ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On Refugee Migrations

Respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention is extraordinarily patchy, and governments spend much time and ingenuity in dodging them. All the clever tricks to deny refugees their supposed rights have been very much evident in the latest rash of flights to the European Union. While the rulers of the world seem set upon locking up populations in little national prisons, they should be asking themselves: how can the opportunity of new and different citizens be embraced?

From Master Plans to City Development Strategies

Up to the 20th century, city self-government and self-financing was historically the norm. Then both a major slump and two world wars impelled in Europe the centralisation of government powers in national states. It was this degree of centralisation, which was inherited by the former colonial dependencies, the newly independent countries, in the 1950s and 1960s. Those countries faced unprecedented levels of urbanisation and unmanageable concentrations of population. This led governments and aid agencies to emphasise rural development (to discourage outmigration to the cities), population redistribution and industrial decentralisation. However, a different tradition stressed the economic importance of raising productivity in cities through the concentration of population and resources. This study analyses the great journey from historical master plans to city development strategies.

On Economic Globalisation, Neo-liberalism and the Nature of the Period

For long, the term "imperialism" was popular to denote a world political order embodying systemic relations of domination with Washington at the centre. That thesis is no longer considered valid. Washington itself is victim to a global capitalist order and is mired in an apparently insoluble economic crisis. Here are some notes for discussion on an alternative approach to characterising the world order.

Immigration and State Power

Globalisation implies the increasing mobility of capital, goods and labour across political boundaries, just as the earlier creation of national economies required the increasing mobility of the factors of production within national borders. Such an economic order supersedes the old world of separate and politically defined national economies. Yet, the economic question of facilitating mobility is subordinated by nation states to the political issue of migrants as new citizens or as invaders. The economics of the new system, thus, collide directly with the politics of the old.

Migration and Development

Government attitudes to migration - internal and external - have changed radically in recent years. Formerly seen as evidence of chronic social and economic breakdown, internal migration is now seen as a major mechanism for the redistribution of resources from richer to poorer localities and a vital means of raising the incomes of the poor. The same revision of view is affecting international migration. Remittance flows have become major components in the foreign exchange earnings of a number of countries. After some reluctance, governments have come to embrace emigration for work, to facilitate and reinforce its effects on the alleviation of poverty. However, there are problems in the loss of the most enterprising and best-trained workers of developing countries. Can the interests at stake - developing countries, migrants, developed countries - be reconciled? Temporary circulatory migration for the purposes of training would seem to be the best outcome, so that migration becomes a means to enhance the human capital of developing countries for the task of reducing world poverty. There are, however, many options for developed countries without immigration - from the reform of their domestic labour markets to off-shoring. The real choice is about what sort of world we want.

Towards New Theories of Regional and Urban Development

Regionalism, as this paper argues, has always been more a political than an economic concept, though there has always been a close and confusing interweaving of the two. But with the openness now associated with the global economy, demography suggests that over the next half century, much of the world economy will relocate to where the bulk of the world?s labour force is ? in developing countries, to the immense benefit of the bulk of the world?s poor. This is, provided the dominant powers do not use their political, financial and military power to block this process.

Strangulation of Palestine

Ariel Sharon has lots of potential room for making mischief and wrecking the elections in the occupied territories, scheduled for January 9. And although he has promised Washington not to sabotage the elections, the devastation of the occupied territories continues, with house demolitions, random arrests and roadblocks that cut up the territory into tiny isolated pockets.

Bombay in Transition

every country, the diversity of peoples, Bombay and Mumbai: The City in languages and cultures. Thus, these Transition by Sujata Patel and Jim volumes

Migration of Labour

Past migrations took place in a relatively open world. Since the second world war continual obstructions have appeared in the free movement of people; ironically these have coincided in a period of increasing globalisation and closer interdependence between nations. Although the numbers of people moving internationally remain quite small, nations, as in the case of many in the European Union, are becoming increasingly protectionist - a policy that excludes certain immigrants in the name of defence or to safeguard 'national' identity. However, recent years have shown that the old migratory regime is crumbling. This allows an unprecedented opportunity to open the debate about the alternatives that might replace the present unsatisfactory order. Governments, as this article suggests, may set in place several transitional arrangements that while recognising free migration and the need for open borders, would also develop suitable regulation for employment of native-born workers versus the foreign-born.

Globalisation and the Management of Indian Cities

Cities in Europe and North America have been through three decades of innovation in institutions and practices as they seek to accommodate the new environment of global economic integration. Many have learned to facilitate the creation of new economies that have institutionalised incremental change with a changing political consensus, liberating themselves in part from those rigidities that make for extreme vulnerability in conditions of crisis. The same is also true of cities in Latin America and in China. However, elsewhere - including possibly India - the sovereign state is often still struggling to retain its monopoly control. In doing so, the state stifles the full potential role of cities to advance the world, to reduce the burden of world poverty. Liberating the cities is thus a key part of the agenda for the new century and for the eradication of poverty.

Role of Revisionism in History

Trade in Early India: Themes in Indian History edited by Ranabir Chakravarti (Oxford in India Readings); Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2001; pp 506, Rs 650.

Origins of the European Economy: Communications and Commerce, AD 300-900 by Michael McCormick; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2001; pp 1130, £ 40.

The British and the Euro

Two out of three of Britain's population, it seems, are opposed to joining the Euro. It is not at all clear why. Meanwhile the great events are being celebrated with solemnity and rejoicing elsewhere, a return to the Roman Empire (the last time Europe had a common currency), while the British sit outside the doors of the party, glum and resentful.


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