ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Adjusting to Changing Regimes-ACRP in the Context of New Policies

too pleasant. Of course, the forum was not a place for serious debate, but the attempt to hide behind the standard economic cliches was equally, if not far more, disturbing. The poor and the unemployed have to look for supportive domestic policy regimes and it is simplistic, as many asserted, to lay the blame on globalisation for the inadequacies of domestic policy regimes. But then, as some asked, how does one ensure the kind of flexibility in a conditionality regime which puts severe restraints on developing and implementing employment-oriented domestic policies? Such questions came cropping up again and again throughout the two-day conference, but these were voices in the wilderness. The fate of the poor and the unemployed are not fit subjects for discussion in a conference on globalisation. Leave the poor and the unemployed to their fate, as in Baudelair's 'old clown': "He was not weeping, he was not dancing, he was not gesticulating, he was not shouting, he was soliciting nothing. He was mute and motionless. He had given up, he had abdicated, his fate was sealed.'' On the very same days when bold starry- eyed speeches were being made in the cosy conference hall, the typhoon from south-east Asia had hit the western shores. The stock markets were being buffeted. Policy-makers and politicians were taking sides; some attacked speculators, having themselves played speculators in earlier cycles, some who have belted on the so-called fundamentals were looking desperately for excuses to air their new-found wisdom, some dismissed these as normal aberrations in an otherwise healthy world economy. While all this was happening in the real world, making a mockery of the theme of the conference, the leading lights chose to ignore it, it did not fit in their neat formula and the best and the most civilised way to handle the controversy was to avoid it. This they did with superb aplomb.

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