Research in the NTS Centre has been reconceptualised to reflect global changes in the last few years and certainly amid COVID-19. Given these developments, we organise and reflect our research in two components of Non-Traditional Security – Crises and Sustainable Security – found in our region and globally. Recasting NTS Centre’s research around these two research streams underscores the need to address transnational security threats with a whole-of-society approach. It also aims to capture the comprehensive nature of non-traditional security whilst communicating the two streams that our research covers. It puts the NTS Centre on the front foot in terms of organising our research in a structured and consistent way and places the NTS Centre well for exploring external collaboration and partnership opportunities that mirrors NTS Centre’s expertise.
Core Research Areas
- Climate Security
Climate change is a threat multiplier whose impacts are already seen in the increasing intensity and frequency of climate-related disasters. The Centre focuses on two research components: Planetary Health and Climate Change Adaptation.
- Planetary Health
Planetary Health examines economic and development progress as the cause of environmental degradation that poses threats to human health. Growing material wealth, inequalities, and the current resource-intensive economic activities serve as main drivers of these threats, as is the structure of the international trading system which all lead to environmental pressures and resource depletion beyond national borders. Since the health of the planet is the prerequisite for human health and human civilisation, the planetary health concept advocates for systems-level and cross-sectoral interventions that are aimed towards nature protection and conservation. The Centre began the development of a multi-disciplinary research project on Planetary Health in 2021 collaborating with individual researchers and schools across NTU.
- Climate Change Adaptation
Considering serious concerns brought about by the changing climate, policies in addressing climate change no longer look only at mitigation but increasingly have a strong focus on adaptation. While there has been a lot of debate on mitigation and disaster risk reduction at the global level, particularly for regions that are vulnerable to climate change, adaptation has become a more important consideration. The Centre examines climate adaptation efforts by:
- Auditing climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies at national level across the region;
- Comparing the frameworks for climate change cooperation across regions;
- Examining regional cooperation mechanisms for climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts;
- Analysing regional climate change cooperation on selected sectors including transportation, energy and cities; and
- Examining north-south and south-south cooperation for climate mitigation and adaptation measures in the region.
In addition, the Centre also looks into other relevant aspects including the development of smart cities, urban resilience, and relevant environmental risks brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution.
- Planetary Health
- Food Security
Food production and food security have suffered from changing temperatures and less stable access to water, both globally and within the Asia-Pacific region. For smallholder agricultural communities, farming is becoming a less reliable source of food and income, driving some to hunger or even displacement. Cities, where two-thirds of the world population are expected to reside by 2050, are increasingly vulnerable as they source most of their food from rural areas or abroad. Weather disturbances create the risk that food shipments are disrupted, while volatility in global food prices could make food economically inaccessible.
Building on the Centre’s previous research on climate-related food production vulnerabilities, it now looks towards cities as potential solutions, by increasing urban food self-sufficiency. In this regard, the Centre examines key economic and policy issues related to scaling up indoor farms in cities, the rural-urban interface, and the balance between food supply (mainly from rural areas) and demand (mainly from urban areas) in the context of emerging disruptive technologies.
Given different climatic environments, food supply chains are becoming increasingly fragmented across multiple countries, making food borne diseases (FBDs) harder to track. This is aggravated when disease pathogens develop resistance to the antimicrobials intended to address them, a trend known as ‘antimicrobial resistance’ (AMR). In this regard, the Centre is assessing the relevance and viability of the revolutionary Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) technology, which maps the genome of food and related diseases in order to identify the geographical source of diseases across the supply chain and track trends of AMR. This is in collaboration with the NTU Food Technology Centre (NAFTEC), which specializes in these technologies.
- Economic Security
The programme hopes to open up critical questions about mobility, citizenship and the nation state and how global and regional policies governing the movement of people can impact these areas. There are three categories of research under this pillar.
International and Regional Frameworks
Research in this area will look at how regulatory regimes monitor and govern the flow of people across the world and more specifically across Southeast Asia and wider Asia-Pacific. There are more than 100 million migrants from Asia-Pacific living outside their own countries and more than 60 million international migrants living in the region. The Asia-Pacific is the largest contributor to international migration globally. The region also received nearly US$ 284 billion in remittances from migrant workers in 2017, accounting for 62 percent of the global total. These figures stress the need for policy-oriented research into these movements as it affects both sending and receiving countries in the region. The research also aims to look at the role played by the private sector and States’ authority in shaping migration governance.
