Politics & Economics

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Framing Asian Studies: Geopolitics And InstitutionsFraming Asian Studies: Geopolitics And Institutions by Tzeng, Albert; William L. Richter Et Al (Eds.)

This book explores the interconnection between geopolitical context and the ways this context frames our knowledge about Asia, highlighting previously neglected cause-effect relations. It also examines how various knowledge institutions promote and shape Asian Studies. The authors seek to explain why Asian Studies and its subfields developed in the way they did, and what the implications of these transformations might be on intellectual and political understandings of Asia. The book not only builds on the current debates on the decolonization and de-imperialization of knowledge about Asia; it also proposes a more multifaceted view rather than just examining the impact of the West on the framing of Asian Studies.

Politics Of (No) Elections In Thailand, The: Lessons From The 2011 General ElectionPolitics Of (No) Elections In Thailand, The: Lessons From The 2011 General Election by Merieau, Eugenie (Ed.)

The book was borne out of the idea that the 2011 election represents a paradigm shift in the history of Thai electoral politics. Data collected by King Prajadhipok's Institute before and after the 2011 election, mostly through face-to-face interviews, came to substantiate this claim. The data paints a picture of a well-informed and mature Thai electorate in all parts of the kingdom. Contrary to the conclusions drawn by some earlier research, the data here shows that the most knowledgeable and most informed of all voters in Thailand are northeastern people, outperforming voters in Bangkok in their knowledge of the candidates and the issues by a significant margin. In other words, the scholars in this book argue against the traditional anti-election discourse, which assumes alleged ignorance on the part of Thai voters (especially in the Northeast) and compares provincial members of Parliament to wild animals.

Media And Elections: Democratic Transition In MalaysiaMedia And Elections: Democratic Transition In Malaysia by Gomez, James; Mustafa K. Anuar & Y. B. Lee (Eds.)

This book examines the central role of the media in Malaysian electoral contests. The book unpacks how a potent mix of regulation and crony media ownership in Malaysia has created a mainstream media that is biased towards the ruling regime, especially during elections. Drawing from research into how the different media tried to impact voter behaviour during the 13th General Election, the authors in this volume forecast that the online landscape is where the communications contest will play out in the 14th General Election. In the run up to the next general election, political opinion continues to be polarised over social media in Malaysia. This has prompted the government to legislate the online space which has in turn implications for freedom of expression. This book is highly recommended to academics, analysts, civil society activists, commentators, election candidates, journalists, media owners, voters and all others interested in freedom of expression and online electoral communications is Malaysia.

Universal Periodic Review Of Southeast Asia, The: Civil Society PerspectivesUniversal Periodic Review Of Southeast Asia, The: Civil Society Perspectives by Gomez, James; Robin Ramcharan (Eds.)

The research presented in this book provides a stakeholder analysis of human rights protection at a time when the region appears to be regressing into an insidious and deep authoritarianism. As political space shrinks in Southeast Asia, the book provides an insight into how civil society engaged with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Council during the first (2008-2011) and second (2012-2016) cycles. Through evidence-based research, the authors in this volume identify gaps in human rights reporting and advocacy during the UPR, notably on civil and political issues such as the right to life, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and belief, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention and claims for greater autonomy.

Trends In Southeast Asia 2018 #02: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia In Johor - New Party, Big ResponsibilityTrends In Southeast Asia 2018 #02: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia In Johor - New Party, Big Responsibility by Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) was officially launched on 14 January 2017, led by prominent personalities including former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Identity politics is a major hurdle for PPBM. The presence of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in the Pakatan Harapan coalition - of which PPBM is a member - is a hurdle in attracting Malay support. Among Malay voters, DAP is perceived as a threat to Malay privileges. At the same time, PPBM leaders in Johor believe that their contribution towards the coalition is not yet fully recognized by their coalition partners who insist that PPBM contests only in constituencies with a large Malay population. Areas with a high percentage of Malay voters are difficult for PPBM to win because UMNO tends to enjoy huge support in such constituencies, and PPBM leaders argue that they deserve more mixed seats to run in as well. Winning Johor, or some other state, is crucial for PPBM. Should the coalition fail to win at the federal level, PPBM will need a base to avoid disintegration.

