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  • Author: Chanchal Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: What kept the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from becoming a reality in India for a quarter of a century after the adoption of the structural adjustment programme in 1991? What made it possible in 2016? To what extent the Indian model of GST reflects a compromise between the need to keep fiscal federalism intact and to respond to a more global economic imperative? To what extent India’s transition to a concurrent dual GST has brought about a change in the principles, rules, frameworks, and institutions guiding intergovernmental fiscal interactions? This paper investigates these issues and shows that the shifts in the indirect tax regime in India since independence have taken place within the structural context of constitutional rules, the economic policy paradigm and political dynamics. Party congruence after 2014 helped to facilitate the introduction of the GST, but the shape thereof was strongly marked by path-dependent logics and the role of state governments as institutional veto players. In addition, the paper examines the ways in which India’s transition to a concurrent dual GST has brought about a fundamental change in the principles, rules, frameworks, and institutions guiding intergovernmental fiscal interactions.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Governance, Tax Systems, Institutions, Services
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Joachim Betz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Despite being a consolidated democracy with free and fair elections and having a political system with intense party competition, a relatively vibrant civil society, and a functioning federal set-up, India still ranks poorly in terms of the coverage, generosity, efficiency, and quality of its social protection. This is difficult to explain based on the factors usually advanced for the implementation of generous social policies. A second puzzle is the predominantly protective nature of welfare policies in India in the current era of globalisation, which should necessitate policies enabling workers to participate successfully in a more demanding economic environment. These puzzles may be explained partly by (a) the long-term insulation of the Indian economy from international competition, (b) the low share of industry and modern services in GDP until recently, (c) the precedence of identity policies, (d) the fragmentation of the political sphere, and (e) the meagre empowerment of women in India. We should, however, acknowledge that change is underway and that the picture is not bleak across India as a whole – being supported by economic reforms and growth, a greater degree of decentralisation and party competition within the country, increasingly discerning voters, and progress on female education and employment opportunities.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Reform, Democracy, Social Policy, Welfare
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Heike Holbig
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Representatives from the social sciences and cultural studies continue to exhibit mutual reservations and sensitivities when they encounter each other in the field of area studies. This is particularly so with regard to research on East and Southeast Asia. Given this background and with the intention of deriving a productive definition of area studies, this article attempts to assess the current state of Asia-related area studies by reviewing and comparing the debates within the social sciences and cultural studies in the Anglo-Saxon and German-language spheres on the changing role of the discipline. In this text, region is defined as an ongoing process involving the communicative construction of social relations. Various approaches to describing the regions of East and Southeast Asia illustrate that this process is subject to dialectical movements of de- and reterritorialization, which should be examined as issues of equal empirical rank. In view of a growing focus primarily on transnational and transregional entanglements, this text suggests using the term “reflexive essentialism” and proposes more extensive reflection on the new and essentialist self-assurances, limitations, and entrenchments at the regional, national, and subnational levels.
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Jörg Wischermann, Bui The Cuong, Nguyen Quang Vinh, Dang Thi Viet Phuong, Nguyen Thi Minh Chau
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Civic organizations (COs) are neither a good nor a bad thing. They are not inherently fighters for democracy or supporters of authoritarian rule. The way they develop depends on the impact that various forms of state power have on them and on their influence on the state. Vietnamese COs appear to be no exception. When we examine just one direction of these interdependent and reciprocal relations, it becomes clear that under the constraints of the Vietnamese state's infrastructural power many Vietnamese COs develop features of intra‐organizational authoritarianism; that they help to embed the state and the Communist Party more deeply within Vietnamese society; and, finally, that they contribute to bringing the society further under the control of the state and the party. However, this occurs to a very different degree depending on the type of CO. NGOs and faith‐based organizations in particular, at least in the field of gender norms and practices, seem to resist the state's discursive power. This could imply challenges to the state’s and the party's control of politics and society and leads the authors to draw far‐reaching conclusions as far as developmental cooperation with and potential support for various types of Vietnamese COs is concerned.
