We will briefly discuss the origins of the currency crisis in Argentina, along with statements and actions of the IMF. As we shall see, the economic crisis in Argentina has strong international relations implications related to economic stability domestically and even internationally.
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Ehtisham Uddin The political economy of energy policy in Great Britain: a study in the form and functions of state intervention, by Solomos, John N. Even though a parliamentary committee has been established, not enough consultation has been made with the provinces in Pakistan Qureshi, Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa KPK rejected prioritization of Eastern route and passed resolution opposing any route change, since the original route holds the promise of benefitting the underdeveloped areas of KPK Mengal, ; Ahmad and Hong, Claiming to represent all members of the opposition party, he claimed that government claims of injection of 10, megawatts of electricity into the national grid holds little promise for the provinces other than Punjab.
Since all the other provinces have a weak power distribution system, the increase in the production of energy will not benefit these marginalized provinces Raza, The central government responded by threats. The government has also responded to the objections raised by the provinces by repeatedly assuring that CPEC will benefit the provinces equally and through announcing projects in these provinces.
Whether the central government will go through with these promises is uncertain and the lack of transparency is only going to stimulate these fears and opposition even further. The trend in Baluchistan, due to history of exploitation in the province, has been the opposite. They have opposed CPEC on the grounds that it will further strengthen the circle of exploitation emerging from the center—this time in collaboration with a foreign state Ahmad and Hong, ; Mengal, The Baluch separatists and militants have shown their opposition to CPEC by carrying out various acts of sabotage such as, target killing and abduction of Chinese workers and blasts targeting CPEC project sites or infrastructure.
Consequently, despite the promises of connectivity, integration, and development of entire nation, CPEC has mobilized a new wave of regional politics. The route controversy reveals the centralizing—not inclusive—mission of state. Provinces have not only been kept in dark regarding the planning process, but state has also responded inadequately to the fears of provinces and in some cases has even threatened repression.
Hence, not much can be expected from CPEC in terms of nation-building unless it is backed by a strong material and ideological project of uniting the provinces.
Central state, which is bent to pursue its own interests, has not shown much commitment to this end. How can we logically expect the Chinese state to respond?
Perhaps the most salient feature of Chinese capital that has been readily advertised as the revolutionary principle that marks the new global order is that of non-interference and peaceful coexistence. Furthermore, the core purpose of the National Security Commission of China is to engage in dialog and negotiations on an equal footing to overcome disputes and make peace possible.
Overtime, due to certain geopolitical events and circumstances, China has become less passive and more proactive globally—it has stepped-up participation in regional organizations, established many bilateral relations, and has become more engaged in multilateral organizations although still reluctant to exercise coercion to make a regime submit to international norms and rules on issues such as climate change, military transparency, human rights, and to a certain extent, counter terrorism.
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The persistent internal threats of secessionist movements have pushed China to enter into coalitions of anti-secessionist movements, the consequences of which transcend the national boundaries Karatasli and Kumral, Among several others, Karatasli and Kumral cite the example of issues surrounding South Sudan and Chinese role amidst the direct actions of international powers and multilateral organizations. South Sudan was becoming an important site for serving Chinese economic interests. By , South Sudan attracted international prominence—secession and human rights problems found strong Western coalition support.
Till the very end, China tried to keep Sudan united playing the role of a mediator. When in , South Sudan gained independence; China put efforts into building trade relationships with South Sudan as well Karatasli and Kumral, , p. Beijing extended its support to the Black Nationalist liberation movement against apartheid and white domination of South Africa Larmer, China became one of its first allies when in early Namibia claimed independence.
The above discussion illustrates how China is bent upon preserving political stability and is completely intolerant to regionalist ambitions given the problem of regionalism within its borders. Hence, it is safe to expect here that China will also not react well to the regional elites making diverging claims to the central planning of CPEC. China will not tolerate giving concessions or autonomy to the regionalist elements lest it gives confidence to the regionalists in its own boundaries.
