The December issue of Pacific Affairs contains four articles, the latest installment of our “Enduring Issues/Changing Perspectives” section containing a reprint of a past Pacific Affairs article along with four contemporary reflections on it, one review essay, 43 book reviews and two film reviews.
In the issue’s first article, “Gender Roles and Ethnic Variation in Educational Attainment in Ürümchi,” author Xiaowei Zang, using survey data (n = 1,600) from Ürümchi in China’s Xinjiang province, examines how Han Chinese there are more likely than Uyghurs to receive schooling, how gender roles account for both ethnic parity in schooling between Uyghur men and Han men and ethnic inequality in schooling between Uyghur women and Han women, and argues how this underlies the overall Uyghur-Han gap in educational attainment in Ürümchi.
In Indonesia, traditional birth attendants have always been the main caregivers at birth, but modern midwives are increasingly taking over. However, maternal mortality is still high and does not show signs of further significant decline. In the issue’s second paper, “Traditional Birth Attendants and the Problem of Maternal Mortality in Indonesia,” Anke Niehof poses the question that if the traditional blaming of the TBAs is clearly not the answer, how then should solving the problem of high maternal mortality proceed?
This is followed by Daniel Kremer’s article, “Transnational Migrant Advocacy from Japan – Tipping the Scales in the Policy-Making Process.” In his contribution, Kremers focuses on contributions to the recent discussion on Japan’s Technical Internship Training Program (TITP). He studies the development and network structure of migrant advocacy organizations (MAO) in Japan and provides evidence and explanations for their impact on policy making. He argues that Japanese MAO not only address the Japanese government, but also interest groups and public opinion in general and have transnationalized the debate by informing foreign governments and international organizations. Kremers’ research is embedded in a Gramscian approach on civil society and methodologically draws from Keck and Sikkink’s work on transnational advocacy networks, Bourdieu’s forms of capital as well as theories of agenda setting and framing. The data employed in his study was generated through quantitative media content analysis, a qualitative analysis of policy related sources, participant observation and semi-structured interviews.
The following article, “Leadership Succession and the High Drama of Political Conduct: Corruption Stories from Samoa” by Jack Corbett and Roannie Ng Shiu, examines how politicians in the Pacific Islands are regularly accused of corruption and yet, paradoxically, also tend to be the most vocal public commentators when incidents of misconduct arise, with accusation and counter-accusation all part of the political theatre. In their article, the authors explore how politicians interpret political conduct to show how accusations of corruption are invariably rooted in the cut and thrust of everyday politics, which in this case is dominated by the question of leadership succession.
Next, we are pleased to present the latest installment of our “Enduring Issues/Changing Perspectives” section dedicated to the reexamination of an important article from the past pages of Pacific Affairs. The article under reconsideration here is B.C. Koh’s “North Korea and its Quest for Autonomy,” which first appeared in our Fall/Winter 1965–66 (38: 3–4) issue. Alongside a reprint of the original article, we present contemporary commentary and reaction to it by a panel of noted North Korean scholars, including B.R. Myers (Dongseo University), Rudiger Frank (University of Vienna), and Charles K. Armstrong (Columbia University), as well as a retrospective essay by the original author himself. Assessing the article’s content and influence after the passage of half a century, our participants take into consideration such things as North Korea’s success or failure in obtaining political and economic autonomy as well as the original article’s role in persistent controversies surrounding the (mis)interpretation and function of the North Korean concept of juche (chuch’e) itself.
Finally, closing out this issue Kikue Hamayotsu provides a review essay titled, “Conservative Turn? Religion, State and Conflict in Indonesia.” Through a critical examination of three recent books on religion and politics in Indonesia, the author assesses scholarly works and debates about growing religious intolerance and conflict in the context of democratic consolidation in Indonesia. She suggests looking more closely—and comparatively—into the social and political dynamics at the district level in order to gain a better understanding of the diverging pattern of religious conflict within and among provinces across the archipelago in the context of decentralization of state power, fragmented religious authority, and politicized religion.
For additional details we invite you to visit our Current Issue Page.
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: .444 (27 out of 63 Area Studies journals) – cites in 2013 to articles published in 2011 and 2012.
5-Year Impact Factor Score: 0.552 (21 out of 63 Area Studies journals) – cites in 2012 to articles published from 2008 to 2012
Immediacy Index Score: 0.087 (25 out of 63 Area Studies journals) – cites in 2013 of articles published in 2013
Article Influence® Score: 0.255 (31 out of 63 Area Studies journals)
© 2014 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 empirical research and the clarity of the arguments will ideally retain their relevance for at least five years after their 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.
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