The Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre hosts wide and varied events, with the aim to build upon a history of engagement between the LSE and Southeast Asia.

The whole SEAC Team has been incredibly professional and helpful throughout the process which translated into a great virtual environment on the day of the presentation. I commend the Centre for its dedication and effort in putting a spotlight on Southeast Asia and the scholars and experts who are from and/or are based in the region

2020-21 Event Attendee






Our events are free and normally open to the public, and operate on a first come first served basis unless specified otherwise. 

The majority of our events are recorded and videos published as podcasts. Past events marked with a (P) or (V) mean a podcast (audio recording) or a video recording is available on each individual event page. Please be aware that by attending our events you may be visible in the audience in photos, and if you ask any questions these are likely to feature in our recordings.

If you have any queries about our public events get in touch here. Join our mailing list for event reminders or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Upcoming events 


Past events


Myanmar Roundtble 12 June 2

Roundtable: Prospects for Peace in Myanmar 

Wednesday 12 June, 12:00pm-1:15pm  

This roundtable event brings together academic, policymaking and activist expertise to discuss the prospects for peace in Myanmar. At this crucial juncture in Myanmar’s political history, the speakers reflect on the dynamics that have led up to this major point of crisis and transition, and the prospects for moving beyond violence and war to a new future. 

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PhD Student Workshop

Thursday 6 June, 10:00am-3:00pm

SEAC is hosting a workshop for PhD students across the UK working on Southeast Asia. The workshop is designed to allow UK university-based research students working on the region to present their work among their peers for feedback and to provide a broader opportunity for sharing ideas and information related to ongoing doctoral research focused on Southeast Asia. 

We are unable to provide financial support for travel or accommodation in connection with participation in the workshop, but we hope that provision of the venue and other amenities for the workshop will enable and encourage participation from among PhD students working on Southeast Asia across the UK.


Inter-Asia Seminar Series: Youth In Search Of A Future: Living Precariously In Compounded Crisis

Thursday 30 May, 12:00pm-1:30pm

Youths across Asia face unprecedented challenges amidst compounded crises of climate change, geopolitical conflict, and socioeconomic inequality. This roundtable discussion delves into the precarious realities shaping their lives while also searching for manifestations of agency and signs of hope. Panelists will explore how youths in East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia are reconceptualizing their social roles and political identities as they envision a future marked by great uncertainty.

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Southeast Asia Forum 2024: The Challenges of Sustainable Growth in Southeast Asia

Thursday 23 May, 9:00am-5:15pm  

Southeast Asia is a region well-known for its economic dynamism, high growth rates, and increasing prosperity. But today the region faces unprecedented challenges amidst volatility in world markets, global climate crisis, and rising geopolitical tensions. This year’s Southeast Asia Forum features four experts on the economies of the region to discuss these challenges. 

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Becoming Jihadis: Radicalization and Commitment in Southeast Asia 

Wednesday 15 May, 2:00pm-3:15pm 

Why does someone join an extremist group? What are the pathways via which individuals join such groups? How does one show commitment to an extremist group?  Why does someone participate in acts of terrorism? Drawing on 175 interviews with current and former members of Islamist extremist groups in Indonesia and the Philippines,  Becoming Jihadis: Radicalization and Commitment in Southeast Asia answers these questions by exploring the socio-emotional underpinnings of joining an extremist group. This book argues that social ties play a critical role at every juncture in the joining process, from initial engagement to commitment to participation in jihad experiences, paramilitary training and terrorism. It unpacks the process by which members build a sense of community, connection, solidarity and brotherhood; how they come to trust and love one another; and how ideology functions as a binding agent, not a cause. Becoming Jihadis draws its conclusions from broad patterns data based on nearly a decade of iterated interviews with current and former members of Islamist extremist groups between 2010 and 2019 as well as partial life histories detailing the journeys of specific men and women from joining to commitment to participation in high risk activism.

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Re-globalization, Geopolitics and Southeast Asia

Monday 29 April, 12:00pm-1:15pm

During the Cold War, the collision of geopolitics, ideological competition and nationalism were especially traumatic in Southeast Asia.  Yet the region was able to carve out space for itself and over several decades was able to effectively keep the region’s security free from geopolitical wrangling. This was due to the efficacy of ASEAN and its offshoots, the grand bargain struck between the US and China and globalization. Each of those circumstances that previously helped to stabilize Southeast Asia has changed dramatically. Great power competition has returned with remarkable speed. Globalization is being reconstructed due to the vulnerabilities revealed by the pandemic, the return of geopolitics and the revival of economic nationalism. ASEAN faces significant headwinds as it struggles to sustain the interests of its members and its regional influence. This seminar examines these dynamics and in particular the interplay of geopolitics and the reconstitution of globalization, to assess the extent to which Southeast Asia will be able to retain the stability it has come to enjoy.


Inter-Asia Seminar Series: Cold War and Asia Modernity

Wednesday 27 March, 12:00pm - 1:15pm

While many today use Cold War 2.0 to refer to the standoff between U.S. and China, it is worth remembering that the first Cold War never ended in Asia, as evidenced by the political situation on the Korean Peninsula and that surrounding the Taiwan Strait. How has Cold War figured into the (controversial) modernisation process of East and Southeast Asia as well as the various (critical) imaginaries of modernity across the regions? As discussions of decolonisation often predicate on the dichotomy of global North vs. global South, how should scholars of Asia position themselves in their conscious effort to reconfigure knowledge production?


How have some villages remained peaceful in violent-prone areas? Factors affecting variations in the nature, intensity of violence, and coping strategies in post-coup Myanmar

Tuesday 19 March, 12:00pm - 1:15pm

This seminar sheds light a variety of ways in which people in Myanmar have coped with multiple political and economic crises generated by the military coup in 2021. Prof Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung will address the following questions: To what extent do these crises transform the nature and degree of political violence and the existing state relationship between non-state armed groups? How have some villages/neighborhoods in conflict affected regions managed to avoid violence or an escalation of violence in this political context?


13 March DGR

Queer Indonesian Muslims: Navigating Gender, Sexuality, and Faith

Wednesday 13 March, 12:00pm - 1:15pm

Join us for an enlightening seminar with Dr Diego Garcia (University of Nottingham), as he explores his new book, “Gender, Sexuality and Islam in Contemporary Indonesia: Queer Muslims and their Allies.” This seminar will offer a unique insight into the lives and experiences of queer Muslims in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country. Dr Garcia’s book, based on extensive ethnographic research, sheds light on how queer Indonesian Muslims navigate their gender, sexual, and religious identities. The talk will explore the emergence of queer religious geographies, the making of queer Muslim subject positions at the intersection of education, family, peers and media, and the invaluable support of allies within the framework of progressive Islam.



South by Southeast? Burma/Myanmar Through Indonesian and Indian Ocean Lenses, Darkly

Wednesday 6 March, 12:00pm - 1:15pm

In 1960, the LSE-trained anthropologist Edmund Leach published an oft-cited article titled “The Frontiers of ‘Burma’” in which he raised fundamental questions about the country then known as Burma and today known as Myanmar. More than sixty years later, this seminar is intended to do the same in the context of the country’s inclusion in the activities of both the South Asia Centre and the Southeast Asia Centre at the LSE. The lecture begins by spotlighting both the striking commonalities and the striking divergences in the modern historical trajectories of Burma/Myanmar, on the one hand, and the Netherlands East Indies/Indonesia, on the other. The lecture then zooms out to situate Burma/Myanmar within the broader historical context of the Indian Ocean. The point is to show how both Southeast Asian and South Asian perspectives help to illuminate the country’s political past, its current political predicament, and the prospects for political change in the future. 

This event is co-hosted with the South Asia Centre.

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The Politics of Socialist Internationalism in Decolonising Southeast Asia 

Wednesday 28 February, 12:00pm - 1:15pm 

Studies of socialism in Southeast Asia in the 1950s and 1960s have tended to focus on key intellectuals and communist parties, or socialist internationalism in the Chinese and Soviet orbit.  This talk forms part of a larger project on non-communist socialism, its relationship to the broader left, and its transnational dimensions which I will be introducing here.  The latter half of the talk focuses on the conditions by which socialism manifested in the political domain. In the 1950s and 1960s socialist fronts emerged in the Malay peninsula and in Singapore. They followed in the footsteps of the Burma-based Asian Socialist Conference and committed to the Bandung spirit, resisting Western military intervention in the region and pledging their support for liberation movements around the world.  Yet the atmosphere of the Global Cold War and growing authoritarianism in the early 1960s severely strained the ability of the left to function effectively or to maintain a non-aligned stance. Meanwhile, the PAP harnessed ‘democratic socialism’ as a tool to win allies around the world, while suppressing the ‘hard’ left at home.  In viewing the explosive history of the late 1950s and 1960s through transnational socialist networks and anti-colonial politics, this talk provides a fresh perspective on this pivotal point of the Cold War and decolonisation in the region.  


Roundtable Discussion on the Indonesian Elections: Process, Outcome, Implications

Wednesday 21 February, 5:00pm - 6:30pm

As the two-term presidency of Joko Widodo (‘Jokowi’) draws to a close, the 2024 parliamentary and presidential elections promise to set the stage for a new phase in Indonesian political life. Against this backdrop, three experts on Indonesian politics will discuss the election campaign, the results, and the implications for Indonesia’s future: Ben Bland, Director of the Asia-Pacific program at Chatham House, Sofie Syarief, veteran Indonesian television journalist, PhD student in Media, Communications, and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Sarah Shair-Rosenfield, Professor of Politics at the University of York. 


Transforming Rural Southeast Asia

Wednesday 14 February, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Globally the proportion of people who live in rural areas is declining, yet the net number continues to increase: from 3 billion in 1990 to 3.4 billion in 2020. In Southeast Asia, 30 million more people live and work in rural areas today than they did in 1990.  Yet rural people are largely absent from public and academic discourse, out of sight and out of mind. One reason for the neglect is the stubbornly persistent transition narrative which suggests that rural populations are anachronistic: they belong to the past, and sooner or later they will move to cities and join the march of progress. In this talk, Prof Tania Li will outline the main powers and processes at work in transforming rural Southeast Asia and draw on my ethnographic research in Indonesia to illustrate how rural people navigate their ever-changing terrain. 

