VOLUME VII ISSUE I AUGUST 2011
THE PRIVATE REALM: TRANSFORMING THE GLOBAL ARENA The Future of Space Exploration
Debating Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporatisation of Media The Rise of Social Entrepreneurship
A WORD FROM THE EDITOR The Sydney Globalist is a member of Global21, an international network of undergraduate global affairs magazines founded by Yale University. Visit our website at www.thesydneyglobalist.org.
EDITORIAL TEAM Editor-in-Chief Andy Thomas
Deputy Editor-in-Chief Dominic Dietrich Publisher Tarsha Gavin Assistant Publisher Varsha Maharaj Executive Director Lewis Hamilton Assistant Executive Director Raihana Haidary Chief Copy Editor Louise Coleman Blog Director Mekela Panditharatne Artistic Design and Layout Jeff Li Global21 Liaison Gemma Valpiani Associate Editors Sarah Austin, Hitesh Chugh, Gabrielle Easter, Jeff Li, James McElroy, Bavani Moodley, Jacinta Mulders, Jahan Navidi, Drew Rooke, Michael Safi, Preethi Sundaram, Catherine Tayeh, Hari Thirunavukkarasu, Sophie Trevitt, Michael de Waal Assistant Copy Editors Philip Chan, Rebecca Dang, Mihajla Gavin, Alicia Gray, Angela Koh, Guang Li, Dennis Mak, Sheila-Marie Monaghan, Anna Solar-Bassett, Jessie-Grace Stephenson, Jessica Yeo
BOARD OF ADVISORS
The Hon. Catherine Branson QC, President, Australian Human Rights Commission Professor Alan Dupont, Director of the Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney Professor the Hon. Gareth Evans AO QC, President Emeritus, International Crisis Group Professor Graeme Gill, University of Sydney Mr. Owen Harries, Senior Fellow, Centre for Independent Studies Professor Michael Jackson, University of Sydney
SPONSORS Gold Sponsors
College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney Sydney Law School, University of Sydney Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales Silver Sponsor International House, University of Sydney Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney
The views expressed in The Sydney Globalist are those of its contributors alone. Neither its Board of Advisers nor the University of Sydney are responsible for its contents. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia license, which states you can redistribute this work under the conditions that you transmit this work in whole and without modifications, and provide proper attributions.
The forces of change in global affairs have been transformed in recent years. Private entities, whether they are NGOs, profit-driven corporations or merely individuals, increasingly shape the outcome of international issues. One need not look further than the revolutions sparked by individuals across the Arab world at the beginning of this year as evidence. The growing influence of these non-state actors leaves many open questions to be addressed. One of the most pertinent of these is whether the motives of these entities are necessarily aligned with the people they impact upon. Indeed, the longterm impact of these diverging motives is a theme that runs through a number of contributions. This edition is led by several articles that adopt varying approaches to the magazine’s theme. Joel Wing-Lun analyses the public influence of prominent Chinese historian and intellectual Wang Hui, one of the forefathers of China’s ‘New Left’ movement. Joel’s article explores the significance of his scholarship for both Chinese foreign policy and in understanding the political and cultural implications of the continued rise of China. In contrast, Madeleine King looks at the increasing role of leading universities across the world as transnational actors. She hypothesises about the impact that their desire for an increasing corporate presence will have upon the leaders of tomorrow. Finally, as the United States ends an era of manned space expeditions, Ben Brooks questions whether privatised space travel will be able to fill the void. Beyond these articles, our contributors have examined a wide range of different issues being defined by private sector bodies, including the rise of the medical tourism, the politicisation of news corporations and the role of NGOs in developing nations. Others give analysis of the recent events in South Sudan and the Ivory Coast, as well as the assassination of Osama bin Laden. I would also encourage all readers to visit our online edition, which includes a number of compelling contributions that have not been included in this print edition. The Sydney Globalist is a chapter of the ever-expanding Global21 network. In this edition, we have welcomed contributions from students from a range of universities across the world. I would encourage all readers of The Sydney Globalist to visit the network and the magazines of other chapters online at www.global21online.org. On a final note, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our generous sponsors and everyone involved in the production of this edition. Your creativity, vision and commitment makes our magazine possible!
Yours in global affairs, Andy Thomas
All pictures remain the properties of their respective copyright owner. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
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TheSydneyGlobalist VOLUME VII ISSUE I AUGUST 2011
Historian Provocateur Joel-Wing Luen
10 The Business of Learning Madeleine King
15 Space to Play Benjamin Brooks REGULARS
Masterchefs of Our Own Destiny
The Last Word
Lindsay Gumley & William Thomas
Operation Ajax: the CIA, Iran and Mossadegh
THE PRIVATE REALM
Business as Usual
News as Consumption
The Price of Justice in Lebanon
The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur
The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
The Real Problem with Iran
Taken to the Cleaners
A Silent March for the Armenian Genocide’s Recognition
Taking the Wheel
Poverty meets Prosperity
From Mau Mau to the Third Sector
Sharangan Maheswaran & Lewis Hamilton
PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY 22
Damascus in the Last Weeks of Tranquility
THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT 40
Welcome to the 193rd Country of the World
Gerard McCarthy TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
Interview: What on Earth does an environmental organisation actually do anyway? Lily Morrissey sat down with a director from Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari to give us an insight… Most people will never meet someone who works as a professional environmental activist. It’s no surprise then that the commonly held view is often skewed by outdated stereotypes. Are they really dirty hippies or tree hugging radicals? I’ve been traveling around the world talking to green workers to find out. Here’s a snippet of what Ian Singleton, director of conservation of Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL), gets up to. 1. What is YEL and how did it start? YEL is an Indonesian NGO with the aim to promote more sustainable use of natural resources in northern Sumatra. One of its main focuses, however, is the Sumatran orangutan and its habitat, the tropical forests of North Sumatra and Aceh Provinces... 2. What programs are you running at the moment? YEL runs a range of projects dealing the problem of illegal ‘pet’ Sumatran orangutans and how to rehabilitate and release them into the wild. It also runs a number of habitat protection and conservation projects, education and advocacy projects as well as undertaking research on the behaviour and ecology of the few remaining wild Sumaran organgutans. Additionally, YEL is also active in promoting sustainable development, in particular agriculture – running a sort of model farm that is used by local farmers to develop new concepts and ideas and to test them before applying them on their own farms. It therefore functions both as useable farm and as an education and training centre. YEL and PanEco also work to promote sustainable ‘ecotourism’ in the region. YEL manages its own ‘ecolodge’ in the town of Bukit Lawang, at the edge of the Gunungleuser National Park, and operates with other partners and elephant trekking programme, in which tourists can spend 3 days traveling through the forest on elephant back. 3. What do you think the biggest environmental problems are right now in Indonesia? By far the most serious crisis is the wholesale conversion of rainforests to plantations. Illegal logging remains a problem, but if only selected trees are removed there is still a chance for forests to regenerate naturally, but if the forests are removed totally, as still regularly occurs to establish palm oil plantations or Acacia plantations to supply the paper and pulp industry, the forests and their wildlife are lost forever. This is also a concern when large scale mining operations are developed too, but by far the most forest loss is a direct result of the expansion of plantations. Logging also has serious for climate change. Indonesia is the world’s third largest emitter of carbon dioxide, after the USA and China, despite not being considered an industrialised nation. Indonesia’s carbon emissions instead come from the destruction of the forests, which naturally store carbon in peat swamps. Peat is essentially organic matter stored over tens of thousands of years as it does not decompose in the
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
water logged swamp conditions. Once the forests in these areas are cleared, all of the above ground carbon is lost to the atmosphere. Plantations then establish drainage canals, and dry out the upper layers of the peat, which then oxidises in the air and releases huge amounts of carbon. It then also subsides, meaning the drainage canals must be continuously deepened, until all the peat is eventually destroyed. 4. How do you think some of these problems can be solved? Much hope has been pinned in recent years on the concept of REDD (United Nations Collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). REDD aims to cut carbon emissions into the atmosphere by restricting deforestation and the destruction of peatlands. But it aims to do this by allowing developed countries to pay developing countries to preserve forest in exchange for carbon credits. The idea is to develop an ongoing alternative income for communities who would otherwise be reliant on logging and palm oil, while also funding a variety of conservation programs. To YEL, the misuse and abuse of information by vested interests, often major plantation companies and local governments, coupled with the high levels of corruption still prevalent in the country mean that REDD is not the beacon of hope it could be. 5. Do you feel hopeful about the future? Why or why not? “Sometimes yes, sometimes no. There are certainly reasons to be optimistic”. In this age of technology and rapid advances in communication and data sharing, companies and governments are beginning to realise that they cannot carry on as before. Free flow of information is making it harder for companies to hide their destructive practices and infringements of the law. YEL shares the same problem as many green NGOs around the world - “the lack of accountability and effective law enforcement.” Over 2800 individuals have been involved in illegally buying pet orangutans, yet not a single one has been prosecuted in Indonesia – with no legal ramifications in place, how is the species to survive? In Indonesia, there is a similar situation with major companies. Many of them are so large and so powerful, wielding considerable political influence both in Indonesia and abroad, and so skilled at hiding behind smaller, more visible companies, that they are virtually immune to prosecution. Ian Singleton echoes the voices of many other Green workers I’ve met in his concluding comments - “Yes, there is reason for hope. But any improvements will be slow in materializing, and its by no means certain that orangutans, tigers, elephants, and even the tropical rainforests themselves as we know them today, will still be around when they do.”
Two Sides of the Coin
Preethi Sundaram and Justin Penafiel debate whether the death of Osama bin Laden is a big deal or no deal. BIG DEAL - By Justin Penafiel
NO DEAL - By Preethi Sundaram
These days, less and less people remember the fall of the Berlin Wall.
It has been stated, “if Osama bin Laden didn’t exist, it would be necessary to manufacture him.”
Yet, on May 2, we were there for the ultimate demise of Osama bin Laden. Indeed, his demise is the Berlin Wall of our times. To suggest otherwise would be to dismiss the Berlin Wall as but another man-made structure, or bin Laden as just any other old geezer.
After masterminding the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre, bin Laden quickly assumed the mantle of ‘Public Enemy Number One’ by the United States. This was a title he happily adopted, but as the quote suggests, one he hardly deserved.
Never mind that bin Laden was found in a fortified residence in the aptly-named Abbottabad in Pakistan, rather than some cave in Afghanistan (because people like Osama could have only possibly lived in caves, right?). If even George W. Bush can bring himself to congratulate Barack Obama for doing what he could never do, so can we. Yes, yes we can.
The War on Terror was a war the world had never seen before. It was the first in which an enemy, Al Qaeda, could no longer be clearly identified. What exactly were people fighting against? What exactly constituted ‘terror’?
That is not to deny that the war in terror was a foil in the struggle to track down bin Laden, after all. But in focusing on the fact that looking in caves and bombing Iraq was all in vain, we fail to comprehend and even appreciate the sheer awesomeness of America’s efforts under Obama to take down ‘Public Enemy Number One’. It was achieved completely under the radar, incognito, and without their closest allies ever knowing until Obama’s fateful and awe-inspiring announcement. Let’s not take this achievement away from the CIA and U.S. military, because they sorely needed it. Many small-l liberals bemoan the lost opportunities to reassert some lofty, but nebulous ideals of the rule of law and presumption of innocence until proven guilty, that were thrown out with bin Laden’s body in the Arabian Sea. I know I do. But let’s not kid ourselves – the bin Laden trials were never going to see the light of day, let alone the pages of law school textbooks. This was Barack Obama’s moment and the accompanying boost in the polls is perhaps deserving of his perseverance. Bin Laden, as a guerilla, may have been one of many, and he certainly did not define the Muslim world. Yet, the commemorations and celebrations there were of him are indicative of the cult of celebrity that surrounded bin Laden in his quest to define the Muslim world and its relations with the West. In all the media and hype that surrounded bin Laden, the scale and history of his influence is often forgotten. It is easy to forget he was one of Saudi’s richest sons. As the mastermind behind al-Qaeda, bin Laden transformed the organisation into a well funded, transnational operation that stretched from the Middle East and Africa to the Far East and the United States itself. The sheer spectacle of September 11 and his subsequent pursuit wiped away the world’s memories of the decade of plane hijackings and bombing of embassies, train stations and public markets. Fewer still recall bin Laden’s nearly successful plot to assassinate Pope John Paul II in Manila in 1995. From the comfort of our distant Australian homes, where we have only ever needed to be alert but not alarmed, it was all too easy to forget the real, omnipresent threat posed by bin Laden’s transnational presence to the peace and security of the rest of the world.
Osama bin Laden filled this information void. George W. Bush promised in 2001 that Osama bin Laden would be captured to avenge those that died in the attacks on United States soil. This was presumably a satisfying response, as it would put an end to ‘terror’ - as though Osama bin Laden had some kind of monopoly on all terrorist activity. In reality, Al Qaeda is a fragmented entity. In some ways, it is almost a franchise, where anyone is free to use the name to commit acts of violence under the broad banner of Sunni Islamism. Osama bin Laden repeated claimed to be acting in defence of all Islamic people. In the end, his popularity was never as widespread as he assumed it to be. In most instances, the majority of his victims were the innocent Muslims who he purported to defend. Instead, his idea of an Islamic state – a caliphate of sorts - was soundly being rejected by millions of Muslims who had other ideas. The Arab Spring arrived in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya as dictators are being thrown out one by one. Freedom, democracy and transparency are being demanded all over the Middle East, by Arabs who are willing to risk their lives in a way that they never would have for bin Laden’s obsolete ideologies. Osama bin Laden’s visions never found a place in the minds of those whose support he needed to continue his violent ways. In reality he was killed by the Arabs long before the Americans got him in Pakistan. Instead his name was used to con a grieving people to comply with two invasions in the name of justice. A decade on, the objective of the original mission has finally been achieved by another President forced to adopt this war as his own, in another country. Ten years have seen the invasions of two countries and the deaths of countless innocent civilians. Osama bin Laden’s death won’t change the state of the countries that U.S. foreign policy destroyed in their mission. It won’t cripple the decentralised command of al-Qaeda and it won’t end terrorist attacks. As this is being written revenge attacks are being plotted and executed in Pakistan. The United States’ budget will remain in a woeful state with domestic health care and education still in desperate need. In the end Osama bin Laden was a caricature - a man with an obsolete ideology who fooled a superpower for a decade because they let him. He led the United States on a wild goose chase, stampeding through the Middle East where their tunnel vision blinded them to the seeds of democracy that were already in place. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
Historian Provocateur Joel Wing-Lun explains why Wang Hui is rewriting history. In the last decade of the 20th century, the historian Prasenjit Duara observed: “If the next century is going to be the Pacific century, then the Pacific region will also write the history of the world.” As the “Pacific century” dawns and the world awakens to the prospect of a rising China eclipsing the United States, Wang Hui, Professor of Chinese at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, is the most prominent scholar undertaking to rewrite world history from a Chinese perspective. Contrary to any mental image which the title of ‘Professor of Chinese’ may conjure, Wang is no ivory tower academic and his writing does not pursue history as an end in itself. A leading figure in China’s ‘New Left’, Wang’s scholarship seeks to find alternatives to a Eurocentric world history with a neoliberal world order as its telos. Wang does not conceive of himself as an objective observer but rather as an historical agent in his own right, and indeed, concerns raised by Wang and the ‘New Left’ as early as the 1990s have increasingly been taken up by the current Chinese leadership under Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao. For Wang, writing history is an exercise in politics, and his take on world history from the point of view of Asia should give us in the West pause for thought. Wang Hui and the ‘New Left’ Named by Foreign Policy magazine in 2008 as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world, Wang Hui became an international cause célèbre in the late 1990s for his essay entitled ‘Contemporary Chinese Thought and the Question of Modernity’, in which he targeted global capitalism, China’s market reforms and the complicity of Chinese ‘liberals’ in the authoritarian program of the party-state. According to Shanghai-based intellectual historian Xu Jilin, it was this essay that really ignited the debate between liberals and the emergent ‘New Left’ over the direction of China’s reforms - a
debate that has continued unabated into the 21st century. Originally a scholar of Chinese literature, Wang’s own political views were heavily influenced by his participation in the 1989 protest movement and his subsequent ‘re-education’ in rural Shaanxi. In Wang’s account, the protesters that flocked to Tiananmen Square were the first to identify the problems caused by the rapid but uneven development of China’s market reforms. Wang himself was among the last to leave the square, under threat of fire, in the early hours of June 4. But it was his period in exile in China’s inhospitable north-west that made him realise the importance of a welfare system and co-operative network for hundreds of millions of people across China. Wang’s career has continued to be controversial. In 2007, Wang was dismissed as editor of the prestigious journal Dushu, without any satisfactory explanation by the journal’s government-owned publisher. In 2010, accusations of plagiarism in his PhD thesis, first published in 1990, were refuted by 80 international scholars who signed an open letter in his defence. Despite such setbacks, Wang has continued to speak out on sensitive issues including the plight of factory workers in his hometown of Yangzhou, and ethnic conflict in Xinjiang and Tibet. Perhaps the most serious criticism levelled at Wang and the ‘New Left’ is the same criticism he levelled at ‘liberals’ a decade earlier: that they are too cosy with the one-party state. As Gloria Davies has noted, where ‘New Left’ was once a pejorative label given to Wang by his critics for “its resonance with the ‘Leftism’ of the Cultural Revolution”, under the ‘humanist’ administration of Hu and Wen, the term has since acquired the kind of cultural cachet which 10 years earlier had been the exclusive preserve of ‘liberalism’. Despite this, Wang himself dislikes the label, preferring the term ‘critical intellectual’, which he feels better reflects his independence vis-à-vis the Government. Yet in a country where universities, media and academic
(C) 2011 China Travel Depot
Originally a scholar of Chinese literature, Wang’s own political views were heavily influenced by his participation in the 1989 protest movement and his subsequent ‘reeducation’ in rural Shaanxi.
