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Scratches on our sovereignty?

Analyzing conservation politics in the Sundarbans

Jayashree Vivekanandan

Abstract

The article critically examines the conservation politics in a transboundary protected area (TBPA) in South Asia, the Sundarbans mangrove forests in Bangladesh and India. It explores the reasons why, despite collaborative measures by the two states, conservation has largely tended to conform to sovereignty practices, making it top-down and exclusionary. This makes the very demarcation of territory for protected areas an intensely political act with significant implications for social equity. The article examines the cultural politics of conservation since contestations to state power have often entailed the articulation of popular sovereignty in the Sundarbans. It argues that the social sustainability of conservation will critically hinge on how issues of resource access and governance are framed, negotiated, and addressed.

Resumen

El artículo examina críticamente la política de conservación en el Área Protegida Transfronteriza (APT): los Sundarbans en Bangladesh e India. Explora por qué, a pesar de la colaboración bilateral, la conservación ha tendido en gran medida a ajustarse a prácticas de soberanía vertical y excluyente. La sola demarcación territorial de las APT, se convierte en un fuerte acto político con implicaciones significativas en la equidad social. El artículo examina la política cultural de la conservación, ya que las protestas al poder del Estado a menudo tienen implicaciones en la articulación de la soberanía popular en los Sundarbans. Argumenta que la sostenibilidad social de la conservación dependerá fundamentalmente de cómo se enmarquen, negocien y aborden las cuestiones de acceso a los recursos y su gobernanza.

Résumé

L'article analyse de manière critique la politique de conservation dans une aire protégée transfrontalière (APT) en Asie du sud, la forêt des mangroves des Sundarbans au Bangladesh et en Inde. Il explore les raisons pour lesquelles, malgré les instruments de coopération entre les deux États, la conservation a adopté des pratiques de souveraineté étatique qui l'ont rendue verticale et exclusive. La démarcation du territoire des aires protégées est un acte profondément politique qui a des implications en matière d´égalité sociale. L'article examine la politique de conservation à travers des actes contestaires vis-à-vis du pouvoir étatique qui ont souvent favorisé une articulation de la souveraineté populaire dans les Sundarbans. Il met en évidence que la durabilité sociale de la conservation dépend de l'encadrement, de la négociation et de la promotion des thèmes d'accès aux ressources et de la gouvernance.

Free access

Zenyram Koff Maganda

I have been immersed in sustainable development and regional integration since I was a baby through the activities of the RISC Consortium. I have met people coming from different parts of the world to discuss their regions and how they affect communities. I have had the opportunity to travel and see how life is in different world regions, how people are the same, and how they are different. One day, my parents asked me to explain to them what “sustainable regional integration” means. This is my answer.

Free access

“If the coronavirus doesn’t kill us, hunger will”

Regional absenteeism and the Wayuu permanent humanitarian crisis

Claudia Puerta Silva, Esteban Torres Muriel, Roberto Carlos Amaya Epiayú, Alicia Dorado González, Fatima Epieyú, Estefanía Frías Epinayú, Álvaro Ipuana Guariyü, Miguel Ramírez Boscán, and Jakeline Romero Epiayú

For more than 30 years after the arrival of the first multinational coal company in La Guajira, the Wayuu have raised their voices. They denounce the extermination of their people, the dispossession of their territory and their resources, and the negligence of the Colombian and Venezuelan states in facing a humanitarian crisis caused by hunger and the death of more than 4,000 children. The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic within this context.

Free access

Leonardo Morlino

A decade ago, Regions & Cohesion started with an editorial article by Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda, who proposed launching “a multilingual (English, French, and Spanish) and interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of the human and environmental impacts of regional integration as well as governance processes.”

