Posted: 23:37 pm, Tuesday, 27 December 2022.
Neo-colonialism is the consolidation of control over developing countries by developed countries through indirect means. This phenomenon came forward after the Second World War with the idea that the former colonies are still grossly under the influence of developed foreign countries (Halperin, 2022). While in the colonial era, the colonies were directly controlled after invasions for exploitation of resources, in the post-colonial era, more indirect exploitative tools are in place to consolidate control over the developing countries.
IMF and the World Bank are the preeminent tools that have replaced the primordial imperial methods of subjugating the people of the developing world. The new instruments maintain control and extract wealth under the guise of benevolent financial support in times of defaulting economy. The grant of foreign aid and the terms of agreement that go with it are the new mechanisms that help the developed countries tighten their political influence, dictate policy and violate state sovereignty in the developing countries.
Developing countries fall a prey to the neo-colonial traps of the developed world when their economy is consistently faltering. This is more particularly the case when the developed world deems it a beneficial deal meaning that there is something worthwhile to be gained from the extension of financial assistance. This could be either the presence of strategic interests of the key runners of IFIs or their economic and ideological gains in the process. When in financial ruins, the developing countries are left with no option other than agreeing to the one-sided and harsh terms of agreements under the multilateral aid negotiations offered by the IMF and the World Bank. This is one of the means to loot the wealth and resources of the developing countries. This can be illustrated by the report produced by the International Financial Institutional Advisory Commission in 2000. The conclusions of the report stated that the use of financial resources and the conditionality associated (Structural Adjustment Programs) to manipulate the economies of the developing nations often undermines the democratic values and the overall sovereignty of the nations that receive financial assistance; that the IMF staff acknowledges with pride that the executive branch of the borrowing nations take the benefit of IMF conditions to extract concessions from their legislatures (Jr., 2015). This substantiates how the constitutionally established system gets distorted in the funds-receiving countries.
While in the colonial times, the stronger nations coercively took over the weaker nations, imposed their will, and extracted the infinite resources, this is not the case in the neo-colonial ways of subjugation. The developed nations now cannot simply invade and take the spoils of war with them without paying due regard to the resulting perceptions of the masses. The top five countries in the list that exercise the most political, capital and voting influence in IMF and World Bank are USA, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The US alone has 16.50% voting rights in IMF. A surprising fact is that out of the eleven presidents in the World Bank’s history, all were from US (International Monetary Fund, 2021). If any of these Big-Five countries were to lay claims over any territory or resources of the developing world, they might have done coercively without any mercy. However, this would accompany the negative connotations of a ‘savage society’, without any regard for human rights. Hence, in the modern times, the colonial conquest must happen behind the scenes. This is played out in the form of modern International Financial Institutions which are portrayed as philanthropists from the ‘civilized’ nations.
Once the receiving countries are into the aid programs of these Bretton Wood institutions, they have to generate enough money to pay back by producing and exporting the goods demanded in the global market. This leads to cuts in government spending on healthcare, education, and access to cheap local food. For example, in Ghana, where most of the economic reforms were carried out under the instructions of IMF and World Bank, there has been harsh criticism centered on the policy of privatization. Tsamenyi, in his investigations into the World Bank’s claims of privatization success in Ghana found that “Privatization could be a real beginning of quantifiable neo-colonialism” (Tsamenyi, 2008). Hence, the policies dictated by the ‘lender of the last resort’ are aimed for the propagation of its own economic ideology.
Some of the most controversial terms of loan grants by the IMF and the World Bank include a mixture of privatization, liberalization and fiscal austerity programs which are meant to reduce budget deficits. However, these fiscal measures lead to substantial decline in the size of government spending for providing public goods. Hence, the common man suffers ultimately.
Moreover, Structural Adjustments Programs dictated by the IMF infringe on the sovereignty of the borrowing countries as they are prevented from devising their own economic policy and path of development. This is an open intervention in economic policy by IMF, which usually becomes the root of a political turbulence in the borrower states.
To sum up, while the traditional imperial practice involved subjugation by direct military and political dominance, the neocolonial states leverage the use of conditional loans and economic superiority to influence other nations’ foreign policy. The IMF and the World Bank are the predominant tools of financial and political control over the developing nations under the façade of philanthropist institutions. It is high time the developing countries realize this debt trap and instead work on sustainable ways of economic growth.
Halperin, S. (2022, Nov 01). neocolonialism. Retrieved Dec 21, 2022, from Encyclopaedia Britannica : https://www.britannica.com/topic/neocolonialism
International Monetary Fund. (2021, December 21). IMF Members' Quotas and Voting Power, and IMF Board of Governors. Retrieved December 21, 2022, from International Monetary Fund: https://www.imf.org/en/About/executive-board/members-quotas#:~:text=The%20Board%20of%20Governors%2C%20the,governor%20of%20the%20central%20bank.
Jr., J. G. (2015). The IMF and the World Bank: A Neo-Colonial Interpretation. Academia.
