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New Dimensions of Connectivity in the Asia-Pacfic »

Publication date: 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 a 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.

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Leading from the North »

Rethinking Northern Australia Development

Edited by: Ruth Wallace, Sharon Harwood, Rolf Gerritsen, Bruce Prideaux, Tom Brewer, Linda Rosenman, Allan Dale
Publication date: September 2021
Leading from the North aims to improve public dialogue around the future of Northern Australia to underpin robust and flexible planning and policy frameworks. A number of areas are addressed including social infrastructure, governance systems, economic, business and regional development, climate and its implications, the roles and trends in demography and migration in the region. This book not only speaks to the issues of development in Northern Australia but also other regional areas, and examines opportunities for growth with changing economies and technologies. The authors of this book consist of leading researchers, academics and experts from Charles Darwin University, The Australian National University, James Cook University, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and many other collaborative partners. Many of the authors have first-hand experience of living and working in Northern Australia. They understand the real issues and challenges faced by people living in Northern Australia and other similar regional areas. Backed by their expertise and experience, the authors present their discussions and findings from a local perspective.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 13, Number 3, 2021 »

Publication date: September 2021
The 2020 Olympics put a spotlight on Japan’s crisis governance capabilities. Whether it be in the sphere of social issues, domestic political economy or foreign policy, Japan’s capacity to manage ‘slow-burn’ crises will be a primary test for the country’s policymakers and citizens alike in coming years. This edition of East Asian Forum Quarterly looks at these challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, digital governance, women’s rights in the #MeToo era, foreign policy, natural disaster response and tone-party control of Japan’s government.
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China’s Challenges in Moving towards a High-income Economy »

Edited by: Ligang Song, Yixiao Zhou
Publication date: September 2021
With its per capita income surpassing US$10,000, China has now drawn up ambitious plans to further lift its income to the level of developed countries. Yet various constraints need to be overcome if China is to build on the achievements of the last 40 years and further boost its growth potential. Besides these constraints, the year 2020 saw human societies hit heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economy caught off guard and dipped into recessions caused by lockdown measures for controlling the spread of the pandemic. Nations around the world have experienced grave loss of human life and lockdown measures have knocked economies from their normal growth trajectories. Even as the pandemic continues to unfold, all signs point to China as being the first major economy to have emerged out of the crisis. But many questions remain. Has the Chinese economy emerged from the pandemic crisis relatively unscathed? What are the long-term prospects for its economy? This year’s Update book, China’s Challenges in Moving towards a High-income Economy, explores the challenges faced by the Chinese economy in the transition towards a high-income economy, including agricultural development, finance and fiscal system reform, RMB internationalisation, trends in urbanisation, as well as topics related to innovation, corporate sector development and market competition. China’s growth experience has been full of exciting changes and important lessons for reform and structural changes, and this year’s China Update is again the way to gain insights into these.

Made in China Journal: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2021 »

Publication date: July 2021
In the spring of 2021, China’s central authorities issued a policy that seeks to change norms of China’s civil society that have been established over the past 30 years. At a moment that portends a closing of space for unregistered NGOs and a possible shift in the ways NGOs can emerge, evolve and cooperate with other social and state entities, we thought it important to look back to revisit the development of China’s civil society over the past decades. Not only is this exercise important in enabling us to understand the shifts now taking place, but it also reminds us of the possibilities that once were, and the possible futures that may be. With this issue we wanted to bring together practitioners, whose experience of running or participating in organisations and initiatives is invaluable both in and of itself, but also in helping us to reflect. We sought to bring their insights together with those of scholars who also have a deep interest, and often practical experience, in China’s organised civil society, studying its different aspects and dynamics. We hoped, too, to capture something of the vibrant diversity of organised civil society during its early (re-)emergence in the 1990s and to remember, as best we could, some of the early pioneers and possibilities.

