Recent Issue – Vol 81, No 4 – Winter 2008/2009


Democratization and Decentralization in Post-Soeharto Indonesia: Understanding Transition Dynamics

By Paul J. Carnegie

There is ready agreement that countries do not emerge in straightforward transitions from authoritarian rule to multi-party democracy. Yet, less consensus can be found in how we understand transition dynamics in particular settings. Scholarly interpretations of the Indonesian transformation certainly refl ect this dichotomy. Drawing on the democratization literature, this article highlights the complex role both political action and institutions play in post-authoritarian settlements. It argues that, despite extensive reorganization within the new democratic framework, Indonesian oligarchs no longer exert the political grip they once did.

En français

Understanding Social Trajectories: Structure and Actor in the Democratisation Debate

By Vedi R. Hadiz

This article offers a structuralist approach to understanding social trajectories following the demise of authoritarian regimes. It does so by analyzing the case of Indonesia in the context of debates about democratization more broadly, whether in Southeast Asia or elsewhere. The paper presents the argument that although Indonesia today is clearly a democracy, it is important to comprehend the kind of democracy that has been entrenched, and why this has been possible. Prevalent actor-based approaches, such as that found within “transitology,” as well as “good- governance” perspectives, tend to emphasize institutional change based on either elite pacts or technocratic crafting. More important, however, is to understand the power relations that underlie institutions and thereby determine the way they actually operate—often in ways that are different from design or intention. This requires analyses of the nature of specifi c constellations of social power and interest, and the sorts of coalitions that actually preside over institutions of governance—a hallmark of structuralist approaches.

En français

Right Angles: Examining Accounts of Japanese Neo-Nationalism

By Bryce Wakefield and Matthew Penney

This article addresses recent claims of right-wing nationalism in Japan made in journalistic and academic commentary. It re-examines a broad range of evidence used to depict rising Japanese neo-nationalism and concludes that despite popular notions about a re-emergence of militarist attitudes, such currents are not as entrenched in Japanese public discourse as some commentators suggest. After a brief theoretical discussion of nationalism, we examine (1) opinion in Japan regarding constitutional change, (2) statements by elite policy makers which are often the focus of media and academic attention, (3) the debate surrounding the notorious New History Textbook and (4) war memory in popular culture—more specifi cally, manga. A detailed reading of these examples suggests that right-wing discourse is less prevalent in Japan than is often assumed.

En français

Were Chinese Liberals Liberal? Refl ections on the Understanding of Liberalism in Modern China

By Edmund S.K. Fung

This article scrutinizes the view in recent mainland Chinese scholarship that the intellectuals of modern China misunderstood liberalism, and even distorted it, because they failed to recognize classical liberalism, especially the link between liberalism and a free market economy. Consequently, great harm had been done to the cause of liberalism in the pre-communist period. This neo-liberal view raises the question: Were Chinese liberals liberal? To answer, it is necessary fi rst to examine the factors that contributed to their understanding of liberalism and their specifi c concerns. The article proposes that a vital key to understanding how modern Chinese have understood liberalism is an acknowledgment of different strands of liberal thought and a historicist approach that takes account of the historical contingencies and conjunctures of modern China. From this perspective, modern Chinese liberal thought is interpreted as growing out of a confl uence of cultural, political and specifi c historical factors. The article argues that the Chinese understanding of liberalism was nuanced and that Chinese liberalism had its peculiar aspects on one hand and universal aspects on the other. While Chinese liberalism took a particular form, it also followed the liberal trend in Western Europe, which was less than classical during the fi rst half of the twentieth century. The article further argues that Chinese liberals, for all their peculiarities, could still be regarded as liberal: they were statist with democratic socialist leanings. They present a contrast with the new generation of liberals which has emerged in contemporary China since the mid-1990s.

