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Expertise | Asian Governance Foundation


Our expertise in terms of research, training and consultancy pertains to Security & Peace Studies, Governance & Compliance, Comparative Public Law, and Human Rights, each with a distinctive Asian focus.

The Foundation’s approach is selective and aims at achieving a high synergy of our theoretical and practical interests and expertise. Our expertise builds upon our own work on these issues and the experience of our associates, fellows, and partners.

We address the different, sometimes diverging, political values and concepts within and among Asian societies, and analyze various understandings and protective mechanisms of human rights, the management of borders, and regionally emerging threats to peace and the rule of law, as well as ways to counter them cooperatively

Our work addresses the visions and practical benefits of regional integration as well as its potential or actual pitfalls, and we examine what lies beneath regional integration and how regionalization is developing in the context of globalization. Based on detailed case knowledge, we critically assess and compare the functioning and future prospects of regionalization.

Security & Peace Studies

Our expertise in Security & Peace Studies covers issues pertaining to legal and policy frameworks, current flashpoints and potential scenarios, as well as skills and programs, with a focus on the security development in the region. We presently focus on (counter-)terrorism and –insurgency, the continuous tensions in the South China Sea, and the overall regional security architecture.

In close cooperation with our partners, we assist in capacity-building of security forces, in particular, with regards to curricula development and course design where we address substantial issues like the rule of law and human rights. Our security and peace-related activities intersect with our engagement in human rights and governance/compliance.

Governance & Compliance

Our Governance & Compliance work focuses on the processes and structures conducive to the integrity and efficiency of any organization, public or private.

We pursue a multidisciplinary approach integrating a broad range of perspectives and experiences to assess, train, and assist in implementing governance and compliance structures.

In terms of compliance, our current focus is on two central challenges vital to a broad range of organizations, government bureaucracies as well as business enterprises. These are corruption and cross-cultural compliance in diverse cultural environments.

We closely cooperate in our compliance efforts with the Viadrina Compliance Center (Europe University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder) and the Compliance Academy in Münster.

In terms of governance, we are interested in the study of the legal frameworks and organizational structures of local/provincial administration, national-level bureaucracies, the police, and the military.

Comparative Public Law

We understand public law as an endeavor to normatively order public space and focus on its fundamental questions. These include the interaction of public law and political power, the coexistence and interaction of competing normative orders, and the question of constitutional identity. More than ever before, national constitutional law is relevant beyond its own jurisdiction with increasingly conflating constitutional processes.

We focus in particular on the ‘constitutional basic structure’ and the ‘physics of power’. This focus encompasses the normative core and the factual power dynamics whose interaction defines the central dynamics of the constitutional and political order as such.

Our work on comparative law and politics further includes the constitutional process — its conditions, impact, and identity — in different constitutional systems. Comparative public law is, in fact, central to both our research and teaching. It is a heuristic tool important for our analytical and advisory work.

Recurring research and teaching evolves around constitutional identities, institutional design and performance of constitutional bodies, and how constitutional systems respond to challenges and conflicts. The constitutional politics of Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are at the forefront of our research.

Besides our focus on constitutional law, we also work on administrative law where we focus on matters of administrative discretion and local governance.

Human Rights

We are committed to human rights-related research, training, and advocacy on national, regional, and international level.

In this context, we address the role of human rights with respect to various security regimes — e.g. within the framework of criminal law & law enforcement, or counter-terrorism & counter-insurgency.

Other focal points lie in the protection of children against human trafficking and exploitation.