Annual Editions: Developing World, 13/14
UNIT 1: Understanding the Developing World
Unit Overview1. How Development Leads to Democracy: What We Know about Modernization,
Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel, Foreign Affairs,
March/April 2009A 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.2. The New Population Bomb: The Four Megatrends that Will Change the World,
Jack A. Goldstone, Foreign Affairs,
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.3. Best. Decade. Ever.
Charles Kenny, Foreign Policy,
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.4. And Justice for All: Enforcing Human Rights for the World's Poor,
Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros, Foreign Policy,
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.5. The Democratic Malaise: Globalization and the Threat to the West,
Charles A. Kupchan, Foreign Affairs,
January/February 2012Western industrialized countries face steep challenges in dealing with the effects of globalization.
These challenges follow from the diffusion of wealth and power to emerging markets in particular. The factors that have contributed to the "rise of the rest" are the same ones that contribute to the West's difficulties in responding to globalization.
UNIT 2: Political Economy and the Developing World
Unit Overview6. The Post-Washington Consensus: Development after the Crisis
, Nancy Birdsall and Francis Fukuyama, Foreign Affairs,
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.7. Role Reversal,
Eswar S. Prasad, Finance and Development,
December 2011Emerging markets have rebounded from the world economic crisis more quickly than the Western industrialized countries.
Their growing participation in the global economy has helped insulate them from the effects of the recession and has also prompted a significant shift in the structure of emerging country assets and liabilities. This shift will give these economies even more opportunity to reduce their vulnerability to market swings.8. A Tiger Despite the Chains: The State of Reform in India,
Rahul Mukherji, Current History,
April 2010India 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.9. Welcome to Minegolia,
Ron Gluckman, Foreign Policy,
January/February 2011Mongolia'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.10. Is Indonesia Bound for the BRICs?
Karen Brooks, Foreign Affairs,
November/December 2011Indonesia has had a substantial turnaround over the past decade.
Democracy, economic growth, and greater security have all contributed to Indonesia's emergence as a more important international actor. The country faces some formidable challenges that threaten further progress, however.11. The New Mercantilism: China's Emerging Role in the Americas,
Eric Farnsworth, Current History,
February 2011Although 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.12. Taking the Measure of Global Aid,
Jean-Michel Severino and Olivier Ray, Current History,
January 2010The 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.13. A Few Dollars at a Time: How to Tap Consumers for Development,
Philippe Douste-Blazy and Daniel Altman, Foreign Affairs,
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.14. Haiti Doesn't Need Your Old T-Shirt,
Charles Kenny, Foreign Policy,
Well-meaning Westerners donate clothing and other goods to developing countries but this practice can be counterproductive. Donated goods are often not what poor countries need,
and there are much better ways to aid needy citizens in the developing world. Those who contribute unwanted goods or buy products from companies that make charitable contributions based on sales are less likely to give cash, thinking they have done their part.15. Africa's New Engine,
Calestous Juma, Finance and Development,
December 2011Africa's recent economic growth has been aided by the expansion of the middle class.
A larger middle class has spurred consumer spending, created more entrepreneurs, and placed more emphasis on local economies, with urban areas leading the way. Regional integration, more participation in the global economy, investment in education, and expansion of agriculture will help sustain this growth.16. Poor Households Are Benefiting from Sub-Saharan Africa's High Growth and Wider Global Reach,
Antoinette Sayeh, Finance and Development,
December 2011African countries began the 21st century with solid economic growth.
Evidence suggests that this growth has improved living standards among the continent's poorest citizens. The global recession only slowed growth briefly and slightly. Africa's economic growth offers opportunities as well as risks.17. The Micromagic of Microcredit,
Karol Boudreaux and Tyler Cowen, Wilson Quarterly,
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.18. Corruption Reduction: A Foreign Policy Goal and Instrument,
Amitai Etzioni, Harvard International Review,
Fighting corruption is an important goal of counterinsurgency 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.
UNIT 3: Conflict and Instability
Unit Overview19. World Peace Could Be Closer Than You Think,
Joshua S. Goldstein, Foreign Policy,
Although it seems like the world is a more violent place, deaths in war have actually declined substantially over the past decade.
