Jun 09 2009

Oh, Doha: Where do we go from here?

by at 3:26 pm

My boss has a bumper sticker on her bulletin board.  Mimicking the popular “I (heart) NY” logo, it declares “I (heart) Doha.”  While I know reading too much into a bumper sticker is silly – how many people actually believe everything they place on their bumper? – I think the significance in this instance is the international presence in Doha’s souvenir.  With a relatively short period of time, Doha, Qatar has completely made over its structure – from financial structure to social norms.  Tied to the outside in innumerable ways but grossly successful, I think Jane Jacobs would be baffled about the development strategies adopted by Qatar over the past decade and a half.  While Jane Jacobs would be critical of many of the ways Qatar developed Doha, I think we can find hope in identifying efforts to correct their hasty development – though perhaps too late in the game.

www.stickergiant.com

When it comes to development, Jacobs discusses the need for a sequence of events to occur in a necessary order:  generate markets, job availability, transplants, technology and capital.[i]  I would argue that Qatar did not so much generate their own sustainable market, but instead concentrated its efforts into Doha and tapped into resources they can offer the rest of the world (oil and natural gas).  In a quite opportunistic way, the nation recognized its ability to provide a precious resource and has built its economy heavily on those two factors.   While I am certainly not an expert on Qatar, the history that I understand is not unlike that of the story Jane Jacobs tells of Uruguay.  The once-prosperous land relied on the need for leather elsewhere for their continued growth.  Not building from the ground up in a sustainable and sequential manner, they lost their wealth when demand for their resource diminished due to circumstances beyond their control.[ii]  While demand for oil/natural gas will (unfortunately) not disappear in the near future, Qatar’s fate will waver should the market for these natural resources change.

 

www.huffingtonpost.com

 Much of Qatar remains concentrated in Doha – perhaps a city structure Jane Jacobs would applaud – with ties to the outside extend beyond the market for oil and gas.   While creating links to other entities is certainly a positive, development according to Jane Jacobs must not rely on the resources of other locations.  Perhaps the factor most unfortunate for the development of Doha (and, ultimately, Qatar), is that of an expatriate-laden labor force.  Echoing the forces that played on Jacobs’ Bardou “like a toy on a string,” I suggest that the expatriates in Doha that have driven it to such success may very well abandon the area once the resources (or the demand) are no longer there.  The lack of a focus on developing from within can be dangerous, as discussed throughout Jacobs’ work. 

 Object Localized, www.neuroinformatik.ruhr-uni-bochum.de

While Jacobs would criticize the sequence of development, I think that efforts are beginning to address those mal-timed projects.  For example, Qatarization[iv] is the name of a program specifically designed to incorporate more local Qataris into the workforce.  The program seeks to train both men and women in skills from maritime disciplines (men) to clerical expertise (women).  Yet, the program is again centered on building a workforce to support the market as it exists with their current level of oil production.  While building a local workforce is indeed a step toward recovering from the fallacies Jacobs would point out, building in such a way that perpetuates the path-dependency reduces the positives.  In that realm, perhaps efforts to branch out of the oil production – such as calls to create a “knowledge economy”[v] – are more sufficient attempts at a structural shift away from natural resources.   But, one must wonder, could a second-thought piece of the economic architecture really offset a massive decline in the global oil demand?  Probably not.

 www.qatarization.com.qa

In applying the development of Doha and Jane Jacobs’ ideas to efforts to help other areas, I am again drawn to the idea that an organic effort must be driven by those with permanent ties to the land.  I, and likely Jane Jacobs, would not be so critical of Doha had the impetus for development come from Qataris themselves instead of outsiders.  Were I to develop a program in any region, the first line of action would be to understand what the area needs, what it can innovatively create to offer and how the people of that area envision the development going.  In the end, it seems again the running themes revolve around localization.  Perhaps some day, even bumper stickers will evolve a local flair – instead of adopting the oh-so-New York “I (heart)…”


[i] Jacobs, Jane.  Cities and the Wealth of Nations.  Vintage Books: New York (1984).  P 44.

