Haiti : A Failed Democracy or a Destroyed Democracy? Tarun Menon

This year marks the bicentennial of Haiti's existence as an independent state, but there is little cause for celebration in the troubled Caribbean nation. The past two hundred years have not been kind to Haiti.They have been marred by persistent civil strife, foreign occupation and brutal dictatorship, leaving the country's polity and economy in tatters. Haiti is now the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Nearly half the wealth is in the hands of 1% of the population.The civil tension caused by this wealth gap is exacerbated by the fact that it is drawn along racial lines, with the minority…

International Financial Architecture: A view from the kitchen Diane Elson

This paper discusses the issues of better integration of social and economic policy; greater transparency and accountability in the governance of finance; and the construction of a new reformed international financial architecture from a gender perspective, with a particular concern for the implications for poor women living in the South. architecture (Download the full text in PDF format)

Asian Currencies: New global scapegoats C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

America’s twin deficits, many economists fear, would lead to a collapse of the dollar and global recession. In their desperation to find a solution, they have turned their attention to Asia, with the demand that governments, especially the Chinese government, should revalue exchange rates, so that adjustment in the US would be smooth and growth would be triggered in Europe and Japan. This article assesses this effort to find new whipping boys to conceal American sins. Asian_Currencies (Download the full text in PDF format)

Review of the 2004 World Development Report “Making Services Work for Poor People” Tim Kessler

On September 21, 2003, the World Bank unveiled its annual flagship publication, the 2004 World Development Report, entitled "Making Services Work for Poor People." The WDR's main premise is that basic services - primary education, basic health care, water and electricity services -fail to reach the poor because too many governments lack sound and representative institutions of governance. Ironically, the report expresses strong confidence in the ability of these same unaccountable governments to regulate private service provision. In addition to deficient institutions, the WDR attributes failing public services to regressive budgets (that benefit mostly the middle class), petty corruption, and…

Increasing Poverty in a Globalised World: Marshall plans and morgenthau plans as mechanisms of polarisation of world incomes Erik S. Reinert

The increasingly globalised economy seems to produce opposite effects of what standard economic theory predicts. Instead of a convergence of world income (towards factor-price equalisation), a group of rich nations show a tendency to converge, another convergence group of poor countries gathers at the bottom of the scale. This paper explains the mechanisms and the economic policies that create this type of gap in the living standard of workers in the non-tradable service sector. globalised_world (Download the full text in PDF format)

Human Development Report 2003: Flatters to deceive Sabyasachi Mitra

The recently published Human Development Report 2003 (HDR 2003) stresses the need for countries, both developed and developing, to play their roles in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000 and in the process end poverty. In fact this report has more credence than the World Development Report, brought out by the World Bank. The HDR, an annual ritual of the UNDP, appears to have a focus oriented towards improving the condition of the world's population, especially in developing countries. However, its adherence to the belief that globalization, the way it…

Reforming East Asia for Sustainable Development Kwame S. Jomo

This article reviews the challenges faced by four East Asian economies in the wake of the currency and financial crises of 1997–98 and concludes that while liberalization of the global financial infrastructure continues, convergence of economic arrangements is not necessarily inevitable, and that an eclectic mix of policies and institutions is not only possible, but also preferable. reforming_east_asia (Download the full text in PDF format)

Third World Water Forum: An agenda for public (risk) and private (profit) partnership!!! Mohan G Francis

The Third World Water Forum was held in the three neighboring Japanese cities of Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka from March 16th to the 23rd, on various interlocking themes dealing with water, especially on how to bring safe water and sanitation to the entire world. Some 24,000 participants from 182 countries attended the sessions. "The key issues addressed revolved around balancing increasing human requirements for adequate water supplies and improved health and sanitation with food production, transportation, energy and environmental needs. The forum in its conclusion while drawing up more than 100 new commitments felt that most countries would require more…

Redollarization to Worsen the Argentine Crisis Sabyasachi Mitra

Passing judgment in a landmark case the Supreme Court of Argentina recently declared that the deposit of US $247 million that the province of San Luis has with the state-owned Banco de la NaciAon has to be returned to the province in dollars. This has led to the fear that the Court has in effect declared as unconstitutional a one-year-old decree issued by the Argentine President that led to the conversion of billions of dollar-denominated bank deposits into pesos. The Court ruled 5–3 in favour of redollarization. The ruling however has run into controversy with accusations of biasedness against two…