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  • Author: Kurt J. Nagle
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Infrastructure: U.S. Seaport Expansion BY KURT J. NAGLE U.S. seaports are in an enhancement and expansion mode. While the widening of the Panama Canal may serve as the catalyst for some of the anticipated $9.2 billion in annual facilities investment in the foreseeable future, this is only part of the story. Several other factors are propelling this huge investment of private capital into U.S. ports. One is the rebounding domestic economy: the value of U.S. exports has risen 70 percent and imports have increased by 53 percent since the first half of 2009. Another driver is the increasing overseas demand for U.S. exports, particularly among the growing middle class in Latin America and parts of Asia. In fact, in the next decade, total U.S. exports are projected to surpass imports for the first time in a generation. Yet another consideration is that manufacturing operations are returning to North America, a development known as “nearsourcing.” With rising labor costs overseas, a narrowing labor differential at home and long transit times to market, a Michigan-based AlixPartners survey conducted in 2012 found that 9 percent of manufacturing executives have already taken steps to “near-source” their operations, and 33 percent plan to do so within the next three years.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, California, North America
  • Author: Duncan Wood, Marc Frank, John Parisella
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Cuba: Port Upgrades and Free-Trade Zones BY MARC FRANK When Latin American and Caribbean heads of state gather in Cuba in January 2014 for the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States— CELAC) summit, the agenda will include a side trip to Mariel Bay. There, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Cuban President Raúl Castro will cut the ribbon on a brand new container terminal that Cuba hopes will replace Havana as the country's principal port. Brazil financed more than two-thirds of the $900 million project, built in partnership with Brazilian construction company Odebrecht over six years—providing $670 million in loans for terminal construction and infrastructure development such as rail and road. The facility, with an initial capacity of 850,000 to 1 million containers, will be operated by Singaporean port operator PSA International. The Mariel Bay facility, located 28 miles (45 kilometers) west of the capital on the northern coast, was built to attract traffic from the larger container ships expected to traverse the Panama Canal in 2015. It could also serve as a major transfer point for cargo heading to other destinations. But the competition is already fierce. The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Panama are all rushing to improve their port facilities.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada, Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: George Crowder
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Modern Pluralism: Anglo-American Debates Since 1880, Mark Bevir, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 255 pp., $85 cloth. Talk of “pluralism” has become ubiquitous in political theory, but it is often vague. In this edited collection Mark Bevir aims to improve our understanding of this tricky area by clarifying different senses and theories of pluralism and tracking the development of these during the twentieth century. In particular, Bevir wants to acquaint readers with significant versions of pluralism that have been submerged by other ideas, yet may still provide useful resources for us now. The basic idea of bringing together various dimensions, periods, and traditions of pluralism is immediately intriguing. The obvious critical question is, do they really have anything in common, or are there sufficient local overlaps to justify their organization under the unitary category of “pluralism”? This in itself seems to be a problem of plurality. On the whole, Bevir meets this challenge successfully.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Ben Lampert, Giles Mohan
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's renewed engagement with Africa is often framed as a form of imperialism, with the growing number of Chinese migrants on the continent seen as an exploitative presence. Such claims have generally been based on little evidence, and where more detailed empirical studies have emerged, they tend to emphasise the tensions and conflicts that have arisen. Our research on Chinese migrants in Ghana and Nigeria suggests that while there are concerns about Chinese competition in the informal retail sector and the treatment of local labour in Chinese enterprises, narratives of apparent tension and conflict are often much more nuanced than is generally recognised. Furthermore, more convivial and cooperative relations have also emerged and these have facilitated important opportunities for Africans to benefit from the Chinese presence. However, while the presence of Chinese migrants in African socio-economic life can be more integrated and mutually beneficial than is often assumed, the ability of African actors to benefit from this presence is highly uneven, placing the politics of class at the centre of any understanding of Sino-African encounters.