This event is co-hosted with the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Geography and Environment.

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Rama X: The Thai Monarchy under King Vajiralongkorn

Monday 12 February, 12:00pm - 1:15pm

In the twilight years of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1946–2016), changes to monarchic power were already set in motion. Having been at the centre of political gravity, Bhumibol left a vacuum of power when he died. Vajiralongkorn, enthroned in 2016, filled the vacuum with his desire to further augment the monarchic power despite his lack of moral authority and charisma. This seminar focuses on Vajiralongkorn’s attempt to strengthen his position of power by employing a different method from the one used by his father, Bhumibol. 


Insurgent Autonomy: The United Wa State Army and Region-making in Highland Myanmar

Wednesday 7 February, 12:00pm - 1:15pm

Highland autonomy is no longer about the keeping of lowland states at bay, or resisting their encroachment into the hills. It is instead a relational autonomy, maintained through the management of political ties and flows of capital and people into the hills. In the highland Wa Region of Myanmar, on the Chinese border, the 30,000-strong United Wa State Army has engaged in this careful dance for over 30 years, maintaining its autonomy from Myanmar and China. In this talk, Aexamine the process of region-making in Wa Region: how its political visions are incongruous with the language of the modern state-form, how it makes and breaks intermittent ties with neighbouring states, and how it regulates the movement of people and capital in and through its region to ensure survival. I make some simple reflections on what the UWSA’s differing vision of autonomy might mean for Myanmar in the post-coup era.


Development in Spirit: Religious Transformation and Everyday Politics in Vietnam's Highlands

Wednesday 31 January, 12:00pm - 1:15pm

Following Dr Seb Rumsby's recently published monograph, this panel will discuss and debate the contributions of Development in Spirit to understanding the possibilities for 'alternative routes to development' or empowerment amidst profound socio-economic transformations in contemporary rural Southeast Asia. Seb will be joined by Professor Catherine Allerton and Dr Hans Steinmuller to explore the marketisation of upland livelihoods, the under-appreciated role of religion in everyday politics and the influence of neoliberal governance in everyday lives. 


Kissinger’s Air War: US and South Vietnamese Bombing of Cambodian Civilians, 1969-1973

Monday 29 January, 12:00pm - 1:15pm

The passing of Henry Kissinger in November 2023 precipitated an outpouring of public commentary on bombing in Cambodia in the early 1970s while he was US National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State.  Public interest in bombing campaigns has been further stimulated by the recent avalanche of coverage of the effects of airstrikes by the aerial warfare branch of the Israeli Defense Forces.  In both cases, much concern has centred on the resulting deaths of civilians and the extent to which these are evidence of war crimes or worse.  There has also, at least sometimes, been debate about what exactly happened in specific instances and questioning about the credibility of reported death tolls.  Since 2017, Dr Steve Heder has been conducting extensive new field research on the Cambodia case. Unexpectedly, the results bring into question widely held beliefs about the air war in Cambodia, while also suggesting that comparison with the Gaza case highlights how much more intensely horrific war crimes are being committed there, even while being documented in real time.


The start-up state? Strategic economic development in digital tech in Singapore

Wednesday 24 January,  12:30pm - 1:45pm

In this SEAC Seminar, Prof Neil Lee will present the research and findings of his SEAC Research Fund project. The project aimed to understand the development of Singapore’s digital tech sector. Between 2010 – 2023 the sector grew rapidly, with major firms developing from the country. The seminar will discuss the extent to which policy was driving this, relative to fundamentals of location, business taxation and so on, and draw out lessons for economic policymakers in other countries. 


A Forward-Looking Conversation with Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit on Thailand’s Past, Present, and Future  

Monday 22 January, 2:15pm - 3:45pm 

In the 2023 elections in Thailand, the newly formed Move Forward Party won a plurality of 151 parliamentary seats on a strongly anti-establishment campaign platform, but was thwarted from forming a government. Against this backdrop, the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre at the LSE is hosting a conversation with Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the former leader of Move Forward’s original incarnation, the Future Forward Party. He will be speaking with Duncan McCargo of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore and with Petra Alderman of the University of Birmingham, both of whom are specialists on Thai politics. 

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The Drama of Dictatorship: Martial Law and the Communist Parties of the Philippines

Wednesday 17 January,  12:00pm - 1:15pm

In September 1972, Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law and imposed military dictatorship on the Philippines. In his recently published book, The Drama of Dictatorship (Cornell University Press, 2023), and in this serminar, Joseph Scalice examines the complex events leading up to the declaration and traces the political developments and social context that made martial law possible. Uncovering the central role played by two rival Communist parties and rewriting the history of the elite opponents of Marcos, particularly Ninoy Aquino, revealing them to be forces who, like Marcos, were plotting against democracy.


The 2024 Presidential Elections in Indonesia: Do they Matter? (V)

Wednesday 6 December, 12:00pm - 1:15pm

In 2024, Indonesia will hold its fifth presidential elections since democratic reform began in 1998. For the last two years, candidates have been positioning themselves to replace outgoing President Joko Widodo, who is constitutionally barred from running again. Dr Marcus Mietzner (Australian National University) argued that the coalition likely to be built after the 2024 elections will be similar to previous ones - but that the political persona of the president still matters in determining the coalition's overall direction. 



Some People Need Killing: A Memoir of Murder in the Philippines

Wednesday 29 November

Some People Need Killing is the title of Patricia Evangelista's meticulously reported and deeply human chronicle of Rodrigo Duterte's drug war. The discussion drew from Evangelista’s on-the-ground account of killings carried out by police and vigilantes. It considered the impact on survivors, the grammar of violence, and the human impulses to dominate and resist.



London Burma Reading Group 

Thursday 23 November

The London Burma Reading Group hosted a networking social event, to facilitate exchange among those studying or working on Myanmar, or those whose research has implications for Myanmar. An event of exchange and conversations among students, academics, researchers, and those more generally interested in the country. Those from other universities and those beyond academia were strongly encouraged to join. 



The Making of an Authoritarian Dynasty: From Hun Sen to Hun Manet in Cambodia (V)

Wednesday 22 November

Nearly forty years after Hun Sen first became Prime Minister in 1985, Cambodia’s long-time ruler has passed on power to his son Hun Manet, who assumed the premiership in August 2023. Against the backdrop of this much anticipated succession, a group of the UK’s leading scholars of Cambodia discussed the implications of this pattern of dynastic succession for political continuity and change in the country.



Consumer Socialism and Vietnam’s New Middle Classes (V)

Wednesday 15 November

Dr Arve Hansen (University of Oslo) approached the dramatic changes in consumption patterns in Vietnam over the past decades, combining a focus on everyday life and large-scale development processes. The talk takes as a starting point the recently published book Consumption and Vietnam’s New Middle Classes: Societal Transformations and Everyday Life (Palgrave, 2022). 



China, Japan, and the United States and Infrastructure in Southeast Asia: The Geopolitics of Transportation and Telecommunications Development in the Philippines (V)

Wednesday 8 November

Over the past twenty years, increasing attention – and alarm – has been focused on Chinese assertiveness and aggression in the South China Sea and in the territorial waters of the Philippines in particular, provoking diplomatic and military responses from the Philippines and the United States and rendering the country a ‘front-line state’ in the ongoing ‘new cold war’ between the two global superpowers. In this seminar, SEAC Director Prof John Sidel showed how competition between the US, Japan, and China over telecommunications and transportation infrastructure has unfolded and escalated over the past twenty years in the Philippines and other countries in Southeast Asia.



Rights Refused: Grassroots Activism and State Violence in Myanmar (V)

Wednesday 1 November

Dr Elliott Prasse-Freeman (National University of Singapore) discussed how for decades, the outside world mostly knew Myanmar as the site of a valiant human rights struggle against an oppressive military regime, predominantly through the figure of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. And yet, a closer look at Burmese grassroots sentiments reveals a significant schism between elite human rights cosmopolitans and subaltern Burmese subjects maneuvering under brutal and negligent governance. 



Branding Authoritarian Nations: Political Legitimation and Strategic National Myths in Military-Ruled Thailand (Book launch) (V)

Wednesday 25 October

Why do authoritarian nations brand themselves? And how do they understand and use this practice? In her new book, Dr Petra Alderman (University of Birmingham) offers a novel approach to the study of nation branding as a strategy for political legitimation in authoritarian regimes using the example of military-ruled Thailand. This talk discussed how Thailand’s military junta, the National Council for Peace and Order (2014-2019), sought to nation branding to shape the social attitudes and behaviours of Thai citizens during the almost 5 years of direct military rule. 



Rendering the Southeast Asian smallholder ‘social’ (V)

Thursday 19 October

A good deal has been written about the ‘puzzling’ persistence of the smallholder in Southeast Asia, and more widely across Asia. Explanations have ranged from the agroecology of wet rice to the precarities of late capitalism. In this lecture, Prof Jonathan Rigg (Bristol University) considered the ‘social’ factors and conditions of smallholding lives and livelihoods which are brought to the centre of the explanation. Drawing on field research in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as in Nepal, the lecture sought to ‘render social’ the Southeast Asian smallholder. 



Malaysia’s rise as an Islamic financial frontier (V)

Wednesday 11 October

Despite its relatively small market, Malaysia has emerged as the center of the global Islamic financial economy.  In this lecture, Prof Jessie Poon (University of Buffalo (SUNY)) examined firstly Malaysia’s emergence in Islamic finance in terms of its frontier positioning between the knowledge systems of the West and Middle East. And, secondly how mediation has been accompanied by a project of juridical market-making.  

This event was co-hosted with the Department of Geography and Environment.



Resource Nationalism in Indonesia: Booms, Big Business, and the State (V)

Wednesday 4 October

Commodity booms often prompt more nationalist policy styles in resource-rich countries. Usually, this nationalist push weakens once a boom is over. But in Indonesia, a major global exporter of coal, palm oil, copper, gold, and other minerals, the intensity of nationalist policy interventions increased after the early twenty-first-century commodity boom came to an end. In this seminar, based on her forthcoming book, Eve Warburton (Australian National University)  explained these trends by examining the economic and political benefits that accrue to domestic business actors when commodity prices soar. 