Trends In Southeast Asia 2018 #01: Logistics Development In Asean - Complex Challenges AheadTrends In Southeast Asia 2018 #01: Logistics Development In Asean - Complex Challenges Ahead by Tham Siew Yean; Sanchita Basu Das

Growing urbanization, increasing trade and investment due to integration, and emerging new business models like e-commerce are accelerating the demand for efficient logistics in each ASEAN country. The logistics sector is inherently complex due to its scope, ranging from physical infrastructure covering four modes of transport, customs, and services. Each of these sub-sectors is regulated by different government agencies, leading to complex challenges in each country's logistics sector. Policymaking has a tendency to be done piecemeal rather than integratively, while a more or less fragmented governance structure impedes implementation. ASEAN liberalization commitments focusses on raising the cap on foreign equity, while regulatory reform remains untouched. Also, flexibility offered in these commitments allows for non-compliance.

Scourge Of Poverty And Proselytism, TheScourge Of Poverty And Proselytism, The by Kalinga Seneviratne

This book is based on a report commissioned by the Bangkok-based World Buddhist University that focused on the socio-economic and cultural challenges facing Buddhist communities in Asia with a case study of Sri Lanka. The research also looked at Buddhist social services that function with very little assistance from abroad, and why they are unable to counter the activities of Christian and Islamic evangelical groups who have huge financial resources from overseas to target Buddhists for conversions exploiting their poverty. The report's conclusions and recommendation includes an urgent need for a well coordinated international Buddhist charity - similar to the Catholic World Vision - to help empower these grassroots Buddhist communities; strict monitoring of NGO funding from overseas; need for a Community Harmony Bill (not an Anti-Conversion Bill); strict zoning laws to control 'illegal' construction of churches, mosques and temples; and concerted efforts by the Buddhists to convince other religious minorities that Sri Lanka's unique and rich Buddhist heritage belongs to all Sri Lankans.

Challenging Malaysia's Status QuoChallenging Malaysia's Status Quo by Lim Teck Ghee

History professor, consumer advocate, policy analyst and public intellectual par excellence Dr Lim Teck Ghee has put together this important collection of critical essays on the existential crisis of the Malaysian nation today. Through these essays, Dr Lim systematically exposes the poor state of governance in the Malaysian state and the flaws of its past and current policies. His pointed analyses of how and why we must change ineffectual and moribund policies is essential reading for academicians, politicians and activists. - Johan Saravanamuttu, Adjunct Senior Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore.

China's One Belt One Road InitiativeChina's One Belt One Road Initiative by Tai Wei Lim, Henry Hing Lee Chan Et Al

This book studies the equilibrium or balance between the overland and maritime trade routes of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. The interpretive section examines contemporary media narratives related to the OBOR initiative and how contemporary commentators appropriate narratives about historical events related to the maritime Silk Road to interpret current policy agendas and legitimize diplomatic or economic exchanges. The empirical case study highlights the fact that Euro-China High Speed Rail (HSR) and Central Asia-China HSR are not viable at the moment as passenger volume is not sufficient to justify the HSR line. This section examines the overland route of the OBOR and looks at recent Chinese HSR history and conventional sub-high speed rail technology development, and identifies technical & economic criteria determining the appropriate technology for a certain line. It analyzes the various rail linkage projects currently under study in the OBOR framework, highlight the economic, bureaucratic and geo-political challenges that these projects likely face and lay down conditions that will determine the outcome of these projects.

Trends In Southeast Asia 2017 #22: Malaysia's Bumiputera Preferential Regime And Transformation Agenda: Modified Programmes Unchanged SystemTrends In Southeast Asia 2017 #22: Malaysia's Bumiputera Preferential Regime And Transformation Agenda: Modified Programmes Unchanged System by Lee Kwok-Aun

Malaysia has employed an extensive, constant and embedded Bumiputera preferential regime for several decades, but in recent years, the Bumiputera Economic Transformation Programme was introduced, aimed at building capable and competitive Bumiputera businesses, and reaching out to disadvantaged Bumiputera students. Official rhetoric and public discourse recurrently and erroneously maintain that need-based and merit-based affirmative action have replaced ethnicity-based programmes. The author proposes a systematic framework for integrating need-based selection (prioritizing the disadvantaged or limiting benefits to the already empowered) and merit-based selection (cultivating capable and competitive policy beneficiaries) as enhancements of the Bumiputera preferential regime, taking into account specific conditions and implications from three main policy spheres: higher education, high-level employment, and enterprise development.

