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.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.
- 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.
- International and Regional Frameworks
- 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.
- Margareth Sembiring, Decarbonisation on a Finite Planet, RSIS Commentary CO20202, 25 November 2020.
- Margareth Sembiring, Global Health Security: COVID-19 and Its Impacts – Urgently Needed: Ere-recological View in Decision-making, RSIS Commentary CO20168, 08 September 2020.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Mely Caballero-Anthony, Global Health Security: COVID-19 and Its Impacts – Pandemic Fatigue: Re-Examining Re-Opening’s Logic, RSIS Commentary CO20149, 22 July 2020.
- S. Nanthini, Global Health Security: COVID-19 and Its Impacts – In Limbo in ASEAN: Pandemic and Irregular Migration, RSIS Commentary CO20131, 25 June 2020.
- Tamara Nair, Global Health Security: COVID-19 and Its Impacts – Pandemic Response: The Women, Peace and Security Agenda, RSIS Commentary CO20114, 08 June 2020.
- Margareth Sembiring, Global Health Security – COVID-19 Crisis: Timely Reminder for Climate Change, RSIS Commentary CO20074, 17 April 2020.
- S. Nanthini, Global Health Security – Impact of COVID-19: Can Irregular Migrants Cope?, RSIS Commentary CO20073, 16 April 2020.
- Tamara Nair, Global Health Security – COVID-19 and School Closures: Why Education Sector Needs Protecting, RSIS Commentary CO20067, 09 April 2020.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Global Health Security – COVID-19: Health Pandemic to Food Crisis?, RSIS Commentary CO20063, 06 April 2020.
- Margareth Sembiring, Global Health Security – Migrant Domestic Workers: Their COVID-19 Burdens, RSIS Commentary CO20055, 31 March 2020.
- Julius Cesar Imperial Trajano, Global Health Security – Nuclear Technology and Disease Prevention: What ASEAN Can Do, RSIS Commentary CO20049, 25 March 2020.
- Paul Teng, Global Health Security – COVID-19: Its Impact on Food Sufficiency, RSIS Commentary CO20048, 25 March 2020.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Mely Caballero-Anthony, Global Health Security – The Burden of COVID-19: Urgent Need for Social Safety Nets, RSIS Commentary CO20043, 19 March 2020.
- Julius Trajano and Lina Gong, “Combating Marine Debris: What After the Bangkok Declaration?” RSIS Commentary CO19136, 08 July 2019.
- Lina Gong, “More Plastic Bags than Fish? East Asia’s New Environmental Threat,” RSIS Commentary CO19066, 08 APRIL 2019.
- Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros and Paul Teng, Singapore’s Nascent Urban Farming: Potential Future Regional Centre?, RSIS Commentary CO18195, 23 November 2018
- Paul Teng, Food Insecurity – Overcoming Fragmented Food Systems and Trade Wars, RSIS Commentary CO18154, 24 September 2018.
- Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros, Mely Caballero-Anthony and Joergen Schlundt, Food Safety in ASEAN: Pitfalls of Complacency, RSIS Commentary CO18146, 7 September 2018.
- Ong Keng Yong and Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros, World Agricultural Forum 2017 – Future of Agriculture and Implications for ASEAN, RSIS Commentary CO17146, 3 August 2017.
- Margareth Sembiring and Alistair D. Cook, Build Back Greener: Climate Change & Humanitarian Response, RSIS Commentary CO17149, 10 August 2017.
- Margareth Sembiring, Climate Change Adaptation: Case of South China Sea, RSIS Commentary CO17116, 12 June 2017.
- Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros, World Agricultural Forum 2017 – Jobs in Agri-Food Industry: Silver Lining for Youth, RSIS Commentary CO17142, 28 July 2017.
- Vincent Mack Zhi Wei, Trafficking in Persons and Forced Labour: Southeast Asian Scenario , RSIS Commentaries , 21 July 2017.
