Post World War II Asia has been war prone. Asia has been home to numerous internal and international wars since 1945. And Asia continues to face many security challenges including numerous territorial disputes. In the 1980s, many observers especially from the West opined that Europe’s past would be Asia’s future. Despite such prognostications, Asia has enjoyed relative international peace and become much more prosperous. Excepting the 1987 Sino-Vietnamese border clash and the 1991 Kargil War, Asia has been free of international war since 1979. Asia has now enjoyed relative international peace for about 35 years. There is again a growing chorus particularly in but not only in the West of the likelihood of international war in Asia. Citing the growing power of China, increasing tensions between China and the U.S., the many territorial disputes in Asia especially those involving China, historical animosities, rising nationalism, ongoing military modernization and build-up as well as the spread of nuclear weapons in the region, many have become apprehensive suggesting that peace in Asia may not last. In his lecture Dr. Alagappa will explore the basis for the international peace in Asia since 1979 and the type of peace that has prevailed in Asia. He will venture his thoughts on whether the present international peace in Asia will continue and what needs to be done to strengthen peace in Asia.
About the Speaker:
Dato’ Dr. Muthiah Alagappa is non-resident Senior Associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. He was the inaugural Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies at ISIS Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (2011-12). Prior to that, he was Distinguished Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, founding director of East-West Center Washington, and director of the integrated research programme in East-West Center Honolulu. He has held visiting professorships in Columbia University, Stanford University, Keio University in Tokyo, and the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He was Leverhulme visiting professor in Bristol University in 2008 and the Kippenberger Visiting Chair in the School of Government, Victoria University, New Zealand in 2010-11.
Before his academic career, Dr. Alagappa served in the Malaysian Armed Forces. From 1962 to 1982 he held field, command, and staff positions including senior army member defence planning staff in the Ministry of Defence and command of three signals regiments.
With extensive research management experience in the United States, Dr. Alagappa has published widely in highly reputed international journals and university presses. His recent publications include The Long Shadow: Nuclear Weapons and Security in 21st Century Asia (2009), Civil Society and Political Change in Asia: Expanding and Contracting Democratic Space (2004), and Asian Security Order: Instrumental and Normative Features (2003); all published by Stanford University Press.
Dr. Alagappa has a PhD degree in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a MA in Politics from the University of Lancaster in the United Kingdom. His early schooling was in the Federation Military College, Port Dickson, Clifford School, Kuala Kangsar, and the Gandhi Memorial Tamil School also in Kuala Kangsar.