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
publications are all under the watchful eye of the partystate, the “independence” of intellectuals is under constant negotiation - a fact exemplified by Wang’s tenure at Dushu. And while Wang rejects suggestions that the ‘New Left’ is in any way directing government policies, scholars identified with the movement have had their papers circulated at the top levels of government and have even attended “brainstorming sessions” with the Chinese leadership. Whilst they continue to advocate for democratic reform, it is apparent that Wang and the ‘New Left’ see the current Communist leadership as a vehicle for social change. Unsurprisingly, the administration’s renewed focus on social welfare and improving conditions in rural areas has been welcomed by Wang. As he told the New York Times in 2006, “It’s a
huge achievement that the Premier should openly admit that health care and education is a failure. It has never happened before.”
missing the notion of self-determination, he effectively denies Tibetans the very right to their own modernity which is the major theoretical claim of his oeuvre.
The Politics of Imagining Asia
Wang’s Asian project is an attempt to reframe the terms of the debate so that “the issue of Asia is not simply an issue in Asia” but becomes “an issue of ‘world history’”. Yet Wang’s theoretical sophistication appears to gloss some inconsistencies such as those relating to his analysis of Tibet. Similarly, Wang’s call for interaction “on equal terms” seems compromised by the unambiguously unequal relations between China and its “dependencies” and the tributary states from which he draws inspiration.
While most of Wang’s earlier scholarship dealt exclusively with China’s past and the problems caused by its market reforms, more recently he has widened his focus to the Asian region and its place in the world economy and world history. Formulated against the backdrop of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization and the upsurge of cultural nationalism that began in the 1990s, this project, which grew out of his four-volume history of Chinese thought, seeks alternatives to a capitalist model of modernity based on European historical experience. In The Politics of Imagining Asia, Wang asserts that “the idea of Asia is not Asian but, rather, European”, tying the 21st century capitalist world order to a “universal” history which has always defined Asia as backwards and peripheral. For Wang, the origins of contemporary “neoliberal empire” can be found in the Hegelian narrative of history that progresses from its “starting point” in despotic Asia to a state of attainment in the modern West. He argues that theorists from Adam Smith to Francis Fukuyama have deprived Asia of any historical agency which, as Theodore Huters writes, could see it do anything other than follow blindly “in the footsteps of Europe and the United States”. A consequence of Western imperialism in Asia is the proliferation of what Wang terms “nation-state logic” at the expense of a more complex system of relations exemplified by the East Asian tributary system. He describes how the Euro-
Wang asserts that “the idea of Asia is not Asian but, rather, European” pean-born capitalist logic of the nation-state was integral to the development of the Japanese empire in the late 19th and early 20th century, a process theorised by Japanese intellectuals as “shedding Asia and joining Europe”. According to Huters, Wang’s critique of the Japanese Empire contains an implicit criticism that contemporary China, too, is moving in this same direction.
Can an Historian Change the World? Perhaps the real irony of Wang’s position is that it is China’s own economic dominance in the capitalist world order that has once again placed Chinese civilisation, and by extension Wang himself, at the centre of world affairs. Whether Wang’s critique of world history will have real-world implications is unclear. Yet Wang’s ability to influence policy should not be ruled out. His praise for the present administration’s move away from an “obsession” with the United States so as to focus on relations in Asia shows a degree of convergence on issues of foreign policy. And although the Chinese government would vigorously dispute any link to “foreign policy”, Wang’s position on Tibet also reveals a good deal of common ground. A further consideration is that Wang does not only seek to influence a domestic audience but also an international one - for example, a paper on the “Tibetan question” was presented in Adelaide in 2010. With a change of leadership due in 2012, China’s domestic and foreign policy will be in the hands of a new generation of leaders. Whilst little is known about the politics of the presumptive president, Xi Jinping and Wang Hui do share something in common: Xi spent three years in rural Shaanxi as a ‘sent-down youth’ during the Cultural Revolution. Though his writings may not change the world, Wang is likely to remain a significant player in Chinese politics and intellectual life for years to come.
Wang dismisses Western concerns over Tibetan autonomy as the product of an Orientalist obsession, espousing the virtues of both pre-modern suzerain dependence and the philosophy of “unity in diversity” which lay behind Zhou Enlai’s establishment of Ethnic Autonomous Regions in the 1950s. He attributes recent unrest to the “depoliticisation” and “marketisation” of society, which have stripped the disadvantaged of their dignity. Wang’s analysis of the “Tibetan question” is problematic on several levels. As Sebastian Veg has noted, he fails to acknowledge the role of the PRC government in the ultimate imposition of the “nation-state model” on Tibet, and in dis-
In Wang’s account, the demise of the tributary system was precipitated by both Japan’s exploitation of “nation-state logic”, and the recent concept of international law to gain control of the Ryūkyū archipelago (Okinawa) and Taiwan in the late 19th century. More controversially, perhaps, he applies the same framework to the “question of Tibet”, asserting that Tibetan claims to independence since the 19th century are the result of British colonial intervention and the politics of the Cold War.
Joel Wing-Lun is in his final year of a Bachelor of Arts (Languages), majoring in Chinese Studies and Asian Studies. He is currently completing honours in Chinese Studies. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
The Business of Learning Madeleine King explores the international corporatisation of Western university education. Along the United States’ eastern seaboard, a vine of sociopolitical elitism, academic expertise, and financial wealth has taken root. The eight privately run Ivy League universities it bears - Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania - have been responsible for the tertiary education of some of the world’s most influential politicians and thinkers. Harvard alone has seen the likes of Barack Obama, Ban Ki-moon, Benjamin Netanyahu and Bill Gates walk its red-brick corridors.
into the international education market and their financial raison d’être has accelerated competition with other privately operated institutions in securing the malleable minds of the world’s educated youth. Academic Benjamin Barber believes these are “the hallmarks of the new full-service university, which wants nothing so much as to be counted as a peer among the nation’s great corporations, an equal opportunism producer of prosperity and material happiness”.
While these mainstays of private tuition have long made their presence felt on the international stage, their hegemony is threatened by the rising influence and changing nature of public institutions and schooling corporations. The resulting international education marketplace is rapidly blurring, if not eroding, the once dichotomous public-private pedagogy. Universities across the world – state-run or otherwise – are transforming into transnational actors, intent on harvesting a global crop of the young and well-educated.
With any corporate rivalry comes an inevitable public relations propaganda struggle, one in which the United States’ nostalgic nationalism for the private institutions of its forefathers lends itself to the Ivy League enclave. As Princeton alumnus Walter Kirn writes, “Even though we learned nothing at Princeton that we couldn’t have learned elsewhere, the place gave us a calling card whose impact and power were undeniable. I assume it has opened doors for me, but none of the gatekeepers have said as much. I went to Princeton - a winning ticket in the social lottery.” The exclusivity of the Ivy League is a breeding ground for confidence, he says, which ultimately assists their alumni in slipping into the framework of elite Western society.
Stepping over these sovereign borders, Western tertiary education has become a singular commodity, marketed by universities that can all, to some extent, be labelled ‘private’ in their economic aspirations. The extent of their influence raises some pertinent questions: how will it shape the next generation of world leaders and their international activities? And what evolutionary effects will this new kind of educational actor have on nation-states’ development, wellbeing and transnational capacities? Selling the Product As the Western world sways to the neoliberal rhythm of the 21st century, the liberal tenets of yesteryear’s welfare state – a system that popularised models of public, equitable schooling – have never appeared more irrelevant.
“The new full service university... wants nothing so much as to be counted as a peer among the nation’s great corporations.” - Benjamin Barber Peter Leuner and Mike Woolf write extensively on higher education’s new commoditised persona. They cite the U.S. government’s proposal to the World Trade Organisation in 2000 seeking the removal of national barriers to global provision, as “firmly locating international, ‘borderless’, or transnational education within the context of international trade”. This, they argue, has propagated a “knowledge economy” – and, I would further add, a Western knowledge economy – inhabited by for-profit corporations, or education management organisations (EMOs), and university shareholders with vested financial incentives in the international propagation of tertiary education. As a result, the traditional private-public university binary is faced with a new third party contender: NASDAQ-traded organisations such as American InterContinental University, Stratford University, the U.S.-based Corinthian Colleges, Inc. and the UK’s BPP University College. While none of these can boast the tangible presence of Yale’s neo-gothic arches nor the leafy boulevards of Harvard, their entrance
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
Marketing the Brand
Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania reveals some interesting statistics about the League’s readymade brand: students who can afford the average $22,700 annual cost of tuition and board at the Ivy schools make up less than 1 per cent of the enrolment in the United States’ four-year colleges, yet “fifteen percent of the chief executives of the nation’s 800 largest corporations were Ivy League undergraduates”. This success extends into the national and international political sphere: 30 per cent of Barack Obama’s cabinet attended Ivy League schools, and an equal percentage of U.S. presidents were educated therein. Overseas, the League continues to sew its badges upon the fabric of metropolitan centres and political leaderships: Columbia University has campuses in China, France, India and Jordan. Between them, the schools lay claim to former presidents and prime ministers of Italy, Turkey, Mexico, Germany, the Philippines, Chile, Peru, Israel, Taiwan, Iran and Brazil, not to mention the current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and former European Union chief Romano Prodi. Yet the rivalry between private universities and EMOs has concurrently spilled over the governmental bulwarks surrounding public education, as these institutions – once insulated by government support – evolve into international corporate actors. Entrenched distinctions between public and private quickly disintegrate within this competitive market arena, drawing the Ivy League and its public corollaries – Oxford and Cambridge, for example – closer together on the elite tertiary spectrum. There is an increasing push by state-funded universities to equally promote their brands, in order to claim a share of the financial spoils promised by the sons and daughters of the world’s socio-economic upper echelons. Moreover, Woolf and Leuner believe that charging overseas students higher fees has led to “a shift from diplomacy towards commerce”. The fees lay the groundwork for profit, allowing public universities to shed full governmental support and, paradoxically, seek a supplement to state funding
The advertising calibre of for-profit schools parallels public universities’ emergence into the marketing arena: tentative, but gathering strength, particularly in the U.S. where EMOs plant their seeds early among primary and secondary tuition. While criticism surrounding the commercialisation of education is rife, corporate promotion of cheaper undergraduate degrees, specialised learning, and greater academic investment continues to acquire strength. In fact, recent studies have found these corporate degrees to be more expensive than many public and private institutions. However, their popularity as flexible tertiary alternatives means that their presence will become ever more tangible in the international education market. Privileging the System While public universities open their doors to international students, the pervasive rhetorical power of the Ivy League - arguably the world’s most renowned private provision faction - ensures the success of its transnational prestige. Of the 4321 international students enrolled in Harvard for the 2010-11 academic year, 39 per cent were from Asia, followed by 27 per cent from Europe and 14 per cent from North America. The top five global state providers of students were Canada, China, South Korea, the UK and India. At Columbia, 90 countries are represented in its current undergraduate cohort, while more than 250,000 alumni are sprawled across the globe. Yale President Richard C. Levin asserts, “As Yale enters its fourth century, our goal is to become a truly
“I went to Princeton - a winning ticket in the social lottery.” - Walter Kirn global university, educating leaders and advancing the frontiers of knowledge not simply for the United States, but for the entire world.”
By Mohan P J (CC NY-NC-SA)
There is a kind of educational imperialism in the transnational propagation of private U.S. schools, and the increasingly prominent bastions of public institution in the UK. Cambridge has educated 25 foreign heads of government, including the incumbent leaders of India, Jordan, Singapore and Zambia, while the London School of Economics boasts those of Colombia, Denmark, Ghana, Greece, Kenya, Kiribati and Mauritius. Oxford’s alumni ranks are spread across the world – from Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi and Pakistan’s Bhutto dynasty to former Australia Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Malcolm Fraser, and the United States’ Bill Clinton.
Does this encourage the rise of a new generation of world leaders, highly educated according to a Western tertiary system? Nankai University in China has recently undergone dramatic reconstruction, according to Hao Xin and Dennis Normile. The University is currently recruiting assistant and associate professors “from top tier institutions, including Yale University, Cornell University and the University of Oxford”. They report that the Chinese government has implemented a $U.S.1.3 billion scholarship program for students accepted by Western universities, arguing that recruiting national students with internationally awarded PhDs will enhance university quality. However, the increasingly blurred distinction between universities presupposes the economic conditions for such a process to occur. For countries which lack the economic surplus either to fund quality local provision or draw their nationals back, this trend has a negative undercurrent. Leuner and Woolf believe that when the best of a nation’s potential leadership travel abroad to study, “the result is likely to be an increasing brain drain from the developing world to the developed”. Education is an inherently political process, they argue, as the nation-state’s capacity to engage effectively in international affairs and development rests upon a well-educated labour force. Student migration from Eurasia and Africa to new ‘corporate’ universities may therefore have positive connotations. However, the lure of post-graduate employment in Western corporate behemoths could jeopardise any beneficial homecoming. There is a reciprocity of interest in the relationship between these international students aspiring for a share of Western education, and the institutions eager for the financial revenue such students can provide. It is a marriage of convenience which stabilises a global middle-upper class stratum, one which arguably threatens a greater socioeconomic and geopolitical rift between developed and nondeveloped areas of the world. While the cultural charisma of the Ivy League is etched deep in the woodwork of both the U.S. and global education arena, its members are increasingly being forced to compete in an international marketplace skirmish with for-profit and public institutions. How much longer will the notions of ‘private’ be draped with reverence upon them? Western education is essentially becoming a non-state corporate actor, traversing national borders and leaving a particular genus of tomorrow’s political, social and economic leaders in its wake.
Madeleine King is in her second year of a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications), majoring in Government and International Relations.
The General Council of the University of Edinburgh
from international cheque books.
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
Foreign Hospitality Matthew Clarke explores the rise of medical tourism and its implications for the developing world. ‘Medical tourism’ is the new buzzword in the global health industry. Its advocates proclaim it to be a benevolent byproduct of globalisation that is simultaneously generating growth in the developing world, while providing solutions to the inflated cost of healthcare in the West. Yet despite the marketed terminology, medical tourism is a complex and often paradoxical phenomenon. While it is true that the industry is providing alternatives for middle-class Westerners, it is increasingly apparent that the benefits for the developing world are limited, and ultimately short-lived.
By Christiana Care (CC BY-NC-SA)
Medical tourism refers to the process whereby patients from the West travel to developing nations in order to undergo surgical procedures in state-of-the-art corporate hospitals. The competitive advantage for these hospitals is that they are able to perform complex surgeries – such as hip replacements, cardiac procedures, and various transplants – at a fraction of the corresponding cost in countries such as the United States. At the same time, however, they are marketed as world-class hospitals with advanced, modern technology and Western-trained medical staff.
It is this ability to provide low-cost services without sacrificing the quality of patient care that has seen the industry experience staggering growth over the past decade. Currently expanding at a rate of 20-30 per cent each year, estimates suggest that medical tourism will become a $U.S.100 billion industry by 2012. Many countries in the developing world have sought to take advantage of this growth, particularly in Asia where countries such as Thailand, Singapore and India have emerged as leaders in the global market for foreign health services. While medical tourism is becoming a popular alternative throughout the Western world (including countries with socialised healthcare such as the UK and Australia), the industry is perhaps most developed in the U.S. As American healthcare has become increasingly inaccessible for the middle and lower classes, foreign healthcare has become a viable and indeed favourable alternative to the exorbitant prices charged in the American system. According to the American Medical Association, it is now commonplace for employers, insurance companies and other entities to incentivise foreign healthcare by subsidising the costs of travel – including airfare, accommodation and other incidentals – for those employees or customers who are willing to use their health insurance outside of the U.S. The cost of these subsidies is offset by the fact that the actual cost of procedures overseas can be as much as 80 per cent less than the estimated charge
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
of private facilities in the U.S. What this trend indicates is that in the absence of wideranging structural reform, corporations and governments alike are looking to leverage the global marketplace in order to reduce their own healthcare costs. Gordon Smith, the former Chairman of the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, makes the point that “for the nation’s 46 million uninsured, travelling overseas for low-cost medical procedures, even with the added costs of travel and lodging, is now an understandably attractive option”. Of course, foreign treatment is not a perfect substitute for domestic care. There is often limited recourse to malpractice in developing countries, and patients may find themselves unknowingly divested of legal rights. Moreover, travelling overseas for serious procedures inevitably breaks the continuity of patient care and can separate patients from their support network. By and large, however, medical tourism is opening up opportunities for an entire class of Americans who have become disenfranchised by the spiralling costs of private health insurance. While countries such as the U.S. have tended to benefit greatly from the rise of medical tourism, questions linger as to how it has impacted upon local healthcare systems overseas. On the one hand, proponents of the industry argue that it provides an invaluable source of income to the developing world. In Thailand, for instance, it is estimated that medical tourism will inject 100bn baht ($U.S.3.3b) into the economy by 2015. The situation is similar in countries such as India and Malaysia, where medical tourism has quickly grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. It must be noted that some of the most vocal supporters of medical tourism include the governments of developing nations. For instance, both the Indian and Thai governments have proactively been encouraging medical tourism for the last decade, through measures such as relaxed visa regulations for medical tourists and the development of so-called ‘medi-cities’ in a number of urban locations. At a speech made in London in 2009, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva specifically stated: “We are … focusing our attention on developing Thailand as a medical tourism hub for highquality, low-cost health and medical services.” Supporters of the phenomenon also make the point that medical tourism neutralises the so-called ‘brain drain’, whereby highly skilled healthcare professionals from third world countries migrate to industrialised nations in order to benefit from higher salaries and improved quality of life. According to its advocates, medical tourism has the capacity to lure these workers back to their home nations, where they can receive a competitive income while having their skills and taxes reinvested into their home economy. However, others make the point that while medical tourism may reduce the external brain drain, it actually serves to increase the internal brain drain. The nature of medical tourism is such that it isolates highly qualified professionals from the public sector. Most doctors and nurses who work in the field cater almost exclusively to foreign nationals, whose purchasing power far exceeds that of the average citizen. There is also the concern that private corporate hospitals encourage professionals to leave rural areas in the hope of
finding high-salary employment in urban centres. In a 2007 statement to the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Dr Manuel Dayrit, director of WHO’s Human Resources for Health department, stated that although quantitative studies had yet to be performed, “initial observations suggest that medical tourism dampens external migration but worsens internal migration”. Compounding this problem is the fact that the nature of the private healthcare industry is such that it encourages and perpetuates price inflation. For instance, the marketing strategy of most corporate hospitals is to sell themselves as world-class institutions that not only meet but exceed the standards set by Western hospitals. Accordingly, this requires market leaders to invest heavily in the latest technologies and to constantly improve and upgrade their facilities. This forces the rest of the market to act in kind, the cost of which is then passed on to the patient. This demonstration effect tends to operate most prominently in heavily privatised systems, where there is a great deal of competition. In the U.S., this has had mixed results: while increased competition has meant that the U.S. has become a world leader in innovation and medical technology, it has also placed healthcare firmly out of reach for millions of low-income earners. The fear is that medical tourism fosters this kind of price-inflating competition in developing nations. In particular, substantial salary packages offered by private hospitals encourage wage inflation in the public sector, as the government desperately attempts to halt the exodus of skilled professionals from the public system. Yet medical tourism may also have long-term implications for the way healthcare systems evolve in the developing world. For instance, ongoing cost increases in popular destinations such as India and Thailand would suggest that the
benefits of medical tourism for the developed world may be short-lived. According to estimates formulated by the India Brand Equity Foundation, it currently costs the same price to have a bone marrow transplant performed in Thailand as it does in the U.S. As prices increase, the competitive advantage of the developed world will decline, ultimately meaning that Westerners will be more likely to reject the third world option in favour of the certainty and safety of the West. The concern, however, is that by the time international consumers have pulled out of the local market, the domestic industry will have become so heavily privatised that it will become impossible for the local population to access healthcare services. Meanwhile, doctors and nurses who have become accustomed to high incomes and high-quality facilities may find the lure of a foreign salary too hard to resist. This suggests that in the long run, medical tourism may actually increase or hasten the external brain drain. What becomes clear is that those arguments used to support and justify the expansion of medical tourism appear somewhat spurious when placed under closer inspection. In particular, Western outsourcing of patient care isolates resources from the public sector, as the already limited resources of the developing world are diverted away from the local population. Experience from around the world has shown that as healthcare systems become increasingly privatised, care becomes correlatively less accessible. It is for this reason that the developing world will ultimately lose out from the expansion of medical tourism. While there are short-term reciprocal benefits for the third world, these are far outweighed by the long-term complications of encouraging a privatised healthcare industry.
