Political Economy

Count on Politics Interfering with the Indian Census


Indian governments spend enormous resources to collect data — including 12 billion and 22 billion rupees on decennial censuses in 2001 and 2011, respectively. Yet they appear reluctant to release it. The latest decennial census data on religion, for example, which were released on 25 August 2015, were collected almost half a decade ago in 2011.

U.S. Candidates Ratchet Up the Hyperbole ahead of Xi Visit


Another year of presidential campaigns, another round of China bashing. In the wake of China’s stock market crash in August 2015, Republican presidential candidates have turned their attention towards China. Citing China’s ‘active manipulation’ of its economy as contributing to its own ‘Black Monday’, candidate Scott Walker demanded US President Barack Obama cancel Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming state visit.

Japan PM Abe's Political Future Appears Certain


In December 2014, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) returned to government after a snap election. At that time, Abe positioned himself to continue as prime minister for another four years until the end of 2018, giving him the prospect of six years in office since he regained the prime ministership in December 2012. Abe must now face a September 2015 LDP presidential election, but he is likely to remain leader of the LDP, and Japan.

The Carefully Timed U.S. Visit by Vietnam's Nguyen Phu Trong


The 7 July visit to the White House by Vietnam’s Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong signaled just how far the United States and Vietnam have come in the past two decades in moving beyond their ‘difficult history’, as President Barack Obama put it after their meeting. The leaders discussed how they would advance ties between the two countries in areas ranging from economic and political relations to security and education cooperation.

Why 2016 Presidential Candidates Should Talk About 'Classes'


In the 2016 presidential race, candidates from both major parties are looking for ways to address inequality.

Partly, they must do so because seven years after the 2008 crash, many Americans still are not getting ahead, according to several analyses by the Economic Policy Institute think tank. In fact, that is nothing new. Factoring in inflation, wage growth has stagnated for the bottom 90% of Americans since 1979.

Using the Power Bestowed Upon You for Good


It may seem that after several recent electoral defeats of prominent national dynasts, Asia’s ‘ruling families’ are in decline. However, a closer look suggests that reports of their political deaths are premature.

The most prominent recent setback was the crushing defeat of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty-run Indian Congress Party in the May 2014 elections, which swept the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power and left the Congress Party with only 44 seats in the Indian parliament.