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  • Author: Georg Strüver
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: With China's emergence as a global economic and political power, it is commonly assumed that its leadership's influence in international politics has increased considerably. However, systematic studies of China's impact on the foreign policy behavior of other states are rare and generally limited to questions regarding economic capabilities and the use of coercive power. This paper seeks to contribute to the literature on China's global political rise by taking a broader perspective. Drawing on voting data from the UN General Assembly for the last two decades, it explores the plausibility of different explanations for foreign policy similarity: economic, diplomatic and military linkages; domestic institutional similarities; and parallel problem‐solving processes. The logistic regression analyses find that high similarity levels correlate with shared regime characteristics and comparable patterns of sociopolitical globalization. The results further indicate that foreign aid and arms trading seem to help buy support in global politics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Emerging Markets, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Daniel Flemes, Georg Strüver, Hannes Ebert
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Rising powers have attracted tremendous interest in international politics and theory. Yet the ways in which secondary powers strategically respond to regional changes in the distribution of power have been largely neglected. This article seeks to fill this gap by presenting a systematic comparative analysis of the different types of and causes of contestation strategies undertaken by secondary powers. Empirically, it focuses on two contentious regional dyads in East and South Asia, exploring how structural, behavioral, and historical factors shape the way in which Japan and Pakistan respond, respectively, to China's and India's regional power politics. The paper concludes that the explanatory power of these factors depends on the particular context: in the case of Japan, China's militarily assertive regional role has invoked the most significant strategic shifts, while in the case of Pakistani contestation, shifts in polarity have had the largest impact on the strategic approach.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Japan, China, India
  • Author: Jonathan Sullivan, Eliyahu V. Sapir
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the substantial advances made in cross-Strait relations during Ma Ying-jeou's (Ma Yingjiu) first term, the ROC president's rhetoric varied considerably as he grappled with the difficult reality of implementing campaign and inauguration pledges to establish better relations with China while striving to maintain national respect and sovereignty. In this article, we put forward a framework for measuring, analysing and explaining this variation in President Ma's first-term discourse. Analysing a very large number of Ma's speeches, addresses, etc., we provide empirical assessments of how the content of Ma's public pronouncements has developed over time, how his rhetoric varies according to the strategic context and timing of a speech, and how his discourse compares to that of his predecessor, Chen Shui-bian (Chen Shuibian). In addressing these questions, the article contributes a quantitative perspective to existing work on political discourse in Taiwan and to the growing methodological and applied literature on how to systematically analyse Chinese political text.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Gunter Schubert
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Taiwan held its first combined national elections on 14 January 2012. Though the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the largest opposition party, fared much better in the Legislative Yuan elections than it did in 2008, DPP presidential contender Tsai Ying-wen's (Cai Yingwen) clear defeat at the hands of the Kuomintang (KMT, Guomindang) incumbent, Ma Ying-jeou (Ma Yingjiu), in the presidential race came as a surprise. The article examines the election campaigns of both Tsai and Ma, summarizes the election results, and analyses the reasons why the DPP failed to retake the presidency. It then discusses the post-election debate within the DPP on the future of its China policy and ponders what can be expected from the second Ma administration.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Maria Bondes
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The proliferation of social organizations in China has engendered a lively debate about how to conceptualize these social forces. This paper argues that such a conceptualization should take into account the role that both the party-state and social actors attribute to social organizations. With an empirical case study from the western Chinese countryside, this paper explores how social organizations both adapt to the restrictive authoritarian framework and negotiate the spaces opening up to society in the realms of environmental and social politics. The study shows that while the party-state understands organizations as consultants and partners in service provision, they have a deviating self-image from the Western concepts of “NGO” and “civil society” that are becoming increasingly relevant as frames of reference. While their practices remain within the limits imposed by the authoritarian framework, they impact policy formulation, local political participation, and the formation of social networks according to their own self-image as members of a budding Chinese civil society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Environment, Politics
  • Political Geography: China
  • 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: Laurence Marfaing, Alena Thiel
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the twenty‐first century, Africa has seen the arrival of a new form of Chinese migration. Largely independent from big Chinese players, these “new entrepreneurial migrants” come to Africa not as workers in the highly prestigious state projects, but rather to follow their own economic interests. Engaging in business activities as diverse as petty manufacturing, printing, pharmaceutical and medical services, restaurants, beauty salons and last but not least, general trade, these independent Chinese migrants are often acknowledged for bringing affordable new commercial services and goods to low‐income households on the African continent. On the other hand, the high visibility of the Chinese entrepreneurial activities has also sparked anti‐Chinese sentiments among many African entrepreneurs.
