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  • Author: Jorge F. Garzón
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper inquires into the effects of an emerging multipolar world on the international institution of regionalism. While IR scholarship has been making a strong case for the regionalization of world politics since the 1990s, the fact that most of the rising powers are also the sole regional powers of their home regions has led some scholars to argue that the advent of multipolarity can only strengthen this general trend toward a more regionalized international order. In this contribution, I challenge these arguments by proposing an alternative way of thinking about how multipolarity is developing. The implications of this interpretation are that the emergence of multipolarity may actually generate powerful centrifugal forces within regions, which would have adverse effects on the known forms of regionalism that regional groupings have been implementing thus far. This applies particularly to the global South, where intraregional economic interdependencies tend to be weak. The proposition is tested by examining empirical findings across several regions and through a case study.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Alexander Stroh, Cordula Tibi Weber, Charlotte Heyl
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the extent to which elected power holders informally intervene in the judiciaries of new democracies, an acknowledged but under-researched topic in studies of judicial politics. The paper first develops an empirical strategy for the study of informal interference based on perceptions recorded in interviews, then applies the strategy to six third-wave democracies, three in Africa (Benin, Madagascar and Senegal) and three in Latin America (Argentina, Chile and Paraguay). It also examines how three conditioning factors affect the level of informal judicial interference: formal rules, previous democratic experience, and socioeconomic development. Our results show that countries with better performance in all these conditioning factors exhibit less informal interference than countries with poorer or mixed performance. The results stress the importance of systematically including informal politics in the study of judicial politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Power Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Argentina, Latin America, Tamil Nadu
  • Author: Anika Oettler
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The paper discusses how current methodological debates on the potential of comparative area studies intersect with current trends in transitional justice research. As the field of transitional justice studies is approaching saturation, academic efforts in this field are increasingly focused on empirical as well as theoretical generalization. The challenge of comparative transitional justice research is less to weigh the national impacts of policies than to incorporate a more historicized conception of causality that includes complex longterm processes and global interdependencies. From the perspective of comparative area studies, the case of transitional justice studies testifies to the need to combine the local, national, transnational, translocal, and global levels of analysis.
  • Topic: International Relations, Education, International Law, Political Theory, Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Almut Schilling-Vacaflor
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The participatory rights of indigenous peoples have been at the center of conflicts over resource extraction, which have recently increased in number and intensity across Latin America. Using comprehensive empirical data about the Guaraníes' participation in Bolivia's gas sector, this study finds that competing claims regarding territory, property, participation, and decision making provide important explanations for contestations over consultation practices and legal norms in the country. It argues that the main conflicts can be explained by (1) the Bolivian state's focus on directly affected communities and those with formally recognized land titles, something that clashes with the Guaraníes' principle of "territorial integrity"; (2) the state's conviction that it holds a monopoly over subsoil resources, and the limited rights to participation that it is willing to grant as a consequence, which the Guaraníes reject; and (3) the dissonance between state customs and regulations and Guaraní uses and customs.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Philip Kitzberger
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of government strategies vis-à-vis dominant media actors in the Latin American context, where the media's role in democratic politics is increasingly being questioned. It compares the first two Kirchnerist presidencies in Argentina with the first two Workers' Party-led governments in Brazil. While these governments initially adopted accommodation strategies towards media organisations, political crises subsequently disturbed the fragile coexistence of media and government, triggering divergent strategic responses that require explanation. Using accounts relying on ideological preferences, the study establishes the importance of environmental factors and critical junctures as determinants of governments' strategic options. Significant differences in the institutional configurations and articulations of media interests in the two countries are found to be relevant. However, the study shows that such constraints do not tell the whole story. Consequently, the analysis also focuses on how certain junctures affect government perceptions of media power and, in turn, inform governments' strategic stances.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Almut Schilling-Vacaflor
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article sheds light on 26 consultations in Bolivia's gas sector (2007–2012) and challenges simplified conceptions of prior consultation as a tool for conflict prevention and resolution. It shows that consultations do not only appease conflicts, but also exacerbate them as these procedures are used to negotiate broader grievances. This study further argues that narrow consultations (like those carried out in Bolivia) – rather than comprehensive ones – repress conflicts in the short‐term by limiting opportunities to mobilize against extractive projects. It also reveals that the degree of conflict and prevention potential of consultations varied according to the affected groups and highlights the ambiguous effects of the entanglement of consultations and compensations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Angelika Rettberg
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The involvement of business in peace negotiations and peacebuilding has become a standard concern for countries involved in transitions from armed conflict. This article sheds light on the recent history of the private sector's role in peace processes in Colombia – a country that has been engulfed by conflict for almost five decades. The present paper illustrates how business perceptions and behavior have evolved throughout various attempts at negotiating peace, revealing that both the perceived costs of conflict and the expected benefits of peace play a part in promoting business pro-peace activism. A focus on business preferences is important for scholarly and public policy purposes. In light of dwindling international cooperation resources, it is likely that the Colombian state and society (mainly wealthy taxpayers and the business community) will bear the brunt of Colombia's peacebuilding costs. Understanding when, how, and why crucial allies (and potential foes) of peace processes become mobilized is therefore crucial for analyzing the prospects of durable peace in the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Peace Studies, War, Narcotics Trafficking, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Almut Schilling-Vacaflor
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: With the recent expansion of extractive industries in Latin America, contestations with the affected communities have increased in number and intensity. Therein, the indigenous right to prior consultation and to free, prior and informed consent has played a crucial role. Based on the empirical study of several consultation processes in Bolivia's hydrocarbon sector since 2007 and referring to deliberative theories as well as human rights norms, this article explores the enabling and constraining factors in the democratization of resource governance through these procedures. While the specificities of consultations in plurinational Bolivia are taken into account, the study also draws general conclusions for similar processes in other resource‐reliant countries.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Natural Resources, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Malte Gephart
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While the current international and transnational anti‐corruption campaign (ITACC) has been successful in calling worldwide attention to the topic, several critics have argued that the term “corruption” and the concepts that underlie it are ambiguous and that corruption and anti‐corruption have various meanings. This paper empirically explores these supposedly divergent meanings by comparing the ITACC with the anti‐corruption discourse in Paraguay. In order to explore not only the tensions but also possible coalitions between the ITACC and the Paraguayan discourse, I have conducted discourse analysis and constructionist interviews. The empirical exploration shows that differences, and thus tensions, exist between both levels with respect to the causes and effects attributed to corruption, as well as with regard to the ultimate goal of the fight against corruption. However, there also is a strong discourse coalition between the ITACC and Paraguay concerning concrete countermeasures, which indicates the dominance of the international anti‐corruption approach in the Latin American country. Very different actors with divergent understandings of corruption are able to act collectively against corruption via this discourse coalition, while still interpreting these actions according to their respective political agendas.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Bert Hoffmann
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In the debate over the role of civil society under authoritarian regimes, the spread of transnational web-based media obliges us to rethink the arenas in which the societal voice can be raised–and heard. Taking the case of state-socialist Cuba, a diachronic comparison analyzes civil society dynamics prior to the Internet–in the early to mid-1990s, and a decade later, after digital and web-based media made their way onto the island. The study finds that in the pre-Internet period, the focus was on behind-the-scenes struggles for associational autonomy within the state-socialist framework. A decade later, web-based communication technologies have supported the emergence of a new type of public sphere in which the civil society debate is marked by autonomous citizen action. While this defies the socialist regime's design of state-society relations, its effect on democratization depends on the extent to which a web-based voice connects with off-line public debate and social action.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Island