  • Topic: Non-Governmental Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Nele Noesselt
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyses changes in China's relations with socialist countries. It uses Chinese academic publications to add an insideâ?out perspective to the interpretation of Chinese foreign policy and outlines key socioâ?cognitive determinants of China's foreign behaviour. The paper starts with an overview of role theory, integrating Chinese scholars' writings on images of ego and alter to identify the main patterns and frames of China's selfproclaimed national role(s). It argues that China's actor identity comprises various, partly contradictory role conceptions. National roles derived from China's internal structures and its historical past lead to continuity in Chinese foreign policy, while the 'new' roles resultant from China's rise to global powerhood require it to adapt its foreign policy principles. The paper then examines four bilateral relationships – between China and Cuba, North Korea, the Soviet Union/Russia, and Vietnam – and discusses their development over time in light of China's reformulation of its 'socialist' role conception.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Socialism/Marxism
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Nina Korte
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Indonesia has long been associated with neopatrimonialism, corruption, collusion, and nepotism as the main modi operandi of politics, economics and public administration. Despite various measures and initiatives to fight these practises, little evidence for a significant decline can be found over the years. Rather, longitudinal analysis points to changes in the character of neopatrimonialism. Based on more than 60 in-depth interviews, focus-group discussions, and the analysis of both primary and secondary data, the aim of this article is, first, to describe the changes that have taken place, and, second, to investigate what accounts for these changes. Political economy concepts posit the amount and development of economic rents as the explanatory factor for the persistence and change of neopatrimonialism. This study's findings, however, indicate that rents alone cannot explain what has taken place in Indonesia. Democratisation and decentralisation exert a stronger impact.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Christian von Soest, Karsten Bechle, Nina Korte
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Neopatrimonialism is a concept that has predominately been applied to describe governance in sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, though, it has also been used to describe states from other world regions. However, scholars have rarely attempted to systematically compare neopatrimonial rule in different regional settings. This paper aims to narrow this gap by examining the effect of neopatrimonialism on the tax administration as a core state function in six countries from three different world regions: Argentina, Venezuela, Indonesia, the Philippines, Kenya and Zambia. We conclude that neopatrimonialism is a valuable concept for comparative area studies with the potential to foster dialogue on the "state in operation" across the regional divide. However, several indicators are more valid for some world regions than for others. We find that there is no systematic relationship between neopatrimonial trajectories and the strength of tax administration. Individual actor decisions influence the outcomes of neopatrimonialism substantially.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Governance
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Indonesia, Asia, Argentina, Philippines, Latin America, Venezuela, Zambia
  • Author: Hugo Dobson
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: As a result of the emergence of the G20 as the self‐appointed “premier forum for international economic cooperation”, Asia's expanded participation in G‐summitry has attracted considerable attention. As original G7 member Japan is joined by Australia, China, Indonesia, India and South Korea, this has given rise to another alphanumeric configuration of the Asian 6 (A6). Resulting expectations are that membership in the G20 will impact Asian regionalism as the A6 are forced into coordination and cooperation in response to the G20's agenda and commitments. However, by highlighting the concrete behaviours and motivations of the individual A6 in the G20 summits so far, this paper stands in contrast to the majority of the predominantly normative extant literature. It highlights divergent agendas amongst the A6 as regards the future of the G20 and discusses the high degree of competition over their identities and roles therein. This divergence and competition can be seen across a range of other behaviours including responding to the norm of internationalism in promoting global governance and maintaining the status quo and national interest, in addition to claiming a regional leadership role and managing bilateral relationships with the US.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Indonesia, India, Asia, South Korea, Australia
  • Author: Heike Holbig, Bruce Gilley
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The contemporary politics of China reflect an ongoing effort by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to claim the right to rule in light of the consequences of economic development, international pressures, and historical change. China stands out within the Asian region for the success the regime has achieved in this effort. By focusing on the changes in China elite discourse during the reform period and particularly during the last decade, this paper aims to elaborate on the relative importance of various sources of legitimacy as they shift over time, as well as on their inherent dilemmas and limitations. There is evidence of an agile, responsive, and creative party effort to relegitimate the post-revolutionary regime through economic performance, nationalism, ideology, culture, governance, and democracy. At the same time, the paper identifies a clear shift in emphasis from an earlier economic‐nationalistic approach to a more ideological-institutional approach.
