In this essay, the author explores how globalization of Israeli capital has undermined the ideological thrust of Zionism in constructing policies towards Occupied Palestinian Territories.
By Kanchi Gupta, 27th August, 2012
This essay demonstrates that while Zionist ideology is predicated on the expansion and territorial integrity of ‘Eretz Israel’, the nature of its administrative regime was steered by Israel’s internal socioeconomic dynamics. Israel’s sui generis ‘instrumentalization’ for the ingathering of global Jewish diaspora and resulting ethnic make-up, as well as social democratic, secular and religio-national ideological preferences are inclusive of Israeli political structure. However, as Israel’s economy opened to global capital, neoliberal capital interests spilled across borders and determined the construction of Israel’s policies in Occupied Palestinian Territories. Therefore, the essay determines that Israeli policy outlined below must not be viewed solely through the lens of ideologically driven military conflict. Rather, Israel’s military policy is an amalgamation of its economic and political strategies, which have further created transnational neoliberal economic imperatives.
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In this essay the author attacks the idea that modern conflicts are more driven by economic motivations than those in the past. Romantic ideals of gentlemanly European conflicts have masked the harsh realities of war. Even in the most egregious cases of greed and ‘warlording’, the political motivations can never be fully amputated from the criminal behaviour.
If modern conflict is to be understood the language of ‘new wars’ must be avoided. In the case of the Lomé Peace Agreement, the concept of economic determinism was taken to the extreme and led to the subsequent collapse of the peace. Future peacemakers must keep this simple message in mind: money is not the only form of power.
By Jack Hamilton, 4th May, 2012
In 2007 the Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers described the links between economics and politics in conflict regions as ‘something out of Dickens: you talk to international relations experts and it’s the worst of times. Then you talk to potential investors and it’s one of the best of all times’ . This idea that modern warfare has evolved into a new era in which economic motivations have overtaken political ambitions has become popularised in the post-Cold War era. The notion has led Carl von Clausewitz’s aphorism to be rephrased to claim that ‘war has increasingly become the continuation of economics by other means’ . This substitution of ‘politics’ in favour of ‘economics’ poses the question: have economic incentives created a situation in which there is now more to war than winning?
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In this article, the author assesses the success rate of how oil-rich countries in the Arabian peninsula and beyond have tackled the challenge of increased oil revenues and how they have handled their newly established wealth. For many, oil has been a curse in disguise, with mismanagement of oil revenues, unequal distribution of wealth and the Machiavellian power of the rentier state – which in the case of Libya proved to be fatal.
By Matthias Pauwels, 26 Oct, 2011
Roughly a century ago, nobody would have imagined that a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds would become the most contested, sought-after commodity in the world. Oil-rich countries in the Middle East have been the scene of epic battlegrounds to gain control over the black gold. As a crafty tool to conduct psychological warfare, petrodiplomacy has become an important diplomatic weapon to the Arab nations against the West and, in particular, Israel. When crude oil found its way to the international market during World War II, the world became increasingly dependent on Arab oil. For over half a century, the oil industry of the world outside North America and the Soviet Union had been dominated by seven great international oil companies, exercising control over output and off-take prices. However, the tide was turning. By the 1960s-1970s control over Middle Eastern oil was rapidly passing into the hands of governments in the area and out of the hands of the heretofore dominant Western companies. International oil companies, once the beneficiaries of lucrative concessions and tax arrangements, slowly lost the control they traditionally exercised over Middle East oil production and pricing and had to accept policies determined unilaterally by the producing nations.
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In this paper, the author analyses the motivation, framework and the socio-economic impact of India’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act of 2005.
By Siddharth Singh, 16 Oct, 2011
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have been touted to be magic pills for nations to kick-start exports, develop infrastructure, and increase employment by adhering to the principles of free markets and minimum distortions caused by effective administration and low or no taxes. Owing to the success of China and other countries, India took up the development SEZs with much enthusiasm, but the outcome has not entirely been as desired. On the one hand, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry reports impressive figures to show how SEZs have “worked” (discussed below), but on the other hand, there are cases such as that of Nandigram, West Bengal where 14 people died in March, 2007 while protesting against the establishment of a chemicals hub SEZ by an Indonesian developer.
In an attempt to understand India’s experience with SEZs, this essay will first look into the motivations of setting up SEZs. It will then assess the framework the SEZ Act of 2005, and finally, move on to scrutinise the social and economic impact of this policy.