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APAPAsia Pacific Agenda Project

Second Forum: Bali, Indonesia
January 11-12, 1997


Summary of Presentations

| Session I | Session II | Session III |

Session I

Part I

Paul Evans, professor of international relations in the Department of Political Science at York University in Toronto and director of the University of Toronto - York University Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies, was the first speaker at the conference. He began his discussion by referring to "Asia Pacific Policy Networks: Background Paper," a paper written by himself and Dr. Charles E. Morrison, coordinator of the APEC Study Center in Honolulu, for the Asia Pacific Agenda Project Tokyo Forum in November 1995. * The paper was largely an impressionistic one, and there has not been much systematic inventory of policy-related research in Asia Pacific.

There were two major developments in nongovernmental policy-related research during 1996. One was the creation of the Council on Asia-Europe Cooperation, a group of twelve research institutions in Asia and Europe formed as a response to a specific request made at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in March 1996 for greater Asia-Europe exchange and cooperation.

The other major development was the new involvement of China in multilateral discussions on Asia Pacific security. Chinese officials have shown an interest in politico-security dialogue in the last six months. They joined the Council for Security Cooperation in Asia Pacific (CSCAP), and cooperated with efforts to "engage" China in formal and informal dialogue and processes in the international arena. China agreed to a track two exchange with Canada focusing on Asia Pacific policy. In addition, exchanges with scholars and government officials in Asia Pacificrelated processes and research institutions have been undertaken. We now have the opportunity to collaborate with China more than ever before.

Professor Evans described four ideas that require further exploration by actors in track two diplomacy activities. First, there is a need for better communication among actors. We need to have an efficient mechanism to monitor on-going policy-related research projects.

The second idea deals with expanding the scope of actors. Track two processes have focused on the research community and government officials. Leaders of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) need to be involved, too. This is a difficult job but a necessary one. Recently, more NGO representatives have been attending large meetings and workshops and dealing with new projects, such as development and security in Southeast Asia. We need to find a way to involve some of the leaders, even if it means somewhat altering our topics to fit into NGOs' agenda.

Third, South Asian scholars should be integrated into Asia Pacific dialogue.

Fourth, there should be some discussion on how involvement in multilateral dialogue has affected those involved. This might entail discussion of such topics as deflation of resources, establishment of novel topics, and questions of organization of knowledge.

Dr. Morrison continued the discussion with a look at the way networks have evolved over the last thirty years. According to Dr. Morrison, the early independent policy-related networks, the first of which was the Pacific Trade and Development Conference series, were strictly dialogues. They were supply driven, and the participants were not very aware of who their audience was. Their leadership was diffuse, and they depended on national resources. The strength of current networks lies in the facts that they are genuinely multilateral, deal with a growing number of issues, have increasing connections with policy-making communities, receive funding from an expanding base, and involve new members, both in terms of geography (i.e., China) and in terms of members (i.e., relatively young scholars).

Despite the improvements that have been made in independent networks over the past several decades, there are still several issues that have to be addressed. One is the networks' relationship with policymakers, which is still rather weak. Another is the stability of funding. Networks generally do not receive endowments, so they are not guaranteed longevity. The third is human resources. There are many good academics who would be able to contribute to the networks, but often they are not interested in the topics being addressed. Finally, there are various country-specific problems that block progress on the preceding three issues. The very fact that networks move across communities poses problems to their expansion.

Dr. Morrison brought up three options that were also discussed at the first Asia Pacific Agenda Project Forum in Tokyo in 1995. Participants in the networks can choose to continue as they are, engaging in ad hoc networks. Or, they can strive for stronger coordination among individual networks. The final option is to set up a regional institution to replace current networks. Most actors would agree that the first option is no longer desirable, but the third option is overambitious and premature. The only option left, and the task that scholars involved in the networks must face, is to strengthen coordination among the existing diffuse networks.

Part II

The second part of session one was devoted to discussions of recent developments in individual networks over the past several years. Dr. Carolina Hernandez, president of the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies in the Philippines, opened with a discussion of the ASEAN Institutes of Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN-ISIS).

