Think Tank (6/2021)
The Oxford Handbook of Peaceful Change in International Relations

With the rapid rise of China and the relative decline of the United States, the topic of power transition conflicts has received high scholarly attention. While the discipline of International Relations offers much on why violent power transition conflicts occur, there are very few substantive treatments of why and how peaceful changes take place in world politics.

The Oxford Handbo ...

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Strategy and Defence Policy for Small States: Problems and Prospects
For students of Strategic Studies in small countries with limited financial, human and military resources, the available literature on Strategic Studies, in particular texts that seek to explain the key concepts and components of Strategic Studies, can be very alien in its focus to the strategic conditions and issues that these countries face. This book contains a collection of essays that seeks to discuss key concepts in Strategic Studies, as well as contemporary challenges in strategy and defence policy, from the perspective of small states. It is based on the idea — derived from the German philosopher of war, Carl von Clausewitz — that there is a distinction between logic and grammar: while the field of Strategic Studies contains a number of key concepts (such as geopolitics and geostrategy, strategic culture, arms dynamics and the phenomenon of military modernization) that are universal in logic, the grammar (that is, the specific manifestations of these concepts) in the contexts of small states is necessarily different from larger, more materially endowed, states.
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A History of the People’s Action Party, 1985-2021
The People's Action Party (or PAP) of Singapore is among the longest-ruling democratically-elected political parties in the world, in power continuously since Singapore gained self-rule in 1959. Such longevity is the hallmark of an institution that is itself dynamic and responsive. But remarkably, the story of the party as an institution has not received the sustained study it deserves, from historians or political scientists. This narrative history of the PAP follows the  decisions made by party leaders as they have sought to respond to the changing demands and expectations of the Singapore electorate, over a 36-year period that saw Singapore enter the ranks of developed nations. It is fully up to date with the Party's response to their loss of seats in the 2020 General Elections, and changes in party leadership succession announced in April 2021. Leadership renewal is one of four dimensions of change in the party that are the book's focus: the others being the party's communications methods and styles, the mechanisms developed for managing institutional change, and the evolution of economic and social policy. Drawing on internal party documents and multiple interviews with key leaders over a 10-year period, this work provides a detailed portrait of a robust political institution and establishes a distinctive new narrative of Singapore politics.
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Lion City Narratives: Singapore through Western Eyes
Lion City Narratives: Singapore Through Western Eyes fulfils four aims. First, it is a study of subjective Western impressions of Singapore’s 145 years (1819–1963) of colonial history. The study is not meant to be an in-depth historical analysis of Singapore, but rather to give the reader an impressionistic account of how Western residents viewed Singapore over the decades. Second, this study could be seen as a short biography of Singapore’s evolution as a city. The chapters on the imageability of Singapore and its urban morphology provide a holistic perspective of Singapore’s urban dynamics. Third, this book provides a cultural insight into Singapore’s population, both White residents and transient visitors, as well as the locals or Asians. Fourth, it opens a window into Singapore’s development at a time when the West was at its cultural zenith and when Great Britain was the principal superpower of the 19th century. Hence Singapore carried twin colonial legacies – it was the archetype trading emporium between East and West, and it became, for the British, the major point d’appui for defence. Finally, the Singapore colonial narrative is set in a broader academic discourse that allows the reader to see a wider picture of Singapore’s colonial development. The book does not attempt to make a definitive statement about the Western involvement in Singapore; it deals more with an association of many subjective Western perspectives that add colour to the liveability of the tropics, perceptions of the exotic Orient, and the myriad views of ethnic groups. Without the Western writings, paintings, and maps, academia would have minimal records of Singapore’s development. As a new colony in the early 19th century however, Singapore’s growth has been extremely well documented. This book will appeal to Singaporeans interested in understanding Singapore’s colonial past, Westerners interested in the Western cultural persona in the development of Singapore, researchers dealing with the urban development of less-developed countries and colonial development in the tropical world, and lastly, academics who are interested in Singapore and the region’s political and economic development as a case study.
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RSIS Commentary: The Series
