Jiali Zhou: Empowerment Perspective of Chinese Female Labour Migration: A qualitative research of women’s rural-urban migration in Hangzhou


Since the implementation of the economic reform (open door policy) at the end of the 1970s, China has been through rapid industrialization and urbanization. In order to seek better and more prosperous lives in the cities, hundreds of millions of rural farmers have left their hometown village and migrate to big cities. Women makes up about half of the Chinese internal migrants, yet they are often disadvantaged because of their considered subordinated role in the patriarchal society. Most of the existing studies about female migration treat them as rational economic beings and have been focused on the negative and disempowering aspects. It was recommended by Oishi (2005) to call for more research about female migration and focus on the social aspects of the empowerment of the female migrants.

The analysis of the migration is usually either focus on the agency of the individuals or on the structure which has been applied on them. Most of the studies have not discussed the fact that the individuals as social agents can negotiate and transfer the structure (the interaction between agency and structure) (Giddens, 1984). Therefore, it is interesting to start the narratives from the point of rural migrate women themselves, like how do they perceive migration; what does migration means for their lives; how does the migration experiences change their strategies of livelihood, their sense of “inner-self” and their motivations, willingness, and the abilities to communicate or negotiate with the existing power structures. Therefore, this field research will explore the empowerment process of female migrate workers in China by conducting eight individual interviews with the migrant women in the city of Hangzhou.

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Thiago Costa: Promoting Development in the Global South: Innovation, Business Engagement and Capitalism in Brazil


Over the course of history, the concept of innovation moved from a vice by the opponents of change to a word of honour in contemporary societies (Godin, 2015: 5). Scientific and technological by nature, innovation as a phenomenon has both economic and social consequences (Smith, 2006: 66). Following the National Innovation System (NIS) approach, it constitutes a complex and dynamic process that requires the articulation of a variety of agents and institutions attaining to different logics and procedures (Marzano, 2011: 43). Rather than a quasi-autonomous field, innovation is, thus, reckoned as part of the economic world. In the context of the developing countries, the inherent uncertainty of the activity is heightened by economic crises, political instability and institutional flaws. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil is the country with the greatest technological efforts and that has most advanced towards a public policy in the field (Rivas, Rovira and the EU, 2014: 9). The promising political and economic contexts of the 2000s provided a real push towards innovation in the country, by bringing it back to the core of the industrial policies (Mazzucato and Penna, 2016: 46). Under the leadership of the Worker’s Party, innumerable measures have been implemented to develop Brazil’s innovation capacity, such as Research and Development (R&D) tax incentives, subsidised credit for innovation and new regulatory frameworks (GII, 2017: 121). Notwithstanding the advances in the field, Brazil’s position has been in a descent trend in the Global Innovation Index (GII) since 2011 and the Brazilian business sector has reported to face continuous challenges to engage with innovation. As crucial actors of the innovation system, companies cannot maintain an innovation culture in isolation (Manzini, 2012: 4).

Therefore, it is the objective of this research to find out which are the main strengths and hurdles of the Brazilian innovation system and how they impact on companies’ innovation performance in the context of the revival of the innovation policies during the 2000s.

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Mahmood Salam: Sustainability in sea buckthorn supply chain in the Karakorum Mountains of Pakistan


The supply of agriculture and wild forest commodities from its rural production sites to main consumer markets in a sustainable way is a debatable topic for researchers and business community. The wild forest commodities’ supply chain structure especially of sea buckthorn is not yet studied in detail. The rural population of Gilgit-Baltistan region mainly depends for its basic income on sea buckthorn business and need special attention to minimize the sufferings of the poor supply chain actors.
Sustainability can be define as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland Commission, 1987).The concept of sustainability seems to be the only way to address all the challenges and issues of the sea buckthorn supply chains operations in the northern part of Pakistan. However sustainable practices of sea buckthorn supply chain are not yet studied due to unavailability of reliable data. Sustainable supply chain constructs e.g. stakeholder management, long term relationship, technological integration, logistic integration, strategic purchasing, supplier integration and communication and coordination were used to evaluate the sustainability situation in sea buckthorn supply chain. These constructs along with some descriptive questions could generate a reliable and valuable data depicting the condition of sustainability in sea buckthorn supply chains.
The research has been carried out with the objective of studying sustainable practices in sea buckthorn supply chain in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The finding of the research have highlighted different challenges and issues regarding value distribution in term of price, communication gap among supply chain actors, awareness about processing technology, access to main market and decent life approach in-term of education and nutrition for the future generation of the region.
This research has provided an actual data that could be very helpful in understanding the sustainable practices of sea buckthorn supply chain. The research could be a new base and a valuable reference for further study to implement sustainable practices in sea buckthorn supply chain.

