Michael Hart

Michael Hart is a writer and researcher covering civil conflict, peacebuilding and war legacy issues in Southeast Asia. He has written about these issues and Asia-Pacific politics more broadly for publications including Geopolitical Monitor, The Diplomat, Asia Sentinel, World Politics Review and Southeast Asia Globe. Michael is currently editorial assistant for The Pacific Review journal, based at the University of Warwick. He previously researched for Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and studied an MA in International Relations at the University of Westminster.

Thailand’s Student Protestors Take On Military and the Monarchy

Democracy Monument, Cc Flickr, Opal Lee, Modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/125330872@N02/25344348717/in/,

Thanks to a broad anti-government pro-democracy youth movement, risky calls to reform the Thai monarchy are breaking new ground.

Beyond the Narrative of Progress in Myanmar’s Panglong Peace Initiative

Myanmar, CC Flickr, Toozler, Modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/toozler/18675948192/in/

With a national election fast approaching, barriers to peace remain in Myanmar’s ethnic borderlands.

In the Southern Philippines, Delays to Rebuilding Marawi Threaten a Fragile Peace

Officials visit the Main Battle Area in Marawi, cc Philippine Information Agency, modfied, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&title=Special:Search&redirs=0&search=marawi&fulltext=Search&fulltext=Advanced+search&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1&advanced=1&searchToken=2n7ygrhzxiej9o2zrc9ig7gka#%2Fmedia%2FFile%3AMarawi_Ground_Zero.jpg

The longer Marawi is left in ruins, the higher the chance that history could repeat itself.

Why Indonesia’s Papua Insurgency Has Reached a Strategic Stalemate

Indonesia among other Pacific militaries takes place in RIMPAC 2012, a US military exercise, cc Flickr Robert Sullivan, modified, IS2012-2003-187, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

Widespread protests may have brought Papuan independence to the attention of global audiences last year, but that is unlikely to change the tense status quo in the region.

After Duterte Scraps VFA, What’s Next for the US-Philippine Alliance?

130627-N-YU572-174 SUBIC BAY, Philippines (June 27, 2013) - Sailors and Marines disembark landing craft utility (LCU) 1633 to support Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Philippines 2013. More than 600 Sailors and Marines are participating in CARAT Philippines 2013. U.S. Navy ships participating in CARAT Philippines include the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), with embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 staff, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) with embarked U.S. Marine Corps landing force, and the diving and salvage vessels USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) and USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) with embarked Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1. CARAT is a series of bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor Leste. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh) (RELEASED), cc Flickr Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Visiting Forces Agreement was the glue that held the US-Philippines security relationship together.

Duterte’s Peace Overture to the NPA: Another False Dawn?

DuterteROK, cc Flickr Republic of Korea, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Duterte administration has signaled a willingness to negotiate with the New People’s Army. But this is merely a first step in a long and tenuous peace process.

The Evolving Threat of ISIS in the Philippines

Bombing of Marawi City, cc Sariling gawa, modified, https://tl.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talaksan:Bombing_on_Marawi_City.jpg

After a lull, could Islamic State rebound in the Philippines?

Myanmar’s Divided Peace Process: Hope amid Escalating Violence?

Britain has pledged emergency food, drinking water and shelter to help people displaced in Rakhine State in western Burma. In May 2013, Minister for International Development Alan Duncan and Foreign Office Minister for South East Asia Hugo Swire announced a £4.4 million package of humanitarian support for people displaced by violence and facing the additional threats of the rainy season and approaching storms. Britain’s package of emergency assistance will provide: - Nearly 80,000 people with access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities malnourished children aged 0-59 months with treatment for acute malnutrition in rural camps - hygiene kits to nearly 40,000 people Picture: DFID Burma, modified, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rohingya_conflict#/media/File:Emergency_food,_drinking_water_and_shelter_to_help_people_displaced_in_Rakhine_State,_western_Burma._(8288488088).jpg

With ethnic conflicts flaring up and down the country, reinvigorating the nation-level peace process will be challenging – but not impossible.

Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Landmines and Instability in Myanmar

Minefield warning sign, cc dimitrisvetsikas1969 (pixabay.com), modified.

Renewed violence and a stalling peace process are delaying the start of much-needed mine clearance in Myanmar.

Is India’s Nagaland Peace Process Nearing a Breakthrough?

India Prime Minister Modi, cc Kremlin.ru, modifeid, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60747

There is hope that a breakthrough might be imminent in one of India’s longest-running ethnic conflicts.

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