RSIS Book Launch Seminar of “Asian Military Evolutions: Civil-Military Relations in Asia”
About the Book
The grounded study of Asia’s civil-military relations is overdue. In this new edited volume published by Bristol University Press last month, Alan Chong and Nicole Jenne argue that civil-military relations in Asia ought to be analysed under the concept of Asian military evolutions. Civil-military relations, or CMR in short, have conventionally been derived as a subject worthy of political and scholarly attention because it addresses the question of the viability of a democracy while it has to constitutionally control its so-called ‘armed guardian’. The theme of Asian military evolutions addresses both deliberate and accidental political efforts to defuse disputes between civilian politicians and military leaders over the operation of political order, and builds on innovative attempts to treat CMR as a productive field for defence diplomacy and military operations other than war (MOOTW). Of course, the ‘threat to democracy’ problematique CMR has conventionally dealt with has not completely lost relevance as events over the past decade have shown across Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. However, CMR is increasingly becoming recognized as a key component of strategies to deal with Asia’s broadening national and transnational security agendas, including development and what has become popularly known human security. Asian Military Evolutions contains 13 country studies and one issue based chapter on the peacekeeping dimension of CMR in Southeast Asia. Given the coverage of the book, this seminar will feature remarks by a cross-section of five of its authors as well as an incisive discussion by a senior expert from the RSIS Military Studies Programme.
The book is available for purchase from Bristol University Press.
Discount Code for Online 50% discount: AME50
About the Speakers
Alan Chong is Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. He has published widely on the notion of soft power and the role of ideas in constructing the international relations of Singapore and Asia. His publications have appeared in Contemporary Southeast Asia, The Pacific Review; International Relations of the Asia-Pacific; Asian Survey; East Asia: an International Quarterly; Politics, Religion and Ideology; the Review of International Studies; the Cambridge Review of International Affairs and Armed Forces and Society. He is also the author of Foreign Policy in Global Information Space: Actualizing Soft Power (Palgrave, 2007) and editor of International Security in the Asia Pacific: Transcending ASEAN towards Transitional Polycentrism (Palgrave, 2018). He is currently working on several projects exploring the notion of “Asian international theory”. His interest in soft power has also led to inquiry into the sociological and philosophical foundations of international communication. In the latter area, he is currently working on a manuscript titled ‘The International Politics of Communication: Representing Community in a Globalizing World”. In tandem, he has pursued a fledgling interest in researching cyber security issue.
Gregory Raymond is a lecturer in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and the author of Thai Military Power: a Culture of Strategic Accommodation (NIAS Press, 2018) and lead author of The US-Thai Alliance and Asian International relations: History, Memory and Current Developments (Routledge 20210 . His work has been published in leading journals including Contemporary Southeast Asia, South East Asia Research, the Journal of Cold War Studies and the Australian Journal of International Affairs. He appears regularly in the media as a commentator on Thailand’s politics.
As well as convening the ASEAN Australia Defence Postgraduate Scholarship Program, he is an editor of the journal Asian Studies Review. Before joining the ANU, Greg worked extensively in Government, including in strategic and defence international policy areas of the Department of Defence.
Chang Jun Yan is a Research Fellow with the Military Studies Programme and the US Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He has published on international and regional security, his area of focus, in various academic journals. Prior to joining RSIS, Jun Yan was a combat officer in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). He has participated in various multilateral maritime exercises, such as the Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) in Hawaii. He was also part of the RSN’s counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin, Operation Blue Sapphire (Maritime) OBS (M). Jun Yan graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a BSc in Political Science and a minor in English Studies, obtained his MSc (International Relations) from RSIS, and has a PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia.
Adhi Priamarizki is a Research Fellow at the Indonesia Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He holds a PhD in International Relations from Ritsumeikan University, Japan and a MSc in Strategic Studies from RSIS. Adhi wrote a doctoral dissertation on civil-military relations in Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand. His research interests include Indonesia’s military transformation, civil-military relations in Southeast Asia, and Indonesian politics. His publications have appeared in East Asia Forum, The Jakarta Post, New Mandala, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, Defense & Security Analysis, and Contemporary Southeast Asia.
James Char is Research Fellow with the China Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He is the inaugural recipient of the Wong Wai Ling Scholarship in the Masters of Arts in Contemporary China (since renamed the Masters of Social Sciences in China and Global Governance) at NTU. He received his Ph.D. in military history at the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Char has published extensively on China’s domestic politics and its military developments. More specifically, his research centres on the nexus between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). At present, his work focuses on the ongoing PLA reforms and the history of the Chinese Civil War. He has published or served as guest editor for a number of top-tier peer-reviewed journals, including Asian Security, China Quarterly, the Journal of Strategic Studies and The National Interest.
In addition to his role as a regular guest commentator with international media outlets, Dr. Char’s policy analyses and op-ed pieces have also been featured on platforms such as The Diplomat, East Asia Forum, Pacific Forum CSIS, RSIS Commentaries and The National Interest, as well as Singapore’s major newspapers (both in English and Chinese). His work on Chinese civil-military relations has also been cited at a hearing of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
David Han is a Senior Analyst with the Malaysia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He is also currently pursuing his PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Before joining RSIS, he was a Research Assistant at the National Institute of Education (NIE). Prior to his stint at NIE, he was a Research Officer at the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF). His research interests include foreign policy analysis, international relations theory, international relations of Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific, and foreign policies of Malaysia and the Philippines. David possesses an Honours degree in Political Science from the National University of Singapore (NUS). He completed his MSc in International Relations at RSIS.
Alistair D. B. Cook is Coordinator of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Programme and Senior Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. His research interests focus geographically on the Asia-Pacific and Myanmar in particular and thematically on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), foreign policy and regional cooperation. He has taught undergraduate, graduate and professional development courses at Purdue University, University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Nanyang Technological University, Australian National University, Singapore Civil Defence Academy and SAFTI.
Anit Mukherjee is Deputy Head of Graduate Studies, and an Associate Professor in the South Asia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He is the author of The Absent Dialogue: Politicians, Bureaucrats and the Military in India (NY: Oxford University Press, 2019). He joined RSIS after a post doctorate at the Centre for the Advanced Study of India (CASI), University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. From 2010-2012, he was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. While in the doctoral program, he worked at the Brookings Institution and was a Summer Associate at RAND Corporation. He is also the co-editor (with Rajesh Basrur and TV Paul) of India-China Maritime Competition: The Security Dilemma at Sea (Routledge, 2019) and (with C. Raja Mohan) of India’s Naval Strategy and Asian Security (Routledge, 2015). He has published in Armed Forces & Society, Asian Security, Asia Policy, New York Times, The Caravan, and Indian Express, among others. His article titled “Fighting Separately: Jointness and Civil-Military Relations in India” was awarded the 2017 Amos Perlmutter prize by The Journal of Strategic Studies. He is also Non-Resident Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI), University of Pennsylvania and a Non-Resident Fellow at Centre for Social and Economic Progress (CSEP). Formerly, he was a Major in the Indian Army and is an alumnus of India’s National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla. Asst Prof Mukherjee won the RSIS Teaching Award for Academic Year 2017/2018.
Adrian Tan is the Executive Coordinator, Policy Research Office; Head of Strategic Planning, Coordination and Projects, and Deputy Director of Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Prior to joining RSIS, Adrian was with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Singapore. During his time with MFA, Mr Tan served in diplomatic missions in Cairo, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi. He also served in directorates dealing with Southeast Asia, Middle East, Northeast Asia, Protocol and Consular Affairs. His current research interests relate to the politics of Southeast Asia.
He has a Masters in Arts from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the National University of Singapore.