Since the early 1990s, “sustainable development” has emerged as a concept to bridge the conventional divide between “development” and “environment conservation.” However, the sustainability concept has not been fully adopted in many of developing countries because rapid economic growth is still given high priority. In developing countries, resource management and utilization are pressing issues over environmental conservation and preservation. Control of resources, instead of the environment, therefore, should be given central focus which will then allow us to integrate environmental conservation, development, and poverty alleviation.
Natural resource studies have increased since the 1980s in the United States and European countries. Indeed, Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize in 2009 demonstrates part of the progress of social sciences of natural resources. In Japan, however, although studies have been conducted in the field of environmental governance particularliy since 1990s, resource studies have been rarely cultivated. Against this backdrop, this paper surveys natural resource studies of developing countires focusing three leading research areas namely, “resource curse”, studies of “commons”, and “political ecology.” By reviewing the recent trend and debates in resource studies, this paper will demonstrate what scholars of develoment studies can learn from the literature, and in turn, contribute to it.
This review article analyses the characteristics of Education Development studies in Japan in recent 20 years by comparing articles about education in developing countries published in various Japanese academic journals. The total number of the articles is about 300. The journals we collected are divided into three genres: Education Development studies, Educational studies and Area studies.
The main methods of this review is to clarify the characteristics of articles by applying 15 viewpoints like research target, research area, research purpose and research education level. As a result, it is possible to locate the position and characteristics of Education Development studies in the whole picture of educational researches on developing countries in Japan.
There are some interesting findings. Based on the data we collected, it appears that each genre of study has its own purpose. For example, whether the research is academic driven or mission driven has a strong impact on target area, region and education level. In terms of education research on Africa, higher education has not been explored much by Japanese researchers.
In Education Development studies, there are some implications for future research from this review. One of them is to learn useful insights from the genres of Educational Studies and Area studies. Educational Studies provide important pedagogical viewpoints especially concerning human development. Area studies provide rich micro-level perspectives concerning community viewpoints, history, culture and local context. Of course, “The Journal of International Development Studies” has already plenty of good examples; we are able to utilize these articles as a good guideline for future research.
This article reviews NGO studies over the period 1987-2010 from the perspective of critical theory. More specifically, deconstructive and postcolonial criticism are brought to bear mainly upon the influential articles on NGO studies in order to see to what extent the existing literature theorizes the power relationships between NGOs and different actors and how such relationships are formed. It is found that the naïve realistic theorizing of NGOs during the embryonic stage of NGO studies until the mid 1990s was later replaced by sharp criticisms, which were based on the more detailed empirical findings on NGO power relationships originating from donors. Moreover, given the stalemate-like situation where NGOs have been locked in this top-down aid system chain, thereby bringing some negative impacts on their beneficiaries and civil societies in the South, future research should make discontinuous leaps and look at what is happening outside such a system. Also given that the voices of beneficiaries, subalterns in the NGO aid system chain, have been mostly ignored in the last two decades of NGO studies, future research should represent their voices. Since providing possibilities of solution for the stalemate-like situation is urgent, in the short-term such an approach as abduction, an expanded and rough inductive approach, may be used for formulating hypotheses from findings on phenomena happening outside the aid system and the voices of beneficiaries. For the long-term, it seems necessary to use more thorough inductive approaches to theorize from such findings in a bottom-up fashion.
This article examines the ethics of post-development and its potential contribution to the normative debate on international development politics. The article principally focuses on the work of seminal French post-development philosopher Serge Latouche and scrutinises his epistemological and ontological critique of international development politics. First, through analysis, the article argues that Latouche's critique of development makes a unique contribution to development ethics in that it problematises the foundation of the conceptual framework of modern political economy (Section 2). Secondly, the article points to the pertinence of the themes of twentieth century French ‘philosophy of difference’ to Latouche's work (Section 2). Drawing in particular on Emmanuel Levinas' ethics, author explains the way in which Latouche criticises the modern paradigms of development and economy as part of the totalising logic of Western metaphysics as well as the manner in which he seeks to revalorise singularities of the existences of people who are marginalised and devalued by theories and practices of modernist development projects. By scrutinising Latouche's critical interpretation of the informal sphere of West Africa, the article argues that Latouche's post-development suggests the transformation of value system of North-South relations to a more equitable one (Section 3). Finally, the article remarks three potential contributions of the ethics of post-development to the contemporary debate on development ethics (Section 4).
The wider development community acknowledges that trade integration is an important element in achieving sustained growth and poverty reduction. The emerging Aid for Trade (AfT) interlocks aid and trade into a broader pro-poor growth strategy. It provides an important framework to support this process by addressing poor people's constraints to taking up the new economic opportunities arising from expanding markets. This paper looks at what we know about the impact of trade on poverty and examines how AfT can support developing countries to maximize the inclusive growth and poverty reduction impacts of trade. It illustrates the potential role of AfT as an instrument to build capacity of poor countries to trade, to help the poor take advantage of new opportunities created, or to protect them against negative effects. It also underlines the need for coherence to ensure that developing countries use trade as an instrument of economic development.
