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International Review of Environmental History: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2019 »

Edited by: James Beattie
Publication date: 2019
International Review of Environmental History takes an interdisciplinary and global approach to environmental history.  It encourages scholars to think big and to tackle the challenges of writing environmental histories across different methodologies, nations, and time-scales. The journal embraces interdisciplinary, comparative and transnational methods, while still recognising the importance of locality in understanding these global processes. The journal's goal is to be read across disciplines, not just within history. It publishes on all thematic and geographic topics of environmental history, but especially encourage articles with perspectives focused on or developed from the southern hemisphere and the ‘global south’.

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Commonwealth Responsibility and Cold War Solidarity »

Australia in Asia, 1944–74

Authored by: Dan Halvorson
Publication date: 2019
Australia’s engagement with Asia from 1944 until the late 1960s was based on a sense of responsibility to the United Kingdom and its Southeast Asian colonies as they navigated a turbulent independence into the British Commonwealth. The circumstances of the early Cold War decades also provided for a mutual sense of solidarity with the non‑communist states of East Asia, with which Australia mostly enjoyed close relationships. From 1967 into the early 1970s, however, Commonwealth Responsibility and Cold War Solidarity demonstrates that the framework for this deep Australian engagement with its region was progressively eroded by a series of compounding, external factors: the 1967 formation of ASEAN and its consolidation by the mid-1970s as the premier regional organisation surpassing the Asian and Pacific Council (ASPAC); Britain’s withdrawal from East of Suez; Washington’s de‑escalation and gradual withdrawal from Vietnam after March 1968; the 1969 Nixon doctrine that America’s Asia-Pacific allies must take up more of the burden of providing for their own security; and US rapprochement with China in 1972. The book shows that these profound changes marked the start of Australia’s political distancing from the region during the 1970s despite the intentions, efforts and policies of governments from Whitlam onwards to foster deeper engagement. By 1974, Australia had been pushed to the margins of the region, with its engagement premised on a broadening but shallower transactional basis.

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Civil Society and Transitional Justice in Asia and the Pacific »

Publication date: 2019
Over the last two decades, civil society has helped catalyse responses to the legacies of violent conflicts and oppressive political regimes in Asia and the Pacific. Civil society has advocated for the establishment of criminal trials and truth commissions, monitored their operations and pushed for take-up of their recommendations. It has also initiated community-based transitional justice responses. Yet, there has been little in-depth examination of the breadth and diversity of these roles. This book addresses this gap by analysing the heterogeneity of civil society transitional justice activity in Asia and the Pacific. Based upon empirically grounded case studies of Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Fiji, this book illustrates that civil society actors can have different – and sometimes competing – priorities, resources and approaches to transitional justice. Their work is also underpinned by diverse understandings of ‘justice’. By reflecting on the richness of this activity, this book advances contemporary debates about transitional justice and civil society. It will also be a valuable resource for scholars and practitioners working on Asia and the Pacific.

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Contested Terrain »

Reconceptualising Security in the Pacific

Authored by: Steven Ratuva
Publication date: September 2019
Contested Terrain provides a cutting-edge, comprehensive and innovative approach to critically analysing the multidimensional and contested nature of security narratives, justified by different ideological, political, cultural and economic rationales. This is important in a complex and ever-changing situation involving a dynamic interplay between local, regional and global factors. Security narratives are constructed in multiple ways and are used to frame our responses to the challenges and threats to our sense of safety, wellbeing, identity and survival but how the narratives are constructed is a matter of intellectual and political contestation. Using three case studies from the Pacific (Fiji, Tonga and Solomon Islands), Contested Terrain shows the different security challenges facing each country, which result from their unique historical, political and socio-cultural circumstances. Contrary to the view that the Pacific is a generic entity with common security issues, this book argues for more localised and nuanced approaches to security framing and analysis.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 11, Number 3, 2019 »

Publication date: August 2019
When Shinzo Abe was given a second chance at the Japanese prime ministership in 2012, Japan was in the throes of a period of intense domestic turmoil. After six prime ministers in six years, the nation was in desperate need of political stability. Abe has not only delivered that but is now set to become the longest-serving prime minister in modern Japanese history. Abe commenced his second term with an ambitious policy program focused on reinvigorating the nation’s stagnant economy, amending the constitution to achieve a more ‘normal’ defence and security policy, and engaging proactively in regional and global affairs. To what extent has Abe achieved these policy goals? How has he utilised the immense political capital accrued throughout his leadership tenure? And what will be the legacy that Abe leaves when his prime ministership ultimately comes to an end? In this issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly, scholars from both inside and outside Japan grapple with these questions. East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. The East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum (EAF) and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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Competing for Influence »

