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  • Author: Jeffrey D. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a controversial addition to both the global and Asian economic architectures. Western critics have alleged it is a vehicle designed to achieve China’s geostrategic goals, while scholars have argued it marks China’s adoption of a ‘revisionist’ foreign policy strategy. This article argues that such interpretations are incorrect, as they fail to account for the evolution of China’s AIIB agenda. To secure a broad membership and international legitimacy for the AIIB, China compromised with partners during governance negotiations in 2015. Western country demands saw several controversial initial proposals dropped, the governance practices of existing multilateral development banks were adopted, and cooperative partnerships were developed with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. This transition from a revisionist to status-seeking AIIB agenda reveals the flexibility of Chinese economic statecraft, and its willingness to compromise strategic goals to boost the legitimacy of its international leadership claims.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Banks
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Barry Buzan
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This chapter looks at English School (ES) theory as a way of understanding China and its rise. It focuses both on where ES theory fits well enough with China to provide an interesting perspective, and on where ‘Chinese characteristics’ put China outside the standard ES framing and raise theoretical challenges to it. The first section briefly reviews the ES literature on China. The second section places China within the normative structure of contemporary global international society by looking at how China relates to the primary institutions that define that society. The third section explores two challenges that ‘Chinese characteristics’ pose for how the ES thinks about international society: hierarchy and ‘face’. The Conclusions assess the strengths and weaknesses of ES theory in relation to understanding the rise of China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Education, International Security
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Astrid H. M. Nordin, Graham M. Smith
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Chinese government representatives and scholars have attempted to ameliorate fears about China’s rise by portraying China as a new and friendlier kind of great power. It is claimed that this represents a new way of relating which transcends problematic Western understandings of Self–Other relations and their tendency to slip into domination and enmity. This article takes such claims as a point of departure, and analyses them with focus on the explicit discussions of friendship in international relations theory. Paying attention to current Chinese thinking which emphasizes guanxi relationships, friendship can contribute to the development of genuinely relational international relations thinking and move beyond a focus on ossified forms of friendship and enmity centred on the anxious self. The vantage point of friendship suggests a way out of the dangers of theorizing Self in contrast to Other, and reopens the possibility to conceptualize Self with Other.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Power Politics, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Takenori Horimoto
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: A power transformation appears to be taking place in Asia, brought about by the rapid emergence of China and the relative decline of US influence. India has sought a way to cope with this new situation. India itself has been rising to prominence since the 1990s, particularly its nuclear weapon tests in 1998 onward. Since the start of the twenty-first century, India has been perceived as the next country to follow China in seeking a major power status. Although India has previously tended to conceal its power aspirations, in 2015 it declared its intention to be a leading power. This article elucidates this transformation through India's policy orientation on a local, regional, and global level and its key partnerships with Russia and Japan. India’s metamorphosis holds great implications for the transformation of power in Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, India, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Charmian Goh, Kellynn Wee, Brenda S. A. Yeoh
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In the context of Asia, understanding migration governance needs to transcend statism to encompass the ‘middle space’ of migration. Unlike migration linked to settlement in liberal democratic states of the West, a large part of low-skilled migration in Asia – predominantly circular, feminized, and contractual—is brokered by private recruitment agencies. In adopting migration brokers as a methodological starting point, we make the case for bringing the migration industry into the fold of global migration governance analysis. Based on interviews with employment agencies deploying Indonesian domestic workers to Singapore from 2015 to 2016, we argue that migrant-destination states in Asia devolve responsibility for workers to the migration industry to order migration flows and circumvent formal cooperation with origin countries. Comprehending migration governance in Asia requires grappling with the co-constitutive governance of the state and migration industry and its interdependent dynamics, which we illuminate through the theory of strategic action fields.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, Governance, Political Science, State
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Amitav Acharya, Barry Buzan
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: A decade ago in 2007 we published a forum in International Relations of the Asia-Pacific (IRAP) on ‘Why there is no non-Western IR theory?’. Now we revisit this project ten years on, and assess the current state of play. What we do in this article is first, to survey and assess the relevant literature that has come out since then; second, to set out four ways in which our own understanding of this issue has evolved since 2007; third to reflect on some ways in which Asian IR might contribute to the emergence of what we call ‘Global IR’; and fourth to look specifically at hierarchy as an issue on which East Asian IR scholars might have a comparative advantage. Our aim is to renew, and perhaps refocus, the challenge to Asian IR scholars, and our hope is that this will contribute to the building of Global IR.
  • Topic: International Relations, Academia
  • Political Geography: Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Seung Hyok Lee
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: When Kim Dae-jung and Koizumi Junichiro visited Pyongyang in 2000 and 2002, their visits facilitated a perception shift toward North Korea in South Korea and Japan. This was a consequence of the two democratic societies expanding and redefining the acceptable boundaries of their national security identities and principles in a changing regional environment. Although the expansion of societal security discourse did not lead extreme ‘revisionists’ to implement drastic strategic policy transformations in either country, it did provoke a ‘mutual security anxiety’ between the South Korean and Japanese publics, as they felt increasingly uncertain about each other's future security trajectory. This mutual anxiety, in which both countries tend to view each other as potential security risk, while overlooking the existence of moderate democratic citizens on the other side, continues to provide a powerful ideational undertone to the bilateral relationship, which contributes to persistent misunderstanding at various levels.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Motoshi Suzuki
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The Northeast Asian region has attracted at least two types of international relations analyses. A first type focuses primarily on military and hard security and investigates changes in states' power and the politics of coercion, balance of power, and alliances. A second type is interested in cross-border economic activities, regional interdependence, and institutionalization and then examines the states' policies of development, trade, money, and technology, as well as the politics of institutional building and reform. T.J. Pempel's edited volume synthesizes the two approaches by viewing the mutually shaping interactions between economics and security as a major feature of regional politics. The book is a fruit of collaborative efforts by American, Japanese, South Korean, and Chinese scholars who provide in-depth analyses of recent developments in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Reform
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Asia, South Korea, London
  • Author: Ching-Chang Chen
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This paper critically examines an ongoing debate in International Relations (IR) as to why there is apparently no non-Western IR theory in Asia and what should be done to 'mitigate' that situation. Its central contention is that simply calling for greater incorporation of ideas from the non-West and contributions by non-Western scholars from local 'vantage points' does not make IR more global or democratic, for that would do little to transform the discipline's Eurocentric epistemological foundations. Re-envisioning IR in Asia is not about discovering or producing as many 'indigenous' national schools of IR as possible, but about reorienting IR itself towards a post-Western era that does not reinforce the hegemony of the West within (and without) the discipline. Otherwise, even if local scholars could succeed in crafting a 'Chinese (or Indian, Japanese, Korean, etc.) School', it would be no more than constructing a 'derivative discourse' of Western modernist social science.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Sung-Han Kim, Geun Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This study delves into an empirical case analysis of the desecuritization process of the North Korean threat under the Kim Dae-jung government. Unlike previous studies, it analyzes how domestic and international actors desecuritized traditional threats by taking the pluralistic political processes of a democratic polity seriously. This was the process of competition between different political coalitions and the process of transformation from issues of high politics into issues of low politics. It remains to be seen whether the Kim Dae-jung government's desecuritization of North Korean threats was a deep or a shallow one, but it appears to be clear that the desecuritization of North Korean threats by the Kim Dae-jung government paved the way for another 5 years of progressive government with Roh Moo-hyun's 'unexpected' victory in the 2002 presidential election.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea