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Annual Edition: Developing World 12/13, Twenty-Second Edition
1. The New Face of Development, Carol Lancaster, Current History, January 2008
The nature and emphasis of development has shifted as some progress on reducing poverty has been achieved. While poverty continues to be... MORE
2. How Development Leads to Democracy: What We Know about Modernization, Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2009
A reinterpretation of modernization theory in a way that emphasizes the cultural changes that accompany this process helps to explain how pressures for democracy push societies toward greater openness and political participation. A key component is the connection between economic development and changes in society, culture, and politics that promotes tolerance, encourages self-expression, and fosters political participation.
3. The New Population Bomb: The Four Megatrends That Will Change the World, Jack A. Goldstone, Foreign Affairs, January/February 2010
Declining fertility rates will stabilize world population in the middle of the twenty-first century. Shifting demographics will bring about significant changes in both rich and poor countries, however. The industrial countries will account for less of the world's population, their economic influence will diminish, and they will need more migrant workers. Meanwhile, most of the world's population growth will take place in the developing world, especially the poorest countries. Those populations will also be increasingly urban.
4. Best. Decade. Ever. Charles Kenny, Foreign Policy, September/October 2010
Despite being bracketed by the September 11th attacks and the global financial crisis, the first decade of the 21st century brought significant gains for the developing world. From economic growth and a reduction in the number of people living in poverty, to progress on infectious diseases and fewer conflicts, living conditions improved for many citizens of the developing world. Serious challenges such as environmental degradation remain, however.
5. And Justice for All: Enforcing Human Rights for the World's Poor, Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros, Foreign Policy, May/June 2010
There has been significant progress on human rights law since the end of WWII. Although the body of human rights law has expanded, poor people often find that the laws are not enforced and their access to legal protection and representation is very limited. This absence of the rule of law also undermines development efforts.
6. The Case against the West: America and Europe in the Asian Century, Kishore Mahbubani, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2008
Kishore Mahbubani argues that the West is declining and is unable to recognize that a new era is underway. This failure to recognize its diminishing influence is evident in the West's approach to intervention, nuclear non-proliferation, international trade, international law and organization, and the environment. The West's positions on these issues represent an effort to preserve the status quo rather than usher in a more just and stable world order.
7. The Post-Washington Consensus: Development after the Crisis, Nancy Birdsall and Francis Fukuyama, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2011
The Washington Consensus, which has guided international economic policy for decades, faces challenges as a result of the 2008–2009 global financial crisis. In the future, developing countries are much less likely to adhere to the capitalist model championed by the United States and its western allies. Instead, they will be more wary of free flowing capital, more inclined to prevent disruption through social spending, supportive of industrial policy, and less willing to defer to the West's alleged expertise.
8. The Poor Man's Burden, William Easterly, Foreign Policy, January/February 2009
The recent world financial crisis may result in greater government intervention in the economy, especially in poor countries. William Easterly argues that a return to policies reminiscent of the early years of development economics would have an adverse effect on the prospects for prosperity among the poor. The response to the financial crisis should be to avoid protectionism, resist extensive regulation, and be wary of top-down development strategies.
9. A Tiger Despite the Chains: The State of Reform in India, Rahul Mukherji, Current History, April 2010
India has enjoyed significant annual economic growth, in excess of 6 percent, particularly since the economic reforms of 1991. Nevertheless, there are several obstacles to higher growth rates. Powerful actors such as the unions, wealthy farmers, and politicians as well as bureaucrats block reforms that would increase growth even further. The benefits that many have enjoyed have not filtered down to the poorest despite programs targeted at literacy and job creation.
10. Welcome to Minegolia, Ron Gluckman, Foreign Policy, January/February 2011
Mongolia's economy is booming thanks to its abundant mineral resources. The capital, Ulan Bator, boasts huge capital inflows, rising property values, and the availability of luxury goods. The benefits of Chinese demand for Mongolia's minerals have yet to expand beyond the capital. Concerns about rising income inequality and corruption temper optimism about the country's future.
