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Title: Malta’s post-Independence policy-making : an international political economy perspective
Authors: Alshinawi, Arsalan
Keywords: Malta -- Economic conditions -- 20th century
Malta -- Politics and government -- 20th century
International relations -- Economic aspects
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: University of Malta. Department of History
Citation: Alshinawi, A. (2014). Malta’s post-Independence policy-making : an international political economy perspective. Journal of Maltese History, 4(1), 16-25
Abstract: Following formal independence in 1964, and substituting the earlier disputes of the ‘language Question’ between the ‘pro-Italian’ and ‘pro-English political camps – that were also divided on constitutional matters and on the ties which were to be taken with Britain – came the position of the Maltese government on economic development, external trade and foreign relations which formed the major issue of contention. With the ‘Small Islands’ or ‘Micro-States’ paradigm in mind, strategies of socio-economic development have been assessed by authors employing conventional economic models in terms of internal factors specific to this ‘particular’ kind of geography. Research has focused on the relationship with, and the impact of, the changes in the local demographic, social and political environment. Economists have sought to conceptualize and measure local economic resilience – for example – solely in terms of ‘appropriate policy interventions:’ referring to ‘inherent vulnerability’ of small states while discussing ‘resilience’ and ‘resilience building’ as a ‘result of some deliberate policy.’ There is a dearth of research that provides adequate attention –in both descriptive and normative senses – to the bearing of the ‘structure’ on the ‘internal economic sovereignty,’ defined in International Political Economy [IPE] terms as the ‘room or space to manoeuvre in interactions with large international actors,’ or the interaction between the ‘unit’ or ‘nation-state’ level-of-analysis, and the systemic or ‘international’ level-of-analysis – a cornerstone in International Relations [IR] and various IPE theories. Thus, what appears as ‘under-development’ is actually the ‘agent-structure’ problem, viewed from a holistic approach, understood as part of a complex system (rather than the sum of its parts), in a standard IPE approach – which constitutes the central problematic in this paper. This paper does not claim to capture all the important readings available in IPE on economic autonomy, economic independence or state capacity to pursue goals that are ‘not simply reflective of the demands or interests of the overlying external factors.’ IPE draws on several distinct schools of thought that include history, political science, economics, sociology and cultural studies, with acceptable epistemologies but flexible boundaries that are debatable.8 It shall limit itself to shedding in some meaningful way more light on the rationale in IPE for the configuration of some of the key economic and foreign policies of the Maltese governments, by means of two interpretative case studies. It relies on information from relevant literature, available primary documents, diplomatic communiqués, and semi-structured interviews with the elite conducted by the author in Valletta.
ISSN: 2077-4338
Appears in Collections:JMH, Volume 4, No. 1 (2014)
JMH, Volume 4, No. 1 (2014)
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