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This edited book examines the contemporary regional security concerns in the Asia-Pacific recognizing the ‘Butterfly effect’, the concept that small causes can have large effects: ‘the flap of a butterfly’s wings can cause a typhoon halfway around the world’.

For many Asia-Pacific states, domestic security challenges are at least as important as external security considerations. Recent events (both natural disasters and man-made disasters) have pointed to the inherent physical, economic, social and political vulnerabilities that exist in the region. Both black swan events and persistent threats to security characterize the challenges within the Asia-Pacific region.

Transnational security challenges such as global climate change, environmental degradation, pandemics, energy security, supply chain security, resource scarcity, terrorism and organized crime are shaping the security landscape regionally and globally. The significance of emerging transnational security challenges in the Asia-Pacific Region impact globally and conversely, security developments in those other regions affect the Asia-Pacific region.



Complexity and Security: New Ways of Thinking and Seeing

From the refugee crisis to economic slowdowns in emerging markets, from ever-rising numbers of terrorist and cyberattacks to water shortages and famines, global risks continue to dominate the headlines. The Asia-Pacific region in particular has the highest number of total occurrences, fatalities and effects of natural disaster events (flood and cyclone) and is no stranger to mega-disasters such as the likes of Super Typhoon Haiyan and Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004. According to the World Economic Forum ‘The world is insufficiently prepared for an increasingly complex risk environment’ (WEF, Global Risks 2015 10th edn: insight report, 2015). The threats to human security that we face today are multiple, complex and interrelated and often mutually reinforcing. As such, ‘Global risks cannot be seen in isolation’ (WEF, Global Risks 2015 10th edn: insight report, 2015). The hyper-connected world we live in is underpinned by hyper or hybrid-risks, whereby ‘…the fragility and vulnerabilities lie within the social/technological/economic/political/ecological interdependent systems’ (Masys AJ, Ray-Bennett N, Shiroshita H, Jackson P, Procedia Econ Financ 18:772–779, 2014). It is through these underlying networks that Helbing (Nature 497:51–59, 2013) argues that we have ‘… created pathways along which dangerous and damaging events can spread rapidly and globally’ and thereby has increased systemic risks.
The Asia-Pacific region faces many human security challenges associated with meeting food, water, and energy requirements in scenarios that stress the human security ‘ecosystem’. A Chatham House report ‘Preparing for High Impact, Low Probability Events’, found that governments and businesses remain unprepared for such events (Lee B, Preston F, Green G, Preparing for high-impact, low – probability events: lessons from Eyjafjallajokull. A Chatham House Report, London, 2012). This chapter presents the Asia-Pacific Security landscape as a complex ‘ecosystem’ that requires concepts, tools and perspectives from complexity theory, systems thinking and network science to support regional and global security risk management. The key is to embrace a strategic visioning and actioning that examines the interdependencies and interconnectivity across various ‘actors’ in the security ecosystem and how black swan events can stress the system. This is examined through the lens of Human security that lies at the center of the water-food-energy nexus as well as the disaster risk reduction, sustainability and development nexus.
Anthony J. Masys

Risk and Resilience in the Asia-Pacific Region: Managing the Expected, Preparing for the Unexpected

Disaster risk reduction and resilience are gaining increasing attention globally as disasters affect more people and assets. The Asia-Pacific is one of the most important regions in the world, covering substantial amount of its landmass, number of people and share of economic activity. The region is, however, also the most disaster-prone region in the world. Consequently, disaster risk reduction and resilience building are of paramount importance to the region and, indeed the world. The idea of risk reduction and resilience building complementing each other is a result of evolving practice in particular in context of hazards and disaster management. In principle, such approaches are pragmatic and in the simplest of terms rely on the notion that risk reduction is a practice aimed at responding to the expected (based on the information gained from the observation of risk events that have taken place in the past), whilst resilience is primarily focused on the ability to survive the unexpected. There are, however, some notable differences between practice and theory in how the relationship between risk and resilience are perceived. This chapter aims at examining the current efforts in the Asia-Pacific to integrate risk reduction and resilience building measures into various policy frameworks, the disaster risk and black swans landscape in the region and to evaluate these in the context of theories of uncertainty, risk and resilience.
Christian Fjäder

Towards Climate Security and Sustainable Security in the Asia-Pacific Region

Global climate variability and change is increasing the frequency and severity of natural disaster events and security risks in the Asia-Pacific region. This paper puts forth a number of conceptual, theoretical, political and normative arguments for developing the field of Climate and Sustainable Security and applying it to identify creative and tenable security solutions to problems that lie at the interface of resource scarcity, human insecurity, national vulnerability, and ecological fragility in the Asia-Pacific region. Even conservative estimates predict that the rising temperatures and changing ocean levels in the Asia-Pacific Region will lead to significant socio-economic, environmental and security concerns: higher temperatures, rising seas and a more energetic hydrologic cycle are expected to contribute to more intense storms, droughts, crop failures and food insecurity. Sea rise for coastal cities may be particularly damaging, especially as people and population densities continue to increase in flood plains and coastal areas of the Asia-Pacific. The herein proposed paradigm of Climate and Sustainable Security deals with protecting, restoring, designing, and implementing a set of integrated natural, industrial, civilian, and security processes that equitably and responsibly meet the biophysical needs of human communities in the Asia-Pacific region, while maintaining long-term climate security, respecting financial constraints, meeting ecological limits, and improving institutional arrangements for transparent, accountable, and effective governance. It is concluded that emergency managers, security professionals and governments must promote climate adaptation and mitigation measures that protect communities in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ross Prizzia, Jason Levy

