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  • Author: Kan Kimura, Koji Kagotani, Jeffrey R. Weber
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Since its democratization, South Korea's foreign relations with Japan have become increasingly volatile. We investigate the diversionary incentives behind these fluctuations in South Korean foreign policy during 1988–2011. We show evidence that, similar to mature democracies, economic turmoil is driving Korean leaders to divert the public attention toward low-intensity disputes against Japan. However, unlike mature democracies, our results reveal that public approval ratings and national elections do not encourage leaders to engage in the diversionary behavior due to South Korean domestic political institutional settings and party system. These findings highlight challenges to foreign policy making in a new democracy, an issue that has not been considered in detail in the literature. We conclude that although historical antagonism and US commitment to East Asia may affect the Japan–South Korea relationship, economic diversionary incentives significantly determine the fluctuations in Japan–South Korea disputes
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea
  • Author: Benjamin E. Goldsmith
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: There is doubt about whether the 'democratic peace' proposition applies in Asia. I theoretically deconstruct regime type into institutional components including political competition, constraint on the executive, and mass participation, and ask whether taking these as distinct causal factors gives more empirical purchase on the relationship of domestic political institutions to states' external conflict behavior. I find that higher levels of political competition are associated with a lower likelihood of conflict initiation, but only when the potential target is relatively democratic. Thus, my directed-dyad analysis is consistent with a democratic peace effect in East Asia. It is also suggestive regarding the observed 'East Asian peace' that has existed since 1979, because levels of political competition have risen considerably in the region, beginning in the late 1970s.
  • Topic: Politics, War
  • Political Geography: East Asia
  • Author: Koji Kagotani, Yuki Yanai
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: A number of US overseas bases were deployed around the world to protect allies and maintain regional peace. Some bases have been stationed in the partner countries for the long term, whereas others were withdrawn from their partners' territories in the face of strong local opposition. Understanding local support for US overseas bases is indispensable for managing alliance politics and pursuing US grand strategy. This article addresses the 1972–2006 Okinawa gubernatorial elections where the US base issue had been chronically politicized and locals supported pro-base candidates six out of ten times contrary to their anti-base preferences. This article addresses external threats as a determinant of vote choice. We analyze the gubernatorial elections as the opportunities for Okinawans to convey their support for or opposition to the current national security policy since US bases in Okinawa are critical to Japan's security. We find that external threats do encourage Okinawans to support pro-base candidates, but the effect of perceived security-related risks is moderate. Moreover, physical and psychological costs such as airplane crashes, environmental and noise pollution, and rape incidents have larger influence on the election outcomes rather than material benefits such as the fiscal transfers and base-related subsidies, which is contrary to the conventional view.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East
  • Author: Han Dorussen, Emil J. Kirchner
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Under what conditions do regional security organizations (RSOs) take up a broader agenda or scope in security governance? Further, does broader scope matter for regional security? These questions are addressed using a quantitative comparative analysis of 25 RSOs over the period 1990–2009. Similarity among members in their capacities and political systems are identified as two central conditions for increased scope. In contrast, hegemony is not a significant factor. Institutionalization also seems to matter: RSOs that have been around longer and encompass more members are more successful in expanding their security agenda. There is only weak empirical support for the idea that RSOs with a broader scope have a stronger pacifying effect on regional security. The implications of these findings are discussed in greater detail for Asian RSOs, which have only limited scope and operate in comparatively high levels of insecurity. However, except from the legacy of conflict, variables identified in the general models apply similarly to Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Arthur A. Stein
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This paper challenges the conventional wisdom that US power and preferences following World War II led to bilateralism in Asia and multilateralism in Western Europe. It argues that the challenges facing the United States in both regions were similar, as were US policies meant to address them. With some lag, the United States supported the economic recovery of the regional powers it had defeated (Germany and Japan), saw the restoration of regional trade as a prerequisite, sought military bases to assure postwar security, and envisioned rearming its former foes as part of its security strategy. The outcomes in the two regions reflected the preferences and reservations of regional actors. The critical differences between the regions were structural. The existence of middle powers was critical in Europe, the return of colonial powers to Asia precluded regional arrangements in the short term, and geostrategic differences shaped the requisites for regional security.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Masaru Kohno