Matthew Clarke is in his third year of a combined Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts.
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Space to Play Benjamin Brooks considers the implications of privatising spaceflight. President Obama has cancelled Moon Shot 2.0, and the Space Shuttle has flown its last orbit around the Earth. With the touchdown of Atlantis, half a century of American manned rocketeering has come to a close, leaving an unfamiliar spiritual void which no number of multinational space stations can fill. Moreover, budget outlook would suggest that during this interlude, we can only move backwards. Space has always been the ‘fiscal frontier’, explored by governments in a fit of Cold War prestige paranoia for its novelty rather than its utility. The U.S. went to the Moon after spending a now-inconceivable 4 to 5 per cent of its federal budget on research and development; but a mere six flights
Space has always been the ‘fiscal frontier’, explored by governments in a fit of Cold War prestige paranoia for its novelty rather than its utility. later, the lunar soap opera ended. Space is now a routine, with the sangfroid of military astronauts doing little to ameliorate public indifference. But free enterprise follows in the Shuttle’s wake, as inevitably as the privatisation of the aeroplane. A handful of companies run by colourful moguls of airlines, real estate and even PayPal, have discovered two ways of ensuring an economic return from spaceflight: tourism and government contracting. The former has hitherto been the preserve of the business elite; the latter, for once, is not restricted to Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Virgin Galactic, with its trendy SpaceShip Two, remains the flagship of new-age space tourism, offering six minutes of weightlessness for a paltry $U.S.200,000 ($A190,000). While this is unlikely to revolutionise international travel, the company has nonetheless adopted a viable, sustainable business model which will go some way to symbolically ‘democratise’ space. The ambitious SpaceX Corporation, for all the youthful exuberance of its staff, launched the world’s first private orbital space capsule last December. A beneficiary of NASA’s new Commercial Crew Development contracts out for ferry flights to the International Space Station (ISS), providing a highly versatile and cost-effective vehicle for launching professional astronauts, fare-paying passengers and equipment. Occupying another dimension entirely is Bigelow Aerospace, which has already launched two inflatable space habitats to twice the altitude of the ISS, with plans for a third manned station. Moreover, it is relatively cheap, costing somewhere in the region of $100 million per unit, compared with the $100 billion of the integrated tin-can ISS. Significantly, in the choice between technological imitation and progressive innovation, the private sector has embraced the latter. SpaceShip Two is launched from a jet aircraft and will ‘shuttlecock’ back into the atmosphere without the usual inferno. SpaceX’s Dragon craft are fashioned from composite materials, costing less than $150 million per launch. Bigelow’s inflatable modules are a self-evident revolution with tremendous potential.
But conceptually speaking, privatisation is a difficult transition: manned spaceflight has forever been couched in the rhetoric of ‘humanity’ and ‘national achievement’, neither of which are compatible with corporate profiteering. The loss of a cohesive vision is also a concern. Neil Armstrong notably condemned Obama’s cancellation of the lunar Constellation Program as the beginning of a “downhill slide into mediocrity”. This sort of complaint is not unfounded. Virgin Galactic will barely scratch the edge of the atmosphere. Nor will anyone transit to the Moon without considerable investment in the development of heavy rocketry. Russia has been reluctant to commit to anything beyond the Soyuz ferry flights and ISS maintenance. The meagre European Space Agency is focusing almost entirely on robotic spaceflight. Private companies alone have neither the funds nor the knowledge base to build Apollo-era monoliths. Some, including SpaceX, envisage a Space Race with China and perhaps a concomitant ‘reinvigoration’ of national purpose. Republican Rep. Frank Wolf (VA), chairman of the Congressional Appropriations Subcommittee, barred scientific co-operation with the Chinese space agencies as recently as May. Fraught military relations are no doubt partly responsible, especially regarding the 2007 anti-satellite missile shots and the issue of Taiwan. But recalling History, this is an impermanent basis for public space enthusiasm, and the astronaut will never hold the same diplomatic significance again. After all, one cannot pioneer what has already been achieved, and China (behind the propaganda panoply) most likely views its recent manned flights as a mere confirmation of superpower status. So in the short term, commercial spaceflight will achieve a little bit less but at a much lower cost, covering a severe shortfall in orbital ‘cargo resupply capability’ which cannot be met by Russia. In the long term, it will free an enormous proportion of NASA’s budget that is currently spent on the white-winged elephant, allowing for the pragmatic pursuit of more transcendental lunar ambitions. After a financial crisis, one cannot play the Hare. Is commercialisation a profound paradigm shift? Hardly: in popular consciousness, space has gone unnoticed for 40 years, and has been appreciated more for its utility with respect to communication networks and the decidedly prosaic GPS than it has for its romantic exoticism. Indeed, with his constant invocation of American economic might, Kennedy wanted the Moon landings to be as much a triumph of capitalism as of democracy. Well, here it is in its purest form and the benefits for Progress, beyond the current stagnation, may well be worth the hiring of these enthusiastic ‘mercenaries’.
Benjamin Brooks is in his first year of a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced), majoring in History and English. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
News as Consumption: the Effect of Corporate Media on Democracy Lawrence Muskitta writes on the effects of corporations taking over media companies. James Madison, an American founding father, once wrote: “A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.” A free, unbiased and open press that has the unimpeded power to inform the population on current issues of public interest has always been an essential component of a functioning democracy. It enforces transparency in the political process and ensures leaders are accountable for their public actions. Lately, the marriage between fierce corporatisation and consolidation of global media empires has spawned a hybrid form of journalism that inhabits a space somewhere between news, entertainment and partisan propaganda. Large media outlets, particularly cable news stations like CNN and Fox News, are finding it more profitable to air opinion-based shows with high-profile celebrity hosts than to engage in objective fact-finding journalism.
Fierce corporatisation has spawned a hybrid form of journalism somewhere between news, entertainment and propaganda. This form of media rhetoric espouses a superficial policy debate that enables corporate conglomerates to shape public perceptions and set the political agenda. It craftily and implicitly disempowers the electorate from making informed decisions, giving them more material but less information, which leaves them overwhelmed with quantity - perhaps amused at the shiny packaging but ultimately deprived of substantial evidence or meaningful analysis. How does a profession that so values autonomy and freedom get caught in this web of corporate greed? According to Robert McChesney, a media professor and president of FreePress, the answer lies in the paradox of competition in an oligopoly. In other forms of markets, competition is thought to increase the quality and accessibility of a product. This is the opposite in an oligopoly. The media industry is owned by a handful of corporate giants - the biggest in the Englishspeaking world being Disney, Murdoch’s NewsCorp, Time Warner and Viacom - which have the market power to dictate content. But on the flip-side, there are enough of them to justify a competitive ‘race to the bottom’. This, in turn, sacrifices quality and journalistic integrity for a fatter bottom-line and higher returns to shareholders. News outlets are not just victims of an increasingly commercial industry. They also have personal interests and deliberately use their considerable power to sway political discussion. This is done through their explicit links with political parties. For instance, Roger Ailes, the President of Fox News, was also a chief media consultant for three Republican presidents (Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush). The biggest broadcaster in Italy, Mediaset, is known for its pro-government stance and is owned by the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. In both cases, their bias is obvious - some might claim ridiculously so. Yet they
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
endure, repugnant to objectivity, incompatible with transparency and unchallenged by representative government or civil society, because we seem to lack real alternatives. Possible Solutions So, what are our options for liberation? How do we reject corporate and political influence over the media and prevent re-infiltration? There are a few alternatives: government regulation, new investment, or the shift to citizen journalism and new media such as social networking and the Internet. Government regulation can be useful as a protective measure to increase competition, by encouraging new entrants in the industry and punishing uncompetitive conduct. Madeleine King’s article in the previous edition of The Sydney Globalist outlined the state of media regulation in various countries. For instance, the UK’s 2008 House of Lords Select Committee on Communication acknowledged a highly concentrated media ownership and its threat to a ‘diversity of voices’. Similarly, while the industry has been mostly deregulated in the U.S., there is a strong grassroots movement for reform such that attempts at further deregulation have been blocked due to public disapproval. However, media ownership laws in Australia (a remnant of the Howard era) support the existence of a corporate oligopoly and, unlike in the U.S., there has been little activism against them. Having a free press movement and new legislation is only part of the solution. Viable alternatives are also needed that will stand for journalistic integrity. But is this notion of an unbiased news source practical, or an implausible ideal? While public news outlets like Australia’s SBS and ABC rank high in objectivity, they are government-funded and commercially unviable. Privately owned outlets demonstrate bias in varying degrees, even those like Democracy Now which markets itself as impartial. Perhaps Simone Murray, media critic from Monash University, had the answer when she suggested flooding the market with numerous admittedly biased news sources instead of trying to find a single true news source, thereby letting the reader/viewer take the mean as truth. While the Middle East’s Al Jazeera and Russia’s RT each have their own obvious political leanings, and differ both from each other and the Western media in the way they present news, they lack the sizable capital needed to establish new media channels. The recent uprisings in the Middle East, particularly the initial movement in Tunisia, are a testament to the power of technology in disseminating genuine concerns and murmurings of the people. Despite this, there are still many obstacles to overcome before this seemingly utopian media ideal can be realised, particularly the issue of accessibility. It does, however, provide an unprecedented opportunity for more open public discourse and consequently, a more vibrant democratic process.
Lawrence Muskitta is in his second year of a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Philosophy and Psychology.
The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur Elizabeth Beyer explores the effects of strong leadership in the social business sector.
Engineering Change The progression towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is widely attributed to the work of social entrepreneurs. Eradicating hunger and poverty, ensuring environmental sustainability and combating HIV/ AIDS are just a few of the MDGs specifically targeted by social business initiatives. Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan delivered an address in 2001, entitled: ‘The Revolutionary Role Business Can Play in the Fight Against HIV/ AIDS’, in which he advocated the mobilisation of the corporate world to incorporate humanitarian objectives into their business strategies. This, he stated, would “do what is best for millions of people the world over”, while simultaneously strengthening such crucial assets as “reputation and customer loyalty” for business. However, the seeds of social entrepreneurship were planted well before the 2000 Millennium Summit. The term is closely associated with American lawyer and businessman Bill Drayton, who founded his not-for-profit organisation, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, in 1980. The purpose of the organisation is to provide support for social entrepreneurs the world over, fostering business ventures which address social problems while providing competitive returns for investors. Since its inception, Ashoka has supported more than 2000 social entrepreneurs across 60 countries, each of whom address social justice issues in areas such as education, youth development and healthcare. The ideological basis upon which Ashoka operates is: “Do we believe that this person with this idea will change the pattern in this field, at the national level or beyond?”. This explicitly emphasises the importance of leadership, responsibility and accountability within the specific individuals who take up the challenge. As the ‘original’ social entrepreneur, the symbolic value of Bill Drayton himself cannot be underestimated, given that he has played a significant role in shaping the entire face of corporate social responsibility as we know it today. In 2005, he was named one of the United States’ top 25 leaders by a US News & World report, and has since been acclaimed as one of the ‘50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World’ by Utne Reader magazine. The Road Ahead The social entrepreneur has therefore become the cornerstone of social business movements, that crucial moral centre around which ideology is dispersed and applied. Strong leadership is a central characteristic of the social business
- this is an undisputed fact. However, in a sector dominated by such charismatic and diverse individuals as Bill Drayton, Salman Khan and Muhammad Yunus, it is important to build strong foundations for the consolidation of social business traditions in preparation for the time when these founding fathers can no longer personally champion their cause. Accordingly, the real challenge for the future of social business is to address the disproportionate responsibility currently borne by individuals for upholding the integrity of social business, and to develop a reliable framework which can operate in a self-regulating manner. Earlier this year, Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus came under intense scrutiny as a result of damaging and unsubstantiated allegations of mismanagement. The pressure placed on him to relinquish his position as CEO has meant that the future of Grameen Bank is increasingly uncertain. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Yunus voiced his concerns “for the future of Grameen Bank’s 8.3 million borrowers” should he lose managerial control, “almost all of whom are low-income rural women”. The primary challenge for successful social businesses with
From the World Economic Forum (CC BY-SA)
The idea that corporations can become agents for social change is by no means a new concept. Discursive trends of social justice, fair trade, corporate social responsibility and social business generally represent a positive change of course for our neoliberal capitalist system. At the heart of this global discourse sits the social entrepreneur. In essence, these individuals attempt to find innovative solutions to social problems that are unserved by either government or regular corporations. Their personal vision and determination provides the driving force behind the pursuit of social justice. Understanding the role of the social entrepreneur as an individual helps to shed light on the achievements of social business in alleviating global inequality, but also highlights the challenges the movement faces in the future.
charismatic figureheads is to distance their humanitarian pursuits from politicised public debate. Politicians in Bangladesh view Grameen Bank borrowers as a potential ‘votebank’, making Yunus himself a political entity. This psyche undermines the original intent of social business and the very function of the social entrepreneur as an apolitical advocate for the global poor. Another major challenge stems from the fact that this is a sector which is vulnerable to profiteering and corporate greed acting under the guise of corporate social responsibility. Market-driven social business has its limits, certainly. However, appreciating the central function of the social entrepreneur within the social business model provides a greater understanding of the issues concerned. The achievements of social business in the past half-century are a testament to the power of individuals to change the world, a fact that is easily forgotten in our globalised age.
Elizabeth Beyer is in her second year of a Bachelor of International and Global Studies, majoring in Spanish, and Government and International Relations. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
Masterchefs of Our Own Destiny
Lindsay Gumley and William Thomas argue that Australians need to think seriously about food security. Global food prices reached unprecedented heights in 2011, dashing the hopes of those who believed that the crisis of 2007-08 had righted itself. As the world struggles to afford to feed itself, there are an additional 219,000 mouths at the global dinner table every day. The World Bank estimates that the increase in food prices in the latter half of 2010 pushed another 44 million people below the $1.25 per day extreme poverty line. Although the brunt of the crisis is borne by developing countries, the impact of rising food prices is also being felt at home. While the threats to global food security include such diverse issues as rising populations and climate change, for Australia there is another threat to add to the list: the demise of the humble honeybee.
threat to bee populations everywhere, including Australia. If the collapse of bee colonies sounds like a small problem, think again. Insect pollinators, primarily bees, contribute around 10 per cent of the total economic value of human food production globally. If the Varroa mite was to spread throughout Australia, the consequences would be devastating. More than 95 Australian commercial crops rely heavily on bees for pollination, while some crops are completely reliant. “Without bees”, says Lindsay Bourke, Chairman of the Australian Honey Bee
Feeling the Sting The Asian honeybee first arrived in Cairns in 2007, having been stowed away aboard merchant ships. Though native to the Asian landmass, subspecies have already spread across the Indonesian archipelago and into Papua. If the bee continues to spread, it could devastate apiaries across Australia and with them, a huge proportion of our national agriculture. The common bee – literally, your garden variety bees – are European honeybees (Apis mellifera). They are relatively docile, excellent pollinators, and great producers of honey. By contrast, the Asian honeybee is aggressive, a poor pollinator, and has a particular penchant for nesting in letterboxes. Most importantly, it is the host of choice for Varroa jacobsoni, a vampiric mite. Varroa jacobsoni is a close relative of the Varroa destructor mite. The Varroa destructor has been linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which effectively decimated the American bee population. When the Varroa mite reached the U.S. around 1985, nearly a quarter of the country’s 4.3 million managed beehives were wiped out within two years. The number of deaths among wild populations was even higher. Since the initial onslaught, the mortality rate in North American managed beehives attributable to Varroa mites has settled at around 30 per cent, however the figure is as high as 85 per cent in the Middle East and 53 per cent in Europe. In the Solomon Islands, the arrival of the Asian honeybee precipitated the collapse of the country’s European bee population, with its 2000 hives reduced to just five in the space of three years. This makes the Varroa mite a huge
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
By Daisy.images, from Flickr.com (CC BY-NC-ND)
Arriving in Queensland in 2007, the Asian honeybee (Apis cerana) could devastate apiaries across Australia and wipe out a huge proportion of our national agriculture. The Government’s lacklustre response to the threat posed by the Asian bee exemplifies the problem with Australia’s broader conception of food. While we recognise the vulnerability of our environment and often seek to make sustainable choices, we continue to see food as a commodity which, if local supply is short, can be sourced on the global market at affordable prices. Currently, 93 per cent of our food comes from within our borders, yet over the past 10 years Australian food exports have been decreasing along with our agricultural land area. If Australia continues to undervalue its own food security, then decisions will continue to be made which jeopardise our ability to feed ourselves. An increasing reliance on imported food in Australia would not only have economic implications, but repercussions for security as well.
