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China’s New Era »

Edited by: Annie Luman Ren, Ben Hillman
Publication date: 2024
According to Communist Party discourse, China’s ‘New Era’ began when Xi Jinping was anointed Party boss in 2012. The shape of this New Era became eminently clear in 2023 when Xi commenced his third five-year term as General Secretary of the Party, a fortification of one-man authoritarian rule unprecedented in post-Mao China. Under Xi, the Party has expanded its influence over government, the economy and society. The Party-State is now more Party than State. The year 2023 saw other ‘new eras’ for China as well. Despite initial optimism sparked by the end of COVID-19 restrictions in late 2022, the Chinese economy in 2023 was buffeted by continuing property sector woes, record unemployment, and an unfolding local government debt crisis. Globally, China adopted a series of new and ambitious diplomatic initiatives to woo the Global South and amplify its voice on the world stage. The China Story Yearbook 2023: China’s New Era provides informed perspectives on these and other important stories that will resonate for years to come.

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Mandates and Missteps »

Australian Government Scholarships to the Pacific – 1948 to 2018

Authored by: Anna Kent
Publication date: February 2024
Mandates and Missteps is the first comprehensive history of Australian government scholarships to the Pacific, from the first scheme in 1948 to the Australia Awards of 2018. The study of scholarships provides a window into foreign and education policy making, across decades, and the impact such policies have had on individuals and communities. This work demonstrates the broad role these scholarships have played in bilateral relationships between Australia and Pacific Island territories and countries. The famed Colombo Plan is here put in its proper context within international aid and international education history. Australian scholarship programs, it is argued, ultimately reflect Australia, and its perception of itself as a nation in the Pacific, more than the needs of Pacific Island nations. Mandates and Missteps traces Australia’s role as both a coloniser in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea and a participant in the process of decolonisation across the Pacific. This study will be of interest to students and scholars of international development, international education and foreign policy.

Political and Social Control in China »

The Consolidation of Single-Party Rule

Publication date: 2024
During the past decade Xi Jinping has reasserted the Chinese Communist Party’s dominance of state and society, tightening political and social controls to consolidate the Party’s monopoly on political power in China. This volume brings leading China experts together to examine the changing mechanics of authoritarian rule in China, and the Party’s systematic efforts to neutralise potential threats. The book examines critical but little understood changes to the architecture of state, which enables more effective top-down rule and the efficient operation of an increasingly professional bureaucracy. It also explores the policies and mechanisms the Party has used to squash dissent and prevent criticisms. This volume will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand how the CCP has consolidated its rule at home and how it relates to the Party’s global ambitions for China’s great national rejuvenation.

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Redeveloping China’s Villages in the Twenty-First Century »

The Dilemmas of Policy Implementation

Authored by: Lior Rosenberg
Publication date: January 2024
Implementing national policies is a crucial function of the local Chinese bureaucracy and an indispensable part of Beijing’s overall state capacity. Yet the specifics of how and why local officials interpret and implement such policies have so far escaped detailed attention. In Redeveloping China’s Villages in the Twenty-First Century, Lior Rosenberg fills this gap by examining the national Village Redevelopment Program, one of China’s most significant policies of recent decades to promote rural change. Based on Rosenberg’s on-site research, Redeveloping China’s Villages in the Twenty-First Century investigates the Village Redevelopment Program’s implementation in both the industrialised county of Chenggu, in Shandong province, and the predominantly agricultural county of Beian, in Anhui province. At the book’s heart is a puzzle: the program was supposed to prioritise poorer villages, but in both Chenggu and Beian—despite being carried out in surprisingly divergent ways—it has subsidised improved infrastructure and services in already industrialised and prosperous villages, while leaving behind poorer ones. In explaining this outcome, Rosenberg elaborates on the larger economic, political and social environment in which Chinese local officials operate, as well as the pressures they face from above. He analyses the dual role played by higher-level authorities, as both policy enablers and thwarters in a system that sanctifies commandism but where the distinction between principals and agents is blurred.

