Recent Issue – Vol 86, No 3 – September 2013

Empowering Women through Recognition of Rights to Land: Mechanisms to Strengthen Women’s Rights in VanuatuLand Right meeting in Vanuatu

Vijaya Nagarajan, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Therese MacDermott, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Keywords: Land, women, Vanuatu, equality, custom, rights

Although the pluralist system of land tenure in Vanuatu does not directly discriminate against women, the operation of the system and contemporary interpretations of custom is increasingly marginalising women from the decision making processes regarding land management and control. Commitment to the principles of gender equality through constitutional guarantees and the ratification of relevant international treaty obligations, while providing a relevant legal framework for equality, have only had limited success in addressing discriminatory practices. This article analyses alternative ways to overcome the barriers faced by women that are currently under consideration in many Pacific island Countries, including recording and registration, as well as legal vehicles such as incorporating customary land groups, trusts and community companies. This article concludes that while both existing and proposed mechanisms have the potential to secure for women a greater role in decision making processes regarding land management and control, that potential will not be realised in the absence of knowledge, empowerment and the acceptance of the legitimacy of such rights. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要 Purchase Article

issue images_86_3_WilliamsJapan’s Evolving National Security Secrecy System: Catalysts and Obstacles

Brad Williams, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China

Keywords: antimilitarism, bilateralism, intelligence leaks, Japan, secrecy, security, United States

This paper sheds light on a relatively unexplored component of Japan’s security architecture: the national security secrecy system. Among the protection measures underpinning this system, particular attention is paid to the legal aspects. This system has been caught between two competing pressures. On the one hand, the United States and domestic conservative forces have consistently sought to strengthen what they consider to be an unsatisfactory system of safeguarding national security secrets in Japan. On the other, left-leaning political actors, the media and public opinion, informed by the norm of antimilitarism – understood as a deep distrust of Japan’s military establishment and opposition to its foreign deployment, and also broadly predicated on fear of democratic retreat – have been able to thwart these attempts. As a result, Japan lacks a specific anti-espionage or state secrets law and has earned the reputation of a “spy heaven” where foreign agents, domestic collaborators and information leakers have been able to act with seeming impunity. However, rising bilateralism – under which Japan acts to consolidate alliance relations with its superpower patron – in the security and intelligence fields over the past decade and the subsequent pressures from the United States, a dissatisfied ally, facilitated by the rise of regional security threats and a shift in the domestic political terrain, have contributed to an incremental erosion of the antimilitaristic constraints on the legal component of Japan’s security secrecy system. Japanese governments have moved to bolster the secrecy protection regime, although reforms are not as significant as what they would be absent residual antimilitarism. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要 Purchase Article

Identity Insecurity and the Tibetan Resistance against China

Tsering Topgyal, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, United Kingdom

Keywords: Tibet, China, Sino-Tibetan conflict, identity, security and diasporaTibetan street scene with soldiers

This article re-examines the five-decade-old Tibetan struggle against Chinese rule, asking what drives this multifaceted resistance. It argues that identity insecurity has been at the heart of the Tibetan struggle, and takes a position against the problematic practice in both the academic literature and popular discourse of treating Chinese policies and practices as security-driven and the Tibetan struggle as motivated by ethno-nationalistic impulses. It charts the vigorous contestation within the Tibetan diaspora between those standing issue images_86_3_Topgyal_Tibet_03for complete independence and others who are satisfied with “greater autonomy” and examines the multifaceted resistance inside Tibet. It also recognizes the unifying effects of the widespread loyalty to the Dalai Lama and fears for the survival of the Tibetan identity. The article also examines the links between Tibet and its diaspora. All these themes are developed while demonstrating the security rationale behind the Tibetan struggle. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要 Purchase Article


The Politics of Universal Free Basic Education in Decentralized Indonesia: Insights from Yogyakarta

Idham Samawi with children

Idham Samawi

Andrew Rosser, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Priyambudi Sulistiyanto, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Keywords: Indonesia, basic education, schools, Yogyakarta, politics

Since the fall of Suharto’s New Order, Indonesia’s central government has substantially strengthened the legal and financial basis of universal free basic education (UFBE). Yet sub-national governments have varied considerably in their responses to the issue with some supporting UFBE and others not. Why has this happened? What are the implications for the future of UFBE in Indonesia? And what does Indonesia’s sub-national experience tell us about the political preconditions for UFBE in developing countries? We try to shed some light on these questions by examining the politics of UFBE in Bantul and Sleman, two districts in the Special Region of Yogyakarta.

