Nov 7, 2013

Recent academic publications about Southeast Asia (Oct 2013)

Here is a list of last month's (Oct 2013) academic publications about Southeast Asia:

Le Nguyen Hau, Felicitas Evangelista, Pham Ngoc Thuy,
Does it pay for firms in Asia's emerging markets to be market oriented? Evidence from Vietnam, 
Journal of Business Research, Volume 66, Issue 12, December 2013, Pages 2412-2417,


The positive effects of market orientation (MO) on firm performance are empirically supported much more strongly by studies conducted in developed than in emerging markets. One commonly cited reason for this differential effect is that MO is affected by the cultural, economic and institutional characteristics of the economies in which it is applied. This study aims to determine whether or not MO is relevant in an Asian emerging market such as Vietnam and if so, how a firm in such countries can become more market oriented. Based on a survey of 300 firms and using structural equation modeling, the present study finds that MO has a significant effect on firm performance and that its adoption is driven by both internal organizational and external market forces. The study identifies these specific internal and external forces, including those that are unique to the emerging economies in Asia.

Turner, M.
Why is it so difficult to reform some asian bureaucracies? Building theory from Cambodian evidence
(2013) Public Administration and Development, 33 (4), pp. 275-285.
DOI: 10.1002/pad.1655

This article demonstrates how theory can be built to explain cases of public administration reform failure in Asia. Drawing on the methodologies of middle range theory and grounded theory, qualitative data are gathered from the case of Cambodia and then analyzed. The result is the proposition that a specific constellation of reform-inhibiting factors explains the slow progress of public administration reform in Cambodia. At the center of the constellation is patronage. The cluster of surrounding and interrelated factors includes weak accountability, hegemonic political regime, high and legitimate power distance, low wages, and bureaucratic dysfunction. The chances of reform success increase with the removal or absence of these inhibiting factors. The analysis emphasizes the importance of political economy factors in determining the success or failure of public administration reform.

Cheung, A.B.L.
Can there be an Asian model of public administration?
(2013) Public Administration and Development, 33 (4), pp. 249-261.
DOI: 10.1002/pad.1660

This article examines the conceptual possibilities of an Asian model of public administration, challenging some pre-established paradigms along the way. There are two basic contentions. First, there is no such thing as one universal model of public administration that satisfies all national political and cultural situations so that each public administration system is also shaped by its own national tradition and historical evolution. The historical process is as important as the horizontal process of policy learning and transfer from others in the world. Second, Asia has its unique administrative civilization that has been under-studied in the larger context of contemporary public administration theories and practices. The article does not argue for an Asian-dominated governance model per se. Rather, the point is that the rapid social and economic growth of some emerging Asian nations has cast further doubt on any deterministic 'good governance' model driven predominantly by the Western growth experience. No definite thesis is concluded, and this must involve a process of drawing wisdoms from more Asian 'national' and local narratives of administrative histories and practices.

Harwit, E.
Chinese and Japanese investment in Southeast and South Asia: case studies of the electronics and automobile industries
(2013) Pacific Review, 26 (4), pp. 361-383.
DOI: 10.1080/09512748.2013.788068

This article uses extensive fieldwork data to focus on the question of how Chinese and Japanese companies are competing in neighboring countries of Asia, and what economic forces will shape their future growth in the region. It begins by briefly discussing the history of Chinese and Japanese investment in the South and Southeast Asian regions. It traces the development of Japanese overseas investment policies, as well as China's more recent 'Going Out' government program to encourage overseas flows of capital. It then builds on prior political economy work as it uses case study focuses, with primary data based on the author's fieldwork research in several nations of Southeast Asia and in India, of the two key sectors of automobiles and electronics. It compares and contrasts the investment strategies of companies from each country, as well as the successes and failures of investments in the industries. It finds that Japanese companies' advantages lie in industries utilizing advanced technology and management skills. Though the Japanese continue to lead in many areas, including automobiles, they have begun to face competition and potentially reduced profits in vital manufacturing areas. Meanwhile, Chinese overseas companies have made significant advances in the consumer electronics sector, using low prices and good quality, though overseas automobile investments have gained little traction. The article concludes that, if the Chinese can improve their product quality, capitalize on improving managerial skills and a deeper level of experience in the region, and establish brands they can sell with reliable distribution networks, Japanese companies could face losses to their Asian neighbor in these important parts of the continent they have dominated for decades.

Huh, H.-S., Park, C.-Y.
Examining the determinants of food prices in developing Asia
(2013) ADB Economics Working Paper Series, 370, pp. 1-38.

How the price of food is determined has become a critical issue, given the drastic surges in prices in recent years and the prevailing expectation of further increases. Along this line, this paper examines the sources of food price fluctuations in 11 developing Asian countries. The working model is a block vector autoregression (VAR), and 10 variables are classified into three blocks- world, region, and country-depending on their origin and nature. Empirical evidence shows that the regional shock plays a pivotal role in explaining the variations of domestic food prices, particularly at medium- to long-term horizons. Contrary to conventional belief, the world food price shock contributes little to the dynamics of domestic food prices in developing Asia. The findings suggest Asian food markets are more integrated regionally than with the world market. The short-run movements of domestic food prices are accounted for largely by the country's own shock. Taken together, our findings suggest that promoting food price stability would require efforts at the regional level as well as at the domestic level, reflecting the influence of region-specific factors. Extensions to the developing countries in other regions produce similar findings on the determination of food prices. © 2013 by Asian Development Bank.

Clarete, R.L., Adriano, L., Esteban, A.
Rice trade and price volatility: Implications on ASEAN and global food security
(2013) ADB Economics Working Paper Series, 368, pp. 1-35.

