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Gold Buddhist statues

YOLO: Insights from Thailand

16 May 2018

Religious worldviews can shape the thinking of senior officials in profound ways - take YOLO, for instance. ‘You only live once’ is an expression encouraging a life lived on the edge. Canadian rapper...

Green turtle

Green Turtle Dreaming

16 May 2018

In her new book chapter on the Indonesian and Australian women bridging the divides between their cultures, Virginia Hooker devises a metaphor centred on the concept of the Green Turtle. Just as...

Image: Flickr AK Rockefeller

The Symbolism of ASEAN at 50

24 August 2017

Had someone at the foundation of ASEAN fifty years ago predicted that the regional organisation would be around in half a century, they might not have been openly laughed at, but they would likely...

Being a good neighbour: Australia in Asia

14 August 2017

Re-imagining Australia’s relationships with its neighbours poses no small challenge. Yet, a panel of academics from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre took up just that question at the...

Image: ILO/Sai Min Zaw

Thailand’s new migrant worker policy is a step onto uncertain ground

11 August 2017

Since 2014, Thailand’s coup-led government has prioritised eliminating human trafficking, especially among migrant workers. This renewed attention has been in direct response to a storm of...

Image courtesy of Flickr Prachatal

Asian pawns lose out in power play between the US and China

4 May 2017

China is winning the battle over the South China Sea, the resource-rich stretch of contested water where the country’s been building artificial islands equipped with military-length airstrips...

Relief for Rohingyas in Chittagong. Photo: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hussain

Is ASEAN a newfound voice for the Rohingya?

29 March 2017

The democratisation of Myanmar, culminating in the National League for Democracy’s assumption of power in early 2016, was meant to mark a step forward for the Rohingya. The hopes of the international...

Julie Bishop

Out of order

20 March 2017

What does Australia want from ASEAN? Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop gave a clear answer in her speech in Manila on 16 March. In a memorable phrase, Ms Bishop called for ASEAN to use its ‘...

Photo: ILO Asia Pacific/John Hulme Flickr

Tackling human trafficking in ASEAN

2 March 2017

On 6 February, the Philippines became the sixth member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ratify the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and...

Rohingya refugee. Photo: Steve Gumaer on Flickr

Assessing Indonesia's new decree on refugees

9 February 2017

On 31 December last year, Indonesian President Joko Widodo quietly issued a decree on the handling of refugees, breaking a long held silence on the issue. The pronouncement outlines how relevant...

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