Idham Samawi giving a speech

Idham Samawi

We argue (i) that these districts’ different responses to UFBE have reflected the extent to which their bupati have pursued populist strategies for mobilising votes at election time and there has been resistance to UFBE from groups such as business, the middle classes, and teachers; (ii) that Indonesia’s sub-national experience suggests that there is an alternative pathway to UFBE besides organisation of the poor by political entrepreneurs; and (iii) that the future of UFBE in Indonesia thus rests on the nature of bupatis’ strategies for advancing their careers and the strength of local groups opposed to UFBE. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要 Purchase Article

♦Special Section♦


Audacious Reforms? India’s New Rights Agenda: An Introduction

John Harriss, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada

Keywords: India, politics, reform, rights


India’s New Rights Agenda: Genesis, Promises, Risks

Sanjay Ruparelia, New School for Social Research, New York, USA

Keywords: India, rights, inequality, corruption, accountability

India's New Rights - Right to Food PosterSince 2004, India has introduced a series of progressive national bills that enact a right to new civic entitlements, ranging from information, work and education to forest conservation, food and basic public services. What explains the emergence of these laws? How are the rights conceived by these acts conceptualized, operationalized and pursued? What are the promises, challenges and risks—legal, political and economic—of enshrining socioeconomic entitlements as formal statutory rights? This paper engages these questions. In part 1, I argue that three slow-burning processes since the 1980s, distinct yet related, catalyzed India’s new rights agenda: high socio-legal activism, rapid uneven development and the expanding popular foundations of its federal parliamentary democracy. Significantly, all three processes exposed the growing nexus between political corruption and socioeconomic inequality. Equally, however, each raised popular expectations for greater social justice that were only partly met. Part 2 of the paper evaluates India’s new rights agenda. The promise of these new laws is threefold: they breach the traditional division of civil, political and socioeconomic rights, devise innovative governance mechanisms that enable citizens to see the state and provide fresh incentives for new political coalitions to emerge across state and society. Several risks exist, however. Official political resistance from above and below, the limited capacities of judicial actors, state bureaucracies and social forces and the relatively narrow base of many of these new movements endanger the potential of these reforms. The paper concludes by considering several imperatives that India’s evolving rights movement must confront to realize its ambition. Abstract in Chinese – 摘要 Purchase Article

Land Rights IndiaLand, Rights, and Reform in India

Rob Jenkins, Hunter College, New York, USA

Keywords: human rights, land, land acquisition, displacement, policy reform, India, rehabilitation and resettlement

India’s legal regime governing the compulsory acquisition of private land by the state for “public purposes” – centered on the Land Acquisition Act 1894 (LAA) – has long been criticized for breeding corruption and insufficiently protecting landowners and local communities. Attempts to overhaul the LAA have faced stiff resistance from powerful interests within and outside the state. When the United Progressive Alliance government took power in 2004, few would have guessed that it would seek to replace the LAA with legislation that imposes more rigorous standards for the compulsory acquisition of land and detailed rules for rehabilitating displaced people. Yet, in 2011 the government introduced the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill (LARRB). This article argues (1) that the LARRB displays certain distinctive characteristics shared by other rights-related statutes enacted under the UPA government; (2) that the emergence of this distinctive – and unforeseen – piece of legislation was driven largely by India’s approach to creating Special Economic Zones; and (3) that both the LARRB’s content and the process by which it was introduced have implications for debates of wider theoretical significance, including the increasingly hybrid nature of rights, and the desirability of combining insights from the literatures on “policy feedback” and “policy entrepreneurs.” Abstract in Chinese – 摘要 Purchase Article

issue images_86_3_Jenkins_Land Rights India_01

Books Reviewed in this issue

Asia General

GLOBALIZATION AND ECONOMIC NATIONALISM IN ASIA. Edited by Anthony P. D’Costa. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. xxiv, 259 pp. (Tables, figures.) £55.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-19-964621-0. Reviewed by Sajid Anwar

STUDENT ACTIVISM IN ASIA: Between Protest and Powerlessness. Meredith L. Weiss and Edward Aspinall, editors. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012. xii, 318 pp. (Tables.) US$75.00, cloth, ISBN 978-0- 8166-9768-3; US$25.00, paper, ISBN 978-0-8166-7969-0. Reviewed by William A. Hayes Reviewed by William A. Hayes

