Regional Expertise

Regional Expertise on display at Draper Hills event

Regional Expertise

In addition to the most pressing issues of the day, scholars at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies focus their research on many regions of the world, from Beijing to Brazil.

Research Spotlight

President Moon Jae In of South Korea during his inauguration proceedings.

South Korea's Democratic Decay

South Korea is following global trends as it slides toward a “democratic depression.” Both the spirit of democracy and actual liberal-democratic standards are under attack.
Cover of the book 'The Deer and the Dragon: Southeast Asia and China in the 21st Century"

The Deer and the Dragon: Southeast Asia and China in the 21st Century

Southeast Asian and Chinese perceptions of each other are examined using survey research and by asking whether China views the region as its “strategic backyard.”
Vincent Barletta book cover

Rhythm: Form and Dispossession

Author Vincent Barletta explores rhythm as a primordial and physical binding force that establishes order and form in the ancient world, as the anatomy of lived experience in early modern Europe, and as a subject of aesthetic and ethical questioning in the twentieth century.

Featured Faculty

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Karen Eggleston

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Karen Eggleston

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Deputy Director, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
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Scott Rozelle

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Scott Rozelle

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Co-Director, Rural Education Action Program
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Beatriz Magaloni

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Beatriz Magaloni

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Professor of Political Science
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Yong Suk Lee

Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Yong Suk Lee

Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Deputy Director, Korea Program at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center

Upcoming Events

See all upcoming events related to our regional expertise.

Publications

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Journal Articles

China's Rise, Japan's Quest, and South Korea-US Co-operation

Thomas Fingar
Global Asia, 2014 October 16, 2014

Perceptions of security risks in Northeast Asia are increasingly being shaped by the rise of China and Japan's more recent efforts to become a more "normal" nation. The momentum behind both developments is being felt acutely in the relationship between the United States and South Korea. While many argue that the stage is being set for an inevitable conflict, Thomas Fingar, the Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, argues that what is happening in China and Japan provides an opportunity for greater multilateral cooperation.

 


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Working Papers

Strategies and Public Propositions in Games of Institutional Change, Comparative Historical Cases

Masahiko Aoki
2014 September 22, 2014
This paper argues that game-theoretic approach is incomplete for institutional studies, because comparative institutions as well as institutional changes involve a possibility of multiple equilibria. In order to solve the common knowledge problem, this paper proposes to unify game theoretic thought with an analysis of public representations/propositions to summarize salient features of the recursive/emergent states of play. From this perspective the paper tries to reconcile differences in three accounts of institutions, endogenous outcome, exogenous rules and constitutive rules accounts. Then, the unified approach is applied to comparative and historical cases of the Tokugawa Japan and the Qing China. Specifically it sheds new light into the coalitional nature of Tokugawa Baku-Han regime nesting the fundamental Samurai-village pact as well as the tendency toward decentralization of political violence and fiscal competence to the provincial level toward the end of the Qing China. From these new historical interpretations, endogenous strategic forces and associated public propositions leading to institutional changes through the Meiji Restoration and the Xinhai Revolution are identified and compared.
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Policy Briefs

Tailored Engagement: Toward an Effective and Sustainable Inter-Korean Relations Policy

Gi-Wook Shin, David Straub, Joyce Lee
2014 September 15, 2014

"Tailored Engagement" is a result of research and an earlier report by faculty members and researchers at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University. The authors, Gi-Wook Shin, the director the Shorenstein APARC; David Straub, the associate director of the Korea Program; and Joyce Lee, the research associate for the Korea Program, write that they "hope this study will serve as a useful reference for leaders and citizens of the Republic of Korea as well as contribute to the global discussion about how to ensure peace, security and prosperity in Northeast Asia."

 

Contents:

  • Introduction

  • Policy Parameters of Major Players

  • President Park's North Korea Policy

  • The Policy Context

  • Toward Tailored Engagement

  • Engaging North Korea

 

A summary of the report is also available in Korean.