11. The African Miracle, Norbert Dörr, Susan Lund, and Charles Roxburgh, Foreign Policy, December 2010
Africa's economic prospects have improved substantially over the past decade. It is now one of the world's fastest growing regions, with a collective GDP growth per capita of 4.9 percent between 2000Ð2008. Natural resources accounted for only 24 percent of that growth with the rest coming from finance, retail, agriculture, and telecommunications. The continent is also urbanizing rapidly helping to further fuel growth.
12. The New Mercantilism: China's Emerging Role in the Americas, Eric Farnsworth, Current History, February 2011
Although China has historically had little engagement with Latin America, its links with the region are growing. China's Latin American imports, especially raw materials and commodities, are booming and Chinese exports to the region have also been increasing rapidly. While this trade boost has been beneficial, the long-term implications of the relationship are less clear.
13. Cotton: The Huge Moral Issue, Kate Eshelby, New African, January 2006
Cotton production in poor countries is threatened by the subsidies paid to farmers in industrialized countries. Cotton subsidies in the United States exceed the GDP of Burkina Faso, a poor cotton-producing country. Because of these subsidies, there is overproduction that in turn results in lower prices for poor farmers. Although WTO rules prohibit subsidies that distort trade, rich countries have yet to eliminate them.
14. Taking the Measure of Global Aid, Jean-Michel Severino and Olivier Ray, Current History, January 2010
The concept of official development aid is outmoded and should be replaced by programs that better promote global public goods and recognize the challenges of globalization. Rethinking development aid requires recognition of the expanded goals of development, the existence of a wider range of actors, and a larger number of ways to both provide assistance and measure its effectiveness.
15. The New Colonialists, Michael A. Cohen, Maria Figueroa Küpçü, and Parag Khanna, Foreign Policy, July/August 2008
Non-governmental organizations are taking on increasing responsibility for humanitarian aid and development. As a result, state capacity to deal with these challenges is being undermined and the safety net that these organizations provide may allow incompetent governments to avoid accountability. An increasing amount of aid is being both provided by and channeled through NGOs. The trend toward greater NGO responsibility is controversial.
16. A Few Dollars at a Time: How to Tap Consumers for Development, Philippe Douste-Blazy and Daniel Altman, Foreign Affairs, January/February 2010
HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis account for one in eight deaths in developing countries. Because these diseases reinforce one another, an effort is under way to fight all three together. The funding for these efforts comes from innovative financing, which involves small taxes on airline ticket purchases and voluntary contributions through product purchases. Innovative financing will provide millions for fighting disease and help increase economic activity in developing countries.
17. The Fertile Continent: Africa, Agriculture's Final Frontier, Roger Thurow Foreign Affairs, November/December 2010
Demand for food is growing as population increases. Countries that increased agricultural production in the past cannot boost growth without expensive new technology and updated farming techniques. However, Africa can boost agricultural production by using existing technology and techniques and by developing more efficient networks for distribution. If Africa can implement these changes, the continent could play a significant role in meeting rising demand and ensuring food security worldwide.
18. The Micromagic of Microcredit, Karol Boudreaux and Tyler Cowen, Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2008
Since Muhammad Yunis founded the Grameen Bank some three decades ago, microcredit has become a worldwide phenomenon. Although it has attracted some criticism, the success of microcredit has been touted as a major contribution to poverty reduction. Critics claim microfinance loans have exorbitant interest rates and that they help finance consumption more than business expansion. Boudreaux and Cowen argue that despite the criticism, microloans can have a significant impact on the lives of the poor.
19. Many Borrowers of Microloans Now Find the Price Is Too High, Neil MacFarquhar, The New York Times, April 14, 2010
The popularity of microfinance has many of its proponents concerned about the direction in which the practice has headed. Large banks and financial institutions have come to dominate microloan providers and interest rates have been driven up. The industry is pushing for more transparency to make sure that those institutions offering loans to the poor are not exploiting them.
20 Corruption Reduction: A Foreign Policy Goal and Instrument, Amitai Etzioni, Harvard International Review, Winter 2011
Fighting corruption is an important goal of counter insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan, effective foreign aid, and promoting good governance. Amitai Etzioni argues that efforts to curb corruption, although worthy, are unlikely to succeed. Such social engineering faces significant obstacles and takes time, especially if it is prompted by outside actors. Success in combating this problem depends on a pragmatic approach that relies on local culture and institutions.
