This paper is concerned with medical insurance which is one of the potential contributory factors in risk sharing tool. This research evaluates the medical insurance’s risk sharing function in rural China during the economic transition period because it decreases food consumption variance to face the household idiosyncratic shock. In this research, the income elasticity was estimated.
Chinese rural households like in other developing countries are exposed to unpredicted risks under uncertain economy and imperfect market. With this, there are risks of losing income. One of the main causes of poverty is consumption shock due to unstable income. Income shocks usually manifest idiosyncratic shocks. This can be understood as a form of idiosyncratic shock, a kind of malnutrition that disturbs consumption smoothing. If one of the communities have a risk sharing system, where it balances or disperses the risks for such shocks, then it helps alleviate the level of poverty.
The CHNS long-term panel data was used throughout the study. For estimating the potential insurance function of rural medical insurances, the application of the instrument variable method was utilized in consideration of the endogenous problems of measurement error, omitted variable, and selection bias.
Based on the analysis, three hypothesis results were verified: (1) The full risk sharing test was conducted and performed for evaluation. Results showed that, food consumption was not completely isolated from income fluctuations, but it has a relatively strong risk sharing mechanism compared to other developing countries in rural China. (2) Various medical insurances have proven its potential risk sharing function in intra-villages, on the account that they don’t have to worry about expensive medical fees in facing the idiosyncratic shock and what makes the food consumption stable up to 60% to 70%. (3) Based on the results before 2009, intra-villages have higher medical risk sharing function than other medical insurances. However, in 2009, there was a drastic change in medical insurances role. Community relationship ties that has been weaken due to the progress of urbanization. On the other hand, a top-down reform in 2007 and has a positive effect in extending the scope of risk pooling and social solidarity, thus promoting social integration. Currently, it shows that public social safety net is used instead of traditional life security which is the intra-villages risk sharing system.
In this article, I examine how international events during the Cold War era in the 1960s shaped the construction of the “Northern Tier” region, comprising Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan from the perspective of diplomatic history and international relations. Focusing on the joint activities of these three states and their mutual negotiations with Western powers (notably the United Kingdom and the United States), I show how a “Northern Tier” regional identity was embodied within the international environment. I present a case study of the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), a regional organization formed by “the Northern Tier” states in 1964 to promote economic and cultural cooperation.
These states created RCD largely because of their dissatisfaction with the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) established during the Cold War by the Western alliance. CENTO’s first members from this region, namely Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan, opposed the efforts of the United States to improve relationships with India and with Arab nationalists, like Egypt, in the 1960s. Moreover, they faced critical conflicts with their neighbors, and their call for CENTO’s involvement in regional conflicts was rejected by the Western powers. Thus, RCD’s formation was also politically motivated. The Western powers decided to adopt a “wait and see” approach because their interests lay in preserving the Western alliance and reducing the amount and of their aid. Accordingly, regional and Western states sought to balance their respective interests.
RCD planned to establish a regional common market and joint enterprises among member states to promote regional cooperation. However, these ambitious programs posed particular challenges for its member states given their financial constraints. Nevertheless, some agreements, such as reducing postal and telephone charges and abolishing tourist visas among member states were reached. These “soft” cooperation initiatives contributed to preserving the unity of the “Northern Tier” region while presenting opportunities to promote “hard” cooperation through extended relationships with Third World countries.
The above context suggests that RCD’s main accomplishment entailed the construction of a “Northern Tier” regional identity and the strengthening of regional cooperation. This regional concept evidently originated from Western “containment” strategies. In light of unfolding international events, RCD’s organizational structure was reoriented toward region-specific cooperation, prompting Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan to establish a regional identity. RCD also balanced their interests between Western powers and regional members. It is named as the “CENTO-RCD regime” in this article. This regime strengthened linkages and compatibility between the global Cold War strategy and regional strategies developed by the RCD member states.
Against a backdrop of growing concern over democratic decline, many scholars have debated whether democracy has been in a global recession for the past decade or so. Based on two major democracy indices, this article presents how political regimes in Asian countries have changed since the mid-2000s—the period when, according to its proponents, a global democratic recession started. Both the Freedom House and Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) measures suggest that the Asian countries that have lower scores now than in 2005 are mostly emerging democracies, but that there is no clear pattern of democratic decline across the region since the mid-2000s. Notably, there was a significant gap between the two indices for some countries, including the Philippines and India, both of which are featured in the current issue of this journal. This seems quite natural, given the different methodologies adopted by the indices to measure democracy. I conclude that country case studies are critical for assessing the extent to which democracy indices can capture the political reality of each country and for determining which index is more sensible than others.
This paper explains why majority of Filipinos have come to tolerate President Duterte’s violence in the name of “discipline.” His “war on drugs” is estimated to kill almost 20,000 people but nearly 80 percent of Filipinos have supported him. To explain his popularity, previous studies have pointed out such factors as failure of the existing liberal democracy and Duterte’s penal populism. However, these studies do not explain why these issues have come to the forefront only in the mid-2010s although they are the long-standing problems. This paper argues that it is because the neoliberal governmentality has increasingly penetrated into societies and constructed new moral subjectivities among Filipinos as “virtuous citizens” who embrace discipline and diligence in the 21st century.
Neoliberalism propagates the doctrine that people’s economic status and welfare are dependent on individual’s responsibility, shifting the blame for misfortunes of lives from the state to individuals. Thus, people are required to discipline themselves to become “virtuous citizens” independent from the state and skillful in the market for subsistence and opportunities. However, despite efforts of self-disciplining, they usually remain helpless to overcome socio-economic inequality and precariousness in the society where the state does not fully function. This shared frustration of disciplined “good citizens” has created a popular resentment against undisciplined “evil others” at the top and bottom: the elites who abuse the state power and resources, and drug users who put danger to their families and communities. It is their resentment that has justified Duterte’s violence.
Lower middle class who have emerged in the global service industry in the 21st century mainly constitute the “virtuous citizens.” Based on annual research in Western Leyte, however, this paper argues that struggling poor in rural societies have also developed the moral subjectivities as “virtuous citizens” strengthening resentment against “evil others.” In the localities, the super typhoon Yolanda devastated the feudal coconut agriculture in November 2013. Those who lost the main livelihood have become dependent on resources provided by NGOs, the private sector and the state. Their programs have the neoliberal characteristics to require the beneficiaries to become independent, disciplined and diligent “virtuous citizens” in exchange for resources. While many struggle to live a disciplined life for subsistence, others found alternative source of income in the illegal drug trafficking. The former developed their frustration against the latter and became ardent supporters of the war on drugs in a situation where drugs and violence are perpetrated by a drug lord family.
Democratic institutions are being subverted and the very idea itself is being dismantled in many countries around the world. India, which boasts 70 years of democratic practice, is no exception. In particular, the increasing oppression of religious minorities such as Muslims by the emergence of vigilante groups like cow protection groups (Gau Rakshaks) represents a new and significant strategy of the current Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government. Under the ‘two-sword strategy’ that combines economic development with Hindu supremacy’s hardliner approach, Hindu majoritarian ideology is rapidly creating an exclusivist and aggressive Hindu identity. This article analyses this new trend by using the 2019 general election survey data and proposes that there appears to be the emergence and consolidation of a new party system in India, which I refer to as the ‘BJP system’. The idea of ‘politics of obedience’, which characterises the ‘BJP system’, moreover, is starkly different from that of the ‘politics of consensus’, which earlier characterised the Congress Party’s one-party dominant rule, that is, the ‘Congress system’. This article analyses the emergence of the ‘politics of obedience’ and debates the future of democracy in India and the world.