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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: Kan Kimura
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In recent years, East Asian countries have faced serious challenges with regard to regional security. The bilateral relationships between China and Japan, and Japan and South Korea, have become increasingly strained due to a variety of disagreements over key political issues, such as territorial claims. Some observers argue that China and Japan may become involved in a direct military confrontation in the near future over the Senkaku/ Diaoyu Islands. The increasing levels of naval and aerial engagements between the two countries demonstrate that such arguments can no longer be seen as 'out of the question'. While two democracies in the region, Japan and South Korea, are both major alliance partners with the United States and share the key security concern of countering North Korea's nuclear and conventional provocations, the two have suffered deteriorating relations since 2012. For instance, the General Security of Military Information Agreement, which provided a mechanism through which Japan and South Korea could share military technology, was canceled in July 2012. Furthermore, the two states have been embroiled in an increasingly antagonistic territorial dispute over Takeshima/Dokdo Islands since President Lee Myung-bak's visit to the islands in August 2012.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea
  • 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: 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
  • Author: Tongfi Kim
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article explains cooperation problems between powerful democratic states and weak non-democratic states in the context of nuclear non- proliferation. Focusing on the interactions of the United States with North Korea, Iran, and Libya, it suggests that power asymmetry and information asymmetry foster mutual distrust by exacerbating two main strategic obstacles to cooperation: the time inconsistency of the stronger state's policy and the incomplete information regarding the non-democratic states. The nature of negotiations over nuclear weapons programs further exacerbates these problems. The overall implications of this article leave us pessimistic about the possibility of negotiated nuclear dis-armament, but the theoretical analysis may help the negotiation strategy of the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Galia Press-Barnathan
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This paper examines American policy regarding regional security arrangements (RSAs) in Asia. It argues that it is American perceptions of regional interest in such RSAs and of the compatibility of the goals of regional partners with those of the United States, which eventually shape American policy. After discussing the potential value and cost of RSAs, it suggests that actual policy choices are shaped largely as a reaction to regional states' motivations and policies. Since in Asia, there was limited functional pooling effect to be gained from RSAs, changes in American policies reflected much more a reaction to changes in regional interest in such arrangements. This interaction is demonstrated through a review of post-Cold War developments regarding US RSA policy, distinguishing between the early years of transition to unipolarity and the erosion of unipolarity since the late 1990s. These are also compared to earlier American policy regarding RSAs during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Hiro Katsumata
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article seeks to enhance our understanding of an East Asian community by focusing on its cultural aspect. The specific focus of analysis is Japanese popular culture, whose elements include J-pop music, TV dramas, movies,manga (comic books), and anime (animations). This article sheds light on the progress of community building in the cultural sphere by demonstrating that Japanese popular culture has been favored by the people in the East Asian region. By so doing, it modifies our common beliefs about the characteristics of an East Asian community and our conventional expectations of the nature of an East Asian regional identity.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia
  • Author: T. J. Pempel
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Considerable research has been devoted to unraveling the complicated warp and woof of East Asia's onrushing regionalism. This book breaks from studies that take as the key unit of regional analysis either ASEAN (presumably in ' the regional driver's seat'), all of East Asia (the prevailing template of recent interactions), or the Asia-Pacific (the unit that most accounts for the preeminent East Asian influence of the United States). Calder and Ye argue instead that 'the increasingly intense and profound economic and social interactions within Northeast Asia…' (p. 251) are forging Japan, China, and South Korea into a far more significant 'synergistic entity'. In stressing the cooperative dimension of relations among these three powerful countries, the book not only calls for a new focus for regional analysis, but it also challenges the more traditional treatment of Northeast Asia as a hotbed of geopolitical tensions and rivalries.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Yukiko Miyagi
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Japan's vital interests, both its energy security and US alliance, are at stake in the Middle East. Change in Japan's Middle East policy is charted over three periods, from a stance independent of the United States to one increasingly aligned with US policy. This is explained in terms of four variables: level of US hegemony, threats in East Asia, energy vulnerabilities in the Middle East, and normative change inside Japan. Japan's policy in Middle East/North Africa reflects its general move toward a more militarily enhanced version of mercantile realism.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Middle East, East Asia