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Asia in 2020: Coping with COVID-19 and other crises

Anno di pubblicazione: 2021

Foreword. Asia in 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The most important development of 2020 was, without doubt, the pandemic of the Coronavirus disease (henceforth COVID-19). The outbreak began at the end of 2019 and rapidly escalated to become a worldwide phenomenon within the first few months of 2020. The first cases of the novel coronavirus were […]

Korean peninsula 2020: Overcoming the challenges of COVID-19

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The COVID-19 pandemic had disruptive effects on the Korean peninsula, as well as in the rest of the world. Deploying two very different strategies, both Koreas were able to spare their populations from the most tragic consequences in terms of public health. However, the pandemic had important effects […]

Japan 2020: Abe’s well-laid plans go awry

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf Like elsewhere, the COVID-19 pandemic caused substantial disruptions in Japan. While generous fiscal spending mitigated the pandemic’s economic fallout, and Japan is poised in 2021 to rebound from its year-on-year 4.8% fall in GDP, there was significant political fallout in 2020. The postponement of the Olympic Games, the […]

Hong Kong 2020: The downfall of «one country two systems»

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In this watershed year the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region (HKSAR) was fundamentally reshaped by the concatenation of two major events, namely COVID-19 and the roll out of the National Security Law (NSL). While Beijing had already set in train advanced plans for the «second takeover», with mass […]

Taiwan 2020: Crossroads of COVID-19 international politics

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The year 2020 started with President Tsai winning a second term and the DPP obtaining once again a parliamentary majority in the general elections held on 11 January. By the end of the year, Taiwan emerged as one of the few polities able to effectively put the COVID-19 […]

The Philippines 2020: The gamble of the populist leadership

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The year 2020 was an eventful one for the Philippines. Still recovering from the aftermath of the Taal volcano eruption, the country soon faced a public health crisis. Contrary to Duterte’s belief that the new coronavirus (COVID-19) would just die a natural death, the pandemic turned out to […]

Timor-Leste in 2020: Containing the pandemic in a changing political environment

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2020 Timor-Leste became a successful case of managing to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the early diligent action undertaken by the state authorities, albeit with significant popular resistance to the harsh measures imposed. Following a brief introduction, the second section of this article deals with the […]

Malaysia 2020: Democratic backsliding amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The pernicious effects of political polarisation and unresolved intra-coalition differences resulted in political party defections that contributed to the fall of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government and the tenuous position of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government that replaced it. Domestic politics through much of 2020 was marked by […]

Myanmar 2020: Elections in a pandemic

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The year 2020 in Myanmar was not substantively different from that of so many other countries. The year was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, its socio-economic impact and the government’s attempt to cushion its effect and fight against it. The authorities sought to seal off the country from […]

Bangladesh 2019-2020: Issues of democracy, disasters, development

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2019-2020, the Awami League maintained its grasp on power by resorting to repressive measures. Political dissent was silenced through both legal and extrajudicial means. Poor civil rights protection confirmed that negative trends already emerged in previous years worsened further, as the country continued losing its democratic features. […]

India 2020: Under the COVID hammer

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf When the COVID-19 pandemic hit India, its economy was going through a difficult phase. This left the government ill prepared to tackle the pandemic and its economic dislocation. Furthermore, India’s health infrastructure – suffering from decades of under investments – was at serious risk of being rapidly overwhelmed. […]

India 2020: The deepening crisis of democracy

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The following article, focussed on the analysis of the ongoing crisis of Indian democracy in the year 2020, is articulated in two parts. The first, after a synthetic summing up of how the crisis started in 2019, is an overview of the main developments which characterized the struggle […]

India 2020: Confronting China, aligning with the US

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf During 2020, India’s foreign policy was unaffected by the COVID-19 and dominated by two key developments, on whose analysis this article is focussed. One was the turning for the worse of the India-China relation, of which the heating up of the Himalayan border, which saw clashes between the […]

Sri Lanka 2019-2020: Extremism, elections and economic uncertainty at the time of COVID-19

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf Sri Lanka in 2019 and 2020 was characterised by Islamist violence and its aftermath, a presidential and general election, and COVID-19. This article traces the internal, economic and foreign policies of Sri Lanka chronologically and thematically across the two years under examination. These policies were deeply interconnected during […]

Pakistan 2020: The PTI government amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf Austerity measures tied to disbursement of the bailout programme that Pakistan agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund in 2019 helped Islamabad progress towards macroeconomic stabilisation. After the COVID-19 outbreak hit the country in February 2020, related disruptions strained economic activity and put pressure on Pakistan’s fiscal position. […]

Iran 2019-2020: The double impact of crippling sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf Two main external developments marked the years 2019 and 2020 in Iran: the unilateral sanctions re-imposed by the United States in late 2018 after abandoning the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the COVID-19 Pandemic that had its first case in Iran in February 2020. The heavy […]

Kazakhstan 2020: Between a rock and a hard place

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf With its society deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economy struggling due to low oil prices, 2020 was the year in which Kazakhstan’s government was compelled to continuously adopt emergency measures. This contributed to a looming uncertainty about the country’s ability to cope with the multiple […]

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