  • Topic: Communism, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Durgesh K. Rai
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: As the Asian economies have grown larger and become more complex, they have also be-come more integrated at both the regional and the subregional level. Yet although economic integration has increased, regionalism in the sense of economic cooperation at both the pan-Asian and subregional levels has lagged behind. Regionalism or economic cooperation in terms of bilateral or multilateral FTAs is a relatively new phenomenon, but one that has in-creased rapidly in recent years. However, the progress of Asian regionalism faces several challenges. Also, the increasing number of FTAs could lead to a "spaghetti-bowl effect" and reduce trade volume instead of increasing it. In addition to resolving the existing challenges, actors in the region need to convert some of the existing FTAs into a broader one that can serve as a hub for further integration. Given the potential economic gains and future eco-nomic dynamism of the region, this paper suggests the pursuit of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) rather than the East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA).
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Melanie Hanif
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Due to its geo-strategic location between the Central Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern security complexes, Afghanistan is often defined as an insulator state, and sometimes also as a connector. This in-between position has led to constant instability: ever since the creation of the Durrani Empire, the country has suffered from internal power struggles as well as outside interference. External attempts to control Afghanistan have nonetheless proven extremely difficult. This also holds true for the current conflict management efforts of the US-led coalition. But what could the alternatives be? This paper seeks to explore the prospect of regional security cooperation as a path towards stability for Afghanistan. Although the academic debate has thus far not considered Afghanistan as a primarily South Asian country, I will focus on the South Asian subsystem for three reasons: Firstly, current security matters in Afghanistan are highly connected to the situation in Pakistan. Secondly, with its accession to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Afghanistan has shown an interest in establishing stronger ties with South Asia. Thirdly, India as a rising regional power is the only country in the region that might possess the capabilities, the willingness, and the legitimacy for a long-term engagement in Afghan security.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Günter Schucher
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In international relations, transnational academic exchange or, more generally, cultural exchange is usually seen as a function of the quality of bilateral relations. As a variety of public diplomacy intended to win the “hearts and minds” of intellectuals in another country, the development of educational exchanges depends on the twists in foreign policy. Academic exchange across the Taiwan Strait commenced in the late 1980s, directly after the lifting of the travel ban, and had gathered momentum by the mid-1990s. It even accelerated further after the inauguration of the pro-independence Chen-government in Taiwan in 2000, creating the “paradox” of the expansion of social contacts in times of frosty political relations. One possible explanation for this is that due to the rather unique situation in the Taiwan Strait people-to-people exchanges between Taiwan and mainland China have been officially promoted as a substitute for official contacts. What is often neglected by analysts of cross-Strait relations, however, is the fact that academic exchange is also a response to the global pressure to internationalize higher education. Within this two-dimensional framework (international relations and the internationalization of higher education), cross-Strait academic exchange has been developing its own dynamic. The outcome has been an increasing amount of nonofficial communication and the growing “professionalization” (in the sense of the academic profession) of academic exchange.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Thomas Kern, Sang-Hui Nam
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article aims to further develop the field of innovation studies by exploring the emergence of citizen journalism in South Korea's social movement sector. To achieve this aim, the framework of innovation theory has been extended to innovations in social fields beyond technology and the economy. Our findings show that the emergence of citizen journalism resulted from brokerage activities among journalists, labor and unification activists, and progressive intellectuals. Despite different cultural visions and structural interests, these groups succeeded in building coalitions and constituted a sociocultural milieu which promoted reciprocal learning by allowing actors to realize new ideas and to exchange experiences. The empirical part of the study is based on a social network analysis of social movement groups and alternative media organizations active in South Korea between 1995 and 2002.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Nadine Godehardt
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The image of China's peaceful rise, which the Chinese government is keen to enforce in the world, stands in contrast to the view of China's ascent as a threat. China's economic and military growth is perceived as a potential threat to the (East) Asian security structure and as a challenge to the preponderance of the United States. Even though the PRC is more active in international and regional organizations­and better integrated in the international community­than ever before, the ambiguity of China's true political intentions is still dominant.
