It’s Democracy, Stupid: Reappraising the Middle-Income Trap
The causes and reasons for countries’ economic growth and development have long been a challenging subject for research and debate. It is observed that while many countries experience high growth when they are low-income countries, once they become middle-income countries rapid growth is often followed by economic stagnation, with the potential for increasing social unrest as a result. A key puzzle is therefore why many middle-income countries fail to sustain suf-ficient economic growth to become high-income countries. A relatively recent concept in this debate is that of the Middle Income Trap (MIT), which argues that countries encounter a series of obstacles when trying to adapt their econo-mies and comparative advantages to become more specialized market econo-mies. In other words, the very same factors that fueled growth in the early stag-es act as a hindrance at the middle-income level, slowing down and eventually causing a stagnation of the growth process, if the correct policies are not im-plemented. This study seeks to reappraise the MIT concept by going beyond a mainstream analysis, which focuses mainly on economic aspects of growth/stagnation. Accordingly, while prudent economic management and pol-icies are vital to avoid the MIT, factors relating to governance, institutions, in-clusive growth, and education, among others, can underlie and play a determin-ing role in explaining failure or success in sustaining economic growth. There-fore, non-economic dimensions are fundamental for any reform or structural change, and, as is argued in this paper, democratic governance can serve as a useful proxy for many of these factors.
1325 NAPs Beyond East and West: Institutionalizing the WPS Agenda in Sweden and South Korea
Jiso Yoon & Love-Lis Liljeström compare Sweden’s and South Korea’s primary achievements and flaws in formulating and implementing their national action plans on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.
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Introduction: On September 9-10, 2021, the Stockholm China Center at the Institute for Security & Development Policy (ISDP) organized the seminar “Politics in East Asia Today.” Thirteen scholars from different […]
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Geopolitical competition over Covid-19 vaccines is at its peak. In the absence of a fair and equitable mechanism to coordinate vaccine access, procurement seems to be based either on nationalistic […]
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Abstract In recent years, women in China have to a greater extent than previously raised their voices about issues relating to women’s rights and gender equality. Social media has served […]
Close Partners or Hesitant Dreamers? The EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA)
In July 2018, Japan and the EU signed both the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). The two agreements have been described as formally ushering in […]