Recent Publications by East-West Center Authors

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Featured Publications

Learning from Success in Climate-Informed Decision-Making: Case Studies Across Three U.S. Regions

A network of sustained assessment specialists created within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (NOAA RISA) program present a new report that includes five case studies of successful local responses to climate change supported by scientific information. East-West Center Project Specialist Zena Grecni was the lead author. Based on three regions—the U.S. Pacific Islands, the South Central United States, and the Rocky Mountain West—the case studies feature local managers who are providing and applying climate information, with valuable outcomes, across a range of geographic scales and sectors. They include improving local climate-adaptation efforts in San Angelo, Texas, enhancing the resilience of iconic coastal ecosystems on Hawai‘i Island, managing water in the Colorado River Conservation District, increasing conservation resilience in the southern Great Plains, and using El Niño forecasts to plan for drought in the Pacific Islands. The case studies provide new insights, which are summarized as five practical lessons for anyone seeking to better integrate climate considerations into decision-making.

 

Demographic Dividends: Policies Based on an Understanding of Population Dynamics Will Help Countries Achieve the SDGs

Graduates attend a job fair at Tianjin University Sports Arena, China.

East-West Center Senior Fellows Andrew Mason and Sang-Hyop Lee authored a chapter on the importance of population dynamics in achieving the SDGs in the 2019 edition of SDGs: Transforming our world, a publication of the United Nations Association-UK. They argue that the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges that no one will be left behind, is strongly bound to anticipating and planning for the effects of the demographic transition that will unfold during the SDG period.

 

Attitudes of Young Adults toward U.S. Bases on Okinawa

A new East-West Center Report, Millennial+ Voices in Okinawa: An Inquiry into the Attitudes of Young Adults toward the Presence of U.S. Bases, has found that many have mixed feeling about the bases and are often more concerned with other issues such as jobs, the economy, and the possibility of natural disasters. The report recommends that the U.S. military’s public outreach programs should be reviewed with younger people in mind and should take advantage of the desire for more base contact. Co-authors are Adjunct Senior Fellow Charles E. Morrison and East-West Center representative in Okinawa Daniel Chinen.

 

 

Taiwan's Role in the South Pacific

East-West Center Senior Fellow Denny Roy has recently published a report on Taiwan's role in the South Pacific for the National Bureau of Asian Research. Taiwan’s Potential Role in the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy: Convergence in the South Pacific examines the role of the Pacific Islands in Taiwan’s grand strategy and argues that Taiwan’s struggle to maintain formal diplomatic relations with Pacific Island nations dovetails with the United States’ reformulated Indo-Pacific strategy, even if Washington has yet to articulate a clear plan for coordinating activities in the South Pacific with Taipei.

 

 

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In Hawai‘i and the Pacific Islands, Climate Change Means Billions of Dollars of Coastal Damage, Widespread Coral Death, and Human Health Risks

Strained freshwater supplies, damaged and compromised coastal infrastructure, coral reef death, and stress on native biodiversity and species are among the major concerns and challenges detailed in the chapter on Hawai‘i and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands in Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. In economic terms, the impacts add up to billions of dollars. Victoria Keener, Research Fellow at the East-West Center and Lead Principal Investigator of the Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (Pacific RISA) Program was the chapter’s regional lead.

 

2018 North Pacific Arctic Conference

In 2018, the annual North Pacific Arctic Conference focused on “Arctic 2030 and Beyond―Pathways to the Future." More than 30 participants from Australia, Canada, China, Finland, Japan, Norway, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States explored long-term developments in the Arctic and discussed new ideas for the region. Three crosscutting issues linked these discussions: governance needs and options, the role of science, and corporate sustainability. A common thread was the importance of sustaining the Arctic as a zone of peace and prosperity in a rapidly changing and often turbulent and unpredictable world. Papers presented at the conference are available in a proceedings volume: The Arctic in World Affairs: A North Pacific Dialogue on Arctic 2030 and Beyond: Pathways to the Future.

