My Scholarly Agenda
At present, I have written two academic papers in the field of political economy and one in the field of science and theology, intended to be submitted to academic journals. I am in the process of writing another in the field of political economy. Below is a brief summary of the main ideas. Origins of Varieties of Capitalism in Sub-Saharan Africa and Implications for Development Policy
(Comparative Capitalism; Development Economics) This employs the Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) approach to comparative capitalism to launch a research agenda into the viability of moving a developing economy into having a Coordinated Market Economy (CME) institutional ecology. The paper itself argues that the structural and business-environmental conditions and elements of underdevelopment breed firms' preference against, and objective unviability of, developing substantive non-market institutions to coordinate market processes. It then introduces the hypothesis that as economic development occurs, these structural and business-environmental barriers ease and the possibility for developing viable CME institutions widens. The paper develops the theoretical foundation, albeit in qualitative language, and therefore subsequent papers would focus on empirically-validating the hypothesis econometrically and using qualitative research methods, especially case studies. This line of inquiry should culminate in a book preliminarily titled "Social Democracy in the Developing World" to be both theoretical, empirical/historical, and policy-oriented. Global Turbulence, Global Deliberation and a New New International Economic Order
(International Political Economy; Development Economics) The second paper is simpler, but attracted me to the third which has deeper implications and importance for students of contemporary and theoretical capitalism. The second paper employs the works of Robert Brenner (on the post-war crisis of over-accumulation) and John G. Ruggie cum Karl Polanyi (on the notion of embedded liberalism and countermovements) to argue that contemporary trends in global capitalism indicate that a countermovement against neoliberalism in its ideological, political and institutional manifestations is imminent (albeit presently incipient, punctuated by the 2008 GFC) and would be accelerated/punctuated by an upcoming protracted economic and financial crisis. There would likely be a strong countermovement to re-embed capitalism, leading to a return to the spirit of Bretton Woods. My subsequent argument is that this global deliberative spirit provides a critical opportunity for the developing world to negotiate a new New International Economic Order (NIEO) - that is, a reinvigoration of the "Bandung spirit" - for substantive development. Cycles of Embedded Liberalism
(Political Economy) The third paper links the literature on embedded liberalism, rooted in Karl Polanyi and expanded by John G. Ruggie, that of the tendency of capitalism towards overaccumulation - particularly Robert Brenner's elucidation - and the literature on global economic governance. It argues that capitalism may be prone to a recurrent cycle in which pressures (for social legitimacy) press for embedding whenever marketization extends too far, and then pressures (stemming from the crisis of overaccumulation) emerge within the embedded liberal order for dis-embedding and further marketization/commodification. Certain global institutional structures may help mitigate this structural tendency. Nonetheless, trends in automation of production may create a situation whereby the private and social costs of dis-embedding are higher with each successive leg, and thus the minimum level of necessary socialization of consumption and investment and production (to maintain basic macroeconomic stability and production capacity) rises over time. Given this paradigm, I also propose that the upcoming leg of a re-embedded order (as predicted in the second paper) is highly critical for the developing world to catch up with the developed world, before structural global turbulence arising from the macroeconomic-destabilizing effects of increasing automation intensifies to become a binding constraint to its development - a phenomenon which is presently incipient. A Triadic Assessment Framework for Science-Theology Conflict Points
(Science and Theology) This paper integrates metaphysical, epistemological and methodological elements to propose a framework by which points of conflict between science and theology may be assessed and upon which practical action may be taken. It begins by introducing the metaphysics of "hypernatural topography" to visualize the nature of reality from a Christian standpoint. This helps categorize reality by constitution and observability into three parts: nature, supernature, and nature-supernature nexuses. While nature possesses significant constitutive and operational autonomy, there are points at which nature and supernature interact. This structure provides the possibility that signs of these nexuses would be detectable from the nature-side (manifest as holes of explanatory inadequacy given an assumption of naturalism) using the scientific method. This provides an ontological basis for Scripturally-Assumptive Scientific Investigation (SASI) to occur concurrently with conventional science (MASI - Materialist-Assumptive Scientific Investigation) only at these scripturally-indicated nature-supernature nexuses. I present a methodological framework for SASI, and I demonstrate its utility by using it as a basis for constructing a method SASI applied to a social scientific topic (which I elaborate upon in a separate paper available on SSRN but which I intend to submit to an academic journal only after the publication of this one). I then propose that each science-theology conflict point must be assessed based on the MASI narrative (data plus theory), the SASI evidence, and theological robustness to the MASI narrative. This also serves as an indicator of the position of science on the path of charting out reality. Based on the triadic assessment, "policy" or practical recommendations may be given - the majority of which is acceleration of both MASI and SASI, as well as sustained discourse between MASI scientists, SASI scientists and theologians.
The first version of this paper was submitted to the European Journal of Science and Theology (EJST), and the reviewer recommended it for publication. The editor responded (unknowingly referring to me as "Dr Gaiya") by saying it may be published if I pass it through professional language editing services. The cost for this service by Enago.com was over $100, which I could not afford. Now that I have made substantial additive modifications to the paper, I will resubmit to the journal. Limitations There are three caveats against the contents of these papers. First, my lack of access to proper research facilities (due to my present non-student status - which I find difficult to reverse due to the less competitive nature of my second class lower bachelor degree to gain a fully-funded masters scholarship) means that may arguments may lack depth and breadth (within the existing literature) even if there is some level of intellectual rigour present. This is further compounded upon by my lack of a postgraduate degree and professorial mentorship/guidance - the little expression of intellectual rigour is as a result of self-motivated independent study, built upon formal knowledge gained during the course of my undergraduate degree, most especially my one-year honours programme in Rhodes University. Second, only one of the papers have been peer-reviewed.