Subnational Conflict


Conflict in the Indo-Pacific Region: Rising Risks and Local Solutions

Washington, DC, Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Events Post

With conflict risks on the rise across Asia and the Pacific and geopolitical tensions mounting, the region has witnessed rising authoritarianism and receding democratic norms in recent years. Numerous political leaders have looked to bypass checks and balances on power, while identity-based campaigning has fomented chauvinist violence. Adding to an… Read more


Addressing Conflict & Fragility in Asia

March 4, 2020


Violent conflict remains a critical ongoing concern that affects people across Asia as wars and insurgencies persist and new risks emerge. The Asia Foundation is addressing the root causes of violence through locally grounded and context-driven efforts to improve governance, targeted support for peacebuilding, conflict prevention initiatives, and c… Read more


Seven Takeaways on Asian Approaches to Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

June 20, 2018

Blog Post

Despite rapid economic growth, conflict has persisted in many parts of Asia. Peacebuilding efforts have often focused on the role that Western nations or multilateral bodies can play in supporting statebuilding to build peace. South-South cooperation emphasizes supporting peacebuilding efforts in partner countries by drawing on a country’s own relevant experience.


Breaking the Deadlocks to Peace in Southern Thailand

January 11, 2017

Blog Post

On August 12-14, 2016, as Thais were celebrating the long holiday marking the Queen’s birthday, a series of 13 coordinated explosions rocked several provinces in Thailand’s Upper South, including popular tourist spots in Hua Hin, leaving four people dead and 30 wounded, including 10 foreigners. Forensic evidence points to the opposition group known… Read more


Is It Time for a Peacekeeping Force for ASEAN?

February 3, 2016

Blog Post

This decade marks a radical shift in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states’ attitudes toward its role in the region. The idea of an ASEAN regional peacekeeping cooperation was first raised in 1994, but never gained traction among member states.


Perilous Progress in Nepal

February 3, 2016

Blog Post

Following seven years of fitful birthing Nepal’s new constitution was promulgated in September 2015, and instantly became the epicentre of ongoing political turmoil that threatens to undermine progress on many fronts in the country. The culmination of a protracted political transition since the comprehensive peace accord of 2006, the new constitution attempts…


Report from Sri Lanka: Parliamentary Elections

August 26, 2015

Blog Post

After a hotly contested campaign, Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka concluded peacefully last week in a vote hailed by local and international observers as one of the most free, fair, and peaceful in Sri Lanka’s recent history. The 70 percent turnout fell short of last January’s 82 percent, possibly due to the monsoon rain that arrived two hours before polls closed on Monday, August 17.


Infographics Aside, Are Fragility Indices Useful?

August 12, 2015

Blog Post

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

Blog Post

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.


Since the Bombs… My Life Has Changed

June 24, 2015

Blog Post

For the last 11 years, Thailand’s southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani and neighboring districts of Songkhla – the Deep South – have been torn by a subnational conflict in which bomb attacks, assassinations, and other acts of violence have claimed over 6,400 lives and injured more than 11,500 people.


Doing Development Differently: Report from Manila

April 29, 2015

Blog Post

On Monday and Tuesday in Manila, The Asia Foundation, along with Harvard University and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and with media partner DevEx to get the message out, hosted the second Doing Development Differently forum (DDD).


Registration Symbolizes First Step in Integrating MILF in Philippines Electoral Process

March 11, 2015

Blog Post

It was an admirable effort. On March 7, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), understaffed with just four commissioners left after the retirement of Chairman Sixto Brillantes, held a symbolic special satellite voter registration of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members and their families….


Reversing the Legacy of Injustice in Thailand’s Conflict-Ravaged South

January 21, 2015

Blog Post

In the book, Voices of Hope: Stories of Women in Peace Process, Kamnung Chamnankij, whose husband and son had been charged in 2007 with the possession of chemicals associated with explosive devices and were subsequently arrested, recalled: “I had to sell my house, my only two cows, my husband’s fishing boat…


In Indonesia, Database Tracking Violence Provides Insights on Preventing Conflict

January 14, 2015

Blog Post

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.


Using Evidence to Improve Development Assistance

December 10, 2014

Blog Post

Development assistance is founded on countless theories about how foreign taxpayers’ money can be harnessed to instigate and catalyze economic and social development and provide humanitarian benefits abroad. Basic arguments for how positive change can be achieved…


Modern Conflict is Not What You Think

December 10, 2014

Blog Post

Research has transformed medicine, agriculture, and sanitation, and has helped lift many millions out of poverty. Most of the extremely poor people in the world now live in states suffering from conflict. Scholars have studied wars for millennia, but are usually concentrated on how to win them.


Academics, Practitioners, and Donors: Whose Evidence Counts and For What?

December 10, 2014

Blog Post

There is a difficult tension in the evidence-seeking agenda: on the one hand, donors seek short-term, project-related outcomes to support claims about their impact on a grand scale in a society; on the other hand, society-level impact does not seem measurable…


Discussion Series Examines Myanmar’s Path to Decentralization

October 29, 2014

Blog Post

Since Myanmar’s President U Thein Sein took office in April 2011, the country has embarked on a dramatic set of reforms that have shifted the nation from one of the world’s most repressive regimes to this year’s Chair of ASEAN…


Polling Shows Encouraging Climate of Opinion for Mindanao Peace Negotiations

October 8, 2014

Blog Post

On September 10, Philippine President Benigno Aquino personally turned over the draft Basic Law based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro to Congress after months of revisions and refinement. The move continues the roadmap set forth in negotiations…


Subnational Conflict: New Approaches Needed

August 13, 2014

Blog Post

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

Blog Post

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…


Access to Justice Constraints Fuel Conflict in Southern Thailand

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

Access to justice, security, and human rights protection rank among the core issues that fuel the protracted subnational conflict in southern Thailand and are central to the prospect of its future resolution. For the last decade, the southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani have faced a resurgence of an indigenous…


The Contested Corners of Asia: Subnational Conflict and International Development Assistance

October 7, 2013


Subnational conflict is the most widespread, enduring, and deadly form of conflict in Asia. Over the past 20 years (1992-2012), there have been 26 subnational conflicts in South and Southeast Asia, affecting half of the countries in this region. Concerned about foreign interference, national governments limit external access to conflict areas by jo… Read more