Related to humanistic development in Pacific Basin countries, these projects involved innovative research with leading experts from around the world.

Although the PBRC’s focus has shifted to supporting SUA students and faculty, for many years the PBRC led off-campus research projects. PBRC research projects have helped to expand Soka’s reputation and bring various scholars to our campus, with many projects later published as part of our book series with Palgrave.

Published Books

The Pacific Basin: An Introduction is a new textbook which provides an interdisciplinary and comparative overview of the emerging Pacific world. Interest in the Pacific Basin has increased markedly in recent years, driven largely by the rise of China as a global rival to the United States and Asian development more generally. Growth in eastern Asia, as well as in the western Americas, has led the Pacific Basin to evolve as a dynamic economic zone. To make sense of this transformation, the book:

  • Defines the Pacific Basin, locates it in academic research and explains its importance.
  • Addressees the historical origins and evolution of the Pacific Basin and its sub-regions.
  • Introduces students to the historical and contemporary relationships, continuities and differences that characterize the region.
  • Incorporates analyses of colonialism and imperialism, migration and settlement, economic development and trade, international relations, war and memory, environmental policy, urbanization, mental and public health, gender, film, and literature.
  • Connects the diverse peoples of this vast area, explores their common challenges and the diverse responses to these challenges and provides a window into the lived humanity of the Pacific Basin.

The Pacific Basin: An Introduction is a key textbook for undergraduate courses on the Pacific Basin, the Pacific Rim, International Studies, Geography, World History, and Globalization.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

This book assesses the evolution of theories, doctrines, and practices in governance, economics, foreign assistance, civil society, and human security in developing countries since WWII, identifying progress and weaknesses. It points to how development approaches across these inter-connected areas can greatly enhance inclusive development.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

Drawing on economic, political, and psychological theory, policy experiences, and case studies of the three regional volumes in the series (Economic Development Strategies and the Evolution of Violence in Latin America; Development Strategies, Identities, and Conflict in Asia; and The Economic Roots of Conflict and Cooperation in Africa), this book assesses the risks and opportunities of development strategies regarding the likelihood of inter-group violence. Policymakers and development practitioners will greatly benefit from this detailed and comprehensive analysis of how development initiatives may affect group identities, influence multiple disparities among groups, create “conflict-opportunity structures,” and change the dynamics of state-society relations.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

While typically the victims of war, civilians are not necessarily passive recipients of violence. What options are available to civilians in times of war? Offering a modification of Hirschman’s class schema, this book suggests three broad strategies—flight, support, and voice—and various combinations that arise from them. This schema provides a useful tool for understanding how civilians react to a wide range of armed conflicts. By disaggregating “civilians” into regions and social group, the study moves toward a theory of civilian action that emphasizes socio-cultural norms as much as conflict dynamics and security concerns.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

The Economic Roots of Conflict and Cooperation in Africa explores how the development strategies of African nations shape the nature and dynamics of inter-group violence. The overview chapter assesses development doctrines, patterns of development, and levels and nature of violence in both North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Focusing on 11 countries, the case-study contributions explore the immediate and long-term impacts of development initiatives on reducing or increasing inter-group conflict and violence. They demonstrate the importance of evolving identities as economic roles and conditions change. These insights can guide policymakers, development professionals, and activists committed to conflict-sensitive development. 

Preview Book

Purchase Book

This book explores the links between Asian governments’ development strategies and the nature and dynamics of inter-group violence. The overview chapters comprehensively assess the development doctrines, patterns of development, and levels and nature of violence in all Asian subregions, while case-study contributions focusing on eight countries explore the often surprising impacts of development initiatives on reducing or increasing inter-group conflict and violence ranging from West Asia to Southeast Asia. The variations in strategies and their impacts on multiple risks of violence can guide policymakers, development professionals, and activists committed to conflict-sensitive development.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

This book explores the ways that traditional cultural practices either change or persist in the face of social and economic development, and whether the latter proceeds primarily from internal or external forces. The unifying argument of the contributions is that adapting cultural practices and beliefs is often the key to the preservation of core values and societal integrity that enhance human dignity.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

Physical Infrastructure Development addresses the key challenges of balancing economic growth, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection in the development of major physical infrastructure, ranging from transport to energy. The contributions, reflecting the perspectives of economics, engineering, planning, political science, and urban design,  examine the impact of alternative financing and pricing arrangements on the sharing of burdens and benefits, and the opportunities and risks of public-private partnerships. They also assess the emerging approaches for restoring ecosystems degraded by past infrastructure development, and the strategies for promoting farsighted infrastructure planning and protecting vulnerable people impacted by physical infrastructure expansion.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

Although the extraordinary leadership that stimulated European recovery efforts in the late 1940s and early 1950s is now widely celebrated as a model for international development assistance, the role of leadership in development is too often taken for granted. Rondinelli and Heffron argue persuasively that leadership is the hallmark of almost every successful effort at international development since the late 1940s, and that its absence is the underlying cause of most development failures.

