Tony Saich, December, 2014

A recent survey asks citizens from 30 countries for their views on 10 influential national leaders who have a global impact (see Appendix). There are many rich findings among the data. However, two general trends stand out. The first is that the responses are influenced by geopolitics. Differences between nations and national leaders are clearly reflected in the attitudes of their own citizens. Thus, it is plain that the tensions between China and Japan result in very poor evaluations of China and its leader by Japanese citizens and vice versa. Second, there is a correlation in responses between the nature of the political system and citizen opinions of their own nation’s leader. On the whole, in multiparty systems or genuine two-party systems such as in Europe and the U.S., citizens are more critical of their national leaders and policies than is the case in those nations where politics is less contested.

Myanmar Program

Established in 2009, the Myanmar Program seeks to deepen the understanding of the development and democratic governance challenges facing Myanmar. Moving beyond technical economics, the program examines the broader political economy of reform and explores the connections between politics and institutional development to better address the country’s social and economic problems. The goal of this analysis is to provide a common framework in which the different interest groups can negotiate solutions to long-standing problems, particularly with regard to minority ethnic and religious...

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China Urbanizes: Consequences, Strategies, and Policies
Saich, Anthony J., and Shahid Yusuf, ed. 2008. China Urbanizes: Consequences, Strategies, and Policies. World Bank Publications. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract
Over the next 10-15 years, China's urbanization rate is expected to rise from 43 percent to well over 50 percent, adding an additional 200 million mainly rural migrants to the current urban population of 560 million. How China copes with such a large migration flow will strongly influence rural-urban inequality, the pace at which urban centers expand their economic performance, and the urban environment. The growing population will necessitate a big push strategy to maintain a high rate of investment in housing and the urban physical infrastructure and urban services. To finance such expansion will require a significant strengthening and diversification of China's financial system.