South Asia’s emerging refugee crisis


Afghan refugees are not just Pakistan’s problem Since the Arab Spring, the international community has faced a migration crisis. The ongoing war in Syria alone has made almost five million people refugees. Of these, just over 10 per cent have sought refuge in Europe, with many more hoping to do so. Thousands have died in […]

Australia - Indonesia relations

People-to-people connections key to improving Australia–Indonesia understanding


A new survey offers insights into bridging the gap between Australian and Indonesian perceptions of each other An extensive new survey of Australian and Indonesian perceptions about each other and their place in the world highlights the growing interest in both countries for more meaningful people-to-people connections. Beginning with a series of focus group discussions […]


The real meaning of Thailand’s constitutional referendum


If history is a guide, Thailand’s latest constitution will be shortlived Many observers of Thailand’s ongoing debilitating political crisis have been scratching their heads trying to understand how Thai voters approved a draft constitution in the referendum on 7 August 2016 which is so blatantly designed to entrench military rule. The result of the referendum […]


Will Japan’s lowered voting age reverse decreasing voter turnouts ?


 Japan’s recent Upper House elections had special significance—it was the first time 18 and 19-year-olds were allowed to vote For the first time in a Japanese national election, 18 and 19-year-olds voted on 10 July 2016 in the 24th Upper House election, which saw the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Kōmeito, returned with […]


Time for leadership and engagement in Malaysian Studies in Australia


Australia needs to look beyond Malaysia’s current political impasse and engage more widely with an important neighbour For some time now, Malaysia watchers in Australia have focused much of their attention on the potential for the 1MDB crisis, and the 2013 election result before it, to unseat UMNO president and Barisan Nasional prime minister Najib […]


China turns to ecology in search of ‘civilisation’


From obscure origins, China’s ecological civilisation model has grown into an international movement In 2007, then Premier Hu Jintao announced that China would become an ‘ecological civilisation’, eschewing the previous development model that had seen economic growth take priority over environmental health. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has a history of using the concept of […]