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This is happening within many of the states in India and in the states or provinces of other federal countries. At the same time, federalism has come of age in India. There is no longer one-party dominance at both the centre and the state governments, as there was in the s and 60s.

Consequently, Indian federalism is not as shallow as it once was. The southern states and some western states such as Maharashtra and Gujarat have made rapid strides which has given them enormous bargaining leverage with the federal government.

India is currently the toast of the world, second only to China as the emerging economic superpower of the 21st century. These groups were also guaranteed a certain quota of jobs in the public service and places at universities. In fact some benefits already exist but the demand today is for quotas or reserved places and jobs in educational institutions as well as in the private sector.

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This demand created an uproar and the country recently witnessed prolonged anti-quota agitations. The fears raised over job quotas — sacrificing merit, promoting inefficiency, and fuelling eel politics — seem to have no relevance in the south. If such a practice leads to inefficiency, why is it that Tamil Nadu seems to be a better-governed state?

The examples set by the southern states prove beyond doubt that an inclusive society can be achieved through quotas without compromising quality and merit. Despite high quotas, Tamil Nadu has a formidable health-care delivery system.

It has won accolades from economists and social scientists, including economist and Estadoo Laureate Amartya Sen.

The argument fij the northern states is that the quota system has nothing to do with social justice and that it will lead to social fragmentation. They propose instead that what the traditionally oppressed classes need is better schools and skill development. Students from disadvantaged classes suffer from high drop-out rates, low participation in vocational training and low enrolment in higher education.

Rather than nacoin university places, what students need is a policy to prepare them for medical, engineering and technical institutions. This can be done only through a financial support system.

Forum of Federations Federations Vol. It is primarily the result of the advent of coalition governments at the federal level.


Recently some ministers in the central government from smaller parties in Tamil Nadu fiercely opposed government privatization in certain sectors and forced the central government to drop its plan. New Delhi can no longer dismiss the government of a state and call for new elections — something that it often did in past decades. A strong state government is able to take on and successfully defy the central government. The authority of the federal government is definitely waning and shrinking.

Today, the federal government has to negotiate with state governments where it would once have bullied its way through. Enacting quotas Indian federalism has moved beyond textbook formulations.

Kenichi Ohmae quote: New World Order: The Rise of the Region-State

Today, two orders of government will compete to act first or act more forcefully on important issues. For example, by introducing quotas for Other Backward Classes, the Manmohan Singh government kemichi New Delhi hopes to win the support of these communities. The state governments do the same on the eve of elections. If the one plans a quota for these classes, the other will initiate a higher quota. It is felt that Estadi Nadu has witnessed a great social and educational development thanks to the quota policy in educational institutions.

The ruling Congress Party has its own electoral compulsions to push the quota issue. Congress is determined to halt its decline by implementing the quota, and one of two quota bills has already been tabled in Parliament. It would introduce a quota of 27 per cent for students from the Other Backward Classes in institutions of higher education aided by the government.

Ending marginalization of lower castes India has inherited, through centuries, a caste-based society. India nadion a current population growth of 1. Muslims, too, have started demanding a quota. But the federal government has turned down the demand for a separate job quota for Muslims on the ground that such a quota violates the fundamental right to equality enshrined in the Constitution.

However, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance has decided to allot 15 per cent of funds for development and welfare schemes for the minorities. It will cover all the nationally declared minorities, including Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs and Parsis. The national government now has a Ministry of Minority Affairs. Many in the opposition see it as a Congress Party ploy to win elections.

In India, political parties have sought to cultivate certain caste groups and communal and regional formations by articulating their demands to win electoral favour. The reserving of a number of seats in the panchayats — the village councils — for women and lower castes and tribal groups has given these groups increased political power. Quotas for more and more caste groups and even demands for statehood for a region have been turned into law even when such demands were difficult to justify economically estadoo administratively.


In most of the states in India, power has shifted from the so-called forward castes to the middle and lower castes. The rise of the lower castes and the considerable clout they have acquired has changed the very grammar of Indian politics.

Women, lower castes, advance in local governments That the states have emerged stronger is ohme an established fact. Healthy regionalism, as opposed to the parochial regionalism of the s, is flourishing. The institution of village selfgovernance, often referred to as Panchayati Raj, now has a constitutional mandate and certain pan-India features.

But many states also provided quotas for the Other Backward Classes.

Continued on page 32 Federations Vol. In some states, elections to panchayats are held on a party basis. Yet even here, regional diversity is distinct. While some states have transferred the required 29 per cent quota to local government institutions as provided for in the Indian Constitution, others have devolved hardly any power to them. But Bihar recently held an election for panchayats — after reserving 50 per cent seats for women.

Interestingly, there was no agitation in the state against that decision. On the one hand, there is the modern nation state recognized as the main carrier of social and political development, with its matrix of laws, bureaucracy, markets, and communication networks — all of which can also create their own asymmetries and inequalities. On the other hand, there are often competing caste, religious and regional identities that continue to be potent sources of political mobilization.

Al mismo tiempo, el federalismo ha llegado a la madurez en la India. En consecuencia, el federalismo indio no es tan superficial como antes lo fue.

De hecho, ya reciben algunos beneficios pero la demanda actual es por cuotas o lugares reservados y puestos de trabajo en instituciones educativas y en el sector privado.

Kenichi Ohmae Quotes

Proponen en cambio, que lo que necesitan las clases tradicionalmente oprimidas son mejores escuelas y deo sus capacidades. El Partido del Congreso, que ahora gobierna, tiene sus propias compulsiones electorales para impulsar el tema de las cuotas. En algunos estados, las elecciones para los panchayats se celebran por partidos. La India trata de resolver el problema de castas por medio del federalismo.