- The Future of Work and Movement of People
Labour migration plays a prominent role in Southeast Asia’s development and prosperity especially in light of technological advancements and the future of work. The expected displacement of workers as a result of technology and digitization, especially for those in the informal sector, can trigger large movements of people in search of jobs. Research in this area will look into the use of technology in key industries, such as the manufacturing sector, and how this might create labour displacement. It aims to collect baseline information on these potential movements and help inform policies aimed at addressing these issues including (1) monitoring labour movements in both sending and receiving countries, (b) reviewing current labour migration mechanisms in place in receiving countries, and (c) setting up of necessary social safety nets and other forms of protection for displaced workers as part of migration governance.
- Human Trafficking
The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Blueprint 2025 foretells greater intra-region mobility of people in pursuit of economic security and exacerbates human trafficking as a non-traditional security risk in Southeast Asia. The research aims to provide a reliable source of primary data on human trafficking in Southeast Asia to support and inform the formulation of comprehensive national and regional anti-trafficking policies by governments, international organisations, civil society organisations and the private sector. It also aims to produce a knowledge base for trafficking-related issues in Southeast Asia including, human trafficking and its implications on regional security, the use of technology to address human trafficking, as well as national and regional anti-trafficking governance.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, The Dual Mandate of Food Exporting States: India’s Roles in the Global Food Order, RSIS Commentary CO23127, 6 September 2023.
- Tamara Nair, Digital Security’s Place in Human Security, RSIS Commentary CO23121, 29 August 2023.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Volatility in the Rice Sector: Time for ASEAN to Act?, RSIS Commentary CO23114, 22 August 2023.
- Zhang Hongzhou, Paul Teng and Genevieve Donnellon-May ,China-US Tech War: The Impact on Global Food Security, RSIS Commentary CO23060, 25 April 2023.
- Margareth Sembiring, Low-carbon Energy Transition: Lessons from the Philippines, RSIS Commentary CO23055, 18 April 2023.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, The Philippine Maharlika Investment Fund, RSIS Commentary CO23051, 10 April 2023.
- Tamara Nair, Climate Security and Role of Women in ASEAN, RSIS Commentary CO23048, 4 April 2023.
- Paul Teng and Genevieve Donnellon-May, Southeast Asian Food Security One Year Into the Ukraine War, RSIS Commentary CO23041, 21 March 2023.
- Paul Teng and Genevieve Donnellon-May, China’s “Catchup” on Growing Genetically Modified Crops, RSIS Commentary CO23030, 06 March 2023.
- Alistair D. B. Cook, Climate Change in Japan’s New Defence and Security Strategies, RSIS Commentary CO23009, 18 January 2023.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Empowering Digitalisation in ASEAN Agriculture: Lessons from EU Regional Platforms for Geospatial Technologies, Singapore: RSIS 14 July 2023.
- Tamara Nair and Teo Yi-Ling, Creating Women’s ‘Safe Space’ in Digital Life: Perspectives from Singapore, NTS Insight no. IN23-02, 30 August 2023.
- Montesclaros, Jose Ma Luis, Paul S. Teng and Mely Caballero-Anthony, Digital Technology Utilization in the Agriculture Sector for Enhancing Food Supply Chain Resilience in ASEAN: Current Status and Potential Solutions. Project Report, Singapore: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, 20 June 2023.
Books and Edited Chapters
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Impact of COVID-19 on Singapore’s Rice Supplies in Jamie S Davidson (Ed.), Just Another Crisis? The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Southeast Asia’s Rice Sector. Singapore: ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, 2023, pp.161-189. ISBN: 9789815011920.
- Tamara Nair, The Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Digital Space in Gulizar Haciyakupoglu and Yasmine Wong (eds) , Gender and Security in Digital Space: Navigating Access, Harassment, and Disinformation. London, NY: Routledge, 2023, pp. 19-32.
- Paul Teng, and Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, “Agricultural Transformation for Small (Island and Developing) States” in Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, Vol. 20, No. 1 , 2023, pp. 13–30.
- Mely Caballero-Anthony, “Peace and Security Studies in Southeast Asia in a Changing Global Environment” in Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, Vol. 11, No. 1 , 2023, pp. 193-212.
- Margareth Sembiring, COP27: Financing Pledges and Managing Expectations, RSIS Commentary CO22122, 28 November 2022.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Uncertainty in the Black Sea: Implications for Asia’s Food Security, RSIS Commentary CO22114, 09 November 2022.
