For the previous four months, the course gave me a decent introduction to development studies and several deep case studies of particular problems encountered by development actors. I particularly enjoy studying the five dilemmas. I hope that we could have done more dilemmas, perhaps a whole course focusing on dilemmas alone. Marketing poverty and Rights or Rescue are the two dilemmas that interest me the most, that’s also the reason why I did my blogs on them. We could perhaps spend less time on introducing development, but instead spend more time on ideas (of the Ideas and Actors).
IMAGINE THIS WORLD FOR A MOMENT:
- 7th December 2032: Being a Civil Rights Lawyer in Hong Kong for over 14 years, working partly around issues in Hong Kong; Mainland China; North Korea and Palestine. I would have by the time completed my Bachelor’s degree in International Development at Sussex; Master’s degree in International Development and Economics at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); and finally LLB in Hong Kong
- Palestine earned statehood in the General Council of the United Nations after struggle during Israeli bomb raids
- The poor suffer: The 2012 trend continued, meaning that Hong Kong is still the most unequal society amongst all developed economies according to the Gini Coefficient 「Deutsche Press-Agentur. (2011)]
- Fifteen years until the expiry date of the Basic Law of Hong Kong
- — Lack of real democracy in Hong Kong:Still the lack of referendum in Hong Kong, particularly after the several promises of 2005; 2007; 2012 and a few later on
- — Pan- Beijing Majorities in both Constituencies (District and Functional) of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
- — Wide- spread fear of Communism amongst people of Hong Kong, waves of migration out of the City
In the previous years of my career, I am often being asked with the questions of why do I practice development in a comparably well- off society and in the form of being a lawyer. I replied to them as follows: Firstly, I don’t think development is a privilege of developing countries. Perhaps different, but inequalities and social problems would still exist in the so- called developed Global North. It is usually the matter of preserving the progress of development in so many cases in the Global North. This reminds me of a comment from Laurie Lee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He said that real progress in development might only be achieved by specializing in one particular problem. Also, he suggested that only through a global cooperation of development actors to understand better amongst themselves might development work in the best format. It maybe described as a jigsaw in one sense. These are the reasons for my career in Hong Kong. As well as this, I strongly believe that real progress maybe made either through the use of violence or working within any legitimate legal framework. It is for example the Palestinians’ constant efforts to work with the United Nations that resulted to their gain of an Observer status within the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1974 [Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations. (No date)].
I would like to see a further increase in the literacy rate of the world, as well as environments where empowerment maybe achieved through the power of knowledge. The world would hopefully be like the Ekiti state of Nigeria during Dr Kayode Fayemi’s Administration. Lots of investments were being directed towards improving their education system during that time. These people must indeed be glorified in history. The incentive of being remembered by later generations may hopefully trigger solid actions towards development to be carried out. For my home city, I would like to see the voting power of the functional constituencies to be demolished. This would then delegate them only the advisory role responsible to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. The lack of real choices is a common problem of districts with strategic importance to a country. Increase competition and the supply of flats would also help the citizens of Hong Kong greatly. In the previous years, Hong Kong politicians have successfully developed Hong Kong into a harbor specializing in Development Studies. The increased funding and the establishment of the School of Poverty; Inequality and Ideology Hong Kong are proved to be the key to this positive outcome. Part of this is due to the blueprint of foreign institutes like the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). This is the only way to get Development Studies truly popularized and making the related careers bright and attractive enough for it to stay sustainable.
As well as Hong Kong, the conditions in Mainland China have also improved. One may see there is more respect given for the citizens of China. This maybe
seen by the Communist Government’s efforts to work within a legitimate legal framework, which forms part of their policy to impose the Chinese- style democracy. A notable point is the disappearance of illegal detains of human rights activists of China. Regular protests and demonstrations are seen more regularly too. These are all taken place in a variety of ‘beautiful’ forms- singing; dancing…. etc. However, this has the danger of losing the real focus of these mass gatherings. This nearly killed the two months long Tiananmen Square Protest of 1989 [Gordon, R., Hinton, C. (1995)] and seriously hurt the global Occupy Movement of 2011.