Building Peace, Rebuilding Patriarchy: The Failure of Gender Interventions in Timor-Leste (V)

Wednesday 27 September

Men and women do not experience war, violence, and peace in the same ways. Accordingly, peacebuilding interventions now incorporate “gender mainstreaming” and stand-alone “gender-and-development” programming. These gender interventions should make peacebuilding more effective and sustainable, facilitating stable societies and efficient economies, but results have been mixed. In this seminar, Dr Melissa Johnston (University of Queensland) explored outcomes for people on the ground in the instructive case of Timor-Leste.

This event was co-hosted with the Department of Gender Studies. 




Towards an Infrastructural Sublime: Recent Films from a Hub in the Global Supply Chain (V)

Wednesday 14 June, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Singapore has retained its longstanding identity as a gateway to Asia through various moves to diversify its economy. Evolving from a colonial port city into a shipping and transportation hub, the country also initiated massive infrastructural investments to support emerging sectors in financial services, petrochemical refining, telecommunications, marketing, and e-commerce. Prof Gerald Sim (Florida Atlantic University) discussed the city-state’s concerted strategy to position itself as an infrastructural hub in global supply chains, Singapore’s national cinema of the last decade has reified deeply felt social effects resulting from those decisions. 



The Ambiguous Axis; The Royal City in Contemporary Context (V)

Thursday 8 June, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Royal cities in Southeast Asia are usually characterised as having certain layout such as mandala and axis. The layout is usually supported by narratives claimed to be ‘cosmological’. While the claim of cosmology is debatable, the inherited layout somehow can be optimised for contemporary development. Dr Ofita Purwani (Universitas Sebelas Maret, SEAC Visiting Fellow) discussed the case of Yogyakarta as a Javanese royal city which is under a massive development at present. 


Malaysia Futures

Malaysia Futures

31 May - 1 June 2023

One of the key challenges facing most nations is anticipating the possible paths of social, economic, and political development. This forum, jointly organised by SEAC and the Khazanah Research Institute (KRI), bring together leading scholars and policy makees to consider the possible ways in which Malaysia's 'futures' can be imagined. 



In the Shadow of the Constitution: the Micropolitics of Constitutional Contestation in Cambodia (V)

Wednesday 31 May, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Written during an internationalised peace process that saw the country administered by a United Nations Transitional Authority for 18 months, Cambodia’s 1993 Constitution is ostensibly guided by principles of liberal democracy and rule of law. Yet, even before a recent trend of (re-)autocratisation saw Cambodia shift from a “competitive” to a “hegemonic” model of authoritarianism, constitutional contestation was often assumed to be “muted,” with the document itself routinely dismissed a “façade” or a “sham.” This book-project presented by Dr Ben Lawrence (National University of Singapore, SEAC Visiting Fellow) highlighted the extent to which opposition political figures, Buddhist monks, social movements, NGOs, community groups, artists and other laypeople in Cambodia mobilise constitutional ideas and reshape constitutional meaning “from below.” 



Corruption, Property and Space-time in the Southeast Asian City (V)

Monday 22 May, 4:00pm to 5:15pm

Planners often characterize the land regime in the city of Saigon as a form of “backward planning,” a transgressive form of planning that involves a seemingly irregular orientation to time and the planning archive. It occurs in its most brazen form when municipalities change or erase parts of the land archive or alter ratified planning documents from the past. Dr Hun Kim (University of California, Irvine) discussed how these practices can rearrange property relations, possession and ownership in the present and future. 



Indigenizing the Cold War: Nation-Building by the Border Patrol Police in Thailand

Wednesday 17 May, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

In the process of multiple transformations, the Border Patrol Police of Thailand (BPP) has become a symbolic missionary of royalist nationalism that safeguards the border of Thainess. Prof Sinae Hyun (Sogang University) discussed how the BPP’s transformations and evolving missions vividly show how the Thai ruling elite indigenized the American Cold War crusade in Southeast Asia to build a royalist Thai nation in the second half of the twentieth century. 


The LSE Southeast Asia Forum logo

Southeast Asia Forum 2023: Southeast Asia Futures (V)

Tuesday 9 - Friday 12 May

How do past and current trends inform the future of Southeast Asia? What can we learn from Political, Economic, and Urban approaches about how Southeast Asia is changing? In 2023 the Southeast Asia Forum will focus on Southeast Asia Futures, considering the questions from a variety of approaches and lenses. The events will offer a unique opportunity to learn from cutting-edge research and gain insight from experts working in and on Southeast Asia. The week will also include several events for Early Career Researchers focused on sharing experiences to help shape future research in the region. 



Fernando Amorsolo: Master Painter of Philippine Sunlight and Elite Conceptions of Nature (V)

Wednesday 3 May, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Known as the ‘master of Philippine sunlight,’ Fernando Amorsolo is the painter most associated with the Philippine landscape and Philippine pastoral, bringing to both a decided innocence, if not sunlit grace. More than merely formal experimentation with light, however, Amorsolo is canonical because of the distinctly national-pastoral conceptions his work elaborates. This talk by Dr Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz (SEAC Visiting Fellow, Cambridge University) analyzed the relationship between the elite class and nature through close analysis of Amorsolo’s landscape and genre painting.



Modalities of Speculative Urbanism: Tales from Jakarta (V)

Tuesday 4 April, 4:00pm to 5:15pm

Prof Helga Leitner and Prof Eric Sheppard (UCLA) will consider how speculation on land and property has created an affordable housing crisis in cities across the globe. This reflects the broader global capitalist conjuncture, with money capital switching from commodity production to speculation and rentiership. Yet speculation is also socio-cultural; it is shot through with emotional and socio- cultural values that mobilize a future imaginary. Jakarta occupies a particular socio-spatial positionality within this context; that of a southern megalopolis. This event will take place online via Zoom.



Outsourcing the Polity: Non-State Welfare, Inequality, and Resistance in Myanmar (V)

Wednesday 29 March, 9:30am to 10:45am

Dr Gerard McCarthy (SEAC Visiting Fellow in 2022) discussed his recent book Outsourcing the Polity: Non-State Welfare, Inequality, and Resistance in Myanmar and his work examining how ideals and practices of non-state welfare can both sustain democratic resistance and undermine social reform over time. 



The Cutting-Edge Youth Movement in Thailand and Unfinished Democracy (V)

Thursday 23 March, 11:30am to 12:45pm

During the past decade, countless mass youth street protests campaigned for democracy, environmental protection, equality and social justice in country after country across the globe. SEAC Visiting Fellow, Dr Kanokrat Lertchoosakul (Chulalongkorn University) highlighted the youth movement in Thailand between 2019 and 2021. 



Seasonality in the Anthropocene: Understanding Transboundary Haze in Southeast Asia (V)

Wednesday 8 March, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

SEAC Visiting Fellow, Dr Helena Varkkey (Universiti Malaya) explored the idea of how seasonality affects social resilience and shapes mitigative actions in relation to haze. 



Urban Political Ecologies on the Edge and the Making of Manila's Resource Frontier (V)

Friday 3 March, 10:30am to 11:45am

Dr Kristian Karlo Saguin (University of the Philippines Diliman) examined urbanization as a frontier-making process through the example of Metro Manila in the Philippines and its convenient resource frontier, Laguna Lake. Guided by an urban political ecological understanding of urban metabolism, Dr Saguin tracked two particular resource flows with particular resonance for Manila’s twentieth century urban environmental trajectory – fish and floodwaters. Making visible the constellation of actors, practices, desires and materialities brought together to deliver vital resource flows for the city underscores the shifting assemblages and politics that sustain life in the city and produce imaginaries of possible urban futures. This event took place online via Zoom.



Storefront Maids and Shopfloor Maids on the Global Labor Assembly Line: Control and Deployment of Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore and Indonesia (V)

Wednesday 8 February, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

How is a transnational workforce reproduced? In this seminar SEAC Visiting Senior Fellow, Dr Andy Scott Chang (Singapore Management University) argued that international staffing agencies play a midwifery role in the governance of guest workers, ensuring the replenishment of a flexible and malleable labor supply.  


After Autonomy


Roundtable: After Autonomy: A Post-Mortem for Hong Kong’s first Handover, 1997–2019 (V)

Monday 30 January, 12:00pm to 1:30pm

In this roundtable, Dr Daniel Vukovich's recent publication After Autonomy: A Post-Mortem for Hong Kong’s first Handover, 1997–2019 was discussed.



Gentrification in Thai, Thailand, Thai land (V)

Wednesday 25 January, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Dr Napong Tao Rugkhapan (Chulalongkorn University) reflected on the phenomenon of gentrification in Bangkok, Thailand. Drawing upon recent developments in comparative urban theory, postcolonial theory, and comparative gentrification studies, the seminar wrestled with the productive absence of the term 'gentrification' in Thai(land). The linguistic vacuum has allowed local actors to differently define the English term to suit their agendas. The local renditions range from literal translations to awkward mouthfuls to hopeful urban reimaginations. The multivocality goes to affirm not only the complexity of gentrification, but also the broader politics of competing local claims to land.



Urban Risk and Well-Being in Asian Mega Cities: Urban lower and middle classes in Bangkok, Shanghai, and Tokyo (V)

Wednesday 18 January, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

With rapid and compressed development and urbanisation, emerging cities in the Global South face challenges similar to those of the Global North, such as increased inequality, informalisation, and diversified needs for social safety nets. SEAC Visiting Professor, Tamaki Endo (Saitama University) explored the characteristics and complexities of the urban well-being of the lower and middle classes in Asian megacities. Risk responses are a critical determinant of individual well-being in times of increasing uncertainty. 



NARRATING DEMOCRACY: Peoples & Futures of Myanmar

Wednesday 23 November, 3:30pm

A panel discussion on the futures of democracy in Myanmar, focused on the recently published 'Narrating Democracy in Myanmar: The Struggle between Activists, Democratic Leaders and Aid Workers' (2021).

