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  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The prospects for exploring seabed minerals, specifically rare earth elements (REEs) have risen courtesy technological innovations in the field of deep-sea exploration. REEs are identified as a group of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table, found relatively in abundance in the Earth’s crust. They share similar chemical and physical properties and are of vital use in a variety of sectors, including by military manufacturers and technology firms. The largest subgroup within the REEs are the 15 lanthanides. The two other elements being scandium and yttrium. Based on quantity, the lanthanides, cerium, lanthanum, and neodymium are the most produced rare earths elements. These elements earn the distinction of being ‘rare’ for their availability in quantities which are significant enough to support viable economic mineral development of the deposits. However, from a cost-effective point of view, they are not consumable. It is not economically viable to extract these elements for consumption purposes since they are not concentrated enough and remain thinly dispersed as deep as 6.4 kilometers underwater
  • Topic: Development, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Research, Mining, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The 20th and 21st centuries will be remembered for many things, including primacy of the vast and seemingly endless seas and oceans. In this setting, the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) finds itself at the heart of the world map connecting distant nations through limitless waters. As a Northeast Asian island nation, Japan’s involvement with the Indian Ocean is heavily defined by virtue of its trade, investment and supplies from this region. Japan’s story in this reference dates back to the 17th century when a prominent Japanese adventurer, merchant, and trader, Tenjiku Tokubei sailed to Siam (Thailand) and subsequently to India in 1626 aboard a Red Seal ship via China, Vietnam and Malacca. Often referred to as the ‘Marco Polo of Japan’, Tokubei’s adventurous journey and account of his travels to India gained distinction also because he became perhaps the first Japanese to visit Magadh (which was an Indian kingdom in southern Bihar during the ancient Indian era).
  • Topic: Security, Development, Regional Cooperation, History, Capacity
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Indian Ocean
  • Author: Yessengali Oskenbayev
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: This article investigates the potential direction of the Kazakh-Korean economic relationship. The two countries have become major partners in their economic relationship. It is important for Kazakhstan to establish economic relations with South Korea, to diversify its economy. Kazakhstan’s economy is strongly dominated by mineral resources extractive sectors, and the country’s rapid economic growth during the period from 2000 to 2007, and afterward due to oil price increases, was not well translated into substantial growth of non-extractive sectors. Kazakhstan could employ strategies applied by Korean policymakers to sustain business and entrepreneurship development.
  • Topic: Development, Bilateral Relations, Economic growth, Economic Policy, Diversification, Trade, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: James A. Dorn
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: 1978 has been erratic, with many interruptions along the way. The end result, however, has been eye opening: the Middle Kingdom has become the world’s largest trading nation, the second largest economy, and more than 500 million people have lifted themselves out of poverty as economic liberalization removed barriers to trade. One of the enduring lessons from China’s rise as an economic giant is that once people are given greater economic freedom, more autonomy, and stronger property rights, they will have a better chance of creating a harmonious and prosperous society (see Dorn 2019). Nevertheless, China faces major challenges to its future development. There is still no genuine rule of law that effectively limits the power of government, no independent judiciary to enforce the rights promised in the nation’s constitution, no free market for ideas that is essential for innovation and for avoiding major policy errors, no competitive political system that fosters a diversity of views, and a large state sector that stifles private initiative and breeds corruption. China’s slowing growth rate, its increasing debt burden, environmental problems, and the increasing tension in U.S.-China relations compound the challenges facing Beijing.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, History, Trade Liberalization
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Bradley O. Babson
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since his first-annual New Year’s speech in 2012 setting North Korea’s policy priorities, Kim Jong Un has emphasized his commitment to economic development, notably promising his people that they will never have to tighten their belts again. The Byunjin policy of equally prioritizing economic development and security through nuclear and missile programs reflects Kim’s desire to assure regime stability by delivering broad-based economic development while establishing a security environment that deters external threats and potential domestic unrest. While United States policy has used sanctions and other pressures to stymie Kim’s ambitions, the Kim regime has nonetheless modestly furthered economic development and significantly advanced security through its nuclear and missile testing programs.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Human Rights, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel R. Russel, Blake Berger
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Launched in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a highly ambitious development effort that would sew together infrastructure projects across more than 70 countries. Estimated to comprise of more than USD $1 trillion in Chinese investment, the BRI is arguably China's broadest economic engagement effort with the rest of the world — enhancing its connectivity through Southeast, South, Central, and West Asia; Africa; Europe; and South America. The Asia Society Policy Institute project – Navigating the Belt and Road Initiative – examines BRI with the aim of setting forth actionable recommendations for how China and partner countries can help ensure that BRI projects yield beneficial and sustainable developmental, economic, environmental, civic, and social outcomes. The project includes a report by the same name, which is available for download below, as well as an interactive visualization of 12 recommended practices and their specific implementation steps, intended outcomes, and relevant Chinese and international precedents. (For interactive content see: https://asiasociety.org/policy-institute/belt-and-road-initiative)
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Soft Power, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Investment, Economic Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, Asia, South America, Southeast Asia, West Asia
  • Author: Honzhi Yu, Hongying Wang
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In contrast to the growing profile of the Chinese government in global governance, the engagement of Chinese industrial actors in global rule making is quite limited and uneven. Some Chinese industrial leaders have shown an ambition to participate in global rule making in their respective realms; most of the others still lack interest or capacity. This policy brief identifies three plausible sources of variation among the Chinese industrial actors. It offers suggestions to Chinese industrial actors and to those concerned about China’s role in global governance, with the purpose of reducing misunderstanding and building trust between Chinese industrial actors and businesses, regulators, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders from other parts of the world in developing global standards for good governance.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Alex He
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper argues that with more objectives added since its inception in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has evolved into a much more expansive grand strategy that includes a package of themes and goals. It examines the policy-making process of the BRI by exploring the motivations behind the plan President Xi Jinping proposed and how the initial Silk Road projects have developed into China’s package of strategies over the past few years. The priorities and performance of China’s investments in the BRI are discussed from the angle of geographical distribution, routes and projects, priority sectors and the connection between the BRI and the previous “going out” strategy China started at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The model and the specific ways China finances and invests in BRI projects, to a great extent, decided the nature of the China-led global infrastructure investment plan. BRI financing is reviewed in detail. Based on the geopolitical and geo-economic analysis of the BRI in the previous parts, the implications of the BRI for global governance as it goes beyond the ambitious infrastructure investment plan are revealed. The risks and problems facing the BRI and the controversy and criticism it has encountered are also addressed. Finally, the paper summarizes the BRI’s ever-expanding themes and the problems and risks it faces, and their implications for the future of the BRI.
  • Topic: Development, Imperialism, Infrastructure, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Syed Fazl-e Haider
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the central component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South Asia, has been a source of significant attention and controversy (China Brief, January 12, 2018; China Brief, February 15). Parts of South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe, however, are also host to another ambitious infrastructure program: the “International North-South Transport Corridor” (INSTC), a transportation development plan first established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India. The INSTC envisions a network to connect Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf ports and rail centers to the Caspian Sea, and then onwards through the Russian Federation to St. Petersburg and northern Europe.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Middle East, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: This timely session was dedicated to a debate with the President of Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) to discuss central geo-political and domestic developments, including the protests and the crisis of governance in Baghdad; the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria (particularly Rojava); and finally, the effects of internal political fissures within the KRI.
  • Topic: Development, Governance, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Baghdad, Syria, Kurdistan
  • Author: Alice Ekman
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: “Smart city” development has become a fashionable policy and research topic. A growing number of central and local governments in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, in partnership with companies from diverse sectors (construction, transport, energy, water, etc), consulting firms, NGOs and experts, are now developing smart-city-related projects. This report looks at the smart city from a broader, geopolitical perspective, and considers it, for the first time, as a potential area of geopolitical competition between countries. This approach is relevant given the strategic nature of the infrastructure involved in smart-city development (telecommunication and energy grids, mobile networks, data centers, etc). It is also relevant at a time of prolonged tensions between China and the United States – a period during which 5G and other technologies that are key to developing smart cities are generating global debate and diverging positions across countries.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Urbanization, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Smart Cities
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Manju Menon
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In 2000, the central government declared Northeast India as India’s hydropower hub. Over 165 large dam projects were proposed to come up in the region. These projects were held as crucial to India’s energy and environmental security as well as the economic development of the country’s marginalised northeastern borderlands.However, nearly two decades on, this proposal to regulate the region's water resources remains unimplemented. In addition, the projects have generated a lot of public opposition in Arunachal Pradesh where most of these dams are supposed to be situated, and in the downstream Brahmaputra valley of Assam. This article will look into the government's hype and failure to construct hydropower dams in the Northeast region. It points to the need for a reflexive political decision on water resource management from the BJP-led governments in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and at the Centre.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Government, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Linear projects like highways have the potential to change existing land use of large areas. These changes are not limited only to the stretches made for transportation of vehicles. The effects of construction are also visible on landscapes on both sides of highways. This study presents the findings of a two-year long groundtruthing study carried out between June 2016 and August 2018 along 187 kilometres of National Highway 66. The study is a collaborative effort of the Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Programme and communities from towns and villages situated between Karwar and Kundapur, especially the 27 Panchayats, in the district of Uttara Kannada in Karnataka. The study presents evidence of non-compliance of environmental safeguards resulting in social, economic and health impacts on the local communities in the project areas. It also highlights several aspects that were not taken into account in the project’s impact assessments. The study includes a broad assessment of the project’s scale of direct impacts. During the course of the study, the following types of non-compliance were identified: Permissions for blasting, groundwater and river water withdrawal were not taken; Dumping soil on wetlands and creeks caused flooding and salt water intrusion; The construction caused soil erosion and landslides along embankments; Non-submission of six-monthly compliance reports by the project proponent; Non-compliance of other laws and compensation agreements; The report includes a case study of a stone crusher unit operating in Bogribail village and causing water and dust pollution.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Infrastructure, Law, Social Policy, Pollution
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Integrated Child Development Services is the Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship programme aimed at providing basic education, health, and nutrition services for early childhood development. This brief uses government data to analyse ICDS performance along the following parameters: Allocations, releases, and expenditures; Component-wise trends; Human and physical resources; Coverage, and Outcome.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Health, Budget, Children
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Navroz K. Dubash, Ashwini K. Swain
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India’s move to electrify every village and household in the country has been lauded as a success. Building on decades of targeted programmes and public investments by multiple governments, the country completed 100% village electrification in April 2018; a year after, it has electrified nearly all ‘willing’ households. Despite the time it took to get here, these achievements are important milestones in India’s development trajectory. But does connecting households to the electric grid resolve the electricity access challenge? The answer depends on whether electrons flow through the wires and whether all consumers are served equally and adequately.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Infrastructure, Investment, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: José Galdo, Bayarmaa Dalkhjavd, Altantsetseg Batchuluun, Soyolmaa Batbekh, Maria Laura Alzúa
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: Because of its high incidence and potential threat to social cohesion, youth unemployment is a global concern. This study uses a randomized controlled trial to analyze the effectiveness of a demand-driven vocational training program for disadvantaged youth in Mongolia. Mongolia, a transitional country whose economic structure shifted from a communist, centrally planned economy to a free-market economy over a relatively short period, offers a new setting in which to test the effectiveness of standard active labor market policies. This study reports positive and statistically significant short-term effects of vocational training on monthly earnings, skills matching, and self-employment. Substantial heterogeneity emerges as relatively older, richer, and better-educated individuals drive these positive effects. A second intervention that randomly assigns participants to receive repetitive weekly newsletters with information on market returns to vocational training shows positive impacts on the length of exposure to and successful completion of the program. These positive effects, however, are only observed at the intensive margin and do not lead to higher employment or earnings outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Labor Issues, Employment, Youth, Labor Policies
  • Political Geography: Mongolia, Asia
  • Author: Vivid Lam, Oenone Kubie, Christopher McKenna
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Oxford Centre for Global History
  • Abstract: Pingyao (平遥) is a remote place for a tourist attraction. Located in the centre of Shanxi province, it is some 380 miles from Beijing and further from Shanghai or Hong Kong where the tourists tend to congregate. Yet, despite the isolation, come they do to Pingyao. The nearest airport to Pingyao is in Tiayuan, over one hundred kilometres away, so most visitors arrive by coach or by train; along the poorly paved streets and past the decaying houses until they arrive in the middle of the city. Here the tourists disembark from their coaches and their trains and find themselves transported to the days of the Qing dynasty emperors, surrounded by imperial architecture. The tourists wander slowly towards West Street. This is the home of the most popular attraction: the headquarters of Ri Sheng Chang (日昇), a late Qing company which revolutionised Chinese banking, now a museum and an increasingly busy tourist attraction. This is the story of how it came to be and how the little city in a small province in China rose to prominence, became the financial centre of the world’s largest economy, fell to obscurity and, now, rises again.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, History, Capitalism, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Benjamin Barton
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia Research Institute, University of Nottingham
  • Abstract: As China’s President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy programme, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become one of the world’s most active infrastructure development drivers. The BRI is helping to meet the increasing demand for infrastructure development in emerging markets across the world. This policy is unlikely to change due to the importance that the Chinese government attributes to the BRI, with it now being formally enshrined into the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) constitution. For the UK, the BRI stakes are high; it matters both domestically and internationally. It is impacting the wellbeing of countries that are of strategic importance to the UK. It also contributes to the emerging geopolitical rivalry on infrastructure financing. The government should explore bilateral and multilateral venues to seek to cooperate with China on the BRI by developing a UK BRI strategy post-Brexit.
