The final week of Development Politics shifted its attention toward the worlds rising powers and away from dominant western democratic politics. My seed of knowledge was able to fully bloom into a fully fledged sunflower after this class. We have been told since the beginning of this program to be critical, question everything and then when we get our answer to question it a little more, I didn’t quite understand this until after this class.

I don’t really understand what is happening in the word, I try but I do not succeed. I now realise this is because there is no way of any one of us actually knowing what happens, why or how to solve the problems. What is happening in North Africa and the Middle East? Who actually knows? The people of these countries probably have less of an idea than us. The best part of this is we are all in it together. We can theorise and debate and protest but we probably won’t ever come to the same conclusion, because we are all different. The west want to implement a no fly zone to stop Gaddafi from killing ‘his’ people, the east (everyone else) isn’t voicing an opinion, well not conclusively, who is right and who is wrong? Does it always have to be a right or wrong answer?

We were asked to pick a country or countries from the anchor states and look at their position regarding the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) goings on. I chose India and Turkey which both have opposing media coverage of the events. I quote from The Times of India In the letter, addressed to the “contact group” of nations meeting to map out a post-Gaddafi future for Libya, the strongman likened the NATO-led air strikes to military campaigns launched by Adolf Hitler during World War II.” I think this is a clear example of the difference between the Indian positions in terms of media coverage of the events in Libya, compared to headlines on Tuesday regarding Turkey assuming control of the Benghazi airport to assist with humanitarian aid. Another comparison of headline news – Turkey’s reporting on the MENA states are situated on the homepage whereas India’s is not. I am undecided as to who “to believe” because they are two sides of the same coin.

Another quote from The Times of India “It remains to be seen if the gamble pays off. The blistering aerial and sea-to-land assault initially mounted by Britain, France and the US quickly converted a “coalition of the willing” into a combine of the not-so-willing. The conclave excluded two permanent UN Security Council members, Russia and China, as well as ignored India. All three have been critical of the fierce use of force and the western powers taking sides in an internal conflict.” This highlights the divide between the emerged and the emerging powers, who are in control and who are not. The west is clearly the dominant force, in terms of economy and political power, however what happens when these BRICs start falling down on us (the west)? With their growing economies, population and already very large geographical size, all BRIC countries have the potential to out run the fat westerns with their youthful enthusiasm and wealth.

In terms of what I have read and what I am still reading, I find it difficult to conclude the mess made in the MENA states because of my anger towards the west for allowing the unlawful dictatorships to go on for so long. Yet, on the other hand, I am proud that the people have risen up to stand up on their own to make the change. Like most arguments, I am unable to decide because I feel there is always more to learn and there is always more that we just don’t know, especially when it comes to politics. It would be naive of us to fully support NATO and the UN but would be equally naive to turn our backs against them too. Currently in states such as Libya and Syria are taking the Tiananmen model rather than the Cairo example of dealing with the civil up rise with the attitude that repressions trumps reform. Assad and Gaddafi has taken the stand point that if the protest continue, then they will prefer civil war to compromise, if this is the case then at what point does the west intervene? Our government is accountable to its own people and therefore would have to answer to someone at some point.

While this week did not concentrate entirely on democracy, the movement in MENA does imply that there is a shift towards a more democratic system, whether this is an entirely western form of modernisation or a Chinese version of it, where reform and growth will be in the form of “non-western” ideologies, a version yet to take over a long history of western super powers.

It would be silly for me not to naturally progress to Martin Jacques theory of “When China Rules the World”, which in theory sounds convincing (due to my like toward controversial theories) but in reality I am unassured. I found myself comparing Tesco to China the other day, Tesco has been around for some time, we all knew about it but I don’t remember how it went from being a supermarket to a SUPERmarket, and there is my comparison. China has gone from a developing country to an emerging power within a short space of time, and as said in class, the level of economic growth is the first of its kind. Maybe the under valuing of the Yuan should be marketed as “every little helps” when exporting with China… did I just go a bit too far? One of the many differences in my comparison is that Tesco sells almost everything, whereas China is building the avenues to obtain the things it does not have, such as natural recourses from Africa and South America.

In an effort not to totally go off the subject of rising powers I will end my blog post here. I have very much enjoyed writing this posts and will probably continue on, provided something interesting happens in the world and I may have an opinion about it. Over and out.

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