This paper highlights the thinness of rice trade relative to wheat and maize, and the contrasting price volatility and tradability relations for wheat and maize, which display a positive correlation, and for rice, which show an inverse relation. The paper focuses on Southeast Asia, which hosts the world's biggest rice exporters and rice importers. Using the Granger causality tests to determine correlation, the analysis concludes that very low global trading activity in rice that tends to self-perpetuate its dampening effect on trade does not cause extreme rice price volatility in the region, but the other way around. Rice-importing countries appear to resort to self-sufficiency measures as insurance to compensate for the high risks of unreliable rice supply and unaffordable rice prices. What would it take for countries to regain their confidence in external rice trade? The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Integrated Food Security Program provides a menu of policies for reducing and managing the chances of excessive rice price volatility. © 2013 by Asian Development Bank.

Mitra, R.M.
Leveraging service sector growth in the Philippines
(2013) ADB Economics Working Paper Series, 366, pp. 1-31.

The Philippines is often referred to as a country from which export of services rather than manufactured goods is the principal engine for economic growth, as the share of the service sector in gross domestic product has exceeded that of the industry sector since the mid-1980s. Three major opportunities for leveraging service sector growth stands out. One is expanding the scale and scope of the export and domestic markets for information technology-business process outsourcing and other modern services in urban areas. Second is expanding tourism to foster economic development across social groups and regions including poor and remote rural areas. Third is enhancing the domestic prospects for Filipino technical, managerial, and entrepreneurial talent so they will work in the Philippines rather than overseas. To take advantage of those opportunities, there is a need for concerted efforts to improve infrastructure; logistics; broadband connections; the power supply; and education, healthcare, financial, legal, and public administration services and more generally the overall business environment for foreign investors and local entrepreneurs. © 2013 by Asian Development Bank.

Kaustuv Kanti Bandyopadhyay, Thida C. Khus
Changing civil society in Cambodia: in search of relevance
Development in Practice
Vol. 23, Iss. 5-06, 2013
DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2013.800835

After decades of civil war and internal conflicts, Cambodia is on the path of democracy. The country, despite steady economic growth in the last decades, is facing challenges around poverty, exclusion, and inequality. The contributions of civil society in the past two decades, in development and deepening democracy, were significant, but civil society is now facing new challenges in the face of pro-neoliberal policies of the State. The relationships within civil society are characterised by both cooperation and competition, but its relationships with political society, media, and academia are underdeveloped. Civil society's strategies and capacities require transformations to continue to be relevant in the future. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Jayanthakumaran, K., Sangkaew, P., O'Brien, M.
Trade liberalisation and manufacturing wage premiums: Evidence from Thailand
(2013) Journal of Asian Economics, 29, pp. 15-23.
DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2013.08.001

This paper investigates trade related industrial wage premiums. The procedure involves (1) estimating industrial wage premiums and (2) linking those estimated wage premiums to trade related variables. Results reveal that (1) in addition to workers' characteristics, industry characteristics where workers are employed were important in determining the wages for workers, (2) falling output tariffs resulted in increased wage premiums, and (3) an increase in intermediate imports exerted a strong positive influence on wage premiums. Linked employer and employee micro data may provide further insights which are currently not available. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Phongpaichit, P., Baker, C.
Reviving democracy at Thailand's 2011 election
(2013) Asian Survey, 53 (4), pp. 607-628.
DOI: 10.1525/AS.2013.53.4.607

This article analyzes the results of Thailand's 2011 election in the context of the prior six years of political turmoil. It argues that the election was a landmark in restoring the prospects for electoral democracy in Thailand. © 2013 by the Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Swamy, A.
Sources of "sandwich coalitions": Distributive strategies and democratic politics in India, Thailand, and the Philippines
(2013) Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, 13 (1), pp. 50-66.

This article addresses the influence of distributive conflict on democratic consolidation in India, Thailand, and the Philippines by examining the conditions conducive to a political strategy that I term a "sandwich coalition." Sandwich coalitions are formed when political actors occupying or seeking the apex of a political hierarchy undercut the power of middle-level actors by championing the needs of politically excluded or marginalized actors further down. They can occur in both electoral and nonelectoral settings and in a variety of social structures. The article builds on previous work in which the author argued that successful sandwich coalitions can be conducive to democratic consolidation by giving poor voters a stake in electoral democracy and elites a relatively nonthreatening way to remain electorally viable. This article argues that institutional factors, rather than socioeconomic differences, are the most important determinant of whether sandwich coalitions are built successfully. Specifically, sandwich coalitions depend on the ability of leaders to build direct links to poor voters, by delivering benefits to them in exchange for electoral support. This suggests that a crucial limiting condition is the honest administration of elections. In India, sandwich coalitions were made possible by the colonial creation of an elite civil service that was able to administer elections impartially. In Thailand, this became possible after the 1997 reforms. In the Philippines, where decades of electoral reform efforts have focused their attention more on the monitoring of abuses by NGOs than by ensuring an effective permanent election administration, sandwich coalitions have been attempted but seldom last. © 2013 De La Salle University, Philippines.

Rivera, J.P.R., Lagdameo, B.R.S.
Establishing the ASEAN economic community through investment integration
(2013) Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, 13 (1), pp. 30-40.

There has been a surge of trade flows, foreign direct investments (FDIs), and monetary flows within and into the ASEAN economic block, brought about by the rapid expansion of inter- and intraregional trade in goods, services, and FDIs via trade and investment liberalization policies, preferential trading arrangements, and the creation of production networks. However, in order to attain a higher share of FDIs relative to previous decades, there is a need to advance the state of investment climate facilitation in the region, despite stiff competition from other destinations. Hegemony can be a viable means to facilitate investment integration because of the ability to harmonize investment incentives within the ASEAN region. This paper aims to open the amendment of the ASEAN charter, emphasizing ASEAN centrality and regional cooperation as a topic of discussion, and explore the possibility of Singapore as the regional benchmark for investment integration. © 2013 De La Salle University, Philippines.

