Apr 14, 2014

4th Week of March & 1st Week of April Article Updates

Here is a list of academic published since the forth week of March until the 1st week of April (24 March ~ 4 April).

Oh, Su-Ann (2014) 'Burmese Refugees in Thailand — Should They Stay or Should They Go?', ISEAS Perspective, 2014#18

- The future of refugees in Thailand is more uncertain now than ever before. Myanmar’s political and economic reforms remain a work in progress but at the same time, the Thai government is applying subtle pressure on the refugees to return to Myanmar voluntarily.
- Given these circumstances, Burmese refugees living in the nine official refugee camps and in other parts of Thailand are faced with difficult decisions about their future: should they stay, go home, or resettle in another country?
- Despite political improvements in Myanmar, the vast majority of camp residents perceive their life chances to be much better outside Myanmar.
- At present, staying in Thailand may still be a viable option, but it is a slowly diminishing one as donors continue to reduce their funding for basic services and provisions in the camps.
- For the majority of camp residents, resettlement is no longer a possibility. In January of this year, the USA, the country that took the most refugees, closed its resettlement programme.
- It appears that the best strategy is for the refugees to cover all eventu- alities—by preparing for return, finding ways to stay in Thailand and/or joining relatives who have been resettled in other countries.

Shannon, Stephanie and Nicholas Farrelly (2014) 'Ethnic Chinese in the Midst of Myanmar’s Transition', ISEAS Perspective, 2014#19

- Chinese migrants have long viewed Myanmar as a safe haven where wealth can be created.
- The latest wave of such migrants began moving to Myanmar in the late 1980s after the border was opened and the economy moved in capitalist directions. With greater freedom for private enterprise came a resurgence of Chineseness. Subsequently, Chinese entrepreneurs came to dominate trade, particularly in northern Myanmar.
- As Myanmar experiences socio-economic change, embraces a more democratic political system, and as international sanctions and boycotts are dropped, a Burmese middle class has emerged which is demand- ing quality goods and services. Chinese suppliers, particularly in northern Myanmar, have been quick to respond to this.
- At the same time, resentment against foreigners is high in Myanmar and many Chinese are aware that they are walking a fine line between tolerance and aggravation.
- In response, many Chinese have been careful to learn Myanmar languages and to adopt Myanmar religions as a survival strategy.

Arifianto, Alexander R., Ulla Fionna, and Gwenael Njoto-Feillard. 2014. A Snapshot of the Campaigning in Indonesia’s 2014 Legislative Elections. ISEAS Perspective 2014#20

- New methods are shifting the way parties and candidates vie for support in the 2014 Indonesian elections. They are abandoning traditional cam- paign rallies (pawai) in favour of blusukan — a more direct approach to their constituents.
- These new campaign methods are bringing candidates closer to the voters. What the candidates hope to achieve is to signal how caring they are and that they are personable.
- Money politics/vote-buying are prevalent in this year’s election campaign. However, the impact of money in influencing voters’ actual choices at the ballot box remains unclear.
- The parties’ lack of political platforms still limits the effectiveness of the new forms of campaign and voters only have superficial knowledge of the candidates. Voters may still remain confused and uninformed since they are forced to choose among a large number of candidates who offer similar promises.

Inguanzo, Isabel. 2014. "Indigenous Peoples' Rights in Southeast Asia." Asian Journal of Political Science no. 22 (1):45-70. doi: 10.1080/02185377.2014.895911.
The aim of the paper is to describe the situation for legal recognition of Indigenous Peoples' rights by the state among the different countries of Southeast Asia. In order to do this, an index called IREDLI and based on Van Cott's multicultural model has been built and then applied to different territorial units of Southeast Asia. This new index analyzes three sets of rights: right to land, cultural rights and political rights. Through analyzing constitutions, secondary legislation and ratifications of international agreements, it has been possible to identify different patterns of recognition of Indigenous Peoples' rights in Southeast Asia distinct from those found in Latin America and to distinguish between sets of countries that do and do not recognize Indigenous Peoples' rights. Moreover, the IRELDI index has proven to be a useful methodological tool to compare different realities at the macro level while establishing finer gradations between different types of rights.

Laiprakobsup, Thanapan. 2014. "Political Liberalization and Agricultural Trade Policy in Indonesia and the Philippines." Asian Journal of Political Science no. 22 (1):1-19. doi: 10.1080/02185377.2013.879066.
The political regimes in Indonesia and the Philippines have experienced a political transition—from an authoritarian to an electoral system. Such a transition has contributed to changes in the policy-making process, including agricultural trade policy. Unfortunately, few scholars have empirically examined the impact of this political transition on the policy-making process. This article aims to fill this gap by examining the causal relations between political liberalization and agricultural trade policy in Indonesia and the Philippines in order to understand how political liberalization affects the policy-making process. It is hypothesized that the more liberalized the government becomes, the less likely it is to impose control programs on agriculture. Studying the government's intervention in the agricultural sector in Indonesia and the Philippines, it was found that liberal governments are likely to reduce the tax and price control programs imposed on the agricultural sector. This article implies that a liberal regime has a positive impact on rural farmers in that governments are less likely to implement policies that discriminate against farmers' interests.

Nguyen, Hai Hong. 2014. "Grassroots Democracy and Inequality Reduction in Rural Vietnam: The Case of Thái Bình in 1997 and Now." Asian Journal of Political Science no. 22 (1):71-92. doi: 10.1080/02185377.2013.879067.
The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) adopted grassroots democracy as a political tool to reduce inequality which was a causal factor prompting farmer protests in Thái Bình in 1997. At the international level, the nexus between democracy and inequality has attracted extensive scholarly research over the last two decades. By revisiting the case of Thái Bình, on the one hand, the article attempts to assess the impact of grassroots democracy after 15 years on inequality reduction thereat, and on the other, to contribute to the general discourse on the nexus between these two concepts. The article is organized in two major parts: the first being the literature review and theoretical framing, and the second, findings presentation. It concludes that grassroots democracy has contributed to inequality reduction in rural Vietnam, but is far more likely to meet the demand to avoid a challenge for the CPV again due to the inequality that remains.

