The AAP’s “clean sweep” in Delhi Assembly Elections

AAP leader and now Chief Minister (Delhi State) Arvind Kejriwal carries his party’s telling symbol: the broom (credit: Indo-Asian News Service).

Memo #327 What it means for India By Asim Arun – asimup [at] The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP, Common Man’s Party) landslide victory in the Delhi Assembly polls this month is a rare instance of a civil society movement succeeding in democracy’s ultimate test: elections. The AAP is the child of the “India Against… 

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Nepal’s Citizenship Challenges: Gender and Sovereignty in the Himalayas

Memo #326 By Sara Shneiderman – sara.shneiderman [at] It’s not often that the words “and” and “or” become political slogans, but this has happened in Nepal. A coalition of feminist and rights activists is demanding that the country’s new constitution grant citizenship on the basis of descent through “father or mother,” rather than “father… 

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AEC 2015: Stop Talking to Other Governments, Start Talking to Firms

Memo #325 By Cesi Cruz – cesi.cruz [at] and Benjamin A.T. Graham – benjamin.a.graham [at] How can the governments in ASEAN help businesses prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) scheduled to start in 2015? Foreign firms operating in the Philippines are preparing for the changes, but… Continue reading

Fighting for Myanmar’s Child Soldiers

Efforts to release some 70,000 child soldiers in Myanmar face multiple challenges. Memo #324 By Kai Chen – chenkai [at] Since Myanmar’s independence in 1948, the nation’s interest groups—in particular its ethnic minorities and the national military—have been at odds on how to rule Myanmar. The result has been a long simmering armed conflict… 

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Pakistani Taliban: The Fault in their Narrative

Memo #323 By Dur-e-Aden – dur-e-aden [at] On December 16, 2014, Pakistani Taliban massacred over 132 children when they attacked a high school in Peshawar. They rationalized this attack as a reaction to the violence perpetrated against them (whether by the Pakistani military or US drones). This narrative attempts to shift blame for the… 

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Will the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) transform Southeast Asian economies in 2015?

Memo #322 By Kai Ostwald – kai.ostwald [at] and Krislert Samphantharak – krislert [at]   December 31, 2015 is the launch date of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), possibly the most ambitious undertaking to date of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations… Continue reading

Integrating Sexual Minorities in South Korea

Memo #321 By Joseph Yi – joyichicago [at], Joe Phillips – joephillips5 [at], Heather Yang – heatheryang0102 [at] The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) occupy a peculiar place in South Korean society. By maintaining… Continue reading

In Myanmar, Let’s Make a Deal

Myanmar’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement has the potential to end decades of conflict, but a political solution will have to wait. Memo #320 By Brandon Miliate – bmiliate [at] Today there is the real possibility that Myanmar’s sixty-year history of ethno-national insurgencies might be coming to an end. After decades of stagnation and intermittent fighting,… 

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Understanding Kashmir, Tackling the Kashmir Problem

Memo #319 By Promod Puri – promodpuri [at] The division of the Indian sub-continent in 1947 generated a persistent hostility between India and Pakistan, a hostility dominated by clashing territorial claims over the Kashmir region. On the international stage the Kashmir problem is largely viewed in diplomatic, political, government and media circles with the understanding that the… 

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Mongolia – From Sino-Russian Buffer to Conversion Zone

Memo #318 By Mendee Jargalsaikhan – mendee [at] Last autumn, Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin made separate visits to Mongolia, met for a tri-lateral (Russia-China-Mongolia) summit in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe during the leadership summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and dispatched their vice-foreign ministers for a working-level meeting in preparation for next… 

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Restoring Indonesia’s Direct Regional Elections: Stability in a Divided Society

Memo #317 Indonesian President Pak Joko Widodo must fight to reinstate direct regional elections to maintain social stability. By Matthew J. Bock – m.bock [at] and Geoffrey Macdonald – gpmacdonald [at] Joko Widodo, referred to as Jokowi, was inaugurated as Indonesia’s seventh president on October 20, 2014. President Jokowi represents a new… Continue reading