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You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University Political Geography Eastern Europe Remove constraint Political Geography: Eastern Europe Publication Year within 25 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 25 Years Topic Government Remove constraint Topic: Government
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  • Author: Dorothee Bohle, Bela Greskovitz
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: During the past decade of European economic integration vastly worse standards have emerged in work conditions, industrial relations, and social welfare in Eastern Europe than in the West. Area scholars explain this divide by labor weakness caused by the ideological legacy of communism, and do not problematize the impact of transnational capital. In contrast, this essay argues that the reason why the European social model has not traveled to the East is that its socio-economic foundations, the industrial building blocks of the historical compromise between capital and labor, have not traveled either. In the West, the compromise had been rooted in capital-intensive consumer durables industries, such as car-manufacturing, and their suppliers. These sectors brought together organized and vocal labor with businesses willing to accommodate workers' demands, because for them labor had been less a problem as a cost-factor and more important as factor of demand. However, the main driving force of the eastward expansion of European capital has been the relocation of labor-intensive activities where business relies on sweating masses of workers, whose importance as consumers is marginal, and who are weak in the workplace and the marketplace. With this general conceptualization of how the emerging new European division of labor constrains the social aspects of East European market societies as a background, the essay studies the cases of Hungarian electronics and Slovak car industries in order to better understand how particular features of various leading sectors mediate the general pattern.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Stephen Crowley
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Studies on the changing labor relations in post-communist countries have flourished in recent years, such that a review and analysis of what has been reported is overdue. Yet, interestingly, these studies have not reached a consensus on what they seek to explain. Indeed, some of the main questions remain under contention. First, is labor in post-communist societies weak, or (in at least some countries) strong? What should the referent be in determining strength or weakness? To the extent labor is weak, what would explain this weakness? If labor's power varies throughout the region, what would explain this variation? There have been a number of answers posed to these questions to date, but not a thorough testing of rival hypotheses. This paper will demonstrate, using a variety of measures, that labor is indeed a weak social and political act or in post-communist societies, especially when compared to labor in western Europe. This general weakness is rather surprising when one examines it against the now considerable economic and political diversity that exists in the post-communist world. The paper will then examine a number of hypotheses that have been proposed to explain labor's weakness, concluding that the institutional legacies of post-communist trade unions, and the ideological legacy of the discourse of class, best explain this overall weakness. However, the concept of legacy is itself found wanting, since it is unable to account for the extent of this weakness or the trends that have occurred in the region over time.
  • Topic: Communism, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Abby Innes
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article suggests that the academic emphasis on rational choice and political-sociological approaches to party development has led to a misleading impression of convergence with Western patterns of programmatic competition and growing partisan identification in the Central European party political scene. As an alternative thesis, the author argues that the very character of 'transition' politics in Eastern Europe and the necessarily self-referential nature of the parliamentary game has structured party systems in those countries, and that the differences between the party systems in this region are critically related to experiences under communism (–a political-historical explanation). The paper argues that, in order to cope with a practical lack of public policy options in major areas such as the economy, parties have had little choice but to compete over operating 'styles,' rather than over substantive (ideologically based) programmatic alternatives. The development of parties incumbent in government since 1989 may be compared to the development of catch-all parties in Western Europe in terms of the competitive logic of weakening/avoiding ideological positions in order to embrace a large constituency. However, successful parties in Eastern Europe lack the 'baggage' of an ideological past and the history of mass membership and a class or denominational clientele – their defining characteristic is that they try to appeal to all of the people all of the time.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Claus Hofhansel
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since World War II, the most distinctive characteristic of German foreign policy has been its commitment to multilateralism. This commitment has served German material interests, but it has a normative basis as well. This paper analyzes German domestic support for multilateralist policies, defined in terms of the principles of indivisibility, generalized principles of conduct, and diffuse reciprocity, in the context of negotiations on the EU's eastern enlargement. Empirically, the paper focuses on the policy areas of freedom of movement for workers and agriculture. The main theoretical argument is that domestic support for multilateralist policies depends on the distributional consequences of such policies and the ability of political institutions to manage distributional conflicts. Distributional conflict undermines support for multilateralist policies. In the case of Germany, distributional conflicts among different sectors and regions of the German economy have become more severe partly, but not exclusively, due to German unification. Furthermore, German political institutions are less able to resolve such conflicts than in the past. The evidence presented here shows more intense domestic distributional conflicts on the free movement of labor issue than over agriculture, and, as expected, we see more explicitly bilateral and less multilateralist demands by unions and employers.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Germany
  • Author: Katharina Bluhm
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: With the opening of Central Eastern Europe German firms have gained access to low labor costs in close geographical proximity. Intense debate about the impact this has had on the “German model” of capitalism has ensued. This paper argues that, in fact, production shifts are taking place in which cost-cutting motives are an important guideline. German firms, however, hesitate to aggressively utilize this new option in their internal domestic labor policy. Rather, firms tend to avoid confrontations with their employees on “job exports”. The necessity of collaboration on both sides of the border, the relative strength of workers in the domestic high-quality production system, and the constraints of industrial relations provide explanations for the moderate behavior. So far, the outcome of the bargained reorganization is that firms gain more labor flexibility, performance-related differentiation, and labor-cost rationalization without challenging the institutionalized long-term employment commitments for their core workforce.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Germany
  • Author: Michael Bernhard
  • Publication Date: 01-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Given the history of charismatic dictatorship in this century, charismatic leaders have been seen as threats to democracy. At the same time, periods of accelerated political change, such as the period of post-Communist democratization in Eastern and Central Europe, also give rise to charismatic leaders. This paper establishes the conditions under which charismatic leaders are compatible with democracy. Using a framework drawn from Max Weber's sociological writings the paper argues that charismatic leadership is only compatible with democracy when charisma is routinized in a rational-legal direction. In that routinization, however, rational-legal procedures (the rule-boundedness of power) must predominate over charismatic elements (the arbitrary and personal exercise of power). When this balance is reversed the result will be dictatorship. This discussion highlights the fact that both modern dictatorship and democracy legitimate themselves by a combination of charismatic and rational elements. It then considers whether Weber's theory can help us to understand the impact of the charismatic leadership on post-communist democratization by considering the experience of Havel in the Czech Republic, Wa__sa in Poland, and Yeltsin in Russia. It concludes with a discussion of charisma and its role in both democracy and dictatorship in the contemporary era. It finds that the similarity in the way in which modern democracy and dictatorship are legitimated augers better for the viability of authoritarian regimes than the many recent accounts which predict a diminished prospect for dictatorship in the current era might suggest.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe