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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Thursday, November 28 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Political Economy

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Matthew Castle
The Political Externalities of Institutional Inclusion: Preferential Trade Agreements and Political Relations with Third Party States

Global institutions are understood as one of the best means of achieving inter-state cooperation. Yet this perspective omits the effects of institutional creation on non-members. We know that exclusion from trade agreements affects countries’ economic cooperation. I show here that exclusion also affects cooperation in other issue-areas. Excluded countries are generally prompted to seek closer political ties with institutional members in order to gain access to the excluding institution. But if excluded countries are instead more likely to create competing institutions, exclusion may result in worsening political ties. Case studies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Chinese institution-building in the Asia-Pacific illustrate the theory. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was viewed as a strategic effort by the United States to set a new agenda for trade, given failing multilateral talks. Yet the TPP also had a strategic dimension, with China viewed as a prominent non-member. Statistical analysis of the near-universe of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) and countries’ voting affinities in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) further support the argument. When countries have a history of poor relations, institutional exclusion can sharpen existing political divides. Global institutions are an arena in which countries contest legal language, with cooperative and non-cooperative effects.

Muhammad Waqar Anwar
Asymmetric Economic Exchange and Insecurity: A Case Study of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

The Belt and Road Initiative of China has become a hall-mark of China’s new mode of inter-state and multilateral cooperation in the 21st century. The multi-billion dollars project promises a vast array of development ventures with positive outcomes for the recipient states in the form of increased economic growth, security and politico-economic wellbeing. Pakistan is the first country to be the launch pad of this gigantic venture, in the form of the 64 billion USD China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Although being touted as a ‘game changer’ there are certain aspects of the venture which have negative repercussions for the social, economic, environmental and state-society relations which are increasingly been occluded by the state- run media, government funded think tanks, and a significant portion of the main stream intelligentsia. The paper will highlight the potentially negative outcomes of the project, using the conceptual framework of ‘structural power’ and ‘structural violence.’

Hizkia Respatiadi
Explaining Indonesia’s Food Trade Policy: The Tension between Free Trade and Self-sufficiency

The Indonesian government’s ambition to reach food self-sufficiency puts it at odds with its commitment to international trade agreements. As proposed by the nationalists, this ambition is in line with the popular notion in Indonesia that the government exists to protect the poor against the capitalists commonly associated with those who prefer trade liberalisation. On the other hand, the technocrats and international organisations such as the World Bank argue that Indonesia must integrate with the regional and global market to achieve food security. Meanwhile, we should not overlook the influence of the oligarchs who survived political turmoil and the financial crisis of 1997-1998 and have managed to keep their political connections intact and their economic power reorganised. This research will analyse why the Indonesian government prefers pursuing food self-sufficiency to working towards food security via trade liberalisation, in particular during the administration of Yudhoyono and the recently re-elected Joko Widodo. It will compare the influential parties in this period with those after the financial crisis 1997-98 when the influence of international organisations was significant. It will draw primary data sources from interviews with government officials, representatives of international organisations, as well as practitioners in business associations related to agriculture and food industry in Indonesia.


Alex Tan

University of Canterbury

avatar for Hizkia Respatiadi

Hizkia Respatiadi

PhD student, University of Otago
Hizkia is from Indonesia, and he is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Politics at the University of Otago. In his dissertation, he examines the reasons why the Indonesian government has preferred pursuing food self-sufficiency agenda rather than working towards food security... Read More →

Waqar Anwar

Centre for Defence and Securty Studies, Massey University
avatar for Matthew Castle

Matthew Castle

Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington

Thursday November 28, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm NZDT
Eng Core 119, Meeting Rm 3 Engineering Core