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  • Author: Xinyuan Dai
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: A growing sense among academics and policymakers alike is that the dominant issues of the twenty-first century will be decided in Asia-Pacific. But, the open question is how will these issues be decided: Who defines the rules of the game in the region and how? To address these questions, this paper studies the regulatory competition that is unfolding in the region. In particular, it examines the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with its potential to redraw the political-economic geography in Asia. Why is such a significantly path-breaking institution possible? This paper builds on the scholarship of international political economy and especially the literature on international institutions. It argues that this potential of the TPP crucially depends on the institutional environment in East Asia. A state of institutional anarchy enables the TPP to take hold in Asia. Important policy implications follow regarding the strategic use of international institutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: East Asia
  • Author: Hiroki Takeuchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China and Japan have been deepening economic interdependence over the last two decades, while China has recently shown territorial ambitions and initiated disputes with Japan. This runs contrary to the commercial liberal literature that argues that trade promotes peace. On the other hand, the realist theory also does not fully explain Sino-Japanese relations because Sino-Japanese relations are not always in conflict. The rise of China and the relative decline of Japan might explain increasing tensions in the rivalry relationship, but what drives Chinese leaders to initiate disputes? I address the importance of domestic politics to examine Sino-Japanese disputes. I argue that the recent deterioration of the bilateral relationship could be explained by the power struggle in the Chinese leadership. To support the logic of this argument, I use a game-theoretic model, which accounts for how the type of Chinese leadership influences foreign policy outcomes in Sino-Japanese relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China
  • 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: 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