This paper argues why the Competition Act was successfully enacted during the Aquino administration. Focusing on its political factors, the paper also illuminates the significance of Aquino’s reformist politics and the implication of his vision of “inclusive growth.”
The legislation of the Act was made possible by three elements. First, at the macro level, taking advantage of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, the Aquino administration set the political goal of “inclusive growth,” which aimed to confront “growth without employment” that came to light during the Arroyo administration. The Act was included in it as an important part. Second, at the micro level, Senator Bam Aquino, who had been addressing issues of SMEs, became the main author of the bill, promoted it skillfully in Congress, and persuaded those who are cautious. Third, in the economic dimension, having experienced high economic growth and some foreign direct investment since the mid-2000s, Filipino conglomerates, who had been the opposition force to competition bills since the 1990s, begun to acknowledge the necessity of reforming economic rules and old business practices.
Based on this analysis, the paper broadens the argument and points out several aspects of Aquino’s reformist politics. First, the government showed it is essential to foster SMEs as well as infrastructure development to overcome the weakness of job creation, which has been a structural problem of the Philippine economy for a long time. Second, the government recognized that removing various entry barrios and monopoly is inevitable to foster SMEs and it should be done not only by deregulation, which had been a central measure to revitalize economy, but by the government’s active intervention. Third, to eliminate corruption and personalistic politics, the administration promoted political participation of civil society organizations and tried to advance transparency and accountability and strengthen rule of law.
Although Aquino and Duterte look contrasting leaders, the Duterte administration largely took over Aquino’s reformist direction including the competition policy. Therefore, to understand political changes in the Philippines from now on, Aquino’s reformist politics must be referred to as its unignorable stage.
Studies on Chinese urban societies under the planned economy tend to use the Chinese term “danwei” to depict the self-contained features of urban firms. However, this study proposes to view them as “isolated societies” instead. The purpose of using this term is to shed light on the difference in the degree of isolation between various urban firms under the planned economy. The industrial firms erected under the “Third Front” program were the most isolated from their surroundings among Chinese firms, while those located in traditional industrial cities were less isolated.
This study focuses on Shanghai’s “Small Third Front”, which consisted of 81 projects built by the Shanghai Municipal Government in the mountainous region of southern Anhui Province during the late 1960s and 1970s. It produced rocket ranchers and artillery shells for the military under the direction and support of the Shanghai Government. All inputs for production were either transported from Shanghai or supplied by specialized plants in the Small Third Front. Staples for the employees such as grain, meat, tobacco, sugar, and soap were also transported from Shanghai. The Small Third Front was thus isolated from its surrounding rural societies in its production and daily life.
The Small Third Front was also isolated in marriage. Most of the employees married some other employee in the Small Third Front or left their spouses in Shanghai. Inter-marriage with the surrounding rural population was rare, because there were wide cultural gaps between the employees who came from Shanghai and the local population. Only 5 percent of married couples were between the employees and local rural residents.
However, societal relationship gradually developed between the Small Third Front and local rural residents. Local peasants sold vegetables and eggs to the employees and used the facilities for the Small Third Front’s employees such as clinics, schools, and movie theaters. The Small Third Front provided cement, steel, electricity, water, and even money to the surrounding rural societies to maintain good relationship.
The Small Third Front’s plants were transferred from Shanghai to Anhui Provincial Government during 1986 and 1988 and most of the employees that came from Shanghai returned to Shanghai. Tens of thousands of Anhui peasants went to Shanghai later for work, taking advantage of their connections with the former employees of Small Third Front. This fact reveals that the Small Third Front was not absolutely isolated from its surroundings.
The 2019 general election in India heralded the emergence of new party system, that of the BJP system. The Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition, the National Democratic Alliance, was re-elected with the enhanced presence of the BJP. The BJP system is characterized by the ‘politics of obedience,’ which consists of three elements: economic development, institutionalization of Hindu supremacism (Hindutva), and violent oppression of religious minorities, especially Muslims. How does this ‘politics of obedience’ work? What is the implication for the future of Indian democracy? This paper analyses the recent 2020 Bihar state assembly election to answer these questions.
Bihar has been known for secularism and ‘social justice’ since 1990. Consequently, the BJP was not able to dominate the ruling circle in Bihar until the 2020 election. This election, however, made it possible for the BJP to dominate the state government for the first time since independence. By analyzing voting behaviors based on a representative sample survey, this article argues that the ideology of Hindutva has reached acceptance by the majority of voters. The prevalence of Hindutva is enabled by the popularity of prime minister Narendra Modi, whose mismanagement of COVID-19 has not affected on his popularity. Sang Parivar, the whole body of Hindutva forces, will accelerate the process of institutionalizing Hindutva, preparing for the time ‘after Modi’. This is the reality that endangers the future of Indian democracy.
