4th Quarter 2015 RSIS Bakrie Report by Prof. Barry Desker


This report highlights important issues and developments affecting the Southeast Asian region in the fourth quarter of 2015 and has been prepared in fulfilment of RSIS’s contribution arising from the endowment of the Bakrie Professorship in Southeast Asia Policy at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. It reviews the policy implications of key developments for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its member states. In this issue, four major developments are covered: (1) America’s rebalance policy; (2) Myanmar’s election; (3) The ASEAN Summit; and (4) The ASEAN Economic Community.

This paper was prepared by Jesse C. Caemmerer, Research Analyst at RSIS, under the close supervision of Barry Desker, Distinguished Fellow and Bakrie Professor of Southeast Asia Policy, RSIS.




Policy Paper on Asia First Quartery Report 2014



Myanmar formally assumed its first-ever tenure as chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The chairmanship is seen as a reward for Myanmar’s recent political reforms under President Thein Sein, and concurrently as a test of both Myanmar’s reforms and its capacity to catch up with neighbours. Attention will be given to how Myanmar will tackle the South China Sea issue given its Paukphaw relations with China, and how Myanmar’s domestic issues such as its on-going political reforms and the Burmese government’s handling of communal violence targeting Muslims. While it will face a number of challenges, Myanmar is expected to adequately handle the chairmanship role.