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Political Parties and Islam in Indonesia: A Religious Façade

October 2, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo # 178 – Portrayals of Indonesian political parties have classified them as either secular or Islamic. This implies that they hold strong core commitments. But Indonesian parties do not espouse a coherent political program during elections. Islamic and secular-nationalist parties alike appeal to the public with populist slogans. Controversial religious issues, such as the role of Sharia law or the status of the Ahmadiyah Islamic sect – which could differentiate parties along clear secular-religious lines – are ignored on the campaign trail. Contrary to mainstream analysis, religion plays a minimal role in Indonesia’s party competition. […]

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Mongolia Remains Key To US Strategy in Asia

September 13, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #173 – Mongolia continues its rapid ascent in the strategic playbook of the United States and the West. The US views Mongolia through an integrated lens balancing its economic interests with strategic concerns. As the world’s fastest growing economy (GDP growth at 17.3 per cent in 2011), Mongolia is an appealing target for foreign investors in sectors such as mining, nuclear power, and technology. For Washington though, security still trumps in Mongolia. The US continues to view Mongolia as a credible partner in an uncertain area filled with truculent neighbours. […]

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China and the SCO – Influence and ‘Soft Power’

July 4, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 4

Memo #169 – The 12th annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which includes China, Russia, and four Central Asian states, concluded in Beijing on June 7th. Growing Chinese influence and “soft power,” emphasizing persuasion over force, were much on display. […]

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Asia Pacific Policy Studies (Special Edition)

November 29, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #124 – Our Master of Arts Asia Pacific Policy Studies (MAAPPS) is a boutique program offering training focused on the Asia Pacific to prepare graduates for professional careers in policy-analysis and policy-making. MAAPPS gives you the opportunity to focus on topics ranging from international relations and Asia’s place in the world, to human security and human rights, governance, international development and more. MAAPPS is an innovative and flexible program that can be tailored to suit you and your goals. […]

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U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan a Sore Point in U.S.-China Relations

September 29, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #105 – The Obama administration’s decision to sell arms to Taiwan clouds bilateral relations with China. The timing is not ideal. Global economic recovery is volatile and tensions are increasing in the South China Sea. Next year, there will be a leadership transition in China and the U.S. will hold its presidential election. […]

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Tough Choices Ahead for Global India

March 15, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #64 – This is a time of great tumult in the Middle East. All major global powers are struggling with tough choices to strike a balance between their values and strategic interests in responding to the unfolding crisis in Libya. India is no exception but it is particularly under the spotlight as it assumed the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in January. […]

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Sino-European Hope for the G20 in 2011

March 10, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #63 – Is the G20 still useful? What can we expect of it this year? Analysts in Canada and the US are often quick to discount the G20 process as meaningless summitry among too many countries focused on widely divergent domestic agendas and embroiled in pre-electoral politics. Ian Bremmer and Nouriel Roubini both call this a G-zero situation. […]

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