From the historical events of the past, I slowly realized that in order for one agenda to triumph in the international community, the ‘piy’ card must be put in play. This means that people must be victimized. It can be understood as an immortal move for a greater course. One of these inspiring events was the British approval of an Israeli statehood in 1947 due to the aftermath of the Nazi Massacre of Jews in Concentration Camps during the Second World War [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (2012)]. Another being the United Nations’ recognition of a Palestine state observer status. It happened after a 7- day period of the Pillar of Defense. The Resolution 37 was drafted by 59 states and only being opposed by 9 states and abstained by a further 41 states [General Assembly of the United Nations. (2012)].
PRESENT TENSE- It is highly unpredictable about the situation in North Korea twenty years from now on. We may either see the collapse of the Communist ruling party (and so a transformation to capitalism), a North Korean- style democracy similar to the one of China’s, or worsened scenario for the North Koreans due to the lack of actions and reforms. This would also result in the continuation of the North Koreans’ reliance on foreign aid, especially from China [Moore, M. (2012)].
In conclusion, I would like to see people with greater choices available to them in the future. This would only achieved through solidarity, which is emphasized in one of the visiting lecturers in the lecture week 12.
Deutsche Press-Agentur. (2011) Hong Kong’s rich-poor divide still the world’s worst as gulf widens. http://news.monstersandcritics.com/business/news/article_1638342.php/Hong-Kong-s-rich-poor-divide-still-the-world-s-worst-as-gulf-widens. [Accessed on 10/12/2012]
General Assembly of the United Nations. (2012) Sixty-seventh session Agenda item 37 Question of Palestine. http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/0080ef30efce525585256c38006eacae/181c72112f4d0e0685257ac500515c6c?OpenDocument [Accessed on 10/12/2012]
Gordon, R., Hinton, C. (1995) The Gate of Heavenly Peace. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwdk4gVk1_M [Accessed on 10/12/2012]
Moore, M. (2012) North Korea turns to China for economic support. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/9483015/North-Korea-turns-to-China-for-economic-support.html [Accessed on 10/12/2012]
Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations. (No date) Background Paper Related to Palestine Status- Status of Palestine at the United Nations. http://www.un.int/wcm/content/site/palestine/pid/11550 [Accessed on 10/12/2012]
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (2012) POSTWAR REFUGEE CRISIS AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005459 [Accessed on 10/12/2012]
To begin with, I am going to ask this crucial question of who are we rescuing these prostitutes or sex workers from? Public Discrimination and harmful pimps; brokers and support networks are both legitimate answers to this question, with the latter being more fiercely debated within societies, particularly between Abolitionists and Regulationists.
The Convention Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) claimed that prostitutes or sex workers are being seen as a ‘social category’ within societies, which is ‘prejudice and stereotypes based on gender’. They also stated that the ‘marginal position analogous to that of a low caste or minority ethic group’ [Bindman, J.; Doezema J. (1997)]. There was once an incident that a prostitute was being thrown out of the window from her brothel in 1977 [Leidholdt, D A. (2004)]. We may see that the discrimination against prostitutes, partially through brutalization, is not uncommon in societies. Furthermore, prostitutes or sex workers may face ‘employment discrimination, registration, legal or customary restriction upon the children of sex workers, and residence restrictions’ from particular government policies. These two broad sources of discrimination are constantly being challenged by Non- Government Organizations (NGOs) like the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific [International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific. (No Date)].
On the other hand lies the debate over the role of pimps, brokers and support networks to prostitutes or sex workers. On one side, there is Bindman, J.; Doezema J. (1997) suggesting that ‘prostitution only persists through the efforts of procurers or pimps’. Oppositely, American Expat in Chiang Mai. (2012) points out that motor-cycle taxi guys and tuk- tuk drivers are ‘helpful’ and ‘trusted’ to the prostitutes or sex workers respectively. In the very article, the author goes as far as ensuring brokers as productive agents who help women to migrate for better lives. He argues that the unawareness of new conditions have misled the public’s opinion on this Topic [American Expat in Chiang Mai. (2012)]. Given that the latter explanation takes into consideration the changes happened over the decades, one should give more credit to the latter statements.