Leadership for Development examines fundamental issues: the tools leaders use to achieve development goals; how culture and interdependence among governments and organizations affects leadership styles; where leaders get their advice from–experts, non-experts, academic or non-academic elites–and if it matters; whether transformational or transactional leadership styles are more effective; and the lessons that can be drawn from examining the traits of successful leaders. Focusing largely on the Pacific Basin region and Latin America, the book offers valuable case studies for development practitioners looking to increase their effectiveness in a highly interdependent global society.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

In this book, the first in a series, the authors seek to understand the dynamics of change through which governments, social organizations, and the private sector are adjusting to rapidly shifting global trends. The research in the book–a compilation of the work of eleven scholars, including the editors–differentiates it from work that has focused on arguments over the merits or dangers of globalization, as well as from studies that have examined globalization as a phenomenological issue. Instead, Globalization in Asia explores how adjustments to globalization in Asia have conditioned international trends in the region, suggesting a model of balanced human development that sets the region apart from, and that can serve as an example for, other regions of the world.

Purchase Book

The interaction of failed states, terrorism and the need for “nation-building” is at the top of the international agenda, with particular focus on Afghanistan and Iraq. This book brings together top analysts to examine the goals and challenges facing efforts to reconstruct states that have collapsed into anarchy or have been defeated in war. It draws lessons from 50 years of past experience with post-conflict reconstruction and development around the world to assess development plans in a country devastated by more than a century of conflict. While the focus is on Afghanistan, important comparisons—including to reconstruction after the American Civil War—provide historical context and lessons of difficulties to overcome and realistic limitations of ambitions. Throughout, particular attention is paid to the interaction of the goals of external and domestic actors, highlighting the importance of understanding the internal social, economic, and political environment of the society receiving assistance.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

Building Democratic Institutions bridges the gap between theoretical literature and the actual tools and practices needed to strengthen or rebuild democratic institutions and reform governance systems. Through original case studies and contemporary examples of good practices of governance, Cheema clarifies the links between governance, democracy, and human development and assesses the conditions that make democracy work.

A senior advisor on governance working with the United Nations and an adjunct professor of Politics at New York University, Cheema displays in this book the depth of his experience as both theoretician and practitioner. He examines institutional designs and practices concerning such core issues as strengthening parliaments, electoral management bodies, and judicial systems; combating corruption; and reinventing governance in crisis situations. Undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals will gain from his insight into the value of inclusive democracy and the innovations that promote responsiveness and accountability for an able, free, and just society.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

Fighting Words analyzes the impact of different kinds of language policies on ethnic relations in fifteen multiethnic countries in Asia and the Pacific. The analyses include discussion of the origins of different language policies and of how the policies have evolved over time. The book develops policy recommendations, both for individual countries and in more general terms.

Language policy is a sensitive issue in most countries. In countries where more than one language is spoken—the vast majority of countries—language policies affect the ability of individuals and groups to participate in government, to be treated fairly by governmental agencies, to have access to government services, to take advantage of educational opportunities, and to pursue economic success.

Language policies also affect the prospects for survival of ethnic groups that define themselves on the basis of language. Assimilationist policies can threaten the existence of minority groups as distinct entities. Accommodationist policies might allow many ethnic groups to flourish but weaken national unity. In many countries, disputes over language policies have led to ethnic tensions and, in some cases, to violent ethnic conflicts.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

Sovereignty—the authority of a state to wield ultimate power over its territory, its citizens, its institutions—is everywhere undergoing change as states respond in various ways to the challenges posed, from above and below. “Above” the state is the widening net of international institutions and treaties dealing with human rights, trade, investment, and monetary affairs; and “below” it are rising claims within states from long-resident groups discontented with the political order and from new migrants testing its authority. Sovereignty under Challenge deals with a range of such challenges and responses analyzed in authoritative studies by leading scholars.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