  • Topic: Development, Bilateral Relations, Infrastructure, Geopolitics, Brexit, Multilateralism, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Britain, China, United Kingdom, Asia
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Romina Bandura
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is a small independent federal agency whose mission is to help American “companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies.” USTDA links American businesses to export opportunities in emerging markets by funding activities such as project preparation and partnership building in sectors including transportation, energy, and telecommunications. Since it was established 25 years ago, the agency has generated a total of $61 billion in U.S. exports and supported over 500,000 American jobs. In connecting American business to such opportunities, USTDA also links American technology’s best practices and ingenuity with U.S. trade and development policy priorities. USTDA is an instrument to enable American-led infrastructure development in emerging economies and, therefore, frequently sees increasing competition from government-backed Chinese firms and the challenge they can pose to American commercial engagement under the flag of One Belt, One Road (OBOR). OBOR is paving the way for Chinese engineering, procurement, and construction companies to prepare and develop infrastructure projects in OBOR countries in a way that favors Chinese standards, thereby exerting significant pressure to select Chinese suppliers. This creates a potentially vicious cycle—the more China builds, the faster their standards become the international norm, and, ultimately, this cycle could foreclose export opportunities for U.S. businesses and harm American competitiveness in global infrastructure development. U.S. exporters are increasingly requesting USTDA intervention at the pivotal, early stages of a project’s development, to compete in markets, such as the OBOR countries, where they frequently face Chinese competition. Of note, 40 percent of USTDA’s activities in 2016 were in OBOR countries across South and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Although there are other agencies that may seem to do work similar to USTDA, there are various aspects that make it a unique agency. This paper provides a brief description of USTDA, its origin and evolution, the impact on the U.S. economy and its proactive collaboration across U.S agencies. Finally, it offers a set of recommendations for USTDA on how to improve its operations and strengthen its role in the developing world.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Communications, Infrastructure, Trade, Transportation
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Asia, North America
  • Author: Anton Malkin
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper provides a reassessment of Made in China 2025 (MIC 2025) — China’s industrial policy framework aimed at helping the country overcome the much-maligned middle-income trap — in the context of global trade governance. It suggests that China’s industrial policies have been viewed too narrowly — without sufficient attention to longer-term global governance issues — by a large segment of the global business and policy-making community. The paper argues that the general aims of MIC 2025 and the policies that underpin them are not unreasonable, given the increasingly prevalent dilemmas in global trade that China’s leaders are grappling with. These include problems of international development arising from growing global industrial concentration — driven by the growth of the intangible economy — and China’s shrinking access to importing and developing technological components (such as semiconductor chips) that are increasingly characterized as “dual-use” by China’s trading partners. This suggests that resolving the concerns of China’s trading partners regarding China’s industrial policies requires global trade governance reform to ensure an equitable, rules-based global trading order that addresses the legitimate needs of developing and middle-income economies in acquiring foreign-owned technological components and know-how, for the purposes of economic development. The paper concludes by outlining specific recommendations for Canada’s policy makers in improving their economic relationship with China in the context of MIC 2025.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology, Governance, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Cobus van Staden
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Several ambitious schemes have been proposed to link Africa’s east and west coasts, some of which are closer to full realization than others. Most notable in this respect is a plan to expand the existing Trans-African Highway 5 (TAH5) into a true cross-continental road and rail link, the early stages of which China has helped bring to fruition where Western consortiums failed. Likewise, Chinese investment in African infrastructure through Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may help create expanded sub-regional linkages, particularly in East Africa, that could help facilitate the emergence of an eventual, true East-West link in the long term. However, in the short-to-mid-term, the obstacles to a truly robust set of East-West transport links are formidable, and it is unlikely that China’s involvement will be a panacea.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Tamirace Fakhoury
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Lebanon, a small republic of 6 million inhabitants, is both an ‘emigration prone’ country and a key destination for refugee movements and migrant workers. The presentation will specifically concentrate on Lebanon’s complex relationships with its diaspora communities. After reviewing Lebanon’s history of emigration, it will unpack the Lebanese diaspora’s complex interactions with war and post-war politics. While Lebanese diaspora communities are heavily engaged in their country’s development, economic, community and political activities, the presentation will show that their involvement does not challenge the nature of Lebanon’s sectarian-based model of governance. Rather the political fragmentation of Lebanese abroad replicates and perpetuates modes of sectarian mobilization. Understanding Lebanon’s fragmented “diasporic field” requires accounting for the state’s policy making towards its diaspora communities. The Lebanese state has so far not succeeded in developing an institutionalized policy making apparatus to channel Diasporas’ contributions nor has it extended substantial rights to its diaspora. It remains to be seen whether, and if so how, the recent extension of extraterritorial voting rights would augur a new era of diaspora involvement in Lebanese politics.