  • Topic: Economics, Imperialism, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Ghana
  • Author: Dieter Grunow, Thomas Heberer
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: “Implementation” has become an important element of research in political science at the latest since the publication of the first book on the topic by Pressman and Wildavsky in 1973. The subtitle of the book gives a precise indication as to why this topic has earned so much attention even to this day: How Great Expectations in Washington Are Dashed in Oak- land; Or, Why It's Amazing that Federal Programs Work at All, This Being a Saga of the Economic Development Administration as Told by Two Sympathetic Observers Who Seek to Build Morals on a Foundation of Ruined Hopes . In the process of extending public tasks in gr owing societies – in this time period especially the expansion of welfare functions in OECD countries – public policies were put under observation in order to determine whether policy aims were being followed and goals reached. Effectiveness in task fulfilment and/ or problem-solving in public affairs were the key issues. This did not, and does not, exclude the possibility of purely “symbolic” policy-making – where only making a good appearance in the public sphere is of interest to the protagonists.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Richard Louis Edmonds
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper outlines how the evolution of China's policy and study of the environment are reflected in the scholarly literature, paying special attention to the impact of the country's environmental developments on international relations. In particular, it examines accounts of how China has moved from an isolated national scientific and environmental control infrastructure into the centre of international environmental debates as its society has opened and the geographical scale of ecological problems has expanded. The paper also identifies the continuing inhibitors to China's ability to control environmental degradation – including lack of transparency, elite manipulation, and bureaucratic weaknesses – despite the opening of China's system to limited participation of civil society in its environmental debates.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Dieter Grunow
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper describes empirical observations gathered during a research project on the implementation of environmental protection (EP) policies in China. The project focused on local EP in both urban and rural areas. Policy field analysis was used as a conceptual framework for structuring the observations. The paper develops in three main steps discussing the following topics: 1) Collective problems within the policy field of EP show that EP issues in general are unlike those of other policy fields. Official EP policies in China today resemble those of other countries – but they are separating issues and responsibilities, making local implementation very demanding. 2) China lags behind in its willingness and ability to implement these policies – leading to implementation gaps. To explore the causes and consequences, specific sites in China are described in an extended look at local implementation structures. It was found that although policies in China are basically the same everywhere, the structures for implementing them and the quality of their implementation vary widely with regard to resources, organization, coordination, staff qualifications, personnel placement, and other aspects. 3) Not all of the challenges hampering local implementation of environmental policies were China-specific; however, some of those which are can be described as the macro-context: an ineffective rule of law, insufficient involvement of civil society, and complicated macro-structures of public administration prevent a generally high level of successful EP implementation in China.
  • Topic: Civil Society
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Thomas Heberer, Anja Senz
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article describes how China uses evaluation ratings and monitoring as incentives in order to foster the implementation of environmental policies at the local level. It is argued that decentralisation in China leaves room for actors at the local levels to manoeuver and bargain with those on higher levels for flexible adjustment of implementation policies according to local conditions. However, decentralisation is accompanied by significant institutional changes in the structure of intergovernmental communication, incentives and control. Accordingly, decentralisation in China exhibits a specific design which leaves space for divergent local environmental policies while also engendering “grass-roots mechanisms”. On the whole, this new institutional setting benefits the implementation of environmental policies.
  • Topic: Communications
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Qingzhi Huan
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), has set up six regional Supervision Centres for Environmental Protection (SCEPs) in recent years. The creation of the SCEPs reflects the “green will” of Chinese government, to reverse the ever-worsening environmental situation throughout China by strengthening vertical supervision of the environmental laws and policies enforcement. A primary analysis focusing on the South China Supervision Centre (SCSC) has clearly shown, however, that the SCEPs today can only perform well in the concrete or “small” tasks – most of them designated or handed over by the MEP – rather than in the complicated or “big” issues. To make the SCEPs do more and better, the most desirable but radical policy choice is to reshape them into fully authorised regional “sub-bureaus” of the MEP.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Lei Zhang, Arthur P.J. Mol, Guizhen He
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Entering the twenty-first century, China has been the site of many serious environmental disasters and accidents. These have strengthened the call for the establishment of an environmental risk management system and for the development of new policies to effectively manage risk. Among the new policies in China's environmental risk management strategy are pollution insurance and information disclosure. This paper explores information disclosure policies through the implementation of the Environmental Information Disclosure Decree by governmental authorities and companies. In both 2008 and 2010, we reviewed the websites of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and all 31 provincial Environmental Protection Bureaus, conducted experiments in requesting information disclosure, and held interviews with all provincial Environmental Protection Bureaus. We conclude that the implementation of the Environmental Information Disclosure Decree is improving but still far from widespread, full and effective. The lack of enforcement and the ambiguity of some clauses in the decree give provincial environmental agencies great discretion to avoid disclosure and discourages enforcement of company environmental information disclosure. Implementation shortcomings of the decree are also related to the longstanding closeness, secrecy and monopoly of information in China's political system.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Xianbing Liu, Yanli Dong, Can Wang, Tomohiro Shishime
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper discusses environmental complaints made by citizens living close to industrial polluters in China. Data collected from a questionnaire survey in Suzhou City is used for the analysis. The results confirm a marginal level of citizen environmental complaints in the study area at present. Meaningful findings include the fact that citizens have a tendency to complain collectively, and that perception of the level of environmental information provided by companies significantly determines a citizen's likelihood of lodging environmental complaints. Therefore, the disclosure of corporate environmental information must be emphasized continuously; citizens must be encouraged to correctly understand the environmental performance of companies so that they might make appropriate complaints. Governments need to show their support for citizen-led environmental complaint initiatives. The successful cases would convince them to keep a closer eye on their neighbouring polluters.