Mohsin, Anto. 2014. "Wiring the New Order: Indonesian Village Electrification and Patrimonial Technopolitics (1966–1998)." Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia no. 29 (1):63-95.
While Indonesia’s New Order government frequently claimed that its motivation for rural electrification was the improvement of villagers’ welfare, the motivation was also political. It sought to convince villagers to vote for GOLKAR in the general elections. In addition, President Soeharto used electrification inauguration ceremonies to create a sense of Indonesia as a rapidly developing society with himself at the helm directing the country’s development. As a result, his political support in the countryside increased, a factor that helped him stay in power for thirty-two years. Although the State Electricity Company disliked the New Order’s patrimonial technopolitics, it continued to electrify the nation, as it was convinced of the socio-economic benefits of village electrification.

Freud, Benjamin. 2014. "Organizing Autarky: Governor General Decoux's Development of a Substitution Economy in Indochina as a Means of Promoting Colonial Legitimacy." Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia no. 29 (1):96-131.
Cut off from the metropole and coerced into trade with Japan, the French administration in Indochina under Governor General Jean Decoux had to find ingenious ways to produce locally what it had been accustomed to importing. Through the creation of a substitution economy, the nurturing of the artisanat, and appeals to Indochinese solidarity, Decoux designed policies to minimize the impact of Indochina’s isolation and exalt the benefits of French tutelage, as part of a final effort to convince the peoples of Indochina that French civilization could drive their societies forward — an approach founded on linearity that in itself reveals much about the colonial mind.

Ruppin, Dafna. 2014. "From" Crocodile City" to" Ville Lumière": Cinema Spaces on the Urban Landscape of Colonial Surabaya." Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia no. 29 (1):1-30.
The development of exhibition spaces in Surabaya, from canvas and bamboo tents to luxurious cinema palaces, between 1897 and World War I demonstrates the burgeoning movie-going scene in this major colonial-era port city in Eastern Java. The evolution of these venues on the modernizing urban landscape came in the context of other processes of development and social change, which informed both the decisions of cinema entrepreneurs and the mobility of spectators. As a site in which technology, race and colonialism converged, the cinema represented a liminal space in Surabaya’s multiethnic and increasingly polarized colonial society.

Zulkarnain, Iskandar. 2014. "" Playable" Nationalism: Nusantara Online and the" Gamic" Reconstructions of National History." Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia no. 29 (1):31-62.
Nusantara Online is an Indonesian-made massively multiplayer online role-playing game that imaginatively reconstructs the history of the archipelago. As an “allegorithm” for the Indonesian nation, the game suggests a distinct model of digital nationalism, here dubbed “playable” nationalism. This concept captures the formulation of “Nusantara” as the idealized yet playful version of the Indonesian archipelago, a version emphasizing the principles of digital collaboration. The promotion of this model of “digital nationalism” as an egalitarian model of Indonesian popular nationalism has certain limitations.

Williams, Lindy. 2014. "W (h) ither State Interest in Intimacy?: Singapore through a Comparative Lens." Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia no. 29 (1):132-158.
National governments have long taken widely varying positions on population policy. Singapore, for example, has made great efforts to manage individual reproductive decisions, first to lower fertility rates and then to increase them. Comparisons between Singapore’s population policies and those of two neighbouring countries, Thailand and Indonesia, reveal one case in which fertility fell dramatically despite a less intrusive policy environment, and another in which fertility also fell, but not as dramatically, despite a similarly aggressive approach to Singapore’s. Of the three, Singapore’s population policy continues to be the most tenacious; it continues to be framed in terms of “national development” and economic well-being.

Bélanger, Danièle. 2014. "Labor Migration and Trafficking among Vietnamese Migrants in Asia." The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science no. 653 (1):87-106. doi: 10.1177/0002716213517066.
Asia is known as a continent where human trafficking is particularly prevalent. Departing from the bulk of research on trafficking in Asia that focuses on illegal migration and prostitution, this article examines the embeddedness of human trafficking in legal temporary migration flows. This analysis uses survey and interview data to document the experiences of Vietnamese migrants who worked in East Asian countries. It identifies a continuum of trafficking, abuse, exploitation, and forced labor, and examines how exploitation begins at the recruitment stage with the creation of bonded labor. Guest-worker programs in destination countries put migrants in particularly precarious situations, which do, in some cases, qualify as trafficking. I argue that temporary migration programs may create the conditions that lead to extreme forms of exploitation among many legal migrant workers in the region.

Keo, Chenda, Thierry Bouhours, Roderic Broadhurst, and Brigitte Bouhours. 2014. "Human Trafficking and Moral Panic in Cambodia." The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science no. 653 (1):202-224. doi: 10.1177/0002716214521376.
This article examines the backgrounds of traffickers in Cambodia: why they became involved in trafficking, how they operate, their earnings, and the criminal justice system’s response to their activities. Our research draws from interviews with justice officials, NGOs, and detained alleged traffickers; and from a review of police and prison records. The results challenge alarmist claims about the high prevalence, profitability, or role of organized crime in human trafficking. In Cambodia, 80 percent of incarcerated traffickers are poor uneducated women who lack legitimate opportunities and whose unsophisticated illicit activities earn very little. We argue that the Cambodian government, in return for foreign aid, adopted a repressive law that defines human trafficking ineptly; in the hands of a dysfunctional justice system, the law has turned into an instrument of corruption and injustice against powerless individuals.