  • Topic: Development, Diaspora, Immigration, voting rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Asia, Lebanon, Beirut
  • Author: Persis Taraporevala
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The newly elected federal Government of India (GoI) launched the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) in 2015 with the stated purpose of improving the governance and infrastructural deficiencies that plague Indian cities. Missing, however, in the pageantry of the new programme is a cohesive understanding of a smart city. While the government documentation repeatedly implies infinite liberty for cities to self-define their understanding of ‘smartness’, the actions demonstrate that there is a larger idea of ‘smartness’ that the federal government seeks to implement. It is at this disjunction, between the rhetoric and practice of the Mission, that this paper finds its core research question – ‘What constitutes a smart city in India?’ Through a detailed reading of the government documentation of the top 99 cities, the paper argues that the there is a profound chasm between the professed objectives of the Mission and the strategies enacted to achieve these objectives.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Infrastructure, Social Policy, Urban
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Shamindra Nath Roy, Jaya Prakash Pradhan
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The surge in census towns (CTs) during Census 2011 has drawn a lot of attention to the ongoing and future dynamics of these in-situ urban settlements in India. Using the village level information from the previous and current censuses, the present study attempts to identify the villages that can be classified as a census town in 2021. While the prevailing dataset bears some obstacles for a neat identification of such settlements, it can be observed that a fairly high number of rural areas may be classified as CTs in future, which currently accommodates a population of 17.9 million. While the current nature of regional distribution of these areas may not vary much over the future, their areal characteristics over time portray multiple spatial processes undergirding India’s urban trajectory. A lot of these prospective CTs are also relatively prosperous than their current rural neighbourhoods, which reinforces the persistence of similar pattern of urban transformation in future.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Urbanization, Census, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Partha Mukhopadhyay
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: It is now almost axiomatic that cities are the engines of growth. Historically, federal support programmes have focused on rural areas, but over the past fifteen years, the need to devise such programmes for urban local bodies has come to be recognised, with JNNURM in its various forms, being the most visible early manifestation. This trend has continued, even strengthened, in this government and among the menu of urban support programmes on offer from the Government of India, the vision of the city as the engine of growth is most clearly evident in the Smart City Mission, with its focus on area based development – like an engine within the city. Yet, even in the mainstream economics literature, while there is evidence for cities as places of higher productivity, there is less evidence for cities as drivers of growth – with learning being the primary driver and urban primacy being an important obstacle. The primary questions are whether cities are places of learning, whether there are identifiable mechanisms of such learning and the kind of city institutions – economic, social and political – that facilitate such learning. This paper will interrogate the empirical characteristics of such urban institutions in India in the context of the theoretical literature and learning mechanisms that emerge from international evidence. In particular, it will argue that the nature of the labour market, which is largely contractual, the transfer of rural fragmentation in social relations to cities and the absence of city-level political agency, all reduce the potential of the city as a location of learning economies. For cities to even have the possibility of being engines of growth, we need to ensure that drivers of these engines are in place and we have a mechanism to think about paths to follow.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Arkaja Singh, Anindita Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Rural areas in India are experiencing significant gains in toilet coverage under the public funded programmes. Given the rate of ‘in-situ urbanization’ in a growing urban paradigm,the rural areas, in many parts, seems to emulate urban infrastructural preferences for their toilets. This may remain annulled due to non-availability of urban like service facilities in the rural context. The first part of the report focusses on establishes the urbanising characteristics of the Large and Dense Villages (LDVs) in India for usage of a specific typology of Sanitation Infrastructure which in turn links to the gaps in terms of service availability across the Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) value chain. In this context, in the second half of the report, the authors examine the various environmental and municipal laws applicable to Sanitation in rural areas. The report also sheds light on how the capacities of various institutions and legal instruments may be leveraged for graded interventions, ensuring safe and sustainable sanitation in rural areas in India.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Sanitation, Services
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Ashwathy Anand, Ajai Sreevatsan, Persis Taraporevala
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The newly elected federal Government of India (GoI) launched the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) in 2015 with the stated purpose of improving the governance and infrastructural deficiencies that plague Indian cities. The Mission categorically states that there is no one definition of a 'smart city' and implies infinite liberty for cities to self-define their understanding of 'smartness'. Towards demystifying the Mission, the researchers utilised government documentation from the 99 cities to answer one question-What constitutes a smart city in India.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Devashish Deshpande, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This report is the culmination of a study conducted by the Accountability Initiative (AI) on Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin in 2017 on the request of the Udaipur district administration. The study understands the outcomes, and the processes, which led to Open Defecation Free status in selected Gram Panchayats.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Social Policy, Sanitation, Services
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Ankit Bhardwaj, Radhika Khosla
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Indian cities routinely make decisions on land use, housing, water, transport, economic growth and waste management that have implications for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Aligning these sectoral actions with climate goals involves understanding how infrastructural systems interact and how these choices address both development and climate objectives. City governments, as managers of these various infrastructure systems, can co-ordinate such decision-making. However, so far, this is largely ad hoc. We show how cities can use a ‘multiple objective’ approach to systematically examine, and make explicit, the linkages between local objectives, climate change mitigation and adaptation across their planning portfolio.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Water, Economic growth, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Manju Menon
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Land transformation has been at the centre of economic growth of post-colonial, Asian nation-states. While their political reforms and economic policies have focused on land governance, the outcomes have resulted in promoting privatisation and speculative business interest in ecologically sensitive landscapes that are also under diverse forms of common use by resource-dependent communities. A three-year study undertaken to understand community-level responses to land use transformation in India, Indonesia and Myanmar shows that the current scale and approach of land–intensive development in these large democracies is facilitated by fast-paced, top down policy changes. These policies are ‘stacked’ (when multiple layers of current and revoked laws are simultaneously in use) rather than integrated and their implementation is the responsibility of various authorities and agencies that overlap. Growing private investments in land that has remained within varying degrees of state control have changed the way land is managed. Land has become increasingly securitised and ‘out of bounds’ for small farmers and other land-users with or without recognised forms of ownership and use rights. Land conflicts are caused due to coercive acquisition processes or land grabs, unlawful operations of projects and long pending remedies to social and environmental impacts. In many instances, these conflicts begin even before the final decisions on projects are taken and persist for years. Highly capitalised land use change brings powerful investors and corporations, governments and local communities in unequal and precarious arrangements of negotiation and confrontation. Citizens and communities affected by land use change, use varied strategies such as administrative complaints, protests, litigation, media campaigns and political advocacy, and engage in improving project design and implementation, increase compensations, restore community access to resources and get a review on the operations of harmful projects. These are done under conditions of political intransigence and criminalisation of those who speak up. While all three countries have recognised land conflicts and their impact on development plans and proposals, they are yet to give affected people a formal and effective role in land and natural resource governance. This is the overview of the study's methodology and findings.
  • Topic: Development, Privatization, Natural Resources, Business , Economic growth, Land Law, Conflict, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, India, Asia, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Meenakshi Kapoor, Manju Menon, Vidya Viswanathan
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Land transformation has been at the centre of economic growth of post-colonial, Asian nation-states. While their political reforms and economic policies have focused on land governance, the outcomes have resulted in promoting privatisation and speculative business interest in ecologically sensitive landscapes that are also under diverse forms of common use by resource-dependent communities. A three-year study undertaken to understand community-level responses to land use transformation in India, Indonesia and Myanmar shows that the current scale and approach of land–intensive development in these large democracies is facilitated by fast-paced, top down policy changes. These policies are ‘stacked’ (when multiple layers of current and revoked laws are simultaneously in use) rather than integrated and their implementation is the responsibility of various authorities and agencies that overlap. Growing private investments in land that has remained within varying degrees of state control have changed the way land is managed. Land has become increasingly securitised and ‘out of bounds’ for small farmers and other land-users with or without recognised forms of ownership and use rights. Land conflicts are caused due to coercive acquisition processes or land grabs, unlawful operations of projects and long pending remedies to social and environmental impacts. In many instances, these conflicts begin even before the final decisions on projects are taken and persist for years. Highly capitalised land use change brings powerful investors and corporations, governments and local communities in unequal and precarious arrangements of negotiation and confrontation. Citizens and communities affected by land use change, use varied strategies such as administrative complaints, protests, litigation, media campaigns and political advocacy, and engage in improving project design and implementation, increase compensations, restore community access to resources and get a review on the operations of harmful projects. These are done under conditions of political intransigence and criminalisation of those who speak up. While all three countries have recognised land conflicts and their impact on development plans and proposals, they are yet to give affected people a formal and effective role in land and natural resource governance. This is the study report on Indonesia.
  • Topic: Development, Privatization, Natural Resources, Business , Land Law, Conflict, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Kanchi Kohli, Meenakshi Kapoor, Manju Menon, Vidya Viswanathan
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Land transformation has been at the centre of economic growth of post-colonial, Asian nation-states. While their political reforms and economic policies have focused on land governance, the outcomes have resulted in promoting privatisation and speculative business interest in ecologically sensitive landscapes that are also under diverse forms of common use by resource-dependent communities. A three-year study undertaken to understand community-level responses to land use transformation in India, Indonesia and Myanmar shows that the current scale and approach of land–intensive development in these large democracies is facilitated by fast-paced, top down policy changes. These policies are ‘stacked’ (when multiple layers of current and revoked laws are simultaneously in use) rather than integrated and their implementation is the responsibility of various authorities and agencies that overlap. Growing private investments in land that has remained within varying degrees of state control have changed the way land is managed. Land has become increasingly securitised and ‘out of bounds’ for small farmers and other land-users with or without recognised forms of ownership and use rights. Land conflicts are caused due to coercive acquisition processes or land grabs, unlawful operations of projects and long pending remedies to social and environmental impacts. In many instances, these conflicts begin even before the final decisions on projects are taken and persist for years. Highly capitalised land use change brings powerful investors and corporations, governments and local communities in unequal and precarious arrangements of negotiation and confrontation. Citizens and communities affected by land use change, use varied strategies such as administrative complaints, protests, litigation, media campaigns and political advocacy, and engage in improving project design and implementation, increase compensations, restore community access to resources and get a review on the operations of harmful projects. These are done under conditions of political intransigence and criminalisation of those who speak up. While all three countries have recognised land conflicts and their impact on development plans and proposals, they are yet to give affected people a formal and effective role in land and natural resource governance. This is the study report on India.
  • Topic: Development, Privatization, Natural Resources, Business , Economic growth, Land Law, Conflict, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Across the globe, the “development experience” of communities varies depending on their socioeconomic and political backgrounds. As a result of advancing developmental projects, a few communities are invariably made to pay a disproportionate share of the environmental costs in the form of exposure to toxic waste, loss of livelihood, and restrictions on mobility or access to common resources. This injustice, more than often not, is an outcome of active noncompliance and violation of environmental regulations by the projects . The Centre for Policy Research–Namati Environmental Justice Program is an effort towards closing this environment regulation enforcement gap. We have created a network of community-based paralegals, called as enviro-legal coordinators (ELCs), who work with affected communities using an evidence-based legal approach. As a part of this approach, the ELCs combine their understanding of the law, negotiation and mediation skills, and understanding of local contexts to assist affected communities in the use of the law to resolve environmental conflicts. They help the communities to understand relevant laws and environmental regulations and support them in engaging with institutions using these laws for better enforcement of regulatory compliance on the ground. This approach also develops a collaborative space for institutions and citizens to craft practical and sustainable remedies for the impacts that communities experience. This publication is a compendium of a few cases undertaken by the CPR–Namati Program’s ELCs working across the coastal belt in Gujarat and North Karnataka. These case stories capture the process of our work and illustrate the systematic, evidence-based legal approach followed by the ELCs along with the affected coastal community members to resolve conflicts arising from noncompliance or improper implementation of environmental regulations. These case stories are divided into three major thematic sections as follows: Section 1: Establishment and Activation of Gujarat’s District-Level Coastal Committees (DLCCs) as per Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011: This section includes case studies from Gujarat, where ELCs worked towards establishing or activating District-Level Coastal Committees, an institution set up for better implementation of CRZ regulations and protection of rights of traditional coastal communities. Section 2: Securing Housing Clearances for Coastal Communities under Coastal Zone Regulation Notification, 2011 in North Karnataka: This section includes case studies from Uttara Kannada, a district in North Karnataka, where ELCs supported members of coastal communities in securing housing clearances under the coastal protection law. Section 3: Legal Empowerment in Practice: Two Case Stories: This section has two case stories from our field sites in Gujarat that illustrate the process and outcomes of legal empowerment though our work with communities.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Natural Resources, Law, Oceans and Seas, Pollution
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Radhika Khosla
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India is poised at the edge of an energy transformation. This shift is shaped in large part by the country’s ongoing economic, social, and technological transitions. Indian cities will host an influx of 200 million more people by 2030. Most of these people will come from a low base of development, and will demand modern fuels, appliances, and vehicles for improved quality of life. Demographically, at least 10 million people are expected to enter the Indian job market annually for the next two decades (India’s Half-A-Billion Jobs Conundrum 2017). In addition, two-thirds of India’s buildings that will exist in 2030 remain to be built (McKinsey Global Institute 2010). Managing these transitions is a significant challenge in itself, further complicated by the need to address their immense energy and climate implications. This policy piece examines an important driver of India’s energy future—electricity demand in households—and argues for why a broader consideration of energy consumption is central to Indian energy and climate debates.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Demographics, Development, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Esther Hertzog
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Berghahn Books
  • Abstract: Assuming that women’s empowerment would accelerate the pace of social change in rural Nepal, the World Bank urged the Nepali government to undertake a “Gender Activities Project” within an ongoing long-term water-engineering scheme. The author, an anthropologist specializing in bureaucratic organizations and gender studies, was hired to monitor the project. Analyzing her own experience as a practicing “development expert,” she demonstrates that the professed goal of “women’s empowerment” is a pretext for promoting economic organizational goals and the interests of local elites. She shows how a project intended to benefit women, through teaching them literary and agricultural skills, fails to provide them with any of the promised resources. Going beyond the conventional analysis that positions aid givers vis-à-vis powerless victimized recipients, she draws attention to the complexity of the process and the active role played by the Nepalese rural women who pursue their own interests and aspirations within this unequal world. The book makes an important contribution to the growing critique of “development” projects and of women’s development projects in particular.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Women, Anthropology
  • Political Geography: Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Carlos Eduardo Carvalho, João Paulo Nicolini Gabriel
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: The launch of a vision document for Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) at the African Development Bank meeting in Gujarat in 2017 reveals an important aspect to grasp the awkening of a strategy to face China’s rise. This conference of the African Development Bank (AfDB) is a landmark for this initiative. This bank is a mechanism for economic and social development with the participation of non-African members (e.g. China, India, Brazil, the United States, and Japan). The main contributors to the African Development Fund -linked to this bank -are the United Kingdom, the USA and Japan. Beijing does not figure among the most influent members of this organization. Thus, it was an opportunity for think tanks, supported by India and Japan, to introduce the idea of a corridor aimed to link Asia to Africa in order to increase co-operation in agriculture, social development and technology sharing.