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Commentary

Friendless Obama Needs Middle Eastern Allies of Convenience

Karl Eikenberry
Financial Times, 2014 September 5, 2014

If there is one thing Americans should have learnt from their recent wars, it is that they do not have the wisdom, resources or staying power to dictate political outcomes. Not long ago Washington aspired to build prosperous democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today it would be satisfied if they simply hung together as countries.President Barack Obama says the US should recognise that the world is “messy”.

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Working Papers

Countering Sanctions: The Unequal Geographic Impact of Economic Sanctions in North Korea

Yong Suk Lee
2014 August 1, 2014

This paper examines how an autocratic regime domestically counters the impact of economic sanctions. A stylized model predicts that, as long as non-compliance is not too costly, the autocrat redistributes resources to the more valuable urban area when sanctions increase. Empirically, I examine the case of North Korea. I use the satellite night lights data to create average luminosity for each one minute by one minute cell between 1992 and 2010. I construct a sanctions index that varies based on the international response to North Korea’s nuclear pursuit.

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Books

Modes of Engagement: Muslim Minorities in Asia

Rafiq Dossani
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, 2014 June 30, 2014

Of Asia’s 800 million Muslims, 215 million are minorities within their countries. These Muslim minorities have experienced a persistent decline in their socioeconomic and political status. Along with this decline, they are increasingly identified by their faith and largely accorded no other identity for civic relations. Why have these Muslim minorities been particularly affected during a time of unprecedented opportunities for the mainstream in Asia’s unprecedented era of growth and rising freedoms?

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Journal Articles

The American Calculus of Military Intervention

Karl Eikenberry
Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, 2014 June 10, 2014

The protracted campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have diminished America’s appetite for waging wars to end tyranny or internal disorder in foreign lands. Military interventions have traditionally been a source of controversy in the United States. But America’s appetite for the dispatch of armed forces has been diminished greatly by factors that have primarily emerged in the twenty-first century.

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Journal Articles

Public Housing into Private Assets: Wealth Creation in Urban China

Andrew G. Walder
Social Science Research, 2014 June 1, 2014

State socialist economies provided public housing to urban citizens at nominal cost, while allocating larger and better quality apartments to individuals in elite occupations. In transitions to a market economy, ownership is typically transferred to existing occupants at deeply discounted prices, making home equity the largest component of household wealth. Housing privatization is therefore a potentially important avenue for the conversion of bureaucratic privilege into private wealth.

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Policy Briefs

Wartime History Issues in Asia: Pathways to Reconciliation

2014 May 16, 2014

“Wartime History Issues in Asia: Pathways to Reconciliation,” a Track II dialogue held at Stanford University on May 11-13, 2014, convened academic experts from Asia, the United States and Europe to discuss the issues of wartime history that continue to impact the region.

Scholars from China, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and the United States, along with Stanford University scholars, participated in the two-day conference. Most of the participants have significant experience in efforts to foster reconciliation on wartime history issues.

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Journal Articles

‘Oorja’ in India: Assessing a large-scale commercial distribution of advanced biomass stoves to households

Mark C. Thurber, Himani Phadke, Sriniketh Nagavarapu, Gireesh Shrimali, Hisham Zerriffi
Energy for Sustainable Development, 2014 April 20, 2014

Replacing traditional stoves with advanced alternatives that burn more cleanly has the potential to ameliorate major health problems associated with indoor air pollution in developing countries. With a few exceptions, large government and charitable programs to distribute advanced stoves have not had the desired impact.

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Testimonies

Testimony on China's healthcare sector

Karen Eggleston
2014 April 3, 2014

On April 3, 2014, Karen Eggleston provided testimony before the U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission at the "Hearing on China’s Healthcare Sector, Drug Safety, and the U.S.-China Trade in Medical Products."

