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Jason Dittmer

This article emphasizes the more-than-human nature of foreign policy formation and diplomatic practice, as found in an examination of nineteenth-century Parliament Select Committee testimony regarding the intersection of everyday bureaucratic practice and the material context of the British Foreign Office. These records indicate both how the changing world of diplomacy at this time (including new states and communication technologies) materially impacted the Foreign Office, as well as the affective atmosphere experienced by its employees, through an excess of paper. Debates over how the new Foreign Office ought to be built reveal concerns about the circulation of paper, bodies, light and air in a drive for efficiency. These historical materialities speak to our understanding of contemporary changes occurring within the world of diplomacy, including the rise of digital technologies and the new skills needed among diplomats, as well as inform our understanding of the exercise of power within assemblages.

Samson John Mgaiwa and Japhace Poncian

Public–private partnerships (PPPs) in education are presented as capable of resolving several issues of education provision, financing, management, access and quality. This paper aimed at analyzing the impact of PPPs on access to and quality of higher education in Tanzania. Secondary research was used to gather data and critical review of the data and its analysis made. The focus of the paper was on higher education financing and on private higher education institutions. The findings indicated that PPPs have had a positive impact on increasing access to Tanzania higher education. However, although private universities and university colleges are many in number, enrolment has continued to be higher in public universities. It was further noted that an increase in higher learning institutions and subsequent increase in access to higher education has not meant an improvement in the quality of education provided by the institutions. As such, PPPs have had no significant impact on the improvement of quality of education. This is mainly accounted for by the number and qualifications held by academic members of staff in private universities, the infrastructure as well as the programmes they offer.

Maria Smirnova and Chris Thornhill

This article promotes a distinctive sociological interpretation of the Russian Constitution. Much literature on Russian constitutional law is defined by the claim that the Constitution has little factual reality and limited foundation in society. This article challenges this view on two grounds. It argues that there are two deep-lying social processes that underlie the Constitution, and condition its evolution: the Constitution is shaped (a) by the importance of constitutional law for the stabilization of governance structures; (b) by the resultant relative autonomy of judicial practices, which means that legal exchanges (especially litigation) have formative impact on the constitutional order. On both grounds, the Russian Constitution is locked into cycles of societal norm construction. To understand the sociological linkages in which the constitution is located, we require a complex construction of society, and we need to observe how different practices within the legal system affect and even produce constitutional laws.

Manickam Venkataraman

Piracy off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden in the Indian Ocean region has become a significant non-traditional security challenge to many nations. The increasing number of such attacks as a result of failure of Somali government to tackle its internal problem drew the attention of international community who lent a drastic response thereby curtailing the number of such incidents significantly now. The intensity of the attacks had its implications on international shipping and maritime security of near and distant countries like China, which has of late become assertive. This article aims to analyze the inter-connection between failed states and piracy and the consequent maritime security implications for China. The article adopts qualitative approach using descriptive and analytical methods depending primarily on secondary sources such as published literatures and archival and internet sources. The article concludes that the implications of Somalia piracy to China’s maritime security was so grave that China was compelled to join the international community by taking part in the multinational naval task force to combating piracy signifying a cooperative role and at the same time utilizing the opportunity to come closer to Somalia by way of reopening its embassy and engaging in bilateral economic ties. This article is divided into seven broad sections. Besides the introduction, the second section provides the conceptual note on piracy and maritime security. The third section highlights the methodology while the fourth section discusses the background on Somalia and its failed status while the fifth section brings out a short glimpse of Somalia piracy and its method of operation. The sixth section analyzes the role of China and its maritime security implications and the last section provides the concluding remarks.

Chun Yang

China’s rise as a “world factory” since the late 1970s has been attributed to the strategic coupling of local assets in the coastal regions, viz. Pearl River Delta (PRD) and Yangtze River Delta (YRD) in the global production networks (GPNs) driven by transnational corporations (TNCs). Since 2000, these export-led regions have encountered unprecedented challenges, particularly the rising cost of labour, which have engendered spatial relocation of labour-intensive manufacturing firms from coastal China to lowercost locations such as inland China and neighbouring Southeast Asian countries. A rich body of literature has examined the internal relocation of TNCs from coastal to inland China, relatively little has been conducted on cross-border industrial relocation out of China to Southeast Asian countries. Drawing upon the global production networks (GPNs) perspective, this study attempts to examine the relocation of TNCs from China’s coastal regions, e.g. the Pearl River Delta (PRD) to Southeast Asian countries, e.g. Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Particular attention is paid to the rise of Global South and its subsequent implications for the restructuring of global manufacturing in the increasingly globalizing economy.

S. I. Keethaponcalan

With the end of the Cold War, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has lost its relevance and significance. Many believed that the international system was moving towards a permanent unipolar new world order. The last decade, however, witnessed the emergence of new power-centers with the ability to restructure the world into several blocs. Now, some believe in a Second Cold War. Despite these changes, several common challenges faced by societies of the Global South remain and new challenges have emerged. The Global South does not have to reinvent the wheel to effectively deal with the new global realities and challenges. The institutional framework, the NAM is still functioning. It, however, needs to be reshaped and reenergized. This paper is written with secondary data. First, the paper surveys the theoretical and practical problems faced by NAM. Second, it explores the possibility of reshaping and transforming NAM into a robust, unifying institution.

Samah S. A. Elmorsy

The aim of the paper is to analyze the economic impact of Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) engagement with emerging partners (China, India and Brazil BICs) and to determine the opportunities and challenges of the increasingly engaging with the new partners. In order to achieve the aim of the paper it estimated the most effective variables that determine the trade intensity between SSA and Chinausing Gravity model approach. The paper concluded that the most important variables that have the major effect on the value of exports of Sub-Saharan Africa to Chinawere rate of mobile telephone in China (infrastructure variable) and China FDI to Sub-Saharan Africa because much of China’s outward direct investment (ODI) in SSA is closely linked to trade. Africa’s exports to the BICs are dominated by fuels and primary commodities (mainly to China and India); the BIC’s exports to African countries are dominated by manufactured goods. Chinese FDI can be categorized as resource-efficiency—and market-seeking investments.

Jin Xuelian and Yang Deshan

This article adopts a multi-case study approach to understand how users of internet technologies actually use the technology, and to explore the extent to which users perceive the technologies’ purported democratic and deliberative capacities. In-depth interviews, a focus group, a search and analysis of web content, and digital auto-ethnography were used to produce qualitative data. Those participants who engaged in online political expression with strangers or on public platforms reported a belief in their competence to make a difference through the internet, while those who did so only with acquaintances, and those who engaged in no political expression online, did not. Most of the participants articulated a strong belief that ‘we’, internet users as a whole, are influential, because they believed online public opinion contributed to better solutions to some social problems. This study casts new light on the relationship between internet use, political attitudes, and online political expression.

Horst Feldmann

This paper studies which world religions have exerted a contemporary influence on the extent of secondary schooling at the national level in the recent past. Using data on 143 countries and the period 1973 to 2012, it finds that both Hinduism and Judaism have a large positive effect, particularly among females. The group of other Eastern religions (which covers comparatively small religions, notably Confucianism) also has a positive effect, though it is slightly smaller, especially among girls. Islam has a negative effect, which is larger among females than among males. Neither Buddhism nor the three branches of Christianity – Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism – have any statistically significant effect. The results are robust to numerous controls and variations in specification.