Preview Book

Existing studies of social capital have provided ample evidence of its pervasiveness and offered useful impressions of its political, economic, and social influence. That it can be also a resource for the implementation of public policies is less well understood. Social Capital as a Policy Resource considers how leaders use it to accomplish objectives that are exogenous to the purposes of those that originally contributed to it. Since social capital is usually a by-product of group behavior, its existence should be observed as a separate feature of a group’s assets. It is most frequently observed indirectly through its influence on social systems and their policies, but it may also perform the reverse role by becoming an instrument of policy. This book examines some of its uses in mobilizing public support through appeals to unrelated loyalties. Social capital, the study asserts, may serve to mediate state-society relations; but the state, independent of its cooperative activities, is still as strong as ever in most of the project countries, perhaps stronger than before the ‘associational revolution’ of the last quarter-century. In the actual study of social capital, focusing on policy–on someone’s preferred future and the actions necessary to bring it about–moves the discussion beyond community and organization to a consideration of the mundane human concerns–for a secure existence, for respect, dignity, and a sense of meaning–that make social relations worth pursuing at all.

Purchase Book

This book addresses effects that public health policy has on people’s lives. From Marcos to Aquino, from central administration to devolution, it explores the role of political leadership and program orientation and delivery in the area of public health in improving people’s well-being and advancing human values. It examines how the Philippine government advanced the human value of well-being and in what way public health policies and programs advanced human values other than health well-being. It is argued that although the Marcos and Aquino administrations made some strides in the advancement of the health well-being of the Filipino people, their outcomes varied because the inputs of the two administrations differed. The policy premise underlying the government’s intervention played a critical role since it influenced the direction and thrusts of the programs and the manner by which they were implemented. This book shows that the two administrations advanced the health well-being of the Filipinos and that the policies and strategies adopted produced both positive and negative consequences on human values.

As China develops its booming, fossil fuel-powered economy, is it taking lessons from the history of Western industrialization and the unforeseen environmental harms that accompanied it? Given the risks of climate change, is there an imperative, shared responsibility to help China respond to the environmental effects of its coal dependence? By linking global hazards to local air pollution concerns—from indoor stove smoke to burgeoning ground-level ozone—this volume of 18 studies seeks integrated strategies to address simultaneously a range of harmful emissions. Counterbalancing the scientific inquiry are key chapters on China’s unique legal, institutional, political, and cultural factors in effective pollution control.

Energizing China, the stage-setting publication of an ongoing program of Harvard-China research collaboration is distinguished by its conceptual breadth and spirit of exchange. Its contributors include 22 Western and 17 Chinese scholars with a disciplinary reach that includes science, public health, engineering, economics, public policy, law, business, and China studies.

Purchase Book

This book explores new and encouraging paths on the human rights topography. Its authors—all human rights activists and social scientists—focus on the very positive steps taken by many governments to assure their citizens of basic human rights. Women’s rights in China, India’s affirmative action policies for the disadvantaged, public health policies in the Philippines, group rights for Ecuador’s indigenous peoples, and education for exiled Tibetans in India are just a few of the case examples where policies and programs have advanced human rights. The authors not only provide a historical analysis of the programs and policies but also invite comparison among them.

The book also explores the intersection of human values and human rights, by identifying recognized universal qualities that underlie the policies created by governments, non-governmental organizations, corporations, and volunteer activists in response to individual and community claims.

Human Rights: Positive Policies in Asia and the Pacific Rim represents an innovative approach to human rights research on which future studies can be modeled. Its findings illuminate promising directions in human rights and affirm that gradual improvements are taking place.

Ethnic conflict, one of the most serious and widespread problems in the world today, can undermine efforts to promote political and economic development, as well as political, economic, and social justice. It can also lead to violence and open warfare, producing horrifying levels of death and destruction. Although government policies on ethnic issues often have profound effects on a country, the subject has been neglected by most scholars and analysts.

This volume analyzes different policies governments have pursued in their efforts to contend with the tensions inherent in multiethnic societies. The book focuses on Asia and the Pacific, the most populous and economically vibrant part of the world. The heart of the book is a set of case studies of government policies in 16 countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Federated States of Micronesia. The studies consider a wide range of political, economic, educational, linguistic, and cultural policies, and how these policies have evolved over time. Using a broad comparative perspective to assess the effectiveness of different governmental approaches, the authors offer policy recommendations that cut across individual countries and regions.

