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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: Joseph MacKay
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: International relations scholars have recently taken increased interest in empire. However, research has often focused on European colonial empires. This article aims to evaluate imperialism in a non-Western historical setting: Late Imperial China. The article first compares extant international relations (IR) accounts of empire (one broad and one narrow) to theories of the East Asian hierarchical international system. Second, to further specify analysis, I evaluate IR theories of empire against the historical record of the Ming and Qing dynasties, addressing Chinese relations with surrounding 'tributary' states, conquered imperial possessions, and other neighboring polities. I argue that while IR theories of empire capture much of the region's historical politics, they nonetheless underspecify it. Theories of East Asian hierarchy suggest additional mechanisms at work. The historical cases suggest extensive variation in how empires expand and consolidate. I conclude that there is room for further theory building about empire in IR and suggest possible areas of emphasis.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • 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