InFocus

The In Focus blog features opinions and analyses of topics related to contemporary and modern Asia. We welcome well-written contributions from post-docs and established researchers, MA and PhD students as well as journalists and experts on Asia.

1. Apr 2022

The People’s Map of Global China: Denmark profile

China, InFocus, International relations

While Denmark retains its pragmatic approach to China and largely frames the Sino—Danish relationship in terms of economic diplomacy, controversies related to human rights have strained bilateral ties in recent years.

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18. Mar 2022

Afghanistan: The Other Perspective

Afghanistan, conflict studies, democracy, development, InFocus, Nation-building, regional relations

The on-going war in Ukraine may serve as a grim reminder of history- how rivalry between major powers for global political advantage pushes a country – the theatre of rivalry – towards an inevitable crisis situation, and a bleak, grim future remains the only possibility. Afghanistan of today bears the testimony of such a scenario, after the experience of a long era of political insecurity and instability. This article attempts to focus on the other perspective of security, the people-centric approach of human security scenario in Afghanistan, to search how a prolonged situation of uncertainty fails the country of its basic necessities of today, and even betrays its past potentials.  

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4. Mar 2022

How Transnational Corporations are rendering Myanmar’s Sanctions Ineffective

InFocus, InFocus, Myanmar

Presidential Palace, citing dubious claims of election fraud and reinstated stratocracy in Myanmar. Back on 18February 2021, the UK, in tandem with the US, EU, New Zealand, and Canada, issued a set of sanctions intended to limit the capacity and strength of the junta following an onslaught of violent suppression of protests fighting for the reinstatement of National League for Democracy government.

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View of the sprawling Kutupalong refugee camp near Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh., Picture: DFID-UK Department for International Development
18. Feb 2022

Rohingya Relocation and Repatriation: Bangladesh is in the Paradox of Buridan’s Donkey

Bangladesh, InFocus, minorities, Myanmar, refugees, regional relations

It has already been more than four years since more than seven million Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh for refuge to escape from violence and abuse by the majority Buddhist population and security forces of Myanmar (Beech, 2021). At the last count, more than 1.3 million Rohingya refugees are living in Bangladesh (Reid, 2021). Most of them live in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

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Ocado warehourse bots
4. Feb 2022

How is Fourth Industrial Revolution changing Indian economy?

InFocus

By Preethi Amaresh, Doctoral Scholar of International Relations from the Geneva School of Diplomacy

The world today is seeing quick progress in “Industry 4.0” or the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” which is altering nearly all sectors of the economy. Following the COVID pandemic, India has reported the loftiest upsurge in the usage of AI at 45 per cent compared to countries such as Japan, the U.S and U.K. The Indian ecosystem in the future is confident enough to witness the quick penetration and adoption of Industry 4.0. The economic impact of the pandemic in India has been particularly disruptive and there has been a knock. But the digital era has carried remarkable transitions to technology, industry and society.

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Port_of_Shanghai,_Yangshan_Deep-water_Harbour_Zone
23. Nov 2021

Opinion – China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Pragmatism over Morals?

InFocus

By Tabita Rosendal, Ph.D. student at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University, Sweden and an affiliate at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), Copenhagen, Denmark.

Is China beating the US and EU through its pragmatic approach towards cooperation under the “Belt and Road” Initiative (“一带一路”倡议) (BRI)? Despite the advent of the US’ “Build Back Better World” (B3W) and the EU’s “Connecting Europe Globally” (CEG), evidence from Sri Lanka suggests that some countries still look to China for support due to the ‘no-strings-attached’ nature of its investments. The stark reality is that China’s “pragmatic values”, combined with loans, may outcompete the two Western initiatives.

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18. Oct 2021

Competitive Hindutva

Hinduism, InFocus, political parties, religion

Moumita Sen, Associate Professor of Culture Studies at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society  Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo The run-up to next year’s state assembly elections in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh vividly shows us the extent to which political parties across the […]

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5. Feb 2021

Making sense of Myanmar’s coup

InFocus

Mikael Gravers, Aarhus University: Early in the morning on 1 February 2021, the Myanmar armed forces (Tatmadaw) arrested President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other high-ranking National League for Democracy (NLD) members. As the military staged the coup, armoured cars and soldiers guarded radio and television stations and the […]

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4. Feb 2021

Life Under the Radar: Female North Korean Migrants Living in China.

InFocus

Kate Allanson, MA North Korean Studies Student, University of Central Lancashire: A life underground or risk repatriation. This is the choice many North Korean migrants are faced with once they cross the Yalu River, setting foot on Chinese ground. North Koreans hold no refugee status once in China, receive no governmental aid and encounter no […]

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1. Jul 2020

A New Cold War? Can we maintain good academic relationships with China post Covid-19?

InFocus

Jørgen Delman, University of Copenhagen: As a social scientist working in the field of Chinese politics, I note with interest the speed with which perceptions of China changed these last months. A Cold War mentality is detectable. We hear from many parts of the world that China’s rise as a superpower is a challenge to […]

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