This project investigates the pattern and dynamics of modern political development in East and Southeast Asian countries since the end of World War II. The project will first establish a pattern of political development across Asian countries where most of the countries started with a pluralist form of politics in the 1950s, and then shifted to non-pluralist politics in one form or another. Finally, from the mid 1980s, most of them returned to pluralist politics one after another with only a few still lingering on with non-pluralist politics. The project seeks to explain why this has been the case and what this means for various theories of modern political development in non-Western countries. This work is part of my project on Politics in Pacific Asia.
Besides this primary project, I'll do several other projects during my stay in IIAS and beyond. First, I will work on a conference paper on East Asian regional institutions and their relevance to regional community building. It investigates the competing organizing principles for East Asian regional integration and how they have affected the effectiveness of the East Asian regional institutions and the directions of their development.
Second, I will write a chapter on China-South Korea relations. This chapter examines the evolution of the relationship between South Korea and China in the past 20 years against the background of various competing theories in explaining significant changes in bilateral relations and seeks to understand the extent to which the forces of material interests, institutional dynamics and ideational factors contributed to the shaping of the relationship. This chapter is part of a multi-contributor volume on "China and Korea: Competing Images and Contending Issues."
Finally, I will start to work on a project funded by my home university on the institutional dynamics of contemporary development of China. This project seeks to understand the institutional dynamics of the rise of China and, in doing so, test key claims in conventional institutionalist theories about why nations rise and how. In explaining China's transformation from a socialist country to what it is now in the past 30 years, this study will investigate the origins of institutions, the role of formal and informal institutions, mechanisms of institutional change and response, and the consequences of national growth and development under a particular institutional environment.I won't be able to finish all of these projects within the three months of stay at IIAS, but am confident that IIAS will provide not only an excellent working environment, but also a useful platform for me to communicate and consolidate my research ideas in these projects with those of similar interests.