Patrick Barron


The State of Conflict and Violence in Asia: Five Surprising Takeaways

October 18, 2017


The Asia Foundation just released The State of Conflict and Violence in Asia, a new book detailing the levels and impacts of violence in 14 Asian countries. In Asia’s editor asked the research team what surprised them most. [Watch the launch presentation of the report in Washington, D.C.] Gender-based violence kills more women than armed confl… Read more


The State of Conflict and Violence in Asia – Washington, DC Launch

October 18, 2017

How do conflict and violence affect Asia? What are their roots, and how have they evolved within countries over time? What countries are particularly prone to different forms of conflict and violence? To attempt to answer these questions, The Asia Foundation launched The State of Conflict and Violence in Asia, which contains evidence-based analyses… Read more

Nepal earthquake 

Dalits Left Behind as Nepal Slowly Recovers

April 19, 2017


Two years ago, Nepal was hit by two devastating earthquakes. As the country still struggles to recover, evidence from research conducted by The Asia Foundation reveals that Dalits, a section of society traditionally deemed as “untouchable,” and other lower caste groups face particular barriers which have made recovery more challenging. Natural disa… Read more


Who Is a Terrorist? Lessons from Thailand and the Philippines

January 20, 2016


The 2015 Global Terrorism Index was recently launched by the Institute of Economics and Peace. The timing of the report, released just three days after the Paris attacks, was sadly opportune. The main message – that terrorism is on the rise and its reach is widening – chimes with a new assertiveness…


Responding to Conflict in Asia: Why Good Data is Needed

December 16, 2015


The new set of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals includes for the first time a target that specifically sets out to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, marking an increase in awareness that peace and security is critical for sustainable development.


Infographics Aside, Are Fragility Indices Useful?

August 12, 2015


Devising quantitative measures of state weakness is big business in the development industry. As awareness of the importance of institutions to growth and peace has spread, development practitioners and policymakers have been served an ever-expanding smorgasbord of state fragility indices (see here, here, and here). Countries receive a numerical score based on a range of indicators deemed to capture the ability of states to serve their people.


Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations: Why They Matter, How Aid Can Help

July 29, 2015


Where governments do not function well, growth and sustainable development are rare, and destructive, violent conflicts are more likely. Working in such fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCASs) – common across Asia and the Pacific – requires development agencies, including ADB, to do business differently.


Can Transitional Justice Bring Peace to Thailand’s Deep South?

February 25, 2015


The conflict in Thailand’s Deep South, which has killed almost 7,000 people since 2004, is currently Southeast Asia’s most deadly. So what role might transitional justice play in nudging the South toward peace? Transitional justice (TJ) is a set of temporary mechanisms, such as prosecutions or tribunals…


In Indonesia, Database Tracking Violence Provides Insights on Preventing Conflict

January 14, 2015


From 1999 to 2008, subnational conflicts (SNCs) killed at least 100,000 people in Asia with half of the countries in South and Southeast Asia affected. Asian SNCs last on average twice as long as the global average and typically reignite after periods of calm.


Subnational Conflict: New Approaches Needed

August 13, 2014


In last week’s In Asia, I examined how the rise of Asia in recent decades has been accompanied by a growth in deadly subnational conflicts (SNCs). These conflicts are occurring across the continent, including in middle-income and otherwise stable states. Democratization has not been a cure. Asia’s subnational conflicts last twice as long as those elsewhere in the world.


Subnational Conflict: The Dark Underbelly of a Rising Asia

August 6, 2014


Asia’s rise has been momentous. Since the early 1960s, Asia has grown richer faster than any other region in the world. In 1990, 56 percent of people in East Asia and 54 percent in South Asia lived on under $1.25 a day (PPP). By 2010, these rates had fallen to 12 percent and 31 percent…