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: East Asia now occupies a prominent place in the study of international relations (IR). This, of course, does not mean that IR scholarship in the past failed to pay due attention to East Asia. Wars, trade, and international integration in this region have been the subject of analysis in countless books and scholarly articles. However, the renewed interest in this region is not so much empirically driven (to increase East Asian coverage in the literature) as before but rather represents a theoretical inquiry pertinent to the intellectual underpinning of the scholarship itself. Today, some experts of the region harshly criticize the 'euro-centric' bias of existing IR study and seek to provide alternative conceptions based on the East Asian experience. In response, other scholars have advanced views less provocative but more nuanced about the originality of East Asia. And, there are still others who ï–‚atly reject the connotation that the logic of East Asian international relations is inherently different from that elsewhere. Thus, a diverse set of perspectives has been laid out on the table, but their strengths and shortcomings are yet to be evaluated systematically.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, War
  • Political Geography: East Asia
  • Author: Christopher A. McNally, Boy Luthje, Tobias ten Brink
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past 35 years, China's economic development strategy relied on the extensive use of factors of production relatively abundant in China. These include labour, land and some mining resources (such as coal and rare earths), as well as mounting reserves of capital in the first decade of the twenty-first century. State-guided policies channelled these factors into an export- and investment-driven model of development that was highly successful in terms of aggregate GDP growth. This model also proved to be quite adaptive when the financial crisis originating in US mortgage markets reverberated globally in late 2008. China was then able to rapidly jumpstart a slowing economy with a massive government-led stimulus programme that relied heavily on state banks extending credit for real estate and infrastructure projects.
  • Political Geography: China, Hawaii
  • Author: Tobias ten Brink
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article gives a broad characterization of China's political economy, as well as specific aspects of its socio-economic instabilities. With a focus on China's export-oriented industry sectors, concepts from comparative and international political economy are applied to show how the Chinese economy can be understood as a variegated form of state- permeated capitalism that at the same time is deeply integrated into world economic processes. The article goes on to portray the socio-economic dynamics, as well as the instabilities of China's new capitalism, that are at the root of the state leadership's attempts to turn away from a one-sided model of export and investment-driven growth. Thereby, a number of obstacles are revealed for the "rebalancing" of the economy: a continued dependence on exports, a lack of domestic consumer demand which impedes a significant "social" upgrading, the ongoing low- wage model for which there is no end in sight, the limits of the state's steering capacity and the weaknesses of its fragmented, competition- driven structure
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Boy Luthje
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper develops a new approach to analyse labour relations at the level of companies, industries, and regions in China. Referring to Western and Chinese labour sociology and industrial relations theory, the author applies the concept of "regimes of production" to the context of China's emerging capitalism. This article focuses on China's modern core manufacturing industries (i.e. steel, chemical, auto, electronics, and textile and garment); it explores regimes of production in major corporations and new forms of labour-management cooperation, the growing inequality and fragmentation of labour policies within the modern sectors of the Chinese economy, consequences for further reform regarding labour standards, collective bargaining, and workers' participation.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Florian Butollo
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Based on field studies in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) in 2010 and 2011, specific paths of industrial upgrading in the garment and IT industries are identified. The analysis reveals that there exists a multiplicity of upgrading trajectories, all of which have different implications for skill development and the character of work. While the modernization of industries relies on the input of higher skilled work, primarily in the fields of R and marketing, this barely is the case with regard to manufacturing. While labour intensity in the examined cases is diminishing in absolute or relative terms, internal divisions between low-skilled and high-skilled work are reconfigured rather than overcome.
  • Political Geography: China