Think Tank (July to August 2019)

The 21st Asia Pacific Programme for Senior Military Officers (APPSMO 2019) was held at Singapore’s Village Hotel Changi from 29 July to 4 August 2019. It was organised by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) and its component Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS). More than 50 senior military officers and defence officials from over 20 countries, ...

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Allies of Convenience: A Theory of Bargaining in U.S. Foreign Policy
Since its founding, the United States has allied with unsavory dictatorships to thwart even more urgent security threats. How well has the United States managed such alliances, and what have been their consequences for its national security? In this book, Evan N. Resnick examines the negotiating tables between the United States and its allies of convenience since World War II and sets forth a novel theory of alliance bargaining. Resnick’s neoclassical realist theory explains why U.S. leaders negotiate less effectively with unfriendly autocratic states than with friendly liberal ones. Since policy makers struggle to mobilize domestic support for controversial alliances, they seek to cast those allies in the most benign possible light. Yet this strategy has the perverse result of weakening leverage in intra-alliance disputes. Resnick tests his theory on America’s Cold War era alliances with China, Pakistan, and Iraq. In all three cases, otherwise hardline presidents bargained anemically on such pivotal issues as China’s sales of ballistic missiles, Pakistan’s development of nuclear weapons, and Iraq’s sponsorship of international terrorism. In contrast, U.S. leaders are more inclined to bargain aggressively with democratic allies who do not provoke domestic opposition, as occurred with the United Kingdom during the Korean War. An innovative work on a crucial and timely international relations topic, Allies of Convenience explains why the United States has mismanaged these “deals with the devil”—with deadly consequences. The book launch of Allies of Convenience: A Theory of Bargaining in U.S. Foreign Policy was on 29 November 2019. Click here for more details.
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Civic Multiculturalism in Singapore: Revisiting Citizenship, Rights and Recognition
This book is about multiculturalism, broadly defined as the recognition, respect and accommodation of cultural differences. Teo proposes a framework of multicultural denizenship that includes group-specific rights and intercultural dialogue, by problematising three issues: a) the unacknowledged misrecognition of non-citizens within the scholarship of multiculturalism; b) uncritical treatment of citizens and non-citizens as binary categories and; c) problematic parcelling of group-specific rights with citizenship rights. Drawing on the case of Singapore as an illustrative example, where temporary labour migrants are culturally stereotyped, socioeconomically disenfranchised and denied access to rights accorded only to citizens, Teo argues that understandings of multiculturalism need to be expanded and adjusted to include a fluidity of identities, spectrum of rights and shared experiences of marginalisation among citizens and non-citizens. Civic Multiculturalism in Singapore will be of interest to students and scholars of multiculturalism, critical citizenship studies, migration studies, political theory and postcolonial studies.
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Southeast Asia after the Cold War: A Contemporary History
International relations in Southeast Asia after 1990 can be understood in terms of a United States dominated security order, and the regional structure created by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). But as the Cold War recedes further into the past, that order is increasingly under siege, with a new global strategic rebalancing underway. The region is forced to contemplate new risks and the emergence of new rivalries and conflicts. With Southeast Asia After the Cold War, Ang Cheng Guan offers a complete, analytically informed contemporary history that covers the whole region, tracing developments since 1990 and highlighting change, continuity, and the larger context in which decisions have been made.  Crucial as a tool for making sense of the dynamics of the region, this account of Southeast Asia’s international relations will also be of immediate relevance to those in the United States and elsewhere who engage with the region, with its young, dynamic population, and its strategic position at between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. A version of this book has been translated into Chinese as 東南亞的當代新秩序: 後冷戰時代的東南亞國際關係史 (Taipei: 八旗文化, 2023).
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Singapore Chronicles: PAP
This book discusses the inception, evolution and longevity of the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has governed Singapore since 1959. It describes seminal events in the party’s history and its role in Singapore’s political life, including the split with the communists within the party and the struggle for Merger with Malaysia. The book analyses how the economics of Singapore’s survival as an independent nation helped create the politics of dominance associated with the PAP. The book pays close attention to the party’s efforts at renewal and reorganisation even as it was returned to power in general elections. It shows how the PAP seeks to legitimise its authority to govern byhandling contentious issues such as ministerial pay and tackling the challenge from the opposition and critical voices in online media.