  • Topic: Development, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Economic growth, Banks, Trade, Economic Development , Trade Policy, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Bethany Atkins, Trevor Pierce, Valentina Baiamonte, Chiara Redaelli, Hal Brewster, Vivian Chang, Lindsay Holcomb, Sarah Lohschelder, Nicolas Pose, Stephen Reimer, Namitha Sadanand, Eustace Uzor
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: From the United States to the Switzerland, this year’s Journal draws on a diverse range of authors’ experiences and studies to analyze a varied—yet timely—set of current issues. By spotlighting topics such as climate change, voting rights, and gender issues, JPIA contributes to the debates that are occurring today. The strong use of quantitative analysis and in-depth study of resources ensures that this year’s Journal adds a select perspective to the debate that hopefully policymakers will find useful and actionable.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Development, Narcotics Trafficking, Law, Prisons/Penal Systems, Elections, Women, Brexit, Multilateralism, Private Sector, Carbon Tax, Carbon Emissions, Gerrymandering
  • Political Geography: Britain, Afghanistan, Africa, China, South Asia, Central Asia, Asia, Nigeria
  • Author: John Fei
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China’s first overseas military base in Djibouti is near the U.S.’ sole military base in Africa—Camp Lemonnier—and signals China’s interest in protecting its growing economic and security interests in Africa and the Indian Ocean. While the base reflects China’s growing economic and security ambitions, it is unclear at present whether the facility represents just an effort for China to enhance its peacekeeping and humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities, or suggests greater ambitions. If, as some reports suggest, China does open more military bases in African and the Indian Ocean region, then the Djibouti base would mark the beginning of a sea-change in Chinese naval ambitions in the Indian Ocean region (Sina, December 19).
  • Topic: Development, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Economic growth, Maritime, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, Djibouti, United States of America
  • Author: Richard Aidoo
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: From Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward to Deng Xiaoping’s Opening Up, through Jiang Zemin’s Going Out (also known as the Going Global strategy) to Xi Jinping’s recent Chinese Dream, China has pursued diverse diplomatic engagements with African countries within these broad development visions. These engagements have evolved along with Africa’s changing political and economic circumstances, as well as China’s resurgence as a global economic power. Most significantly, in large parts of the developing world (including Africa), China has shifted away from its support for the struggle for ideological identity to assume geopolitical and geo-economic weight, as anti-imperialism rhetoric and support have given way to its business-is-business mantra, and noninterference diplomacy. In other words, from the late 1970s, Africa encountered Beijing’s gradual shift away from an ideological proselytizer to a global economic adventurer. After the Cold War, Chinese influence in Africa has grown significantly as it has traded, invested, and constructed its way to the most relevant economic partner to African economies. Chinese capital, aid, expertise, and diplomacy have brought increasing numbers of Chinese to the continent to serve as expatriate workers as they heed the call to “go out” and enhance the national ambitions and seek personal fortunes. In the past two decades, it has been remarkably evident that the relationship between China and Africa has entered into a different phase. Contrary to the rather simplistic and unilinear account of China’s scramble of the African continent, current engagements are rather complex with China as a pragmatic economic actor with both complementary and competitive impacts that draw different reactions from African populations – from the often reported embrace to intense local anger in certain parts. Along with a political independent and largely democratically governed Africa, China is also currently engaging mostly empowered African populations who will readily assert and preserve their sovereignties, political rights and civil liberties through public protests, pronouncements and political competitions like elections, and referendums. So, in spite of Beijing’s touted African embrace as the partner-in-development option for African states, some growing popular resentment for “most things Chinese” in some parts of Africa is confronting China as it deals with a continent in transition. Alternatively, though the effectiveness of popular African reactions towards the Chinese in African countries may be shaped by factors such as regime type, and economic status of the state in question,3 sustainability and longterm impacts of these people centered movements depend on more than any visceral efforts. Consequently, how will Beijing’s motives and strategies in Africa be impacted by popular reactions as African populations look to the past and present?
  • Topic: Development, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Natural Resources, Populism
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Sher Bahadur Deuba
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: Right Honourable Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal, addresses the Columbia University World Leaders Forum in Low Library.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Democracy, Constitution
  • Political Geography: New York, Asia, Nepal, United States of America
  • Author: Christopher Roberts
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: This Working Paper examines the South China Sea disputes and primarily focuses on developments since 2013 when the Philippines filed for international arbitration. The first part of the paper examines how the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China reacted to the arbitral process and the potential for the Association to undertake an effective and unified position in the future. The second part of the article builds on the analysis by assessing the prospects for, and likely impact of, the long-sought Code of Conduct. In the process, it examines the continued viability of ASEAN’s consensus-based decision-making approach, whether and how it could be reformed, and the potential benefits and viability of a new institutional arrangement with membership based on shared values and interests (rather than geography). The paper also argues that to enhance the possibility of redress on the issue, other key stakeholder states (such as Japan, Australia, India, and the United States) will need to be more strongly engaged and support claimant countries through a diverse array of activities. Such activities range from investments in capacity building to the provision of coastguards (if invited) to police and protect resources within the Exclusive Economic Zones of claimant states, as clarified by the July 2016 Arbitral Ruling.
  • Topic: Development, Regional Cooperation, Police, ASEAN
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia, Australia, South China Sea
  • Author: Marco Cepik, Pedro Taxi Brancher
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: Conflicts are intrinsic to social systems and constitute an irreducible part of their development. This article analyzes the conflict between states and its effects on the evolutionary dynamics of the international political system. We discuss the ontology of each object of analysis and the causal mechanisms that connect their respective evolving trajectories. Then, the analytical model is evaluated regarding to the processes of formation of the Qin Empire in China and the construction of Nation-States in Europe. The working hypothesis is that the interactions among the strategies chosen by the agents to cope with the structural constrains and competition conditions they encounter cause changes in the international political systems, as well as on the actors themselves.
  • Topic: Development, Nationalism, State Formation, State Building
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Kwon Young-in, Na Hee Seung, Kim Kyoung-Sik
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: It has been reported that passenger transport and logistics between regions in North Korea are very difficult due to deterioration and imperfect maintenance of transport infrastructure and limited investment in the facilities for several decades. If South Korea and North Korea are unified, massive investment in the development of transport infrastructure is inevitable. This investment would mainly be supported by South Korea as well as through cooperation with Multilateral Development Banks such as the World Bank Group (WBG), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). In addition, special and efficient plans for transporting people and goods need to be established in case of reunification considering the current transport environment in North Korea. Thus, well-prepared strategies should be in place for short, mid, and long-term perspectives.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Banks, Peace
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: S. Chandrasekhar, Mukta Naik, Shamindra Nath Roy
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Beyond summing up salient migration trends from existing data sources; a new working paper by researchers from Centre for Policy Research and Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research (IGIDR) builds on a critique of the estimations made by the Economic Survey 2017 to outline fresh ideas for developing leading indicators that will help inform policy. This is particularly needed because even as Indian policymakers are increasingly recognising the linkages between migration, labour markets and economic development, the lack of frequently updated datasets limits our understanding of migration.
