Think Tank (5/2020)
RSIS Dual Book Launch Webinar

On 29 September 2020, Dr Alan Chong, Associate Professor and Acting Head of Centre for Multilateralism Studies (CMS), and Dr Pradumna Rana, Visiting Associate Professor at CMS, introduced their respective new books on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at the RSIS Dual Book Launch Webinar. The session began with a keynote address by Amb Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman of RSIS.

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The 2018 and 2019 Indonesian Elections: Identity Politics and Regional Perspectives
The 2018/2019 Indonesian elections were among the most divisive elections in Indonesian history, where identity politics and ethno-religious sentiments were prevalent not just during the 2019 presidential election, but also during the 2018 regional executive elections as well. Contributors to this edited volume analysed the dynamics between identity politics, national and local politics and produce findings and insights that will inform prospective readers regarding the future of identity politics and how it may affect Indonesian politics for the intermediate future.
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Rising Islamic Conservatism in Indonesia: Islamic Groups and Identity Politics
This edited volume argues that the rise of Islamic conservatism poses challenges to Indonesia’s continued existence as a secular state, with far-reaching implications for the social, cultural and political fortunes of the country. It contributes a model of analysis in the field of Indonesian and Islamic studies on the logic of Islamic conservative activism in Indonesia. This volume presents informative case studies of discourses and expressions of Islamic conservatism expressed by leading mainstream and upcoming Indonesian Islamic groups and interpret them in a nuanced perspective.
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The Army and Ideology in Indonesia: From Dwifungsi to Bela Negara
This book is an analysis of Indonesia’s civil-military relations in the post-1998 reform era. It focuses on the political thinking of the Indonesian Army during the time of democratic consolidation. The book examines the army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat, TNI AD), a pivotal player in the political scene of Indonesian state, and the aspect of military ideology development. Based on in-depth interviews with civilian and military figures and applying the methodology of utilised process tracing and empirical analysis surrounding the appearance of military thinking, the book argues that the Indonesian military pursues to sustain its political power by propagating a set of values construed as moral compass for all members of society. Specifically, the book discusses the origins and impacts of ‘proxy war’ and ‘bela negara’ (‘defend the state’), which was promoted by former TNI Commander Gatot Nurmantyo (2015-2017) and former Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu (2014-2019). The authors demonstrate that both ideologies facilitate expansion of the military’s influence in all aspects of life and protection of its corporate interests in the age of democracy. Offering insights for theoretical discussion on the influence of military ideology to civil-military relations, particularly in the post-authoritarian period, this book will be of interest to academics and policy makers in the fields of Southeast Asian Politics, Asian Politics and Civil-Military Relations.
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Technology Nationalism and Its Impact on Southeast Asia
The Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at RSIS organised a webinar on “Technology Nationalism and Its Impact on Southeast Asia” on 9 October 2020. Ms Farlina Said, Analyst at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) in Malaysia, observed that the strate ...
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Will Deteriorating US-China Relations Precipitate Serious Military Conflict in Asia?
On 8 September 2020, RSIS co-organised with Hinrich Foundation a webinar titled “Will Deteriorating US-China Relations Precipitate Serious Military Conflict in Asia?” The webinar featured a panel comprising Dr Alan Dupont, Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation and Chief Executive Officer, Cognos ...
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ASEAN Mechanisms for Maritime Security Cooperation
On 11 September 2020, the Maritime Security Programme, RSIS, and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Indonesia co-hosted a virtual workshop titled “ASEAN Mechanisms for Maritime Security Cooperation”. The workshop was the third iteration of an ongoing project looking a ...
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Malaysia’s Interests in the South China Sea
On 8 October 2020, the Malaysia Programme at RSIS held a webinar titled “Malaysia’s Interests in the South China Sea”. The expert panel gave participants an overview of Malaysia’s approach on recent developments in the South China Sea (SCS), including its strategic and economic interests ...
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Nationalism, Ideology, and US-China Relations
On 24 September 2020, Dr Adam Garfinkle, RSIS Distinguished Visiting Fellow and founding editor of The American Interest, presented a webinar titled “Nationalism, Ideology, and US-China Relations”. Dr Garfinkle said that the United States, having been disappointed in its belief ...
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The Evolving US-China Strategic Competition in Technology
Pertinent issues concerning the evolving US-China competition in technology were discussed at a RSIS webinar on 23 October 2020. Sharing his insights was Dr Adam Garfinkle, founding editor of The American Interest and RSIS Distinguished Visiting Fellow. He noted that technological com ...
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Strengthening Regional Supply Chains in a Post-COVID-19 World
On 10 September 2020, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Indonesia, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Japan, and RSIS co-hosted a webinar titled “Strengthening Resilience of Supply Chains in the Indo-Pacific Region: Towards Economic Growth in t ...
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International Politics and the Global Economy in the Post-Pandemic World
RSIS and Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) held its second dialogue on 2 September 2020, addressing the contemporary topic of “International Politics and the Global Economy in the Post-Pandemic World”. The dialogue was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic instead of in Berlin ...
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Islamic Civil Society in Indonesia during Jokowi’s Second Term
The RSIS panel webinar on “Islamic Civil Society in Indonesia during Jokowi’s Second Term” was held on 29 October 2020. Opening the session was Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Secretary of the Clerical Advisory Council, Nadhlatul Ulama (NU), who spoke about the perceived rise of Islamic ...
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Why the Pakatan Harapan Government Fell and the Coalition’s Prospects for GE15
Malaysia underwent two dramatic power transitions within the space of two years. In May 2018, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition defeated the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Malaysia’s 14th General Elections, ending BN’s 61-year rule. By March 2020, the PH government had fallen, due to internal divis ...
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Analysing China's Role in Southeast Asia Today
On 21 September 2020, Mr Murray Hiebert, Senior Associate of Southeast Asia Programme, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Indonesia, spoke at the webinar series on multilateralism studies organised by the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, RSIS. Delivering a talk on “Ana ...
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COVID-19 and the World Economy
On 16 September 2020, the Centre for Multilateralism Studies (CMS) organised a webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on domestic economies and economic multilateralism. The session began with an elaboration by Dr Jikon Lai, Assistant Professor at CMS, on the factors influencing economic recovery p ...
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TNI Beyond 2024: Between Reform, Modernisation, and Regional Security Challenges
The Indonesia Programme at RSIS organised a panel webinar titled “TNI Beyond 2024: Between Reform, Modernisation, and Regional Security Challenges” on 1 October 2020. The key speakers were Major General Dr Rodon Pedrason, Director-General of Defence Strategy of the Ministry of Defence of the R ...
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Adrian Chong
Adrian Ang U-Jin
Dedi Dinarto
Keoni Indrabayu Marzuki
Nazia Hussain
Sarah Teo
Amalina Anuar
Dymples Leong
Lee YingHui
Phidel Vineles
Collin Koh Swee Lean
Jose Ricardo Sto. Domingo
Nawaljeet Singh Rayar
Quah Say Jye*