Cybercrime in East and Southeast Asia: The Case of Taiwan

This chapter aims to scrutinize cybercrime as one of the security threat types of transnational organized crime (TOC) in East and Southeast Asia region in the era of globalization. This chapter examines the nature of cybercrime and how it has evolved in the Asia-Pacific region in the era of globalization. Following the booming economy in East and Southeast Asia, the internet has been used as a terrain to conduct transnational crimes, and the criminals try to utilize the loopholes between legal and judicial systems among the countries in the region. This chapter examines the threats that have been posted by cybercrime, which is different from the “traditional” organized crime activities. This chapter uses Taiwan (the official name is the Republic of China, R.O.C.) as a case study. Following globalization and technological development, Taiwan’s underworld went into a new stage of development, penetrating political, economic and other aspects in the society. Thus, many organized crime groups vigorously expand their organizations oversees into East and Southeast Asia. As a result, Taiwan exported many masterminds of telecommunication and internet fraud crime and those criminals form organized crime groups in the third countries. The whole region is affected by the telecommunication frauds conducted by transnational criminal groups that are in many cases headed by Taiwanese. This phenomenon has become a security threat to the region that requires cross-border cooperation and joint effort.
Leo S. F. Lin, John Nomikos

Natural Disasters and Health Risks of First Responders

The main objective of this chapter is to provide information on health risks for organizations responding to natural disasters to ensure better preparedness of their responders. Organizational preparedness has to include considerations for the type of event responders are deploying to, health risks they may be exposed to, and how they could help affected local vulnerable population. Organizations should consider preparedness of their responders with the same precision as businesses consider business continuity plans. Organizations should prioritize and specialize in the types of disasters they respond to and deliberately expand their scope as their preparedness level matures. Three case studies are presented to demonstrate the various situations and related health risks.
Katie Subbotina, Nirupama Agrawal

The March, 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster – A Foreseeable System Accident?

The chapter presents a systems-theory-informed analysis of the 11 March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. Following the Tōhoku earthquake, Fukushima-Daiichi suffered a series of failures that saw nuclear material released into the environment and the evacuation of 150,000 residents. Using a formula developed by Rose Challenger, Christopher Clegg and Mark Robinson (Understanding crowd behaviours, vol. 1. Practical guidance and lessons identified. The Stationery Office, London, 2010), the chapter argues that the disaster was a system accident originating in a spectrum of factors – social, economic, political and cultural. Secondly, the chapter argues that the disaster was foreseeable. Thirdly, the chapter argues that the mindlessness and groupthink that permeated Japan’s industrial, bureaucratic and political elites increased the likelihood of disaster. As to how a repeat can be avoided, the chapter offers three options. First, the world community could try to persuade Japan to abandon its nuclear programme. Secondly, Japan could generate her electricity entirely from fossil fuels and renewables such as solar, wind, hydro, tide and biomass. Thirdly, Japan could seed her nuclear plants with managers and workers not culturally predisposed to conformity and obedience. The author concludes that each solution is problematic.
Simon Bennett

The Maori Response to a Seismic ‘Swan’

This chapter looks at this Maori Black Swan Event (BSE) and examines its nature against current definitions and specifically against the New Orleans’s Lower 9th Ward response. It then considers how Maori managed with a study of the Maori community at Rapaki just outside Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake. The existence and the current management of this BSE in New Zealand and how Maori manage should be recognised in disaster plans. That is not happening. Moreover, the sense by both authors is that this work will resonant with other ethnic responses in New Zealand such as Pacific Islanders, SE Asians and Chinese.
Regan Potangaroa, Maire Kipa

Building Energy Resiliency in the Asia Pacific – Providing Transition Pathways for a More Secure and Sustainable Future

The global energy system is under stress with volatile oil prices, the challenge of climate change and economic uncertainty bearing down. Now is not the time to pretend that a ‘business as usual approach’ across the Asia Pacific energy sector is a viable strategy which provides resilience. Currently, energy policy is stove piped and sector biased which does not reflect the multifaceted nature of energy. Addressing energy security in vulnerable cities requires a change in thinking. The traditional International Energy Agency (IEA) definition of “energy security as the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price”, doesn’t come close to addressing complex uncertainty. Energy planners in the Asia Pacific must consider the interconnected vulnerabilities of: technological innovation; resource climate management and security; geo-strategic competition; demographic shifts, efficient governance; social cohesion and trust; and hybrid and asymmetric threats. Failure to change the way nations think on energy is a failure to prepare for change.
Neil Greet

From Data Modeling to Algorithmic Modeling in the Big Data Era: Water Resources Security in the Asia-Pacific Region under Conditions of Climate Change

Advances in computing technologies allow machine learning algorithms to automatically, repeatedly and quickly apply complex mathematical calculations to water resources and environmental security challenges. The concomitant increase in “big data” research, development, and applications is also driving the popularity of real-time automated model building and data mining for these security problems under conditions of climate change. The last decade has seen considerable growth in the theory and application in Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is shown that machine learning, a subset of AI, constitutes a data analysis method that focuses on the development of algorithms that can iteratively learn from data to uncover previously “hidden insights” for environmental security managers in the Asia Pacific. It is concluded that deep machine learning (i.e. deep learning) can help to reduce losses to ecosystems, livelihoods, and businesses. In particular, these losses can be more likely prevented and minimized through the use of data and algorithmic modeling that improves community resilience by institutionalizing sustainable hazard mitigation within accepted processes of water resources community planning and economic development before disasters happen. Key environmental threats including foods, population extinction, water quality and climate change are considered. The difference between the algorithmic modeling and data modeling cultures are summarized with reference to the schools in which they originate, the assumptions they work on, the type of data they deal with, and the techniques used.
Jason Levy, Ross Prizzia

From Gas Explosions to Earthquakes: Case Studies of Disaster Response in Taiwan

This chapter begins with an introduction of the Taiwanese governmental structure, types of hazards, and the development of its disaster management system. I utilized the multiple case study method to review four major disasters that occurred in this country in the past 4 years. Data for the case studies were collected from official after-action reports, academic journals, commercial magazines, and newspapers. The data was carefully reviewed and compared to other resources prior to being reported in this book.
In each case study, I reviewed response activities for each of the four disasters, and then arranged the lessons learned. Based on insights from disaster and risk research, I propose two suggestions at the end of this chapter for improving future response activities under the Taiwanese disaster management organization and response system.
Hsien-Ho (Ray) Chang

The Missing Link in the Global Aviation Safety and Security Network: The Case of Taiwan

The article discusses the importance of Taiwan’s participation in and contribution to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The continuous absence of a notable aviation country situated at the cross-roads of the Asia-Pacific poses a threat to global aviation safety and security, which requires the uniform adherence to accepted international standards and practices, and the real-time exchange of information vital to air navigation. The lives and wellbeing of millions of passengers from around the world, and the safe transit of high value air freight originating from, destined for, or passing through Taiwan means the international community can no longer ignore the presence and importance of this strategic aviation hub in the Asia-Pacific.
Ram S. Jakhu, Kuan-Wei Chen

Universal Participation Without Taiwan? A Study of Taiwan’s Participation in the Global Health Governance Sponsored by the World Health Organization

This chapter focuses on the health risk of Taiwan’s absence in intergovernmental health governance networks. It provides a review of Taiwan’s bidding strategies for the World Health Organization between 1997 and 2009. The country’s participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) and the International Health Regulations (IHR) network since 2009 was a significant improvement, but this experience failed to extend to other governing bodies. The chapter goes on to discuss the global public health risk of excluding Taiwan from cross-national health cooperation, and why such a conundrum remains difficult to resolve. Taiwan’s compliance regarding health governance relies heavily on self-regulation and the help of its allies. The United States has played a key role in enforcing global health regulations on Taiwan. Unlike other sources of threat in health governance, Taiwan currently does not represent a high health risk to other countries. As a result, Taiwan finds it difficult to persuade WHO members to manifest “universal participation” by including Taiwan in various intergovernmental health networks. This pattern of governance, however, lacks transparency. Other countries will find it difficult to monitor or intervene in the event Taiwan’s health authority is unable to deal with a transnational health emergency.
Ping-Kuei Chen

Dacoity in India: Investigating Thievery and Banditry in the British Raj’s Jewel

Despite continued anti-banditry efforts, the problem of dacoity persists in India today. Although it has a long history in the subcontinent, relatively little quantitative work has been done on the topic. Using official crime data published by the Government of India and information in the Census of India, this study seeks to evaluate the impact of state-level factors on the prevalence of dacoit crimes in India using multilevel modeling. Certain state-level characteristics do, with statistical significance, impact the prevalence of dacoit crimes in India. Using this analysis as a framework, this study evaluates the importance of characteristics within Indian society that allow the practice of dacoity to continue in quite large numbers. The study seeks to provide Indian decision-makers with new insight to evaluate potential mechanisms to finally bring this century-old criminal activity to an end. By understanding what characteristics increase the likelihood of dacoity, decision-makers will be better positioned to shape effective tools for countering these actions. This research impacts the greater region, not just India. Banditry has a rich and lucrative history throughout South Asia. An empirical study in Indian banditry can provide insights for other states to counter their manifestations of the same problem.
Jared Romeo Dmello


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