  • Topic: Development, Migration, Labor Issues, Economy, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Kiran Bhatty, Ambrish Dongre
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Even as the reach of education has expanded enormously in India in the last few decades, it has been accompanied by differential access and the continuing spectre of inequalities. This inequality could take various forms but the extent to which opportunities, access, and outcome are distributed across different sections of the population, broadly describes a measure of the inequality that exists. There are different causes of inequality in education – the most common being the consequence of inequality in income, wages and living standards. But, in addition, social parameters also affect access to education. While some of these, such as caste, tribe and religious minority affiliation, might have bases in economics as well, others such as gender run across economic and social categories. Needless to say, girls from lower caste or tribal communities, thus suffer the burden of multiple disadvantages. While outcomes have dominated the discourse on education in recent years, in order to understand inequality more comprehensively, it is important to move beyond measuring inequality as the difference in the final outcomes and encompass the differences in equality of opportunity as well. The latter approach pays greater attention to the wider social, political and economic circumstances, which hinder individuals from accessing and competing at the same level. Various sets of contingencies affect the real opportunities people have, generating variations in the process of converting economic resources or social contexts into educational achievements. This approach follows the shift in twentieth century thought on inequality and justice, which made a distinction between “outcomes” (i.e., utility and welfare) and “opportunities” (i.e., primary goods; capabilities etc.). 2 The main arguments in this system of thought are that the process of acquiring outcomes must also be considered in determining justice (Dworkin, 1981) and that the process is dependent not only on initial endowments but on individual agency as well. This shift from a utilitarian approach, which focused on equality of outcomes to one that highlighted equality of opportunity as the basis for social justice marked a major shift in the philosophical traditions surrounding social policy. Not only did it give primacy to the “original position” (Rawls, 1971) it brought in the idea of individual responsibility, which had been the major criticism of anti-egalitarian thought. However, in recognizing the extent to which individuals are responsible for the outcomes they enjoy allowance must be made for the fact that outcomes may also be determined by factors beyond individual control. This is especially so for children, where inequalities experienced by them are predominantly due to their circumstance, and thus mostly beyond the pale of their agency. Primary and secondary education, for instance, take place when the person is still, arguably, below the age of consent, that is, the age at which children could be held at least partially responsible for the various choices they make (Paes de Barros et al 2009, Reomer 1998). In other words, the contribution of this tradition is to suggest that a just society could be achieved through ensuring equality of opportunity by providing “primary goods” (Rawls, 1971) or a set of “capabilities” (Sen, 1980) that would enable every citizen to achieve his/her life plan. Following this approach, we examine the broad trends in education in India to unpack the implications for social policy with respect to the objective of equality of opportunity.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Infrastructure, Inequality, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Large parts of the world, irrespective of their level of economic development, are at the cusp of severe environmental crises. In these regions, the operations of extractive projects such as large scale plantations, mining and industrial development have negated or worsened the economic, social and physical well-being of communities in their neighbourhoods and beyond. Their robust national and regional laws and institutions for the protection and governance of the environment and natural resources have remained on paper and the non-compliance by governments and corporations has had profound effects on community livelihoods, health, access to land and quality of life. CPR-Namati's Practice Guide for Environment Justice Paralegals is a step in the direction of closing this environmental enforcement gap. The guide provides a methodology for community mobilisers, activists and citizens groups to shift their attention from stating the problem to getting grievances addressed by environmental institutions. The guide is based on four years of work done by the paralegals of CPR-Namati Environment Justice Program to assist affected communities file complaints and seek remedies in over 150 cases of non-compliance in India. We hope that this guide will help local organisations and community groups to address environmental conflicts and seek useful remedies for affected people.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Law, Justice
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Susan Esme Chaplin, Reetika Kalita
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In Delhi, as in many other Indian cities, millions of men, women and children who live in slums and informal settlements haveto daily confront the lack of adequate sanitation facilities. These sanitation inequalities have a greater impact on the health and socioeconomic status of women and girls because of their greater social vulnerability to sexual violence; there is also the role played by biology in their need for privacy, safety and cleanliness. Men and boys, on the other hand, tend to use public urinals and open defecation (OD) sites generally more frequently, because their need for privacy during these sanitation activities is not such a cause for concern. In addition, women and girls are forced every day to risk using precarious spaces for their sanitation activities that may expose them to gender-based violence and harassment and not satisfy their biological and socio-cultural needs. These urban sanitation inequalities also negatively impact the time women have available for paid employment as well as their daily domestic responsibilities, as they have to spend each morning queuing for toilets or getting up earlier to go with other women to OD sites. For adolescent girls this can often mean being late for school, which threatens their education and future life choices. India failed to meet Millennium Development Goal No. 7 (adopted by the United Nations in 2000) relating to halving the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation. In terms of toilet usage across India, the Census 2011 found that 81 percent of urban households had a private toilet or latrine. But when it came to slum households, only 66 percent had a toilet, meaning that 34 percent had to either use a community or public toilet or resort to OD (Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation & National Buildings Organisations 2013, p. 60). In reality, there are an estimated 41 million urban dwellers still practising OD because of a lack of access to improved sanitation (WaterAid 2016). OD is a compulsion, not a choice, and creates particular risks and imposes a variety of harms upon women and children that men and boys do not suffer. Who or what is responsible for such socioeconomic consequences of the lack of adequate sanitation infrastructure in Indian cities which perpetuate gender inequalities? How do harms like gender-based violence impact the everyday lives of women and girls living in slums in particular? This project report examines these issues using the notion of infrastructural violence and then examines the harms and suffering caused by a lack of sanitation infrastructure in two long-established localities in Delhi: Mangolpuri and Kusumpur Pahari. Mangolpuri is a resettlement colony in the northwest region of Delhi with an estimated population of more than 350,000. It is interspersed with eight JJCs clusters of varying sizes. Kusumpur Pahari is located in the heart of south Delhi, near Jawaharlal Nehru University, and now has five blocks of JJCs and an estimated population of nearly 50,000.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Health, Children, Women, Income Inequality, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Bhanu Joshi, Eesha Kunduri
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India is the youngest country amongst the BRICS. It is estimated that by 2020 the working age population in India would be about 592 million, second to that of China’s (776 million). Theorised in terms of the ‘youth bulge’ or ‘demographic dividend’, this holds out prospects as well as challenges for a developing country like India. This note approaches the question of youth in contemporary urban India by shedding light on a variety of perspectives: the institutional structure and governance framework for young people in India, the involvement of and interest of young people in politics, employment-unemployment amongst youth, aspirations, and everyday politics of the youth. By considering both formal politics and political representations among youth as also more everyday forms of politics and aspirational dimensions of youth engagement, this note attempts to develop a holistic snapshot of contemporary urban youth.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Politics, Employment, Youth, Urban, Unemployment
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Nimmi Kurian
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India’s transition from being a recipient of aid to a donor makes for a feel-good story. The policy brief questions this rose-tinted rhetoric and argues that there is an urgent need to map and systematise the diversity of India’s engagement as an actor in this evolving space. What sort of normative choices and tensions are these likely to present for Indian diplomacy? At the end of the day, many of these issues will be fundamentally linked to how India perceives its role in the region and the world at large and how it chooses to engage with questions of benefit sharing, trade-offs and the allocation of risks and burdens. Outlining its development priorities and bringing greater clarity to conceptualising what foreign aid with Indian characteristics constitutes should be the first order of business that India needs to attend to, if it wants to stay ahead of the (lending) curve.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Foreign Aid, Currency
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Peter Wood
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In mid-October, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visited China. His visit was marked by a recalibration in Philippine policy toward China and the announcement of economic and military “separation” from the United States.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Asia, Philippines, United States of America
  • Author: Mubeen Adnan, Bushra Fatima
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: On the world map, Pakistan and China being the neighboring states are inclined to develop and strengthen their relations with each other. These two states can be called as the good neighbors who can assist each other during the time of crisis. Both countries have had always a welcoming attitude towards each other in different situations due to which right from their independence till today in the 21st century, they are cooperative, supportive, encouraging, and friendly states among the other states of the world. This article is based on the fact that apart from the diplomatic, cultural relations, Pakistan and China are making great attempts and efforts for building viable economic relations with each other. It is also to see that how much these two would be beneficial in their economic interests by making the Gawadar project in their journey of making progress in economic capabilities. What challenges are being faced by these states in terms of the economic corridor. It is assumed that However, through this macro-level economic project both Pakistan and China would lead up to reach their destinations along with the attainment of their national interests.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, South Asia, Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Bryane Michael, Christopher Hartwell, Vladimir Korovkin
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: How should convenience store operators like Thailand’s CP-ALL construct its value chains? What does economic theory teach us about an under – modelled area of management theory (namely value chains)? In this paper, Bryane Michael, Christopher Hartwell and Vladimir Korovkin use a seemingly unrelated economic model analysing Vietnam to tell something about the conglomerates running convenience stores licenses like CP-ALL. They find that convenience stores may not want to raise capital from Thai banks and the Bangkok stock market when labour productivity exceeds capital’s. They also find that inefficiencies inherent in Thai markets may significantly reduce the optimal size of a convenience store operator like CP ALL. These operators may also (counter-intuitively) need to give up a significant share of their profits to “value service providers” when the cost of capital falls. As such, counter to the usual World Bank nostrums, improvements in Bangkok’s stock market and banks may actually hurt firms like CP ALL.