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Kholmat Kholik: The impact of the Russian economic crisis to the Tajik migrant households and their coping strategies


Due to ubiquitous economic difficulties and critical employment shortages at home, labor migration to Russia became the foremost solution against poverty and unemployment for over a million of Tajikistanis. Therefore, the major income source over the past decade for one thirds of households in the country, the remittances from Russia have been constituting almost half of Tajikistan’s GDP share. Hence, the remittances emerged as the chief determinant factor influencing the country’s socio-economic wellbeing. Tajikistan’s remittance development model and their large volume relative to GDP share however, increased the country’s vulnerability to external political and economic developments, particularly in Russia. Therefore, two recent occasions taking place in Russia, firstly the economic crisis and secondly novel laws with regards to the labor migration regulations have negatively influenced the economic wellbeing and income opportunities for the Tajikistani migrant workers in Russia. As the result, from 2016 onwards a significant decrease in the inflow of remittances to Tajikistan, created critical socio-economic challenges for its population, particularly the migrant households.
Therefore, the field research that took place in Konibodom, Tajikistan in August 2017, aimed to analyze the impact of the shock to the socio-economic wellbeing of migrant households and explore their coping strategies against it. The question, which the research project aims to answer is: What impact does a reduced flow of remittances from Russia have on remittance-dependent households in Konibodom and how are they coping in response to this crisis?

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Jahnavi Rao: Financial Exclusion and Access to Credit for India’s Urban Poor


Financial inclusion can be defined as the process that ensures the ease of access, availability, and importantly, the usage of the formal financial system of the country for all its members. Financial exclusion can be understood to be the processes and systems that limit the ability of certain individuals and/or social groups from gaining access to the formal financial system of an economy. The Rangarajan Committee on Financial Inclusion in India in 2008 defined Financial Inclusion as “the process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups such as the weaker sections and low income groups at an affordable cost” (Sarma and Pais, 2008: 4). Besides the importance of access to credit for economic growth, the importance of financial inclusion lies in its facilitation of efficient allocation of productive resources, and reducing the reliance of the population on informal, and potentially exploitative, sources of credit, such as money lenders who can charge prohibitively high rates of interest (Sarma and Pais, 2008: 3-5). Therefore, it is evident that it is generally the poor and marginalised populations that suffer from a lack of access to credit, and financial exclusion.

Despite the recent, high levels of economic growth demonstrated in India, poverty remains a major problem because this economic growth seems to be mainly driven by a few sectors in urban areas, like the industry and the service sectors. Although there was a significant fall in the proportion of persons below the poverty line from 1993-94 to 2004-05 (from thirty-six percent to twenty-eight per cent, respectively), poverty reduction remains a major item on the country’s development agenda (Imai, Arun and Annim, 2010: 1762).

Financial services in India, until the early 1990s, were provided mainly through public institutions resulting in expanding the rural poor’s access to credit. Many of these public banks, in order to provide credit, operated at a loss. This meant that by continuing to provide credit despite running at a loss, these institutions played a major role in improving financial inclusion and access to credit, and poverty reduction amongst India's rural poor. This is evidenced from the fact that in the period from 1951 to 1991, the share of financial institutions in rural household debt increased from 8.8 per cent to 53.3 per cent, and the role of money lenders fell sharply (Basu and Srivastava, 2005: 4). However, despite these positive indications and trends, including the networks of banking and financial institutions and microfinance institutions, the formal lending sector in India has failed to reflect and respond to the financial needs of India's poor (Imai, Arun and Annim, 2010: 1761). India, with an Index of Financial Inclusion (IFI) of 0.29, ranks 29th amongst 49 countries in a study that sought correlate financial inclusion and the Human Development Index (HDI). It also found that there was a considerable overlap between countries with a low IFI and low-income countries. Besides this, countries that had high and medium IFI were also classified as having high HDI by the UNDP (Sarma and Pais, 2008: 9).

As demonstrated above, given the importance of access to credit and financial inclusion for inclusive economic growth, there remains much to be desired in this respect for India's poor. It is, therefore, the aim of this research to determine why large swaths of the Indian population, especially the urban poor, are denied access to credit and basic banking facilities, despite the proliferation of both public and private banks, and other financial institutions in the country. It seeks to analyse the underlying causalities of the process of financial exclusion of the urban poor, within the changing rural-urban dynamics of Bengaluru.

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Roman Hinz: Analysis of potential conflicts between “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) under different “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways” (SSPs) in India


In order to ensure food security in the future, agricultural systems will have to respond to global changes such as population growth, changing dietary habits or climate change. However, alterations of how food is produced in the future may conflict with other important sustainable development issues such as the protection of biodiversity and carbon storage. In a case study for India scenarios are combined with a land-use simulation model (LandSHIFT) to specify and quantify trajectories of land-use change until 2030. Biodiversity impacts are calculated based on a combined approach by Scholes and Biggs (2005), Alkemade et al. (2009) and Jenkins et al. (2013) while for the analysis of carbon gains or losses the empirical model proposed by the European Renewable Energy Directive is applied. During a three months field stay in Bangalore, a set of four plausible country-specific scenarios for India were developed (adapted from the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways SSPs). Participants of the scenario development process (through stakeholder workshops) included actors coming from sectors like policy, academia, agriculture or non-government and civil society organizations. Furthermore, the scenario quantification process and assessment implementation procedure, as well as the interpretation of first results, was carried out in close cooperation with scientists from the Centre for Ecological Economics and Natural Resources (CEENR) – Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC).

