Recent Issue – Vol 88, No 1 – March 2015

issue_images_88_1_Hamid_Figure10Feelings of Home Amongst Tamil Migrant Workers in Singapore’s Little India

Wajihah Hamid, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Keywords: Tamil migrant workers, Singapore, Little India, transnational home, policing, governmentality

Low-wage Tamil migrant workers have long been contributing to Singapore. Despite labouring for three decades and being connected to the existing Tamil diasporic community in Singapore, they have been left out in both state rhetoric and society, often due to claims of transience. Conversely, a fatal traffic accident in the locality of Singapore’s Little India in December 2013 involving a Tamil migrant issue_images_88_1_Hamid_Figure11worker that morphed into a ‘riot’ has again brought these men and their presence within the vicinity of Little India to the fore. This paper uses the concept of “transnational home” as a lens to study their everyday experience in Singapore’s Little India. The homely feelings experienced by the migrant workers highlight their feelings of homesickness vis-à-vis the need for a sense of belonging felt amongst transnational male migrant workers. On the other hand, practices that make the space unhomely for them not only illustrate their social position but will also contribute to the study of the governmentality of migration and control of migrant bodies. This paper is based on a wider ethnographic study of a group of Tamil migrant workers from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu who were working in Singapore in 2012. Chinese Translation of Abstract – 摘要   DOI:

issue_images_88_1_JapanICT01The Evolving Power of the Core Executive: A Case Study of Japan’s ICT Regulation after the 1980s

Masahiro Mogaki, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Keywords: state transformation, core executive, Japan, regulation, ICT

This article addresses the transformation of the state by exploring the case of Japan’s ICT regulation between the 1980s and 2000s prompted by the challenge to the state after the 1980s. It sets out to challenge the dominant pluralist and rational choice literature in Japanese politics that takes an elitist perspective with the concept of the core executive, referring to the body of statist literature, that employes data drawn from the interview of elites. What emerges from this study is a variation on state transformation with a fluid change of power within the core executive in ICT regulation. This can be understood as a dynamic reconstitution process of the Japanese state in response to the challenges both sector-specific and beyond. Mobilised by the change of power, the reconstitution of the Japanese state has transformed the developmentally-oriented characteristic of the Japanese state led by civil servants. Elsewhere, by focusing on the state at a macro level and power relations within the core executive, this article reveals the dominance of the core executive in ICT regulation. It concludes that the Japanese state has retained dominance over society through its reconstitution mobilised by the core executive within which the fluid change of power has occurred between actors in response to its challenges. Chinese Translation of Abstract – 摘要  DOI:

How are Chinese Students Ideologically Divided? A Survey of Chinese College Students’ Political Self-Identificationissue_images_88_1_ChineseStudents1

Fen Lin, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Yanfei Sun, Qinghua University, Beijing, China
Hongxing Yang, Shanghai University of Finance & Economics, Shanghai, China

Keywords: political identity; students, liberal-leftist/nationalist divide, survey, China

Students have always played an important role in defining the politics of China, and their ideological orientation shapes the nature of student politics. Through a survey of students from six elite universities, this study explores the outlook of Chinese youth’s political identities and analyzes the factors conditioning their identity formation. The results reveal three trends. First, the majority of these college students either claim themselves to be apolitical or to be liberals. Second, among various channels of political (re)socialization, family plays a weak role, while mass media has a strong influence on students’ political orientation. Peking University, the base for nurturing liberals in the 1990s, has now yielded this role to universities specializing in economics and finance, thus suggesting the impact of economic liberalism since the 1990s. Third, gender, education level, academic major, family income, and Communist Party membership are all good indicators of students’ political identities. These results are interpreted in the context of student movements and intellectual transition in China over the past four decades.  Chinese Translation of Abstract – 摘要  DOI:

issue_images_88_1_Rice cultivation at Chonsam Cooperative Farm (July 2012)_HabibBalance of Incentives: Why North Korea Interacts with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Benjamin Habib, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia

Keywords: North Korea, climate change, UNFCCC, clean development mechanism, vulnerability

This study is concerned with motivations driving North Korea’s interaction with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, drawing on information from treaty reporting documents, along with project reports compiled by international agencies and official statements released by the North Korean government. The article draws on causal inference to explore the hypothesis that the leadership perpetuation and state survival imperatives of the North Korean government represent the most likely explanation for North Korea’s interaction with the international climate change regime. It finds a strong probability that North Korea is utilising the UNFCCC as a capacity-building vehicle across its agricultural and energy sectors, a weak issue_images_88_1_Hydroelectric dam at Sinpyong (July 2012)_Habibpossibility that North Korea’s climate change vulnerability is a compelling incentive for greenhouse gas mitigation, and the weak possibility that North Korea is using the Clean Development Mechanism under the UNFCCC as a means for generating foreign currency revenue. The paper argues that the balance of incentives underpinning these motivations can be linked to the leadership perpetuation and state survival imperatives of the North Korean government.  Chinese Translation of Abstract – 摘要  DOI:

China’s Economic Statecraft in Latin America: Evidence from China’s Policy Banks

Kevin P. Gallagher, Boston University, Boston, USA
Amos Irwin, Global Economic Governance Initiative, Boston, USA

issue_images_88_1_ChinaLatinAmerica02Keywords: China, Latin America, development banks, economic statecraft


Most scholars and policy-makers classify the motivation behind China’s global economic activity as an effort to project soft power or to exercise “extractive diplomacy” by locking up natural resources across the globe. In this paper we argue that China, through its state financial institutions and firms, is also significantly motivated by simply commercial reasons. To shed light on this debate, we examine the extent to which China’s policy banks provide finance to sovereign governments in Latin America. We find that Chinese policy banks now provide more finance to Latin American governments each year than do the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Indeed, the large loan size, high interest rates and focus on industry and infrastructure of Chinese finance has less in common with these international financial issue_images_88_1_ChinaLatinAmerica01institutions (IFIs) and more in common with the private sovereign bond market. In this way, Chinese finance appears primarily commercial in nature. Chinese banks offer slightly lower interest rates than the private market, but these are not necessarily concessional subsidies to support a political agenda. The Chinese banks are exposed to less risk because they tie their loans to equipment purchase requirements and oil purchase contracts. Through these risk-lowering arrangements, Chinese banks can profit by lending to countries that have been priced out of the sovereign debt market. While it can be difficult to distinguish between the three types of economic statecraft outlined above, we argue that commercial profit is also a major force behind China’s economic statecraft that has been largely overlooked.  Chinese Translation of Abstract – 摘要  DOI:


Paths of Integration for Sexual Minorities in Korea

issue_images_88_1_PhillipsJoseph Yi, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea
Joe Phillips, Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea

Keywords: LGBT, Christian, Liberal, Democracy, Same-Sex Marriage, South Korea, Evangelical

The prevailing social model among the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) in South Korea is to maintain somewhat sexually free but separate social enclaves. This strategy avoids significant public backlash and government oppression. However, the situation leaves them without legal protection, social acceptance, or significant public space for expressing their sexual identity. Supporters of greater integration pursue a politically activist model, which advocates government recognition and protection of the LGBT as an oppressed minority. This strategy faces determined opposition from some Christian groups and a mostly indifferent public. We highlight a complementary “bridging-dialogue” model in which individual LGBT persons nurture communicative social ties with members of the larger society in ostensibly non-political settings. Although emerging and limited, the bridging strategy attracts many more participants than does identity politics and generates genuine dialogue and other social exchange among different groups, including conservative Christians and foreign-origin LGBTs. Bridging-dialogue also appeals to a younger generation of Koreans, who are more tolerant of and curious about ethnic and sexual diversity.  Chinese Translation of Abstract – 摘要  DOI:

Indian Political Studies: In Search of Distinctivenessissue_images_88_1_ReviewEssay03

Review Essay

Keywords: India, state, democracy, party systems, political thought, foreign policy

DOI:  (free access)

POLITICAL SCIENCE. ICSSR Research Surveys and Explorations. General Editor, Achin Vanaik. Box edition New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013. 4 vols. CAD$325.50, cloth. ISBN 978-0-19-809244-5.
Reviewed by John Harriss, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada

POLITICAL SCIENCE. VOLUME 1, THE INDIAN STATE. ICSSR Research Surveys and Explorations. Edited by Samir Kumar Das; General editor, Achin Vanaik. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013. xxxv, 175 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-808494-5.
Reviewed by Aseema Sinha, Claremont Mckenna College, Claremont, US

POLITICAL SCIENCE. VOLUME.2, INDIAN DEMOCRACY. ICSSR Research Surveys and Explorations. Edited by K.C. Suri; General editor, Achin Vanaik. Box edition New Delhi: Oxford University Press: ICSSR, 2013. 352 pp. CAD$325.50 (4v. set), cloth. ISBN 9780198084952.
Reviewed by Andrew Wyatt, Department of Politics, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

POLITICAL SCIENCE. VOLUME 3, INDIA POLITICAL THOUGHT. ICSSR Research Surveys and Explorations. Edited by Pradip Kumar Datta and Sanjay Palshikar; General editor, Achin Vanaik. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013. 277 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-808222-4.
Reviewed by John Harriss, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada

POLITICAL SCIENCE. VOLUME 4, INDIA ENGAGES THE WORLD. ICSSR Research Surveys and Explorations. Edited by Navnita Chadha Behera; General editor, Achin Vanaik. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013. 608 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-808540-4.
Reviewed by Sinderpal Singh, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Link to Book Reviews published in
Volume 88, No. 1 – March 2015


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