Guest panellists giving presentations to an audience at a forum

LSE Southeast Asia Forum 2017

This year’s LSE Southeast Asia Forum took place on Monday, 22nd May as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gears up to mark the 50th anniversary of its establishment. However, even as ASEAN prepares to celebrate its many achievements, Southeast Asian states are facing a set of complex challenges. Some are linked to the strategic rivalry between the United States and China and the geopolitical competition of regional powers. Other challenges relate more specifically to ASEAN’s community project.

How can ASEAN overcome the gap between its stated commitments in relation to the ASEAN Economic Community and the reality of economic integration achieved? With respect to the grouping's political-security community objectives, how can member countries maintain the Association’s vaunted ‘centrality’ even in the absence of full ASEAN unity? How are key domestic political debates in some of the core states addressed by the key actors involved and how different are the approaches regional states are adopting when it comes to issues of democratization and civil-military relations? How does domestic political change in member states impact on their foreign policies and regional order?

Our Forum addressed these questions through four expert panels and a keynote lecture, with speakers drawn from the region as well as Europe and the US.

Programme

LSE Southeast Asia Programme 2017
8:15-9:00     Registration and Breakfast
9:00-9:10 Introductory Remarks
Paul Kelly, Pro-Director for Education, LSE 
Jürgen Haacke, Director of LSE SEAC
9:10-9:55 Keynote Lecture – Southeast Asia in 2017: challenges and opportunities 
Antonio M. Lagdameo, H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the UK
10:00-11:25               Panel I – The ASEAN Economic Community: reality and myth

Chair: Tim Andrews (Thammasat University)

Panellists: Aireen Omar (AirAsia Berhad)
AEC: myth or reality from an airline’s perspective
Nguyen Duc Thanh (Vietnam Economic Policy Research)
Vietnam and the ASEAN Economic Integration
Munir Majid (LSE SEAC)
Future Prospect Not Current Reality
11:30-11:45 Refreshments 
11:45-13:10 Panel II – ASEAN 50 Years and Regional Order

Chair: Felicia Yap (LSE SEAC)

Panellists: Jurgen Haacke (LSE SEAC)
The Intraregional and External Dimensions of Regional Order Building in Southeast Asia
Tang Siew Mun (ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute)
ASEAN’s Growing Pains and Challenges
Anja Jetschke (University of Göttingen)
ASEAN's New Human Rights Agenda?
13:10-14:00 Lunch
14:00-14:10 Panel III – Political Landscapes and Dynamics: Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand

Chair: Kirsten Schulze (LSE SEAC)

Panellists: Sandra Hamid (The Asia Foundation)
Claiming Pancasila: competing narratives in a shifting society
Zaharom Nain (University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus)
New Channels of Expression and Old Structures of Control: Malaysia’s media and transformation 50
Aurel Croissant (Heidelberg University)
From Master to Servant? Southeast Asian Militaries in the Age of Democratization
15:40-15:55 Refreshments 
15:55-17:20 Panel IV – Political Change and Foreign Policy: Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines

Chair: James Putzel (LSE SEAC)

Panellists: Renato Cruz de Castro (De La Salle University)
Changes in Contemporary Philippine Foreign Policy: unravelling the balancing policy on an emergent China
Phuong Nguyen (Pacific Forum CSIS)
Vietnam Searches for a New Equilibrium Amid Shifting Grounds
Soe Myint Aung (University of Oslo)
Leadership Change in Myanmar and its Implications for Foreign Policy
17:20-17:30 Closing Remarks
James Putzel, LSE SEAC Associate
Jürgen Haacke, Director of LSE SEAC

Photos and Storify

Photos from the LSE Southeast Asia Forum 2017 can be viewed here.

The LSE Southeast Asia Forum Storify is available to view here.