Technological advances are making war less brutal, especially for civilians, and improvements in peacekeeping practices have increased the chances that wars will not restart. All but a few of the conflicts once thought to be intractable have ended or substantial progress has been made toward settlement.20. Uprisings Jolt the Saudi-Iranian Rivalry,
Frederic Wehrey, Current History,
December 2011The competition for regional influence between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been made more complicated by the events of the Arab Spring.
Political, ethnic, and religious differences as well as differing agendas regarding oil production have sharpened tensions. Iran's nuclear program adds another layer of complexity to the competition for regional hegemony.21. Letter from Damascus: Will Syria Descend into Civil War?,
Sami Moubayed, Current History,
Despite the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, most Syrians did not expect their country to follow this pattern. Syria was thought to be different, but the violence has clearly shown dissatisfaction with the Assad regime, the brutality of the regime's response, as well as divisions among the regime's opponents. The future in Syria looks to be difficult and complicated.22. A New Kind of Korea: Building Trust Between Seoul and Pyongyang,
Park Geun-hye, Foreign Affairs,
South Korea, an economic powerhouse and North Korea, destitute but with a large army and nuclear capability, share the Korean Peninsula. Long-standing tensions between the two flared again recently over North Korea's shelling of South Korean territory. Reducing the potential for conflict and building trust between North and South Korea represents one of Asia's most important security challenges.23. Sudan on the Cusp,
Richard S. Williamson, Current History,
May 2011Following 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.24. Central America's Security Predicament,
Michael Shifter, Current History,
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.25. Humanitarian Intervention Comes of Age: Lessons from Somalia to Libya,
Jon Western and Joshua S. Goldstein, Foreign Affairs,
November/December 2011The failures of past humanitarian interventions have prompted skepticism about the effectiveness of the international community's efforts to protect civilians.
Western and Goldstein argue that the international community has learned not only from these failures but also from successes in Cote d'Ivoire, East Timor, and Libya. Among the lessons learned are the need for quick action, sufficiently strong peacekeeping forces, the ability to withstand criticism, and solid backing from a number of actors.26. The True Costs of Humanitarian Intervention,
Benjamin A. Valentino, Foreign Affairs,
The outcome of the intervention in Libya is still unclear, but the costs and benefits of this operation and those of future humanitarian missions must be carefully weighed. Intervention is costly and requires a commitment to assist in the rebuilding of war-torn societies.
Many lives could be saved by preventing conflict in the first place and by focusing on providing for those displaced by conflict.27. Global Aging and the Crisis of the 2020s,
Neil Howe and Richard Jackson, Current History,
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.
UNIT 4: Political Change in the Developing World
Unit Overview28. Understanding the Revolutions of 2011: Weakness and Resilience in Middle Eastern Autocracies,
Jack A. Goldstone, Foreign Affairs,
May/June 2011The 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.29. The Arab Spring at One,
Fouad Ajami, Foreign Affairs,
March/April 2012In the year since the Arab Spring, the effects of the upheaval have been uneven.
While it is clear that there was widespread dissatisfaction with the way that many countries throughout the region were ruled, the shape of the new regimes has yet to become clear. There are notable exceptions to the change that swept the region and the extent of democratization is unknown.30. Good Soldier, Bad Cop, The Africa Report,
April 2011The 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.31. "Moderates" Redefined: How to Deal with Political Islam,
Emile Nakhleh, Current History,
December 2009Islamic 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.32. Islamism after the Arab Spring,
Ashraf El Sherif, Current History,
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, there were concerns that Islamist groups would be able to take advantage of more open political space and dominate the politics of the region. Fears that Islamism would stifle democratic progress do not take into account the various strands of Islamist political thought and organization. The political changes brought about by the Arab Spring have produced opportunities and uncertainties for both Islamists and secular reformers.33. After the Revolution, Egypt Splinters,
Omneya El Naggar, The Nation,
December 5, 2011
The political upheaval in Egypt has resulted in the splintering of the forces that brought about the end of the Mubarak regime. The armed forces continue to dominate the country's politics, and Islamists are strengthening their position although they are divided. Real change and democratic pluralist society in Egypt remain an elusive goal.34. The Awakening,
Emma Larkin, The New Republic,
February 2, 2012
Since the end of the military dictatorship in Burma/Myanmar, there is greater freedom of the press, economic reforms have been instituted, and the country's most prominent political dissident has been freed. The reasons for Myanmar's reforms are unclear
and skeptics are unconvinced that real reform will follow.35. 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.36. Uprising Threat,
Chofamba Sithole, News Africa,
April 30, 2011The 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.37. How the ANC Lost Its Way,
Alex Perry, Time
January 16, 2012
South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding. In power since the first real democratic elections in 1994, the ANC is increasingly marred by scandals and allegations of corruption.
