Recent Issue – Vol 85, No 2 – June 2012

Japanese-South Korean Textbook Talks: The Necessity of Political Leadership

Alexandra Sakaki, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin, Germany

Keywords: history textbook dispute, reconciliation, Japan, Germany, civil society, political leaders

One of the most notorious issues haunting Japanese-South Korean relations is the controversy over textbook depictions of Japan’s colonial rule and war atrocities in the early twentieth century. In recent years, a number of bilateral projects have been launched on both the non-governmental and governmental level, seeking to narrow divergences in historical perceptions. Focusing on the Japanese side, this article assesses the impact of recent non-governmental textbook projects, arguing that these projects—while important and encouraging—have a limited capacity to prompt changes in educational policies. Textbook talks officially endorsed by the government and supported by a critical mass of politicians remain indispensable to promote a transnational reconstruction of the past. Based on a comparison between Japanese-South Korean and German-Polish government-backed talks, the paper identifies how decision makers can help foster an atmosphere conducive to the work of bilateral textbook commissions. It concludes that a key requirement for successful talks is that politicians, utilizing a variety of measures, pursue the dual goal of demonstrating high-level commitment to the talks and shielding the work proactively from nationalistic pressures. In contrast to their German counterparts, Japanese political elites have so far failed to pursue such an environment, casting doubts about progress in the textbook dispute for the foreseeable future. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要   Purchase Article

The Search for Order: Understanding Hindu-Muslim Violence in Post-Partition India

Stuart E. Corbridge, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom
Nikki Kalra, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom
Kayoko Tatsumi, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom

Keywords: Wilkinson model, votes and violence, ethnic riots, order and difference

One distinguishing feature of mainstream social science is its growing regard for model building and formal hypothesis testing. In South Asian studies this is most evident in accounts of ethnic riots or communal violence. This paper examines a model of votes and violence proposed by Steven Wilkinson. We first examine how well the model performs against a data set that we have assembled on the twenty worst incidents of communal violence in India since 1950. The Wilkinson model is consistent with some important key facts in our data set, most notably in terms of levels of urbanization and “percentage Muslims” in riot-affected towns and cities. However, proximity to national or state elections is not found to be a strong driver of prolonged ethnic rioting. Nor is it the case that India’s worst instances of communal violence occurred mainly where there was direct electoral competition between less than 3.5 effective political parties, the other main predictive variable in the Wilkinson model. We then discuss the limitations more broadly of attempts to explain and even predict ethnic violence within the framework of a quantitative model. We pay attention to time inconsistencies, principal-agent problems, religiosity and the homogenization of riot events, and omitted variables (notably, memory work and ideological fervour). We conclude with some general remarks on the search for order in social science. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要   Purchase Article

Social Mobilization of the Underdogs: The Damansara Save Our School

Movement in Malaysia

Ming-Chee Ang, Penang Institute, Malaysia

Keywords: unconventional resistance, social movements, non-liberal democratic states

How are social movements of the underdogs sustained and how are constraints of these movements overcome, in particular, constraints imposed by non-liberal democratic states? Utilizing the Damansara Save Our School movement in Malaysia as its case study, this article describes factors that led to the successful resistance of the Damansara New Village community against the closure of its community school, the Damansara Chinese Primary School. Although inexperienced in social movement activities, small in size, financially and socially disadvantaged, the villagers of Damansara New Village successfully sustained their resistance for seven years and eventually procured compromises from the Malaysian authorities, which reopened the school premises in January 2009. Lacking access to democratic institutions in the country, the Damansara Save Our School movement relied on unconventional—yet highly institutionalized—resistance methods to mobilize support and engage in political contention. This article analyzes three components that had led to the movement’s successful endurance: institutionalization of the Save Our School Committee as the main mobilization machinery; formation of a temple school that sustained the functioning of the school, physically and symbolically; and dynamic adaptation of movement repertoires to overcome constraints imposed by the stronger and not so liberal state. For the movement community and supporters alike, the reopening of the school premises in 2009 attests to the miracle of everyday resistance by underdogs in surmounting unjust policies imposed by a powerful state. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要   Purchase Article

— Enduring Issues/Changing Perspectives —

The Political Role of India’s Caste Associations

Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph

Originally published in Pacific Affairs, Volume 33, No. 1, March 1960


This article will be reprinted with comments by:

After Fifty Years of Political and Social Change: Caste Associations and Politics in India

James Manor, University of London, London, United Kingdom


The Persistence of Caste in India

Ronojoy Sen, Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore


From Caste Associations to Identity Politics: From Self-Help to Goonda Raj and Beyond

Susanne Hoeber Rudolph and Lloyd I. Rudolph




Books Reviewed in this issue

Asia General

The Politics of Imagining Asia. By Wang Hui; edited by Theodore Huters.
Reviewed by Prasenjit Duara

Worse Than a Monolith: Alliance Politics and Problems of Coercive Diplomacy in Asia. By Thomas J. Christensen.
Reviewed by Nicholas Hamisevicz

Immigrants to the Pure Land: The Modernization, Acculturation, and Globalization of Shin Buddhism, 1898-1941. By Michihiro Ama.
Reviewed by Hwansoo Kim

Racial Representations In Asia. Edited by Yasuko Takezawa.
Reviewed by Hyung-Gu Lynn

