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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 15, Number 4, 2023 »

Publication date: November 2023
It’s back: the past decade has seen a remarkable resurgence of industrial policy in the developed world. Geopolitical fragmentation and resultant suspicions of international trade, the politically induced adoption of second-best industrial policies to address carbon emissions, and the use of manufacturing incentives sparked by fears of deindustrialisation and widening inequality risk tit-for-tat protectionism and further splintering of the global economy. This issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly examines what the new enthusiasm for industrial policy activism means for the global system and Asian economies: exploring its effects on the ability of emerging Asian economies’ to break into manufacturing in global value chains; investigating how measures aimed at encouraging domestic processing of raw materials affect the stability of policy environments and green industrialisation; detailing and comparing the experiences of major regional economies with policy developments in semiconductor and electric vehicle manufacturing and renewable energy; and appraising industrial policy’s effects on smaller economies and the rules-based trading system from a global perspective.
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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 15, Number 3, 2023 »

Publication date: September 2023
As ASEAN and Japan celebrate the 50th anniversary of their official relationship, the challenge to redefine the goals and purpose of this relationship is now pressing. Great power rivalry, regional power relativities, and sweeping political and economic disruption have injected new dynamics and exposed serious vulnerabilities. With ASEAN member states and Japan each facing their own domestic challenges, the opportunity presents itself for a more 'equal' partnership that is able to 'co-create' a regional economy and society, from paternalistic origins. This issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly addresses these challenges for the ASEAN–Japan relationship and offers ideas, vision and initiatives that might guide its future: exploring the policy options for a relationship challenged by regional economic fragmentation; detailing the lessons available for policymakers beginning to act on sustainability and digital and green transformation; and examining the opportunities taken and thus far unrealised for the fashioning of new soft diplomacy and investment in intra-ASEAN infrastructure.
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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 15, Number 2, 2023 »

Publication date: June 2023
Global trade stands at a crucial crossroads. The multilateral trading system that underpinned globalisation for three-quarters of a century is being pulled apart by big power politics and the way forward is fogged in mistrust. Global growth is projected to decline this year and remain anaemic. Inflation, the rising rivalry between the world’s two largest economies, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine weigh heavily on the global outlook. The European war underscores how quickly the trading ties between nations might be undone and weaponised. This issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly examines the impact of trade sanctions as they rip into the trading system well beyond the battlefield. It interrogates how far sanctions have succeeded in hobbling Russia’s war machine and questions their deterrent value outside of conflict or their universal application, explores how supply chains have reshuffled around the reach of regulators, and asks how nations are probing opportunities created by the conflict.
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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 15, Number 1, 2023 »

Publication date: March 2023
While many rejoice in something like ‘normality’ after the years of disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the world will not resume its former shape. Nowhere is this more evident than in China. After the disastrous economic performance of 2022, a recalibration of China’s policies was essential—including by retreating from zero-COVID and, under the banner of ‘Chinese-style modernisation’, relaxing restrictions on the free market. China’s greatest post-pandemic challenge, however, will be the terms of its engagement with the outside world. Its claims to both developing-nation status and global leadership define China, some say, as an ‘anxious adolescent superpower’. This issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly canvasses a range of shifts in Chinese society and daily life as well as policy direction: describing women’s leading role in the calls for social change, explaining how China’s demographic crunch is unlikely to affect its economic modernisation over the coming two decades, examining the difficulties faced by rural migrants and in investing in the education of the rural young, and detailing the public response to the poorly understood social credit system.
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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 14, Number 4, 2022 »

