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Richard Javad Heydarian
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Richard Javad Heydarian is a foreign affairs and economic analyst, focusing on the Asia-Pacific and MENA regions. He is a lecturer (political science and development) at Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU), and consultant/policy advisor to a number of institutions, including the house of representatives, varying diplomatic posts, and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Manila Office). As an expert on current and international affairs, he has written for or interviewed by Asia Times, Aljazeera English, Bloomberg, BBC, Voice of America, The Diplomat, The New York Times, World Politics Review, South China Morning Post, NPR, Tehran Times, The National, Today's Online, , among other publications.

His areas of specialization are South China Sea disputes, Iran nuclear program, Arab spring, Philippines' current affairs, development and economics in Asia, and Middle East politics. He can be reached at

He is the author of How Capitalism Failed the Arab World: The Economic Roots and Precarious Future of the Arab Uprisings.

Entries by Richard Javad Heydarian

The Post-Deng China: The End of China's Soft Power?

(1) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 8:24 PM

In the last three decades the world came to witness one of history's most dramatic stories of economic transformation in the once-isolated, formerly frail China. It marked a decisive end to the country's "century of national humiliation" (beginning with the First Opium War in 1839 and ending with...

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Philippines Takes China to Court: End of Diplomacy in the South China Sea?

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 4:34 PM

"To file, or not to file" this was the crucial question, which Filipino policy-makers have been wrestling with for months, as Manila pondered challenging China's sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea before a United Nations (UN) court at The Hague. On March 30, the Philippines was...

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Time for an Arab Economic Revolution: How Keynes Can Save the Arab Spring

(1) Comments | Posted March 9, 2014 | 8:36 PM

"It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong," argued the legendary British economist John Maynard Keynes, one of history's greatest thinkers. His ideas on the fragile balance between capitalism and democracy enlightened a whole generation of leaders and policy-makers, who managed to overcome the tumultuous aftermath...

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South China Sea Disputes Enter a Dangerous Phase: The U.S. Pivot Gathers Steam

(4) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 1:13 PM

"At what point do you say: 'Enough is enough'?" Philippine President Benigno Aquino exclaimed in an exclusive interview with the New York Times. It was a forceful call for international support amid intensifying territorial disputes with China. Quite shockingly, he even compared China to Nazi Germany, cautioning the...

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The Privatization Dilemma: Regulatory Crisis in the Philippines and Emerging Markets

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 5:30 PM

To privatize, or not to privatize -- this is a fundamental question facing the Philippines, and many other similarly-situated emerging markets, which face increasingly unaffordable public services after decades of aggressive privatization. Many are beginning to ask whether the state should (once again) play a more central role in providing...

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Upgrading the Philippine Economy: Why Emerging Markets Need a New Governance Model

(1) Comments | Posted January 12, 2014 | 1:10 PM

With much of the developed world hobbling under the burden of massive public debt, The Economist couldn't resist the opportunity to encourage a global, multi-trillion-dollar "new wave of privatizations, this time centered on property." Unsatisfied with earlier waves of privatization, which focused on the banking sector, transport, telecoms,...

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Philippines in 2014: Emerging Economies with Contentious Leadership

(1) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 4:52 PM

Across a number of emerging markets, the coming year will mark a consequential political transition. This could ultimately prove much more important that the U.S. Federal Reserve's scheduled tapering in early 2014, which is expected to precipitated further capital outflow from emerging markets towards center-economies. After all, a relatively steady...

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Philippines Electricity Crisis: How Regulatory Capture Undermines Emerging Markets

(3) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 2:04 PM

In its latest issue, Foreign Affairs magazine, which identified the Philippines as among the six up-and-coming countries in the 21st century, will certainly help enhance the Aquino administration's self-confidence in its macroeconomic policy -- and somehow discredit the naysayers, who have (mistakenly) dismissed the Philippine economy as a...

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Why Is China Feared? Resurgence, Pride and Uncertainty

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 3:27 PM

Recently, I asked the Philippines' Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario about his opinion on China's newly-announced Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in East China Sea, which covers territories claimed by both South Korea and Japan, and whether he sees it as a reflection of a more assertive China under the...

