CRP Working Paper Series Archive
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This article examines the history of the WTO Doha Round agriculture negotiations from 2001 to 2011 in light of the shifting global balance of economic power over that decade. It shows that the rise of China, Brazil and India, among other developing countries, had an impact on the WTO negotiations and affected the negotiating structure, processes and decision-making. The history of agriculture negotiations and the current impasse reveal how the process of reforming the multilateral trade regime changed from past bipolar economic world of the GATT (the US and EU preponderance) into a multipolar economic world with the rise of emerging powers. In the past, asymmetries of power were a necessary component to the updating of the trade regime; today, reforms need to take place in the shadow of an increasingly more symmetric balance of geo-economic power and interests. As the impasse in the negotiations persists, the article warns that the multilateral system should not be taken for granted. It requires leadership and continuous adaptation to be preserved. History does not seem to support hopes that the current international order—with its values, principles, rules, institutions—will outlive the profound geopolitical transformations of the 21st century by pure inertia.
Working Paper #2
Developing Countries Coalitions in the WTO Doha Round: The NAMA 11
This paper undertakes a schematic overview of the activities of the NAMA 11 coalition of developing countries that was formed at the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference, held in Hong Kong, China, in December 2005. The paper draws on the theory of coalition building developed by Amrita Narlikar. The paper evaluates the evolution of the NAMA 11 in terms of the factors suggested by Amrita Narlikar for successful coalition building. In the evaluation of the NAMA 11, the paper argues that the NAMA 11 has satisfied the essential requirements proposed by Narlikar for successful coalition building. In its evaluation of the NAMA 11 the paper observes that the NAMA 11 displayed the characteristics of a successful coalition by exhibiting the following characteristics: it consulted its members at each stage of the process and took account of the interests of all its members in formulating proposals and responding to the various chair’s texts; it was able to formulate a negotiating position that addressed the specific situation of each of its members and; it displayed a willingness to engage and negotiate at every stage of the process. It concludes by arguing that the group still has to learn the lessons from the WTO July 2008 ministerial collapse to prevent ‘defections.’
Working Paper #3
The Political Economy of Rapid Transport Infrastructure Expansion in China
Dr. Kun-Chin Lin
Working Paper #4
The Geopolitics of Multilaterism: The WTO Doha Round Deadlock, the BRICs, and the Challenges of Institutionalised Power Transitions
Geopolitical transitions are rare and yet sure events in international relations. Most analysts would agree we live in a time of geopolitical change from a unipolar international system, centered on the USA, to a multipolar configuration of international power, in which the BRICS are among the new poles of power, especially economic power. But the real issue arising from this shift in the global balance of power concerns the relationship between power and international order. What do the BRICS want from the international economic order? Is it possible to identify a unity of purpose among BRICS in relation to the multilateral trading system? The WTO Doha Round of trade negotiations has been caught in the middle of a tangled web created by the new geopolitics of multilateralism. Reforming the multilateral trading rules in order to level the playing field and to reflect a new balance of power, interests, and views is the challenge and main objective of the Doha Round and a necessary step for the WTO as an institution. The current deadlock in negotiations underscores the linkages between geopolitical transformations and the multilateral trading system and, more broadly, the challenges of what might constitute a different kind of great-power transition. Are established powers up to the challenge of peaceful reforms to international regimes and global governance structures? Call it institutionalized power transitions.
Working Paper #5
Deconstructing the BRICs: Bargaining coalition, imagined community or geopolitical fad?