Although some of the member institutes were already involved in independent policy-related research before the launching, ASEAN-ISIS was officially launched in 1984 in the same room as where the Bali Forum took place. The charter was adopted in 1988. The leadership of ASEAN-ISIS remains, in a sense, diffuse.

One member of each ASEAN country was chosen to be a member institute of ASEAN-ISIS. The network is forward-looking, in that they have kept one step ahead of ASEAN membership, by studying and attempting to involve Vietnam before it was made a member of ASEAN. They are currently attempting to involve other Southeast Asian countries that may be granted ASEAN membership in the near future.

In June of 1991, ASEAN-ISIS began sending policy reports to their respective governments. The reports recommended steps for ASEAN to take. Steps recommended in the first report included convening a politico-security dialogue in ASEAN (which became the ASEAN Regional Forum, or ARF); striving for enhanced economic cooperation through the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA); thinking about enhancing security cooperation among the military, civilian leaders, and government officials; and holding regular ASEAN summit meetings every two years. Reports since then have dealt with such issues as human rights, confidence building and security, ASEAN's continued involvement in Cambodian reconstruction, the South China Sea, and Vietnam's involvement in ASEAN (in a confidential memo). The institutes also sent a letter to each government requesting that they exercise great deliberation when discussing Myanmar's membership, warning them of the importance of maintaining their reputation.

Dr. Hernandez outlined several measures that should be taken to expand the network. First, networking has to be strengthened. Second, despite the fear that dealing with South Asian issues might bog them down, South Asian scholars should be involved. Third, dialogue with China, Taiwan, and South Korea should take place. Fourth, the issue of diffusion of leadership must be addressed. Finally, innovative topics should be discussed.

One criticism that is often heard about ASEAN-ISIS is that, rather than engaging in serious academic work, they overwhelmingly deal with quick-response issues.

ASEAN-ISIS is making attempts to link development and security, but both are broadly defined.

The next speaker was Chia Siow Yue, director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore, who reviewed the institute's history and recent achievements, with emphasis on the role ISEAS is playing in the formation of ASEAN-10. Since its inception in 1968, ISEAS has focused solely on regional issues and studied policies in an ASEAN-10 context. The institute's intra-ASEAN research looks at industrial cooperation and economic cooperation among ASEAN members.

The institute's Indochina program is researching both political and economic topics, especially concerning Vietnam but also concerning Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. A twice yearly training program aims to prepare Indochinese officials, journalists, and scholars for their countries' admission into ASEAN. The knowledge ISEAS was able to provide Vietnam on itself and on ASEAN was a key resource for that state's preparation and first year in the regional body. It is expected that Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar will similarly benefit from ISEAS's years of study and analysis.

Next, Dr. Evans spoke about CSCAP, which he described as being at the point of take-off. They have gone beyond the issue of membership—by admitting China and Vietnam—and have shifted their focus to important topics to be researched and discussed. There are four groups within CSCAP set up to deal with specific topics, including maritime issues, confidence building, comprehensive security, and North Pacific affairs.

CSCAP faces two major challenges. One is to make the working groups provide policy-relevant material to policymakers while retaining their creative influence on intellectual work. The other challenge is to influence policy discussions by involving policymakers in the dialogue. However, they have found that it is hard to maintain a good balance between creativity and relevance.

CSCAP has a couple of models to follow. It can function as a filter by picking up topics from other fora and molding them into a package for ARF. Or, it can provide a creative package of its own. To do this, it will have to do more than look for the lowest common denominator among countries. Whether CSCAP will want to create policy topics depends on funding and what the organizers see as the prospects of doing such.

CSCAP is currently discussing the concept of an annual security outlook. Members are discussing whether it should simply be an exchange/dialogue or whether it should consist of research with new information or interpretations. Again, it is faced with the challenge of finding a balance among independence, creativity, and relevance.

Finally, Dr. Evans emphasized the need for continued track three dialogue among people interested in, but not a part of, the institution. Cooperation between track two and track three efforts must be enhanced.

The next speaker was Hanns Maull, professor of foreign policy and international relations at the University of Trier, and the only European participant at the forum. Dr. Maull spoke about the Council on Asia-Europe Cooperation (CAEC), a new initiative and one of several track two processes attached to the ASEM process. CAEC was created as a response to a request made at the first ASEM in March 1996, and it consists of six think tanks in Asia Pacific and six think tanks in Europe.

