Tuesday, May 18, 2010

China and India - LSE podcast

At the LSE podcast (feed) Professor Pranab Bardhan appeared with two consecutive lectures comparing China and India. As the title of both his book and his two lectures, Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay, both powers are rising quickly, but in spite of their increasing economic weight, each has their own set of major problems to overcome.

The first lecture is the more technical of the two. Bardhan delivers the figures of both economies and gives an analysis how these should be interpreted. There is a funny line he recalls from his Indian socialist friends in the past. They would say, China is doing better, because they are better socialists than we are. Today, Bardhan jests, probably the Chinese do better, because they are better capitalists than the Indians. Although some of the figures seem to indicate that, India is not lost without advantages. And we awaited the second lecture to find about problems on both sides.

In the second lecture, when the huge problems of both countries, poverty, illiteracy, the position of women, minorities, lack of democracy, corruption and lack of accountability and so on, are summed up, India does not come out better or with better prospects than China. The challenges each country faces is very different from the other. The conclusion is that it very much remains to be seen how India and China will handle them and how they will come out and whether they indeed will rise to the kind of power that everybody seems to believe they do.

More LSE:
The China Hegemony,
The myth of work,
Pasts and futures of Christianity,
Global capitalism - the Gray view,
Israeli at the London School of Economics.

Returned from hiatus: A History of the World in 100 Objects

The series A History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC) returned, as announced. I sort of forgot when it was supposed to continue, but here is where RSS subscriptions help you out: the new chapter simply appeared. As you may recall, this history podcast is made by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, and it attempts to tell the history of the world by means of objects in the museum's collection. The podcast comes out every workday and each week takes on a theme.

This week the theme is Empire Builders and the first issue is about Alexander the Great. Alexander, as we learned from Entitled Opinions just now was good at conquering the empire, but not exactly at keeping it. Yet, as we learn here at the BBC, his name was made and for all those who wanted empire, identifying with Alexander was the way to go. This explains why the coin that is examined on the podcast bears Alexander's head, when it was minted by another.

It is really exciting this podcast is back and you are well advised to pick it up and follow.

More A World History in 100 Objects (in short: AHOW):
Indus Seal,
First AHOW Review.