- Christopher H. Lim, Vincent Mack Zhi Wei, World Agricultural Forum 2017 – Food Security and The “Terrorist Within Us”, RSIS Commentary CO17137, 20 July 2017.
- Evan Rogerson, World Agricultural Forum 2017 – Multilateral Negotiations on Agricultural Trade: State of Play, RSIS Commentary CO17132, 10 July 2017.
- Kenneth M. Baker, World Agricultural Forum 2017 – The Triple Challenge for Agriculture: Trade, Food Security & New Technologies, RSIS Commentary CO17129,4 July 2017.
- Ong Keng Yong, World Agricultural Forum 2017 – Singapore and Food Security, RSIS Commentary CO17127, 30 June 2017.
- Stella Liu, World Agricultural Forum 2017 – Green Revolution 2.0: The Role of IT Connectivity, RSIS Commentary CO17126, 27 June 2017.
- Paul Teng, World Agricultural Forum 2017 – Knowledge Intensive Agriculture: The New Disruptor in World Food? RSIS Commentary CO17124, 23 June 2017.
- Paul Teng, Sustainability – Beware of Greenwashing, RSIS Commentary CO17072, 19 April 2017.
- Paul Teng and Christopher Vas, Future of Food – Securing the Feeding of Asia: Policy Recalibration Needed, RSIS Commentary CO17048, 21 March 2017.
- Paul Teng and Christopher Vas, Feeding Asia: How Should the Region Respond to Production Challenges? RSIS Commentary CO17047, 20 March 2017.
- Christopher Lim and Tamara Nair, Science, Technology and Human Security – 3D Printing: How It Could Disrupt Asia’s Manufacturing Economies, RSIS Commentary CO17021, 26 January 2017.
- Tamara Nair and Christopher Lim, Science, Technology and Human Security – Fighting Food Wastage: New Ideas from The Past, RSIS Commentary CO17016, 18 January 2017.
- Margareth Sembiring, Trump’s Impending U-turn on Climate Change: Worry for Southeast Asia?. RSIS Commentary CO16307, 20 December 2016.
- Margareth Sembiring, Combating Haze: Holding One’s Breath A Year On, RSIS Commentary CO16211, 19 August 2016.
- Margareth Sembiring, Climate Change and Renewable Energy: Mitigation or Vulnerability, RSIS Commentary CO16176, 13 July 2016.
- Mely Caballero-Anthony, Forced Migration: Some Sobering Realities , RSIS Commentaries , 24 June 2016.
- Alistair D. B. Cook, Caitrίona Helena Heinl, New Avenues for Regional Cooperation: Tackling Human Trafficking in Asia, RSIS Commentaries , 03 April 2014.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Paul Teng, Community Gardens: A “Fourth Basket” in Singapore’s Food Story?, RSIS Policy Report, Singapore: RSIS, 2021
- Lina Gong and Julius Cesar Trajano. Tackling East Asia’s New Environmental Challenge Marine Plastic Pollution, RSIS Policy Report. Singapore: RSIS, 2019.
- Lina Gong and Julius Cesar Trajano, Advancing Marine Environment and Protection in the South China Sea, RSIS Policy Report. Singapore: RSIS, 2018
- Julius Cesar Trajano. Advancing Non-Traditional Security Governance through Multi-stakeholder Collaboration, RSIS Policy Report. Singapore: RSIS, 2019.
- Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros, Mely Caballero-Anthony and Joergen Schlundt, Supporting the Genome Microbial Identifier and Whole Genome Sequencing in Addressing Food-Borne Diseases in ASEAN, RSIS Policy Report. Singapore: RSIS, 2018
- Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros, Paul Teng and Stella Liu, Scaling Up Commercial Urban Agriculture to Meet Food Demand in Singapore (Singapore: RSIS NTS Centre, 2018).
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Mely Caballero-Anthony, Migration, Jobs and Wages: Reassessing Benefits and Challenges of Labour Migration , NTS Report, 25 April 2018.
NTS Insights / Briefs
- 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.