[ii] Ibid 62

[iii] Ibid 34

[iv] http://www.qatarization.com.qa/Qatarization/Qatarization.nsf/en_Index?ReadForm

[v] http://www.itp.net/news/515085-qatar-sets-out-vision-for-knowledge-economy

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Jun 08 2009

Lessons from Failure: Charting a New Course

by at 1:07 pm

Unemployment.  Foreclosure.  Credit crisis. 

As a 20-something, college-educated, middle-class American, such words did not resonate within me as personal threats until quite recently.  Yet, recent history has demonstrated to us all that no nation (or citizen) is immune to failure and the need for realignment.  The United States stands to learn much from the causes of the market crash, the reaction from those involved and the debate surrounding chartering a new course for our nation.   Avner Greif’s various works reflect the lessons learned by the US, including: the need for protection against mal-intentioned individuals; a subsequent necessity for efficient counter-balancing mechanisms; and a view of institutions as ever-evolving beasts.   In truly internalizing these lessons, we must also apply them to strategies directed at bettering the situation of the developing world.

  beckyhiu.blogspot.com/

Perhaps one of the more disappointing lessons that we have learned from the economic crisis is the importance of trust and the need to be weary of the not-so-trustworthy.  In “Commitment, Coercion, and the Markets,” Greif introduces the concept of morals and trust.  He notes that “because some agents are bad types [those more likely to cheat], each agent is motivated to ‘test’ new partners in exchange to discover their types.”[i] When applied to the market system in America and the global financial crisis, Greif’s observation serves as a warning that there are indeed more Enron-esque executives waiting to gain power, poisoned with the desire to help themselves over the broader society.   Gone are the days we have discussed in class in which the local banker is plays a trusted role in our lives.  Instead, customers must wonder about the credibility of those seeking to “help” them reach their dreams.  While we may not be able to fully avoid corruption or regain trust in leadership (in both the private and public sectors), the need to be weary of motivations has been moved to the forefront.   

 lifeinthenhs.wordpress.com

Along with a highlighted weariness of the potentially less-trustworthy, the United States has learned that a counterbalance and regulation is not only “ok,” it is necessary.   Allowing the “market” to decide our fate is dangerous due to the motivations of those behind market decisions – and, further, “a state strong enough to protect rights is also strong enough to abuse them.”[ii] Greif discusses the ability for a state’s administrative capacity to play a role in providing “a balance of coercive powers within a polity” and providing a screen for power abuses.[iii]  We have learned, and as discussed Greif’s works, that a lack of moral leaders exists throughout the system.  Providing checks and balances is indeed necessary, but we must ask under what circumstances can those providing the balance be kept in line themselves.  Once the American people became educated and enraged about the current market crisis, change was introduced in the form of legislation such as the recent limitations on the credit industry.  Thus, I echo Greif in suggesting it is necessary for the public to remain engaged and aware of what is happening around them – and to make sure the checks and balances are operating as necessary. 

 balance.  www.socialdemocraticpartyofamerica.org

A third lesson that I think America has learned –e and actually begun reacting to – is the need to change and adapt where necessary.  Greif discusses the need for an evolving system in saying that “gradual and unanticipated consequences implied by existing institutions lead to institutional change.”[iv]  The concept of being able to adjust in the face of failure is, to me, a key characteristic of success.  Jane Jacobs perhaps says it best in Cities and the Wealth of Nations by claiming that “failures can help set us straight if we attend to what they tell us about realities.”[v]  However, as she points out, there exists a tendency to not want to recognize those realities.  I would suggest that Americans have reached the point of anger necessary to recognize and react to the way things were in years past.  The sweeping support for the concept of “change” indicates a new kind of culture perhaps more welcome to altering the institutional structure in regard to regulation, leadership and economic forces.

