Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Books on Asia from Selections No. 99

Here are a number of new books from our recently issued Selections No. 99 on the Asia-Pacific region:
  • Asia Beyond Growth - Urbanization in the World's Fastest-Changing Continent edited by Aecom. Today, for the first time in history, more than half of the world's population lives in cities, and most of these cities are in Asia. The challenges presented by this phenomenon - population explosion, pollution, destruction of eco-systems, water shortages, sanitation, inhuman social environments - are addressed in this book by visionary architects, designers and planners. This book goes beyond architecture; it provides the facts and figures concerning the cities' expansion and the ecological implications of their enormous growth. The countries covered span the entire continent of Asia, from the glittering conurbations of the Dubai and Abu Dhabi to the vast metropolis of Seoul. With maps, diagrams and graphs and photographs.
  • Best Practices of Journalism in Asia by Eric Loo. While journalism adheres to an assumed universal ethical code and methodology, its goals and functions are essentially framed by local factors, and to an extent, existential imperatives. Discussions on what constitutes best practices of journalism in the Asian context are ideologically polarised. For instance, governments in new industrialised countries and socialist bloc see the media more as a state apparatus and a prime mover of national development. This conflicts with civil societies' conception of professional journalism as a public trust, a representative of the common people that keeps a close check on those in power. This book eschews direct references to the Pulitzer-type criteria as the exclusive benchmarks of journalistic excellence. Instead, it canvasses the scattered literature on best media practices for a cultural context and gathers the opinions of working journalists in Asia to grasp at these elusive benchmarks. The eclectic achievements of Asian journalists featured in this book show the varied - and at times notional - forms of "best practices" in the region. This book concludes that best practices in journalism are essentially culturally defined and best understood from within the realities that influence the socially transformative work by Asia journalists who have built their professional career and won awards for their enterprising coverage of human development issues.
  • Economic Development in Asia by Malcolm Dowling. This second edition of Economic Development in Asia provides the reader with an in-depth theoretical and empirical analysis of current economic trends and policy issues in the countries that comprise developing Asia – a vast region extending from the Indian subcontinent to China and Japan. Each chapter begins with a theoretical foundation that provides the basis for a detailed discussion of major micro- and macroeconomic developments and policy issues in these Asian developing countries. Country and regional examples, along with summaries of empirical studies, are introduced to illustrate different points of view regarding the development experience.
  • Pursuing Green Growth in Asia and the Pacific edited by Rae Kwon Chung and Euston Quah. The Asia-Pacific region is experiencing the fastest economic growth among the regions of the world. Yet, economic growth in its current form is placing enormous pressure on the environmental carrying capacity of the region. Unless this is properly checked, the environmental carrying capacity for future generations will be seriously compromised. Despite the increasing environmental pressure arising from economic growth, it is only through economic growth that the nations of the region can reduce poverty and improve environmental management. Therefore, the challenge is not to limit economic growth but to convert it into an environmentally sustainable form. In other words, the region has to turn away from the conventional 'Grow First, Clean Up Later' paradigm and move towards the 'green growth' paradigm which harmonises economic growth with environmental sustainability. The book aims to develop the new paradigm for environmentally sustainable economic growth or 'green growth' in Asia and the Pacific. Firstly, it discusses the present status of environmental sustainability, especially the issue of eco-efficiency of consumption and production patterns. Secondly, it looks at the challenging issues of environmental sustainability including the problem of sustainable resource-based development, the controversial relationship between economic growth and environmental sustainability and the relationship between environmental regulation and competitiveness. Finally, it looks at how to make markets work for green growth, utilising public policy to stimulate eco-efficiency, the role of economics and regional cooperation to achieve green growth.
  • Regional Outlook: Southeast Asia 2010-2011 edited by Michael Montesano and Lee Poh Onn. Launched in 1992, Regional Outlook is an annual publication of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, published every January. Designed for the busy executive, professional, diplomat, journalist, or interested observer, Regional Outlook aims to provide a succinct analysis of current political and economic trends shaping the region, and the outlook for the forthcoming two years. This forward-looking book contains focused political commentaries and economic forecasts on all ten countries in Southeast Asia, as well as a select number of topical pieces of significance to the region.

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