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Hagos Niguse: Social media and the discourse of hate speech in Ethiopia: The case of Facebook


Though, hate speech is not a new issue in Ethiopia, it has become prominent since last few years mainly after the coming of social media chiefly Facebook. Nevertheless, there are no any theoretical / empirical studies that access the Social Media and the Discourse of Hate Speech in Ethiopia: The Case of Facebook. In view of these evident research gaps this study is intended to investigate how Facebook is aiding the discourse of hate speech in Ethiopia. Mainly it investigates the role and causes of Facebook in catalyzing/worsening hate speech, the conditions of hate speech in mainstream media in comparison to Facebook and finally the ways that can be used to curb Facebook hate speech. To serve these objectives, qualitative research method was applied and the data was collected from 22 interviewees who have a close know-how about the issue, observation supplemented by secondary sources was also employed.  With regard to the role of Facebook in catalyzing hate speech the result of study has shown that the characteristics of Facebook and the nature of spreading information within seconds to a wide range of followers, the users behavior, lack of know-how about usage of Facebook and the power of Facebook in fueling the polarized politics and linking the extremist Diasporas with Ethiopia were identified as the major roles. This study also identified that the Ethiopian Diaspora politicians and extremists, politically interested countries such as Eritrea, Egypt and Arab, the ethnic based federal system the country has, the longstanding historical and social injustices, lack of good governances, oppression for freedom of expression, ignorance, anonymity , simplicity and accessibility of Facebook are identified as causes that are aggravating hate speech on Facebook in Ethiopia. This study also reviled that the domestic mainstream media in catalyzing hate speech have a very minimal role whereas the mainstream media which are owned by Diaspora Ethiopians are contributing a lot in aggravating hate speech in Ethiopia. Finally, this study comes up with solutions that can condense hate speech on Facebook, hence equally integrating different ethnic groups in the political economy of the country, enhancing freedom of expression, exposing the motives of those who spread hate speech, teaching tolerance to all citizens, establishing laws that ban hate speeches, increasing media literacy and know-how of the social media users, long sighted communication strategies , giving appropriate and speedy answers to the questions and demands of the people in a transparent manner.

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Eric Siems: Stakeholder Management in Bioenergy Supply Chains: The Case of Chile


Energy is the backbone of every nation and its industry in the common world. A stable and independent energy supply is necessary to face the future challenges. Bioenergy can be a part of it. Considering Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM), it is relevant in developing nations to take the sector’s development opportunities and to minimize social as well as environmental risks. Bioenergy based value creation usually happens on a local level and can create related jobs. In this work, Stakeholder Theory is used to take the needs from different actors affected by the bioenergy supply chain into account. As a consequence, the empirical study combines the idea of the Stakeholder Theory with the concept of Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM). This is applying to the case of Chile, a biomass rich country where a number of energy related challenges are evident.
During a three-month field stay, 23 transcribed semi-structured interviews with top-management and decision makers were conducted. The final data sample includes 1) biomass suppliers, 2) producers of energy, 3) representatives of communities, 4) researchers from universities, 5) the government, 6) unions and 7) consulting companies. By addressing multiple stakeholders of the bioenergy supply chain, the study considers the differences of the bioenergy supply chain, the legal framework and the actors that influence sustainability in the context of bioenergy in Chile. Related findings also address the social dimension of bioenergy use.

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László Szerencsés: Kosovo and the World Bank Inspection Panel: Can the subaltern speak?


The six weeks long field research in Kosovo was conducted to explore the role of civil society in representing the interests of the people who are affected by World Bank (WB) supported projects near Prishtina. The government of Kosovo in 2012 requested the WB to support the construction of a power plant that would use domestic lignite coal as a fuel to produce electricity under the framework of the WB Kosovo Power Project. Although the new coal power plant’s construction works has not started yet, the preparation of the mining fields affects the involuntary resettlement of around 7.000 people around the mining field. The WB’s Operational Policy on Involuntary Resettlement (WB OP 4.12) prescribes a Resettlement Plan as the guideline of the displacement operations which is missing in Kosovo and consequently, the resettlement does not happen in accordance with international standards and the WB OP 4.12 (Downing, 2014: 14).

Thus, the Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID) a consortium of NGOs in Kosovo began a public campaign with an aim of representing the interests of the project affected citizens. Individuals and NGOs, the Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ), GAP Institute of Advanced Studies (GAP) and the Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) from Kosovo have filed two complaints to the IP in 2012 (Case no. 78) and 2015 (Case No. 103) related to the planned construction of the coal power plant and the field-works preceding it, with a great concern to involuntary resettlement (Inspection Panel, 2012; 2015b). The research seeks to explore the role of NGOs as a representing body and tries to answer the question: to what extent can the NGOs act as a voice of the subaltern and have an impact on the World Bank, through the Inspection Panel in the case of the Kosovo Power Project?

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