Asian Journal of Comparative Politics

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • How realistic is the China–Pakistan–Iran economic corridor?

    The economic and political influence of China in the Asian region is growing amidst global geopolitical challenges. Economic corridors such as the new Silk Road have been identified as enablers of strategic growth and geo-economic power development in a context of significant political instability. Beijing's strategic approach and the importance of Pakistan and Iran to its aspiration to realise China's dream through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are examined in this comparative study. The rising role of China in the region and its engagement with Iran and Pakistan and the part that these two countries can play need careful attention. Political and economic joint interests have brought together these three countries with significant links to China's economic corridor and energy projections. But the future of the partnership is very fragile as it is characterised by historical hostilities between Iran and Pakistan that can act as a major impendiment to China's ability to progress. In addition, economic and trade figures show an unbalanced relationship that clearly favours Chinese interests. The BRI and the Chinese plans for those territories still remain blurry as any long-term crisis that characterises fragile and complex international alliances.

  • Why the NLD fails to consolidate democratic transition in Myanmar

    The general populace in Myanmar, as well as international observers, have expected that the National League for Democracy (NLD) would be able to consolidate democratic transition, since the latter obtained a certain degree of support from home and abroad. During the five years of the NLD administration, transition has nevertheless been in regression instead of progression. All rating agencies (Freedom House, Bertelsmann, VDem) consider that Myanmar is not yet a democracy. Freedom House's report indicates that Myanmar's status changed from ‘Partly Free’ to ‘Not Free’ in 2020. Much of the existing literature argues that this stems from the NLD having had to operate within structural constraints and agency curbs. Therefore, this article will examine why the NLD is unable to overcome these barriers, under which structural factors and what kind of agency. The article argues that, instead of structure-altering, the NLD has reinforced structural barriers without seeking any considerable leeway within the bounds of existing constraints. In the context of structure, this article will examine the transition process itself, as well as constitutional arrangements, the economic system, and the political culture. The agency context will include the behaviours of the chief executive, the Tatmadaw, and the general populace.

  • Nongovernment Organizations in Humanitarian Activities in the Philippines: Local Contributions in Post-Disaster Settings and Implications for Humanitarian Action and Diplomacy

    This article stresses the importance of localization and the role of local nongovernment organizations (NGOs) in humanitarian action and diplomacy using a post-natural hazard and a post-conflict response and rehabilitation context. It first assesses the country's framework for disaster risk reduction and management and the roles of different stakeholders, including humanitarian organizations like NGOs. This is followed by two post-disaster cases of local humanitarian work (Marawi and Haiyan), focusing on NGOs involved, their experiences in housing and livelihood projects, as well as their networks, resources, and links. Then, the analysis looks at the importance of local NGOs as actors in humanitarian diplomacy and the international humanitarian order and the relationship between local NGOs and other humanitarian actors in humanitarian diplomacy and action. The conclusion sums up the strengths, potentials, and limitations of local NGOs in humanitarian diplomacy based on the experience of the Philippines as well as recommendations to mainstream localization in humanitarian action and diplomacy.

  • Indonesian Humanitarianism: Foundations, Characteristics and Contributions

    In the past two decades, Indonesia has become more active in humanitarian affairs, despite a preoccupation with natural hazards and political hurdles at home. In so doing, the Indonesian government employs “humanitarianism as diplomacy” — humanitarian action to promote its national interests — instead of deploying its efforts under a narrow understanding of humanitarianism. This is demonstrated in the country's humanitarian foci, which form part of its leadership ambitions in resolving crises in ASEAN and in supporting Muslim communities globally. As such, the Indonesian government's contributions are more pronounced in cases which promote Indonesia's regional and global leadership, such as in the Rohingya crisis and the Palestine issue. Indonesia also actively participates in disaster mitigation efforts in disaster-prone countries, which expands its international presence beyond ASEAN and the Middle East. This article identifies the foundation of Indonesia's humanitarianism and its key drivers, humanitarian contributions, and captures the involvement of state and non-state actors in such engagements.