Industry Council, “you wouldn’t have one almond. Not one nut would be produced”. According to the CSIRO, “one in three mouthfuls of food comes from insect-pollinated crops”. A Hive of Inactivity In an effort to control the spread of the Asian honeybee, an eradication program was implemented to detect and destroy swarms and nests before they could spread throughout the country. However, in January of this year, the Federal Government cut the program.
The spread of the Asian honeybee would cost $27 million each year in public health and public nuisance expenses alone. The Government’s rationale was that it was no longer feasible to eradicate the bee, and that containment would be a better option. However, a Senate oversight committee has raised concerns that the decision may not have been made on purely scientific grounds. The inquiry suggested that the representatives from currently unaffected states and territories (Western Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory) “may have supported the conclusion that the pest is ineradicable based on a mistaken view that they would not be directly impacted and therefore should not contribute to an eradication effort”. On the contrary, there is reason to believe that eradication is achievable if the program is prioritised - a view supported by industry experts.
The Queensland Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation estimates that a complete eradication program would cost around $11 million. This is a small price to pay compared to the projected annual costs if the bee became endemic. The spread of the Asian honeybee would cost $27 million each year in public health and public nuisance expenses alone. Not only is the honey industry worth $80 million to the economy, but as Senator Richard Colbeck notes, $4 billion worth of Australian crops are reliant on pollination.
extract diplomatic concessions. Australians have long been conscious of the vulnerability of our environment and the impact this has on our food production. We have seen floods that wipe out vast crops of wheat, cyclones that annihilate banana crops, and droughts
When food security is discussed in the public arena, it features as a side note to issues such as climate change, population growth and urban sprawl. It should be considered as a key issue in its own right. Protecting our ability to feed ourselves without undue reliance on imports should be a priority in and of itself.
We have seen floods that wipe out vast crops of wheat, cyclones that annihilate banana crops, and droughts that claim the lives of sheep and cattle. Economically, the chief benefit of self-sufficiency is that more supply means lower prices. The ability to minimise imports (or offset them with exports) reduces the negative economic impact associated with trade imbalances. Global food prices are set to hike as agricultural land is turned over to biofuel production, residential land and industrial development. Maintaining domestic supply will afford Australia significant export revenues, and will reduce pressure on food prices for the global market.
United Nations Photos
An inability to feed ourselves could have dire consequences for Australiaâ€™s national security in the future. Many international relations scholars predict that future conflicts will be fought over access to food and water resources. Unless we prioritise our own food production we may be adversely affected in the event of regional instability, or if the trade routes upon which we rely for supply become unstable. Additionally, international relations theorist John Mearsheimer has noted that naval blockades have been used against Australia and can be used against us in the future in order to
that claim the lives of sheep and cattle. Since the foodie revolution, many have begun to truly think about their food and its origins. An increase in backyard vegetable patches, private efforts to buy locally and grow organic food, and the rise of the celebrity chef on television shows like Masterchef are testament to this. But we continue to view food as an unlimited commodity, rather than as a finite and precious resource. The issue of the Asian honeybee speaks to an underlying problem. Our well-being and security are at risk, but our collective failure to understand the threats that we face prevents us from making effective and timely decisions to safeguard our food self-sufficiency. Itâ€™s time for Australians to put their game face on, and become Masterchefs of their own destiny.
Lindsay Gumley is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Economic and Social Sciences, majoring in International Business, and Government and International Relations. She is currently completing honours in Government and International Relations. William Thomas is in his third year of a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting, and Government and International Relations.
United Nations Photos
The Pressure Test
United Nations Photos
If the importance of food security in the public eye was correctly prioritised, a more effective outcome would have been produced. Not only is the cost small in relation to the economic risks, but a failure to act will jeopardise the nationâ€™s ability to feed itself.
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother In January 2011, a Chinese-American Professor at Yale Law School published a self-effacing memoir to an age-old hymn of perseverance and motivation. Disgruntled parents, Etonschooled politicians, editorialists and the immigrant mass bombarded the news cycle with a plethora of disgust, anger, envy, pathos, and for me personally, catharsis. Almost overnight, Chua was propelled into the realms of international infamy, along with her silent-but-strong Jewish husband (also conveniently American), her two daughters, and her two dogs. The first sighting of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother came in the Washington Post under the cunning, albeit misleading, title: ‘Why Chinese Mothers are Superior’. Its release was timed perfectly, emerging right after the Parisbased OECD published a study showing that Chinese students topped the rankings in all academic categories, while the United States achieved an average ranking of 25 out of 34 countries. Upon the story’s release, Amy Chua, the selfproclaimed ‘Tiger Mother’, polarised audiences internationally. Her form of ‘authoritarian parenting’ shocked and outraged Westerners, who she described as “weak-willed” and “indulgent”. The outrage and anger over what was perceived to be a ‘how-to’ guide to parenting inundated public opinion before the book was formally released. This is because the Washington Post superimposed a perception of the book upon the public which the West could not overcome. It no longer mattered that Chua’s book was a parody aimed at highlighting the shortcomings of the ‘Chinese’ way. Her contention, or rather the Post’s contention, that the Chinese were superior in parenting (or anything really) became the prerogative that had to be rebuffed immediately.
The battle of 21st century hegemony was no longer dictated by the strength of the American sword; rather, it now swayed to the hymn of the Tiger Mother. The oncoming prowl of China was already an unwritten and unspoken taboo in the American mainstream media. Whilst Americans originally comforted themselves with the fact that their military spending was more than that of the entire world combined, the volatility of their economy (upon which their military might predominantly depended) was exposed by the onslaught of the Global Financial Crisis, piercing a knife through the heart of their self-confidence. The academic successes of Chua’s Ivy League family confirmed what seemed to be an undeniable fact: that the battle of 21st century hegemony was no longer dictated by the strength of the American sword; rather, it now swayed to the hymn of the Tiger Mother. In light of this, the reaction of Western newspapers seems hardly surprising. What Chua wrote in her book was immaterial; what was important was the fact that Chua was Chinese (her American nationality was conveniently truncated). No one denied the monumental (or one in 12) coincidence that Chua’s Chinese zodiac sign, a tiger, was the symbolic animal chosen to represent the group of nations
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
By Dave Pape, from Wikicommons
The Tiger, the living symbol of strength and power, generally inspires fear and respect. Here is a story in favour of coercion, Chinese-style, writes Catrina Yu.
known as the East Asian Tigers. But it was an uncomfortable coincidence that not four years ago, Chua released a book entitled: Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance – and Why They Fall. Despite these coincidences, it remains ironic that a nation such as the United States, whose rhetoric is filled with notions of universality and equality, actually reinforced ethnic divides and cultural differences in this time of ‘crisis’. The reaction of Western media was not to highlight the similarities that Chua’s daughter correctly affirms at the end of the memoir, but rather to exaggerate differences. What ensued was not a period of reflection upon the knowledge or strength that can be appropriated from other cultures; rather, it was a period in which Americans tried to assert their superiority, by highlighting the faults in what they perceive to be the other team. This ‘us versus them’ delineation directly contradicts the plight for inclusiveness and global community which permeates American rhetoric. Other cultures embrace the exports of American culture as they approach their shores; yet this embrace is not reciprocated when these cultures attempt to contribute their own skills, and dare I say attributes, to the social fabric of the United States, a nation that purports to epitomise freedom. As states attempt to re-imagine a world whose borders are porous, we all struggle to define our own identities in firmer and more meaningful terms, beyond the territory of our birth and the paradigms of our forefathers. Principles of non-discrimination and equality provide legal protection (at least in theory) for our public identities, ameliorating discrimination based on the colour of our skin or our decision to attend Little League or maths tutoring on the weekend. Our private identities - Chinese, English, Italian or Brazilian - should likewise be challenged so that we are able to define what these terms mean and what value they hold, so as to prevent our own futures from becoming limited by amorphous labels. By the end, it was clear that The Battle Hymn had become A Desperate Cry. Chua learned, like we all should, that we exist beyond these cultural labels and that success, by whatever token, only comes with hard work. Now wasn’t that what Jefferson and Franklin tried to teach us all those years ago?
Catrina Yu is in her third year of a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws, majoring in Government and International Relations.
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Damascus in the last weeks of tranquillity Early this year, a Tunisian street vendor lugged a can of petrol to the Sidi Bouzid provincial headquarters, fumbled with a match, and set the Middle East on fire. Just weeks before, Michael Safi spent a few days in Damascus - Syria’s capital and the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. He didn’t know it then, but these photos would show Damascus in the last weeks before the silence broke. PHOTO TOP LEFT A poster of President al-Assad in a shop window declares, ‘We Love You’, from the election campaign in 2007 – he won 97.62 per cent of the vote. An accidently apt comment sits in the bottom-right corner. PHOTO MIDDLE LEFT The al-Assad’s are prolific monument builders. This statue of Saladin was unveiled in 1993 to mark the 800th anniversary of the Sultan’s death. The crusades have little relevance to the West, but they resound in the Arab imagination. In 2001, shortly after September 11, President Bush warned that “this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile”. The offhand comment resonated in the coffee shops and homes of the the Middle East. PHOTO BOTTOM LEFT Schoolboys lounge on the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter. On this site, the Arameans built a temple for Hadad, the god of storms. The Romans destroyed it, and built the Temple of Jupiter. The Christians toppled that, and built a church dedicated to John the Baptist. The Muslims left it alone. For 70 years. And then they knocked it down, and built the Ummayad Mosque. PHOTO TOP RIGHT Over a curiously receded jaw, the President-for-life watches a busy Damascus morning unfold with faint disdain. Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father, Hafiz, in 2000. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. It was his brother, Basil, who their father was grooming for the Presidency. In 1994, speeding to catch a flight, Basil missed a turn, drove into a curb at 125 miles per hour, and died instantly. Bashar was promptly ordered home from London. PHOTO BOTTOM RIGHT Heavy security and images of President al-Assad are part of the Damascene scenery. Syria’s last rebellion occurred in 1982, in its fourth-largest city, Hama. Muslim Brotherhood militants took over state buildings, slaughtered government troops and regime collaborators, and declared the city ‘liberated’. Hafiz al-Assad responded by sealing off the city and indiscriminately pounding it with tanks, aircraft and artillery. Twelve thousand troops then marched through the ancient city demolishing mosques and entire neighbourhoods. Amnesty International reports that they carried out “collective killings of unarmed, innocent inhabitants” and buried them in mass graves around the city. This destruction was wholly unnecessary; most of the resistance had fled or collapsed after a day of fighting. Hafiz al-Assad was making an example.
Mike Safi is currently completing a Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies. All photos by the author.
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
Operation Ajax: the CIA, Iran and Mossadegh Jahan Navidi explores Western complicity in the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister, and its lasting legacy on U.S.-Iranian relations. “If I sit silently, I have sinned” – Dr Mossadegh, ousted Prime Minister of Iran, 1953 The 1953 Coup In 1953 the United States, in co-operation with Britain, instigated the CIA’s first ever coup d’état to depose Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister, Dr Mohammad Mossadegh. These events were largely excluded from Western media. Labelled by the CIA as ‘Operation Ajax’, this little-known event in world history has forever changed the geo-political landscape of the Middle East, redefining Iranian and Western relations and continuing to affect the broader framework of relations (or lack thereof) between Iran and the West. As scholars such as Stephen Kinzer and Mark Gasiorowski have argued, the coup (which restored the unelected monarch, the Shah of Iran, to his post) provides contextual insight into Iran’s extreme backlash against the U.S., which arguably provided the conditions conducive to the Revolution of 1979. Consequently, the coup serves as a historical reminder of the realist objectives which have driven U.S. foreign policy and which continue to influence current political dynamics throughout the Middle East. This article seeks to analyse the sheer dynamics of the coup, and to relate Western complicity in the deposition of Iranian democracy to the complex array of affairs which define the modern Middle East. It suggests that current Iranian-U.S. relations have their roots in a bloody and illegal past perpetrated by the West. Mossadegh’s Popular Nationalisation of Iran’s Oil Industry This illegal encroachment into the affairs of the Iranian nation was devised through the collaborative efforts of the U.S. and UK, who organised the detailed logistics of the coup in an attempt to secure continued exploitation of Iran’s vast petroleum resources. Heavily reliant on Iran’s oil throughout World War Two, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now known as British Petroleum) was faced with a serious blow to its profitability when Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister, Dr Mossadegh, nationalised the Iranian oil industry with an unprecedented popular mandate. His nationalist rhetoric drew support from vast sectors of Iranian society and particularly the rural poor, many of whom had suffered from British exploitation of Iran’s lucrative oil industry. Mossadegh’s attempt to distribute the profits of Iran’s petroleum industry to Iranians themselves was steadfastly rejected by the British. Engaging in a mass anti-Mossadegh campaign, the British sought the support of Iran’s pro-Western leader, the Shah. More importantly, they lobbied the United States, which had previously expressed sympathy under President Harry Truman for both Mossadegh and, arguably,
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
Iran’s democratic cause. The nationalisation issue rose to the height of international arbitration, with Mossadegh’s nationalist rhetoric and unprecedented popularity within Iran facilitating his emergence as both a colossal figure in world history, and a champion of the Third World. While the Shah was faced with an increasing backlash from his own people, Mossadegh was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1951, stunning the world with his insistence that Iran’s oil remained the property of Iran – a concept that was unheard of at the time, given Britain’s assumption that it would continue to exploit Iran’s oil for its own imperial objectives without opposition. Although Mossadegh’s appeal to the United Nations was well received by most, evoking sympathy even from within the United States, Britain grew even more steadfast and desperate in its opposition. The U.S. Joins Britain Experiencing extreme frustration at their inability to bribe Mossadegh or to court the Truman administration, the British pounced on the newly elected U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. By conflating Iran’s nationalisation cause with that of communism, the British exploited the evident Cold War tensions which pervaded the American political psyche throughout the 1950s. With Iran’s geographical proximity to the Soviet Union and its status as a Caspian Sea nation, Britain managed to convince the Eisenhower administration that Iran was particularly vulnerable to communist rhetoric and that the Tudeh Party of Iran would seek to promote an Iranian communist state. Britain’s success in persuading the U.S. in its campaign to oust Mossadegh represented a critical juncture in the overall scheme to restore Western control of Iranian oil. Under the newly created CIA, the U.S. devised ‘Operation Ajax’ - the CIA’s first ever plot to remove a foreign leader – so as to oust Iran’s democratically elected Mossadegh in a meticulous coup d’état. Engaging in a mass propaganda campaign headed by Kermit Roosevelt, Jr (grandson of Theodore Roosevelt), the U.S. sought to disseminate information within Iran suggesting that Mossadegh’s nationalist ideology was in fact ‘communist’, and a threat to Iranian identity. In actual fact, Mossadegh was neither capitalist nor communist. As the first Iranian to receive his law degree abroad, Mossadegh was an advocate of secular democracy founded on the rule of law. Without any legal basis or legitimacy, and contrary to popular opinion within Iran, the CIA was able to persuade the undemocratic and unelected Shah to charge Mossadegh with treason for his nationalistic efforts. Propaganda Success Declassified CIA documents have since revealed that by 1953, the CIA controlled approximately 80 per cent of the
major newspapers within Tehran alone. Additionally, the U.S. bribed poorer sections of Iranian society to carry out fake protests, and to form street gangs in support of the Shah - and against Mossadegh – so as to create an illusory sense of undivided opposition to oil nationalisation. Religious sectors of Iranian society were also bribed in an attempt to form some sort of ‘legitimate alliance’ against Mossadegh. At the hands of the U.S., violence on the streets continued to create an image of hostility towards Mossadegh. But in reality, Mossadegh remained immensely popular within Iran and initially resisted foreign attempts to remove him. However, the mass propaganda campaign gained incredible momentum and culminated in the events of August 19, 1953, where deadly mass riots organised by the CIA impeached the ageing Mossadegh, eventually forcing him to surrender. Known by some as “the day Iran’s democracy died”, Mossadegh’s removal was declared legitimate by the Shah due to his culpability for the “most serious crimes”. Additional fake mass rallies were then conducted in support of the Shah’s return to his undemocratic and unpopular throne – and consequently, the restoration of Western oil contracts. The exploitation of Iran’s oil under the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was revived under its new name British Petroleum, with Mossadegh successfully tried by a corrupt military tribunal and sentenced to both prison and house arrest until his death in 1967. Mossadegh maintained his innocence and his opposition to the alleged illegitimacy of his actions, plausibly insisting that his actions were taken to “nationalise the Iranian oil industry and remove from this land the network of colonialism and the political and economic influence of the greatest empire on earth”. Whilst the Shah continued to rule Iran authoritatively for the next 26 years, Iranians were well aware that his restoration to the throne – and Mossadegh’s removal - was very much a product of Western complicity. Lessons from the Past This illegal coup – preceding the CIA’s incursion into Latin America - was first revealed to the general public through the declassification of CIA documents obtained by the New York Times in 2000. It was officially acknowledged by the Clinton administration in 2000 by Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who stated that knowledge of the coup made it “easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs”.
seeks to change. As Kinzer suggests, the Shah would not have continued to rule his people with an iron fist had the 1953 coup not occurred. Tens of thousands of people would not have died at the hands of his secret police. As such, it may be plausible to argue that the Islamic Revolution would not have taken place. Perhaps the decline into greater authoritarianism may not have occurred under the Islamic Republic, and the disputed elections and crackdown of 2009 could have been avoided. Perhaps the U.S. and Iran would enjoy cordial relations founded on mutual respect and the rule of law. And perhaps Iran would have flourished under the secular democratic model Mossadegh envisaged for Iran. Understanding the dynamics of the 1953 coup and Iran’s adverse reaction thereto suggests that the establishment of a democratic Iran may not have been as far-fetched as one might imagine, and may even remain a possibility today. As such, Iran’s scepticism of the United States’ ‘democratic rhetoric’ appears justified, particularly when the foundations for democracy under Mossadegh were removed by the West in a meticulous campaign driven by of realist oil politics. Although the coup cannot be used as an excuse for continued violations of human rights within Iran, recognition of the coup provides greater understanding of the dynamics which pervade Iranian mistrust of the West. Knowledge of the coup encourages the individual to reconsider the West’s complicity in the complex state of affairs which today define the Middle East. Caution should be exercised towards the West’s so-called overtures towards the Middle East, and its insistence on democracy. The world should not stand by and allow countries such as the U.S. and Britain to impose their agenda upon Iran and the broader Middle East without questioning their motives. Rather, Mossadegh’s democratic legacy should be followed. The West’s incursion into the Middle East and third world countries must not remain unchallenged; for possessed of the historical lessons of the past, to “sit silently” would be – as Mossadegh famously suggested - to commit the ultimate sin.