Secondly, it is also crucial for one to consider the concepts of trafficking and sex work. This too has inflamed fierce debates similar to the aspect above. Some NGOs like the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW) only go as far as ‘the act of transporting unwilling women from one place to another for profitable activities’ [Bindman, J.; Doezema J. (1997)]. Other opinions, including governments, favor the contradictive definition from above. Trafficking in this sense is big umbrella concept demonstrated in Leidholdt, D A. (2004). It includes ‘American pornography, temple prostitution in India, military prostitution in the Philippines, street prostitution in Peru, sex tourism from Europe to Asia’. Hong Kong, for example, has a criminal offence named ‘living on earnings of prostitution of others’. Its definition being ‘knowingly rely on a sex worker’s income for livelihood’, ‘keeping or accepting a sex worker’s earnings’ and ‘aiding, persuading or coercing another to engage in sex work’ [ZiTeng. (2012)]. The Dutch Brothel Prohibition Act of 1911 and the Article 282- 286 of the Thai Prostitution Act of 1996 serve similar purposes as well [Bindman, J.; Doezema J. (1997)]. Broadening the definition here would be, in my justification, more inclusive towards individual cases. This would in my opinion aid the process of sentencing criminals.
Can one only be coerced into practicing prostitution? In other words, are all sex workers victims? Darby Hickeys of the Best Practices Policy Project and Annalee Lepp of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women don’t necessarily agree with this [Al- Jazeera English. (2012b)]. Boyd, D. (2012) looks deeply at the cause consenting prostitution and found harsh living conditions like ‘a stark reality of minimum wage labor that doesn’t pay a living wage’ face these sex workers. He then boldly concludes that ‘for some, the financial gain of being in the life [of prostitution] outweighs the abuse that it entails’. The many communities of illegal West African migrant sex workers in Southern Italy do back the findings in Boyd, D. (2012) [Al- Jazeera English. (2011)]. Addams, L J. (1912:pp 60) brings up the possibility of female preferring ‘to think that economic pressure is the reason for her downfall, even when the immediate causes have been her love of pleasure, her desire for finery or the influence of evil companions’ [Doezema, J. (2002)] A similar message is delivered in Asia Pacific Network of Sex Worker. (2012). It states that ‘a women makes the decision to sell sex, she has already made the decision to empower herself economically’. These two quotations collectively disprove the statement of ‘grown women aren’t capable of being responsible and making decisions for themselves’ written in Monfort, C. (2012). At the end of the day, despite those brutalized women, females do have the rights to choose, possibly between dignity and wealth.
After the discussion above, the focus should then shift towards the tactics adopted by NGOs and governments when tackling this Issue. These include celebrities and figures. There is no doubt that Lindsay Lohan has attracted some attention towards this Issue through her BBC documentary Lindsay Lohan’s Indian Journey [The Human Trafficking Project. (2010); Media Guardian. (2010)]. However, it could have adverse effects on helping these victimized women. This type of campaigns may spark ill- informed assumptions. It would then trigger wide- spread panic amongst societies. The unrealistic and unrealized estimations of ‘40,000 forced prostitutes’ during the Germany World Cup of 2006 is an example of this chained effect [FIRST. (2009)]. Furthermore, the unnecessary raid in Slough prior to the London Olympics last year is another [Al- Jazeera English. (2012b)]. The raid was based merely on claims that suggested a new ‘slave trade of tens of thousands of people across borders and into bondage every year’ [Asmar, M. (2010)]. In a similar fashion, NGOs have been claiming that state interventions have in some cases worsened sex workers’ situation. The Cambodian Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation had forced many to work in unsafe environments [Rothschild, N. (2010)], whilst the Swedish Legislation of ‘directing criminal sanctions against customers’ caused the ‘neighboring Scandinavian countries witnessed a significant increase’ in prostitution [Leidholdt, D A. (2004)]. After all, like an anonymous activist suggested, it is best to address this Issue through the use of social pressure and education, rather than legislations [Al- Jazeera English (2012b)].
