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Event_

Politics in Action 2020: Updates from Southeast Asia

Political updates from across Southeast Asia

Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s annual Politics in Action forum brings political updates from Southeast Asia to researchers and practitioners from across the disciplines and beyond.

When: 4-15 May 2020
Where: This event will be run entirely online over the course of two weeks - please stay tuned for links to video recordings!

In this public forum, invited experts provided an analysis of the current political situation in Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam, and discuss the broader implications of events in these countries for our region. 

Drawing upon expertise from around the world, these presentations will provide up-to-date information on developments in Southeast Asia relevant to scholars, students, practitioners and the general public from across the disciplines and beyond.

In 2020 the forum will focus on:

  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Vietnam

Our exciting line-up of speakers includes:

  • Dr Susan Banki, University of Sydney
  • Dr Sebastian Dettman, Singapore Management University
  • Dr Jean Franco, University of the Philippines, Diliman
  • Dr Huong Le Thu, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Mr Thomas Power, University of Sydney
  • Dr Kearrin Sims, James Cook University
  • Dr Risa Toha, Yale-NUS, Singapore

Each of our country-specialists will record a 15-minute video presentation which will be made available in the week of 4-8 May 2020. They are instructed to pitch their talk to an interested, but not necessarily academic, audience so the talks are able to be enjoyed by a wide range of people. These talks should be particularly valuable to non-political scientists working in one or more Southeast Asian countries.

Following each presentation, audience members will be invited to send in their questions by filling out this survey by 4pm, Friday 8 May 2020. The speakers will then record short videos responding to the main questions raised by the audience, which will be made available in the week of 11-15 May 2020.

All videos recorded as part of Politics in Action 2020 will be made available for public viewing on our Facebook page and our YouTube channel from the 4th of May 2020 onwards. 

Program 

Day

Time

Topic

Presenter

Institution

Monday 4 May 2020

17.00

Laos

Dr Kearrin Sims

James Cook University

Monday 4 May 2020

17.30

Vietnam

Dr Huong Le Thu

Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Tuesday 5 May 2020

17.00

Malaysia

Dr Sebastian Dettman

Singapore Management University

Tuesday 5 May 2020 17.30 Myanmar

Dr Susan Banki

University of Sydney

Wednesday 6 May 2020 17.00 Philippines Dr Jean Franco

University of the Philippines, Diliman

Wednesday 6 May 2020
17.30 Indonesia Dr Risa Toha Yale-NUS, Singapore
Friday 8 May 2020 09.00 Wrap-up by Mr Thomas Power, University of Sydney
Friday 8 May 2020

16.00

Deadline to submit your questions to SSEAC

Monday 11 May 2020

17.00

Q&A Laos

Dr Kearrin Sims

James Cook University

Monday 11 May 2020 17.30

Q&A Vietnam

Dr Huong Le Thu

Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Tuesday 12 May 2020 17.00

Q&A Malaysia

Dr Sebastian Dettman

Singapore Management University

Tuesday 12 May 2020 17.30 Q&A Myanmar

Dr Susan Banki

University of Sydney

Wednesday 13 May 2020 17.00 Q&A Philippines Dr Jean Franco

University of the Philippines, Diliman

Wednesday 13 May 2020

17.30 Q&A Indonesia Dr Risa Toha Yale-NUS, Singapore

The speakers

Susan Banki's research interests lie in the political, institutional, and legal contexts that explain the roots of and solutions to international human rights violations. In particular, she is interested in the ways that questions of sovereignty, citizenship/membership and humanitarian principles have shaped our understanding of and reactions to various transnational phenomena, such as the international human rights regime, international migration and the provision of international aid. She is currently investigating the local, regional and international mechanisms (and the interactions between them) that serve as potential levers for change.

Sebastian Dettman is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Singapore Management University. He researches politics in Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia, focusing on political parties, electoral competition, and democratization. He completed his PhD in the Department of Government at Cornell University in 2018, and a Masters in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Michigan in 2012. Prior to SMU, he was a 2018-19 Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Shorenstein Center at Stanford University. His research has been published in Electoral Studies, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and South East Asia Research.

Jean Encinas-Franco is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines, Diliman. Her publications cover issues on gender and the politics of international migration from the Philippines. Her dissertation explores the politics of labor out-migration in the Philippines and the discursive representation of overseas Filipino workers as “modern-day heroes”. She has also written reports on the topics of gender and development for the UN Women, ASEAN, and other development organisations. Prior to this, she worked for 15 years at the Senate of the Philippines, where she was Director III of the Senate Economic Planning Office. Currently, she is editing a volume for the Philippine Migration Research Network and the Philippine Social Science Council assessing 50 years of state-sponsored labor migration from the Philippines.

Huong Le Thu is a senior analyst at ASPI, Defence and Strategy Program. Prior to joining ASPI she worked at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs (ANU), Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore), and Institute of International Relations (Taiwan). Her research interests include multilateral security in Asia, foreign policy in post-socialist countries.

She has held short-term research fellowships in Seoul (private think-tank), Kuala Lumpur (University of Malaya) and Jakarta (the ASEAN Secretariat). She is an alumna of the DKI Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, and a recipient of the U.S. State Department Fellowship for East Asian Security and IISS ShangriLa Dialogue Southeast Asian Fellow.

Dr Le Thu’s academic publications have appeared in The Pacific Review, Asia-Europe Journal, Oxford University Press among others; her policy analyses have featured: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, The Brookings Institution, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, East West Center, Royal United Services Institute, Nikkei Asian Review, South China Morning Post, Sydney Morning Herald, etc.

Tom Power is a lecturer in the Department of Indonesian Studies at the University of Sydney, and undertook his doctoral studies at the Australian National University. His research focuses on democratisation and party politics in Indonesia. He is the co-editor of From Stagnation to Regression: Indonesian democracy after twenty years (ISEAS Publishing, forthcoming).

Kearrin Sims is a critical development scholar trained in sociology and international relations. Kearrin has a keen interest in China’s growing presence in Mainland Southeast Asia, and particularly how the Belt and Road Initiative is transforming the livelihoods and wellbeing of impoverished communities. Kearrin coordinates and lectures into James Cook University’s (JCU) Master of Global Development. Kearrin is a Member of the Development Studies Association of Australia Executive Committee and Treasurer of the Association of Mainland Southeast Asia Scholars.

Risa Toha is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale-National University of Singapore.She completed her PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining Yale-NUS, she was a postdoctoral Indonesia Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, MA, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wheaton College, IL. Her current research lies at the intersection of ethnic politics, political violence, elections, and new democracies. Her work has been published in outlets such as the British Journal of Political ScienceTerrorism and Political Violence, and Contemporary Southeast Asia, among others. Her book, Rioting for Representation, examines the rise and subsequent decline of ethnocommunal rioting during Indonesia’s transition to democracy, is under contract with Cambridge University Press.