ASEAS 7(1) – Conflict Dynamics & Transformations

Issue 7(1) was published in June, 2014. Find all article downloads below!


  • Conflict Dynamics and Transformations in Southeast Asia – Gunnar Stange & Iris O’Rourke
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-1
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Aktuelle Südostasienforschung / Current Research on Southeast Asia

  • ASEAN’s Environmental Challenges and Non-Traditional Security Cooperation: Towards a Regional Peacekeeping Force?Henning Borchers
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-2
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    This article reflects on the prospect for an ASEAN peacekeeping force and regional security cooperation. I argue that progress on ‘soft’ security issues stands to facilitate a slow deepening of ‘hard’ security cooperation at the ASEAN level. Governments of ASEAN member states are still reluctant to develop a regional mechanism for conflict resolution, which they perceive to be a challenge to the norms of non-interference and state sovereignty. Yet, these norms are subject to dynamic shifts in the security environment that regional governments now have to manage. The establishment of mechanisms to address politically less controversial non-traditional security issues such as environmental challenges stands to further develop and consolidate military-to-military ties and deepen political trust among member states. An ASEAN standby force for emergency response and disaster relief has become a politically acceptable initiative and could set the stage for the development of an ASEAN peacekeeping force.
    Keywords: ASEAN; HADR; Peacekeeping; Security Community; Security Cooperation
  • Separatist Conflicts in the ASEAN Region: Comparing Southern Thailand and MindanaoKathrin Rupprecht
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-3
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    This paper examines two cases of separatist conflict, namely the conflict in Southern Thailand and the conflict in the southern Philippines. Both conflicts have been long-lasting, extremely violent, and embedded in ethnic and religious sentiments. The comparison shows that there are structural analogies in both conflict cases that indicate similar root causes. State-internal conflicts of this scale are not purely a matter of national politics. States and non-state actors have influenced – and are still influencing – both separatist conflicts in various ways and towards different outcomes. It becomes apparent that non-traditional security issues that are linked to state-internal conflicts demand a more proactive role of ASEAN in the field of conflict management.Keywords: ASEAN; Conflict Management; Mindanao; Separatism; Southern Thailand
  • „In Our Hearts, We Do Not Have Trust“: Frieden und bewaffnete Gruppen in Myanmar Sina Kowalewski
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-4
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    Der vorliegende Artikel betrachtet die Perspektiven der Führungskreise bewaffneter Oppositionsgruppen auf den politischen Übergangsprozess in Myanmar. Die Allianz aus 16 bewaffneten Gruppen, der United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), zweifelt am Friedenswillen der Regierung und interpretiert deren Reformen als Strategie zur Absicherung bestehender Machtverhältnisse. Dementsprechend bringen bewaffnete Gruppen wie die Karen National Union (KNU) und die Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) dem Friedensprozess nur wenig Vertrauen entgegen. Das vorherrschende Misstrauen und die Top-down-Strategie der Regierung in der Umsetzung von Reformen fordern daher den Friedensprozess heraus. Der Artikel basiert auf Interviews mit bewaffneten Gruppen und ihnen nahestehenden Organisationen in Thailand und Myanmar in den Jahren 2012 und 2013.Keywords: bewaffnete Gruppen; Burma/Myanmar; Kachin Independence Organization; Karen National Union; United Nationalities Federal Council
  • Informal Conflict Management in Exclusivist Political Orders: Some Observations on Central Mindanao – Jeroen Adam & Boris Verbrugge
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-5
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    In the past decade, a range of international and national NGOs have pointed to the need to complement national-level negotiations with a support for alternative, informal institutions of conflict management in order to reach a sustainable peace in the conflict-affected regions of Central and Western Mindanao. This argument is based on emerging insights into the multi-layered conflict ecology in the region and the fact that classic statist diplomacy can only deal with this complexity to a limited extent. Based on an analysis of existing conflict management practices in the region, we would like to challenge some of the basic premises underlying this ‘alternative’ and informal approach. Our core argument is that in the case of Mindanao, assuming a rigid distinction between formal and informal actors and practices of conflict mediation is flawed and may actually be counterproductive, as it obscures how informal practices dominate purportedly formal mediation procedures. Moreover, it tends to underestimate how the local executive embodying state power plays a key role in allegedly ‘informal’ conflict management mechanisms.Keywords: Conflict Management; Informality; Mindanao; Peace Studies; the Philippines
  • Contested Land: An Analysis of Multi-Layered Conflicts in Jambi Province, Sumatra, Indonesia – Barbara Beckert, Christoph Dittrich, & Soeryo Adiwibowo
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-6
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    In the lowland areas of Sumatra, conflicts over land and natural resources are increasing as fundamental land use transformation processes take place and the region is gradually integrated into globalized markets. Set against the background of the conflict arena of Bungku village, Jambi province, this paper describes and analyzes the struggle for land between a group of indigenous people, the Batin Sembilan, and an oil palm company, PT Asiatic Persada. By highlighting the path dependency of land conflicts, the article shows that access to land results from concurring but ambivalent institutional regimes and power asymmetries, leading to an ostensible state of equilibrium in a post-frontier area.Keywords: Access to Land; Indonesia; Jambi Province; Land Conflicts; Post-Frontier
  • Naturkonzepte und indigene Identitätsentwürfe im Kontext ökologischer Konflikte in Kalimantan – Timo Duile
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-7
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    In hegemonialen Diskursen, die sich gerade in ökonomischer Hinsicht als wirkmächtig erwiesen haben, erscheinen ökologische Konflikte meist als Konflikte um das adäquate Management von Ressourcen. Der epistemische Subtext dieser Herangehensweise an den Gegenstand „Umwelt“ basiert auf einem spezifischen Konzept von Natur, welches Natur als Materie, als das Andere der Kultur und des menschlichen Geistes begreift. Mit Bezug auf Philippe Descola soll in diesem Artikel gezeigt werden, dass sich die im Kontext indigener politischer Strategien revitalisierenden und neu ausgehandelten Naturkonzepte der Dayak auf der Insel Borneo von diesem hegemonialen Naturkonzept unterscheiden – auch wenn sich diese immer wieder auf Grundlagen der hegemonialen Episteme beziehen müssen, um in die globalen Diskurse eintreten zu können. Der Beitrag veranschaulicht diese epistemische Dimension ökologischer Konflikte, indem exemplarisch Publikationen von John Bamba, Direktor einer indigenen Organisation im indonesischen West-Kalimantan, analysiert werden. Es soll außerdem gezeigt werden, wie indigenes Wissen in seiner epistemischen Gesamtheit in hegemonialen Diskursen über lokales Wissen in Kalimantan ausgeblendet wird.Keywords: Dayak; epistemische Konflikte; Kalimantan; lokales Wissen; Naturkonzepte

