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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. Follow him on twitter @Richeydarian


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, CCTV, USA Today, Voice of America, The Straits Times, The National Interest, The Diplomat, The New York Times, World Politics Review, South China Morning Post, NPR, Tehran Times, The National, Today's Online, , among other publications. He is the author of How Capitalism Failed the Arab World: The Economic Roots and Precarious Future of the Arab Uprisings.

His areas of specialization are South China Sea disputes, emerging markets, and Middle East politics. He can be reached at jrheydarian@gmail.com

Entries by Richard Javad Heydarian

Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea: A Burgeoning Alliance

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2014 | 11:55 AM

It was bound to happen. For decades, the Philippines (liberal democracy) and Vietnam (communist) have developed a lukewarm partnership -- within the confines of regional bonds of solidarity -- despite the increasing convergence of their strategic interests. But as China steps up its territorial claims in the South...

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Philippines' Infrastructure Conundrum: Prematurely Hosting the World Economic Forum?

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 5:21 PM

With the Philippines emerging as one of the economic bright spots of Asia, it came as little surprise that Manila was chosen as the host of the 2014 World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia, bringing together leading policy-makers, businessmen, academics and journalists from around the...

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The Dangers of Asian Nationalism: Why Washington Should Be Alarmed

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 12:18 PM

Few saw it coming. In the words of The Economist, it was "hot oil on troubled waters", as an international crisis over a naval standoff between Beijing and Hanoi in the South China Sea swiftly transformed into large-scale riots against Chinese interests in Vietnam,

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China Tests American Resolve: More Trouble in the South China Sea

(4) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 5:33 PM

"What would America fight for?" exclaimed The Economist, as it cautioned the Obama administration against strategic retreat and neo-isolationism. It dismissed President Obama's foreign policy as a cerebral doctrine that excuses inaction -- one that is based on visceral recoil at confrontation and distaste for strategic gamble. It...

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The Philippine-U.S. New Security Pact: Good Bargain, or a Lopsided Deal?

(7) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 9:01 PM

Recently, I had the opportunity to present at an experts conference on the South China Sea disputes in Myanmar, with maritime specialists from across the Asia-Pacific region gathering to explore innovative solutions to a brewing territorial conflict in Asia. With practically no functioning communication channels between the leadership...

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Algerian Elections: The End of the Arab Spring?

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 6:00 PM

As Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika secured his fourth term in office, many are wondering whether the 2010-11 Arab uprisings have had any lasting imprint on the region at all. Soon to be an octogenarian, Bouteflika -- once the world's youngest and most dashing foreign minister --...

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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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