Political Economy

  • Abe will likely win, so say the odds

    Abe's Calculated Move to Stretch a Political Career

    The incumbent Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) seems to be cruising towards a victory in the snap election to be held on 14 December. But beware of interpreting this as a ringing endorsement of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Instead, the likely result shows just how weak Japanese politics has become.

    Prime Minister Abe’s decision to call the election two years ahead of schedule appears odd, especially given that the LDP–New Komeito coalition currently holds a two-thirds majority in the lower house.

    view 0

  • The religious right is at the center of Abe's LDP

    Religion's Place in Japan's Liberal Democratic Party

    With the snap election in Japan on 14 December looming, Japanese voters may not realise exactly what they are bargaining for if they re-elect an Abe-led Liberal Democratic Party government as expected. The extensive support for state sponsorship of Shinto in the Japanese Diet, and among members of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, indicates that elements of State Shinto are returning to the centre of nationalist politics in Japan. This could have a serious influence on freedom of religion and foreign policy in Japan.

    view 0

  • China's rise on the international stage has mixed reviews

    China's International Relationships and How They are Playing in Asia

    One day in June 2013, President Xi Jinping and his wife and First Lady Peng Liyuan touched down in Trinidad and Tobago. As the pair embarked the aircraft and strode down the gangway, there was something unmistakably ostentatious — a swagger even — in Peng’s turquoise attire and Xi’s matching tie. It marked a shift in China’s approach to international relations.

    view 0

  • Japan’s snap election has been called unnecessary

    Japan's Election - Policy or Politics?

    Prime Minister Abe is subjecting his ruling coalition — and his nation — to an unnecessary election on 14 December 2014. Abe claims his decision is all about policy, but in reality it is all about politics. His stated rationale for calling the election is the need to secure voters’ endorsement of his administration’s decision to postpone the consumption tax rise to 10 per cent until April 2017. But his real reasons are based on cold calculations of political self-interest.

    view 0

  • The interconnected world of politics and economics

    One Cannot Separate Politics and Economics

    Many people assume that politics and economics are separate spheres.  We find ourselves often harkening back to the even older tradition of referring to "political economy". Harold Laswell, regarded as the father of modern political science, famously defined politics as who gets what, when and how. Is not that the role of the price mechanism and the market economy?  

    view 0

  • The most recent Bangladeshi election was partisan per election watchers

    Bangladesh Breaks from Tradition with Recent Election

    Recently Bangladesh was side-tracked from an electoral democracy. Earlier this year, the ruling party Awami League formed government after a one-sided election. Bangladesh’s major opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), boycotted the election on the grounds that it was not taking place under a neutral caretaker government and that elections held under partisan caretaker governments would not be fair.

    view 0

  • Modi's Look East Policy - So Far, So Good

    Modi's Look East Policy Approach is Finding Traction

    Active interest by India’s new leadership has provided an adrenaline shot to the flagging discourse on South Asian regionalism. During interactions with South Asian leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Modi reiterated the need for greater regional integration in South Asia. This was in consonance with his Neighbours First policy, first initiated with invitations to South Asian heads of state to attend his swearing-in ceremony in May 2014.

    view 0

  • Prison reforms in place need improvement so says Republicans and Democrats

    Democrats and Republicans unite in calls to rebuild brutal US penal system

    The US has a quarter of the world’s prisoners, but only 5% of the world’s population, so the “tough on crime” approach of the past 40 years has not worked. It has left a trail of social and economic destruction, creating broken families, alienating working-class black communities and producing high levels of recidivism. The time for reform is now.

    view 0