Academic Work

  • "Comparing Naughty BITs: Assessing the Developmental Impact of Variation in Bilateral Investment Treaties," MSc in Economics (Development Management) dissertation. [pdf file]

    Previous analyses of BITs generally treated the entire compendium of agreements equally, seeking to determine how they were affecting investment decisions or why they were entered into. However, the variation in language means that a finer analysis is needed to properly assess their developmental impact. This paper makes a preliminary attempt to break down the collection of treaties and examine their component parts.

  • "Comparing Corporate and Sovereign Power," Developments, vol. 1, No. 1, 2004/2005, pp 1 - 5. [pdf file]

    Contrasting the sales of the Fortune Global 200 versus the gross domestic product of countries, as has rightly been pointed out by economists,is like comparing apples and oranges because sales and GDP measure very different things (De Grauwe and Cameron 2002; Wolf 2004). However,the response by De Grauwe and Camerman, which instead compares GDP to the value-added of the same corporate list, not only is very imprecise, but misses the mark. The appropriate course of action should be to compare corporations with governments, not national economies. The article makes two comparisons of such data. The first compares corporate revenue and government revenue, as a measure of which entities have the most resources. The second looks at credit ratings of sovereigns and firms to assess which group is better able to access funding in private credit markets.

  • "Paradox of Trade Participation," paper for a class on the International Political Economy of Development.

    WTO participation stems from the power, or lack of it, that developing countries have in the global economy. First, this paper will explore South-South trade and how the larger developing countries benefit from the system. Then, a look at the external environment at the time of increasing participation will show that there were large benefits to be gained in exchange for trade-offs that most countries would have been forced to make anyway. Finally, a look into the general incentives for WTO participation will show that it is better to be inside the system and influencing the process than totally excluded or facing negotiation in bilateral arenas.

  • "Institutional Reform and State Capacity," paper for a class on Development Management.

    The dogmatic approach that markets are the only efficient way to provide services overlooks key aspects of the actual functioning of economic systems. The state still has a key role in promulgating effective regulation, the absence of which has detrimental effects on markets and ultimately public services. For success in reforms of any kind, strengthening state capacity is the most important task.

  • "Youth Consultation Project Report," class project: consultancy report to the Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme of the UNDP on youth attitudes towards Internet governance. [pdf file]

    The United Nations Development Program’s Asia Pacific Development Information Program (UNDP-APDIP) aims to increase stakeholder awareness on the issues of Internet Governance within the Asia-Pacific region. As a part of this objective, this project was undertaken, to consult with students from 13 Asia-Pacific countries via online discussions. The goal was to find their priority concerns and issues in information technology policy-making and Internet governance.

  • "Research for What?," take home exam for a class on the Philosophical and Methodological Issues in Development Research.

    This paper argues that while exposing lies and telling the truth are equivalent, the nature of truth itself is relative and thus all researchers should first examine their core assumptions before making scientific claims. However, with the assumptions defined, and the inherent value-based judgments acknowledged, the focus of development research should be to merely find knowledge that is as objective as possible within the confines of the researcher's reality. Thankfully though, research and the researcher herself are not one and the same, and the academic has an obligation to use her knowledge to change society for the better. This is in no discipline more relevant than in development.

Travel Writing

  • "Rough Riding in Remote Lands" RoadBike, October 2005, pg. 44-48. [pdf file]

    A Himalayan solo tour on an antique bike is a recipe for beauty, thrills, and danger.

  • "Elevation!" Outlook Traveller, April 2002.

    The Jammu-Kashmir-Ladakh-Himachal route has its charms but more than its share of army drivers. Pleasure and danger on the highway while riding solo on a 35-year-old Royal Enfield.

  • Peter On The Road - Most of my travel writing is in the form of an email list. The archives are available on Yahoo! Groups.

Journalistic Work

  • Frying pan pasta outclasses spaghetti,” Korea Herald, September 19, 2003.

    It is no surprise that La Padella styles itself an "Italian pasta" restaurant. Executive chef and owner Choi Joon-jae is nothing less than a culinary artist, and ... he is bringing real, authentic pasta to the palates of young Koreans.

  • Countryside simplicity and a taste of history,” Korea Herald, August 15, 2003.

    Just an hour out of the metropolitan morass sits Yeoju, a sleepy provincial town on the edge of Gyeonggi Province. This countryside refuge is speckled with interesting sites that should not be missed.

  • Zen and the art of savory sushi,” Korea Herald, August 7, 2003.

    The food is so artfully crafted, and designed to such high standards that it almost pains the customer to tuck into the delectable California rolls of Zen owner and master sushi chef Lee Jun-hoi.

  • Vegetarian generation gap,” Korea Herald, July 4, 2003.

    In a land that has been split over religion, national affiliation, politics, and region, these characters are typical of the new division of Korean society. Despite their commitment to the same unconventional practice, their motivations and influences are profoundly different, for they are divided by generations.

  • "Disc dares to be different,” Korea Herald, June 13, 2003.

    'Hammers' are not exactly the scenes you expect to see replayed over and over again on television like Ahn Jung-hwan’s goals over Italy and Japan, but they are becoming more common as the game of ultimate frisbee roars to popularity across the Asian region.

  • Water, wild flowers and jagged peaks,” Korea Herald, June 5, 2003.

    The reason to go to Sanjeong Lake is not to escape Korea; it is to escape the hustle and bustle of Seoul for a more idyllic setting where the views are of water and forest, wild flower and mountain peak.

  • Dose of serenity at Busan’s Beomeo Temple,,” Korea Herald, August 8, 2002.

    Although it is technically within the city limits, the complex at Beomeo Temple feels a world away from Busan and the hubbub of the city below. The hills stretching above the compound, the fresh breeze blowing in from the sea, and the creeping presence of the forest shield this retreat.

  • Icheon pottery village home to ceramics,” Korea Herald, July 5, 2002.

    Lying just beyond Gwangju is a fertile valley that has been the home to specialized ceramic production for centuries.

  • A Dream Deferred - Will peace ever come to Kashmir?In These Times, vol. 25, no. 21-22, October 1, 2001.

    The Agra summit was the first sign since the Kargil battles of 1999 that Kashmir might see some relief. But since independence, the heads of India and Pakistan have met each other no less that 48 times, with more than 20 summit-level meetings. None of those talks have led to peace, and there was little chance that this one would be any different. Everyone in Kashmir expects things to get worse, not better. Alamudin's dream of azadi again has been deferred.

  • Aggarwal, Anil with Dr HB Mathur and Peter Chowla, “The CNG Imperative,” Down To Earth, vol. 9, no. 21, March 31, 2001.

    More than 50,000 additional deaths will occur over the next ten years, from 2001 to 2010, from toxic particles in Delhi if the Supreme Court orders on moving the entire public transport to compressed natural gas (CNG) is not implemented as scheduled.

  • Chowla, Peter and Melissa Pfeffer, “Blockade in the ANF,” Earth First Journal, vol. 19, no. 4, Eostar 1999.

  • Chowla, Peter and Melissa Pfeffer, “Action in the Allegheny,” Threshold, vol. 11, no. 2, December 1998.

  • “Criminalized Existence - Quality of Life Ordinance Threatens Homeless in Philadelphia,” PANic, April 1998.

  • “Corporations, Corporations Everywhere - The presence of corporations on campus must end,” PANic, April 1998.

  • “The Ethics of Investment - Students demand that administrators take action,” PANic, March 1998.

  • “SEAC National Office Moves to West Philadelphia,” The Green Times, Fall 1997.

  • “Noam Chomsky Speaks,” The Green Times, Fall 1997.

  • Chowla, Peter and Katie Cooper, “Burmese Government Wreaks Environmental Havoc,” The Green Times, Spring 1997.

    Many people don't know what's occurring in Burma. Many of us don't know of the human rights abuses, the environmental destruction, nor of the large drug problems that are occurring in this small Southeast Asian country. But many of us would care and want to help if only we knew of these atrocities.

  • Chester Targeted for Another Waste Facility,” The Green Times, Spring 1997.

    Once again the city of Chester, Pennsylvania has been dubbed the waste capital of the country. This unofficial title is certainly what Cherokee Biotechnology Corp. sees when they look at the city of Chester. They also saw an excellent "opportunity" for business and profit, but at the expense of the Chester residents and their health.


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copyright 2005 Peter Chowla