Trends In Southeast Asia 2017 #21: Parties In The Periphery: Organizational Dilemmas In Indonesia's Kepri ProvinceTrends In Southeast Asia 2017 #21: Parties In The Periphery: Organizational Dilemmas In Indonesia's Kepri Province by Fionna, Ulla

Political parties in Indonesia's Kepri (Kepulauan Riau, or Riau Islands) Province suffer from low organizational capacity. The set-up of their branch offices is barely adequate, with cadres and volunteers acting as the main administrators, while activities, funding and recruitment remain erratic, insufficient and disorganized. Electoral trends and the parties lack of organizational capacity have allowed for local figures to exercise greater influence, particularly during elections. In contrast, the parties themselves take a back seat during elections while their ground teams take charge. The parties' organizational incapacity in Kepri Province also translates into failure at the local level, and not much change can be expected in the near future.

In China's Backyard: Policies And Politics Of Chinese Resource Investments In Southeast AsiaIn China's Backyard: Policies And Politics Of Chinese Resource Investments In Southeast Asia by Morris-Jung, Jason

"In this fascinating multi-disciplinary and multi-sited volume, the authors challenge reductionist and oversimplifying approaches to understanding China's engagement with Southeast Asia. Productively viewing these interactions through a 'resource lens', the editor has transcended disciplinary and area studies divides in order to assemble a dynamic and diverse group of scholars with extensive experience across Southeast Asia and in China, all while bringing together perspectives from resource economics, policy analysis, international relations, human geography, political ecology, history, sociology and anthropology." - Erik Harms, Department of Anthropology, Yale University

Resurgent Indonesia: From Crisis To ConfidenceResurgent Indonesia: From Crisis To Confidence by Shastry, Vasuki

In 1998, wracked by financial turmoil and political upheaval, Indonesia seemed like a country on the brink of collapse. Yet it has more than turned its fortunes around. This book is the gripping inside account of Indonesia's steep decline after the Asian financial crisis and its improbable recovery and rise in the ensuing two decades. Blending first-rate journalism with in-depth research, it charts the country's difficult journey from a failing state to a confident young democracy and a fast-growing economy.

War For China's Wallet, The: Profiting From The The World OrderWar For China's Wallet, The: Profiting From The The World Order by Rein, Shaun

With Chinese-led initiatives such as One Belt One Road and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank combined with uncertainty due to US shifts in policy and apparent commitments over the past decade, the stakes are high for companies looking to profit from the world's newest superpower. China has become the second largest market for Fortune 500 companies like Starbucks, Apple, and Nike and drives growth for Hollywood and commodity products. Yet the profits come at a price for countries and companies alike - they must adhere to the political goals of Beijing or else face economic punishment or outright banishment. Using primary research from interviews with hundreds of business executives and government officials, this book will help companies understand how to profit from China's outbound economic plans as well as a shifting consumer base that is increasingly nationalistic.

China Paradox, The: At The Front Line Of Economic TransformationChina Paradox, The: At The Front Line Of Economic Transformation by Clifford, Paul G.

Business strategist and historian Dr. Paul G. Clifford uses vivid examples from his deep experience in China to lay bare the delicate and fragile balance of forces which lie at the heart of China's success. He explains how, against all the odds, the ruling Communist Party boldly led the economic reforms as the surest way to preserve their grip on power. This flourishing of China's hybrid developmental model is placed firmly in the historical context, shedding light on the legacies that thwarted earlier attempts at change and which today still threaten to render the progress unsustainable. China is taking its place on the world economic stage, displaying business acumen and innovation. But flawed political governance, coupled with the downside of breakneck growth, hampers China's ability to realize its potential and casts a shadow over its longer-term prospects.

Trends In Southeast Asia 2017 #20: The 2017 Johor Survey: Selected FindingsTrends In Southeast Asia 2017 #20: The 2017 Johor Survey: Selected Findings by Chong, Terence; Lee Hock Guan Et Al

ISEAS commissioned the 2017 Johor Survey to understand Johor residents' attitudes towards state and federal government, the economy, Islamic identity, the Johor royal family, as well as development projects like Iskandar Malaysia. This is a presentation of selected findings from the survey. The Johor royal family is viewed as a good steward of Johor's resources and is believed to look after the personal interests of citizens. Many also believe that the Johor Sultan should intervene in politics when necessary. However, a slight majority agree that the Johor royalty should refrain from business ventures. With regard to Islam, the vast majority of Malay respondents see Malaysia as an "Islamic state". This majority also believe that increased Islamic religiosity is a positive development for society. More than half of the Malay respondents would like hudud laws to be applied to non-Muslims as well. The majority of Malay respondents also believe that JAKIM should regulate Muslim behaviour and that Malay culture is not becoming more Arabized.

Trends In Southeast Asia 2017 #19: Malaysia's Electoral Process: The Methods And Cost Of Perpetuating Umno RuleTrends In Southeast Asia 2017 #19: Malaysia's Electoral Process: The Methods And Cost Of Perpetuating Umno Rule by Ostwald, Kai

Malaysia will hold its 14th general election before August 2018, bringing renewed focus on the nature of political competition in the country. This paper provides a systematic overview of the electoral process and an assessment of how it shapes the country's political environment. The high degree of electoral manipulation in Malaysia, juxtaposed against its successful developmental record and relative social stability, makes the country an important case for the growing body of research on electoral integrity and malpractice.

Trends In Southeast Asia 2017 #18: Harnessing The Potential Of The Indonesian DiasporaTrends In Southeast Asia 2017 #18: Harnessing The Potential Of The Indonesian Diaspora by Setijadi, Charlotte

In recent years, the Indonesian government has increased efforts to harness the economic, political, and social potential of its diaspora. Current estimates put the number of overseas Indonesians at up to 8 million people worldwide. Members of the Indonesian diaspora are lobbying for legislative amendments, including dual citizenship, parliamentary representation, property ownership rights, and constitutional recognition. The Indonesian government needs to take the potential of its diaspora seriously in order to harness their enormous capital and skills contribution.

Trends In Southeast Asia 2017 #17: The Central Role Of Thailand's Internal Security Operations Command In The Post-Counter-Insurgency PeriodTrends In Southeast Asia 2017 #17: The Central Role Of Thailand's Internal Security Operations Command In The Post-Counter-Insurgency Period by Puangthong R. Pawakapan

The Thai military's Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) was in charge of a wide range of civil affairs projects during the country's struggle with the communist insurgency between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s. These projects provided justification for the military to routinely penetrate the socio-political sphere. Since the Cold War drew to a close, little attention has been paid to ISOC's role and power within the state apparatus. Since the coups of September 2006 and May 2014 that toppled the elected governments, ISOC has been dangerously empowered and increasingly employed by the military regimes to dictate the country's political direction. The power of the Thai military is exerted not only through its use of force but also by means of its socio-political arms. ISOC represents a potent tool with which conservative elites can undermine and control electoral democracy and through which the military can maintain its power.

Khaki Capital: The Political Economy Of The Military In Southeast AsiaKhaki Capital: The Political Economy Of The Military In Southeast Asia by Chambers, Paul; Napisa Waitoolkiat

Although Southeast Asia has seen the emergence of civilian rule, the military continues to receive much of national budgets and, with significant assets and economic activities, often possesses enormous economic clout - enhancing its political power while hindering civilian rule and democratization. The political economy of the military in less developed countries is thus a crucial subject area in these terms. This study, the first of its kind covering Southeast Asia, examines such 'khaki capital' in seven countries - Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines and Indonesia - individual chapters being devoted to each of them. Each case study analyses the historical evolution of khaki capital in that country; the effect of internal and external factors (e.g. military unity and globalization) in this trajectory; and how the resulting equilibrium has affected civil-military relations.