- Jose M. L. Montesclaros, International Currency Instability and Food Security: Time to Rebuild “Real Food Economies”?, RSIS Commentary CO22107, 31 October 2022.
- Paul Teng and Jose M. L. Montesclaros, Global Food Insecurity – The Danger of Misguided Food Production Policies: The Case of Sri Lanka, RSIS Commentary CO22106, 28 October 2022.
- Margareth Sembiring, Indonesia’s 2060 Net-Zero Ambition: The Challenges Ahead, RSIS Commentary CO22098, 12 October 2022.
- Paul Teng, Global Food Insecurity – Food Import: Reducing ASEAN’s Dependency, RSIS Commentary CO22073, 05 July 2022.
- Paul Teng and Genevieve Donnellon-May, Growing Food Insecurity – Global Water Crisis: Options for Food Security, RSIS Commentary CO22068, 21 June 2022.
- Paul Teng and Genevieve Donnellon-May, Growing Food Insecurity – Asia’s Huge Appetite for Fish: Can It Be Met?, RSIS Commentary CO22062, 9 June 2022.
- Paul Teng and Genevieve Donnellon-May, Global Food Insecurity – Animal Feed and Meat: Asia’s Looming Food Crisis, RSIS Commentary CO22061, 6 June 2022.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros and Mely Caballero-Anthony, Ukraine War and Food Security: How Should ASEAN Respond?, RSIS Commentary CO22053, 25 May 2022.
- Margareth Sembiring, Planetary Health: Managing Competing Tensions, RSIS Commentary CO22052, 24 May 2022.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, India’s Food Security Resilience: Some Tips for ASEAN?, RSIS Commentary CO22051, 23 May 2022.
- Genevieve Donnellon-May, Paul Teng, Invasion of Ukraine – Asia’s Food Security in Trouble?, RSIS Commentary CO22035, 5 April 2022.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, COP26’s Dilemma: Sustainability vs Food Security?, RSIS Commentary CO22029, 23 March 2022.
- Tamara Nair, Women in AI: Is There a Singapore Model?, RSIS Commentary CO22015, 21 February 2022.
- Julius Cesar Imperial Trajano, Plastic Pollution in Southeast Asia: Wasted Opportunity?, RSIS Commentary CO22011, 10 February 2022.
- Julius Cesar Trajano, The Future of Work: Building a Social Protection Agenda for Online Workers in Southeast Asia, RSIS Policy Report, Singapore: RSIS, 19 April 2022.
- Tamara Nair, A Native WPS Agenda for ASEAN: Security in Digital Space, RSIS Policy Report, 10 February 2022.
- Jonathan Ramakrishna, “Is Doughnut Economics a Means Towards Achieving Planetary Health?”, NTS Insight no. IN22-05, 11 November 2022.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Margareth Sembiring, “Food Insecurity Beyond Borders: Untangling the Complex Impacts of Ukraine War on Global Food Security”, NTS Insight no. IN22-03, 16 August 2022.
- Margareth Sembiring, “Planetary Health: Reflections from Asia “, NTS Insight no. IN22-02, 22 June 2022.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, “India’s Approach to Food Security Resilience Amid COVID-19: Relevance to ASEAN?”, NTS Insight no. IN22-01, 4 May 2022.
- Lina Gong, Climate Security in the Asia-Pacific and Its Relevance for Singapore, IDSS Paper, 8 September 2022
Books and Edited Chapters
- S. Nanthini, Singapore: Migrant Workers, a Vulnerable Community during COVID-19 in Noel M. Morada, Mely Caballero-Anthony (eds), Covid-19 and Atrocity Prevention in East Asia. London: Routledge, 2022.
- Tamara Nair and Maria Ines Amaro (Eds.), “Citizenship as a Challenge: New and Old Dimensions of an Evolving Process.“, Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2022.
- Mely Caballero-Anthony, Advancing ASEAN-Korean Cooperation on Non-Traditional Security Challenges in East Asia in Kwon Hyung Lee and Yoon Jae Ro (Eds.), The New Southern Policy Plus Progress and Way Forward. Korea: The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), 2022, pp. 204 -226.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Will the Benefits of Laos’s Future Hydropower Infrastructure Projects Outweigh the Costs? in Brahma Chellaney and Frederick Kliem (Eds.), The Displaced: Disrupted Trade, Labour, and Politics in the Mekong River Basin.. Japan: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s Regional Economic Programme Asia (SOPAS), 2022, pp. 80-105
- Mely Caballero-Anthony, and Julius Cesar Imperial Trajano, Introduction: Nuclear Governance in the Asia-Pacific in Mely Caballero-Anthony and Julius Cesar Trajano (Eds.), Nuclear Governance in the Asia-Pacific. New York and London: Routledge, 2022, pp. 1 – 13.
