Posts By Thomas Parks

In The News

The Future of Armed Conflict

June 5, 2013

The Asia Foundation just launched a major new study on development and subnational conflict in Asia. “The Contested Corners of Asia” argues that subnational conflict is the most widespread, deadly, and enduring form of conflict in Asia, and that increasing development and expanding state capacity do not make these conflicts any easier to resolve. A product of a three-year research effort, the study involved nearly 100 researchers, leading subnational conflict experts…

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Notes from the Field

Remembering Adrian Leftwich: Professor and Intellectual Leader on International Development

April 17, 2013

The Asia Foundation honors the memory of Dr. Adrian Leftwich, highly regarded political scientist, activist, and international development expert, who passed away early this month. Adrian was the research director of the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP)…

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Notes from the Field

Rethinking Results Monitoring in Conflict Areas

September 19, 2012

Despite a major expansion of funding to the world’s most conflict affected areas over the past decade, many of these regions, including in Asia, remain afflicted by the same problems of poor governance, troubled state-society relations, and insecurity.

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In The News

How Can International Assistance to Burma Avoid Mistakes of the Past?

May 9, 2012

Burma (also known as Myanmar) may be on the verge of a dramatic expansion of international assistance. After last month’s parliamentary by-elections, there is likely to be more support for easing sanctions and increasing foreign assistance to the country to support the changes underway.

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In The News

Are Internal Conflicts Holding Asia Back?

October 19, 2011

Internal conflicts are a widespread and enduring problem for Asia – Afghanistan, Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar, among others. Ten of the 18 countries in South and Southeast Asia have protracted internal conflicts, and in a few, there are several. These internal conflicts last a very long time…

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In The News

Development Realism: Why the World Bank’s World Development Report Should Lead to Changes in Aid to Fragile States

April 27, 2011

Earlier this month, the World Bank released its 2011 World Bank Development Report, “Conflict, Security and Development.” This highly ambitious report intends to challenge conventional wisdom and propose a new strategy for the international community to help countries emerge from war, long-running violent conflict, entrenched criminality, and fragility. In my view, the report has accomplished this goal, and in so doing, may change the way we work with fragile states and conflict-affected regions.

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In The News

What do Local Perceptions tell us About Prospects for Peace in Southern Thailand?

December 15, 2010

The Asia Foundation’s first survey of the population of southern Thailand, released December 16 in Bangkok, gives us rare insight into the conflict, from the perspective of those most affected by it. Since the re-emergence of violent conflict almost seven years ago, the region has been notoriously difficult to understand, in large part due to […]

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In The News

Signs of a New Insurgency in Thailand?

October 13, 2010

On October 5, the normally quiet Bangkok suburb of Nonthaburi was jolted by an explosion that left four people dead and several more wounded. The blast ripped through a nondescript, working-class apartment building and an adjacent market in the early evening, just before residents were returning from work. Thai investigators have determined that the blast […]

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Notes from the Field

What Political Settlements Mean for International Development

August 4, 2010

The impact of international development assistance depends, to a large extent, on the ability and willingness of development actors to factor the political landscape into aid programs. It is not uncommon to hear of carefully conceived development programs, meticulously and thoughtfully designed with ample funding, that have been undermined by powerful local actors with other […]

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In The News

Fixing Aid to Fragile Places

April 21, 2010

There seems to be a growing consensus that aid to conflict-affected and fragile regions needs fixing. The worsening conditions in Afghanistan have had a sobering effect on the international community, particularly development donors and organizations. If we cannot prevent the slide back to conflict and continued poverty for Afghanistan’s war-weary population, despite our huge investments […]

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