“Southeast Asia and ASEAN suffers from too much superficial analysis in Washington DC and the West generally. Yet, this diverse and complicated region is at the epicenter of US-China strategic rivalry. Failure to understand the complex dynamics within the region and between the region and external actors has led to seriously policy mistakes in previous periods of great power competition, most dramatically in Indochina in the 1960s and 1970s. Fortunately we now have Dr. Prashanth Parameswaran’s ASEAN Wonk BulletBrief which offers nuanced and sophisticated weekly analyses of key issues and trends; a ‘must-read’ for policy-makers, scholars and students interested in Southeast Asia.”

— Bilahari Kausikan, former Singapore Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Ambassador to Russia

“I find the ASEAN Wonk newsletter immensely helpful in my work. It offers informed, thoughtful, and well-written insights on key developments and policy questions in a concise format that enables me to absorb the essential points fully and quickly.”

— Scot Marciel, former U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN, Indonesia and Myanmar and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs

“ASEAN Wonk is just what we need in Southeast Asia. It incisively digs and penetrates geostrategic topics and issues with breath and depth, thereby filling niches that are missed by myriad media platforms out there. It is a service not just to Southeast Asians but to a wider world of analysts who are interested in finding out what’s going on in ASEAN and Southeast Asia.”

— Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Professor and Senior Fellow at Chulalongkorn University’s Institute of Security and International Studies

“With timely, highly-informative and incisive analyses, the ASEAN Wonk newsletter is a must read for the policy and academic communities who need a credible brief on current affairs in Southeast Asia and the wider region. Founded and run by an accomplished scholar and expert, Prashanth Parameswaran, ASEAN Wonk is a good companion for understanding political and security issues in a highly dynamic region.”

— Mely Caballero-Anthony, Professor, Associate Dean, President’s Chair and Head of the Center for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

  • Bulleted weekly briefings in under 10 minutes on global and Asia security and foreign policy with a focus on Southeast Asia – we write, draw and read for busy policymakers, business professionals, scholars and watchers.   

  • Data-driven horizon scanning of geoeconomic and geopolitical trends – we go deep with comprehensive takes on must-not-miss policy and macroeconomic developments.

  • Rich visualizations of our ongoing sectoral and policy tracking – we share original and curated tables, charts and graphs to help our audience(s) map and distill key datapoints.

  • Quickfire original commentary on current regional and global policy issues – we go beyond the now and focus on the significance and future implications of major developments.

  • Horizon scans of the information environment beyond the headlines – we sift the signal from the noise in our analysis and make sure you don’t miss original insights from the media and scholarly space, including from local-language sources that break news.   

How It Works

  • Regular publishing schedule – ASEAN Wonk usually publishes twice a week to maximize value and minimize inbox clutter for our readers: our weekly briefing is regularly sent out during the second half of the week, and we usually have an analysis, deep dive or perspective in the first half, some of which are sent only to paid subscribers.

  • Customized subscription management – A paid subscription costs $5 a month or $50 a year and you can sign up here. Full posts get you around three times the value of a free preview, so we encourage you to sign up. A few additional notes on subscriptions to account for diverse needs:

    • Expensing Subscriptions: Please use this form if you are looking for a template to expense your subscription.

    • Group Subscriptions: Group subscriptions are available on the subscription page (click on the other subscription options tab right above the payment section)

    • Current Student Subscriptions: A discounted rate for current students with a valid institutional email address is available here: https://aseanwonk.substack.com/68e86b4d

    • Institutional Subscriptions: We do take institutional subscriptions, and rates are customized depending on your needs. Email aseanwonk@gmail.com for more details.

  • Receptive to community input – Use this form to submit topic suggestions or other comments. We value your input and would love to hear from you!

Who We Are

  • I’m Dr. Prashanth Parameswaran, and I founded ASEAN Wonk as a research hub to get smarter faster on the world’s most dynamic region. We sum up our mission as “connecting all for all” – we seek to connect people and ideas using a 360-degree view of risks and opportunities in security and foreign policy: not just bullets and ballots, but also budgets, bonds, books and everything in between.