Jahan Navidi is in his penultimate year of a combined Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of International and Global Studies.
While the West has only recently officially acknowledged its complicity in the illegal coup of 1953, the events themselves have remained at the forefront of Iranian political thought and form the broader framework for sceptical relations with the West. For the astute political observer, the events of 1953 demonstrate the West’s responsibility for the construction of largely undemocratic regimes throughout the Middle East. While the West purports to support the establishment of ‘democracy’ throughout the world, these events serve as a timely reminder that the West arguably played a vital part in the establishment of the very regimes it now opposes and
(C) Time Magazine
Yet the coup remains largely excluded from Western coverage of U.S.-Iranian relations. As such, the general public lacks a basic awareness of those events of 1953 which continue to cast a considerable shadow on the lack of diplomacy between the two countries. Such an important event is paramount to any understanding of current political relations between Iran and the West.
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
Taken to the Cleaners John Fennel explores the global money laundering problem and the role of the legal and accounting professions.
One notable feature of the global financial system has been its susceptibility to misuse by those who commit lucrative crimes. Among these ‘predicate’ crimes are fraud, human trafficking, drug trafficking, arms dealing, tax evasion, insider trading, child prostitution and corruption, to name a few. In order for criminals to deal with the proceeds of their crimes, they must obscure the link between its existence and its source. This activity is known as money laundering, and it is a global problem in the order of between a few hundred billion and trillions of dollars. Money Laundering – the Problem The techniques used to launder money are plethoric, however they tend to be of increasing complexity. This suggests that money launderers either are, or are engaging the services of, professionals. Money laundering typically involves three stages: placement, layering and integration. Placement is the insertion of funds into the financial system. This is the most high-risk component of the money laundering process, as such money is extremely close to its source and can easily be traced back to the crime. Once the money is in the financial system, it can be moved anywhere throughout the world in the second component of this process - layering. This stage requires both ingenuity and a great understanding of the ways of commerce. It is also the swiftest. Money is transferred from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in the blink of an eye through numbered bank accounts held in the names of secretive trusts and shell companies. Integration, the final stage, involves the repatriation of criminal funds into the home jurisdiction for uninhibited use, whether for the commission of future crimes or for personal enjoyment. These funds are difficult to trace back to their illegitimate source.
The result was a set of 40 Recommendations that were presented in the FATF’s initial report in April 1990. The Recommendations called for countries to require their financial sectors to implement a ‘risk-based approach’ to money laundering. Therefore, private-sector actors were required to carry out part of the investigatory role of law enforcement. Financial institutions had to implement measures to determine the identity of their customers and the nature of their business, and to report suspicious matters to the appropriate financial intelligence unit. The Place for the Professions Accordingly, the level of expertise required to implement modern, innovative money laundering techniques has greatly increased. Given that money laundering has become a centrepiece of the transnational crime enforcement environment, launderers must be capable of staying one step ahead of the investigatory agencies. It is non-financial service professionals, like accountants and lawyers, who have this expertise at their fingertips. Society has long recognised those who perform the roles and functions of accountants and lawyers as belonging to a ‘profession’. A professional is generally seen as an individual with extensive education in a specific field (for example, law or accounting), who also adheres to a strict ethical code and well-developed traditions. They are often part of an exclusive society such as the Bar Association, the Law Society or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia, and are generally afforded a great deal of respect by the community. Although the legal profession is considered one of the quintessential professions, accountants are increasingly being afforded this appellation by virtue of their advancing institutionalisation, their exclusivity and the degree of education required to attain entry to the various professional organisations. Today, a Chartered Accountancy and a law degree are among the most commonly sought qualifications for individuals in business.
This process is based on the drug trafficking model of money laundering and assumes that there are cash funds to ‘place’. However, funds already legitimately placed in the financial system may become ‘dirty’, thus requiring only the layering and integration stages to be carried out. This is often the case in tax evasion schemes. Anti-Money Laundering – the Response At the 1988 G7 Paris Summit, it was declared that “decisive action” was required in response to the world’s drug problem, which was said to have reached “devastating proportions”. This response was deemed necessary in light of the recent UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Vienna, 1988), where the criminalisation of money laundering was first called for. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was created with a mandate to develop and co-ordinate the anti-money laundering efforts on both a national and an international scale.
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
The services provided by these respectable professions may be misused for money laundering purposes, both wittingly and unwittingly. Functions such as creating trusts and companies, opening bank accounts, acting as a nominee director and providing a business address are all susceptible to misuse in the placement, layering and integration processes. The global anti-money laundering response recognises the risks inherent in these services, and calls for countries to require professions to implement the FATF regime as applied to financial institutions. Generally, countries that have com-
mitted to implementing the FATF regime have comprehensively applied the Recommendations to the financial sector, requiring banks and other financial service providers to develop and carry out the risk-based approach. However, the same cannot be said for the professions. The Global Experience On the one hand, the European Union, by way of their Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive of 2005 (‘The Directive’), has required that all activities of accountants and lawyers be subject to the anti-money laundering regime. This goes well beyond the requirements of the 40 Recommendations, and recognises that these professions are potentially vital in the money laundering process. The EU Directive notes that some communications between client and adviser are subject to legal professional privilege. The Directive does not require that information acquired in such circumstances be reported. These safeguards are vital to protect the accessibility of justice, fairness and due process via the professions. On the other hand, in Australia and the U.S. there is no requirement that professionals abide by the anti-money laundering requirements in the FATF Recommendations. This is despite the fact that they are members of the FATF, which at a minimum commits them to adhere to its framework. It is intended to be only one part of their overall commitment to combat financial crime. Nonetheless, the U.S. was one of the first countries in the world to criminalise money laundering in 1986 with the Money Laundering Control Act. It is hardly plausible to suggest that they do not take this problem seriously – globally, they have some of the most aggressive anti-money laundering laws which allow the investigatory authorities to freeze bank accounts, undertake sting operations and impose heavy penalties on money launderers. Their non-inclusion of professionals in the requirements reflects their perception that such a step is unnecessary. Whether or not this perception is well-founded is subject to debate. The Australian approach reflects an intention to fully incorporate the FATF’s recommendations. However, this has not been followed with comprehensive legislative action. You Call That a Knife? There has recently been a multi-million dollar effort to combat the laundering of money derived from tax evasion offences in Australia. This is known as ‘Project Wickenby’, and it has been a model inter-agency investigatory effort. The Australian Tax Office, Australian Federal Police and Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (among a number of other agencies) have been afforded broad informationsharing powers to deal with this damaging crime. Their targets have primarily been individuals, acting in their capacity as advisers or professional service providers, who have knowingly promoted and implemented schemes to defraud the Government of taxes. As of August 31, 2010, the ATO had recovered over $A500 million in tax from an outlay of $A431 million since 2006. Certain high-profile individuals have been caught in this investigatory net, including Paul Hogan and John Cornell. Both are notable for their on-screen successes, as the star and producer respectively of the quintessential Australian film franchise, Crocodile Dundee.
It is alleged that the manner in which their tax avoidance scheme was set up involved an international round-robin of offshore trusts, companies and bank accounts. At the heart of this scheme is the accountant Anthony Stewart, who purportedly conspired with the Swiss accounting and consulting firm Strachans to implement the deception. Offshore structures were apparently set up for the purpose of holding the global intellectual property rights to Crocodile Dundee 4. These structures are said to have received the film’s royalties so as to minimise tax. Auditors from the ATO claim that Cornell and Hogan, through their accountant Stewart, failed to disclose their interest in these trusts or to declare these royalties as assessable income. As a result, the Commissioner of Taxation deemed this to be a tax avoidance scheme. To compound the illegality of this scheme, Cornell and his family allegedly used credit and debit cards in false names which enabled them to enjoy the money cleaned by this scheme without paying any tax.
Today, a Chartered Accountancy and a law degree are among the most commonly sought qualifications for individuals in business. These cases are illustrative of the role of professionals in the money laundering process, as well as the general lack of any positive requirement that they take part in its detection and prevention. Many other professionals have been targeted in ‘Project Wickenby’, suggesting that this practice in which professional advisers engage in money laundering may be endemic. Australia needs to respond, starting with the FATF Recommendations. Where To From Here? Professionals who provide services relating to the creation of legal entities such as trusts and companies must be required to report suspicious matters to the financial intelligence unit. There must be improved education to enable them to recognise the risks of money laundering as they arise. There also must be safeguards in place to prevent conflict with matters of legal privilege. This is especially necessary in the case of lawyers, whose conversations with their clients may be protected by legal professional privilege. Accountants have no such protection. Finally, Australia must consider the feasibility of extending the approach to include other activities of these professionals. The EU approach that encapsulates auditing, assurance and tax advice services goes a long way towards deterring launderers from exploiting businesses for their criminal purposes. However, this approach has proven to be a substantial burden for accountants in the UK, as the majority of the firms providing such services are rather small and cannot cope with the extra requirements. A cost-benefit analysis must therefore inform the legislative response. Australia’s legal and accounting professions are awash with dirty money. It’s time to take them to the cleaners.
John Fennel is in his fourth year of a Bachelor of Economics, majoring in Economics and Business Law. He is currently completing Honours in Business Law. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
(C) Ministry of Defence and Vetern Affairs, France
(C) Ministry of Defence and Vetern Affairs, France
Business as Usual
David Orders examines the motivation behind French intervention in the Ivory Coast. So far, 2011 has been a big year for questionable interventions. Since the Arab Spring uprisings began in Tunisia with the Jasmine Revolution, newspapers, blogs, journals and nightly television news have reported an unexpected and encouraging spree of democratic action across North Africa. Alongside these images of Gadaffi’s burning tanks, there have also been questions about the legitimacy of the intervention in Libya. Less attention, however, has been given to the British intervention in nearby Sierra Leone back in 1999, and this year’s intervention in the Ivory Coast. At first glance, the circumstances of the Ivory Coast’s recent intervention seem straightforward. After years of delay, 2010 saw elections take place across the state. French company Sagem was employed to collect lists of potential voters in a country with a fluid and largely illiterate population alongside an ineffective state in need of help, initiating French participation in the electoral process from the onset. As part of a wider international commitment to resolve the recent civil war through the disarmament of rebels and reconciliation through a free election, France donated billions in CFA francs to help fund the election process. Independent watchdog CEI was created to ensure that the vote was counted accurately, and the African Union sent multiple mediators to the election. The results were clear: the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo had lost to Alassane Ouattara. However, Gbagbo disagreed, claiming that the election had been rigged and that a recount was necessary. The consequences of Gbagbo’s stalling wrought destruction on the Ivory Coast as an exasperated Ouattara rallied rebel forces and descended upon the capital, Abidjan, leading a vicious siege of the presidential compound. Despite calling on Gbagbo to resign, the UN remained firmly outside of the conflict until late March when loyalist special forces attacked UN headquarters, leading to the deployment of attack helicopters and thousands of French troops. Gbagbo’s actions are perplexing – what sense is there in provoking the United Nations and France into a conflict? A shooting match between the militarily powerful French and Gbagbo’s beleaguered semi-professional forces could only have one result: a swift defeat for the incumbent President. Perhaps his aim was to scare off the UN – in which case, Gbagbo failed. The French blasted holes into the presidential palace to take out ‘heavy weaponry’, clearing the way for rebel forces to advance and capture Gbagbo. Paris has been clear about the circumstances of this final battle – the French
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
merely assisted the rebels in capturing the errant President. Below the Surface In this instance, the intervention in the Ivory Coast seems a case of warranted intervention. An autocratic, egocentric and stubborn leader was removed by the forces of a democratic and legitimate President in co-operation with UN-supported French forces. It is a satisfying conclusion, a rare moment of UN success and legitimate intervention. However, digging deeper reveals that French interests in the Ivory Coast are more convoluted than a mere desire to see democracy in action. Firstly, the Ivory Coast was part of the French Empire until independence in 1970. Since then, France has viewed the Ivory Coast and other Francophonie African states to be areas of French interest, remaining involved in West African affairs to a high degree. In terms of both ‘soft power’ such as loans, investment, trade agreements and the use of French currency, Africa consumes 5 per cent of French exports. It is not a huge amount, but considering the poverty of Africa this constitutes a notable stake in African spending. Furthermore, some 240,000 French expats live in the ex-colonies, most often in positions of economic power and political influence. In terms of ‘hard power’ such as military bases and intervention, French foreign policy is defined by considering Francophonie Africa to be a ‘neighbour’, meaning ‘African troubles are also French troubles’. Since the 1960s, France has stationed 12,000 troops in Africa and has intervened in African states 19 times. Despite achieving independence, French influence has never left the Ivory Coast. Following the privatisation and opening up of the economy in the 1990s, French businesses rushed to buy up large portions of the economy – 40 per
African troubles are also French troubles. cent according to international affairs journal Ocnus. After 46 years of independence, France still controls much of the infrastructure and holds foreign currency reserves as part of the 14-nation Franc Zone. The national airline, telephone, electricity and water companies, as well as some major banks, are all French-controlled. The recent civil war
has been a blip on otherwise continually lucrative business for the French. Immediately following the deployment of French forces, French shipping company CMA CGM announced that it was ready to resume full transport of cocoa from Abidjan to France. And what of the rightly elected president, Alassane Ouattara? From a Parisian perspective, Ouattara is an ideal candidate. Educated in the United States, he graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972. He has worked both in the upper levels of the International Monetary Fund and the Central Bank of West African States, and is a committed economic neoliberal. Ouattara married Dominique Folloroux, a wealthy French woman who had access to then-President of the Ivory Coast Félix Houphouët-Boigny, as well as a property management company through which she managed Houphouët-Boigny’s presidential estate. French business with African interests took note: at Ouattara’s wedding both Martin Bouygues, head of the Bouygues Industrial group, and the disgraced business mogul Jean-Christophe Mitterrand were in attendance.
1999 with a British military intervention. Sierra Leone’s intervention incidentally pave the way for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq; then Prime Minister Tony Blair was surprised at the effectiveness with which a small force of British troops helped to prop up a government and eliminate a vicious insurgency. A decade on, Sierra Leone is still staggeringly under-developed, regardless of the millions of pounds and years of expertise that have since been supplied by the UK. The UK has very quietly stepped back into a familiar pair of shoes. Military intervention has given way to political intervention, as a new relationship between excolony and ex-coloniser has emerged. British influence in Sierra Leone is ongoing and extensive. British officials monitor the Government at all levels, with the goal of moving Sierra Leone towards a Westernised democratic nation. Samura Kamara, the country’s Finance Minister, has welcomed increased British influence, referring to the relationship as a ‘new kind of partnership’.
While Colonel Gadaffi had been shelling civilians, undoubtedly committing crimes against humanity, Gbagbo demanded an election recount
Should Foreign Intervention Naturally Take Place When Democracy is at Risk?
While Colonel Gadaffi had been shelling civilians, undoubtedly committing crimes against humanity, Gbagbo demanded an election recount. Perhaps the Gbagbo regime did not fulfil the criteria warranting UN intervention, but a case could certainly be made for nipping a long and protracted civil war in the bud by picking and supporting a winner. A partisan intervention can still be valid if both democratic freedoms and lives are protected. For the French, the Ivory Coast intervention has been a complete success. Corrupt, socialist-leaning Gbagbo has been replaced by neoliberal and pro-French business Ouattara, Western democracy has been reinforced, a bloody civil war has been averted and a much longed-for display of decisive French power and influence has benefited all. However, considering the absence of ‘crimes against humanity’, doesn’t intervention seem somewhat heavy-handed? Would states with a history of systematic abuse of human rights such as Zimbabwe or Syria be more appropriate subjects of intervention? The intervention in the Ivory Coast demonstrates that interventions often require more than just a good cause – in this case, extensive levels of business interest and warehouses full of cocoa were part of the package. A stable Ivory Coast is a lucrative one, even more so when a French-leaning free market-focused President is in power. Apart from the occasional African dissident, most of the world has either appreciated the French role in ousting Gbagbo, or simply turned a blind eye. Past Experiences Sierra Leone was wracked by civil war for years, ending in
Intervention in Sierra Leone may feel unsettling in today’s post-colonial world, but independence does not always mean an equal relationship between states. Tony Blair himself appeared ill at ease when he last visited the nation, receiving the title of ‘Paramount Chief’ and celebrated as a national hero on the streets of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. Nevertheless, Sierra Leone is at peace and has found a foothold once again on the ladder of development, thanks to British support. However, the legitimacy of Blair’s intervention is not easy to assess. The UN granted no mandate to the British to intervene, nor to remain. Yet the British acted, and lives were saved. In light of the successful intervention, it seems that the Sierra Leoneans have allowed the British to restructure their country. Perhaps Tony Blair has indeed set a precedent for small, tidy interventions that open the door for a new type of relationship between Europe and West Africa. Sarkozy has shown that both democracy and business can be served in one package.
David Orders is in his final year of a Masters of Political Economy.