There have been three elements during this short period of CAEC's existence. The first is a growing sense of community in Asia Pacific. The second is the dialogue that has been going on between Europe and Japan since 1970. The third is Europe's surge of interest in Asia.

CAEC will begin with two projects, each undertaken by a task force. The first project is an inventory of European studies in Asia and of Asian studies in Europe, undertaken by Tadashi Yamamoto of the Japan Center for International Exchange and Gerry Segal of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies in London. The second project is a study on the justification of dialogue between Europe and Asia, undertaken by Carolina Hernandez, Hadi Soesastro of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, and Sam Nutall of the London School of Economics. Aside from these two projects, the destinations of CAEC are still unknown.

Dr. Han Sung-joo, of the Ilmin International Research Institute in Korea, took the floor next with a discussion of ARF. According to Dr. Han, ARF was created in order to bring the private sector into security dialogue. This is not an easy task because the private sector is a large community.

Dr. Han began his discussion by describing ARF's characteristics. It is an ASEAN model, in its genesis, evolution, and operation, with track two efforts playing a key role. ARF's emphasis is on confidence building and conflict management rather than collective military measures. It is multilateral, and despite its slow evolution, it has made an irrevocable movement forward. Discussions deal with confidence building, preventative diplomacy, and conflict avoidance and management.

ASEAN countries had several motives in mind when they took the initiative to establish ARF. First is leadership. ASEAN countries have little chance to take a leadership role in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), but they can and do lead in ARF. Second is the issue of China and the conflict that ASEAN countries are involved in over the South China Seas. Third is the urging for such a creation by Japan, Australia, and Canada. Fourth is the opportunity to involve countries that are not a part of the ASEAN post-ministerial conferences, such as China, Vietnam, Laos, Russia, and the European Union. Fifth is the opportunity to deal with the question of the East Asian Economic Conference. Sixth is the leading role that ministries of foreign affairs in ASEAN countries are able to play in ARF, thereby bringing them into the circle of dialogue.

Dr. Han continued with a discussion of what ARF is not. It is not a collective military response. It does not deal with specific conflicts. It is not a binding decision-making mechanism or a standing organization.

Non-ASEAN countries all have their own motives for getting involved in ARF. China does not want to be left out of things happening in Asia. It wants to keep the United States and Japan in check. It also wants to maintain its good relations with ASEAN countries and keep Taiwan and Hong Kong out of the dialogue. The United States became involved during a change of administration. It mostly sees ARF as an opportunity to engage China by bringing it into the multilateral fold. Japan, like China, fears being left out of events in the region. It wants to keep China in check and sees ARF as a good way to deal with its security "allergy." Russia is a part of the collective Asian security system, and sees ARF as a good opportunity to establish a foothold with ASEAN in Asia Pacific. Korea wants to be a part of the multilateral security context and wants to improve its relations with ASEAN and China. It also has fears of being left out. Finally, the "middle non-Asia powers" of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are interested in multilateral dialogue outside of the U.S. orbit.

Some of the issues ARF is currently concerned with include the possibility of an ARF summit; the desired extent of ASEAN leadership; membership; institutionalism; the role of NGOs; the creation of a secretariat; and involvement in activities related to confidence building, preventative diplomacy and mediation, non-proliferation and arms control, peacekeeping, and maritime security cooperation.

Peter Geithner, former director of Asia programs at the Ford Foundation, made the final presentation of session one. He began with his impressions of how research and dialogue networks have evolved over the past twenty-five years that he has been involved in facilitating funding for and otherwise encouraging such activities.

Fifteen years ago no one could imagine the expanse of the networks that exists in Asia Pacific today or the variety of institutions and individuals they would engage, the range of issues they would address, or the contribution to policy they would make. When Mr. Geithner first became involved in what is now called track two diplomacy, research and analysis on security issues was viewed as the exclusive preserve of a small number of officials and political leaders. Relevant data and information were classified. Debate on appropriate policy responses was "closed," and any "outside" discussion was itself viewed as a threat to national security and punishable accordingly.