  • Topic: Development, Economic growth, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand
  • Author: Benjamin Selwyn
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: Global Value Chain (GVC) analysis is part and parcel of mainstream development discourse and policy. Supplier firms are encouraged, with state support, to ‘link-up’ with trans-national lead firms. Such arrangements, it is argued, will reduce poverty and contribute to meaningful socio-economic development. This portrayal of global political economic relations represents a ‘problem-solving’ interpretation of reality. This article proposes an alternative analytical approach rooted in ‘critical theory’ which reformulates the GVC approach to better investigate and explain the reproduction of global poverty, inequality and divergent forms of national development. It suggests re-labelling GVC as Global Poverty Chain (GPC) analysis. GPC’s are examined in the textiles, food, and high-tech sectors. The article details how workers in these chains are systematically paid less than their subsistence costs, how trans-national corporations use their global monopoly power to capture the lion’s share of value created within these chains, and how these relations generate processes of immiserating growth. The article concludes by considering how to extend GPC analysis.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, Labor Issues, Inequality, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: Kanchi Kohli, Debayan Gupta
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: For the last two years, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 has been in the eye of debate and discussed for the controversial changes the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had sought to bring about through ordinances. Even though fate of the amendments rests currently with the Joint Parliamentary Committee report, several states have already brought about changes through Rules under Section 109 of the Act. An examination of these state specific Rules reveals they are headed towards: Adopting the changes proposed in the ordinances amending the central law; Diluting the applicability of the progressive clauses like consent or SIA; Clarifying procedures for implementation at the state level. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had replaced the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 with the newly enacted RFCLARR Act, 2013. Though critiqued for expanding the definition of public purpose to include the private sector, the new legislations had been welcomed by social movements, farmers groups and NGOs. This is primarily for the need for a Social Impact Assessment (SIA), the requirement for prior consent, food security provisions and clear compensation related provisions. What was also central to this discussion were the clauses which allow for unused land to be returned to original owners. The Rules framed by the States aim to make the process of land acquisition much simpler for investors. While certain States reduce the time period for the conducting of the SIA process or do away with it in its entirety, there are others who make reductions in the compensation award or modify the applicability of the retrospective clause. There are also States which directly adopt the provisions in the ordinance that aim to remove the requirement for consent from the land acquisition procedure. This working paper paper attempts to trace and analyse how the state governments have modified and built upon the central Act. It also looks briefly at litigation that has emerged especially around the applicability of the retrospective clause of the law, ie. which requires the return of unused land to original owners or reinitiating processes under the 2013 law.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Law, Food Security, Land Law, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Over the past four years, the national policy environment and institutional response to sanitation have undergone a substantial change. The launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) have catapulted sanitation into the league of priority sectors. In the backdrop of such developments, Housing and Urban Development Department under the Government of Odisha sought to revise the Urban Sanitation Strategy 2011 with the able support from the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The revised Odisha Urban Sanitation Strategy 2017 and Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy 2017 make crucial strides towards the achievement of a Clean Odisha. The purview of the strategy has been expanded to address gaps in the entire sanitation value chain for the management of not only solid waste, but also liquid waste including faecal sludge/septage and menstrual hygiene. The revised strategy is grounded in the principles that have underpinned the Odisha government's efforts so far to provide the people with equitable and safe access to sanitation, along with establishing the most advanced sanitation infrastructure. Over the next ten years, concerned departments will work towards six objectives: (a) achieving open defecation free and (b) open discharge free urban areas; (c) effectively managing and treating solid waste; (d) ensuring that sewage, (e) septage/faecal sludge and liquid waste are safely treated and disposed; and (f) ensuring safety guidelines are followed in physical handling and management of waste. In addition, providing women and girls with safe access to menstrual hygiene has also been included as an objective in the revised strategy.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Infrastructure, Governance, Public Policy, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Radhika Khosla
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India is undergoing structural urban and economic transitions and has set ambitious policy targets to meet its rising energy needs for development. Expanding coal and renewables are two important pillars of this undertaking and, since 2008, climate protection is of increasing concern. India’s international engagements reflect these motivations of both energy security and climate change, where India is increasingly engaging in transfer of clean and efficient energy technologies to developing countries like itself.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Economic growth, Urban
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Joseph Felter, Benjamin Crost
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: Many governments and international experts consider a move towards high-value export crops, such as fruits and vegetables, as an important opportunity for economic growth and poverty reduction. Little is known, however, about the effects of export crops in fragile and conflict- affected countries. We exploit movements in world market prices combined with geographic variation in crop intensity to provide evidence that increases in the value of a major export crop exacerbate conflict violence in the Philippines. We further show that this effect is concentrated in areas with low baseline insurgent control. In areas with high insurgent control, a rise in crop value leads to a decrease in violence but a further expansion of rebel-controlled territory. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that insurgents gain strength from extorting agricultural exporters and that insurgent strength has a non-monotonic effect on conflict violence because strong insurgent groups can establish local monopolies of violence.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Violence, Exports
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Anna Triandafyllidou, Angeliki Dimitriadi
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: EU migration and asylum policy is facing tough challenges at the southern borders of the Union as migration and asylum pressures rise, fuelled by political instability and poverty in several regions of Asia and Africa. Current European border control practices create three spaces of control: externalised borders, through readmission and return agreements which enrol third countries in border control; the EU borders themselves through the work of Frontex and the development of a whole arsenal of technology tools for controlling mobility to and from the EU; and the Schengen area, whose regulations tend to reinforce deterrence at the borders through the Smart Border System. As a result, the EU's balancing act between irregular migration control and protection of refugees and human life clearly tips towards the former, even if it pays lip service to the latter. More options for mobility across the Mediterranean and more cooperation for growth are essential ingredients of a sustainable migration management policy on the EU's southern borders. In addition asylum management could benefit from EU level humanitarian visas issued at countries of origin.
  • Topic: Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Cameroon
  • Author: Chenyang Li, James Char
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: In discussions on Myanmar's political reforms since the installation of a civilianised military regime in 2011, most analysts have focused on the bedevilment of bilateral ties between Beijing and Naypyidaw. To be sure, China has since become more attuned to the concerns of non-state actors with the opening up of Myanmar's political space as well as recalibrated its strategies in the face of renewed diplomatic competition from other countries in vying for the affections of the Burmese leadership. In acknowledging the corrections China‘s Myanmar policy has undergone, this article argues that Beijing‘s factoring in of Burmese national interests and development needs can help enhance its prospects. While a return to the previous robust bilateral relationship may appear inconceivable in the near future, this article concludes that there is still hope for Beijing in overcoming the challenges posed by Naypyidaw's political transition should it be able to keep up with the latter's evolution over the longer term.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Diplomacy, Non State Actors
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Jin-Wan Seo, Hasan Md Golam Mehedi
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The four countries are selected and compared based on their use of e-government as a tool to work and share information more effectively while delivering better services to the public. It also provides a general understanding of e-government and uses different variables to discuss the reality of e-government development and e-participation over the last few years in these four countries. In view of this, the time series data are collected from the United Nations e-government survey to highlight developing trends in e-government along with issues and challenges, best practices, and opportunities for the development of egovernment. As a result, this study finds that real e-government remains a distant hope in these countries due to the expense of supplying technology, a lack of infrastructure, limited human capital and a weak private sector.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Infrastructure, Internet
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Asia, India, Asia, Korea
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Delhi is India’s richest city and as the capital of the nation has long enjoyed favourable treatment from the Centre. As the home to the country’s national bureaucracies, it also benefits from a large base of secure, well-paid, government jobs. Over the last decade the city has grown at an average real rate of 10 percent, and has benefitted from a dramatic increase in large-scale infrastructure development. Yet, despite these advantages, Delhi is a deeply divided city marked by layers of social exclusion. In the modern imaginary, the city represents the promise of freedom and opportunity. It marks a social space that is less constrained by traditional identities and one in which greater social interaction and density support economic dynamism. If development must, as Amartya Sen has so influentially argued, be based on strengthening basic capabilities, then the city can surely be a privileged site of capability-enhancement. Indeed, the migrants who flood the city often come in search of better livelihoods, education, health, and basic services. But as any resident of Delhi knows, the quality of such services varies dramatically across neighbourhoods, and the part of the city one lives in significantly impacts one’s ability to take full advantage of what the city has to offer. The Cities of Delhi (CoD) project starts with the simple recognition that India’s capital is marked by different settlement types, defined by diverse degrees of formality, legality, and tenure, which taken together produce a highly differentiated pattern of access to basic services. This report provides an overview of the findings from CoD. It builds directly on the place, process, and institution reports available at citiesofdelhi.cprindia.org, but in no way substitutes for these reports, all of which stand on their own as original empirical contributions. This overview is instead a synthesis, an effort to tie together the findings from the reports, to paint a broad picture of patterns of unequal access to basic services in the city and to provide an analysis of how these patterns of inequality are linked to structures and practices of governance.
  • Topic: Development, Urbanization, Inequality, Economy, Capital Flows
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: China is poised to become a major strategic rival to the United States. Whether or not Beijing intends to challenge Washington's primacy, its economic boom and growing national ambitions make competition inevitable. And as China rises, American power will diminish in relative terms, threatening the foundations of the U.S.-backed global order that has engendered unprecedented prosperity worldwide. To avoid this costly outcome, Washington needs a novel strategy to balance China without containing it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Development, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Abdullah Toukan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This study examines the key strategic risks that shape the stability and security of the Indian Ocean Region or IOR. This means examining risks that cut across a vast span of territory that directly affects both the global economy and some 32 nations–some within the limits of the Indian Ocean, but others that play a critical role in shaping the security of the nations in the IOR region and the security of its sea lanes and petroleum exports.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Olgu Okumus
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since the international media reported crude oil flowing from the KRG to Turkey, doubts about the act's legality, political acceptability and opacity have surfaced. This oil trade is commercially enticing for energy-hungry Turkey, but is also politically risky. The Turkish government's lack of transparency regarding the KRG energy deal's economic and technical aspects has triggered domestic criticism - an especially risky proposition given the proximity of next year's election - and the KRG deal may also hinder international reliance on Turkey as a reliable energy hub. Turkey would be better advised to position itself as a partner for the export of Iraqi oil and gas, without making any distinction between federal and regional authorities. An Ankara-Erbil-Baghdad partnership based on normalized energy relations would help Turkey build new energy bridges with the EU, reducing gas prices for European consumers and strengthening Turkey-EU relations.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Oil, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Gabriel Demombynes, Justin Sandefur
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The lack of reliable development statistics for many poor countries has led the U.N. to call for a “data revolution” (United Nations, 2013). One fairly narrow but widespread interpretation of this revolution is for international aid donors to fund a coordinated wave of household surveys across the developing world, tracking progress on a new round of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. We use data from the International Household Survey Network (IHSN) to show (i) the supply of household surveys has accelerated dramatically over the past 30 years and that (ii) demand for survey data appears to be higher in democracies and more aid-dependent countries. We also show that given existing international survey programs, the cost to international aid donors of filling remaining survey gaps is manageable--on the order of $300 million per year. We argue that any aid-financed expansion of household surveys should be complemented with (a) increased access to data through open data protocols, and (b) simultaneous support for the broader statistical system, including routine administrative data systems.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Derek M. Scissors