  • Topic: Civil Society, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • 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: Daniel Flemes
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: How can weaker states influence stronger ones? This article offers a case study of one recent exercise in coalition building among Southern middle powers, the 'India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum'. The analysis outlines five major points: first, it argues that the three emerging players can be defined as middle powers in order to frame their foreign policy behavior and options at the global level. Second, soft balancing is a suitable concept to explain IBSA's strategy in global institutions. Third, institutional foreign policy instruments are of pivotal significance in IBSA's soft balancing strategy. Fourth, the potential gains of IBSA's sector cooperation, particularly in trade, are limited due to a lack of complementarity of the three economies. And fifth, IBSA's perspectives and impact on the international system will depend on four variables: IBSA's ability to focus on distinct areas of cooperation, the consolidation of its common strategy of soft balancing, the institutionalization of IBSA, and its enlargement in order to obtain more weight in global bargains.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Dirk Nabers
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The paper tries to shed light on the conceptual link between international crises like the one following September 11, 2001, the Asian financial crisis of 1997/1998, the end of the Cold War or major international conflicts, and processes of change in the international system. It argues that cultural structures rest on their continuous instantiation through social practices, thereby making them coterminous with process. Process is constituted by meaningful acts of social agents, and can thus only be grasped by analysing meaning. Meaning is transmitted by language. Meaningful language is never reducible to individual speakers; it is a social act. In the paper, I call this process discourse. Linking Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) with the theory of hegemony developed by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, I will finally be able to show how hegemonic discourses serve as the nexus between crises and cultural structures and how they make cultural change possible.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Günter Schucher
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: On 1 May 2004, the world witnessed the largest expansion in the history of the European Union (EU). This process has lent new weight to the idea of an expanded EU involvement in East Asia. This paper will examine the question of whether there has been a change in the EU's foreign policy with respect to its Taiwan policy after the fifth enlargement. It analyses the EU's policy statements on Asia and China to find evidence. The political behaviour of the EU has not changed, although there has been a slight modification in rhetoric. The EU – notwithstanding its claim to be a global actor – currently continues to keep itself out of one of the biggest conflicts in East Asia. The new members' interests in the East Asia region are too weak to alter the EU's agenda, and their economic priorities are rather linked to the programmes of the EU than vice versa.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Eastern Europe, Taiwan, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Gunter Schucher, Jutta Hebel
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's transition to a market economy has been a process of basic institutional changes and institution building. The institutional change from a socialist labour regime (SLR) as one of the backbones upholding the traditional leninist system to a new 'socialist' market labour regime (SMLR) became particularly important for the success of economic and political reforms. This analysis is based on the analytical framework of regimes and makes use of the idea of path dependence. An ensemble of institutions, mutually interconnected and influencing each other, forms the regime and shapes its trajectory. Six institutions are identified to constitute the employment regime: (1) the system of social control, (2) the production system, (3) the system of industrial relations, (4) the welfare system, (5) the family order, and (6) the educational system. The SMLR is still characterised by its socialist past and differs from other varieties of transformation labour regimes and bears little resemblance to labour regimes in Western market economies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Andreas Ufen
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Surprisingly, the outcome of the 1999 and 2004 elections in Indonesia and the resultant constellation of political parties are reminiscent of the first Indonesian parliamentary democracy of the 1950s. The dynamics of party politics is still marked by aliran ('streams'), i.e. some of the biggest political parties still have a mass base and are embedded in specific milieus. But politik aliran has lost a lot of its significance and re-emerged in a quite different form after the fall of Suharto in 1998. Starting with this observation, it is argued that parties are still socially rooted, so a modified aliran approach still has its analytical value. However, one can also witness a weakening of aliran (dealiranisasi) and a concomitant 'Philippinisation', which is indicated by the rise of presidential or presidentialised parties, growing intra-party authoritarianism, the prevalence of 'money politics', the lack of meaningful political platforms, weak loyalties towards parties, cartels with shifting coalitions and the upsurge of new local elites.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia