Indo-Pacific Roundtable 2023, Panel 2

Over the last thirty years, economic growth in the Indo-Pacific has been largely driven by globalistion. The expansion of economic and political through increased international trade, investment, and cultural exchange has become a defining feature of growth in Asia and of the global economy generally. But evidence shows that the process of globalisation is slowing down. In recent years, FDI and international trade has decreased across the board, accelerated by a global economic slowdown brought on by the pandemic. Is this the end of globalisation, or just “slowbalisation”? This panel will bring together a group of experts with expertise in the politics, economics and international relations of the Indo-Pacific region to explore the factors driving decoupling and the slowing of global trade in Southeast Asia, including patterns of institutional organisation and corporate policy, political violence, the relationship between security and development policy, and the role of China and Sino-US competition.


  • Mr Ben Bland, Chatham House
  • Dr Adnan Naseemullah, King’s College London
  • Dr Catherine Jones, University of St Andrews
  • Prof Chris Marquis, University of Cambridge

Moderated by: Dr William Figueroa, Centre for Geopolitics

More about the speakers: 

Ben Bland is the director of the Asia-Pacific programme at Chatham House. His research focuses on the nexus of politics, economics and international relations in Southeast Asia, as well as China’s role in the region and the contours of US-China strategic competition. He was formerly the director of the Southeast Asia programme at the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based think-tank. Ben is the author of two critically-acclaimed books on Asian politics: Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia (Penguin Random House, 2020) and Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow (Penguin Random House, 2017). Ben was previously an award-winning correspondent for the Financial Times, with postings in Hanoi, Jakarta and Hong Kong, and experience reporting across Southeast Asia and China for more than a decade. He has an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Cambridge.

Adnan Naseemullah is Reader in International Politics at King’s College London, and author of Development under Statism (Cambridge, 2017), Patchwork States (Cambridge, 2022), and Righteous Demagogues (Oxford, forthcoming 2024). His work on the political economy of national development, political violence, state-building, party politics and the politics of South Asia has been published in World Development, the Journal of Development Studies, Comparative Politics, Political Geography, Governance, Studies in Comparative International Development and Studies in Indian Politics, among other outlets.

Catherine Jones, is a lecturer at the University of St Andrews, previously she was a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Warwick and received her PhD from the University of Reading. Her research focuses on three areas of work: (1) agency of East Asian states in international order, (2) the China-North Korea relationship, (3) and the politics and development in Southeast Asia. Her work has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the Korea Foundation and the Global Challenges Fund. She has published a monograph on China’s challenge to Global Norms (Palgrave, 2019), an edited volume (with Sarah Teitt) on China-North Korea relations (Elgar, 2020), an edited journal (with Garren Mulloy) on East Asia, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and peacekeeping (Australian journal of International Affairs, 2020) as well a numerous journal articles and book chapters.

Christopher Marquis is the Sinyi Professor of Chinese Management at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. He is the author the award winning books Better Business: How the B Corp Movement is Remaking Capitalism and Mao and Markets: The Communist Roots of Chinese Enterprise. Mao and Markets was a Financial Times Best Book of 2022. Prior to joining Cambridge he worked at Cornell for over 6 years, and Harvard for over 11 years, where he developed an award-winning course on social entrepreneurship. He is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed academic articles and more than 50 Harvard business cases on topics related to sustainable business, and has earned awards for scholarly achievement from the Academy of Management and the American Sociological Association. Marquis earned a PhD in sociology and business administration from the University of Michigan and BA in History from Notre Dame. Before his academic career, he worked for six years in the financial services industry, most recently as vice president and technology manager for a business unit of J.P. Morgan Chase.



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