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Southeast Asia in 2030: The Future of Intermestic Relations

The fourth installment in a special event series on the occasion of Shorenstein APARC’s 40th Anniversary, “Asia in 2030, APARC@40

Hosted by APARC’s Southeast Asia Program

2023 marks the 40th anniversary of APARC.  Four decades ago, in 1983, the repercussions of Vietnam’s 1978 invasion of Cambodia and China’s 1979 invasion of Vietnam were still underway.  Those intermestic wars interactively implicated both international and domestic relations. Interstate relations in Southeast Asia have been basically peaceful ever since, despite some domestic conflicts, as in Myanmar now.  Will they remain so?  Will ASEAN thrive, or merely survive?  Will ASEAN’s ten countries together constitute the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030–below the US, China, and the EU, but above Japan–as predicted by Singapore’s prime minister and others?  Will ASEAN refuse to choose between the US and China?  Or choose them both?  Or somehow choose itself instead?  And what would each scenario mean?  Will minilateralism erode ASEAN’s centrality?  Will the differences between mainland and maritime Southeast Asia split the region into respectively Sinic and Pacific spheres of influence?  Is the Indo-Pacific concept dead in the water or gaining ground?  Will disinformation fed by social media speed autocratization?  How would that matter for foreign policy?  Will artificial intelligence help the region or hurt it, or both, and how? In the South China Sea, will the ASEAN claimants resolve their differences for the sake of unity against Beijing, or is it too late for that?  How relevant to Southeast Asia’s future are the futures of Taiwan and Ukraine likely to be?  What are Southeast Asia’s greatest strengths/weaknesses and opportunities/challenges going forward?



Richard Heydarian

Richard Heydarian, Senior Lecturer, Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City

He is a Manila-based scholar and columnist. His academic career has included professorial positions in political and social science at the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, and a visiting fellowship at National Chengchi University.  His university lecture venues have included Columbia, Harvard, and Stanford.  A columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer, he has also written for leading publications such as Foreign Affairs, The Guardian, and The New York Times, and has regularly contributed, for example, to Al Jazeera EnglishNikkei Asian ReviewThe South China Morning Post, and The Straits Times. His books include The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China, and the New Struggle for Global Mastery (2019); The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt against Elite Democracy (2017), and Asia’s New Battlefield: The USA, China and the Struggle for the Western Pacific (2015).


Elina Noor

Elina Noor, Senior Fellow, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC

She has written and spoken widely on a range of matters related to Southeast Asia, including currently as a podcaster on Southeast Asia Radio (produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies).  Before joining the Carnegie Endowment, she was the Asia Society Policy Institute’s Director for Political-Security Affairs, and Deputy Director of its office in Washington, DC.  She has held academic and policy positions in the Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (Hawaii), the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Malaysia), and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP), and has served on the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace. Her degrees are from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LLM with distinction), Georgetown University (MA), and Oxford University (BA).


Thitinan Pongsudhirak

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Professor, Faculty of Political Science, and Senior Fellow, Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok

While leading his university’s Institute of Security and International Studies, he has written on Southeast Asia in books, journals, and media, including more than a thousand op-eds in local, regional, and global media outlets.  His opinion pieces were commended for excellence by the Society of Publishers in Asia.  He serves on the editorial boards of South East Asia ResearchAsian Politics & Policy, and the Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs.  Schools where he has held visiting positions include Stanford University (2009-2010), the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (US), Tubingen University (Germany), Victoria University (New Zealand), and Yangon University (Myanmar).  His degrees are from the London School of Economics and Political Science (PhD), the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (MA), and the University of California at Santa Barbara (BA).


Don Emmerson, Director, Southeast Asia Program, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC), Stanford University

Source : Stanford