Publication date: December 2022
Southeast Asian nations have long understood that effective national security goes well beyond military preparedness, encompassing a variety of ‘non-traditional’ security issues. This idea is at the heart of political cooperation within ASEAN and competes with traditional notions of regional security in East Asia. But the vocabulary that has developed in the face of growing geopolitical tensions—decoupling, dual circulation, friendshoring, ‘strategic’ supply chains, securitisation—suggests that the big powers are working towards their own notion of comprehensive security. Contributors to this issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly recognise that comprehensive regional security—an approach that embraces economic, environmental and energy security as well as military interests and considers how they are secured within today’s economically interdependent and politically cooperative regional system—can only be secured collectively: one country’s resilience to climate change, or its access to free and well-served markets for energy and food, cannot come at the expense of others.
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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 14, Number 3, 2022 »

Publication date: September 2022
Japan ‘crossed the Rubicon’ after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Unlike eight years ago when Russia annexed Crimea, the Kishida government quickly implemented sanctions against Russia with other Western countries. Japanese people have generally stood behind the Kishida government’s foreign and security policy activism, yet uncertainties about Japan’s future remain. Can Japan confront ‘a three-front war’ against China, North Korea and Russia? How can Japan manage its relations with the United States and China amidst great power competition and a growing risk of military conflict? How can it cope with inflation, energy shortages, global warming and the crisis of the nuclear non-proliferation regime? Domestically, Japan has yet to escape from the impact of COVID-19. Maintaining international competitiveness in an era of ageing and shrinking population remains a top priority for Japan. The articles in this EAFQ examine the challenges and opportunities facing Japan and explore its future in an era of growing uncertainty.
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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 14, Number 2, 2022 »

Publication date: June 2022
Once, the internet and world wide web promised a world of seamless connectivity for anyone with access to a digital device. As connectivity costs fell, the workplace became mobile, and digitalisation transformed industrial sectors, the laissez-faire agenda of digital developmentalists appeared to align with and promote democratic ideals. That was then. Today, even as cloud computing and digital transformation agendas have become mainstream, it is clear the threat of digital fragmentation must be actively addressed. As different rules around privacy, cybersecurity and digital sovereignty emerge to thwart interoperability, fragmentation is impacting both governance and infrastructure. Digital borders in China, cross-border data restrictions in Europe and America’s disavowal of Chinese telecom equipment make for increasing disconnection. The articles in this EAFQ examine where commonalities are possible in the digital economy, and where we may expect more clashes than cross-cutting frameworks.
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Youth in Fiji and Solomon Islands »

Livelihoods, Leadership and Civic Engagement

Authored by: Aidan Craney
Publication date: April 2022
Fiji, Solomon Islands and the wider Pacific region are experiencing a ‘youth bulge’. As such, the livelihoods pathways of youth in these countries will be a key determinant of their social, political and economic futures. This book looks at the cultural expectations of Fijian and Solomon Islander youth, as well as the socio-political positioning of youth activists. It investigates how formal and informal structures – such as education, employment and civil society – affect the ability of youth to achieve their potential and actively engage in their societies. Through this investigation, a recurrent theme develops of the structural minimisation of youth in these countries: they are ‘to be seen but not heard’. But Pacific youth are more than citizens in waiting; they are already important members of their communities, with varying degrees of engagement in critical civil society. More than simply leaders of tomorrow, they are partners for today. Youth in Fiji and Solomon Islands documents and details some of the ways that young people in Fiji and Solomon Islands are forging their way as leaders not just of youth, but of their communities. Whilst the majority of youth are engaging in society in acceptable, social ascribed ways, and the majority of adults resist youth participation as a technique to maintain the social status quo, a small but influential cohort of both youth and adults are creating spaces for today’s young people to help to shape the developmental futures of the Great Ocean States of the Pacific.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 14, Number 1, 2022 »

Publication date: March 2022
Economic cooperation in East Asia has progressed in its own distinct way, and the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2019 is a huge achievement of strategic significance that pushes back against threats to the multilateral system. RCEP is the world’s largest regional pact in terms of GDP, trade volume, foreign direct investment and population. This issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly looks at RCEP going forward, the ways Asia’s largest economies are embracing the deal, the supply chain and manufacturing trends that are emerging and the RCEP framework for dealing with issues beyond those already negotiated.
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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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