21. Where Life Is Cheap and Talk Is Loose, The Economist, March 19, 2011
Failed and failing states are regarded as a threat to international peace and security. The term can describe a wide variety of state incapacity from loss of territorial control, to limited ability to provide services, to the willful promotion of state failure to mask criminal enterprises. The imprecision of the term makes coherent policy responses difficult.
22. Afghanistan's Rocky Path to Peace, J. Alexander Thier, Current History, April 2010
There are indications that an effort is under way to engage the insurgents in Afghanistan in peace talks. The path to peace is uncertain, however, and requires not only the cooperation of the insurgents but also the United States and its allies, Pakistan, India, Iran, and China. Even then, the effort will have to overcome the challenges posed by non-state actors like al Qaeda, Pakistani radicals, and drug traffickers.
23. A Nation on the Brink, Christopher Boucek and David Donadio, The Atlantic, April 2010
Yemen has become a focal point in the campaign against international terrorism. Efforts to combat terrorism are complicated by a civil war in the north, a secessionist movement in the south, rapidly depleting natural resources, corruption, unemployment, weak government, and looming economic collapse.
24. The Forever War: Inside India's Maoist Conflict, Megha Bahree, World Policy Journal, Summer 2010
India's Naxalite rebellion pits rebels against the government and its powerful economic allies. The rebels claim to represent small landowners who are being pressured to sell their land to the government who then make it available to big business interests. Those who resist selling are harassed and in some cases, killed while many of those who do sell are forced into camps for the displaced.
25. Sudan on the Cusp, Richard S. Williamson, Current History, May 2011
Following an overwhelming approval of the referendum on independence, the Republic of South Sudan will become the world's newest country in July 2011. Despite this successful drive for independence there continues to be tension over the sharing of oil revenues and territorial boundaries. In addition, both north and south Sudan face internal challenges that could spark further conflict in the region.
26. Africa's Forever Wars, Jeffrey Gettleman, Foreign Policy, March/April 2010
Several of Africa's continuing conflicts are the product of the emergence of a new type of war. No longer the product of liberation struggles or ideology, these conflicts are increasingly fought for plunder, often by child soldiers abducted by militias headed by warlords who are more concerned with profit than political power.
27. The Struggle for Mexico, David Rieff, The New Republic, April 7, 2011
In November 2008, the U.S. military identified Mexico as a state in danger of collapse due to widespread criminal activity associated with the drug trade. The view that Mexico is a failing state has been reinforced by the violence particularly around Juarez. Some see parallels with Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s but there are significant differences between the two cases. Mexico's successes in other areas have been overshadowed by its crime problem.
28. Central America's Security Predicament, Michael Shifter, Current History, February, 2011
Disappearing from the radar screen after the end of political violence in the 1980s, Central America is again facing serious security challenges. Despite some social, economic, and political progress, the region now faces fallout from the 2008 economic crisis, an alarming increase in crime associated with drug trafficking, weak political institutions, and flagging support for democracy.
29. Global Aging and the Crisis of the 2020s, Neil Howe and Richard Jackson, Current History, January 2011
Demographic trends are likely to produce greater disruption in the future. The industrialized world, with the exception of the United States, will have an aging and declining population in coming decades while the developing world's population will be passing through demographic transition. These trends will have a profound impact on economic growth and productivity as well as security and stability.
30. Crying for Freedom, The Economist, January 16, 2010
Freedom House's annual assessment of democracy and human rights found that these qualities declined worldwide for the fourth consecutive year. Perhaps most troubling about this decline is the intellectual challenge to liberalism. China's rapid economic growth has created more interest in an authoritarian path to prosperity while the West's willingness to promote democracy has waned, as has the willingness of other countries to listen to that message.
31. Understanding the Revolutions of 2011: Weakness and Resilience in Middle Eastern Autocracies, Jack A. Goldstone, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2011
The political turmoil in the Middle East highlights the factors that increase the chances for revolution to occur. These include an unjust or inept regime, an alienated elite, broad-based opposition to the regime, and international support for change. The transition to democracy in the aftermath of this upheaval is not guaranteed and even if it does occur, changes are unlikely to be quick.
