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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 12, Number 1, 2020 »

Publication date: March 2020
The changing geopolitical context compels middle powers to act. Countries have responded by forming explicit alliances, building upon hedging strategies or altering their leanings from one great power to another. The need for collective action is more urgent than ever to deal with emerging regional and global challenges. This issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly looks at middle powers and the range of priorities they have. Some are focused on their domestic priorities while others are more eager to shape the political, economic and security dimensions in the region. Our contributors offer a variety of perspectives on the challenges that middle powers face and identify the call of middle-power vision in defending the rules-based order. EAFQ 12.1 is dedicated to Aileen S.P. Baviera, founding president of Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress, who died on 21 March 2020, from pneumonia related to COVID-19. East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. The East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum (EAF) and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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In from the Cold »

Reflections on Australia’s Korean War

Publication date: March 2020
Open hostilities in the Korean War ended on the 27th of July 1953. The armistice that was signed at that time remains the poignant symbol of an incomplete conclusion – of a war that retains a distinct possibility of resuming at short notice. So what did Australia contribute to the Korean War from June 1950 to July 1953? What were the Australians doing there? How significant was the contribution and what difference did it make? What has that meant for Australia since then, and what might that mean for Australia into the future? Australians served at sea, on land and in the air alongside their United Nations partners during the war. They fought with distinction, from bitterly cold mountain tops, to the frozen decks of aircraft carriers and in dogfights overhead. This book includes the perspectives of leading academics, practitioners and veterans contributing fresh ideas on the conduct and legacy of the Korean War. International perspectives from allies and adversaries provide contrasting counterpoints that help create a more nuanced understanding of Australia’s relatively small but nonetheless important contribution of forces in the Korean War. The book finishes with some reflections on implications that the Korean War still carries for Australia and the world to this day.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 11, Number 1, 2019 »

Publication date: March 2019
This issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly touches on key economic and social questions that affect gender equality in Southeast Asia and East Asia, delving beneath the aggregates and measurement challenges. Strengthening the evidence base is critical to building the policy toolkit and shaping public investments that ensure no woman or man is left behind. East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. The East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum (EAF) and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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Asian Economic Integration in an Era of Global Uncertainty »

Publication date: January 2018
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. The 38th PAFTAD conference met at a key time to consider international economic integration. Earlier in the year, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union and the United States elected Donald Trump as their next president on the back of an inward-looking ‘America First’ promise. Brexit and President Trump represent a growing, and worrying, trend towards protectionism in the North Atlantic countries that have led the process of globalisation since the end of the Second World War. The chapters in the volume describe the state of play in Asian economic integration but, more importantly, look forward to the region’s future, and the role it might play in defending the global system that has underwritten its historic rise. Asia has the potential to stand as a bulwark against the dual threats of North Atlantic protectionism and slowing trade growth, but collective leadership will be needed regionally and difficult domestic reforms will be required in each country.

New Worlds from Below »

Informal life politics and grassroots action in twenty-first-century Northeast Asia

Publication date: March 2017
In Asia today, the grand ideologies of the past have lost their power over the popular imagination. Even in many of the region’s democracies, popular engagement in the political process faces profound challenges. Yet amidst this landscape of political disenchantment, groups of ordinary people across Asia are finding new ways to take control of their own lives, respond to threats to their physical and cultural survival, and build better futures. This collection of essays by prominent scholars and activists traces the rise of a quiet politics of survival from the villages of China to Japan’s Minamata and Fukushima, and from the street art of Seoul and Hong Kong to the illegal markets of North Korea. Introducing an innovative conceptual framework, New Worlds from Below shows how informal grassroots politics in Northeast Asia is generating new ideas and practices that have region-wide and global relevance.

Sharpening the Sword of State »

Building executive capacities in the public services of the Asia-Pacific

Publication date: November 2016
Sharpening the Sword of State explores the various ways in which 10 jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific enhance their administrative capabilities through training and executive development. It traces how modern governments across this region look to develop their public services and public sector organisations in the face of rapid global change. For many governments there is a delicate balance between the public interest in promoting change and capacity enhancement across the public service, and the temptation to micro-manage agencies and be complacent about challenging the status quo. There is a recognition in the countries studied that training and executive development is a crucial investment in human capital but is also couched in a much wider context of public service recruitment, patterns of entry and retention, promotion, executive appointment and career development. This empirical volume, authored by academics and practitioners, is one of the first to chart these comparative differences and provide fresh perspectives to enable learning from international experiences.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 7, Number 1, 2015 »

Publication date: April 2015
East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. The East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum (EAF) and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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Divine Domesticities »

Christian Paradoxes in Asia and the Pacific

Publication date: October 2014
Divine Domesticities: Christian Paradoxes in Asia and the Pacific fills a huge lacuna in the scholarly literature on missionaries in Asia/Pacific and is transnational history at its finest. Co-edited by two eminent scholars, this multidisciplinary volume, an outgrowth of several conferences/seminars, critically examines various encounters between western missionaries and indigenous women in the Pacific/Asia … Taken as a whole, this is a thought-provoking and an indispensable reference, not only for students of colonialism/imperialism but also for those of us who have an interest in transnational and gender history in general. The chapters are very clearly written, engaging, and remarkably accessible; the stories are compelling and the research is thorough. The illustrations are equally riveting and the bibliography is extremely useful. —Theodore Jun Yoo, History Department, University of Hawai’i The editors of this collection of papers have done an excellent job of creating a coherent set of case studies that address the diverse impacts of missionaries and Christianity on ‘domesticity’, and therefore on the women and children who were assumed to be the rightful inhabitants of that sphere … The introduction to the volume is beautifully written and sets up the rest of the volume in a comprehensive way. It explains the book’s aim to advance theoretical and methodological issues by exploring the role of missionary encounters in the development of modern domesticities; showing the agency of indigenous women in negotiating both change and continuity; and providing a wide range of case studies to show ‘breadth and complexity’ and the local and national specificities of engagements with both missionaries and modernity. My view is that all three aims are well and truly fulfilled. —Helen Lee, Head, Sociology and Anthropology, La Trobe University, Melbourne

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 6, Number 3, 2014 »

Publication date: October 2014
East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. The East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum (EAF) and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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Losing Control »

Freedom of the Press in Asia

Publication date: January 2014
‘A free press is not a luxury. A free press is at the absolute core of equitable development’ according to World Bank President James Wolfensohn. A free press is also the key to transparency and good governance and is an indispensable feature of a democracy. So how does Asia rate? In Losing Control, leading journalists analyse the state of play in all the countries of North Asia and Southeast Asia. From the herd journalism of Japan to the Stalinist system of North Korea, Losing Control provides an inside look at journalism and freedom of the press in each country. One conclusion—a combination of new technology and greater democracy is breaking the shackles that once constrained the press in Asia. ‘Brings together Asia’s best and brightest observers of the press.’ Hamish McDonald, Foreign Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald ‘A rare insiders’ view exposing the real dynamics behind social and political change in Asia.’ Evan Williams, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV ‘A timely and necessary contribution to the debate over the quality of freedom in Asia.’ Geoffrey Barker, The Australian Financial Review