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  • Author: David Smith
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Civilian governance in Pakistan has never lasted longer than eleven years. 2019 is the eleventh year since General Pervez Musharraf resigned the presidency and fears of a coup may exist, but one is not probable—at least not in the near-term future. In fact, two recent Chiefs of Army Staff (COAS)—Generals Kayani and Raheel in 2009 and 2014, respectively—considered taking, but decided not to take, direct control of the government. These decisions demonstrate that military rule is no longer necessary because the Army has already attained its major goals of de facto control of the country’s nuclear and missile programs, key foreign relationships, the military budget, and national security decision-making. In effect, the military has achieved what I have previously termed a “coup-less coup.” Instead of the traditionally fraught civil-military relationship, it seems that, for the first time in Pakistan’s turbulent history, the government and military agree on the three major issues facing Pakistan: domestic politics, the economy, and India. However, key variables, such as economic stability, could quickly change the course of this relationship.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Governance, Conflict, Civilians, Military Government
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: My recent research paper “India's GDP Mis-estimation: Likelihood, Magnitudes, Mechanisms, and Implications,” (hereafter “GDP paper”) and the associated op-ed in the Indian Express on June 11, 2019 have generated considerable debate. This is encouraging because serious argument and counter-argument are the basis for good policy-making. Since the issue itself is of great importance, the counter-arguments to my analysis warrant a considered response. That is the aim of this note, which is a complement to the original paper, addressing both the larger issues and some of the specific points that have been raised. The note is structured as follows. Section II describes my engagement with India’s GDP estimation when I was Chief Economic Adviser. Section III elaborates on the framework/approach underlying the GDP paper. Section IV makes explicit the key puzzle surrounding India’s growth estimates, and addresses the possible explanations for it. Section V explores the puzzle in greater detail. Section VI provides additional cross-country evidence on growth and price deflators, which support the findings of the original paper, namely that growth during 2011-16 was likely overestimated by a significant margin. Section VII addresses two broad objections to the main findings. Section VIII discusses some of the methodological critiques of the paper. Section IX offers some thoughts on the way forward.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, International Development, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Alice Evans
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper shows that countries may reduce labour repression if they perceive this as conducive to export growth. This paper traces what happened before, in the presence of, and then following the withdrawal of international economic incentives for pro-labour reforms in Vietnam and Bangladesh. The Government of Vietnam announced it would allow independent trade unions, in order to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and increase market access. Similarly, the Government of Bangladesh rescinded restrictions on unions, following global condemnation of Rana Plaza and fear of buyers leaving en masse. Both governments reduced labour repression to promote export growth. With high-level authorisation, Vietnamese and Bangladeshi activists and reformists became less fearful, and mobilised for substantive change. However, these economic incentives were short-lived: after Trump’s election, the USA withdrew from TPP; buyers continued to source from Bangladesh, and squeezed prices (without requiring labour reforms). Both governments then amped up labour repression - notwithstanding private regulation, economic upgrading, industry growth, and mass strikes.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Reform, Economic growth, Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Umar Farooq, Asma Shakir Khawaja
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The article is intended to find out the geopolitical implications, regional constraints and benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Researcher reviewed both published research articles and books to find out geopolitical implication, regional constraints and benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. For this purpose, researcher also reviewed newspapers articles and published reports by government and non-governmental stakeholders working on CPEC. Review of the articles and reports indicated that CPEC had enormous benefits not only for China and Pakistan but also for the whole region. But different internal and external stakeholders are not in favor of successful completion of this project. Extremism, sense of deprivation, lack of political consensus, political instability are some of the internal constraints. On the other hand, Afghanistan, India, Iran, UAE and USA are posing constraints to halt the successful completion of CPEC.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Violent Extremism, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iran, South Asia, India, Asia, Punjab, United Arab Emirates, United States of America
  • Author: A. Z. Hilali
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a set of projects under China‟s Belt and Road initiative, marks a new era of economic ties in a bilateral relationship between the two traditional friends. The multi-dimensional project will not only reform Pakistan economy but it will serve for people‟s prosperity and will help to revive the country economy of both countries. The visions of project partners are clear and the goals of the short term, mid-term and long-term plans of CPEC have been identified. So, the CPEC is not just a transit route for China and Pakistan‟s exports but it will transform Pakistan‟s economy and overcome its problems such as unemployment, energy, underdevelopment, and overall external economic dependency by building capacity in all necessary sectors. Therefore, CPEC could promote economic development and growth which will open new avenues and investment to the country which is based on shared partnership of cooperation, mutual benefits and sustainability. Thus, the CPEC is a grand porgramme and will deliver the economic gains to both China-Pakistan and it can be executed more efficiently and in a balanced way to serve the interests of both the countries. The project of CPEC is also important to China‟s energy and strategic security with reference to South China Sea and other regional and global players. Thus, CPEC could bring economic avenues to Pakistan and can improve regional economic and trade activities for greater development and prosperity. It has perceived that the project will not only foster socio-economic development but it will also reduce the level of political humidity and will be source of peace and harmony between the traditional adversaries. It has also assumed that regional economic integration through CPEC could be a harbinger to resolve the political differences by economic cooperation and regional economic connection could make 21st century the Asian century setting aside the perennial political issues to start a new beginning. Thus, in a longer perspective the CPEC can foster an economic community in the entire region of Asia and beyond if its vision is materialized in its true sense. The time will prove that the CPEC reap its fruits and will be advantages for not only Pakistan and China but for the entire region.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Power Politics, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, South Asia, Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Nazir Hussain, Amna Javed