To make matters worse, an increasingly powerful role has been assumed by Pakistani military during the lifespan of CPEC. The army has pushed for a formal role in the execution of the projects. The rhetoric of security has also been used to justify lack of transparency, censorship, and arbitrary actions of the state, making the process of planning and execution of CPEC highly undemocratic. On the eve of independence, Pakistan inherited an elaborate military structure. The colonial rule in India was mediated through a garrison state.
British powers were fully aware of the effective role that force and coercion played in ruling India Ahmed, Writing about the militaristic nature of Punjab, Tan Tai Yong remarks that the colonial legacy of militarization of Punjab can be crucial in explaining the post-colonial state of Pakistan Ahmed, , p. He argues that the rise of military-bureaucratic oligarchy heavily dominated by Punjabis, which was powerful enough to dominate and control the state apparatus of Pakistan is to be partially explained by the developments in colonial Punjab in the early twentieth century Ahmed, After the mutiny of Bengal Army in , British rulers were faced with the need to restructure the armed forces.
At this juncture, the colonizers found that Punjabis were more willing to enlist in the British army in return for employment opportunities and material rewards. As a result, the number of Punjabis in the British army grew disproportionately Siddiqa, This acted as a cohesive force for retaining ethnic composition and maintaining the inherently elitist fabric of military Siddiqa, Furthermore, the colonial bias against Bengalis, Sindhis, and Baluchis in recruitment processes continued.
This discriminatory policy fed the tension between the center and the provinces. Consequences have been dire: Baluch leaders uphold grievances against the military who view it not as a national military but a Punjabi force that exploits Siddiqa : p. The strong military apparatus bequeathed by the colonial government acquired more power as the nascent state struggled with nation-making.
Owing to the deep sense of insecurity that ensued after independence, the army attained a central role as a protective authority Ahmed, The independence struggle was pitched as a struggle for a separate homeland for Muslims.
The bloody riots following the partition of the subcontinent and an exaggerated belief that India was intent on leading Pakistan to ruin set the stage for national obsession with security Ahmed, The imagined fear took shape following the multiple wars between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue Siddiqa, : p.
The conflict holds immense priority among policy makers and the military establishment, who perceive Indian threat as the primary threat to Pakistan. Even internal threats such as Baluch insurgency and other ethnic and religious tensions are perceived as an extension of this external threat Siddiqa, The military establishment derived its ideological power from the Indian threat and economic strength from foreign powers. Due to certain strategic events, development aid was quickly turned into military aid Ahmed, The bipolar rivalry between the United States and former Soviet Union gave the ruling elites a very effective strategic advantage to solicit alliance with the US Ahmed, The civil and military rulers of Pakistan utilized this opportunity by marketing Pakistan as a frontline state against the rise of communism and communist powers.
When the alliance with the US to contain the spread of communism became more or less dormant in the s, Pakistan sought alliance with China. Later, Pakistan further diversified this web of dependence by seeking support of Saudi Arabia. China has also similar concerns against the Soviet occupation. Saudi Arabia felt threatened by the rising power of Iranian strand of Islam. All these powers could realize their objectives through Pakistan.
The Pakistani military exploited this unique strategic position of Pakistan to serve its interests Ahmed, Given the vested interests of foreign and local powers in militarizing the state, it is no surprise that over the 67 years of independence, the military establishment acquired enough power to rule the country four times. Even during times of civilian rule, army has maintained considerable power by negotiating authority Siddiqa, An increasingly powerful role has been assumed by the military during the lifespan of CPEC. The latter proposal was rejected by the civilian set-up and the civilian government has been overall reluctant in sharing control over CPEC Ghumman, It is leading to further weakening of the civilian government.
There are several developments that point towards this trend. Firstly, new armed forces have been formed in Baluchistan and Sindh by the army, dedicated solely to protect the CPEC projects Wolf, This decision was made solely by the top officials of the army Wolf, According to the four-layer security plan, an estimated 32, security personnel have been assigned to guard over 14, Chinese workers engaged in various projects throughout the country Gishkori, According to the plan, Baluchistan will be guarded the heaviest, getting about 5, personnel of the Frontier Corps.