Curry, M.S., Cadiogan, A.T., Giugliano, R.G.
Brazil's bolsa familia and the Philippines' "4Ps" CCT programs: Considering south-south cooperation for social protection
(2013) Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, 13 (1), pp. 1-15.

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs were developed in the mid to late 1990s in Mexico and Brazil in response to the economic upheavals that affected the poor and vulnerable in Latin America following the imposition of structural adjustment policies. These social protection programs provide immediate cash disbursements under beneficiary compliance with health and education requirements, particularly for children and mothers. Since then, CCT programs have been implemented throughout Latin America and are rapidly being introduced in Africa and Asia, including the Philippines. Since the mid 2000s, the World Bank and other international financial institutions have been significantly involved in the implementation and scholarship of such programs as part of newly instituted social protection objectives. This introduces a formidable factor of Northern management and Southern implementation. In this way, CCT projects tend to follow a formula and exhibit many similar aspects of design, objectives, and evaluation measures. However, Brazil's CCT program directly addressed social problems introduced by earlier neoliberal policy making and falls under a single centralized authority. The Philippine program has multiple institutional stakeholders and was introduced in 2007 under an expressly neoliberal presidency. By considering the similarities and differences in the cases of Brazil's Bolsa Familia and the Philippines' 4Ps, the mediation of the World Bank and other development lenders can be differently construed. There exists a potential for direct South-South, peer-peer correspondence of experience, cooperation, and autonomous development practices within terms that Boaventura de Souza Santos describes as an "epistemology of the South." This alternate perspective on CCT progress and social protection in general has not until now been examined.

Tana, M.T.
Responsibility to protect in Southeast Asia and the role of civil society organizations as norm entrepreneurs
(2013) Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, 13 (1), pp. 41-49.

The article looks into responsibility to protect (R2P) in Southeast Asia and the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) as norm entrepreneurs. Using Finnemore and Sikkink's "norm life cycle" theory, it is argued that civil society organizations contribute to the emergence of the R2P norm in the region; however, for the norm to be fully "internalized" by target states, it needs to be constitutively localized-that is, it needs to be reconciled with preexisting regional and domestic norms. CSOs need to engage governments, domestic political leaders, and local nongovernmental organizations in order for R2P to be applied in a manner consistent with the ASEAN Way and ASEAN states' interests, preferences, and priorities. © 2013 De La Salle University, Philippines.

Ying-Kit Chan
Kopitiams in Singapore: Consuming Politics
Asian Survey
Vol. 53, No. 5 (September/October 2013), pp. 979-1004

This article, a preliminary observation of the kopitiam (coffee shop) in Singapore, argues that the informal and seemingly apolitical kopitiam has engendered a form of political resistance that we have often failed to see. Using a case study, the article examines how local practices could reflect a hitherto neglected understanding of Singaporean politics. KEYWORDS: Singapore, kopitiam, politics, Workers' Party, local practices

Hwang, J.C., Panggabean, R., Fauzi, I.A.
The disengagement of jihadis in Poso, Indonesia
(2013) Asian Survey, 53 (4), pp. 754-777.
DOI: 10.1525/AS.2013.53.4.754

ABSTRACT: To what extent are jihadists in Indonesia disengaging from violence? Based on original fieldwork in Jakarta and Central Sulawesi, including interviews with 23 current and former Poso-based jihadists, we examine the emotional, psychological, rational, and relational factors that can lead militants to turn away from terror tactics. © 2013 by the Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Borwick, S., Schweitzer, R.D., Brough, M., Vromans, L., Shakespeare-Finch, J.
Well-Being of Refugees from Burma: A Salutogenic Perspective
(2013) International Migration, 51 (5), pp. 91-105.
DOI: 10.1111/imig.12051

A salutogenic approach explored themes of strength and well-being in life stories of Burmese refugees (N = 18) in Australia. Previous refugee studies have tended to focus on negative responses to traumatic events (e.g. posttraumatic stress disorder, depression). To widen the scope of refugee related research the focus of the current study was informed by a salutogenic perspective, exploring sources of strength that may facilitate well-being. Semi-structured narrative interviews explored: the participant's life before fleeing Burma, the journey of exile, and post-migration in Australia. Eight women and 10 men (Mage = 39 years) were interviewed and transcriptions analysis of narratives was conducted using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), with major themes being explicated. Super-ordinate themes pertaining to strength during times of hardship were identified and explicated as: support from interpersonal relationships, the pivotal role of values, a sense of future and agency, and reliance on spiritual or religious beliefs. Results indicate the existence of sources of strength that may contribute to human responses in times of hardship. Recognition and reflection of strengths may be incorporated into therapeutic and resettlement approaches for people from refugee backgrounds. © 2013 IOM.

Black, L.
Bridging between Myanmar and international society - Japan's self-identity and kakehashi policy
(2013) Pacific Review, 26 (4), pp. 337-359.
DOI: 10.1080/09512748.2013.788064

Numerous academic works have critiqued Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme for being mercantilist and failing to promote democratization and human rights (Orr 1990; Rix 1993; Arase 1995, 2005). Such accounts assess Japan's ODA policy from Western theoretical perspectives that advocate Western approaches, such as military and economic interventions to contain repressive states. While receptive to these criticisms, Japanese policy-makers have perceived their country's international role in 'bridging' (kakehashi) terms and structured their ODA accordingly, as this paper details in the case of Japan's ODA policy towards Myanmar. 1 The rationale behind Japan's kakehashi approach lies in the construction of Japan's self-identity as a state able to reenter international society after World War II through focusing on economic development rather than military and coercive action. Proponents of the kakehashi approach construct Japan both as a model of successful democratization through development which other states can learn from, as well as the means through ODA to 'bridge' the divide between repressive regimes and liberal democratic capitalism. This critical approach examines Japan's kakehashi or bridging strategy in terms of Japan's response to the anti-government protests in September 2007, Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, and in the build up to parliamentary elections in November 2010 in Myanmar to demonstrate the permanence of this approach in spite of a change of government in Japan. In so doing, the kakehashi approach reveals opportunities to engage with, rather than contain, repressive regimes, thereby raising the possibility of enticing such states back into international society though economic incentives. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Boutry, M.
From British to humanitarian colonization: The 'early recovery' response in myanmar after nargis
(2013) South East Asia Research, 21 (3), pp. 381-401.
DOI: 10.5367/sear.2013.0165

