The December issue of Pacific Affairs is a special issued dedicated to “Integrated Mega-Casinos and Speculative Urbanism in Southeast Asia,” which is followed up by a review essay. In the introduction to the special issue, guest editor Juan Zhang (University of Queensland) notes how in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, luxurious mega-casino resorts became spectacles of economic growth across diverse destinations in Southeast Asia. Drawing on experiences in Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines, she presents this special issue as offering empirical insights into why and how integrated mega-casinos are gaining popularity and legitimacy in the region. The papers in this issue, she explains, explore speculative urbanism through casino-as-development in the Southeast Asian context, and the biopolitical governance of participants in a growing casino economy.
In the special issue’s first paper, “Gambling on the Future: Casino Enclaves, Development, and Poverty Alleviation in Laos,” Kearrin Sims (James Cook University) focuses on two casinos in northern Laos to address two research questions. First, how have casinos come to exist within the remote border regions of one of Asia’s least developed countries? And second, how, in what ways, and for whom, have casinos brought development to Laos?
This is followed by, “The State of Fun? Exclusive Casino Urbanism and Its Biopolitical Borders in Singapore,” by Juan Zhang (Univeristy of Queensland) and Brenda S.A. Yeoh (National University of Singapore). Here the authors pose the question, could Singapore’s new casinos turn this once conservative city-state into a world-class destination of fun? The authors go on to explore the exclusionary politics of casino urbanism and leisure governance in Singapore, arguing that exclusive casino urbanism has broader social and political implications on issues of equality, accessibility, and urban participation.
Next, in his “PAGCOR and the Entertainment City: Complex Networks and Gaming Development in the Philippines,” author Vicente Chua Reyes, Jr. (University of Queensland) provides a case study of how public and private stakeholders involved in the gaming industry engage in the creation of both positive and negative social capital. Using the recent experiences of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Reyes’ article proposes the idea of networks of (dis) trust as an analytical frame in understanding the complex linkages that continually impact the functions of the paradoxical Philippine state.
Closing out the special issue is “Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld Resort and Casino.” Here, author Teri Shaffer Yamada (California State University, Long Beach) writes how Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld Casino is the Royal Government of Cambodia’s (RGC) first post-conflict, international mega-development deal. This 1994 deal, Yamada notes, created the casino’s privileged position in Cambodia’s profitable gambling industry: a 70-year gaming license until 2065 and a casino monopoly agreement for the city of Phnom Penh until 2035. The article argues that the crisis in Cambodia’s political economy of the 1990s engendered NagaWorld’s special status with the RGC. It tracks the controversial deal’s impact on the subsequent development of Cambodia’s geography and the patron-client politics of casino capitalism.
The issue closes with a book review essay titled, “‘We as Peoples have the Right to Exist’: Threatened Nations and Climate Justice.” Here, author Milla Vaha (University of Tampere, Finland) notes how as climate change comes to threaten political communities around the globe, Small Island States have quite deservedly become a center of reference in thinking about the populations at the greatest risk. Vaha’s review essay examines three recent contributions to the literature on the future of endangered nations and proposes important themes that should be further studied in international politics and law alike.
Pacific Affairs is an interdisciplinary journal committed to advancing empirical and conceptual knowledge in the field of Asia Pacific-focussed area studies. We view area studies as combining serious commitment to original research on specific regions and countries in Asia and the Pacific with insights and analytical rigour derived from multiple disciplines and various theoretical perspectives.
Impact Factor Score: .667 (30 out of 69 Area Studies journals) – cites in 2016 to articles published in 2014 and 2015.
5-Year Impact Factor Score: 0.903 (16 out of 69 Area Studies journals) – cites in 2016 to articles published from 2011 to 2015
Immediacy Index Score: 0.050 (24 out of 69 Area Studies journals) – cites in 2016 of articles published in 2015
Article Influence® Score: 0.341 (28 out of 69 Area Studies journals)
© 2017 Thomson Reuters, Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), InCites Journal Citation Report
Note: We maintain a sustained and in-depth intellectual and administrative interest in the various debates concerning the uses, meanings, and limits of bibliometric indexes such as the annual JCR reports. We list the information above not as an unthinking endorsement of the use of these indexes to define notions of “quality,” but as information that forms part of a larger set of ongoing attempts to map the patterns and understand the meanings of scholarly communications in the digital age. Although Pacific Affairs embraces careful and contextualized use of all bibliometric data, our view is that the 5-Year Impact Factor (regardless of our absolute and/or relative numbers) is likely the most significant measure, given that we aspire to publish articles that based on the depth of their empirical research and the clarity of arguments will ideally retain their relevance for at least five years after publication.
Pacific Affairs is a peer-reviewed, independent, and interdisciplinary scholarly journal focussing on important current political, economic, and social issues throughout Asia and the Pacific. Each issue contains approximately five new articles and 40-45 book reviews. Published continuously since 1928 under the same name, Pacific Affairs has been located on the beautiful campus of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, since 1961. The journal is committed to providing to the scholarly community and the world at large high quality research on Asia and the Pacific that takes readers beyond the headlines and across multiple disciplines.
Publication of Pacific Affairs is generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, The University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University.
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