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Philippines' 'Mirage' Economy: Why It's Worse Than a Bubble

(4) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 10:49 AM

Recent weeks have been abuzz with a tantalizing debate over whether the Philippine economy is a bubble posing as a miracle. And to be fair, both sides of the debate have raised a number of interesting issues, which reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the country's upward economic...

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Philippines' Post-Haiyan Revolution: What Lessons Can Aquino Learn From Lula?

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 4:17 PM

In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein, one of the world's leading progressive thinkers, explains how catastrophic moments, from wars, to natural calamities, and economic depression, can serve as a perfect opportunity for the political and corporate elite to impose a new social order, exploiting the fears and anxieties...

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Haiyan Tragedy Reveals Philippines' Hollow State: The Folly of Elite Democracy

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 2:34 PM

The Filipino people are more than aware of the variant incompetence of their state institutions. Since the country's independence (July 4, 1946), the citizens of the Philippines have had to endure violent cycles of democratic anarchy, dynastic politics, and wanton policy inconsistency, which over decades reduced one of Asia's brightest...

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Philippines' Haiyan Tragedy: What Went Wrong?

(37) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 4:29 PM

In the words of The Economist, it was a "perfect storm in terms of its sheer size, its circular symmetry and the tightness of its eye." The category 5 -- highest level -- super typhoon Haiyan, known as Yolanda to Filipinos, was one of history's strongest recorded typhoons,...

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Aquino's Moment of Truth: The Philippines at the Crossroads

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 10:20 AM

Three years into office, Aquino managed to pull off quite the unimaginable. In a country beset by intrigue, infighting, and critical media scrutiny, he maintained one of the highest approval ratings for any elected leader in any fledgling democracy.

His opponents, embittered by his staunch reformist agenda...

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Philippines' Real Economic Achilles Hill: An Educational Crisis?

(5) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 1:17 PM

Lately, the Philippines has -- for a number of good reasons -- enjoyed the limelight, emerging as an increasingly impressive economic bright spot in Asia.

Receiving a stamp of approval from the world's leading credit rating agencies, namely Fitch, S&P, and Moody's, the country stands as a...

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Has Obama Abandoned Asia? A Philippine Perspective

(23) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 1:22 PM

As the U.S. battles its second government shutdown in recent decades, reviving the ugly memories of the 1995-96 Clinton-Gingrich impasse over fiscal issues, many in Asia are raising more fundamental questions regarding the country's status and claim to global leadership.

In a recent interview with the New...

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Why Is President Aquino So Popular? Effective Leadership and Enigmatic Charisma

(10) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 1:00 PM

Under a climate of long-standing political cynicism, fueled by a perennial sense of social injustice and endemic corruption, elected leaders inevitably face an uphill battle for the hearts and minds of the people.

In developing countries where the majority of the population has yet to benefit from the fruits...

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The Luneta Revolution: A Filipino Middle Class Anti-Corruption Movement

(7) Comments | Posted September 15, 2013 | 4:57 PM

For decades, the Philippines has suffered from the unenviable position of ranking among the most corrupt countries in the world. And along such perennially high rates of corruption ran an equally toxic combination of extreme poverty, unemployment, and inequality -- among the worst in the region.


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Philippines as the New ASEAN Growth Pole: Not Even Corruption Can Stop it

(8) Comments | Posted August 13, 2013 | 11:40 AM

Halfway into his six-year term, President Benigno Aquino III is facing a spate of major corruption scandals, which could potentially undermine his "good governance " (Tuwid na Daan) initiative -- the policy that largely explains renewed global confidence in the Philippine economy in recent years.

Successfully dislodging...

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An Obama-Rouhani Communique: The World's Best Chance at Peace

(4) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 3:15 PM

In a dramatic departure from its historically bellicose stance on Iran, up to 131 members of the U.S. Congress have asked the Obama administration to reach out to Iran's new president, in a bid to diplomatically resolve the nuclear issue. Noting the extreme urgency of resuming the diplomatic...

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