CHINESE AND INDIAN STRATEGIC BEHAVIOR: Growing Power and Alarm. By George J. Gilboy, Eric Heginbotham. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. xxx, 346 pp. (Tables, figures, maps.) C$35.95, paper. ISBN 978-1-107-66169-1. Reviewed by Sumit Ganguly

JAPAN AND CHINA AS CHARM RIVALS: Soft Power in Regional Diplomacy. By Jing Sun. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2012. xii, 231 pp. (Tables, figures.) US$70.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-472-11833-5. Reviewed by Marc L. Moskowitz

MAKING AND FAKING KINSHIP: Marriage and Labor Migration between China and South Korea. By Caren Freeman. Ithaca; London: Cornell University Press, 2011. xiv, 263 pp. (Maps, B&W photos.) US$35.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-8014-4958-1. Reviewed by Jaeyoun Wong

GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT: Extraterritoriality and Imperial Power in Nineteenth-Century China and Japan. By Pär Kristoffer Cassel. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. xi, 260 pp. (B&W photos, illus.) US$39.95, cloth. ISBN 978-0-19-979205-4. Reviewed by Simon Nantais

China and Inner Asia

CHINESE ENGAGEMENTS: Regional Issues with Global Implications. Edited by Brett McCormick & Jonathan H. Ping. Robina, QLD: Bond University Press, 2011. xiv, 224 pp. (Tables, figures, graphs, maps.) A$39.95, paper. ISBN 978-0-9806187-6-1. Reviewed by Wayne Bert

POLITICS AND SOCIETY IN CONTEMPORARY CHINA. By Elizabeth Freund Larus. Boulder, CO; London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012. xii, 491 pp. (Figures, maps.) US$32.50, paper. ISBN 978-1-58826-825-9. Reviewed by Jay Goulding

CHINA’S THOUGHT MANAGEMENT. Routledge Studies on China in Transition, 40. Edited by Anne-Marie Brady. London; New York: Routledge, 2012. xi, 209 pp. (Figures.) US$125.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0415-616773-7. Reviewed by Børge Bakken

OVERSEAS CHINESE IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA. Chinese Worlds, no. 29. By Glen Peterson. London; New York: Routledge, 2011. xi, 229 pp. (Figures, B&W photos.) US$130.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-415-61670-6. Reviewed by James K. Chin

ISSUES IN CANADA-CHINA RELATIONS. Edited by Pitman B. Potter with Thomas Adams. Toronto: Canadian International Council, 2011. vi, 416 pp. (Tables, graphs, figures, maps.) ISBN 978-0-9866175-4-6. Reviewed by Andrew F. Cooper

THE CHINA THREAT: Memories, Myths, and Realities in the 1950s. By Nancy Bernkopf Tucker. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. xiii, 295 pp. (maps, figures.) US$39.50, cloth. ISBN 978-0-231-15924-1. Reviewed by Martin Laflamme

EATING BITTERNESS: New Perspectives on China’s Great Leap Forward and Famine. Contemporary Chinese Studies. Edited by Kimberley Ens Manning and Felix Wemheuer. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011. viii, 321 pp. (Tables, maps, B&W illus., B&W photos.) C$34.95, paper. ISBN 978-0- 7748-1727-1. Reviewed by Woyu Liu

NEVER FORGET NATIONAL HUMILIATION: Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations. Contemporary Asia in the World. By Zheng Wang. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. xiii, 293 pp. (Figures, tables.) US$32.50, cloth. ISBN 978-0-231-14890-0. Reviewed by Xiangfeng Yang

CHANGE IN DEMOCRATIC MONGOLIA: Social Relations, Health, Mobile Pastoralism, and Mining. Brill’s Inner Asian Library, v. 25. Edited by Julian Dierkes. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2012. xviii, 332 pp. (Tables, figures) US$156.00, cloth. ISBN 978-90-04-22434-6. Reviewed by Morris Rossabi

Northeast Asia

HARD TIMES IN THE HOMETOWN: A History of Community Survival in Modern Japan. By Martin Dusinberre. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2012. xiv, 247 pp. (Tables, figures, maps.) US$55.00, cloth. ISBN 978- 0-8248-3524-8. Reviewed by Peter Matanle