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: New data published in the American Enterprise Institute-Heritage Foundation China Global Investment Tracker show that China continues to invest heavily around the world. Outward investment excluding bonds stood at $85 billion in 2013 and is likely to reach $100 billion annually by 2015. Energy, metals, and real estate are the prime targets. The United States in particular received a record of more than $14 billion in Chinese investment in 2013. Although China has shown a pattern of focusing on one region for a time then moving on to the next, the United States could prove to be a viable long-term investment location. The economic benefits of this investment flow are notable, but US policymakers (and those in other countries) should consider national security, the treatment of state-owned enterprises, and reciprocity when deciding to encourage or limit future Chinese investment.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Sarah Stern, Anna Mitri
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: With the end of the ISAF mandate, Afghanistan will enter the "de-cade of transformation" in late 2014, and assume security for and within the country. The challenges with regard to security and governance are obvious; they attract much political and public attention.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Robert Nalbandov
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph analyzes the interconnections between the democratic institutionalization of the newly independent states of Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus, their political (in)stability, and economic development and prosperity. By introducing the concept of regime mimicry into the field of public administration, this monograph extends the epistemological frameworks of the democratization school to the phenomenon of political culture. Successes and failures of the democratic institutionalization processes in these countries largely depend on the ways their institutional actors reacted to internal and external disturbances of their domestic political, econmic, and cultural environments. While Georgia's political culture revealed the highest degree of flexibility in accepting the externally-proposed institutional frameworks and practices, the bifurcate political culture in Ukraine impeded its democratic institutionalization, while the rigid political culture in Belarus completely stalled the process of institutional transformations.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Asia, Georgia, Belarus
  • Author: Casey Garret Johnson, William A. Byrd, Sanaullah Tasal
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The still unsigned Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Afghanistan and the United States provides the legal basis for continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. In addition to its substantive importance, the BSA is also a confidence-building mechanism. The delay in putting it in place is compounding uncertainty and further diminishing economic confidence during Afghanistan's already challenging and uncertain transition. Afghans' responses include, among others, hedging behavior (legal and illegal), personal decisions on whether to come back to or stay in Afghanistan, delays in investments, incipient job losses, declining demand for goods and services and real estate prices, and farmers planting more opium poppy.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Democratization, Development, Treaties and Agreements, Insurgency, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Author: Michael Semple
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Afghan Taliban Movement has publicly rejected the legitimacy of the April 2014 elections. The Taliban's military leadership has issued instructions to officials and commanders to disrupt the elections but has left field commanders with wide discretion on how to go about doing so. Many in the Taliban follow the electoral contest closely and comment on developments in terms very similar to how they are described by the political and educated class in Kabul. However, the anti-election sentiment in the Taliban leaves no scope for any faction to cooperate with the process. The Taliban will likely be able to intensify violence approaching the election, but not sufficiently to derail the overall process.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Islam, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Corruption has become a perennial issue that has shackled political parties to a groundswell of unpopularity in Indonesia. In the run up towards the 2014 General Elections, it is envisaged that such an issue may jeopardise the electability of certain political parties. This report explores the influence of corruption cases on the elections by first highlighting the current status of competing political parties in the 2014 elections. The report then looks at the notable corruption cases that have an adverse effect on the political parties. The report concludes with four points. First, how utilising the "corruption-card" has become the new weapon of choice among political parties. Second, how the acute problem of corruption signifies that Indonesia's democratic consolidation process is far from over. Third, how shadowy affairs between political parties, their elites and the media can and should be constantly monitored. Lastly, the need to strengthen and continuous evaluation of the Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK) to prevent unnecessary interventions by political parties in the future.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Development, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Democratic Party (PD) – the incumbent party that won a majority sweep in the 2009 general elections, conferring Yudhoyono his second presidency – is now experiencing a dramatic reversal of fortunes. The party's electability rate has dipped significantly from its heyday peak of 21 per cent in 2009 to a meagre 7 per cent in 2013. A convention based on democratic proceedings ha s been hatched as part of a last - ditched effort by PD with the express purpose of generating the requisite publicity before legislative elections commence in order to restore confidence among its voters. While the convention has been proceeding apace, its impact on the electorate and on the image of the party as a whole has been disappointing. This report analyses the reasons why PD's novel attempt at a democratic convention failed to rejuvenate the party like its predecessor the Golkar party did a decade a go. Included in the analysis are scenario analyses of the various outcomes of the convention, given the plausible choices that party Chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may take in consideration of the current dire status of PD.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Islam, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Rohinton Medhora, David Malone
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The familiar world of international organizations principally devoted to development has been upended by two phenomena. First is the emergence of sustained economic success in the developing world (mostly in Asia, but increasingly also in Africa and, in a less spectacular way, Latin America) amid compelling, continuing need among the world's poor. Second, the slow-moving, serious financial and economic crisis of the industrialized world since 2008 has reordered priorities in many of their capitals toward domestic spending and away from costly international projects.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Organization, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Luke Simon Jordan, Katerina Koinis
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Despite the region's economic growth over the last few decades, countries across Asia still face the complex challenge of structural transformation. Low-income economies must build formal industrial and service sectors from agricultural and informal bases; middle-income economies must move up the value chain; and high-income economies must continually generate new capabilities at the frontier of innovation.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Walter Douglas
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Public diplomacy supports the interests of the United States by advancing American goals outside the traditional arena of government-to-government relations. Since 9/11, with the rise of al Qaeda and other violent organizations that virulently oppose the United States, public diplomacy in Muslim-majority countries has become an instrument to blunt or isolate popular support for these organizations. Efforts in this direction complement traditional public diplomacy that explains American policies and society to foreign publics.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Development, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: America, Asia
  • Author: Orville Schell, John Delury
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: New York, July 16, 2013 - China scholars Orville Schell and John Delury discuss how the "Chinese Dream" has evolved to encompass facets of the American Dream while still retaining a traditional, communal character as regards acquiring wealth. (1 min., 45 sec.)
  • Topic: Communism, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, New York, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Priscilla Clapp, Suzanne DiMaggio, Ike Reed, U Kyaw Tin
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: New York, June 26, 2013 - At the launch of a new Asia Society paper on Myanmar, Priscilla Clapp, Suzanne DiMaggio, Ike Reed, and Myanmar Representative to the UN U Kyaw Tin assess challenges facing a newly democratizing Myanmar. Introduction by former Ambassador Frank Wisner. (1 hr., 21 min.)
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: New York, Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The ASEAN-Canada Enhanced Partnership Plan of Action (2010- 2015) represents the latest effort in a relationship that dates back to 1977, the year that Canada became one of the first countries to be designated a Dialogue Partner of ASEAN. According to the Plan of Action, ASEAN and Canada will 'work and consult closely in responding to regional and international challenges, and in building an ASEAN-centred regional architecture which is open and inclusive'. They will also 'promote the development of enhanced ASEAN connectivity which will help foster the building of an ASEAN Community by 2015'.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Canada, Asia
  • Author: Sarah Norgrove
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The possibilities for future Asia-Pacific security cooperation between Australia and Canada are promising. Economic development and population growth mean that security challenges present themselves as opportunities. Australia and Canada are well positioned to influence regional approaches to transnational challenges such as crime, terrorism, piracy and environmental degradation, and to contribute to food, energy and cyber security. This paper explores the current state of security cooperation between Australia and Canada in the Asia-Pacific, and identifies opportunities to extend the relationship, focussing on collaborative efforts like economic and maritime cooperation, which may help tackle transnational security challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Canada, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Anna Maria Dyner, Natalia Ryabova
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Belarusian accession to the Common Economic Space (CES) was forced by two factors-the 2011 crisis and the necessity to gain cheap energy resources. Although Russia fulfilled its promises, decreasing gas and oil prices, Belarus is now feeling the negative results of the integration. According to CES rules, Belarusian authorities will have to tighten monetary policy, and reduce social spending and public financing of state-owned enterprises. The situation may be improved by foreign investments, but among the three CES countries, Belarus is the least attractive, especially since Russia joined the WTO and the because of the possible accession of Kazakhstan in the near future. Because of the need to carry out the major reforms in Belarus, the European Union has a greater chance to influence the situation in that country, for example by supporting modernisation projects.
  • Topic: Development, Oil, Natural Resources, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jorebon Loeak
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features an address by His Excellency Christopher Jorebon Loeak, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, titled Marshalling Climate Leadership, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Globalization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific, Island
  • Author: Peter Engelke
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Humankind recently crossed a historic threshold: over half of all human beings now live in cities. In contrast to most of human history, cities have become the default condition for human habitation almost everywhere on earth. Urbanization is proceeding rapidly and at unprecedented scales in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These regions are poised to join Latin America, Europe, North America, and Australia as having more people living in cities than in rural areas. Between 2010 and 2050, the world's urban population is expected to grow by 3 billion people—a figure roughly equal to the world's total population in 1950—with the great majority living in developing-world cities.3 Our species, in other words, is already an urban one and will become even more so throughout this century.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Environment, Natural Resources, Urbanization, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Australia, North America
  • Author: Jean Razafindravonona, Eric Rakotomanana, Jimmy Rajaobelina
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The rapid and spectacular expansion of the Chinese economy in the recent past is, for African countries, an opportunity to take advantage of not only in terms of strengthening the South-South cooperation, but also of developing African economies. It is thus important to define the channels through which African countries would do so. It is with this goal in mind that the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) initiated the research project on the impact of the economic relation between China and sub-Saharan African countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Global Political Economy, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, Madagascar
  • Author: Togzhan Kassenova
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Asia-Pacific region epitomizes the type of proliferation challenges the international community faces. Globalization turned the region into one of the most important international trade hubs, the home to leading dual-use companies, and the anticipated site of the world's most significant growth in nuclear energy. While those trends are beneficial, they also create new sources of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia
  • Author: Huasheng Zhao
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China holds clear, coherent, but relatively low-profile positions on Afghanistan. While staying largely with the mainstream of the international community on the issue of Afghanistan, China maintains an independent policy that reflects the peculiarities of Chinese interests, concerns, and priorities in Afghanistan. China has multiple interests in Afghanistan; however, domestic concerns about the security and stability of the largely Muslim region of Xinjiang overwhelm all others. China maintains normal and good relations with the Afghan government, takes active part in the country's economic rebuilding, and provides Afghanistan financial aid and other assistance. China supports the international community in its efforts in Afghanistan, but stays away from direct military involvement. China refrains from criticizing America's involvement in the war in Afghan- istan, but it doubts the war's efficacy, and China refuses to join the American Northern Distribu- tion Network (NDN) to Afghanistan. China dislikes the Taliban because of its close relations with the “East Turkistan” organization—a Uyghur separatist group—but China deals with the Taliban cautiously, trying to avoid direct conflict. China favors an Afghanistan governed by Afghans and hopes that the “Kabul process”—the transition to greater Afghan responsibility and ownership in both security and civilian areas—will have a successful end. At the same time, China also prepares for unexpected outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Murray Hiebert, Ernest Z. Bower, David Pumphrey, Gregory B. Poling, Molly A. Walton
