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Previous Winners of the Holland Prize


Sai Balakrishnan

Highway Urbanization and Land Conflicts: The Challenges to Decentralization in India

Sai Balakrishnan, Columbia University, New York, USA

Volume 86, No.4, December 2013, pp. 785-811

This year’s Holland Prize winning article by Sai Balakrishnan is a captivating brocade woven of sustained fieldwork, keen comparative analysis, nuanced historical contextualization, and jewelled prose. By taking a close look at two mega-projects along the Bangalore-Mysore and Pune-Nashik highways in India, the article persuasively explains the adjustments hybrid regional institutions — parastatals and cooperatives — have made to respond to new challenges and conflicts stemming from the expansion of the highway networks. Challenging orthodox views of administrative decentralization as a top-down devolvement of decision-making through its illustrations of the complex, contingent, and contested nature the actual decentralization processes, this article helps us think through and beyond the familiar diptychs of the local-regional and the urban-rural.

View Dr. Balakrishnan’s article Highway Urbanization and Land Conflicts: The Challenges to Decentralization in India


Biao Xiang

Predatory Princes and Princeley Peddlers: The State and International Labour Migration Intermediaries in China

Biao Xiang, Oxford University, Oxford, UK

Volume 85, No.1, March 2012, pp. 47-68

A sterling combination of in-depth ethnographic research and theoretical sophistication, this year’s Holland Prize winning article by Biao Xiang examines the question of why and how chains of migration agents or brokers in China continue to thrive despite state attempts to deregulate and re-regulate them. Arguing against the common view of private migration agents as interstitial actors operating between demand and supply, markets and states, or migrants and governments, the article demonstrates that agent chains composed of both state-owned migration agents (predatory princes) and sub-contracted private enterprises (princely peddlers) flourish because they form an integral component within a complex and centralized system of governance. The rich fieldwork contributes new knowledge for specialists of China, while the argument provides a refinement of and a challenge to the existing analyses of not only migration brokers but also state-society relations.

View Dr. Xiang’s article Predatory Princes and Princeley Peddlers: The State and International Labour Migration Intermediaries in China

Louise Tillin

Questioning Borders: Social Movements, Political Parties and the Creation of New States in India

Louise Tillin, King’s College, London, UK

Volume 84,  No. 1, March 2011, pp. 67-87

In this year’s Holland Prize winning article, Louise Tillin makes an original contribution to the literature on social movements and political development as well as contemporary Indian politics by demonstrating systematically how normal politics is overtaking social movements in the creation of new state boundaries in India. With the insights provided by the cases of India’s newest states—Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand—Tillin invites the reader to look beyond the movements themselves to the broader context in which movements operate, the change from social to statehood movements and the role played by party politics. Empirically, theoretically and stylistically the editors found this article to be a model for Pacific Affairs.

View Dr. Tillin’s article Questioning Borders: Social Movements, Political Parties and the Creation of New States in India

Workers or Residents? Diverging Patterns of Immigrant Incorporation in Korea and Japan

Erin Aeran Chung, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Volume 83, No. 4, December 2010, pp. 675-696

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Erin Chung

In the 2010 Holland Prize winning article, Erin Aeran Chung analyses immigrant incorporation policy variances in South Korea and Japan using a range of sources. She shows how long-term civil society strategies and tactics created a foundation for current incorporation programs that predates the more recent policy recognition of the issue. Highlighting the value of comparative analysis and historical perspective, the article provides new insights on the study of migration, citizenship, incorporation, and belonging not just in the two countries compared, but for the larger Asia and Pacific.

View Dr. Chung’s article Workers or Residents?

Overtime Activists Take on Corporate Titans: Toyota, McDonald’s and Japan’s Work Hour Controversy

Charles Weathers and Scott North, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan

Volume 82, No. 4, December 2009, pp. 615-636

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Charles Weathers

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Scott North

Based on a solid foundation of original empirical research, Weathers and North shed new light on the possibilities and the limits of civil society in Japan at the intersection of law, labor rights, and politics. The mobilized array of Japanese and English-language sources includes interviews, court records, presentations at union meetings, NGO reports, policy papers, mass media coverage, and academic works. While their article focuses on two specific lawsuits in Japan against Toyota and McDonald’s, the broader implications for all of Asia and the Pacific stem from the success of the article in highlighting the extent of the challenges involved in the protection of labor rights and the maintenance of a vigilant civil society even in an industrialized democracy.

