Political Economy

  • China needs a new approach to deal with its ethnic frontiers.

    China's Ethnic Frontier Protests are Still High Risk

    For centuries, the Chinese state has governed its distant ethnic frontiers with both carrot and stick. In the past, emperors proffered ‘imperial grace’ (ēn) for those ‘barbarians’ willing to submit (at least nominally) to Chinese dominion, while reserving the right of ‘imperial might’ (wēi) for those who resisted.

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  • UK politicians are leaving productivity enhancements out of their campaigns.

    UK Election: Without Productivity Gains, Growth is Doomed to be Below Potential

    The economy is taking centre stage in the UK election, with the main parties spending most of their time arguing over the speed and extent of cuts – and which party would be more “fiscally responsible”.

    But the fundamental (and of course related) issue that has received less airtime is that of growth. Given poor growth since the financial crisis, this should be an area of focus for any party claiming that management of the economy is a priority.

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  • Myanmar's ethnic fault lines are also the battle lines in elections.

    The Battle Drawn Along Myanmar's Ethnic Lines

    In the official count, the country tallies up 135 different ‘national races’. The majority Bamar people, who drive national expectations of language, culture and politics, make up around 60 percent of the population. The minority groups, most with their own distinct tongues, customs and clothes, make up the rest.

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  • A negotiated solution with Tibet may be in China's best interest.

    China's Underlying Strategy in Tibet Appears to be Working

    The Chinese authorities last met with representatives of the Tibetan exile leadership five years ago. Since then, there has been no progress towards a resolution of the China–Tibetan dispute. Meanwhile, protests against Chinese rule have continued, with over a hundred self-immolations by Tibetans. The Chinese government has responded with tighter controls on movement, worship, speech and information in Tibetan areas, together with increased mechanisms for surveillance. However, the reason for the failure to resolve the issue is not tensions on the ground.

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  • The UK's David Cameron is fighting the Goliath of bureaucracy.

    The UK's Cameron Attacks Bureaucracy, and Irony Ensues

    Five years ago, a fresh-faced leader of the opposition stood on the stage at a TED conference in London speaking to a gathering of technologists and entrepreneurs. His promise was to deliver the next age of government. David Cameron’s talk did not feature the words “austerity”, “immigration”, or “long-term economic plan”, but instead an optimistic vision of family, community, and smarter digital governance built on a technological revolution.

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  • There is more to life than GDP at the ballot box.

    Voters Seem to be Voting with More than Their Wallets

    As ever in the run-up to a general election, Britain is seeing an increased interest in how the economy has been performing. The electoral fate of a government is often expected to relate directly to the state of the nation’s wallets. But as new evidence suggests, there may be more to it than simple financial indicators.

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  • Political dynasties are quite common in East Asia.

    Why are Dynastic Politicians so Commonplace in East Asia?

    Political positions are no longer hereditary in modern democracies, but political dynasties nevertheless exist around the globe and dominate political office in East Asia and Japan in particular. But research shows that dynastic politicians in Japan can be socially inefficient and lead to less optimal and inefficient outcomes for their electorates.

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  • Big business has always had a role in U.K. elections.

    U.K. Election Primer: Businesses Role

    For seasoned observers of general election campaigns, it is not surprising to see the Conservative Party styling themselves as the business-friendly party. Traditionally depicted as “the party of the rich”, the Conservatives have never struggled to win the support of the country’s boardrooms and executive classes. Flaunting the support of FTSE 350 business leaders does not have the same weight as it did in years gone by.

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