Weekly Insights and Analysis

In Singapore: International Workshop on Autonomy and Armed Separatism in South & Southeast Asia

June 18, 2008

Jointly hosted by Asia Research Institute and

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Supported by The Asia Foundation and the Centre on Asia and Globalisation


Speakers will include:


Steve Rood, The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in the Philippines


Thomas Parks, The Asia Foundation’s Regional Director for Conflict and Governance


Over recent decades, a number of South and Southeast Asian states have been troubled by intensifying armed separatist conflicts. Various forms of autonomy have been promoted by scholars and policy-makers as the most democratic way of accommodating separatist insurgents in ethnically, politically, religiously, economically and socially divided states. Despite this, very few states have successfully ended their armed separatist conflicts through offers of autonomy or self-governance. This raises difficult questions about how much freedom nation-states are willing and capable of granting their nationalist minorities without releasing control over their sovereign territories.

This international workshop promotes a multidisciplinary approach towards understanding national identity problems in seven South and Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Thailand, India and Indonesia’s former province of East Timor. It explores the political, economic, legal, security and other compromises that have been offered by national governments to negotiate shared-rule outcomes with their separatist movements through the devolution of central state authority and resources. These attempts to achieve conflict resolution through autonomy have met with varying degrees of success, ranging from Indonesia’s successful offer of self-governance to Aceh to the ongoing separatist insurgencies in Indonesia’s Papua, southern Thailand, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Burma.

Location: Manasseh Meyer Building, Level 3 Seminar Room

(MM03-01) Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

469C Bukit Timah Road, Singapore

For more information on the program, abstracts, and how to register, click here.


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In Asia is a weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia's development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of over 70 renowned experts in over 20 countries, In Asia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.

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