Since the imposition of lockdowns or restrictions on social mobility in response to pandemics in 2020, the operations of many governments have undergone a radical transformation. Indonesia’s compliance with the new health protocols did not stand out as exceptional in this regard. This article investigates how and to what extent the Indonesian Parliament utilized ict during the pandemic, as well as the future viability of ict as a legislative tool. This article argues that the Parliament’s use of ict during the pandemic improved its effectiveness, efficiency, and openness in carrying out its responsibilities. In addition, the number of mp s in attendance – albeit virtual – increased. This article suggests that appropriate regulation is required to authorize the use of ict in legislative activities and that trained human resources are necessary to address cyber-related errors resulting from external threats. Additionally, the adoption of ict should not be limited to digitizing legislative activities. It must be founded on the institution’s core business.
This article interrogates the issue of the role of the legislature in social emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic by examining the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the legislature and the response of the legislature, using the Nigerian federal legislative institution (the National Assembly) as a case study. The aim is to distil some of the key legislative issues that have emerged since the spread of the virus to Nigeria, the challenges the legislature has faced, which have shaped its efforts to respond to the Covid-19 problem, and the efforts of the legislature to address the problem. The article notes that Nigeria’s federal legislature, and indeed all legislatures, have to innovate with new ideas, technology and procedural flexibility in the performance of their traditional functions in order to ensure political accountability and remain relevant in times of emergency.
The democratisation of diplomacy in recent years has opened up new opportunities for non-state actors’ engagement and activities in the public interest or on behalf of governments. Scholarly literature has broadly reflected the inclusion of civil society into governance frameworks, non-state public diplomacy and non-governmental institutions. Nevertheless, due to the complexity of these issues, as well as their dynamics and rapid innovations, many blind spots remain. This article focuses on the neglected topic of the engagement of future practitioners, students in diplomacy-related undergraduate and graduate university programmes, in people-to-people diplomatic communication. Drawing on the concept of grassroots diplomacy, it examines the activities of the Junior Diplomat Initiative. It deconstructs the effect of student organisations’ diplomacy projects by showing how they translate into innovative interactions with domestic and foreign youth communities. Lessons for diplomatic practice are also addressed.
Over the last decade, relations between the state and its citizens have changed in the fields of diplomacy and, more generally, foreign policy in some Western democracies. Both sides have begun to transform their roles through novel formats of citizen dialogue and participation. The full breadth and depth of these phenomena remain understudied, despite the fact that they constitute an important catalyst of the apparent ‘societisation’, or even further democratisation, of diplomacy. Based on our analyses of participatory formats in German diplomacy, we offer insights into the transformative potential of this development and discuss to what extent it simultaneously perpetuates unequal power relations. In order to further scrutinise these preliminary hypotheses on how the complex relationship between state diplomacy and domestic society is currently changing, we propose a new research agenda on citizen participation in foreign policy.
At its core, diplomacy is about representation. Including the domestic voice in diplomatic work pushes us to reflect critically on who represents our local communities to international constituents. To what extent is the diversity of local communities reflected in such diplomatic initiatives as, for example, state-supported citizen diplomacy programmes? This article argues for the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work at the local level to the policy goals that citizen diplomacy programmes support. The article draws on the concept of ‘subaltern counterpublics’ to emphasise the importance of DEI efforts at the local level for more inclusive and authentic diplomacy globally. The article also discusses some of the current practices of intentionally incorporating DEI initiatives into citizen diplomacy work among civil society actors.
This article historicizes the transnational counterinsurgency that the U.S.-Philippine governments have conducted against diasporic Filipino/a/x activists. In examining the period of the Cold War to the early 2020s, it makes a case for recognizing existing continuities of counterinsurgency tactics targeted at Filipinos in the United States, such as extradition, deportation, surveillance, and assassination. The Philippine state’s resort to red-baiting during the Cold War and contemporary “red-tagging” has aimed at the elimination of communism and terrorism at home and beyond its national borders, at the expense of human rights. This long history of counterinsurgency also highlights the acceleration and formalization of diasporic Filipino organizations dedicated to promoting democracy in the Philippines during the period of martial law under President Ferdinand E. Marcos, showing how diasporic Filipinos organized opposition not only to dictatorship, but also U.S. support for violent regimes. The transnational opposition against Marcos and then President Rodrigo R. Duterte has characterized diasporic Filipinos as a primary component of democratic movements in both the United States and the Philippines who have linked domestic racial oppression to U.S. imperialism and state fascism in the Philippines.
This essay examines the Alpha Gallery, an independent artists’ cooperative that Malaysians and Singaporeans established, which staged art shows during the 1970s to spark an artistic renaissance in Southeast Asia. The cooperative’s transnational vision involved showcasing Balinese folk art as a primitive and, therefore, intrinsically Southeast Asian aesthetic, while asserting that it shared cultural connections with the Bengali Renaissance of the early 20th Century. Alpha’s leaders believed these actions might awaken indigenous artistic traditions across Southeast Asia. Their project underscores the lasting cultural impact of colonialism on Southeast Asia and the contested character of the region. Alpha’s condescending view of Balinese folk art echoed the paternalism of Euro-American colonial discourses about civilizing indigenous peoples that persisted because its key members received much of their education or training in Britain and the United States, a by-product of their countries’ pro-U.S. trajectory during the Vietnam War. Equally, Alpha’s transnationalism ran counter to Southeast Asian political elites’ fixation with pressing art toward nation-building. Indeed, the coalescing of nation-states does not define the region’s history during and after the Vietnam War. Rather, non-state actors like Alpha’s members, in imagining and pursuing their versions of Southeast Asia, contributed to the persistent contingency of the region.