The humanitarian response to the disaster caused by Cyclone Nargis that hit the Ayeyarwady Delta region of Myanmar in 2008 is a pertinent example of a very specific phase in humanitarian response at the transition between emergency and development. The author shows that this phase, known as 'early recovery', being built on the specific characteristics of the emergency (lack of time and lack of means and input) and oriented towards development, is one in which the humanitarian aid agency is relatively restricted to the humanitarian sphere itself. As a result, the ideological discourse lengthily denounced by the post-structuralist anthropology of development - as a set of Western values imposed on the 'developing' countries to assert a new form of dominion - is actually powerful and quasi-monolithic in shaping the consequences of humanitarian aid. While there is no 'arena' for the 'beneficiaries' to discuss the aid's agency, a 'methodological populism' approach reveals, on the one hand, the antagonisms between a humanitarian ideology conveying considerations such as 'horizontal' communities versus 'hierarchical bonds' and, on the other, the similarity of its socioeconomic consequences on the Delta's society to those of the British colonial period.

Croissant, A., Kamerling, J.
Why Do Military Regimes Institutionalize? Constitution-making and Elections as Political Survival Strategy in Myanmar
(2013) Asian Journal of Political Science, 21 (2), pp. 105-125.
DOI: 10.1080/02185377.2013.823797

In recent years Myanmar underwent drastic political changes. While many see these changes as first tentative steps towards democratization, we argue that the current political transformation is not a deliberate process of liberalization, but a survival strategy of the military regime. Using arguments of the 'new institutionalism' as a theoretical foundation, this article explores the hypothesis that the high degree of professionalization of the Burmese military creates the incentive to institutionalize power-sharing among the ruling elite. Our empirical analysis finds evidence for both a highly professionalized military and institutions that by securing the military's continuing dominance serve the purpose of institutionalizing military power- sharing. These results imply that further democratization is unlikely as it must be initiated from within the still dominating military itself. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Riley, M.S., Balaram, R.A.
The United States International Military Education and Training (IMET) program with burma/myanmar: A review of the 1980-1988 programming and prospects for the future
(2013) Asian Affairs, 40 (3), pp. 109-132.
DOI: 10.1080/00927678.2013.817259

Over the past 18 months, the U.S. Government has nearly normalized relations with the government of Burma 1 /Myanmar. The United States has recognized Myanmar government's recent reforms through reduced economic sanctions, placing an ambassador in Yangon, and encouraging continued progress through a recent (and first ever) visit by a President of the United States. As the United States considers additional enhancements to the relationship, the military relationship must be considered. The Myanmar military (otherwise known as the Tatmadaw) has either directly or de facto governed Myanmar for 53 of the 65 years since the country gained independence from Great Britain. The Tatmadaw is fully ingrained into the government's institutions and will arguably have a profound role in any progress (or backsliding) the country makes in economic and political reform. The question for the United States, then, is how best to positively influence the Tatmadaw officer corps. One part of the solution is to provide Tatmadaw officers with military educational opportunities in the United States. In fact, from 1980 to 1988, the United States funded 175 Tatmadaw officers attendance at U.S. military schools. Reviewing the history of that 1980s program provides some perspective for restarting this program, especially in light of the recent changes occurring in Myanmar. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Samuel, H., Sutopo, O.R.
The many faces of Indonesia: Knowledge production and power relations
(2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (13), pp. 289-298.
DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n13p289

Conceptualizations of modern Indonesia were active agents in shaping the way we saw the present Indonesia and its problems. This study is concerned with some major conceptions of modern Indonesia, namely, the primordial sentiments thesis, the transitional stage thesis, the historical structural thesis, and the cultural imperialism thesis. Our specific interest was on comparing the way they treated the Indonesian state and society. It is our argument that involvement of scientific knowledge in the formation of modern Indonesia had been a complex process: scientific knowledge intertwined with common sense in power relations. This had meant Indonesian societies and identities could never be considered to have been monolithic. © the author(s).

Rosser, A., Sulistiyanto, P.
The politics of universal free basic education in decentralized Indonesia: Insights from Yogyakarta
(2013) Pacific Affairs, 86 (3), pp. 539-560.
DOI: 10.5509/2013863539

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. We argue (1) that these districts' different responses to UFBE have reflected the extent to which their bupati have pursued populist strategies for mobilizing votes at election time and there has been resistance to UFBE from groups such as business, the middle classes and teachers; (2) that Indonesia's sub-national experience suggests that there is an alternative pathway to UFBE besides organization of the poor by political entrepreneurs; and (3) 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. © Pacific Affairs.

Schlehe, J.
Concepts of Asia, the west and the self in contemporary Indonesia An anthropological account
(2013) South East Asia Research, 21 (3), pp. 497-515.
DOI: 10.5367/sear.2013.0160

This paper explores the imaginations of Asia, the West and various self-concepts in contemporary, post-Reformasi Indonesia. Departing from a problematization of the underlying concepts in recent social science literature, the author asks how Indonesians construct their moral order and their sense of Self, 'Asia' or 'the East' by constructing a Western counterpart. This question is traced with respect to various religious and spiritual orientations and to Indonesian popular culture. Finally, relocated orientations towards other imagined centres in the Global South and East are considered as potential indicators of an increasingly decentred world. The study is grounded in empirical fieldwork with people from various walks of life in different regions of Indonesia.

