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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Thursday, November 28 • 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Security and Politics in Asia

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Nguyen Khac Giang
Succession politics and authoritarian resilience in Vietnam

The Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) is heading to its 13th VCP National Congress in 2021, this paper plans to discuss the politics of succession in Vietnam, an increasingly significant regional player in the Asia - Pacific. The author will first analyse the dilemma of the VCP when choosing the next leadership, as the 13th Congress will likely mark the end of Secretary General Nguyen Trong’s eventful era. Drawing from historical data and Party documents, the author examines the level of institutionalization of VCP’s succession politics, its norms and procedures, and the power consolidation process after the change of guards is made. The paper also analyses possible impacts of succession on Vietnam’s domestic and foreign policies. The author then compares the characteristics of Vietnam’s succession politics with other authoritarian regimes, most notably China, and discusses its implications for these regimes’ prospects of resilience and political changes.

Hasith Kandaudahewa
Drivers behind Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy: Assessment of Systemic and Domestic Variables Related to the Port Project (2005-2015)

The proposed research will focus on the role of systemic and domestic factors in Sri Lankan foreign policy related to the Hambantota Port Project (H’Port) under neoclassical realist lens. Geopolitical advancement of Sri Lanka has shaped its intrinsic value for centuries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and will continue to grow in future. Naturally, it allows Sri Lanka to act as a central player who maintains the balance of power within the region. The chronological history of the H' Port goes back to ancient Ceylon era (now Sri Lanka), where it used as a maritime trade centre in IOR. At the beginning Rajapaksa era, he decided to build an inland deepwater seaport in-home electoral – Hambantota as promised by his political vision – Mahinda Chinthana (Rajapaksa, 2005). Present-day, the H' Port considered as a tangible indicator to indicate the Sri Lankan foreign policy drift towards China, increase the growing tension between regional superpowers. The study adopted neoclassical realist inspired type III framework -multi-layered approach – to develop and assess the causal link between independent (systemic stimuli), intervening (domestic) and dependent variables (foreign policy outcomes) under qualitative approach along with semi-structured interviews, process tracing, documental analysis (archival), and case study as selective methods (Ripsman, Taliaferro, & Lobell, 2016). The finding of this study suggests domestic constraints: leader perception; non-aligned principle; social acclaim; and domestic institutions infused by systemic stimuli shaped the Sri Lankan foreign policy in development-related projects.

Moderators
XG

Xiang Gao

University of New England, Australia

Speakers
avatar for Hasith Kandaudahewa

Hasith Kandaudahewa

Doctoral Candidate, The University of Auckland
Currently i am working with my doctoral thesis focus on Sri Lankan foreign policy between India and China under neoclassical realist view.
KG

Khac Giang Nguyen

Victoria University of Wellington


Thursday November 28, 2019 3:30pm - 4:45pm NZDT
E13

Attendees (8)