Join the Asia Society for a conversation with Daniel Russel and other experts on what can be done to ensure that Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects are mutually beneficial and sustainable.
Recent scholarship on labour and development in the global South has renewed critiques of conventional development theory along two main lines. The first has highlighted the unsuccessful transition of peasant small-holders into wage workers, whose incomes and employment benefits, it was once argued, would both satisfy their social reproduction needs and allow for expanded consumption. As a consequence of this apparently ‘stalled transition’ a contradiction has emerged between the valorization of wage labour/full employment, and the precarious reality of work and underemployment in contemporary capitalism. The second critique to emerge has focused on the failure of numerous late industrializing economies to transition from low- to high-value-added manufacturing. This latter failure of the development project exposes the contradiction between the promise and the reality of contemporary development strategies, and has led to disillusionment with industrial and other forms of waged work. As a result, growing frictions at the point of production and beyond have emerged, exposing tensions and fissures in development models across Continental Southeast Asia. What happens, we thus need to ask, when low-value-added export-oriented factories that are central to long-term strategies for economic growth at a sub-regional level, fail to serve as a stepping stone to higher-value-added manufacturing? How do states and workers adapt to and address the apparent lock-in of low-value, precarious, production network at the national and sub-regional scale? This presentation, led by speaker Professor Dennis Arnold of the University of Amsterdam, seeks to address these questions through analysis of the multiple power relations between state, capital and labor in Cambodia’s garment production network.
For more information, click here.
Cornell Department of Development Sociology
Cornell Industrial and Labor Relations
Cornell Southeast Asia Program
Recent economic crises have made the centrality of debt, and the instability it creates, increasingly apparent. This realization has led to cries for change—yet there is little popular awareness of possible alternatives. This talk, based on a book of the same title, describes efforts to create a transnational economy free of debt. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Malaysia, the talk illustrates how the state, led by the central bank, seeks to make the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur “the New York of the Muslim world”—the central node of global financial activity conducted in accordance with Islam. The talk will illustrate how Islamic financial experts have undertaken ambitious experiments to create more stable economies and stronger social solidarities by facilitating risk- and profit-sharing, enhanced entrepreneurial skills, and more collaborative economic action. Building on scholarship that reveals the impact of financial devices on human activity, the talk describes how Islamic finance is deployed to fashion subjects who are at once more pious Muslims and more ambitious entrepreneurs. In so doing, the talk shows how experts seek to create a new “geo-economics” centered in Southeast Asia—a global Islamic alternative to the conventional financial network centered on New York, London, and Tokyo. A groundbreaking analysis of a timely subject, Beyond Debt tells the captivating story of efforts to re-center international finance in an emergent Islamic global city and, ultimately, to challenge the very foundations of conventional finance. The speaker, Daromir Rudnyckyj, is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Victoria.
For more information, click here.
Cornell Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
Cornell Department of Anthropology
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
Cornell Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
Cornell Department of Economics
Cornell Comparative Muslim Societies Program
Cornell Southeast Asia Program
Cornell Global Learning
Infrastructure as Asset or Public Good: Who Gives a Dam? Financing Development and Development Finance Along the Mekong and Ayeyarwaddy
Global investments in the energy infrastructure sector have received the lion’s share of contemporary financing from the public and private sector in the twenty-first century. Infrastructure building in the nineteenth and twentieth century traditionally served to embody the modernizing ambitions of successive states in their bid to construct public goods and lay foundations for their industrialization strategies. Since the end of the 20th century and particularly after the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis however, paradigmatic shifts in the private turn in development have expanded and deepened the reach of financial markets in the developing world. While liberalizing reforms to facilitate the entry of private sector actors into financing for development have been led by the usual Bretton Woods institutions, the author argues that these reforms have facilitated the vociferous entry of non-traditional actors and coordinated business groups from the emerging economies of East and Southeast Asia seeking high returns in a business model which treats infrastructure building as an asset in their portfolio-driven quest to transition from ‘national champions’ to international powerhouses. Emerging regional development finance is rapidly changing the environmental and economic landscapes of mainland Southeast Asia, creating a new round of debt and dependency which cuts against popular notions of win-win ‘south-south’ development. The author compares similar and divergent trends in hydro-infrastructure financing in Lao PDR and Myanmar and discusses the present and future of socio-environmental governance along the Mekong and Ayeyarwaddy.
About the Speaker:Dr. Pon Souvannaseng is a Research Associate at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. Her research interests include aid politics and development finance; the political economy of energy security and infrastructure expansion, particularly in Asia and Africa, and issues of environmental governance and regulation. She conducts research in West Africa and mainland Southeast Asia on the UKRI-funded FutureDAMS research programme. She has previously served as a Fellow in Political Economy and International Development at University College London (UCL) and as a Research Analyst at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). She has been a Fulbright Research Scholar in Southeast Asia and a CODESRIA-CLACSO-APISA South-South Young Laureate Award holder. She holds degrees from the LSE and Tufts University in Political Science.
