Thursday, 13. December 2018

"Resource Politics and the Public Sphere In Southeast Asia: Deliberation, Accountability and Alternatives"

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Date, Time
Thu, 13. Dec 2018,
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Save in my calendar

In Southeast Asia, access to resources, ranging from land and water, to clean air and energy, are central to livelihoods and wellbeing. The distribution of access to resources reflect state policies and societal values, as well as the inclusiveness and accountability of decision-making processes that link them together and result in their translation into practice. The public sphere is the arena where state policies and societal values interact and are debated, including on potentially contested issues such as access to resources. It includes public venues, and via the mass media and social media.

Civil, political and media freedoms are necessary for a vibrant public sphere, but they are increasingly challenged in Southeast Asia, and in practice accountability occurs only in part. Opportunities to utilize the public sphere for accountability and exploring alternatives vary across Southeast Asia due to diverse political and legal systems. It is important to reflect on the implications of these trends, and explore established and new opportunities to maintain an active public sphere for deliberating public policies and societal values, ensuring accountable decision-making and debating alternative development visions.

This public forum invites civil society, academics, journalists, lawyers, state officials and others to discuss the trends, opportunities and challenges of the public sphere for ensuring fair resource politics in Southeast Asia. Panelists will provide a range of case studies and analysis from across Southeast Asia in relation to resource politics and the public sphere, including: the role of civil society, government and corporations; an evaluation of the opportunities and challenges in local, national and transnational laws and policies; and the role of mass media and social media.


Program and List of Panelists:


08.15 - 09.00  Registration

09.00 - 09.15  Welcome remarks by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ake Tangsupvattana, Dean of Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

09.15 - 10.30  Panel 1: Resource Politics and the Public Sphere in Southeast Asia: Trends, Opportunities Challenges

Chair: Jakkrit Sangkamanee, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

  • ‘How has the public sphere shaped Thailand’s resource politics, and implications for Southeast Asia’ by Naruemon Thabchumpon, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

  • ‘Trends, opportunities and challenges in legal approaches to accountability in Indonesia: The role of the public sphere’ by Asfinawati, Executive Director, Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation

  • ‘From local to transnational public spheres and public action: Reflecting on Singapore’s experience of haze’ by Benjamin Tay, President, People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM Haze)

10.30 - 11.00  Coffee break

11.00 - 12.30  Panel 2: Transboundary accountability mechanisms and the public sphere

  • Commissioner Edmund Bon, Malaysia Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

  • ‘Land and livelihoods in Cambodia: Lessons learned from the civil society’ by Eang Vuthy, Executive Director, Equitable Cambodia

  • ‘Transboundary responsibility and accountability in Laos’ Hydropower projects’ by Premrudee Daoroung, Lao Dams Investment Monitor

  • ‘Hard-law and soft-Law transnational accountability mechanisms and the public sphere in Southeast Asia’ by Carl Middleton, Center for Social Development Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

12.30 - 13.30  Lunch

13.30 - 15.00  Panel 3: Protecting local commons and community livelihoods: Role of public spaces, mass media and social media

Chair: Chiranuch Premchaiporn, Foundation for Community Educational Media

  • ‘Opportunities and challenges of the public sphere: Lessons learned from the Kendeng Movement to protect the land from mining industry’ by Mokh Sobirin, Kendeng Movement to protect the land from mining industry

  • ‘Access to electricity in Dawei City: Implication of a transforming public sphere in Myanmar’ by Tay Zar Myo Win, Independent Researcher

  • ‘Holding industrial pollution accountable in Vietnam: The role of social media and cyberactivism’ by Tran Vi, Co-founder and consultant ,

  • ‘Successful campaign to stop the Baram dam through empowering indigenous voices by using Civic media’ by Vincy Usun, Baram Kini

15.00 - 15.30 Coffee Break

15.30 - 16.45 Panel 4: Deliberating alternatives: Spaces for counter discourses

Chair: Srijula Yongstar, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southeast Asia Regional Office

  • ‘Envisioning an Alternative Power Development Plan in Shan State, Myanmar’ by Kyi Phyo, Mekong Energy and Ecology Network (MEENet) and Aung Myint Tun, Green Rights Organization

  • ‘Access to land for livelihoods in Southern Thailand’ by Charoenkwan Chuntarawichit, Youth member, Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand (SPFT)

  • ‘Working with school children to build community narratives for sustainability’ by Toshi Doi, Senior Advisor, Mekong Watch

  • ‘The role of media in exploring alternatives in Southeast Asia’ by Kirsten Han, New Naratif

16.45 - 17.00  Closing Reflections

  • Mr. Manfred Hornung, Director, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southeast Asia Regional Office

  • Professor Surichai Wun’gaeo, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Chulalongkorn University


*This event will be broadcasted on Facebook Live:

To register for this forum, please e-mail us your name, organisation, and position to  Anisa Widyasari (CSDS) at The seat is limited and registration will be accepted on first come first served basis.