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Asia-Pacific Security »

Policy Challenges

Edited by: David W. Lovell
Publication date: May 2013
Since September 11, 2001, our newspapers have been filled with the ‘war on terror’; our governments have mobilised their resources for ‘homeland security’; and people everywhere are braced for more terrorist attacks. Yet while the new threat is genuine, we must not lose sight of the continuing security concerns in the Asia-Pacific. Tensions persist on the Korean peninsula, in the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea, and in Kashmir. The region is well supplied with weapons of mass destruction and may face an arms race, and there are a range of pressing human security issues. Likewise, the strategic realities of the region remain linked with US power, and with the emergence of China as a key regional player. The book examines the developing strategic relationships in the region, and clarifies the dilemmas for Australian policy-makers as they try to balance genuine engagement with the region against a long-standing and valued alliance with the United States. Emerging from discussions between the Shanghai Institute for International Studies and the University of New South Wales at ADFA, Asia-Pacific Security has a particular relevance for foreign-policy professionals and scholars of the region. Printed copies of this book may be ordered from ISEAS publishing.
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Russian Energy Strategy in the Asia-Pacific »

Implications for Australia

Edited by: Elizabeth Buchanan
Publication date: June 2021
Given Australia’s lack of energy security strategy, it is not surprising that the country is void of institutional knowledge and know-how of Russian foreign energy strategy. The ‘lucky country’ as it were, relies entirely on sea-lines of communication to the north to supply fuel and to export Australian coal and natural gas. Australia has entered the 2020s as the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter; however, maintaining complacency in Canberra’s current export activities will ultimately lead to a long-term security crisis. This book critically examines Russian energy strategy in the Asia-Pacific, with a view to determining the security implications for Australia. Russia is important for global energy security chains because of its vast resource wealth and its geographical position – a pivotal position to supply both the European and Asian markets. Australia has no such luxury, geographically constrained as an island continent; it relies on the nearby Asia-Pacific import market to demand our energy and to facilitate the delivery of our national oil supplies. Understanding Russian foreign energy strategy in the region is crucial given the growing energy requirements in Australia’s emerging Asia-Pacific arena.
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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.
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The Architecture of Security in the Asia-Pacific »

Edited by: Ron Huisken
Publication date: October 2009
We cannot expect in East Asia over the foreseeable future to see the sort of conflation of sovereign states that has occurred in Europe. We must anticipate that, for the foreseeable future, the requirement will be for the sensible management and containment of competitive instincts. The establishment of a multilateral security body in East Asia that includes all the key players, and which the major powers invest with the authority to tackle the shaping of the regional security order, remains a critical piece of unfinished business.
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Achieving Inclusive Growth in the Asia Pacific »

Publication date: August 2020
The world’s developed economies are experiencing a sharp backlash against globalisation, and it appears to be contagious. Will Asia catch it next? Asia has seen spectacular growth in recent decades. It has benefited substantially from global trade, finance, openness and the rules-based international order. But much of the growth Asia has enjoyed has not been shared. It has not been inclusive growth. Inequality in Asia is among the highest in the world. The richest man in Vietnam now earns more in a single day than the poorest person does in a decade. Asia has far to go in making its societies more inclusive to women, ethnic minorities and the LGBT community. How can Asia reduce inequality? What are the forces that determine whether growth in the Asia Pacific is inclusive or not? And what can be done to make Asia’s growth more inclusive in the future? This book brings together the region’s leading thinkers to explore how to change Asia’s trajectory, before it is too late. 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.
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Navigating the Future »

An Ethnography of Change in Papua New Guinea

Authored by: Monica Minnegal, Peter D. Dwyer
Publication date: June 2017
Navigating the Future draws on long-term ethnographic fieldwork with Kubo people and their neighbours, in a remote area of Papua New Guinea, to explore how worlds are reconfigured as people become increasingly conscious of, and seek to draw into their own lives, wealth and power that had previously lain beyond their horizons. In the context of a major resource extraction project—the Papua New Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas (PNG LNG) Project–taking shape in the mountains to the north, the people in this area are actively reimagining their social world. This book describes changes in practice that result, tracing shifts in the ways people relate to the land, to each other and to outsiders, and the histories of engagement that frame those changes. Inequalities are emerging between individuals in access to paid work, between groups in potential for claiming future royalties, and between generations in access to information. As people at the village of Suabi strive to make themselves visible to the state and to petroleum companies, as legal entities entitled to receive benefits from the PNG LNG Project, they are drawing new boundaries around sets of people and around land and declaring hierarchical relationships between groups that did not exist before. They are struggling to make sense of a bureaucracy that is foreign to them, in a place where the state currently has minimal presence. A primary concern of Navigating the Future is with the processes through which these changes have emerged, as people seek to imagine—and work to bring about—a radically different future for themselves while simultaneously reimagining their own past in ways that validate those endeavours.
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State, Communities and Forests In Contemporary Borneo »

