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A woman shows her fingers marked with ink after voting at a polling station on April 17, 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Through academic research and expert commentary, our scholars offer meaningful policy perspectives on Southeast Asian affairs, regional dynamics, and Southeast Asian states’ interactions with major powers including China and the United States. View our updates below.

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President Obama's final Asia tour marks record of engagement in Southeast Asia

Commentary / September 12, 2016

Donald Emmerson joined KQED’s radioshow “Forum” to discuss U.S. President Barack Obama’s final trip to Asia, where the president met with world leaders in various forums including the G-20 in Hangzhou and, in Vientiane, the East Asia Summit among other meetings related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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Why does China want to control the South China Sea?

Commentary / May 24, 2016

The disputes over the South China Sea are complex, and they overlap and collide in complex ways. At stake are questions of ownership, demarcation, rights of passage, and access to resources—fish, oil, and gas. The resulting imbroglio implicates all six claimants, not only China but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam as well. It is wrong to blame China alone for all that has happened in the South China Sea—nationalist moves, stalemated diplomacy, and the potential for escalation.

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China's strategy in the South China Sea

Commentary / May 3, 2016

In an editorial for The Asan Forum, Stanford scholar Donald Emmerson portrays China’s building of infrastructure on land features in the South China Sea as a strategy to gain control over the area incrementally, without triggering actual war.

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ASEAN and the South China Sea

Commentary / February 24, 2016

It was meant to be a sunny summit. Welcoming ASEAN’s leaders at the Sunnylands estate, President Obama said he had invited them to southern California, not cold and snowy Washington, to reciprocate the warm welcomes he had received in their own countries on his seven presidential trips to Southeast Asia. Appreciative laughter ensued.

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FSI scholars visit US Pacific Command Headquarters

News / February 17, 2016

Seventeen faculty members and researchers from Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies were hosted at U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) Headquarters in Hawaii for an intensive orientation on Feb. 4-5. The visit aimed to advance collaboration and to offer a deeper understanding of USPACOM’s operations to Stanford scholars who study international security and Asia.

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Next steps in Indonesia-US relations

Commentary / December 9, 2015

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was recently in Washington, D.C., for his first-ever presidential visit to the United States. In an op-ed for the East Asia Forum, Stanford scholar Donald Emmerson examines what the two countries can do to continue to build cooperation gained on the trip.

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Call for applications: Postdoctoral fellowship in contemporary Asia

News / September 21, 2015

The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University is now accepting applications for the Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellowship in Contemporary Asia, an opportunity made available to two junior scholars for research and writing on Asia.

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Gi-Wook Shin reappointed as Center director

News / September 1, 2015

Stanford professor Gi-Wook Shin has been reappointed for another term as the director of Stanford's Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC), from July 1, 2016 through Aug. 31, 2019. The announcement was made yesterday in an email.

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In Myanmar, doctors protest "militarization" of healthcare

Commentary / August 24, 2015

Doctors, nurses and other medical staff in Myanmar are wearing black ribbons to protest the appointments of military personnel in the Ministry of Health.

“The Black Ribbon Movement Myanmar 2015,” which began on Facebook in early August, quickly amassed over 42,000 followers, and on Aug. 12, led the minister for health to drop plans to appoint military personnel to over 300 management positions within the ministry.

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Scholars urge release of Malaysian opposition leader

News / August 13, 2015

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, imprisoned since February, is the focus of a pledge signed by 40 scholars and public figures lamenting his mistreatment and urging his immediate release.

The “Global Call for the Release of Anwar Ibrahim” condemns Anwar’s persecution by the Malaysian authorities and their ongoing repression of freedom of speech and assembly.

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South China Sea: What China is really saying

Commentary / August 4, 2015

Writing recently for the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), Stanford scholar Donald Emmerson analyzed China’s stance on the South China Sea in the context of remarks given by Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at a bilateral dialogue in Washington, D.C. on June 24.

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Indonesia must embrace its 'middle power' status, Emmerson says

News / July 9, 2015

Stanford scholar Donald Emmerson urged Indonesia to realize its role as a rising "middle power" at a conference in Jakarta on June 13, 2015. Some 2,000 Indonesians gathered to hear analysts and diplomats discuss Indonesian foreign policy. Emmerson argued that Indonesia could and should implement its foreign policy goals without passively acquiescing in China’s drive for regional dominance.

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At Stanford, UN leader calls for global action

News / June 28, 2015

The United Nations has thus far fulfilled its charter to prevent a third world war, but with 60 million refugees, continued bloodshed with unresolved civil conflicts and terrorism spreading like cancer, the world's leading peacekeeping organization must spearhead global action, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday at Stanford on the 70th anniversary of the international organization.

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Economists suggest how to better allocate donations for disaster relief

News / May 27, 2015

As people around the world look to support earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, scholars from Stanford and the London School of Economics and Political Science offer new research that can help donors make better decisions about where and how to contribute their money.

“NGO reports tend to focus on quantity in delivery, such as numbers of homes and people served—but not on quality,” write Yong Suk Lee (Stanford) and J. Vernon Henderson (LSE).

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Stanford scholars talk APEC 2014

Commentary / November 13, 2014

Asia-Pacific leaders recently met in Beijing at the annual APEC summit, and after two days of discussion, concluded with some significant pledges and remarkable moments. President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan held a landmark meeting, and the United States and China discussed two agreements that are both symbolic, and lay groundwork for regional progress, say Stanford scholars.

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Meeting the challenge of China’s rise in Asia

Commentary / November 7, 2014

On 10 Nov. 2014 a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum will convene in Beijing, followed in rapid succession by the East Asia Summit in Naypyidaw and the G20 in Brisbane.

Much of what will be said and done at these events will implicate the tectonics of nascent global governance set in motion by China’s campaign for greater influence in Asia.

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Call for applications: Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellowship in Contemporary Asia

News / October 2, 2014

 

The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University is pleased to announce its search for two 2015–16 Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellows in Contemporary Asia. The award will be given to two junior scholars, who have completed their Ph.D. (with degree conferral and approval by August 31, 2015).

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Shorenstein APARC changes program names

News / September 10, 2014

The Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University formally changed many of its program names in tandem with the website project led by our parent organization, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

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Indonesia’s presidential election: What’s at stake?

News / July 11, 2014
Donald Emmerson, director of the Southeast Asia Forum at Shorenstein APARC, answers a few questions about Indonesia’s tight-raced presidential election, which has still yet to declare an official winner. The election is considered a historic event for the world’s third largest democracy that was once a dictatorship.
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