*For your information, ZiTeng is a well- known non-governmental organization in Hong Kong. It deals with women- orientated issues, especially prostitution.
Agustín, L. (2012) Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist, on Trafficking at London’s Battle of Ideas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt4OPoHmpRg&feature=player_embedded [Accessed on 25/11/2012]
Al- Jazeera English. (2011) Italian sex trade fueled by human trafficking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBuLnVbaNAg&feature=plcp [Accessed on 25/11/2012]
Al- Jazeera English. (2012a) Frost Over the World: Sex Trafficking: A global phenomenon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiFKVT86mH8&feature=plcp [Accessed on 25/11/2012]
Al- Jazeera English. (2012b) The Stream: The Olympic sex trafficking myth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoLcwB0U2_8&feature=plcp [Accessed on 25/11/2012]
American Expat in Chiang Mai. (2012) The Truth About the Sex Trade in Thailand. Sex Workers don’t want to be Rescued. http://americanexpatchiangmai.com/the-truth-about-the-sex-trade-in-thailand-sex-workers-dont-want-to-be-rescued/#more-2255 [Accessed on 25/11/2012]
Asia Pacific Network of Sex Worker. (2012) Plenary speech by Kaythi Win, Chairperson of APNSW at AWID forum in Istanbul, 21 April 2012. http://apnsw.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/plenary-speech-by-kaythi-win-chairperson-of-apnsw-at-awid-forum-in-istanbul-21-april-2012/ [Accessed on 29/11/2012]
Asmar, M. (2011) Human trafficking: Denvor police get $300,000 federal grant to help combat growing issue. http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/10/human_trafficking_denver.php [Accessed on 29/11/2012]
Bindman, J.; Doezema J. (1997) Redefining Prostitution as Sex Work on the International Agenda. http://www.walnet.org/csis/papers/redefining.html [Accessed on 28/11/2012]
Boyd, D. (2012) What Anti- Trafficking Advocates Can Learn From Sex Workers: The Dynamics of Choice, Circumstance, and Coercion. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danah-boyd/what-anti-trafficking-advocates-can-learn-from-sex-workers_b_1784382.html [Accessed on 15/11/2012]
Doezema, Jo. (2002) Who gets to choose? Coercion, consent, and the UN Trafficking Protocol. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13552070215897 [Accessed on 23/11/2012]
FIRST. (2009) Rights Not Rescue: An Open Letter to the Salvation Army. http://www.firstadvocates.org/rights-not-rescue-open-letter-salvation-army [Accessed on 23/11/2012]
International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific. (No Date) About us. http://www.iwraw-ap.org/organisation.htm [Accessed on 30/11/2012]
Leidholdt, D A. (2004) Demand and the Debate. http://action.web.ca/home/catw/readingroom.shtml?x=53793&AA_EX_Session=40b31c7421cfd556291390f980b11e [Accessed on 28/11/2012]
Media Guardian. (2010) TV ratings: Lindsay Lohan’s Indian Journey attracts only 224,000. http://www.webcitation.org/6AiK03pXd [Accessed on 30/11/2012]
Monfort, C. (2012) Stop Sex Trafficking of children as a excuse for arresting consenting adults. http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-sex-trafficking-of-children-as-a-excuse-for-arresting-consenting-adults [Accessed on 29/11/2012]
Rothschild, N. (2010) How NGOs are adopting a missionary position in Asia. http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9843/ [Accessed on 15/11/2012]
The Human Trafficking Project. (2010) Celebreties and Trafficking. http://www.traffickingproject.org/2010/02/celebrities-and-trafficking.html [Accessed on 30/11/2012]
ZiTeng. (2012) Laws Which Regulate Sex Work in Hong Kong. http://www.ziteng.org.hk/info/info_e.html#4 [Accessed on 25/11/2012]
A Struggle between Northern Influences and the Village- based Solution?
