Research Student: Nadirah Mohd Azmi
Health Security Crisis in South-East Asia: Asean's roles and challenges
The emerging threat from non-traditional security (NTS) is not something that states can avoid. In a region that all type of states lived together (developed, developing, poor states) and also practiced specific norm in governing any issue, Southeast Asia is an interesting region to study. With the end of the Cold War, challenges to a state is not coming from in a form of military nature but also it has been challenged by the emergence of the non-military threat such as climate change, terrorism, illegal migration and infectious disease. Apart from being non-military threat in nature; these threats are transnational threat and it happens without early warning and accelerated with the help of globalisation and revolution of communication. These threats have made it increasingly difficult for states to act alone as NTS is not a threat that can be solved unilaterally. As in the case of infectious disease threat, WHO has even declared the Southeast Asia as the next ground zero, after the outbreak of H5N1 and SARS. Despite the potential threat, in the case of Asia’s region, it is not easy to practice new strategies or plans as ‘the political, economic, and cultural complexity of the Asian region and the quantity and diversity of problems addressed through different diplomatic and governance mechanisms. The concept of non-interference that has been practiced by ASEAN for years is a problematic concept that always ceases ASEAN from taking meaningful action. Thus, my research will be focusing on the health security crisis in Southeast Asia on how ASEAN is going to govern this threat despite the norm of non-interference and the issue of national sovereignty as the member of ASEAN has a different perception on NTS issue.
I have completed my BA in International Relations and my MA in strategic studies both from National University of Malaysia. Before starting my Phd here, I have worked with Sultan Idris Education University for two years as a lecturer for undergraduate students.
What motivated me to undertake PhD study?
It is the knowledge itself!!! There’s a lot of interesting fields of international studies that make me fascinated with the findings. As the world becomes connected, everyone needs to be prepared. Being a student in International Relations field, all the knowledge is really worth it to understand more about what's happening around the world and not just keep an eye on what's happening in my country.
What makes me passionate about my subject?
NTS threats specifically the threat of infectious disease is not a new threat in Southeast Asia but just recently gained attention from policy makers and other non-state actors as the threat could be jeopardized any economic state or their society. However, there is scarce literature about the roles of ASEAN in governing this threat. I feel that is a vitally important to gain a local perspective to investigate the role of ASEAN to have a better understanding on how regional organization in a conflicted region will govern the threat
What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?
After completing my Phd here, I will return to Malaysia as I already have a job as a lecturer at the Sultan Idris Education University. I am hoping that I would use all the knowledge and experience that I get here to contribute something to my country and also to my employer.