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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:22 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #83: March 20, 2003

International Relations of the Asia-Pacific

Journal Name: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific:
February 2003, Vol. 3, No. 1

Print ISSN: 1470-482X, Online ISSN: 1470-4838


Is East Asia under-represented in the International Monetary Fund? (pp1- 28)
David P. Rapkin (Department of Political Science, University of Nebraska, USA) and Jonathan R. Strand (Department of Political Science, University of Nevada, USA)
East Asian countries perceive that their individual and collective positions in the world political economy are not fairly represented in existing international institutions, which have yet to fully adjust to the region's rapid economic ascent over the last several decades. This problem seems especially acute in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), wherein each country's participation in the organization's weighted voting scheme is supposed to reflect the following logic: relative weight in world economy size of quotas number of votes. Are Asian countries' IMF quotas incommensurate with their relative economic weight and, if so, by what margin? And if Asian countries are indeed under-represented in the IMF, which other country, group of countries or region is correspondingly over-represented? This paper examines these questions from several perspectives. It first discusses the purpose of quotas and how they are determined. It then turns to the question of whether Asian perceptions concerning under-representation are empirically corroborated. The first data analysis section compares current quotas to relative measures of economic weight in the world economy. The following section compares four quota values: past quotas, current quotas, calculated quotas and quotas calculated using the method of the IMF's external quota review board. In short, the data demonstrate that Asia does have a strong claim for a greater share of IMF quotas. We conclude with a brief consideration of possible alternatives to the IMF's current use of quota to determine voting weights, and argue that the problem of Asian under-representation will probably not be corrected unless the IMF's quota-determination process is overhauled.

Bandwagoning to dampen suspicion: NATO and the US–Japan Alliance after the Cold War (pp29-55)
Takafumi Ohtomo (Graduate School of International Political Economy, University of Tsukuba, Japan)
The question of why alliances endure in the post-Cold War period has been the center of much attention in the past decade. Institutionalists and constructivists often criticize neorealists for their failure to predict the continuing existence of the Cold War alliances. In this article, I apply the above theories to both NATO and the US–Japan Alliance, point out the flaws in various arguments, and assess the problems associated with the debate itself. Building on the theory of strategic restraint, I then provide an alternative explanation for the endurance of these alliances, by showing why secondary and potentially threatening states (or 'sheep in wolf's clothing') are willing to follow a hegemonic lead, and how institutions can help achieve that end. This illustrates an under-examined function of alliances: dampening suspicion by bandwagoning.

ASEAN's diplomatic and security culture: a constructivist assessment (pp57-87)
Jürgen Haacke (Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham, UK)
In the wake of the Asian financial crisis and the subsequent violence that built up and then tore apart East Timor in 1999, serious criticisms were levelled at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its diplomatic and security culture. This article examines to what extent members of ASEAN – after the Hanoi Summit in 1998 until mid-2001 – collectively embraced new understandings in relation to norms associated with the 'ASEAN way'. This question is explored with respect to four initiatives: the initiation of the retreat of ASEAN foreign ministers, the participation of ASEAN members in United Nations missions in East Timor, the adoption of the ASEAN Troika concept, and the passing of rules of procedure of the ASEAN High Council. It is argued that due to concerns about ASEAN's image and reputation, some of the shared understandings intrinsic to ASEAN's long-standing diplomatic and security culture have been relaxed, particularly the principle of non-interference. While this development reaffirms the value of constructivist theorizing in international relations, the article also demonstrates that the aforementioned initiatives and agreements do not yet amount to a radical change in ASEAN's diplomatic and security culture. The main reason for this is that norms associated with the 'ASEAN way' are still perceived to serve the important and necessary function of helping to mediate estrangement and insecurity among ASEAN leaderships, as well as limiting interference by non-ASEAN states.

Local factions and the Kuomintang in Taiwan's electoral politics (pp89-111)
Chung-li Wu (Department of Political Science, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan)
Local factions in Taiwan exert considerable influence over elections, facilitating their role as intermediaries in both the candidate selection process and grassroots voter mobilization. This study examines the tangled relationship between the Kuomintang (KMT) and local factions in the electoral process. For decades, the KMT used patronage to ally itself with local factions to maintain its dominance in elections and to legitimize its governing base. Its monopoly over economic privilege permitted the authoritarian KMT regime to construct electoral alliances with local factions by sharing political power and material benefits with them in exchange for their KMT allegiance. Although factional allegiances serve the interests of the KMT, its alliance bonds are far from permanent. Change in electoral politics, then, is one of the best vantage points from which to observe the transformed relationship between the KMT and local factions. Furthermore, due to its flourishing economic relationship with mainland China since the late 1980s, the Taiwan government has come under pressure from local factions to adopt more liberal trade policies toward China. This research concludes that factionalism should remain an important component in Taiwan's political and economic arenas for the foreseeable future.

The social construction of international institutions: the case of ASEAN + 3 (pp113-136)
Dirk Nabers (Institute of Asian Affairs, Germany)
Slowly but steadily, a new international institution is emerging in East Asia: the ASEAN + 3 forum, comprising the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus China, Japan and South Korea. ASEAN + 3 is an interesting case of institution-building in that it is constructed around the core of an already existing institution, ASEAN, which was founded in 1967. The following analysis of this multilateral forum seeks to answer two theoretical questions: (i) Why do states cooperate? (ii) What happens to their interests and identities once they communicate with each other? In view of this task, I will offer a social constructivist variant of international relations theory to explain the instigation of the process on the one hand and the processual construction of the institution on the other. The underlying belief is that not only do states influence the development of international institutions, but that institutions can also exert influence on foreign policy behaviour.
The approach introduced here acknowledges that international reality is a social construction driven by collective understandings emerging from social interaction. This approach to the explanation of the initiation and the subsequent development of an institution recognizes the existence of both material and normative grounds of foreign policy action. It differs from neoliberal institutionalism because in this theory as well as in realism collective interest is assumed as pre-given and hence exogenous to social interaction. In contrast, we suppose that social interaction ultimately does have transformative effects on interests and identity, because continuous cooperation is likely to influence intersubjective meanings. This method of analysis corresponds with Moravscik's tripartite analysis of integration decisions: while the initial phase refers to the formation of state preferences, the second and third involve the dynamic aspect of 'constructing' international institutions: the outcomes of interstate bargaining and the subsequent choice of the institutional design.

Intra-ASEAN Tensions: a response (pp137-139)
Andrew Tan

Reinventing realism – challenging Australia's foreign policy orthodoxy: a reply to Samuel Makinda (pp141-143)
David Martin Jones and Mike Lawrence Smith

International Relations of the Asia-Pacific (2003)
Copyright ©2003 Oxford University Press and the Japan Association of International Relations

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