Tsamenyi, M. (2008). Post-privatization performance and organizational changes:. Science Direct.
Author Bio: An undergraduate student of Public Policy at NUST University Islamabad.
By Baseer Khan
Posted: 23:17 pm, Tuesday, 27 December 2022.
The colonization of third-world nations resulted in the underdevelopment that was sparked by resource extraction in these nations. Over time, scarce resources and authoritarian rule caused civil unrest, political unrest, poverty, and interregional warfare in these developing regions. The literature currently available on the historical background of development theory focuses on industrialized, developed nations and ignores their colonial history that led to underdevelopment in countries like Pakistan today. Whilst also preserving a monopolistic system over these regions, authors like Andre Gunder Frank argued that expansionist capitalism only desired to acquire and seize the resources from these regions in order to spur their own development and support the lifestyles of their aristocracy. These writers rejected the dichotomy between conventional life and modern life. The growth of the developed world's economy is directly tied to the downfall of that of the developing world. Due to developing countries establishing a level of living that third-world countries must adopt in their own civilizations, underdevelopment has evolved. It is not an ancient or native phenomena. The industrialized western world continues to exploit third-world nations for resources and labor because it believes that industrialization and urbanization are the only paths to modernization. Additionally, individuals in the third world who view westernization as development have developed an inferiority complex because of this ongoing exploitation.
Because Pakistani culture has been conditioned to see westernization or neo-liberalism as a universally applicable gateway to modernity, Eurocentric development plans have been developed that are wholly incompatible with third-world societies. Neo-liberalism in the West is viewed as a fresh strategy for developing impoverished governments around the world, even though conventional and contemporary developmental frameworks are founded on the experiences of a small number of industrialized western civilizations. It is difficult to develop development strategies that consider the demands and interests of many groups or ethnicities by importing frameworks from developed-western countries into multiethnic eastern civilizations. It is necessary to "unlearn" preconceived views about development and devise policies that consider the sociopolitical, cultural, environmental, and economic circumstances of third-world countries. It is challenging to think of western frameworks as being applicable to Pakistan's situation since its conception of growth is always changing as it creates new development opportunities or closes existing ones. The entire neo-liberal agenda is basically a mechanism used by the World Hegemon to keep control of the world's politics and economy.
As a result, international organizations like the United Nations, IMF, and World Bank, which are a part of a transnational coalition of a few chosen nations that form most of the global superpower hierarchy, have severe control over Pakistan's development strategies. These institutions provide Pakistan with development objectives and metrics that are mostly focused on Europe. Antonio Gramsci initially proposed the notion of a group of elites in charge of a hegemonic framework that provides a set of guidelines that governments are forced to abide by. Certain sociopolitical and economic ideals that constitute this alliance of developed countries' shared interests and ideologies for imposing control over the world's poor countries are also shared by other developed countries. Additionally, the world hegemon employs a combination of agreement and compulsion through economic tools rather than the authoritative coercion that is inherent to imperialism. For instance, pressure from the US and financial institutions that had placed stringent economic sanctions on Russia in wake of the Ukrainian Crisis prevented Pakistan from negotiating a significantly cheaper energy contract with Russia in 2022. Considering this, the global hegemon produces circumstances that force nations like Pakistan to go to its institutions for foreign aid or other forms of financial support.
For their economies to continue to grow, developing nations like Pakistan significantly rely on foreign aid and metrics defined by international financial institutions and Global dominance. International institutions are used by the USA and other industrialized countries to stabilize their own economies. Global Hegemony controls these institutions. The largest percentage of shares in international organizations like the World Bank are held by the United States. The World Bank was able to build a solid moral character with the support of its "voices," which gave it the power to direct governments of poor countries to follow certain development objectives. The World Bank has gained legitimacy for increasingly widespread regulatory incursions in the society of developing countries, even during the now-discredited structural adjustment regimes. Pakistan loses its own policy-making authority when it turns to these institutions for help, and the policies are closely watched and carried out by these institutions, which are mostly controlled by the US and European nations. However, these strategies are inappropriate for emerging nations because they have no idea of the ground realities of that country, and they are just implementing policies according to their western mindset which results in the destruction of the economy of that country. Therefore, these policies do not provide the advantages they do for industrialized nations.
When it comes to serving its multi-ethnic segment of the population, Western civilization is uniform and renowned for its pluralism, yet emerging nations like Pakistan have a multi-ethnic population and a greater increasing illiteracy rate. Western policies failed in Pakistan because of the country's diverse people and high rate of illiteracy. Consider the fact that Pakistan's e-commerce policy appears to be failing as a result of demographic diversity and illiteracy. Pakistan does not have the same level of technological development as major western nations, nor does its population possess the social understanding necessary to fully use such developments. In addition, neither Pakistani institutions nor its citizens are prepared to implement development strategies that are aimed at improving the state of the nation. They are not mentally prepared to accept the change at such a level and in some cases if some society or a group tries to adopt the change, they face resistance which results in the degradation of their morale, and they cannot further fight against such norms. The major reason is that they have no money to learn and remain up to date with technology and keep an eye on the world and what is going on.
