junho 28, 2011

O desapontamento da vitória para o AKP da Turquia

In this month’s Turkish parliamentary elections, the governing Justice and DevelopmentParty (AKP) won almost 50 percent of the popular vote, up from 46.5 in the previous elections. The success was thanks in part to Turkey’s strong performance under the conservative AKP; since 2002, Turkey’s economic growth has been behind only that of China and India. Still, the AKP fell short by three seats of retaining the supermajority - control of 330 out of 550 parliamentary seats, which gives a single party the ability to amend the constitution - that the party has enjoyed since 2002, when it first came to power. (Although the AKP increased its vote share this year, the secular, social democratic Republican Peoples Party [CHP] and Kurdish nationalist Peace and Democracy Party [BDP] registered higher gains, therefore stealing some AKP seats.) This is a positive development for Turkey’s fragile democracy, which has become dangerously polarized between the conservatives and the secular liberals. For the first time in nearly a decade, the AKP will be forced to seek consensus to govern, especially in regions where its electoral performance was weak: the country’s liberal Aegean coast, Thrace, and the middle-class neighborhoods of Istanbul and other large cities.

The new balance in Turkey’s government presents both historic challenges and historic opportunities. Since Turkey became a multiparty democracy in 1946, the country has never had a constitution crafted by civilians, instead making do with a series of charters developed by military-led parliaments. Recently, driven by almost a decade of economic and political development, majorities in both the liberal and conservative parties have come to support drafting a new constitution. The fate of such an effort depended on the outcome of the elections. If the AKP’s victory had been large enough, it could have gone it alone, creating a document that would have likely enshrined social conservatism. Since the vote was split, the drafting process will have to be more consensual. [....]

Ver artigo na Foreign Affairs

junho 20, 2011

EUA e Paquistão à beira da ruptura

 Il est toujours triste de voir une histoire d’amour mal tourner, quand les espérances folles, torpillées par les trahisons secrètes, s’effondrent dans un concert de reproches. C’est précisément ce que vivent aujourd’hui les Etats-Unis et le Pakistan, et que ce soit à Washington ou à Islamabad, on se croirait un peu dans un feuilleton à l’eau de rose. "Comment ont-ils pu nous traiter de la sorte ?" Tel est le ton du débat politique dans les deux capitales. S’il s’agissait d’un couple en désamour, on lui recommanderait de prendre du recul, histoire de panser son orgueil blessé et de retrouver son équilibre. Un avis qui vaut sans doute aussi pour les Etats-Unis et le Pakistan. Ces deux pays ont été amèrement déçus par leur relation – chacun semblant incapable de comprendre ce qui déplaît à l’autre –, mais ils ont également des intérêts communs qui doivent passer avant tout le reste.
"Il y a des points de friction, mais pas de rupture", commente Husain Haqqani, ambassadeur du Pakistan à Washington, qui n’a pas ménagé ses efforts pour éviter la cassure, allant jusqu’à défier les militaires d’Islamabad. Du côté des décideurs américains, nombreux sont ceux qui approuveraient ses propos. Passée la période de recul, la relation ne sera plus la même – avec davantage de respect pour l’indépendance pakistanaise. C’est une bonne chose, même du point de vue des intérêts américains. L’étreinte des Etats-Unis devenait étouffante, et l’armée pakistanaise était considérée par son opinion publique comme un laquais de Washington. C’était une source croissante de honte et d’indignation nationale, comparables à la colère qui a causé la chute d’Hosni Moubarak en Egypte. [...]

Ver notícia no Courrier International

junho 14, 2011

Os principais orçamentos militares a nível mundial

On June 8th China's top military brass confirmed that the country's first aircraft carrier, a refurbishment of an old Russian carrier, will be ready shortly. Only a handful of nations operate carriers, which are costly to build and maintain. Indeed, Britain has recently decommissioned its sole carrier because of budget pressures. China's defence spending has risen by nearly 200% since 2001 to reach an estimated $119 billion in 2010—though it has remained fairly constant in terms of its share of GDP. America's own budget crisis is prompting tough discussions about its defence spending, which, at nearly $700 billion, is bigger than that of the next 17 countries combined.

Ver notícia no The Economist

junho 07, 2011

Quando a China se tornar o nº 1

How will it feel when China becomes the world’s largest economy? We may find out quite soon. A few weeks ago, the International Monetary Fund issued a report that suggested China would be number one within five years.
The projection that the Chinese economy will be larger than that of the US by 2016 included adjustments for the domestic purchasing power of the two countries’ currencies. Some regard this interpretation of IMF data as a dubious move that artificially boosts the size of the Chinese economy. But even using real exchange rates does not defer the day when America is knocked off its perch by very much. A projection by The Economist, made just before Christmas, foresaw China becoming number one in 2019.The ascent of China will change ideas of what it means to be a superpower. Over the course of the American century, the world has got used to the idea that the world’s largest economy was also the world’s most obviously affluent nation. The world’s biggest economy housed the world’s richest people.
As China emerges as an economic superpower, the connection between national and personal affluence is being broken. China is both richer and poorer than the western world. It is sitting on foreign reserves worth $3,000bn. And yet, measured at current exchange rates, the average American is about 10 times as wealthy as the average Chinese.
The relative affluence of US society is one reason why China will not become the world’s most powerful country on the day that it becomes the largest economy. The world’s habit of looking to the US as the “sole superpower” also makes it likely that America’s political dominance will outlast its economic supremacy. America has an entrenched position in global institutions. It matters that the United Nations, the IMF and the World Bank are all situated in the US – and that Nato is built around America.
The US military has a global reach and a technological sophistication that China is nowhere near matching. The US is also ahead on soft power. China, as yet, has no equivalents to Hollywood, Silicon Valley or “the American dream”. [...]

Ver notícia no Financial Times