French foreign policy and social integration

25 November 2015

The Straits Times

Associate Professor Reuben Wong, Jean Monnet Professor in European Integration and Foreign Policy at the Department of Political Science and Mr Walid Jumblatt Abdullah, a PhD candidate in Political Science from the NUS-King’s college London Joint Degree Programme, discussed the French foreign policy and social integration in light of the Friday 13th Paris attacks.

As difficult as circumstances are, both authors opined that it is an opportune time to reassess Western policies towards the Middle East.

They added that it is best to concentrate efforts on making Muslims identify themselves as full and equal citizens, rather than as marginalised immigrants or unwelcome foreigners.

To read the full article, click here.

Textual Landscapes of Singapore Literary Challenge is Open! Win prizes worth $100!

At the beginning of the Fall Semester, the Singapore Research Nexus at FASS Research Division brought you Picture Singapore: Change & Continuity, where we invited the shutterbugs of NUS to snap a photograph or three in celebration of Singapore’s 50th Birthday. The winning entries are on exhibit, along with the winning microstories from our NUS110 Word Challenge, at Artsbuzz gallery at the NUS Central Library until 2 December.

We are now launching Textual Landscapes of Singapore, a literary challenge that will showcase poetry and prose on Singapore by the NUS community. All you have to do to win one of 10 prizes worth S$100 (or one of 10 merit prizes worth $50) is write a poem or short prose piece inspired by this prompt:

Be it a familiar sight or a hidden gem of the urban unseen, an iconic place, space or neighbourhood, an architectural marvel, a uniquely Singaporean site of work or play, an eyecatching plant or creature in our natural terrain or built cityscape, write about Singapore!

More information, including the terms and conditions, can be found here.

The winning entries will be added to the SRN creative works repository, and published, along with new photographs from our SG Photobank, in a softcover A4 booklet that showcases SRN’s creative and photographic works. They will also be honoured at an awards ceremony-cum-SG Photobank launch event in 2016, exact date TBC.

Textual Landscapes of Singapore is open to all current NUS students, faculty, and staff as well as all NUS alumni. Submissions are open today till 15 January 2016 (Friday), 12pm.

Got a question? Ask us at

Launch of “Journals, Memorials and Letters of Cornelis Matelieff de Jonge: Security, Diplomacy and Commerce in 17th-century Southeast Asia” in Germany

Matelieff paperback cover_999

Associate Professor Peter Borschberg, Department of History, just launched his latest book Journals, Memorials and Letters of Cornelis Matelieff de Jonge: Security, Diplomacy and Commerce in 17th-century Southeast Asia at Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald, Germany on 29 October 2015.

Maritime Books from Greifswald – A translation of a German article on Assoc Prof Peter Borschberg’s book

Matelieff Germany OZ-booklaunch
A German article on Assoc Prof Peter Borschberg’s book

The International Graduiertenkolleg (graduate training programme) “Baltic Borderlands” led by Michael North, chair of Modern history at Greifswald, has borne fruit in the form of high quality publications.

Turning to the book by Peter Borschberg of the National University of Singapore, who is also a visiting professor at Greifswald, the Australian academic Anthony Milner claimed it “spoke to new phase in historical studies of Asia”.

Borschberg’s volume is about Admiral Cornelis Matelieff de Jonge (c.1569-1632) who successfully fought for the Dutch East India Company against the Portuguese between 1605 and 1608. With this, he became significantly involved in establishing Dutch power in Southeast Asia. During the “Golden Age of the Netherlands”, the Dutch came to dominate about half of global trade.

The book which exceeds 650 pages titled Journal, Memorial and Letters of Cornelis Matelieff de Jonge was introduced in Greifswald by Michael North.

Borschberg has not only translated the letters and documents of Matelieff into English, he has also penned an excellent introduction according to experts in the field. It represents a history of the early Dutch East India Company.

“My special thanks go to Michael North and his team”, writes Borschberg, who was a visiting professor at Greifswald in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He acknowledges to have benefitted greatly from collaborating with the Graduiertenkolleg.

Peter Borschberg in turn introduced the revised text and English translation of Michael North’s Geschichte der Ostsee which has been published with the title The Baltic – A History. Since May, there is also a translation into Estonian as Läänemere Ajalugu: Kaubandus ja Kultuurid.

Both books demonstrate that even if the Baltic and the South China Sea may be geographically, socially and culturally far apart, there are still many commonalities thanks to agents, ideas and the exchange of goods and technology.

Journals, Memorials and Letters of Cornelis Matelieff de Jonge: Security, Diplomacy and Commerce in 17th-century Southeast Asia is currently retailing at S$42 and S$64 for the paperback and hardback version respectively. It is available for sale at NUS Press Singapore.

To purchase the book, click here.

For more information, please visit .

Assuaging the armed forces in Myanmar

19 November 2015

The Straits Times

In an article contribution, Associate Professor Terrence Lee, Department of Political Science, had discussed the decisive electoral victory by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD).

Assoc Prof Lee opined that the key to sustaining democratisation in Myanmar is not to curtail or make demands of the Tatmadaw. Assuaging the military would likely result in a successful democratic consolidation as well.

He added that much of the road ahead will depend on Ms Suu Kyi and the NLD’s ability to compromise, and for her to curtail personal ambitions and chagrin for the armed forces.

To read the full article, click here.

Violence and terror: Take a closer look at the us versus them rhetoric

17 November 2015

The Straits Times

In an article contribution, Professor Mohan J. Dutta, Provost’s Chair Professor of Communications and New Media and Director of the Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) at NUS, opined that the Paris attack is being portrayed as the backdrop for the mobilisation of an attack on Syria. He added that the simplicity of this story – the primitive Middle East calling for a Western invasion – ignores the lessons that previously emerged from the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Prof Dutta shares that to really address the questions of violence and terror globally, the rhetoric of freedom needs to be examined closely and a fundamental transformation is needed in the global narrative of geosecurity, shifting the discourse from imperial invasions to protect freedom to a global discourse of peace and dialogue that challenges the terror implicit in acts of violence.

To read the full article, click here.