Secondly, the establishment of Apex committees at federal and provincial levels aimed at enhancing communication between civilian and military powers regarding security matters had the effect of further weakening the decision-making powers of the civilian government Wolf, Handling powers to the apex committees has meant that important decisions regarding CPEC are now being made by the military-bureaucratic complex without any participation by the national or provincial assemblies Wolf, The military by invoking the rhetoric of security concerns has exonerated the state from making CPEC transparent and open to public debate.
Lack of transparency, censorship, and arbitrary actions of the state are conveniently justified by labelling CPEC as a matter of state security Ali, ; Bengali, If the situation persists, the planning and implementation of CPEC will become highly undemocratic, creating deeper fissures in the state space.
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However, this potential needs to be evaluated considering not just the politics of Pakistani state and society but also the nature of the investment regime of CPEC, the Chinese state, and international actors. For example, the policy of blocking UN Security Council resolutions authorizing peacekeepers for Darfur has been lifted and China has put modest pressure on Khartoun to allow UN peacekeeping deployment Hansen, However, this emerging shift is to be understood cautiously as China has not experienced a fundamental change in values.
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Economic interests remain the top priority and, despite its increasing involvement with the US, China does not share their rhetoric of human rights and democracy Ahlbrandt and Small, China has shown willingness to forgo its non-interference stance if its economic and national interests necessitate it. Historically as well, China has been more comfortable in negotiating with Pakistani military elite than its turbulent civilian counterpart Small, The study aimed to understand how CPEC is interacting with the political economic structure of Pakistan.
To this end, through a historical analysis, I deconstructed the Pakistani state and divided it into three major powers: the central state, the regional elites, and the military. Throughout the paper I used these categories to analyse the role of these powers in the planning and implementation process of CPEC and how these interactions are affecting the political landscape of Pakistan.
Furthermore, I outlined the economic, national and strategic interests of China in Pakistan in order to analyse how China can be expected to intervene in this process. After establishing a link between infrastructure and state, I argued that, since the very beginning, the project of infrastructure development in Pakistan has been deeply connected with the nation-building process.
However, in its attempt to create a homogenous space, the Punjabi-dominated central state ended up creating fractured spaces that housed regionalist ambitions. CPEC, I argued, has initiated a new regime of regionalist politics by appropriating a disproportionate share of projects to Punjab and by keeping the planning of CPEC highly secretive and undemocratic.
CPEC has become another opportunity for the military to expand its influence in the decision-making process of the state. The rhetoric of security has also been used to justify lack of transparency, censorship, and arbitrary actions of the state, making the process of planning and execution of CPEC highly undemocratic and unequal.
Hence, I conclude that unless there is a serious international or local challenge to this trend, CPEC will only lead to an increase in the power of Pakistani military. China is intent on preserving political stability in its bilateral relations. This inclination is reflected by a no strings-attached aid policy, reluctance to meddle in the internal issues, and respect for territorial sovereignty.
For example, China is bent upon preserving political stability and is completely intolerant to regionalist ambitions given the problem of regionalism within its borders. Given this concern, China is expected to not react well to the regional elites, making diverging claims to the central planning of CPEC. The original article did not include an acknowledgements section. Pakistan Muslim League N is a center-right conservative party in Pakistan. PML-N is claimed to be solely representative of Punjabi interests.
Although there is no available data on the number of CPEC-related terrorist activities that have occurred in the past, there are some news reports that paint the bloody picture of CPEC. The targets were mainly men working on the construction of road in Balochistan The Nation, In a report compiled by Asia Times in , several incidents of different nature have been recorded occurring in Balochistan and Sindh that year. Although the security situation surrounding CPEC is dire and demands attention, various acts of violence are also being used by various stakeholders to support the narrative that CPEC is under threat from external powers.
Uyghur Muslims are a religious and ethnic minority in Xinjiang province of China. Under the Qing state, Xinjiang region was never colonized and was strategically maintained as a frontier zone with its own governing structure Davis, After the fall of Qing dynasty and the ensuing political turmoil, China was declared a multinational state in The Uyghur in Xinjiang were one of the victims of this state repression.
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