- Margareth Sembiring, Green Recovery in Post-COVID-19 Southeast Asia?, NTS Insight, 02 October 2020.
- S. Nanthini, Tamara Nair, COVID-19 and the Impacts on Women, NTS Insight, 29 July 2020.
- Mely Caballero-Anthony, Paul Teng, Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, COVID-19 and Food Security in Asia: How Prepared are We?, NTS Insight, 9 June 2020.
- Margareth Sembiring, ‘Global Waste Trade Chaos: Rising Environmentalism or Cost-Benefit Analysis?’, NTS Insight, No. IN19-02 (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), 2019).
- Julius Cesar Trajano, ‘Resource Sharing and Joint Development in the South China Sea: Exploring Avenues of Cooperation’, NTS Insight, No. IN19-01 (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), 2019).
- Christopher Chen, Foo Yen Ne and Margareth Sembiring, ‘Simultaneous Disasters in Southeast Asia: Is Risk Outpacing Resilience?’, NTS Insight, No. IN18-07 (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), 2018).
- Margareth Sembiring. ‘The Case for a Dedicated Regional Mechanism for Climate Change: A Comparative Assessment’, NTS Insight, No. IN18-04 (Singapore: RSIS NTS Centre, 2018).
- Margareth Sembiring. ‘Examining Cooperation for Climate Change Adaptation in Southeast Asia: The Case of Lower Mekong River Basin’, NTS Insight, No. IN18-03 (Singapore: RSIS NTS Centre, 2018).
- Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros and Paul Teng, ‘Ensuring a Successful Singapore Urban Food Cluster’, NTS Insight, No. IN18-02 (Singapore: RSIS NTS Centre, 2018).
- Human Trafficking: In the Shadows of the Law, NTS Insight, 29 August 2018.
- Julius Cesar Imperial Trajano, Combatting Human Trafficking in East Asia: Mind the Gaps, NTS Insight, 20 July 2018.
- Julius Cesar Trajano, Lina Gong, Margareth Sembiring and Rini Astuti, ‘Marine Environmental Protection in the South China Sea: Challenges and Prospects Part 2’, NTS Insight, No. IN18- 01 (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), 2018).
- Julius Cesar Trajano, Lina Gong, Margareth Sembiring and Rini Astuti, ‘Marine Environmental Protection in the South China Sea: Challenges and Prospects Part I’, NTS Insight, No. IN17- 04 (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), 2017).
- Jonatan A. Lassa and Margareth Sembiring, ‘Towards Policy Integration of Disaster Risk, Climate Adaptation, and Development in ASEAN: A Baseline Assessment’, NTS Insight, No. IN17-01 (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), 2017). Stella Liu and Paul Teng, Subsistence Urban Agriculture: Key Externalities and Way Forward, RSIS Policy Brief (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), 2017).
- Stella Liu and Paul Teng, High-Tech Plant Factories: Challenges and Way Forward, RSIS Policy Brief (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), 2017).
- Vincent Mack and Christopher Lim, How emerging global trends may affect labour migration in ASEAN, NTS Insight, (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), 3 August 2017).
- Mely Caballero-Anthony and Pau Khan Khup Hangzo.’Managing Cross-Border Movements of People in Southeast Asia: Promoting Capacity and Response for Irregular Migration in Southeast Asia.’ NTS Issues Brief No.IS 13-02. (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), February 2013).
- Kevin Punzalan.‘The Economic Crisis and Labour Migrants: A Test for Human Security’, NTS Insight, (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), June 2009).
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
- Paul Teng and Manda Foo, Food Matters: Food Security and The Future of Food, Singapore: Write Editions, 2018.
- Tamara Nair, 2018, ‘Climate Change and Food Insecurities: Destabilisers of ASEAN Centrality?’ in Alan Chong (Ed.) International Security in the Asia-Pacific: Transcending ASEAN towards Transitional Polycentrism, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 307-330.
- Mely Caballero-Anthony and Toshihiro Menju, Asia on the Move: Regional Migration and the Role of Civil Society. Tokyo: Japan Center for International Exchange, 2015.