 anne.teachesme.com/

In applying the lessons learned by the United States to the realm of international development, I would suggest that the most important lesson is recognizing the fact that our way is not necessarily the best way.  Considering development strategies targeting the Roma that I have discussed in my blogs, I think that this sense of openness would be critical to developing localized and successful programs.  Understanding the merits of being flexible both at home and abroad reflects the need to truly grasp localities in which organizations work – instead of attempting to build institutions that reflect our own.   As Greif discusses throughout his articles, the structure of society (collectivist or individualist) and the beliefs within it play an important factor in the success of the development of its various institutions.  He says that “initial conditions, spontaneous evolution, learning and intentional design influence institutional selection.”[vi]  In this way, we are yet again faced with proof that being open to many paths may very well provide the most favorable outcome in the long run.

The citizens of America have a right to be angry about what happened behind the scenes leading up to the recent market crash.  Further, we should expect the ever-evolving structure of the world in which we live to adjust accordingly. While finding a silver lining in a situation such as the global economic crisis may label me a dewy-eyed optimist, I will take that risk and offer a rosy outlook.  I believe that the institutions in play will learn their lesson and American citizens will develop a culture more aware of economic risks.   As we learn this about ourselves and implement our own changes, we will be better prepared to help developing nations charter their own course.

 

 


[i] Greif, Avner.  “Commitment, Coercion and Markets.”  in Handbook of New Institutional Economics, C Menard and M. Shirley (eds.).  Springer: 2005.   P 733.  

[ii] Ibid.” P 747.

[iii] Ibid p 748.

[iv] Ibid. p 759.

[v] Jacobs, Jane.  Cities and the Wealth of Nations.  Vintage Books (1985):  New York. p 7.

[vi] Greif, Avner.  “Commitment, Coercion and Markets.”  P 757. 

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Jun 04 2009

Importance of Education to Accumulate Social Capital

by at 12:37 pm

Importance of Education to Accumulate Social Capital

Reflection Paper #7

Network and International Development

Yoon Joung Lee

What would be the best asset in 20th century?  Putnam insists that the best assets in 20th century is neither coal oil nor Uranium, but the social capital including knowledge, trusts, cooperation, social norms.  If so, how much social capital do we possess?

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Jun 01 2009

Devising an Development Plan : What to Consider?

by at 4:44 pm

          My approach to development policy would appear quite different if I were sitting at a desk in Kabul versus one in Pristina or one in Kigali.  As we have discussed in class and read in various documents, the creation of a single catch-all development policy can have dire ramification.  Therefore, I would attempt to exclude nothing from consideration and include a myriad of issues – from the nation’s history to its recent political history to cultural norms of the constituents – when constructing a development policy.  Throughout the process, three main overarching themes I would consider at each decision-making point, large or small, would be:  the evolving nature of the project; the potentially widespread and long-term implications of each decision; and the culturally-specific informal constraints surrounding each rung of the development ladder.   While I will use the development of Romani access to health care as an example, these themes could be identified across the development spectrum.  

                The evolving nature of development programs involves allowing room to expand and contract when necessary, as every issue exists in conjunction with many other factors – such as the economy, global political landscape and evolving inter-cultural affairs.  Douglass North discusses the need to be “self-conscious about the consequences of ongoing marginal changes that are continually occurring.”[1]  While North focuses his discussion on economic matters, I think taking such self-consciousness into any development project is necessary to achieve an “adaptively efficient”[2] framework.  For example, if I were developing a program to enhance the Romani access to health care in Bulgaria, I would need to consider the possibility of altering my focus in the event of an unanticipated pandemic.  Being able to swiftly and efficiently change courses or adapt my team of medical experts as necessary would allow me to address the ever-evolving health threats more efficiently than building in such a way that prohibits me to change with the times.           

