21. Dec 2009

Separate surnames: the breakdown of families vs. the emancipation of women by Karl Jakob Krogness, Ph.D., Ritsumeikan University

InFocus, Japan

In the last days of August, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) put a decisive end to the Liberal Democratic Party’s  (LDP) half century of practically uninterrupted rule. Soon after, 29 September, the new minister of justice, Keiko Chiba (DPJ), announced she would introduce early next year a bill for revising the Civil Code in order to introduce an optional separate surnames system for married couples. Such a bill would arguably reform the family model that has ruled Japanese social life for over a century.

Read more
17. Dec 2009

Conceptualizing Local Environmental Knowledge in Asia and beyond


Frida Hastrup, post.doc, Department of Anthropology,

University of Copenhagen


Read more
14. Dec 2009

Vikings vs the new economic superpower: the Tibet issue in Sino-Danish relations by Clemens Stubbe Østergaard, Aarhus Univ.


Danes love to have their cake and eat it. Or as the
Danish expression goes: to blow air and yet keep flour in your mouth. In the
past, before globalization, we could say one thing at home, and do something
else abroad. Or we could rely on being so insignificant that others did not
bother to react to contradictory policies on our part. Being a small country,
though, has never prevented us from imagining ourselves a great power – perhaps
remembering Viking times. A number of times we accordingly collided with

Read more
9. Dec 2009

Keep an eye on China’s sector for renewable energy by Nis Høyrup Christensen, Ph.d. DI


In the global struggle to combat climate change China’s sector renewable
energy is becoming of increasing importance. High targets for renewable energy
(hydro, solar, wind, biomass and biofuel), continued economic growth and the
simultaneously increasing needs for energy means that the market looks
extremely promising. In this brief note it is argued that five factors will
work to make the sector one of the most dynamic places for developing renewable
energy solutions.


Read more
7. Dec 2009

Climate Change and Conflict by Olivier Rubin, NIAS


In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) and Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Prize
Committee noted that their work could ‘contribute to a sharper focus on the
processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s
future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind.’ Yet,
in spite of this prestigious award, surprisingly little academic evidence has
been produced within IPPC or elsewhere that point to a strong link between
climate change and conflict. In fact, most peer-reviewed studies based on

Read more
30. Nov 2009

Climate Summit in Copenhagen: China moves to centre stage of the climate negotiations

China, environment, InFocus

Jørgen Delman, Professor, PhD, China Studies,
Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Copenhagen University


Read more
11. Nov 2009

Wild monks should raise concern in Cambodia by Anya Palm

Buddhism, cambodia, InFocus

In Cambodia, on Tuesday
Oct 26, a nun was murdered. She had grabbed the wrong bowl to feed the pigs
with and then an angry man beat her to death with a stick for her mistake. Same
day, in an unrelated case, a young student became the center of a drunken
brawl. Two men got so upset with the student that they beat him with a hammer
and an iron bar. 

The only thing those two
incidents have in common – apart from a deadly outcome for the victim – is that
the perpetrator was a Buddhist monk.

Read more
2. Nov 2009

Challenges to peace in East Asia by Jordi Urgell

InFocus, Peace

This article attempts to contribute to the
discussion about the emerging concept of ‘East Asian Peace’, which in its
narrower formulation refers to a dramatic decline in the number of battle
deaths from 1979 onwards. By using the data on armed conflicts and peace
processes from the School for a Culture of Peace at the Autonomous
University of Barcelona, the following article raises some
academic questions that need further research.

Read more
2. Nov 2009

Understanding the East Asian peace: some findings on the role of informal processes by Mikael Weissmann, University of Gothenbur

InFocus, Peace

Understanding the East Asian peace: some findings on the role of informal processes by Mikael Weissmann, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Read more
30. Oct 2009

Peace and Protest: Unarmed Insurrections in East Asia, 1946–2006 by Isak Svensson and Mathilda Lindgren, Uppsala University

InFocus, Peace

Whereas the discussion on East Asian Peace has primarily focused on
armed conflicts, this article contributes by discussing unarmed conflicts in the East Asian region. The article presents
the regional picture of the prevalence of these types of non-violent, popular
uprisings and contends that these types of social conflicts are important to
consider in order to get a better grasp of what kind of relative peacefulness
that East Asia is experiencing.

Read more