  • Topic: Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Nigeria
  • Author: Franck Düvell
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: States often fall out or collaborate over issues to do with international migration whilst migrants through their very actions shape the interdependence of states. Turkey and the EU also frequently argue over migration issues. Over the years, Turkey's economy grew significantly. It became an attraction and a safe haven to migrants and refugees. In April 2013, a new migration and asylum law came into force that responds to these new challenges. This was followed by the EU-Turkey visa liberalisation and readmission agreements. This contribution sketches some of the issues and notably the wider context to these latest developments.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Kilic Bugra Kanat
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The transformation of Turkish foreign policy has become a closely followed subject, fueling important debates on the underlying reasons, resources, actors, outcomes, and nature of the policy progress. This change has also introduced new challenges to those who have adopted generic models to understand and explain Turkish foreign policy. This article will examine and discuss the main causes that have complicated the study of Turkish foreign policy during this period, such as simultaneous changes in the nature and conceptualization of the international system –the end of the unipolar world, the emergence of new power centers - and domestic transformations in Turkey, including active civilian control of military, the emergence of an attentive public opinion in foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Hakki Tas
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Gladio Scandal in Europe and, more recently, Turkey's Ergenekon trials highlight the importance of hidden power networks behind the façade of parliamentary democracy. Dubbed as “deep state” in the Turkish context, the phenomenon suffers from a scarcity of scholarly analyses. This paper demonstrates the lack of academic interest in this complex issue in Europe, and Turkey in particular. After reviewing the central currents in the academic literature on the Turkish deep state, it offers an analysis of the Ergenekon affair in continuity with Turkey's recent past.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ates Altinordu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Multiple Modernities and Postsecular Societies Multiple Modernities and Postsecular Societies brings together the two recently much discussed concepts in its title and explores them through a number of case studies. The introduction by Massimo Rosati and Kristina Stoeckl, the volume's editors, provides a useful recapitulation of these two ideas and draws attention to their potential links. The framework of multiple modernities, as developed by Shmuel Eisenstadt and further articulated by a number of his colleagues and students, contains many advantages over its intellectual alternatives. While it allows the comparative analysis of the modern features of different world societies, it has a much less rigid structure than classical modernization theory. The latter assumed that all societies would follow more or less the same (Western) trajectory of modernization and eventually converge in their cultural and institutional features. The multiple modernities model avoids the ideological underpinnings of its precursor by positing that each society selectively appropriates and interprets the cultural program and institutional patterns of modernity in line with its preexisting cultural characteristics. Thus, societal patterns that diverge from their Western counterparts are not automatically labeled non-modern. Finally, the decoupling of modernity from Westernization and the attribution of reflectivity and creativity to non-Western cultures provides an important alternative against simplistic versions of civilizational analysis in the Huntingtonian mold.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Selim Erbagci
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles In the last decade, the world has witnessed an unprecedented development of many countries. The speed of this process has not only caused surprise but also has generated questions: How did these countries manage such significant improvements? Why have some other countries failed to reach a similar level of success during the same period? How long could this rapid development last? Ruchir Sharma answers these issues, explaining the common reason for rapid development during the last decade and also the country-specific internal dynamics behind the rapid development of countries such as China, India, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, and South Korea. Finally, He also identifies the potential breakout nations for the next decade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Turkey, India, Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: Hsiao-Wen Cheng
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Everlasting Empire: The Political Culture of Ancient China and Its Imperial Legacy While dynasties rose and fell in the geographical area now called “China,” in this book Yuri Pines treats the Chinese empire since the Qin dynasty as a whole and inquires into its longevity. This inquiry is justified by Pines' in-depth discussion on several continuous characteristics of Chinese imperial system and political culture: the persistent belief in the “Great Unity” and in absolute monarchism; the theoretical omnipotent monarchs and the practical “checks and balances” of the imperial bureaucrats; the literati class as the locus of both political and moral/cultural authority; and the exclusion of commoners from actual political processes. Focusing on the intellectual aspect, Pines draws connection between pre-Qin thought and political ideology of later times, effectively synthesizes scholarship on post-Qin developments, and shows numerous insights into the intrinsic tensions within Chinese political history.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: China