Skip to content

SEA Studies Symposium 2013 – Roundtables

9 – 10 March 2013
University of Oxford


Information is correct as of 28 February 2013. You may also download the up to date list of panels, presenters, papers, and abstracts in PDF format.

  1. The Future of Myanmar
  2. Nature Resource Governance in Southeast Asia: Prospects and Research Needs
  3. The Future of Borneo/Kalimantan Studies

1. The Future of Myanmar

This roundtable is organised to foster a lively and constructive dialogue on Myanmar’s ongoing transition to democracy.

Chair: Dr Lee Jones (Senior Lecturer in International Politics, Queen Mary, University of London)

Dr Lee Jones (DPhil, Oxford) is a senior lecturer in International Politics at Queen Mary, University of London). His research surrounds questions of state-society relations, governance, political economy, sovereignty and intervention, with a particular focus in postcolonial countries in the Asia-Pacific, especially Southeast Asia. His current research projects are on the  ‘Securitisation and the Governance of Non-Traditional Security in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific’, and a study on the ways in which international economic sanctions work (or do not work) to effect regime change. Jones’s selected publications include a monograph ASEAN, Sovereignty and Intervention in Southeast Asia (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and peer-reviewed articles on Southeast Asian international politics in International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Pacific Review, and Cambridge Review of International Affairs.


Ms Anna Roberts (Burma Campaign UK)

Anna Roberts, the Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK, which was founded in 1991 and is one of the leading Burma campaign organisations in the world. This non-governmental organisation plays a leading role in raising awareness about the situation in Burma and pressuring the international community to take action in support of the people of Burma. Burma Campaign UK received a personal “Thank you” note from Aung San Suu Kyi and was named the “leading human rights pressure group” by the Financial Times.

Dr Mandy Sadan (academic and author of Being and Becoming Kachin)

Mandy Sadan is a lecturer in the History of Southeast Asia and member of the Centre of Southeast Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her research areas include history and anthropology; material and visual culture (especially textiles and photography); gendered economies; oral ritual; minorities, marginalisation and conflict in mainland Southeast Asia; and transnationalism and non-national histories (especially the borderworlds of South, Southeast and East Asia). Her selected publications include Being & Becoming Kachin: Histories Beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma (Oxford University Press, 2013) and several articles on ethnic culture and politics in Burma.

Dr Peter Carey (academic and author of Burma: The Challenge of Change in a Divided Society),

Dr Peter Carey is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Humanities (Fakultas Ilmu Budaya/FIB) at the University of Indonesia (Universitas Indonesia). His research focuses on Indonesia, Burma, and East Timor, especially on the modern history and politics of East Timor. He is the co-founder of the Cambodia Trust, a UK registered charity with the vision of equal rights for disabled people in an inclusive barrier-free society. He was its initial Project Director and then Research & Development Director for Indonesia (2008-2012). Dr Carey was Laithwaite Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at the University of Oxford’s Trinity College from 1979 until his retirement in 2008. His accolades include the Independence Medal by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in 2005 and made a Grand Officer in the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator (Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique) for his work in Timor-Leste (2006); Beacon Prize for Leadership, an award sometimes described as ‘the Nobel Peace Prize for charity work’ in October 2008 by the Beacon Fellowship Charitable Trust (London); and an awarded Membership of the Honourable Order of the British Empire (MBE) designation on 12 June 2010, the fifth rank of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire order of chivalry, for services to the disabled of Southeast Asia and the Jury’s Special Prize for Personal Philanthropy at the BNP Paribas Awards in June 2011. Carey’s selected publications include The Power of Prophecy: Prince Dipanagara and the End of an Old Order in Java, 1785-1855 (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2007), The British in Java, 1811-1816: A Javanese Account (London: British Academy, 1992), and Babad Dipanagara: An Account of the Outbreak of the Java War, 1825-30 (Kuala Lumpur: Art Printers, 1981).

