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You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution German Institute of Global and Area Studies Remove constraint Publishing Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies Political Geography Africa Remove constraint Political Geography: Africa
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  • Author: Dirk Kohnert
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The remarkable influx of Chinese migrant entrepreneurs in West Africa has been met with growing resistance from established African entrepreneurs. Whether the former have a competitive edge over the latter because of distinctive sociocultural traits or whether the Chineseʹ s supposed effectiveness is just a characteristic feature of any trading diaspora is open to question. This comparative exploratory study of Chinese and Nigerian entrepreneurial migrants in Ghana and Benin provides initial answers to these questions. Apparently, the cultural stimuli for migrant drivers of change are not restricted to inherited value systems or religions, such as a Protestant ethic or Confucianism; rather, they are continually adapted and invented anew by transnational migration networks in a globalized world. There is no evidence of the supposed superiority of the innovative culture of Chinese entrepreneurial migrants versus that of African entrepreneurial migrants. Rather, there exist trading diasporas which have a generally enhanced innovative capacity vis‐à‐vis local entrepreneurs, regardless of the national culture in which they are embedded. In addition, the rivalry of Chinese and Nigerian migrant entrepreneurs in African markets does not necessarily lead to the often suspected cut‐throat competition. Often the actions of each group are complementary to those of the other. Under certain conditions they even contribute to poverty alleviation in the host country.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Robert Kappel
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: As the conception of and debates on regional powers have been led by political science, this paper aims to contribute to the discussion from an economics perspective. Based on the discussion of different concepts of economic power—such as those of Schumpeter, Perroux, Predöhl, or Kindleberger—concepts of technological leadership, and the global value chain approaches, the paper develops a research framework for the economics of regional powers. This framework is then tested using descriptive statistics as well as regressions analysis, with a focus on the four regional powers Brazil, China, India, and South Africa. As economic power is relational, the relationship of regional powers to other nations in the region is analyzed.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Lena Giesbert, Kati Schindler
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Using a micro-level approach to poverty traps, this paper explores welfare dynamics among households in post-war rural Mozambique. Conceptually, the paper builds on an asset-based approach to poverty and tests empirically, with household panel data, for the existence of a poverty trap. Findings indicate that there is little differentiation in productive asset endowments over time and that rural households gravitate towards a single equilibrium, which is at a surprisingly low level. The analysis shows that shocks and household coping behavior help to explain the observed poverty dynamics. The single low-level equilibrium points to an overall development trap in the rural farm-based economy. This is attributed to the long-term impact of the civil war, which has consolidated unfavorable economic conditions in rural areas and limited new economic opportunities outside of the agricultural sector.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Alexander Stroh
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Recent publications suggest that exclusively ethnoregional parties are as rare in sub-Saharan Africa as elsewhere. At the same time, the idea that ethnicity is a very special feature of African party politics persists. The paper acknowledges the general relevance of ethnicity in party competition but emphasizes the level on which it becomes important. It develops a microbehavioral approach which pays particular attention to the strategic choices of party elites in order to supplement the dominant structuralist thinking in party research on Africa. An in-depth evaluation of detailed election data from Burkina Faso shows that strategies which rely on personal proximity between the voter and the candidates influence the parties' success to a great extent. Parties maximize their chances of winning seats if they concentrate their limited resources on the home localities of leading party members. Hence, African party politics are less dependent on ethnic demography than is often implied but more open to change through elite behavior.