United Nations Photos
Legitimate intervention is based upon the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect, outlined following the international community’s failure to save hundreds of thousands of lives during the Rwandan genocide. Essentially, the principles underlying the Responsibility to Protect come into effect when crimes against humanity are being committed – covering genocide, enslavement, torture, deportation, imprisonment and persecution against any identifiable group based on political, racial, national, ethnic, gender, cultural or religious grounds.
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
The Price of Justice in Lebanon Stephanie Zughbi examines the Lebanese political landscape, amid the United Nations Security Council’s ongoing Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Initially, investigators claimed Syrian officials were responsible for Hariri’s killing. This claim has not been publicly dismissed. However, by mid-2009, various news outlets revealed that the STL was preparing to indict members of Hezbollah, a Lebanese political and military organisation composed predominantly of Shia Muslims. It is also financially and militarily supported by the governments of Iran and Syria. While such rumours persisted, Hezbollah stepped up its attempt to contain the domestic fallout, as its leaders verbally denounced the STL as an “American-Israeli tool” designed to undermine the Hezbollah movement.
There is concern that the STL may be a fleeting injection of justice, without any enduring impact. By October 2010, Hezbollah had called for an end to the Lebanese government’s financial support for the Tribunal, and the withdrawal of all Lebanese judges. However, the Government circumvented a direct response to these demands, leading to fractious cabinet sessions, and ultimately the Government’s demise. These events highlight the severe tensions that can exist between peace and justice. Undoubtedly, the STL presents an opportunity to counter rampant impunity for political assassinations with a culture of accountability. However, a report from a 2010 Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) meeting entitled ‘The Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the Quest for Truth, Justice and Stability’ noted that an insistence on retributive justice poses an obstacle to stability, as those accused of committing serious crimes continue to exercise political power. Those indicted by the criminal justice system cannot be expected to participate simultaneously in a peace process. Often, political stalemate in Lebanon transforms into sectarian violence. Lebanon has long been a ‘casualty of compromise’, and many continue to call for the abandonment of the STL’s pursuit of truth, in order to preserve stability. The legal legitimacy of the STL has also been debated. As explained by a 2007 Chatham House paper titled ‘The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: The UN on Trial?’, the STL bypasses Lebanese constitutional procedures, and is the first international tribunal with subject-matter jurisdiction encompassing only criminal offences defined by reference to domestic law. As it only has jurisdiction over the criminal act of terror that caused the death of Rafik Hariri and 22 others, there is concern that the STL may be a fleeting injection of justice, without any enduring impact.
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
It can also be argued that, realistically, Lebanon does not have the capacity to perform the likely demands of the STL. For example, if arrest warrants were issued against Hezbollah, the organisation’s political and military strength would make it virtually impossible for the state to undertake such warrants. As a system of justice alien to the operations of Lebanon, the STL will clearly demand actions that require foreign assistance. Foreign involvement in Lebanon is pervasive. As described by Paul Salem of the Carnegie Middle East Centre, the country falls on the “fault line of several major confrontations”. As a result, when considering the value of this intervention the international community must ensure that, if and when a resolution is reached, it is enforced. In contrast, Mohammed Bazzi of the Council on Foreign Relations argues that this latest calamity cannot be attributed solely to the STL. He contends that these issues must be traced to their foundations in the entrenched sectarian political system, specifically the power-sharing formula instituted by the 1943 National Pact and the 1989 Ta’if Agreement. This system was designed to keep a balance between the 18 recognised religious sects, by stipulating that power must be divided between a Maronite Christian president, a Sunni Muslim prime minister and a Shia Muslim speaker of parliament. While outwardly pluralist, the Lebanese society is largely polarised among and within sects, and the mechanisms of a civil polity do not exist. The confessional system has resulted in a weak state structure: autonomous Lebanese political institutions failed to develop following independence in 1943, and the nation remains subject to the persuasion of traditionally powerful clans. As Lebanese sociologist Samir Khalaf explains, existing parties are so closely identified with sectarian groups and so unconcerned with a larger national identity that disintegration among them is easily generated. It remains unknown when the STL will issue its indictments. While the Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati attempts to form a government, the country remains in a leaderless period of uncertainty. If and when this crisis is resolved, history demonstrates that another is likely to emerge unless the root causes of Lebanon’s instability are addressed.
Stephanie Zughbi is currently doing a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Chinese Studies. Flickr user maryatexitzero, from Flickr.com (CC BY)
On January 12, 2011, 11 ministers representing Hezbollah and its allies resigned from Lebanon’s national unity government, causing it to collapse. This furthered the political crisis over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), a United Nations-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The resignations were not entirely unexpected - the Lebanese government had been dysfunctional for several months, owing to media speculation surrounding the STL which continues to divide the nation.
Isabelle Whitehead examines the links between private corporations and dam development on the Mekong River. As Indochina makes the transition from a 20th century battlefield to a 21st century marketplace, there are plans to turn the lower Mekong River into a cascade of large dams. China has already embarked on a massive dam-building program on the upper Mekong mainstream; now the lower Mekong states are seeking foreign investment to capitalise on their own hydropower potential. Impoverished, landlocked Laos has signalled its ambition to become “the battery of Southeast Asia” by constructing up to eight large dams across its 1950 kilometre section of the Mekong River. The most imminent and controversial of these schemes is the 1260 MW privately-funded Xayaburi Hydropower Project. Under the Mekong Agreement of 1995, Laos is treaty-bound to consult with Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before it proceeds with any mainstream hydropower project. Yet even as official talks on Xayaburi lurch between deadlock and disagreement, the Bangkok Post is reporting that private contractors have already started building a road to the proposed dam site. This raises an important question: when $U.S.3.8 billion of corporate investment is at stake, who really decides on dam proposals? At present, the answer is unclear. In a bilateral meeting on May 7, Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong informed his Vietnamese counterpart that Xayaburi would be delayed pending a full environmental assessment. By contrast, Thai construction company Ch. Karnchang remains bullishly optimistic about its 57 per cent stake in the project. Speaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting on April 22, CEO Plew Trivisvavet assured shareholders that “we are aiming to sign the power purchase agreement within 30 days”, following which “we will begin construction immediately”.
The Lao government faces a delicate balancing act between its contractual commitments to the Xayaburi project and its diplomatic standing with more powerful downstream neighbours. The Xayaburi Hydropower Project is an example of the friction that can occur between public/private and formal/informal ways of managing international river basins. As the Mekong countries embrace foreign investment and regional economic integration, traditional (state-centric) modes of decision-making can no longer be taken for granted. Banks, construction companies and environmental consultants are starting to accumulate a substantial degree of influence over hydropower projects and other ‘nation-building’ schemes – even in socialist Laos. It is worth considering how and in whose interests this private sector power might be regulated. Can a public-private partnership between the Lao government and a major Thai construction company lead to sustainable development? Should we rely on the principles of corporate social responsibility to safeguard the world’s largest freshwater fishery? Will the wealth created by hydropower ultimately benefit the 60 million inhabitants of the lower Mekong Basin?
By Siren-Com, from Wikicommons (CC BY-SA)
At the sovereign level, the Lao government faces a delicate balancing act between its contractual commitments to the Xayaburi project and its diplomatic standing with more powerful downstream neighbours. If Laos elects to honour its Memorandum of Understanding with Ch. Karnchang, its promised stream of hydropower revenue may be overwhelmed by a flood of political pressure from Vietnam, which has been unusually forthright in its opposition to Xayaburi. Beyond the closed corridors of one-party Laos, the Xayaburi proposal is being scrutinised from several different angles. In a notable departure from Southeast Asia’s purported ‘consensus politics’ and the non-confrontational ‘ASEAN Way’, the public and private proponents of the dam are starting to be held accountable – stridently and persistently, from above and from below. Scientists and civil society groups have reserved their strongest criticism for the cursory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prepared by the Thai-based TEAM Consulting Group on behalf of Ch. Karnchang. In a public statement on May 10, the World Wide Fund hydropower specialist Dr Jian-hua Meng condemned the Xayaburi assessment process as being “nowhere near international standards” and “reflect[ing] very poorly on the consultants involved”. These protests appear to have had some informal regulatory impact. In mid-May 2011, the Lao government agreed to commission a new, more comprehensive EIA on Xayaburi, to be funded by Ch. Karnchang. The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has also agreed (albeit tentatively) to assess Ch. Karnchang’s compliance with basic human rights and environmental standards. Speaking on April 18, AICHR representative Sripapha Phetmeesri explained that while ASEAN has no direct authority over private companies, investigations can nevertheless be made “through a channel of the AICHR’s corporate social responsibility framework”. Ultimately, the most pragmatic and effective way of regulating Ch. Karnchang may come from within the private sector itself. The Xayaburi project is dependent on secondary loan arrangements with four Thai banks: Kasikornbank, Krung Thai Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Bangkok Bank. Following recent protests and negative publicity, at least two of these banks appear to be wavering in their commitment to the project. If Xayaburi is declared ‘too risky’ for its lenders’ social and environmental impact guidelines – which is a distinct possibility – the dam proposal may have to be revised, postponed or even abandoned. The future of the Xayaburi Hydropower Project remains uncertain. Yet as the Mekong region stumbles towards a new (hydro)political economy, one thing is becoming very clear: large dams are a high-stakes gamble for profiteers and preservationists alike.
Isabelle Whitehead is in her fourth year of a combined Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws. She is currently completing Honours in Geography. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
Taking the Wheel Nicholas Findlater assesses corporate social responsibility among the world’s auto manufacturers. About a decade ago, something changed. The journalists who do the rounds of the world’s annual motor shows – New York, Detroit, Paris, Geneva – noticed that there was limited food to sample, and no free drinks.
quirements at all: the completely electric cars, or the cars that run on hydrogen fuel. These represent the biggest step so far in greening the automotive industry, but the relative youth of the technology means that electric cars are still
The idea was symbolic. Organisers were showcasing more green models than ever before. The largesse of a table of Moët and Black Forest cake seemed inconsistent with the new emphasis on efficiency, recycling, low emissions and alternative fuel.
(C) 2010 Alternate Energy Sources.com
So it seems that today’s auto industry is caught in a paradox. After decades of incremental levels of innovation, it cops blame for entrenching the dominance of the combustion engine, and with it, our reliance on oil. Yet at the same time, the industry is applauded for each step towards making greener power alternatives viable in the marketplace. So do we characterise the world’s carmakers as Janus-faced, or as reformed offenders? Are we being foolish if we see their attempts to go green as genuine? Has the industry cemented or ruined its capacity to engage with other global actors? Corporate Social Responsibility Put simply, corporate social responsibility (CSR) involves companies factoring any number of ethical, environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations. CSR can be as small as a corporation organising days for its employees to volunteer in local charities, or as big as a supermarket chain banning the use of plastic bags at their checkouts. Aron Cramer, President of the U.S.-based consultancy firm Business for Social Responsibility, estimates that over 1000 multinational corporations now engage in some form of CSR. Green, Green Everywhere The self-greening of the automotive industry has manifested itself across a range of manufacturing inputs and new technologies. At the lowest rung of the ‘greening ladder’ is the standard industry practice whereby most new models released to the market contain some or all of the following features: reduced fuel consumption, reduced weight, reduced wind resistance and increased reliance on recyclable materials. Many of these techniques are used to comply with targets set by governments, such as the Euro VI emission levels set by the EU.
To manufacture an electric car is to flash a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card. Somewhere in the middle of the ladder are the Toyota Priuses of the world: hybrid-petrol and hybrid-diesel vehicles which combine an electric motor with a combustion engine to provide savings in fuel consumption, particularly in urban traffic environments. Though Toyota et. al. claim to have been working on hybrid technology since the 1970s, the reality is that these engines are yet to reach their zenith in either ubiquity or fuel efficiency. At the top of the ladder are the models that have no oil re-
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
cost-prohibitive to the majority of consumers, while hydrogen cars are still in the prototype stage. And the Saints Go Marching in? In gauging the motivations of the auto industry in greening its product base, some observers are quick to dismiss the idea that morals are in operation. However, many others are uncomfortable with the assumption that the onus is on the auto industry to bring about green change. Why isn’t the government, or BP, or an entrepreneur in Guangzhou trying to quench our thirst for oil instead? Well, the sceptics argue that the answer lies in one tiny detail: car makers make money from cars. In fact, they should. And most are very good at doing so. Cynic’s Field Day Enter the strategic concept of ‘blame-shifting’ – whereby an actor seeks to exonerate himself for negative externalities and apportion that blame to another. An electric car is powered by a power point, not by petrol. Because a carmaker has no control over how electricity is made or from what materials it is sourced, the emissions of an electric vehicle are kept at arm’s length (and, realistically, in the lap of national governments). To manufacture an electric car is to flash a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card. Moreover, industry self-greening initiatives are seen as buying into individuals’ desires to advertise their own green behaviour, and such individuals are willing to pay an overinflated price for the pleasure. On this view, even modest attempts at self-greening secure a neat little profit and paint the manufacturer’s logo a definitive shade of green. The reality is that these vehicles may not be as green as their manufacturers purport, or indeed, as their purchasers hope.
For this reason, some observers are highly critical of CSR. Ron Scollon, author of Analysing Public Discourse, warns that CSR “should be approached with caution because of the tendency inherent in it to pre-empt critique by a relatively shallow display of self-criticism”. Jeremy Clarkson, host of the popular British program Top Gear, once made a similar point about the Toyota Prius. He described how its nickel-metal hydride battery was sourced from a mine in Canada, shipped to Europe to be treated, sent on to China to be assembled, and then finally shipped to Japan to be bolted into the car’s engine bay. The carbon footprint of this single aspect of the supply chain, he said, nullified any reduction in emissions put out by the fuel-efficient hybrid car once it was sold. Just how reputable Jeremy Clarkson is as a scientific source is open for debate, but the point he makes still augurs well: can CSR really be taken seriously, if its role is within wider games of blame-shifting and profiteering? To Infinity and Beyond So if CSR is not undertaken by the auto industry in good faith, what are the wider implications in terms of the industry’s future engagement in the global arena?
(C) 2011 Themhshow.com
Firstly, there is a legitimacy issue. If CSR is exposed as the most successful PR coup since Charlie Sheen discovered YouTube, then the willingness of governments to bow to the demands of industry may be slight. Given that the rollout of electric and hydrogen vehicles requires the government’s strategic support, this is especially concerning. There is a role for government co-operation in building infrastructure like electric recharge stations, or introducing tax incentives to encourage the purchase of hybrids, or legislating to prevent fuel companies from engaging in discriminatory behaviour against hydrogen fuel suppliers.
fore their viability, reliability and day-to-day practicality are proven by the passage of time, then those consumers will require companies that they can trust. Shallow and meaningless CSR therefore makes bad long-term business sense too. Retreating to the Middle Ground Reconciling the cynic’s perspective is an alternative view with few qualifications but many attractions. Yes, green is relative. Yes, a green(er) product base has positive implications for brand loyalty and corporate engagement with its customers. Yes, modest greening makes money. And (even) yes, if the electric car becomes the mainstream alternative to the petrol engine, the blame is probably no longer in the automotive industry’s court. But these are not reasons to go so far as to dismiss the exercise of CSR by carmakers altogether. The idea of the ‘triple bottom line’ (profit, people, the planet) still has merit, because many of the goals of the automotive industry of today converge: to continue to be profitable in a world where environmental concerns are on the rise in many nations, to remain competitive in a context of innovation and technology, and to carve out a long-term business future. CSR is like nothing seen before because today’s business environment is like nothing seen before. As Michael Hill argues in his book The Public Policy Process, by engaging in cross-national investment and participat-
Far from prompting meaningful critique, to automatically equate ‘corporate’ with ‘evil’ is in fact as shortsighted as equating ‘corporate’ with ‘good’. ing in worldwide financial markets, large corporations are now “thinking globally”. The notion that this global thinking should extend to legitimate environmental considerations is not a big conceptual jump to make. In sum, it should not be assumed that the corporate sector is incapable of social responsibility. The ‘sustainable forestry mark’, a worldwide certification system that identifies paper and paper products sourced from recycled sources or plantation farms, was an initiative of the logging industry completely independent of government or NGO input. Far from prompting meaningful critique, to automatically equate ‘corporate’ with ‘evil’ is in fact as short-sighted as equating ‘corporate’ with ‘good’. The attraction of a more balanced approach to the location of CSR within the automotive sector seems obvious and timely.
Secondly, and on a related note, governments need automotive companies less than automotive companies need governments. Consider the experience of General Motors, recently rescued from the brink of extinction by a bail-out package from the U.S. government. If the CSR exercised by a company in the position of GM was proven groundless, that might be deemed an act of bad faith. This reduces the likelihood of government financial support in the future. Thirdly, there is a reputation issue. Manufacturers rely on ‘brand’ and ‘image’. On a long-term view, manufacturer X could be shooting itself in the foot if its green credentials were dismantled and exposed as over-inflated hype and bad science. If consumers in coming decades are expected to take a leap of faith and invest in new vehicle technologies be-
Nicholas Findlater is in his third year of a combined Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of International and Global Studies. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
The Real Problem with Iran Sam Murray argues that the real threat posed by Iran is not nuclear weapons, but rather Iran’s potential influence in the Gulf.
Too often, the extremely sophisticated nature of the Iranian state is reduced to a simplistic question: should we allow a radical Islamic regime to develop a weapon powerful enough to destroy a city? Too often, we are told that we must protect Israel at all costs, and that if the tyrannical and unstable government in Tehran develops nuclear weapons, it will follow through on its rhetoric and “wipe Israel off the map”.