Ms Vicky Bowman (former UK Ambassador to Myanmar),

Vicky Bowman served as the British ambassador to Burma from 2002-2006, having previously served as Second Secretary there from 1990-1993. She has also served in Brussels (1996-2002), including three years as a Cabinet member of the European Commissioner, Chris Patten. After leaving Burma, Vicky continued to work as a diplomat in the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office until 2011. She is currently the Global Practice Leader at international mining company Rio Tinto.

Mr Zaw Nay Aung (Burma Independence Advocates)

Zaw Nay Aung is a Burmese political exile in the UK and founder and director of Burma Independence Advocates, a human rights advocacy and think tank based in London. He was the Charles Wallace Burma Trust Visiting Research Fellow for the academic year 2011/2012 at the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford. He has directed and contributed to major research projects on Burma’s politics such as the analysis of General Elections in 1990 and 2010, and the assessment of humanitarian and political conditions under decades-old sanctions imposed by the United States led Western democracies. His current research areas are civil resistance; NGO imperialism and the role of international campaigning organizations and their impacts on the ground; regime change; democratisation and its challenges; and political ideologies and its impacts on political transitions.


2. Nature Resource Governance in Southeast Asia: Prospects and Research Needs 

A discussion of the environment, politics, governance, biogeography and biodiversity, and the implications of environmental change.

Chair: Prof Jeff Burley (Emeritus Professor of Forestry, University of Oxford & former Director, Oxford Forestry Institute)

Professor Jeffery Burley  (PhD, Yale) is an Emeritus Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, and was the final head of the world-renowned Oxford Forestry Institute before it was fully incorporated into the Department of Plant Sciences. His research is on forestry and agroforestry, especially genetics and tree improvement, with considerable research and practical experience in Northeast, South and Southeast Asia. He has served as President of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (1995–2000), Chairman of the British and Irish Hardwoods Improvement Programme (1999–2004), Chairman of the Commonwealth Forestry Association (2002-2005), and Chairman of the British and Irish Hardwoods Trust since 2004. Burley is an Honorary Fellow of the Society of American Foresters and of the UK Institute of Chartered Foresters, Honorary Research Professor at the Chinese Academy of Forestry, Foreign Corresponding Member of the Swedish and Italian Academies, and is currently a member of the Board of the Marcus Wallenberg Foundation. His selected publications include (With Julian Evans, John A Youngquist) Encyclopedia of Forest Sciences, Four-Volume Set, Volume 1-4 (Academic Press, 2004), (With Sharma, N., Binkley, C.) A “Global Perspective on Forest Policy”, in
 Managing the World’s Forests. (The World Bank, Washington, DC. 1992), and (With Peter J Wood) A tree for all reasons: introduction and evaluation of multipurpose trees for agroforestry, Volume 5 of Science and practice of agroforestry (World Agroforestry Centre. 1991)


Mr Andrew Mitchell  (Global Canopy Programme, Oxford).

Andrew Mitchell is Founder and Executive Director of the Global Canopy Programme (GCP), an Oxford based NGO specialising in research on forests as natural capital. He is an acknowledged expert on deforestation and climate change. He was Special Adviser to HRH The Prince of Wales’ Rainforests Project. He has a BSc in Zoology from the University of Bristol, and was the International Programme Director of Earthwatch Institute in Boston, USA,  co-founding Earthwatch Europe in 1989.  Under his leadership, GCP has become an established centre of innovative thinking on forests delivering The REDD DeskThe Forest Footprint Disclosure Project, and the Natural Capital Declaration which are leading initiatives in policy, business and finance aiming to mitigate deforestation and erosion of natural capital globally. A former Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford and Research Associate of the Zoology Department, Andrew also advises governments and institutions on environmental policy.

Dr Lydia Cole (Department of Zoology & School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford)

Lydia has recently completed her doctorate in the Zoology Department with Professor Kathy Willis and Dr Shonil Bhagwat, investigating long-term ecological change and resilience in the tropical peat swamp forests of Malaysian Borneo.  Prior to this, she studied human-wildlife conflict in north-east India, as part of a MSc. in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management.  Her interest lies in the interface between sustainable forest management and sustainable agriculture in the Tropics, with a focus on the rapidly changing peat swamp forests of Southeast Asia.

