Best Drupal HostingBest Joomla HostingBest Wordpress Hosting
WORLD POLICY ON AIR

World Policy Journal is proud to share our weekly podcast, World Policy On Air, featuring former Newsweek On Air host David Alpern with timely insights from global affairs analyst Michael Moran of Transformative.io, risk and geostrategy consultants. Click here to subscribe on iTunes!

THE LATEST

AddToAny
Share/Save

Jodi Liss: Pakistan — Loosening The Ties That Bind

However vicious, however Frankenstein-ian the Taliban, it doesn’t explain the origins of Pakistan's precarious condition. With Pakistan’s divided and distracted military, the corruption, the poverty, the radical Islamists, the maybe-loose nukes (despite the denials), anybody could be forgiven for thinking this weak country is on the verge of falling apart. The Taliban looks like an opportunistic virus ready to prey on the systemic weakness of its host. For all the shuttle diplomacy, prodding, and nagging by the United States, the only way really to settle Pakistan’s external problems is to deal with its internal problems. To survive, the country must find the political will to strengthen itself as a unified country. To do that, it has to look past its favorite and most populous province of Punjab, with its comfortable business, educational, and military elite, and its rich and corrupt cronies and special interests. Pakistan must deal with Punjab the way it treats its angry and marginalized provinces of Sindh, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), and the restive and resource-rich Baluchistan. The grievances of Baluchistan, Sindh and the NWFP are longstanding. Both the Baluch people and the Pashtun (of the NWFP) resisted becoming part of Pakistan from the start. These provinces have a much lower per capita income and literacy rate than Punjab, and unequal distribution of tax revenues leaves them stuck in poverty.

Jodi Liss: An End to the Resource Curse?

These days, throughout northern Wayne County, PA, farmers are talking less about livestock and dairy prices and more about Norwegian oil policy, Devonian geology, market capitalization, and seismic thumper trucks. Wayne County sits atop part of the enormous Marcellus Shale gas field, and each farmer is looking at a small fortune in future leasing royalties and bonuses. They are also in the process of solving a problem that has stumped the World Bank, the United Nations, and governments around the world. The problem is the so-called resource curse. Usually, when countries discover oil, gas, or minerals, most nationalistic governments in the developing world seek to keep all the wealth that comes from such extraction by claiming exclusive rights to everything below the topsoil. Instead of economic development, what they get is corruption, environmental destruction, violent conflict, a worsening economy, and hoards of angry local people. The resource curse’s current poster child is Nigeria, where corrupt government officials—on all levels—stole hundreds of millions of dollars, thousands died from ethnic conflict and environmental devastation in the oil-producing zones, and the majority of people throughout the country live on less than $1 a day. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Map of the Marcellus Shale"][/caption] In Wayne County (as elsewhere in the United States), it’s the locals who will decide the terms of how the gas is extracted from the ground. Here, the farmers who have farmed the land for generations formed a collective bargaining group, hired lawyers and environmental consultants, and are negotiating with several gas companies on the financial details and the local environmental risks. Drilling for oil or gas has a long, ugly record of contaminating land and water—a potential catastrophe since this area is an aquifer for New York City and Philadelphia. So, many newly arrived former city dwellers in Wayne County are, at best, doubtful and are demanding that regulatory commissions provide even broader environmental protections. They point to people in central Pennsylvania and in the West who signed bad leases and found themselves with environmental nightmares like noise pollution, ruined land, contaminated water supplies, and leaky holding pools full of toxic chemicals.

FALL FUNDRAISER

 

Around WPI

Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa 

This paper, “Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenging the Narratives of the War on Terror,” examines the history of Islamic movements in Africa's Sahel region to contextualize current conflicts.

World Economic Roundtable with Vicente Fox 

In this World Economic Roundtable, former Mexican President Vicente Fox discusses his current quest to make his country a hub for technology. 

Intern at World Policy


Want to join our team? Looking for an experience at one of the most highly sought-after internships for ambitious students? Application details here.

 

Al Gore presides over Arctic Roundtable 

As the United States prepares to assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, this inaugural convening of the Arctic Deeply Roundtables launches a vital conversation for our times. 

SPONSORED

When the Senate Worked for Us:
New book offers untold stories of how activist staffers countered corporate lobbies in the U.S.


Are the U.S. and China on a collision course?
Get the facts from Amitai Etzioni in “Avoiding War with China.”


MA in International Policy and Development
Middlebury Institute (Monterey, CA): Put theory into practice through client-based coursework. Apply by Nov. 30.

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

To learn about the latest in media, programming, and fellowship, subscribe to the World Policy Weekly Newsletter and read through our archives.

World Policy on Facebook

FOLLOW US