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Showing papers in "Asian Politics & Policy in 2011"


Journal ArticleDOI
Lei Xie1
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explored the impact of globalization on China's environmental activism by analyzing the development of Chinese environmental activism and assessing its links with the transnational environmental movement, and concluded that Chinese environmental activists have been actively interacting with the Transnational Environmental Movement, and this has influenced the identification of their issues of concern and the developing of their strategies.
Abstract: This article explores the impact of globalization on China’s environmental activism by analyzing the development of Chinese environmental activism and assessing its links with the transnational environmental movement. It uses the case of Beijing to examine the characteristics, evolution, organizational development, and environmental identity of a green community. Two influential campaigns are presented and compared to illustrate the different movement repertoires employed, which are related to the extent that Chinese environmentalists are involved in the transnational environmental movement. The article concludes that Chinese environmental activists have been actively interacting with the transnational environmental movement, and this has influenced the identification of their issues of concern and the development of their strategies. However, Chinese involvement in the transnational environmental movement is still limited, owing to China’s political conditions as well as the movement’s early stage of development.

64 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Using an alternative approach that understands civil society as a particular mode of action and interaction and not as a fixed entity, the results of three case studies of the potential for shifts in functional areas of governance (legitimate rule, security and welfare) show that civil society action from within the state apparatus effects changes in governance as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Various contemporary studies suggest a gathering structural political crisis in Vietnam, asserting that thorough political transformation is inevitable and that this may well lead to regime change. This article takes issue with such perspectives. Using an alternative approach that understands civil society as a particular mode of action and interaction and not as a fixed entity, the results of three case studies of the potential for shifts in functional areas of governance (legitimate rule, security, and welfare) show that civil society action from within the state apparatus effects changes in governance. Those processes of change were initiated more or less simultaneously from above and below. Such possibilities for political change open the way to a far wider discussion on the nature of political progress under nondemocratic regimes, which invites comparison not only with a range of contemporary experiences, but also the political histories of many Western countries.

27 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors analyze several cases of agreements between the Philippines and destination states in an attempt to find a model for bilateral labor agreements, which could then be used to entice destination states hitherto reluctant to forge bilateral labour agreements into engagement with the Philippines on the issue.
Abstract: This article discusses the changing influences on migration that destination states of migrant workers are exerting through bilateral labor agreements. As neoliberal trade policies have become more common across the Asia-Pacific, labor agreements have proliferated as well. Both bilateral and regional free trade agreements are now in place or under negotiation across the region. Likewise, states are engaging in labor relations liberalization through bilateral agreements, particularly those concluded between states with labor surpluses and others with labor shortfalls. Within these bilateral frameworks, new targeted migrant schemes have been introduced to expedite the process of getting workers to where they are needed. Workers' welfare has also been a hallmark of such agreements. This article will analyze several cases of agreements between the Philippines and migrant worker destination states in an attempt to find a model for bilateral labor agreements. The model could then be used to entice destination states hitherto reluctant to forge bilateral labor agreements into engagement with the Philippines on the issue. This research fills a void in the literature in regard to the structure and content of completed bilateral labor agreements between states. Although case studies from the Philippines will be used, it is expected that analysis and conclusions drawn will have wide regional applicability.

25 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines contemporary Vietnamese politics and argues that many opportunities remain for political rethinking and examines linguistic arguments that point to a perpetuation of traditional Communist ideas in two crucial areas: village elections and the treatment of policy.
Abstract: This article examines contemporary Vietnamese politics and argues that many opportunities remain for political rethinking. It examines linguistic arguments that point to a perpetuation of traditional Communist ideas in two crucial areas—village elections and the treatment of “policy.” It then juxtaposes this formal conservatism with two areas of tension. First, problems exist in addressing important policy questions related to rural development, poverty, and participation. These suggest that without major rethinking of fundamental political issues, such problems are increasingly hard to address. Second, it examines the context of formal politics, looking at evidence for successful contestation over leadership positions in villages and the rise of informal farmers’ groups. Both have often led local officials to simple toleration and accommodation rather than exploitation of such trends to assist their own repositioning in ways that could gain them popular political support. Again, such trends highlight the void in formal political rethinking. Both of these areas of tension create considerable difficulties for donors and external partners, whose approaches are often premised upon both a familiar policy-driven role for the state in development and ignorance of local political processes.