  • Political Geography: China, Suzhou
  • Author: André Laliberté
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: For people reading the mainstream media, the recent travails of the Shouwang Church in Beijing – a Protestant congregation whose followers have been forbidden to worship in public since being evicted from the premises they rented – seem emblematic of a confrontational relationship between religion and state in China today (Jacobs 2011a). This impression appears to be confirmed when we also look at the persecution that adherents to Falungong continue to suffer (Richardson and Edelman 2011) and the difficult relations that Muslims in Xinjiang and Buddhists in Tibet experience. However, this is only one side of the story. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), at least since the administration of Jiang Zemin, has looked with approval at the growth of religion. Party documents have extolled the compatibility between religion and social stability, and the CCP has encouraged the construction or rebuilding of temples all over the country (Ren 2007: 195ff). Intellectuals and local governments are now looking back at China's traditional religions, not long ago dismissed as “superstitions”, as part of a national heritage worthy of preservation. The dramatic expansion of Confucius Institutes all over the world confirms that the party has completely changed its appreciation of traditional culture and religion, now seen as assets (Paradise 2009).
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing
  • Author: Richard Madsen
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the Reform Era in 1979, there has been a rapid growth and development of religious belief and practice in China. A substantial new scholarly literature has been generated in the attempt to document and understand this. This essay identifies the most important contributions to that literature and discusses areas of agreement and controversy across the literature. Along with new data, new paradigms have developed to frame research on Chinese religions. The paradigm derived from C. K. Yang's classic work in the 1960s came from structural functionalism, which served to unite research in the humanities and social sciences. However, structural functionalism has been abandoned by the new generation of scholars. In the humanities, the most popular paradigm derives from Michel Foucault, but there are also scholars who use neo-Durkheimian and neo-Weberian paradigms. In the social sciences, the dominant paradigms tend to focus on state-society relations. None of these paradigms fully captures the complexity of the transformations happening in China. We recommend greater dialogue between the humanities and social sciences in search of more adequate theoretical frameworks for understanding Chinese religions today.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Religion
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Lawrence C. Reardon
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: During the 1980s, Chinese policy elites underwent a process of complex learning in economic policy that resulted in a shift from a revolutionary to a techno-economic paradigm that greatly reduced the control of the Chinese Communist Party over the economy. Spillover from the sectoral paradigm shift affected other policy sectors, which forced policy elites to experiment with religious policies that would complement the new economic paradigm. This experimentation fostered the growth of a civil society that could assume the social responsibilities cast off by the reforming state-owned enterprises. However, the experimentation also empowered distributional coalitions such as the Falungong, which threatened the party's control. Policy elites thus implemented adaptations of religious policies formulated under the revolutionary paradigm. The study concludes that the current conflict between the Vatican and Beijing resembles an iterated prisoner's dilemma and that the conflict will continue until Chinese policy elites realize that the failure of religious policy adaptations threaten the long-term goals of the techno-economic paradigm.
  • Topic: Religion
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: David C. Schak
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between the Chinese state and Protestantism. It demonstrates that it varies widely from place to place; moreover, the actual relationship between individual churches and the local authorities that are supposed to govern them paints a quite different picture from that implied by the laws and regulations. The paper also argues that the state faces a dilemma: On one hand it feels threatened by the appearance of autonomous organizations such as unregistered churches, while on the other it values the contributions they make to society and recognizes that subjecting them to the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council would require a good deal of force and be very socially disruptive.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: André Laliberté
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The Chinese Communist Party has shown tolerance, if not direct support, for the growth of Buddhism over the last few decades. Three explanations for this lenient attitude are explored in this article. The flourishing of Buddhism is encouraged by the state less for its propaganda value in foreign affairs than for its potential to lure tourists who will, in turn, represent a source of revenue for local governments. Buddhist institutions are also establishing their track record in the management of philanthropic activities in impoverished area where local governments lack the resources to offer specific social services. Finally, the development of such activities has contributed to enhance cooperation between China and Taiwan, whose governments have a vested interest in the improvement of relations across the Strait. The article concludes that the growth of Buddhism in China results from the initiatives of Buddhists themselves, and the government supports this growth because it serves local politics well.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Min Xia
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines the impacts of two types of social capital – bonding and bridging – upon the performance of grassroots selfgovernment institutions in rural China, based on an original survey of 410 villages throughout the whole of China. The findings indicate that, on the one hand, bonding social capital still has a very solid foundation in the rural areas of China. On the other, bridging social capital is in formation in Chinese villages, even though the stock of bridging social capital is currently very moderate. Moreover, this study finds that bridging social capital, as manifested in general trust and inclusive social networks, positively affected the governance performance of each surveyed village. Yet, bonding social capital, as manifested in particular trust and exclusive social networks, tends to negatively impact the performance of Chinese rural governance. These findings help clarify some theoretical issues about, and shed some light on the prospects of, the rural self-governance system in China.
  • Political Geography: China