‘The economic crisis and the developing countries’
Editors: Peter van Bergeijk, Arjan de Haan en Rolph van der Hoeven
On 13 October, 2011, Nico Schrijvers, member of the Dutch Upper House was presented with the the book The Financial Crisis and the Developing Countries. This book is the result of 17 studies carried out by the international Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, with leading researchers from China and India, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, as well as industrialised countries.
The book presents up-to-date insight into the problems that have been caused by the crisis, and by industrialized countries’ lack of adequate response to the financial and economic crisis, by increasing protectionism, and by reductions in financial flows, including development assistance (and in the case of the Netherlands, aid now has the the explicit objective to support the Dutch economy, in a 180-degree reversal of its untied aid in which the Netherlands had led a progressive international community for three decades).
We argue in the book that the effects of the crisis will be structural, especially through a shift in power to emerging economies which are often regarded in the West as developing economies, such as China, India and Indonesia. The articles have analysed the implications of this continued crisis, particularly the potentials for an enhanced role of the G-20, the effectiveness of development cooperation and what this implies for a global underclass.
As I mentioned in my contribution to the launch, I believe that the financial crisis and the responses in old OECD countries are also linked, at least indirectly, to the political changes that have taken place across Europe over the last years. In the Netherlands, during the general election in 2010, I was struck by the fact that the financial crisis was almost absent in the political debate. Instead, much of the debate – and shifts in political power – was dominated by the so-called problems caused by migrants. While the financial crisis illustrates and contributes to the phenomenal speed with which economic and political power is shifting from the old-OECD, it seems that countries like the Netherlands are becoming increasingly inward-looking, and look for scapegoats to blame for these inevitable changes.