THE OKINAWAN DIASPORA IN JAPAN: Crossing Borders Within. By Steve Rabson. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2012. ix, 312 pp. US$55.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-8248-3534-7. Reviewed by Patrick Heinrich

BRINGING ZEN HOME: The Healing Heart of Japanese Women’s Rituals. By Paula Arai. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011. xii, 262 pp. (Illus.) US$52.00, cloth.. ISBN 978-0-8248-3535-4. Reviewed by Jessica Starling

THE US-SOUTH KOREA ALLIANCE: Meeting New Security Challenges. Edited by Scott Snyder. Boulder; London: Lynn Rienner Publishers, 2012. vii, 293 pp. (Tables, figures.) US$59.95, cloth. ISBN 978-1-58826-805. Reviewed by Wookhee Shin

CATALOG OF THE CONFIDENTIAL DIPLOMATIC DOCUMENTS CONCERING SOUTH KOREA AND NORTH KOREA FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF HUNGARY (1945-1993). Edited by Bogook Kim. Seoul: Bread & Roses Publishing Co., 2012. xi, 477 pp. US$100.00, cloth. ISBN 978-89-968898-0-9. Reviewed by Avram Agov

South Asia

MORE THAN MAOISM: Politics, Policies and Insurgencies in South Asia. Edited by Robin Jeffrey, Ronojoy Sen, Pratima Singh. New Delhi: Manohar; Singapore: Institute of South Asian Studies, 2012. xxi, 470 pp., [12] pp. of plates (Maps, tables, figures.) Rs1,250.00, cloth. ISBN 978-81-7304-933-0.

INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY: The Politics of Postcolonial Identity from 1947 to 2004. Interventions. By Priya Chacko. London; New York: Routledge, 2011. ix, 237 pp. US$145.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-145-66568-1. Reviewed by Ganeshdatta Poddar

TRANS-COLONIAL MODERNITIES IN SOUTH ASIA. Edited by Michael S. Dodson and Brian A. Hatcher. London; New York: Routledge, 2012. xii, 262 pp. US$145.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-415-78062-9. Reviewed by Sukh Deo Muni

POVERTY AMID PLENTY IN THE NEW INDIA. By Atul Kohli. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. xiii, 249 pp. (Tables, figures, graphs.) US$28.99, paper. ISBN 978-0-521-73517-9. Reviewed by Rahul Mukherji

NGOS IN INDIA: The Challenges of Women’s Empowerment and Accountability. Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series, 35. By Patrick Kilby. London; New York: Routledge, 2011. xii, 148 pp. (Tables, figures, map.) US$42.95, paper. ISBN 978-0-415-53367-6. Reviewed by Purna Sen

Southeast Asia

COMMUNITIES OF IMAGINATION: Contemporary Southeast Asian Theatres. By Catherine Diamond. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2012. ix, 392 pp. (B&W photos.) US$56.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-8248-3584-2. Reviewed by Michael Bodden

THE CHINESE DIASPORA IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA: The Overseas Chinese in Indo-China. By Tracy Barrett. London: I.B. Tauris; New York: distributed by Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. xiii, 302 pp. (Maps, illus.) US$95.00, cloth. ISBN 978-1-78706-134-3. Reviewed by Gangwu Wang

NATURAL POTENCY AND POLITICAL POWER: Forests and State Authority in Contemporary Laos. Southeast Asia—Politics, Meaning and Memory. By Sarinda Singh. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press. 2012. x, 192 pp. (Figures, maps.) US$45.00, cloth. ISBN 978-8248-3571-2. Reviewed by Rodolphe De Koninck

LAND AND LOYALTY: Security and the Development of Property Rights in Thailand. Cornell Studies in Political Economy. By Tomas Larsson. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012. xii, 208 pp. (Figures, tables.) US$45.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-8014-5081-5. Reviewed by Janet C. Sturgeon

THAILAND’S POLITICAL PEASANTS: Power in the Modern Rural Economy. New Perspectives in Southeast Asian Studies. By Andrew Walker. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012. xiii, 276 pp. (Tables, maps, charts, figures.) US$29.95, paper. ISBN 978-0-299-28824-2. Reviewed by Jim A. Placzek

DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONALS IN NORTHERN THAILAND: Hope, Politics and Practice. Southeast Asia Publications Series.By Katharine McKinnon. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011. xvii, 235 pp. (Maps, photos.) US$34.00, paper. ISBN 978-0-8248-3652-8. Reviewed by Aim Sinpeng

