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  • Author: Sumeet Saksena
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Cities are expanding very rapidly in Asia, often without adequate housing, transportation, water, or sanitation. ese new “peri-urban” areas may be hot spots for disease, both in humans and domestic animals. Research into the possible link between unplanned urban expansion and disease outbreaks compared patterns of land-use change with two major outbreaks in Vietnam of highly pathogenic avian in uenza (HPAI, subtype H5N1) that killed millions of chickens between 2003 and 2005. Work began by classifying communes into land-use categories: rural, peri-urban, urban, and urban core. e study found that peri-urban communes had at least a 150 percent higher risk of experiencing an H5N1 outbreak than did other types of commune, and that urbanization entails a spatial convergence of several key risk factors for H5N1 transmission. By focusing prevention programs on communes with these factors, the Vietnamese government can potentially improve disease prevention at lower cost. is research may also help explain the epidemi- ology of other infectious diseases, both in humans and livestock.
  • Topic: Health, Urbanization, International Development
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Saori N. Katada
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: In 2015, two mega-initiatives took shape that will affect economic relations in the Asia-Pacific region: the US-promoted Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Although they address different needs, both are expected to have profound effects on Asia's economic governance in the near future, and will shape economic norms in the Asia Pacific and beyond. Japan has joined the TPP but stayed out of the AIIB, decisions that might seem counterintuitive considering its history of resisting trade liberalization and of promoting infrastructure investment. Is Japan simply favoring its US ally over rival China? Or is it that Japan's position on the TPP and AIIB aligns with its own economic priorities, and enhances its geo-economic advantage? With a US-China competition over economic ideas and regional strategies, Japan occupies a unique position that may allow it to influence the direction of Asia-Pacific economic governance, which is now being battled out by the two "titans."
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Dinshaw Mistry
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: In the early and mid-2000s, US policymakers anticipated India becoming one of America's top global partners. Have New Delhi's policies on key strategic issues actually aligned strongly with US objectives, as would be typical of close partners? An analysis of twelve prominent issues in US-India relations indicates that New Delhi's policies mostly converged moderately, rather than to a high extent, with US objectives. Specifically, the alignment between New Delhi's policies and US objectives was high or moderate-to-high on three issues—UN peacekeeping, nonproliferation export controls, and arms sales. It was moderate or low-to-moderate on six issues—China, Iran, Afghanistan, Indian Ocean security, Pakistan, and bilateral defense cooperation. And it was low or negligible on three issues—nuclear reactor contracts for US firms, nuclear arms control, and the war in Iraq. To be sure, despite the low or negligible convergence, New Delhi did not take an anti-US position on these issues. Four factors explain why New Delhi's policies aligned unevenly with US objectives across the issues: India's strategic interests (that diverged from US interests on some issues); domestic political and economic barriers (that prevented greater convergence between India's policies and US objectives); incentives and disincentives (that induced New Delhi to better align with US objectives); and certain case-specific factors. This analysis suggests that, rather than expecting India to become a close ally, US policymakers should consider it a friendly strategic partner whose policies would align, on the average, moderately with US strategic interests.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Political Economy, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Unconventional monetary policy (UMP) has had predictable effects. How exit plays out is scenario-dependent. Quantitative easing has had the predictable effect of encouraging currency depreciation and some partner countries may have attempted to offset these exchange rate effects. Korea presents a particularly interesting case: it is relatively small and relatively open and integrated, in both trade and financial terms, with the United States and Japan, two practitioners of UMP. Authorities have acted to limit the won's appreciation primarily against the currency of China, not the US or Japan. Nevertheless, Korea's policy is a source of tension with the US. Under legislation currently being considered, the currency manipulation issue could potentially interfere with Korean efforts to attract direct investment from the US and create an obstacle to Korea joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Monetary Policy, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Jon Dorsch
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: At the end of 2015 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will announce the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). In theory, this agreement should produce an association-wide economic integration. However, following the announcement, and for the foreseeable future, ASEAN member states will continue in significantly less than full regional economic integration. Why? Some observers believe that the AEC plans involve an "overly ambitious timeline and too many ill-thought-out initiatives." Others point to ASEAN's traditional aversion to legally binding agreements. While progress has been made in reducing or eliminating intra-ASEAN trade tariffs, substantial non-tariff barriers to trade persist. However, for most member states, the ASEAN market is relatively small while external markets, especially China, are growing rapidly. Given this outward-orientation for ASEAN trade, is the lack of an unhindered regional market really a problem?