Leaders and officials saw themselves struggling to create national unity and effective control over highly diverse societies. Fearing a breakdown in local order, they were preoccupied with maintaining stability. While recognizing the need to reform, they were equally concerned to keep control of the process. They tended in those circumstances to be sensitive to criticism, intolerant of dissent, unaccepting of the legitimacy of broader discussion of security issues, let alone participation in decision making, and reluctant to provide access to data.

Mr. Geithner backed up these impressions with an example of an article published in a Thai newspaper in the early 1980s, criticizing the Thai military's decision to purchase F-15s. Upon reading the article, Mr. Geithner was amazed not only that an academic would risk writing such an article but that a daily newspaper would actually print it.

Most of the institutions represented at the conference did not exist fifteen—let alone twenty-five—years ago or, if they did, they were doing quite different work than they are today. For example, ISEAS was founded only in 1968, JCIE in 1970, and CSIS in 1971. Of the current members of ASEAN-ISIS, only CSIS existed fifteen years ago.

That the community of such institutions has grown so rapidly and has come to play a significant role in public debate and discussion and in policymaking reflects the interaction between demand and supply. Governments, however reluctantly, have become more appreciative of the need to reach out beyond their own internal resources for expertise in dealing with the increasingly complex range of political, security, and economic issues. And, they have been encouraged to do so by the existence of institutions able to conduct relevant research and to organize collaboration across institutional and geographic boundaries.

Much of the credit for these developments belongs to the first generation of institution builders. If the models that guided their efforts were in some cases foreign, they made them relevant to their own institutional and cultural contexts. They managed to carve out space close to but autonomous from government. They pioneered in demonstrating the value of, and therefore in legitimizing, research and analysis by nongovernmental institutions. They convinced skeptical funders to support their efforts. They found imaginative ways of attracting staff of increasing quality and competence despite the lack of security and the low salary scales. They established links with similar institutions in other countries, within the region and beyond. They built their institutions no longer solely dependent on the energy, initiative, and connections of their founders.

Mr. Geithner praised the "founding fathers and mothers" of the current institutions, those who were present in Bali and those who weren't, for their achievements in the face of the indifferent, skeptical, often even hostile environment in which they had to make their way. Thanks in large part to their efforts, nongovernmental regional security research and dialogue has become accepted, respected, and emulated.

We are living in a world—nationally, regionally, and internationally—characterized by what has been referred to as the "four mores": more issues, more actors, more competition, and more conflict. All governments in the region, regardless of their formal political systems, are struggling with the tension between pressures for broader participation in public decision making and the need for effective governance. Governments and an increasingly wide range of citizens are becoming more sophisticated in their understanding of the issues and demanding higher quality research and analysis.

Next, Mr. Geithner described some of the challenges that new and existing institutions seeking to serve the public good will be faced with as a result of this growing demand.

The first challenge is one of leadership. While much has been accomplished to create genuine institutions, the first generation of leaders still play critical roles in key centers. Preparing for new leadership will require a conscious strategy and advance planning. Transitions from the first to successor generation of leadership—whether of governments or other institutions—is never easy but nonetheless essential.

New leaders will face new challenges. Because of what the first generation has accomplished, their successors may have to worry less about establishing a separate identity and autonomy, but they will need to focus more on cooperation with other organizations, public and private, and transnationally. Successful cooperation will require new skills. New leaders will also need the ability to effectively manage what in some cases are staffs in the hundreds and budgets in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The second challenge is one of governance. More attention will need to be given to strengthening governing structures and to building effective boards and advisory bodies to act as vehicles to enhance accountability and transparency.

The third challenge is one of staffs. Core competencies are likely to remain in political science, international relations, and economics, but ways will need to be found to access expertise in other fields, as issues such as migration, crime, the environment, and health now figure more prominently in concerns with security. Staffing will also need to reflect the diversity of the broader society, as interests become more differentiated and underrepresented groups clamor for a voice in decision making. Salaries and benefits will need to be adjusted to meet the growing competition from the private sector.