21 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined citizens' perceptions about government effectiveness on the issues of corruption, human rights, and crime as well as the economy in three countries: Japan, South Korea, and China.
Abstract: Japan, South Korea, and China have all achieved high economic growth rates in a relatively short period of time; they also have shared values. The phenomenon of rapid economic growth in a short period, however, raises questions about government effectiveness in managing sociopolitical issues such as corruption, human rights, and crime. By using the 2003 AsiaBarometer surveys, this article examines citizens' perceptions about government effectiveness on the issues of corruption, human rights, and crime as well as the economy in the three countries. It then looks at the impact of said perceptions on trust in political institutions such as the central government, the legal system, and the legislature. The multilevel estimates suggest that effective management of the economy primarily affects trust in the central government; how the government deals with corruption primarily affects trust in parliament; whereas the management of human rights as well as crime reflects on trust in the legal system.

17 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that the post-Mao era reform represents both continuity and discontinuity with the immediate past, and a complex mingling of Mao's legacy with new initiatives, and that the turn toward capitalism of China has proven Mao's foresight, validated his concerns, and may be evidence of the lasting utility of Maoism.
Abstract: Most observers hold a positive view of China's reform since 1978 but are critical of the policies of the era of Mao Zedong, ignoring the inseparable connections between the two. This article argues that the post-Mao era reform represents both continuity and discontinuity with the immediate past, and a complex mingling of Mao's legacy with new initiatives. The origins of many reform policies, as well as their accomplishments, could be traced back to the Mao era. They were often conditioned by, benefited from, or were built upon the outcomes of Mao's policies. These included the decisions to normalize China's relations with the United States and develop friendship with Third World countries, efforts to decentralize economic power and industrialize China without urbanization, and the move to defeat "capitalist roaders" but call Deng Xiaoping back to office. Overall, the turn toward capitalism of China has proven Mao's foresight, validated his concerns, and may be evidence of the lasting utility of Maoism. © 2011 Policy Studies Organization.

13 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors investigates the chief historical, cultural, ideological, and identity-related, as well as geostrategic factors involved in post-revolutionary Iran-West relations, and how they have caused an almost solidified sense of fear, suspicion, and mistrust between the two.
Abstract: This article is a largely constructivist revisit to the crisis of confidence between Iran and the West. It strives to investigate the chief historical, cultural, ideological, and identity-related, as well as geostrategic factors, involved in postrevolutionary Iran-West relations, and how they have caused an almost solidified sense of fear, suspicion, and mistrust between the two. The contemporary major areas of conflict the study delineates are (a) the human rights issue, (b) Iran's nuclear program, (c) Iranian-Israeli hostility, and (d) the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The article concludes that the restoration of mutual confidence requires a structural overhaul of both sides' ideological attitudes and political practices toward each other.

13 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examined the origins of Southeast Asia as a region, including the extent to which regularized interstate relations existed throughout the region prior to World War II, and found that Southeast Asia's emergence as a distinct region most significantly stemmed from the strategic dynamics of the Second World War.
Abstract: This article examines the origins of Southeast Asia as a region, including the extent to which regularized interstate relations existed throughout the region prior to World War II. In addition, the article examines the origins of Southeast Asia's recognition as a region together with notions of cultural homogeneity and identity. At one level, these interdependent variables are relevant to the analysis because much of the scholarly literature has utilized some combination of the three—together with notions of geographical propinquity, interdependence, and a capacity to refract the power of the international system—as a basis to substantiate the claim that a region exists, whether that be Southeast Asia or elsewhere. However, notions of culture and identity are also important because they represent a natural outcome of long-term interaction and interdependence. Consequently, the article finds that the origin of Southeast Asia, as a distinct region, most significantly stemmed from the strategic dynamics of the Second World War. Moreover, the contemporary nature of Southeast Asia's construction as a region has been a consequence of the region's cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity; an associated absence of a regional identity; and a lack of regionwide and regularized interstate relations until independence from colonialism.

11 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a historical review and analysis of public perceptions of police performance in Taiwan spanning the 64-year history of Taiwan's National Police Agency (NPA) is presented.
Abstract: This study offers a historical review and analysis of public perceptions of police performance in Taiwan spanning the 64-year history of Taiwan's National Police Agency (NPA). Data for the study were drawn from several sources, including selected waves of the Taiwan Social Change Survey, Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index, the World Values Survey, the Taiwan Public Safety and Police Service Survey, a Gallup survey, and a survey conducted by the authors. The findings indicate that there has been a gradual but steady improvement in public perceptions of police performance in three perceptual areas: perceptions of police officers in general, perceptions of police service, and perceptions of police corruption. Additionally, the increasingly positive opinion of the police parallels Taiwan's political transition from authoritarian rule to full democracy and the subsequent professionalization of the NPA. However, despite the positive trend, three issues continue to concern the public: service attitudes, investigative effectiveness, and police corruption. Policy implications for law enforcement administration are discussed.

