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Abstract

The People’s Republic of China and Japan have been at odds with each other for over a century. Their modern relationship was shaped by imperialism, territorial disputes, and two wars. With the end of the bipolar power structure of the Cold War, both nations are vying for regional leadership. The unresolved territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diàoyú Islands (Senkaku shotō 尖閣諸島/ Diàoyúdǎo jí qí fùshǔ dǎoyǔ 钓岛及其附属岛屿) in the East China Sea serves as a constant catalyst for clashes between both powers and seems to be pushing towards a violent eruption. Thus, this paper assesses the risk of an interstate war between China and Japan in the twenty-first century. By employing the Steps to War theory, each step nations usually take before engaging in war, it will be analysed in order to see how far the brewing Sino-Japanese conflict has developed. This paper aims at answering the questions of the current risk of war, whether there is a palpable shift towards conflict escalation during the twenty-first century, and if so, identifying the main drivers for this development and ascertaining whether threats to stability are currently increasing or decreasing.

Abstract

This paper tells a little known story of the collecting and delivery of signatures of Irish school children from the northern part of Ireland as an act of moral support for Polish students on strike in defense of the Polish language at schools in the Prussian partition of Poland, in the first decade of the 20th century (Płygawko 1991). The bound signatures are in the Czartoryski Museum in Cracow, Poland, but the information about the action has not been found in Irish sources, and the Polish signatures collected in response seem to be missing. The role of the organizer of the initiative, Shane Leslie, is emphasized in this paper. It describes the background of this exchange of sympathy, and discusses possible reasons why the story remains obscure.

Abstract

Studies of primary school pupils’ Gaelic to date have largely relied on criterion referenced tests to measure attainment against curricular expectations: with only NicLeòid’s (2015) work on student attitudes and Nance’s research (e.g. 2013 and 2015) on comparative phonology bucking this trend. There is a surprising lack of information or research about the language forms and bilingual repertoire of young speakers. A better understanding of young people’s language practices requires the Gaelic research community to develop datasets from spontaneous interactions. This paper draws on a pilot study with a primary 5-6 school cohort in Gaelic-medium education. Using a combination of audio and audio-visual data from the classroom together with data on young speakers’ language attitudes, this paper examines pupils’ determination and strategies to maintain the classroom language as Gaelic. The results of this pilot study can inform the development of new methodologies for collaborative research with the school community on children’s linguistic development and attainment. Such research, it is argued, is necessary in light of the dependency of the Gaelic language planning model on the primary school for the production of new Gaelic speakers.

Abstract

In 2007, China overtook the US to become the largest emitter of CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere. China’s vital role in global efforts to combat climate change creates a pressing challenge to explore the unique characteristics of Chinese environmental values and policy processes, and to identify the frames that are employed to understand climate change and related environmental issues domestically. This paper investigates a) how the political context, as well as differing political agendas and policy goals within which actors operate, affects and sometimes constrains the frames they generally employ; and b) the specific frames used to understand and discuss climate change by interview subjects and in written documents. It finds that different frames are employed by those supporting the current regime and its attendant official discourses on climate change and the environment (mainly government officials) and those challenging or in opposition to such dominant framings (particularly NGOs).

Abstract

This paper examines overseas Chinese identity construction in Austria by focusing on Europe Weekly, the biggest Chinese language newspaper in Vienna. The study adopts a quantitative and qualitative content analysis, with the latter focusing on Europe Weekly’s reporting of the 2008 Tibet unrest and a comparison of the newspaper’s coverage of the event to the media portrayals in the Austrian daily Die Presse and the Chinese People’s Daily. Findings show that the Weekly in general promotes a pluralistic view for its readers and, thus, provides a narrative of a hybrid Chinese identity that encompasses Austria, China, the local Chinese community in Austria, as well as transnational spaces of the Chinese diaspora. Yet, while the Weekly normally promotes plurilocal attachments and flexible self-assurances of the Chinese in Austria, the study also reveals how the process of Chinese immigrant identity formation might change when the country of residence and the home country find themselves in antagonistic positions. The findings demonstrate both the difficulties of maintaining transnational attitudes in times of a crisis and strategies of Chinese immigrants to somehow remain open towards the host society while simultaneously promoting the rhetoric of solidarity with the Chinese nation state.