KING BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ: A Life’s Work: Thailand’s Monarchy in Perspective. Edited by Nicholas Grossman, Dominic Faulder. Singapore; Bangkok: Editions Didier Millet, 2011. 383 pp. (B&W and coloured photos.) THB1080.00, cloth. ISBN 978-981-4260-56-5. Reviewed by Jim Taylor

POPULATION POLICY AND REPRODUCTION IN SINGAPORE: Making Future Citizens. Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series. By Shirley Hsiao-Li Sun. London; New York: Routledge, 2012. xiv, 189 pp. (Tables, figures.) US$145.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-415-67068-5. Reviewed by Ern Ser Tan

MALAYSIA’S DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES: Graduating From the Middle. Routledge Malaysian Studies Series, 11. Edited by Hal Hill, Tham Siew Yean, Ragayah Haji Mat Zin. London; New York: Routledge, 2012. xxvi, 348 pp. (Tables, figures, maps.) US$140.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-415-61436-8. Reviewed by Hwok-Aun Lee

CORRUPTION AND LAW IN INDONESIA. Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series, 40. By Simon Butt. London; New York: Routledge, 2012. xiv, 157 pp. US$140.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-415-67934-3. Reviewed by Priyambudi Sulistiyanto

ENVIRONMENTAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN INDONESIA. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 259. By David Nicholson. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2009. xvii, 334 pp. (Tables.) €34.90, paper. ISBN 978-90-6718-326-0. Reviewed by Anton Lucas

SECURITY, DEVELOPMENT AND NATION-BUILDING IN TIMORLESTE: A Cross-Sectoral Assessment. Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series, 32. Edited by Vandra Harris and Andrew Goldsmith. London; New York: Routledge, 2011. xvi, 256 pp. (Tables, figures.) US$140.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-415-60124-5. Reviewed by Thushara Dibley

BURMA REDUX: Global Justice and the Quest for Political Reform in Myanmar. By Ian Holliday. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011. xiii, 287 pp. (Maps.) US$29.50, paper. ISBN 978-0-231-16127-5. Reviewed by Trevor Wilson

Australasia and the Pacific Islands

PACIFIC WORLDS: A History of Seas, Peoples, and Cultures. By Matt K. Matsuda. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. xii, 436 pp. (Maps, Illus.) US$25.99, paper. ISBN 978-0-521-71566-9. Reviewed by Judith A. Bennett

OUT OF PLACE: Madness in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Social Identities, v. 6. By Michael Goddard. New York: Berghahn Books, 2011. xiii, 173 pp. (Map.) US$70.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-85745-094-4. Reviewed by John Barker

LAUGHING AT LEVIATHAN: Sovereignty and Audience in West Papua. Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning. By Danilyn Rutherford. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. xvi, 301 pp. (B&W photos.) US$27.50, paper. ISBN 978-0-226-73198-8. Reviewed by Sjoerd R. Jaarsma

FREEDOM IN ENTANGLED WORLDS: West Papua and the Architecture of Global Power. By Eben Kirksey. Durham, NC; London: Duke University Press, 2012. xvii, 305 pp. (Maps, B&W illus.) US$24.95, paper. ISBN 978- 0-8223-5134-4. Reviewed by Larry M. Lake

NO FAMILY IS AN ISLAND: Cultural Expertise among Samoans in Diaspora. Expertise Series. By Ilana Gershon. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012. xi, 192p. US$22.95, paper. ISBN 978-0-8014-7805-5. Reviewed by Jessica A. Hardin

SALTWATER SOCIALITY: A Melanesian Island Ethnography. By Katharina Schneider. New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2012. xxiv, 234 pp. (Figures, maps, illus.) US$95.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-85745-301-3. Reviewed by Anna-Karina Hermkens

Documentary Films Reviewed

ANPO, ART X WAR: The Art of Resistance [Film]. Directed and produced by Linda Hoaglund; Cinematography, Yamazaki Yutaka; Editor, Scott Burgess; Music, Satoshi Takeishi, Shoko Nagai. Harriman, NY: New Day Films, 2010. 1 videodisc (89 min.) US$275.00 (Institutions/Universities); US$95.00 (Community Groups/Public Libraries/High Schools); US$80.00 (Rental). ISBN 978-1-56592-479-6. (URL: Reviewed by Simon Avenell

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