 

Fertility Decline in East Asia: Patterns, Causes, and Policy Implications

Three countries in East Asia—Japan, South Korea, and mainland China—now have among the lowest levels of human fertility in the world. The shift to very low fertility has ushered in an era of entirely new demographic dynamics, including rapid and extreme population aging and ensuing dramatic population decline. Convergence to Very Low Fertility in East Asia: Processes, Causes, and Implications provides a systematic comparison of fertility transitions in these three East Asian countries and discusses the economic, social, and cultural factors that may account for their similarities and differences. The monograph concludes with a discussion of policy implications. Adjunct Senior Fellow Minja Kim Choe is one of the book's co-authors.

 

Family Demography in Asia

As the biggest driver of population growth in the world, Asia's demographic future is a global issue, and an understanding of patterns and trends in fertility throughout Asia is critically important. Family Demography in Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Preferences, recently published by Edward Elgar, explores the heterogeneous experience of Asia, home to some of the highest and lowest fertility rates in the world. This is the first book to analyse fertility comprehensively and systematically across the continent through the perspective of individuals rather than as a consequence of top-down government policies. Adjunct Senior Fellow Minja Kim Choe and graduate student Ki Tae Park authored the chapter on South Korea, and Choe is one of the book's co-editors.

 

 

 

Resilience and Public Policy: Response to the Tohoku Earthquake and Hurricane Sandy

Nexus of Resilience and Public Policy in a Modern Risk Society integrates the latest theoretical insights on public policy and resilience and the latest practical analyses of two case studies—the Tohoku Disaster (Great East Japan Earthquake) in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy on the North American East Coast in 2012—to provide policy tools for future resilient societies and disaster risk management. Co-author Allen L. Clark is Director of the East-West Center's Professional Development Program.

 

 

Conflict Resource Economy and Pathways to Peace in Burma

Burma’s natural resource economy is inextricably tied to the ongoing armed conflict within the country. Questions loom large over who has what ownership rights to what resources and how these resources can be more equitably shared with the wider population. The Conflict Resource Economy and Pathways to Peace in Burma, a report published in November 2018 by the United States Institute of Peace, focuses on Burma’s resource-rich ethnic states and territories near the borders with China and Thailand and suggests that a more robust, accountable, and equitable system for managing the country’s resource wealth can help lay down the pathways to peace. The author of the report, Kevin M. Woods, is a political ecologist and human geographer who specializes in land and natural resource management and its governance reform in ethnic conflict areas. Woods is an Adjunct Fellow at the East-West Center.

 

All Publications in 2019

Baird, Ian G., William Noseworthy, Nghiem Phuong Tuyen, Le Thu Ha, and Jefferson Fox. (2019). Land grabs and labour: Vietnamese workers on rubber plantations in southern Laos. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 40(1): 50-70.

Since the early 2000s the Lao government has dramatically increased the number of large-scale land concessions issued for agribusinesses, leading to the growth of Vietnamese-owned rubber plantations employing Vietnamese labor. One result has been to make certain spaces less welcoming to Lao labour. Most of the remittances generated from Vietnamese working in Laos are used for non-agricultural purposes, with people purposely choosing to not invest in agriculture in Vietnam.

Bellettiere, Jon, Daniel Ervin, Suneeta Godbole, Samaneh Keshavarz, Joseph Maestas, Ya-Ju Chang, and Dorothy Sears (2019). Ethnic Differences in Sedentary Behavior and Cardiometabolic Risk Biomarkers in Postmenopausal Women. Innovation in Aging. 2(Suppl. 1): 93.

This study demonstrated deleterious associations between two objectively-measured parameters of sitting behavior—total daily sitting time and mean sitting bout duration—and cardiometabolic disease-risk biomarkers in overweight/obese older women. These results highlight ethnic differences in sitting behaviors and suggest that associations of sedentary behavior patterns and glucose vary by ethnicity, with more deleterious associations observed for Hispanic women.

Brown, Tim, and Wiwat Peerapatanapokin (2019). Evolving HIV epidemics: The urgent need to refocus on populations with risk. Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS. 14(5): 337–53.

This analysis shows that most "concentrated" HIV epidemics outside of sub-Saharan Africa do not become "generalized" over time. Although the proportion of prevalent HIV infections among the "general population" grows, this growth primarily reflects turnover in key populations and transmission from current and former key population members to their intimate partners. Only a limited amount of transmission is between members of the general population with no relationship to key populations. So key populations must remain at the core of epidemic responses.

