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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Farmers In Singapore? Collective Action Under Adverse Circumstances, Yu Fong Ho, John A. Donaldson Apr 2020

Farmers In Singapore? Collective Action Under Adverse Circumstances, Yu Fong Ho, John A. Donaldson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

How can individuals with contrasting interests in a declining industry, at odds with the country’s identity, and facing an illiberal and sceptical government, band together to promote collective goals? This article addresses this question by examining Singapore’s Kranji Countryside Association, one of Singapore’s few civil society organisations to focus on community organising. To Association members, the material and time costs of organising were high, the odds of success were low and the material rewards of success were modest. The article evaluates two views that purport to explain collective action: the rational choice approach that focuses on selective ...


Authoritarian Innovations And Democratic Reform In The “New Malaysia”, Sebastian Carl Dettman Feb 2020

Authoritarian Innovations And Democratic Reform In The “New Malaysia”, Sebastian Carl Dettman

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Malaysia’s National Front coalition, one of the world’s most durable authoritarian governments, lost power in national elections held in 2018. Although incumbent turnover represents a significant step toward democratization, the reform of institutions and practices associated with political domination by the country’s Malay Muslim majority has been slowed in the face of challenges from a new configuration of opposition forces. The new opposition, which includes UMNO, the former dominant party of the National Front, has framed democratic reforms initiated by the new government – and the more multiethnic ruling government itself – as a threat to the rights of ...


The Developmental State And Public Participation: The Case Of Energy Policymaking In Post-Fukushima Japan, Hiro Saito Feb 2020

The Developmental State And Public Participation: The Case Of Energy Policymaking In Post-Fukushima Japan, Hiro Saito

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the Japanese government tried to democratize energy policy-making by introducing public participation. Over the course of its implementation, however, public participation came to be subordinated to expert committees as the primary mechanism of policy rationalization. The expert committees not only neutralized the results of public participation but also discounted the necessity of public participation itself. This trajectory of public participation, from its historic introduction to eventual collapse, can be fully explained only in reference to complex interactions between the macroinstitutions and microsituations of Japanese policy-making at the time of the nuclear disaster: the macroinstitutional ...


Tracing Dao: A Comparison Of Dao 道 In The Daoist Classics And Derridean “Trace”, Steven Burik Jan 2020

Tracing Dao: A Comparison Of Dao 道 In The Daoist Classics And Derridean “Trace”, Steven Burik

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

This paper attempts to draw a comparison between Derrida’s idea of “trace” (in connection to his more famous ideas of différance, supplement, and deconstruction) and the idea of dao in classical Daoism (Laozi and Zhuangzi). I explore the viability of applying Derrida’s thoughts with regard to “trace” to Daoism. It is argued that if dao is read in a non-metaphysical way, then the Derridean idea of “trace” will show large overlaps with dao. I then try to show how, despite some obvious differences, a “trace” reading of dao enables a clearer understanding of dao that would see it ...


Political Financing Reform: Politics, Policies, And Patronage In Malaysia, Sebastian Carl Dettman, Edmund Terence Gomez Jan 2020

Political Financing Reform: Politics, Policies, And Patronage In Malaysia, Sebastian Carl Dettman, Edmund Terence Gomez

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

This article analyses the evolution of political finance reform debates in Malaysia, one of the world’s most durable electoral authoritarian regimes. While the reliance of the dominant party, UMNO, on unfettered resources remained unchanged, crises in Malaysia’s political environment allowed civil society actors to concretise abstract debates over reform into specific proposals. Drawing from interviews, public statements and observation, two distinct periods in this reform debate are analysed: after Najib Razak assumed power in 2009, following the unprecedented electoral success of the opposition during the 2008 general election; and after the 1MDB scandal broke in 2015. In both ...