The Role of the Public Service in Better Government in Australia

Authored by: Barry Ferguson
Publication date: July 2019
Amidst growing dissatisfaction with the state of government performance and an erosion of trust in our political class, Competing for Influence asks: what sort of public service do we want in Australia? Drawing on his experience in both the public and private sectors – and citing academic research across the fields of public sector management, industrial organisation, and corporate strategy – Barry Ferguson argues the case for the careful selection and application of private sector management concepts to the public service, both for their ability to strengthen the public service and inform public policy. These include competitive advantage, competitive positioning, horizontal strategy and organisational design, and innovation as an all-encompassing organisational adjustment mechanism to a changeable environment. But these are not presented as a silver bullet, and Ferguson addresses other approaches to reform, including the need to rebuild the Public Sector Act, the need to reconsider the interface between political and administrative arms of government (and determine what is in the ‘public interest’), and the need for greater independence for the public service within a clarified role. This approach, and its implications for public sector reform, is contrasted with the straitjacket of path dependency that presently constricts the field.

The Chinese Economic Transformation »

Views from Young Economists

Edited by: Ligang Song, Yixiao Zhou, Luke Hurst
Publication date: July 2019
The Chinese Economic Transformation, the 19th volume in the China Update book series, provides an opportunity for young economists to share their views on various issues relating to the Chinese economic transformation. More than half of the contributors to this book are female scholars. Some of the contributors are rising stars in the studies of the Chinese economy and economic transition, and some only recently received their PhDs and are on their way to establishing themselves in the field of China studies. But they have one thing in common: to passionately observe, study and research what is going on in the Chinese economic transformation during the reform period; and, by so doing, make contributions to the policy debates on, and general understanding of, the Chinese economy. The chapters in this volume include an in-depth probe into challenges in capital and credit allocation due to financial friction and policy distortions; investigating the causes of growth slow-down in China and suitable policy responses; the evolution of the household registration system and its impact on off-farm employment and the integration of rural and urban labour markets; the growth, scale and characteristics of nonstandard employment; the development of rural e-commerce and its economic impact; innovation performance of listed enterprises in China; financial services liberalisation and its impact on firms’ performance; financing support schemes for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the effect on banks’ credit allocation to SMEs; the potential costs of US–China trade conflict and ways to mitigate them; gender income gap in China’s labour market; causes of blockage of Chinese overseas direct investment and strategies to reduce the probability of encountering obstacles; and the role of state capital in the iron ore boom in Australia. The great variety of topics in this year’s Update allows readers to understand the current shape of the Chinese economy and to think deeply about policies and necessary reforms for future growth and development.

Afterlives of Chinese Communism »

Political Concepts from Mao to Xi

Publication date: June 2019
Afterlives of Chinese Communism comprises essays from over fifty world- renowned scholars in the China field, from various disciplines and continents. It provides an indispensable guide for understanding how the Mao era continues to shape Chinese politics today. Each chapter discusses a concept or practice from the Mao period, what it attempted to do, and what has become of it since. The authors respond to the legacy of Maoism from numerous perspectives to consider what lessons Chinese communism can offer today, and whether there is a future for the egalitarian politics that it once promised.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 11, Number 2, 2019 »

Publication date: June 2019
The global debate on China is becoming more polarised. Is the Chinese economy robust or on the brink of collapse? Does the concentration of power in the hands of President Xi reflect a weaker or more confident China? Is the Belt and Road Initiative a platform for improving global infrastructure, or a strategy to make developing countries more dependent on China? And is Beijing succeeding in its overseas influence campaign, or has China’s global influence diminished in the face of a backlash?In this special issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly, experts from within and outside China force us to confront the complicated, evolving, and often contradictory forces shaping Chinese society, politics, economics and global affairs. East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. The East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum (EAF) and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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Understanding Oceania »

Celebrating the University of the South Pacific and its collaboration with The Australian National University

Publication date: May 2019
This book is inspired by the University of the South Pacific, the leading institution of higher education in the Pacific Islands region. Founded in 1968, USP has expanded the intellectual horizons of generations of students from its 12 member countries—Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu—and been responsible for the formation of a regional elite of educated Pacific Islanders who can be found in key positions in government and commerce across the region. At the same time, this book celebrates the collaboration of USP with The Australian National University in research, doctoral training, teaching and joint activities. Twelve of our 19 contributors gained their doctorates at ANU, most of them before or after being students and/or teaching staff at USP, and the remaining five embody the cross-fertilisation in teaching, research and consultancy of the two institutions. The contributions to this collection, with a few exceptions, are republications of key articles on the Pacific Islands by scholars with extensive experience and knowledge of the region.