Kokko, Ari, and Tran Toan Thang. 2014. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Survival of Domestic Private Firms in Viet Nam." Asian Development Review no. 31 (1):53-91. doi: 10.1162/ADEV_a_00025.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) may benefit local firms in the host country through various kinds of spillovers, but it may also raise competition and result in the crowding out of domestic firms. Using detailed firm-level data for the period 2001–2008, this paper examines the aggregate effect of FDI on the survival of domestic private firms in Viet Nam. We estimate the impact of both horizontal and vertical FDI and explore how the presence of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) influences the exit hazard for private firms. The results suggest that horizontal and upstream FDI raise the exit hazard significantly, while downstream FDI may reduce the hazard. The presence of SOEs has a direct negative effect on the survival odds of local private firms in the same industry, but there is also an indirect impact on the exit hazard from FDI. Local firms are more vulnerable to foreign entry in sectors with high SOE shares. Looking at the net effects of FDI during the period 2001–2008, we find that results vary between sectors and over time but that the overall impact has been surprising small. The paper also discusses policy conclusions and implications for empirical analyses of spillovers from FDI.

Burhani, Ahmad Najib. 2014. "The Reformasi '98 and the Arab Spring: A Comparative Study of Popular Uprisings in Indonesia and Tunisia." Asian Politics & Policy no. 6 (2):199-215. doi: 10.1111/aspp.12113.
This article analyzes Indonesia's foreign policy by using the theoretical concept of “smart power” as proposed by Joseph S. Nye. The article begins by explaining Nye's smart power theory. It then delineates the most pressing foreign policy concerns of Indonesia. After that, it explores Indonesia's current hard power and soft power inventory. Finally, the article provides recommendations that form a smart power strategy for Indonesia. These recommendations, ranged from the easiest to most difficult to implement, suggest that the Indonesian government should: (i) engage nongovernmental organizations more vigorously; (ii) champion multilateralism and prioritize engagement with multilateral institutions; (iii) modernize and increase military capabilities; and (iv) improve domestic conditions to boost hard and soft power. For each aspect of these recommendations, the article delves into the specifics of how it addresses the main foreign policy challenges facing Indonesia.

Pitsuwan, Fuadi. 2014. "Smart Power Strategy: Recalibrating Indonesian Foreign Policy." Asian Politics & Policy no. 6 (2):237-266. doi: 10.1111/aspp.12107.
By comparing popular uprisings in Indonesia and Tunisia, this article intends to answer the questions: What kind of condition made the Islamists successfully take over the state in Tunisia, while they failed to do so in Indonesia? What are the similarities and differences between the uprisings in these two countries? This article argues that the historical and sociopolitical position of Islamists during the authoritarian regimes determined the fate of Islamist parties after the uprisings. The role of Ennahda party as a symbol of opposition has contributed to its rise after the Tunisian Spring, while the involvement of Islamists in the regime during the last years of Suharto's rule contributed to the decline of Islamist parties in Indonesia. However, the strongest argument for the decline of Islamist parties in Indonesia is the fading away of political streams. Furthermore, the role of Muslim scholars in desacralizing Islamist parties in Indonesia has significantly challenged and undermined the identification of Islam with Islamist parties.

Schröder-Butterfill, Elisabeth, And Tengku Syawila Fithry. 2014. "Care dependence in old age: preferences, practices and implications in two Indonesian communities." Ageing & Society no. 34 (03):361-387.

DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X12001006


The provision of physical care is a sensitive matter in all cultures and is circumscribed by moral injunctions and personal preferences. Research on Western cultures has shown care networks to be narrow subsets of people's wider networks and revealed dependence to be deeply undermining of full personhood. In non-Western societies these issues have received little attention, although it is sometimes assumed that care provision and dependence are much less problematic. This paper uses longitudinal ethnographic data from two ethnic groups in rural Indonesia to compare care preferences and practices in old age and to examine the implications of care dependence. The groups manifest varying degrees of daughter preference in care and differ in the extent to which notions of shame and avoidance prohibit cross-gender intimate care and care by 'non-blood' relatives. Demographic and social constraints often necessitate compromises in actual care arrangements (e.g. dependence on in-laws, neighbours or paid carers), not all of which are compatible with quality care and a valued identity. We argue that by probing the norms and practices surrounding care provision in different socio-cultural settings, it becomes possible to arrive at a deeper understanding of kinship, personhood and sociality. These insights are not only of sociological interest but have implications for people's vulnerability to poor quality care in old age. © 2012 Cambridge University Press .

Bahmani-Oskooee, Mohsen, and Hanafiah Harvey. "US–Indonesia trade at commodity level and the role of the exchange rate." Applied Economics 46, no. 18 (2014): 2154-2166.

DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2014.896985


Previous studies that assessed the impact of currency depreciation on inpayments and outpayments of Indonesia with her major trading partners did not find much significant results, especially in the trade with the United States. We wonder whether insignificant link between the real rupiah-dollar rate and Indonesia's inpayments and outpayments with the United States is due to aggregation bias. To answer this question, we disaggregate the trade flows between the two countries by commodity and consider the sensitivity of inpayments of 108 US exporting industries and outpayments of 32 US importing industries from Indonesia. We find that most industries respond to exchange rate changes in the short run. In the long run, however, 32 inpayments schedule and 17 outpayments schedule are significantly affected. A 1% real depreciation of the dollar was found to improve US trade balance by 1.8%. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Connell, Julia, and Pauline Stanton. "Skills and the role of HRM: towards a research agenda for the Asia Pacific region." Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources 52, no. 1 (2014): 4-22.

DOI: 10.1111/1744-7941.12021


While much has been written about skill shortages and gaps in Australia and China, less attention has been paid to skills in New Zealand and Vietnam, countries which also experience skill challenges. This special issue of the Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources includes papers that focus on the four countries in order to examine skills and the role of human resource management (HRM). The intention is to advance theoretical and empirical research, helping to explain how HRM can provide responses to manage the challenges associated with skill development and talent management. We conclude that, at a broader level, effective alliances between education providers, industry and other stakeholders are needed to reduce skill shortages and improve skill development. At an organisational level, it is advocated that HR strategies focus on the creation of talent pipelines and talent management to reduce skill gaps and improve the quality of human capital. © 2014 Australian Human Resources Institute.