Publication date: July 2006
The name ‘Borneo’ evokes visions of constantly changing landscapes, but with important island-wide continuities. One of the continuities has been the forests, which have for generations been created and modified by the indigenous population, but over the past three decades have been partially replaced by tree crops, grass or scrub. This book, the first in the series of Asia-Pacific Environmental Monographs, looks at the political complexities of forest management across the whole island of Borneo, tackling issues of tenure, land use change and resource competition, ‘tradition’ versus ‘modernity’, disputes within and between communities, between communities and private firms, or between communities and governments. While it focuses on the changes taking place in local political economies and conservation practices, it also makes visible the larger changes taking place in both Indonesia and Malaysia. The common theme of the volume is the need to situate local complexities in the larger institutional context, and the possible gains to be made from such an approach in the search for alternative models of conservation and development.
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Fishing for Fairness »

Poverty, Morality and Marine Resource Regulation in the Philippines

Authored by: Michael Fabinyi
Publication date: January 2012
Fishing for Fairness develops an explicitly cultural perspective on environmental politics in the Philippines by analysing the responses of fishers to marine resource regulations. In the resource frontier of the Calamianes Islands, fishing, conservation and tourism provide the context where competing visions of how to engage with marine resources are played out. The book draws on data from ethnographic fieldwork with fishers, government and NGO officials, fish traders and tourism operators to show how the strategic responses of fishers to management initiatives are couched within particular cultural idioms. Tapping into broader notions of morality in the Philippines, fishers express a discourse that emphasises their poverty and the obligations of the wealthy to treat them with fairness. By deploying this discourse, fishers are able to reframe what are—on the surface—questions of environmental management into issues about poverty within particular social relationships. By using a cultural political ecology framework to analyse fishers’ responses to regulation, the book emphasises the distinctive ways in which marginalised people in the Philippines resist and reframe resource management initiatives. Fishing for Fairness will appeal to both academics and policy makers interested in marine resource management, political ecology, anthropology and development studies particularly throughout the Asia-Pacific.
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Large-scale Mines and Local-level Politics »

Between New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea

Publication date: October 2017
Despite the difference in their populations and political status, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea have comparable levels of economic dependence on the extraction and export of mineral resources. For this reason, the costs and benefits of large-scale mining projects for indigenous communities has been a major political issue in both jurisdictions, and one that has come to be negotiated through multiple channels at different levels of political organisation. The ‘resource boom’ that took place in the early years of the current century has only served to intensify the political contests and conflicts that surround the distribution of social, economic and environmental costs and benefits between community members and other ‘stakeholders’ in the large-scale mining industry. However, the mutual isolation of Anglophone and Francophone scholars has formed a barrier to systematic comparison of the relationship between large-scale mines and local-level politics in Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia, despite their geographical proximity. This collection of essays represents an effort to overcome this barrier, but is also intended as a major contribution to the growth of academic and political debate about the social impact of the large-scale mining industry in Melanesia and beyond.
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Landlock »

Paralysing Dispute over Minerals on Adivasi Land in India

Authored by: Patrik Oskarsson
Publication date: September 2018
Landlock: Paralysing Dispute over Minerals on Adivasi Land in India explores the ways in which political controversy over a bauxite mining and refining project on constitutionally protected tribal lands in Andhra Pradesh descended into a state of paralysis where no productive outcome was possible. Long-running support for Adivasi (or tribal) land rights motivated a wide range of actors to block the project’s implementation by recourse to India’s dispersed institutional landscape, while project proponents proved adept in proposing workarounds to prevent its outright cancellation. In the ensuing deadlock, the project was unable to move towards completion, while marginalised Adivasi groups were equally unable to repossess their land. Such a ‘landlock’ is argued to be characteristic of India’s wider inability to deal with conflicts over land matters, despite the crucial importance of land for smallholder livelihoods and various economic processes in an intensely growth-focused country. The result has been frequent yet grindingly slow processes of contestation in which powerful business and state interests are, at times, halted in their tracks, but mostly seem able to slowly exhaust local resistance in their pursuit of large-scale projects that produce no benefits for the rural poor.
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