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York Centre for Asian Research Updates                    Issue 57, Friday, August 25, 2006

In this issue

Asia Events in Toronto

 JCCC presents Gagaku Japanese Imperial Court Music in Toronto
  Call for Papers  Canada-China Policy Symposium on Social Inclusion & Economic Development

Asia Job Posting

 Stanford Asian Languages invites vacancy applications for Classical Chinese Poetry

Internship Competitions

 Asia Foundation invites Junior Associates in Asian Affairs

Asia News

 India: Is the human face in economic reforms remaining elusive?

Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre presents Gagaku Japanese Imperial Court Music

A concert featuring the oldest traditional Japanese Imperial court music

Performed by The Gagaku Otonowakai Ensemble of Kyoto at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Toronto on August 28th, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.

Gagaku is the traditional imperial court music and dates back to the 7th century. This form of music was once active in the broad expanse of East Asia, but survived only in present day Japan. It preserves the sound of ancient orchestra which consists of wood-winds, strings, and percussion. Gagaku combines the sounds of traditional Japanese court music, magnificent costumes, masks and stately dances. This traditional music has been played by musicians from the same families or guilds for more than one thousand years.

The Otonowakai Ensemble was formed in 1994 in Kyoto, Japan. They have performed extensively in concerts and shrines in Japan, as well as performances in Monaco, France, the Czech Republic (Prague), Australia (at Sydney Opera House) and at numerous locations throughout the United States.

Admission: $25.00 for general public, non-members. $20.00 for students, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre members and Nichiren Buddhist Temple members.

To reserve tickets, please call the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre at 416-441-2345. Tickets can be purchased by cash, Visa, Master Card, American Express and Interac. The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is located at 6 Garamond Court, Toronto (Don Mills and Eglinton, off Wynford Drive). Web: 

For further information please contact Haruko Ishihara. Tel: 416-441-2345 ext. 228. Email:

Call for Papers: Canada-China Symposium on Social Inclusion and Economic Development: Improving Mutual Understanding and Forging Future Collaborations

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing, China, December 12-15, 2006

Host: Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, CASS with Canadian Embassy in Beijing

The IEA of CASS, in partnership with the Policy Research Initiative (PRI), the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, and the Organizing Committee for the 16th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (ICAES 2008), is holding a Canada-China Symposium on Social Inclusion and Economic Development on December 12-15, 2006 in Beijing, China. The objective of this symposium is to enhance the mutual understanding between the two countries on social and economic policy issues in order to explore potential for further dialogue.

Theme: Social inclusion and economic development. The symposium will include the following topics:

Social inclusion and Ethno-cultural diversity: Comparisons on social patterns and policies in Canada and China, Policies to foster common citizenship and respect cultural diversity in Canada and China, Migration management, Poverty alleviation.

Economic prosperity: Trade and investment patterns between Canada and China, Employment and social protection (pension, health insurance), Research on Economic Patterns and Policies in Canada and China, Sino-Canada regional economic development, optimization of regional industrial structure.

Interested participants should submit the reply form doclib/PE/Reply%20Form_%20Formulaire%20de%20reponse.pdf , which should include an abstract of not more than 400 words in Times New Roman 11, to the Scientific Committee at  and

August 30 - Deadline for abstracts. September 15 - Notification of acceptance. Nov 15 - Deadline for papers

Expenses: Expenses for traveling and lodging will be the responsibility of the individual attendees, and expenses for meals during the symposium and the material costs will be covered by the symposium organizers.

Contact Information: China - Mr. Du, Fachun, Associate Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, No.27, Zhongguancun Nandajie Street, Beijing 100081, China, Tel: (8610) 8777-0292 Fax: (8610) 6842-1864, E-mail: fachundu@yahoo.comCanada - Dr. Jean L. Kunz, Associate Project Director, Policy Research Initiative, 56 Sparks Street 1st floor, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 5A9 Tel: 613 992-5193 Fax: 613 947-3809 E-mail: Web: ( 

Stanford Asian Languages invites vacancy applications for Classical Chinese Poetry

The Department of Asian Languages at Stanford University invites applications to fill a vacancy in classical Chinese poetry from early times through the late-imperial periods. The appointment, effective September 1, 2007, will be at the rank of tenure-track Assistant Professor (PhD required at time of appointment). Candidates must have broad training in other genres of Chinese literature and a firm grounding in culture and intellectual history. Duties will include teaching courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level as well as contributing to the development of cross-disciplinary research and teaching in Chinese culture at the university. The Department of Asian Languages is a unit of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, which maintains an active program of interdepartmental activities in literary and cultural studies. Further info is available at The deadline for application is October 15, 2006. Application should include a statement of research and teaching interests, an up-to-date CV, one sample of scholarly research such as a chapter from the PhD dissertation or a scholarly article. Please send the application packet and three letters of reference to: Chinese Search Committee, Department of Asian Languages, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2034, Tel (650)725-2742, Fax (650)725-8931.

Asia Foundation invites Junior Associates in Asian Affairs

The Asia Foundation invites graduate students and recent graduate degree holders to apply for a limited number of opportunities as Junior Associates in Asian Affairs in the Foundationís offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. These short-term affiliations are to further the professional development of individuals specifically interested in Asia. Successful applicants will gain further knowledge of the region and an understanding of the Foundationís work through specific assignments such as the following: conducting research; contributing to proposal development; assisting with the design and implementation of programs; preparing reports on Foundation projects; and other tasks as needed. Associates may be invited for full or part-time positions for three months (October-December) during the fall with a monthly stipend.