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Southeast Asia will be the next big growth engine in Asia. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, with a population of 525 million and a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion (when measured by purchasing power parity), are expected to grow almost 6 percent between now and 2030, according to the Asian Development Bank. For years, they have been eclipsed by China and India, but now their combined GDP is catching up with India and they could overtake Japan in less than two decades. For U.S. firms, these five members of the Association of South East Asian Nations—hereafter the ASEAN-5—are a trade, energy, and environment story.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, Asia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In a region largely bereft of regional organizations and long divided by the Cold War, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been the most significant multilateral group for the past forty-five years. Since the end of the Cold War, ASEAN has grown increasingly influential. While much of the West and most emerging markets continue to suffer because of the 2008 global recession, the leading ASEAN economies have recovered and are thriving. Perhaps most important, ASEAN has helped prevent interstate conflicts in Southeast Asia, despite several brewing territorial disputes in the region.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Ebru Oğurlu
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, the Eastern Mediterranean has been increasingly fraught with growing competition between regional players, most notably Turkey, Cyprus, and Israel, signalling an apparent return of power politics in regional relations. Of all actors involved, Turkey stands out for being both an ever more influential power and a source of serious concern to other countries in the region due to its greater assertiveness and perceived hegemonic ambitions. Against the backdrop of recent regional developments and their international implications, including the dispute over drilling rights off Cyprus' coasts, Turkey's image as a constructive and dialogue-oriented country, a critical achievement pursued by a generation of Turkish politicians, diplomats and officials, risks being replaced by one of an antagonistic/assertive power. Facing the first serious challenge to its claim to embody a benign model as a secular Muslim democracy and a responsible international actor, Turkey should not indulge in emotional reactions. It should opt instead for a more moderate and balanced approach based on the assumption that only cooperation and constructive dialogue, even with rival countries, can help it realize its ambition of being the regional pivot.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development, Islam, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Asia, Colombia, Cyprus
  • Author: David Camroux
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Revolving around the concept of 'Community' or 'community', debate on an Asian region has ostensibly pitted those who proposed an entity limited to East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea and the ten countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations, ASEAN) against those who proposed a much wider region embracing India, North (and, perhaps, South) America, as well as Australasia. Previously these two conceptualisations possessed their eponymous translation in the East Asian Economic Caucus (reincarnated as ASEANþ3) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. However, with the creation in 2005 of the East Asian Summit to include India, Australia and New Zealand and, above all, its 2011 enlargement to include the United States and Russia, the contrast between the two conceptualisations of an Asian region has become confused. In order to explain this development, this article suggests that the language of 'region' or 'community' is a discursive smokescreen disguising changes in approaches to multilateralism. An examination of the East Asia Summit, contrasting it with another recent regional project, the Trans Pacific Partnership, suggests that the actors involved are seeking to ensure the primacy of individual nation states in intergovernmental multilateral relations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, America, India, East Asia, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Nigel Purvis, Abigail Jones
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Worldwide, about 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity (one in five people), while unreliable electricity networks serve another 1 billion people. Roughly 2.7 billion—about 40 percent of the global population—lack access to clean cooking fuels. Instead, dirty, sometimes scarce and expensive fuels such as kerosene, candles, wood, animal waste, and crop residues power the lives of the energy poor, who pay disproportionately high costs and receive very poor quality in return. More than 95 percent of the energy poor are either in sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia, while 84 percent are in rural areas—the same regions that are the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Asia
  • Author: Barbara Kotschwar
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In Latin America, inadequate transportation infrastructure has been identified as an increasingly important impediment to the region's further integration in global trade and a significant factor preventing countries from properly taking advantage of the multitude of regional, plurilateral, and bilateral trade agreements signed in the past decade and a half. This paper examines transport and communications infrastructure initiatives in Latin American and Asian regional trade arrangements and finds several lessons Asia can teach Latin America.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Communications, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Martin Kessler
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: A country's rise to economic dominance tends to be accompanied by its currency becoming a reference point, with other currencies tracking it implicitly or explicitly. For a sample comprising emerging market economies, we show that in the last two years, the renminbi has increasingly become a reference currency which we define as one which exhibits a high degree of co-movement (CMC) with other currencies. In East Asia, there is already a renminbi bloc, because the renminbi has become the dominant reference currency, eclipsing the dollar, which is a historic development. In this region, 7 currencies out of 10 co-move more closely with the renminbi than with the dollar, with the average value of the CMC relative to the renminbi being 40 percent greater than that for the dollar. We find that co-movements with a reference currency, especially for the renminbi, are associated with trade integration. We draw some lessons for the prospects for the renminbi bloc to move beyond Asia based on a comparison of the renminbi's situation today and that of the Japanese yen in the early 1990s. If trade were the sole driver, a more global renminbi bloc could emerge by the mid-2030s but complementary reforms of the financial and external sector could considerably expedite the process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Foreign Exchange, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Marcus Noland, Donghyun Park
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The maturing of the manufacturing sector in many Asian countries, combined with the relative backwardness of its services sector, has made services sector development a top priority for developing Asia. The authors' central objective is to broadly survey and analyze the current landscape of the region's services sector so as to assess its potential to serve as an engine for inclusive economic growth. Their analysis indicates that services are already an important source of output, growth, and jobs in the region. However, its productivity greatly lags that of the advanced economies, which implies ample room for further growth. The impact of the services sector on poverty reduction is less clear but the authors do find some limited evidence of a poverty reduction effect. One key challenge for all Asian countries is to improve the quality of services sector data. Overall, while services sector development is a long and challenging process, creating more competitive services markets by removing a wide range of internal and external policy distortions is vital for improving services sector productivity. As important as such policy reforms are, complementary investments in physical infrastructure and human capital will also be necessary to achieve a strong services sector.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Jeffrey J. Schott, Julia Muir, Minsoo Lee
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Trade and investment in services are difficult to measure, and the regulatory barriers that inhibit the free flow of services are hard to quantify. As a result, very little attention has been paid to dismantling barriers to services trade and investment. Rather, free trade negotiations tend to focus on liberalizing merchandise trade. This paper examines what has been achieved in both regional and multilateral compacts by surveying international precedents involving Asian countries in which services reforms have been included in bilateral and regional trade pacts. The authors then assess the prospects for services trade negotiations and explore how services trade negotiations could be pursued over the next decade through two distinct channels: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a plurilateral approach among groups of WTO countries. The authors find that in the case of developing Asia, free trade agreements have largely excluded services or have only committed to "lock in" current practices in a narrow subset of service sectors. This is also the case in agreements negotiated between developing countries, which have produced less substantial commitments to liberalize services than those negotiated between developing and developed countries. Multilateral negotiations on services have also underperformed, as substantive negotiations on services in the Doha Round never really got underway. To that end, the authors advocate a stronger effort by developing Asian countries to prioritize services negotiations in their regional arrangements and to expand coverage of services in those pacts to a broad range of infrastructure services that are included in other FTAs in force or under construction in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: C. Randall Henning
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines the exchange rate regimes of East Asian countries since the initial shift by China to a controlled appreciation in July 2005, testing econometrically the weights of key currencies in the implicit baskets that appear to be targeted by East Asian monetary authorities. It finds, first, that Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines have formed a loose but effective “renminbi bloc” with China, and that South Korea has participated tentatively since the global financial crisis. Second, the emergence of the renminbi bloc in terms of the exchange rate has been facilitated by the continued dominance of the US dollar as a trade, investment, and reserve currency. Third, exchange rate stabilization is explained by the economic strategies of these countries, which rely heavily on export development and financial repression, and the economic rise of China. Fourth, analysts should specify the exchange rate preferences of these emerging market countries carefully before drawing inferences about Chinese influence within the region.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Asia, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand
  • Author: Pietro De Matteis
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: This Occasional Paper aims at providing a new perspective on the relevance of climate change for the EU's external action. Considering its linkages with various areas such as energy security, economic growth and diplomacy, and indeed its importance in terms of future political stability, climate change is a major 'game-changer' in international relations. The issue of climate change, and how to deal with it, therefore presents governments with a significant opportunity to reshape the international order in the light of the major global transformations currently underway. The development of the climate change regime presents the EU with both an opportunity and a threat, in as much as it may either accelerate Europe's decline as a foreign policy actor or, on the contrary, reinvigorate its diplomatic ambitions.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Diplomacy, Environment, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: William Byrd
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: At the Tokyo conference on July 8, donors committed to provide massive civilian aid to Afghanistan and improve aid effectiveness, while the Afghan government committed to a number of governance and political benchmarks. The outcome at Tokyo exceeded expectations, but a review of Afghan and international experience suggests that implementing the Tokyo mutual accountability framework will be a major challenge. The multiplicity of donors could weaken coherence around targets and enforcing benchmarks, and undermine the accountability of the international community for overall funding levels. Uncertain political and security prospects raise doubts about the government's ability to meet its commitments, and political will for needed reforms understandably may decline as security transition proceeds and the next election cycle approaches. It is doubtful whether major political issues can be handled through an articulated mutual accountability framework with benchmarks and associated financial incentives. The civilian aid figure agreed upon at Tokyo ($16 billion over four years) is ambitious and exceeded expectations; if the international community falls short, this could be used to justify the Afghan government failing to achieve its benchmarks. Finally, given past experience there are doubts about how well the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) process (mandated to oversee implementation), and the series of further high-level meetings agreed at Tokyo, will work.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Economics, Governance, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: William Byrd
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Afghanistan's history provides important insights and lessons for the 2011 to 2014 transition and beyond, but differences with the past must be taken into account. As the 1933 to 1973 decades demonstrate, the country can be stable and effectively governed, but that stability was anchored in the two pillars of traditional local governance and a centralized though weak state, both of which were gravely damaged after 1978. Given the country's history of chronic succession problems and associated conflict, the next presidential election, if successful, would be the first peaceful transfer of leadership since 1933 and only the fourth since 1747. Expectations about the pace of progress must be modest and the dangers of overly ambitious reforms leading to violent reactions recognized. Regional countries could derail peace prospects, and planning around such spoilers may be needed. The difficulties of reaching a peaceful solution during a military withdrawal, and the adverse consequences when such efforts fail, were demonstrated during the period from 1986 to 1992. The period after the Soviet withdrawal shows the potential and limitations of Afghan security forces: holding onto Kabul and other cities is probably the most that can be hoped for in the current transition. The option of arming and paying militias is dangerous because it opens the door to instability and predatory behavior. The Afghan economy is in much better shape than it was during and after the Soviet period, and a deep economic contraction in coming years needs to be avoided. Afghanistan will depend heavily on outside financial support for many years, and such support must not be abruptly cut back or stopped. Effective national leadership is critical during transitions. It is important not to overlearn from history, for example, Afghanistan's problematic experience over the past half-century with political parties, which are essential to successful democratic systems.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Islam, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Priscilla Clapp, Suzanne DiMaggio
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: In January 2012, an Asia Society delegation visited Burma/Myanmar to engage in a Track II dialogue with the Myanmar Development Resources Institute (MDRI), a newly created, independent think tank based in Yangon. The MDRI participants in the dialogue include advisors with a mandate to provide policy advice in the areas of political, economic, and legal affairs to President Thein Sein and his government. The goal of this informal dialogue is to establish an ongoing channel of communication between experts from both countries and to explore opportunities to advance U.S.–Myanmar relations during a particularly fluid and fragile period of transition in Myanmar.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Southeast Asia, Myanmar