This event was in collaboration with the LSE South Asia Centre



Authoritarian Nostalgia, Democratic Ambivalence, and the Marcos Political Comeback in the Philippines (V)

Wednesday 23 November, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

SEAC Visiting Senior Fellow, Professor Julio Teehankee (Professor of Political Science and International Studies, De La Salle University) considered: the factors that contributed to the erosion of the post-Marcos liberal reformist political order; how the Marcos dynasty succeeded in staging their political comeback; and what the prospects are for Philippine democracy under a restored Marcos presidency.


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'Thinking about democracy in Singapore' Student Masterclass with Prof Beng Huat Chua

Thursday 17 November, 11:30am to 12:30pm

Following his lecture on Wednesday 16 November, Prof Chua met with Students for a masterclass to discuss 'Thinking about democracy in Singapore'. 


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Public Subsidy/Private Capital: Political Economic Contradictions in Singapore's Public Housing System (V)

Wednesday 16 November, 5:00pm to 6:30pm

SEAC hosted Advisory Board member, Professor Beng Huat Chua (National University of Singapore) who discussed Singapore's national housing programme, the way in which it is influenced by private captial, and its socio-economic and political outcomes.



Justice After Carbon Workshop

Thursday 10 November, 09:00am - 10:30am

Justice After Carbon explored the current and potential impact of the Chinese Hydropower Industry on the riverine communities of South-East Asia. This virtual workshop was chaired by Dr Andrea Pia (Dept of Anthropology, LSE)


Henry Yeung

Interconnected Worlds: electronics global production networks after the pandemic (V)

Wednesday 09 November, 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Professor Henry Yeung discussed his recent monograph Interconnected Worlds, exploring how electronics global production networks have evolved since 2018. The talk was chaired by Prof. Hyun Bang Shin (Professor of Geography and Urban Studies; Director LSE SEAC).

This event was co-hosted with the Department of Geography and Environment


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Saving our Sisters: Exploring the politics of anti-trafficking and sex work in the Philippines (V)

Wednesday 9 November, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

The Philippines is a global pioneer in institutionalising anti-trafficking measures to protect its citizens, which makes it a crucial case study for understanding the impact of anti-trafficking policies on vulnerable populations. Dr Sharmila Parmanad (Gender and Human Rights Teaching Fellow, LSE) repositioned anti-trafficking as an ambivalent practice rather than an uncomplicated human rights victory. 



Decentring Critical Urban Scholarship: Conversations with IJURR (V)

Thursday 3 November, 5:00pm to 8:00pm

This hybrid public event marked the occasion of IJURR's editorial board meeting in London, which was occasion for board members to engage with readers and potential authors and also showcase some of the on-going dialogues at IJURR. This event was organised in collaboration with the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.


Urb Salon

Urban Salon: Gentrification and Public Policy: Comparative Perspectives (V)

Tuesday 1 November, 5:00pm to 6:30pm

This event marked the launch of the latest book in the IJURR Studies in Urban and Social Change Book SeriesThe Commodification Gap: Gentrification and Public Policy in London, Berlin and St. Petersburg by Matthias Bernt. The event included reflections on the book from the author and discussions by experts in the field of housing, gentrification and social change. 

This event was hosted in collaboration with the Urban Salon and the Department of Geography and Environment.


Chao-yo and Sol

Does State-Sponsored Violence Lead to Democratic Erosion? Evidence from a List Experiment in the Philippines (V)

Wednesday 26 October, 12:15pm to 1:30pm

How does state-sponsored violence induce democratic erosion? Populist strongmen often prompt the concern of democratic backsliding, as their actions may undermine constitutional limits as a bulwark against authoritarianism. SEAC hosted Dr. Sol Iglesias (University of the Philippines), and Dr. Chao-Yo Cheng (Birkbeck University of London) who explored whether the observed immense popularity for both Duterte and his “war on drugs” campaign is systematically inflated because of these subjects’ potential sensitivity. The talk was chaired by Prof. John Sidel (Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics). 



Governing the Gig-Economy in the Global South: Examining Southeast Asia in Comparative Perspective

Tuesday 18 October, 9:30am to 12:45pm

Comprised of two hybrid panels (in-person and live-streamed), this workshop brought together scholars from across disciplines and regions to survey the evolving political and governance context surrounding the gig-economy. Examining the experience of Southeast Asia in comparative perspective, the workshop seeks to theorise how state-business-labour relations, welfare regimes and existing governance approaches are evolving in response to the rapid and recent rise of platform capitalism. The workshop is chaired by Dr. Gerard McCarthy (Visiting Fellow LSE SEAC). 


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Scrutinizing Nusantara: The Fallacies of Indonesia's New Capital (V)

Wednesday 12 October, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

In August 2019, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced the plan to build a new capital called Nusantara. His ambition is to relocate the capital from Jakarta to a new location by the end of his presidential term in 2024. SEAC hosts Visiting Fellow, Dr Sulfikar Amir (Nanyang Technological University) critically examined Indonesia’s ambition to build Nusantara within a short time. The talk was chaired by Prof. Hyun Bang Shin (Professor of Geography and Urban Studies; Director LSE SEAC). 



From Red Revolution to Red Solution: China and the Cold War Endgame in Indochina (V)

Wednesday 5 October, 11:00am to 12:15pm

SEAC hosted Dr Qingfei Yin (Assistant Professor of International History and SEAC Associate, LSE) who explored China’s interactions with other Asian powers regarding the settlement of Cambodian issue from the 1980s to the early 1990s and examined how the Cambodian crisis shaped China’s policy toward Southeast Asia. 



'Making space for the new state capitalism' A SEAC-IBF Roundtable Discussion (V)

Monday 3 October, 4:00pm to 5:30pm

In this webinar we introduced the Environment and Planning A Special Issue exploring the geographies of the new state capitalism through a roundtable discussion with the SI editors Adam Dixon, Ilias Alami, Heather Whiteside and Jamie Peck. This webinar was chaired by Prof. Hyun Bang Shin (Professor of Geography and Urban Studies; Director LSE SEAC).


ECR Event

ECR Event: Opportunities in Asia for Southeast Asia focused PhDs

Wednesday 28 September, 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Southeast Asia focused Early Career Researchers were invited to discuss opportunities in the Asia region with SEAC Visiting Fellow, Dr Lin Hongxuan who discussed opportunities for Southeast Asianists. The talk was chaired by Prof. Hyun Bang Shin, took place in a hybrid format, and was followed by networking for those attending in person. 



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Southeast Asian Waters Series

In the 2021-2022 Academic Year, SEAC introduced a seminar series on Southeast Asian Waters featuring the latest research by experts across the world and convened by Professor John Sidel (SEAC Associate) and Professor Hyun Bang Shin (SEAC Director). Full details including links to the seminars can be found here.



Counter-mapping in Southeast Asia: Mapping With and For the People (V)

Wednesday 22 June 2022, 12:00pm to 1:30pm

The act of counter-mapping by local people as everyday resistance and solidarity has the idea of expanding the perspective of seeing. This panel invited three collectives from Surabaya, Kuala Lumpur and Quezon City to discuss their respective practices in counter-mapping. 

Speakers: Anitha Silvia (BAK Fellowship for Situated Practice 2021/2022, Pertigaan), Celcea Tifani (Communication Designer, Pertigaan), and Zikri Rahman (LiteraCity).

Chair: Prof. Hyun Bang Shin (Director, LSE SEAC)


Indonesian Military Academy

Sociological Portraits of the Indonesian Office Corps: Introducing the INDOMAG Dataset (V)

Dr. Evan A. Laksmana (Senior Research Fellow, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS) and Prof. Terence Lee (Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, NUS) spoke on the organisational features and behaviours of the Indonesian military beyond civil-military relations. The talk was chaired by Prof. Hyun Bang Shin (Director, LSE SEAC)



“Don’t Always Blame Climate Change”: The Political Ecology of Uneven Development and Vulnerability to Flooding in Southeast Asian Megacities (V)

As part of the SEAC Southeast Asian Waters Seminar series Dr. Danny Marks (Assistant Professor in Environmental Policy and Politics, Dublin City University) spoke on flooding in Jakarta and the social and political causes of these disasters. The talk was chaired by Prof. Hyun Bang Shin.


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Electoral Dystopias in the Philippines: From Colonial Democracy to Duterte and the Return of the Marcoses (V)

Against the backdrop of the final days of the Duterte presidency and the recent election of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. in the Philippines, Professor Vicente L. Rafael (Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle) examined the colonial roots of elections in the organization of native collaboration and counterinsurgency under Spain and the US. The talk concluded with a look at contemporary practices today and the results of the 2022 presidential elections. This event was chaired by Prof. John Sidel.



Expanding transboundary water governance: A mobile political ecology of sand and shifting resource-based livelihoods in Southeast Asia (V)

As part of the SEAC Southeast Asian Waters Seminar series Dr. Vanessa Lamb (Senior Lecturer, School of Geography, University of Melbourne) spoke on sand extraction and its consequences in Southeast Asia. The talk was chaired by Prof John Sidel.


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Doing Research in Cambodia: Connecting the Dots, Spotting the Interlinks (V)

Eng Netra and Nhim Tum from Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) and Sabina Lawreniuk discussed their experience of doing research in Cambodia.




Muslim parliamentarians and the allure of socialism: the case of Indonesia's Masjumi, 1950 – 60 (V)

Lin Hongxuan spoke on the Socialist ideas of prominent Muslim intellectuals in Indonesia during the 1950's. The talk was chaired by Prof. John Sidel.



Let It Burn Out: The 1957 Flu Pandemic and Decolonisation in Singapore (V)

SEAC hosted this talk focusing on decolonisation in Singapore during the 1957 Influenza epidemic.




The importance of humiliation: 1974, Vietnam and the South China Sea (V)

As part of the SEAC Southeast Asian Waters Seminar series Bill Hayton (Associate Fellow, Chatham House) spoke on Vietnam and the South China Sea. The talk was chaired by Prof. John Sidel.