Author Bio: Mr. Sikander Ali is a final-year student studying Public Administration at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST).
By Sikander Ali
Posted: 17:20 pm, Wednesday, 21 December 2022.
Pakistan has a failing education system. The quality of education provided to the students in this system is poor and the curriculum is not only outdated but ineffective, too. Although, there are many contributing factors to this; lack of resources being one of them, I believe that the current predicament of the Pakistani education system is more a reflection of failure of ‘Eurocentric Educational Policies’ than anything else.
One would be surprised to know that before the arrival of the colonizers in the Sub-Continent, our education system i.e. the curriculum, the teaching methods and techniques looked completely different. Subjects like, Literature, Art, Mathematics, Logic, Science, Social Sciences, Religion Studies and Philosophy thrived in the region. South Asia was known as one of the major hubs of knowledge, Art and Architecture and produced imminent scholars like Mullah Nizamuddin, Shah Wali Ullah and numerous like them. But then things took a downward trajectory when the British arrived and overhauled the system. They westernized the education system of Sub-Continent, which was a recipe for disaster because the local culture and context was completely ignored during the process. Our current education system is still running based on those ill-informed western reforms and that’s the reason for its failing. In the article, I’ll discuss a few aspects of our current education system that require a shift from these ill-informed and inefficient Eurocentric policies to more locally informed ones, in order to fix the issue.
Our current education system embodies English as the medium of instruction, which was a reform, first introduced by British during the westernization process in the Sub-Continent. I argue that it is one of the contributing factors towards the failure of our current education system. There’s a huge difference between the children being taught to read, write, and speak in English in a Western society and a South-Asian society. Comprehension of text written in English is far easier for a child raised in West because of English being his/her native language. A South-Asian child, on the other hand, is raised in a society with diverse ethnicities (with their own distinct native languages) and no exposure to English as a language of communication in any form. Moreover, the privileges that the western children get to enjoy at their earlier stages of development like educational toys and parental support in learning a new language are not available to South-Asian children. Which means it’s harder for the South-Asian kids to learn to read and write a new language and it’s absolutely impractical to expect them to learn the coursework/knowledge with such a weak grip on the language of instruction or text. Historical accounts show that before the westernization of the education system of South-Asia, Arabic, Persian and other native languages used to be the languages of instruction and they worked well for the people. In future, we can do away with this Eurocentric policy by getting all the books and curriculum translated in the native languages or by shifting to an arrangement in which English is taught before the actual curriculum is, not simultaneously.
Not only the language, but the Eurocentric content and knowledge being taught in our schools is also causing our education system to fail. Before the British reforms, people of the Sub-Continent used to learn Administration, Philosophy, Religion, Morality, Calligraphy, and Art, all of which were relevant to the needs and requirements of the local people of the time. Today although, our situation as a state requires us to teach nation-building, morality, taxes, civic duties and responsibilities, creativity, innovation, curiosity and knowledge about our local opportunities, strengths, and areas of leverages to our students… yet we are stuck at teaching mundane and unnecessary things like the chemical formula of water. I’m not saying STEM is not important but emphasizing that not every individual is created to learn or master the STEM, and therefore should not be made to learn STEM. It’s high time we take the ownership of our curriculum and completely shift our focus to prioritizing the faculties that are important and useful without fearing missing out on the ‘enlightened knowledge of the West’.
Westernization not only altered our curriculum for worse but our teaching methodologies, too. The current teaching methodologies, that came about to be, as a result of westernization process are failing because of their incompatibility with the indigenous context. One of the erroneous components of the teaching methodology that’s inconsistent with the local context is, English as a language of lecture delivery. Another aspect of teaching methodologies that doesn’t fit the indigenous context is the concept of lab work, in STEM especially. In the west, lab work is encouraged for the students to explore different equipment and sciences and then eventually decide a field to pursue as per their interest. I argue that this model of lab work is not compatible with our indigenous context because we lack resources. An ideal alternative for us, would look something like a system where instead of all the students being made to perform the lab work regardless of their aptitude, only the students with keen interest and aptitude be provided with complete support and the resources. Moreover, before the westernization of education in Sub-Continent, there was a system of mentorship or apprenticeship, going forward it’d be a smarter move to revive it and test it again.
Commodification of our current education system is another outcome of westernization that’s incompatible with our local South-Asian economy. Before the westernization of our education sector by the colonizers, knowledge used to be free. In the past, it was a common practice for people to request apprenticeship of teachers to learn knowledge and their desired subjects but then after westernization, this practice got completely replaced by the capitalistic norms. For example, education got commodified and turned into a mandatory consumable good with costs for not only the knowledge but extra unnecessary add-ons, like Color Days, Festivals, Parties etc. Moreover, westernization and the capitalistic norms turned education into a bureaucracy, the success of which was determined based upon the idea of building more and more classrooms and filling them with unmotivated students and teachers with a useless curriculum forced upon them. Bureaucratization of the education and knowledge actually made the education inaccessible for the poor of the region because of the high transactional and maintenance costs i.e, that of teachers’ salaries, administration and infrastructure. In the future, we can explore the indigenous or ancestral Mentor-Mentee model (apprenticeship) again as a step towards making education compatible with our local context.