Preview Book

Purchase Book

Social capital creates or reinforces the mutual trust that binds people together. Some of the traditional human values in Asia and the cultural changes Asians face in order to survive in an era of globalization are presented in this collection of essays. The chapters emphasize the strong influence of values on education, the role of education in building social capital, and the necessity of expanding social capital in order to enhance human potential. In chapter one, Defining Values, John M. Heffron reviews the historical antecedents of some current philosophical interpretations of values relating to education and development. In chapter two, Are Asian Values Different?, John D. Montgomery looks at whether these values differ as regards fundamental issues. In chapter three, Diffusion of Values and the Pacific Rim, Nathan Glazer presents comparative cultural and historical evidence identifying core values in the Pacific Rim. In chapter four, Continuity and Change in Popular Values on the Pacific Rim, Alex Inkeles offers empirical measures of values arising in the context of social changes that attend modernization. In chapter five, Education as Communication, Ruth Hayhoe documents some of the processes by which formal and nonformal education actually communicate values. In chapter six, Measuring Impact of Social Value and Change, Wing-On Lee addresses the difficult problem of identifying and measuring the impact of changing values on individuals and society. In chapter seven, Promoting Human Rights in East Asian Value: Basic Education’s Role, William L. Cummings shows how values have infused the Japanese educational system, and in chapter eight, Engineering Values: Education Policies and Values Transmission, Kai-ming Cheng examines the extent to which values can be engineered.

This book describes 11 “great policies”—strategic innovations designed to deal with problems that transcend normal boundaries of government action. Examples range from the Marshall Plan in the United States to the “reverse brain-drain” policy in China, and from the financing of land reform by the distribution of industrial bonds in Taiwan to an exploration of community natural resource management in Latin America. These actions did not emerge incrementally from existing policies but represented departures from conventional organizations and sectoral responsibilities. Although such strategic innovations are rare, these examples suggest that when they do occur, they are recognizably different from policies that develop incrementally. They create new paradigms of public action, they generate new expectations and demands, and they require extraordinary processes of implementation. Such “mega-policies” imply the possibility of developing transferable lessons from otherwise unique cases.

These “mega-policies” range from economic growth strategies to social initiatives and from international economic transactions to technical exchanges. Dealing with policy interactions like these provokes tension between tradition and innovation and calls for sustained political involvement and experimental approaches to administration. Often mega-policies arise from a transforming vision or a coherent strategic view of the future. Although they represent departures from conventional governance, these cases were not driven by ideological preconceptions or by the personal vision of a charismatic leader. They frequently emerged from bureaucratic frustrations with the inability of traditional jurisdictions to deal with unconventional crises. Their very dependence on administrative innovation exposed them to especially virulent forms of bureaucratic turf warfare, which in turn called for dynamic, but constant political leadership. This work will be of great interest to scholars and policymakers involved with economic and social change, and Asian/Pacific and Third World Studies.

Preview Book

Research Projects

Many countries have experienced substantial internal migration from one locale to another, population movements that demand effective policy responses. Internal migration may be prompted by “pull factors,” such as perceived economic opportunities, or by “push factors” such as poverty, violence, weather conditions, ecosystem degradation, or displacement due to infrastructure development. Some of these population movements are directly encouraged, or even coerced, by governments; sometimes they are indirectly induced by the construction of physical infrastructure such as roads going into less developed areas. Thus, both national governments and sub-national authorities have a stake and a responsibility for the outcomes triggered by the migration. What are some best practices that can help integrate internal migrants and host communities?

The intensity and range of interactions between East Asia and Latin America have been increasing dramatically, with China’s expansion of trade for raw materials and food and the entry of Korean-owned forestry companies. On top of Japan’s long-standing cultural and trade relations, particularly with Brazil and Peru. These more intensive interactions are changing the structure of the East Asia-North America-Latin America nexus in significant economic—and possibly political—ways. This calls for systematic scanning of the risks and opportunities that these changes may hold, as well as strategic thinking about steps to make the best of it for the various stakeholders.

The PBRC thus created this Taskforce to better understand these ever-changing relationships, which culminated with a 2015 Report and a 2016 meeting hosted by the Asia Society.