By Daniella Zalcman, from Fotopedia.com (CC BY)
But the rhetoric is just that - rhetoric. President Ahmadinejad uses such language to sustain the support of hardliners
in the Iranian government. In reality, Iran has had chemical weapons capable of wiping Israel “off the map” for years. A single anthrax shell, stockpiled from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, could wipe out Tel Aviv tomorrow. However, Iran hasn’t done this. Why? For the same reason that, if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons, it would never use them. For all of their rhetoric, Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah are rational actors - autocrats and Islamic fundamentalists, sure, but still rational human beings with an inherent interest in survival. To be incinerated by American nuclear weapons in a foolhardy attempt to destroy Israel would naturally go against this interest. So is Iran the boogeyman that American neo-conservatives and Israeli hardliners make it out to be? Surprisingly, it is - but not because of its nuclear program. Iran doesn’t want nuclear weapons to exterminate Jews; rather, Iran wants to increase its ability to project power and influence across the Persian Gulf. This is the real problem with Iran: it has the potential to project enormous influence in the Gulf through conventional (and in the future, nuclear) means, but it cannot do so while Americans remain stationed in Iraq. As such, Iran has been working to destabilise Iraq and to encourage the United States to leave - which finally, it is. The ensuing Iraqi power vacuum, once filled by Saddam Hussein’s Sunni minority, can now be filled by Iran-friendly Shiites. With Iraq as a hapless buffer state, Iran will be free to project its influence
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
throughout the entire Gulf. This is not a far-fetched idea the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war just so that he could act as a buffer against Iranian expansion. That’s why the concern of the Gulf states isn’t really Israel (which, for all intents and purposes, is an enemy in public rhetoric only), but a Shiite Iran seeking to increase its sphere of influence in a region increasingly devoid of American troops. It is this fear of Iranian expansionism which has prompted the furious battle over Bahrain, a majority Shiite population ruled by a Saudi-friendly Sunni minority. Iran has very likely been fuelling the riots across the small island nation in the hope of encouraging regime change, a Shiite and Iran-friendly government, and thereby gaining an opening to project its influence in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. That’s also why the Saudis moved forcefully to support the Bahraini government in fending off protestors, and why the West watched silently. The rights of a few protestors in a tiny Middle Eastern nation are a small price to pay for holding back Iranian influence. The growth of Iranian power is not just a Middle Eastern affair, either. Remember: Iran has a considerable naval presence in the Gulf, and with it, the ability to lay mines in the Strait of Hormuz, a channel for over two-thirds of
By Soroush Afyouni, from Flickr.com (CC BY-NC)
Too often, the debate about Iran comes down to the question of whether it is developing nuclear weapons.
the world’s oil supplies. To do so might be contrary to Iran’s immediate self-interest but it provides Iran with bargaining power, a kill-switch against any threats. This, in addition to the development of nuclear weapons, would present enormous complications in any attempt to take action against Iran in the future. Does this sound like a nuclear, nation-state version of a suicide bomber? We need to stop seeing Iran as an unstable, fundamentalist regime itching to take out Israel. Only then will we see the real problem that it poses.
Sam Murray is in his first year of a combined Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts.
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A Silent March for the Armenian Genocide’s Recognition
Narbeh Minassian urges reconsideration of the Armenian Diaspora’s attitudes concerning the Armenian Genocide and Turkey It is a sad truth that many young Armenians today have inherited a natural hate for the Turks, an urge for revenge against a people who had no involvement in the act that has caused the said hate. For some, such emotions fuel their opposition to Turkey in what are animated protest marches in the Armenian Diaspora. Although hate should never be condoned, it is an understandable sentiment towards years of denial and it is only a natural reaction to the Ottoman Empire’s unimaginable contempt that originally led to the Genocide. Nonetheless, this is a dislike that absolutely must be curbed by the Armenians, who must focus on peaceful means to recognition and improving relations with our neighbour.
Anger towards modern-day Turks is not only pointless but also illogical, as they had nothing to do with the Genocide, and they simply cannot be held accountable for the crimes of their ancestors a century ago. While it is frustrating to encounter a Turk who appears oblivious to the Genocide or even claims that it did not happen, we must consider that Turkey does not tolerate any hint of anti-Turk expressions; the infamous article 301 makes sure of that. The fault lies with the Turkish Government, who we rightly condemn for their stubborn denial. If we are ever to share peaceful relations with Turkey, Armenians have to consider this and free themselves of any misplaced prejudice towards Turks, treating them no differently to our own people. Unfortunately, we seem to be some distance away from this equality, with the general mentality amongst some Armenians being geared towards resistance to Turks, and this is a mindset that manifests itself in the annual marches that protest against the denial. It goes without saying that these marches are an important way of spreading awareness and the sheer number of people present ensures that there is a great deal of attention placed on us, which makes it all the more important for us to act as peacefully as possible. This has not always been the case. In London, the crowd is traditionally led by a speaker with a megaphone in a series of chants, most of which convey a disillusion with the continued lack of acknowledgment and regret, but some highlight the aforementioned anti-Turk mentality. Examples include ‘Dirty Turkey try to hide’, and ‘Turkey is a fascist state’. It must be said that the former is more often pronounced as ‘Turkey Turkey try to hide’.Nevertheless, this creates the impression that the purpose of the march is to insult the perpetrators and to unite in a universal ‘dislike’ for the Turks, rather than gathering to commemorate the Genocide and spread awareness in the hope of gaining recognition through legal means, which is really what it should all be about. Moreover, this sense of ‘Anti-Turkey’ influences the more impressionable youth, hence accentuating friction in relations. Again, coming back to the example of London, the marches used to take a route that would happen to pass by Turkish Airlines, where there would usually be a modest number of Turks countering the message of the march. In passing, an equally small number of young Armenians would react to this display of defiance with abusive words of such a nature that I cannot repeat them in print. Being part of the Armenian youth myself, I have seen this behaviour first-hand. As much of a minority these children are, the fact that even one has chosen to behave in this manner is evidence enough that something must be done to prevent this anti-Turk mentality. It is a most unfortunate act
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
and only reflects badly on us.
In addition to the chanting, some of the placards on show produce the same anti-Turk effect. Like the chants, most of the placards are harmless, but there are a small number that must be changed. Most notably, one placard has an image that demands Turkey’s rejection from entering the European Union. While it would be more than plausible to argue that their denial of the Genocide should prevent their admittance into the European Union, this placard has taken this claim out of context and simply stated a wish for Turkey’s rejection; again, this distracts from the main purpose of the march. Away from the march, some images that have been made for the remembrance of the Armenian Genocide involve highly anti-Turkish evocations, the most aggressive of which alters the Turkish flag in a way of emphasising their denial, which also insults Islam as its symbol is the focus of the Turkish flag. As a solution to these problems with the march, I would suggest changing to a silent protest, with no megaphones and no chanting. This would not just avoid suggesting an anti-Turk attitude, but I believe that it would also be more effective in attracting attention and, therefore, spreading awareness. The layout of the march tends to follow the structure of: the Scouts at the front, who are neatly lined up in uniform, holding reefs and musical instruments, with the high Priest and other senior members of the Armenian community behind them, followed by the rest of those in the march. Given that the scouts lead the procession to instil discipline in the advance, this seems in vain as a high percentage of the gathering do not take part in the chanting and rather hold their own conversations in an unorganised rabble. If the march was in silence, it would ensure a consistent discipline that would be a fitting way of commemorating our ancestors who were forced to march into the desert. We must not preach or encourage a hatred for the Turks. This point is supported by relatively recent actions taken by a Turkish Nationalist, Ogun Samast, whose anti-Armenian disposition led him to assassinate Turkish-Armenian editor of Agos, Hrant Dink. Samast erred spectacularly in killing Dink. This was an act that could be utterly condemned as an immoral act alone, but it also had wider reaching implications. Dink’s death made a martyr of him and a powerful symbol for the Armenians in the struggle for recognition, while the murder reflects poorly on the Turkish defence. Dink’s death drew every Armenian’s attention to his life and his views on the ‘Armenian Problem’. While he condemned the Turkish denial, he was also critical of Armenian diaspora’s efforts to press Western governments into recognising the genocide. Instead, highlighting the importance of peace, and repairing relations with Turkey directly through dialogue. His is a message that should be adhered to, and one that this article takes much of its inspiration from. As a nation that prides itself on its Christian heritage, being the first nation to adopt it as its religion in 301 AD, it would be contradictory to act in any way other than peaceful in any situation. So, let’s listen to Hrant Dink’s message, let’s be peaceful, and let’s do it quietly.
Narbeh has just finished his second year of a three year course in English Literature at Queen Mary University of London.
Poverty Meets Prosperity: the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid Nadia Surtees explores the relationship between corporations and development, focusing on corporate social responsibility and the triple bottom line.
In fact, the late C.K. Prahalad, a corporate strategy professor at the University of Michigan, revealed that the future of wealth and commercial profitability lies with the 4 billion ‘aspiring poor’. Instead of targeting the finite ‘wealthy few’ whose population size and purchasing power once demanded attention, this new shift in thinking focuses on the emerging poor who need goods and services to help them climb out of poverty independently. This new approach to globalisation aims to increase profits by using the economies of scale. In recent times, this strategy has taken flight in emerging economies, giving the poor the chance to get rich on their own terms. The strategy of targeting emerging economies has a triple effect: it enhances the quality of life for billions, is a profitable capital venture and, most importantly, it leverages the corporate social responsibility of companies in incomparable ways. The ‘bottom of the pyramid’ strategy can be seen in practice in poverty-stricken South India. CavinKare has used this strategic tool to dominate the rural shampoo market and to empower consumers to ritualise hygiene practices. This was achieved by replacing the standard packaging of shampoo in large bottles with individual sized sachets, which decreased the price point from $U.S.5 ($A4.70) to $U.S.0.20 ($A0.19). CavinKare also combined their smaller products with successive hygiene education classes in slum dwellings and local communities, where people were unfamiliar with the concept of shampoo. The company showed locals how to use their products by conducting live demonstrations on young boys, and then encouraging people to smell and touch their ‘fresh’ hair. This strategy was combined with the use of more traditional advertising tactics, such as sponsoring film star Rajinikanth and distributing free sachets after screenings of his films, which quadrupled sales after every showing. CavinKare has since been approached by major multinationals such as Unilever in the hope of acquiring the brand. These corporations see the potential of rural areas in outpacing the growth of wealthier sectors of the economy. While local markets have traditionally been ignored due to the informality of their transactions (such as bartering), and the inapplicability of the rules of advanced monetary economies, CavinKare exemplifies how these markets are now being targeted by transnational corporations. Most citizens do not privately hold legal rights to either the products them-
selves or the property on which they are grown, farmed and produced, and instead work together on a communal basis. As such, people are unfamiliar with the individualistic drivers on which a capitalist economy runs. Products and services must therefore be tailored to suit marginalised rural areas on a co-operative basis. This growing opportunity is being under-capitalised by technological sectors such as the mo-
By Espen Faugstad, from Flickr.com (CC BY-NC-SA)
The end of the Cold War saw the re-birth of the capitalist world, and the opening of previously closed economies in places such as China, India and Latin America to foreign investment. Thrilled by the opportunity to capture the emerging middle classes, transnational corporations saturated these nations with countless goods and services in the hope that standardised marketing strategies could be transformed into a global success overnight, without the need to adapt corporate strategies. The subsequent flooding of emerging markets with goods has led investors to reassess the benefits of applying this traditional risk-reward structure to foreign market economies.
bile phone industry, where a significant gap appears in the market. If poor infrastructure can be overcome, these underdeveloped village groups could be the next growth wave in the telecommunications industry. To work effectively, the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ strategy requires true innovation, an alternative perspective on financial success, and a willingness to bring technology to the people rather than waiting for demand to come. This approach requires companies to give up the ‘bigger-is-better’ approach, and accept the managerial mindset that ‘smaller’ at a lower price point is both more sustainable and more profitable in the long run. Instead of targeting the top tier of earners above $U.S.60,000 ($A56,940), managers would compete to capture a small share of the vast profits available by tapping into the market of a 4-billion-strong population that earns, at best, $U.S.1,500 ($A1,423) per annum, which in turn averages approximately $U.S.1 ($A0.95) per day. This inequity in terms of wealth distribution has seen the gap between the rich and the poor widen dramatically over time. The UN Millennium Development Goals estimate that by 2015, there will still be 920 million people living in poverty. However, the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ strategy sheds new light on this situation. According to World Bank estimations, this ‘bottom’ sector is equivalent to trillions in untapped commercial value. In the shadow of a post-GFC world, now is the time more than ever to stimulate real social change and genuine profitability across diverse sectors.
Nadia Surtees is in her third year of a Bachelor of Economic and Social Sciences majoring in Marketing and Political Economy. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
‘Real Rape’? Julian Assange’s Sexual Assault Allegations Clare Power considers feminist reactions to the charges brought against the Wikileaks founder and the impact of international publicity upon such prosecutions. On August 20, 2010, two Swedish women brought accusations of sexual assault against Julian Assange, the founder of whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. These accusations have had global repercussions, sparking widespread scepticism of the criminal justice system and igniting debate about the legitimacy of Assange’s prosecution. Assange’s actions, the response of the press, and the behaviour of the accusers themselves have led many feminists to question the global influence of this individual. Prominent feminist commentator Naomi Wolf asks why it is that on this one occasion of rape (normally an underreported crime) the perpetrator has received such levels of global attention and investigation. She holds reservations as to the validity of the claims, citing them as “ambiguous and corrupt allegations” which fail to take the charge of rape seriously. Others, such as Jacklyn Friedman, identify both the incident and the views of Wolf herself as minimising the crime of rape and thereby discouraging other women from reporting it. The debate has also entered the mainstream forum. The string of high-profile accusations, including most recently that of former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, have resulted in well-known American commentators such as Glenn Beck, Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann voicing their opinions. Problematically, such international scrutiny inevitably takes hold upon the actual prosecution itself.
In the morning, Miss W left the apartment to buy breakfast. She went back to sleep on her return, and woke to find Assange having sex with her. He was not wearing a condom, and according to the police report, “she couldn’t be bothered to tell him one more time” to wear one. Assange again denied the allegations, stating in an interview with the BBC that “this has been a very successful smear campaign”. On August 20, the two women made a joint statement to Swedish police, and an arrest warrant was issued for Assange in November 2010. ‘Real Rape’ and the Media Jacklyn Friedman is well-known for her outspoken support of rape victims, and is herself a victim of sexual abuse. She believes that the prosecution of Assange has been politically motivated, but asserts that the charges themselves are not. Unlike Naomi Wolf, Friedman believes that these allegations need to be taken seriously. Otherwise we, the public, engage in a demonisation of victims of sexual assault, due to the international stature of the accused. Rape is already one of the most under-reported crimes in the world, a fact that Friedman attributes to the way that sexual abuse is portrayed in the media. Too often, the blame for such incidents falls onto the victims, as their reputations and personal lives are dragged into the public spotlight for judg-
Details of the Accusations Julian Assange travelled to Sweden on August 11, 2010. It was during this visit that he allegedly raped two women, as detailed in police reports leaked to the Guardian on December 17 last year.
Following this incident, Assange stayed in Miss A’s bed for the rest of the week. However, Miss A informed her friends that the sex between them had been violent and that he refused to leave her apartment. When confronted with these allegations Assange appeared shocked, and denied that he had tampered with the condom. When he was at Miss A’s conference, Assange met Miss W. A few days later she invited him back to her apartment, where they started to have consensual sex. Miss W asked Assange to stop when she realised he wasn’t wearing a condom. However, after Assange agreed to wear protection, the pair proceeded to have sex multiple times throughout the night.
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
By Mataparda, from Flickr.com (CC BY)
In relation to the first accuser, Miss A, with whom Assange was residing at the relevant time, it is alleged that following dinner one night Assange returned to her apartment and began to undress her rapidly, snapping her necklace. Although she tried to dress herself, Miss A realised that her attempts were in vain and allowed Assange to have sex with her. However, once she realised that he was not wearing a condom, she asked him to stop. Despite originally objecting, Assange eventually put on a condom, but according to Miss A, he deliberately damaged it.
ment. This occurs particularly when the accused is a wellknown and influential private actor, and serves to discourage other victims from reporting instances of rape. Friedman’s concept of ‘real rape’ is central to this. The notion of ‘real rape’ concerns the public preconception of what the crime of rape should look like. Essentially, it ‘should’ involve an innocent, sober virgin being violently attacked by a
large stranger, who also threatens her with a weapon. This was not the picture with which the public was presented in the Assange case. Here, the women were not threatened, and the perpetrator was known to them. The media therefore engaged in victim-blaming, perpetuating the myth of ‘real rape’. Glenn Beck of Fox News in the U.S. stated of the case, “To me, this doesn’t really fit the profile of someone who has been sexually assaulted.” He then asserted, in a sarcastic tone, “woman number two [Miss W] is so upset by this ‘rape’ that she decides to go to breakfast with Assange”. The inaccuracy of this statement aside, Beck demonstrates how dismissive the media can be of allegations which do not fit with the ‘real rape’ myth. Keith Olbermann of MSNBC compounded this myth when he interviewed Michael Moore on December 14. Both of these men rejected the allegations as farcical before even considering the facts, and asserted that the women must be involved in a conspiracy because of their previous relations with Assange. What is alarming is Freidman’s declaration that this discourse in the media is “literally creating more rape in the world”. Not only does it make women less likely to report instances of rape, but it also reduces the likelihood of prosecution as the perception of what constitutes rape becomes blurred even within the criminal justice system. “A Miscarriage of Justice” Naomi Wolf sees the charges brought against Assange as “ambiguous and corrupt”, serving to undermine legitimate claims by women who have been raped. Wolf states, “as a feminist, I am distraught about this miscarriage of justice”. Wolf bases this claim on her assessment of the Assange case as an example of multiple instances of consent. Miss A allowed Assange to have sex with her even though she was concerned about the broken condom; Miss W chose not to say ‘no’ to Assange, even though she didn’t want to have sex with him. Wolf asserts that these instances of consent are reflective of a society and a justice system that do not treat women like moral adults who are capable of saying no. Wolf accuses Friedman of disrespect for women, through his failure to acknowledge that both Miss A and Miss W had ample opportunity to tell Assange to stop. Most importantly, it is cases like this which cause rape to be taken less seriously within society. Instead, it is politicised, and has been used in this case to victimise a controversial public figure. According to Wolf, this further discourages women from reporting sexual abuse.
