Region Asia

A voter displays his inked finger for a photograph after casting his vote at a polling station during the third phase of voting for national elections in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, April 10, 2014.
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Indias sixteenth general election is underway this April and May. Much of the contestation will be about the state of the country's economy, the quality of governance, the future of secularism and inevitably about the quality of leadership. However, will the voters reflect at all on foreign policy when they go to the ballots?

Nuclear Power Corp.'s Kudankulam plant is seen in the background as a man walks through a field
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Undeterred by the Fukushima disaster, and notwithstanding the shoddy performance of its Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), India is forging ahead with ambitious plans to expand its nuclear energy generation capacity manifold from the present 4,780 megawatts.

Young protesters Kabul
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The youth in Afghanistan is demanding a change. With social media, arts, newly established organizations and initiatives young Afghans are mobilizing against war and corruption in their country.

Dossiers

2014 is viewed as one of the most important years since the Afghan transition process began, over a decade ago. Western troops are being drawn down and more importantly, the first presidential and provincial elections autonomously organised within the country, will present a further important step within the political transition process. This dossier provides analyses, profiles, interviews, as well as studies that will shed light on the events of what is an important year for Afghanistan.

India finds itself in a difficult transformation process. This dossier strives to make the country in its diversity more tangible. And to correspond with the upcoming parliamentary elections, it also makes room for a variety of socio-political and economic policy analyses and debate, and aims to define India’s foreign policy role.

The 2013 elections in Cambodia are hardly expected to be free and fair. In this dossier, we examine what this means for the future of the country. Through analyses, interviews, films and studies, we pursue a critical discussion about Cambodia’s development, and give a say to Cambodian and German representatives of civil society and politics.

Publications

Cover image of the study "New Citizen’s Activism in India"

New forms of protest movements have made their entry into the political arena in recent years in India. This study revisits the recent history of new protest movements in India. It analyses their causes and actors, their dynamics and forms of action, and their supporters and critics.

This second issue of "Perspectives Asia" provides a forum for the voices of authors from various Asian countries to express their thoughts on possible development models for the region. How can we achieve prosperity for all, without doing long-term damage to nature or threatening the subsistence of entire populations?

The overarching objective of this paper is to provide recommendations for the implementation of gender quotas in Cambodia. The paper first considers why it is important to achieve gender equality in politics, and asks eight individuals, who are working in Cambodia to promote the role of women in politics, why they think it is necessary for women to be represented in politics.

Gender

Simia Ramish

Simia Ramish is a civil rights activist and journalist. As a candidate in the Herat provincial council election she aims to play an active role in politics. In this interview she explains her goals and wishes for Afghanistan.

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Never will women’s rights be sacrificed in talks with the Taliban and never will the Afghan government close women shelters. These are the promises President Karzai made to his people in the middle of a heated debate on women’s rights in Afghanistan. These are two major commitments. Judging by the overall political trends in the country, it might not be easy to stick to them. The Afghan population and international community should watch about the implementation and take the president by his word.

Democracy

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The opposition in Thailand continues to occupy Bangkok. The protests have been accompanied by widespread rumors of a coup as well as social tensions. Elaine Haller from our office in Bangkok analyzes the reasons for the escalation of the events.

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In the recent elections Premier Hun Sen of Cambodia has learned that a large part of the Cambodians want a new political leadership. But even though his party has lost many votes, a change in the repressive political system is currently very unlikely.

Video

Dr. Adil Najam is a leading global expert on issues related to developing country environmental policy, especially climate change. In this interview, that was conducted on November 11, 2013 in conjunction with our lecture series "Understand Pakistan", he speaks about his expectations for the COP19 in Warsaw. He underlines the importance of international agreements and calls for immediate action. He doesn't expect a significant accord to be signed in Warsaw this year - even though he wishes an agreement to be made.

 

Ecology

Boy planting a tree
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Days before the presidential elections in Afghanistan much is discussed amongst the candidates: foreign policies, economic development and reconstruction of the country. No or little attention is being paid to environmental protection, neither from the candidates nor from the people.

Resources and water in Afghanistan
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The country’s natural resources, especially its abundance of water, could bring great benefits to the Afghans – but only if the right conditions can be achieved. A summary of "Afghanistan's Transition in the Making?"

Perspectives Asia

In this issue, our authors report on conflicts stemming from coal and copper mining in Afghanistan, India, and Myanmar. The articles on Cambodia and on Inner Mongolia in China illustrate how the traditional economic models and ways of life of indigenous populations suffer from the unrestrained exploitation of raw materials.

All Issues