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Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta and Aprameya Rao

Drawing inspiration from two theoretical framings: a sociocultural perspective on languaging and writings on a decolonial-turn, the study presented in this paper center-stages issues related to the need to engage analytically with, (i) social actions of political parties, citizens, including netizens in Web 2.0 settings, and (ii) alternative epistemologies where issues from the global-South are privileged. A central concern of decolonial linguistics enables asking new questions that destabilize established Eurocentric models of language. Thus, peripherally framed sociocultural premises contribute to critical social-humanistic perspectives that allow for (potentially) unpacking northern hegemonies and contributing to global-North challenges. Building upon an analytical design, this paper presents cross-disciplinary analysis of languaging in contemporary political mediascapes of the nation-states of India and Sweden. Bringing to bear that language does not only mirror reality, but is also a constitutive culturaltool, the study aims to highlight the contrastive ways in which the dominating political parties and citizens engage with languaging (i.e. the deployment of semiotic resources across language-varieties, modalities, including imagery). The study unpacks similarities and differences in salient issues related to the nature of social media and language and identity-positions in political discourse, highlighting dimensions of the participants voices. Thus, patterns that emerge from the contrastive analysis of political discourses, including the features of social media are highlighted and discussed. Data includes social media pages of two political parties from both the nation-states across a 6-week period at the end of 2017.

Md. Jahangir Alam

This paper explores changing land values in the process of rapid urbanization in Dhaka, Bangladesh and its implications for urban land management and administration in the megacity. The study reveals that substantial increase in land values have resulted in land speculation among real estate and individual developers. Land values have increased by an average of 22.26% per year between 1990 and 2000, while the period spanning from 2000 to 2010 saw about 74% of yearly increase in Dhaka. The study revealed that due to increasing land values, prospective real estate developers are tempted to build housing in restricted areas defined by Dhaka metropolitan development plan such as flood zones, lakes, canals, ditch and drainage channels etc. The paper proposes a re-look at the causes of increase in land values and land speculations and the resulting environmental damage pointed out in this study as part of a broad urban land and environmental management strategy in rapidly growing megacities.

Pak Nung Wong

To explore a new de-colonial option for the global future, this article grapples with three movements of our time: the ‘Open Science’ movement, the 1955 African-Asian conference and the Non-Aligned Movement, and the post-exilic prophetic movement of the Abrahamic religions. It explores an alternative intellectual project which will facilitate new research agendas and publication directions that will simultaneously speaks to the three wider audience of the present-day world: the sciences, the Global South and the Abrahamic religious traditions. My objective is to delineate a theological, geopolitical and anthropological exposition as an ethical anchorage for the present Bandung project to steadily move towards the Open Science era. I will argue for Ezekiel’s prophetic model as a plausible de-colonial option for crafting the transnational open knowledge space.

Kingsford Gyasi Amakye

Community development is fundamentally about the development of community involving a sense of common identity, capacity and purpose. It can take the form of unpaid active citizenship with community members organizing themselves and taking on leadership roles. Community development emphasizes empowerment, equality, social justice, participation and representation. This means that community development is fundamentally concerned with decision-making processes affecting users, community-based agencies and services. It is premised on a ‘bottom-up’ approach, which means enhancing the capacity of communities to determine goals and to pursue issues of importance to them, and to make decisions affecting their lives, for example, the direction of services and the allocation of funds. In Ghana, governments under the various regimes, the community members themselves, and NGOs have promoted the CD practice in several ways since independence in 1957. Preceding governments in Ghana through the Department of Community Development have played a central role in the exercise of CD work. Community development has not been thoroughly investigated in SCDA. This paper gives a clear understanding of CD in SCDA. This paper seeks to assess how the local communities take part in the siting, planning and implementation of development projects in their communities. Further it explores community development projects in the district and how projects are financed in the district. Finally, investigates the obstacles that impede the realization of community development process. This paper was carried out using a mixed method approach. Four area councils in SCDA were randomly selected for this work. These were taken from a total of 10 different local communities spread across the four area council. The study reveals that facilities in terms of education, health, potable water, roads rehabilitation, sanitation and rural electrification have improved tremendously (Fieldwork 2015). The study recommends that policies should be geared towards agriculture to improve the lives of the people in the district since the district is agrarian in nature.

