MacArthur Asia Security Initiative (ASI)
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has committed US$68 million over 7 years, beginning in 2009, to increase the effectiveness of international cooperation in fostering peace and security in Asia. 27 international research institutions have been selected to take part in this initiative. Due to the diversity of security issues that will be studied under the initiative, as well as the number of institutions involved, research under the initiative has been divided into 3 research clusters according to individual institution research agendas. The research themes of the respective research clusters are as follows:
Research Themes of the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative
- Cluster 1: Regional Security Cooperation;
- Cluster 2: Northeast Asia Security and;
- Cluster 3: Internal Challenges.
The MacArthur Foundation selected the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), through the leadership of the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, as a core institution to head and lead research in Cluster 3 on Internal Challenges in 2009. As a core institution, the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies led a cluster of 7 research institutes (our partners) and spearheaded research on non-traditional security issues facing Asia. These issues include climate change, environment and human security, energy security, as well as internal conflicts (further details on these areas of research can be found under Research Programmes of the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative).
To achieve this, the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies received US$2.2 million from the MacArthur Foundation to conduct research in the area of non-traditional security for cluster 3 from 2009-12. The grant given to the Centre was the largest received among the 27 grantee research institutes under the ASI. The Centre also had the distinct honour of co-organising the Official Launch of the MacArthur Foundation Asia Security Initiative held on 29 May 2009, in Singapore.
In his keynote address given at the launch, Former ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan welcomed the initiative, saying that it “is helping us ask and define that question of how to manage security challenges in a flat world where barriers and borders used to protect us.”
Echoing similar sentiments was RSIS Dean Barry Desker, who noted that the initiative was “a significant endorsement of the importance of Asian security issues and recognition of its considerable implications for the world at large.”
The grant also gave the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies access to “cutting-edge research to respond to challenges that affect both the well-being as well as the security of states and societies in the region”, he added.
Research output from the 2009-12 MacArthur Asia Security Initiative can be found in the resource database of our website.
Last updated on 27/11/2019