Urban Waterscapes and Global Climate Justice: Views from Jakarta (V) 

As part of the SEAC Southeast Asian Waters Seminar series Dr. Kian Goh (Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA) spoke on Jakarta's urban waterscapes and climate change. 


Collective housing projects in the outskirts of Yangon by Marina Kolovou Kouri

Community-Led Development as Pathway to Urban Equality: Perspectives from the ACHR Network (V)

Wednesday 9 March 2022, 12:00-1:30pm

SEAC hosted this talk focusing on community-led development in Southeast Asia.



FinTech in Southeast Asia: Observations across consumption and production dynamics (V)

SEAC hosted this talk focusing on Fintech in Southeast Asia.



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COVID-19 in Southeast Asia: insights for a post-pandemic world (V)

SEAC hosted this book launch with discussion from some of the contributing authors to the edited volume on insights for a post-pandemic world.



China BRI Book cover

China's Belt and Road Initiative: the impact on sub-regional Southeast Asia (V)

SEAC hosted this discussion on the impact of China's Belt and Road Initiative on the Southeast Asia region.




The Sino-Soviet Split from the Periphery: The Philippines as Case Study (V)

SEAC hosted this talk by Dr. Joseph Scalice (SEAC Visting Fellow) on the Sino-Soviet Split in the Philippines.




The Urban Agency of Global China: Tales from Four Cities in the UK, Malaysia and China (V)

SEAC hosted a two-day online workshop concluding the British Academy project led by three investigators located in China, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.


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Cultivating migrant-driven diversity and the production of difference in Singapore (V)

SEAC hosted this talk by Dr. Junjia Ye on migration diversity and belonging in east Singapore.



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Critical Voices from Myanmar: Contexts and Concerns after the 2021 coup d'état

SEAC hosted a roundtable discussion to reflect on the current situation in Myanmar and its future, listening to the voices from Myanmar.



Roundtable: Living Heritage and Urban Informalities: Perspectives from Southeast Asian Cities (V)

SEAC hosted this roundtable discussion, focused on community practice and heritage, in collaboration with the Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) at UCL and the Urban Salon.


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Southeast Asian Waters Series: Property, Profit & Risk: Jakarta's Real Estate Industry and the Ongoing Water Crisis (V)

As part of the SEAC Southeast Asian Waters Seminar series Dr. Emma Colven spoke on Jakarta's water crisis and property development.


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Southeast Asian Waters Series: Ghosts in the Machine: Technology and Imperialism in Maritime Asia (V)

As part of the SEAC Southeast Asian Waters Seminar series Prof. Eric Tagliacozzo spoke on different technologies and connections to imperialism in maritime Asia.


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Roundtable: Southeast Asia's Contentious Polls: Electoral Management in Comparative Perspective (V)

SEAC hosted this workshop with the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) on Southeast Asian electoral management in comparative perspective.


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Society and Economy in Southeast Asia: Presentations by LSE PhD researchers (V)

This Southeast Asia Forum event showcased some of the on-going work of PhD researchers at LSE, covering society and economy in Southeast Asia.



Work and Life in the COVID-19 Era: (Preliminary) findings from the SEAC Undergraduate Research Fellowship Projects (V)

In this Southeast Asia Forum event, project leaders and associated (undergraduate) research fellows presented their (preliminary) findings about work, life and migration in the COVID-19 era.


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The Role of Philanthropy in a New Social Contract (V)

This Southeast Asia Forum event reflected on the impact of the late Professor Saw’s philanthropy at LSE.


A video recording of this event is available here.


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Roundtable: Comparative Urbanism for Southeast Asia (V)

As part of the Southeast Asia Forum, SEAC hosted a roundtable discussion which featured emerging scholars whose work engages with urbanising sites across Southeast Asia and beyond.


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Environment and Politics in Southeast Asia: Presentations by the awardees of the SEAC Research Fund (V)

This SEAF event showcased two presentations from awardees of the SEAC Research Fund, who discussed some preliminary findings regarding a) the emerging social construction of the 'haze season' in Singapore and b) professional intermediaries as the accomplices of kleptocratic elites. More information on the Research Fund scheme can be found here.


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Book Launch: Republicanism, Communism, Islam: Cosmopolitan Origins of Revolution in Southeast Asia by Prof. John Sidel (V)

SEAC hosted the book launch for this new title by SEAC Associate Prof. John Sidel. The event included a roundtable discussion of the work and its themes with three invited speakers.


With, without and/or against the state? Exploring the (re)production of space in the Global South (V)

This Urban Studies Foundation International Workshop featured five presentations on the production of urban space in the Global South, which involves a web of complex relationships between state and non-state actors.



The Colliding Emo-Scapes of Indonesia and Malaysia Affecting Migration Governance: Emotional Connectivity and the Counter Narratives of Migrant Domestic Workers (V)

This SEAC Seminar on 6th October focused on the work of our Senior Visiting Fellow Dr. Shanthi Thambiah, who spoke about Indonesia and Malaysia, discussing how national emo-scapes influence the cultural and political interpretation of the issues faced by migrant domestic workers.



Digital Interventions on Urban Societal Challenges in Southeast Asian Communities (V)

On 16 June, SEAC invited Visiting Senior Fellow Dr Joanne Lim (Associate Professor in Communications, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia) to present her research study which considers using the digital as a tool to increase social interaction/connectedness, and to reinforce the development of culture, creativity and wellness. Further details can be found here.


Digital Interventions: Author meets ECRs

On 16 June following the SEAC Seminar, Dr Joanne Lim hosted a 45 minute informal session, specifically for current PhD students. This was a small group discussion around methods, career path, and other topics ECRs would like to discuss.


Military Myanmar: Fearing Freedom

On 27 May the South Asia Centre, in collaboration with SEAC, hosted a panel discussion with academics and activists on the military coup in Myanmar in February 2021 overturning the results of the recent elections, thus jeopardising the future of democracy in the country. The event was chaired by Nilanjan Sarkar, Deputy Director of the South Asia Centre, and featured speakers including David Brenner (Lecturer, University of Sussex), Ma Htike (QMUL), Hnin Pwint Thon (The Burma Campaign UK), Sawangwongse Yanghwe, and Dominique Dillabough-Lefebvre (LSE). Further details can be found here.


Southeast Asia Digital Summer School (V)

From Thursday 20 May to Wednesday 26 May in partnership with ASEAS (UK), SEAC hosted a week-long Digital Summer School especially designed to support Early Career Researchers with insights, networking, and support as they begin their academic careers. It took place over three days (Thursday 20, Monday 24, and Wednesday 26 May) from 12-3.15pm BST each day, and featured 6 sessions covering a wide range of topics such as: succeeding in publishing; decolonising research; and post-academic and alt-academic career paths; alongside a networking event for ASEAS (UK) and SEAC’s ECR Network members. Further details can be found here

13 May - SEAC Seminar

Land, Ladies, and the Law: Author meets ECRs

On 13 May following the SEAC Seminar, Dr Thanyaporn Chankrajang hosted an informal session, specifically for current PhD students. This small group discussion covered topics including archival research, teaching and research in Thailand, and conceptualising research projects.  

13 May - SEAC Seminar

Land, Ladies, and the Law: A Case Study on Women’s Land Rights and Welfare in Southeast Asia in the Nineteenth Century (V)

On 13 May, SEAC invited Dr Thanyaporn Chankrajang (Associate Professor in Economics at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand) to present her research study which evaluates women’s de jure and de facto land rights and its implications for household welfare in nineteenth-century Bangkok. Further details can be found here.


Urban informality at a crossroad? Dynamics between inclusion and exclusion in Bangkok (V)

On 31st March 2021, SEAC invited Dr Tamaki Endo, SEAC Visiting Senior Fellow (Associate Professor in Development Economics, Saitama University, Japan), to discuss her paper which analyzes the recent complex dynamics of exclusion and inclusion of ‘informality’ of the city. Further details can be found here.


Solidarity and Polarisation: Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces in Southeast Asia (V)

On 24th March 2021, SEAC invited two early career researchers, Dr Michael Intal Magcamit (Queen Mary University of London) and Dr Hongxuan Lin (National University of Singapore), working on political economy and religious politics in the region to present their latest research projects. This event was chaired by SEAC Associate Prof. John Sidel. Further details can be found here.


Getting Developing Asia Back on Track (V)

On 18th March 2021, Masatsugu Asakawa, the President of the Asian Development Bank and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors, spoke at a SEAC and LSE Public Event. His talk focused on ADB's success and current efforts to help its developing members toward the path of resilient and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Further details can be found here.


SEAC Lecture: Spatial Politics and Transient Migrant Workers in Global-City Singapore (V)

On 9th March 2021, SEAC invited Prof. Brenda Yeoh (Raffles Professor of Social Sciences, National University of Singapore) for SEAC Lecture, focusing on the context of Singapore as a globalising city-state where over a million low-waged transient migrant workers  live and work. Further details can be found here.


LSE Festival: Shaping the Post-COVID World - Life in a Post-COVID World: Learning from Southeast Asia (V)

On 1st March 2021, leading thinkers on Southeast Asia  reflected on the lessons of COVID-19 for connectivity, governance, and urbanisation in the region and assess the futures it might foretell for Southeast Asia and the world. This event is part of the LSE Festival: Shaping the Post-COVID World. Further details can be found here.


Urban Salon: Theorising urban studies on/from China/Asia

On 25th February 2021, SEAC co-organised an event that engaged with de-centring knowledge production and 'theorising' urban studies from China/Asia as critical urban scholarship. Further details can be found here.


Book Launch: Thinking and Working Politically in Development: Coalitions for Change in the Philippines (V)

On 10th February 2021, SEAC hosted a Book Launch for the 2020 book 'Thinking and Working Politically in Development: Coalitions for Change in the Philippines', written by SEAC Associate Prof. John Sidel (Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics at LSE) and Jaime Faustino (The Asia Foundation). Further details can be found here.


Flooding and the Politics of Property Rights in Jakarta (V)

On 27th January 2021, SEAC invited Prof. Gavin Shatkin (Professor at the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, and the School of Architecture, at Northeastern University) for his talk titled 'Flooding and the Politics of Property Rights in Jakarta'. Further details can be found here.


