Southeast Asia

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Snapshot,
Jonah Blank

Preliminary tallies suggest that Jokowi won Indonesia's July 9 presidential election, but his competitor, Prabowo, is not guaranteed to go quietly. The stakes could hardly be higher: Since the fall of Suharto in 1998, Indonesia has been a showpiece of democracy in Asia. The final count will either solidify this narrative, or toss it right out the window.

Snapshot,
Johannes Haushofer

Poverty has psychological consequences, including stress, sadness, and anger, which may create a trap that keeps people mired in destitution. To make aid more effective, then, donors and policymakers should start considering whether their programs address mental as well as physical well-being.

Snapshot,
Jennifer Lind

To protect its core interests in Asia, the United States should start being honest about the things it doesn't care about. That includes China's harassment of Philippine ships and its decision to fly aircraft over disputed islands.

Essay, 2014
Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan

Revolts against authoritarian regimes don’t always succeed -- but they’re more likely to if they embrace civil resistance rather than violence. Over the last century, nonviolent campaigns have been twice as likely to succeed as violent ones and they increase the chances that toppling a dictatorship will lead to peace and democracy.

Snapshot,
William Michael Schmidli

The ubiquity of human rights rhetoric in American political life today obscures the relatively recent origins of the U.S. human rights movement. It wasn’t until the late 1960s and the 1970s that grassroots organizers, lobbyists, and members of Congress embraced human rights in reaction to the excesses of America's Cold War policies.

Essay, 2014
Elizabeth Pisani

In Indonesia, although locally elected politicians may be delivering things that people want in their own backyards, they are not, collectively, meeting the nation’s needs.

Snapshot,
Elin Bjarnegård and Erik Melander

For years, both red and yellow activists in Thailand have claimed that they want to strengthen democracy on behalf of the Thai people -- even if that means condoning police and military interference. But activists make up a tiny portion of the country’s population, and their preferences are radically different from each other and from those of the broader Thai population.

Postscript,
Duncan McCargo

The celebratory mood in some corners of Thailand that followed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's ouster is likely to prove short-lived. Her removal will only usher in an illegitimate regime that exacerbates tensions in the country and lays the groundwork for future protests.

Snapshot,
David A. Welch

We have come to appreciate that our rapidly increasing technological sophistication -- which has brought such benefits as safe and convenient air travel -- carries with it potential costs. It gives us greater ability to destroy, of course. But, it can also lead to the creation of vulnerable, tightly-connected, and inadequately resilient systems. And in those systems, individuals and organizations are often the weakest links -- as the recent Malaysia Airlines disaster makes clear.

Snapshot,
Alexander Kasterine

Wildlife trade bans are failing because they have run into the same basic problem as the war on drugs. Prohibitions on trading wildlife products such as tusks and timber have ultimately made them more valuable. And criminal organizations have moved in and taken over the market.

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