Institutions and Famine in Communist China and Postcolonial India

Historically, famine was thought to be a disaster of nature, damaging human creation. All we could do was weather the storm. Famine was seen as a dramatic decline in food supply. This conception is called Food Availability Decline (henceforth: FAD).[1] In the last century, this conception has changed. With the examination of communist China and […]

Fragmented Nationalism in Shanghai

From the period of 1842 to 1943, Shanghai possessed a worrying lack of sovereignty due to the fragmentation of its political power.[1] Bickers (2012) argued that this led to a myriad of nationalist activities.[2] At this time, foreign imperial powers held power over portions of Shanghai.[3] This resulted in a multitude of often contradictory laws […]

Sen’s Approach to the Bengali Famine of 1943

Often, the phenomenon of famine is treated as a problem of food production.[1] The Bengali famine of the 1940s saw three million dead, as natural disasters and the context of war damaged food supply in the region.[2] As such, people starved from the lack of food. But Amartya Sen rejects this. This essay will be […]

Was the failure of Kenya Institutional or Neopatrimonial?

In 1964, Kenya gained its independence under the Kenyan African National Union (KANU), led by Jomo Kenyatta. Since then, the country has faced similar problems to much of Africa. Two primary approaches have arisen to explain Kenya’s political and economic crisis: the Institutional and the Neopatrimonialism approach. Institutions are defined as the formal and informal […]

How to analyse the Chinese Famine

The Chinese Famine, despite much research and study, still confuses many. For two decades, the Chinese state covered it up.[1] Even now, researchers must rely on state data.[2] In response to the difficulty of finding trustworthy statistics, many researchers aim to adjust statistics, using a toolset of comparative stats and other factors, while others turn […]

Humanising Development with Sen’s Enhancement of Capability

Development, despites its deceptively simple name, has no singular discourse or meaning. To many, it refers to the growth of a country’s economy – a state-led drive to improve indicators such as Gross National Product (GNP).[1] This view is problematic. It poses development as a nihilistic venture, with no humane ends. In contrast to these […]

Brief Explanation of Weber’s Authority and Legitimacy

Weber (1922) highlighted legitimacy as a relationship between the rulers and the ruled   (Hague, Harrop & Bresslin 1992:10). He proposed three systems in which governments held authority and were thus given legitimacy. Traditional Authority exists because, as Haywood put it, “[it] always existed” (Haywood 2007:220). Monarchs and nobles use this form of authority. Power is […]

There should be no Congo

Herbst and Mills (2009) make a compelling argument to provide a solution to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (henceforth: Congo) problems by no longer treating it as sovereign (Herbst & Mills, 2009). Their reason was that Congo does not possess the necessary requirements to be considered sovereign and that this misdiagnosis is preventing appropriate solutions. […]

Should a state control the means of production?

The state should not control the means of production due to the innovation and efficiency that arises from private ownership (Shleifer, 1998:135), the necessity for non-regulated prices creating proper indicatators  (Friedman & Friedman, 1980:14) and the dangers of central planning (Hayek, 2007:124). People are more likely to work hard if they are given proper incentives. […]

Do states have a Responsibility to Protect?

The debate over Humanitarian Intervention (henceforth: HI) pits two opposing sides against one another: those against it uphold the principle of Sovereignty, while those for it espouse its virtues with regards to morality and pragmatism (Hoffman, 2000: 152). HI is simply a process whereby external actors intervene in the domestic affairs of a state on […]