M.A. - Political Science

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    Power Asymmetry in River Basins: Conflict and Cooperation in the Mekong River Basin
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2015], 2015-08) Akazawa, Ellise
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    Whose Kaka‘ako: Capitalism, Settler Colonialism, and Urban Development in Honolulu
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2015], 2015-05) Grandinetti, Tina
    The common lament that Honolulu is becoming a ‘playground for the rich’, reflects David Harvey’s argument that in a neoliberal world, capital is allowed to shape the city through the process of 'accumulation by dispossession'. Importantly, in the context of settler colonialism, accumulation by dispossession is always predicated upon the dispossession of the native, whether directly or historically. Recognizing that various logics of oppression and exploitation are constantly in motion, this project aims to critically examine the collusion of capitalism, urban development, and settler colonialism in Hawaiʻi, using the district of Kakaʻako as a case study. Engaging critical urban theory, as well as the insights of indigenous theory and its critiques of settler colonialism, this project addresses corporate-led urban development in Hawaiʻi as an ongoing mechanism of violence which works to superimpose a settler colonial geography upon the landscape, render indigenous geographies unintelligible in dominant discourses, and displace indigenous and other marginalized peoples in order to facilitate the accumulation of capital.
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    What's going on behind those blue eyes ? : The perception of Okinawa women by U.S. military personnel
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013], 2013-05) Nashiro, Nika
    Please note: This is the entirety of the thesis received by the student. "Hi Sexy! Why are you so sexified? Is that your club clothes? [sic]" was how I was greeted by a Caucasian US soldier when I was working on a US military base before starting my master's program. This has triggered me to continue my undergraduate research to master's level. What further propelled me to continue my undergraduate studies are the ongoing unethical demeanors practiced by the US military enlisted soldiers (henceforth GI) in Okinawa. I find theses inappropriate behaviors of these GIs very problematic and threatening to the local society and to the US-Japan security alliance in bigger picture. In addition to their actions, the deployment of a Marine aircraft, MV-22 Osprey, and possible deployment of Air Force Osprey CV-22 to Okinawa despite the endless protests and opposition by the local citizens made me think twice about US and Japan's stance on Okinawa. Okinawans have been raising their voices for some decades about the large US military presence in Okinawa; yet their voice is not heard by either the US or Japan; rather, it just a noise to them, making Okinawans voiceless. These ongoing monologues make me question again, "can Okinawa speak and how does the US perceive Okinawa?" My research started in Fall 2009, in response to my observation that there are limited materials for Okinawa and Okinawans to understand the US and their personnel. Though a number of publications regarding Okinawa's perspective toward the US military and the US-Japan relation have been published throughout these past years, I have yet to encounter any material that analyzes US soldiers' perspective on Okinawa (both from micro and macro level). Because of this, the majority of Okinawans lack knowledge of the US military and their personnel. When one lacks knowledge of a side, there is a chance of having misunderstandings and miscommunications. That being said, Okinawans' lack of knowledge can confuse and endanger them. The main objective of this research is to acquire the voices of the GIs who are stationed in Okinawa and inform local communities and spread awareness and knowledge to local women who often lack knowledge about GIs. I want to understand what GIs see when they look at Okinawa and Okinawan women. I also want to understand how they see, that is, how their views are framed and expressed through metaphors of feminization and sexualization. If GIs were more aware of the condescending and belittling implications of the tropes through which their vision is filtered, they might learn to see and think differently about Okinawa and Okinawan women. Educating one side of the party can eliminate some dilemmas; however, it can still cause animosity between two parties. Because of the assumption that I have made, I believe it is crucial to educate not just the Okinawan side, but the US military side as well. The significance of this research is that, by providing an alternative perspective for the local citizens, it will enhance the understanding of the US military and their personnel by the local Okinawans. Because locals lack knowledge of the US military and their personnel's view, there are tendencies for them to put themselves in dangerous situations. In addition, my research will acknowledge the importance of knowing others before hand in order to prevent any clashes between parties which could escalate into international incidents between countries. I believe this research will also benefit the US military and their personnel who are stationed in Okinawa and other US military hosting counties. By informing the US military and their personnel about their own peers' action and perception, it would acknowledge their past behavior and would influence their future decision making. Furthermore, this research can contribute to bringing solutions to the ongoing issues with US-Japan and Japan-Okinawa relations in broader perspective.
