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Open access

Crisis múltiples, neodesarrollismo y megaproyectos en la región sureste de México

Carlos A. Rodríguez Wallenius

Abstract

This article analyzes the extractivist and dispossession modalities in the Mexican neodevelopmental proposal to face the multiple crises accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the qualitative narrative method applied to social processes, four infrastructure and extractivist megaprojects are analyzed. Neodevelopmental policies of the current government insist on carrying out works as a strategy to create jobs, reactivate the economy, and promote well-being, especially for the southeast region with high rates of socioeconomic inequality. The findings point to an increase in investment and job creation and a rejection by various communities and organizations that consider that their ways of life are being threatened by the efforts of the neodevelopmental government to build megaprojects before and during the pandemic.

Resumen

Este artículo analiza las modalidades extractivistas y de despojo en la propuesta neodesarrollista mexicana para enfrentar las crisis múltiples acentuadas por la pandemia de la COVID-19. Con el método cualitativo narrativo aplicado a procesos sociales, se analizan cuatro megaproyectos de infraestructura y extractivistas. Las políticas neodesarrollistas del gobierno actual insisten en realizar obras como una estrategia para crear empleos, reactivar la economía y fomentar el bienestar, especialmente para la región sureste con altos índices de desigualdad socioeconómica. Los hallazgos señalan un incremento en la inversión y en la generación de empleos pero también un rechazo de varias comunidades y organizaciones que consideran que sus formas de vida están siendo amenazadas frente a los esfuerzos del gobierno neodesarrollista por construir megaproyectos antes y durante la pandemia.

Résumé

Cet article analyse les modalités extractivistes et de dépossession incluses dans la proposition néo-développementaliste mexicaine afin de faire face aux crises multiples accentuées par la pandémie de Covid-19. Avec la méthode narrative qualitative appliquée aux processus sociaux, quatre mégaprojets d'infrastructures et d'extraction sont analysés. Les politiques néo-développementalistes du gouvernement actuel insistent sur la réalisation de travaux comme stratégie pour créer des emplois, réactiver l'économie et promouvoir le bien-être, en particulier pour la région du sud-est qui connaît des taux élevés d'inégalités socio-économiques. Les résultats indiquent une augmentation des investissements et de la création d'emplois, mais aussi un rejet de la part de diverses communautés et organisations qui considèrent que leurs modes de vie sont menacés par les efforts du gouvernement néo-développementaliste pour construire des mégaprojets avant et pendant la pandémie.

Open access

Editorial

The Societal Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic Explained via Three Frameworks

Harry G. J. Nijhuis and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

At the dawn of the devastating events of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the editorial of the first issue of 2020, as well as in the articles, topics related to the overwhelming impact of the emerging crisis were explored (Van der Maesen 2020). In particular, reference was made to the topical performances of the federal governments of the United States and Brazil, as well as the British government. As an introduction to this special issue, it is interesting to recall and extend some of the observations that were made last year.

In the case of the United States, when COVID-19 appeared, the hazards of the virus were downplayed and even neglected. The president countered the opinion of public health experts with false, misleading comparisons to other countries (Qiu 2020). It was proposed to cut the budget of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention by 16 percent starting in October 2020. Long-lasting contacts and collaboration with the World Health Organization were broken. Due to export restrictions on medical products, importing countries were unable to obtain sufficient medical equipment, resulting in a shortage in healthcare equipment that had to be made for up via a mandatory increase in local production. This came at a high cost and with serious delays (Krueger 2020). For the United States itself, the initial attitude of the government resulted in a dramatic blow to its public health resources and capabilities. The quality of hundreds of health departments around the country suggests that the nation may be less prepared for the next pandemic than it was for the current one (Baker and Ivory 2021). The violence toward public health professions is gradually taking shape (Schreiber 2021). An overriding societal pattern, which in the United States undermines the principles of effective public health, is the primacy of personal rights over collective responsibility and solidarity. More than half of US states have introduced new laws to restrict public health measures, including policies requiring quarantine and mandating vaccines and/or masks.

Open access

Editorial Introduction

The Cases of India, South Africa, and Brazil

Harry G. J. Nijhuis and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

In this introduction, the cases of India, South Africa, and Brazil are connected. The contributions from these countries, in different ways, discuss the dramatic moral impacts of government approaches to the pandemic. The three countries are part of the BRICS platform, in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa participate. With 40 percent of the world's population, the BRICS platform concerns a substantial part of the world. The principles of the platform and its mutual “economic, political, cultural an environmental philosophy” are summarized by Marco Ricceri (2019). The members support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), and they will contribute to the quality of global development. At the 13th BRICS Summit in September 2021, the New Delhi Declaration was presented (BRICS 2021). This declaration conveys a thorough normative mission statement. It therefore renders an interesting common frame of reference from which to analyze and judge the contributions from the three countries, as well as from China and Russia.

Open access

Editorial Introduction

The Cases of Germany and the United Kingdom

Harry G. J. Nijhuis and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

In the following studies, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the resilience of communities and the formation of civic activism in Germany and the United Kingdom is analyzed and discussed. In the German study, the expected impact on existing volunteer organizations is explored. In the UK study, by analyzing quantitative data pertaining to (about the determinants of) different categories of mutual aid groups (MAGs) interpretations are made concerning resilience, agility, and civic activist potentialities.