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2nd APPSMO Distinguished Alumni Speaker’s Lecture
On 29 July 2019, RSIS held the second Asia Pacific Programme for Senior Military Officers (APPSMO) Distinguished Alumni Speaker’s Lecture. Inaugurated as part of the 20th APPSMO celebrations, this speakers’ series invited APPSMO Alumni who have distinguished themselves over the year ...
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Geopolitical Dynamics and International Order: A European Perspective
Dr Volker Perthes, Distinguished Visitor, RSIS and Executive Chairman and Director of SWP (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik), German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin, Germany, spoke on “Geopolitical Dynamics and International Order: A European Perspective” at the S. T. ...
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The Role and Future of Religion in Politics
Prof John Esposito, S. Rajaratnam Professor of Strategic Studies and University Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, delivered an RSIS Distinguished Public Lecture on the topic “The Role and Future of Religion in Politics” on 10 July ...
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RSIS Alumni Dinner 2019
The annual RSIS Alumni Dinner was held on 26 July 2019 at Hilton Singapore attended by 160 RSIS alumni, faculty, and staff. In addition to the usual networking, this year’s dinner saw the transition of leadership for the RSIS Alumni Association (RAA) Executive Committee. Amb Ong Keng Yo ...
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Dynamics of the Korean Peninsula Post Trump-Kim Summit at Singapore
On 23 August, RSIS and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Singapore co-hosted a workshop on “Understanding the Dynamics of the Korean Peninsula since the First Trump-Kim Summit” at the Marina Mandarin Singapore. Amb Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman of RSIS, and Amb Ahn Young ...
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RSIS Celebrates World Humanitarian Day, 2019
This year the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Programme of the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre) at RSIS organised an annual series of events to commemorate the World Humanitarian Day. It started with hosting the RSIS Workshop 2019 titled “Realising AS ...
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China and Regionalism in Asia
The China Programme of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, RSIS, organised a workshop titled “China and Regionalism in Asia” at the NTU Campus Clubhouse on 7 August 2019. Twelve scholars from various countries — including China, India, the Philippines, Singapore and the United Stat ...
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Singapore Humanitarian Network (SHINE) Workshop 2019
The Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Programme of the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre) hosted the Singapore Humanitarian Network (SHINE) Workshop on 31 July 2019. This workshop brought together academics focused on the study of humanitarianism in ...
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RSIS Day 2019
More than 200 staff and students gathered on 25 July 2019 to celebrate RSIS’ 23rd anniversary, at the Hive at Nanyang Technological University. The annual RSIS Day commemorates its establishment on 30 July 1996 as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (as it was then known) ...
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Workshop on China and the Indo-Pacific Regional Security Architecture
In recent times, Chinese President Xi Jinping has often called for China to take the lead in establishing a new regional security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region. To that end, Beijing has reinvigorated its regional diplomacy to shape the multilateral agenda in a manner that better supp ...
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Timor-Leste: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Referendum
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste, Dr Dionisio da Costa Babo Soares, gave an RSIS Distinguished Public Lecture titled “Timor-Leste: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Referendum from Past to Present” on 8 July 2019 at NTU@one-north. Dr Dionisio ...
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Asia-Pacific and World Order: Security, Economics, Identity, and Beyond
RSIS and the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CoHASS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) jointly hosted the International Studies Association (ISA) Asia-Pacific Regional Conference 2019 from 4 to 6 July 2019 at NTU@one-north. This is the third ISA Asia-Pacific Regional Co ...
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ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop in Singapore
From 13 to 17 July 2019, 80 students from 13 regional countries visited Singapore for the second part of the 7th ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop. Organised by the Seoul-based ASEAN-Korea Centre (AKC), the first phase of the programme was held in the Republic of Korea (ROK) from 8 ...
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The Global Expansion of the Islamic State: The Rising Threat to Asia
Prof Rohan Gunaratna delivered a lecture on “The Global Expansion of the Islamic State: The Rising Threat to Asia” on 28 June 2019, at the RSIS Lecture Theatre. The event was chaired by Mr Eddie Lim, Senior Fellow and Head of the Military Studies Programme. Prof Gunaratna began by traci ...
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Mervin Kok
Adrian Chong
Amalina Abdul Nasir
Chaula Rininta Anindya
Ho Shu Huang
Kirk Benjamin Tan
Sarah Teo
Angelo Paolo Luna Trias
Christopher Chen
Ian Li Huiyuan
Lee YingHui
Zoe Stanley Lockman
Bernard Loo Fook Weng
Collin Koh Swee Lean
Jonathan Chen
S. Nanthini