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  • Author: Rajni Bakshi
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: Economic reforms in India have often arrayed proponents of market-led growth against human rights advocates anxious that markets give primacy to profits over people. A quarter century after the reform process was initiated in the early 1990s, this conflict has sharpened. At the same time, this narrative of polarised positions seems increasingly worn out. Business and society at large have always been intricately co-dependent. This interface is now taking many new forms across the world, with some entrepreneurs seeing profit as a means, rather than the end goal of business. This paper explores these questions. It reviews if and how trusteeship can be a lodestar for globally navigating businesses and public policies through a period of technology- driven disruptions and the uncertainties unleashed by climate change. Trusteeship is a frame of reference on which a wide variety of business models can be based. The emphasis is on transforming rather than demolishing the capitalist system. In essence, Gandhian trusteeship reposes faith in the capacity of individuals and entire classes to re-form themselves, on the premise that the capacity to seek redemption is intrinsic to human nature. There was logic rather than dreamy wishful thinking behind these claims. Gandhi believed that it is a fearful man who tyrannises others or attempts to accumulate wealth by force or by unfair means. By contrast, a voluntary adoption of trusteeship means respect for human dignity, fostering relations based on truth and shared goals. Thus, Gandhi urged labourers to approach employers from a position of strength and self-respect since labour is as vital a component of production as capital, land, and technology. In a time mired by corruption and competitive greed, trusteeship may at first glance seem like a pipe-dream. Can this closer examination perhaps give you cause to rethink?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Reform, Employment
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Rajni Bakshi
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: Degrowth as a creative goal does not sit well in most societies today. But water is a key to fostering new imaginaries because it most starkly manifests the risk of forced and chaotic degrowth-as-collapse. By 2040 an estimated 33 countries, including USA, China and India, will face severe water scarcity. India had a rich heritage of elaborate traditional technologies and modes of social organisation that ensured adequate and reliable supply of water even in arid regions. Many of these old community-based systems of watershed management and storage withered away as water was transformed from a sacred gift to just a ‘resource’ that could be privatised and/or controlled by governments. Today while local water-shed management is supported by government policy this tends to be overwhelmed by large projects that add more directly to GDP growth. Nevertheless, over the last quarter of a century, a wide variety of civil society and academic interventions in India have attempted to revive, or document, the multi-dimensional wisdom on which pre- modern societies based their relationship to water.
  • Topic: Economics, Water, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Lant Pritchett, Yamini Aiyar
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There are two dominant narratives about taxation. In one, taxes are the “price we pay for a civilized society” (Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.). In this view taxes are not a necessary evil (as in the pairing of “death and taxes” as inevitable) but a positive good: more taxes buy more “civilization.” The other view is that taxes are “tribute to Leviathan”—a pure involuntary extraction from those engaged in economic production to those who control coercive power producing no reciprocal benefit. In this view taxes are a bane of the civilized. We consider the question of taxes as price versus tribute for contemporary India.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Governance, Budget
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Mark Schneider, Neelanjan Sircar
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The literature on decentralized public programs suggests that errors in the targeting of anti-poverty programs are rooted in the capture of these programs by local elites or local politicians. Consistent with the literature on moral economy in political science and experimental economics, we argue that voters in contexts of rural poverty prefer local leaders who target subsistence benefits to the poor. In a high information village context, where voters and leaders know each other, we argue that local elections lead to the selection of local leaders with pro-poor preferences over the distribution of these benefits. We show this with a novel theory of local politicians’ social preferences. We test our theory with unique data from a behavioral measure, conducted in the context of a lottery with a modest cash prize in rural India, that captures a scenario in which local leaders have full discretion and anonymity over allocation among members of their rural communities. We analyze our data using a novel estimation strategy that takes the characteristics of the pool of potential beneficiaries into account in decisions over allocation under a budget constraint. We find that local leaders have strong preferences for targeting the poor, and particularly those they believe supported them politically in the past. This article suggests that free and fair elections at the local level can powerfully encourage pro-poor targeting even in contexts of weak institutions and pervasive poverty. It also makes a fundamental contribution to research on distributive politics by challenging research in this area to demonstrate the effect of electoral strategies and other distortions on allocation relative to local leaders’ baseline distributive preferences.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics, Political Theory, Elections
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Patryk Kuglel
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU-India Strategic Partnership launched in 2004 has made only modest achievements and needs a thorough rethink. Both sides must reset cooperation and base it on a more realistic footing centred on common interests, such as economic cooperation, global governance, development cooperation, and defence. The resumption of free trade negotiations, the organisation of a long overdue bilateral summit, and more frank dialogue on contentious issues is necessary in order to utilise the partnership’s potential. Poland may use this strategic drift to revitalise bilateral cooperation and play a more active role in reviving EU-India dialogue.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, India
  • Author: Ila Patnaik, Ajay Shah
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India's financial system has long been inadequate. With an economy worth $2 trillion, the country's financial flaws are increasingly serious and outright dangerous. But fundamental change is under way. The government-backed Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission drafted the Indian Financial Code (IFC), a single unified law that replaces most existing financial law in India and is an important milestone in the development of state capacity. Now the government must work to adopt and implement the full code.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Reform
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Rasika Gynedi
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Asset quality in India's banks has deteriorated sharply and if not tackled promptly poses a systemic risk to the banking system—and by extension the Indian economy. A high proportion of nonperforming assets (NPAs) steadily erodes the capital base of a bank, impinging on the ability of banks to raise fresh capital and continue lending for investment activities. Indeed, the spillover impact from banking crises to the real economy is all too familiar, evinced by the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States. However, despite this risk, the issue is not garnering sufficient attention outside the banking industry.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, India
  • 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: Elling N. Tjønneland
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Much has been written about the role of the rising or emerging powers and their accelerating economic engagement in Africa. Much less is known about how they contribute to or impact on the African peace and security agenda. This report takes a comparative look at the roles of China, India, Brazil and South African in relation to the African Union and its African Peace and Security Architecture. Each of these four countries has a distinct commercial and corporate approach to Africa, despite a shared political commitment to South-South cooperation. However, as they extend their economic engagement they are becoming more sensitive to insecurity and volatility. The Asian and Latin American countries, which traditionally have strongly emphasised non-intervention, are gradually becoming more involved in the African security agenda. They are increasingly concerned about their image and reputation and the security of their citizens and business interests, and are becoming more prepared to act multilaterally and to work with others in facilitating security and stability. As an African power, South Africa plays a more direct role and has emerged as a major architect of the continent's evolving peace and security architecture. This report summarises elements from a broader research project on rising powers and the African peace and security agenda undertaken by CMI in cooperation with NOREF.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Michael Clemens
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Skilled workers have a rising tendency to emigrate from developing countries, raising fears that their departure harms the poor. To mitigate such harm, researchers have proposed a variety of policies designed to tax or restrict high-skill migration. Those policies have been justified as Pigovian regulations to raise efficiency by internalizing externalities, and as non-Pigovian regulations grounded in equity or ethics. This paper challenges both sets of justifications, arguing that Pigovian regulations on skilled emigration are inefficient and non-Pigovian regulations are inequitable and unethical. It concludes by discussing a different class of policy intervention that, in contrast, has the potential to raise welfare.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Immigration, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: India