Hosted by NYSEAN.
The Indonesian Speakers Series provides opportunities for Indonesian students and the wider community to engage with inspiring leaders. For this event, we will welcome the current Indonesian Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and the former Indonesian Minister of Trade, Gita Wirjawan.
About our Speakers:
Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Sri Mulyani Indrawati is an Indonesian economist who has been Minister of Finance of Indonesia since 2016; previously she served in the same post from 2005 to 2010. In June 2010 she was appointed as Managing Director of the World Bank Group and resigned as Minister of Finance.
Gita Irawan Wirjawan is an Indonesian entrepreneur, investment banker and philanthropist. Previously he served as Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia during President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Kabinet Indonesia Bersatu II. He is the founder of Ancora Group and Ancora Foundation.
To RSVP for Sri Mulyani's event, click here. [4PM-6PM]
To RSVP for Gita Wirjawan's event, click here. [2PM-4PM]
NYU Indonesian Student Association
KJRI New York
SEASI is proud to host Dr. Seek Ngee Huat, Chairman of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies, as he shares his extensive experience with Public-Private Partnerships in Real Estate, both in Singapore and globally.
Edmund Malesky is a Professor of Political Science at Duke University. Malesky is a specialist on Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. Currently, Malesky's research agenda is very much at the intersection of Comparative and International Political Economy, falling into three major categories: 1) Authoritarian political institutions and their consequences; 2) The political influence of foreign direct investment and multinational corporations; and 3) Political institutions, private business development, and formalization.
Hosted by the Leitner Program.
To foster greater economic partnership between Indonesia and the United States that provides mutual and beneficial economic opportunities for the two countries, the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York, Indonesian Investment Promotion Center New York, Bank Indonesia, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bank Negara Indonesia, and the Indonesian Trade Promotion Center Chicago will hold a Business Forum on Trade, Tourism, and Investment in Indonesia.
This forum focuses on opening discussions between United States’ investors and businessmen and Indonesian governmental and private sector representatives on business and investment opportunities in Indonesia. In this forum, we identify five main sectors in Indonesia that we believe have the potential to foster greater economic relations between the two countries. These include Tourism, Creative Economy, Infrastructure, the Food and Beverage Industry, and Manufacturing Industries.
The “Business Forum on Trade, Tourism, and Investment in Indonesia” will be held on November 8th, 2018 at the Intercontinental New York Times Square Hotel in New York City.
To RSVP and for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hosted by Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York, Indonesian Investment Promotion Center New York, Bank Indonesia, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bank Negara Indonesia, and Indonesian Trade Promotion Center Chicago.
New Realities for Southeast Asia: Perspectives From Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan
For the last half century, Southeast Asia has witnessed dramatic growth on the back of rapid industrialization and free trade flows in a multilateral system largely underwritten by the U.S. and its partners. As the world transitions to a multipolar world in the midst of a global digital revolution, Southeast Asia will confront new political and economic realities.
Asia Society is delighted to host His Excellency Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s minister for foreign affairs and minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, for an address and discussion, as he shares his perspective on these developments with the Hon. Kevin Rudd, president of the Asia Society Policy Institute.
Purchase tickets here.
Please join NYU ISA and Permias NYC in welcoming Dr. Halim Alamsyah, Chairman of the Indonesia Deposit Insurance Corporation (ICDC), former Deputy Governor of The Central Bank of Indonesia and former Commissioner of Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (FSA).
He will be speaking about how the Indonesian economic infrastructures maintained resilience amidst the Asian financial crisis, as well as how it has continued to improve since. In addition to that, Dr. Alamsyah will provide an outlook of the current developments, challenges, and opportunities within the Indonesian economy.
This discussion will be moderated by Professor Ismail Fajrie Alatas of New York University.
Hosted by NYU ISA and Permias NYC.
The world has gotten used to hearing “America First” — but is it ready for “Asia First”? Asia is home to 60% of the world’s population and more than 30% of world GDP. Beyond China and India, the combined economy of ASEAN members is soon to be the fourth-largest. From the Belt & Road Initiative to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Asia's strategic vision, massive markets and demographic flows are reordering the entire world. What happens when Asia no longer just produces for the West but the West produces for Asia?
Join us as Parag Khanna delivers a tour of the Asianized 21st century, covering trends in commerce, conflict, and culture. He will be joined in discussion by Michael Froman, who formerly served as President Obama’s principal advisor and negotiator on international trade and investment issues. The Future is Asian will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
Find more information here.
Hosted by Asia Society.