The Perth USAsia Centre is pleased to announce the launch of our inaugural Indo-Pacific Fellows program.
Since its inception in 2014, the Perth USAsia Centre has focused on building relationships and strengthening strategic thinking across the Indo-Pacific. Critical to this mission has been our network of experts and policy leaders from around the region, who bring a diversity of national and thematic perspectives to our research, dialogues and commentary.
Indeed, the need for informed and reliable perspectives from the Indo-Pacific has never been higher. At no time in living memory have societies across the globe been under such intense social, economic and institutional pressures.
The most immediate is the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic itself, which is testing the capacity of health systems across the world. But as governments throughout the world begin to implement much-needed public health initiatives, a wide range of knock on effects will soon become apparent. Economic systems will be put under immense strain, as a range of activities previously considered normal become restricted, if not temporarily impossible. New security challenges surrounding how to safely enable the cross-border movement of people, money and goods will need to be managed. Mechanisms for international cooperation – essential in the management of a global-scale crisis – will need to speedily and smoothly adapt to these new realities.
In other words, most of the things we knew about the Indo-Pacific are going to suddenly and dramatically change.
In these difficult times, the importance of international cooperation cannot be understated. Whether in the health, security, economic or political domains, the challenges we face are inherently international in character. No country can hope to succeed by ‘going it alone’. And for Australia – a country that is deeply integrated with the Indo-Pacific – it is essential to understand how developments in our key regional partners are shaping the possibilities for international cooperation.
It is against this backdrop that the Centre is launching an Indo-Pacific Fellows program this year. We have appointed one Non-Resident Fellow from five key countries in the region, who will contribute expert analysis to our suite of programs and publications. The Fellows are all foreign policy thought leaders, and will offer explanation and analysis of challenges facing both their country and the wider region.
Our inaugural Indo-Pacific Fellows for 2020 include:
- Australia – Dr Priya Chacko, University of Adelaide. Priya specialises in the politics, political economy and foreign policy of the Indo-Pacific, with a focus on Australia and India.
- India – Dr Rajeswari Rajagopalan, Observer Research Foundation. Raji is an expert on Asian strategic issues, and currently head’s the ORF’s Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative.
- Indonesia – Dr Poppy Sulistyaning Winanti, Universitas Gadjah Mada. Poppy’s research interests cover global and regional trade relations, the politics of ASEAN relations, and Indonesia’s economic diplomacy.
- Japan – Hanada Ryosuke, Japan Institute of International Affairs. Ryosuke’s work focuses on Japan’s foreign policy, particularly in terms of its engagement with Asian regionalism and security cooperation.
- Vietnam – Dr Chu Minh Thao, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. Thao is a Senior Research Fellow who leads DAV’s research into regional economic integration, global governance and trade policy.
The diversity of our Fellows’ expertise – across both national and thematic domains – will offer a unique window into how countries of the Indo-Pacific are individually and collectively adjusting to these new and challenging times.
Over the coming months, our Indo-Pacific Fellows for 2020 will be offering expert analyses of social, political, economic and security developments from the region. They will contribute analysis briefs, blogs, interviews, and explainers to the Centre’s programs. We will regularly feature their work in communications with our network of nearly 10,000 stakeholders from across the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
Normally, the Centre would ‘bring our experts to you’, through our extensive program of events, conferences and dialogues. Unfortunately, current travel restrictions make this impractical for the foreseeable future. But as our CEO Gordon Flake recently explained
, the Centre will deploy new and innovative ways to share our Fellow’s insights via electronic platforms. Videos, interviews and webinars will allow us to continue to virtually bring our experts to you.
The Centre is very fortunate to be able to appoint such a high calibre and diverse group of experts for its inaugural Indo-Pacific Fellows program. Please look out for their work in the coming months.