Our current system is failing not because of incompetence of the policy-makers but because of it being based upon the Eurocentric policies, ideals that clearly don’t seem to work for us. The current predicament of our education system is less due to the inefficiency of the handlers and more as a result of our ignorance towards the indigenous methods and mechanisms that had worked for centuries in this very region.
Author Bio: Undergrad student of Public Policy and Administration at NUST University Islamabad. President of a student-run nonprofit organization Chadar.org and SDG- educator at SDG STUDENT HUB NUST.
By Mahnoor Abid
Posted: 19:25 pm, Monday, 12 December 2022.
Pakistan's first-ever public document on national security is an output of rigorous policy designing. Launched on January 14, 2022, the National Security Policy framework generated a public debate (Leeza, 2022). Some applaud this citizen-centric document as a much-needed step in the right direction. At the same time, others criticized it by identifying significant loopholes and policy weaknesses. The article presents an analysis of NSP based on two main concepts: one in the light of the security-development nexus and the other by identifying buzzwords. Both serve as crucially essential concepts in the realm of development studies and analyzing policies.
Security Development Nexus and NSP
Security Development Nexus and NSP According to Chandler, 2007, security and development have been interlinked in the literature despite the two being distinct concepts from each other in policy areas (Chandler, 2007). According to Holken, 2004, traditionally, security has been defined as protecting territory and stability. However, in the 1990s, the definition was broadened to include non-military threats (Holkeri, 2004), like economic warfare. Moreover, Holken 2004, defines development as strategies through which societies seek to achieve prosperous living standards (Holkeri, 2004). However, according to Schievels, 2019, the nexus is the key to success, firmly establishing its place in global policy-making (Schievels, 2019). Despite being a central focus of policy, practice, and thought, the nexus has eurocentric roots that resonate with ideological division (STERN & ÖJENDAL, 2020). For years, according to Neethling, 2005, there has been a growing concern with and a specific emphasis on the necessity of linking security and development to achieve meaningful peace and pursuing this utilizing special peacebuilding measures (Neethling, 2005). This raises the question of whether underdevelopment causes war or war causes underdevelopment. However, the nexus removes responsibility from the state as the focus is on self-image rather than policy consequences (Chandler, 2007). This serves as a reason why policies fail to produce fruitful outcomes. This is very evident in the case of the National Security Policy Framework. The doctrine looks perfect on paper; however, it suffers from hurdles and hindrances regarding implementation.
Policy-making focusing on national image building is the right way forward. However, doing so at the cost of avoiding the ground realities is problematic. Because resolving the issues faced by local citizens and building image goes hand in hand. Working on local realities to mitigate the crisis consequently improves the image. This is where a loophole is identified in the doctrine. The doctrine identifies the policy objectives in which Pakistan should invest its national resources (National Security Policy Framework). However, it needs to delineate attainable targets for achieving the goals (Leeza, 2022). It is focused on building up images but needs to answer how part of image building. Moreover, the answer lies in identifying local realities citizens face concerning security and then devising ways to resolve them.
Buzzwords in NSP
The seductive mix of words in a warmly persuasive way and carries allures of optimism plays an integral part in framing solutions and designing policies (Cornwall & Brock, 2005). These strings of good-sounding words are known as buzzwords. According to Cornwall and Brook, 2005 "buzzwords are essentially contested concepts, making sense of what they do for development, calls for closer attention to the discourse of which they form part and where contestation over meaning takes place" (Žúborová, 2015). Therefore, buzzwords are overused jargon with politicized meanings (Nadeem, 2022) that have become more ideological than representation. Hence, a policy containing buzzwords has little impactful policy actions (Nadeem, 2022). This is evident in the doctrine of NSP. According to Haque, 2022, the framework is "loaded with jargon, and phraseology intellectuals are good at churning out" (Haque, 2022). The devoted jargon of buzzwords sounding important to society is used to create policies (Žúborová, 2015). Despite the use of catchy phrases, policies fail to reap impactful results. This is because there is a gap between what is written and how it is implemented.