Open access

Editorial Introduction

The Cases of Italy and China

Harry G. J. Nijhuis and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

The cases of Italy and China make for an interesting comparison because they represent quite different governance approaches to the pandemic. These differences may be instructive for the in-depth comprehension of the nature and the impact of government approaches to resolving crises. The two regions notably do share common histories in the spread of pandemics. The first cases of COVID-19 in Asia and Europe were registered in China in December 2019, and in Italy in January 2020, respectively. The origins and initial epidemiological dynamics of the pandemic, though, are still unclear and are the subject of scientific discussion (Dou et al. 2021; Nadeau et al. 2021). In the thirteenth century, the spread of “the plague” (Yersinia Pestis) is assumed to have spread from the Asiatic steppes to Venice, at that time a powerful city-state with intensive transcontinental commercial activity into Asia through the Silk Road (Frankopan 2016). It is interesting to note that the socioenvironmental and ecological dynamics of the origins and initial spread of COVID are still unknown. As stated in the Editorial of this issue, this fact reads as an argument to pay ample attention to the interferences with the sociopolitical and legal, socioeconomic and financial, and sociocultural and welfare dimensions.

Open access

Editorial Introduction

The Cases of Japan, Australia, and the United States

Harry G. J. Nijhuis and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

As has been extensively shown in this thematic issue, the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded many frictions and shortcomings of quite different natures in various societal fields. Moreover, many problems that has previously been latent and not easy to observe have risen to the surface. In this part, three quite diverging problematics, compounded and exposed by the COVID-19 crisis, are studied and discussed. In order to reveal general patterns, in this introduction we try to reveal what—in an ontological and epistemological sense—precisely their nature is, and how they relate to the studies in the other parts of this thematic issue.

Open access

Editorial Introduction

The Cases of Pakistan and the United States

Harry G. J. Nijhuis and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

The two case studies of Part IV are based on interviews with poor, disadvantaged families in Lahore (Pakistan) and Cincinnati (United States). These analyses in the sociocultural and welfare dimension address the subjective experiences of how the lockdowns resulting from COVID-19 impacted the quality of the circumstances of their daily lives. The analyses of Part III primarily also were oriented around the sociocultural and welfare dimension. They, among others, regarded the impact of the pandemic on community resilience and agency in the United Kingdom and Germany to sustain supportive networks in their respective “civil societies.” By also exploring political “civic activism” and the impact on “democratic resilience,” the observations and discussions here though have become primarily focused on the sociopolitical and legal dimension.

Open access

The effectiveness of online teaching and learning tools

Students’ perceptions of usefulness in an upper-level accounting course

Heba Abdel-Rahim

Abstract

This study investigates how students in a distance-learning upper-level accounting course perceive the effectiveness of different online teaching and learning (OTL) tools that are commonly used in business courses taught online. This topic is of critical importance, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more courses to be OTL. A mid-semester anonymous survey in an Accounting course at a public US university was conducted to measure students’ perceptions about different OTL course tools. Students were asked to provide their general assessment about how effective these tools were and how they believe these tools helped them learn. Analyses and discussions of the effectiveness of different tools and their link to earlier literature and how instructors can utilise the results of the OTL survey are presented.

Open access

La disputa por el agua residual en México como conflicto ecológico-distributivo paradójico

Edith Miriam García Salazar and Mario Enrique Fuente Carrasco

Abstract

This article addresses the category of ecological-distributive conflict from The Global Environmental Justice Atlas project to explain the emergence of environmental justice movements as a response to a certain distribution of pollution burdens or access to environmental resources. The theoretical approach addresses environmentalism of the poor and adds a historical review to understand such an existing paradox. The empirical work was carried out in the Valle del Mezquital, where the discharge of wastewater generated in the Metropolitan Area of the Valle de Mexico presents a paradoxical situation: some farmers perceive the reception of contaminated water as positive. The analysis includes a reflection on the criteria for evaluating conflict since the emergence of COVID-19.

Resumen

Este artículo retoma la categoría de conflicto ecológico-distributivo del proyecto The Global Environmental Justice Atlas para explicar la emergencia de movimientos de justicia ambiental como una respuesta ante determinada distribución de las cargas de la contaminación o en el acceso a los recursos ambientales. El planteamiento teórico aborda el ecologismo de los pobres, más una revisión histórica para comprender tal paradoja. El trabajo empírico se llevó a cabo en el Valle del Mezquital, cuyo vertimiento de aguas residuales generadas en la Zona Metropolitana del Valle de México presenta una situación paradójica a la categoría señalada: algunos campesinos perciben como positiva a la recepción de agua contaminada. El análisis incluye una reflexión de los criterios de valoración del conflicto a partir de la emergencia del COVID-19.

Résumé

Depuis le projet The Global Environmental Justice Atlas, la catégorie de conflit écologique et distributif propose d'expliquer l'émergence de mouvements de justice environnementale comme une réponse à une certaine répartition des effets de la pollution ou à l'accès aux ressources environnementales. Dans la Vallée du Mezquital, le déversement des eaux usées de la Zone métropolitaine de la Vallée de Mexico présente une situation paradoxale par rapport à ce qui a été signalé dans le projet mentionné : certains paysans perçoivent comme positive la réception d'eau polluée. Les apports de l'écologisme des pauvres, ainsi qu'une révision de l'histoire permettent de comprendre ce paradoxe. La question de savoir si l'émergence du Covid-19 peut modifier les critères d'évaluation de ce conflit est également examinée.

Open access

Radio Tsinaka en pandemia

Comunicación contra el despojo y por la vida

Ana Laura Salgado Lázaro, Jéssica Malinalli Coyotecatl Contreras, and Yeyectzin Moreno Del Angel