Related Posts: Peacebuilding in Asia

Notes from the Field

Thai Citizens Vigilant Observers During Election, But Upholding Democracy Doesn’t Stop There

July 13, 2011

At a polling station in Chiang Mai province, election officials were busy counting votes just moments after the polls closed for Thailand’s July 3 general election. As counting continued, each ballot was placed aside in a pile, visible to the large crowd observing.

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Notes from the Field

Dark Reality to Vote Buying in Thailand

July 13, 2011

Having served as a short-term international observer for the general election in Thailand earlier this month on July 3, I unfortunately became somewhat of an expert in the dark arts of vote buying. As one of 60 observers from the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) deployed around the country…

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In The News

Are Maoists Changing Tune Ahead of Nepal’s May 28 Constitutional Deadline?

May 11, 2011

On May 28, 2011, Nepal’s Constituent Assembly (CA) will end its tenure, for the second time, without having completed even a first draft of the constitution. In the lead-up to the deadline, a strike by ethnic and indigenous groups nearly shut down the nation’s capital Kathmandu late last month…

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In The News

The Arab Awakening: Governance Lessons for Asia and Beyond

May 4, 2011

Over the last months, the world has watched as uprisings and revolutions have spread across the streets and squares of the Arab world. In Egypt, entire families – mothers, wives, daughters, grandmothers, showed remarkable courage in standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their brothers, sons, and fathers…

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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

Survey Findings Challenge Notion of a Divided Thailand

March 30, 2011

Since Thailand’s color politics began pitting the People’s Alliance for Democracy’s (PAD) “Yellow-Shirt” movement against the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship’s (UDD) “Red-Shirt” movement, political watchers have insisted that the Thai people are bitterly divided in their loyalties to rival political factions. The view holds that an old-guard elite preference for guided democracy has collided with a populist call from marginalized farmers and wage earners to return Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to power.

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In The News

A ‘Colorless’ Thailand?

March 30, 2011

In 1947, Winston Churchill said “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all others that have been tried.” When Churchill made this remark, Thailand was in the throes of developing a strong dictatorial state headed by the military. But after six decades of impressive economic advancement and social mobility…

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In The News

Q&A: Nepal Elects New Prime Minister

February 9, 2011

After nearly eight months without leadership, Nepal’s parliament has elected Jhala Nath Khanal prime minister. In Asia interviewed Asia Foundation Deputy Country Representative in Kathmandu Sagar Prasai about what this news means for the peace process and what lies ahead. Read the interview.

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In The News

Can the UN Mission’s Exit Do Some Good for Nepal?

January 19, 2011

A general nervousness around the exit last week of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), which monitored Nepal’s struggling peace process since 2007, was evident in political commentaries as early as last November. Perhaps because political pundits expect more from politicians than most of us do, most commentators were hoping that Nepal’s political parties would defy their history of brinkmanship…

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Notes from the Field

Local Mediation: A Transformative Approach to Conflict in Nepal

June 25, 2010

Often, when the prospect of peace is moving forward at the national level, citizens continue to experience the impacts of conflict, particularly at the local level. This is very much the case in Nepal today – emerging from nearly a decade-long open civil war – as the Constituent Assembly struggles toward a peace process at […]

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