After the Coup »

Myanmar’s Political and Humanitarian Crises

Publication date: December 2023
The coup in Myanmar on 1 February 2021 abruptly reversed a decade-long flirtation with economic and political freedoms. The country has since descended into civil war, the people have been plunged back into conflict and poverty, and the state is again characterised by fragility and human insecurity. As the Myanmar people oppose the regime and fight for their rights, the international community must find ways to act in solidarity. There is an urgent need for new policy settings and for practical engagement with local partners and recipient groups. The contributors to After the Coup offer timely insights into ways international actors can try to reduce the suffering of millions of citizens who are again being held hostage by a brutal and self-serving regime. Chapters analyse topics including coercive statecraft, international justice, Rakhine State (Rohingya) dynamics, pandemic weaponisation, higher education, non-state welfare and aid delivery, activism from exile, self-determination and power sharing in the National Unity Government’s alternative constitution, and the roles of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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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Made in China Journal: Volume 8, Issue 1, 2023 »

Publication date: November 2023
The year 2023 began with a series of jolts in China, as the government abruptly rolled back its notoriously strict pandemic measures following countrywide protests in late 2022. While external popular perceptions saw China as being uniformly locked down for the first years of the pandemic, the reality was that the country’s pandemic governance was unevenly applied and varied substantially from place to place. The result was mixed—and often even contradictory—attempts to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2, with vastly differentiated experiences on the ground. While heterogeneous and fragmented governance in China is nothing new—and indeed is the basis of how most scholars understand policy implementation in the country—the pandemic nevertheless produced patterns of governance that were at times surprising, while also reinforcing previous trends. This issue of the Made in China Journal examines patterns of pandemic governance and the subjectivities associated with living through lockdown and the ever-present possibility of quarantine.

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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Resisting Indonesia’s Culture of Impunity »

Aceh’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Publication date: August 2023
Resisting Indonesia’s Culture of Impunity examines the role of Indonesia’s first truth and reconciliation commission—the Aceh Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or KKR Aceh—in investigating and redressing the extensive human rights violations committed during three decades of brutal separatist conflict (1976–2005) in the province of Aceh. The KKR Aceh was founded in late 2016, as a product of the 2005 peace deal between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). It has since faced many challenges—not least from Indonesia’s security forces and former GAM leaders, who have joined together in their determination to maintain impunity for their respective roles in the conflict. Indeed, the commission would not have been established without the tireless work of civil society actors, including non-government organisations and other humanitarian groups. In Resisting Indonesia’s Culture of Impunity, the editors set out to amplify the role of these civil society actors in the KKR Aceh and in transitional justice in Indonesia. Each chapter has been written by a team of authors, composed predominantly of commissioners and staff from the KKR Aceh itself, members of key civil society organisations, and academics. Further, the editors aim to scrutinise the KKR Aceh from the inside and analyse the establishment and operation of what is perhaps the only genuine state-sponsored attempt to implement transitional justice in Indonesia today.

Watershed »

The 2022 Australian Federal Election

Publication date: August 2023
Australia’s 2022 federal election played out in ways that few could have expected. Not only did it bring a change of government; it also saw the lowest number of primary votes for the major parties and the election of the greatest number of Independents to the lower house since the formation of the Australian party system. The success of the Teal Independents and the Greens, along with the appetite voters showed for ‘doing politics differently’, suggested that the dominant model of electoral competition might no longer be the two-party system of Labor versus Liberal. At the very least, the continued usefulness of the two-party-preferred vote as a way of conceptualising and predicting Australians’ voting behaviour has been cast into serious doubt. In Watershed, leading scholars analyse the election from the ground up—focusing on the campaign issues, the actors involved, and the successes and failures of campaign strategy—and show how digital media, visual politics and fake news are changing the way politics is done. Other topics include the impact of COVID-19 and the salience of climate, gender and integrity issues, as well as voting patterns and polling accuracy. This authoritative book is indispensable for understanding the disenchantment with the major parties, the rise of Community Independents, and the role of the Australian Greens and third parties. Watershed is the eighteenth in the ANU Press federal election series and the tenth sponsored by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. ‘The Australian election books have been appearing after each election since the 1987 election, and with ANU Press as publisher since 2010. As chair of the Social Sciences Editorial Committee, I am proud of this connection: it is a prestige publication … The rise of fact-free partisanship makes the kind of considered discussion being carried on here more significant than ever.’ – Frank Bongiorno, Launch speech for Watershed: The 2022 Australian Federal Election, 18 October 2023.