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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 18:15 03/15/2007
Journal Abstracts #272: March 12, 2007

International Relations of the Asia-Pacific

Journal Name: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific:
January 2007, Vol. 7, No. 1

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


The Asian economic crisis and bureaucratic development: a veto player analysis (pp1-22)
Joseph J. St. Marie (University of Southern Mississippi, USA), Kenneth N. Hansen (Department of Political Science, 5340 N. Campus Dr. M/S SS91, California State University-Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740, USA) and John P. Tuman (Department of Political Science & Interim Director, Latin American Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA)
The Asian economic crisis ravaged numerous economies in the late 1990s. Significant social and political disruption followed the fall in Asian currency prices. The newly industrialized states of Asia were particularly hard hit, yet some also experienced swift turnarounds, reaching pre-crisis currency rates and economic output. The enduring puzzle of the crisis is the role of bureaucratic-business ties as a background cause of the crisis and determinant of governmental policy responses. In this paper, we adapt Tsebelis' veto player model to include bureaucracy as a formal actor in the adjustment process. We argue that states that minimized the control of developmental bureaucracies over finance and direct managerial decision-making weakened the institutional capacity of bureaucrats to veto adjustment policies, both before and after the 1997 crisis. Moreover, we find that a tradition of strategic regulatory guidance is associated with favorable economic performance, provided that bureaucrats had subjected private firms or state-owned enterprises to competition (or even business failure) historically, and where the risks associated with financial decisions were not socialized by the state.

The petroleum factor in Sino–Japanese relations: beyond energy cooperation (pp23-46)
Xuanli Liao (Lecturer, Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law & Policy, University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK)
China and Japan used to have good energy cooperation before China switched into a net oil importer in the mid-1990s, but the recent years have witnessed an increasingly intensive competition between the two countries over petroleum supplies. While many saw such competition as inevitable with China's growing energy demands, the paper argues that the energy relationship between the two countries was never separated from political and strategic concerns, and heavily affected by the concern of 'relative gains', as suggested by the neorealists. Like the case prior to the mid-1990s when the non-energy factors underpinned the Sino–Japanese energy cooperation, the key factors that prevented the two from continuing energy cooperation today also lay in political and strategic aspects. Being two regional powers in East Asia, China, and Japan need to recognize the fact that their lack of energy cooperation due to mutual political distrust will not only impair their own energy security, but may also have negative implications on regional stability.

China's new nationalism and cross-strait relations (pp47-72)
Yongnian Zheng (China Policy Institute, The University of Nottingham, China House, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK) and Lye Liang Fook (East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore, AS 5, Level 4, 7 Arts Link, Singapore 117571)
The new wave of nationalistic fervor in China is believed to have further complicated cross-strait relations. Ordinary Chinese are not willing to see Taiwan moving towards independence. Yet such a nationalistic belief that the mainland has a rightful claim over Taiwan does not seem to accord with the feelings of a rising number of Taiwanese who tend to regard their separateness from the mainland as a unique feature that deserves safeguarding. While the potential for conflict is there, the situation is not all gloomy. The Beijing leadership has so far been able to keep the new nationalism in check by adopting a calibrated response to perceived independence moves by Taiwan. While more conciliatory in its gestures towards Taiwan, China can be firm if the need arises. Also, the United States appears to be tilting in favor of China in terms of maintaining cross-strait stability. Depending on the situation, the Chinese leadership retains the political initiative to break the deadlock at some point in the future.

The second face of security: Britain's 'Smart' appeasement policy towards Japan and Germany (pp73-98)
Steven E. Lobell (Department of Political Science, University of Utah, 260 S. Central Campus Drive Room 252, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9152, USA)
Most states have numerous paths to create security for themselves. Foreign policy-makers must recognize that their own security policy will initiate a process that structures the nature of the domestic competition over domestic and foreign policy in other countries. I contend that one state's security alternative can empower or weaken domestic actors and interest groups in opposing foreign powers. I term this process the 'second face of security' since it entails a less direct and more nuanced method of creating security (in contrast to the 'first face of security'). I apply this model to explain the intent of Britain's 'smart' or targeted appeasement policy during the 1930s – to strengthen conservative business, government officials, and economic circles in banking, light industry and finished goods, and even heavy industry in order to steer Tokyo and Berlin away from rearmament and extreme autarky.

Where do norms come from? Foundations of Japan's postwar pacifism (pp99-120)
Akitoshi Miyashita (Department of International Relations, Tokyo International University, 2509 Matoba, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-1198, Japan)
Constructivists have advanced the study of Japanese national security policy by illuminating how normative factors shape state behavior. At the same time, they have overemphasized the role norms and ideas play while downplaying the structural and material forces that often underlie normative factors. This article seeks to reveal the political foundations of Japanese postwar pacifism. It maintains that explanations based on norms and identities cannot be separated from discussion on material and structural factors when it comes to the question of where norms come from and why they are sustained. Power and interests may not explain everything, but they often account for why certain norms emerge and are sustained to influence policy. By examining the shifts in public opinions and the Social Democratic Party's defense policy, this article argues that Japan's postwar pacifism has been possible in large part because peace was relatively abundant in postwar Japan and that the majority of the Japanese felt that the alliance with the United States contributed to that effect.

International Relations of the Asia-Pacific (2007)
Copyright ©2007 Oxford University Press and the Japan Association of International Relations

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