Lawyers And Law Graduates In Parliaments As A Consequence Of Smd Electoral Systems: Comparing Japan, South Korea, And Germany, Devin K. Joshi Nov 2019

Lawyers And Law Graduates In Parliaments As A Consequence Of Smd Electoral Systems: Comparing Japan, South Korea, And Germany, Devin K. Joshi

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

This study addresses the question of why so many of the world’s legislators are lawyers or law graduates. Drawing from previous studies on lawyer-legislators and electoral systems, it develops the argument that ‘first-pass-the-post’ single-member district electoral systems presume a principal-agent logic of representation and are therefore conducive to political parties selecting representatives with either occupational experience or educational training in the field of law. By contrast, proportional representation (PR) elections presume a microcosm model of representation incentivizing parties to select candidates representing diverse demographic and occupational backgrounds. This conjecture is tested by examining legislator backgrounds in three large parliaments ...


Obstacles To Accessing Pro-Poor Microcredit Programs In China: Evidence From Penggan Village, Guizhou, Deborah Shu Yi Tan, Track Tze Tuan Tan, Shao Tong Ling, John A. Donaldson Oct 2019

Obstacles To Accessing Pro-Poor Microcredit Programs In China: Evidence From Penggan Village, Guizhou, Deborah Shu Yi Tan, Track Tze Tuan Tan, Shao Tong Ling, John A. Donaldson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Why do poor farmers not take up microcredit loans, even when the terms are designed to be pro-poor? Fieldwork in a village in China’s Guizhou province revealed a puzzle: although the county government had designed a loan program that was intended to be unusually pro-poor, only three of the 349 eligible households had successfully applied. This article analyzes three potential hypotheses: farmer failure (risk aversion or financial illiteracy), market failure (lack of viable or stable market opportunities), and institutional failure (structural or institutional barriers precluding taking up loans). Based on evidence from intensive interviews, we reject the first hypothesis ...


An Urban Ecohydrological Model To Quantify The Effect Of Vegetation On Urban Climate And Hydrology (Ut&C V1.0), Naika Meili, Gabriele Manoli, Paolo Burlando, Elie Bou-Zeid, Winston T. L. Chow, Andrew M. Coutts, Edoardo Daly, Kerry A. Nice, Matthias Roth, Nigel J. Tapper, E Velasco, Enrique R., Fatichi Simone Sep 2019

An Urban Ecohydrological Model To Quantify The Effect Of Vegetation On Urban Climate And Hydrology (Ut&C V1.0), Naika Meili, Gabriele Manoli, Paolo Burlando, Elie Bou-Zeid, Winston T. L. Chow, Andrew M. Coutts, Edoardo Daly, Kerry A. Nice, Matthias Roth, Nigel J. Tapper, E Velasco, Enrique R., Fatichi Simone

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Increasing urbanization is likely to intensify the urban heat island effect, decrease outdoor thermal comfort and enhance runoff generation in cities. Urban green spaces are often proposed as a mitigation strategy to counteract these adverse effects and many recent developments of urban climate models focus on the inclusion of green and blue infrastructure to inform urban planning. However, many models still lack the ability to account for different plant types and oversimplify the interactions between the built environment, vegetation, and hydrology. In this study, we present an urban ecohydrological model, Urban Tethys-Chloris (UT&C), that combines principles of ecosystem modelling ...


Time Running Out To End U.S. - China Trade War, Singapore Management University Sep 2019

Time Running Out To End U.S. - China Trade War, Singapore Management University

Perspectives@SMU

The world watches on as China’s rise and controversial trade practices trigger a U.S. reaction


A Crude Bargain: Great Powers, Oil States, And Petro-Alignment, Inwook Kim Sep 2019

A Crude Bargain: Great Powers, Oil States, And Petro-Alignment, Inwook Kim

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Petro-alignment, a quid pro quo arrangement whereby great powers offer security in exchange for oil states’ friendly oil policies, is a widely used and yet undertheorized energy security strategy. One consequential aspect of this exchange is that great powers choose different levels of security commitment to keep oil producers friendly. With what criteria do great powers rank oil states? How do we conceptualize different types of petro-alignments? What exactly do great powers and oil producers exchange under each petro-alignment type? I posit that a mix of market power and geostrategic location determines the strategic value and vulnerability of individual client ...


