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The Journal of Global Faultlines
2017

Table of Contents

Editorial

The Rise of ‘Authoritarian Populism’ in the 21st Century: From Erdoğan’s Turkey to Trump’s America

Articles

Rebecca Richards, Development, But on Whose Terms? 

Francisco Dominguez, Latin America and China: What Next for China-Latin American Strategic Relationship?

Lilliana Lorena Avendano, Local and External Forces: Understanding Key Factors behind Mexico’s Energy Reform

Reports

Lily Hamourtziadou, Human Security and the Emergence of Modern Day Body Counts: The Law, the Theory and the Practice of Casualty Recording

Darrell Whitman, Dispatches from the Global Village: The Communications Revolution and the End of U.S. Hegemony

Abstract

Sixty years of liberal development engagements with African states has had a significant
impact upon socio-political relationships and expectations within the state. Societal expectations for the liberalization of economic-political space are evident within many African states, shaped through forms of normative intervention and liberal conditioning. However, with a rise of Chinese intervention in the African state, primarily through relationships centered on economic exchanges between China and African elites, the pressure for political change is being removed. This hegemonic shift not only changes who is influencing the African state, but also what is influencing as a normative shift is concurrently taking place. If societal expectations of liberalization are no longer supported by external pressures for change, what impact will this have on socio-political relationships within African states? This article questions the impact of a normative shift, or a potential normative shift, within development interactions and transactions, arguing that the removal of direct external liberal demands will raise socio-political tensions, and thus threaten stability, within African states engaged in Chinese development interactions.

Keywords: development, China, Africa, political change, democracy, liberal dominance

Latin America and China: What Next for China–Latin American Strategic Relationship?

Francisco Dominguez

Abstract

The long neoliberal night that descended on Latin America since the military coup against Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, began to be reversed with the arrival of Hugo Chavez to the presidency of Venezuela in 1998 inaugurating with it the Pink Tide of progressive and radical governments in the region. Pink Tide governments undertook a steady reversal of neoliberalism that included the nationalization of natural resources, poverty eradication, economic growth, social inclusion, redistribution of income, and much more. Simultaneously, most of the region began to orient itself commercially toward Asia, especially China, in a mutually beneficial relationship that through growing trade and investment links brought the two sides closer together in an unprecedented development for a region that had hitherto been firmly under the economic and political hegemony of the United States. Thus, political developments and economic trends seemed to guarantee the inexorable emergence of a new world geopolitical architecture within which Latin America would drastically rearrange its institutional and structural links with the United States, bringing about what many Latin American political leaders proclaim as the region’s “second economic independence.” The growing trade, commercial, and political links between Latin America and China, especially the incorporation of Brazil to the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), inaugurated the rise of new institutional, political, trade, and commercial structures leading the region to seek to link its economic development to the ever expanding economic weight of the Asiatic giant. Though these highly positive developments have not quite come to a halt, they have been substantially complicated by the negative impact of the world economic crisis since 2008 and the US-led conservative, neoliberal political offensive that has already taken its toll in the victory of Macri in Argentina, the impeachment process against Dilma Rousseff and the installation of the hard-line neoliberal interim government of Michel Temer in Brazil, and the severe economic difficulties faced by Bolivarian government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, just to mention the most important ones. This article seeks to examine the huge potential of Latin America’s growing relations with China.

Keywords: Latin America, China, United States, neoliberal, economic growth, poverty

Local and External Forces: Understanding Key Factors behind Mexico’s Energy Reform

Lilliana Lorena Avendano

Abstract

Throughout the logic of geoeconomics and geopolitics, countries become stronger or weaker as a result of how natural resources are wielded. The power derived from the management of natural resources has deep implications for any country. Mexico has recently completed a major energy reform, ending the state monopoly on oil and gas and allowing private companies to invest in the energy sector. The reform aims at boosting the declining oil production and transforming Petróleos Mexicanos into a more competitive enterprise. When the reform was planned and implemented, the oil price was around 95 USD per barrel. However, since 2014, the international market has held decreasing oil prices that are spoiling prospects for a range of high-cost ventures in many countries. Mexico has not been the exception. This article analyzes, through the lens of geopolitics and geoeconomics, the main forces behind Mexico’s energy reform. We also conclude that external actors are prevailing on the Mexican energy scenario; that Pemex is becoming weaker, not stronger; and that in the midterm the country’s energy security will most likely be in the hands of few international oil companies.

Keywords: energy policy, geopolitics, geoeconomics, Mexico, oil, Pemex, national oil companies

Human Security and the Emergence of Modern-Day Body Counts: The Law, the Theory, and the Practice of Casualty Recording

Lily Hamourtziadou

Dispatches from the Global Village: The Communications Revolution and the End of US Hegemony

Darrell Whitman

Struggles over the City

Bulent Gokay

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