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: South Asia is an important but complex region. Its manifold complexity is largely ascribed through historical, economic, political and strategic manifestations. The region has witnessed instability in all the given premises and interactions. The entirety happens to be the fact that the structure of alignments is motivated by security complexes which involve cohesion of foreign powers and regional states. The US, Russia, Iran and China now make out to be contemporary stakeholders in South Asian security equation. Their involvement has been seen as a major reorientation in the regional dynamics in terms of political, economic and security characteristics. The manifold possibilities of re-alignments are what the future of the region will look like. The chance of full-fledged strategic alliance in the face of US-India on the basis of similar political, economic and security interests is on the horizon. As a corollary to this alliance pattern, there is China-Russia-Pakistan alliance which is similar in force but opposite in direction. These two systems are one set of opposition forces to each other, which are also natural in form. Another structure which occurs out of the regional dynamics happens to be of India-Iran-Afghanistan which is a trifecta aiming at Pakistan. On the other hand, Russia-China-Pakistan which could turn into a politically motivated and economically driven alliance and can also cover certain aspects of security. Therefore, due to various changes in order there will stem out various patterns of relationships, which could set the order of the region as one marked by various fluctuating alignment patterns.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Power Politics, Geopolitics, Realignment
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, China, South Asia, North America, Punjab, United States of America
  • Author: Jafar Riaz Kataria, Ahmed Usman, Shabbir Hussain, Muhammad Usman, Aaisha Amjad
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: This study examines the effectiveness of microcredit to enhance family income, eradicate peshgi and improve the wellbeing of brick kiln laborers. A survey was carried out to determine the effectiveness of microcredit among laborers working at brick kilns located in Lahore and Kasur districts. Linear regression analysis was run at 418 cases to track patterns in the data. The results of study indicated that microcredit significantly increased the family income, eradicated peshgi and improved the wellbeing of borrowers. Furthermore, segregated data indicated that female, married, aged, illiterate, beneficiaries having 6 and above children, beneficiaries having 9 and above family members, family income more than 20001, family expenditures more than 20001, beneficiaries who consulted their families and repeaters experienced higher benefits of microcredit scheme. The researchers recommend increasing the microcredit access to the poor people living in urban slums and rural areas, where the facility of formal lending institutions is lower and people are forced to take peshgi (advance) for meeting their basic needs.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Labor Issues, Microcredit
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Rukhsana Iftikhar
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: India was comprised of many villages before the arrival of Muslims. Those Muslim invaders, who conquered India and established their rule, essentially belonged to the urban ruling classes. In early Turkish Empire (1206 – 1266), ruling classes have developed numerous urban centers in town across India. In Muslims period, Iqta system provided opportunities to Turko – Afghan communities to have luxurious life style which provoked skill workers, artesian and architect to migrate garrison. These towns also emerge as cultural centers with the passage of time. Early cities like Daultabad, Fatehpur Sikri and Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi) were royal capital cities. Some of the major cities like Kabul, Agra, Allahabad, Lahore, Attock and Multan were developed near major road (Grand Trunk Road). Many towns like Dholpur, Jodhpur, Sirohi, Asirgarh and Ajmer were inhabited near nonmetal led roads . Many of the Mughal cities and towns still exist in spite of many natural disasters. Many European travelers narrated the glory and significance of these cities and towns in their account. They compared Indian cities with Europe, like Fatehpur Sikri was larger than London and Delhi was not less urbanized than Paris. These urban centers were not only the administrative units but also considered as cultural centers in Mughal State. Emperors sometimes generated the economic activities in these urban centers. Abul Fazal mentioned many factories in Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri supplied many precious articles in the King’s wardrobe. Capital cities always had the excess of fruit and food for the Royal kitchen. People brought their master pieces in the capital city just to get the acknowledgement of kings and nobles. This paper analyzes the development of major urban centers in Mughals (most illustrated dynasty of the Muslim civilization). It also highlights the cultural transformation of Muslims under the influence of native one.
  • Topic: Economics, History, Urbanization, Medieval History
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Asia, Central Asia, India, Punjab
  • Author: Matt Andrews, Peter Harrington
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many countries, like Sri Lanka, are trying to diversify their economies but often lack the capabilities to lead diversification programs. One of these capabilities relates to targeting new sectors to promote and pursue through a diversification policy: countries know they are ‘doomed to choose’ sectors to target,1 but lack effective capabilities to do the targeting. This paper narrates a recent (and ongoing) initiative to establish this kind of capability in Sri Lanka. The initiative adopted a Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) process, where a team of Sri Lankan officials worked with Harvard Center for International Development (CID) facilitators to build capabilities. The paper tells the story of this process, providing documented evidence of the progress over time and describing the thinking behind the PDIA process. It shows how a reliable targeting mechanism can emerge in a reasonably limited period, when a committed team of public officials are effectively authorized and engaged. The paper will be of particular interest to those thinking about targeting for diversification and to those interested in processes (like PDIA) which are focused on building state capability and fostering policy implementation in public contexts.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Economic growth, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Shazia Kousar, Salman Masood
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: This study used panel data approach to investigate comprehensive set of determinant of foreign aid and extent to which these determinants, domestic saving, capital formation, human capital, government expenditure, military expenditure and trade deficit, can affect foreign aid dependence in south Asian countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. This study used Error correction model to estimate the short run association between defined variables. The results indicate that capital formation, ,trade deficit, government budget deficit and military expenditure have positive and significant association with foreign aid in the long run while these determinant have positive but insignificant relationship with foreign aid in the short run except gross domestic capital formation (GDCF). However, domestic savings, human capital formation has negative and significant relationship with foreign aid in long run. The findings of the study help foreign aid policy makers, analysts, researchers and official donor agencies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, South Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Punjab, Bhutan