View Drs. Weathers and North’s article Japan’s Work Hour Controversy

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Alan Smart

Time-Space Punctuation: Hong Kong’s Border Regime

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Josephine Smart

and Limits on Mobility

Alan Smart and Josephine Smart, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Volume 81 No.2, Summer 2008, pp. 175-193

Combining thorough empirical analysis with critical engagement with a range of globalization theories, Smart and Smart not only deepen our understanding of the empirical specificities of the limits of mobility along the Hong Kong border, but also contribute to the theoretical discussions on cross-border mobility and globalization through their concept of “time-space punctuation.” The article provides an excellent example of the insights that are possible via the intersection of area studies and theoretical analysis.

View Drs. Smart and Smart’s article Time-Space Punctuation

The Restructuring of Vietnamese Nationalism, 1954-2006

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Hy V. Luong

Hy V. Luong, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Volume 80 No.3, Fall 2007, pp. 439-453

Luong’s study analyzes how national identities are constructed, how they change, and what factors drive such processes. Countering views that focus solely on the impact of globalization on Vietnamese national identity, the article provides a cogent analysis of how changing relations between the state and local societies have been instrumental in broadening the range of state practice deployed in maintaining national identity. His rich empirical research and judicious argument highlight a shift in emphasis from developmental nationalism to cultural nationalism that has been occurring not just in Vietnam, but in other countries as well.

View Dr. Luong’s article The Restructuring of Vietnamese Nationalism, 1954-2006

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Christl Kessler and Jürgen Rüland

Responses to Rapid Social Change: Populist Religion in the Philippines

Christl Kessler and Jürgen Rüland, Arnold-Bergstraesser Institute, Freiburg, Germany & University of Freiburg, Germany

Volume 79 No. 1, Spring 2006, pp. 73-96

Kessler and Rüland’s study addresses a question of significance across Asia and the Pacific — the role of religion as a vehicle for populism and popular mobilization. Their approach is innovative, well-argued and takes their findings well beyond the Christian and Philippine case.

View Jürgen Rüland and Christl Kessler’s article Responses to Rapid Social Change

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Paul Waley

Ruining and Restoring Rivers: The State and Civil Society in Japan

Paul Waley, University of Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

Volume 78 No.2, Summer 2005, pp. 195-215

Dr. Waley’s study uses a range of groups concerned with rivers as a prism to provide a fresh perspective on the nature of civil society in Japan and usefully takes issue with conventional interpretations that see civil society as being locked into a close (but sometimes antagonistic) relationship with the state.

View Dr. Waley’s article Ruining and Restoring Rivers

The Impact of the State on Workers’ Conditions – Comparing Taiwanese Factories in China and Vietnam

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Anita Chan

Anita Chan and Hong-zen Wang, Australian Natiional University, Canberra, Australia & National Sun Yat-sen University, Gushan, Taiwan

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Hong-zen Wang

Volume 77 No. 4, Winter 2004-2005, pp. 629-646

Chan and Wang’s study applies field research and social science analysis to a pressing contemporary problem in the Asia Pacific: direct foreign investment and the treatment of workers in foreign factories. Their case study comparing experience in Vietnam and China will have value for those concerned with similar issues across the region.

View Anita Chan and Hong-zen Wang’s article The Impact of the State on Workers’ Conditions

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Jacques Bertrand

Legacies of the Authoritarian Past: Religious Violence in Indonesia’s Moluccan Islands

Jacques Bertrand, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Volume 75 No.1, Spring 2003, pp. 57-8

Dr. Bertrand’s article seeks to identify the factors that contributed to Christian-Muslim violence in the 1990s in Maluku, casting this detailed example in a comparative and analytic perspective that speaks to those whose concerns might be very far from Indonesia, but who share the concern over ethnic and communal violence.

View Dr. Bertrand’s article Legacies of the Authoritarian Past

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Ademola Adeleke

The Strings of Neutralism: Burma and the Colombo Plan

Ademola Adeleke, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Volume 76 No.4, Winter 2003-2004, pp. 593-610

Based on archival sources, Dr. Adeleke’s article recreates a sense of the intrigues and political posturing between the British, the Burmese and the Americans in this particular incident effectively to make a useful general point about the politics of aid.

View Dr. Adeleke’s article The Strings of Neutralism: Burma and the Colombo Plan



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