  • I am concurrently a fellow at the Wilson Center, a senior columnist at The Diplomat magazine and an instructor at various institutions including the State Department and the Department of Defense. A political scientist by training, I earned my PhD and master’s degree at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and bachelor’s degree at the University of Virgnia.

  • I lived in Southeast Asia for nearly two decades and have over fifteen years of experience working on and in Asia for think tanks, businesses, governments and the media, with a focus on foreign and security policy and analyzing geopolitical and geoeconomic trends and developments.

  • I’ve written thousands of pieces on regional issues and have been published widely in leading publications and journals such as CNN, The Washington Post, The South China Morning Post, The Straits Times, Asia Policy and Contemporary Southeast Asia. I also published a book on major power commitments to regions of the world and the responses of states to geopolitical challenges, with a focus on U.S. commitment in Southeast Asia amid various trends including intensifying U.S.-China competition.  

Why Subscribe

  • ASEAN Wonk is a research hub that has relevance for anyone interested in Indo-Pacific and global security and foreign policy or Southeast Asia more specifically.

  • If you sign up, you’ll join a community of regional and geopolitical watchers and get original, data-driven commentary and analysis as well as curated thought leadership at the top of your inbox. That’s where it belongs. The Indo-Pacific already accounts for the majority of the world’s GDP and sits astride the globe’s most strategic sea lanes, and, within that, Southeast Asia alone is the convening hub for Indo-Pacific diplomacy and the voice of nearly 700 million people.

  • An individual subscription guarantees full access to all articles, graphics, recommended reads and industry dashboards. Emails also go directly to your inbox so you won’t miss anything.

  • Subscribers can expect to get:

    • Briefings on key developments and curated reads and statistics

    • A weekly industry dashboard on key sectoral and policy developments   

    • Detailed deep dives on Indo-Pacific geopolitical and geoeconomic developments

    • Timely commentaries on fast-moving developments

    • Occasional summaries and reviews of new research and interviews with leading thinkers  

  • Still not convinced about an annual subscription? Try us out for a month and send us suggested areas of coverage to see if we can meet your needs.

  • ASEAN Wonk caters to various audiences, including but not limited to:

    • A businessperson who wants to ensure that datapoints aren’t missed for work

    • A policymaker who wants to quickly get up to speed on the region or regularly track key policy developments

    • A researcher, academic or think tanker who wants to connect with hubs for datapoints helpful for individual, group or student research   

    • A journalist who wants to follow our work, cite our writing and engage on ongoing developments   

    • A publication or scholarly institution who wants to follow our work and explore opportunities for collaboration  

    • An activist or independent advocate who wants to engage with us on issues that matter to you

    • A student or aspiring professional who wants to keep abreast of developments for academic, professional or personal reasons

    • A longtime regional observer looking to support regional-focused publications

    • An individual interested in engaging with research hubs and their work

    • A global citizen looking for one-stop shops for global, regional and local insights

    • A friend of ASEAN Wonk!

Where “ASEAN Wonk” Comes From

  • The word “wonk” conveys our dedication to the nuances of policy (see Merriam Webster’s more colorful description below). We rooted our name in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as Asia’s main institutional hub for regional engagement amid changing global geopolitical and geoeconomic trends and developments.

Subscribe to ASEAN Wonk

Southeast Asia and Indo-Pacific geopolitics and geoeconomics analyzed twice-weekly by a bestselling regional publication. Join practitioners and scholars across 130 countries and 6 continents in getting smarter faster on the world’s most dynamic region.


Twice-weekly insights on Southeast Asia and Indo-Pacific geopolitics and geoeconomics via ASEAN Wonk. Southeast Asian scholar-practitioner joining readers in over 130 countries & 6 continents to get smarter faster on the world’s most dynamic region.