RSIS Commentary: The Series — Jokowi’s Second Term: Emerging Issues is an edited book which focuses on the 2019 presidential election in Indonesia, the latest phase of political change in the post-Reformasi era in Southeast Asia’s largest country, and one of Asia’s most strategic players in international diplomacy. The 2019 Pilpres, as it is known for short, saw the re-election of Joko Widodo, a much unexpected and under-rated furniture businessman from the small town of Solo in Central Java who proved himself to be a shrewd politician and survivor, despite not coming from the traditional sources of leadership — the military and the political elite. As he began his second term, the emerging issues that he had to deal with ranged from the traditional, such as the role of religion, to the strategic, such as the debate over the vision of the new cabinet. There are indications that the closing chapter of his presidency in the next few years could be more challenging. Better known as Jokowi, his re-election in 2019 therefore deserved a closer look for a better understanding of its significance and its key dimensions. His re-election will act as a backdrop of what may come in the remaining years of his presidency. To this end, this book is divided into two parts: before and after the presidential election.
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IDSS 25th Anniversary — Launch of IDSS Book and RSIS Commemorative Tree-Planting Event
Since its founding in 1996, the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS) has been striving to foresee the strategic challenges that Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region will face in the coming years, not hesitating to ponder the improbable. Now in its 25th year, IDSS continu ...
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IPS-RSIS Conference on Identity
On 23 November 2021, RSIS co-hosted the “Conference on Identity” with the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). The conference was organised amid a growing appetite among Singaporeans to engage with complex social issues, many of which involve the negotiation of the Singaporean identity and the g ...
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Economic Multilateralism for Post-COVID-19 Recovery
The global economy and the liberal international economic order are at a critical juncture. The US-China “trade war” and COVID-19 have exposed the strengths and weaknesses of the global production networks that have increasingly become the foundation of our thriving global economy. They have a ...
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2021 CENS Countering Extremism Workshop
The Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at RSIS brought together nine leading experts for a lively and thought-provoking series of discussions at its annual workshop on countering extremism from 8 to 11 November 2021, and held via Zoom. Panel one considered evolutions amon ...
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The Arctic as a Global Transport Corridor: Sustainable Arctic Shipping
The Arctic has emerged as a global transport corridor, and discussing sustainable development issues involving the ocean has never been so important. The Moscow School of Management (SKOLKOVO) and RSIS jointly organised an Arctic dialogue titled “The Arctic as a Global Transport Corridor: Sust ...
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The Asia-Pacific Programme for Senior Military Officers (APPSMO) is the flagship conference of RSIS, and 2021 marks the 22nd edition of the annual series. Providing a platform for leading senior military officers to meet and establish personal relationships as well as share developments of pro ...
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ASEAN Resilience and European Strategic Autonomy: Converging Operational Concepts?
Building on several successful engagements with the European diplomatic community and European think tanks, on 28 October, RSIS and the Center for Analysis, Planning and Strategy (CAPS), the in-house think tank of France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, held a workshop titled “ASEAN ...
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Buddhist Nationalisms in Southeast Asia: Implications for Plural Societies
The Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme (SRP) at RSIS held a webinar on 24 November 2021 titled “Buddhist Nationalisms in Southeast Asia: Implications for Plural Societies”. Three experts on the region were invited to share their insights on the rise of Buddhist ...
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RSIS Book Launch Webinar of “Lion City Narratives: Singapore through Western Eyes” by Dr Victor R Savage
The book Lion City Narratives: Singapore Through Western Eyes by Dr Victor Savage, Adjunct Senior Fellow, has four objectives.  Firstly, it is a study of subjective Western impressions of Singapore’s 145 years (1819–1963) of colonial history, to give the reader an impressionistic acco ...
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Most Read RSIS Policy Reports and Commentaries
Check out the most read RSIS Policy Reports and most read RSIS Commentary. RSIS Policy Reports The Policy Reports offer the reader with policy recommendations for various levels – from policymakers and decision-makers in governments, to international org ...
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Op-eds by RSIS Researchers
RSIS Researcher regularly contribute analyses and perspectives on topical issues. These are published in presses, current affairs online platforms and top-tier academic journals. Click here for the full list of op ...
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RSIS Researchers’ Comments in the Media
RSIS Researchers regularly provide comments through media interviews to share useful resource and insights on relevant topic. These include newspaper quotes, TV interviews as well as radio interviews. Click here for th ...
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Kenny Khoo
Antara Chakraborthy
Claribel Low
Ian Li
Teo Ke Wei
Bhubhindar Singh
Eddie Lim
Kenny Khoo
Yasmine Wong
Cameron Sumpter
Frederick Kliem
Ong-Chew Peck Wan