Scott Edwards

Scott Edwards

Personal Profile

My primary research is on the security issues of Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Malaysia and Indonesia. Previously I was most interested in the political processes behind the securitization of non-traditional trans-boundary security issues in Southeast Asia. My current projects are centred trust and its effect on ASEAN’s security relations, which is the focus of my PhD, and trust and humanitarian organisations for which I am doing consultancy for the International Commission of the Red Cross. Throughout my career I have produced articles on many security issues in Southeast Asia. I have also worked on corruption in various forms. This mostly stemmed from an interest in how corruption and patronage affect the security dynamics of the region.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Political Science and International Relations (Submitted)
University of Birmingham – 2015-Current

•Thesis Title: The role of trusting relationships in a Security Community: The development of trust in ASEAN

•Awarded full scholarship from the Institute of Cooperation, Conflict, and Security. Awarded U21 Scholarship to undertake collaborative work at NUS in Singapore

Masters (MA) International Relations (Contemporary Asia Pacific) with Distinction
University of Birmingham – 2011-2012

•Thesis Title: The Securitization of the Indonesian Haze: Conflict between the Centre and Periphery

•Awarded the David Ngai Bursary to undertake research in Jakarta

Bachelor of Arts (BA) History and International Relations, 1st Class
Coventry University – 2007-2010

•Awarded Course Tutor’s Prize for the final result of the degree

Academic Publications

The Politics of Environmental Security in Post-Suharto Indonesia: the case of the Haze
Co-Authored with Dr. Felix Heiduk (SWP Berlin)
(2015, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs Vol. 34, No. 3, pp.65-94)

Rational trust and the formation of ASEAN
(2018, In ‘Trust and Mistrust in International Relations’ – Routledge Global Cooperation Series – Edited by Hiski Haukkala, Johanna Vuorelma, Carina Van de Weterling)

Developments in Malaysian Politics 2015-2018
(Forthcoming 2019, Asia Maior 2019)

Conflicts of interest: State linked business & the contested land rights of the Orang Asli
(Forthcoming 2019, in ‘International Business Human Rights in Asia’ – Palgrave – Edited by James Gomez)

The Orang Asli in GE14: A new opportunity for political participation?
(Forthcoming 2019, in ‘The Other Democracy: People and Politics in Malaysia Vol. 3’ – SIRD – Edited by Sophie Lemiere

The Central Role of Trust in Advancing ASEAN’s Human Rights Regime
(Forthoming 2019, in ‘Issue of Human Rights in ASEAN’ – Edited by University of Gadjah Mada ASEAN Studies Center


ISA 2016 – Atlanta, USA
Presented: Trust and the formation of ASEAN: Calculative Based Trust and the formation of trusting relationships in International Relations
Business and International Human Rights in Asia 2018 – Bangkok, Thailand
Presented: Conflicts of interest: State linked business and the land rights of the Peninsular Orang Asli

Other Events

I have presented at a range of internal events and workshops on methodology in trust research, trust in ASEAN, and the securitization of the haze in Indonesia, as well as external events such as on the Malaysian elections at Bangkok’s Asia Centre and on trust in ASEAN at ISIS – Malaysia & CSIS – Indonesia. I have also mentored at Cambridge University’s Southeast Asian Conference.

I co-organised my own workshop, ‘Trust in the Social Sciences’. This brought scholars from the UK, China, Australia and Europe to Birmingham from various social science backgrounds. We secured 5 thousand-pounds funding from BISA and ESRC. I also co-organised external speakers for seminars for the Asia Working Group and Trust Working Group.

Work experience

International Commission for the Red Cross (March 2019 – Present)

•Consult on the role of trust in humanitarian organisations and operations

Graduate Teaching Assistant – International Politics of East Asia, The Making of Modern East Asia, Introduction to International Relations, International Relations Theory
University of Birmingham (September 2015-September 2018)

•Planned and taught my own seminars on the above courses for 1st to 3rd year undergraduates.
•Seminars on East Asia cover all areas of International Relations in the region, as well as many domestic issues.
•Assessed coursework for 1st year undergraduates.

Commissioning Editor – Asia Dialogue

University of Nottingham (August 2017 – January 2017)

•Commissioned articles from experts on Indonesia and Malaysia on contemporary issues in Southeast Asia.

Visiting Fellow

CSIS Indonesia (August 2016 – November 2016)

•Undertook research for my PhD whilst also contributing to and proofreading for institutional publications, and engaging in institution events.

Visiting Researcher

ISIS Malaysia (May 2016 – August 2016)

•Undertook research for my PhD whilst also contributing to research projects, and proofreading for institutional publications, and engaging in institution events.

Research Assistant – Transnational Advocacy Networks in Southeast Asia & Latin America
University of Birmingham (May 2016 – June 2016)

•Assisted Dr. Gilson analysing the role of Transnational Advocacy Networks (TANs) in Southeast Asia and Latin America, as well as south-south TAN cooperation, through a literature review and media analysis.

Research Assistant – Anti-Corruption Interventions DFID Research Bid
University of Birmingham (July 2016 – September 2016)

•Assisted Professor Marquette on a 7 million-pound DFID bid from a coalition including University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, Transparency International, and others through research on anti-corruption interventions in Africa and South Asia

Occasional lecturer/workshop deliverer
University College London (Ad Hoc)

•Delivered lectures and workshops on efforts to prevent corruption, and how that impacts on development in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Indonesia and Malaysia.

Primary Researcher – Indonesia & Malaysia – Defence and Anti-Corruption Report
Transparency International (July 2013 – July 2015)

•Undertook primary and secondary research to provide detailed responses for a TI investigation of corruption in defence industries
•Indonesia –
•Malaysia –

Relevant administrative experience

•Course representative throughout undergraduate degree
•Student representative throughout PhD
•Convener Trust Working Group (organised internal and external speakers with the aim of strengthening research through early engagement to improve institute’s Research Excellence Framework output).
•Convener International Relations and Security Theory Reading Group (organised internal speakers with the aim of strengthening research through early engagement to improve department’s Research Excellence Framework output).

Professional Memberships

•Association of Southeast Asian Studies (UK) – ASEASUK
•British International Studies Association – BISA
•International Studies Association – ISA
•Indonesia-UK Scholars Network

Media articles and appearances

I have appeared on Al Jazeera as part of a panel discussing Indonesia’s tackling of the haze issue, and have been interviewed multiple occasions on the Malaysian elections. I have had articles published in a number of outlets, including New Mandala, The Conversation, New Statesmen, Al Jazeera, CNN, The New Straits Times, The Jakarta Globe, The Jakarta Post, Malaysia Kini, IAPS Dialogue, & The Diplomat on a range of regional security & political issues, including the South China Sea, terrorism, the Orang Asli, elections, and environmental issues

I am a native English speaker. I have strong professional capabilities in both Bahasa Melayu and Bahasa Indonesia, and am intermediate in Mandarin Chinese.