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    Mediating difference ? : NGOs' role in the transitional justice process in Cambodia
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011], 2011-05) Miyahira, Mariko
    As this brief survey of literature suggests, in order to provide an answer to the question concerning the diffusion process of the TJ norms, looking into the role of Cambodian NGOs in the ECCC process will give important insights as to how the local intermediary actors approach the potential gap between international TJ norms and domestic counterparts of those concepts. One point that needs attention in studying the diffusion process of the TJ norms is the two levels of analysis it requires: institutional level and people's understandings of the norms. While the establishment and functioning of TJ institutions may suggest that the TJ norms successfully spread to a particular locality of concern, it may not necessarily mean that the understandings of the TJ norms among the local people ensued. I argue that the Cambodian NGOs have played a significant role for the diffusion of TJ norms at the national, institutional level with their contribution to the ECCC process as agents of the ECCC, as the functioning of the ECCC in Cambodian context indicates. However, analysis at the level of the people's understandings presents a more nuanced picture. In addition to fulfilling indispensable tasks within the ECCC process, the NGOs also show potential autonomy. Motivated to join the process for their belief in the TJ norms and the opportunities they get from their participation, the NGOs attempt to promote the participation of the Cambodian people by acting as intermediaries that translate the international norms to make it resonate with Cambodian cultural and religious context. Despite their crucial role in the ECCC process as the implementer of various essential tasks for the working of the ECCC, they are nevertheless local context-bound agents that partly contribute to the dysfunctions, or pathologies, of the TJ institution. It is largely because of the role of the NGOs as agents, which requires them to work within the parameter of justice--what justice means and how it is achieved--that the ECCC defines. Similarly, this thesis also identifies the aid-dependent nature and contentious relationship with the Cambodian government as other factors that condition the NGOs. Consequently, due to such constraints, examination of the role of NGOs in the ECCC process identifies various dilemmas and tensions manifested in different ways. The arguments presented in this thesis differ from the common, somewhat idealistic and take-it-for-granted treatment of the civil society participation that the TJ literature typically takes. Instead, this study points to the need for the careful examination of the local context that conditions the NGOs. I also intend to demonstrate that paying due attention to the power of norms and its embodiment as an institution facilitates our understanding of the workings and challenges of the TJ institutions, and its implications for the norms diffusion on the ground. As for implications for norms diffusion process, the ECCC process in Cambodia suggests the significant impact top-down nature of the institutions have on the process. In specific, due to the expert authority TJ institutions have, the possibility of placing local norms in an unequal relationship relative to international norms needs to be taken seriously. As for implications for the TJ, the Cambodian case suggests that the establishment of TJ institutions does not automatically guarantee that they function well at different contexts where they are implemented. To a significant degree, the case shows the crucial role of the agents which makes the process work through their fulfillment of indispensable tasks.
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    Chinese disputes with Japan in the East China Sea : bilateralism over mulitaleralism
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011], 2011-05) Kim, Kylee Kaleinani
    The major issues of conflict between China and Japan can be divided into the following categories: territory and resource, history and nationalism, militarism and nuclear security and the issues surrounding Taiwan. In terms of the China-Japan relationship, what means does China use to resolve these conflicts? It is my hypothesis that the majority of these issues are dealt with in a bilateral manner whenever possible. While China and Japan do interact through multilateral organizations, the preferred manner of decision making for China is always through the bilateral process, and multilateral decision making is not the primary, or the desirable, avenue through which China resolves these conflicts. Within my paper I analyze why China prefers the bilateral approach, and discuss its implications and outcomes. The case-study method is used in the analysis and the focus is on issues of territory and resource between the states. I look at two long-standing maritime and economic disputes, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands case, as well as the Chunxiao gas field dispute. As is evident through the introduction of my thesis, the time period I focus on is from 1972 to present, since the two countries' relations normalized in this modern era and China became a member of the United Nations (UN). The thesis examines China's use of multilateral institutions, versus its bilateral behavior toward Japan in these specific dispute cases, and hypothesizes about future interaction on these disputes. I have conducted the majority of my research from books, journal articles, and newspaper articles (including United States, Chinese and Japanese news sources). Furthermore, I draw upon official white paper documents from China and Japan, official UN documents, as well as official documents from other relevant organizations. I also utilize testimonies given to the United States Congress, as well as reports from the Congressional Research Service.