Dr. Chrisian Brütsch and Dr. Mihaela Papa
Can the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) build on their momentum to transform the international order, or will they be remembered as a geopolitical fad? To assess the prospects of the figurehead for emerging power aspirations, international relations scholarship has focussed on three lines of inquiry: Is an investment label a useful category for political analysis? Can such diverse states really cooperate? And which ones are most likely to challenge the liberal world order? This paper follows an alternative path: instead of emphasizing the BRICS' differences, it examines the associational dynamics and practices that inform their collective journey. Drawing on the rationalist literature on bargaining coalitions and on the constructivist literature on 'imagined' communities, we develop an analytical framework to investigate whether states exploit their BRICS affiliation tactically, to rise in tandem, or strategically, to rise together. Out two case studies, which examine BRICS efforts to curb Washington's 'exorbitant privilege', and to develop a collective response to the climate crisis, respectively, suggest that even when the BRICS share soft revisionist goals, coalitional cohesion and community formation are tentative at best. In the absence of clear common objectives, the BRICS abandon all but the rhetoric of coalitional behaviour. We conclude that unless the five emerging powers agree on a coherent strategy to harness their relative strengths, the BRICS' geopolitical play will be defeated by their own tactical ploys.
Working Paper #6
Pipeline Politics: Comparative Bargaining Capacity in the Sino-Japanese Competition for Siberian Oil
Dr. Kun-Chin Lin and Dr. Brad Williams
This article analyzes the relative bargaining capabilities of China and Japan in their drawn-out quest for Siberian oil. We apply an institutional analysis that examines over-time and cross-country variations in government-business relations and elite bureaucratic interests in responding to domestic energy needs and international oil supply options. While one might have expected China's authoritarian policymaking process to convey an advantage in bilateral negotiations with Moscow, in fact Beijing became bogged down over the ten-year negotiation period with shifting corporate interests of national oil companies, bureaucratic preferences through administrative reform and succession politics, and elite redefinitions of energy security and ways to diversify the sources of imported crude oil. As a result, Beijing faltered in its commitment to Siberian oil. In contrast, the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi exercised executive autonomy to secure a pipeline deal with Russia before seeking a consensus among the divided domestic bureaucratic and corporate interests. Our surprising findings highlight political economic contingencies that shape China's and Japan's strategies in addressing fundamental energy needs, with implications for the contentious nature of energy and security cooperation in Northeast Asia.
Working Paper #7
Development and Efficiency: Analysis of Pakistan Railways in Comparison with China and India
Dr. Nadia Tahir
Located between the highly growing public sector railways of China and India, Pakistan Railways has been on the decline. Demand is not deficient, as indicated by relatively growing passenger and freight km. It had to face stiff competition from road transport, which received official patronage. A government failing to meet its deficit by collecting taxes has cut investment drastically. This paper analyses performance in holistic terms in a multistage framework that has four dimensions - input conditions, output, earnings and government policy. Data Envelopment Analysis is used to estimate product efficiency, earning effectiveness and financial efficiency to understand the reasons of decline of Pakistan Railways compared to China and India. Pakistan Railway is found to be product inefficient in the usage of inputs that led to financial inefficiency as costs unrelated to service delivery rose sharply. The same service had to be performed with fewer inputs. Chinese railways is product and financial efficient, which is leading to earning efficiency. Indian railway is product efficient but struggling with earning and financial efficiency. The lesson drawn for Pakistan is that product efficiency leads to other efficiencies and railway development can be sustained by managerial autonomy and steady public investment.
Working Paper #8
Transforming China's Electricity Sector: Institutional Change and Regulation in the Reform Era
Dr. Kun-Chin Lin and Dr. Mika M. Purra
Aiming to reduce the politicization and direct administration of electricity generation, transmission and distribution, the central planners launched three major episodes of institutional changes in the reform era culminating in the creation of an independent ministry-level agency - the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) - to oversee an oligopoly of restructured power companies in 2002. However, a new regulator operating in face of powerful state-owned firms and an hierarchical and competitive bureaucratic landscape is bound to open a new chapter in contentious politics. We argue that the influential role of the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) has undercut the institutional role and autonomy of the SERC, resulting in growing discrepancy between the SERC's legal mandate and its efficacy in establishing clarity in rules of competition. Hampered in their growth potential, independent power providers and grid operators have focused their business strategic efforts on crowding out the private sector and foreign investors, and playing off ministerial supervisors for particularistic gains. The resulting regulatory outcome provides neither effective governmental management of oligopolistic dynamics and price fluctuations in the power sector, nor sustained momentum for privatization.
