Posts From Samuel Arnold-Parra

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Asia Pacific Politics

Japanese Politics Heats Up: the Contest for the Next LDP Leader

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the country’s dominant political party, is set for a leadership election on 29th September. The outcome of the election will be significant as the winner will become Japan’s new Prime Minister and head the party in Japan’s general election, scheduled for late November this year. Competition is likely to be fierce for the LDP’s top spot. Presuming that the LDP wins this year’s general election, the victor of the leadership election will have the opportunity to shape Japan’s national trajectory.

Latin America Politics

Colombia’s Tax Reforms: An Overview and Forecast

On 15th April, Colombia’s government presented its latest proposal for fiscal reforms to Congress, the so-called Sustainable Solidarity Bill (Proyecto de ley Solidaridad Sostenible). If made law, the bill will have wide ranging effects on taxation and social spending in Colombia. The bill has proved controversial, prompting criticism from parties on both the political left and right in the context of upcoming elections in 2022.

Environment Latin America

Hope for Growth? The Potential and Pitfalls of Ecotourism in Colombia

Colombia is blessed with magnificent landscapes, various regional climates and one of the highest levels of biodiversity on Earth. Consequently, there is a lot of scope for Colombia to use its natural beauty to attract tourists and tourism-related investment from around the world. Ecotourism also has the potential to assist, and be assisted by, Colombia’s ongoing peace process.

Latin America Politics

A New Left Turn in Latin America? COVID-19, Populism and Polarization

The apparent victory of socialist candidate Pedro Castillo in Peru’s general election this year hints at a leftward political trend in Latin America. COVID-19 has played a role in this, but the key driver of the shift is more fundamental. However, looking beyond the left-right paradigm, recent developments are indicative of worsening populism and political polarization in the region.

Asia Pacific Security

Japan: Is A Boost to National Defence On The Way?

In late May, a panel on national security and defence held by Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) issued a draft proposal calling for a significant increase in Japan’s defence budget, among other defence related recommendations. This proposal, alongside recent comments made by Japan’s Minister of Defence, suggests a shift towards higher levels of spending and a more proactive defence policy.

Asia Pacific Economics

Japan’s cryptocurrency market: Set to bloom or wither?

The popularisation of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology continues to grow worldwide. In Japan, engagement with cryptocurrency has blossomed among investors and major firms. Though that trend is likely to continue over the longer term, it may be tempered by regulation and an aging population.

Latin America Security

Mexican Marijuana: The Effects of Legalization on the Economy and the War on Drugs

Following in the footsteps of countries including Canada and Uruguay, Mexico’s lower house passed a bill on 10th March for the purpose of legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, often referred to as AMLO, has cited undermining drug cartels as one of the key reasons behind his support for the proposal. Nevertheless, though legalization is likely to prove an economic boon, its impact on crime is likely to be less substantial.

Environment Latin America

An Ecosystem in Crisis: Environmental Degradation in Venezuela

Venezuela’s biodiverse environment, from its share of the Amazon rainforest to its lakes and coastline, has suffered increasing levels of pollution and degradation in recent years. Venezuela’s reliance on extractive practices including mining and its ageing oil industry is one of the main drivers of the degradation of its environment. Given the attitude of the Maduro regime, the situation is set to worsen.

Latin America The Energy Briefing

The Struggle over Mexico’s Energy Sector: What’s At Stake?

Recently, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stepped up his administration’s efforts to reform the country’s Electricity Industry Law. However, these attempts have received criticism from the private sector and lawmakers. The dispute has the potential to affect Mexico’s relations with regional partners like the USA and Canada and, depending on the outcome of legislative elections in June, may even cause constitutional changes.

Politics Southeast Asia

Japan’s Glass Ceiling: Obstacles to Women’s Participation in the Workplace

Female participation in Japan’s workforce has increased in the last few decades but Japan still ranks poorly in terms of women’s participation in politics and corporate organisations relative to other developed economies. Initiatives to rectify this inequality struggle due to gendered social expectations and unfavourable political conditions.