Power, Finance and Development in Africa, and Issues in Development
Friday, Jan. 5, 2024 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (CST)
- Chair: Geoffrey Schneider, Bucknell University
The China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and African Development
AbstractThe positioning and growth of Chinese companies are interrelated with the profound economic and financial reforms undertaken in China since the eighties. An example, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) with investments in the five continents transforming the landscape of the regions through long-range construction projects, as well as investments in priority and necessary sectors embedded with the project of China's development. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the expansion of CRCC for being one of the ten most important corporations in Africa, the continent of the XXI century, one of the regions of greatest economic and political influence for China; highlight the main areas of investment related to the demand for structural change of economic development and show the main institutional investors involved with this corporation. A new element that has favored Chinese corporations is global investments under the so-called Belt Road Initiative (BRI) during the last decade. Likewise, the pandemic and the policy of ‘zero covid-19’ in the current situation characterized by inflation, high interest rates, armed conflict and action on climate change present a complex panorama and challenges for the expansion of Chinese corporations.
Corruption and African Development: A Critical Assessment
AbstractCorruption is often used by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as a catch-all excuse to condemn state-led development in Africa. Like the worst of mainstream economics theorizing, the anti-state, anti-corruption stance assumes that corruption, especially the petty corruption of state officials, is an inherent inhibitor of economic development. But, as is so often the case with mainstream theorizing, the realities on the ground can be very different. The U.S. experienced some of its most rapid economic growth during the extremely corrupt robber baron era. South Korea’s economic boom was built on cozy government-firm relationships that would be perceived as corrupt under many definitions. Interestingly, corruption can sometimes facilitate development under certain circumstances, such as when the rents from corruption end up being reinvested productively in the domestic economy. Building on Phil O’Hara’s 2014 paper, “Political Economy of Systemic and Micro-Corruption Throughout the World,” Journal of Economic Issues, 48, 2, this paper argues that neoliberal policies foisted on sub-Saharan Africa by the World Bank and the IMF actually facilitate particularly types of systemic corruption, which O’Hara (2014: 303) defines as “the abuse of power for private benefit against the common good based on the actions of bribery, fraud, extortion, embezzlement, state capture, nepotism, and others.” In particular, neoliberal policies foster corporate corruption, uneven development, and the systematic and corrupt exploitation of Africa’s resources and people.
Supply Chain Economics: A Fresh Lens for Holistic Analysis
AbstractIdiosyncratic shocks, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine, are catalysts for wide-spread disruption to economies, firms, and households. We find these crises accelerating pre-existing trends, so it is critical we consider historical contexts. Aging workforces, declining birth rates, promotion of 4-year degrees, stigmatization of blue-collar work, geographically, hyper-concentrated supply chains have all been in the making for decades. Organizations are heavily investing in automation technologies and continuing foreign direct investment in offshore sourcing of critical natural resources. There are real geo-political concerns on this in Africa and Asia, such as dominance in rare earth minerals and semiconductor fabrication. Supply chain management is the management of a network of organizations, internal and external, by which an organization pursues its goals and objectives. Yet neither the social science of economics or decision science of supply chain management proved sufficient to anticipate the depth, breadth, or duration of these disruptions, much less mitigate the damage. So, from those definitions we frame supply chain economics. By combining these concepts, we understand supply chain economics as the systematic study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods, services, and capital by networks of organizations, internal and external, with which any given organization pursues its goals and objectives.
Interrogating Theories of Power within Original Institutionalist Thought
AbstractThis article interrogates different theoretical approaches to power implicit and explicit within the Original Institutionalist literature. Steven Lukes’, Power: A Radical View, lays out a three-dimensional typography within which different theoretical approaches to power can be located. The first dimension is a pluralist conception of power emblematic in the works of Robert Dahl, focusing on behavior and decision making in overt observable conflict. The second dimension of power is represented in C. Wright Mills’ Power Elite, moving beyond the first dimension, focusing on decision and non-decision making in both covert and overt conflict. The third dimension of power, associated with the Post-Structuralist social theory and embodied in terms such as hegemony (Gramsci), micro-physics of power (Foucault), and symbolic power (Bourdieu), is often referred to as “subjectless” power. This approach focuses on power embedded in institutions, habits of thought, often influencing events and decisions at the pre-reflexive level. Original Institutionalist theorists have fallen into each of these dimensions implicitly or explicitly within their work. This article interrogates some of the major thinkers in Original Institutionalist thought, such as, Veblen, Commons, Galbraith, Boulding, Waller, and Dugger to tease out the different dimensional approaches being taken. The limitations of these dimensional approaches are then highlighted, while articulating their often-incompatible nature. A “subjectless” approach to power will be articulated as the most consistent with the methodological (i.e., ontological and epistemological) commitments of Original Institutionalists. Moreover, by highlighting the compatibility of Original Institutionalist methodology with “subjectless” power a bridge is built between two schools of thought which are often seen as disparate: Original Institutional economics and Post-Structuralist social theory. Such a bridge can help to promote nterdisciplinary understandings of social phenomena.
COVID-19 Pandemic and Cryptocurrency Volatility: An Empirical Analysis
AbstractThe last three years have been mainly characterized by two significant events. The announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization and the beginning of a special operation by Russia in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. This turbulent situation has been highlighted by academic researchers to decipher the reaction of speculators in the cryptocurrency market. The results of scientific research are in favour of the high volatility of crypto assets. We use linear and non-linear ARCH models to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic measured by two indicators CASES and DETHS on the performance of nine cryptocurrencies (CARDANO, BNB, BITCOIN, BUSD, DOGECOIN, ETHEREUM, COIN, TETHER, and XRP). The database is daily covering the period from January 22, 2020, to December 14, 2022, collected from the Coin-Desk of the Yahoo.fr website. The results show the presence of a strong information asymmetry in the cryptocurrency market during this turbulent period stimulating Crypto assets instability. Cryptocurrency speculators prefer to diversify their portfolios by holding safer Cryptos with low payouts and a basket of more risky famous Cryptos.
- B5 - Current Heterodox Approaches
- O1 - Economic Development