Frankowski, Pawel. "Grafted or crafted: federal endeavors in East Africa and East Asia." Asian Ethnicity 15, no. 2 (2014): 222-236.

DOI: 10.1080/14631369.2014.880590


This article documents and analyzes the limits of multinational federalism in East Africa and the diffusion of the East Asian model of integration. As the most advanced regional bloc in Africa, the East African Community is ideally suited to test different models of integration and federalism, especially those developed in Asia, and in particular by Malaysia. The article seeks to move beyond traditional explanations of relatively limited impact of external model of integration on African states, and proposes an alternative framework of analysis where external pressures and models are compared with more demanding expectations on the African side. Thus, the main aim of the article is to explore, and to compare, different theoretical perspectives and empirical examples of federalism in the two regions where working patterns of integration does not necessarily follow a Western style of integration (the EU) or federalism (Canada and the US). © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Carnegie, Michelle. 2014. "Sailing-Trading Livelihoods in Southeastern Indonesia: Adapting to Change." Asian Journal of Social Science no. 41 (6):543-579.

DOI: 10.1163/15685314-12341330


Sailing-trading livelihoods in southeastern Indonesia have undergone significant change during the later half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. This study identifies how geopolitical, economic, legal and technological drivers of change shape sailing-trading livelihoods. Using an integrated approach, it shows how these macro-level drivers articulate with sailor-traders' individual and group-based responses at the local level. The findings highlight that over the study period, small-scale inter-island trading within Indonesia's borders became increasingly competitive and monopolised. In response, sailor-traders strategically adopted new opportunities that involve international border crossings, including to Australia to harvest sea cucumber, transport asylum seekers and undertake work while serving prison terms. The concluding remarks are that while aspects of contemporary sailing-trading livelihoods are temporal and unsustainable, the overall ebb and flow of livelihoods reflects a broader pattern of adaptive responses amidst ongoing change. © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden.

Lee, Raymond L. M. 2014. "Travel, Liquidity and Order in Malaysian Modernity." Asian Journal of Social Science no. 41 (6):580-599.

DOI: 10.1163/15685314-12341323


The transition from solid to liquid modernity has led Bauman to suggest that nowadays people have come to be like tourists living from one moment to another. Addressing this behavior as the tourist syndrome, he proposes to treat the contemporary meaning of social interaction as inseparable from the consumption of sensations and looseness of ties. This is most apparent in the case of leisure travel where the organization of escapism is premised on the excitement of rapidly changing scenery and absence of belonging. In these scenarios of impermanence, order and regularity are overshadowed by the impulse for disengagement, flexibility and transience. Yet the fluidity of travel is not simply a metaphor for the fading of structured expectations, ordered modalities and patterned perceptions. Many people exposed to the asperity of being on the road do not want to be alienated from the familiar and the predictable. A description of Malaysian travellers on packaged tours suggests that their attraction to the liquid sensationalism of distant travels does not necessarily rule out the predilection for order and habitual attachments. As an aspect of Malaysian modernity, the popularity of packaged tourism reflects the attraction of the affluent middle class to the promotion of liquid leisure in planned travels that do not deny them their sense of order. © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden.

Ng, Carl Jon Way. 2013. "Semioticizing Capitalism In Corporate Brand Enactment." Critical Discourse Studies no. 11 (2):139-157.

DOI: 10.1080/17405904.2013.836116


Corporate organizations, in their corporate branding efforts, often associate or imbue themselves with values and attributes like dynamism, competitiveness and empowerment, which are reflective of post-Fordist, neoliberal capitalist ideology. This article examines how such values are semioticized by a particular group of organizations - Singapore's corporatized universities - as they enact their corporate brands both verbally and visually, specifically through metaphor and modality. In doing so, these organizations and their corporate brands are conceived of as nodes of neoliberal governmentality, where they are subject to the regulatory influence of both the state and capital, while at the same time potentially exercising influence over brand recipients. The organizations' governmentalizing potential is actualized when stakeholders and brand supporters appropriate these corporate brands as symbolic and cultural resources in fashioning their individual subjectivities, making themselves amenable to the workings of capital, which in turn helps to sustain the prevailing neoliberal order. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Martin, Samuel, and Julius Susanto. "Supplying power to remote villages in Lao PDR.—The role of off-grid decentralised energy options." Energy for Sustainable Development 19 (2014): 111-121.

DOI: 10.1016/j.esd.2013.12.012


In Lao PDR, a least developed country in South-East Asia, provision of electricity to remote areas is a high priority for the Government, which has the objective of electrifying 90% of the population (in terms of number of households) by the year 2020. While this objective is commendable and tremendous progress has been made over the past 10 years in terms of rural electrification, some important questions remain unanswered. Currently, grid extension is the main technical option considered. One of the main reasons for this push for grid extension is the assumption that access to the grid means development. However, when analysed closely, the reality from the field is far more complex. Although grid electricity has tremendous potential to provide economic development opportunities in rural areas, it also has some drawbacks. In particular, productive activities fail to develop in many grid connected villages where the demand for electricity remains low even after a few years after having been grid electrified. This paper argues that alternative options to grid extension, e.g. off-grid decentralised renewable energy (DRE), exist, are often more attractive financially and could be promoted more effectively. These technologies can be cheaper than grid extension, even on a like-for-like comparison.22Comparing the cost of each option supplying the same amount of electricity (in kWh). DRE technologies also provide opportunities for development, even without driving large productive loads. These opportunities are presented in terms of 1) the flexibility of needs that DRE technologies can satisfy, 2) empowerment of rural communities and 3) decentralised decision making processes. So far, the promotion of DRE in Laos has not always been successful, but this should not be an argument against promoting these options. A close look at recent rural electrification project budgets reveals indeed that grid extension is far more subsidised than DRE, raising concerns about the social equity of such projects. © 2014 International Energy Initiative.