The fourth challenge is one of funding. Significant progress has been made in diversifying sources of funding, but most would agree that we still have a long way to go. If institutions are to flexibly retain control over their own research agendas and respond to changing needs, the prevailing dependence on project funding will have to be supplemented by more endowment and program funding. Increasing core funding will require educating a new generation of funding agencies, more attention to internal rather than external sources, and more professional expertise in fund raising. It will be particularly important as well as difficult to reduce dependence on personal connections and professionalize giving.

The fifth challenge is outreach. As participation in decision making becomes broader, it will be necessary to learn how to reach more diverse audiences and new constituencies—not only officials, legislators, and political leaders but also nongovernmental organizations, business leaders, and community groups. Even within governments, the broadening security agenda will require reaching out beyond ministries of foreign affairs and defense to ministries of commerce, health, environment, and others. In more open participatory decision making environments, who sets the agenda will often determine how issues are perceived and responded to.

The sixth challenge is managing tensions. New leaders will face the continuing challenge of managing the inevitable tensions between concentration and scatteration, breadth and depth in the range of issues they seek to address; between continuity and change in pursing those issues; and between significance and manageability, between reach and grasp, in the objectives sought.

Mr. Geithner closed with a description of a good think tank that can meet the challenges outlined above, which he quoted from the Economist. According to the article, a good think tank is one that combines "intellectual depth, political influence, a flair for publicity, comfortable surroundings, and a streak of eccentricity." A think tank that is not able to meet the challenges is one that is known for its "pedantry, irrelevance, obscurity, poverty, and conventionality." His prognosis for the future of the institutions represented at the forum was that they would be sufficiently "clever, connected, canny, cushy, and kooky" to achieve their goals and successfully deal with the above challenges.

Session II

Session two consisted of a report on the workshop on "Domestic Adjustments in the Face of Globalization" that took place on January 10.

Hadi Soesastro, a member of the board of directors of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and one of the two co-coordinators of the project, began with a background of the project and a summary of the discussion that took place at the workshop. The first question he addressed was why research on domestic adjustments and globalization is relevant. Southeast Asia has been opening up at a very rapid pace, and it is generally believed that this trend will continue. Domestic adjustments to deal with the new pressures and opportunities that globalization presents have been made in all the countries, but little study of what those adjustments are has been done.

Next, Dr. Soesastro defined what is meant by globalization and domestic adjustments. Globalization is not a new phenomenon, as integration of markets, driven by various factors, has been going on for a long time. However, there are several questions about globalization that we still do not have answers to. Will this lead to a "borderless" world? Does it have a homogeneous effect? Will policy eventually converge? Will state power be weakened? What will be the effect on individuals, communities, etc.? Because globalization is not based on an ideology or theory but on pragmatism, it will continue as long as it delivers economic growth. Further evidence that there still is not consensus on what globalization means is the difficulty many countries have had in finding a local translation of the word itself.

The next logical question is why we should study domestic adjustments. There is little argument that globalization is taking place and that the only logical strategy is to participate in it. However, the fact that participation in globalization requires domestic adjustments is not as readily evident or as widely accepted.

Dr. Soesastro next described the two levels of domestic adjustments. The first level is the opening up of the economy as a direct result of globalization. The second level is the taking of measures deemed necessary to deal with the impact of the opening up that takes place on the first level.

There are several differences in adjustments being made in the countries in the study. Some countries are still dealing with the first level of adjustment. Some went through a very practical process of adjustment, and some went through a kind of "big bang" process (i.e., New Zealand). The second level of adjustment is considered more difficult than the first, and some countries are more ready to deal with it than others. Several factors that have created these differences include different political systems, differences in presence of institutions, differences in size of the economies, and differences of the nature of societies. The results of the domestic adjustments are largely positive, so, in general, they enjoy public support, but in the countries that are experiencing comparatively more problems, there is more resistance.

In their papers, the authors pointed to several impacts of domestic adjustments that are taking place. Policy options have become narrower. Globalization has produced more economic growth, which in turn has produced more income inequality. A sense of economic insecurity has grown as the state has become less able to protect its citizens and workers. Society has become more polarized. Finally, the standards of living, the environment, and labor have gone down.