- Alistair D.B. Cook and Jiyoung Song. Irregular Migration and Human Security in East Asia. London: Routledge, 2014.
- Alistair D.B. Cook “Human Insecurity and Displacement along Myanmar’s Borders.” In Jiyoung Song and Alistair D. B. Cook (eds.) Irregular Migration and Human Security in East Asia. London: Routledge, 2014.
- Lorraine Elliott.Climate Change, Migration and Human Security in Southeast Asia. RSIS Monograph No.24. (Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), 2012).
- 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
- Julius Cesar Trajano. “Bottom-up Peacebuilding: Role of Grassroots and Local Actors in the Mindanao Peace Process,”Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, : Vol. 8, No. 2, 2020, pp. 357-372. doi: 10.18588/202011.00a097.
- Teng, P., Lassa, J. and Caballero-Anthony, Mely. Climate change and fish availability. COSMOS, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2017, pp. 1–14. DOI: 10.1142/S0219607716500026.
- Teng, P. and Oliveros, J.A.P, The Enabling Environment for Inclusive Agribusiness in Southeast Asia. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development 13(2), 2017, pp. 1-3.
- Foo, M. and Teng, P, Food Security at the crossroads: Bridging the Rural Urban Divide. Food Security. DOI 10.1007/s12571-017-0664-4, 2017.
- Paul S. Teng, Bernice Anne C. Darvin, and Suzette C. Simondac, FOOD RESERVES: A Comparative Study on Food Reserve Management and Policies in Southeast Asi Los Banos, Philippines: SEAMEO/SEARCA, 2018, pp. 106.
- Mayer, Benoit, Ingrid Boas, J. Jackson Ewing, Alice Baillat, and Uttam Kumar Das. “Governing Environmentally-Related Migration in Bangladesh: Responsibilities, Security and the Causality Problem.” Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, Vol. 22, No.2, 2013, pp. 177-98.
- 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
- Paul Teng, “Singapore’s approval of lab-grown meat helps sustain food security”, China Daily Hong Kong, 16 December 2020
- Margareth Sembiring, “The Same Old Normal for Climate Action in Post-Pandemic Southeast Asia”, The National Bureau of Asian Research, 26 September 2020
- Margareth Sembiring, “Climate Change and Environment: Beyond Decarbonising and Greening”, NTS-Asia Newsletter 47th Edition, 28 August 2020
- Paul Teng, Commentary: Typhoon Mangkhut destroys rice, corn and fish – but what has this got to do with Singapore? Channel News Asia, 20 September 2018.
- Margareth Sembiring, Smart Cities: Digital Savviness to Resilient Living. The Jakarta Post, 13 July 2018.
- Paul Teng, Agtech, the new farming tool to boost food security, Today, 6 July 2017.
- Margareth Sembiring, Preparing for Climate Change Effect on SE Asia Epidemics. The Jakarta Post, 10 August 2017.
- Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros, Transforming agriculture to prevent haze, New Straits Times, 2 June 2017.
- Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros, Finding oil palm alternative could be key to haze issue, Today, 31 May 2017.
- Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Commentary: Is finding an alternative crop to oil palm the key to preventing haze? Channel News Asia, 22 May 2017.
- Paul Teng, Beware of ‘greenwashing’ amid sustainability push — Paul Teng, MalayMail, 10 May 2017.
- Christopher H. Lim and Tamara Nair, ‘How 3D printing could disrupt Asia’s manufacturing economies’, The Conversation, 10 January 2017.
- Tasneem Siddiqui and M. Rashed Alam Bhuiyan.“Emergency Return of Bangladeshi Migrants from Libya.” NTS Working Paper No.9. Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, 2013.
- Lorraine Elliott. ‘Climate Change and Migration in Southeast Asia: Responding to a New Human Security Challenge.’ Asia Security Initiative Policy Series (ASIPS) Working Paper No.20. Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, February 2012.
Last updated on 17/01/2022