Win, E J. (2004: pp63) ‘Not very poor, powerless or pregnant: The African woman forgotten by development’, IDS Bulletin Vol 35(4): 61-64.
The core of this Issue is being accurately explained in Dogra, N. (2007: pp170). It is by making ‘meanings specific to certain groups seem universally applicable to a whole society’. In terms of development, conditions within societies are often portrayed as being worse than reality. This is mainly to create a sense of superiority, thus aids the purpose of fund- raising [Bennett, D. (2009)], or education as well [Dogra,N. (2007: pp162)]. Generalization may happen in different levels, whether it is generalizing a whole continent with a particular village or a particular person.
[Win, E J. (2004)]
[Bennett, D. (2009)]
Africa, in comparison to Asia, has been particular a popular target for this. This may perhaps be linked with the Continent’s past and the universal climate it has [Bennett, D. (2009)]. In the recent years, it has attracted some native African academics to challenge the mainly the Western negative generalization of Africa, including Bennett, D. (2009) and Win, E. (2004). They both show strong discontent towards the Northern States and academics for portraying and shaping Africa accordingly throughout these years. They request the world to acknowledge a fuller picture of Africa and stop stereotyping it into being ‘filthy and miserable’. Dogra, N. (2007: pp169) supports this view by suggesting that it is actually the implications of stereotypes that make generalization immortal. As Weber has mentioned during her talk on the American Identity, generalization in America has two outcomes in general. It is used during the ‘I am an American’ Campaign in 2003, which legitimized anti- terrorists actions and alienated anybody who falls out of the ‘Ideal Cast’ at the same time. She showed this alienation through the case studies of a US military veteran; a Quasi- American; an Islamic woman and an old American with poor health.
However, if one thinks positively and realistically, NGOs for most of the time have only got a limited amount of time; resources and space to get their messages across. Hence they had to pick images that would touch the audiences. The NGOs do not necessary have the intention to generalize societies. Generalization may appear to be disrespectful and unethical to the subjects interpreting materials from an ‘oppositional’ angle [Dogra, N. (2007: pp163)]. Nonetheless, it can also be an effective way of concentrating efforts and resources upon the most desperate aspect of society. By exposing circumstances of the most desperate, it would hopefully help shedding aid towards them.
A List of Christian Aid Week’s Main Themes:
1982: Over- Consumption
1986: Farming Implements; Working Opportunities
1991: Long- term Development Strategies
1998-00: Child Labor
Surely this does not mean that only these problems exist in each of those promoted years.
If this sounds so great a plan, why can under- weighted dying Africans still be found out there? This comes to two really simple reasons. One being the failure of aid; whilst another being the environmental factors. There are very few cases of, if any, aid completely eliminating a social problem forever. This could be related to the earlier NGOs’ approach of merely dealing with impacts of poverty, even- though there was a slight shift towards solving the causes since a while ago. The Christian Aid Week of 2000 and 2010 promoted the importance of finding solutions for lifting people out of poverty [Christian Aid. (2000, 2010)].
The types of new medias mentioned in Lewin,T. (2010; pp225) have helped providing unlimited quantities of platforms for their complete messages to be presented across to audiences. In addition, Cornwall, A.; Capibaribe, F. and Terezinha G. (2010: pp300) mentions that easier and cheaper access to necessary production equipment helps securing the operational stability of localized first- hand sources. The Angolan Radio Despertar is one example of a non- state controlled radio channel for local activists [Al- Jazeera English. (2012)].
