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  • Author: Victor D. Cha, Michael J. Green, Nicholas Szechenyi
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Opinion surveys demonstrate that a majority of Americans consider Asia the most important region to U.S. interests and a majority of Asian experts support the Obama administration's goal of a “pivot” or “rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific region.1 Yet doubts have also grown about whether the pivot can be sustained by a president politically weakened by the 2014 midterm results, constrained by budget sequestration, and pulled into crises from Ukraine to Iraq and Iran. On issues from immigration to Cuba policy, the Obama administration and the incoming Republican Congress appear set for confrontation. Yet Asia policy remains largely bipartisan—perhaps the most bipartisan foreign policy issue in Washington. It is therefore critical—and practical— to ask that the White House and the Republican leadership in the Congress chart a common course on policy toward Asia for the next two years. This report outlines concrete areas for action on trade, China, defense, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Jörg Wischermann, Bui The Cuong, Nguyen Quang Vinh, Dang Thi Viet Phuong, Nguyen Thi Minh Chau
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Civic organizations (COs) are neither a good nor a bad thing. They are not inherently fighters for democracy or supporters of authoritarian rule. The way they develop depends on the impact that various forms of state power have on them and on their influence on the state. Vietnamese COs appear to be no exception. When we examine just one direction of these interdependent and reciprocal relations, it becomes clear that under the constraints of the Vietnamese state's infrastructural power many Vietnamese COs develop features of intra‐organizational authoritarianism; that they help to embed the state and the Communist Party more deeply within Vietnamese society; and, finally, that they contribute to bringing the society further under the control of the state and the party. However, this occurs to a very different degree depending on the type of CO. NGOs and faith‐based organizations in particular, at least in the field of gender norms and practices, seem to resist the state's discursive power. This could imply challenges to the state’s and the party's control of politics and society and leads the authors to draw far‐reaching conclusions as far as developmental cooperation with and potential support for various types of Vietnamese COs is concerned.
  • Topic: Non-Governmental Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Adam S. Posen, Nicolas Veron
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Given no generally accepted framework for financial stability, policymakers in developing Asia need to manage, not avoid, financial deepening. This paper supports Asian policymakers' judgment through analysis of the recent events in the United States and Europe and of earlier crisis episodes, including Asia during the 1990s. There is no simple linear relationship between financial repression and stability—financial repression not only has costs but, so doing can itself undermine stability. Bank-centric financial systems are not inherently safer than systems that include meaningful roles for securities and capital markets. Domestic financial systems should be steadily diversified in terms of both number of domestic competitors and types of savings and lending instruments available (and thus probably types of institutions). Financial repression should be focused on regulating the activities of financial intermediaries, not on compressing interest rates for domestic savers. Cross-border lending should primarily involve creation of multinational banks' subsidiaries in the local economy—and local currency lending and bond issuance should be encouraged. Macroprudential tools can be useful, and, if anything, are more effective in less open or less financially deep economies than in more advanced financial centers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Yuddy Chrisnandi, Adhi Priamarizki
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Following the implementation of Law No. 2/1999 on political parties by former president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habbibie, the multiparty system has been championed as the more prominent feature of the rapidly democratized Indonesian political landscape in the post-Suharto era. he implementation of such a law replaced the three-party system that had previously been dominated by the single hegemonic political vehicle of the New Order, Golkar or Golongan Karya [the Functional Groups], for almost 26 years. In the 1999 General Elections (GE), Indonesia witnessed an exuberance of new political parties. A total of forty-eight new political parties joined the 1999 election, the first free and fair democratic election since the 1955 GE. While the number of political parties may seem overwhelming, such a political turnout is not surprising given the degree of plurality of Indonesian society. In the 2004, 2009, and 2014 GE respectively, 24, 38, and 12 national political parties competed.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Hanna Shelest
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The pictures of Kyiv on fire in early 2014 have attracted attention of the world's media, with Molotov cocktails, barricades and injured journalists making headlines. This is in sharp contrast to the previous two months, when hundreds of thousands of people were coming every Sunday to the main square – Maidan Nezalezhnosti – in peaceful protest.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Heidi Reisinger
