This week India’s capital city, Delhi has been hit with extreme air pollution – so extreme that the city’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described it as a gas chamber. The city’s Air Quality Index has been in the range of 700 to 1,000; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers anything over 300 to be hazardous. The index measures the concentration of particulate matter, microscopic particles that can harm the lungs, causing cancer, exacerbating asthma, and damaging organs.
In response, the city is taking extreme measures. On Tuesday, the Delhi government closed schools for the week. The National Green Tribunal has banned construction, one source of particulate pollution, in the region through November 14; truck and car travel has also been limited.… Seguir leyendo »
Why are some governments cracking down on civil society or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)? By our count, 39 of the world’s 153 low- and middle-income countries enacted restrictive funding laws between 1993 and 2012, targeting NGOs operating in-country with foreign funding.
This trend continues apace today. The Hungarian parliament recently approved a law obligating foreign-supported NGOs to declare their “foreign” status on websites and promotional materials. Egypt, Russia, Israel and other nations have enacted similar laws.
In many cases, governments hope to delegitimize NGOs by “naming and shaming” these groups as foreign agents backed by foreign funds. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban often notes George Soros’s Open Society Foundation as an example of foreign meddling in Hungary’s internal affairs.… Seguir leyendo »
President Trump blames China’s trade policy for hurting U.S. exports — and U.S. jobs. But there’s another important piece to the China trade story: how its growing economic power may also influence the labor and environmental practices of its trade partners.
Just how much do trading relationships shape domestic politics? Starting with the debates on regulatory races to the bottom and the pollution haven hypothesis, political scientists have been investigating this question for more than 30 years. There was much debate in the 1990s when the North American Free Trade Agreement came into force and when China later joined the World Trade Organization.… Seguir leyendo »