Book Launch: Home SOS: Gender, Violence and Survival in Crisis Ordinary Cambodia

On 20th January 2021, SEAC hosted a Book Launch for the 2020 book 'Home SOS: Gender, Violence and Survival in Crisis Ordinary Cambodia', written by SEAC Associate Prof. Katherine Brickell (Royal Holloway, Univeristy of London). Further details can be found here.


Foreign, 'Fresh' and 173cm: The Commodification of Domestic Workers in Singapore

On 9th December 2020, Dr Laura Antona (ESRC Research Fellow, University of Oxford) was invited to speak on how employment agencies in Singapore commodify and sell domestic labourers, shaping their relationships with their employers and the spaces in which they live and work: namely, the home space. Further details can be found here


Roundtable on Postcolonial Urbanism and History of Southeast Asia (V)

On 25th November 2020, SEAC hosted a roundtable discussion aiming to promote a better understanding of postcolonial urban histories in Southeast Asia while seeking an opportunity to locate them in different disciplines including urban history and urban studies. Further details can be found here


Nalehmu Urbanism: The informal, intimate and relational economies of Yangon Street Vending (V)

On 17th November 2020, Dr Jayde Lin Roberts (Senior Lecturer in Built Environment, University of New South Wales) led a research seminar focusing on street vending as an integral part of Yangon’s urbanism. Further details can be found here.


SEAC Masterclass: Research as Empowerment: Learning from the COVID-19 Pandemic in Understanding Cities of Southeast Asia

On 13th November 2020, Dr Rita Padawangi (Senior Lecturer at Singapore University of Social Sciences) followed up her talk on 11th November by undertaking a research masterclass for PhD students and early career researchers. The masterclass focused on doing research under the pandemic based on Dr Padawangi's research experiences. Further details can be found here.


Theorising the City in and from Southeast Asia (V)

On 11th November 2020, Dr Rita Padawangi (Senior Lecturer, Singapore University of Social Sciences) delivered a research seminar bringing together the urban experience from city neighbourhoods to connect with theorising the city in and from Southeast Asia. Further details can be found here.  


LSE Southeast Asia Week 2020: Environmental Resilience and Southeast Asia (V)

On 30th October 2020, for the last event of LSE Southeast Asia Week 2020, SEAC invited four speakers to explore the extent to which the environment shapes and defines the region, and the role that environmental resilience must play over the coming decades. Further details can be found here.


LSE Southeast Asia Week 2020: Politics of city-making in Southeast Asia (V)

On 29th October 2020, SEAC hosted a roundtable panel discussion by inviting four academics whose work had been related to the urbanising region's development challenges. The event focused on politics of city-making and re-making in Southeast Asia, with cases coming from Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines. Further details can be found here.


LSE Southeast Asia Week 2020: Whither Southeast Asia research? Roundtable with Centre Directors (V)

On 28th October 2020, SEAC, in collaboration with ASEAS UK, hosted a roundtable panel discussion. The event invited selected directors of global centres on Southeast Asia to discuss the future of Southeast Asian Studies and challenges in the midst of COVID-19 generated ‘new normal’. Further details can be found here.


LSE Southeast Asia Week 2020: ASEAS UK-SEAC Panels on ECR and Southeast Asia Research

On 27th October 2020, SEAC and ASEAS UK invited early career researchers to identify the various challenges ECRs face during this difficult time of pandemic. The discussions on the day fed into the roundtable discussion with Centre Directors on the following day for them to respond to such concerns. Further details can be found here.


Migration and Mobility in the COVID-19 Era (V)

On 27th October 2020, SEAC invited three academics working on diverse issues related to migration and mobility, and discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the mobility and immobility of migrant workers and students among others. Further details can be found here.


LSE Southeast Asia Week 2020: Politics and Economics of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia (V)

On 26th October 2020, for the first event of LSE Southeast Asia Week 2020, SEAC invited regional experts to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on regional politics and economic performance in Southeast Asia, and how these were entwined with health concerns. Further details can be found here.


COVID-19 and Southeast Asia Webinar Series (V)

On 19th and 21st October 2020, SEAC hosted two seminars under the themes of 'Marginalised and Vulnerable Groups and Strategies for Mutual Support During Covid-19' (19 Oct) and 'The Experiences of Southeast Asia’s Migrant Workers, Asylum Seekers, and Refugees During Covid-19' (21 Oct) with contributors for SEAC's research project 'COVID-19 and Southeast Asia'.


SEAC Masterclass: Mapping Transdisciplinary Data for Spatial Justice

On 16th Ocotober 2020, Dr Annette M. Kim (Associate Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California) followed up her talk on 7th October by undertaking a research masterclass for PhD students and early career researchers.


The Production of Jakarta's Water Crisis: A Political Ecology of Speculative Urbanism (V) 

On 14th October 2020, Dr Emma Colven (Assistant Professor of Global Environment, University of Oklahoma) led a research seminar, speaking on the topic of Jakarta's "water crisis" in relation to its temporalities and spatialities. Further details can be found here.

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Everyday Justice in Myanmar: Informal Resolutions and State Evasion in a Time of Contested Transition (V)

On 9th October, 2020, SEAC co-hosted an event with LSE South Asia Centre to discuss the diverse views regarding state-society relations in Myanmar. Check the details of the event here.



Mapping Transdisciplinary Data for Spatial Justice: Migration and Urbanization in Vietnam and Beyond (V)

On 7th October 2020, Dr Annette M. Kim (Associate Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California) led a research seminar on the subject of public space transformations in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Further details can be found here. image

Decolonising Higher Education Roundtable (P)  

On 30th September 2020, SEAC hosted an online roundtable discussion themed around 'decolonising higher education' in relation to the Southeast Asian region and beyond. This roundtable invited three speakers whose research is rooted in such effort of decolonising higher education, addressing the structural power inequalities of knowledge production. Further details can be found here.



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Post COVID-19 Futures of the Urbanising World (V)

On 3 June 2020, Dr Creighton Connolly (Senior Lecturer, University of Lincoln), Prof Roger Keil (Professor, York University, Toronto), Dr Deirdre McKay (Reader, Keele University, and Chair of ASEAS UK), and Dr Rita Padawangi (Senior Lecturer, Singapore University of Social Sciences) discussed the impact of COVID-19 on changing relationships between cities and their hinterlands in global urbanisation processes. The event was part of LSE's online public event series, "COVID-19: The Policy Response" and was chaired by SEAC Director Prof Hyun Bang Shin. More information can be found here.  

Dr Perry Warjiyo lecture

Public Lecture: "Diminishing Globalisation, Rising Digitalisation : Central Bank Policy Responses" (P)

On 10th February 2020, SEAC hosted a Public Lecture by Dr. Perry Warjiyo, Governor of Bank Indonesia, Indonesia's Central Bank, chaired by SEAC Director Prof. Hyun Bang Shin, on the topic of contemporary central bank policy responses to diminishing globalisation and rising digitalisation. Further details can be found here

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Public Lecture: Less Poverty, More Precarity: Squaring the Circle of Southeast Asian Development (P)

On 30th January 2020,  Professor Jonathan Rigg (Chair in Human Geography at the School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol) held a public lecture on the different, but intertwined, narratives that paint Southeast Asia as exemplar of development success and deepening inequality. This event was co-hosted with the LSE Department of Geography and Environment and chaired by SEAC Director Prof. Hyun Bang Shin. Further details including the podcast can be found here.

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Southeast Asia Discussion Series: Enclave Urbanism and Transnational Zones in Southeast Asia (P)

On 28th January 2020, SEAC hosted its first Lent term event with Dr. Jana M. Kleibert (Acting Head of Department, Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space and Humboldt University of Berlin), who spoke on enclave urbanism and transnational zones in Southeast Asia. Further details can be found here.

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Book Launch: "Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia"

On 3rd December 2019, SEAC, along with the Department of Geography and Environment, co-hosted the book launch for the 2019 book “Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia”. The event was chaired by SEAC Director Prof. Hyun Bang Shin, and Co-Editor Dr. Yi Ling Chen (Assistant Professor of Global and Area Studies and Geography, University of Colorado Boulder)  and other contributors presented their insights on Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea. Further details can be found here.


SEAC Masterclass: Research as part of democratization and urban transformation

On 2nd December 2019, SEAc hosted its second research masterclass of the academic year with Dr Yi-Ling Chen (University of Wyoming), who gave insights and advice to students on conducting academic research in collaboration with civil society and activist organisations. Further details can be found here.

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Public Lecture: Who is the Middle Class, and what are they up to? Reflections from Jakarta (P)

On 28th November 2019, Professor AbdouMaliq Simone (Senior Professorial Fellow, Urban Institute, University of Sheffield and Honorary Professor of Urban Studies, University of Cape Town) spoke on the making of an urban middle class across Southeast Asia. Further details including the podcast can be found here.


SEAC Masterclass: Researching Digital Media

On 25th November 2019, SEAC hosted its first research masterclass of the year led by SEAC Senior Visiting Fellow Dr Merlyna Lim (Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Digital Media and Global Network Society, Carleton University) and Chaired by Dr Bingchun Meng (Associate Professor and Deputy Head, Department of Media and Communications, LSE), on the topic of researching digital media. Further details can be found here. 


Southeast Asia Discussion Series: Civil society elites and Cambodian civil society today

On 21st November 2019, Dr. Astrid Norén-Nilsson (Associate Senior Lecturer at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University) spoke on processes of elite formation within Cambodian civil society today as well as patterns of interaction between civil society elites and other elites, building on ongoing research for a comparative project on civil society elites in Cambodia and Indonesia. Further details can be found here.

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Southeast Asia Discussion Series: Social Media and Politics in Southeast Asia (P)

On 7th November 2019, SEAC hosted a talk on social media and politics in Southeast Asia. The guest speaker was Dr Merlyna Lim (Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Digital Media and Global Network Society, Carleton University and Senior Visiting Fellow, SEAC), and the event was chaired by SEAC Director Prof Hyun Bang Shin. 