Read Report [PDF]

There is strong potential for businesses to request the expertise of environmental non-governmental organizations in order to improve environmental stewardship and reduce the consumption of materials and energy. Businesses may find partnering with environmental organizations to be an effective and efficient way to pursue social responsibility, enhance goodwill, and even realize cost savings. The environmental organizations may find working with firms to be an attractively direct way to effect environmental improvements and may gain in terms of visibility and funding. However, determining whether to form such partnerships and what arrangements may be optimal, is a complex challenge that requires careful consideration. The Pacific Basin Research Center created a multi-sector task force chaired by Garry Brewer (Yale) and Jorge Rivera (George Washington University), with members from business, environmental groups, government, and universities to develop a practical framework for assisting businesses and environmental groups to decide how to proceed.

After several informative meetings, the Taskforce published a final report in December 2015.

Read Report [PDF]

This project tells the story of how the views and actions of development experts and practitioners have evolved over the past 65 years, critically assess these changes, project the likely future evolution of development thinking and practice, and point to the remaining challenges and the avenues for addressing them. In the process, it hopes to contribute a broader public understanding and consensus around the aims and purposes of US foreign aid and assistance, a more “broadly shared understanding,” as one old development hand put it over half a century ago, “of the what, why, and how of aid.” It is not simply that the American people question these aims, and have been for as long as the life of the Republic. (Washington himself, our first president, departed office warning against “entangling foreign alliances.”) Our political biases have never had the benefit of clear awareness of the historical record, of what has been actually said and done and written by development practitioners as well as by the intellectuals and bureaucrats who guide them, support them, and sometimes use them for their own expedient ends.

This project resulted in the publication of The Evolution of Development Thinking: Governance, Economics, Assistance, and Security (see published books).

Though many scholars and practitioners recognize that development and conflict are intertwined, there is much less understanding (or at least consensus) about the mechanism behind these linkages. In many cases, the causes of violence can be traced to social and economic conditions that produce frustration and humiliation among disadvantaged social groups. The question, which thus far has stayed outside of research focus, is how to identify strategies of development to reinforce the peaceful coexistence of different elements of the population and to encourage their cooperation. A global conflict syndrome—the sum of factors that work in parallel to undermine the stability of the international system and erode the foundations of human security—requires rigorous analysis of multiple linkages between development patterns and conflicts as well as innovative ideas of how to effectively incorporate conflict prevention into development interventions. Policy interventions based on erroneous theoretical assumptions or inconclusive empirical basis are known to have brought unanticipated negative results.

This project resulted in the publication of Development Strategies and Inter-Group Violence: Insights on Conflict-Sensitive Development (see published books).

This project represents an effort to address the key challenges of balancing economic growth, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection in the development of major physical infrastructure. Contributions to this volume reflected the perspectives of economics, engineering, planning, political science, and urban design on the impact of alternative financing and pricing arrangements, and the opportunities and risks of public-private partnerships. They also assess emerging approaches for restoring ecosystems degraded by past infrastructure development, and strategies for promoting farsighted infrastructure planning and protecting vulnerable people impacted by physical infrastructure expansion.

The results of this project were published as Physical Infrastructure Development: Balancing the Growth, Equity, and Environmental Imperatives (see published books).

This research project on leadership for development explores how individuals and organizations in the Pacific Basin exercise effective leadership on economic, social, and political issues of global or regional concern within and across national borders. It asks how global interdependence among organizations in Pacific Basin nations affects approaches to and practices of leadership that influence decisions on important development issues. The project focuses on differences and similarities in leadership styles, approaches, concepts and methods across Pacific Basin cultures and societies and on how individuals and organizations influence development decisions.

Our project culminated in the publication of Leadership for Development: What Globalization Demands of Leaders Fighting for Change (see published books).

Beginning in 2004, the PBRC set out to examine concepts and approaches to human development in its social, economic, political, and cultural dimensions, examining ways in which changes in development policy can lead both in principle and in fact to a more peaceful society. Invited contributors explored the types of changes that have occurred in Asia as a result of development policies seeking to adjust to and capture the benefits of globalization, how adjustments were initiated and nurtured, and how changing development policies were implemented. This project explores the historic interplay of domestic and international political and economic forces in the region, asking whether and how mutually interactive forces, in a period of transition, are serving to alter the pace and characteristics of globalization in the Asian Pacific Rim and in the rest of the world. It seeks to understand how and why governments, social organizations, and private enterprises in Asian countries have attempted to respond to globalization.

The results of this investigation appear in Globalization and Change in Asia (see published books).

Other Publications