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: On 27 January 2014, the NATO Defense College Research Division hosted its Russia Roundtable, where international experts from various research institutions meet senior practitioners from the International Staff and International Military Staff from NATO HQ.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nepal is entering a new phase in its fitful peace process, in which its so-called "logical conclusion" is in sight: the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants and the introduction of a new constitution. The Maoists, the largest party, are back in government in a coalition led by the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist), UML party. Negotiations, although fraught, are on with the second-largest party, the Nepali Congress (NC), to join. Agreement is being reached on constitutional issues and discussions continue on integration. None of the actors are ramping up for serious confrontation and few want to be seen as responsible for the collapse of the constitution-writing process underway in the Constituent Assembly (CA). But success depends on parties in opposition keeping tactical threats to dissolve the CA to a minimum, the government keeping them engaged, and the parties in government stabilising their own precariously divided houses. It will also require the Maoists to take major steps to dismantle their army.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Richard Lim
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: After gaining its independence in 1946, the Philippines stood as a "showcase of democracy" in Southeast Asia. Both Spanish and American colonization had bequeathed to the islands Western values and institutions. The Americans had provided for the establishment of a democratic constitutional government. The Philippine press was widely considered one of the freest in Asia.[iii] Yet, on September 21, 1972, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Executive Order No. 1081, declaring a state of martial law throughout the nation.[iv] In the years following, Marcos' rule would be marked by harsh political repression, human rights violations, and a massive statewide kleptocracy. The Philippines' fall from grace left scholars scrambling to answer just how did a promising young democracy fall so quickly.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Heike Holbig, Bruce Gilley
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The contemporary politics of China reflect an ongoing effort by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to claim the right to rule in light of the consequences of economic development, international pressures, and historical change. China stands out within the Asian region for the success the regime has achieved in this effort. By focusing on the changes in China elite discourse during the reform period and particularly during the last decade, this paper aims to elaborate on the relative importance of various sources of legitimacy as they shift over time, as well as on their inherent dilemmas and limitations. There is evidence of an agile, responsive, and creative party effort to relegitimate the post-revolutionary regime through economic performance, nationalism, ideology, culture, governance, and democracy. At the same time, the paper identifies a clear shift in emphasis from an earlier economic‐nationalistic approach to a more ideological-institutional approach.
  • Topic: Communism, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Mari Luomi
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The purpose of this study is to enhance understanding of the new geopolitical situation currently unfolding in Middle Eastern politics that has emerged since the onset of the United States-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The paper focuses on the notions of the Sunni-Shia divide and the Rise of the Shia.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The North Caucasus (Russian) Republic of Dagestan has avoided large-scale violence despite its proximity to Chechnya but is now suffering from escalating street warfare. Several hundred local and federal security forces, administrators, politicians, ministers and journalists have been killed since 2003. The militant Islamist organisation Shariat Jamaat is responsible for much of the violence. Some of its leaders fought in Chechnya, but its extremist propaganda is also attracting unemployed Dagestani youth. This home-grown extremism, espousing jihadi theology and employing terrorist methods, is a new phenomenon. Police efforts to end the street war have been ineffective and in some instances counter-productive. While supporting loyal local elites, Moscow can help halt the increase in violence if it implements an efficient anti-corruption policy and reintegrates youth into the economic and political system.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Corruption, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: South Korea's electoral politics has made a turn to the right that is likely to lead to closer security ties with the U.S. and some other important adjustments in foreign policy and has already strained relations with the North. The shift toward the Grand National Party (GNP), evident in President Lee Myung-bak's victory in late 2007, was completed when it won a majority in the 18th National Assembly in the 9 April 2008 elections. Those elections were dominated by domestic concerns, especially the economy; foreign policy and inter-Korean relations were near the bottom of voters' interests. The GNP's legislative agenda will include deregulation and privatisation, intended to revitalise business. Although generally supportive of Lee on foreign policy, the new assembly may cause him problems, particularly over unpopular economic liberalisation and deregulation proposals. Opposition to these, which have already produced a major political crisis, may have an impact on wider security concerns.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Three years after the 15 August 2005 signing of the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM), Aceh is politically vibrant but on edge. The sources of unease are several. As preparations get underway for the April 2009 parliamentary elections with 44 parties – six local, 38 national – in contention, the military is worried about Partai Aceh, the GAM party, winning control of local legislatures and challenging Jakarta's authority. Partai Aceh is worried about overt or covert interference from Jakarta, and smaller parties are worried about intimidation by Partai Aceh. Election officials are concerned a dispute between Jakarta and Aceh over candidate requirements could delay the polls, and other struggles with the central government are brewing. Everyone is worried about the health of Governor Irwandi Yusuf, a GAM leader with unparalleled ability to manage competing demands in post-conflict Aceh, who suffered a sudden illness – officially undisclosed but widely reported as a slight stroke – in August.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Haroon Ullah