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LSE Southest Asia Forum 2019 (P)

On 29th October, SEAC hosted its annual flagship conference in the LSE Shaw Library, which on the key research themes of SEAC while engaging with contemporary affairs in Southeast Asia. 


Southeast Asia Discussion Series: Land sharing experiences in Thailand and Cambodia: What lessons for land and housing policy for the urban poor? (P)

On 17th October 2019, SEAC hosted the first Southeast Asia Discussion Series seminar of the academic year, with guest speaker Dr. Paul Rabé (Senior Expert, Urban Land Governance, IHS and coordinator of the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA), International Institute for Asian Studies) who spoke on the topic of land sharing in Cambodia and Thailand. The event was chaired by SEAC Director Prof Hyun Bang Shin. This event is available to listen to as a podcast. 

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South-South itineraries: alternative routes for mutual learning between Latin America and Southeast Asia (P)

On 1st October 2019, SEAC hosted an ECR Network Event as part of Decolonising the LSE Week, bringing together scholars from Latin America and Southeast Asia whose research is rooted in such effort of theorizing “from the South”, addressing the structural power inequalities of knowledge production that tend to exclude the contributions produced by scholars working "in the South", which are often ignored or lost in translation. The event was chaired by SEAC Director Prof Hyun Bang Shin. This event is available to listen to as a podcast. 

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Southeast Asia Discussion Series: Post-Election Thailand: Reflections and Looking Forward

On 11th July 2019, SEAC will host a Southeast Asia Discussion Series (SEADS) event, with guest speakers Dr Petra Desatova (School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds), Mr Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit (Future Forward Party), Prof. Duncan McCargo (Director, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies) and Ms Pannika Wanich (Future Forward Party), to discuss recent developments since the Thai General Election. Prof. Tim Forsyth (Department of International Development, LSE) will Chair.

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SEAC Workshop: Urban Spectre of Global China

On 19th June 2019, SEAC is hosting a kick-off workshop for SEAC's new British Academy research project entitled, "The Urban Spectre of Global China: Mechanisms, Consequences, and Alternatives for Urban Futures". More details including a link to register your attendance can be found here.

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Southeast Asia Discussion Series: The Red River Development Project in Hanoi, Vietnam

On 6th June 2019, SEAC hosted a SEADS seminar chaired by SEAC Director Prof. Hyun Bang Shin, led by LSE-Southeast Asia ECR Network member Ms Sujee Jung (PhD Candidate, Rutgers University) who spoke about her field research on the Red River development project in Hanoi. Dr Catalina Ortiz (Lecturer in Building and Urban Design in Development, UCL) was Discussant for the event.

More information can be found here

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LSE-Southeast Asia Early Career Researcher Network Workshop on academic publishing

On 22nd May 2019, SEAC hosted a workshop for LSE-Southeast Asia ECR Network members on the subject of academic publishing, chaired by SEAC Director Prof. Hyun Bang Shin. The workshop combined practical advice with personal experiences, covering everything from evaluating outlets and choosing the right one for you, avoiding common pitfalls, deciding on solo versus collaborate publications, career considerations and more.


SEAC Cove Session: Thailand's 2019 Elections: Will the Political Crisis Continue?

On Monday 25th March, SEAC hosted its second ‘Cove Session’ discussion of 2019, with guest Dr Pavin Chachavalpongpun (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Kyoto), to discuss this weekend’s long-awaited Thai general election. 

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REDD+ AS AN AREA-BASED POLICY: Evidence from the 2011 Moratorium on oil palm, timber and logging concessions in Indonesia

On 19th March, Prof. Ben Groom (Professor of Environment and Development Economics, LSE ), Dr Charles Palmer (Associate Professor of Environment and Development, LSE) and Mr Lorenzo Sileci (PhD candidate in Environmental Economics,, LSE) presened early results from their recent SEAC Research Fund project on the environmental impacts of the Palm Oil Concession Moratorium in Indonesia.

More information here.

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Masterclass: conducting research in violent urban contexts

Qin Shao, Professor of History at the College of New Jersey, shared her expertise on urban research in relation to violent contexts, particularly in relation to the threat of state violence, for LSE postgraduate students. Prof. Shao's research interests include property rights, historical preservation, domicide, displacement, mental health, dignity, sustainability, and grass-roots movements. She is working on a new project about the impact of politically motivated displacement under Mao.



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SEAC Cove Session: Reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula and its implications for geopolitics and the Southeast Asia region

Coinciding with the US-North Korea Summit taking place in Hanoi on 27-28 February, the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre hosted a Cove Session discussion on the implications of Korean reconciliation on geopolitics.


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Revisiting Displacement in Urban Studies

SEAC, with the support of Urban Salon, hosted a roundtable workshop on displacement in Southeast Asia and beyond, on 28th February at LSE. Speakers: Katherine Brickell (RHUL), Lisa Tilley (Birkbeck), Jordana Ramalho (LSE), Qin Shao (College of New Jersey), Oren Yiftachel (Ben-Gurion), Loretta Lees (Leicester). 



Para-Nationalism: Sovereignty and Authenticity in the Wa State of Myanmar

The first of SEAC’s 2019 Southeast Asia Discussion Series (SEADS) welcomed Dr Hans Steinmüller, who spoke about his recent research on the ethno-nationalist projects of rebel groups in Highland Burma. In a new event format for SEAC, Dr Steinmüller’s talk was complemented by a Discussant, Dr Patrick Meehan, who offered reflections and constructive comments on the talk, while the audience benefited from the insights of both discussant and speaker as they engaged further in the post-talk debate.

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LSE-Southeast Asia Early Career Researcher Network: Inaugural Event

The first networking event of the SEAC-led Early Career Researcher Network was held at LSE on 13th February 2019. The event incorporatd talks from researchers on the topic, "What does Southeast Asia mean for my research?" followed by a networking reception for participants to get to know each other. In addition to 25 ECR participants representing over a dozen nationalities and 10 different higher education institutions, the event featured talks from Prof. Hyun Bang Shin, SEAC Director, Prof. Sylvia Chant (LSE, Geography & Environment) and Prof. Tim Forsyth (LSE, International Development).





Economic Prospects and Problems of the Four Asian Tigers

This conference, co-hosted with LSESU socieities, examined the economic opportunities and challenges of the Four Asian Tigers including Singapore with four speakers representating each economy.



Prospects for Elections in Thailand: The Future Forward Party under the Spotlight

This meeting was an opportunity for academics and audience members to challenge leaders of Future Forward to explain their political agenda and their vision for Thailand.



Automation and the Future of Work in Southeast Asia (P)

This seminar analyses current trends, forecasts, and theories of labour automation with regard to Southeast Asia and will discuss a respective future research agenda.


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LSE Southeast Asia Forum (SEAF) (P)

The conference had of four expert panels that examined a range of prevalent issues facing Southeast Asia. The Keynote Lecture addressed Singapore's priorities as ASEAN Chair in 2018 and was given by Her Excellency Ms Foo Chi Hsia (High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore to the United Kingdom).


Policy Entrepreneurs and US Burma Policy under President Obama

SEAC Director Dr Jürgen Haacke explores the role of policy entrepreneurs in relation to some of the key policy shifts that the Obama administration embraced towards Myanmar between 2009 and 2016.


Overcoming Poverty and the Role of Politics on Economic Growth in the Philippines

Maria Leonor “Leni” Gerona Robredo, elected as Vice President of the Philippines on May 2016, speaks about her commitment to a pro-poor administration founded on good governance, as well as strong social welfare, public infrastructure and national security.


Unlocking Poverty Traps: what could 'Graduation Packages' change for Vietnam's ethnic minorities and Cambodia's ultra-poor? (P)

This seminar analyses whether multi-faceted 'Graduation Packages' could be the key to unlocking poverty traps for some of Southeast most vulnerable groups. 


Industrialisation and Backward Linkages in Global Value Chains: new trade agreements and Vietnam's garments industry

This research seminar examines how trade agreements could allow countries to promote backward linkages in value chains, with a particular focus on Vietnam. 


The Ambon Jihad

SEAC Associate Dr Kirsten Schulze looks at the Ambon jihad fought in the context of the Ambon conflict in Indonesia from 1999-2005.


Circulations of Urbanism and Real Estate Capital: the case of Korean and Singaporean developers in Vietnam (P)

SEAC Associate Dr Hyun Bang Shin investigates the practices of South Korean and Singaporean real estate developers in Vietnam, and what effect they have had on social and spatial justice.


Red North, Blue North, Yellow North, Whose North? Contesting Thai Nationalism in Shinawatra Country (P)

SEAC Visiting Appointment Dr Joel Selway explores whether there are certain elements of nationalism that boost Thai national identity in the north of the country more than others.


Drugs and Development: from colonialism to the SDGs

This Research Fund seminar explores some of the issues linked to illicit drug markets in Myanmar with reference to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Was the ISIS Threat in Southeast Asia Overblown? (P)

Sidney Jones looks at the factors that raised alarm bells about terrorism in Southeast Asia, the lessons learned from Marawi and the risks going forward.



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Disavowing Liberalism: the political legitimacy and longevity of the People’s Action Party in Singapore (P)

This talk considers whether the ‘socialist’ elements of the early years of Singapore’s state formation by the People’s Action Party (PAP) accounts for the party’s longevity in parliamentary power.

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Bringing Institutions Back In: ASEAN’s institutional logics and effects at a time of great power transition (P)

In its 50th year, ASEAN faces a range of contemporary challenges that have called into question its strategic place and security contributions in East Asia. This talk considers the mixed effects of ASEAN institutions on Asia's changing strategic environment and the dynamics of great power competition.


ASEAN as an Actor in International Fora: its role in the UN and the WTO

Drawing upon ASEAN's policies in the United Nations and World Trade Organisation, Professor Jürgen Rüland addresses the ways in which member governments in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) achieve a collective presence in global fora.


Indonesia in ASEAN: reconciliation, active engagement and strategic reassessment (P)

His Excellency Dr Rizal Sukma, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the UK and Ireland, assessed Indonesia's role in ASEAN and the extent to which ASEAN remains the main platform for the attainment of Indonesia's changing national and international priorities.