In the last two decades, educational decentralization has been introduced into many countries. The introduction of decentralization in education seems to be an attempt to solve various educational problems in developing countries. However, there are few cases where the decentralization of the educational system has been successfully implemented. This article, at first, describes the purpose of the decentralization policy and discusses how each country decided whether or not decentralization policy should be introduced and how those who were involved with decentralization, especially teachers, were influenced by accepting the new policy. The literature review indicates that, in order to understand the realities of educational problems, we have to pay special attention to factors affecting the education system (rural communities, organization of schools, teachers, and parents). In conclusion, future research should focus on the teachers, as well as long term field studies which are necessary in order to further understand the social dynamics behind the process of decentralization.
In order to prevent desertification in northern and western parts of China, Ecological Resettlement programs have been introduced in many regions. The programs are designed to cope with recovery of grassland ecology in desertificated pasture areas while maintaining the farm income levels. However, few relevant economic studies have ever been conducted. This paper examines the factors of profitability of dairy production in ecological resettlement villages by comparing economic circumstances in the village with those of existing traditional dairy farms. Random sample surveys have been conducted in ecological resettlement villages and traditional dairy village in the central part of Inner Mongolia. The number of sample is 293, of which 193 are farms in ecological resettlement and 100 are traditional farms.
The results show farm incomes in ecological resettlements are substantially lower than those of traditional dairy farms. It is because of problems of design for the resettlements, as well as because of problems of the technical inefficiency of farm production in ecological resettlements. Resettlement villages do not have farmland large enough to provide feed for animals, thus production costs are higher. The technical efficiencies estimated by the stochastic production function are lower in resettlement villages. Some farmers seek off-farm employment opportunities in urban areas, but their earnings are insufficient to offset high production costs. The profitability of resettled farms could be increased by providing larger areas of land to each farm, introducing technical extension systems and implementing quality control of cows. If these conditions are fulfilled, resettled farms could earn the same level of incomes as traditional dairy farms and the origin grassland could be rehabilitated.
The CFA Franc was introduced to the formerly French-ruled African Countries in 1945, on the day previous to the French accession to IMF. There actually exist two totally different currencies called the CFA franc: The Communauté Financière d'Afrique Franc, which is shared among eight Western African countries and Coopération Financière en Afrique centrale Franc for six Central African countries. Each currency is issued and controlled by its own central bank and the value of both currencies is pegged to the French Franc (or the Euro since 2002) at the same rate.
However, with the appreciation of the Euro, the appreciation of these two CFA Francs has become a problem of deep concern. Despite the fact that the Sub Saharan African countries had also faced to the same economic crisis since the 1980's, CFA Franc countries are thought to have had far more serious difficulty in adjusting their economies. In this paper, we first identify the institutions of the CFA Franc Zone as well as a range of problematic issues pointed out in empirical research. Second, we calculated the Real Effective Exchange Rates (REER) for those countries based on quarterly data from 1999 to 2006 and compared them with those of neighbor countries.
Our results show that the REER of most CFA Franc countries did not appreciate because they had succeeded in keeping their price levels sufficiently low. However, most of their neighboring countries, which continued to devaluate their currencies due to instability of their economies were much more competitive. Since the financial crisis of the year 2008, the effect of the exchange rate systems on economic growth attracted the heightened attention. This paper shows some important issues when we will grapple with the development of the CFA Franc Zone Countries.
This article describes a paradigm shift in international cooperation from government level to local level as a way to effect social change. Rural areas in Japan are now suffering from the effects of depopulation and aging. Against this background, JICA (the Japan International Cooperation Agency) has proposed that its training programs, originally intended for developing countries be used as a way to revitalize such areas. JICA advocates this strategy as promoting a “win-win” relationship between developing countries and Japanese rural areas.
Through participating in JICA's training, the local people in Koura Town, Shiga Prefecture and Takikawa Town in Hokkaido found their own meaning of international cooperation, and have been establishing community-level institutions of international cooperation. In Koura Town, for example, Kitaochi District made an agreement with a local village in Thailand involving various forms of international exchange, while the residents of Takikawa Town established the “Malawi Club”, which served to raise interest in Malawi and other developing countries, to promote mutual friendship among club members, and foster a global perspective through international cooperation. Interviews conducted with key persons of Kitaochi District and the Malawi club revealed that such local institutions were established for two main reasons: firstly, as a means to gain insights into Japanese society by observing developing countries, and secondly, as a way to convey the importance of international cooperation to the next generation.
In conclusion, the case studies of Koura and Takikawa Town suggest that employing a normative framework has great significance in the study of community development.