Jiann-Chyuan Wang, Joe-San Lee and Yu-Chun Ma

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement with high standards, affecting multiple industries, and imposing tremendous economic impacts. The TPP accounts for 36% of world GDP and its significance and impacts are profound, specifically affecting tariff reduction in the manufacturing sector, market entry in the service sector, and rules of origin requirements, as well as currency valuation, intellectual property rights, and even immigration. This means that Taiwan cannot view the TPP lightly. Taiwan’s economy is export-focused, so not being able to partake in regional economic integration will exert an unfavorable impact on Taiwan’s trade expansion and investment attractiveness. Taiwan’s government should therefore actively seek to engage in the second round of TPP discussions. Although President Trump has announced that the US will be withdrawing from the TPP, Japan is seeking further consolidation so that the remaining TPP member countries can continue to make progress. Taiwan cannot exert much control over international opposition to Taiwan’s membership of the TPP on the part of other countries, so this paper focuses mostly on the challenge of overcoming domestic opposition. A review of the literature reveals that the benefits of joining the TPP outweigh the harm; however, despite continuous efforts to promote the TPP and the reaching of consensus within governmental organizations, there has still been a considerable backlash against the idea of TPP membership from many groups in society. This is because TPP membership would directly disadvantage thousands of domestic-orientated businesses, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and the younger generation. This means that TPP promotion needs to be more considerate of the interests of all related parties and be undertaken in an ‘eco-system’-like manner, focusing on helping traditional industries, SMEs, the agricultural sector, and young people. In addition, the government should work on strengthening the skills of existing workers, and work to develop a system that keeps capital and skilled labor within the country. Foreign investment should ideally help to stimulate domestic economic growth, create more employment opportunities, and drive wages up. If these benefits can be emphasized, then the promotion of the TPP or other FTAs is likely to encounter less resistance and receive more support from Taiwan’s citizens.

Laetícia R. De Souza

Malnutrition is part of a vicious cycle involving biological and social aspects. Some factors are directly associated with malnutrition, such as inadequate dietary intake and incidence of disease, while others (socio-economic in nature) are more distant but no less important. This paper aims at identifying the main correlates of stunting among Yemeni children through a logistic regression model. The results are based on the fourth round of the National Social Protection Monitoring Survey conducted in 2013; which makes this study a baseline assessment of Yemeni child undernutrition before the ongoing civil war. Primarily addressing the most significant factors associated with stunting in Yemen is urgent especially if one considers the country’s constant public budget shortages. There are significant differences—in prevalence of child stunting— between regions of residence that could be reduced by putting in place local policies aimed at increasing population access to adequate water and good hygiene practices. The Social Welfare Fund (SWF) programme is also important since this benefit is the only source of income for some families. However, if corruption, regional and civil conflict continues, improvements in the SWF will probably not matter. Such interventions, together with policies for changing attitudes towards women’s education, would also help to promote proper child feeding practices. Likewise, cultural aspects can explain the aetiology of children’s poor growth. Examples include feeding taboos that influence early initiation and duration of breastfeeding. With so many steps to be taken to prevent child malnutrition, it cannot remain an invisible problem.

Eberhard Weber

Between 1987 and 2006 Fiji experienced four coups in which Governments were overthrown by their military forces or parts of it. After the fourth coup in December 2006 old metropolitan friends such as Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the EU responded with travel sanctions, cancellation of military cooperation and frozen development assistance. When Fiji was politically isolated it fostered secondary political friendships of olden days and established new ones. The paper searches for evidence of Fiji’s agency to change the structure of its International Relations (IR) after the coup of 2000. Such relations were first shaped in Prime Minister Qarase’s ‘Look North’ policy, but following the coup of December 2006 Fiji’s IR took a new quality once political isolation was overcome and internal power stabilized. The paper concentrates on Indo- Fijian relations, which, however, are embedded in Fiji’s general effort to achieve greater independence from old friends by forcing new international relationships. Of particular interest in this context is, if Fiji’s political orientation after 2006 has just been a temporary necessity born out of political isolation or if Fiji’s policy of fostering South–South relations will remain a decisive element of the country’s foreign policy in the long term. To understand IR in the context of Fiji and India it is essential to look at both countries, their interests and agency. Looking at Fiji alone would leave the question unanswered, why Indian Governments had an interest to cooperate with the country in the Pacific Islands despite hard-core nationalist anti-Indian sentiments and politics pursued in Fiji after the coup of 2000. It also won’t be conclusive why India should be interested at all to foster high profile relations with a tiny country like Fiji in a situation when Indian governments were aiming at much higher goals.