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

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Internet Governance

The recent decision of the United States government to cede its control over the internet's naming and addressing system to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a US-based international non-profit body, is heralded as a significant step towards the globalisation of internet's core infrastructure. But with ICANN having no special jurisdictional immunity and subject to the whims of the judicial and legislative branches of the US government as well as many of its executive agencies, the decision seems more symbolic than meaningful.

Employment Elasticity in India and the US, 1977-2011

This paper analyses the phenomenon of jobless growth in India and the United States through the lens of employment elasticity. We decompose the level and change of aggregate employment elasticity in terms of sectoral elasticities, relative growth and employment shares. Estimates of these decompositions are presented with employment and output data from relevant sources for both economies. In India, the agricultural sector was the key determinant of both the level and change of aggregate elasticity till the early 2000s. In the US, the service sector is the most important determinant of the level, but manufacturing remains an important driver of changes in aggregate employment elasticity.

Iraq, UN and Changing Bases of World Order

'Regime change' lies at the intersection of two major trends under UN auspices. The first is the progressive universalisation of the human rights norm carried out through a large number of legal conventions and promoted, however imperfectly, through a substantial legal machinery. The second is the central and irreplaceable role of the Security Council as the core of the international law enforcement system. Except in cases of selfdefence, only the Security Council can decide whether or not it is lawful to go to war. The US victory in Iraq has come at the price of re-legitimising wars of choice as an instrument of unilateral state policy and will usher in more determined efforts by many countries to acquire weapons of mass destruction, since nothing else is capable of deterring external attack.

Modernity, Terrorism and the Masquerade of Conflict

America's wars on Afghanistan and Iraq have raised many questions on terrorism, modern war, the role of Islamic fundamentalism in opposition to the west's appropriation of modernity and the continuing relevance of imperialist military and economic aggression in contemporary north-south debates. Terrorism is a form of identitarian conflict which has a history rooted in the colonial past of many third world countries. Afghanistan is a good example illustrating the consolidation of so-called modern and traditional identities in modern history. Time and again western imperialist powers have portrayed Afghanistan as the battle frontier of western civilisation. This essay offers a deconstruction of this western mythology and points out that a holistic critique of the western appropriation of real and symbolic modernity is necessary to comprehend the problem of religious terrorism and thereby wrest the anti-American initiative from the terrorist.

Calcutta Diary

Having surrendered to pax Americana, dear prime minister, you have few options left. The Indian economy is in the direst possible mess. The only way you can salvage the situation is to appeal to president Bush's sense of philanthropy. If the price for this munificence is Kashmir and full-scale Yankee arbitration over the disputed territory, we Indians have to go along. Beggars cannot simultaneously be choosers.

Textile Exports: No Time to Lose

Alarmed by the announcement of preferential trade concessions to Pakistan by the European Union, and apprehensive that a similar package may soon be unveiled by the US, India is likely to ask the US for a higher textile export quota during prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s visit to Washington this month. The government and industry are fearful that the move by the major markets for India’s textiles and garments will deal a further blow to already grim export prospects. During AprilAugust 2001 overall exports fell by 2.3 per cent from their yearago levels; textile exports, however, collapsed by a huge 17.3 per cent during the same period. With the global economy already lurching towards recession and additional strains caused by the terror attacks in the US and the subsequent strikes against Afghanistan, India may find it increasingly difficult to meet the government’s export growth target of 12 per cent for the current fiscal year, since textiles account for over 30 per cent of the country’s total export earnings.

Only Alternative to Global Terror

The ongoing strikes on Afghanistan have once again focused attention on the dual strands of terrorism that bases itself on communalism and imperialism. Both strands seek to repress various freedoms and in cases, even justify the human rights violations on the part of their perpetrators. The need then is to uphold virtues of secularism, for only a truly secular state can safeguard human and democratic rights for all concerned. Further, institutions and machinery to deal with violations of fundamental rights become equally vital in situations where governments persistently fail to do so.

Afghanistan, Islam and the Left

In the debate on the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and its violent manifestations, the space has been dominated by those who take a strictly religious position and those who are apologists of the realpolitik of the US-led western alliance. A Leftist perspective has been missing in the whole discourse.

The America Bashing Game

Bashing America has gained a fervour after September 11 that threatens to match in unreasonableness the insane act of the terrorists.

Science and Reason vs Unreason

The recent decision by US president George W Bush to stop federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, apparently on the advice of the Pope, can be seen in the light of the age-old struggle between the idealistic and materialistic approaches to science. The conflict between the two ideologies continues despite the phenomenal growth of science and technology. A study of the 'political' aspect of this struggle can help us unravel its true meaning.

Bioterrorism : Lessons in Coping

Over the last 10 days in the US, since the first exposure to anthrax resulted in a death, the early anxiety expressed so freely and publicly, without any evidence whatsoever, that the country may be made a target for bioterrorist attacks, appears to have been borne out. The authorities and the media immediately attempted to link the anthrax exposure to a Florida lab in the proximity of which one of the hijackers was reported to have stayed. And since then such has been the scare that there have been daily reports of ‘white powder’ being received in the mail, although only very few have been identified as having contained anthrax spores. This growing paranoia about bioterrorism prompts numerous concerns.

Fall-out of September 11

Tighter security and police/military methods alone will rarely end terrorism, whether in the US or in Kashmir. The possible targets are too many and the methods are varied and uncontrollable. The key is avoiding situations where a section of the people gets so alienated that it starts believing that terror and violence are the only means to get 'justice', or at least attention. Political solutions are a must.

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