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The literature of political development has long advocated the importance of integrating the rural countryside into mainstream political institutions. This paper argues that rural incorporation is best understood within the context of pro-peasant policy innovations targeting specific constituencies in an electorate. While there are important preconditions that set the stage for rural incorporation (legitimacy of the political party, party organization), rural incorporation is fostered when credible commitments are made to voter blocs. Combining case-study analysis and formal modeling, this paper focuses on the reasons pro-peasant policies lead to rural incorporation but not necessarily regime durability. Insights derived center on the importance of credible commitments to party dynamics, the path dependence of early elections, and the decision parameters of constituencies with limited information.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Politics, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Pakistan's return to civilian government after eight years of military rule and the sidelining of the military's religious allies in the February 2008 elections offer an opportunity to restore the rule of law and to review and repeal discriminatory religious laws that restrict fundamental rights, fuel extremism and destabilise the country. Judicial reforms would remove the legal cover under which extremists target their rivals and exploit a culture of violence and impunity. Ensuring judicial independence would also strengthen the transition to democracy at a time when it is being undermined by worsening violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Author: Oleh Protsyk
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Like the majority of modern states, non-recognized or de facto states are governed indirectly through elected representatives who are entrusted with the task of carrying out most of the functions of government. Issues of representation are central to an understanding of modern polities and have therefore generated substantial academic interest with regard to the identity and performance of representatives. Non-recognized states have largely been spared such detailed scrutiny of their domestic politics and patterns of representation, even though requests by these states for recognition draw increasingly on claims to democratically-secured genuine representation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Xiaopeng Pang, Scott Rozelle
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The goal of our paper is to provide an empirical basis for understanding progress (or stagnation) in the evolution of China's village committee elections. To meet this goal, we pursue three specific objectives. First, we seek to identify patterns (and trends) of voting behavior and develop ways to measure participation in the voting process. Second, we analyze who is voting and who is not (and document the process by which their votes are cast). Finally, we see to understand the correlation between propensity to vote and the quality of village elections.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Kenneth F. Greene
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Why do dominant parties persist in power for decades and under what conditions do challengers expand enough to beat them at the polls, thus transforming these systems into fully competitive democracies with turnover? Unlike in one - party regimes, the world's sixteen dominant party systems feature meaningful electoral competition; however, dominant parties have persisted despite enough social cleavages, permissive electoral institutions, negative retrospective evaluations of the incumbent's performance, and sufficient ideological space for challengers to occupy. I craft a resource theory of single - dominance that focuses on the incumbent's ability to divert public resources for partisan use. Using formal theory, I show how asymmetric resources and costs of participation force challengers to form as non - centrist and under - competitive parties. Only when these asymmetries decline do opposition parties expand. I test the theory's predictions using survey data of party elites in Mexico. I also extend the argument to Malaysia and Italy using aggregate data.
  • Topic: Corruption, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Malaysia, Asia, Italy, Mexico
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Sadanand Dhume, a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at Asia Society, is a journalist and writer with a long-standing interest in Asia. He has recently completed a book on the rise of radical Islam in Indonesia. As a former Indonesia correspondent of the Far Eastern Economic Review and The Asian Wall Street Journal in Jakarta, Sadanand covered Indonesia's economic, political, security and social scene. Before that he was the New Delhi bureau chief of FEER.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, New Delhi, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Edward Luce is the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times. He was the paper's South Asia bureau chief, based in New Delhi, between 2001 and 2006. From 1999–2000, Luce worked in the Clinton administration as the speechwriter to Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. Educated at Oxford and married into an Indian family, Luce now lives in Washington, D.C.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Washington, India, Asia, New Delhi