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  • Author: Michael W. Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: How the welfare state and capitalism coexist is an enduring and highly contentious research question. According to Margarita Estevez-Abe, Japan's welfare state is not easily classified in standard, comparative ways. Despite relatively modest government social spending and benefit levels, for decades the country achieved an egalitarian form of capitalism. Existing theories have been unable to explain the Japan puzzle, we are warned, the odd combination of equality, meager redistributive social spending, and extensive protection from market risk without heavy taxes and massive government expenditures. Yet, recent shifts in welfare policies make explanation all the more urgent.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Germany
  • Author: Muthiah Alagappa
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article investigates and explains the development of International Relations studies (IRS) in China, Japan, and India. Beginning in early 1980s IRS experienced exponential growth in China and is becoming a separate discipline in that country. Despite early starts, IRS in Japan and India is still an appendage in other disciplinary departments, programs, and centers although growing interest is discernible in both countries. Continued rise of Asian powers along with their growing roles and responsibilities in constructing and managing regional and global orders is likely sustain and increase interest in IRS in these countries and more generally in Asia. Distinctive trajectories have characterized the development of IRS in China, Japan, and India. Distinctiveness is evident in master narratives and intellectual predispositions that have shaped research and teaching of IR in all three countries. The distinct IRS trajectories are explained by the national and international context of these countries as well as the extensiveness of state domination of their public spheres. Alterations in national circumstances and objectives along with changes in the international position explain the master narratives that have focused the efforts of IR research communities. Extensiveness of state domination and government support, respectively, explain intellectual predispositions and institutional opportunities for the development of IRS. IRS in Asia has had a predominantly practical orientation with emphasis on understanding and interpreting the world to forge suitable national responses. That orientation contributed to a strong emphasis on normative–ethical dimensions, as well as empirically grounded historical, area, and policy studies. For a number of reasons including intellectual predispositions and constraints, knowledge production in the positivist tradition has not been a priority. However, IR theorizing defined broadly is beginning to attract greater attention among Asian IR scholars. Initial interest in Western IR theory was largely a function of exposure of Asian scholars to Western (primarily American) scholarship that has been in the forefront in the development of IR concepts, theories, and paradigms. Emulation has traveled from copying to application and is now generating interest in developing indigenous ideas and perspectives based on national histories, experiences, and traditions. Although positivism may gain ground it is not deeply embedded in the intellectual traditions of Asian countries. Furthermore, theorizing in the positivist tradition has not made significant progress in the West where it is also encountering sharp criticism and alternative theories. Asian IR scholarship would continue to emphasize normative–ethical concerns. And historical, area, and policy studies would continue to be important in their own right, not simply as evidentiary basis for development of law-like propositions. It also appears likely that Asian IR scholarship would increasingly focus on recovery of indigenous ideas and traditions and their adaptation to contemporary circumstances. The net effect of these trends would be to diversify and enrich existing concepts, theories, methods, and perspectives, and possibly provide fresh ones as well. The flourishing of IRS in Asia would make the IR discipline more international.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, India, Asia
  • Author: Gregory J. Moore
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Speaking of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) test of a nuclear device on 9 October 2006, official statements from the government of one of the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) claimed that 'the DPRK ignored [the] universal opposition of the international community and flagrantly conducted the nuclear test' and that this government 'is resolutely opposed to it'. Moreover, in 2005, an expert on North Korea working in the defense sector of the same UNSC permanent-five member told the author that he thought the Kim Jong-Il regime was 'scary' and 'despotic' and that Kim maintains his rule by 'brainwashing' his people. It would certainly not be surprising to hear such words about North Korea from a member of the Bush Administration, or perhaps from a Brit. Yet, strange though it might seem to some, the views expressed about North Korea's nuclear test above came from official Chinese statements (People's Daily, October 2006), and the defense expert was one of China's most senior North Korean watchers, one with many years of experience in both Koreas.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Korea