Son, H.H.
Inequality of human opportunities in developing Asia
(2013) Asian Development Review, 30 (2), pp. 110-130.
DOI: 10.1162/ADEV_a_00017

This paper analyzes the equity of opportunity in basic education and infrastructure services in seven developing countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam. The analysis applies a method developed by the World Bank called the Human Opportunity Index, which measures the total contribution of individual socioeconomic and demographic circumstances to inequality of opportunity in accessing basic services. The new and major contribution of the paper, however, is the development of a methodology that quantifies the relative contribution of each circumstance variable to the inequality of opportunity. This contribution is crucial in identifying which underlying inequalities matter most-which can have important policy implications, for instance, in terms of developing better-targeted interventions. Results of the empirical analysis indicate that more needs to be done to improve the distribution of economic benefits. Opportunities to access basic education and infrastructure services in the seven countries vary widely in terms of availability and distribution. The study also finds that inequality of opportunity is driven mainly by per capita household expenditure. This suggests that household poverty plays a crucial role in determining equitable access to basic services. © 2013 Asian Development Bank and Asian Development Bank Institute.

McGregor, K.E.
Memory Studies and Human Rights in Indonesia
(2013) Asian Studies Review, 37 (3), pp. 350-361.
DOI: 10.1080/10357823.2013.792782

The field of memory studies focuses primarily on attempts to recall or address abuses of human rights. Because of its emphasis on temporality and the politics of the past, memory studies encourages us to question how, when and why individuals and collectives turn towards the past to engage in expressions of regret or social repair in response to historical injustice. In the case of survivors of violence there are obvious reasons to appeal to the discourse of human rights, but there also appear to be triggers, in cases of communities that have played a role in past violence, for re-examining the past. Through case studies of young activists who are dedicated to researching the 1965-68 anti-communist violence in Indonesia, I will explore what memory studies can offer to our understanding of human rights activism. The young activists on whom I focus are all connected with Indonesia's largest religious organisation, the Nahdlatul Ulama (Revival of Islamic Scholars), which played a key role in the 1965-68 anti-communist violence. In this paper I will explore what motivated two activists from a so-called "implicated community" (Morris-Suzuki, 2005) to engage in a quest for social justice for long-marginalised members of society. © 2013 Copyright Asian Studies Association of Australia.

Elias, J.
Foreign policy and the domestic worker
(2013) International Feminist Journal of Politics, 15 (3), pp. 391-410.
DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2012.755835

In 2009, following numerous high profile abuse cases, the Indonesian government placed a moratorium on its citizens taking up employment in Malaysia as domestic workers. From the perspective of feminist International Relations, the emergence of migrant domestic work as a foreign policy concern between these two states is significant-exposing a relationship between foreign policy and the webs of transnationalized social relations of reproduction that underpin the development prospects of middle to low income states. In this article I utilize the example of the Malaysia-Indonesia dispute in order to develop some tentative suggestions concerning the possibility of integrating an analysis of transnational social relations of reproduction into foreign policy analyses. The article initially overviews how the dispute is widely understood in relation to Indonesia's turn to a more democratic foreign policy. The inadequacy of such a reading is explored further. The article suggests that the above-mentioned dispute should rather be understood in relation to the specific configurations of productive-reproductive relations that underpin migratory flows and the role of Indonesia and Malaysia as regulatory states involved in the establishment of return-migration systems in which women migrants are viewed as economic commodities and policed via a range of state-sanctioned practices (including commitments to anti-trafficking). © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Rajandran, K.
Metaphors for Malaysia's Economic Transformation Programme
(2013) Kajian Malaysia, 31 (2), pp. 19-35.

This article explores the Malaysian Prime Minister's choice of metaphors to conceptualise Malaysia's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) by studying a sample of the Prime Minister's texts about the ETP. These texts include the Prime Minister's Foreword in the ETP Report and his periodic Progress Updates released between 2010 and 2011. A qualitative close reading, using critical metaphor analysis, reveals that the role of metaphor in these texts is to implicitly evaluate the ETP positively. The two major conceptual metaphors identified here are ETP IS A JOURNEY and ETP IS A VEHICLE. Such conceptual metaphors naturalise a binary and dependent relationship between the government as expert and citizens as non-experts in economic matters. Such rhetoric thus helps to justify the tradition of government intervention in the economy. The other conceptual metaphors identified are ETP IS A PLANT and UP IS GOOD, both of which posit that increasing economic and social advantages result from the ETP. All these conceptual metaphors enhance the government's claim to economic experience and leadership by legitimising the ETP as an effective policy in transforming Malaysia into a developed country. These conceptual metaphors might be part of a larger strategy to portray the government positively among citizens, as having sustainable economic development policies could provide a crucial electoral advantage to the government in the upcoming general elections. © Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2012.

Miles, L., Croucher, R.
Gramsci, Counter-hegemony and Labour Union-Civil Society Organisation Coalitions in Malaysia
(2013) Journal of Contemporary Asia, 43 (3), pp. 413-427.
DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2013.775754

The dramatic outcome of the Malaysian 2008 elections has been interpreted within a Gramscian framework. It has, for example, been suggested that the hegemony created by the Malaysian ruling class is being contested, leading to a weakening of its legitimacy, and that an active class of organic intellectuals is emerging and helping to develop potential bases for counter-hegemonic participation. We employ an alternative Gramscian approach, restoring relevant aspects of Gramsci's theories to the centre of analysis. We, therefore, focus on mutual perceptions in coalitions between civil society organisations and trade unions as a key indicator of the strength of counter-hegemonic forces. We conclude that accounts that claim that "counter-hegemony" is developing are questionable at best. Fundamental differences exist between these central institutional actors which sit uneasily with claims that the construction of counter-hegemony is under way. © 2013 Copyright © 2013 Journal of Contemporary Asia.