Moreover, some businessmen’s view of Africans having limited purchasing powers may be linked with the NGOs’ strategy of generalization. But surely if there are vast amounts of profit awaiting businessmen in poor areas, why would the profit- motivated capitalists [Allaboutphilosophy. (No date)] still hesitate to enter and exploit these markets? This is not to emphasize the role of stereotypes. Instead, there are other factors for MNCs not to invest in Africa, which are listed and explained in Hammond, A L. and Prahalad, C K. (2004). Companies would even seek an exit in developed economies if circumstances were bad enough. For instance, Dixon’s has been undertaking strategies to avoid losing capitals throughout the Greek economic downturn of 2011 [Reuters. (2012)]. Furthermore, the lack of protection towards private property rights can be one serious drawback for companies operating in Venezuela [Caracas, P.G. (2010)]. It just does not seem convincing an argument that businessmen are persuaded not to enter poor communities solely due to their purchasing powers.
Finally, entering a new market involves a great deal of risks, which requires the risk- bearing economies. This is not something every company has got. Costs tend to become more affordable once existing markets saturate. Additionally, the entry of companies may ultimately leads to a reduction of choices in the future. This would happen as competitions turn monopolistic or when monopolies determine prices. Predatory pricing can be adopted to drive out any threat of competition. The oligopolistic character of the Links REIT of Hong Kong is one classic example.
“Our good old mom and pop stores were forced to demolish by you. Now, this nostalgic culture and memory campaign turns my stomach. Go to hell!”
Hong Kong Internet News. (2012)
Al- Jazeera English. (2012) Activate – Angola: Birth of a Movement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VbwzyirPhM&feature=channel&list=UL [Accessed on 06/11/2012]
Allaboutphilosophy. (No date) What is Marxism? http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/what-is-marxism-faq.htm [Accessed on 13/11/2012]
Bennett, D. (2009) Aid Watch Grinch Edition: Are We Mean to Ask that NGO Ads not be Simplistic and Wrong? http://aidwatchers.com/2009/12/aid-watch-grinch-editon-are-we-mean-to-ask-that-ngo-ads-not-be-simplistic-and-wrong/ [Accessed on 01/11/2012]
Caracas, P.G. (2010) Expropriation in Venezuela: Full speed ahead. http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2010/10/expropriations_venezuela?page=1#sort-comments [Accessed on 08/11/2012]
Christian Aid. (2010) Christian Aid Week TV Ad 2010 Kiambiu. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPSzV2xN6BQ&list=PL83BCEF62A32E9381&index=1&feature=plpp_video [Accessed on 14/11/2012]
Cornwall, A.; Capibaribe, F. and Terezinha G. (2010) ‘Revealed Cities: A Photovoice Project with Domestic Workers in Salvador, Brazil’, Development 53(2): 299–300.
Dogra, N. (2007) ‘‘‘Reading NGOs visually’’—implications of visual images for NGO management’, Journal of International Development, 19(2): 161-171.
Hammond, A L. and Prahalad, C K. (2004) Selling to the Poor. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2004/05/01/selling_to_the_poor [Accessed on 01/11/2012]
Hong Kong Internet News. (2012) Link the Distastes: Netizens lambasted the Link REIT’s latest promotion on nostalgic taste “Link the Tastes”. http://badcanto.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/link-the-distastes-netizens-lambasted-the-link-reits-latest-promotion-on-taste-of-nostalgia-link-the-taste/ [Accessed on 08/11/2012]
Lewin, T. (2010) ‘Communicating Empowerment: Countering the cardboard woman’, Development, 53(2): 222-226.
Reuters. (2012) European companies plan for Greek unrest, euro exit. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/european-companies-plan-for-greek-unrest-euro-exit/475635/ [Accessed on 08/11/2012]
Savethechildren. (No date) Support East Africa Drought and Hunger Relief. http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.7539035/k.B9FB/Africa_Drought_Sparks_Food_Shortage_Child_Hunger_and_Humanitarian_Crisis.htm#.UKOGzER6-K4 [Accessed on 13/11/2012]
Win, E J. (2004) ‘Not very poor, powerless or pregnant: The African woman forgotten by development’, IDS Bulletin Vol 35(4): 61-64.
