Critical Report

1809 words - 8 pages

Inside Southeast Asia
Internal Political Challenges, Inter-State Conflicts and Regional Security
Southeast Asia has been one of the most vibrant regions in recent years. This resilient and dynamic region is one of the major hubs at the heart of Asia and is likely to play a significant role in the rising Asia. It can help shape and evolve the larger regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific region. Inside Southeast Asia, the internal political and social systems and the interaction between the two have created an interesting mix of hope, challenges and threats at the national, bilateral and regional levels. Besides, with the ongoing economic integration and political and security ...view middle of the document...

The patterns of internal conflict in this region have been in the form of armed insurgencies, ethnically-motivated communal violence, conflict among political forces, political uprising, secessionism and civil conflicts. Also, in recent years, due to the growing challenges posed by religious radicalism and terrorism, the dimensions of internal conflicts have become more complex.

Political Transition
Internal political challenges have been one of the persistent problems in Southeast Asia; most of these conflicts have taken the form of armed struggles between the ethnic nationalist groups against the government for independence and attainment of autonomy. Today, the political systems of Southeast Asian

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countries have become unstable, more complex and volatile with regime change, protests and violence by non-state actors and civil unrest. The political uncertainties and changes in a number of Southeast Asian countries are not only affecting the internal stability in these countries but also regional security and the balance between ASEAN and external powers. IPCS intends to investigate and understand the current political situation in these countries, for instance the political instability in Myanmar, emergence of a new generation of politicians in Singapore, whether Thailand will succeed in restoring political stability after its recent elections, the social and political tensions in Malaysia as they are heading towards elections and the future political situation in Indonesia and Philippines.

Theme-II Inter-State Conflicts / Territorial Disputes
With the problems and challenges posed by internal conflicts in the region, multiple inter-state clashes and territorial disputes prevail that occasionally escalate. Territorial disputes and other forms of inter-state rivalry continue to hinder progress towards greater regional integration and development.

Thai-Cambodian Border dispute
Most recently the violent armed clashes in the Thai-Cambodian border over the Preah Vihear Temple rekindled the contestation of the temple and its nearby border, escalating it into a military standoff. Both ASEAN and the international community failed to mediate and bring a peaceful settlement between the two countries. Moreover, the strained domestic politics and the uncertainty of Thai politics along with Cambodia’s internal issues have hampered further negotiations and have driven the conflict towards uncertainties.

Ethnic Violence
Most of the major nationalist and ethnic conflicts identified in Southeast Asia have been legacies of European colonization and decolonization. However, the most striking challenges of these conflicts are the enormity of the challenges they have posed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries in the region. What are the sources of these conflicts and how...

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