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Pages tagged "globalisation"


A Preview of the November 11-13, 2011 APEC Leaders' Meeting

by Joshua Meltzer
The United States is this year’s host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit later this week. APEC leaders will meet in Hawaii, accompanied by their foreign and trade ministers and a host of senior officials. The United States will attend APEC with some important trade policy outcomes under its belt already, most significantly the passage of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement (FTA), Columbia-U.S. FTA and Panama-U.S. FTA. Particularly, the Korea-U.S. FTA and progress in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations will help the United States show its serious commitment to pursuing international agreements that liberalize trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region.
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Europe's democracy shock

by Olaf Cramme 

The outcry over EU legitimacy only diverts attention away from the real challenges to democracy and sovereignty in our capitalist system. We deserve a better debate.

The seismic social and economic aftershocks of the global financial crisis have raised a new awareness among citizens: democracy is in a pretty bad shape and national sovereignty is under siege. It is not so much the widely-reported violent demonstrations in Greece which embody this growing unease, but rather hardening cynicism and wide scale disenchantment with politics in the liberal West. We are in a situation where representational power looks worryingly distorted, the most basic demands and concerns of citizens are often ignored and the emotional gap between the elite and the population at large seems to be growing. At the same time, questions of belonging, identity and nationalism have re-emerged on the agenda – and with it a new surge in populist rhetoric.

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We May Be Witnessing the First Large Global Conflict Where People Are Aligned by Consciousness and Not Nation State or Religion

By Naomi Wolf
They're fighting a "corporatocracy" that has bought governments, created armed enforcers, engaged in systemic economic fraud, and plundered treasuries and ecosystems.
America's politicians, it seems, have had their fill of democracy. Across the country, police, acting under orders from local officials, are breaking up protest encampments set up by supporters of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement - sometimes with shocking and utterly gratuitous violence.

In the worst incident so far, hundreds of police, dressed in riot gear, surrounded Occupy Oakland's encampment and fired rubber bullets (which can be fatal), flash grenades and tear-gas canisters - with some officers taking aim directly at demonstrators. The Occupy Oakland Twitter feed read like a report from Cairo's Tahrir Square: "they are surrounding us"; "hundreds and hundreds of police"; "there are armoured vehicles and Hummers". There were 170 arrests.

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The Language of Global Protest

by Jan-Werner Mueller

The protest movements that have flared up across the West, from Chile to Germany, have remained curiously undefined and under-analyzed. Some speak of them as the greatest global mobilization since 1968 – when enragés in very different countries coalesced around similar concerns. But others insist that there is nothing new here.

The Bulgarian political scientist Ivan Krastev, for example, has claimed that what we are actually experiencing is 1968 “in reverse.” “Then students on the streets of Europe,” he says, “declared their desire to live in a world different from the world of their parents. Now students are on the streets to declare their desire to live in the world of their parents.”

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Milton Friedman’s Magical Thinking

by Dani Rodrik

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s birth. Friedman was one of the twentieth century’s leading economists, a Nobel Prize winner who made notable contributions to monetary policy and consumption theory. But he will be remembered primarily as the visionary who provided the intellectual firepower for free-market enthusiasts during the second half of the century, and as the éminence grise behind the dramatic shift in the economic policies that took place after 1980.

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Eurozone Governments and the Financial Markets: A Troubled Marriage

by Douglas J. Elliott

Financial markets and the governments of advanced economies around the world are inextricably tied together in an unbreakable marriage. The two sides need each other. Governments borrow huge sums of money and, for its part, the financial system requires a large base of safe, liquid assets to function efficiently. In some times and places, however, that marriage is very troubled. Right now, the Eurozone is a prime example. The financial markets do not seem to understand or trust the governments and those sentiments are returned by many policymakers, including key ones.

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Centennial celebrations of the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 across the Taiwan Straits

by Chin Jin

On the Double Ten Day (i.e. 10th October) in 1911, which was the 19th day of the 8th lunar month of the Year of Xinhai, a gunshot in Wuchang heralded the demise of thousands of years of history of Chinese absolute monarchy.

The Revolutionaries who were led by Dr Sun Yat-sen triggered the Revolution of 1911; while the powerful Beiyang Faction, headed by Yuan Shikai, followed the historic trend and forced the emperor to abdicate, creating a Chinese version of the Glorious Revolution. Those on the inside and the outside of the Qing Dynasty establishment collaborated and united to establish the first democratic republic in Asia.

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The Arab Democratic Wave and the Middle East: A Window of Opportunity?

by  Ruth Hanau Santini

The Arab Spring has impacted heavily upon the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The fall of Mubarak and the subsequent political uncertainty in Egypt, turmoil and instability in Syria and protests in Amman have all changed Israeli and Palestinian strategic calculations. The distance between the two sides has now increased to such a point that there is now talk of the death of the already ‘stalled’ process as we know it.

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Let’s end corruption – starting with Wall Street

by Mark Engler

As the #OccupyWallStreet protests continue to grow,  bankers must be held to account for their ill-gotten gains.
It’s a favourite conservative ploy in the development debate: blame poverty on corruption.

When explaining why countries in the Global South face stark levels of inequality and deprivation, you just say it’s due to a common penchant for bribery and fraud. You treat it as a cultural deficiency.

Following this approach, institutions such as the World Bank trumpet their work in ‘good governance’ and anti-corruption. No need to examine the disastrous results of neoliberal policies such as privatization, deregulation and austerity. Nor do élites in wealthy countries have to acknowledge how foreign corporations have propagated kickbacks and cronyism. Instead, they can simply regard these as endemic to the darker continents.

Since 2008, not a single senior executive in the US banking industry has faced jail time for fuelling one of the largest financial crises in history.

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The U.S. Can Kiss its Political Power in the Pacific Goodbye: Why 2012 Will Shake Up Asia and the World

by John Feffer 

The U.S. has reached the high-water mark of its Pacific presence and influence. The geopolitical map is about to be redrawn. 

The United States has long styled itself a Pacific power. It established the model of counterinsurgency in the Philippines in 1899 and defeated the Japanese in World War II. It faced down the Chinese and the North Koreans to keep the Korean peninsula divided in 1950, and it armed the Taiwanese to the teeth. Today, America maintains the most powerful military in the Pacific region, supported by a constellation of military bases, bilateral alliances, and about 100,000 service personnel.

It has, however, reached the high-water mark of its Pacific presence and influence. The geopolitical map is about to be redrawn. Northeast Asia, the area of the world with the greatest concentration of economic and military power, is on the verge of a regional transformation. And the United States, still preoccupied with the Middle East and hobbled by a stalled and stagnating economy, will be the odd man out.

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