Thailand's 2019 Vote: The General's Election, Jacob Ricks Sep 2019

Thailand's 2019 Vote: The General's Election, Jacob Ricks

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Thailand’s March 2019 ballot was the first for the country since 2011, and for many it signaled the potential end of the military junta’s five-year rule. But was it truly a return to democracy? This essay argues that the election was far from a democratization event. Instead, it was a highly orchestrated exercise to ensure authoritarian longevity. The junta employed techniques of institutional engineering as well as managing the election’s outcomes in an effort to extend the premiership of Prayuth Chan-ocha despite increasing pressure for a return to civilian rule. The results of the election suggest that ...


Violators, Virtuous, Or Victims? How Global Newspapers Represent The ‘Female Member Of Parliament, Devin K. Joshi, Meseret Hailu, Lauren Reising Aug 2019

Violators, Virtuous, Or Victims? How Global Newspapers Represent The ‘Female Member Of Parliament, Devin K. Joshi, Meseret Hailu, Lauren Reising

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Previous research finds mass media often frames female members of parliament (FMPs) as novelties, violators, or deviants intruding in a masculine domain. However, most of these studies have focused on a small number of primarily Western nations. Inspired by new research on the normalization of women in politics, intersectionality, and violence against women in politics, this study undertakes a broad examination of how global newspapers represent FMPs to the public. Taking an inductive approach and drawing on a collection of 772 articles drawn from 265 newspapers in 48 countries over thirty years (from 1985 to 2014), we assess how media ...


Policy Effectiveness And Capacity: Two Sides Of The Design Coin, Ishani Mukherjee, Azad S. Bali Jul 2019

Policy Effectiveness And Capacity: Two Sides Of The Design Coin, Ishani Mukherjee, Azad S. Bali

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Policy capacity and effectiveness are two themes that have opened new pathways for academic and empirical enquiry throughout the policy sciences. In the contemporary discourse of policy design, effectiveness has taken on a more foundational meaning that goes beyond what is understood as only the attainment of specific policy goals. Rather, it has come to occupy a central position in the study of policy design, signifying the broader logic of deliberate policy action used to articulate policy problems and present alternative ways of addressing them. Effectiveness thus signals both effectual processes as well as successful policy outcomes. However, what constitutes ...


Subverting Institutions: Derrida And Zhuangzi On The Power Of Institutions, Steven Burik Jul 2019

Subverting Institutions: Derrida And Zhuangzi On The Power Of Institutions, Steven Burik

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

This paper shows how both Jacques Derrida and Zhuangzi use their respective ways of subverting philosophical systems, by and large through language systems, to arrive at an (implicit or explicit) subversion of political power or political systems or institutions. Political institutions are presented as including more general institutions such as the media, press, and academic and other kinds of institutions that influence the way our societies function, the way we live, work, and think. The paper first highlights the similarities and differences in the application of subversive techniques in Derrida and Zhuangzi as they battle against their respective opponents. After ...


Proud To Be Thai: The Puzzling Absence Of Ethnicity-Based Political Cleavages In Northeastern Thailand, Jacob I. Ricks Jun 2019

Proud To Be Thai: The Puzzling Absence Of Ethnicity-Based Political Cleavages In Northeastern Thailand, Jacob I. Ricks

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Underneath the veneer of a homogenous state-approved Thai ethnicity,Thailand is home to a heterogeneous population. Only about one-thirdof Thailand’s inhabitants speak the national language as their mothertongue; multiple alternate ethnolinguistic groups comprise the remainderof the population, with the Lao in the northeast, often called Isan people,being the largest at 28 percent of the population. Ethnic divisions closelyalign with areas of political party strength: the Thai Rak Thai Party and itssubsequent incarnations have enjoyed strong support from Isan people andKhammuang speakers in the north while the Democrat Party dominatesamong the Thai- and Paktay-speaking people of the central plains ...