For example, we see in NSP doctrine phrases like "regional connectivity," "economic security," and "human security." These are some of the buzzwords used in the framework. Talking about how "regional connectivity" is used as a buzzword, the framework explains that CPEC is the epitome of regional connectivity. However, it is still being determined if it has translated into development at home. The local firms have constantly complained about losing fair opportunities at home to engage in CPEC Phase I Projects (Leeza, 2022). Moving further, talking about "economic security," the framework significantly emphasizes the importance of economic security. The doctrine took a sensible step by placing focus on geoeconomics (Hasnain, 2022) and explaining how economic security is a necessity for Pakistan (Khan, 2022); however, the implementation will be a nightmare (Hasnain, 2022). This is because the framework needs to be more apparent in dictating how a country should achieve economic security at home, and there is no mention of the sectors of Pakistan that can exercise its advantage (Leeza, 2022). Lastly, when we talk about "human security," the framework presents a symbiotic relationship between human, economic, and traditional security (Haque, 2022), focusing on how human security depends on economic and traditional security. However, the framework needs to discuss the specifics of foreseeable domestic, regional, and global security environments (Haque, 2022) and how it affects the different security dimensions.
Analyzing the policy framework in the light of the pertinent concepts of security-nexus development and the use of buzzwords, this security doctrine is excellent on paper; however, when it comes to implementation, there are massive loopholes. It comprehensively maps out the entire spectrum of security (Khan, 2022). Nevertheless, the real challenge lies in putting this ambiguous plan into action because, despite being perfectly written, the framework needs a roadmap pertinent to policy implementation (Latif & Adil, 2022).
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By Kashaf Imran
Posted: 17:53 pm, Monday, 12 December 2022.
Western hegemony has manifested itself on the developing world and its affairs in many ways, even if they are internal. Cultural narcissism and the West’s saviour complex have proven its desire to dominate all discourses of social issues from its own lens, as if it is the lone torchbearer of purity of intentions and altruism – however, a historical overview of their human rights abuses (Conklin, 1998) through colonial endeavours points to an obvious paradox. The Western media is no exception to this either. With many direct and indirect abuses on the record of the Western world, they still have the audacity to hurl critique and defamation at the Global South – as Edward Said would call it, “Orientalism” (Hall, 1992). The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is unfolding as a classic case study of these notions.
The Western media chooses to take sides and often remains silent too on issues of human interest, which is obviously always a tilt towards the Western countries and their interests, and is in fact, rigorously spreading negative news about the countries in the Global South with buzzwords like “accountability”, “governance”, and “transparency” ( Cornwall & Brock, 2006). Selectively choosing what to report on and what not to is unfair, unjust, and unequitable, neither of which should be a feature of authentic and ethical reporting. Media reporting ought to be unbiased and should remain true to its audience with consistent values, with more objective rather than subjective coverage of any issue at hand (Ward, n.d.). However, like always, this was not the case at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022; the cynical reviews seem less to do with corrective activism and seem more of a political campaign (Brannagan & Reiche, 2022). The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) went as far as to not just refraining from broadcasting the Opening Ceremony of the World Cup, but using that airtime to instead criticize the Qatari administration (AVERRE, 2022), which has long been facing backlash from football enthusiasts and media alike on their stringent cultural policies like discouraging public display of affection and support of LGBTQ+, lack of protection against gender-based violence and harassment, and also against harsh treatment of workers (Human RIghts Watch, 2022). Moreover, the very victory of the FIFA bid has been quite a controversy, with allegations centred around corruption and bribery (Panja & Draper, 2020). While all of this may or may not be true of Qatar, but on what moral ground does the noble West stand on to make such remarks?
It is true that the West has its hands dirty with the (literal) blood of many subjugated and weak nations due to its colonial past, so it clearly does not befit them to point fingers at others for the same transgressions they are guilty of; what Maria Erikkson Baaz would call the Ignoble West and Beyond (Baaz, 1999).The infamous Euronews investigation “Invisible Workers” (Borges & Huet, 2020) from the “Unreported Europe” segment points evidence about the mistreatment of workers in France, Spain, Netherlands, and Germany, the very nations who ironically, act as guardians of humanity on the international front. Accusations of human rights abuses, corruption, and biased media, etc., have thus, gone back and forth. Amidst these heated debates, the question of whether Qatar was rightfully accused then naturally takes a backseat, and a constant blame-game takes precedence – a phenomenon called “whataboutery” (Little & Rogers, 2017). Many Arab journalists and people from the diaspora have come to the rescue to add to this discourse, while Western media outlets have accused Qatar of “sportswashing”, i.e., using sports to waive off all the negative sentiments and assumptions there may exist globally about the country – a soft power tactic (Fruh, Archer, & Wojtowicz, 2022). While this blame game is nothing new, but it is important to identify where the roots of this controversy lie, and how it could be a possible form of hybrid warfare.