                Along with considering the need for adaptability in my program, I would take into account the potential long-term and wide-spread implications for all decisions tied to the development program.  As we discussed in class, the nature of networks is such that a change at one node can greatly affect others in the system.   Henderson captures this in introducing the implications of policies made overseas on domestic affairs of the South African wine industry – for a lobby for increased labor standards in one nation must also be considered on the international stage.[3]  North furthers the idea in calling for economic theorists to cast a wider net of variables, pointing out that “modern macro economic theory will never resolve the problems it confronts unless practitioners recognize the impact decisions made by the political process have on the functioning of economies.”[4]  Keeping with the need to consider a wide breadth and depth of factors, I would assume a holistic vantage point of development projects related to Romani health care.  For example, in making a decision of where to build a health care facility, I would need to consider elements such as: the long-term impact on how access to health care will impact the building of future communities in proximity to the site; potential political impacts of one area having better health care than others; and economic sustainability of introducing clinics.

                A third element of consideration for the creation of development programs are the informal constraints as introduced by North.   While formalities such as laws indeed must be considered, it is the informal culturally-oriented constraints that I find particularly interesting – and important.  North frames the necessity of cultural awareness in development by drawing attention to the ways in which societal norms persist even after structural changes, as well as how informal constraints provide “sources of continuity in the long-run societal change.”[5]  In addressing minority-oriented programs such as those working toward Roma health care, cultural factors and informal constraints become particularly important.  For example, framing the need for health care within the context of Romani belief system would be necessary to make the program reflect a set of values and norms that would resonate within the targeted constituency – and, hopefully, render more effective results.

                While devising a development project would require consideration of issues across a wide-range of subject matters, I think it is important to continuously return to these key themes.  In keeping the idea of an ever-evolving landscape, considering long-term consequences and preparing for cultural constraints, my goal would be to devise a sustainable, adaptable program.  Further, taking these into account identify will aid in identifying potential roadblocks early in program development.  In the end, the key to my strategy would center on looking far and wide for answers – instead of boxing myself into a single theory or “tried and true” way of approaching problems.


[1] North, Douglass.  Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance.  Cambridge University Press: New    York, NY (1990).  P 110-11.

[2] North, p 82.

[3] Henderson, Jeffrey.  Global Production Networks, Competition, Regulation and Poverty Reduction: Policy      Implications.  June 2005. p 5.

[4] North, p 112.

[5] North, p 36-37.

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May 28 2009

The Relationship between North Korea and China

by at 12:25 pm

What’s the Impact of the Relationship

Between North Korea and China on the World Networks?

Network and International Development

Reflection Paper #4

Yoon Joung Lee

Answering this question might be the part of my final paper which attempts to find the impact of North Korea in a global level and how the networks function in a relationship between North Korea and the rest of the world.  However, in today’s project, I would focus specifically on the special relationship between North Korea and China and how their relationships impact on the world networks.

There is no relationship in the world history as complicated as the relationship between China and North Korea.  During the Cold War when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were confronted each other as two huge oppositions, socialism countries tended to accept every official opinions other socialism countries made and did not publicly open or study others’ histories or regimes to protect others as they treated each other as family countries.  The relationship between China and the North Korea was not the exception.  Before  the post-Cold war, studying others between these two countries was absolutely prohibited in terms of keeping their blood alliances in the regime of socialism.  Even though there were several relationships being peeled the veils after the post-Cold war, there are still many questions left in the relationship between China and North Korea.

The relationship started when the North Korea government established the People’s Republic of Korea in 1948.  However, collapsing the beginning stage of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in 1990 significantly influenced the entire structure of international communism and caused fatal results in their future movements.  Such impact reached out to the Northeast Asia as well.  Under given situations, North Korea had a chance to have a turning point while they kept an amity with China who placed in one of the powerful socialism countries during the post-Cold War in 1992.