O'Shannassy, M.
More Talk than Walk? UMNO, "New Politics" and Legitimation in Contemporary Malaysia
(2013) Journal of Contemporary Asia, 43 (3), pp. 428-451.
DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2013.783966

The aftermath of the 2008 general election saw a series of upheavals occur in the Malaysian political landscape, not least of which was the emergence of a so-called "new politics." Driven primarily by concerns over issues of public governance, this politics contained a set of interrelated questions involving changing notions of legitimate political authority. Although much has already been written about whether or not the post-2008 changes to Malaysia's socio-political terrain are genuine and enduring, I argue that many such analyses are too narrow in scope and fail to adequately recognise the complexity involved in such social realities. By distinguishing between the images and practices of the Malaysian state, this article aims to highlight the dynamic, contingent and contested nature of processes of legitimation. A detailed investigation of the consensus/dissensus surrounding Prime Minister Najib Razak's concept of 1Malaysia as the basis of a collective national identity reveals a more fundamental contestation occurring within contemporary Malaysian politics and society over the source(s) of political and moral legitimacy. While the opposition's challenge to Najib's administration remains formidable, of more pressing concern to Najib might be the objections arising from within his own party over the direction in which he is taking them. To define the present horizon of socio-political possibilities in Malaysia it is not enough, therefore, to simply explain how legitimation occurs; we must also be able to account for the way(s) in which it can occur. © 2013 Copyright © 2013 Journal of Contemporary Asia.

Ramesh, M.
Health Care Reform in Vietnam: Chasing Shadows
(2013) Journal of Contemporary Asia, 43 (3), pp. 399-412.
DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2013.763497

The purpose of this paper is to analyse and assess health care reforms in Vietnam since the late 1980s. It will argue that shortcomings of the reforms centre on three related sets of measures: substitution of budgetary allocation with user charges, expansion of social insurance and promotion of decentralisation. Reduction in fiscal support for providers offered them the motive to concentrate on revenue-generating activities while user charges provided them with the means to do so. With both the motive and the means for maximising revenues in place, providers vigorously pursued income-maximisation which had the effect of raising overall expenditures while reducing access. To deal with the problem of declining access due to rising user charges, the government is in the process of vigorously expanding social insurance. However, social insurance does not deal with the root causes of the problem of rising expenditures which lie in paying providers on a fee-for-service (FFS) basis. The paper will further argue that decentralisation has aggravated the adverse effects of FFS by diluting control and accountability. © 2013 Copyright © 2013 Journal of Contemporary Asia.

Mustafa, M., Ramos, H.M., Chen, S.
Internationalisation pathways of small Singaporean family firms: A socio-cultural perspective
(2013) International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 5 (4), pp. 290-311.
DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2013.056903

There is increasing recognition that the internationalisation of family-firms is becoming an important area of research. Despite the growth of this research area, studies of the internationalisation of family-firms remains limited. Current research in the area has tended to focus on family-firms in largely Western contexts and the economic and familial factors behind their internationalisation. Furthermore, little is known about the internationalisation pathways of family-firms in differing institutional context and the socio-cultural factors that facilitate the features which lie behind it. This study aims to make a start in researching this gap in our understanding. We do this by looking at four case studies of family-firms from Singapore. Based on our findings, we classified firms into one of three internationalisation pathways - traditional, born global and born again global - and we highlight some important differences between the socio-cultural factors that facilitate their internationalisation pathways. Copyright © 2013 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Xavier, C.A., Alsagoff, L.
Constructing "world-class" as "global": A case study of the National University of Singapore
(2013) Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 12 (3), pp. 225-238.
DOI: 10.1007/s10671-012-9139-8

This article investigates the ways in which newly-established higher education institutions (HEIs) position themselves as "world-class" through constructing themselves as "global". With the escalating "free market" and competitive forces arising from the marketization of education, most universities see a construction of themselves as global universities as a necessity, where the global mark is valued as a signal of quality across markets and thus positions the universities as world-class. This study specifically examines how one very successful emerging university, the National University of Singapore, constructs and promotes itself as a global institution through three strategies. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Tan, C.Y.
Organisational legitimacy of the Singapore Ministry of Education
(2013) Oxford Review of Education, 39 (5), pp. 590-608.
DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2013.830098

This paper analyses the perceived organisational legitimacy of the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) in preparing the population for work in the knowledge-based economy (KBE). It is argued that challenges to MOE's legitimacy are emerging with ramifications that are difficult to ignore. These challenges relate to equipping the population with KBE attributes and developing diverse forms of talents in students. To maintain organisational legitimacy, education authorities need to work more closely with stakeholders to develop forward-looking learning eco-systems in schools where teaching is professionalised, assessments are responsibly leveraged, student talents are nurtured, and external stakeholders are involved. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Göransson, K.
Manoeuvring the middle ground: Social mobility and the renegotiation of gender and family obligations among Chinese Singaporeans
(2013) Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift, 67 (4), pp. 249-258.
DOI: 10.1080/00291951.2013.836680

The article examines Singaporeans' experiences of upward social mobility and how traditional gender roles within the family are renegotiated and reinterpreted in Singapore. When the former British colony gained independence in 1965 its post-colonial government embarked on an ambitious modernization programme, under which villages were demolished and residents relocated to new high-rise estates, farmland gave way to factories, the education system was reformed, and women entered the workforce. The transformation has been accompanied by a rapid upward social mobility, whereby Singaporeans born in the midst of the transformation, in the period 1960s - 1980s, lived remarkably different lives compared with preceding generations. The article is an ethnographic analysis of how Singaporean middle-class women and men, who have experienced rapid upward social mobility, handle and negotiate changing expectations regarding gender and intergenerational support. The analytical framework is constructed around the concepts of social mobility, modernity, and spaces of contestation and negotiation. The ethnographic data illuminate how traditional family values, such as filial piety, are contested and renegotiated. The data also show how social mobility intersects with other forms of mobility, such as the spatial movement involved in urbanization. Women entering the labour force have to spend their days away from home and can no longer fully attend to their elderly family members and/or young children. However, spatial movement in the sense of increased access to transportation and communication has also enabled members of extended families to maintain their 'urban kinship network' without having to live together. © 2013 © 2013 Norwegian Geographical Society.

