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  • Author: Sabrina Zajak
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper presents a novel analytical framework to study transnational activism in the context of today’s international governance architecture. While there is a considerable amount of literature on the emergence, development, and effects of transnational activism in specific transnational governance arrangements or within a specific local context, an integrated framework that analyzes the dynamic interplay between activism, transnational institutions, and domestic contexts is still lacking. The framework of transnational pathways of influence intends to help close this gap. It integrates insights from social movement research on transnational collective action and insights from institutional theorists on institutional interactions. The framework consists of three major concepts: the concept of intra-pathway dynamics captures the relationship of mobilization and institutional chance within one path; the concept of inter-pathway dynamics encompasses institutional interactions and interdependencies between activism across paths; and the concept of the global–local link characterizes the relationship of activism within each path to local actors, the domestic context, and the political regime. The paper outlines this framework and exemplifies it by taking the case of transnational labor-rights activism targeting labor-rights violations in a strong and nondemocratic state: the People’s Republic of China. It shows that the study of activism across different transnational pathways over time is necessary to understand the combined effects of activist interventions, institutional co-evolution and interaction as an explanation of the process of selective convergence between global norms and local practices.
  • Topic: Development, Politics, Labor Issues, Governance, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: R. Evan Ellis
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In the past decade, China's expanding engagement with Latin America has captivated the attention of the region and the United States. Most of the focus, however, has been on whether the new trade and investment is good for the region's long-term development, and whether particular Chinese activities, such as military sales and loans to Venezuela and Ecuador, threaten U.S. interests in the region. Lost are the details and dynamics of how Chinese companies and the Chinese government have adapted to doing business in the region. China's new physical presence in Latin America is the product of a fast-growing commercial and investment presence. But as a consequence of that deepening relationship, Chinese companies and China's diplomatic apparatus have become increasingly immersed in the business, social and political conditions in those countries—and in some cases are even shaping those conditions to suit their interests.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Ben Lampert, Giles Mohan
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's renewed engagement with Africa is often framed as a form of imperialism, with the growing number of Chinese migrants on the continent seen as an exploitative presence. Such claims have generally been based on little evidence, and where more detailed empirical studies have emerged, they tend to emphasise the tensions and conflicts that have arisen. Our research on Chinese migrants in Ghana and Nigeria suggests that while there are concerns about Chinese competition in the informal retail sector and the treatment of local labour in Chinese enterprises, narratives of apparent tension and conflict are often much more nuanced than is generally recognised. Furthermore, more convivial and cooperative relations have also emerged and these have facilitated important opportunities for Africans to benefit from the Chinese presence. However, while the presence of Chinese migrants in African socio-economic life can be more integrated and mutually beneficial than is often assumed, the ability of African actors to benefit from this presence is highly uneven, placing the politics of class at the centre of any understanding of Sino-African encounters.
  • Topic: Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Nigeria
  • Author: Selim Erbagci
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles In the last decade, the world has witnessed an unprecedented development of many countries. The speed of this process has not only caused surprise but also has generated questions: How did these countries manage such significant improvements? Why have some other countries failed to reach a similar level of success during the same period? How long could this rapid development last? Ruchir Sharma answers these issues, explaining the common reason for rapid development during the last decade and also the country-specific internal dynamics behind the rapid development of countries such as China, India, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, and South Korea. Finally, He also identifies the potential breakout nations for the next decade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Turkey, India, Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: Hsiao-Wen Cheng
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Everlasting Empire: The Political Culture of Ancient China and Its Imperial Legacy While dynasties rose and fell in the geographical area now called “China,” in this book Yuri Pines treats the Chinese empire since the Qin dynasty as a whole and inquires into its longevity. This inquiry is justified by Pines' in-depth discussion on several continuous characteristics of Chinese imperial system and political culture: the persistent belief in the “Great Unity” and in absolute monarchism; the theoretical omnipotent monarchs and the practical “checks and balances” of the imperial bureaucrats; the literati class as the locus of both political and moral/cultural authority; and the exclusion of commoners from actual political processes. Focusing on the intellectual aspect, Pines draws connection between pre-Qin thought and political ideology of later times, effectively synthesizes scholarship on post-Qin developments, and shows numerous insights into the intrinsic tensions within Chinese political history.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Rosemary Foot
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A more powerful China under the seemingly confident leadership of President Xi Jinping has committed to a more activist global policy. In particular, this commitment has influenced Beijing's policy towards UN peacekeeping operations, with a long-awaited decision to add combat forces to the engineering troops and police and medical units that have been features of its past contribution. In addition, Beijing has doubled the size of its contribution to the UN peace operations budget. This article explains why the UN is a key venue for China to demonstrate its 'responsible Great Power' status and expressed willingness to provide global public goods. The main explanatory factors relate to the UN's institutional design, which accords special status to China even as it represents a global order that promotes the sovereign equality of states. Moreover, there are complementarities between dominant Chinese beliefs and interests, and those contained within the UN system. Especially important in this latter regard are the links that China has tried to establish between peacebuilding and development assistance with the aim of strengthening the capacity of states. China projects development support as a contribution both to humanitarian need and to the harmonization of conflict-ridden societies. The Chinese leadership has also spoken of its willingness to contribute to peacemaking through stepping up its efforts at mediation. However, such a move will require much deeper commitment than China has demonstrated in the past and runs the risk of taking China into controversial areas of policy it has hitherto worked to avoid.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing
  • 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: 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: Peter Nunnenkamp, Wan-Hsin Liu, Frank Bickenbach
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: P. Chidambaram, India's Minister of Finance, claimed that "FDI worked wonders in China and can do so in India." However, China's example may also point to the limitations of foreign direct investment (FDI) liberalization in promoting the host country's economic development. FDI in China is heavily concentrated in the coastal areas, and previous studies have suggested that this has contributed to the increasing disparity in regional income and growth since the late 1970s.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India
  • 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