Some of the questions addressed included:

  • How has the nature of disease in China changed in recent decades? What kind of burden might it place on China's future development?
  • If providers are "inducing" demand by overprescribing drugs, it this a public health crisis in the making?
  • Can you outline the pros and cons of market reform in China's healthcare sector? What might be the proper role of the state of improving healthcare delivery?
  • Kan bing nan, kan bing gui (inaccessible and unaffordable healthcare) is one of the top concerns of ordinary Chinese. Which groups are most affected? Is this a global problem, what lessons can we learn from China?
  • The pharmaceuticals industry features in China's Medium and Long-term Plan for Science and Technology (2006-2020), as well as in more recent measures to promote indigenous innovation and industrial upgrading. Is it fair to say that the Chinese government is prioritizing domestic pharmaceutical companies, which foster economic growth, over the welfare of patients?
  • What were major successes and failures of the 2009 healthcare reforms [in China]? How have those reforms been supplemented by more recent measures (e.g. last November's Third Plenum)?
  • What aspects of China's healthcare reform should the U.S. government and U.S. companies pay most attention to?
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Books

Burned Bridge: How East and West Germans Made the Iron Curtain

Edith Sheffer
Oxford University Press, 2014 February 12, 2014
  • Winner of the Paul Birdsall Prize from the American Historical Association
  • Winner of the Fraenkel in Contemporary History from the Wiener Library, London
  • Winner of the Keller-Sierra Prize from the Western Association of Women’s Historians  

 

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Journal Articles

Tradeoffs and Synergies between Biofuel Production and Large Solar Infrastructure in Deserts

Sujith Ravi, David Lobell, Christopher Field
Environmental Science and Technology, 2014 February 1, 2014
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Commentary

Iran's Path to Nuclear Peace

Siegfried Hecker, William Perry
The New York Times, 2014 January 9, 2014

CISAC and FSI Senior Fellows Siegfried Hecker and Bill Perry write in this OpEd in The New York Times that Iran has little to show for its 50-year pursuit of a nuclear program. They argue Iran should forego the bomb and concentrate on learning how to build nuclear power plants that would aid their country's economy and promote international cooperation.

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Books

Comparative Institutional Analysis: Theory, Corporations and East Asia. Selected Papers of Masahiko Aoki

Masahiko Aoki
Edward Elgar Pub, 2014 January 1, 2014

This volume collects 22 articles by Masahiko Aoki, selected from writings published over the course of his 45-year academic career. These fascinating essays cover a range of issues, including mechanism design, comparative governance, corporate governance, institutions and institutional change, but are tied together by a focus on East Asia and a comparative institutional framework.

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Journal Articles

Public Private Interplay for Next Generation Access Networks: Lessons and Warnings from Japan's Broadband Success

Kenji E. Kushida
Communications & Strategies, 2013 December 31, 2013

This paper contributes to the discussion of how Public Private Interplay (PPI) can be used to foster Next Generation Access (NGA) buildouts in Europe by introducing the experience of Japan. Japan, which succeeded in both promoting nationwide network buildouts and fostering competitive dynamics that led to the world's fastest and cheapest broadband services and deploying them nationwide. The process entailed deregulation, which unleashed new entrepreneurial private actors, and re-regulation that protected them from incumbent carriers.

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Working Papers

Implementation of Basel III: Economic Impacts and Policy Challenges in the United States, Japan, and the European Union

Minoru Aosaki
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, 2013 December 31, 2013

This paper discusses economic impacts and policy challenges related to implementing Basel III, the new international standard of banking regulation, in the United States, Japan, and the European Union. The G20 leaders endorsed Basel III in late 2010 and currently national regulators are translating it into their national laws and regulations. A key issue is whether regulators can persuade their national legislatures and industries of the merits of Basel III.

