The December issue of Pacific Affairs consists of three research articles and two articles from our “Perspectives” series. In the issue’s opening article, “Perilous Waters: People Smuggling, Fishermen, and Hyper-Precarious Livelihoods on Rote Island, Eastern Indonesia,” author Antje Missbach reconstructs, through the narratives of Indonesian fishermen who have been involved in the transport of asylum seekers to Australia, their decision-making and risk-taking strategies in light of their generally precarious lives. She argues that understanding the local structural constraints of these impoverished fishermen helps to draw firmer conclusions on why and how transnational people-smuggling networks succeed in recruiting them as transporters of asylum seekers, despite the fact that they could serve long prison sentences if caught.
In the next article, “Constructed Hierarchical Government Trust in China: Formation Mechanism and Political Effects,” authors Zhenhua Su, Yanyu Ye, Jingkai He, and Waibin Huang explore the formation mechanism of hierarchical government trust in China and find that economic development, adherence to traditional values, and high rates of Internet usage contribute to a decrease of hierarchical government trust. They argue that hierarchical government trust is in fact intentionally constructed by the Chinese central government through propaganda campaigns and by institutional design. This hierarchical government trust has the potential to not only resolve social conflicts, but also enhance the central government’s control over its local subordinates, hence it helps maintain social stability and ultimately contributes to the authoritarian regime’s durability.
This is followed by Astrid Norén-Nilsson’s piece, “Good Gifts, Bad Gifts, and Rights: Cambodian Popular Perceptions and the 2013 Elections.” Here the author builds on interviews with 192 Cambodian voters, conducted between December 2013 and January 2014, to explore current popular conceptions of appropriate models of provision and to assess to what extent there has been a growth of a democratic, rights-based conscience in Cambodia under the current neo-patrimonial regime. Challenging current ideas on popular politics in general, and Cambodian popular politics in particular, Norén-Nilsson finds that political gift-giving by the incumbent Cambodian People’s Party is in its current guise devoid of popular legitimacy across the political camps. At the same time, the idea of meritorious gift-giving lives on as a desired ideal, especially among supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
These opening articles are followed by two “Perspectives” pieces. In the first, “Aid as Transnational Social Capital: Korea’s Official Development Assistance in Higher Education,” authors Rennie J. Moon and Gi-Wook Shin propose a new framework for official development assistance (ODA) in higher education that goes beyond human capital and local bridges to consider the value of transnational social capital, or ties between individuals in geographically distant areas, for development cooperation. Analyzing newly collected data from South Korea, the authors assess the transnational social capital potential of foreign students currently studying in the country as well as the actual transnational social capital contributions of mid-career foreign professionals who returned home after completing a Korean higher education ODA program.
This is followed by “Forging Free Trade with China: The Maple Leaf and the Silver Fern,” in which authors Charles Burton and Stephen Noakes explore why Canada lacks the closeness of economic ties with China seen in other developed commonwealth countries, like New Zealand. They argue that the answer lies in the sociotropic effects produced by political opposition groups on both the left and the right in Canada, and the absence of parallel conditions in New Zealand.
Pacific Affairs is an interdisciplinary journal committed to advancing empirical and conceptual knowledge in the field of Asia Pacific-focussed area studies. We view area studies as combining serious commitment to original research on specific regions and countries in Asia and the Pacific with insights and analytical rigour derived from multiple disciplines and various theoretical perspectives.
Impact Factor Score: .562 (22 out of 65 Area Studies journals) – cites in 2014 to articles published in 2012 and 2013.
5-Year Impact Factor Score: 0.855 (16 out of 65 Area Studies journals) – cites in 2014 to articles published from 2009 to 2013
Immediacy Index Score: 0.087 (23 out of 65 Area Studies journals) – cites in 2014 of articles published in 2014
Article Influence® Score: 0.451 (17 out of 65 Area Studies journals)
© 2015 Thomson Reuters, Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Journal Citation Reports
Note: We maintain a sustained and in-depth intellectual and administrative interest in the various debates concerning the uses, meanings, and limits of bibliometric indexes such as the annual JCR reports. We list the information above not as an unthinking endorsement of the use of these indexes to define notions of “quality,” but as information that forms part of a larger set of ongoing attempts to map the patterns and understand the meanings of scholarly communications in the digital age. Although Pacific Affairs embraces careful and contextualized use of all bibliometric data, our view is that the 5-Year Impact Factor (regardless of our absolute and/or relative numbers) is likely the most significant measure, given that we aspire to publish articles that based on the depth of their empirical research and the clarity of arguments will ideally retain their relevance for at least five years after publication.
Pacific Affairs is a peer-reviewed, independent, and interdisciplinary scholarly journal focussing on important current political, economic, and social issues throughout Asia and the Pacific. Each issue contains approximately five new articles and 40-45 book reviews. Published continuously since 1928 under the same name, Pacific Affairs has been located on the beautiful campus of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, since 1961. The journal is committed to providing to the scholarly community and the world at large high quality research on Asia and the Pacific that takes readers beyond the headlines and across multiple disciplines.
Publication of Pacific Affairs is generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, The University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University.
Pacific Affairs is indexed in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), MasterFILE Premier, Public Affairs Information Service and PAIS ARCHIVE, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, World Affairs Online, and Bibliography of Asian Studies. We are both indexed and have abstracts of articles appear in Web of Science, GEOBASE, Canadian Periodical Index, Academic Search Complete, CBCA Complete, Historical Abstracts, International Political Science Abstracts, America: History and Life, Public Administration and CSA Worldwide Political Science Abstracts. Ingenta is the electronic provider for our online subscriptions. Pacific Affairs was selected as one of the first journals to join the JSTOR archives at their inception and has a four-year moving wall.