According to Kishore Mahbubani, dean and professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, a number of modern Asian dynasties have assumed power. And although Asians may not be outright supportive of dynastic succession in government, many certainly tolerate it. In his review of recent leadership changes in Northeast Asia, Mahbubani finds that South Korea, China, and Japan are now being led by individuals with family connections to political power. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, he notes, is part of such a modern Asian dynasty: His father and grandfather were his two predecessors.
In the same article, Mahbubani goes on to point out that that many other Asian dynasties can be found in the governments of Singapore, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Lineage is no guarantee of success, however, and Mahbubani warns that that “Asia’s pattern of dynastic leadership does not render it immune from the challenges that the rest of the world faces.”
Mahbubani developed his insights into Asia’s geopolitical landscape and international politics during his time spent as permanent secretary at the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as Singapore’s ambassador to the UN, and as president of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002. He has carefully watched the growing influence of the East, especially in relation to established powers of the West, and he has written a number of articles on the subject, which are hosted on the Project Syndicate website.
Mahbubani’s recent book, The Great Convergence,was included in Foreign Policy magazine’s list of “what to read in 2013.” In it, Mahbubani discusses how the West and East will have to share the global stage in the years ahead.
Delegates at the 66th CFA Institute Annual Conference in Singapore will hear Mahbubani discuss his ideas in greater detail. You can register to attend the conference to learn more about the tensions confronting developed, emerging, and frontier nations along with the major geopolitical fault lines that these nations must address in order to become a single global community.
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