Ang, J.S., Ding, D.K., Thong, T.Y.
Political connection and firm value
(2013) Asian Development Review, 30 (2), pp. 131-166.
DOI: 10.1162/ADEV_a_00018

We study the effect of political connection (PC) on company value in an environment where low PC is due to better institutions and not confounded by favorable social/cultural factors. We find that in Singapore, the only country that fits this description, PC in general adds little to the value of a company. However, in industries that are subject to more stringent government regulations, PC appears to be somewhat important. Robustness checks show that alternative PC variables give rise to similar results, and the addition of control variables do not drastically change the findings. Politically connected firms have higher managerial ownership and tend to be smaller than non-PC firms, rendering them more susceptible to poorer governance practices. We show that the presence of politically connected directors somewhat neutralizes such potential negative effects. PC firms are associated with good governance practices such as nonduality in their chairman and chief executive officer positions and fewer executive directors. © 2013 Asian Development Bank and Asian Development Bank Institute.

Daquila, T.C., Huang, S.
Introductory Editorial for a Special Theme of the Journal of Studies in International Education: Internationalizing Higher Education in Southeast Asia-Government and Institutional Responses
(2013) Journal of Studies in International Education, 17 (5), pp. 624-628.
DOI: 10.1177/1028315313502982

Daquila, T.C.
Internationalizing Higher Education in Singapore: Government Policies and the NUS Experience
(2013) Journal of Studies in International Education, 17 (5), pp. 629-647.
DOI: 10.1177/1028315313499232

The internationalization of higher education has become an important policy and research agenda. At the national level, different countries have responded differently with some countries becoming more open than others. At the local level, universities have also reacted differently with some becoming more liberal and innovative than others. Thus, this paper aims, first, to examine the rationale and policies of the Singapore government in internationalizing its higher education, and, second, to determine the corresponding institutional responses of Singapore educational institutions particularly at the university level. The findings show that government policies have been designed, implemented, reviewed, and adjusted to promote student values and attributes, including intercultural awareness and engagement, competitive edge, and global citizenship, through an internationalized curriculum; to meet the country's manpower and population requirements; and to promote Singapore as an international hub for education. Singapore universities, in particular the National University of Singapore (NUS), have implemented their programs and activities to promote internationalization at home and abroad. Singapore will continue to internationalize its higher education as national borders become more open and as universities become more competitive and innovative. © 2013 Nuffic.

Tham, S.Y.
Internationalizing Higher Education in Malaysia: Government Policies and University's Response
(2013) Journal of Studies in International Education, 17 (5), pp. 648-662.
DOI: 10.1177/1028315313476954

The intensity of internationalization has increased with an escalation in internationalization activities, leading to increasing student, program, and institutional mobility. In Malaysia, the internationalization of higher education in terms of student mobility has changed tremendously in the last two decades as the country has shifted from a sending to a receiving country. Policy-wise, the government has targeted to be a regional hub for higher education. The objectives of this article are to examine government policies, their rationales, and the response of public and private institutions toward these policies. The findings show that while there is also a new emphasis on research and knowledge generation, government policies essentially focus mainly on increasing inbound students to increase export revenues. Institutions' response vary between public and private as the former have access to research funding from the government while the other is much more fee-dependent and therefore tend to focus on international students as an additional source of revenue but both view internationalization targets set by the government as an end by themselves. © 2013 Nuffic.

Lavankura, P.
Internationalizing Higher Education in Thailand: Government and University Responses
(2013) Journal of Studies in International Education, 17 (5), pp. 663-676.
DOI: 10.1177/1028315313478193

Each country responds to internationalization differently and offers various interpretations of the concept. Thailand has incorporated the internationalization of higher education into its plans since 1990. This article aims to discuss the primary motivations of the government and of Thai universities in moving toward the goal of internationalization. The discussion focuses on so-called "international programs" in Thailand. Using English as the medium of instruction, these "international programs" have been widely offered in both public and private universities. The programs illustrate the internationalization of higher education in terms of its teaching function. Generally, government rationales involve both global economic trends and domestic socioeconomic forces. At the institutional level, stakeholders' demands, needs of universities to generate fee income, and specific reasons drawn from domestic context were shown to be the main drivers of the international programs. Current interpretations of the efforts to internationalize higher education in Thailand show a quantitative growth in programs that only serve particular demographic groups. The substantial contributions that internationalization may offer to the higher education system have not been guaranteed. © 2013 Nuffic.