Maber, Elizabeth. "(In) Equality and action: the role of women's training initiatives in promoting women's leadership opportunities in Myanmar." Gender & Development 22, no. 1 (2014): 141-156.

DOI: 10.1080/13552074.2014.889340


As Myanmar has moved to a civilian government following decades of military rule, new opportunities for women's political participation have emerged. However, persistent social and institutional inequalities - including lack of high-quality formal education - have left many women ill-positioned to contribute to political debate. While recent reforms are indicating increased attention to supporting education systems in the country, the years of oppressive practices in the state sector have disadvantaged those women now in a position to contribute to the social changes accompanying the transitioning government. This article will explore some of the factors that have led to this disadvantage and examine the role of women's leadership training in preparing women to overcome barriers to political participation, including lack of formal education, and gain access to positions of influence. The article concludes with recommendations for providing more comprehensive support. The observations here are based in large part on my work as a teacher and consultant in Myanmar over the last five years, and draw on recent work conducted by the Gender Equality Network (GEN). © 2014 © Oxfam GB 2014.

Powell, Larry, Jonathan Amsbary & Mark Hickson. The wai in thai culture: Greeting, status-marking and national identity functions

Journal of Intercultural Communication, (34) (2014)



This study examined the role of the Wai from the perspective of people in Thailand. The Wai, the most common greeting used by natives of Thailand, consists of bringing one's palms together while bowing or dipping one's head. Data, gathered by having participants write an essay on the role of the Wai in Thailand, were subjected to content analysis. The analysis indicated that the Wai serves at least five functions in Thai society - utilitarian, status, nationalistic, personal enhancement, and religious functions. Subcategories of behaviors range from using the Wai to appease a bully to its use in religious rituals. These results reflect the complex nature of using and interpreting nonverbal behavior in a high context culture. The results also support the already well documented role of the Wai in terms of status.

Bulloch, Hannah. 2014. "Contending Developments: Local Notions Of Development On Siquijor Island, Philippines." Journal of International Development no. 26 (2):177-186. doi: 10.1002/jid.1818.

DOI: 10.1002/jid.1818


Post-development theorists have reminded us that 'development' is a cultural construct-a set of organising assumptions through which we order the world and understand our place in it. As such, notions of development are not singular but vary between different groups of people. This paper seeks to bring further nuance to these understandings. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork on Siquijor Island in the Philippines, it explores contending ideals of the good life-one based on material accumulation, the other on austerity-at once valued by most residents. It shows that notions of development vary not only between groups but that individuals can simultaneously hold multiple ideals of development. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Torm, Nina. 2014. "The Role Of Trade Unions In Vietnam: A Case Study Of Small And Medium Enterprises." Journal of International Development no. 26 (2):207-221. doi: 10.1002/jid.2881.

DOI: 10.1002/jid.2881


On the basis of matched employer-employee data from 2007 to 2009, this paper examines the union wage gap among small and medium non-state manufacturing enterprises in Vietnam. Controlling for both worker and firm characteristics, the results provide evidence that union members earn higher wages than non-members, and are more likely to receive social benefits. Within unionised firms, a substantial wage premium is revealed for workers employed in Southern firms, a finding which among other factors may be attributed to historical differences between the North and South of Vietnam. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Eilenberg, Michael. "Frontier constellations: agrarian expansion and sovereignty on the Indonesian-Malaysian border." Journal of Peasant Studies ahead-of-print (2014): 1-26.

DOI: 10.1080/03066150.2014.885433


Borderland regions in Southeast Asia have increasingly been reimagined as resource-rich, unexploited 'wastelands' targeted for large-scale development schemes for economic integration and control. Common and overlapping features of these regions are processes of resource extraction, agricultural expansion, population resettlement and securitization, and the confluence of these dynamic processes creates special frontier constellations. Through the case of the Indonesian-Malaysian borderlands, I explore how processes of frontier colonization through agricultural expansion have been a recurrent product of Indonesian development and security policies since the early 1960s. I argue that frontier development accelerates and intensifies when national discourses of security and sovereignty and state-led agrarian expansion intersect along national borders. The study generates new insights into how contemporary state-capitalist processes of agricultural expansion in the borderlands of Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia are justified through discourses of national sovereignty and notions of 'untamed' and 'wild' resource frontiers. I highlight the multiple meanings and notions associated with regions where resource frontiers and national borders interlock. The study offers an explanation of how frontiers as discursive constructs and material realities play out along national borders. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Rozario, Philip A., and Lorin Kay. "Contested Representations of a Family Responsibility Law: The Case of Singapore's Maintenance of Parents Act of 1995." Journal of Policy Practice 13, no. 2 (2014): 118-132.

DOI: 10.1080/15588742.2014.881273


Although filial responsibility is deemed virtuous in many cultures, its moral groundings remain controversial and contested, especially in regard to the enactment of family responsibility laws. Societal responses to the demands and implications of an aging population are context specific. And in this respect, Singapore's policy formulation phase of the Maintenance of Parents Act (MPA) requires closer examination as a political response to the problem of late-life financial insecurity. The MPA stipulates that indigent older parents may apply for a maintenance order for financial assistance from their children. Using social construction as an organizing framework, we examine archival data to uncover conflicting tensions in the latent and manifest aims inherent in the enactment of family responsibility laws. Further, we address and interrogate certain underlying assumptions regarding the viability of family responsibility laws in ensuring financial security for indigent older adults. In effect, the MPA places the responsibility for late-life financial well-being on older adults and their families and, in turn, delegitimizes any claims for public assistance. Despite the rhetoric of filial piety and its stated aim of creating a safety net, we conclude that the MPA does not necessarily alleviate the financial uncertainty facing indigent parents. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Nguyen, Trang TM, and Tho D. Nguyen. "Enhancing Business Relationship Quality Through Cultural Sensitization." Journal of Relationship Marketing 13, no. 1 (2014): 70-87.

