Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2050-2680
Published by John Wiley and Sons [1589 journals]
- Power Politics and Securitization: The Emerging Indo–Japanese Nexus
in Southeast Asia
Authors: Bibek Chand; Zenel Garcia
Abstract: China's ascent has led to its securitization by its neighbouring states, particularly given its precarious maritime claims in the highly strategic Indo-Pacific basin. Such a development in the region has allowed India and Japan to forge closer strategic partnerships in Southeast Asia. This article utilizes securitization theory to analyse the emerging Indo–Japanese nexus, wherein Japan's increasing desecuritization and India's non-securitization in Southeast Asia have allowed the region to emerge as a common strategic vantage point for Indo–Japanese interests to convene. The securitization of China, coupled with India and Japan's common interests in safeguarding the freedom of navigation and deterring unilateral changes to the status quo, contributes to the emergence of this nexus. Furthermore, the emerging nexus provides states of Southeast Asia a hedging option as China's increasing assertion of its territorial claims. Japan's Security Diamond policy and India's Act/Look East policy will also be analysed to showcase the emergence of the Indo–Japanese nexus.
- Building Cooperation for Managing the South China Sea Without Strategic
Authors: Sam Bateman
Abstract: The ruling from the arbitral tribunal dealing with the case between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea provides opportunities for fresh approaches to building cooperation for managing the sea and activities within it. This cooperation is both a necessity and an obligation of the countries bordering the sea. However, obstacles remain, particularly the lack of trust between the various stakeholders in the sea and the way in which important areas for cooperation, such as fisheries management, environmental protection and marine scientific research, have been politicised to the extent that even cooperation in these areas cannot proceed without greater strategic trust. The objective of this paper is to put forward a set of policy implications from the ruling that might overcome these obstacles and allow the necessary cooperation to proceed despite the lack of strategic trust.
- Dragon versus Elephant: A Comparative Study of Chinese and Indian Aid in
Authors: Denghua Zhang; Hemant Shivakumar
Abstract: The growing scale of development assistance programs of China and India has attracted increased global attention. Research on their aid to the Pacific Island Countries, however, is largely missing. Whether their aid programs in the Pacific region are similar or significantly different—in terms of aim and scope—deserves investigation. Also, current literature on Chinese and Indian trilateral cooperation—a relatively new aid modality—is almost non-existent. Based on archival analysis and the authors' interviews in China, India and across the region over 2014–2016, this article provides a comparative analysis of Chinese and Indian aid to the Pacific island countries. It argues that Chinese and Indian aid in the Pacific are heterogeneous in a number of ways. In addition, China has been actively piloting trilateral cooperation in the Pacific, while no such projects have taken place from India who has only begun looking more closely at the region.
- The Future of Hong Kong Governance: The Pro-independence Legislators'
Election Fallout and Beijing's Political Voice in Hong Kong
Authors: Tai Wei Lim
Abstract: This article examines the activities, street-level and Legco tactics as well as the political orientation of the pro-autonomy advocates, localists and pro-independence groups in Hong Kong, contextualized within the September 2016 Legislative Council Election, ‘Fishball Revolution’ and Beijing's interpretation of the Basic Law that all took place within 2016. The ‘localists’, an amorphous group that ranges from greater Hong Kong autonomy seekers to outright independence sympathizers, were a major supporter of the street vendors at the site of the ‘Fishball Revolution’. After the ‘Fishball Revolution’ tapered off in early 2016, the second leg of post-Occupy Central resistance began in the Legislative Council when prodemocracy as well as pro-independence individuals ran for the Hong Kong Legislative Council or Legco elections. The study of political factionalism within Hong Kong serves as an important comparative case study in analysing other social movements in the Northeast Asian region.
- International Law in a Post-Post-Cold War World—Can It Survive?
Authors: Alison Pert
Abstract: Recent world developments pose a direct challenge to the authority and effectiveness of international law. The actions of Russia in Ukraine, and China in the South China Sea, represent a particular threat. These actions are in clear violation of international law, involving the threat or use of armed force and the seizure of territory, and Russia and China are permanent members of the UN Security Council – the body charged by the international community with maintaining international peace and security. Putting further potential strain on the international legal order is the marked shift towards nationalism in many states, most notably the United States under Donald Trump. This article argues that the international community should not accept these developments as inevitable. Support for multilateralism over isolationism and unequivocal condemnation of breaches of international law are needed now more than ever.
- Silk Roads of the Twenty-first Century: The Cultural Dimension
Authors: Rosita Dellios
Abstract: Much has been written about China's grand project of the twenty-first century, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road—or the Belt and Road Initiative. It is set to lift living standards through the provision of infrastructure and better connectivity where these are lacking. While economic resources are enumerated, and the maps of roads and corridors have been drafted, the cultural dimension is understudied. Beijing has not helped in this regard. Apart from vague slogans like ‘win–win cooperation’, ‘mutual respect’ and ‘community of common destiny’, there has been no concerted effort to showcase China's thought culture that is eminently suited to precisely this type of venture. If collaboration, even more than connectivity, is the necessary glue for bringing the regions of the Belt and Road together, then China needs to heed the advice of its own great philosophers.