32. Good Soldier, Bad Cop, The Africa Report, April 2011
The political turmoil in Tunisia and Egypt highlighted the important role the military plays in post-colonial regimes. In Tunisia, the military stood largely on the sidelines while in Egypt the military has taken charge, ostensibly to pave the way for elections. It remains to be seen how the armed forces will react in other countries facing demands for reform.
33. "Moderates" Redefined: How to Deal with Political Islam, Emile Nakhleh, Current History, December 2009
Islamic political parties have changed their political ideologies over time, moderated their demands for Sharia, and are more inclined to participate in electoral and legislative politics. Political pragmatism has come to characterize the Islamization of politics in several Muslim-majority countries in the Middle east and beyond. The radical politics favored by al Qaeda and its supporters are on the wane but extremism will continue to be a problem.
34. The Islamists Are Not Coming, Charles Kurzman and Ijlal Naqvi, Foreign Policy, January/February 2010
While some Islamist parties have done well in a few elections, a study of voting patterns indicates that Islamist parties have not fared well in elections over the last forty years. Additionally, evidence suggests that the more open and free the elections, the worse Islamic parties do. Participation in the electoral process also helps moderate Islamic parties' platforms.
35. The Transformation of Hamas, Fawaz A. Gerges, The Nation, January 25, 2010
Although regarded by the West as a radical Islamic organization, Hamas may be evolving into a more willing negotiating partner. While it has already indicated some flexibility, it is unlikely to give further ground without an end to sanctions and the Israeli hard line on Gaza. As the most powerful organization in the Occupied Territories and deriving its legitimacy from strong popular support, the West should look for opportunities to engage.
36. In Sri Lanka, the Triumph of Vulgar Patriotism, Nira Wickramasinghe, Current History, April 2010
Sri Lanka's January 2010 elections resulted in a victory for the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa. Having presided over the defeat of the Tamil insurgency, the president enjoyed widespread support and after his victory turned to cracking down on his opposition, including his rival General Fonseca who led the army in its victory over the Tamil Tigers. Fonseca has been arrested on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government. Meanwhile, President Rajapaksa seems intent on consolidating power and establishing a family dynasty.
37. Indonesia's Moment, Robert Pringle, Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2011
Indonesia has quietly established a functioning democracy despite its autocratic past and with a huge Muslim majority. Success has come largely as a result of the devolution of power from the center to the local level. Although there is a radical presence in society, Indonesia's diversity and adherence to democracy have minimized the radicals' influence.
38. Divergent Paths: The Future of One-Party Rule in Singapore, Meng Chen, Harvard International Review, Winter 2011
Singapore's modernization and rapid increase in wealth have been attributed to its strict, one-party rule. As the architect of Singapore's prosperity, former Prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, ages and relinquishes his grip on power, it is unclear whether the People's Action Party will continue its monopoly on power. Singapore's experience has an influence on the debate about authoritarian rule and economic growth.
39. Uprising Threat, Chofamba Sithole, News Africa, April 30, 2011
The political upheaval in North Africa and the Middle East is reverberating across Africa. The announcement of anti-government protests in Angola brought a government campaign of arrests and intimidation against activists and journalists. With a large population of young people, an entrenched leadership, and widespread poverty, and vast oil wealth Angola could be vulnerable to social unrest.
40. Ivory Coast: Another Asterisk for Africa's Democratization, William B. Milam and Jennifer G. Jones, Current History, May 2011
The refusal of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo to accept the results of Ivory Coast's November 2010 elections triggered a crisis. Gbagbo held onto power despite losing the election until he was ousted by a combination of French forces and troops loyal to the victor in the elections, Alassane Ouattara. The conflict over the presidency in Ivory Coast has sharpened ethnic tensions and highlights the potential national and regional challenges of successful democratic transition in Africa.
41. A New Global Player: Brazil's Far-Flung Agenda, Julia E. Sweig, Foreign Affairs, November/ December 2010
Brazil has emerged as an important international actor. Brazil's unsuccessful efforts to mediate between the West and Iran demonstrate its ambitious foreign policy. Julia Sweig makes the case for a foreign policy that is less ambitious and that balances aspirations of global power with a focus on domestic issues like crime and economic inequality.