There are some preliminary indications that the ANC's unassailable political strength may be slipping. In an effort to retain the party's strong majority support, the ANC has announced an ambitious program of job growth, infrastructure development, and a fight against corruption.38. Mexico's Big, Inherited Challenges,
Pamela K. Starr, Current History,
Mexican President Felipe Calderón is prohibited from seeking re-election in July 2012. While Calderón achieved some notable successes during his term, his presidency has been overshadowed by what he failed to accomplish. The perception among Mexicans is that the country is worse off than it was when Calderón was elected.
The stage seems set for the former ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, to regain power.39. Human Rights Last,
Gary J. Bass, Foreign Policy,
March/April 2011Chinese 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.40. Not Ready for Prime Time: Why Including Emerging Powers at the Helm Would Hurt Global Governance,
Jorge G. Castañ, Foreign Affairs,
September/October 2010There is growing recognition that emerging countries should have more influence in international institutions.
Jorge CasteÐeda 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.
UNIT 5: Population, Resources, Environment, and Health
Unit Overview41. The End of Easy Everything,
Michael T. Klare, Current History,
January 2012As the easiest sources of energy and minerals are depleted, more difficult, expensive, and dangerous methods must be employed to extract resources.
These resources are also often located in countries plagued by corruption and conflict. The increasing cost of these resources is also likely to drive up prices for other commodities.42. Is a Green World a Safer World? Not Necessarily,
David J. Rothkopf, Foreign Policy,
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.43. The World's Water Challenge,
Erik R. Peterson and Rachel A. Posner, Current History,
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.44. Bangladesh's Climate Displacement Nightmare,
Scott Leckie, Zeke Simperingham, and Jordan Bakker, Theecologist.org, April 12, 2011In Bangladesh, climate change is already affecting millions.
With much of the land only a few meters above sea level, Bangladesh is prone to flooding and devastating cyclones. The poorest are most vulnerable and the number of climate displaced persons is growing. The government and community-based NGOs are seeking solutions to this threat.45. The New Geopolitics of Food,
Lester R. Brown, Foreign Policy,
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.
UNIT 6: Women and Development
Unit Overview46. The Women's Crusade,
Nicholas D. 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.47. Gender and Revolution in Egypt,
Mervat Hatem, Middle East Report 261,
Women were prominent participants in the uprising that removed Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. Nevertheless, women are facing serious threats to the gains they had made under the both the Mubarak and Sadat regimes.
The military government and both the Islamic and Christian establishments have been slow to engage on women's issues and there is resistance to enhancing the status of women.48. Girls in War: Sex Slave, Mother, Domestic Aide, Combatant,
Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Chronicle,
No. 1&2, 2009Girls and women are particularly vulnerable in armed conflicts.
They may be subject to rape, sexual assault, and human trafficking, recruited as child soldiers, displaced or turned into refugees, or become orphans, often managing child-led households. The international community has responded by creating a framework to hold those responsible for these crimes accountable and the UN Security Council has established a Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.49. Women in the Shadow of Climate Change,
Balgis Osman-Elasha, UN Chronicle,
No. 3&4, 2009Women are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
They make up the majority of the world's poor and are proportionally more dependent on increasingly scarce natural resources. Moreover, women have less access to resources such as land, credit, agricultural inputs, decision-making, technology, and training and extension programs that might help them adapt to climate change.50. The Global Glass Ceiling: Why Empowering Women Is Good for Business,
Isobel Coleman, Foreign Affairs,
May/June 2010International business is beginning to realize the benefits of empowering women in the developing world.
Multinationals such as GE, Nike, Goldman Sachs, and others have begun to initiate programs to invest in health, education, and leadership development for women and girls in developing countries. Such programs help to reduce gender disparities and generally improve society as well as contributing to the company's bottom line.