Inside Asia - CAD Podcasts

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We've begun a new project -- Inside Asia -- where we'll bring you regular podcasts on items of interests related to Asia and Asian politics.

Inside Asia Talking Politics #1 - Talking the UK/Brexit Vote

University of Louisville Political Science Department professors, Dr. Jason Abbott, Dr. Andrew MacDonald, and Dr. Tim Weaver discuss the recent vote in the UK to exit the European Union.

Inside Asia Number 13 -- Inside the recent Philippine election

On Monday May 9th a record 40 million Filipinos went to the polls in elections to determine the Presidency, Vice Presidency, the Senate and Congress. The results were a blow to the country’s ruling elite as maverick independent Rodrigo Duterte defeated his closest rival by over 6 million votes. Dubbed ‘the Punisher’ Duterte has pledged to introduce the controversial death squads that he used to reduce crime when mayor of the city of Davao nationwide vowing to kills tens of thousands of criminals. Many have pointed to the similarities between Duterte and the candidacy of Donald Trump in the United States Presidential election. Duterte like Trump has won support with his populist appeal and tough-talking, foul-mouth tirades against his opponents. Duterte even attacked Pope Francis in a country that remains staunchly Catholic. Joining me to discuss these election results and their significance is Professor David Buckley, the Paul Weber Chair in Politics, Science and Religion and specialist in Filipino politics.

Inside Asia Number 11 -- Inside March Madness Meets Asian Democracy

What do you get when you cross Asia-Pacific Democracy with March Madness? You get the Asia-Pacific Democracy Tournament 2016. Once again we’ve got a full bracket of 64 countries, using the widest possible definition of Asia, and we’ll have you vote on the match-ups to see who is the most democratic -- and we’ll give you some good stories along the way about how democracy is working, or not, in some of these countries. Voting will begin soon, in the meantime, we’ve brought you a podcast to explain the method behind our madness.

Inside Asia Number 8 -- Inside the democracies of Malaysia and Singapore

With the world watching Myanmar's process of democratization with the elections in early Nov., Malaysia appears to be going in the opposite direction. Join us as we talk with Dr. Surain Subramaniam from UNC-Asheville about the current state of democracy in Malaysia and in Singapore.

Inside Asia Number 7 -- Inside the Actvism of Wai Wai Nu

Earlier this year a humanitarian crisis took place across Southeast Asia, as upwards of 25,000 Rohingya tried to escape from Burma by cramming onto boats bound for Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The Rohingya are an ethnic group of some 1.3 million from Rakhine (Arakan) state in western Burma. Despite the fact that most Rohingya have lived in the country for generations the majority are denied citizenship and not recognized as one of the country’s official minorities. This crisis, however, was only the latest episode of ethnic violence in Myanmar. Since independence in 1948 Myanmar has been wracked by violence against the country’s myriad ethnic groups often resulting in civil conflict and insurgency. While the Rohingya crisis is the latest example of this there have been orchestrated campaigns against other groups including the Chin, the Kachin, the Karen, and the Shan.

One of the most vocal proponents of rights for the Rohingya during this recent crisis has been the 29-year-old activist Wai Wai Nu. Despite her relative youth, Wai Wai spent seven years in jail as a political prisoner in Burma’s infamous Insein prison between 2005 and 2012. Her crime was that her father was Kyaw Min, a member of the Committee Representing the People's Parliament, a group of MP-elects from the 1990 vote led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. In a closed trial Wai Wai’s father was sentenced to 47 years in jail, while Wai Wai herself received 17 years. Released in 2012 as part of the prisoner release program that accompanied the beginnings of reform in Burma Wai Wai founded the Women's Peace Network Arakan, to promote better understanding between Burma’s ethnic groups and Justice for Women, a network of female lawyers providing legal aid for the women of Burma.

Inside Asia Number 6 -- Inside Louisville's Asia Institute-Crane House

Bryan Warren is the Executive Director of Louisville’s Asia Institute-Crane House (AICH), an organization that promotes understanding of Asian culture and heritage through education, outreach, and the arts. In this week’s Inside Asia, we talk with Bryan about the Asian population in Louisville, about the inspiration of AICH’s founder Helen Lang, the programs of his organizations, and some of his favorite exhibits they’ve had there recently, including our collaboration showing the cartoons of Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar.

Inside Asia Number 5 -- Inside the Rohingya Refugee Crisis, PART TWO

In September 2007 Alex Bookbinder set up a Facebook page to coordinate support for the Buddhist monks in Burma who had begun to protest against the regime. That group would grow exponentially over the next few weeks and become the principal platform for the coordination of an international day of protest in over 27 countries worldwide. Five years later Alex returned to Burma as a freelance journalist where he has written for a variety of media outlets on the political changes underway in the country. Most recently he has turned his focus to the plight of the Rohingya minority and visited the internal displacement camps to which over 160,000 have either fled or been relocated. In today’s Inside Asia I talk to Alex about what he found in those camps and following on from the previous episode’s interview with Mark Farmaner discuss with him his analysis of this ongoing human tragedy.

Inside Asia Number 4 -- Inside the Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Over the past few weeks a humanitarian crisis has taken place across Southeast Asia as upwards of 25,000 Rohingya have tried to escape from Burma by cramming onto boats bound for Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. So far at least 300 have died in these crossings while recently discovered shallow graves in Malaysia and Thailand suggest many more have died at the hands of human traffickers. This crisis, however, is only the latest episode in what some have claimed is an orchestrated campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Burmese government against the country’s Muslim minority. Noticeable during this crisis, as well as during ethnic violence in 2012 and 2014, has been the failure of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi to condemn the repression. In this week’s Inside Asia we interview Mark Farmaner, director of the Burma Campaign Group UK to discuss these issues and more.

Inside Asia Number 3 -- Inside Indonesian social media and politics

According to a Pew study Indonesia has some of the highest levels of social media use in the world with more Indonesians using the Internet than listening to radio or reading newspapers. What are the social and political consequences of this and how are traditional media companies responding? To address these, and other questions, we are joined by Dr. Ross Tapsell (B.A. Sydney, PhD Wollongong) from the Australian National University.

Inside Asia Number 2 -- Inside Philippine democracy, the Catholic Church, and Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao is not just a boxing superstar but he is also an elected Congressman in the Philippine House of Representatives. Join UofL Political Science Professor David Buckley (B.A. Virginia, M.A. Queens University Belfast, PhD Georgetown) as he talks to CAD Director Jason Abbott about personality and populism in the Philippines, the role and influence of the Catholic Church and the prevalence of political violence.

Inside Asia Number 1 -- Inside the Chinese economy with Center for Asian Democracy Post-Doctoral Associate Dr. Andrew MacDonald

How big is the Chinese economy? Is it really the largest economy in the world today? Can China’s rapid economic growth continue unabated, and is the economy heading for a slow down? Join Andrew MacDonald (BA Stanford, DPhil Oxon), Post-Doctoral Research Associate at our own Center for Asian Democracy, as he gives his thoughts on these an other questions to CAD Director Jason Abbott.