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  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: This year’s Democracy Report shows that the trend of a third wave autocratization – the decline of democratic regime traits – continues and now affects 24 countries. When we weight levels of democracy by population size – because democracy is rule by the people and it matters how many of them are concerned – it emerges that almost one third of the world’s population live in countries undergoing autocratization. Yet democracy still prevails in a majority of countries in the world (99 countries, 55 percent). This section analyses the state of democracy in the world in 2018 and developments since 1972, with an emphasis on the last 10 years. Our analysis builds on the 2019 release of the V-Dem dataset.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Developing World, Democracy, Populism
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Ukraine, India, Brazil
  • Author: Hafsa Kanjwal
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 5 August 2019, the Indian government unilaterally changed the legal status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, undermining its own constitutional process and completely annexing a territory that remains disputed in the international arena. In a statement to the Indian parliament, the Indian Home Minister announced the abrogation of Kashmir’s special status enshrined in Article 370 of the Indian constitution, as well as the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories to be directly governed by the central government. Since then, the government has placed Indian-occupied Kashmir on lockdown. Despite restrictions on the movement of reporters and human rights observers and a clampdown on communication infrastructure (including the internet and some phone services), there have been reports of widespread human rights abuses including extrajudicial detentions (including of minors), torture, sexual violence, and lack of access to basic medical and healthcare services.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Territorial Disputes, Self Determination, Colonialism, Empire
  • Political Geography: India, East Asia, Kashmir
  • Author: Mani Shankar Aiyar
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Elected three times to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament, and nominated by the President to Rajya Sabha, the upper house, for a further six years, Aiyar has served for 21 years in the Indian Parliament, been conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award (2006), and been a Cabinet Minister for five years (2004-09). He has authored seven books, including Confession of a Secular Fundamentalist, and edited the three volumes of Rajiv Gandhi’s India.
  • Topic: Religion, Law, Democracy, Citizenship, Religious Law, Secularism
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Parag Khanna
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Parag Khanna is a leading global strategic advisor, world traveler, and best-selling author. He is the founder & managing partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. Parag’s newest book is The Future is Asian: Com- merce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century (2019). He is author of a trilogy of books on the future of world order beginning with The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008), followed by How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011), and concluding with Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization (2016). He is also author of Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State (2017) and co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012). In 2008, Parag was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED Magazine’s “Smart List.” He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Cartography
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: José Eduardo Cassiolato, Maria Gabriela von Bochkor Podcameni, Elisa Possas Gomes, Manuel Gonzalo
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: In the 21st century, economic growth, increasing urbanization, demographic expansion, and advances in electrification as important drivers of energy demand have put significant pressure on the Indian energy landscape. Indeed, energy infrastructure problems are a major hindrance to India’s economic growth. The central objective of this paper is to present and analyze some of the main State-led policy efforts that have been put in place to address India’s energy challenge. In particular, we examine three main types of state-led energy policy in India: a) infrastructure expenditure, b) Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) investments and Research and Development (R&D) strategies, and c) electrification. Firstly, we present and examine current data on the role of the state in the development of India’s energy sector. Secondly, we provide a nuanced examination of the role of public-private relations in India’s energy sector, especially in contrast to the widespread advancement of the neoliberal agenda in the country recent years. We conclude that the Indian State has fostered an increasing participation of the private sector in infrastructure, especially in renewable energies in which PPPs type of procurement have been more relevant. CPSEs’ expenditure in R&D has been of main importance in oil as well as in power. However, most of them tend to adapt foreign technologies instead of balancing foreign technologies with domestic technological efforts. Therefore, a main contemporary challenge for the Indian CPSEs performing in the energy sector is to deepen their connections and interaction with the other Indian NSI actors. Through the electrification process, the State has created markets for the private sector. Finally, we recommend further energy-related questions to be addressed in future research projects.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, United Nations, Public Sector, Renewable Energy, Private Sector, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Ananth Padmanabhan
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs or drones, have decentralized airspace access, allowing agriculturists, construction workers, and other civilian users to integrate aerial monitoring into their daily work. This technological revolution comes with a set of concerns, impinging as it does upon the proprietary, reputational, and security interests of individuals. An appropriate regulatory response and new policy recommendations must go beyond the current regulatory intervention in India.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Hardeep.S Puri
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India faces significant challenges in the area of trade policy— the global economic slowdown, increasing protectionism, the stalled mega-trade deals that could in time be revived, and perhaps more important, its own domestic preoccupations. For India to achieve its policy objectives, the government and industry, particularly the manufacturing sector, must prepare for opportunities and greater engagement in an evolving multilateral trade arena. India’s priorities should include taking policy measures to conform to global standards and supporting the World Trade Organization (WTO) to relaunch multilateral negotiations.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Constantino Xavier
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India has extensive experience conducting evacuation operations, but given the rising economic contributions and political influence of Indian citizens abroad and the increasing complexity of these operations, the incentives to ensure the success of future ones are now even greater. As India’s diaspora continues to grow, so will the challenges New Delhi faces in protecting this diverse and geographically dispersed population. To overcome these issues, the Indian government will have to institutionalize best practices, bolster its diplomatic and military capabilities, and improve coordination.
