For a great power to lead the world there are a few qualities that it should bring to the table. These include, but are not limited to, material strength, an aspiration for recognition and sufficient international support. Does China currently possess these qualities?
Soon after the May 2014 coup I joined the faculty of Mahidol University and was asked to teach a course on “Democracy as a Political System”. I wondered at what seemed a poisoned chalice. A colleague told me, only half-joking, to keep a wad of cash for a sudden escape. The subject was not new, but the setting was. How do you teach democracy in a country that has just suspended it?
Political economists have long debated whether globalisation started a “race to the bottom” throughout the developing world – that is, a lowering of labour and environmental standards as governments fiercely compete to attract multinational corporations and supply chain contracts.
Initial analysis of the gender balance at the recent 21st-century Panglong Conference offers some fascinating insights into attitudes toward women among different sectors of those involved in the country’s peace process.
While walking along Bogyoke Road one evening last week, my partner and I noticed something odd.
After Brexit, the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, it was reported that some members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were considering a similar move. It is not going to happen just yet, but many officials are increasingly – and angrily – demanding that ASEAN must change if it is to survive.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s nomination for a second term is inexorably moving forward with a lack of transparency that has become all too typical. Many observers are once again gnashing their teeth at the United States’ continued monopoly over the top post, despite the poor performance of past US nominees. As the late Yogi Berra once put it, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
China is a big fan of dams. Indeed, over the past 50 years, the country has constructed more dams than all other countries combined. But there is one dam that China never managed to get built: the Myitsone dam in Myanmar. And Chinese leaders can’t seem to let it go.