One sided media reporting is damaging to the social fabric of any society. It polarizes people in that it posits one party as the evildoer in a way that makes the others feel obliged to call it out and act on – the saviour mentality. This is not a mere coincidence in international relations, though. Psychological Operations (Narula, 2008) are a tool of hybrid warfare that the West has very conveniently used in the belittling of the Global South countries, which is selective information being targeted strategically at vulnerable people, to instigate their emotions and so, influence their behaviours. This was a very rampant practice in the 1980s in the Cold War, and later in the Gulf War; in both cases the strings were in the hands of the US military intelligence, further propagated by the western media (ibid). Now, what we see is one-sided and biased reporting that paints Qatar as an antagonist of people’s wellbeing(s) – which unlike other past contentious sports hosts like China, Russia, Brazil, etc., had worked hard to improve, as proved by the ILO report (International Labour Organization, 2022). In 2010 when Qatar won the bid, it ranked 19th among 178 nations on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index – while Germany ranked 15th, Japan ranked 17th, and the US at the 22nd (Transparency International, 2010). Even the allegations of corruption and bribery have been disproved by the Garcia Report (PETERS, 2014) but of course, the Western media shall remain oblivious to alternative perspectives. Perhaps the more reasonable assessment to make is why the structure of FIFA Bidding itself is susceptible to corruption and bribery. The recent efforts to give voting rights back (Homewood, 2016) to the 209 Congress members of FIFA rather than being centred in the small bench of 24 Executive Council members might just be FIFA’s saving grace.
Undoubtedly, it is important to work on mitigating corrupt practices and human rights abuses from every corner of the world, but it is time that every state is brought to a levelled playing field. Nobody is above the law, at least not universal laws of peace and justice (Draft Declaration on Rights and Duties of States, 1949). Dominant players in international relations must not be able to benefit from unaccounted misdemeanours and crimes, and civil society organizations like the media and advocacy groups must act impartially or be called out for being complicit in the same.
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Baaz, M. E. (1999). Journal of International Relations and Development.
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PETERS, J. (2014). Retrieved fromhttps://bleacherreport.com/articles/2266716-what-we-can-learn-from-report-into-fifa-world-cup-bidding-process
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By Mominah Kamran
Posted: 12:40 pm, Thursday, 21 November 2022.
Seventy-five years since independence from British Raj, Pakistan’s developmental policies reap little benefit. Such a problem arises when there is a considerable gap between policy design and implementation. In the case of Pakistan, the gap arises because Pakistan, a state born out of a colonial legacy, implicitly follows Eurocentric elements when designing its policies. The presence of Eurocentric elements overshadows cultural values and local realities of the state and hence replicates the entire model of development.
The argument serves as the basis of this article. The argument is further subdivided into five arguments i.e. One policy does not fit all; the western lens is not always correct; hyper dependency on western models of development; values, and cultures- the missing ingredients that are powerful in determining the outcomes; and lack of scholars who are the expert on analyzing the culture of Pakistan. These arguments are supported by evidence from various articles and journals and present a case study of the National Education Policy Framework for supporting the arguments.
One Policy does not fit for all
This is pertinently true especially in the case of Pakistan, a diverse state lacking homogeneity. With the Western Hegemony particularly U.S. dominance, their policies are adopted by third world countries especially Pakistan with the assumption that policies designed by the West are the need of time. According to Baaz, it is perceived that development is particularly a western idea imposed on third-world countries emphasizing that Western modernity is a norm and the Third World since it is not modernized and westernized they are backward (Baaz, 1999, p. 9). Continuing with the perception, Baaz further emphasized that knowledge that is widely disseminated is produced by “Euro American, White, male,” imposing that Europe is distinctive that further elaborates a Eurocentric idea of west vs. rest (Baaz, 1999, p. 9). With this hegemon of the West, non-western scholars and policymakers heavily rely on the West which is very pertinent in the case of Pakistan especially when we analyze the National Education Policy Framework 2018. The National Education Policy framework implicitly relies on Western capitalistic standards, i.e., education is pertinent for social and economic development (ASER Pakistan) reflecting the capitalist mindset. Instead, education could have been pertinent for producing citizens adhering to cultural values. Instead of developing minds that can, in future, work to develop a model of advancement based on Pakistan’s values, it produces individuals that will further run into the rat race of capitalism. In short, policy designing through western lenses is a hindrance to produce beneficial policy results.
Western Policy Lens is not the correct option
This is because when we see through the Western lens, we tend to overshadow the perspectives of non-Western Societies. In an interview with Muzamil Hasan in "Thought behind Things," the Foreign Service Officer Mr. Qazi Saleem, emphasizes the notion that one policy does not fit all by reiterating that every society has its own cultural and historical perspective and hence everything of Western Society cannot be replicated in order to progress (Hasan, 2021). Emphasizing on what Qazi Saleem says it is pertinent to mention that despite westernization and modernization being synonymously used (Lal et al., 2002) both the concepts have opposite meanings. One can be modern without being western. This is because modernization does not entail westernization (Lal et al., 2002). Japan for example is modern in terms of progress but not western because it has sustained her values (Modernization Doesn’t Mean Westernization, 2022). Saleem further emphasizes on Chinese development and explains that China is progressing because they have their own model of development (Hasan, 2021). With Qazi Saleem’s perspective and progress of countries like China we can identify another reason why Pakistan's development policies lag. Because of its heavy reliance on Western indicators as measure of success. As seen in the Framework, success in education is measured based on western indicators like SDGs (ASER Pakistan). Point to ponder neglecting the western indicators is not the problem but hyper dependency on the indicators is concerning.