42. Perilous Times for Latin America, Theodore J. Piccone, Current History, February 2010
Although Latin America is a politically diverse region, there are indications that democratic gains are under increasing pressure. The impact of the recent financial crisis is likely to fuel calls for a strengthened state, raising concerns about how democratic such a state would be. Corruption and ineffective leadership are also likely to lead to populist challenges to existing governments while a preference for short-term over long-term goals may lead to the entrenchment of autocrats.
43. Human Rights Last, Gary J. Bass, Foreign Policy, March/April 2011
Chinese engagement with some of the world's worst human rights offenders prompts concerns about growing Chinese influence around the world. A long-time proponent of non-interference in internal affairs, China's position has shifted slightly over the years but Beijing remains reluctant to criticize human rights abuses. Its policy is driven primarily by economic considerations.
44. Not Ready for Prime Time: Why Including Emerging Powers at the Helm Would Hurt Global Governance, Jorge G. Casteñada, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2010
There is growing recognition that emerging countries should have more influence in international institutions. Jorge Casteñeda argues that the most likely candidates for more power have weak commitments to human rights, free trade, non-proliferation, and environmental preservation. Their participation could undermine efforts aimed at greater global governance.
45. Is a Green World a Safer World?: Not Necessarily, David J. Rothkopf, Foreign Policy, September/October 2009
As the world seeks alternative energy sources, there is a distinct possibility that a greener world will not necessarily be a more peaceful one. Trade disputes, resource scarcity, and the dangers of alternative energy sources threaten to make the shift to more environmentally sound energy production a security challenge for both industrialized and developing countries.
46. The Last Straw, Stephan Faris, Foreign Policy, July/August 2009
As dangerous as the current situation is in Pakistan, the potential for wider conflict in South Asia could increase with climate change. Competition for water resources that originate in Kashmir may further ratchet up tensions between India and Pakistan. By some estimates, one in four countries, including some of the world's most unstable and volatile, will be at risk for climate change induced conflict. Poor, unstable countries will be particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.
47. The World's Water Challenge, Erik R. Peterson and Rachel A. Posner, Current History, January 2010
A substantial portion of the world's population lacks access to potable water and adequate sanitation. A recent report forecasts as much as a 40 percent gap between global water demand and reliable supply over the next 20 years. Despite this, there has been little effort to establish a value for water that will promote more efficient use of increasingly scarce water resources. Consumption patterns and climate change are likely to both sharpen competition and increase the likelihood of conflict and have a detrimental impact on development prospects.
48. Water Warriors, Maude Barlow, The Nation, April 14, 2008
A serious controversy has developed over the control of vital water resources. On one side are those who view water as a commodity to be privatized and marketed. Pitted against these often powerful interests are grassroots organizations and NGOs who oppose privatization and sale of water. Across Latin America, and in many other parts of the world, opponents of the large companies that market water are demanding that governments say no to privatization and treat access to water as a basic right.
49. The New Geopolitics of Food, Lester R. Brown, Foreign Policy, May/June 2011
Food prices have continued to climb, affecting the world's poor in particular. The upward trend in food prices is being driven by factors that make it more difficult to increase production, including an expanding world population and demand, climate change, and water scarcity due to the depletion of aquifers. With the most agriculturally advanced countries nearing the limits of production, and other countries restricting exports, wealthier countries have turned to land acquisitions in poor countries.
50. The Women's Crusade, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, The New York Times Magazine, August 23, 2009
The marginalization of women and girls throughout large portions of the developing world not only holds these women back but contributes to global poverty and political extremism. Educating girls and providing access to credit through microfinancing can have a profound impact on poor families. Directing more foreign aid toward women, improving reproductive health, and focusing on keeping girls in school should guide foreign aid policy.
51. Women in Developing Countries 300 Times More Likely to Die in Childbirth, Sarah Boseley, The Guardian, January 15, 2009
Women in poor countries are far more likely than women in wealthy countries to die during childbirth. In many cases, these women die of preventable causes or lack of access to health care professionals during childbirth. The underlying cause has to do with the status of women and a failure to adequately secure women's rights.
52. Girls in War: Sex Slave, Mother, Domestic Aide, Combatant, Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Chronicle, No. 1&2, 2009
Girls and women