Early Birds, Short Tenures, And The Double Squeeze: How Gender And Age Intersect With Parliamentary Representation, Devin K. Joshi, Malliga Och Jun 2019

Early Birds, Short Tenures, And The Double Squeeze: How Gender And Age Intersect With Parliamentary Representation, Devin K. Joshi, Malliga Och

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

The gender and age composition of a parliament impacts who is descriptively represented and marginalized and what types of policy ideas and solutions are brought forward or excluded. While important for both descriptive and substantive representation, scholarship on the intersection of gender and age in parliaments has thus far been limited. To broaden our understanding, we conducted a large-scale cross-sectional analysis of the gender and ages of over 20,000 representatives from 78 national assemblies. We identified four types of gender-age patterns depending on whether women enter legislatures younger than men (“early birds”) or have served in parliament for a ...


Is Liberal Democracy In Decline?, Singapore Management University May 2019

Is Liberal Democracy In Decline?, Singapore Management University

Perspectives@SMU

The apparent decline of Western liberal democracy affords nations, especially those in ASEAN, the chance to forge a path without siding with a rising China or a stuttering America


Deterrence Under Nuclear Asymmetry: Thaad And The Prospects For Missile Defense On The Korean Peninsula, Inwook Kim, Soul Park Apr 2019

Deterrence Under Nuclear Asymmetry: Thaad And The Prospects For Missile Defense On The Korean Peninsula, Inwook Kim, Soul Park

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

The 2016 decision to deploy Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to South Korea has generated multitude of intensely politicized issues and has proved highly controversial. This has made it challenging to alleviate, let alone clarify, points of analytical and policy tensions. We instead disaggregate and revisit two fundamental questions. One is whether THAAD could really defend South Korea from North Korean missiles. We challenge the conventional “qualified optimism” by giving analytical primacy to three countermeasures available to defeat THAAD–use of decoys, tumbling and spiral motion, and outnumbering. These countermeasures are relatively inexpensive to create but exceedingly difficult to ...


How To Be Singaporean: Becoming Global National Citizens And The National Dimension In Cosmopolitan Openness, Wen Li Thian Mar 2019

How To Be Singaporean: Becoming Global National Citizens And The National Dimension In Cosmopolitan Openness, Wen Li Thian

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

This paper looks at how cosmopolitanism is practised amongst Singaporeans who have experienced Singapore’s education reform in the 1990s. Cosmopolitanism in Singapore is tied to state-intervention with a national orientation. To complement Singapore’s push towards cosmopolitanism, the education reform in the 1990s promoted the idea of a national citizen with a global orientation. I looked at 40 Singaporeans born after the year 1990 to investigate cosmopolitan attitudes that have emerged from the tensions between cosmopolitanism and nationalism. To meet the state’s ideals of cosmopolitanism, these Singaporeans employed strategies to practice a particular form of cosmopolitan openness which ...


The Governance Divide In Global Corporate Responsibility: The Global Structuration Of Reporting And Certification Frameworks, 1998-2017, Shawn Pope, Alwyn Lim Mar 2019

The Governance Divide In Global Corporate Responsibility: The Global Structuration Of Reporting And Certification Frameworks, 1998-2017, Shawn Pope, Alwyn Lim

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

In recent decades, as worldwide attention to corporate responsibility increased, the global corporate responsibility (GCR) movement did not converge on a singular governance model nor hybridize into myriad country-specific models. The movement, rather, bifurcated into onerous certification frameworks and more lax reporting frameworks. We examine this ‘governance divide’ in the GCR movement by investigating the cross-national diffusion of seven core GCR frameworks. We adopt a glocalization perspective that conceptualizes a vertical nesting of local and global contexts. Our cross-national quantitative analyses suggest that, while linkages to global culture have encouraged business participation in all GCR frameworks, power dependencies related to ...