DOI: 10.1080/15332667.2014.882177


An understanding of and adaptation to differences in culture in foreign countries can help exporters to reduce the distance between parties in an export relationship and enhance the quality of the relationship. This research investigates the impact of 2 cultural factors, namely, exporter cultural sensitivity and exporter ethnocentrism, on business relationship quality between transitioning economy-based exporters and their foreign importers and, subsequently, export performance. Using a systematic sample of 297 exporting firms in Vietnam we find that exporter cultural sensitivity has a positive effect, and ethnocentrism has a negative effect, on relationship quality. Furthermore, relationship quality enhances the performance of exporters. © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Muallil, Richard N., Samuel S. Mamauag, Jeffrey T. Cababaro, Hazel O. Arceo, and Porfirio M. Aliño. "Catch trends in Philippine small-scale fisheries over the last five decades: The fishers׳ perspectives." Marine Policy 47 (2014): 110-117.

DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.02.008


Understanding catch trends through time is a crucial management consideration that would ensure long term sustainability of the fisheries. This study describes some changes in small-scale fisheries in the Philippines over the past five decades using both "quantitative" and "qualitative" estimates of current and past daily catches. "Quantitative" estimate was determined as the difference between current and past catches in kg per trip, as reported by fishers, on a normal fishing day. "Qualitative" estimate, on the other hand, was determined by asking fishers whether current catches are (i) less than half, (ii) lower to 50%, or (iii) the same or higher than past levels. "Quantitative estimate" indicated that current catches are lower by 16±14% of the 2000-2010 levels and 24±13-26±19% of catch levels in the preceding four decades. Catch decline over the past five decades was much worse based on "qualitative" estimate. The relatively more stable catches from "quantitative" estimate could be attributed to the improvement in fishing strategies employed by fishers to keep catches high even as the fish stocks continue to decline. The results of the study further suggest that the condition of small-scale fisheries in the Philippines has been deteriorating since the 1970s but initial signs of severe depletion of fish stocks to the level indicative of biological and economic overfishing occurred in 1990s. Increasing fishing population was attributed as the main cause of fishery decline. Other factors include destructive fishing, large-scale fishing in coastal waters, climate change, siltation/pollution from land-based activities and even marine protected areas establishment and tourism activities that closed some traditional fishing grounds. Important insights and policy prescriptions for improved management of small-scale fisheries are further discussed. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Nudelman, Franny. "Against Photography: Susan Sontag's Vietnam." Photography and Culture 7, no. 1 (2014): 7-20.

DOI: 10.2752/175145214X61001139322246


This essay argues that Susan Sontag's 1968 trip to Hanoi paved the way for her groundbreaking reflections on photography. More broadly, it describes political travel as an experimental practice that helped Sontag to develop her ideas about aesthetics, ethics, and activism. If, as Sontag repeatedly claimed, the trip to Hanoi marked a "turning point" in her writing and her life, the particulars of that experience bear close scrutiny. Sontag traveled to Hanoi in 1968 to demonstrate her opposition to the U.S. war in Vietnam. In her book, Trip to Hanoi, she describes the trip as an inward journey and a means to self-transformation; recording and critiquing her narrow-minded response to North Vietnam, Sontag tries to radicalize her perspective. Sontag's trip prepared her to mount On Photography's critique of photographic immediacy. In this book, the pernicious mental habits that Sontag casts off in Hanoi resurface as generalized traits of photographic perception. Sontag's essays on photography contain no trace, however, of the utopian potential for self-transformation that Sontag cultivated while in Hanoi. On Photography's rapacious tourist, who mistakes gratifying images for reality, appears the alter ego of the activist-Sontag herself-who travels to the scene of war. © Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2014.

Poon, Wai Ching, and Yong Shen Lee. 2014. "Inflation Targeting in ASEAN-10." South African Journal of Economics no. 82 (1):141-157. doi: 10.1111/saje.12028.

DOI: 10.1111/saje.12028


The paper addresses the empirical question of whether economies that do not systematically target inflation (non-inflation targeters) experience higher exchange rate volatility as compared with inflation targeters in 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) from 1990 to 2010. The paper examines the role of real exchange rate, exchange rate volatility and the reaction functions of central banks using dynamic panel estimation techniques. The results indicate that the output gap offers more useful information than the inflation gap in setting interest rates for inflation targeters, implying that the real term is more important than the nominal term. In turn, this suggests that an increase in interest rate can be wielded swiftly to reduce real gross domestic product and suppress inflation. The real exchange rate appears as a weaker determinant in setting interest rates for non-inflation targeters. Inflation targeters experienced lower exchange rate volatility compared with non-targeters in the ASEAN, which implies that implementation costs to their domestic economies may be marginally lower. Meanwhile, the non-targeters follow a mixed strategy as both the inflation and real exchange rate are used as instruments to set the interest rates. © 2013 Economic Society of South Africa.

Heiduk, Felix. "State disintegration and power politics in post-Suharto Indonesia." Third World Quarterly 35, no. 2 (2014): 300-315.

DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2014.878491


This article illustrates how discourses on 'state fragility' have been instrumentalised by the Indonesian military in order to consolidate its political and economic power after the fall of Suharto. In the wake of Indonesia's transition to democracy violent conflicts escalated in East Timor, Aceh, Papua, the Moluccas and Sulawesi. Most notably East Timor's successful secession spawned fears over the potential 'balkanisation' of Indonesia. In this context the Indonesian military, which had been shunned for its involvement in Suharto's New Order, managed to re-establish itself as the 'guardian of the nation'. Based on fieldwork in Indonesia, the article describes how post-9/11 discourses over a potential break-up of Indonesia were used by the Indonesian military to reconsolidate its power in the post-Suharto era. The research findings illustrate that, against the looming threat of state disintegration, attempts to revoke the military's prerogatives have either failed or have been aborted during the planning stages. © 2014 © 2014 Southseries Inc., www.thirdworldquarterly.com.

