The June issue of Pacific Affairs consists of six articles, four of which comprise a special section dedicated to women’s political representation in Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea. In the issue’s opening article, “Who’s Ready for ASEAN 2015? Firm Expectations and Preparations in the Philippines,” authors Cesi Cruz, Prudenciano U. Gordoncillo, Benjamin A.T. Graham, Jeanette Angeline B. Madamba, and Jewel Joanna S. Cabardo note how the “New-new trade theory” makes predictions regarding the type of firms that are most likely to benefit from increases in economic openness. They then go on to exploit the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 to test predictions regarding the types of firms that are optimistic about, and prepared for, increased regional integration. The authors introduce data from an original survey of over 300 mostly multinational firms operating in the Philippines that was conducted just prior to the launch of the AEC.
In his article, “Ongoing Rebel Violence in Autonomous Regions: Assam, Northeast India,” author Chris Wilson asks why rebels continue their acts of violence against other communities even after winning regional autonomy? Through close examination of two mass killings in Assam in Northeast India, he then hypothesizes that such communal violence is more likely when the recipient community is not a majority in the new region and when only one militant faction among several assumes power.
These two articles are then followed by a special section titled, “Gender Reforms, Electoral Quotas and Women’s Political Representation in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore.” In the introduction to this section, Netina Tan offers an overview of the electoral rules, gender equality strategies, and candidate selection methods in Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore. She summarizes the key findings of the three cases and explains why the effects of electoral system design are not automatic, but dependent on the broader factors such as the degree of party system institutionalization, electoral competitiveness, legal enforcement and socio-cultural attitudes toward women.
Following this, in her article, “Reserved for Whom? The Electoral Impact of Gender Quotas in Taiwan,” Chang-Ling Huang notes how opponents of gender quotas always argue that quotas produce less capable women in political office. But using electoral data from Taiwan’s three local elections in the 2000s, the author proceeds to argue that the majority of women elected through the reserved seats have equal or better qualifications than the men they unseated.
This is followed by “Gender Quotas and Candidate Selection Processes in South Korean Political Parties” by Hyunji Lee and Ki-young Shin, in which the authors examine how South Korea’s party organizations and candidate selection practices have subverted the implementation of legislated gender quotas. They demonstrate how in Korea’s under-institutionalized parties, where party organizations have been overshadowed by individual personalities, implementation of quotas can easily be subordinated to the clientelistic incentives of party leaders.
Closing out the special section and the issue is Netina Tan’s “Why Are Gender Reforms Adopted in Singapore? Party Pragmatism and Electoral Incentives.” Here the author argues that party pragmatism to maintain hegemonic rule drove Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) to nominally include women candidates in the last three general elections. But despite the strategic and electoral incentives, Tan argues, a gender gap remains persistent. She also shows how public opinion surveys suggest that traditional stereotypes and biased social norms, as well as unequal family responsibilities, continue to hold women back from full political participation.
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)
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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.
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