Hyper Dependency on Western Models of development
It is a common element widely seen in policy designing mechanisms of Pakistan and this is the root cause of failure. According to Escobar (1997) in the book ‘The Development Paradigm’ the shadows of global hegemony are prevailing in the third world to such an extent that adoption of western models of development are considered as an appropriate measure of success by third world countries. This leads to hindrance in devising one's own model of development highlighting one's own cultural values and problems. This lack of own model and hyper dependency is prominently seen in the case of Pakistan. Western styled merit-based bureaucracies (Culture Comes First: Putting Culture and Values at the Centre of Public Policy, 2017) highly impacts the policy making of Pakistan. The pertinent example is the CSS examination. The only merit-based exam that reflects colonial values i.e. excellency in English language etc. that leads to production of officials who further makes policies based on western ideals as per the training given to them. This hype dependence on western indicators and ideals leads to ignorance of culture and values hence the failure in policy outcomes prevails.
Values and Culture
They are the powerful factors in determining outcomes. Yet in the case of Pakistan these are the missing factors. Devising a policy based on the value system and cultural elements helps identify how individuals at grassroot level and their values fit in (Baaz, 2017). Baaz, hence rightly emphasizes on the importance of cultural analysis (p. 9) especially for designing policies because it provides a blueprint for developing policies that are distilled exclusively from one's own culture. However, in Pakistan we see how elements of cultural analysis lack making Pakistan a living example of following the guidelines of western development policies. In the Education Framework we see that it is identified that a certain number of children are out of schools but no cultural analysis has been done to identify the reason for children being out of school. This emphasizes how crucially we are in dire need of scholars who are expert in analyzing the culture of their own society.
Critical Lack of Scholars
Lastly, there is a critical lack of scholars who are experts in analyzing culture and hence guiding policy makers in policy designing. This reflects how subtly yet equally we are influencing colonialism (Altbach, 1971). As the lack of such scholars gives room to scholars who heavily depend on western academia for analysis and research. That further leads to a large policy gap. This policy gap is visible in the education framework. Like previous education policies its key emphasis is on access to education, the quality of education, the elimination of gender inequalities from education, the administration of education, the system of education, science and technology, technical and vocational education (Suhag & Khan, 2020, pp.166-174). However, are these emphasis in accordance with the culture? Unfortunately, no, because cultural analysis seems missing and it is missing due to the crucial lack of scholars who hold a command on analyzing cultures.
It is crucially a need of time to eradicate Eurocentrism elements in our policies by incorporating cultural and local values that highlights the reality of people at grassroot level. Moreover, it is crucial to construct our own model of development in order to fill the policy gap with the purpose of benefiting from development policies.
Altbach, P. G. (1971). Education and Neocolonialism. Sage Journals, 72(4). https://doi.org/10.1177/016146817107200404
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By Kashaf Imran
Posted: 03:07 pm, Thursday, 01 September 2022.
Energy provision, potable water availability, depletion of basic materials, and environmental protection are the four pillars on which any civilisation can build a sustainable future. Drinking water scarcity is a global problem because, in many areas, the predicted rise in population has already created a demand that the current supply cannot meet (Sheldon, 2017). Inadequate access to clean water and sanitation is a major contributor to the global spread of disease and impedes the world's continued economic development. It is a fact that all economies, no matter how big or small, need a steady supply of clean water (Marino et al., 2019).
In order to stay alive, water is a must. Although water covers over 71% of Earth's surface, not all of it is suitable for human use. All life on Earth is in jeopardy because of the chronic scarcity of pure water (Haase etal., 2017). Seawater is a globally abundant resource that could help alleviate some of the growing demand for potable water. The desalination of saltwater, unaffected by climate change, has been advocated as a viable alternative for producing drinkable water. While membrane-based desalination continues to dominate the worldwide desalination market, the materials and procedures currently used in membrane production usually have significant environmental implications (Tan et al., 2018).
Because of recent advancements in areas such as waste reduction, energy recovery, recycling, and the cost-cutting of capital expenditures, we may be able to look forwards to a more environmentally friendly and sustainable future in the not-too-distant future (Yousef et al., 2021). This objective might be accomplished using technology based on membranes, which is an enticing alternative to more conventional separation techniques. Membrane technology has been widely used in the industrial sector for decades because of its many advantages, including good separation performance, limited space requirements, simple and effective equipment, easy operation, and low energy consumption (Mohamed et al., 2021). Membrane technology is widely used in the field of separation. The inherent qualities of the membrane allow for the necessary results to be achieved while avoiding the drawbacks of conventional methods. These qualities include selective separation, continuous operation, the absence of additional chemicals, energy conservation, and a simple and scalable procedure (Figoli et al., 2016).