The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, open, and just Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation supports programs in Asia that help improve governance and law, women's empowerment, economic reform and development, and international relations. Drawing on over 50 years of experience in Asia, the Foundation collaborates with private and public partners to support leadership and institutional development, exchanges, and policy research. With a network of 18 field offices in Asia, an office in Washington, D.C., and its headquarters in San Francisco, the Foundation addresses these issues on both a country and regional level.

Positions for the fall are expected to be very competitive. We are seeking talented, high-energy individuals who will benefit from their affiliation with the Foundation and contribute to the organization as well. One Junior Associate position is available in Washington, D.C. and 2-3 Junior Associates positions are available in San Francisco.

Candidates should have the following: Graduate student status or recent graduate degree; Graduate studies in Asia-related areas; international relations; international development; public administration; public policy; and law, political science, economics, or sociology with work experience in Asia; Strong written and verbal communication skills; Good organizational skills; Good computer skills

TO APPLY, PLEASE PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING: Application Form (Download application - pdf, 48KB); Cover letter describing interests and skills; Resume; Official transcript; Writing sample (3-5 pages); Sealed recommendation letters from two faculty members and, if applicable, one employment supervisor.

PLEASE SUBMIT BY AUGUST 31, 2006 TO: Mr. Jon Peterson, Office of the President, The Asia Foundation, 465 California Street, 9th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104.

India: Is the human face of economic reforms remaining elusive?
By D Tripati Rao for Asian Analysis

One wonders how initial debate over the veracity of an economic reform package has become so dissipated over the decade that there is now muted acceptance of its 'irreversibility' in India. The question of 'whether or not' economic reforms should be implemented has been remarkably metamorphosed into 'what more is to come' with the so-called second and third generation reforms. This is quite unusual for a pluralistic democracy having a past history of political and social resistance. On the other hand, the reformists have been punished in the reform-oriented states. Failing to address distributional considerations through effective governance for a better provisioning of public utility services - power, roads and health - these electorates appear to be dislodging reform-friendly incumbents. There is a loud message coming through that just 'promising' reforms is no longer sustainable when the 'visibility' of actual reforms implemented is missing. After all, what do we mean by economic reforms? Is it the free flow of capital, the hiring and firing by firms in keeping with market trends, price hikes in public utility services, or improved efficiencies? Alternatively, does it mean increasing competition thereby creating more employment; improved public provisioning of utility services; and, a lessening of corruptive bureaucratic controls?

In India, under the guise of reform, only piecemeal 'elitist' reforms - to trade and industrial policy areas that are politically less sensitive, supported by the dominant new industrialist class and suited to international donors -have been carried forward whereas mass-based, politically sensitive reforms such as agricultural, disinvestment and labour market reforms have been tardy. A fragmented, mostly populist politics, which appeases a narrow voting constituency, has led to deteriorating political institutions resulting in governance failure. Experience at the state level has revealed the tensions within political democracy vis-ŗ-vis market-oriented reforms. The emergence of segmented pluralism amongst the political parties in the 1990s - ideological depolarization, regionalisation (with the emergence of coalition politics) and fragmentation (serving a specific caste or group) -explains the growth of the seemingly contradictory processes of globalization, the rise of regional identities and the emphasis on economic reforms linked to populist politics based on caste and religious identity politics. Being unable to come up with an explicit, constructive, alternative agenda, the political parties have indulged in regional, caste and identity politics with a view to contesting frequently held elections. Myopic leaders focused on micro politico-economic issues and competitive politics have unequivocally accepted market-driven capitalism.

The development and growth-focused economic reforms run counter to the states' long serving welfare agenda - the egalitarian distribution of prosperity. The thumping win in the April-May 2004 elections by the Congress Party, which had shown resistance to proposed reforms and was returned to power with its promise of restoring some of the erstwhile populist polices, suggest that there is a chasm between the elites/intelligentsia and the larger poor who constitute a sizeable electoral mass. Moreover, these reform elements are only to grease the production wheel and to facilitate capital rather than to address distributional concerns. The latter were supposed to be addressed in the so-called 'second' generation reforms, but may yet find a place in the sequel 'third' generation reforms. In a nutshell, there has been little effort expended in 'getting the institutions right'. Ultimately the fine balance between development, growth-focused and welfare reforms will depend squarely on the 'delivery' of reform measures and the polity's capacity to meet the interests of, and pressures from, diverse interest groups, including the larger poor. For that to happen, politics-based or relations-based policy-making must be changed completely to rule-based policy making.

By following political soft-options and choosing piecemeal reform measures which neither establish a competitive environment nor answer distributional concerns, one is likely to stall mid-stream, make U-turns or hit a dead-end with potentially disastrous political, economic and social fallout. This can be seen in many Sub-Saharan African, Southern-Cone and now many Eastern European economies, which are in a muddled state. Some have even turned back and caved-in to more stringent conservative regulation. Seen in this perspective, Indian economic reforms are yet to take their long march forward!

There are many reasons for the growing incidence of poverty and distress in the lower segment of the population and the increasing incidence of suicide amongst farmers in the dry-land regions of Telengana and Vidharbha. These include: low and volatile growth in agriculture, the squeeze in credit delivery to farmers of small and medium-sized farms, failure in creating non-farm rural employment, the slow shift of the labour force from agriculture to other sectors, the questionable 'quality' of alternative employment opportunities and the substantial investment in creating rural infrastructure. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Congress under the charter of the Common Minimum Programme promised to bring a human face to economic reform, but so far it has failed to attain precisely this objective!

WATCHPOINT: It needs to be seen how the government will steer its macroeconomic policies so as to sustain growth as well as to generate employment in diverse activities - rather than indulging in populist policies under the guise of policies with a human face.

D Tripati Rao, Assistant Professor, Business Environment Group, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India,

York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). For further information, contact
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