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The Forgotten Organ: Why the United Nations Secretariat Underperforms and What Can Be Done about It

May 11, 2006

The United Nations Secretariat--the main part of the UN bureaucracy directly under the Secretary-General--has arguably changed or been challenged more than any other part of the UN system in recent...

The Failure of International Policy on Burma: History and Prospect

May 10, 2006

For nearly twenty years, an array of mainly Western governments, NGOs, and international organizations including the UN have tried to promote democracy in Burma using sanctions and diplomacy.

The Thaksinization of Thailand: Ironies of Constitutional Reform

November 17, 2005

In Thailand in 1997 reformers drafted a new constitution. They hoped to trigger dramatic improvements in the country's political system.

Inside ASEAN: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and the Non-Interference Controversy

May 10, 2005

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has long been based on the principle of national sovereignty, including a norm against interference by one member state in another's domestic...

Dangling by a Thread: Southeast Asia Since the End of Apparel Export Quotas

May 9, 2005

Apparel export quotas that defined the worldwide garment trade for four decades ended on 1 January 2005. Trade data since then suggest that production has shifted from Southeast Asia to China.

Thaksin on Top: Interpreting Thai Politics

April 11, 2005

Thailand has gone through an extraordinary six months. In October in the south, a protest by Muslims in Tak Bai triggered a deadly overreaction by security forces.

Will the Real ASEAN Please Stand Up? Security, Community, and Democracy in Southeast Asia

April 5, 2005

In 2007 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be forty years old. Yet the most basic questions about it remain controversial. What exactly is it? An organization? A discourse?

Stardust and Reckoning: The End of the Age of American Innocence

April 12, 2004

America has done more than any other country to change the world. Yet, paradoxically, America is one of the countries least prepared to handle the world that it has changed.

Regimes of Truth, Mobs of Anger, Companies for Profit: Who Makes the News

May 1, 2003

Journalism in Southeast Asia is triply constrained. In a given country, the regime in power may impose censorship or induce self-censorship.

Why Governance Matters: Preventing Deadly Conflict in Indonesia and Burma

February 27, 2002

Indonesia has seen no respite from its turbulent politics, faltering economy, and simmering conflicts since mass pressure forced President Soeharto from office in 1998 after decades of...

Cambodia Shadowed by its Past

May 21, 2001

Nearly a quarter-century has elapsed since the Khmer Rouge held power in Cambodia (1975-78).

United States-Vietnam Relations: From MIAs to Full Dialogue

February 24, 2001

Dennis Harter is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and a Foreign Service Officer (since 1966) specializing in Asian Affairs.