
Thailand’s Dangerous Political Interregnum

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center of Southeast Asian Studies. King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne in October 2016, ending the authoritative and l…

A car of the royal motorcade drives past a Thai antigovernment mass protest, on the 47th anniversary of the 1973 student uprising, in Bangkok, Thailand on October 14, 2020.

December 29, 2020

2020 in Review
Ten World Figures Who Died in 2020

I wrote yesterday about ten Americans who died in 2020 who shaped U.S. foreign policy during their lifetimes. But Americans are not the only ones who influence world affairs. Below are ten world figu…

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen attends a memorial service for late Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui at a chapel of Aletheia University in New Taipei City, Taiwan September 19, 2020.

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.

November 19, 2020

Southeast Asia
Crackdown Looming for Thai Protests

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Thais woke up on Thursday to breaking news: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha had issued a st…

Demonstrators are seen as water cannons are being used during an anti-government protest as lawmakers debate on constitution change, outside the parliament in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 17, 2020.

November 9, 2020

Human Trafficking
The Global Health Crisis and Human Trafficking Are Correlated–But How?

This post is part of the Council on Foreign Relations’ blog series on human trafficking, in which CFR fellows and other leading experts assess new approaches to improve U.S. and global efforts to cur…

Women at a Textile Mill

October 28, 2020

Southeast Asia
The Thai King Sends Messages Presaging Conflict in Thailand

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Three months have passed and the protests in Thailand have intensified. One of the main mess…

People show the three-fingered salute during a protest, in Bangkok, Thailand on October 26, 2020.

October 20, 2020

Southeast Asia
Is a Crackdown Looming for the Thai Protests?

Weeks of demonstrations in Thailand have now spread across the country. They continued over the weekend even as the authorities have arrested multiple protest leaders, issued an emergency decree bann…

Pro-democracy protesters show the three-finger salute during an anti-government protest, in Bangkok, Thailand on October 19, 2020.

October 19, 2020

Southeast Asia
What Now for Thailand’s Protests?

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies.  The crackdown on Thai protesters at dawn on October 15 brought an abrupt end to overnight d…

People remove barricades blocking the road during an antigovernment protest, in Bangkok, Thailand on October 16, 2020.