- Gauging Change in Australian Aid: Stakeholder Perceptions of the
Government Aid Program
Authors: Terence Wood; Camilla Burkot, Stephen Howes
Abstract: In this article, we use data from the 2013 and 2015 Australian Aid Stakeholder Surveys to gauge the extent of the changes to the Australian Government Aid Program since the 2013 federal election. The two surveys targeted the same set of stakeholders of the aid program, and both gathered data on a wide range of aspects of its functioning. As we assess the findings that emerged from the surveys, we situate our work amongst recent academic studies that have looked at the post-2013 aid changes in Australia. Our key findings are that the post-2013 changes to Australian aid have had wide-ranging impacts and have led to deteriorating overall aid quality. However, changes have not affected all aspects of the aid program equally, and some changes are starting to be reversed. In discussion, we examine what these developments mean for the future of Australian aid.
- Age and Gender Group Differences in Employment Responses to Monetary
Policy Shock in a Small Open Economy: The Case of Korea
Authors: Sungyup Chung
Abstract: A Factor Augmented Vector Autoregressive model is constructed in a way that it resolves the price puzzle problem and separately identifies domestic and foreign monetary policy shocks by imposing a small-open economy structure. An analysis on the employment data grouped by age and gender reveals that only the young male worker group exhibits an inverse relationship between employment and domestic policy rates. In the case of the foreign (the United States) policy rate rise, however, the negative response of employment could be observed for all of the worker groups.
- Global Productions Sharing and Local Entrepreneurship in Developing
Countries: Evidence from Penang Export Hub, Malaysia
Authors: Prema-chandra Athukorala
Abstract: This article examines opportunities and policy options for developing countries to promote engagement of local firms in global production networks. The article begins with a stage-setting overview of the ongoing process of global production sharing and the emerging opportunities local firm's engagement. It then undertakes an illustrative case study of the export hub in the state of Penang in Malaysia. Forging operational links between multinational enterprises, which set up assembly plants in Penang, and local firms was an integral part of the export-led development strategy of the state. This policy emphasis was instrumental in fostering a domestic supplier network around the operations of the multinational enterprise subsidiaries. A number of local firms, which emerged de novo through production sharing, have become global players in their own right, with production bases in a number of other countries.
- The Future of Asian Regionalism: Not What It Used to Be'
Authors: Mark Beeson; Troy Lee-Brown
Abstract: The largely unexpected election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has overturned many assumptions and expectations about the future of Australia's regional relationships. Even before Trump's election, however, the history of regional evolution in East Asia presented a number of striking paradoxes and raised important questions about the forces that encourage or obstruct integration and cooperation at the regional level. For a region that has frequently been associated with comparatively limited cross-border political institutionalization and development, East Asia has recently been the centre of a large number of initiatives and proposals that are intended to give expression to particular visions of the region. We argue that the outcome of such regional processes is profoundly influenced by both geo-economic and geopolitical forces. We illustrate this claim by looking at the history of institutional development in the ‘Asia-Pacific’, before considering the attempt to create a new ‘Indo-Pacific region’, which, we suggest, has more to do with contemporary geopolitical concerns rather than any underlying ‘natural’ coherence. The Australian policy-making community needs to think carefully about the implications of the Trump presidency for such initiatives.
- Curbing Congestion and Vehicular Emissions in China: A Call for Economic
Authors: Xin Deng
Abstract: With the exponential growth of the national vehicle fleet in the last three decades, most cities in China are facing mounting pressure to tackle congestion and air pollution problems caused by motor vehicles. Beijing, the capital city, is a good case to study how municipal governments address those issues. To alleviate road congestion and pollution, the government has invested heavily in road infrastructure, advanced traffic management technology and also introduced stringent standards on vehicular emissions. However, city planners have been over-relying on command and control measures including travel demand management, which have proven to be costly and inefficient in controlling motor vehicle ownership and usage—the fundamental causes of congestion and emissions. Economic measures including road pricing and vehicle registration auction schemes are superior and should be adopted in travel demand management in the future.
- Issue Information
Pages: 1 - 3
Abstract: No abstract is available for this article.