Nonetheless, we still have hope. The ongoing powerful farmers’ movement against the government is a novel form of the Civil Disobedience Movement for the 21st century. The hope of Indian democracy, as well as that of the rest of the world, lies in this movement.
India’s Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is in its second term in office under the prime ministership of Narendra Modi after coming to power for the first time with a full majority in 2014. The intervening years have witnessed three broad and interlinked consolidations: a deepening of Hindu majoritarian hegemony, the rising authoritarian populism inherent in the Modi persona, and the growing use, misuse and control of the media for political purposes. The argument in this chapter is that the last has contributed immeasurably to the conditions that made the other two phenomena possible. The media has always been one of the principal catalysers of BJP’s growth in political presence and ideological influence from the late 1980s onwards, but what Modi has been able to singularly and successfully achieve is to suborn media institutions to the BJP’s political agendas in a manner that no Indian prime minister before him has been able to do, not even Mrs Indira Gandhi who imposed an emergency on the country in 1975. The chapter goes on to delineate the circumstances under which this was achieved and the consequences for the constitutional right of freedom of expression in India.
There are lines of continuity as well as newer shifts in the Modi government’s foreign policy when compared to what preceded it, both with respect to the 2004–14 Congress-led coalition governments and the first 1998–2004 BJP-led governments. The marriage of promoting neoliberal economic globalisation and conventional ‘realpolitik’ continued to shape the Modi regime’s foreign policy; the latter leading to the pursuit of a closer relationship with the US to contain China, an effort accelerated by the eruption after decades of serious armed clashes in mid-2020 at the Sino-Indian border. Of course, with a government as deeply committed as this one is to a Hindutva-based ideology of ingrained Islamophobia, this would find expression in foreign policy matters as well. First, the Indian government initiated new anti-Muslim migration laws specifically directed at its neighbours Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh whose domestic purpose is to reinforce the idea of India being a ‘Hindu nation’ by introducing religious discrimination in citizenship status and rights against Muslims in the country. Second, the Modi government for the first time ever launched an airstrike deep into Pakistani territory to bomb an alleged terrorist site in February 2019 which act, along with the later annulment of Article 370 in the Constitution, removed the issue of Kashmir from any future bilateral agenda, thus guaranteeing a near permanency of hostile relations between New Delhi and Islamabad. Third, relations with Israel (given the similarities between Zionism and Hindutva) have dramatically improved at all levels with Modi being the first Indian PM to officially visit Israel. The key global dilemmas of nuclear arms-racing, climate change and rising levels of economic inequalities and suffering have been given no real concern in foreign policy thinking and practice. Rather, Indian foreign policy under Modi has been motivated as much by how it can help to bring about domestic consolidation of Hindutva ideology and forces as about extending Indian power abroad.
Asia is the site of global power shift in the 21st century. In times of the volatility and power shift, how do Asian countries manage to influence the international setting? Where are the emerging giants, China and India, going? What could be Japanese option? The author attempts to characterize those big three and to grasp the nature of the triangle relations of those countries.
Japan and China are the “Developmental States”. Both experienced the decades of rapid growth under the American hegemony. The rise of Japan was focused in the American policy circle since the late 1970s to 1990s, while the rise of China has been concerned since the early 2000s to today. Japan was not a serious threat to the US, however, for it was democratized by the US-led occupational forces after the end of WWII and controlled by the US-Japan Security Treaty. China is a different story: it maintains or even strengthens its own dictatorial regime under the Chinese Communist Party, keeping independence from the US-led coalition.
China and India share several similarities, too. First, both were established by the nationalist parties, the Chinese Communist Party and the Indian National Congress in the late 1940s. Second, those experienced the partition at the time of independence, the split between Mainland China and Kuomintang’s Taiwan as well as the partition of India and Pakistan. Third, China and India became ‘socialist states’ during the Cold War. Fourth, both have the territorial disputes with the neighboring countries including each other. Fifth, they embrace a strong nationalism to integrate its nation in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies.
Based on the above understanding, “Maritime International Politics in the Indo-Pacific and India-Japan Global Partnership” and “Eurasian Continental Politics: Great Game without US, EU and Japan?” will be discussed to lead to the conclusive argument. The rise of China, the growth of India, the Japanese downturn, and the decline of American hegemony do not have to destabilize international society. The World Economic Forum predicted, “Asia’s GDP will overtake the GDP of the rest of the world combined”. Such a tendency will be strengthened after the pandemic. As a leading democratic state, American ally and Chinese close neighbor, Japan should find a way to promote peaceful coexistence and cooperation. “Power shift does not have to bring a state of anarchy”, as Amitav Acharya suggested. Asia must have enough capability to bring a state of peaceful order in this region and global society.