A woman who has been raped in Sweden is 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than to have her case legally prosecuted. Perhaps Wolf’s argument will be given more credence when the full details emerge of the alleged sexual assault claims made against Strauss-Kahn, who was recently reported to have assaulted a maid who entered his Sofitel hotel suite. However, Wolf does provide evidence for her claims. In her
much-publicised satirical address to the Huffington Post on December 7, Wolf asks why there is suddenly a global manhunt to “prosecute men who act like narcissistic jerks to the women they are dating”. She jokingly compliments Interpol for tracking down men who send text messages during dinner, or who fail to notice that their partner has had a haircut. The point Wolf makes here is an important one. Her scepticism of Assange’s persecution is used to demonstrate the level of political motivation behind these allegations. Wolf also points to the Swedish justice system’s previous treatment of sexual assault and rape victims, with some interesting results. A report released by Amnesty International in 2008 concluded that “rapists get impunity” in Sweden, finding that the Swedes are dismissive of rape and engage in victim-blaming more than other countries. In 2007, only 5-10 per cent of rapes were reported in Sweden. In fact, according to Amnesty International, a woman who has been raped in Sweden is 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than to have her case legally prosecuted. Interestingly, Amnesty International’s report Case Closed also found that women who were on a date with the perpetrator, or who were drunk at the time of the assault, found it particularly difficult to pursue prosecution. The report found that these women “have problems fulfilling the stereotypical role of ‘ideal victim’”, which echoes Freidman’s ‘real rape’ hypothesis. The allegations against Assange reveal the complexity of sexual abuse and its prosecution in an international setting. Both Naomi Wolf and Jacklyn Friedman agree that Julian Assange should be taken to court, and that there have been political motives behind the ferocity of his persecution. However, the level of disagreement surrounding the actual allegations reflects a deeper confusion about the legitimacy of the victims and their right to seek legal redress. Significantly, this case highlights the politicisation of rape, which is particularly problematic for future victims. The fact that the world media immediately turns to conspiracy theories reflects Friedman’s concept of ‘real rape’, but also suggests that current legislation does not provide sufficient protection for victims. Instead, it allows for incredibly influential international actors to take hold of accusations and manipulate them for their own purposes.
Clare Power is in her final year of a Bachelor of Economic and Social Sciences majoring in Government and International Relations and Political Economy. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
The Sydney Globalist’s Foreign Correspondent:
‘Welcome to the 193rd Country of the World’ Gerard McCarthy reflects on the pitfalls of post-conflict identity in the newly independent state of South Sudan. “Let us stand up in silence and respect Saluting our martyrs whose blood Cemented our national foundation We vow to protect our nation Oh God, bless South Sudan!”Excerpt from South Sudan’s National Anthem. It was December 2010 when we sipped ultra-sweet Sudanese tea overlooking the port at South Sudan’s northernmost city of Malakal. Barges from Khartoum drifted down the Nile and docked to unload their wares. Sturdy labourers pulled crates of mango soft-drink, bags of refined sugar and plastic furniture off the boat and onto trucks bound for stalls throughout the bustling border city and hinterland. During the two decade war with the north that took the lives of millions before formally concluding in 2005, importing products such as molded plastic tables and chairs from traders in Khartoum was a big business- their low cost and portability perfect for a population attempting to lead normal lives in the midst of perpetual fear of aerial bombardment and violent displacement. Yet this year, after the January 9 vote for separation certified as credible by international observation missions including the United Nations, European Union, Arab League and The Carter Center, the sight of barges from Khartoum being hurriedly unloaded in southern ports has become increasingly rare. Many of the Arab merchants who co-ordinated supplychains along the Nile departed for the north in the run-up to or immediately after the referendum, crippling trade flows. Meanwhile, recent violence in oil-rich areas of the north, combined with a deliberate trade-embargo by Omar al-Bashir’s regime in Khartoum, has sparked a critical fuel shortage throughout the south. Yet despite the fall-out in northsouth relations, the clear southern preference expressed in the 98.83 per cent vote for separation has seen many cast away their weathered plastic furniture and begin to invest in more sturdy, wooden homewares- in the expectation that a durable peace is settling in. Independence for the Republic of South Sudan occurs on July 9 2011. Unlike secessionist movements in Kosovo and Eritrea, most of the world’s major powers including the United States and China as well as many regional neighbors have already lined up to recognise ‘The 193rd Country of The World’- as the banner at South Sudan’s main airport proudly proclaims. Accession to membership in a series of supranational organisations, including the United Nations, the African League and the East African Community is imminent. Southern separation is also likely to result in the renegotiation of colonial-era agreements on Nile water use between Egypt and Sudan to the developmental benefit of other up-stream states including Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Burundi. As the independence countdown clock in Juba, the new southern capital, ticked to zero, the celebrations and euphoria of the referendum give way to the sober challenges of daily governance. Southern Sudan now embarks on forging a national consciousness. Plans are being developed for Memorials to the Fallen as well as national cultural museums. With the establishment of these institutions of national
TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
memory comes reflection and definition of ‘South Sudan’ as a political and cultural entity. Identity politics is fraught with difficulties in many countries, but in a region with more than 200 ethnicities united by decades of subjugation by successive northern regimes, cultivating a positive and unifying national identity will not be simple. To pass through military checkpoints, constant appeals to ‘Comrade!’ from the driver are usually obligatory to ensure that the young soldiers lift the boom and let you pass. It’s a reminder of the socialist roots of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Stories are also rife of former soldiers returning to their townships in the south and claiming land from those who did not serve directly in the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) during the war- especially the many internally displaced people (IDPs) who fled the war to Khartoum. These incidents highlight the problem of defining identity in a nation born out of civil conflict. This post-conflict situation is not unique to Southern Sudan, with similar incidences of militiamen seizing land from IDPs laying the groundwork for local violence in other countries in transition such as Sierra Leone and Liberia. While recognising the contribution of veterans is central not just to national identity but also social cohesion, privileging direct participation in the armed liberation struggle as the cornerstone of national consciousness may be a narrow and unstable foundation. It’s common to hear arguments that ethnic Dinka from the border regions of Jonglei, Upper Nile, Warrap and Bahr el Ghazal suffered the greatest direct loss of lives in the struggle that led to South Sudanese independence, and that as a consequence they are entitled to the vast majority of government jobs. But in conversations with recent returnees disembarking in southern townships after long, bumpy and often dangerous journeys from Khartoum by bus, shared participation in the conflict was rarely emphasised as the cornerstone of nationhood. As one woman whose beer brewing business was shut down by Sharia’h police in the northern city of Kosti told a colleague, “we just want to brew and pray, whenever and however.” For many, the independence of southern Sudan brings with it an opportunity for freedom of expression and a positive peace un-
derwritten by equal recognition and contribution towards national development. Support for a broader definition of nationalism is widespread amongst South Sudan’s best educated, many of whom were able to get schooling during the civil war only by escaping to refugee camps in Khartoum or elsewhere in East Africa. Some continued their education on humanitarian visas in North America, Europe or Australia, many of whom sent significant financial aid back to Sudan to support their families and the southern insurgency. This Sudanese diaspora is now beginning to return- trickling back to the new country to start the industries vital to the first stages of post-conflict social and economic development. Setting direct participation in the war effort as a measure of citizenship degrades the contribution of these civilians to the broader war effort, as well as their critical role in building the country’s government and private sector post-independence. Equating participation in the civil war with the inner-core of national identity is problematic also because citizenship in the new nation of Southern Sudan is not extended to all those that fought- and indeed continue to fight- in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the southern army. The rough demarcation of the border between north and south in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 meant that the south of the country did not include the border regions of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei. Many communities in these ‘Transitional Areas’ had fought with the SPLA against the regime in Khartoum. Despite the secession of South Sudan, many in these areas continue to support the original vision of a ‘New Sudan’ through the northern branch of the party, SPLM-North. This is a sentiment that is found amongst soldiers in the SPLA, especially those from communities demarcated under the CPA as remaining under the Khartoum regime. As recent citizens hearings in Blue Nile demonstrate, these aspirations are shared by many across the border regions. “One day, Sudan will be united and free”, a jovial soldier from the Nuba Mountains told me before the referendum last January. In his mid-40s, he wore his dark green uniform with pride as he guarded a military checkpoint just south of the border. Hailing from an indigenous African group with-
vision of a ‘New Sudan’. He grasped that when a cease-fire was called around the Nuba Mountains in 2004, the vision of a united, democratic and secular Sudan held by agricultural economist turned SPLA commander, the late Dr John Garang had lost support from many southern militia leaders. Most of them had concluded that in their lifetimes, regional independence was the only feasible method through which to end the conflict with Khartoum.
With the establishment of these institutions of national memory comes reflection and definition of ‘South Sudan’ as a political and cultural entity. The subsequent CPA of 2005 ruled out the potential of a southern future for the ‘Transitional Areas’ of Blue Nile and South Kordofan (though the inhabitants of the border region of Abyei were promised a referendum on their northern or southern future that has so far failed to materialise). Instead, the CPA mandated the conduct of less-formal ‘Popular Consultations’ to gauge their demands for northern reform- essentially non-binding focus group recommendations that the northern regime looks unlikely to adopt. Yet despite the bleak post-independence future of his homeland, he was optimistic that the plight of the Nuba Mountains wouldn’t be forgotten by the new state of Southern Sudan. With the recent resumption of brutal, Khartoum-endorsed violence aimed at suppressing any remnants of separatism amongst the ethnic Nuba of South Kordofan in the run up to southern independence, it is not difficult to recall that Nubian soldier and many of others who fought in the SPLA for a ‘New Sudan’ but whose future for better or worse lie firmly in the north. As all those who served in the SPLA are not part of the new nation of South Sudan, a more durable foundation for national unity must be sought other than military service in the civil war. Lunch-time in the southern capital of Juba provides a glimpse of what that inclusive nationalism might look like. It’s almost impossible to find a chair in restaurant ‘Mama Zahara’ as hundreds of Southern Sudanese bureaucrats, soldiers, officials, police and NGO workers crowd in daily to feast on some of the best cuisine in the capital. Southern Sudan continues to be classed as one of the World Food Program’s “hungriest places in the world”. Despite the challenges of food insecurity, it’s deeply symbolic to see a new generation of South Sudanese men and women from differing tribal and ethnic backgrounds coming together to share a meal- and even a beer- in a business owned and operated by a Christian woman and her Muslim husband. How the Republic of Southern Sudan values military service in the civil war in the development of the national memory is critical to the emerging national identity of the world’s newest country. As the independence clock in Juba ticks to July 9th and millions of southerners begin the difficult process of building a durable and meaningful peace, it’s important to remember those just across the newly erected border who share the same scars of violence and oppression, but who have no clear path to freedom.
in the north that fought with the SPLA in their decadeslong struggle for regime-change in Khartoum after enduring decades of violent subjugation, he was surprisingly calm in describing the future of the Nuba Mountains in the north. He told me of enlisting to the army as soon as the war began in 1983- fighting for the freedom of the Nuba as part of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s (SPLM) grand
Gerard McCarthy recently completed Bachelors of Economics & Social Sciences, with Honours in Government & International Relations. He observed the referendum processes in Unity State from November-January 2011 and now works on enterprise investment for Peace Dividend, South Sudan (www. peacediv.com). All photos by the author. TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011
From Mau Mau to the Third Sector
Sharangan Maheswaran and Lewis Hamilton explore the growth of the third sector in Kenya, and the impact the overall global growth of the third sector is having on national governments. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), increasingly known as the ‘third sector’, are a seemingly established force. Yet in the field of international development and international relations, they are a relatively new phenomenon. Their growing influence has overturned the established statist order by bridging the fissures between states and citizens. Where the state fails to protect the needy from the evils of poverty, disease and famine, the third sector acts to close the breach. While NGOs are increasingly asserting a newfound influence on developmental economics, they have also provided private individual actors and organisations with the potential to fundamentally transform the global arena. Nowhere is this more evident than in the transformation of Kenya’s third sector. Independence Chimes, the Kenyan Third Sector Flourishes The 1952 Mau Mau uprising in Kenya against the British colonial forces gave birth to the ‘third sector’ – that recognisable section of society comprised of volunteers and charity-workers who, through their altruism, provide important services to citizens, business and government alike. The birth of NGOs in Kenya began in a very unfamiliar and unconventional manner. In the wake of the Mau Mau uprisings, the Christian Council of Kenya (CCK) - a pre-eminent religious NGO - was recruited by the colonial government to run ‘rehabilitation programs’. In reality, this was a façade designed to intern suspected rebel guerrillas. This NGO, and others like it, formed an apparatus through which the colonial government maintained its power. Conversely, organisations were formed which allowed the Kikuyus people to air their anticolonial demands, such as the establishment of the Kikuyu Central Association in 1924. By 1952, these organisations posed such a threat that the colonial government banned them entirely.
“The third sector has overturned the established statist order.” Historically, Kenya’s third sector has struggled between those organisations looking for reform, and those created to perpetuate colonisation. The third sector aroused both suspicion and praise. While it provided for the needs of many, it also served to perpetuate a quickly disappearing colonial regime. With independence and the rise of Jomo Kenyatta, however, the third sector took on a new face, moulded around the development discourse pressed by the Washington technocrats. To survive, NGOs found themselves in partnership with the new Kenyan government, offering their services and, in some areas, taking up the traditional role of the state. From 1977 to 1987, the number of NGOs in Kenya proliferated by over 200 per cent. By 1990, the NGO Co-ordination Act was passed, which codified a more effective framework for the Kenyan third sector. There are now 4000 NGOs registered in Kenya, one in 10 of which is international. They employ over 50,000 individuals and account for 3 per cent of GDP. In partnership with government, Kenya’s NGOs have built the largest third sector in the world.
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The immense size of the third sector in Kenya means that it is, in a sense, a form of government. The employees of third and public sectors are economically and culturally intertwined through overlapping employee pools, training and education. These linkages ensure a common sense of purpose and strategic interweaving of government and NGOs. International donors often do not approach government directly, preferring to channel their funds through the third sector to ensure their desired societal outcomes. For example, USAID often favours Mission hospitals over government hospitals to deliver health aid. The preference for third sector organisations has re-framed the social contract in Kenya, meaning that citizens no longer look solely to government for the services they desperately need. The Third Sector as a Global Trend: an Adversary or Ally of Governments? Kenya is just one example of the profound impact that the third sector is having globally. Across the world, the sector has become engaged in transforming individual lives at the local level through micro-finance in countries like Bangladesh. Meanwhile, macro-level advocacy has driven the large push toward eradicating malaria and the ‘Highways in Africa’ project. Within the global arena, this has left developing states with a conundrum: have they found a new ally in the fight against poverty, or are the functions of government being eroded by powerful private foreign organisations? The answer lies somewhere in-between. For all of their power, NGOs still rely on the state more than ever both for security, and to give authority to their programs locally. Likewise, the developing states require NGOs to give them the credibility they need internationally. It is important to acknowledge that NGOs are principally private organisations answerable to Western donors, and that their development programs lend them enormous influence without the pressure of democratic accountability. The stability of the third sector is also questionable, with the Global Financial Crisis threatening many of their donor bases. Nevertheless in Kenya, NGOs - in partnership with government - have transformed agriculture, primary education and hospitals across the country. Where crops once failed from poor agriculture practices and business failed from a lack of credit (rather than a lack of hard work or ingenuity), Kenya’s NGO-supported reforms have seen an amazing turnaround in these areas. States like Kenya that have properly harnessed the power of NGOs have seen amazing results. NGOs bring with them a wealth of skills, financial backing and credibility which, in partnership with good local government, give individuals in both the developing and developed world the potential to transform the global arena.
Sharangan Maheswaran is in his final year of a Bachelor of Arts. He is competing Honours in Government and International Relations. Lewis Hamilton is in his final year of a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Government and International Relations and Sociology.
The Last Word These articles sketch a world map of cluttered topography. The territorial lines of countries wrestle for presence alongside the contours of the NGO and the corporation, the pioneering individual and the shady businessperson. At its core, the “private realm” is the individual- a status often ascribed little to no influence (politics, as they say, is the business of groups). Yet many in this edition dispel such monochrome readings. Joel Wing-Lun showcases the power of the academic as an interpreter and presenter of reality. Meanwhile, Catrina Yu discusses how a daughter’s text on the correcting habits of her mother can expose the insecurities of a (potentially) declining superpower. Elizabeth Beyer elaborates on the a new brand of individual actor: the social entrepreneur- impelled to development like an aid-worker, yet interested to do so through the logic of profit. Many of these articles argue for a more nuanced approach to profit. Nadia Surtees’ discussion on the “bottom of the pyramid” reworks the notion of private vice serving a public function. She cites CavinCare which has both received profits and improved communal hygiene practices. Ben Brooks’ assessment of the private sector in space reminds us that, even as the space shuttle program retires, human endeavours in this frontier will continue- driven not by great-power pride but by the profit impulse. Nicholas Findlater explores how the “new” car industry is factoring a number of “ethical, environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations.” A healthy cynicism runs through these works, but a wellfounded, if tempered, optimism eventually shines through.
It would be quick and incomplete analysis that converts such insights into the conclusion that the state is dead. Rather, a common thread is an awareness for the tango of the public and private. Sharangan Maheswaran and Lewis Hamilton note that: “The immense size of the third sector in Kenya means that it is, in a sense, a form of government”. Less optimistically David Orders asserts that “warehouses full of cocoa” may be as powerful a catalyst (if not more so) than the Responsibility to Protect. Isabelle Whitehead’s work shows how international relations is complicated through the formation of uneasy public-private partnerships which are themselves hounded by epistemic communities. For many, the state remains key. Lawrence Muskitta’s analysis of the fourth-estate’s mendacity advocates for well-apportioned state regulation. Such considerations likewise inform John Fennel’s discussion of efforts to mitigate global money laundering- a shadier side of the private sector’s international presence. Lindsey Gumley and William Thomas’s piece on bees and food occurs through the lens of national security, and solutions are conveyed through the machinery of the state. Mike Safi’s photo essay captures the moments before a state fights its people; while Gerard McCarthy’s correspondence shows the moments before a people create their state. The map is chaotic. The lines of countries are not sufficient, but neither does it do to erase them. Oh, you’ve also got to draw the occasional portrait.
Dominic Dietrich is the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Sydney Globalist
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TheSydneyGlobalist | August 2011