Henderson, Joan C. "Ethnic Cultures, Globalization, and Tourism: Eurasians in Singapore." Tourism Culture & Communication 13, no. 2 (2014): 67-77.

DOI: 10.3727/109830413X13848886455100


The subject of the article is ethnic groups and the manner in which their cultures are presented as tourist attractions, a topic explored within the wider framework of the debate about the relationship between the forces of localization and globalization. Specific reference is made to conditions in Singapore and its minority community of Eurasians who tend to be overlooked in comparison to the three main races of Chinese, Malays, and Indians. Globalization and international tourism, the latter a cause and consequence of the former, are seen to have the capacity to both threaten and help safeguard ethnic cultures. Eurasians receive comparatively little attention in destination promotion and this is indicative of the small size of the population and the hybrid nature of the culture. However, they merit attention as an interesting indigenous culture that embodies local distinctiveness. © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp.

Ren, Shuang, Ngan Collins, and Ying Zhu. "Leadership self‐development in China and Vietnam." Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources 52, no. 1 (2014): 42-59.

DOI: 10.1111/1744-7941.12022


The transition towards a socialist market-oriented economy has presented many challenges to both China and Vietnam. One of the key human resource challenges has been to develop business leadership skills in a flexible, timely and cost-effective manner. This paper focuses on the self-initiated approach to professional development that has been introduced by managers at a grassroot level to improve business leadership (referred to as self-development). Given the limited research on self development in China and Vietnam, the intention of this paper is to enrich understanding of why managers in a complex and dynamic transitional environment undertake self-development activities. The findings of this study suggest that there is no 'one-size-fits-all' paradigm to understand self development across contexts. First, the western model of leadership competencies at the different management levels do not necessarily fit the needs that managers are targeting in their self development activities in China and Vietnam. Second, despite some similarities between China and Vietnam, the Chinese managers were more interested in technical leadership skills than the Vietnamese managers whose self-development foci were centred on improving their moral standards. Such differences highlight each country's stage of economic and social development while reinforcing the influence of contextual factors. It also suggests that self-development is best understood as a process within a specific context. © 2014 Australian Human Resources Institute.

Coté, Joost. 2014. "Thomas Karsten's Indonesia." Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia no. 170 (1):66-98.

DOI: 10.1163/22134379-17001004


Colonial Indonesia's foremost town planner and prominent architect, Herman Thomas Karsten (1884-1945), was inspired in his work by contemporary discourses on modernity and critiques of Western civilization. Drawing on Karsten's published and private writing, this article argues that his disenchantment with the West and criticism of contemporary Dutch colonial practice led him to imagine and direct his town-planning and architectural projects towards the realization of a post-colonial, post-imperial world in which East and West would be united. Despite (or because of) his utopian ideal of world unity, Karsten was unable to accept the demands of the Indonesian nationalist movement. © Joost Coté 2014.

Feener, R. Michael. 2014. "A Wall in the Woods." Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia no. 170 (1):99-106.

DOI: 10.1163/22134379-17001006


This short note presents a preliminary report on a recently discovered site in North Aceh. It presents some initial information and illustrations of an usual stone formation, and communicates some potential readings of it drawing on perspectives from geography, vulcanology, and the broader archaeological and historical contexts of northern Sumatra. © R. Michael Feener 2014.

Farram, Steven. 2014. "Indonesian Popular Songs from the Confrontation Era, 1963–1966." Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia no. 170 (1):1-24.

DOI: 10.1163/22134379-17001002


Many political policies of Soekarno-era Indonesia were celebrated in popular song. By far the most referenced policy was Indonesia's Confrontation with Malaysia. This article examines the contents of many of those songs and discusses the reasons for their creation and popularity. At the time, the creation of an 'Indonesian identity' based on cultural practices was a matter considered of the utmost importance by Soekarno and his left-wing supporters. This led to frequent public statements against the perils of Western 'cultural imperialism', especially through rock and roll. It is argued, however, that the Left by no means had a monopoly on the propagation of national pride. The Left supported Confrontation, but so did the majority of the Indonesian public; many also liked Western-influenced music and a number of Confrontation songs are not so dissimilar to the popular Western music of the day. Through an examination of some of these songs, referencing popular culture theorists and Indonesian popular culture specialists (both in the fields of music and other areas), it is shown how popular music reflected what was happening in the political arena, and also how songwriters and performers endeavoured to use music to articulate their own social meaning. © Steven Farram 2014.

Schmitt, Valérie, and Rachael Chadwick. "Social protection assessment‐based national dialogue exercises: Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Viet Nam." International Social Security Review 67, no. 1 (2014): 95-119.

DOI: 10.1111/issr.12032


Between 2011 and 2013, the International Labour Organization, in collaboration with governments and several United Nations agencies working as part of the Social Protection Floor Initiative, conducted social protection assessment-based national dialogue (ABND) exercises in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam. The exercises were carried out in order to take stock of existing social protection realities in the respective countries, including social insurance, social assistance and anti-poverty programmes. These inventories present a comprehensive picture of what elements of national social protection floors (SPFs) are in place, where "holes" in national floors exist, and provide a framework within which to propose recommendations for the further design and implementation of social protection provisions that guarantee at least the SPF to the entire population. This article describes the methodology for conducting ABND exercises, the situational analysis of the SPF in four countries, and the policy recommendations that were formulated for achieving basic health care and income security for children, the working-age population and the elderly. The results of preliminary calculations of the cost of implementing proposed policy options are also outlined. © 2014 International Social Security Association.

Alexander, Saowanee T., and Duncan McCargo. "Diglossia and identity in Northeast Thailand: Linguistic, social, and political hierarchy." Journal of Sociolinguistics 18, no. 1 (2014): 60-86.

