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A WORLD IN TRANSITION: ADAPTING TO CHANGE

Vol. 25 No. 1, Spring (January-March) 2021
CONTENDING PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL DEMOCRACY

The quasi-universal spread of the social media has profoundly modified the equation between citizens and the state and has given rise to hopes for a transformation of democracy into a more direct and participatory digital form of government. However optimistic predictions about the potential of social media to improve governance have been partly proven wrong by the disruptive rise of inchoate populistic and divisive demands. Aakansha Natani surveys the opportunities and problems associated with social media which facilitate mass surveillance and control, thus becoming instruments of majority repression by powerful minorities.

 

Author: Aakansha Natani
NEW CHALLENGES OF INSURGENCY AND TERRORISM

At a time when the human civilisation is fighting one of its toughest battles for survival against the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus, the infiltration attempts by the Hizbul Mujahideen in Jammu and Kashmir highlight their level of ruthlessness and the challenge the Indian government faces in smoking out those who aim to wreak havoc. Sudhir Hindwan analyses the current trends and linkages, in insurgency and terrorism. He also suggests some measures for combating their new forms.

Author: Sudhir Hindwan
RESOLVING THIRD WORLD CONFLICTS: RIPE MOMENT TO INTERVENE AND THE PEACEABLE CHANGE

What is the ripe moment to undertake peacemaking interventions in Third World conflicts? In order to answer this question, S I Keethaponcalan posed an additional question: was there a common factor that facilitated success in some of the Third World peace processes? These questions were answered by undertaking an extensive analysis of 16 randomly selected peace processes that produced agreement in Asia, Africa and South America. The analysis demonstrated that change, which we call peaceable change, played a catalytic role in producing peace agreements. Peaceable change independently or in combination with stalemate could produce agreements.

Author: S I Keethaponcalan
SUPPLEMENTARY EDUCATION: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Supplementary education is not a new phenomenon but an unexplored area as evident in the existing literature. Earlier supplementary education was known as private tutoring which worked as a helping hand to mainstream education. Globalization and reforms in education sector have introduced various factors which have changed the nature and magnitude of mainstream education as well as supplementary education. Priyanka, Anish Gupta and Shaveta Kohli point out that in order to understand the changing nature and pattern of supplementary education it is necessary to study and analyse global experiences.

Author: Priyanka, Anish Gupta and Shaveta Kohli
ECONOMIC REFORMS IN INDIA: NEW REAL ESTATE REGULATIONS

India is witnessing rapid urbanisation. According to Census 2011, India’s urban population was 37.7crores people, which is projected to grow to about 60 crores (600 million) by 2030. In such a scenario, the Real Estate sector has an important role to play. It contributed around 7 % to India’s GDP in 2018-19 and its share is expected to grow to around 13% of India’s GDP in 2025. It is a sector with strong forward and backward linkages, particularly with the core sectors of the economy, and directly indirectly impacts 270 different industries. Sameera Saurabh lays out the reforms carried out in recent years to make it more transparent and efficient and eliminate fraud.

 

Author: Sameera Saurabh
MIGRATION, REMITTANCE, AND INDIA’S DEVELOPMENT: PRAGMATIC SHIFT IN THE CHANGING POLITICAL REALITIES OF WEST ASIA

Migration is as old as human civilization. The pace of migration has attained new momentum with the rise of the capitalist mode of economic system. Globalization seeks both free flows of capital as well as human resources. The rapid development of West Asian countries with the rise of the Petro-dollar economy attracts huge labour force, both skilled and unskilled. According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), around 8.5 million Indians(labour) work in gulf countries and the remittance received by India from abroad is a whopping 80 billion US Dollars Mohd Rashid Khan critically examines the role of Indian migrants in strengthening ties between India and West Asian countries in the contemporary situation and discusses the recent political development.

Author: Mohd Rashid Khan
MINORITY IDENTITIES IN FRANCE: CASE OF THE ISLAMIC FAITH

Many European countries have large and growing Muslim minorities. This is particularly true for the countries of Western Europe that have experienced influxes of Muslim immigrants over the last several decades from Middle Eastern, African, and Asian countries, as well asTurkey and the Balkans. Studies suggest that the number of Muslims in Europe is rapidly increasing as a result of continued Muslim immigration and higher birth rates among Muslims. Belgium and France have the largest proportion of Muslims as a percentage of their populations. Shreya Sinha highlights the problems raised by France’s state policy of socialism(Laiatre) vis-à-vis religious communities unwilling or unable to assimilate with the cultural and ethnic majority.

Author: Shreya Sinha
RUSSIA’S SEMI-SOFT POWER

Tracing the evolution of Russia’s soft power politics and instruments since the early 2000s, Dmitry Efremenko, Anastasia Ponamareva and Yury Nikulichev detail the three stages of this development. They argue that Russia’s soft power strategy has most notably manifested itself in the work of the television channel Russia Today (RT) and in the Immortal Regiment event.

 

Author: Dmitry Efremenko, Anastasia Ponamareva and Yury Nikulichev
CHINA’S BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVES: EXAMINING DEBT TRAP DIPLOMACY FOR REGIONAL SUPREMACY IN THE CONTEXT OF SRI LANKA

China has, emerged as one of the potential superpowers after the end of the cold war. In the neoliberal era, Chinese ambitions for South Asia cannot be understood in isolation according to Mansi Mishra and Vivek Kumar Mishra. Along with planning the Belt and Road Initiative, which China is building it uses debt-trap diplomacy towards smaller countries to win influence over them. In short for strategically situated nations this method allows Beijing to develop infrastructure and capital and provides connectivity and trade facilitation internationally, making China the regional economic hub. Against this background the article is an attempt to analyse the Chinese debt-trap policy in Sri Lanka.

Author: Mansi Mishra and Vivek Kumar Mishra
ASSESSING THE CHINESE THREAT TO AMERICAN INTERESTS

The imperative of containing China became more pronounced under the Trump presidency. Threats from China such as the Chinese sponsored mega interconnectivity project under the Belt and Road Initiatives and the geopolitical shifts resulting from Chinese strides in the area of technology have been perceived from the ideological perspective. Manoj Kumar Mishra argues that the American leaders as well as experts were engaged in defining China as an ideological challenge to American liberal values. The incompatibility between long-term interests of the two powers was defined by divergent value systems and an exaggeration of the threat from China often stems from Washington’s own insecurity.

Author: Manoj Kumar Mishra