Abstract:Policy Perspectives, July – December 2011IPSweb
Global Economic Crisis
Need for a Paradigm Shift
[The global economic and financial crisis that started in 2008 and continues today with multidimensional and phenomenal consequences not only highlights once again the need to reform capitalist global economic system – particularly its present version of Market Fundamentalism – but also raises questions about the fundamentals of the discipline of economics. Leading economists of the world have called for a reform of the discipline. Some seeking way-out ‘within’ the dominant paradigm of economic thought and economy, yet others endeavor to search for not mere shift ‘within’ the paradigm but a shift ‘of’ the paradigm. Humanity today needs and urgent paradigm shift from elite oriented, free market fundamentalism based economic system to a human centric, just and equitable economic framework. The focus has to be on rediscovering and reestablishing the relevance of ethics and morality. After a discussion on worldview, values, principles and ideals of the Islamic economic paradigm, it is argued that this paradigm needs special attention. As against exclusive obsession with material affluences, and efficiency without reference to equity, Islamic economics emphasizes wealth creation activity, with a vision of economy that is humane, just and efficient, ensuring need fulfillment and well-being of all members of society. – Eds.]
Reforming the International Monetary System
[The weakness of the International Financial System is universally conceived as a major cause of recurring financial crises that warrants introducing bold and wide ranging steps aimed at averting the disasters and mitigating human sufferings. The measures so far taken to improve the System are not enough; they touch the tip of iceberg. The asymmetric character of IMF, needs to be changed. Exchange rate stability should be ensured, the G-20 countries should be encouraged to play an enhanced role and the use of currencies other than US dollar needs to be encouraged. The situation calls for strengthening the global regulations and the ethical dimension of the recurrent global economic crisis needs to be kept in view – Eds.]
The Realist State and Deglobalization
[Realism and its relevance to capitalist economy have been repeatedly criticized among scholarly avenues. This article is an interpretative account of realism’s re-emergence in times of economic recession and deglobalization. This view is based on the description of the anarchical condition of world politics where the state is the key actor despite the rise of other non state actors. The article attempts to build a case about the decisive authority of the state and consistence of state craft methodology. In the post 9/11 world of terrorism and energy crises, economic insecurity is hitting global economies hard; countries have to redefine security concepts and policy agendas. At this time in history, crisis is being faced by the most developed, post luxurious societies (Western Europe and USA). The unemployment rates are at their highest from Washington to Brussels for the first time since Breton Woods. The article builds the argument with the help of a case study. The principle of anarchy, power and role of state is elaborated from a realist perspective without downplaying the possibility that irrational states are present in the world that may misuse power, deny justice, miscalculate outcomes and cause wars. – Author. ]
Changing World, Challenges and the China Model·
[While the world has seen some positive changes and reformations in past few decades, grave asymmetries of power, influence and wealth, between and within countries, remain there. Even the decision making power in global security and financial apparatus is skewed clearly in favor of the dominant powers. This scenario presents not only a challenge, but an opportunity for change in the global paradigm as well. China, with its undeniable and continuously growing significance as a major economic and political power, is in a position to play a role to transform this customary paradigm into a more just and equitable one. The situation has provided two conflicting opportunities for China i.e. either, owing to its now increasing stakes in the present system; it plays a protective role for it to continue to benefit from it or to play a proactive role in challenging the paradigm on which the present system is based. – Eds.]
Afghanistan and Regional Security: Implications for China
[The United States is going to start off the well-publicized withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan. This will signify a major shift of US strategic designs in the region: from short-time tactical operation to long-term strategic presence. The US forces in Afghanistan will likely be further reduced in due time, but the US efforts for transforming Afghanistan into a strategic stronghold will be enhanced. Such a shift will undoubtedly bring about a major implication for China, as a neutral and stable Afghanistan is in its interest. It is thus recommended to make joint efforts with like-minded countries to prevent Afghanistan from sliding into chaos and thus jeopardizing China, and to prevent the perpetualization of US strategic presence in Afghanistan. – Author]
Indus Waters Treaty
A Dispassionate Analysis
No armies with bombs and shellfire could devastate a land so thoroughly as Pakistan could be devastated by the simple expedient of India’s permanently shutting off the source of waters that keep the fields and people of Pakistan green.
David Lilienthal, 1951
[The dispute over sharing trans-boundary rivers, having its genesis in the flawed and biased partition of 1947, is one of the most contentious issues in relations between Pakistan and India. Indus Water Treaty was signed between the two states in 1960 after marathon negotiations held under the auspices of the World Bank and supported by major world powers. The treaty was heralded as peaceful resolution of water issues between the two countries and was seen as serving the purpose for last five decades. Even during full-fledged war the treaty remained in force and effective. However, India, taking advantage of the provisions of the treaty has initiated some projects including Kishanganga, Baglihar and Wullar that (dams) have revived, rather heightened water related tensions. The situation continues to be complicated despite the involvement of a neutral expert and Pakistan’s recent move of taking the dispute to International Court of Arbitration. A dispassionate analysis of the treaty indicates that, if followed in letter and spirit, it still provides a good foundation for resolution of water disputes between two arch rivals. – Eds.]
‘Women and Family’ in Pakistan
Trends and Approaches – III
IPS Task Force·
[The survey of legislative proposals and enactments in the current parliament of Pakistan shows a concern of legislators about the status of women in the country but this concern lacks a clear understanding of issues as well as the commitment required to achieve the objective. Amendments made and proposed in criminal laws indicate that substantial as well as procedural aspects of these laws still have room to be sensitized towards the problems faced by women in view of evolving social behaviors and routine judicial procedures. Criminal activities should be dealt with sternly and effectively but real change can only be brought about through improvement in public mindset and social conduct. – Author]
The article has been adapted from ‘Foreword’ the author wrote for the book: Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi, “First Principles of Islamic Economics,” The Islamic Foundation, Leicestershire, 2011.
* Prof. Khurshid Ahmad is Chairman, Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad.
* Fasih Uddin is Former Chief Economist, Government of Pakistan and member NAC, Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad.
* Nargis Zehra is faculty member at National Defense University, Islamabad.
- · An abridged version of this paper was presented at the conference “The Changing World and China” held in Beijing by China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, September 3-5, 2010.
* Khalid Rahman is Director General, Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad.
*Dr. Zeng Xiangyu is Research Assistant at the Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan Univeristy, Chengdu, Sichuan, China. The views expressed in this paper presented at conference “60 Years of Pak-China Relations: Landmarks, trends and approaches” organized by IPS on April 10-11, 2011 are those of the author and do not reflect those of the Institute of South Asian Studies.
- · Azhar Ahmad is a retired naval officer.
- · IPS Task Force comprised of Akseer Ahmad Abbasi Advocate, Amir Abdullah Advocate, Asifa Imdad Advocate, Asma Mushtaq Advocate, Professor Habib-ur-Rahman Asim, Khalid Rahman (Chair), Maroona Nazir Advocate, Nadeem Farhat Geelani Advocate, Nadia Khadam Advocate, Saleem Raza Advocate, Sammar Javed (coordinator), Sehrish Saba Advocate, and Zafar-ul-Hasan Joya Advocate. Research and preparation of this document has been made by Nadeem Farhat Geelani.