De Alban, Jose Don T., Graham W. Prescott, Kevin M. Woods, Johanness Jamuludin, Kyaw Thinn Latt, Cheng Ling Lim, Aye Chan Maung, and Edward L. Webb (2019). Integrating analytical frameworks to investigate land-cover regime shifts in dynamic landscapes. Sustainability. 11:1–23.

The Tanintharyi Region of Myanmar, which contains one of the last remaining significant contiguous forest areas in Southeast Asia, was heavily deforested between 1992–2015. By combining remote sensing methods and a literature review of historical processes leading to land-use and land-cover change, this study identified a regime shift from a forest-oriented state to an agricultural-oriented state between 1997–2004. The regime shift was triggered by a confluence of complex political and economic conditions within Myanmar, notably the ceasefires between various ethnic groups and the military government, coupled with its enhanced business relations with Thailand and China. Government policies and foreign direct investment enabling the establishment of large-scale agro-industrial concessions reinforced the new agriculture-oriented regime and prevented reversion to the original forest-dominated regime.

Eaton, Jeffrey W., Brown, Tim,, Robert Puckett, Robert Glaubius, Kennedy Mutai, Peter W. Young, Le Bao, Joshua A. Salomon, John Stover, Mary Mahy, and Timothy B. Hallett (2019 in press). EPP-ASM and the r-hybrid model: New tools for estimating HIV incidence trends in sub-Saharan Africa. AIDS. Supplement on UNAIDS modeling methods.

Ernst, Dieter (2019). China’s innovation policy and the quest for semiconductor autonomy: Q&A with Dieter Ernst. Insight: The Journal of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. May/June 2019: 25-27.

China’s leadership is eager to use all the tools of industrial, trade, and competition policy to co-shape international standardization and to catch up and forge ahead in advanced manufacturing and services. While U.S. analysts typically see these policies as a ploy for world domination, in China they are viewed as unavoidable if the country wants to move beyond the outdated “Global Factory” model based on low-wage mass production. China's current AI and big-data boom has deepened US-China rivalry and explains the proliferation of US technology export restrictions.

Ervin, Daniel, David López-Carr, Fernando Ríosmena, and Sadie J. Ryan (2019 forthcoming). Examining the relationship between migration and forest cover change in Mexico from 2001 to 2010. Land Use Policy.

Ervin, Daniel, David López-Carr, Fernando Ríosmena, and Sadie J. Ryan (2019 forthcoming). Examining the relationship between migration and forest cover change in Mexico from 2001 to 2010. Land Use Policy.

Frazier, Abby G. (2019). Economic costs of drought in Hawai'i. Fact sheet. Honolulu: East-West Center.

The 2007-2014 drought in Hawai‘i was the longest and most severe drought on record in Hawai'i's history, costing millions of dollars in agricultural losses. The ranching sector alone lost an estimated $23 million. Drought also affects many other sectors, including tourism and recreation, wildfire control, and ecosystem services.

Frazier, Abby G., and Laura Brewington (2019). Current changes in alpine ecosystems of Pacific Islands. Elsevier.

Alpine ecosystems in Hawai‘i and New Zealand have significant cultural, social, and economic value; however, they are threatened by invasion of exotic species, climate change, and human impacts. Both New Zealand and Hawai‘i have experienced strong warming at higher elevations, and future projections indicate that these warming trends will continue. Glacial retreat has been noted in New Zealand's Southern Alps, with 34 percent of ice volume lost since 1977, and New Zealand may lose 88 percent of its ice volume by 2100. Snowfall on Hawai‘i’s mountain peaks is projected to almost entirely disappear by 2100. Changes are occurring rapidly, and additional monitoring and research are needed to conserve these uniquely sensitive, remote regions.

Grecni, Zena, Leah Shore, and Benét Duncan (2019). Learning from success in climate-informed cecision-making: case studies across three U.S. regions. Honolulu: East-West Center.

This report, prepared by a network of sustained assessment specialists created within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (NOAA RISA) program, describes five case studies of successful local responses to climate change that are supported by scientific information. They include improving local climate-adaptation efforts in San Angelo, Texas, enhancing the resilience of iconic coastal ecosystems on Hawai‘i Island, managing water in the Colorado River Conservation District, increasing conservation resilience in the southern Great Plains, and using El Niño forecasts to plan for drought in the Pacific Islands.

Hurni, Kaspar, Jamon Van Den Hoek and Jefferson Fox (2019). Assessing the spatial, spectral, and temporal consistency of topographically corrected Landsat time series composites across the mountainous forests of Nepal. Remote Sensing of Environment. 231:111225.

In this article, we present a novel framework for evaluating topographically corrected image composites using cloud computing. We evaluated six topographic correction methods (Bin Tan, C-Correction, Minnaert with slope, Sun-Canopy-Sensor plus C-Correction, Statistical-Empirical, and Variable Empirical Coefficient Algorithm) in forest areas of four Landsat footprints in Nepal for a time series of image composites from 1988 to 2016. Our evaluation shows that the Statistical-Empirical topographic correction method provides the best overall performance, but other methods show the best performance for some years and footprints. We discuss these differences and related reasons and give recommendations on the best use and evaluation of topographic correction methods.

Mason, Andrew, and Sang-Hyop Lee (2019). Demographic dividends: Policies based on an understanding of population dynamics will help countries achieve the SDGs. In SDGs: Transforming our world. 2019 edition. United Nations Association. UK.

Taking advantage of the opportunities and responding to the challenges presented by the demographic transition require forward-looking policies that take account of population dynamics. The success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges that no one will be left behind, is strongly bound to anticipating and planning for the effects of the demographic transition that will unfold during the SDG period.

Mason, Andrew, and Sang-Hyop Lee (2019). Macroeconomic impacts and policies in aging societies: T20 Task Force on Aging Population and Its Economic Impact + Immigration. Background document prepared for the Osaka Summit of G20 leaders, held in June 2019 (also forthcoming as a book chapter to be published by the Asian Development Bank Institute).

Mason, Andrew, Sang-Hyop Lee, Ronald Lee, and Gretchen Donehower (2019 forthcoming). Macroeconomics and policies in aging societies. In David Bloom, ed. Economics of population. Washington, DC: Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Morrison, Charles E., and Daniel Chinen (2019). Millennial+ voices in Okinawa: An inquiry into the attitudes of young adults toward the presence of U.S. bases. Honolulu: East-West Center and United States-Japan Foundation.

Many young adults on Okinawa have mixed feeling about the U.S. bases and are often more concerned with other issues such as jobs, the economy, and the possibility of natural disasters. This report recommends that the U.S. military’s public outreach programs should be reviewed with younger people in mind and should take advantage of the desire for more base contact.

Roy, Denny (2019). Assertive China: Irredentism or expansionism? Survival: Global Politics and Strategy. 61(1): 51–74.

China's irredentist claims cover an area so vast that it is already tantamount to a sphere of influence.

Roy, Denny (2019). Taiwan's potential role in the free and open Indo-Pacific strategy: Convergence in the South Pacific. Seattle, WA: National Bureau of Asian Research.

This report examines the role of the Pacific Islands in Taiwan’s grand strategy and argues that Taiwan’s struggle to maintain formal diplomatic relations with these states dovetails with the United States’ reformulated Indo-Pacific strategy, even if Washington has yet to articulate a clear plan for coordinating activities in the South Pacific with Taipei.

Roy, Denny (2019). US strategy toward China: Three key questions for policymakers. PacNet30. Honolulu, HI: Pacific Forum.

China’s economic development holds many potential benefits for the international community, but there are downside risks for the US associated with China’s rise. A US strategy for protecting itself hinges on three fundamental questions: Is China ascending to regional hegemony?, Would the harm to US interests caused by a Chinese hegemony justify the cost of trying to thwart this outcome?, and What is the most efficient US strategy for preventing a form of Chinese domination that would undermine US well-being?

Salim, Wilmar, Keith Bettinger, and Micah Fisher (2019). Maladaption on the waterfront: Jakarta's growth coalition and the Great Garuda. Environment and Urbanization ASIA. 10(1): 63–80.

The capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, faces chronic flooding which has been and will continue to be exacerbated by climate change processes. In response to this threat, the government has devised a megaproject solution, the so-called Great Garuda project. We describe how this project fails to address the root causes of flooding in Jakarta and show how the project is a channel through which politically connected economic elites of the Suharto regime can reconstitute "growth coalitions"’ to benefit from privileged access to development contracts and concessions.

Shimizu, Mika and Allen L. Clark (2019). Nexus of resilience and public policy in a moderen risk society. Singapore: Springer Nature.

This book integrates the latest theoretical insights on public policy and resilience and the latest practical analyses of case studies, such as the Tohoku Disaster in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, to provide policy tools for future resilient societies and disaster risk management.

Showalter, Kevin, David López-Carr, and Daniel Ervin (2019). Climate change and perceived vulnerability: Gender, heritage, and religion predict risk perception and knowledge of climate change in Hawaii. The Geographical Bulletin. 60(1): 49-71.

This study explored climate change-related risk perception among residents of the ‘Big Island’ of Hawaii. Results reveal relationships between risk perceptions for climate change and gender, with women significantly more aware of the risks posed by climate change, but less prepared than men. Additionally, indigenous and native respondents felt that climate change events posed more risk and felt less prepared compared to non-indigenous.

Tsuya, Noriko O., Minja Kim Choe, and Feng Wang (2019). Convergence to very low fertility in East Asia: Processes, causes, and implications.  Tokyo: Springer Japan.

Three countries in East Asia—Japan, South Korea, and mainland China—now have among the lowest levels of human fertility in the world. The shift to very low fertility has ushered in an era of entirely new demographic dynamics, including rapid and extreme population aging and ensuing dramatic population decline. This book provides a systematic comparison of fertility transitions in these three East Asian countries, discusses the economic, social, and cultural factors that may account for their similarities and differences, and concludes with a discussion of policy implications.

Woods, Kevin M. (2019). Green territoriality: Conservation as state territorialization in a resource frontier. Human Ecology. 47(2): 217–32.

This paper explores how global conservation projects carried out in forest frontiers under rebel authority can serve to assert state control over resource-rich territories and populations, based on a two-year field case study in a global biodiversity hotspot under armed conflict and inhabited by Karen in southeastern Myanmar. Findings reveal how military offensives, economic concessions, and conservation activities threaten to bring state agencies, administration, and management into rebel forests where the local population fled from war but have not yet returned. These findings highlight the importance of integrating conservation activities in conflict-affected areas with humanitarian assistance, land restitution, and livelihood rehabilitation.

Woods, Kevin M. (2019). Rubber out of the ashes: Locating Chinese agribusiness investments in ‘armed sovereignties’ in the Myanmar-China borderlands. Territory, Politics, Governance. 7(1):79–95.

Since the mid-2000s, mainland Chinese companies have invested in large-scale agribusiness concessions in northern Myanmar, often partnering with local armed "strongmen," many of whom were or still are involved in the illicit drug trade. Case study data demonstrate how China’s contemporary cross-border investments have extended Myanmar’s national political authority within the arc of armed sovereignties. Chinese-backed agricultural estates, whether awarded to paramilitary militias or rebel leaders under ceasefires, acted as state territorial interventions and led to incremental Myanmar state-building outcomes. The study traces how China’s current land-based investments have reawakened the borderland’s legacy of political violence and reconfigured armed sovereignties closer towards Myanmar’s military state.

Wu, David (2019 forthcoming). グローバル政治におけるディアスポラ汎中国料理の創出. In K. Iwama, ed. Chinese Cuisine in East-Asia. Tokyo: Institute of East-Asian Studies, Keio University.

Yokying, Phanwin, and Isabel Lambrecht (2019). Landownership and the gender gap in agriculture: Disappointing insights from Northern Ghana. IFPRI Discussion Paper 1847. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

This paper analyzes how land ownership is associated with agency and achievements in agriculture among female and male farmers in northern Ghana, a region transitioning from customary land tenure without individual ownership rights towards a more individualized and market-based tenure system. Our estimates indicate that landownership is positively correlated with men’s and women’s agency in agriculture, namely in decisions on agricultural cultivation and membership in agricultural associations. Yet, we also find that gender gaps in participation in cultivation decisions, the use of agricultural earnings, and agricultural workload persist among those who own land. While the results underscore the importance of land as a resource that can enhance women’s agency, they also point out that policies aiming to solely advance land rights may not be sufficient to eradicate or even reduce gender inequality in agriculture.

Full Lists of Publications by East-West Center Authors

* Publications on Environmental Issues

* Publications on Population and Health

* Publications on Innovation, Economic Integration, and Growth

* Publications on Governance, Security, and Justice