Publication in Economics, Politics and Public Policy in East Asia and the Pacific

Democracy-loving media’s misleading coverage of Hong Kong protest

Author: Ivy Lee, CSUS

For the West, democracy is not only a core value but also represents the best possible form of government for all nations.  This notion determined how the Western media perceived, interpreted and covered events in the 2014 Hong Kong protest. Read more…

AEC not just about the economics

Author: Sanchita Basu Das, ISEAS

Regardless of whether or not the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will be successfully concluded by its deadline of 31 December 2015, we shouldn’t be solely obsessing about its ability to deliver its ‘single market’ objective on time: the AEC project has broader strategic objectives too, and on that front, it’s been a success. Read more…

A year of relative stability for Central Asian regimes

Author: Dr Kirill Nourzhanov, ANU

By local standards, 2014 was a reasonably successful year for the leaders of Central Asian countries. There were no revolutions, insurgencies or mass protests threatening their grip on power. Incumbent heads of state carried out regime maintenance in their customary manner: focusing primarily on managing the inner circle of the ruling elite. Read more…

Time to move away from simplistic thinking on North Korea

Author: Eun Jeong Soh, ANU

The UN needs a new strategy to address human rights violations in North Korea: a strategy that goes beyond a simplistic dichotomy of good versus bad and right versus wrong. Read more…

The Philippine economy is powering into 2015

Author: Gilberto M. Llanto, PIDS

The Philippines never had it so good. But with a slowing global economy and an election coming up in 2016, what can it expect from the future? Read more…

Modi’s reformation

Author: Deepanshu Mohan, O.P. Jindal Global University

Entering 2015 with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in power at the federal level in India, there appears to have been a metamorphosis in India’s social, political and economic environment. The BJP and its coalition was voted into power in 2014 in a landslide victory, promising ‘development’ for India. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development agenda has been held back by attempts to promote Hindu nationalism. Read more…

Abe’s womenomics needs to include men too

Author: Helen Macnaughtan, SOAS

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to enable more women to participate in the Japanese workforce. But his policy has largely amounted to rhetoric and there has been no discussion of the impact of these policies for male employment. In order to realistically increase opportunities for women, the current system of male-focused employment needs to be reconfigured. And Abe shows no willingness to address this. Read more…

Sri Lanka chooses changes

Author: Razeen Sally, NUS

The recent election of President Maithripala Sirisena heralds a golden opportunity for Sri Lanka to heal old wounds and to open up its economy — and for the West, India and even East Asian countries to re-engage.

In November 2014 the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, called an early election in the hope it would be a cakewalk. Read more…

Kim Jong-un secure as North Korean economy picks up

Author: Chung-in Moon, Yonsei University

The longevity of Kim Jong-un’s regime in North Korea has been subject to widespread speculation by outside observers. Several factors led some to predict an early downfall for the regime: young and immature leadership, a potential factional struggle, a stagnant economy and a hostile external environment. But this prediction has not yet been realised. The Kim Jong-un regime is alive and well. Read more…

Falling fossil fuel prices create a climate change opportunity

Author: Andrew Elek, ANU

The recent and sharp fall in fossil fuel prices, thanks to new extractive techniques, will not last forever. It is high time to think about its threats and the opportunities.

In the short term, lower fossil fuel prices are terrible news for autocrats and kleptocrats whose survival depends on the resource rents created by higher prices. Read more…

Where there’s a will there’s a way to reform

Author: Zhao Changwen, DRC

The further reform of China’s state-owned enterprises has attracted a lot of attention and triggered debate since it was discussed last year at the third plenary session of the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th Central Committee (the Third Plenum). Three areas need to be addressed if reforms are to be meaningful and comprehensive: reforming the property rights system of SOEs by developing a ‘mixed ownership economy’; shifting from managing state assets to managing state capital; and promoting a modern corporate system. Read more…

What will Abe deliver now?

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

After a decisive election victory on 14 December, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would seem to be in an extremely sweet spot to deliver on both his main domestic and international policy agendas. Read more…

What now for Abe third time round

Author: Nobumasa Akiyama, Hitotsubashi University

Shinzo Abe’s second term as prime minister of Japan, unlike his first, was a modest success through till 2014. But he will have to bring real and tangible outcomes for Japan and the Japanese economy if it is to succeed the third time round. Read more…

Asia’s growing ties with Latin America

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja, ADB Institute

Amid a recovering world economy beset by risks, the outlook for Asia–Latin America economic ties seems bright. Asia needs commodities for its dynamic global factory and Latin America has abundant natural resources. Asia needs food for its large population and Latin America has fertile agricultural land. Read more…

Unregulated cyberspace a cause for concern

Author: Zach Montague, Delma Institute

China and the US are entering a new and troubling phase of cybersecurity. The recent crash of North Korea’s internet network reveals just how inexperienced world leaders are in dealing with cyber conflict. It shows how one reckless act in the cyber realm can quickly devolve into a bigger international crisis. The confusion and ambiguity surrounding this sequence of events has left the US and China entangled in a high profile cybersecurity standoff. Read more…