Several agendas for research were brought up at the workshop. One is to look at the impact of globalization on political sovereignty. The second is to explore the reasons behind the increased economic disparities and what can be done about them. The third is the impact of globalization on culture, communities, and citizenship. The fourth is the capacity of governments to respond. An important step in addressing these new research topics will be to educate new scholars to handle the topics.

The next speaker was Dr. Morrison, the other co-coordinator of the project. Dr. Morrison asserted that globalization resonates in domestic societies more than other topics. However, much of that resonation is based on citizens' perceptions of globalization, not on reality. As a result, globalization has had more of an impact on domestic societies than is realistically necessary.

Many of the issues of globalization are common to all the countries, but they are still diverse in terms of their levels of liberalization and economic development. Two aspects were brought up repeatedly throughout the discussions at the workshop. One is the concern about the difficulty of weak states to respond effectively to globalization. The other is that although globalization is considered a threat, it is difficult to find a specific target and therefore difficult to respond.

There is a difference of opinion among experts regarding the desired pace of globalization. For example, many people complain that there is too little globalization in Northeast Asia, but political scientists say the problem is too much globalization.

In APEC, trade liberalization has come to be a measure of success. This has caused it to be pushed too hard, so that it could actually hurt community building. It is necessary to take a look at who the beneficiaries are and who the losers are of such a strategy.

Session III

Session three consisted of a report and discussion on the New Security Agenda papers that were discussed at a workshop on January 10.

Dr. Paul Stares, a senior research fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs and the coordinator of the project, gave a summary of the discussions that took place at the workshop. He began with the assertion that the boundaries between economics and security are almost indecipherable now. The discussions in the second session are relevant to those in the third because globalization is responsible for many security issues.

Many new issues emerged internationally after the end of the cold war. They include: terrorism, organized crime, ethnic conflict, drug trafficking, environmental degradation, resource depletion, poverty, uneven development, and overpopulation. Most issues have been dealt with independently, and there has not been a good survey of the concerns and perceptions thereof. There are, therefore, two goals of the study on the new security agenda. One is to achieve conceptual clarity, and the other to compile a global survey of the issues.

There is debate over why the above issues are considered new and how they are security challenges. They are often grouped together in various ways. Sometimes they are grouped in cause and effect groups, sometimes in short- and long-term issue groups, and sometimes as results of government or private actions. There is not much relative concern or ranking of importance of issues. There is, however, general agreement that they require new measures. Various new measures have been discussed, but none of them have actually been carried out.

It is helpful to think in terms of new security paradigms to determine the relative priority and to find means of addressing the concerns. The traditional paradigm is the realist approach. Security involves a military threat that requires a military response. The state is the primary security reformer. The new paradigm is the enlightened traditionalist paradigm. Interstate conflict is declining due to increased democratization, growing cost of war, and economic interdependence (which also brings about vulnerability and fear of exposure). The state is centric and focuses on outside threats. There is a growing sense of systemic threats. The globalist/humanist paradigm requires that the global community—humans—should be the unit. Threats are to the environment and the survival of its people.

Each paradigm has specific characteristics. The traditional response is to punish with the military. The enlightened response is prioritized differently state-to-state. The globalist/humanist response places priority on safeguarding the ecosystem and ranking genocidal significance, and it requires ambitious programs.

There were several areas of consensus at the workshop. The authors agreed that the issues are not new or purely postcold war issues; they are simply more prominent now that cold war concerns have diminished. The authors also agreed that the meaning of security has never been narrowly defined in terms of hard security. Except for the Southwest Pacific, traditional security concerns still predominate in the region even though new ones are more prevalent than they were before. The security of the state remains paramount, with little vertical movement beyond the state outside of the ARF efforts. Finally, the new security agenda has rarely been discussed collectively, even among academics. There is evidence that this is changing now that governments have begun to see the importance of research.

There were also several differences in the way the authors' countries deal with the new security agenda. First, the ranking of importance of issues varies, as context is an important factor in ranking. The lowest common denominators are economic insecurity and environmental degradation. Second, some issues are perceived as resulting from external pressure and others from internal situations. Third, there were differences in how the issues became defined as new security—top down, bottom up, or crisis-driven.

Dr. Stares ended his discussion with two suggestions for future research. There should be a focus on conflict potential and research on the relationship among the issues.