Twenty K.R. Narayanan Orations »

Essays by Eminent Persons on the Rapidly Transforming Indian Economy

Edited by: Raghbendra Jha
Publication date: May 2021
The Australia South Asia Research Centre (ASARC) was established in 1994 in one of the premier universities of the world—The Australian National University (ANU). Apart from its research and doctoral training activities, ASARC also needed a public forum with a global reach to involve the best minds working on economic development in India as well as to honour its founder, Dr K.R. Narayanan, President of the Republic of India. The K.R. Narayanan Oration series was developed in response to these twin needs. The first oration was held in 1994 and the latest (the 20th) was held in 2018. The first 10 orations were published by ANU Press in 2006. This new edition updates the volume to include all 20 orations delivered so far and provides an updated introduction. All these orations have been delivered by leading academics, scientists and policymakers deeply involved in the transformation of the Indian economy. This collection of the Narayanan Orations is thus at once both an expert account of key aspects of the economic development process in India and a peek into India’s potential in the future. As such, the publication of this volume marks a watershed in the intellectual debate on India’s economic reforms program and should be welcomed by all those interested in the economic development of the country.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 13, Number 2, 2021 »

Publication date: April 2021
Heightened geopolitical rivalry and the pushback against globalisation have challenged the multilateral trading system in Asia and globally. This East Asia Forum Quarterly examines how the region is navigating the new trade landscape through the COVID pandemic. For Asia, fixing a broken WTO is top priority. The resilience of supply chains, the foreign investment environment, international economic coercion, the digital economic revolution, and the emergence of a new multipolar are other issues put under scrutiny in this issue.
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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 13, Number 1, 2021 »

Publication date: March 2021
Few American administrations in living memory face as arduous a set of domestic and external policy challenges as that led by President Joseph R. Biden. What faces the new team in Washington is nothing short of herculean: arrest the scourge of COVID-19, grow the economy and begin once more to address the historic grievances of racial injustice and socioeconomic inequality. How it handles those tasks will profoundly affect its capacity to prosecute an effective foreign policy. This issue of the Quarterly explores the monumental foreign policy challenges in Asia that await the Biden administration. Our contributors ponder the fate of the US–China trade war, the limits to achieving an ambitious national climate policy, the ongoing challenges on the Korean peninsula, in South and Southeast Asia, and the likely financial constraints on a more forward-leaning US military posture.
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Made in China Journal: Volume 5, Issue 3, 2020 »

Publication date: February 2021
China’s increased global engagements in recent years have been the source of unending controversies. While public attention generally focuses on geopolitical, economic or even environmental issues, labour also plays an important part in emerging narratives surrounding the ‘spectre of global China’. The media in countries that have received a significant influx of investment from mainland China has often complained about ‘invasions’ of Chinese workers, who are allegedly snatching away job opportunities from local workers. In many places, there are pervasive rumours that Chinese workers are nothing less than convicted felons sent abroad by the Party-State to expiate their crimes, which would explain why they seem to work without interruption day and night, at a pace that some believe no free person would deem acceptable. This has also led to concerns that workers from China are playing an important role in driving down labour standards in countries where institutions are weak and legal enforcement lacking. Inflows of Chinese workers have also been associated with surges in crime and prostitution that supposedly have wrought havoc on local communities. In the best of circumstances, these narratives flatten the figure of the Chinese worker abroad into that of an agent unwittingly promoting the agenda of the Chinese Party-State abroad; in the worst, they frame these overseas Chinese labourers as criminals. In so doing, the complex dilemmas that these workers face, their inner conflicts and the rights violations that they themselves are subjected to go unnoticed. This issue challenges these prejudices and provides some glimpses into the subjectivities and the plight of Chinese workers toiling abroad today.

Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform: Volume 27, Number 1, 2020 »

Edited by: William Coleman
Publication date: December 2020
Agenda is a refereed, ECONLIT-indexed and RePEc-listed journal of the College of Business and Economics, The Australian National University. Launched in 1994, Agenda provides a forum for debate on public policy, mainly (but not exclusively) in Australia and New Zealand. It deals largely with economic issues but gives space to social and legal policy and also to the moral and philosophical foundations and implications of policy. Subscribe to the Agenda Alerting service if you wish to be advised on forthcoming or new issues.