- Julius Cesar Imperial Trajano, Forced Displacement and Economic Development: Assessing the Impacts of China-Funded Projects in Myanmar in Brahma Chellaney and Frederick Kliem (Eds.), The Displaced: Disrupted Trade, Labour, and Politics in the Mekong River Basin. Tokyo: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s Regional Economic Programme Asia (SOPAS), 2022, pp. 56-79
- Mely Caballero-Anthony, Peaceful Change in Southeast Asia: The Historical and Institutional Bases in T. V. Paul, Deborah Welch Larson, Harold A. Trinkunas, Anders Wivel, and Ralf Emmers (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Peaceful Change in International Relations. : Oxford University Press, 2022.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, “Craving India’s Food Security Success”, East Asia Forum , 3 September 2022.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, “Exporting Eelectricity Generates Income, But It Also Generates Concern”, Lianhe Zaobao, 16 July 2022.
- Paul Teng and Genevieve Donnellon-May, “With a Growing Appetite for Meat and Disruption in Production, Asia has a Looming Food Crisis”, TODAY , 8 June 2022.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, and Mely Caballero-Anthony, “ASEAN Should Deal with Food Security Concerns”, The Straits Times, 28 May 2022.
- Christopher Chen, “Partnerships a Pathway for Mekong’s Water Security”, 360info, 28 February 2022.
- Paul Teng, COP26: Sustaining the Global Food System, RSIS Commentary 21165, 12 November 2021.
- Julius Cesar Trajano, COP26: The Indispensable Role of Nuclear Power, RSIS Commentary 21164, 11 November 2021.
- Margareth Sembiring, Planetary Health: A More Resilient World Post-COVID-19?, RSIS Commentary 21160, 5 November 2021.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Paul Teng, Community Gardens: Singapore’s “Fourth Food Basket”?, RSIS Commentary 21158, 2 November 2021.
- Margareth Sembiring, ‘Code Red for Humanity’: What Next for Mankind?, RSIS Commentary CO21135, 6 September 2021.
- Paul Teng, Climate Change and Food Security – Golden Rice: Triumph for Science, RSIS Commentary CO21114, 27 July 2021.
- Paul Teng, Steve Kim, Vertical Farms: Are They Sustainable?, RSIS Commentary CO21092, 08 June 2021.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Paul Teng, Community Gardens: A “Fourth Basket” in Singapore’s Food Story?, RSIS Policy Report, Singapore: RSIS, 2021
- Margareth Sembiring, ‘Planetary Health and Triple Planetary Crisis: Relevance for Multilateral Cooperation on Biodiversity Protection and Conservation in Southeast Asia’, NTS Insight no. IN21-06, September 2021.
- Julius Cesar Trajano, ‘A Rights-Based Approach to Governing Online Freelance Labour:Towards Decent Work in Digital Labour Platforms’, NTS Insight no. IN21-01, August 2021.
Books and Edited Chapters
- Tamara Nair, Democratic Decentralisation and Citizenship – Exploring Caste, Church and Capability in Kerala’s People’s Plan in Habib Zafarullah and Ahmed Shafiqul Huque (eds) , Handbook on Development Policy. UK and US: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2021, pp 521-531
- Tamara Nair, Human Rights and Peace Education in Singapore in Kevin Y.L. Tan, David Cohen and Aviva Nababan (eds), Human Rights and ASEAN: Indonesian and International Perspectives. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd, 2021, pp 239-254
- Tamara Nair, “Gender and Economic Security in Southeast Asia” in Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, doi:10.1177/20578911211038284, 2021
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, “Changing the Narrative of ASEAN Progress in Addressing Hunger: ‘Snoozing’ the Alarm for SDG #2?” in Food Security Journal, DOI: 10.1007/s12571-021-01158-8, 2021
- Margareth Sembiring, “COP26: Much Achieved, Huge Opportunities Missed”, Council on Foreign Relations, 18 November 2021
- Tamara Nair, “Prioritising Women’s Economic Security in Southeast Asia”, AsiaGlobal Online, 23 September 2021
- Margareth Sembiring, “Biden’s Welcome Climate Reboot and the Daunting Diplomacy Ahead”, The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), 30 April 2021
Last updated on 12/09/2023