Prosperity and Inequality: Debates in India and China Keynote Address by Kemal Dervis
India and China are emerging as major players in the global political economy of this century, having enjoyed record growth rates for the past five years. Yet each faces major social and economic challenges. Both countries are dealing with growing social unrest, widespread poverty, and rising energy needs in a world market shaped by dwindling oil supplies.
China's growth is creating massive disparities between its urban and rural sectors, resulting in protests against state authority and restless migrant populations. Citizens face a steady degradation of public health due to runaway industrial growth, while capitalists chafe against the state's tight control of the market. In India, the epidemic of suicides among farmers and episodes of violence against minorities have cast doubts on the benefits of wholesale economic liberalization, unfettered foreign investment, and growth, which are also being challenged by the rise of judicial activism and of an active, vocal civil society.
The India China Institute at The New School, now in its third year of sponsoring fellowships, public debates, and research collaborations between experts in India, China, and the United States, is hosting "Prosperity and Inequality: Debates in India and China," a major conference exploring these issues. Participants in the conference, including our own fellows from all three countries as well as experts on urbanization, globalization, and growth in India and China, will discuss Chinese and Indian urbanization and wealth formation, the social and political risks associated with skyrocketing growth in two massive agrarian societies, alternative designs for development in each society, and the quest in both societies for a "third way" of development that combines the virtues of socialism and capitalism without sacrificing democracy and grassroots inclusion- The New School
Kemal Derviş started as the new head of the United Nations Development Program, the UN's global development network, on August 15, 2005. Currently he also serves as the Chair of the United Nations Development Group (UNDP), a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programs, and departments working on development issues.
Prior to his appointment with UNDP, Mr. Derviş was a member of the Turkish Parliament, representing Istanbul from November 2002 to June 2005. From March 2001 to August 2002, he was the Minister for Economic Affairs and the Treasury of the Republic of Turkey. In August of 2002, he resigned from his Ministerial post and was elected to Parliament.
Bob Kerrey is president of The New School in New York City.
For twelve years prior to becoming president of The New School, Bob Kerrey represented the State of Nebraska in the United States Senate. Before that, he served as Nebraska's governor for four years.
Bob Kerrey is the author of When I Was A Young Man: A Memoir, published by Harcourt Books (May 2002). He served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, currently leads a five year writing challenge sponsored by The National Commission on Writing in America's Schools and Colleges, and is co-chair with Newt Gingrich of The National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care.
United Nations Development Group Chair Kemal Dervis reminds us that any discussion about future economic growth needs to take climate change into account and factor in the necessary constraints to reduce global warming emissions.
Kemal Dervis, United Nations Development Group Chair, describes how unlike other emerging economies in the world, China and India have a combination of high investment rates with high total factor productivity growth that results in the unprecedented expansion seen today.