Upcoming events

Living in a Time of Deception

Book Launch

When: 20 September 2016, 17.30 - 19.00
Where: Law Lounge, Level 1, New Law Building, University of Sydney

The Sydney Southeast Asia Centre in collaboration with the Malaysia and Singapore Society of Australia (MASSA), presents a public seminar to mark the Sydney launch of Living in a Time of Deception by Dr Poh Soo Kai.

'Living in a Time of Deception' is a study of Singapore history from the post-war period to 1965. Dr Poh Soo Kai describes the book as a historical memoir. He was part of Singapore's agitation against colonial rule and remains one of the most respected former political prisoners in Singapore.

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Free event with online registration required.


Clusters of Development and Democratisation: Militarist, Socialist, and Colonial Legacies across Southeast Asia

When: 28 September 2016, 17.00-18.30
Where: Seminar Room 442, New Law School Annexe, University of Sydney

The presentation offers a new theorisation and categorisation of Southeast Asian polities that have pursued rapid development through integration with a regional economy jointly dominated by American, British, Chinese, and Japanese power and capital. Unlike the 'developmental statist' cases of Northeast Asia (Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan), Southeast Asia’s developmental economies can usefully be divided into “developmental militarist” (Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand), “developmental socialist” (Cambodia and Vietnam), and 'developmental Britannia' (Malaysia and Singapore) clusters. This developmental clustering has had profound effects on prospects for Southeast Asian authoritarian regimes to pursue the kind of 'democracy through strength' witnessed in Northeast Asia’s leading developmental states. Of particular note is the pattern that only Southeast Asia’s militarist cases, and not its socialist or Britannia cases, have conceded democratic reforms in the expectation that conservative political elites could continue to thrive under competitive electoral politics.

Dan Slater is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and associate member of the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago.

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Free event with online registration required.


Fighting Corruption in Indonesia's Natural Resource Sector

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas

When: 30 September 2016, 16.30 - 18.00
Where: Lecture Theatre 024, New Law School Annexe, University of Sydney

Indonesia is blessed with very rich natural resources: gold, copper, nickel, coal, bauxite, oil and gas, geothermal, rain forest, various fish species and many others. But they fail to generate wealth for the welfare of the people and for many, have become a ‘curse’ to the nation as they leave irreversible damages to the environment and displace people and communities while channelling the revenues to only a small percentage of the population.

In the effort to address the situation, KPK launched the National Movement on Natural Resources and engaged ll relevant ministries, governors, and local governments to improve natural resources governance in Indonesia. Also as a result of continuing efforts, KPK recently prosecuted high ranking officials (minister, governors, heads of district/mayors) on natural resources-related cases, and at the same time has discovered a manipulation of multi-billion dollars by many different actors in the area of natural resources extraction.

Dr Laode M Syarif is a newly elected Commissioner for Indonesia Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) (2015-2019).

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Free event with online registration required.


ASEAN Forum 2016

China in ASEAN

When: 7 October 2016, 12.00 - 17.00
Where: Law Foyer, New Law Building, University of Sydney

Co-hosted by the China Studies Centre

China is an emerging political superpower with a large population, rapid economic growth and increasing military spending. At the same time, the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) is moving towards greater economic integration through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), hoping that integration will boost markets and attract increased investment to the region. While ASEAN’s integration is an ongoing process, the economic relationship between China and the AEC has been formalised through the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area agreement. At the same time, tensions have arisen between China and a number of Southeast Asia states due to competing claims for islands in the South China Sea.

The 2016 ASEAN Forum co-hosted by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and China Studies Centre will explore the various convergences of these two political entities, shedding light on how China is shaping political, economic and cultural aspects of life for those in ASEAN. The forum will invite speakers from across the region to provide assessments of how China is engaging in Southeast Asia, and what this means for the future of the region as a whole. The forum will focus on three main themes that lie at the heart of the ASEAN-China relationship:

  • Security
  • Economic diplomacy
  • Chinese diasporas in Southeast Asia

Further information on the panels, speakers and program is now available.

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Free event with online registration required.


Why are Local Elections in Indonesia's Papua Most Violent?

When: 14 October 2016, 12.00 - 13.30
Where: Seminar Room 344, New Law School Annexe, University of Sydney

Co-hosted by the Electoral Integrity Project and the Department of Indonesian Studies

The Electoral Hostility Index (EHI) is used to map violence related to local elections across districts in 11 Indonesian provinces previously categorised as high conflict regions during the country’s democratic transition. Data covering the first two series of direct local elections in 2005-2008 and 2010-2013 indicate that electoral hostility in the second series was significantly higher than the first.

Higher poverty rates and lack of development seem to significantly correlate with higher electoral hostility validating the modernisation hypothesis. Further, the cases of very high electoral hostility are concentrated in the remote Papuan highland districts, although not all of these districts show high electoral hostility.

In order to understand variations in electoral hostility across Papuan districts, and the relatively peaceful local elections of 2015, this seminar also looks at district level, including high and low hostility districts, highland and coastal districts.

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Free event with online registration required.