...

Understanding the rise of the regulatory state of the South

Summary

We suggest that three aspects of this common context are important in characterizing the rise of the regulatory state of the South. The first contextual element is the presence of powerful external pressures, especially from international financial institutions, to adopt the institutional innovation of regulatory agencies in infrastructure sectors. The result is often an incomplete engagement with and insufficient embedding of regulatory agencies within local political and institutional context. A second is the greater intensity of redistributive politics in settings where infrastructure services are of extremely poor quality and often non-existent. The resultant politics of distribution draws in other actors, such as the courts and civil society; regulation is too important to be left to the regulators. The third theme is that of limited state capacity, which we suggest has both “thin” and “thick” dimensions. Thin state capacity issues include prosaic concerns of budget, personnel and training; thick issues address the growing pressures on the state to manage multiple forms of engagement with diverse stakeholders in order to balance competing concerns of growth, efficiency and redistribution. These three themes provide a framework for this special issue, and for the case studies that follow. We focus on regulatory agencies in infrastructure sectors (water, electricity and telecoms) as a particular expression of the regulatory state, though we acknowledge that the two are by no means synonymous. The case studies are drawn from India, Colombia, Brazil, and the Philippines, and engage with one or more of these contextual elements. The intent is to draw out common themes that characterize a “regulatory state of the South,” while remaining sensitive to the variations in level of economic development and political institutional contexts within “the South.”

Read more

Toward Enabling and Inclusive Global Environmental Governance

Introduction

Sustainable development has always been a compromise formulation that papered over real conflict between environment and development. Twenty years after Rio, the geopolitical climate is far less conducive to easy compromises. Given an embattled North and a rising South, particularly Asia, the language of zero sum conflict rather than positive sum cooperation is likely to prevail. Green growth offers one way to paper over these conflicts yet again, but it would be prudent to resist this temptation. There is incomplete buy-in to the green growth story, and some in the South are also concerned that this narrative will downgrade poverty alleviation and equity considerations from the sustainable development triad of environment, growth and distribution. In this context, Rio+20 can play a positive role by focusing on national and sub-national institutions and embracing a diversity of national political, institutional and legal contexts; seeking to impose uniformity is likely to chafe. Global efforts can play a supporting role by inducing normative change, stimulate national processes, and provide hooks for domestic policy actors. In addition, Rio+20 should ensure that inclusion of the weakest should remain firmly on the agenda. While the conversations may be difficult, Rio+20 will be most productive if it leads to engagement with fraught geopolitical issues than if, once again, these are papered over.

Read more

Handbook of Climate Change and India: Development, Politics and Governance

Summary

This Handbook brings together prominent voices from India, including policymakers, politicians, business leaders, civil society activists and academics, to build a composite picture of contemporary Indian climate politics and policy. The papers show that, within India, climate change is approached primarily as a developmental challenge and is marked by efforts to explore how multiple objectives of development, equity and climate mitigation can simultaneously be met. In addition, Indian perspectives on climate negotiations are in a state of flux. Considerations of equity across countries and a focus on the primary responsibility for action of wealthy countries continue to be central, but there are growing voices of concern on the impacts of climate change on India. How domestic debates over climate governance are resolved in the coming years, and the evolution of India’s global negotiation stance are likely to be important inputs toward creating shared understandings across countries in the years ahead, and identify ways forward. This volume on the Indian experience with climate change and development is a valuable contribution to both purposes.

Read more
Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.