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Indo-Pacific Seminars Indo-Pacific Seminars
Thirsty Cities: Social Contracts and Public Goods Provision in China and India Thirsty Cities: Social Contracts and Public Goods Provision in China and India
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Thirsty Cities: Social Contracts and Public Goods Provision in China and India

An Indo-Pacific Political Economy and Trade Seminar and Book Launch featuring:

Dr. Selina Ho
Assistant Professor of International Affairs, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy,
National University of Singapore

Dr. Satu P. Limaye (Moderator)
Vice President, East-West Center in Washington &
Director, East-West Center in Washington


Dr. Selina Ho spoke on her recently published book, Thirsty Cities: Social Contracts and Public Goods Provision in China and India (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Selina's book is a comparative study of two rising Indo-Pacific powers, China and India, ability to provide public goods. In her book, Selina asks the question: why does authoritarian China provide a higher level of public goods than democratic India? Studies based on regime type have shown that the level of public goods provision is higher in democratic systems than in authoritarian forms of government. However, the provision of public goods in China and India contradict these findings. Whether in terms of access to education, healthcare, public transportation, or basic necessities, such as drinking water and electricity, China does consistently better than India. This book argues that regime type does not determine public goods outcomes. Using empirical evidence from the Chinese and Indian municipal water sectors, the study explains and demonstrates how a social contract, an informal institution, influences formal institutional design, which in turn accounts for the variations in public goods provision.

 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 


SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

Selina Ho is Assistant Professor of International Affairs at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. She researches and teaches Chinese politics and foreign policy, and the international relations of Asia. She is the author of Thirsty Cities: Social Contracts and Public Goods Provision in China and India (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Selina is currently working on a co-authored book manuscript that focuses on China’s plans to build a Pan-Asia Railway (funded by Smith Richardson Foundation). She has published several peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on China’s relations with its neighbors in South, Southeast, and Central Asia on the politics of water and infrastructure development. Selina received her doctorate from The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. At the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, she is also Program Chair of the Master in International Affairs program.

Satu Limaye is the Vice President of the East-West Center and Director of the East-West Center in Washington where he created and now directs the Asia Matters for America initiative and edits the Asia Pacific Bulletin. He is also a Senior Advisor at CNA Corp (Center for Naval Analyses) and Senior Fellow on Asia History and Policy at the Foreign Policy Institute at Paul H. Nitze School of International Studies (SAIS). He is a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar. Dr. Limaye publishes and presents on a range of Indo-Pacific issues. Recent publications include: Raging Waters: China, India, Bangladesh and Brahmaputra River Politics (with Nilanthi Samaranayake and Joel Wuthnow); Why ASEAN is Here to Stay and What that Means for the US; The United States-Japan Alliance and Southeast Asia: Meeting Regional Demands; and Weighted West: The Indian Navy’s New Maritime Strategy, Capabilities, and Diplomacy.


Thirsty Cities: Social Contracts and Public Goods Provision in China and India

An Indo-Pacific Political Economy and Trade Seminar and Book Launch featuring:

Dr. Selina Ho
Assistant Professor of International Affairs, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy,
National University of Singapore

Dr. Satu P. Limaye (Moderator)
Vice President, East-West Center in Washington &
Director, East-West Center in Washington


Dr. Selina Ho spoke on her recently published book, Thirsty Cities: Social Contracts and Public Goods Provision in China and India (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Selina's book is a comparative study of two rising Indo-Pacific powers, China and India, ability to provide public goods. In her book, Selina asks the question: why does authoritarian China provide a higher level of public goods than democratic India? Studies based on regime type have shown that the level of public goods provision is higher in democratic systems than in authoritarian forms of government. However, the provision of public goods in China and India contradict these findings. Whether in terms of access to education, healthcare, public transportation, or basic necessities, such as drinking water and electricity, China does consistently better than India. This book argues that regime type does not determine public goods outcomes. Using empirical evidence from the Chinese and Indian municipal water sectors, the study explains and demonstrates how a social contract, an informal institution, influences formal institutional design, which in turn accounts for the variations in public goods provision.

 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 


SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

Selina Ho is Assistant Professor of International Affairs at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. She researches and teaches Chinese politics and foreign policy, and the international relations of Asia. She is the author of Thirsty Cities: Social Contracts and Public Goods Provision in China and India (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Selina is currently working on a co-authored book manuscript that focuses on China’s plans to build a Pan-Asia Railway (funded by Smith Richardson Foundation). She has published several peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on China’s relations with its neighbors in South, Southeast, and Central Asia on the politics of water and infrastructure development. Selina received her doctorate from The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. At the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, she is also Program Chair of the Master in International Affairs program.

Satu Limaye is the Vice President of the East-West Center and Director of the East-West Center in Washington where he created and now directs the Asia Matters for America initiative and edits the Asia Pacific Bulletin. He is also a Senior Advisor at CNA Corp (Center for Naval Analyses) and Senior Fellow on Asia History and Policy at the Foreign Policy Institute at Paul H. Nitze School of International Studies (SAIS). He is a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar. Dr. Limaye publishes and presents on a range of Indo-Pacific issues. Recent publications include: Raging Waters: China, India, Bangladesh and Brahmaputra River Politics (with Nilanthi Samaranayake and Joel Wuthnow); Why ASEAN is Here to Stay and What that Means for the US; The United States-Japan Alliance and Southeast Asia: Meeting Regional Demands; and Weighted West: The Indian Navy’s New Maritime Strategy, Capabilities, and Diplomacy.


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