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Armed Groups, State and Society in Myanmar (P)

Based on years of extensive field work in the border areas of Myanmar, panellists discussed the dynamics of armed politics, social orders and state formation in light of the country's peace process and wider transition.

This event was hosted in collaboration with the LSE Global South Unit.


The Challenges of Trump's America and Xi's China: perspectives and strategies in Northeast and Southeast Asia

This double-panel event compared and contrasted old and new priorities and policy instruments pursued by the US and China vis-a-vis East Asia, and examined how states in Northeast and Southeast Asia are manoeuvring in reaction to the various challenges.

The event was in collaboration with the LSE Department of International Relations

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LSE Southeast Asia Forum 2017

The day included a keynote lecture by H.E. Antonio M. Lagdameo, the Ambassador of the Philippines to the UK, and four expert panels that examined a range of prevalent issues that have affected the region since the establishment of ASEAN 50 years ago, including the AEC, foreign and domestic policy, and human rights agendas.

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Civil Society and Shrinking Political Space: the future of human rights in Southeast Asia (P)

Civil society in Southeast Asia has come under threat from shrinking political space, funding challenges and internal competition over issues and resources. Dr James Gomez asks: what is the future of human rights in the region?

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Sharing Sovereignty: peacebuilding and the UN's joint ventures in Timor-Leste and Cambodia (P)

Dr John Ciorciari discussed the practice of “sharing sovereignty” is apparent in Timor-Leste and Cambodia, where the UN shares responsibility for key sovereign functions when national governments cannot do so effectively.

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Is Regionalism Passé? Infrastructure for Integrating South and Southeast Asia (P)

Dr Ganeshan Wignaraja examines the costs and benefits of closer infrastructure connectivity between South and Southeast Asia, and the role of national policies and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

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Myanmar's NLD-led Government: one year on (P)

Dr Khin Mar Mar Kyi, Dr David Brenner and Prof Marie Lall discuss to what extent has Daw Aung San Suu Kyi been able to make headway on major issues and key challenges the country has faced, one year after Myanmar's landslide election.

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Islamisation Through Democratisation? Deciphering Calls for Islamic Law in Contemporary Indonesia (P)

Dr Michael Buehler and Dr Chris Chaplin discuss to what extent there has been growing acceptance for conservative Islamic activism and how democracy has provided opportunities for politicians and Islamic organisations to push an Islamic agenda.

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Vietnamese Trajectories: negotiating refuge and belonging through forced migrations (P)

Dr Stephen James looks at serial migrants through their varied forced journeys across the globe and into local and transnational group identities across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

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Religion and Nationalism in Southeast Asia: conflict and contestation in the conception of nationhood (P)

Political contestations between the state and minority groups have long been a major feature of Southeast Asia. Prof Joseph Liow casts light of the religious character of some of these conflicts.



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Who Developed Vietnam? The Role of International Donors (P)

Although substantial development challenges remain, Vietnam’s achievements are remarkable. Prof Jörn Dosch asks: is Vietnam’s rapid development a success story of development cooperation or rather the result of domestic reforms?

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Sex Trafficking in Southeast Asia: the context of desire, duty, and debt (P)

Dr Trude Jacobsen examines long-standing cultural perspectives toward marriage, familial obligation, debt bondage, and the implications that ethnicity and gender have for persons entering into these contracts.

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The Future of the US ‘Asia Pivot’

The key question is whether the next US president will make Asia a priority and how the region will react to it. Dr Evan Medeiros discusses this and other issues at a critical time for the Asia-Pacific.

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Duterte’s Bloody Democracy in the Philippines (P)

Prof Mark R Thompson looks at why Duterte won the recent presidential election and has “stuck to his guns” in waging a violent war on drugs and explores its implications for the future of democracy in the Philippines and beyond.

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South China Sea: salient aspects of the arbitration between the Philippines and China (P)

Tjaco van den Hout discusses what has been at stake from the perspective of international law, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), its default mechanism of arbitration to settle disputes, and the legality of territorial claims.

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LSE Southeast Asia Forum 2016 (P)

The day included two keynote lectures and four expert panels on topics including: ASEAN Security, religion in Southeast Asia, inclusion and exclusion in Southeast Asia, and a panel by the LSE SU ASEAN Society.

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Rebranding ASEAN as a New Global Player (P)

ASEAN has never been able to realize its full political and economic potential. Khun Abhisit Vejjajiva asks: what are the main impediments holding ASEAN back? Can ASEAN play a role in re-shaping a new regional order in the Asia-Pacific region?

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How Did Aung San Suu Kyi Win So Big? (P)

Peter Popham showcases his latest book The Lady and the General and seeks to identify the secrets of Aung San Suu Kyi's phenomenal achievements as a woman in a highly macho political culture.

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Yanmagon: Faces of Yangon - Film screening and Q&A with Director

Yanmagon: Faces of Yangon is a portrait of a changing city, the former capital of Myanmar, through the eyes of its activists, architects, poets, photographers. Director François Le Pivain answers a Q&A on his production.

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Before It Spread Like Wildfire: An archaeological perspective on slash-and-burn farming

Dr David Clinnick and Dr James Walker explore how early farming techniques spread throughout island Southeast Asia, finding that archaeological data seemed to contradict many common and contemporary views on slash-and-burn farming.

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The Philippines and China: Options for Resolving Overlapping Claims in the South China Sea

H.E. Enrique A. Manalo clarifies the Philippine policy on the West Philippine Sea and its understanding of its international treaty obligations under the 1982 LOSC, the UN Charter and the ASEAN Charter.

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Middle Eastern and South Asian migrants in the colonial Philippines

Prof William Clarence-Smith discusses how Middle Eastern and South Asian migrants contributed significantly to the history of the colonial Philippines, chiefly coming to profit from a frontier of economic opportunity.

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A tale of two endings: A comparative perspective on civil war in Papua and East Timor

Dr Claire Smith argues that if we contrast the ending to East Timor’s civil war with that of the comparable war in Papua, we can sharply see just how contingent East Timor’s negotiated ending was on a unique combination of specific events.

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Borneo Burning: Deforestation, El Nino, Reforestation (P)

Dr Roger Montgomery examines recent evidence on deforestation, the cause and impact of El Nino, and in contrast the surprising areas where tree planting has been a major success in Indonesia.

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Australia's role in Indonesian independence - liberal internationalism in action, or the realpolitik of regional security? (P)

Bruce Watson argues that Australia’s motivation in supporting Indonesian independence was not founded on liberal internationalism or distaste for colonialism, it was founded as a quest for security. 

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The Material Culture of Japanese-Held Captives in WWII British Asia (P)

Dr Felicia Yap analyses the material culture of migrating Allied captives during the Japanese occupation of British Asia, focusing on the experiences of civilians in occupied Hong Kong, with examples from Malaya, Singapore and Borneo.


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ISIS in Southeast Asia: The Apocalypse, Just War and Pragmatic Jihad (P)

Dr Greg Fealy examines the multiple motivations that have led fighters from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to join ISIS, looking at the structures of mobilisation and recruitment for the Islamic State.

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Trading Places? Muslim modernists and traditionalists in Indonesia since the Reformasi (P)

Dr Carool Kersten discusses his latest book, Islam in Indonesia: The Contest for Society, Ideas and Values which examines intra-Muslim debates on the role of Islam in public life which evinces a broad spectrum of voices characterized by two developments.

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New Attitudes to Peacekeeping Operations in ASEAN

Despite the region’s enormous diversity, almost all of ASEAN’s members are showing a greater interest in supporting peacekeeping operations. Dr David Capie explores evolving attitudes towards peacekeeping among Southeast Asian states.

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LSE Asia Forum in Singapore

On Saturday 28th November, as part of the 120th anniversary celebrations, LSE held its Asia Forum in Singapore. The event, within the new series of regional LSE Global Forums, celebrated the achievements of the School and its alumni.

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Compliant Citizenship: On the Islamic Authority of the Indonesian State

Dr Nicholas Long analyses how the difficulty of accurate moral perception within Indonesia’s Riau Islands Province leads citizens to abrogate their own responsibility with a state that has constituted itself as an Islamic actor.

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Monks and Politics in Theravada Southeast Asia

Dr Matthew Walton argues that, while the issue of monastic engagement with politics will remain an essentially contested question, examining monks’ arguments in particular contexts can reveal changing dynamics in the institution of the sangha.

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Myanmar on the Brink (P)

Mark Canning, Dr Jurgen Haacke and Shibani Mahtani discuss the outcome of those general elections and how Myanmar will achieve economic success comparable to those of its ASEAN neighbours.

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Malaysia: Fighting Religious Extremism 

Dato Noor Farida Ariffin, former Malaysian Ambassador to the Netherlands, expresses the grave concerns over religious bodies asserting authority beyond their jurisdiction; and various fatwa which violate the Federal Constitution.

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Dealing with China (P)

Henry M. Paulson Jr. talks about his new book, Dealing with China, which takes readers behind closed doors to the future of China's state-controlled capitalism, in conversation with Lionel Barber.

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Malaysia: Healing the Nation

What is the “Malaysian nation” – and what is the state of its health? In this lecture Tunku 'Abidin Muhriz considers the competing versions of the Malaysian nation, and the resultant divergent prognoses and calls to action.

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Post-Coup Thailand: Anxiety over the Royal Succession

Dr Pavin Chachavalpongpun discusses the unlikeliness of stabilising Thai politics, as voters become alienated in the political process à la Prayuth, and large-scale violent protests are seen as unavoidable in order to restore democracy.

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LSE Literary Festival 2015 - Southeast Asia Panel (P)

This year ASEAN becomes an integrated economic community. Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Nickson Fong and Yang-May Ooi ask: what is the culture that sits comfortably with Southeast Asia's place in the global economy?

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Hong Kong: The Struggle at the End of History (P)

Prof Danny Quah, Prof Conor Gearty, Isabella Steger and Raymond Li discuss how the Umbrella Revolution has re-ignited a worldwide debate on democracy in particular, and a battle over success in economic and political governance.

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