Blog

Indonesian Police personnel in Jakarta
15. Nov 2022

Could the Kanjuruhan stadium disaster spark Indonesian police reform?

Indonesia, InFocus

The 1st of October disaster at the football stadium on Java, in which 135 people lost their lives, is the second-worst footballing tragedy in history. Might it spark Indonesian police reform?

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Workshops outdoor Suzhou
24. Oct 2022

Workshops outdoors: means of coping amidst COVID-19 online mode in Suzhou, China

China, COVID-19, InFocus

Amidst global pandemic of COVID-19, online learning and teaching, video conferencing and online meetings are oftentimes treated as the new normal. Students, tutors, employees and supervisors are expected to accept it and perform as effectively as under face to face situation. However, online mode sustained over periods of longer time, e.g. several months, often results in decreased motivation, lesser ability to concentrate, and general fatigue. While exercise programs and other coping methods indoors are being suggested, there is still limited information available on best strategies to alleviate online learning challenges. Learning outdoors, when possible and relevant, would offer more comprehensive experience of inquiry and healing effects of nature that offers deep replenishment.

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Shanghai
30. Sep 2022

Sensing the Sinophone: Urban Memoryscapes in Contemporary Fiction

China, cultural studies, Hong Kong, InFocus, literature, Shangahi, Taipei, urban development

What happens when the city you live in changes so rapidly that space melts into time and your memories can find no recognisable place to take hold? This kind of morphing urban reality was and is experienced by many in east Asian mega cities, where what cultural critic Dai Jinhua calls the “destructiveness of construction work” (“Imagined Nostalgia.” Boundary 2 24 (3), 1997: 146) is a defining factor. For cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taipei, the 1990s saw a new level of urban transformation that fundamentally affected quotidian ways of life and urban identities, a tendency that continued well into the 21st century. In her new monograph Sensing the Sinophone: Urban Memoryscapes in Contemporary Fiction, Astrid Møller-Olsen argues that fiction writing has the ability to capture both the sense of ongoing transformation and the complex and often ambiguous identity politics that follow.

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ID card for Bernard Fall
13. Sep 2022

Bernard Fall: A Soldier of War in Europe, A Scholar of War in Asia

InFocus, Vietnam

Over the last fifty years, a lack of analysis on Bernard B. Fall (1926-1967) and his scholarship has been a significant gap in the historiography on the First Indochina War (1946-1954) and the Second Indochina War (1955-1975).  Since the Vietnam War ended, the failure to recognize how military force cannot compensate for the lack of a politically attainable goal remains prevalent.  As Fall once remarked, “A U.S. Marine can fly a helicopter better than anyone else, but he cannot give a Vietnamese farmer an ideology to believe in.”  In much the same way, a Russian pilot will not be able to convince Ukrainians that political reconciliation is possible.  Rather, Russia’s unprovoked invasion has made its political legitimacy impossible to maintain – even through far-reaching propaganda – with every passing day that Russia continues to destroy the Ukrainian people and their country. 

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Marching Monks Myanmar
21. Apr 2022

Nationalist monks provide spiritual support to Myanmar’s brutal generals

InFocus

Myanmar’s military receives arms and aircrafts from Russia and Belarus used against the widespread civilian resistance after the coup. At the same time nationalist monks provide spiritual support to the generals, and Buddhism played a crucial role in disrupting the ousted civilian government. The following is a brief analysis of how Buddhism functions in Myanmar’s politics.

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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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