- Food Security, Structural Transformation, Markets and Government Policy
Authors: C. Peter Timmer
Pages: 4 - 19
Abstract: Food prices are a key signal about what is happening to food security, and two dimensions are important: their average level (and whether this is rising or falling in the long run) and their volatility. Food price instability slows down economic growth and the structural transformation that is the pathway out of rural poverty. The best approaches to improving food security depend on which global food price regime is likely to drive policy formation between now and 2050. The historical path of structural transformation with falling food prices, leading to a ‘world without agriculture’, is an obvious possibility. But continued financial instability, coupled with the impact of climate change, could lead to a new and uncertain path of rising real costs for food, with a reversal of structural transformation. Management of food policy, and the outlook for sustained poverty reduction, will be radically different depending on which of these global price regimes plays out.
- The ‘Paradox of Diversity’: Economic Evidence from US Cities
Authors: Nazmun Ratna; R. Quentin Grafton, Hang To
Pages: 20 - 37
Abstract: We evaluate the economic significance of linguistic barriers to communication in 226 US cities from 1980 to 2010. We address the question: to what extent do linguistic barriers across social groups inhibit the benefits of knowledge exchange' The empirical results show that linguistic, racial and composite diversity increase the average income of working age population in American cities. This positive effect of diversity, however, diminishes the higher is the proportion of foreign-born population who lack English fluency. We call this the ‘paradox of diversity’. Overall, our findings provide important policy insights about how social diversity may enhance economic performance within cities.
- Increasing Women's Parliamentary Representation in Asia and the Pacific:
The Indonesian Experience
Authors: Ben Hillman
Pages: 38 - 49
Abstract: In recent years, governments across Asia and the Pacific have adopted gender quotas to increase women's representation in parliament. In 2003, Indonesia introduced a 30% gender quota that, over two election cycles, contributed to an increase in women's share of seats in the national parliament from 9 per cent to 18 per cent. In the most recent (2014) elections, despite stronger enforcement of the quota provisions, expansive civil society-led efforts to support women candidates and favourable press coverage, the percentage of women elected to the national parliament declined. This article examines the evolving political context in which the gender quota operates to argue that common support programs designed to maximize the gender quota's impact on women's representation are insufficiently targeted at major obstacles. Findings will be of interest to lawmakers and public sector professionals working to advance gender equity and to students of democratization, representation and gender politics.
- Assessing the Efficiency Costs of Vietnam's ‘Missing’ Small and Medium
Sized Enterprises: A Panel Data Investigation
Authors: Trung Dang Le; Paul Shaffer
Pages: 50 - 69
Abstract: This article investigates whether there are efficiency costs associated with the pronounced rightward skew in the firm size distribution, or Vietnam's ‘missing small and medium size enterprise (SMEs)’, drawing on panel data analysis of firm growth and survival. Specifically, it examines if factor allocation biases with respect to credit, preferable treatment of state owned enterprises, barriers to entry into export markets and economies of scale are important determinants of growth rates and survival probabilities of small, medium and large-sized firms. Overall, findings on the earlier variables do not support the view that there are large efficiency costs associated with Vietnam's ‘missing SMEs’. Together with other results in the literature with do not find significant equity costs associated with Vietnam's ‘missing SMES’, these findings raise questions about policy initiatives in support of SMEs in Vietnam, such as the National SME Support program, in particular, through improved access to credit.
- The Energy Trilemma and the Smart Grid: Implications Beyond the United
Authors: Jeannie Oliver; Benjamin Sovacool
Pages: 70 - 84
Abstract: This article argues that smart grid technologies enable policy-makers and communities to successfully manage enduring energy policy concerns. It defines what ‘smart’ energy technologies, grids and policies mean, and then evaluates how the smart grid can enable policy-makers to respond to an emerging energy ‘trilemma’. Drawing on case studies from the United States, the article suggests that the automated communications enabled by smart grid technologies significantly benefit each dimension of the energy trilemma: economic, social and environmental. However, successful smart grid implementation requires smart communication beyond technology. Failure to engage with customers through targeted communication, or to adequately address customers' privacy concerns, risks alienating customers, threatening the value of the smart grid investment. This article concludes that, with smart communication, both technical and human, the smart grid is an important step towards a sustainable energy future for stakeholders well beyond the United States.
- Controlling Irregular Migration in the Asia-Pacific: Is Australia Acting
against its Own Interests'
Authors: Emma Larking
Pages: 85 - 103
Abstract: Australia invests heavily throughout the Asia-Pacific region in mechanisms to control irregular people movements. Information has been leaked about conditions in the notorious detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, and aspects of the Bali Process are well known and publicised, but the nature and extent of much of Australia's investment have not been widely aired or scrutinised. This article canvasses the range of Australia's engagement in irregular migration controls and discusses how policies initiated by it have influenced policies developed by other countries. The article considers the implications of Australia's irregular migration control efforts in the context of other forms of regional engagement. It points to inconsistency between Australia's irregular migration regime and other law and justice programs. It also considers the impact of the irregular migration regime on regional relationships and stability, and for the rule of law.