Popular Versus Elite Democracies And Human Rights: Inclusion Makes A Difference, Devin K. Joshi, J. S. Maloy, Timothy M. Peterson Mar 2019

Popular Versus Elite Democracies And Human Rights: Inclusion Makes A Difference, Devin K. Joshi, J. S. Maloy, Timothy M. Peterson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Scholarly research generally finds that democratic governments are more likely to respect human rights than other types of regimes. Different human rights practices among long-standing and affluent democracies therefore present a puzzle. Drawing from democratic theory and comparative institutional studies, we argue more inclusive or "popular" democracies should enforce human rights better than more exclusive or "elite" democracies, even in the face of security threats from armed conflict. Instead of relying on the Freedom House or Polity indexes to distinguish levels of democracy, we adopt a more focused approach to measuring structures of inclusion, the Institutional Democracy Index (IDI), which ...


Sanctions For Nuclear Inhibition: Comparing Sanctions Conditions Between Iran And North Korea, Inwook Kim, Jung-Chul Lee Feb 2019

Sanctions For Nuclear Inhibition: Comparing Sanctions Conditions Between Iran And North Korea, Inwook Kim, Jung-Chul Lee

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Whendo sanctions succeed in nuclear inhibition? Is there a generalizable frameworkto estimate sanction effectiveness against nuclear aspirants? Instead ofrelying on partial equilibrium analysis, we conceptualize sanctions as threesequential phases—imposition of economic pain, conversation to politicalpressure, and creation (or failure thereof) of zone of possible agreement(ZOPA). The effectiveness of each phase is subject to phase-specific contextualvariables, an aggregation of which helps measure individual sanction’s effectiveness,conduct cross-case comparison, and estimate one’s replicability in other cases.To illustrate its analytical utility, we analyze the divergent sanctionoutcomes between Iran in 2012-2015 and North Korea 2013-2017. Iran waseconomically more vulnerable ...


Jawing Through Crises: Chinese And Vietnamese Media Strategies In The South China Sea, Frances Yaping Wang, Brantly Womack Feb 2019

Jawing Through Crises: Chinese And Vietnamese Media Strategies In The South China Sea, Frances Yaping Wang, Brantly Womack

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Winston Churchill once said, ‘it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.’ However, negotiations are particularly difficult when they are enmeshed in public opinion precommitments. The sharpest crisis between China and Vietnam in the last 30 years concerned the placement of a Chinese oil rig into contested waters in 2014. This study analyses the Chinese and Vietnamese propaganda efforts surrounding the crisis as examples of the instrumental use of propaganda in managing domestic public opinion on diplomatic crises. The article argues that despite very different approaches to public diplomacy during the crisis, both states were primarily concerned with avoiding escalation ...


Perception Of Corrupt Acts: East Vs. West, Singapore Management University Jan 2019

Perception Of Corrupt Acts: East Vs. West, Singapore Management University

Perspectives@SMU

Corruption is a major threat faced by China and anyone who wants to do business in the country. In recent years, the Chinese government’s crackdowns in corruption has led to some success. In the Berlin-based non-profit Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2017, China ranked 77th with a score of 41 out of 100, a slight improvement from the score of 36 in 2014. The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople with a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is ...


Review: Red China’S Green Revolution: Technological Innovation, Institutional Change, And Economic Development Under The Commune, John A. Donaldson Jan 2019

Review: Red China’S Green Revolution: Technological Innovation, Institutional Change, And Economic Development Under The Commune, John A. Donaldson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Professor Joshua Eisenman’s book, “Red China’s Green Revolution: Technological Innovation, Institutional Change, and Economic Development Under the Commune,” is as paradoxical as the enigmatic era that it seeks to illuminate. On the one hand, the volume contains compelling evidence – much of it newly and painstakingly collected provincial and county-level data – that the later Maoist period, particularly the 1970–1979 period, was not the disaster that it is sometimes portrayed to be. It fundamentally undermines the discredited (yet often rehearsed) fable that decollectivization was initiated and promulgated solely by desperate protesting farmers. The author supports his argument via an ...


