An Aspect of Neo-Liberalism Prabhat Patnaik

The standard argument for the proposition that a capitalist class is at all socially necessary is that this class undertakes productive investment: it thereby causes the development of the productive forces, which is a condition for social progress. The social legitimacy of capitalism thus lies in the fact that capitalists undertake investment. The view that capitalists may operate enterprises better, even if this were true, will not in itself justify their social existence, if the surplus value produced under such better operation was fully or largely consumed. The better running of enterprises by capitalists will then have relevance only for…

The Concentration of Wealth in the World Jayati Ghosh

There are many estimates of income inequality, both between and within countries, and even a flourishing debate about the extent to which income inequalities have been growing in the recent past. And it is also commonplace to assume that income inequalities are closely related to asset (or wealth) differentials. After all, wealth allows households to use their resources to greater advantage and therefore get higher incomes; more income enables households to accumulate wealth. Despite this, there has been little or no careful investigation into the actual extent of wealth inequalities in the world. Part of the problem has been defining…

A Victory for the Left in Nicaragua? Alejandro Bendana

Not quite. One might first ask what is the left, what does it mean to be left in 2006, and what does it mean to be left in 2006 in Nicaragua. This is not to fall into a post modernist relativist trap, because indeed there are permanent ''indicators'', as it where, that throw light on the social and historical significance of the return of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) to State power. The surest indicator that something is progressive socially is the attitude of the United States Government, more so in its own ''backyard''. Throughout the electoral campaign, as…

Development as a Nobel Cause Jayati Ghosh

There are many reasons to celebrate the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006 jointly to Muhammad Yunus, the recognised creator of the "microcredit" model of finance for the poor that has swept across the developing world, and to the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh that he founded three decades ago. These reasons go well beyond appreciation of the valuable human qualities of the man himself, such as his creativity, persistence, charisma and passionate advocacy in promoting this model widely and extending it in various ways. The reasons for celebration also go beyond regional pride – as South Asians, or…

The Breakdown of WTO Negotiations: Some Implications for Developing Countries Anamitra Roychowdhury

The Doha 'Development' Round of world trade negotiations that began in 2001 collapsed this July in Geneva. After the Hong Kong Ministerial in December, 2005 it was decided that the ministers would again meet to sketch out the "modalities" for agriculture and NAMA (Non-Agricultural Market Access). An unofficial target of end 2006 was set to bring out the full package of agreement (based on the modalities)[1]. As a result the ministers met in end June for a series of informal meetings of the Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) and a set of "Green Room" meetings (28th- 30th), followed by a formal…

Course Change in Global Trade Negotiations C.P. Chandrasekhar

The indefinite suspension, on July 1, of the Doha Round of world trade negotiations calls for some rethinking on the expectations India has from a new multilateral agreement. The suspension proved unavoidable when it became clear that the US was offering too little by way of reduced protection for its own agricultural sector, while demanding large concessions in terms of agricultural and non-agricultural market access from the rest of the world. The US offer on reduction of support and protection to its own agriculture was absurd. The US and the EU have increasingly resorted to substituting trade-distorting support with support…

The Breakdown of WTO Negotiations: Some Implications for Developing Countries Anamitra Roychowdhury

The Doha 'Development' Round of world trade negotiations that began in 2001 collapsed this July in Geneva. After the Hong Kong Ministerial in December, 2005 it was decided that the ministers would again meet to sketch out the "modalities" for agriculture and NAMA (Non-Agricultural Market Access). An unofficial target of end 2006 was set to bring out the full package of agreement (based on the modalities)[1]. As a result the ministers met in end June for a series of informal meetings of the Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) and a set of "Green Room" meetings (28th- 30th), followed by a formal…

Debt Relief for LDCs: The New Trojan Horse of Neo-liberalism Amitayu Sen Gupta

This article contextualises the G8 nations’ debt relief initiative for Africa (MDRI) against the backdrop of the implications of the existing debt relief programmes. It concludes that debt relief programmes are being used by developed countries to advance neo-liberal policies in these countries, in the guise of providing relief to the distressed. Debt_Relief_LDC (Download the full text in PDF format)

Protecting Foreign Investors C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh

Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), which have proliferated especially for developing countries, have far-reaching and typically negative implications for host country governments and citizens, because of the sweeping protections afforded to investors at the cost of domestic socio-economic rights and environmental standards. Protecting_Foreign_Investors  (Download the full text in PDF format)