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In April 1955, a historic conference was held in Bandung, Indonesia. Political leaders from 29 Asian and African countries gathered on the initiative of the leaders from China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and Myanmar, to address the issues about economic co-operation, self-determination, decolonization and the peace. These ideas contributed to the creation of the non-alignment movement (NAM). However, in Africa, Nkrumah’s proposal for political unity was defeated, which led to the creation of the Organization of the African Unity as a compromise. NAM was later penetrated from within by the forces of imperialism, notably dictatorships and authoritarian regimes supported by the United States, the Soviet Union, the former colonial powers and their local cronies, weakening its functionality.

In: Bandung

This paper explores the ecological effects of the top-down Ganges Basin water management systems in Chapra, Bangladesh, based on my ethnographic fieldworka data collected in 2011-12. An example of this top-down system is the Farakka Barrage in India that causes major ecological system failures and challenges to community livelihoods. The reduction in Ganges Basin water flow in Bangladesh based on the pre and post Farakka comparison is helpful in understanding these failures and their effects on community livelihoods. My argument is that basin communities are capable of becoming empowered by Ganges Basin water management and failures in the management create major challenges to the livelihood of these communities. In this context, I analyze the current Ganges Basin management practices, focusing specifically on the Joint River Commission and the 1996 Ganges Treaty between India and Bangladesh, and their effects on the basin communities in Chapra. My fieldwork data point out that the current shortcomings in basin management can be overcome with an improved management system. Water governance based on a multilateral approach is a way to restore the basin’s ecological systems and promote community empowerment. Based on this empowerment argument, this paper is divided into the following major sections: importance of the basin ecosystems for protecting community livelihoods, limitations of current basin management practices and community survival challenges, and proposed water governance for community empowerment.

In: Bandung

Has China embraced global poverty reduction? To what extent has it done so? China faces three paradoxes in trying to alleviate poverty: first, the country is on the whole getting richer, becoming one of the largest economies in the world, yet huge pockets of extreme poverty exist in the country. Second, it wants to be taken seriously as a responsible member of the international community. It would therefore like to be treated as a normal aid giver helping the poor in the developing world. Yet its own people are crying out loud for better social services at home. Third, while it wants to be respected by others in the world, it has been accused by other countries of ignoring, if not abusing, human rights in the Third World in its relentless search for natural resources, trade and investments. This paper aims to unravel these paradoxes by examining China’s foreign aid and its adherence or otherwise to the UN Millennium Development Goals. In so doing, the paper assesses China’s unilateral approach as well as its multilateral approach to poverty alleviation. It argues that China’s overall approach has become more multilateral in nature but the change has been slow and incremental. Its influence in global poverty reduction, though increasing, is still limited.

In: Bandung
In: Bandung

The landscape of post-colonial development is marked by deepening dependency of the developing states on the core states consisted mainly of western developed countries. The continuous widening of the north–south divide is not surprising given that the discourse on international relations has been dominated by western ideologies of realism, liberalism and constructivism, resulting in an insufficient attempt to examine international relations from a non-Westphalian perspective. Through the implementation of the Washington Consensus, developing countries are being forced to follow the development model of liberal democracy designed by the West, for the benefit of the West. This paper attempts to investigate an alternative approach from a Chinese historical structural perspective. By highlighting the key tenets of Confucianism, this paper aims to contribute towards a non-Western international relations discourse that is based on moral values. Attempts by China to provide assistance to the “poor south” are marred by accusations of neo-colonialism. In order to fulfil its great power responsibility, China needs to incorporate these Confucian values into its Beijing Consensus so that the global south can abandon their dependency on the West and truly set the stage for south-south cooperation.

In: Bandung

Since the dawn of the post-colonial era in the various regions of the “Global South,” including Africa, the appropriate role of the state in the development process has been a frontier issue. The resulting debate has revolved around two major trajectories: the minimalist state and the maximalist state. The former, shaped by the liberal cum neo-liberal Weltanschauung, posits that the state should have a limited role in socio-economic development—basically the creation of propitious conditions for the private accumulation of capital. Essentially, the suzerainty over the development process should rest with the “market” and its associated forces, particularly businesses. On the other hand, the maximalist state perspective asserts that the state should have a prominent role in the development process, including serving as the engine. Importantly, the debate has gone through various cycles, each dominated by the minimalist state paradigm.

In spite of the hegemony of the minimalist state perspective, several states in the “Global South” have experimented with various models of state dirigisme — the “developmental state:” authoritarian (e.g. Singapore and South Korea) and democratic (e.g. Botswana and Mauritius). Against this backdrop, using the lessons learned from the experiences of some of the states in the “Global South” that have experimented with variants of the developmental state model, this article concluded that the social democratic developmental state is the best trajectory for promoting human-centered democracy and development in Africa.

In: Bandung

Egypt has joined to COMESA since May 1998 in order to promote its economic relations with the rest of member states, especially the trade relations, so the aim of the paper is to assess COMESA regional integration efforts and to identify the most effective and important variables that determine trade intensity of Egypt with COMESA countries. To achieve the aim of the paper, estimation of Trade Intensity Index (TII) of Egypt with COMESA was adopted, and econometric methodology (gravity model) was used to estimate the variables that have the major effect on Egypt’s trade with COMESA.

The paper concludes that there are opportunities to increase Egypt’s Trade with COMESA, after applying gravity model paper concludes that Gross Domestic Product and existence of sharing borders are the most effective variables that determine Egypt trade with COMESA, paper also defined the major obstacles of regional integration in COMESA and presented some policy implication.

In: Bandung

China’s trade with Ethiopia currently at 1.3 billion USD annually is expected to rise to US$3 billion by 2015. This not only informs the level of bilateral trade ties that Ethiopia has had with China as compared to any other country in the region but also signifies the highest and the closest level of bilateral relations that Ethiopia has built upwith China over the past decade since the new government under Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took over power in 1991. There have been extensive debates on China’s role in Africa - whether it could be viewed as a constructive partner or otherwise. This essay puts forward the argument that while trade ties as one important channel of bilateral relations that China has embarked with the outside world and particularly with Africa is uneven and lop-sided. This is true of the Ethiopian context as well particularly when we look at the economic capacity, balance of trade and at the two countries relations with international trade regimes. While China is a full member of WTO for over a decade Ethiopia on the other hand has been aspiring to become a member for some time now and hence one of the important aspect of Ethio-China trade relations is the heavy reliance on bilateral/international trade regimes. Therefore, this research is aimed at unraveling the dynamics in Sino-Ethiopia trade relations with emphasis on the economic capacity of the two countries, balance of trade and explore whether Ethiopia’s attempts to join WTO would lead to a more predictable trade relations between the two countries. In this attempt the research would largely rely on the analysis of relevant archival resources and literatures directly relating to the themes in this paper.

In: Bandung

Climate change poses severe threats to developing countries. Scientists predict entire states (e.g. Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, and Maldives) will become inhabitable. People living in these states have to resettle to other countries. Media and politicians warn that climate change will trigger migration flows in dimensions unknown to date. It is feared that millions from developing countries overwhelm developed societies and increase pressures on anyway ailing social support systems destabilizing societies and becoming a potential source of conflict.

Inhabitants of Pacific Islandsa have been mobile since the islands were first settled not longer than 3,500 years ago. Since then people moved around, expanded their reach, and traded with neighbouring tribes (and later countries). With the event of European powers in the 15th century independent mobility became restricted after the beginning of the 19th century. From the second half of the 19th century movements of people predominately served economic interests of colonial powers, in particular a huge colonial appetite for labour. After independence emigration from Pacific Island countries continued to serve economic interest of metropolitan countries at the rim of the Pacific Ocean, which are able to direct migration flows according to their economic requirements.

If climate change resettlements become necessary in big numbers then Pacific Islanders do not want to become climate change refugees. To include environmental reasons in refugee conventions is not what Pacific Islanders want. They want to migrate in dignity, if it becomes unavoidable to leave their homes. There are good reasons to solve the challenges within Pacific Island societies and do not depend too much on metropolitan neighbours at the rim of the Pacific such as Australia, New Zealand and the USA. To rise to the challenge requires enhanced Pan-Pacific Island solidarity and South-South cooperation. This then would result in a reduction of dependencies. For metropolitan powers still much can be done in supporting capacity building in Pacific Island countries and helping the economies to proposer so that climate change migrants easier can be absorbed by expanding labour markets in Pacific Island countries.

In: Bandung

Normative critiques of South-South relations assess the extent to which solidarity and cooperation are achieved among partner countries. However, they tend to overlook the role of inter-ethnic tensions in partnerships and the ways global South actors exercise agency in achieving cooperation. Transnational skilled migration between global South countries is an emerging context where South-South cooperation takes place. Using the case of Filipino skilled workers in Indian cities, this paper aims to ascertain the sort of tensions that characterise South-South relations and the manner in which actors work out cooperative partnerships. The concept of boundary work, a process of defining ‘us’ and ‘them’ and relating to others through a set of socio-cultural criteria (ASR 73:37-59, 2008), is deployed to analyse Filipino-Indian interactions in the workplace. Ethnographic data reveal that while ethnic moralities constitute boundaries and tensions between Filipino and Indian workers, they also become bases of affinity. Cooperation is achieved when Filipino and Indian participants engage in personal and mutually beneficial arrangements such as guru-student and patron-client relations. An ethic of reciprocity thus animates South-South cooperation. I conclude with some implications for global South partnerships.

In: Bandung