China and Inner Asia

Governing Educational Desire: Culture, Politics, and Schooling in China. By Andrew B. Kipnis.
Reviewed by Elizabeth VanderVen

Suburban Beijing: Housing and Consumption in Contemporary China. By Friederike Fleischer.
Reviewed by You-tien Hsing

Gods, Ghosts, and Gangsters: Ritual Violence, Martial Arts, and Masculinity on the Margins of Chinese Society. By Avron Boretz.
Reviewed by Barend J. ter Haar

Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History. By Rebecca E. Karl.
Reviewed by Daniel Leese

The Battle for China: Essays on the Military History of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945. Edited by Mark Peattie, Edward J. Drea, and Hans van de Ven.
Reviewed by David M. Gordon

The Great Wall: A Cultural History. By Carlos Rojas.
Reviewed by Pär Cassel

Phoenix: The Life of Norman Bethune. By Roderick Stewart and Sharon Stewart.
Reviewed by Stephen R. MacKinnon

Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-arts. Edited by Jeffrey W. Cody, Nancy S. Steinhardt, and Tony Atkin.
Reviewed by James A. Flath

Colonial Project, National Game: A History of Baseball in Taiwan. By Andrew D Morris.
Reviewed by Scott Simon

Northeast Asia

Japan Transformed: Political Change and Economic Restructuring. By Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Michael F. Thies.
Reviewed by John Zysman and Kenji E. Kushida

Political Economy of Japan: Growth, Challenges and Prospects for a Well-Being Nation. By Toshihiko Hayashi.
Reviewed by John Zysman and Kenji E. Kushida

Building New Pathways to Peace. Edited by Noriko Kawamura, Yoichiro Murakami, Shin Chiba.
Reviewed by Mikyoung Kim

The Diplomatic History of Postwar Japan: Winner of the 1999 Yoshida Shigeru Prize. Edited by Makoto Iokibe; translated and annotated by Robert D. Elridge.
Reviewed by Hiroyuki Hoshiro

Planning for Empire: Reform Bureaucrats and the Japanese Wartime State. By Janis Mimura.
Reviewed by Bernard Silberman

Japan’s Wartime Medical Atrocities: Comparative Inquiries in Science, History, and Ethics. Edited by Jing-Bao Nie et al.
Reviewed by Caroline Rose

Roppongi Crossing: The Demise of a Tokyo Nightclub District and the Reshaping of a Global City. By Roman Adrian Cybriwsky.
Reviewed by Paul Waley

Language Life in Japan: Transformations and Prospects. Edited by Patrick Heinrich and Christian Galan.
Reviewed by Noriko Iwasaki

Widows of Japan: An Anthropological Perspective. By Deborah McDowell Aoki.
Reviewed by Ruth Campbell

Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Oldboy, K-Pop Idols. By Sun Jung.
Reviewed by Kwang Woo Noh

Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea. By Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland.
Reviewed by Minkyu Sung

South Asia

Indian Nuclear Deterrence: Its Evolution, Development and Implications for South Asian Security. By Zafar Iqbal Cheema.
Reviewed by Robert S. Anderson

India, Pakistan, and Democracy: Solving the Puzzle of Divergent Paths. By Philip Oldenburg.
Reviewed by Andrew Wyatt

Ethical Life in South Asia. Edited by Anand Pandian and Daud Ali.
Reviewed by Filippo Osella

Dharma. By Alf Hiltebeitel.
Reviewed by Frederick M. Smith

Mumbai Fables. By Gyan Prakash.
Reviewed by Nikhil Rao

Southeast Asia

Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land. By Joel Brinkley.
Reviewed by D. Gordon Longmuir

Modern Buddhist Conjunctures in Myanmar: Cultural Narratives, Colonial Legacies, and Civil Society. By Juliane Schober.
Reviewed by Bruce Matthews

Australasia and the Pacific Region

Local Government in a Global World: Australia and Canada in Comparative Perspective. Edited by Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly and John F. Martin.
Reviewed by Campbell Sharman

Nations of Immigrants: Australia and the USA Compared. Edited by John Higley, John Nieuwenhuysen with Stine Neerup.
Reviewed by Martina Boese

First World, First Nations: Internal Colonialism and Indigenous Self-Determination in Northern Europe and Australia. Edited by Günter Minnerup and Pia Solberg.
Reviewed by Bruce Miller

Aboriginal Title and Indigenous Peoples: Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Edited by Louise A. Knafla and Haijo Westra.
Reviewed by Kirsten Anker

Meaningful Inconsistencies: Bicultural Nationhood, the Free Market, and Schooling in Aotearoa/New Zealand. By Neriko Musha Doerr.
Reviewed by Karen Sinclair

Staying Fijian: Vatulele Island Barkcloth and Social Identity. By Rod Ewins.
Reviewed by John Barker

Disturbing History: Resistance in Early Colonial Fiji. By Robert Nicole.
Reviewed by Adrian Tanner

One Head, Many Faces: New Perspectives on the Bird’s Head Peninsula of New Guinea. By Jelle Miedema and Ger Reesink.
Reviewed by Sjoerd R. Jaarsma

Mediating Across Difference: Oceanic and Asian Approaches to Conflict Resolution. Edited by Morgan Brigg and Roland Bleiker.
Reviewed by Anna-Karina Hermkens

Lines That Connect: Rethinking Pattern and Mind in the Pacific. By Graeme Were.
Reviewed by Joshua A. Bell

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