- Child Protection and Maltreatment in the Philippines: A Systematic Review
of the Literature
Authors: Steven Roche
Pages: 104 - 128
Abstract: To gain a better understanding of the dimensions, characteristics and phenomenon of child maltreatment and its policy responses in the Philippines, this article provides a systematic review of the peer reviewed literature. This review provides a summary and analysis of the core child maltreatment issues in the Philippines and examines child protection policy responses. It takes a systematic approach, identifying 31 peer reviewed articles from a diverse range of scholarship that met its criteria, and subjected to a quality appraisal tool. Its findings provide important details about child maltreatment and child protection arrangements in the Philippines. It recommends further research into policy and programmatic approaches to child maltreatment, a greater focus on the social, cultural and structural influences on child maltreatment, and investigation into child maltreatment, particularly child sexual abuse, in contexts outside of the home, such as in institutions.
- Why a National Peace Agreement Is Important for Myanmar
Authors: Trevor Wilson
Pages: 141 - 146
Abstract: As Myanmar readies itself for the second national conference on its ‘new’ peace process in February 2017, an update on outstanding issues with Myanmar's peace process may be timely. It is hardly surprising that, despite the months of preparation for the second Panglong Conference in August or September 2016, there was little or no change in the realities on the ground in Myanmar during the year: armed incidents between the Burmese military and armed ethnic groups continued in the days leading up to that conference, whether or not official ceasefires had been signed; armed groups that had sparred with each other regularly continued to do so; and in some cases, clashes occurred between groups that had not actually fought each other for many years.
- ‘Climate Refugees’: An Oceanic Perspective
Authors: Rebecca Hingley
Pages: 158 - 165
Abstract: The primary argument of this article seeks to highlight the irresponsible and insensitive categorisation of the Pacific peoples as 'climate refugees'. International actors' interpretation and use of such a term is damaging as it depicts these peoples as a vulnerable, rather than resilient group. The term effectively strips them of their agency and the potential for their valuable knowledge and efforts to contribute to the fight against a natural phenomenon that proves the most serious threat to humankind today, climate change. In the first section the international perception will be addressed, in the second section the Oceanic understanding will be explored in contrast, and finally in the third section, the implications for International Relations will be outlined. In conclusion, we find that the impact of the term ‘climate refugees’ is detrimental at both the conceptual and experiential level, making its deconstruction a complex but necessary task.
- Closing the Cycle: How South Australia and Asia Can Benefit from
Re-inventing Used Nuclear Fuel Management
Authors: Ben P. Heard; Barry W. Brook
Pages: 166 - 175
Abstract: A large and growing market exists for the management of used nuclear fuel. Urgent need for service lies in Asia, also the region of the fastest growth in fossil fuel consumption. A logical potential provider of this service is acknowledged to be Australia. We describe and assess a service combining approved multinational storage with an advanced fuel reconditioning facility and commercialisation of advanced nuclear reactor technologies. We estimate that this project has the potential to deliver a net present value of (2015) AU$30.9 billion. This economic finding compares favourably with recent assessment based on deep geological repository. Providing service for used nuclear fuel and commercialisation of next generation nuclear technology would catalyse the expansion of nuclear technology for energy requirements across Asia and beyond, aiding efforts to combat climate change. Pathways based on leveraging advanced nuclear technologies are therefore worthy of consideration in the development of policy in this area.
- Insights for Indigenous Policy from the Applied Behavioural Sciences
Authors: Nicholas Biddle
Pages: 129 - 140
Abstract: People are neither completely rational, nor completely random in their decisions. Rather, they exhibit predictable biases that not only make it less likely that they will achieve their own stated desires, but also complicate the design and efficiency of public policy. These are some of the insights of the emerging applied behavioural sciences. With some notable exceptions, these insights have not always filtered through to policy formulation. Policy related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians is one example of an area where insights from the applied behavioural sciences have the potential to improve the quality of policy decisions. A large amount of government funds is spent on Indigenous people reflecting a high degree of disadvantage. This paper provides new data and insights to understand the patterns and factors associated with decisions made by Indigenous people, thereby helping to improve the effectiveness of Indigenous policy.
- Mitigating Tensions over Land Conversion in Papua, Indonesia
Authors: Mochamad Indrawan; Julian Caldecott, Ermayanti
Pages: 147 - 157
Abstract: In the south of the biodiversity-rich Indonesian province of Papua, a large agricultural program is planned for the districts around Merauke, with the ostensible aim of helping to meet Indonesia's food requirements. Questions arise over the scheme's compliance with national laws and sustainability policies, as well as its likely impacts on indigenous livelihoods and biodiversity. It is also contrary to the recent low-carbon development priorities of the provincial and national governments. For the initiative to be consistent with law and policy, therefore, considerably improved planning effort would be needed, taking into account many factors that have so far been ignored.