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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.

Juan Felipe López Aymes

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement was signed on February 4, 2016. The published text confirmed some fears but also brought relief as the details of what had been negotiated became publicly known. This paper attempts to contribute to the discussion with a critical view of the Agreement, although not necessarily in equivalence to US President-elect Donald Trump negative stand, but one of a developing country. The main argument holds that joining the TPP, or any other agreement alike, is not advisable unless Mexican industries are in a condition to compete. The line of reasoning is double-faceted: First, gains from the alleged diversification are insignificant, so handing over policy autonomy for development in exchange for access to negligible markets is not beneficial; second, its strong intellectual property rules would further hinder the policy space of the government for designing and implementing domestic science, technology and innovation programs. This would place Mexico at a disadvantage with regard to its prospects for a higher position in global production and value chains, not to mention develop full production chains led by national firms. As it is presently formulated, the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement would consolidate a structure of dependence and income inequality, two problems which Mexico is striving to overcome.