  • Topic: Diaspora, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Rajni Bakshi
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: Economic reforms in India have often arrayed proponents of market-led growth against human rights advocates anxious that markets give primacy to profits over people. A quarter century after the reform process was initiated in the early 1990s, this conflict has sharpened. At the same time, this narrative of polarised positions seems increasingly worn out. Business and society at large have always been intricately co-dependent. This interface is now taking many new forms across the world, with some entrepreneurs seeing profit as a means, rather than the end goal of business. This paper explores these questions. It reviews if and how trusteeship can be a lodestar for globally navigating businesses and public policies through a period of technology- driven disruptions and the uncertainties unleashed by climate change. Trusteeship is a frame of reference on which a wide variety of business models can be based. The emphasis is on transforming rather than demolishing the capitalist system. In essence, Gandhian trusteeship reposes faith in the capacity of individuals and entire classes to re-form themselves, on the premise that the capacity to seek redemption is intrinsic to human nature. There was logic rather than dreamy wishful thinking behind these claims. Gandhi believed that it is a fearful man who tyrannises others or attempts to accumulate wealth by force or by unfair means. By contrast, a voluntary adoption of trusteeship means respect for human dignity, fostering relations based on truth and shared goals. Thus, Gandhi urged labourers to approach employers from a position of strength and self-respect since labour is as vital a component of production as capital, land, and technology. In a time mired by corruption and competitive greed, trusteeship may at first glance seem like a pipe-dream. Can this closer examination perhaps give you cause to rethink?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Reform, Employment
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Rajni Bakshi
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: Degrowth as a creative goal does not sit well in most societies today. But water is a key to fostering new imaginaries because it most starkly manifests the risk of forced and chaotic degrowth-as-collapse. By 2040 an estimated 33 countries, including USA, China and India, will face severe water scarcity. India had a rich heritage of elaborate traditional technologies and modes of social organisation that ensured adequate and reliable supply of water even in arid regions. Many of these old community-based systems of watershed management and storage withered away as water was transformed from a sacred gift to just a ‘resource’ that could be privatised and/or controlled by governments. Today while local water-shed management is supported by government policy this tends to be overwhelmed by large projects that add more directly to GDP growth. Nevertheless, over the last quarter of a century, a wide variety of civil society and academic interventions in India have attempted to revive, or document, the multi-dimensional wisdom on which pre- modern societies based their relationship to water.
  • Topic: Economics, Water, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Rajni Bakshi
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: Indian business—perhaps even society at large—is currently buoyed by the expectation that we are entering a period of sustained economic growth that might finally make poverty a problem of the past. In this context, it might seem counter-intuitive to draw attention to the possibility of a decelerating global economy and projections about reversals in human well-being. However, there is mounting evidence to show that the prevailing models of economic growth cannot continue unchecked to the end of the 21st century. Apart from the truism that infinite growth is not possible on a finite planet, the accelerating impacts of climate change are set to play havoc with a reliable supply of many natural resources—including food. Unless growth is redefined, degrowth will be forced upon the global economy, as a consequence of chaotic instability in eco-systems and due to the brittleness of political, social, and economic systems
  • Topic: Global Recession, Reconstruction, Reform, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: India, Global Focus