En français

Looking North: Taiwan’s Relations with Japan under Chen Shui-bian

By Brian Bridges and Che-po Chan

Under President Chen Shui-bian, Taiwan has been active in courting Japan, an approach which has been quietly reciprocated by Japan. Set against the background of deep historical and economic links, this strengthening relationship has been both encouraged and constrained by the two powers’ complex relationships with China and the United States. While Japan has not been willing to openly embrace Chen’s “quasi-alliance” ideas, it has been interested in developing a stronger sense of “alignment” with Taiwan through constructing a wider and deeper relationship, including security-related interactions.

En français

Books Reviewed In This Issue

Asia General

ELECTIONS AS POPULAR CULTURE IN ASIA. Edited by Chua Beng Huat.Reviewed by John Fuh-Sheng Hsieh

ENERGY SECURITY IN ASIA. Edited by Michael Wesley. Reviewed by Shoichi Itoh

THE STATE, DEVELOPMENT AND IDENTITY IN MULTIETHNIC SOCIETIES: Ethnicity, Equity and Nation. Edited by Nicholas Tarling and Edmund Terence Gomez.Reviewed by Hyung Gu Lynn

THE INCLUSIVE CITY: Infrastructure and Public Services for the Urban Poor in Asia. Edited by Aprodicio A. Laquian, Vinod Tewari and Lisa M. Hanley.Reviewed by Ya Ping Wang

RUPTURED HISTORIES: War, Memory, and the Post-Cold War in Asia. Edited by Sheila Miyoshi Jager and Rana MitterReviewed by Kerry Smith

MODERN EAST ASIA: An Introductory History. By John H. Miller.Reviewed by Colin Mackerras

PACIFIC ASIA IN QUEST OF DEMOCRACY. By Roland Rich.Reviewed by Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao

WHAT’S THE USE OF ART?: Asian Visual and Material Culture in Context. Edited by Jan Mrazek and Morgan Pitelka.Reviewed by Melinda Takeuchi

GLOBAL MULTI-LEVEL GOVERNANCE: European and Asian Leadership. By Cesar de Prado.Reviewed by Shaun Narine

WORLD CLASS WORLDWIDE: Transforming Research Universities in Asia and Latin America. Edited by Philip G. Altbach and Jorge Balan.Reviewed by Michael J. Seth

EXPLORING CROSS-NATIONAL ATTRACTION IN EDUCATION: Some Historical Comparisons of American and Chinese Attraction to Japanese Education. By Jeremy Rappleye; series editor, David Phillips.Reviewed by Barbara Schulte

PEACE PARKS: Conservation and Conflict Resolution. Edited by Saleem H. Ali; foreword by Julia Marton-LeFevre.Reviewed by Jack Patrick Hayes

THE TATTOOING ARTS OF TRIBAL WOMEN. By Lars Krutak.Reviewed by Teri Sowell

China and Inner Asia

BUSINESS NETWORKS AND STRATEGIC ALLIANCES IN CHINA. Edited by Stewart Clegg, Karen Wang and Mike Berrell.Reviewed by Gordon Redding

THE CHINESE IN BRITAIN, 1800-PRESENT: Economy, Transnationalism, Identity. By Gregor Benton and Edmund Terence GomezReviewed by Pal Nyiri

SINO-JAPANESE RELATIONS. Interaction, Logic, and Transformation. By Ming Wan.Reviewed by Peng-Er Lam

CRIES IN THE DRIZZLE: A Novel. By Hua Yu; translated and with preface by Allan H. Barr.Reviewed by Hua Li

INNOVATION AND THE STATE: Political Choice and Strategies for Growth in Israel, Taiwan and Ireland. By Dan Breznitz.Reviewed by Seab O’Riain

Northeast Asia

JAPANESE EXPORTS AND FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT: Imperfect Competition in International Markets. By Hideki Yamawaki.Reviewed by Eric D. Ramstetter

SOFT POWER AND ITS PERILS: U.S. Cultural Policy in Early Postwar Japan and Permanent Dependency. By Takeshi Matsuda.Reviewed by Owen Griffiths