Ms Mari Mulyani (School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford)

Mari Mulyani is a DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment. Prior to Oxford she graduated cum laude from Gadjah Mada University and the University of Indonesia. After graduating from Gadjah Mada in 1995 she held executive roles in Indonesia’s private sector, was Executive Director of a leading German machinery company, and has been actively involved in promoting the principles of social responsibility and better education for the disadvantaged. She is part of the Conservation Governance Lab, an interdisciplinary research group working to generate richer conceptualisations of how conservation actors build and legitimate their influence. Her current research looks at the interplay between REDD+ initiatives and Indonesia’s cultural and forest institutions.

Dr Paul Jepson (School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford)

Dr Paul Jepson is course director of the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy at the University of Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment. His research interest surrounds conservation governance; protected area planning; wildlife trade, conservation history, attitudes, values and practices; and the role of conservations NGOs. He is also Lab Leader at the school’s Conservation Governance Laboratory and Associate Researcher at Oxford’s Biodiversity Institute. In 1991, he became Head of the BirdLife International – Indonesia Programme. He came to Oxford in 1997 to conduct doctoral research on protected area policy in Indonesia, working on freelance assignments for the World Bank and various international NGOs at the same time. Jepson’s selected publications include a book (With Ladle, R.) Conservation: A Beginner’s Guide (Oneworld Publication, 2010) and peer-reviewed articles in ScienceConservation and Society, and Environment and Society: Advances in Research.

Dr Stephen Oppenheimer (Department of Anthropology, University of Oxford)

Stephen Oppenheimer is recognised for creating a unique synthesis of genetic, archaeological, and climatic evidence in order to track the ancient migrations of all modern non-Africans. Trained in Medicine at Oxford, Stephen Oppenheimer spent 17 of the 25 years spanning 1972 to 1997 working as a paediatrician in the tropics, while at the same time maintaining UK academic links, and spending the remaining periods based in Oxford and with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. His research areas are on iron supplementation and malaria (1979-present), alpha thalassaemia and its interactions with iron and malaria (1982-2005), human migrations in the Pacific (1982-present), and modern human exit from Africa (1999-present). Elected to Green College, Oxford in 1999, Prof Oppenheimer is also a research associate of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology of the School of Anthropology, University of Oxford and also affiliated as Honorary Research Fellow to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Oppenheimer’s selected publications include monograph Eden in the East: the Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia (London, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1998) and peer-reviewed articles in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological SciencesQuaternary InternationalThe American Journal of Human Genetics, and Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Prof Yadvinder Malhi (Oxford Centre for Tropical Forestry) 

Yadvinder Malhi is Professor of Ecosystem Science at the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University and Programme Leader of the Ecosystems Research Programme at the Environmental Change Institute. He is Founding Director of the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests, a centre that brings an interdisciplinary focus to tropical forest issues in the 21st century. His research focuses on the ecosystem functioning and carbon dynamics of tropical biomes, and the possible impacts of climate change. This research is pursued through field studies and experiments, remote-sensing, long-term ecological monitoring and vegetation modelling. He has spent over 15 years researching ecosystem function and climate change in South America (particularly Brazil and Peru), and in recent years he has a new interest in developing research networks around ecosystems science and services in African and Asian forests. He is editor of the book Tropical forests and global atmospheric change (OUP) and has authored over 143 refereed scientific papers. In 2012 he was awarded a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award to prioritise research on tropical forests, biodiversity and ecosystem function over the next five years.

3. The Future of Borneo/Kalimantan Studies 

This roundtable will discuss the future of Borneo/Kalimantan studies, in particular from interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives and in light of the papers presented at the panel on Borneo/Kalimantan. The Roundtable will run for 90 minutes, with each speaker having 15 minutes to present their views and perspectives. This will be followed by questions and comments from the audience.

Chair: Dr Tom Hoogervorst (International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden University)


Datu Hj. Sanib bin Hj. Said (Institute of East Asian Studies, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak)

Dr Rommel A. Curaming (University of Brunei Darussalam)

Prof Victor T. King (University of Leeds)

Prof Michael Leigh (University of Melbourne)