DOI: 10.1111/josl.12064


The paper explores diglossic relations between Central Thai and phasa isan, a variety officially known as a dialect of Thai, but linguistically close to Lao. Phasa isan is spoken by almost one-third of Thailand's population but its speakers in the Northeast are often stigmatized as uneducated and backward. We conducted field research mainly among university students in Ubon Ratchathani, a northeastern border province, by drawing upon data from survey questionnaires, reflective essays, interviews, and field observations. The findings suggest a transitional diglossic relationship in which Central Thai is the High and phasa isan the Low variety. These relationships are discussed in terms of nationalism, social hierarchy, and language maintenance and shift. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Darus, Faizah, Yussri Sawani, Mustaffa Mohamed Zain, and Tamoi Janggu. "Impediments to CSR assurance in an emerging economy." Managerial Auditing Journal 29, no. 3 (2014): 253-267.

DOI: 10.1108/MAJ-04-2013-0846


Purpose: This study explores the factors that impede the growth of the voluntary adoption of independent corporate social responsibilities assurance (CSRA) practices among manufacturing companies in Malaysia. Despite the argument that independent CSRA appraisals would improve the credibility of information disclosed, the majority of CSR reports in Malaysia are still not independently assured. The aim of this study is to understand the factors that impede CSRA practices among public-listed manufacturing companies in Malaysia. The theory of reasoned action was used to underpin arguments on the reluctance of managers to undertake CSRA. Design/methodology/approach: Online questionnaire surveys were employed to obtain respondents' perceptions on the factors that hinder CSRA practices. The target respondents comprised of CSR managers, corporate communications executives and customer relations personnel. Findings: This study provides evidence that the behavioural reluctance of managers to undertake CSRA was due to their attitudes and subjective norms towards independence assurance. The subjective norms due to the risk towards corporate reputation and the exposure to public scrutiny were the main factors that impede CSRA practices among manufacturing companies in Malaysia. The managers' attitude towards cost, data management systems and the uncertainty of the merits of CSRA were also compelling factors that hinder independent CSRA. These factors seemed to override incentives to provide credible information to stakeholders. Research limitations/implications: The findings of the study are limited to the perceptions of CSR managers, corporate communications executives and customer relations personnel responsible for CSR activities of the manufacturing industries in Malaysia. The results of the study suggest that further initiatives or pressure from stakeholders or regulatory authorities may be needed to convince the companies of the benefits of undertaking third-party assurance practices as such actions would provide a platform for the companies to enhance the credibility of their CSR reporting. Practical implications: The findings gleaned from this study would be of interest to the relevant corporate bodies and regulatory authorities with a view to formulating strategies to improve CSRA practices among organisations in Malaysia. Originality/value: The findings from the study offer initial insights into the impediments to CSRA practices in an emerging economy. It adds substantially to the existing literature that focuses mainly on CSRA practices in developed countries. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Ileto, Reynaldo C. "Father and son in the embrace of Uncle Sam." Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints 62, no. 1 (2014): 67-114.

DOI: 10.1353/phs.2014.0004


This essay offers a reflection on the American sojourns of two Filipinos, Reynaldo Ileto and his father, Rafael Ileto, at two different historical periods. It brings to the fore the interplay of personal experiences and regimes of knowledge that constitute one's belonging and response to the US empire. Rafael Ileto's beliefs and actions are framed in light of his upbringing and his times, resulting in a military career that exemplified the special relationship between the United States and the Philippines. But the historical moment of Reynaldo Ileto's graduate studies at Cornell University led to a path that diverged ideologically from that of his father. © Ateneo de Manila University.

Patichol, Preeya, Wiani Wongsurawat, and Lalit M. Johri. "Modernizing tradition–the Thai silk industry." Strategic Direction 30, no. 2 (2014): 31-33.

DOI: 10.1108/SD-09-2013-0062


Purpose: This paper identifies challenges the traditional Thai silk industry has faced during its internationalization, and the public and private responses employed to overcome challenges. Design/methodology/approach: In-depth interviews were conducted with major players along the Thai silk value chain to gain insights into the industry's transformation from a domestic, cottage industry into an international fashion producer. Findings: Thai silk has created a niche market for high-end, cultural products, thus successfully sidestepping direct competition from emerging low-cost producers. The main innovative strategies employed include introducing new products, upgrading quality, attracting new customers, and collaboration between actors all along the silk value chain. Originality/value: This study illustrates how a traditional industry can evolve and successfully adapt to changing consumer demands and competitive landscapes in a globalize economy. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Birkmann, Joern, Matthias Garschagen, and Neysa Setiadi. "New challenges for adaptive urban governance in highly dynamic environments: Revisiting planning systems and tools for adaptive and strategic planning." Urban Climate 7 (2014): 115-133.

DOI: 10.1016/j.uclim.2014.01.006


The paper explores new challenges for adaptive urban and spatial governance in highly dynamic environments. It examines whether or not we have to rethink existing planning systems and tools in the context of climate change, natural hazards and societal transformation, focusing particularly on emerging economies in Asia. Key pressures for urban governance and planning in these countries are explored. Against this background requirements for a more adaptive and strategic planning approach are discussed by examining the discourses about climate change adaptation - including adaptive urban governance - and strategic planning. Compared to earlier papers on urban governance in the context of climate change, this paper aims particularly to provide an entry point for the discussion of the adjustment and modification of specific planning systems and tools. Two case studies are used for a concrete exploration of the gaps and challenges of adaptive urban governance on the ground, considering particularly formal regulative planning tools. The findings from the case study analysis show opportunities but also constraints of existing planning tools to strengthen adaptive urban governance. At the same time, a number of gaps have been found between currently debated planning tools for adaptation and the requirements emerging from adaptive and strategic planning theory. Recommendations to further strengthen adaptive urban governance and strategic planning are derived. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


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