JAPAN’S FOREIGN POLICY SINCE 1945 . By Kevin Rooney.Reviewed by Chris Hughes

JAPANESE RELIGIONS IN AND BEYOND THE JAPANESE DIASPORA . Edited by Ronan Alves Pereira and Hideaki Matsuoka.Reviewed by Ian Reader

ANOTHER JAPAN IS POSSIBLE: New Social Movements and Global Citizenship Education. Edited by Jennifer Chan.Reviewed by Akihiro Ogawa

ESCAPE FROM WORK: Freelancing Youth and the Challenge to Corporate Japan. By Reiko Kosugi; translated by Ross Mouer.Reviewed by Robin O’Day

SOCIAL WELFARE IN JAPAN: Principles and Applications. By Kojun Furukawa. Reviewed by Aya Ezawa

RESOLVE THE RUSSO-JAPANESE TERRITORIAL DISPUTE: Hokkaido-Sakhaline Relations. By Brad Williams.Reviewed by William Nester

JAPANESE POPULAR MUSIC: Culture, Authenticity, and Power. By Carolyn S. Stevens.Reviewed by Jennifer Milioto Matsue


ASEAN-KOREA RELATIONS: Security, Trade and Community Building. Edited by Ho Khai Leong.Reviewed by Inkyo Cheong

ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST A NUCLEAR NORTH KOREA: An Analysis of United States and United Nations Actions Since 1950. Edited by Suk Hi Kim and Semoon Chang.Reviewed by Ramon Pachego Pardo

NORTH KOREA’S SECOND NUCLEAR CRISIS AND NORTHEAST ASIAN SECURITY. Edited by Seung-Ho Joo and Tae-Hwan Kwak.Reviewed by Yasuhiro Izumikawa

A MOMENT OF CRISIS: Jimmy Carter, the Power of a Peacemaker, and North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions. By Marion Creekmore Jr., with an introduction by Jimmy Carter.Reviewed by Wade L. Huntley

South Asia

COMMUNALISM, CASTE AND HINDU NATIONALISM: The Violence in Gujarat. By Ornit Shani.Reviewed by Dawn H. Currie

Southeast Asia

LANGUAGE, NATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. Edited by Lee Hock Guan and Leo Suryadinata.Reviewed by Nancy J. Smith-Hefner

FORGOTTEN WARS: Freedom and revolution in Southeast Asia. By Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper.Reviewed by Eric Tagliacozzo

PRIVATIZATION IN MALAYSIA. Regulation, Rent-Seeking and Policy Failure. By Jeff Tan.Reviewed by Boo-Teik Khoo

LAND AND LONGHOUSE: Agrarian Transformation in the Uplands of Sarawak. By R.A. Cramb.Reviewed by Christine Padoch

ASEAN-CHINA ECONOMIC RELATIONS Edited by Saw Swee-Hock.Reviewed by Alice D. Ba

Australasia and the Pacific Region

ORPHANS OF THE LIVING: Growing up in ‘Care’ in Twentieth-Century Australia. By Joanna Penglase.Reviewed by Lise Garond

ANCESTRAL LINES: the Maisin of Papua New Guinea and the Fate of the Rainforest. By John Barker.Reviewed by Anna-Karina Hermkens

GENDER, CHRISTIANITY AND CHANGE IN VANUATU: An Analysis of Social Movements in North Ambrym. By Annelin Eriksen.Reviewed by John Barker

MAKING SENSE OF AIDS: Culture, Sexuality, and Power in Melanesia. Edited by Leslie Butt and Richard Eves.Reviewed by Nancy Sullivan

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Faculty of Arts
Buchanan A20
1866 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z1, Canada
Tel: 604-822-3828
Pacific Affairs
#376-1855 West Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Canada
Tel: 604-822-6508
Fax: 604-822-9452

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC  | © Copyright The University of British Columbia