10 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss the question of the viability and practicability of application of compulsory pilotage, should it be extended to the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
Abstract: Part III of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 prescribes that vessels and aircraft of all flags may exercise the right of transit passage while navigating through straits used for international navigation. This created a difficult situation for states bordering straits, particularly in protecting the marine environment of their territorial straits from vessel-source pollution. The Torres Strait was designated as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in 2005 and Australia introduced a compulsory pilotage regime as its Associated Protective Measures (APM), which has been effective in minimizing the risk of casualties in the Torres Strait. The increasing shipping traffic in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore may bring about adverse effects to the marine environment of these waterways. Hence, this article discusses the question of the viability and practicability of application of compulsory pilotage, should it be extended to the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the emergence, design, and development of the minimum-livelihood guarantee policy reflects institutional space, constraints, and feedback in the Chinese policy process, and that the resources available to these actors and the outcomes of their interventions were a reflection of their institutional position in the bureaucracy.
Abstract: From 1993 to 2002, the emergence of the urban resident Minimum Livelihood Guarantee (MLG) system saw a major reconfiguration and expansion of social assistance in the People's Republic of China. The development of the MLG has been a complex process. The initial emergence and design of the MLG reflect space in the Chinese state for innovations and feedback in the social assistance agenda. The expansion and development of the MLG can be explained by the interventions of key policy actors. These actors pushed the MLG for a variety of different reasons. The resources available to these actors and the outcomes of their interventions were a reflection of their institutional position in the bureaucracy. Contributing to existing studies of Chinese social policy reform, this article argues that the emergence, design, and development of the policy reflects institutional space, constraints, and feedback in the Chinese policy process.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors show that trade unions in China do not play a significant role in affecting industrial labor income and that active trade unions contribute to the deterioration of income inequality because of the existence of administrative monopoly power.
Abstract: This empirical study shows that trade unions in China do not play a significant role in affecting industrial labor income. Inactive trade unions, moreover, contribute to the deterioration of income inequality because of the existence of administrative monopoly power. China's dual market structure (i.e., the coexistence of an administrative monopoly sector and nonadministrative monopoly sector), as well as the trade unions' administrativization and bureaucratization, are main reasons that trade unions do not effectively improve China's income distribution problem. Thus, in order to optimize the structure of income distribution, trade unions in China should start a reform of de-administrativization, reconstruction of the function of workers' rights protection, and strengthening the independence of the grassroots trade union organizations.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a comprehensive analysis of environmental nongovernmental organization (ENGO)-related impacts in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China is presented, showing that for Korea and China only, policies are strongly predicted by ENGO creation.
Abstract: This article presents a comprehensive, unprecedented analysis of environmental nongovernmental organization (ENGO)-related impacts in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China. We analyze the effects of ENGOs on four types of environmental policies, using data from government agencies, environmental organization networks, and public policies/legislation. The results from this quantitative approach show that for Korea and China only, policies are strongly predicted by ENGO creation. Further, ENGOs can undermine their own agenda if they do not sufficiently balance the interests of the public and the government.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Mohalla Committees of Mumbai as discussed by the authors were a civil society initiative for the management of conflict, which strived to restore peace and to open channels of communication between the police and citizens.
Abstract: The Mohalla Committees of Mumbai are a civil society initiative for the management of conflict. On December 6, 1992, a Hindu mob destroyed a 400-year-old mosque in Ayodhya in North India. Muslims all over India staged protests, and communal riots broke out in various parts of the country, including Mumbai. Not only was there a loss of harmony between Hindus and Muslims in the city, but also a loss of faith by the Muslims in the police. A people-centered mechanism with the objective of communal harmony, the Mohalla Committees in Mumbai strived to restore peace and to open channels of communication between the police and citizens. Women played a key role in the process of confidence building. This article is a study of the proactive role played by women in continuing the process of reconciliation and peace building.