Menon, N., Van Der Meulen Rodgers, Y., Nguyen, H.
Women's land rights and children's human capital in vietnam
(2014) World Development, 54, pp. 18-31. 
DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.07.005

Vietnam's 1993 Land Law created a land market by granting households land-use rights which could be exchanged, leased, and mortgaged. Using a matched household sample from Vietnam's 2004 and 2008 Household Living Standards Survey, this study analyzes whether land titling for women led to improvements in child health and education. Results indicate that female-only held land-use rights decreased the incidence of illness among children, increased their health insurance coverage, raised school enrollment, and reallocated household expenditures toward food and away from alcohol and tobacco. These effects were almost all stronger than in households with male-only or jointly-held land-use rights. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Guillou, A.Y.
Western aid workers in cambodian hospitals ethical, professional and social divergences
(2013) South East Asia Research, 21 (3), pp. 403-418. 
DOI: 10.5367/sear.2013.0166

Since the Khmer Rouge genocide (1975-79), Cambodia has been constructed as a victim par excellence, which exists only through Western financial aid and compassion. In this ideological context, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) mushroomed by the hundreds in the 1980s in the refugee camps along the Cambodia-Thailand border. They then flowed into Cambodia during the repatriation process under UNHCR supervision in the early 1990s. Because of the financial weakness of the Cambodian government at that time (when support from the USSR and other socialist countries abruptly ceased), the NGOs gained a powerful position as institutional partners of the government. Taking the example of the medical sector, this article analyses humanitarian ideology and its implementation in Cambodian hospitals in the 1990s. The author explores the contradiction between the Westerners' 'philosophy of development' versus the Cambodians' 'ethic of gift', based on an ethnographical account of the daily activities in Cambodian hospitals, from an interactionist perspective. The author observes the interactions between the Cambodian staff, the humanitarian NGO staff, the patients and their families, showing how the divergence of moral values, the historical construction of the medical profession and social games create conflict between the humanitarians and the Cambodians. This has a direct impact on the patient-physician relationship. Finally, while millions of dollars and thousands of hours of humanitarian work have been spent in Cambodia, some major public health indices have not been greatly improved.

Baird, I.G., Hammer, P.
Contracting illness: Reassessing international donor-initiated health service experiments in Cambodia's indigenous periphery
(2013) South East Asia Research, 21 (3), pp. 457-473. 
DOI: 10.5367/sear.2013.0159

Without much attention to local context, global health policy experiments are being conducted on vulnerable indigenous populations. This article details the history of a development-bank-funded experiment to contract out public health services in Cambodia's north-eastern province of Ratanakiri. The case study highlights the difficulties that flow from improper planning and implementation, as well as the distorting effects that narrowly defined contract performance measures can have on the health of the population as a whole. Progress in global health will not be possible if local context and voices continue to be underappreciated.

Quayle, L.
National and regional obligations, the metaphor of two-level games, and the ASEAN socio-cultural community
(2013) Asian Politics and Policy, 5 (4), pp. 499-521. 
DOI: 10.1111/aspp.12068

This article draws on ideas associated with "two-level games" to focus on the continuing difficulty within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) of reconciling national responsibilities and regional commitments. Using this perspective to examine three areas included in the remit of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community-migrant workers, "haze", and disaster management-it disaggregates some of the complex domestic and international pressures that can lead to varying regional outcomes. Whereas problems with regional cooperation are often simply laid at the door of recalcitrant governments or inadequate regional institutions, this lens foregrounds a different source of difficulties, in which significant domestic constituencies severely constrain what governments can offer to the region. Conceptualizing the national/regional interface in this way, however, also suggests ways through some of the sticking points. This lens therefore has implications for policy, advocacy, ASEAN's communication efforts, and its routine collaborative undertakings. © 2013 Policy Studies Organization.

Freistein, K.
'A living document': promises of the ASEAN Charter
(2013) Pacific Review, 26 (4), pp. 407-429. 
DOI: 10.1080/09512748.2012.759266

Many recent analyses of the ASEAN Charter have tended to view the document very critically, judging the chances for implementation as low. In order to assess the potential of the Charter, this article argues, an analysis of the Charter needs to take its text seriously and look for the promises and the political consequences they entail. Taking textual representations of the Charter as its empirical basis, the article is based on a deconstructive reading of the legal text and focuses on some of the more controversial promises like democracy promotion, human rights and the role of the regional populations. The article takes into account the political struggles mirrored in the Charter and stresses conflict rather than consensus as a dominant mode of politics within ASEAN. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Davies, M.
Explaining the Vientiane Action Programme: ASEAN and the institutionalisation of human rights
(2013) Pacific Review, 26 (4), pp. 385-406. 
DOI: 10.1080/09512748.2013.788066

Existing explanations for the emergence of human rights on the political agenda in ASEAN focus either on the role of external pressure on ASEAN member states to 'do something', or on the way those states copied the form, but not the function, of other regional organisations such as the EU. Both approaches tacitly acknowledge that given the strong preference for intergovernmental governance displayed by ASEAN, regardless of interpretations, that it was states that drove the institutionalisation of rights forwards. Through examining in detail the causes and consequences of the Vientiane Action Programme this article disagrees with that assertion. At crucial moments before and after 2004 it was the Working Group for the Establishment of an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, a track III actor, which both inserted human rights into ASEAN discussions and forged the link between protecting those rights and the continuing success of ASEAN's security goals. Through understanding the role of the Working Group as a norm entrepreneur, assisting in the localisation of human rights standards, this article suggests that existing explanations of ASEAN institutionalisation need to be revised to include a wider range of political dynamics than previously were acknowledged. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Bano, S., Takahashi, Y., Scrimgeour, F.
ASEAN-New Zealand trade relations and trade potential: Evidence and analysis
(2013) Journal of Economic Integration, 28 (1), pp. 144-182. 
DOI: 10.11130/jei.2013.28.1.144

This study examines the development of trade between ASEAN and New Zealand. Indices of trade intensity and trade potential are used to analyse the intensity of existing trade for the period 1980~2010 and trade potential going forward. This is the first use of the trade potential method to assess the trade potential between New Zealand and ASEAN across industries. The results show significant potential for future growth in specific export sectors and demonstrate changing trade patterns between New Zealand and ASEAN members. Our findings also show that New Zealand-ASEAN trade has intensified over the years, even if it has been marked by fluctuations. This study also highlights development of Australian trade with ASEAN in the context of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA. Our findings have implications for the integration of ASEAN with Australia and New Zealand. © 2013-Center for Economic Integration, Sejong Institution, Sejong University, All Rights Reserved.


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