As they are entirely soluble in water, have a low molecular weight and have a high boiling point, green solvents like Cyrene and Polar clean are well-suited to fabricate high-performance membranes and replace hazardous solvents. This is because of the enormous advantages of a less resource-intensive and ecologically friendly preparation technique (Pena-Pereira et al., 2015). This article discusses how scientists and researchers are working to create polymeric membrane production technologies that are gentler on the planet. These initiatives aim to mitigate potential environmental negative effects by developing and deploying greener synthesis pathways and chemical processes. Please share workable ideas, prior techniques, and potential avenues for future study to enhance membrane creation significantly (Dong et al., 2021).
The environmental effects of membrane manufacture are of growing concern as many applications rely on membrane technology. The first stage is to identify a green solvent that can dissolve the polymer of interest; second, the resulting membrane must function adequately to be accepted by the membrane industry. The shape of the membrane is established by the properties of the solvent and the way it interacts with the polymer (Dong et al., 2020).Furthermore, solvents that could harm the environment are not allowed to be used in the production of membranes due to environmental rules. The European Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)programme has identified chemicals like NMP, DMAc and DMF as very concerning; as a result, their use will soon be outlawed (Mohamed and Yousef, 2021).
Kim et al. analysed current efforts to reduce the environmental impact of membrane production by evaluating the use of environmentally benign solvents and chemicals. The newly discovered environmentally safe solvents used in manufacturing a high-performance membrane have been documented (Kim, 2020). Figoli and coworkers investigated a variety of solvents for use in membrane manufacturing. The toxicity of solvent sand the possibility of a novel solvent being classified as a green solvent that does not affect the environment were determined by applying twelve green principles (Figoli et al., 2014).
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By Mohsin Najam
Posted: 09:01 am, Thursday, 01 September 2022.
Since the year 1990, the absolute number of people living in poverty has been declining and democracy has been spreading. But these global trends have not been adequate for lessening the fragility. In all the fragile states, extremism, conflict, forced displacement, the rise of pandemics, corruption, the ability to respond effectively to climate change, and food security are some of the issues that are felt most strongly. Most of these fragile countries are not on a track towards sustainable economic development, cannot deliver services effectively, and are dependent on aid because they lack the state capacity to carry out basic functions and have weak state legitimacy due to which citizens of that state are more vulnerable to shocks. Foreign aid has been a major source of income shaping as it results in investment which further leads to growth and reduction in poverty. But after 2001 and the events that took place in it, the flow of aid had paradoxical impacts. The aid which was once perceived only as contributing to the improvement in growth on a sustained basis is now being criticized for fueling and financing corruption, issues around inflation and debt burden, etc. (Murshed, 2014) .
After 9/11 the flow of aid in Afghanistan shows that on one hand aid contributed to economic growth and expansion of public services. But on other hand, the heavy aid dependency that Afghanistan endured including overconcentration and overreliance on off-budget funding had negative implications for accountability and state-building (Dost, 2016) .It resulted in upward accountability to donors and made the government increasingly preoccupied and accountable to donors. This type of upward accountability in some cases also exaggerates the existing gap between state and society. The main problem with aid is that it severs the link between the individual and their governments and by that it erodes the sanctity of a democratic contract. Like in Muslim sub-Saharan Africa around 70% of government revenues are financed by aid flows. So, the government very rationally focuses on donors. Even though Africa is a very dynamic region, and it’s attracting a lot of foreign direct investment but still it is the most aid-dependent region of the world. A lot of democracies in Africa are still very fragile, for instance in the year 1990, there was a transition of several countries in sub-Saharan Africa from one-party to multi-party regimes, and they are now considered electoral democracies (Moss, 2006) . The major reason for the inefficacy of aid in Africa and other Asian counties is corruption. These countries consistently fall at the bottom of the CPI index. (Corruption Perceptions Index 2020).
Moreover, things like inflation and debt burden are very well documented by agencies such as World Bank and IMF as a part of the outcome that emerges in an aid-driven society. Aid also brings paradoxical tax outcomes. The overconcentration of government and international development partners on revenue-generating targets has neglected the politics of taxation and has prevented the emergence of a harmonized taxation system. For example, in Africa aid has contributed to the killing of entrepreneurship. Every year African countries are amongst the worst places to do business according to the World Bank report of “Doing Business” (Doing Business 2020) . There are countries like Australia where it takes a day or two to get a business license whereas in Africa it takes up to 2 years. So, there is no creation of a job or a system for business or entrepreneurship and the major reason for it is that government relies on aid rather than tax revenues.
The effectiveness of aid is not isolated from the effectiveness of development. To accomplish the objective of the effectiveness of aid, it is important to improve the capacity of developing countries and to incorporate all the development partners for political gain. The recipient countries should give appropriate attention to their policies as well as how aid resources are prioritized, delivered, and handled. Lastly, the recipient country should take the decisions about where aid should be invested depending on their priorities.
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By Hadia Rashid
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