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Alex S. Forster
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: North Korea is an extremely isolated and impoverished nation. While its political elites are able to enjoy some degree of luxury in spite of UN sanctions, the lower classes suffer from shortages of food, electricity, healthcare, and other basic needs. Many of the lower class and fringe populations reside in rural areas with limited infrastructure, and rely on black markets to survive. Their situation could be dramatically improved if electricity could be provided to their communities to power heating, health clinics, manufacturing facilities, fertilizer plants, and water pumps for agricultural irrigation.
  • Topic: Health, Food, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Jefferson Fox, Duong Nong, Tomoaki Miura, James Spencer, Qi Chen, Christopher Lepczyk
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The year of 2010 was the first time in human civilization that the urban population had reached 3.5 billion people or crossed the 50% mark and continued to grow with no sign of slowing down especially for developing countries in Africa and asia (UN,2011). In 1800, only few percent of the world population lived in urban areas, but quickly increased to 14% in 1900 and then 30% in 1950 (platt,1994). Clearly, urban areas have become one of our primary habitats; therefore, urban sustainability is becoming more important than ever.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Jefferson Fox, Melissa L. Finucane, Sumeet Saksena, Nghiem Tuyen, James H. Spencer, Nguyen Lam, Trinh Dinh Thau, Tran Duc Vien, Nancy D. Lewis
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is an important public health concern because of its potential to cause widespread morbidity and mortality in humans and poultry and associated devastating economic losses. In this study we examined how perceptions of and response to the risk of HPAI in poultry vary across communes/wards in the north of Vietnam at different levels of urbanization (rural, transitional, urban). We conducted a quantitative household survey with 1073 respondents. Results suggested that the perceived risk of HPAI in poultry was highest in transitional and rural settings. Respondents in these settings were more likely than respondents in urban settings to agree that the process of change (in urbanization, agricultural practices, or natural habitat) increased the likelihood of an outbreak of HPAI in poultry. Compared with others, respondents in transitional areas reported that they do less planning and perceive vaccines to be more effective, while respondents in rural areas reported less perceived ability to separate infected poultry from others. We also found that the inability to respond is not necessarily because of an inability to perceive change but because, rapid and extensive change poses different challenges for poultry management as communes move from rural to transitional to urban settings. Our results suggest that public and animal health campaigns could be tailored in a way that recognizes the needs of poultry raisers in different settings.
  • Topic: Health, Infectious Diseases, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Jefferson Fox, Duong Nong, Miguel Castrence, James Spencer, Sumeet Saksena, Nguyen Lam, Tran Duc Vien, Michael Epprecht, Chinh Tran, Melissa Finucane, Bruce Wilco
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) continue to significantly threaten human and animal health. While there has been some progress in identifying underlying proximal driving forces and causal mechanisms of disease emergence, the role of distal factors is most poorly understood. This article focuses on analyzing the statistical association between highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 and urbanization, land-use diversity and poultry intensification. A special form of the urban transition—peri-urbanization—was hypothesized as being associated with 'hot-spots' of disease emergence. Novel metrics were used to characterize these distal risk factors. Our models, which combined these newly proposed risk factors with previously known natural and human risk factors, had a far higher predictive performance compared to published models for the first two epidemiological waves in Viet Nam. We found that when relevant risk factors are taken into account, urbanization is generally not a significant independent risk factor. However, urbanization spatially combines other risk factors leading to peri-urban places being the most likely 'hot-spots'. The work highlights that peri-urban areas have highest levels of chicken density, duck and geese flock size diversity, fraction of land under rice, fraction of land under aquaculture compared to rural and urban areas. Land-use diversity, which has previously never been studied in the context of HPAI H5N1, was found to be a significant risk factor. Places where intensive and extensive forms of poultry production are collocated were found to be at greater risk
  • Topic: Health, Infectious Diseases, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Dieter Ernst
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: China's new strategy to upgrade its semiconductor industry (outlined in the "Guidelines to Promote National Integrated Circuit Industry Development," June 24, 2014), seeks to move from catching-up to forging ahead in semiconductors, by strengthening simultaneously China's integrated circuit (IC) design industry and domestic IC foundry services.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Industrial Policy, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia