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  • Author: Howard Loewen
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Whereas the European Union (EU) favors a formal, binding, output-oriented, and to some extent supranational approach to cooperation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is based on informal, non-binding, process-oriented intergovernmental forms of cooperation. This article addresses the question of whether these differences between European and Asian cooperation norms or cultures can account for interregional cooperation problems in the areas of democracy and human rights within the institutional context of EU-ASEAN and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). The author argues that a clash of cooperation cultures basically occurs in both forms of interregional collaboration between Asia and Europe, with slight differences due to the institutional context: while disagreements over the question of democracy and human rights between the EU and ASEAN have led to a temporary and then a complete standstill in cooperation, the flexible institutional mechanisms of ASEM seem, at first glance, to mitigate the disruptive effects of such dialogues. Yet informality does not remove the issues from the agenda, as the recurrent disputes over Myanmar's participation and the nonintervention norm favored by the Asian side of ASEM clearly indicate. Antagonistic cooperation cultures thus play a significant role in explaining the obstructive nature of the interregional human rights and democracy dialogue between Asia and Europe.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Human Rights, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Karsten Giese
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The Chinese Communist Party has chosen to base the legitimacy of its rule on its performance as leading national power. Since national identity is based on shared imaginations of and directly tied to territory – hence place, this paper analyses both heterodox models for identification on the national and potentially competing place-based collective identities on the local level. This analysis, based on communication within a number of popular communication forums and on observation of behavior in the physical reality of today's urban China, shows that communication within the virtual and behavior in the real world are not separated realities but form a new virreal spatial continuum consisting of imagined places both online and offline. I argue that ties to place are stronger and identities constructed on shared imaginations of place are more salient the more direct the experience of place is – be the place real, virtual or virreal. Hence in China challenges to one-party rule will probably accrue from competing localized collective identities rather than from heterodox nationalism.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Heike Holbig
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: As a Socialist country undergoing rapid social and economic transition, China presents a revealing case study on the role of ideology in the process of institutional change. Based on Douglass North's theory of institutional change and on David Beetham's theory of political legitimation, this paper argues that recent ideological reforms have been a crucial factor in sustaining the legitimacy of Communist party rule. Ideological change is conceived as a path-dependent process which helps to stabilize the social perception of transition and to frame the party's modernization achievements. At the same time, the dominant role of ideology makes the Chinese party-state, despite its economic success, more vulnerable to legitimacy crises compared to other authoritarian regimes.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Patrick Köllner
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Japan's ruling party is a prime example of a dominant party. While dominant parties in other democracies around the world have lost their grip on power or have even disappeared altogether, the LDP is still going strong. What explains the success of the party? How did the LDP acquire its dominant position and how did it manage to cling to it? In an attempt to answer these questions, this paper discusses the rise, the power (re-)sources and the perspectives of Japan's dominant party.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia
  • Author: Joachim Betz
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The Institutionalisation of Parties and the Consolidation of the Party System in India. Criteria, State and Causes of Persistent Defects Indian parties and the party system in India are only partly consolidated resp. institutionalised, according to the usual criteria, distilled from the experience of Western parties. This is so in spite of the long tradition of Indian parties, their large membership base, organisational complexity and independence from interest groups and in spite of their dominant position in regard to political leadership recruitment or the government agenda. Causes for the institutional deficits of parties lie in the prevalence of factional conflicts, clientelistic linkages between party leaders and member, and the parties' weak financial basis (compensated by tapping unorthodox sources of finance). These phenomena are responsible for the only very limited level of internal party democracy in India.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia