How is governance in Asia changing? What is driving change and how is it being contested? What are the implications for human rights, democracy, social welfare, and foreign relations?


Governance is about the way authority is exercised in the management of economic and social resources. In Asia, the constantly changing nature of governance arrangements affects the economic, social, and political development of the billions of people living in the region.

This research cluster focuses on understanding the nature of governance within the Asian region on the subnational, national, and regional levels. In contrast to the traditional area studies which focus on discrete national contexts, this cluster carries out analysis that is comparative in nature, and centres on institutions, networks and processes that connect countries and sub-regions.

The cluster prioritises analysis of three phenomena: social welfare, human rights, and foreign relations. The social welfare node investigates topics on health, education and social protection while the human rights node examines topics on the role of international, regional and local actors in promoting universal notions of human rights, and the extent to which these notions have been adopted by Asian governments. The foreign relations node investigates manifestations and responses of countries to shared geo-political challenges like the great power competition caused by China’s rise and security threats caused by terrorist groups.

Image: Patrick Roque. Bonifacio Global City skyline in Taguig City, with residential structures in Guadalupe, Makati City 2018 CC BY-SA 3.0


Professor Andrew Rosser's research has sought to understand the impact of the constitutionalisation of social rights in Indonesia following the fall of the New Order in 1998.