Archive for April 3rd, 2014

How sociologists view economic development?

April 3, 2014

I have always wanted to read subjects like sociology etc. Gives you a much broader perspective.

Came across this superb paper by Prof. Frank Dobbin. This is an introduction to a book on econ sociology and is a great way to think about the issues involved. Pure socio might be heavy to begin with, so try figuring econ socio (there is economics in everything):

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Why India and Pakistan grew differently….

April 3, 2014

Profs Atif Mian and Amir Sufi have started this really nice blog called houseofdebt…They have been posting some useful stuff on many a topics and is a nice simple read.

In a recent post they discuss the historical paths of India and Pakistan. Much like econs compare North Korea/South Korea, China/taiwan etc..we have a case for India vs Pakistan too. After all both were quite similar in terms of institutions etc.

The authors compare on the basis of exports:

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Is the advance world in a secular stagnation mode – a review..

April 3, 2014

Last year, Larry Summers stirred a hornet’s nest (as he usually does) by saying much of the advanced world looks to be trapped in stagnation mode. All kinds of people jumped into the debate arguing whether there was stagnation? If yes, then what could address it? demand side policies or supply side ones..

Otaviano Canuto, Raj Nallari, and Breda Griffith of World Bank review the debate and sum up the various views:

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How geo-political history strikes baaaackk..

April 3, 2014

A brilliant piece by Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister on the recent Crimea-Russia politics.

He says when Cold war ended ans USSR disintegrated, we all thought western style of politics and economics is going to be the standard. Actually, it was just an intermission where the geo-polity fight was given a break. Now it is back and that too with a bang:

When the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed, the victors were beyond complacent, for they were certain that their triumph had been inevitable all along. Many in the West assumed that liberal capitalism’s victory over totalitarian socialism would necessarily bring an end to wars and sanguinary revolutions. Today, two powerful leaders – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping – are demonstrating just how farfetched this view was.

The predominant Western view was exemplified in Francis Fukuyama’s 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man, which presumed that Western liberal democracy was the endpoint of humanity’s sociocultural evolution. In other words, Christian eschatology was transformed into a secular historical postulate.

Putin all this years was making plans:

The fact is that Putin’s actions are not just about Crimea, or even about Ukraine. Just as Hitler was driven by the desire to reverse the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which ended WWI, Putin is focused on reversing the Soviet Union’s dismemberment, which he has called “the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the twentieth century.”

Putin is thus challenging one of America’s greatest foreign-policy achievements: the end of the division of Europe and the establishment of free countries that could be drawn into the Western sphere of influence. And, unlike US President Barack Obama in Syria and Iran, Putin respects his own red lines: the former Soviet republics are not for the West to grab, and NATO will not be allowed to expand eastward.

Moreover, Putin has made ethnic nationalism a defining element of his foreign policy, using Crimea’s Russian-speaking majority to justify his adventure there. Likewise, ethnic nationalism drove Hitler’s assault on the European order: the Sudetenland was mostly German, and the Austrian Anschluss was aimed at merging the two vital parts of the German nation.

It was just an intermission of 25 years:

Europeans truly believed that the Great Game between Russia and the West was settled in 1991. Putin’s message is that the last quarter-century was merely an intermission.

Superb stuff…Just like the authors explain in commanding heights…figuring this international politics is one of the most interesting thing to study…


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