Publisher: Magnum Books
About the editors
N.S. Sisodia is the Director General of IDSA. He has served as Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministries of Finance and Defence. He has co-edited ‘Emerging India: Security and Foreign Policy Perspectives’, and ‘West Asia in Turmoil: Implications for Global Security’ amongst others. He is also the editor of the journal Strategic Analysis.
Sreeradha Datta is a Research Fellow at IDSA, specializing on contemporary developments in South Asia. She is the author of 'Bangladesh: A Fragile Democracy' and 'The Northeast Complexities and its Determinants'. She has published research articles in various refereed journals including Energy Policy, South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, South Asia, International Institute for Study of Islam in Modern World (ISIM). She was also editor of South Asia Watch. She has been periodically contributing to various national and international media outlets.
Contributors: Abd. Rahim Hussin, Aileen San Pablo-Baviera, Amita Batra, Andrew T.H. Tan, Azyumardi Azra, B.S. Malik, Bernard Tan, Bounnheuang Songnavong, C. Raja Mohan, Chap Sotharith, Chyungly Lee, Denni Jayme, Eunsook Ye. Chung, G.V.C. Naidu, Gurpreet S. Khurana, Jonathan D. Pollack, Kishore Mahbubani, Mohamed Jawhar Hassan, Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, Rizal Sukma, Ron Huisken, Sudhir T. Devare, Tim Huxley, Tsutomu Kikuchi, Udai Bhanu Singh, Victor Sumsky, Zhai Kun, Zhao Gancheng
About the book: The 21st century has been described as the ‘Asian Century.’ Home to 60 per cent of the world’s population and accounting for one-fourth of its Gross Domestic Product, by 2050, Asia will also have three of the world’s largest economies—China, India, and Japan. A dynamic hub in this rising Asia is the Southeast Asian region—encompassing diverse countries, peoples and cultures. The 9th Asian Security Conference addressed a range of issues and trends affecting this crucial region and their implications for regional and Asian security.
The conference, titled ‘Changing Security Dynamics in South East Asia’ deliberated on Southeast Asian perspectives on security, the role of external powers—both current and also those that were rising, the problems of religious fundamentalism and terrorism, the challenges of maritime cooperation among countries abutting crucial world energy transit routes, the advantages of regional, multilateral organizations in fostering cooperative behaviours, and India’s growing role and stakes in this region.
The contributors point out that the primary security concerns confronting the region were often internal in nature. On the external front, they note the changing geo-political situation—due to the rise of China, a revitalized Japan, a more active Indian presence, along with the continued primacy of the United States. Stressing that these changes were accompanied by their own sets of opportunities and challenges, they express confidence in the ability of regional organizations like the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to deal with the challenges.
The waterways of the Southeast Asian region are vital routes for the transit of energy supplies feeding East Asian economic growth. Participants discussed ways to more effectively coordinate responses to the varied threats and challenges facing these waterways—including piracy, terrorism and transnational criminal networks.
India and the countries of Southeast Asia have a rich shared history. New Delhi’s policy initiatives like the ‘Look East’ policy have also deepened its economic and security links with the region. Contributors examine different aspects of this growing and multi-faceted relationship, including in meeting the common challenges of energy security, humanitarian and disaster relief, combating trans-national terrorism, among other issues. In order to further intensify India’s security and economic engagement, authors call for more joint military exercises and training, cooperation in areas like hydrography, search and rescue operations, strengthening of maritime conventions, and establishing an India-inclusive Asian Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which will have the potential to impact both global and regional economies.
The rich milieu of issues addressed in the conference will be a useful guide in understanding this dynamic region and India’s increasing linkages with it. Further strengthening of regional cooperative mechanisms will no doubt lead the peoples of this region towards a speedier redressal of their unresolved concerns and a future of shared prosperity.