Religion

A fork in the road: the radicalisation of Islam

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Rajkumar Singh traces the course of Islam, from early lofty ideals to fundamentalism and terrorism Current-day terrorism, typified by the rise of Islamic fundamentalism throughout Asia and other parts of the world, has many faces. Its objectives are multifaceted and its operations multipronged. The world is its stage, making it a prime concern for governments […]

Obituaries

Travels with Des Ball

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Professor Desmond John Ball 20 May 1947–12 October 2016 Professor Des Ball had a profound influence on many of his students, as Cam Hawker recounts. Like many of his students, I first encountered Des in his books, namely A Suitable Piece of Real Estate, which dealt with joint Australian–American intelligence facilities, a subject which he […]

Pakistan

Karachi’s looming water crisis

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Water shortages pose a grave threat to Pakistan’s viability From 2600 to 1700 BCE the Indus Valley Civilisation flourished as one of the cradles of civilisation. At its peak, it had a population of five million and sustained cities of up to 50,000 people. This was made possible by sophisticated irrigation systems that featured sewers, […]

Thailand

What is King Bhumibol’s legacy?

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The death of  the world’s longest-reigning monarch, King Bhumbibol Adulyadej, on 13 October may loose forces that will energise a new round of political turmoil in Thailand The 70-year reign of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej started and ended inauspiciously. It was a family tragedy that unexpectedly brought Bhumibol to the throne. He went on to […]

Iran, Southwest Asia

Saudi standoff with Iran threatens regional turmoil

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Riyadh’s perceptions of ’enemy’ Iran are creating political tensions in the region Beneath the strategic rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the latter’s perception of its Persian neighbour as an existential threat is an example of ‘ideological fundamentalism’ in operation. International relations theorists Ken Booth and Nicholas J. Wheeler explain that when a state develops […]

Indonesia

Not just another local election

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Candidates for the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election are gearing up for a poll that will have ramifications for national politics On 15 February 2017 Indonesia will once again hold local executive elections for governors, mayors and district heads. Of the 101 elections to be held simultaneously across the country that day, the most highly anticipated […]