Im Dialog / In Dialogue

  • Mobilization Potential and Democratization Processes of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) in Malaysia: An Interview With Hishamuddin Rais – Ying Hooi Khoo
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-8
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    In recent years, protests and popular mobilization have become pronounced elements in Malaysian politics. Bersih (clean) demonstrations are notably the most outstanding protest events in Malaysian history. Bersih is a group of 89 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) pushing for a thorough reform of the electoral process in Malaysia through rallies and demonstrations. Five opposition parties initiated the idea of Bersih in 2005 and included several NGOs in the ‘project’ later on. After the first Bersih street protests in November 2007 (Bersih 1.0), the political parties and the NGOs reached the ‘compromise pact’ that led to the formation of Bersih 2.0 in 2010 as a non-partisan movement free from any political interference. This interview explores the linkages to the broader democratization process in Malaysia from the perspective of Hishamuddin Rais (Isham), a prominent grassroots activist. Isham spent 20 years in political exile after the Baling student protest of 1974. He became active again in 1998 after the ouster of then Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, the current leader of the opposition coalition. Isham was a member of the Bersih Steering Committee for two years until he stepped down in 2012.

Südostasien sehen / Southeast Asia Visually

  • Intimidation Versus Inclusion: New Strategies in Indonesian Election Campaigning – Vera Altmeyer
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-9
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Rezensionen / Book Reviews

  • Book Review: Claire Wintle (2013).
    Colonial Collecting and Display. Encounters With Material Culture From the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
    Viola Kóczán-Vörös
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-10
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  • Book Review: Marcus Mietzner (Ed.) (2013).
    The Political Resurgence of the Military in Southeast Asia: Conflict and Leadership
    – Kai Chen
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.1-11
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