Korea’s friendly-relationships with the Soviet Union and China also contributed to break the balance of the structure formed based on two big oppositions; the United States and the Old Soviet Union.  The Northeast Asia moved toward the time of a new structural change as the U.S. – North Korea Negotiations and Japan-North Korea summit conferences kept holding upon the issue of nuclear.  China now tries to find out the answer about how to embrace North Korea and its current condition as it is.  It’s an attentional issue of the world how China and North Korea correlate to each other, because China is the existing socialism country who can give the most powerful impact on North Korea, and their relationship has a important key to forecast the future path of the international structure of Northeast Asia including North Korea itself who is facing a risk nowadays.

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May 26 2009

Fair and Balanced, the Global Network Is Not.

by at 4:42 pm

http://www.kushtush.com/Be_Fair.jpg

Someone once said to me, “There are only three kinds of ‘fairs’ in the world:  the County fair, the State fair and the World’s Fair.” 

As a person who has always things to be “fair,” this statement bothered me then as much as it does now.  Yet, the older I get the more I realize the sad reality of the anomaly between the way things appear or should be and the way things are in actuality.  For example, I felt betrayed when John Edwards – a politician I knew, worked for and admired for years – was uncovered as having an affair and allegedly misusing funds.  It just did not seem fair; he had billed himself as one person but all the while lived a life like those he claimed to challenge.  Such political anomalies, among others in life, come to mind in reading about the global network thus far. I am particularly fixated on the disconnect between what I want the structure to look like (a functioning distributed, interdependent system with fair checks and balances) and how it actually exists (a hierarchical decentralized network with power distributed in a way that leads to negative externalities).  Not unlike my disappointment with power-drunk politicians, I find myself disheartened by some of the anecdotes we have read thus far in class.   Pessimistic as it may sound, I would characterize the global network as dominated by the financial institutions – but in a system that should have cooperation with checks and balances to keep the power of one node from getting to strong. 

Mark Buchanan describes a “hierarchical network” as one in which there are “a few elements … [with] especially important roles in trying the network together.”[i]  I would argue that the “financial institutions” node has amassed an artificial amount of power and an inflated role within the global structure – making itself the “especially important” node in relation to states and NGO’s.  In doing so, the ability of the other nodes becomes limited in regard to keeping the financial sector and its special interests in check.  For example, in “The Overselling of Globalization,” Joseph Stiglitz points out that “countries have been told to cede the most important economic decisions, those concerning monetary policy to independent central banks.”[ii] Such a move undermines the role of states as a node in the system for the interests of the financial side.  Yet, conventional wisdom dictates that if nations want to develop, they must remain connected to the global network.  And, there, it is the financial institutions that run the show – not the states themselves. 

http://moneymakermail.fr/images/money_ladder_sm.jpg

Ideally, the financial system would exist in a more fair and balanced network with NGO’s and the state to work toward a global structure.  Instead, as Stiglitz suggested, the threat of cutting the critical link between nations and financial institutions ties nations to the demands of those entities.  While I would hope NGOs and “do-good-er” organizations could exist external of those financial institutions, it seems the reality is that certain money-oriented entities hold a crippling degree of power.  Money as controlled by the financial institutions (both in terms of direct assistance and money for aid organizations to function) has been solidified as the ladder to development – a dangerous connection that is difficult to undo.  It is the creation of such critical links and power dynamics between the nodes as dictated by the financial sector that is so worrisome to me. 

The impact of a structure in which one node becomes super-powerful is the advent of a hyper-connectedness.  Buchanan uses the Internet as an example countering the idea that a hierarchical decentralized network is vulnerable to attack,[iii] but I think that the recent financial meltdown shows that may be just the case.  Because the global network had grown so deeply intertwined and depended upon the financial sector node, damage to this “hub” did just what the structure would suggest:  harmed all other nodes in a devastating way.  Stiglitz touches on this in saying that “there is … a need for global collective action to overcome financial crises.”[iv]

While the concept of a “fair” international network may be idealistic, I do not think we should stop striving for a more balanced global system.  The ebb and flow of nodes may be a natural occurrence, but allowing one (the financial sector) to become too influential can be dangerous and, in many ways, irreversible. 

  http://www.uml.edu/wuml/podcast/media/global_financial_crisis1.jpg


[i] Buchanan, Mark.  Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks.  W.W. Norton & Co.:          New York (2002).  P 80. 