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Books

Frontiers in Food Policy: Perspectives on Sub-Saharan Africa

Walter P. Falcon, Rosamond L. Naylor
Stanford Center on Food Security and the Environment, 2013 December 31, 2013

Frontiers in Food Policy: Perspectives on sub-Saharan Africa is a compilation of research stemming from the Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium Series, hosted by the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The series, and this volume, have brought the world's leading policy experts in the fields of food and agricultural development together for a comprehensive dialogue on pro-poor growth and food security policy.

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Books

Asia's Middle Powers? The Identity and Regional Policy of South Korea and Vietnam

Joon-woo Park, Gi-Wook Shin, Don Keyser
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, 2013 December 31, 2013

South Korea and Vietnam established diplomatic relations only twenty years ago. Today these former adversaries enjoy unexpectedly cordial and rapidly expanding bilateral ties. Leaders of the two nations—perceiving broadly shared interests and no fundamental conflicts—seek to leverage their subregional influence on behalf of common or complementary policy goals. Today they often profess a “middle power” identity as they explain their foreign policy in terms of such classical middle power goals as regional peace, integration, and common goods.

Broadly similar in many respects, South Korea and Vietnam are nonetheless sufficiently different that a comparison can yield interesting insights—yet there is a dearth of systematic comparative work on the two. While holding a range of views on the contentious concepts of middle power and national identity, the contributors to Asia’s Middle Powers? help readers, both academic and policy practitioners, to gain an enhanced appreciation of South Korea and Vietnam’s regional behavior and international strategies

The publication of Asia's Middle Powers was made possible by the generosity of the Koret Foundation of San Francisco, CA.

Examination copies: Shorenstein APARC books are distributed by the Brookings Institution Press. You can obtain information on obtaining an examination copy at their website.

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Working Papers

The Economic Costs of Drug-Trafficking Violence in Mexico

Gustavo Robles, Beatriz Magaloni, Gabriela Calderón
2013 December 31, 2013

The levels of violence in Mexico have dramatically increased in the last few years due to structural changes in the drug trafficking business. The increase in the number of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) fighting over the control of territory and trafficking routes has resulted in a substantial increase in the rates of homicides and other crimes. This study evaluates the economic costs of drug-related violence. We propose electricity consumption as an indicator of the level of municipal economic activity and use two different empirical strategies to test this.

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Journal Articles

Reassessing the All-Volunteer Force

Karl Eikenberry
The Washington Quarterly, Winter 2013, 2013 December 18, 2013

Karl Eikenberry, former ambassador to Afghanistan and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General, argues that although successful, the American All-Volunteer Force has developed liabilities due to weak political oversight and internal accountability of its senior leadership. These liabilities ultimately weaken the insitution by making the U.S. military the go-to solution for foreign policy problems and insulating defense spending and preventing economically sustainable cuts to the military.

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Policy Briefs

Digital Media as a Catalyst for Political, Cultural, and Economic Change in the Asia-Pacific Region

Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, 2013 December 1, 2013

The digital information technology (IT) revolution currently underway is profoundly reshap- ing economic activity, influencing politics, and transforming societies around the world. It is also forcing a reconceptualization of the global and local: many of the technologies, platforms, and fundamental disruptions are global in nature, but national or local contexts critically influence the uses and effects of IT.

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Books

Nuclear Weapons and the Cold War in Europe (essay)

David Holloway
Lexington Books, 2013 November 22, 2013
Imposing, Maintaining, and Tearing Open the Iron Curtain: The Cold War and East-Central Europe, 1945–1989, edited by Mark Kramer and Vít Smetana, consists of cutting-edge essays by distinguished experts who discuss the Cold War in Europe from beginning to end, with a particular focus on the countries that were behind the iron curtain. The contributors take account of structural conditions that helped generate the Cold War schism in Europe, but they also ascribe agency to local actors as well as to the superpowers. The chapters dealing with the end of the Cold War in Europe explain not only why it ended but also why the events leading to that outcome occurred almost entirely peacefully.
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