Abstract

This paper discusses the debate in Chinese online media on both climate change policy and the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15). Based on the results of a discourse analysis of Chinese language weblogs, the paper argues that at the time of COP15 there was a dominant single discourse coalition, while also identifying alternative discourse formations. The main reasons for this discursive structure seem to be the ways in which actors are participating in the political process, the sensitivity of the topic of climate change in the Chinese discussion, and the influence of foreign debates.

Abstract

While Modern Languages are in decline generally in the United Kingdom’s post-primary schools, including in Northern Ireland (Speak to the Future 2014), the international focus on primary languages has reawakened interest in the curricular area, even after the ending in 2015 of the Northern Ireland Primary Modern Languages Programme which promoted Spanish, Irish and Polish in primary schools. This paper will consider the situation in policy and practice of Modern Languages education, and Irish in particular, in Northern Ireland’s schools. During the years of economic growth in the 1990s Ireland, North and South, changed from being a country of net emigration to be an attractive country to immigrants, only to revert to large-scale emigration with the post-2008 economic downturn. While schools in Great Britain have had a long experience of receiving pupils from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, firstly from the British Empire and Commonwealth countries, Northern Ireland did not attract many such pupils due to its weaker economic condition and the conflict of the Northern Ireland Troubles. The influx from Poland and other Accession Countries following the expansion of the European Union in 2004 led to a sudden, significant increase in non-English speaking Newcomer pupils (DENI 2017). The discussion in Northern Ireland about a diverse democracy has hitherto concentrated on the historical religious and political divide, where Unionist antipathy led to the Irish Language being dubbed the ‘Green Litmus Test’ of Community Relations (Cultural Traditions Group 1994). Nevertheless, the increasing diversity can hopefully ‘have a leavening effect on a society that has long been frozen in its “two traditions” divide’ (OFMDFM 2005a: 10). This paper will revisit the role and potential of Irish within the curricular areas of Cultural Heritage and Citizenship. An argument will also be made for the importance of language awareness, interculturalism and transferable language learning skills in Northern Ireland’s expanded linguistic environment with a particular focus on Polish.

Abstract

This research aims at reviewing the coherence of rhetoric and behaviour of Japanese and South Korean aid policy. By using the theoretical framework of role theory, the role conceptions of Japanese and South Korean policymakers are compared with the actual role performances of the countries. A four step methodological approach is chosen. First, the aid-related rhetoric of policymakers between 2005 and 2012 is analysed. By using qualitative content analysis, six role conceptions are identified (“Bridge”, “Model”, “Respected Member of the International Community”, “Responsible Leader”, “Partner”, “Newcomer”). Second, commitment indicators found in the role conceptions are compared to aid disbursement data from the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System. Third, two case studies-an Asian and an African recipient country (Vietnam and Tanzania)- are presented to provide additional information on qualitative indicators. Finally, role performances are set in the context of the previously derived role conceptions. As a result, role gaps are identified for both donors, whereas in two instances respectively role performance is coherent with role conception. Japan acts as a “Bridge” and “Partner”, while South Korea is a “Newcomer” and to some extent a “Partner”. This research shows that the reliability of aid related commitments of Japan and South Korea is overall quite weak, thereby contributing to a deeper understanding of the two countries’ roles in the international aid community by linking the fields of Foreign Policy Analysis, role theory, and Official Development Assistance.

Abstract

Does the allocation of transboundary water strengthen cooperation among states or cause international conflicts? This is a question that is highly disputed among several scholars, whereas the arguments of both sides seem equally rational. An analogous dissent can be seen in the research area of the Mekong River. For that reason, it is rational to avoid engaging in this everlasting disagreement and rather look at the problematic question from another viewpoint. This article deals with the Mekong case from a relatively new angle by combining the concepts of power, hydro-hegemony, and coexistence of conflict and cooperation as proposed by the London Water Research Group for analysing the impacts of hydro-hegemony on water allocation. This approach enables us to observe that the power asymmetry deriving from four types of power (geographic, material, bargaining, and ideational power) gives China the position of the hydro-hegemon that is followed by five weaker non-hegemons in the following order: Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Despite the great number of collaborative groups, the non-hegemons have not been able to resist the hydro-hegemony of China effectively, as the unity of non-hegemons is mostly hampered by different national interests. Therefore, the bilateral relations of China with the other riparian states individually-especially with Laos and Cambodia-have been stronger than on the multilateral basis with the Mekong River Commission.