“Daughter” As A Positionality And The Gendered Politics Of Taking Parents Into The Field, Kalinga Menusha De Silva, Kanchan Gandhi Dec 2018

“Daughter” As A Positionality And The Gendered Politics Of Taking Parents Into The Field, Kalinga Menusha De Silva, Kanchan Gandhi

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Research on gendered politics of the field has delved into the practices of accompaniment and its implications on research and knowledge production, particularly through the case of researchers’ children and partners. In comparison, the tendency to seek assistance from parents is neglected within the scholarship. Drawing on the PhD fieldwork experiences of two researchers in their “native” country, specifically a Sri Lankan researcher conducting fieldwork in Sri Lanka and a North Indian scholar researching in South India, the paper reveals parents’ contribution to the research process, in terms of enhancing researcher credibility, facilitating contact‐making and access, and providing emotional ...


Pride And Protectionism, Mark Zandi, Steve Cochrane, Ryan Sweet, Ruth Stroppiana, Katrina Ell Dec 2018

Pride And Protectionism, Mark Zandi, Steve Cochrane, Ryan Sweet, Ruth Stroppiana, Katrina Ell

Asian Management Insights

U.S. trade policy and its impact on Asia.

Many of the trade policies of the United States President Donald Trump’s administration are aimed at addressing the perceived adverse impact of trade on the country’s manufacturing employment, and improving trade deals the President sees as not being in U.S. interests. These appear to be worthwhile goals, but crafting trade policy to address them is difficult.


Book Review: Becoming Better Muslims: Religious Authority And Ethical Improvement In Aceh, Indonesia (By David Kloos) & Chinese Ways Of Being Muslim: Negotiating Ethnicity And Religiosity In Indonesia (By Hew Wai Weng), Charlotte Setijadi Dec 2018

Book Review: Becoming Better Muslims: Religious Authority And Ethical Improvement In Aceh, Indonesia (By David Kloos) & Chinese Ways Of Being Muslim: Negotiating Ethnicity And Religiosity In Indonesia (By Hew Wai Weng), Charlotte Setijadi

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Indonesian Islam has earnedsomething of a bad reputation in recent times. Amid reports of risingintolerance against religious minorities, terrorism attacks, high-profileblasphemy cases and the growing political influence of hard-line Muslim groups,it is easy to take an alarmist stance and assume that Indonesia’s approximately225 million Muslims are heading down the path of puritanism. Indeed, evenseasoned analysts of Indonesia often forget that Indonesian Islam isheterogeneous, and that the everyday experiences of Muslims from differentsocio-cultural backgrounds are extremely diverse. This is why Hew Wai Weng’sand David Kloos’ respective books are much-needed additions to contemporaryscholarship on Islam in Indonesia.


Retrospective: A Historiographical Aesthetic In Contemporary Singapore And Malaysia, Kian Chow Kwok Dec 2018

Retrospective: A Historiographical Aesthetic In Contemporary Singapore And Malaysia, Kian Chow Kwok

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

In an interview published a month before his passing, Hayden Whitesuggested historical studies had finally arrived at an “era of the image,” givenhow long it took for historians to recognize the potentialities of photographyand subsequently cinema and post-cinema as not just historical objects butalso modes of doing history. White cited queer history as an example ofcomplicating the binary between the object and method of historical study,enabling new approaches to understanding history and historiography(Ethan Kleinberg and Hayden White on the Practical Past, Part 2, published onYouTube, February 5, 2018).


Has Patronage Lost Its Punch In Malaysia?, Sebastian Carl Dettman, Meredith L. Weiss Nov 2018

Has Patronage Lost Its Punch In Malaysia?, Sebastian Carl Dettman, Meredith L. Weiss

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

The personalistic linkages that generally define Malaysian politics come into sharp relief when candidates confront the imperative of winning office. Malaysia’s 14th general election (GE14), as other previous iterations, saw politicians emphasize their ‘personal touch’ and offer a barrage of targeted promises. Yet these relationships are not confined to elections and reflect deep connections between voters and politicians – not only for politicians in the long-dominant Barisan Nasional coalition, but also for the newly victorious Pakatan Harapan parties. The authors of this article draw on original survey data to show the embeddedness of these relationships beyond elections. In GE14, the ...