Working Paper #9
The Indian Anomaly: Rethinking Credit Rating Agency Regulation from the Economic Perspective of Hyman Minsky
Jodie A Kirshner
Policymakers have blamed the credit rating agencies for the recent financial crisis - but they could be wrong. India can aid in understanding whether the agencies can still be relied upon as private "gatekeepers" in financial markets, or whether public institutions must take primary responsibility. The economist, Hyman Minsky, advocated for robust public regulation and a limited role for private actors. India can be seen as an example of his theories. If India's agencies cannot prevent speculative credit from causing future economic problems, the problems could suggest that more structural measures are necessary to counter instability, as Minsky predicted. Analyzing India and the credit ratings agencies through the frame of Minsky's economic theories offers insights into how best to reform financial regulation to prevent future economic collapse.
Working Paper #10
Brazil and the Tribulations of the Multilateral Trade System (1946-1960)
Rogério de Souza Farias
The literature on the constitution of the multilateral trade system is fairly extensive, but most contributions focus only on developed countries, portrays developing countries as a monolithic bloc and does not use non-English primary sources. This article attempts to address some of these problems by examining Brazil's position in multilateral trade negotiations from 1946 to 1960. Brazil was far from being a free rider in tariff negotiations and the position the country had in this issue can be explained by domestic rather than international constraints. This period also shaped Brazil's beliefs about the international trade order, something that would have great relevance in latter periods.
Working Paper #11
Energy Security and Russia's Foreign Policy
Dr. Nalin Kumar Mohapatra
Russia which was in the peripheral of international system in the first half of the 1990s is once again regaining its importance as a key player in the global political structure. One major factor which contributed to the growing stature of Russia as an emerging power is the strategic use of hydrocarbon resources by the policy making elite to achieve country's geo-political as well as geo-economic objectives. The demeanours of Russian foreign policy towards some of the European states in recent years who are its major energy customers demonstrate this trend. One needs to underline here the fact that Russia is using its energy resources as a means not only to bargain with external powers only (like the European Union, its major customer) but also to employs the same to bye-off loyalty from some of its neighbouring Commonwealth Independent States (CIS). Numbers of them are transit countries like Ukraine and Georgia and also other Caspian states where Moscow acquires energy at a cheaper price often using its status as a 'regional hegemon'. The process of 'bargaining', 'negotiation' as well as 'coercive' measure which the Russian foreign policy is employing to achieve its goal as energy power can be critically studied from the available mainstream theoretical discourses on International Relations as well as the International Political economy. Some of them are Stephen Waltz's notion of 'asymmetric bargaining', Peter Liberman's 'relative economic gain model', Robert Keohane and David G. Victor's 'regime complex theory' as well as Daniel Drezner's concept of 'paradox of economic coercion' so also the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson model. These theoretical discourses provide an effective tool to analyse the framework of Russia's energy foreign policy in the present context.
Working Paper #12
Soft Power, Sports Mega-events and Emerging States: The Lure of the Politics of Attraction
Dr. Jon Brix and Professor Donna Lee
This article highlights and analyses a hitherto largely neglected dimension to the growing agency of large developing countries in global affairs - their hosting of international sports mega-events. Why are large developing countries hosting sports mega-events and what does this contemporary phenomenon tell us about the significance of, for example, the Olympics and World Cup in global affairs? We explore these questions through examination of the cases of the three most active sport mega-event hosting states in recent times; Brazil, China and South Africa. The 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and the up-coming 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil provide interesting cases with which to explore developing country agency in the international system and in particular the discursive basis of that agency. We see the hosting of sports-mega events as the practice of public diplomacy by states to both demonstrate existing soft power capability as well as pursue its further enhancement.
We are currently not accepting any new submissions.