[ii] Stiglitz, Joseph.  The Overselling of Globalization.  P 232

[iii] Buchanan, Mark.  P 80.

[iv] Stiglitz, Joseph.  p 233. 

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May 26 2009

Nodes and Links in Networks_Reflection Paper #3

by at 12:12 pm

There are many things we cannot live without and we also cannot leave the connection with, while we live through our lives. Therefore, we, in many times, don’t recognize the importance of the entities of such things surrounding us. As we cannot live without water and air, the existence of human relationships is impossible without nodes and links.

In “Nexus”, what Buchanan focuses specially on is a “simplicity” of the networks. According to him, these complicated networks connecting the worlds can simply be explained with several mathematical formulas. The world, from his point of view, is a small network society where people can get in touch with each other after passing only a few bridges. His frequent expressions of “small,” “narrow” or “simple” in this book proves his idea of seeing our world as a small world. However, can we use this theory to explain the entire patterns of world networks?

I guess it is very dangerous to generalize the certain pattern as a whole. According to Barabaci in “Linked -The New Science of Networks,” he suggests the concept of “Scale-free Network” that every node has similar numbers of links, and it is possible to connect to each other if one node has at least one link. Also, when the number of links is increased, the distance between the nodes is decreased.

The number of links connecting the real world, however, very varies by nodes. For example, there are some people in human societies maintaining wider and broader networks than others. With the same idea, there are certain websites people click more than others as well. The most popular search engine “Google” is a great example of this. Google becomes the top search engine across the world even though it came after many others like AtaVista or Inktomi. Barabaci called such phenomenon of nodes’ preferring certain nodes as a “Preferential Attachment.”

States, financial institutes, and NGOs, as the nodes which are the center of each network, are also connecting to and impacting one another even though where their nodes are located in is different. In addition, the links spreading out from the nodes can be overlapped, crossed, or sometimes linearly moved forward with the links from other nodes. Such links are playing an important role as the brides to connect to other nodes. Therefore, these architectures are influencing and influenced by each other, and their relationships can not be existed alone.

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May 21 2009

Cast a Wide Net

by at 4:15 pm

An officer in the UNC Young Democrats for four years. 

A student member of the ACLU in my undergrad days. 

A frequent participant in anti-war demonstrations.

A vehement campaigner for “the left.”

            

All of the statements above capture me (now or in the past) and the experiences that have shaped my intellectual ideas for much of my life.  A child of two liberal-minded parents, I grew up surrounded by active political minds and eventually fostered my own networks among politicos working under the ideological umbrella that I supported.   As I progressed through undergrad, I became particularly passionate in my anti-war ideas and increasingly critical of national security surveillance measures.  My network perpetuated itself and I, admittedly, did little to try to understand the other side.  In this way, I was steadfast in my ideas, but the source of my ideas was limited.

An interesting shift occurred when I moved to DC and started working at CPASS, an organization addressing both “peace” and “security.”  In my job, I accrued new sources for ideas on such matters through the people I met – professors, students, staff and visiting scholars.  Especially notable are individuals from backgrounds I never really had to get to know in the past.  Exposure to the military personnel and homeland security experts affiliated with CPASS expanded my network and thus the individuals from whom I could draw my ideas on subjects such as surveillance and war.  While I remain strong in my beliefs, I am happy to report that my intellectual ideas are more informed because of this expanded network.  By allowing myself to work in an environment where I may not agree with every opinion, I forced myself to consider the source behind other stances.  Hearing stories about what keeps soldiers motivated, talking with generals about their time in service and attending lectures by Bush Administration officials lets me attempt to bridge the gap between my thinking and theirs.  In this way, expanding my network – be it through weak ties such as attending a lecture or strong co-worker relations – can make my ideas more balanced and lead me to sympathize with positions I never would have considered in my earlier bubble.  