‘Western influences’, ‘corruption’ and ‘government tools’- some of (or all of!) these concepts may well be one’s opinion as one generalizes all development actors in the world. The World Bank is indeed being frequently referred as acting under instructions from the United States [Toussaint, E. (2006)]. Unlike the World Bank,Qatar Foundation is a semi- private organization, partly funded by the Qatari Government. The Foundation has an aim to “support Qatar on its journey from a carbon economy to a knowledge economy by unlocking human potential”. [Qatar Foundation. (No date)]. One may tell that the Qatar
Foundation is one rather local development actor in comparison to others (i.e.: Red Cross). The Foundation is proved to be different to other development actors like World Bank, which they were seen as “ a cover for advancing United States- centric political objectives” [Wade, R. (2007)]. However, the Foundation has close links with the Qatari Government. This is because it is founded and managed by the Emir of Qatar and his family members. Despite the criticism above, the Foundation may also be seen as the State’s tool to organize and direct development assistance “in conformity with the State’s priorities and international resolutions”. This is indeed the second function of the Qatari Ministry of Foreign affairs’ Department of International Development [Department of International Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Qatar. (No Date)]. The international community, notably the World Bank, is being dominantly shaped by the United States. It is therefore reasonable for one to assume that Qatar is an ally of the Western Powers. The vision of the Foundation is being heavily restricted by these links, which avoid them from truly working for the needs of the most needed. Moreover, one of the other diplomatic policies of the Qatari Government is to “help achieve Arab solidarity” [Department of International Affairs of the Organization of American States. (2012)]. This once again implies that the Foundation would not particularly get involved with plans outside the Arab World, especially not issues involving any Jewish elements, which most of the Arabs treat it hostilely.
Eakin raises a good criticism against the Foundation as he comments that despite the efforts and emphasis placed onto promoting gender equality and state accountability in Qatar (i.e.: Women’s clothing and anti-corruption policies respectively) [Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2011)], over 85% of its 1.7 million Doha residents and 90% of its labor force had no political rights what-so-ever [Eakin, H. (2011)]. In a sense, the Foundation itself could be seen as a tool to trick the international community into thinking that the Qatari State is a pro-active democratic realizer.
Evidence of being an influential Arabic Power?
Finally, the last aspect that people should pay attention to is the Foundation’s €170m football sponsorship with FC Barcelona in December 2010 [FCBarcelona (2010)]. As taewankim mentions, this plan, along with the Qatari World Cup 2022, can be seen as the Qataris’ ambition to pursue the “societal marketing concept” [taewankim. (2012)]. On the other hand, the recipient of this huge sum is, as Hayward, B. (2011) comments, only to keep its top players in the Team. This investment is controversial, as it has no direct aid relieves being made to anybody. This all together could only be seen as a commercial move, with the backings of the Qatar Sports Investment agency.
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2011) 2010 Human Rights Report: Qatar. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/nea/154471.htm [Accessed on 28/10/2012]
Department of International Affairs of the Organization of American States. (2012) http://www.google.com.hk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCcQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fder.oas.org%2FPermanent_Observers%2FProfiles%2FProfile%2520Qatar.doc&ei=h2yNUJaPJorM0QWLk4GwBA&usg=AFQjCNHgRkj5FYKI6oW3EWHeIyShsIYUaQ&sig2=zl2bi_qGTgzrXPA6S3AY-w [Accessed on 28/10/2012]
Department of International Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Qatar. (No Date) Department of International Development. http://english.mofa.gov.qa/orgchart.cfm?dep_id=63 [Accessed on 28/10/2012]
Eakin, Hugh. (2011) The Strange Power of Qatar. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/oct/27/strange-power-qatar/?pagination=false [Accessed on 28/10/2012] FCBarcelona. (2010) Record Agreement with Qatar. http://arxiu.fcbarcelona.cat/web/english/noticies/club/temporada10-11/12/10/n101210114494.html [Accessed on 28/10/2012]
Hayward, Ben. (2011) More than just a logo- Barcelona fans need to back Qatar Foundation in order to stay ahead of Real Madrid. http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2011/09/05/2651299/more-than-just-a-logo-barcelona-fans-need-to-back-qatar [Accessed on 28/10/2012]