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a study broadens and deepens intra-regional cooperation and integration in trade and investment among South Asian countries, highlighting the benefits of regional integration and presents an array of policy recommendations to maximize and realize such gains.
Abstract: This study broadens and deepens intraregional cooperation and integration in trade and investment among South Asian countries. It showcases the benefits of regional integration and presents an array of policy recommendations to maximize and realize such gains. Three parallel initiatives are needed: first, reduce nontariff barriers to deepen the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA); second, expand SAFTA’s scope to include investments and services; and third, focus on key industries to succinctly demonstrate the process and benefits of reforms. These translate into six component studies:


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The gap separating China from the established drivers of efforts to address horizontal nuclear proliferation in terms of the objectives, institutions, and approach of the nonproliferation regime is diminishing, and there is considerable potential for China to contribute to the capacity of the regime to adapt to changing requirements as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: China's profile in the nuclear nonproliferation regime is changing at a crucial time. The regime is under considerable internal and external strain as a result of eroding international support and trends in vertical and horizontal nuclear proliferation. While China's nonproliferation agenda and approach differ in some respects from those of other key actors, the gap separating China from the established drivers of efforts to address horizontal nuclear proliferation in terms of the objectives, institutions, and approach of the nonproliferation regime is diminishing, and there is considerable potential for China to contribute to the capacity of the regime to adapt to changing requirements. The Asia-Pacific region features both as the area of greatest nonproliferation concern to China and as the area where proliferation concerns are most likely to spur the further qualitative development of Chinese nonproliferation policy.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors show that an approach characterized by initial soft remedies, followed by hard remedies, will be effective under a flexible-type military organization, and explain how ROK's armed forces as a middle power military achieved tactical successes in Vietnam and Iraq.
Abstract: A power transition period in North Korea, following the hypothetical collapse of the regime of Kim Jong Il, is very likely to promote sudden insurgencies in a similar way as the Iraq and Afghanistan insurgencies. In such a scenario, how should the Republic of Korea's (ROK) counterinsurgency (COIN) forces deal with the inevitable mission ahead? Historically, the ROK's COIN forces achieved remarkable successes in Vietnam and Iraq, using “hard” and “soft” approaches. The interplay among four actors—the COIN forces, the domestic public in South Korea, the insurgents, and the local population of the insurgency-affected country—explains how ROK's armed forces as a middle power military achieved tactical successes there. It offers an insight into planning for a strategic success in potential North Korean insurgencies. The findings show that an approach characterized by initial soft remedies, followed by hard remedies, will be effective under a flexible-type military organization.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine the differences and compatibilities of the six negotiating parties' major policy objectives and priorities, the effects of which can explain bargaining positions and subsequent negotiated outcomes (or lack thereof) in complex multilateral talks, dealing with North Korea's controversial nuclear program.
Abstract: In order to address the tensions that erupted out of North Korea's nuclear crisis, a multilateral framework, known as the Six-Party Talks, was arranged between the United States and North Korea along with four other countries in Northeast Asia. On the surface, Washington seems to possess many of the requisite means to win other countries to its side, whereas Pyongyang is widely considered a pariah with little influence over the given issue. However, North Korea has posed strategic challenges to the major powers, including the United States, over the years by accumulating more nuclear materials and conducting nuclear tests in between subsequent negotiations. This study is designed to shed light on the security conundrum caused by North Korea's nuclear crisis. In particular, I seek to examine the differences and compatibilities of the six negotiating parties' major policy objectives and priorities, the effects of which can explain bargaining positions and subsequent negotiated outcomes (or lack thereof) in complex multilateral talks, dealing with North Korea's controversial nuclear program.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors used a sample of six countries, three of them liberal democracies and the other three authoritarian or semi-authoritarian autocracies, paired at similar World Bank income classifications, and showed that government spending on social programs (such as health and education) was independent of the nature of the political system.
Abstract: The study uses a sample of six countries, three of them liberal democracies and the other three authoritarian or semi-authoritarian autocracies, paired at similar World Bank income classifications. It shows that government spending on social programs (such as health and education) was independent of the nature of the political system. Moreover, the level of government spending on social programs, both as a percentage of gross domestic product and of total government spending, and increased access or public provision, did not necessarily lead to more favorable outcomes in terms of the Human Development Index. Countries get similar results with private or nongovernmental funding and/or provision of social programs. Thus, in terms of inputs (government spending) and outputs or outcomes (human development), liberal democracies were not necessarily superior to authoritarian or semi-authoritarian countries in protecting economic and social rights, except in social security and social welfare programs, primarily for the poor and elderly.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, double-edged diplomacy, the process of both domestic and international negotiations, and the outcomes are discussed in a two-level game with the domestic constituency on the one side and the governments of both countries on the other side.
Abstract: After the establishment of Sino–South African trade relations in 1998, China gained access to the South African clothing, footwear, and textile markets. By 2002, however, the domestic constituency in South Africa had started to accuse China of flooding the markets with inexpensive textile goods and engaging in unfair trade practices. As a result, a call was made for the implementation of quotas on Chinese textile products. A two-level game commenced, with the domestic constituencies on the one side and the governments of both countries on the other side. The factors that contributed to double-edged diplomacy, the process of both domestic and international negotiations, and the outcomes are discussed in this article. It is further important to comment on the strategic and policy implications for both countries, as well as the influence of the textile issue on the immediate region.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine why Japan decided to promote an international development nongovernmental organization (IDNGO) policy in 1989 and find that domestic actors' interpretations and policy processes significantly contributed to producing it.
Abstract: This article examines why Japan decided to promote an international development nongovernmental organization (IDNGO) policy in 1989. While Reimann's 2003 and 2010 analyses argue that international norms and pressure account for the establishment of this policy, I find that domestic actors' interpretations and policy processes significantly contributed to producing it. I argue that the IDNGO policy reflects a shift in policy-makers' perceptions of Japanese identity from a “merchant nation” to a “leader.” This reconstruction entails new sets of interests regarding building a positive global reputation and friendly relationships not only with other states, but also with “grassroots” citizens at home and abroad. This study highlights that identity is changeable and that domestic policy processes and actors need to be taken into more serious consideration. Demonstrating the importance of NGOs and grassroots people in constructing Japanese state identity, this article suggests that targets of recognition in international relations go beyond the state level.




Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors explored the thought of General Tamogami Toshio through an examination of his political dissent in 2008, which elevated him into a torchbearer for the popular conservative nationalists' agenda.
Abstract: Confronted with a period of socioeconomic and political stagnation and the volatility of territorial disputes, contemporary Japanese conservative nationalists are dismayed by the deterioration of national consciousness and waning of traditional values The policymakers' recent East Asian unity campaign accelerated their concern over the "marginalization" of the value of the sovereign state and consequent apathy over the danger of losing their national identity In this context, this article explores the thought of General Tamogami Toshio through an examination of his political dissent in 2008, which elevated him into a torchbearer for the popular conservative nationalists' agenda The article sheds light on his popular nationalist cause that, on the one hand, accentuated the ideological divide between conservative nationalists and skeptical and caustic ideologues, and on the other, galvanized previously politically uninterested citizens to demand rigorous epistemic investigation of national history

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review will provide an overview of the online representation of the governmental campaign shokuiku, which aims to improve the nation’s nutritional habits, which can be translated into English as “food education”.
Abstract: Unbalanced nutritional habits of Japanese people have become a matter of serious concern to the Japanese government and to a number of Japanese nongovernmental organizations. There are increasing numbers of Japanese who skip breakfast and consume too much fatty food and ready-made meals that are available 24 hours at Japan’s ubiquitous convenience stores. Weight problems, such as being overweight but also extremely underweight, which have become a problem for young Japanese women in particular, are among the repercussions of unbalanced eating habits. According to data from a yearly comprehensive health survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) for the year 2008, the habit of leaving home without breakfast concerns roughly 26% of women in their 20s and close to 22% of women in their 30s but also 30% of men in their 30s and roughly 27% of men in their 40s. Furthermore, roughly 36% of men in their 40s and 30% of men in their 20s battle excessive weight, whereas more than 22% of women in their 20s and 17% of women in their 30s show the opposite tendency toward being underweight or even extremely underweight. Weight problems are among other health problems considered lifestyle-related diseases (seikatsu shūkan-byō), such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. These threaten to place an increasing burden on the medical system in a society that has already been strained by increasing medical costs due to demographic changes, such as the aging of the population. Against this background, this review will provide an overview of the online representation of the governmental campaign shokuiku, which aims to improve the nation’s nutritional habits. The term shokuiku was created through combining the Chinese characters shoku (to eat, food or diet) and iku (to nurture, education or guidance) and can roughly be translated into English as “food education” (henceforth I will use the Japanese term shokuiku). Specifically, the review will feature the shokuiku-related Web site contents of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF; http://www.maff.go.jp/j/syokuiku/index. html), MHLW (http://www.mhlw.go.jp/bunya/kenkou/eiyou.html), and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT; http:// www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/sports/syokuiku/index.htm). In their joint efforts to effect changes in the dietary habits of Japanese citizens beyond merely accumulating and providing data, MHLW cooperates closely with MAFF and MEXT. Data on health and nutritional habits compiled by the abovecited MHLW surveys are well documented online and readily accessible to the