Reflecting upon how my experience at CPASS altered my once-unalterable stance by allowing me to gain outside perspectives, I feel particularly drawn to Mark Buchanan’s discussion of groupthink within certain networks.  Buchanan describes groupthink as an incident in which a group strives to reach a consensus and, once they do, dissenters are hesitant to voice their opinion for fear of being ostracized or anger from that group.[1]  The idea of groupthink can also be identified in how the Washington Consensus came about and perpetuated itself.  In Globalization and its Discontents, Joseph Stiglitz described just this kind of groupthink within the development of the Washington Consensus, pointing out that “alternative opinions were not sought” and that “open, frank discussion was discouraged.”[2]  Instead of opening up and learning how to improve programs, the Washington Consensus excluded the critical “outsider” and cut off links to networks outside their own.  Instead of considering all avenues and seeking input from a multitude of experts,  

As we discussed in class, the Washington Consensus and other development programs need to branch out of their cozy networks.  Instead of a “rich get richer” scenario as presented by Buchanan, in which well known sources (or “links”) are reinforced as well known as the network grows, development programs should actively pursue lesser-known sources of information and ideas.   Development programs could even follow suit of the Obama Administration’s call for public input on issues such as cyber security during their 60-Day Cyber Security study.  Casting a wide net allows may bring in a duds – but could also lay the framework for bridging gaps between key networks.  Just as I learned the merits of welcoming alternative ideas, development programs should learn from the failures of closed networks and open up in the name of innovation.

Groupthink : www.flatrock.org.nz


[1] Buchanan, Mark.  Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks.  W.W. Norton and Co.: New     York (2002).  P 115.

[2] Stiglitz, Joseph.  Globalization and Its Discontents.  W.W. Norton and Co.:  New York (2003).  P xiv.

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May 20 2009

Reflection Paper #2

by at 9:23 pm

I build my intellectual networks mostly within the church or school where I spend most of my time.  While there are many valuable impacts on the information exchange among classmates in CCT, the groups outside of the campus setting also introduce different and unique viewpoints that I could not think of during networking with CCTers. 

People with different backgrounds, religion, culture, gender, or the level of education look at the same topics in different ways.  Some interpret the situation from a problem-solver’s point of view, some see the same situation as a moderator, and others see the situation from the viewpoint of a bypasser.  Therefore, the lenses used to look at the same issue vary and their levels of bias or preoccupation on certain issues are different as well.  Such processing of information exchange with the interlocutors from different backgrounds is meaningful because it gives a chance to see the new aspect of the issue that one might not think of.  I try to get ideas on certain issues from as many people I know, combine the opinions, and make my final decision.

In relation to the issue of a network, drawing upon what we know about networksthe policies of Washington Consensus can be explained with the Domino theory according to which that the change of a certain location or region rapidly influences all the others, just as in the case of a viral effect works.  Under a big umbrella, every local economy is influenced by and connected to each other, and they eventually make one big global economy movement.  

During the 80’s, when many developing countries like Mexico could not pay back their tremendous debts to the West, the Western countries started to engage in changing the developing countries’ economic structures. The IMF intervened in the countries with a Monetary Approach where the World Bank came in with Structural Adjustment Program (SAP).   In the 90s, when communism in Eastern Europe disappeared, the Western politicians, economists, and scholars again attempted to intervene in these countries to change the entire structure in economy.   To me such efforts of the Western countries toward the second or third world countries is comes from an anxiety of the power of  a potential  domino effect that their networks might bring.

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