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Tigers and Dragons: Sustainable Security in Asia and Australasia


by Chris Abbott and Sophie Marsden

Asia is a region in transition, and transition creates uncertainty. The political, economic and societal landscape is shifting, with major new powers emerging and smaller states attempting to protect their interests in this changing dynamic. At the same time, climate change and the other long-term emerging threats to security will require regional responses and thus a degree of regional unity.

This report is based on the outcomes of a consultation that Oxford Research Group and the Singapore Institute of International Affairs held in Singapore in September 2008. Bringing together security experts, academics, government officials and civil society leaders from across Asia and Australasia, the two-day meeting explored the implications of the sustainable security framework for the region. The Ford Foundation-funded consultation was the first in a series of six regional meetings to be held over 2008-09 as part of ORG's Moving Towards Sustainable Security programme.

The meeting identified the regional drivers of insecurity as:

- Maintaining state integrity
- The regional power shift
- Environmental and humanitarian disasters

The blockages to achieving change in the region were identified as:

- The regional focus on sovereignty and non-interference
- The lack of inclusive and effective regional security architecture
- The absence of a powerful but respected and neutral country to take the lead
- The report includes an integrated analysis of these issues, together with recommendations for policy-makers.