|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 4|
In the contemporary global political economy, foreign direct investment (FDI) is gaining currency on daily basis. Notably, the end of the Cold War has brought about the dominance of neoliberal ideology with its mantra of private-sector-led economy. As such, nation-states now see FDI attraction as an important element in their approach to national development. Governments and policy makers are preoccupying themselves with unraveling the best strategies to not only attract more FDI but also to attain the desired socio-economic development status. In Nigeria, the perceived development potentials of FDI have brought about aggressive hunt for foreign investors, most especially since transition to civilian rule in May 1999. Series of liberal and market oriented strategies are being adopted not only to attract foreign investors but largely to stimulate private sector participation in the economy. It is on this premise that this study interrogates the politics of FDI attraction for domestic development in Nigeria between 1999 and 2014, with the ultimate aim of examining the nexus between regime type and the ability of a state to attract and benefit from FDI. Building its analysis within the framework of institutional utilitarianism, the study posits that the essential FDI strategies for achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of Nigerians are political not economic. Both content analysis and descriptive survey methodology were employed in carrying out the study. Content analysis involves desk review of literatures that culminated in the development of the study’s conceptual and theoretical framework of analysis. The study finds no significant relationship between transition to democracy and FDI inflows in Nigeria, as most of the attracted investments during the period of the study were market and resource seeking as was the case during the military regime, thereby contributing minimally to the socio-economic development of the country. It is also found that the country placed much emphasis on liberalization and incentives for FDI attraction at the neglect of improving the domestic investment environment. Consequently, poor state of infrastructure, weak institutional capability and insecurity were identified as the major factors seriously hindering the success of Nigeria in exploiting FDI for domestic development. Given the reality of the currency of FDI as a vector of economic globalization and that Nigeria is trailing the line of private-sector-led approach to development, it is recommended that emphasis should be placed on those measures aimed at improving the infrastructural facilities, building solid institutional framework, enhancing skill and technological transfer and coordinating FDI promotion activities by different agencies and at different levels of government.
This paper investigates the role of vested interests and its impacts on anti-corruption agenda in Indonesia following the collapse of authoritarian regime in 1998. A pervasive and rampant corruption has been believed as the main cause of the state economy’s fragility. Hence, anti-corruption measures were implemented by applying democratization and market liberalization since the establishment of a consolidated democracy which go hand in hand with a liberal market economy is convinced to be an efficacious prescription for effective anti-corruption. The reform movement has also mandated the establishment of the independent, neutral and professional special anti-corruption agency namely Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to more intensify the fight against the systemic corruption. This paper will examine whether these anti-corruption measures have been effective to combat corruption, and investigate to what extend have the anti-corruption efforts, especially those conducted by KPK, been impeded by the emergence of a nexus of vested interests as the side-effect of democratization and market liberalization. Based on interviews with key stakeholders from KPK, other law enforcement agencies, government, prominent scholars, journalists and NGOs in Indonesia, it is found that since the overthrow of Soeharto, anti-corruption movement in the country have become more active and serious. After gradually winning the hearth of people, KPK successfully touched the untouchable corruption perpetrators who were previously protected by political immunity, legal protection and bureaucratic barriers. However, these changes have not necessarily reduced systemic and structural corruption practices. Ironically, intensive and devastating counterattacks were frequently posed by the alignment of business actors, elites of political parties, government, and also law enforcement agencies by hijacking state’s instruments to make KPK deflated, powerless, and surrender. This paper concludes that attempts of democratization, market liberalization and the establishment of anti-corruption agency may have helped Indonesia to reduce corruption. However, it is still difficult to imply that such anti-corruption measures have fostered the more effective anti-corruption works in the newly democratized and weakly regulated liberal economic system.
This paper argues nation-building theories that prioritize democratic governance best explain the successful postindependence development of Botswana. Three main competing schools of thought exist regarding the sequencing of policies that should occur to re-build weakened or failed states. The first posits that economic development should receive foremost attention, while democratization and a binding sense of nationalism can wait. A second group of experts identified constructing a sense of nationalism among a populace is necessary first, so that the state receives popular legitimacy and obedience that are prerequisites for development. Botswana, though, transitioned into a multi-party democracy and prosperous open economy due to the utilization of traditional democratic structures, enlightened and accountable leadership, and an educated technocratic civil service. With these political foundations already in place when the discovery of diamonds occurred, the resulting revenues were spent wisely on projects that grew the economy, improved basic living standards, and attracted foreign investment. Thus democratization preceded, and therefore provided an accountable basis for, economic development that might otherwise have been squandered by greedy and isolated elites to the detriment of the greater population. Botswana was one of the poorest nations in the world at the time of its independence in 1966, with little infrastructure, a dependence on apartheid South Africa for trade, and a largely subsistence economy. Over the next thirty years, though, its economy grew the fastest of any nation in the world. The transparent and judicious use of diamond returns is only a partial explanation, as the government also pursued economic diversification, mass education, and rural development in response to public needs. As nation-building has become a project undertaken by nations and multilateral agencies such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Botswana may provide best practices that others should follow in attempting to reconstruct economically and politically unstable states.
One of the approaches to democratization is the fostering of civil society organizations. In Africa, civil society organizations did not fully play their role in the continent-s democratization process due to many factors including the repressive regulations imposed on them by governing parties. In Ethiopia, for the first time in the country-s political history, the civil society played a very active role in the 2005 multi-party election. The involvement of the civil society in this election has far-reaching consequences. One of the objectives of this paper is to assess the consequences of such involvement for both the civil society and the political society in the country. The paper also examines the peculiarities of civil society formation in Africa in general, and in Ethiopia in particular by assessing both the “traditional" and “modern" civil society organizations.