Politics, Governance, And Security [Working Papers]

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    Myanmar's perpetual dilemma : ethnicity in a "discipline-flourishing democracy"
    (Honolulu, HI : East-West Center, 2011-04) Steinberg, David I.
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    Diverging trajectories : economic rebalancing and labor policies in China
    (Honolulu, HI : East-West Center, 2012-04) Luthje, Boy
    The transformation of work and labor policies is one of the most underresearched aspects of China's political economy in recent decades. Western perceptions of Chinese workplaces are mostly informed by images of privatization and downsizing of traditional state-socialist enterprises, or by the unfamous sweatshops serving the production networks of global brandname companies under miserable conditions. However, recent research reveals that labor politics in China have become highly diversified, in spite of the apparently centralized character of the political regime. At the same time, labor conflicts are on the rise across industries and regions. Before this background, the paper is attempting a new approach to analyze labor relations at the level of companies, industries and regions in China. The analysis is referring to Western and Chinese labor sociology and industrial relations theory, applying the concept of "regimes of production" to the context of China's emerging capitalism. The focus is on China's modern core manufacturing industries, i.e. steel, chemical, auto, electronics and textile and garment. The research explores regimes of production in major corporations and new forms of labor-management cooperation, the growing inequality and fragmentation of labor policies within the modern sectors of the Chinese economy, consequences for further reform regarding labor standards, collective bargaining, and workers' participation. The paper presents results from a research project on socio-economic transformation and industrial relations in China, carried out by the Frankfurt Institute of Social Research in cooperation with leading academic institutions in the field in China and support from Hans-Böckler Foundation.
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    Collective self-defense and US-Japan security cooperation
    (Honolulu, HI : East-West Center, 2013-10) Rinehart, Ian E.
    If Japan decides to exercise its right of collective self-defense (CSD), it would have complex effects on US-Japan security cooperation. The tangible short-term outcomes would likely be rather modest, and mid-term outcomes are dependent on changes in complementary policies, laws, and attitudes. American observers who expect that a revised interpretation of Japan's Constitution will provide an immediate boost to the alliance are likely to be disappointed. There are institutional and legal limitations on the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) that will constrain its activities in the near-term, no matter what policy course leaders choose. Japanese public opinion is also highly circumspect about the use of force to resolve international problems and will likely not support missions that do not directly address the security of Japan. However, due to the powerful symbolism of CSD, the long-term effects could be quite significant. The removal of restrictions on CSD would enable the SDF to carry out a limited number of new operations and operate differently in several other scenarios. Although the constitutional prohibition on engaging in front-line combat would remain, Japanese forces could defend US ships in international waters and intercept ballistic missiles targeted at US forces. The SDF may also face fewer restrictions on peacekeeping operations. Japanese logistical support for international security operations, whether or not under a United Nations framework, could be rationalized on a policy basis, no longer handicapped by legal constraints. As a result of these changes, the US-Japan alliance could develop more flexible regional contingency responses and rethink force structure, interoperability, and command and control mechanisms. At the regional level, Japan would open doors to fuller security partnerships with Asian states, for example through military exercises. More multilateral defense cooperation could improve regional stability, though conversely it may exacerbate concerns about a latent "anti-China" coalition. Strategic communications will be important in shaping how countries in the region and around the world perceive a change in Japanese security policy. The degree to which Tokyo can construct the narrative of CSD around contributing to regional and international security, rather than accusations of nationalism and resurgent militarism, will partly determine the success of this potential policy shift.
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    Political attitudes under repression : evidence from North Korean refugees
    (Honolulu, HI: East-West Center, 2010-03) Haggard, Stephan ; Noland, Marcus
    What do citizens of highly repressive regimes think about their governments? How do they respond to high levels of repression? This paper addresses these questions by examining the political attitudes of North Korean refugees. Unsurprisingly the evaluations of regime performance are negative, and there is some evidence that they are becoming more so, even among the core political class and government or party workers. While the sample marginally overrepresents groups with the most negative evaluation of the regime, multivariate analysis is used to generate projections of the views of the wider population; this exercise indicates that that the null hypothesis that the refugees accurately represent the views of the resident population cannot be rejected at the 95 percent level. However the survey also shows that the barriers to effective communication and collective action remain high; repression works to deter political activity. Partly due to economic exigency, partly due to repression, private defiance of the government takes the form of "everyday forms of resistance," such as listening to foreign media and engaging in market activities. Although not overtly political, these actions have long-term political consequences.
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    Repression and punishment in North Korea : survey of prison camp experiences
    (Honolulu: East-West Center, 2009-10) Haggard, Stephan ; Noland, Marcus
    The penal system has played a central role in the North Korean government's response to the country's profound economic and social changes. Two refugee surveys--one conducted in China, one in South Korea--document its changing role. The regime disproportionately targets politically suspect groups, particularly those involved in market-oriented economic activities. Levels of violence and deprivation do not appear to differ substantially between the infamous political prison camps, penitentiaries for felons, and labor camps used to incarcerate individuals for misdemeanors, including economic crimes. Substantial numbers of those incarcerated report experiencing deprivation with respect to food as well as public executions and other forms of violence. This repression appears to work; despite substantial cynicism about the North Korean system, refugees do not report signs of collective action aimed at confronting the regime. Such a system may also reflect ulterior motives. High levels of discretion with respect to arrest and sentencing and very high costs of detention, arrest and incarceration encourage bribery; the more arbitrary and painful the experience with the penal system, the easier it is for officials to extort money for avoiding it. These characteristics not only promote regime maintenance through intimidation, but may facilitate predatory corruption as well.
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