Free access

Harlan Koff, Carmen Maganda, Philippe De Lombaerde, Edith Kauffer, and Julia Ros Cuellar

The year 2020 has been challenging due to the different overlapping crises related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is difficult to celebrate amidst the awareness of the worst global suffering in generations. Nonetheless, we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to commemorate ten years of Regions & Cohesion. It is not lost on us that our commemoration occurs amidst the above-cited crises. The inaugural issue of Regions & Cohesion (2011) was entitled “Regiones, régions, regions, everywhere. … But what about the people?” It noted that regional integration had proliferated throughout the 1990s and early 2000s to the point that some scholarship was suggesting that regions could one day substitute nation-states as prominent actors in global affairs. The opening editorial of this issue noted that successful region-building, at the supranational, transnational, and sub-national level was measured in terms of economic prosperity and political stability. The inaugural issue questioned this approach by studying how well regions respond to the needs of citizens. It asked whether regions serve the needs of their people or whether people serve the needs of regional economies. The coronavirus-related crises have merely emphasized many of the shortcomings of regions and regionalisms that this journal has documented throughout its first decade of existence.

Free access

Barriers and borders

Human mobility and building inclusive societies

Anthony Turton

Free access

Coronavirus with “Nobody in Charge”

An open reflection on leadership, solidarity, and contemporary regional integration

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Free access

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Free access

Fredy B.L. Tobing and Asra Virgianita

Abstract

This article analyzes the causes of low trade relations between Indonesia and Latin American states, arguing that dynamics of international political economy have opened opportunities to increase trade relations between those countries. Having good diplomatic and political relations with similar emerging economies, like Peru and Chile, should drive closer economic relations among them. A qualitative study was conducted using literature reviews, archival analysis, and in-depth interviews. Political will and lack of knowledge pertaining to the business character of each country hamper external relations. Thus, a functional multi-track diplomacy that incorporates state and non-state actors from various fields is crucial for enhancing economic relations among these countries. Trade relations can be particularly strengthened by maximizing cooperation among actors at various levels.

Resumen

Este artículo analiza las débiles relaciones comerciales entre Indonesia y América Latina, argumentando que la dinámica de la economía política abre oportunidades para mejorar estas relaciones. Las buenas relaciones diplomáticas y políticas entre Perú y Chile, debería estrechar sus relaciones económicas. Pero la escasa voluntad política y falta de conocimiento del carácter empresarial de cada país, obstaculizan sus relaciones externas. La investigación incluyó revisión de literatura, análisis de archivos y entrevistas en profundidad. Los resultados subrayan la necesidad de una diplomacia funcional de múltiples rutas que incorpore instituciones estatales y no estatales de diversos campos para mejorar las relaciones económicas. Las relaciones comerciales particularmente pueden fortalecerse entre países maximizando su recíproca cooperación en cada nivel (diplomacia multinivel).

Résumé

Cet article analyse les causes de la faiblesse des relations commerciales entre l'Indonésie et les pays d'Amérique latine en faisant valoir que la dynamique de l'économie politique internationale a ouvert des opportunités pour stimuler les relations commerciales entre ces pays. Cette étude qualitative a été menée sur la base d'une étude de la littérature existante, d'analyses archivistiques et d'entretiens approfondis. Le manque de volonté politique et surtout de connaissances réciproques des atouts commerciaux de ces pays entravent leurs relations extérieures. Ainsi, une diplomatie fonctionnelle à plusieurs voies qui intègre des diplomaties étatiques et non-étatiques dans divers domaines est-elle cruciale pour améliorer leurs relations économiques. Les relations commerciales peuvent notamment être renforcées en maximisant la coopération entre ces pays à chaque niveau (diplomatie multi-niveaux).

Free access

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Two important themes highlighted by Regions & Cohesion have been migration and governance. The first of these themes remains timely in 2019. Human flows are a constant in the globalized world. According to Article 13 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, “everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.” Moreover, “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” However, migration policies today seem to follow a diff erent path from the human rights perspective. The political discourse of leaders of various developed states mostly advocate nationalist claims against free immigration based on economic, cultural, or security logics that favor protectionism.