  • Towards a comprehensive security alliance: Evolving dynamics in the United States’ humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to the Philippines

    The Philippines’ humanitarian norms and frameworks have evolved from focusing on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to more pro-active disaster preparedness, enhancing community resilience and empowered participation of local and grassroots actors. The US-Philippines security alliance has evolved in line with these developments and needs to be understood more holistically and not be limited to providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief through sending foreign military assets in times of disasters. This article argues that the non-traditional aspect of the US-Philippines bilateral alliance is not intended to underplay the role of the US military, but highlights the importance of the private sector, humanitarian NGOs, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in deepening and broadening the security alliance.

  • To co-opt or coerce? State capacity, regime strategy, and organized religion in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam

    This article explores the dynamic relationship between states, authoritarian regimes, and organized religion in the ostensibly Marxist-Leninist states of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Despite espousing an initial shared ideological commitment toward curbing the influence of domestic religion, actual regime policies toward these groups have varied considerably over time. I argue that the explanation for this difference can be found in unpacking the strength of each regime’s state apparatus. This article introduces a new typological theory for understanding how state capacity has shaped the divergent strategies Cambodian, Lao and Vietnamese regimes have employed to manage organized religion during the post-Vietnam War era (1975 to present). In brief, I argue that regime elites in Vietnam have successfully co-opted organized religion through the state bureaucracy. Conversely, Marxist-inspired regimes in Cambodia and Laos have oscillated between policies of coercive violence and strategic accommodation to dilute the power of domestic religious groups.

  • Political mobilization and its impact on voter turnout: A survey experiment in Iraq

    This article clarifies how political mobilization affects voter turnout in a post-conflict society by analyzing the Iraqi case using survey data. Voter turnout was high in post-war Iraq. However, the voter turnout in the fourth election, held in May 2018, declined by 20 percentage points from the previous one in 2014, mainly because of widespread political distrust due to corruption among political elites and their embezzlement of public funds, neglect of the people, and the breakdown of social services after the intensive operation against the so-called Islamic State (IS). Political mobilization during electoral campaigns usually encourages voters to go to polling stations. Notwithstanding, amid widespread political distrust in a post-conflict society, how does political mobilization affect voters’ behavior in elections? To answer this research question, we conducted a survey experiment during the 2018 electoral campaign to scrutinize the effects of political mobilization on voters in Iraq. Through quantitative analysis of the survey data, we demonstrated that voters are more likely to refrain from visiting polling stations if they are mobilized by political parties during a campaign. Thus, political mobilization discourages voters from participating in elections when there is extensive political distrust.

  • Erratum to Indonesian Humanitarianism: Foundations, Characteristics and Contributions
  • Parties and policy: Convergence of pledges by Congress and the BJP in India 2009–2019

    This article is an attempt to assess the extent of convergence in the policies of two major national political parties in India – Congress and the BJP – by examining their electoral pledges as expressed in their manifestoes during the last three general elections. We assumed that political parties take a stand on various policies to influence the opinion of the electorate. We arrive at the following conclusions. (1) Both the parties tend to respond to the needs of the marginalized – most of whom happen to be located at the median points of electorally salient policies. (2) Many of their promises in the areas of welfare policy are almost identical. The two parties hardly contradict each other on any of the major policies. (3) The beneficiaries of welfare policies tend to vote for a party that is formulating a favourable policy and is providing good governance. There is new trend in political representation in India. The needs and expectations of citizens are emerging as the primary determinants in the policy formulation of political parties.

  • E-voting adoption in many countries: A literature review

    Although the number of countries that have adopted e-voting has decreased lately, the number of academic publications on e-voting adoption has increased in the last two years. To date, there is no coherent narrative in the existing literature that explains the progress of the research on e-voting adoption. This article aims to answer the following research question: “How has research on the topic of e-voting adoption progressed over the last 15 years?” The article provides a semi-systematic review of 78 studies that were conducted from 2005 to 2020. In this article, I argue that although the studies on e-voting adoption are dominated by a single case study, by research in the United States, and by the positivist paradigm, scholars have employed the term “e-voting adoption” diversely and the research on e-voting adoption has evolved to address more specific research questions. Recommendations for the future agenda of research on e-voting adoption are also discussed.

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