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  • Author: Lars Buur, Obede Baloi, Carlota Mondlane Tembe
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the General Peace Accord (GPA) in 1992 ending the civil war and the first democratic elections in 1994, Mozambique has experienced a peaceful transition towards democracy, underpinned by successive rounds of local and national elections, which have been, if not totally free, then at least sufficiently free to be accepted by the international community. This, combined with sustained economic growth (Sousa and Sulemane 2007), a substantial decline in people living below the poverty line, relatively high levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) and very high and continued levels of foreign donor support has made Mozambique 'a success story' for the international donor community where few such stories seem available (Renzio and Hanlon 2006: 3). This has triggered continuous and generous levels of assistance and made Mozambique the ultimate 'donor darling'. But with the opening up of the rich natural resource endowment in energy, gas, oil and minerals to exploitation after Frelimo's election victory in 2009, the country stands at a critical juncture, with the potential to become donor-independent within the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Political Economy, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Julie Elisabeth Pruzan-Jørgensen
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Islamic women's activism may appear a contradiction in terms to many Western audiences accustomed to presentations of Islam as counterproductive to the promotion of women's empowerment and the situation of women more generally. Yet in the Arab world (and beyond) many different groups and individuals – as scholars, as charity and welfare providers, and as religious or political activists – work to empower women based on Islamic arguments and references.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Islam, Politics, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: José Jaime Macuane
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Discussion of development strategies in Mozambique reveals three main perspectives on the role of elites in the policy process: donor dominance, political dominance over technocracy, and the emergence of non-state (economic and civil society) actors as players in the policy process, although still with a marginal role. These analyses tend to see the identity of these actors as monolithic and clearly identifiable. The identities condition the involvement of these actors in a set of dichotomous relations, such as politicians versus technocrats, donors versus internal actors, and state versus non-state actors. Based on this understanding, this paper analyses the role of elites in policy processes, focusing on elite formation and power relations in Mozambique in a context of an economically dependent country undergoing democratization. The paper shows that the dominant analyses of the role of the elites in the policy process in Mozambique overlook the process of elite formation, which contributes to the existence of multiple and overlapping elite identities in the policy process. In this regard, the paper concludes that, despite the emergence of new elites (economic, societal and bureaucratic) resulting from economic and political liberalization and as an aspect of pro-poor policies, the differentiation between these elitesis more apparent than real because of the strategies they have adopted to maintain their dominance in a context of the increasing importance of electoral politics. Further, the paper concludes that the political elite still dominates the process, even with donor dependence, but that nonetheless this dominance is being challenged by an erosion of legitimacy caused by the low effectiveness of the development strategies, reflected in increasing public contestation over government policies, which opens up a space for changes in the current pattern of elite relations.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Ghana has exhibited rather strong economic growth since the 1980s, but little transformation of the productive structure of its economy. The paper argues that ruling elites' policy choices are shaped by their political survival strategies. In turn, these strategies are shaped by (1) the characteristics of the ruling coalitions, which include a high degree of vulnerability in power, strong lower-level factions of the ruling coalition, and a substantial amount of fragmentation among the higher factions of the ruling coalition; (2) the weak capabilities and political influence of the nascent productive capitalists; and (3) easy access to financing for the state and the ruling coalition from foreign aid, mining and cocoa bean exports. As a result, ruling elites' policy actions did not prioritize the development of new productive sectors (or upgrading of old ones), but were geared towards delivering benefits to the higher and lower levels of the ruling coalition, as well as delivering a small amount of visible goods and services to as much of the population as possible in an effort to 'swing' voters their way at election time. Neither of these political survival strategies resulted in significant productive sector investments.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Fourth Republic was inaugurated in 1993, politics in Ghana has been increasingly characterized by competitive clientelism. Ruling coalitions are characterized by a high degree of vulnerability in power due to a strong opposition party, by strong lower-level factions within the ruling coalition due to their importance in winning elections, and by a high degree of fragmentation among the ruling elite. These characteristics, combined with a weak domestic capitalist class and high inflows of foreign aid, have led the ruling elites across political parties to pursue and implement policies that have a short time horizon, that do not significantly shift the allocation of resources towards building productive sectors, and which are often plagued by problems of enforcement. The results have led to growth without economic transformation. In particular, the country has witnessed recurrent macroeconomic instability, a haphazard process of privatization of state-owned enterprises, and no serious attempt to build up productive sectors outside of cocoa and gold.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Jeppe Strandsbjerg
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the relationship between geography and politics; and more specifically, the relationship between sovereign claims and cartography. I introduce the term 'cartopolitics' to describe a particular way of making space real and corresponding with politics that defines contemporary bordering practices in the Arctic region. The paper argues that too often boundary studies assume that socio-political space arises as a result of boundary practices. In contrast, this paper proceeds from a notion that space should precede boundaries in the analysis because, unless space is taken as a natural given and constant background, its 'construction' conditions how boundaries can be established in the first place. In sequence, I argue how the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea builds on–and requires–a particular spatiality epitomised by so-called modern cartography. This has implications for the way in which sovereignty over space is transferred from a political to a scientific domain, and essentially, it tends to mask the constructed nature of the spatiality given objectivity through the law of the sea.
  • Topic: International Law, Politics, United Nations, Maritime Commerce
  • Author: Mette Buskjær Christensen
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This report describes and analyses the procedures applied by Danish political parties when selecting candidates for EP elections 2009. Furthermore, it examines Danish political party cooperation at the European level with both European party federations and political groups in the EP.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jon A. Olsen
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The present report is based on in-depth interviews with individuals formerly involved in politically motivated group violence, in order to acquire accounts of processes of radicalization in their own words. The main themes in the interviews were the following: 1) How did they become involved with militant activist groups? 2) What drove them to take part in specific militant operations? And: 3) What role did ideology, identity and social group processes play in these decisions? The latter theme is the main problem dealt with in this text.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anja Dalgaard-Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Why do some apparently well-integrated youth in Europe become attracted to Islamist militancy? Why and when do people cross from violent talk to violent action? What prevents others, exposed to the same political, ideological, and socioeconomic influences, from crossing? When and how might people de-radicalize and draw back from violent action? What policy initiatives would be called for to limit the spread of radical ideas, counter the factors that spur violent radicalization, and strengthen those, which pull in the other direction? In sum: When, why, and how do people living in a democracy become radicalized to the point of being willing to use or directly support the use of terrorist violence against civilians, and what can be done about it?
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anja Dalgaard-Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Why do some apparently well-integrated youth in Europe become attracted to Islamist militancy? Why and when do people cross from violent talk to violent action? What prevents others, exposed to the same political, ideological, and socioeconomic influences, from crossing? When and how might people de-radicalize and draw back from violent action? What policy initiatives would be called for to limit the spread of radical ideas, counter the factors that spur violent radicalization, and strengthen those, which pull in the other direction? In sum: When, why, and how do people living in a democracy become radicalized to the point of being willing to use or directly support the use of terrorist violence against civilians, and what can be done about it?
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe