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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 13, Number 4, 2021 »

Publication date: December 2021
Surrounded by great powers, South Korea has weathered the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic in its own unique way. Aspirations for greater autonomy and self-reliance are also driving significant changes to Seoul’s political and security postures amid intensifying regional tensions, and serve as a backdrop as South Koreans elect their next president in early 2022. This East Asia Forum Quarterly examines how South Korea is confronting the big challenges of our time, including public health, green energy, political polarisation, minority rights, denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula and the global rise of K-pop.
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Made in China Journal: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2021 »

Publication date: December 2021
Since its announcement in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become the main lens through which both observers and stakeholders trace China’s global footprint. Whether cheered on as a new engine of economic development in a fraught and increasingly unequal world or frowned on as a masterplan through which the Chinese authorities are attempting to establish global hegemony, the infrastructure component of the BRI has become such an important frame in discussions of Global China that less tangible aspects that are not in its purview tend to be lost or overlooked. One of these neglected dimensions is China’s long history of international engagement aimed at building economic, political, social, and cultural ties in both the Global North and the Global South. Frequently, we tend to forget how the international presence of Chinese actors we are currently observing did not just happen overnight, but was built on decades of experience of China’s interaction with the rest of the world. In the belief that examining these historical precedents can help us shed light on both the continuities and the discontinuities in the practices of today and that only by digging into the dirt of history can we excavate the roots of the dynamics we are witnessing, this issue is dedicated to the ‘archaeologies of the BRI’.

Fighting Australia’s Cold War »

The Nexus of Strategy and Operations in a Multipolar Asia, 1945–1965

Publication date: 2021
In the first two decades of the Cold War, Australia fought in three conflicts and prepared to fight in a possible wider conflagration in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In Korea, Malaya and Borneo, Australian forces encountered new types of warfare, integrated new equipment and ideas, and were part of the longest continual overseas deployments in Australia’s history. Working closely with its allies, Australia also trained for a large conventional war in Southeast Asia, while a significant percentage of the defence force guarded the Papua New Guinea–Indonesian border. At home, the Defence organisation grappled with new threats and military expansion, while the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation defended the nation from domestic and foreign threats. This book examines this crucial part of Australia’s security history, so often overlooked as merely a precursor to the Vietnam War. It addresses key questions such as how did Australia achieve its security goals at home and in the region in this new Cold War environment? What were the experiences of the services, units and individuals serving in Southeast Asia? How did this period shape Australia’s defence for years to come?

Rote-Meto Comparative Dictionary »

Authored by: Owen Edwards
Publication date: November 2021
This comparative dictionary provides a bottom-up reconstruction of the Rote‑Meto languages of western Timor. Rote-Meto is one low-level Austronesian subgroup of eastern Indonesia/Timor-Leste. It contains 1,174 reconstructions to Proto-Rote-Meto (or a lower node) with supporting evidence from the modern Rote-Meto languages. These reconstructions are accompanied by information on how they relate to forms in other languages including Proto‑Malayo‑Polynesian etyma (where known) and/or out-comparisons to putative cognates in other languages of the region. The dictionary also contains two finder-lists: English to Rote-Meto, and Austronesian reconstructions with Rote-Meto reflexes. The dictionary is preceded by three introductory chapters. The first chapter contains a guide to using the dictionary as well as discussion of the data sources. The second chapter provides a short synchronic overview of the Rote-Meto langauges. The third chapter discusses the historical background of Rote-Meto. This includes sound correspondences, the internal subgrouping of the Rote-Meto family, and the position of Rote-Meto within Malayo-Polynesian more broadly. Searchable electronic versions of the comparative dictionary are provided in two formats at http://hdl.handle.net/1885/251618. The first electronic version is a Lexique Pro export of the dictionary. The Lexique Pro file contains the same data and information in the book version of the dictionary, but does not contain the introductory chapters. See the "About Rote-Meto" tab of the Lexique Pro file for more information on this version of the dictionary. The second electronic version is a text file. It is formatted as a tab separated file and is intended to be read in spreadsheet format. This text file does not contain all the data and information in other versions of the Rote-Meto Comparative Dictionary and should be used in conjunction with these other versions. See the associated readme for more information on what data is included and excluded from that text file.

International Review of Environmental History: Volume 7, Issue 2, 2021 »

Edited by: James Beattie
Publication date: November 2021
The second issue of International Review of Environmental History for 2021 features contributions on limpets and global environmental history, US bird conservation, soyabean agriculture in South America, settler environmental change in Aotearoa New Zealand, woodlands, communities and ecologies in Australia, and irrigation and agriculture in Australia.

The Genesis of a Policy »

Defining and Defending Australia's National Interest in the Asia-Pacific, 1921–57

Authored by: Honae Cuffe
Publication date: November 2021
The years 1921–57 marked a period of immense upheaval for Australia as the nation navigated economic crises, the threat of aggressive Japanese expansion and shifting power distributions with the world transitioning from British leadership to that of the US. This book offers a reassessment of Australia’s foreign policy origins and maturation during these tumultuous years. Successive Australian governments carefully observed these global and regional forces. The policy that developed in response was an integrated one—that is, one that sought to balance Australia’s particular geopolitical circumstances with great power relationships and, in assessing the value of these relationships, ensure that the nation’s trade, security and diplomatic interests were served. Amid the economic and strategic uncertainty of the interwar years, the Australian government acknowledged the shifting power distributions in the global and Asia-Pacific orders and that neither the policies of Britain nor the US completely served the national interest. The nation, accordingly, sought to intervene within the policies of the great powers to ensure its particular interests were secured. This geopolitically informed, interventionist approach, which had its genesis in the 1930s, is traced throughout the 1940s and 1950s, highlighting Australia’s gradual and uneven transition from the British world order to that of the US and the frank assessments made about which relationship best served Australia’s interests. The Genesis of a Policy identifies a comprehensive and pragmatic approach—albeit not always effectively executed—in Australian foreign policy tradition that has not been previously examined.

New Dimensions of Connectivity in the Asia-Pacific »

Publication date: November 2021
There is no bigger policy agenda in the East Asian region than connectivity. Costs of international connectivity are indeed falling, in the movement of goods, services, people and data, leading to greater flows, and to the reorganisation of business and the emergence of new forms of international transactions. There are second-round effects on productivity and growth, and on equity and inclusiveness. Participating in trade across borders involves significant set-up costs and, if these costs are lowered due to falling full costs of connectivity, more firms will participate, which is a driver of productivity growth and innovation at the firm level. Connectivity investments are linked to poverty reduction, since they reduce the costs of participating in markets. This volume includes chapters on the consequences of changes in both physical and digital connectivity for trade, for the location of economic activity, for forms of doing business, the growth of e-commerce in particular, and for the delivery of new services, especially in the financial sector. A study of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is also included. These studies are preceded by an assessment of the connectivity performance in the Asia-Pacific region and followed by a discussion of impediments to investment in projects that contribute to productivity. The collection as a whole provides the basis for a series of recommendations for regional cooperation. The Pacific Trade and Development (PAFTAD) conference series has been at the forefront of analysing challenges facing the economies of East Asia and the Pacific since its first meeting in Tokyo in January 1968.

History Wars »

The Peter Ryan – Manning Clark Controversy

Authored by: Doug Munro
Publication date: October 2021
‘In 1993, Manning Clark came under severe (posthumous) attack in the pages of Quadrant by none other than Peter Ryan, who had published five of the six volumes of Clark’s epic A History of Australia. In applying what he called “an overdue axe to a tall poppy”, Ryan lambasted the History as “an imposition on Australian credulity” and declared its author a fraud, both as a historian and a person. This unprecedented public assault by a publisher on his best-selling author was a sensation at the time and remains lodged in the public memory. In History Wars, Doug Munro forensically examines the right and wrongs of Ryan’s allegations, concluding that Clark was more sinned against than sinning and that Ryan repeatedly misrepresented the situation. More than just telling a story, Munro places the Ryan-Clark controversy within the context of Australia’s History Wars. This book is an illuminating saga of that ongoing contest.’ — James Curran, University of Sydney ‘The Ryan-Clark controversy … speaks to the place of Manning Clark in Australia’s national imagination. Had Ryan taken his axe to another historian, it’s unlikely that we would be still talking about it 30 years later. But Clark was the author and keeper of Australia’s national story, however imperfect his scholarship and however blinkered that story. Few, if any, historians in the Anglo-American world have occupied the space that Clark occupied by dint of will, force of personality, and felicity of pen.’ — Donald Wright, University of New Brunswick

Power and Dysfunction »

The New South Wales Board for the Protection of Aborigines 1883–1940

Authored by: Richard Egan
Publication date: October 2021
In 1883, the New South Wales Board for the Protection of Aborigines was tasked with assisting and supporting an Aboriginal population that had been devastated by a brutal dispossession. It began its tenure with little government direction – its initial approach was cautious and reactionary. However, by the turn of the century this Board, driven by some forceful individuals, was squarely focused on a legislative agenda that sought policies to control, segregate and expel Aboriginal people. Over time it acquired extraordinary powers to control Aboriginal movement, remove children from their communities and send them into domestic service, collect wages and hold them in trust, withhold rations, expel individuals from stations and reserves, authorise medical inspections, and prevent any Aboriginal person from leaving the state. Power and Dysfunction explores this Board and uncovers who were the major drivers of these policies, who were its most influential people, and how this body came to wield so much power. Paradoxically, despite its considerable influence, through its bravado, structural dysfunction, flawed policies and general indifference, it failed to manage core aspects of Aboriginal policy. In the 1930s, when the Board was finally challenged by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups seeking its abolition, it had become moribund, paranoid and secretive as it railed against all detractors. When it was finally disbanded in 1940, its 57-year legacy had touched every Aboriginal community in New South Wales with lasting consequences that still resonate today.

A Dictionary of Vurës, Vanuatu »

Authored by: Catriona Malau
Publication date: September 2021
This is a trilingual dictionary of Vurës, with meanings provided in both English and Bislama, the national language of Vanuatu. Vurës is an Oceanic language spoken on the island of Vanua Lava in Vanuatu. The dictionary is a companion volume to A Grammar of Vurës, Vanuatu (Malau 2016). There is no established tradition of writing in Vurës and most speakers are not literate in their own language. This dictionary is intended to have a dual purpose: to support the learning of literacy skills in the Vurës community, and as a reference work for linguists. There are four parts to the dictionary. The main part is the most comprehensive and provides the English and Bislama definitions of Vurës words, as well as example sentences for many of the entries, additional encyclopaedic information, scientific names for identified species, lexical relations, and etymological information for some entries. The dictionary contains approximately 3,500 headwords and has a strong emphasis on flora and fauna with close to a third of the entries belonging to these semantic domains. The dictionary has benefited from collaboration with a marine biologist and botanists, who have provided scientific identifications for named species. The main dictionary is followed by English–Vurës and Bislama–Vurës finderlists. The final part of the dictionary is a thesaurus, in which Vurës words are grouped according to semantic categories. The thesaurus has been included primarily so that it can be used to support teaching of literacy skills and cultural knowledge within the community.