Qatar Foundation. (No date) About Qatar Foundation. http://www.qf.org.qa/discover-qf/about-qf [Accessed on 28/10/2012]
taewankim. (2012) FC Barcelona & Qatar Foundation Part II: Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup and the Dirty (Oil) Money. http://blogs.ubc.ca/taewankim/2012/02/06/qatar-2022-fifa-world-cup-and-the-dirty-oil-money/ [Accessed on 29/10/2012]
Toussaint, E. (2006) CADTM- The influence of the United States on the World Bank. http://cadtm.org/The-influence-of-the-United-States [Accessed on 25/11/2012]
Wade, R. (2007) The world’s World Bank problem. http://www.opendemocracy.net/globalisation/institutions_government/world_bank_problem [Accessed on 28/10/2012]
Cornwall, A. (2007) suggests that development is ‘to convey the idea that tomorrow things will be better, or that more is necessarily better’. Similarly, development in my opinion refers to the process of making a society or an area a better place to be living in. Although there are many ways in defining what a better place is like, a few publically- agreed universal values do have some dominant roles. These may include providing citizens or aid recipients the maximum
dignity and choices. As being mentioned in the introductory lecture, other necessary aspects or standards related to development differ simply because of people’s varied disciplines. From my perspective, development could be split into two levels—Personal and Organizational. Personal moves regarding to development may refer to unorganized individual behaviors that help bettering a society. This is primarily the construction of stronger bonds between people within the same society (i.e.: Greeting to neighbors). This would create social harmony, which is regarded by some a sign of development (Reduction of Conflict). On the other hand, structured and organized development programs are generally be regarded as more useful when comes to developing large areas. These programs or groups can be seen as good instruments as they concentrate high quantities of resources and direct it to specific target groups. As mentioned in the Institute for Public Policy Research and Overseas Development Institute, 2012, the latter form (organizational aid) has definitely got some drawbacks. First of all, inefficiencies maybe caused either through corruptions or the possibly high administrative costs in the process (i.e.: Staffing). Secondly, since governmental aid schemes depend heavily upon the public opinion; people could be informed with misleading information thus becoming more reluctant to participate in aid-giving activities. The first lecture did eventually come across one definition of ‘development’—which is to make one become happier than before. This in my opinion has to start from an individual level; whilst ‘big changes’ (that requires manpower and specific knowledge) can be left for the Big International Non- Government Organizations (BINGOs) to handle.
Unsurprisingly, I do agree with one of the points made in Chang, H J. (2009). Development should not merely be known as a ‘material progress’ and the outward expansion of a society’s possible production curve. Instead, it should put more emphasis on the sustainability and technologies related to both the way and techniques to develop a society. These criticisms are regarded as the disadvantages of the development theories in the past. Additionally, Chang, H J. (2009) is interesting as it links the Japanese Successes of 1960s to their practice of protectionist economics. I have always been taught in my A-level studies of this subject that protectionist policies should be discouraged. This document has suggested by governmental interventions (High subsidies and tariffs), societies maybe better off by developing their core industries to activities that involves a process of adding greater values to products. An example of this could be the Huaxi village, which is regarded as the wealthiest village in China. They had a collective system after the Cultural Revolution (1969- 79) which allowed them to diverse into the steel- making industries (from agricultural activities) and make a fortune out of it [BBC, (2010)].
BBC. (2010) A look around Huaxi, one of China’s richest villages. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12005026 [Accessed on 27/09/2012]
Chang, H J. (2009) Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark: How development has disappeared from today’s ‘development’ discourse. http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/faculty/chang/pubs/HamletwithoutthePrinceofDenmark-revised.pdf [Accessed on 10/12/2012]
Cornwall, A. (2007) Buzzwords and fuzzwords: deconstructing development discourse. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09614520701469302 [Accessed on 10/12/2012]