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  • 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: Sebastian Elischer
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The effects of organized labor on regime change in developing countries are not clear‐cut. Optimists argue that union agitation is conducive to both democratic transition and consolidation processes. Pessimists hold that unions will support any regime that is conducive to their demands. Accordingly, unions may support regime transitions; however, once their economic interests are under threat, they will jeopardize the subsequent consolidation process. Systematic studies on the effects of organized labor on regime change in sub‐ Saharan Africa are sparse and largely confined to the (pre)transition phase. This article examines the role of organized labor in Niger between 1990 and 2010. Given the high number of regime breakdowns during the period, a longitudinal study of Nigerien labor enables a critical examination of motives and actions of organized labor toward different regime types. In contrast to other recent findings on African unionism, the article confirms the pessimistic view.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Regime Change, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jann Lay, Janosch Ondraczek, Jana Stoever
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: We study the determinants of households' choices of lighting fuels in Kenya, including the option of using solar home systems (SHSs). The paper adds new evidence on the factors that influence the introduction and adoption of decentralized and less carbon‐intensive energy sources in developing countries. We capitalize on a unique representative survey on energy use and sources from Kenya, one of the few relatively well‐established SHSs markets in the world. Our results reveal some very interesting patterns in the fuel transition in the context of lighting‐fuel choices. While we find clear evidence for a crosssectional energy ladder, the income threshold for modern fuel use – including solar energy use – is very high. Income and education turn out to be key determinants of SHSs adoption, but we also find a very pronounced effect of SHSs clustering. In addition, we do not find a negative correlation between grid access and SHSs use.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Miriam Shabafrouz, Annegret Mähler, Georg Strüver
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Natural resources are often held responsible for intrastate conflicts. As a consequence, both national and international measures to avoid the detrimental impact of resource endowments have increasingly been discussed and implemented in resource-rich countries. These measures include stabilization funds, subregional development programs, revenue-sharing regimes, and transparency initiatives. However, comparative empirical studies of the actual impact of these measures, particularly regarding their contribution to conflict prevention, are scarce. This paper contributes to the filling of this gap: combining a medium-N sample of oildependent countries and three in-depth case studies (Algeria, Nigeria, and Venezuela), we evaluate different instruments of resource management and their effects on conflict risk factors. On the one hand, the findings do not show any systematic connection between the countermeasures and a reduction in resource-related risks; on the other, the paper highlights common causal factors for the lack of implementation of resource-related countermeasures.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, Latin America, Venezuela, Nigeria
  • Author: Nicole Hirt
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article analyzes contemporary Eritrea's acute crisis within the framework of the theory of anomie. It is based on the hypothesis that militarization, forced labor, mass exodus, and family disintegration can be interpreted as the consequences of two incompatible norm and value systems: the collectivist, nationalistic, and militaristic worldview of the former liberation front and ruling party People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), and the traditional cultural system of Eritrea's society. In 2002 the regime introduced an unlimited "development campaign," thereby forcing large parts of the society to live as conscripts and perform unpaid labor. This has caused a mass exodus of young people and a rapid process of family disintegration. The article is based on empirical fieldwork and evaluates the ongoing developments, which have led to rapid economic decline and the destabilization of the entire fabric of society.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Migration, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Eritrea
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The institutionalization of political parties is said to be important for democratic development, but its measurement has remained a neglected area of research. We understand the institutionalization of political organizations as progress in four dimensions: roots in society, level of organization, autonomy, and coherence. On this basis we construct an Index of the Institutionalization of Parties (IIP), which we apply to 28 African political parties. The IIP uses extensive GIGA survey and fieldwork data. Initial results reveal a more differentiated degree of institutionalization than is commonly assumed. In addition to illustrating overall deficits in party institutionalization, the IIP highlights an astonishing variance between individual parties and—to a lesser extent—between national aggregates. Further research on party institutionalization remains necessary, particularly regarding its causes and consequences.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Gero Erdmann
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Recent research on political parties and ethnicity has challenged the conventional wisdom about ethnicity as the major factor that explains voter alignment in Africa. The paper maintains that the cleavage model, although modified to include ethnicity, still provides heuristically the best foundation for the explanation of party formation and voting behaviour in Africa. It points out that inconclusive and contradicting research results about the salience of ethnicity can be attributed to a variety of unresolved methodological and conceptual problems linked to the 'fluidity' of the concept of ethnicity. To overcome these problems refined research designs and more sophisticated analytical tools are required. Finally, it is safe to assume that the relevance of ethnicity for the formation of party systems and voter alignment is not a uniform pattern across Africa, but will differ from one country to the other.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Thomas Richter, Christian Steiner
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article challenges claims that liberalising state regulated markets in developing countries may induce lasting economic development. The analysis of the rise of tourism in Egypt during the last three decades suggests that the effects of liberalisation and structural adjustment are constrained by the neo-patrimonial character of the Egyptian political system. Since the decline of oil rent revenues during the 1980s tourism development was the optimal strategy to compensate for the resulting fiscal losses. Increasing tourism revenues have helped in coping with macroeconomic imbalances and in avoiding more costly adjustment of traditional economic sectors. Additionally, they provided the private elite with opportunities to generate large profits. Therefore, sectoral transformations due to economic liberalisation in neo-patrimonial Rentier states should be described as a process, which has led to the diversification of external rent revenues, rather than to a general downsizing of the Rentier character of the economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Alexander Stroh
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Scholars of institutional design attribute large importance to the choice of new institutions. The comparative analysis of how Rwanda and Zambia crafted their new electoral systems and the systems of government regards procedural, structural and rational choice variables which may influence the option for particular solutions. External influences and the type of transition are determinants that can decide which actors make their interests prevail. The degree of innovation or conservatism of new institutions is mainly a result of the speed of the process and the kind of actors involved. However, rational reflections on how to produce legitimacy and minimize personal risks which take into consideration the state of conflict in the country decide on the speed and on innovative outcomes. The structured analysis of only two cases uncovers already that it is rather difficult to realise the transfer of design recommendations into reality.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Rwanda, Holland