How our Regional Windows are Different: Limelight on South Asia

We here at GDNet realize that knowledge, and information, all stored in our Knowledge Base (KB), is our edge. So we always come up with innovative ways of presenting, and repackaging, information to our users. Not only do we have 7 Regional Windows, but we also have our relatively newly-launched 23 thematic windows. Again, just variations of how you can access our vast pool of research papers, organizations, researchers, and the like.

Our focus today will be on the South Asia window, where we source and pool knowledge by Southern researchers from the region. We feature the latest development research, across our 23 themes, relevant to the region, and always make an effort to give underrepresented countries the voice and coverage they need.

We have handpicked two research papers on India, that effectively depict the development dynamic of this South Asian mega-country and BRIC nation. The first one revolves around changing demographics in and the varied rates of economic growth for the countries involved. The second highlights a different regional approach adopted by the country, one where cooperation and interconnectedness are key in a globalized world.

Demographic changes, and their effect on economic growth, were highlighted In the paper discussing prospects for Asian development . One of the premises being that when people age, they’re less productive and thus constitute a burden on society, and their loved ones.

The argument follows that countries home to a younger labor force are poised for growth, fueled by rural-urban migration and urbanization. People now opt for cities, in search of opportunities and a better lifestyle. But living in the city often means having fewer children. And lower fertility rates have translated into fewer inductees into the labor force, with adverse effects on productivity.

Moving on to India’s role as the largest economy in South Asia  and its decision to use soft power as part of its regional strategy, the second paper describes that dynamic; one where “benign power,” hinging on cooperation and interconnectedness, in a post-9/11, conflict-ridden world, is the way to go.

Thanks to globalization, and a changing demography, the political economic reality in the region has witnessed a complete turnaround. As powers rise and fall, most countries now realize that establishing connections based on the common thread of history, culture, religion, and strategic interests is the smartest route to take.

We will be featuring plenty of more synthesis papers from our regional and thematic windows; ones that give you a feel for the various conversations going on in the developing and underdeveloped worlds on economic growth and sustainable development.

The Future of Aid

As 2010 comes to an end, the effectiveness of the fundamental mechanisms of the current foreign aid system has become a much discussed and ever more pertinent issue. Robert Riddle in his 2007 book Does Aid Really Work? highlights the traditional principle that underpins all foreign aid as:

Those who can should help those who are in extreme need…What could be simpler?

However, as Riddle elaborates, the realities of foreign aid are far from simple. Indeed, the current global financial crises, climate change challenges, natural disasters and political volatility are all contributing factors in an increasingly complex international concern.

These issues have resulted in an extensive diversity in both the attitude and approach to aid.  Some, such as William Easterly and Dambisa Moyo, argue that foreign aid has stunted the growth of countries in Africa and instead created a circle of aid dependency, corruption and further poverty.

Other aid practitioners believe that aid can be successful, but only if delivered correctly.

Read more of this post

GDN 12th Annual Conference Plenary Speaker: Professor Helen Milner

Plenty of leading scholars will address the key issues relating to this year’s conference theme, Financing Development in a Post-Crisis World. Five plenaries top and tail each of the three day’s proceedings, with one of the most exciting taking a particularly topical theme of Development Aid: The Emerging New Landscape.

The international context of foreign aid has changed profoundly in the last few years due to multiple, interrelated global crises and challenges. Food insecurity, volatile energy and commodity prices, climate change, and above all, the global financial crisis, have recently left many fragile countries struggling to cope. This session asks the demanding question of what the next decade might hold for aid effectiveness; explores how ‘aid’ is defined; and promises to look at the macroeconomic impact of aid and the recent emergence of new donors from the South.

Read more of this post

Communiqué: 11th Annual Global Development Conference Delivers Key Messages on Economic and Regional Integration

There is no learning without dialogue, and no action without reasonable consensus. This assumption was put to the test over the course of the recent 11th Annual Global Development Conference, Prague. The event was framed by one central question – Regional and Economic Integration: Quo Vadis? The 450 participants from around the world attending the event had their own distinct views on exactly where regional and economic integration is going. It is these views we wanted – and the world needs – to hear.

The financial crisis that has rocked the global economy has had, and continues to have, dangerous repercussions for international development. Read more of this post

Globalization Under Threat, and yet Opportunity Exists

Anticipation was in the air as delegates awaited the opening words of GDN President Gerardo della Paolera at the first plenary of 11th Annual Global Development Conference. Paolera framed the outline of the conference, and underlined the crucial role the participants would play in driving forward regional and economic integration, and how it should be framed in the current financial crisis, and future crises.

Current and future responses will play a pivotal role in how the world reacts and meets such challenges. Underpinning this is the need for increased interdependence, a shared approach encompassing the free flow of ideas and best practices.

The Czech Minister of European Affairs, Juraj Chmiel welcomed delegates to Prague, but also took the opportunity to offer some warnings for the global community. He warned that “globalization should not be made the scapegoat of the financial crisis, because it’s the major engine for progress. Protectionism is not the cure for economic difficulties.” Read more of this post

Delving Deeper into the Unknown: Rethinking Globalization and Regional Integration in the context of the global financial crisis

George Mavrotas*

The 2008 global financial crisis has prompted us to take a fresh look at a wider spectrum of issues related to the globalization process. We no longer find ourselves embracing globalization with the easiness and the enthusiasm of the pre-crisis era. The current second phase of globalization is different from the first phase of globalization at the end of the 19th century in many respects. Still though, it is rather fair to argue that the lessons learnt from the first globalization phase can help us to understand many of the current problems. Read more of this post

A New Decade: A New Agenda for Globalization

Gerardo della Paolera*

The timing and location of GDN’s 11th Annual Conference could not be more perfect.

Gerardo delle Paolera, GDN PresidentWe enter a new decade without much of the certainty and confidence that accompanied us into the New Millennium. Conventional thinking about globalization has been shaken to the core by the current financial crisis. The demise of the Washington Consensus, sealed by the events of 9/11 and those that followed, has left us in a “no man’s land” with no obvious successor to the previous policymaking consensus. We are at a ‘Tipping Point’ in the balance of world power: the dominance of western nations is coming to an end and the baton is being passed to such emerging powers as China, India and Brazil.

The Global Development Network 11th Annual Conference, Regional and Global Integration: Quo Vadis? is convening some of the world’s big thinkers to tackle the big questions that arise from this context. Read more of this post