I. Fast Finance: Who Gives a Dam? (Working Project Title)What influences borrower country choices in development finance lending? This book manuscript, an outgrowth of my dissertation, examines comparative electricity sector reform in East and Southeast Asia as a prism for understanding variation in processes and trajectories of liberalization. The project uniquely engages with the international political economy of electricity sector reform, focusing on the dynamics of asymmetric south-south engagement within and between East and Southeast Asian cases. Based on over 15 months of original fieldwork in Lao PDR, the project traces a shift from OECD multilateral development bank lending to Chinese and Thai state-backed private finance. The project extends analysis through primary and historical work in two further Mekong cases, Myanmar and Cambodia, forming a comparative study of variation in external financing modalities in the Mekong’s least developed states. The manuscript contributes to the wider field by providing vitally understudied borrower country perspectives from Mekong CLM cases. The research highlights the political economy nexus between electricity sector reform and financial and banking liberalization. It traces variation in institutional and historical trajectories of Mekong CLM cases and their relative interaction with OECD and alternative non-OECD private-public-partnership (PPP) arrangements. I provide an explanatory typology for why different models of development finance find uptake or rejection in different types of cases and compare north-south and south-south PPP arrangements. The project sheds light on the contemporary alternative asymmetric south-south lending and changing regimes of development finance viewed from below. The manuscript is framed for an East/Southeast/Asian studies as well as comparative politics audience.
II. The New Global Politics of Export-Finance RegimesWhat structural factors and incentives drive competition over coordination in twenty-first century global export finance competition? This research programme analyses the politics of G7 vs. G5-BRICS export finance strategies. It is focused towards international political economy, economic diplomacy, international relations and development studies audiences to explicitly compare and discuss contending regimes of export and development finance. Its central contribution is to update and bring the study of 20th century international export and development finance into the 21st century, providing a theoretical framework and concepts for analysing and discussing processes with relation to new actors, landscapes and the overriding influence of capital markets. The manuscript builds off insights and data accumulated in my doctoral and post-doctoral research and unites Asian and African case studies collected over my post-doctoral work.
III. Race, Environment, & Development: the Politics of Financial LiberalizationI seek to better understand the role of the banking sector and comparative bond markets in advanced and emerging market economies in fostering better or worse environmental governance outcomes in project lending. I am particularly interested in tracing the links between emerging and advanced industrial bond markets and their uneven spatial and social impact on rural racial and ethnic minorities in low income countries. How do comparative financial drivers in the age of ‘greening markets’ serve to enable distant investors to engage in risky, dirty, dangerous and brutal environmental practices while legitimating these interventions on developmental and carbon-saving grounds? How might better environmental standards be ‘socialized’ and institutionalized between and across G7 and G5 members?
‘Rivalry & Revisionism in Mekong Transboundary Water Governance’ University of Manchester, Global Development Institute, FutureDAMS Working Paper
‘Sino-African Hydropower Projects in Comparative Perspective’ in Francois & Habich, Hydropower in Southwest China: Drivers & Impacts, (Palgrave IPE: London)
‘Institutional Poaching: The Environmental Politics of Parallel Governance Building Along the Mekong’ to International Organization
‘Fast Finance: Who Gives a Dam? Perils & Pitfalls of Asymmetric South-South Infrastructure Finance’ for submission to Development and Change
‘National Champions to International Powerhouses: Neo-Parastatals in the Global Energy Sector’ – Review of Political Economy
‘The Illusion of Capital: Searching for Patient Infrastructure Lending in an Impatient World’ – Studies in Comparative International Development
‘Infrastructure as Public Good or Asset: Development Finance or Developing Finance Along the Mekong’ for submission to U. of M, GDI FutureDAMS Working Paper Series & World Development
‘Shifting Regimes of Development Finance: Institutionalizing Neo-Mercantilism’ to Studies in Comparative International Development
‘Leap-frog or Path Dependence: The Geopolitical Economy of Myanmar’s Energy Policy’ for submission to Critical Asian Studies