  • Topic: Democratization, Demographics, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lena Giesbert, Susan Steiner, Mirko Bendig
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the study of the demand for financial services in developing countries leaves out part of the story, if it looks at only one of the three elements of the so called finance trinity, i.e. savings products, loans, or insurances, as is largely done in the literature. In contrast to previous research, it is assumed that households' choice for any of these services is strongly interconnected. Therefore, the paper simultaneously estimates the determinants of household demand for savings, loans and insurances by applying a multivariate probit model on household survey data from rural Ghana. On the one hand, the estimation results confirm the common finding that poorer households are less likely to participate in the formal financial sector than better off households. On the other hand, there is empirical evidence that the usage of savings products, loans and insurances does not only depend on the socio-economic status of households, but also on various other factors, such as households' risk assessment and the past exposure to shocks. In addition, trust in the providing institution and its products appear to play a key role.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Alexander Stroh
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Despite earlier assumptions that ethnicity is a central feature of African party systems, there is little substantial evidence for this claim. The few studies with an empirical foundation rarely rely on individual data and are biased in favor of Anglophone Africa. This paper looks at four Francophone countries, drawing on four representative survey polls in Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Multivariate regression models and bivariate control tools reveal that ethnicity matters as a determinant of party preference, but that its impact is generally rather weak and differs with regard to party systems and individual parties. “Ethnic parties” in the strict sense are almost completely absent, and only the Beninese party system is substantially “ethnicized.” In particular, regional ties between voters and leaders—rather than ethnic affiliation alone—deserve attention in the future study of voting behavior in Africa.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Christian von Soest
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Botswana appears to be an exception. Scholars recurrently describe the country as a “deviant” (Charlton 1990: 137-138; Kloeden et al. 2004: 53) or a “special case” (Hansohm 2001: 294) compared to the rest of Africa. A plethora of studies have been conducted on the political and economic development of the country, all stressing its “exceptionality.” Some even term Botswana the “African miracle” (Samatar 1999). The country is seen as a heaven of prosperity and stability in a region full of economic and political misery.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Alexander Stroh
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While much has been written about the special design of Rwanda's judiciary in order to handle the aftermath of the genocide in 1994, other institutional actions resulting from the 2003 constitution have rarely been addressed in research. However, the second (partial) parliamentary elections in September 2008 revealed some of the implications which the carefully designed electoral system has for Rwanda's political development. As a starting point, the paper emphasises the need to link the debates on institutional design in divided societies with elections in authoritarian regimes. Under different regime types, “institutional engineers” may pursue different goals. The paper concludes that in the case of Rwanda proportional representation (PR) has been implemented to support undemocratic goals. PR limits the local accountability of politicians in a political environment in which the government is not controlled by a democratic opposition. Thus, Rwanda's current PR system facilitates the maintenance of authoritarian power in the country, whereas small constituencies would establish closer links between the local populations and their representatives.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Andreas Mehler
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Little attention has been paid to the factual effect of the state's security forces on the security of African citizens. Reports about security forces' contribution to widespread insecurity are frequent: the protectors become violators and their appearance causes fear, not security. In many African crisis countries the realization of better security forces appears to be an elusive goal, either because violent conflicts are not definitively settled and therefore do not allow for decent reform or because a lack of capacity as a result of material constraints is not easy to remedy. The self‐help mechanisms used to compensate for the lack of state‐sponsored security need more attention. However, it has to be acknowledged that the ideal of a neutral and effective force loyal to the state is shared by a great majority of the population. This contribution compares the experiences of Liberia and the Central African Republic, two extreme cases of strong and weak international involvement, respectively, in post‐conflict security‐sector reform.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Malte Gephart
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While in an initial legal and academic anti-corruption wave corruption itself was at the center of analysis, research is now increasingly focused on anti-corruption discourse and praxis. The latter analyses have generated numerous criticisms of anti-corruption activities and anti-corruption research, and these are presented in this literature review. These criticisms range from the anti-corruption norm's legitimacy deficit, to the difficulty of defining and measuring corruption, to the discourse's depoliticization through its technicalization. The anti-corruption movement faces particular difficulties with respect to the tension between the universality of the anti-corruption norm and its simultaneous contextualization for specific and local application. This tension is especially important because it touches upon the central issues of the respective political communities, such as the division of the private from the public, which differ from one cultural context to another. The contextualization of anti-corruption concepts has to be enabled in various areas: first, with respect to the culturally shaped conception of the division between the public and the private; second, with respect to local understandings of corruption, that is, what is actually meant when talking about “corruption”; and third, with respect to the low socioeconomic development levels in some countries, which do not permit the absence of corruption (evading a zero-tolerance rhetoric).
  • Topic: International Relations, Corruption, International Cooperation, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, United Nations