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  • Author: Ana Karen Negrete-García
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the existence and nature of constraints prevailing among Mexican microenterprises. It provides inter‐temporal insights by relying on firm‐level data span‐ning from 1994 to 2012. A performance index is defined based on firm levels of capital stock and monthly profits, and is used to estimate the empirical probability of a business’s success. The predicted values are used to classify every microenterprise into one of three categories: upper, middle, or lower segment. Overall, the study provides evidence of con‐ strained productivity and capital misallocation. Specifically, middle‐segment firms exhibit entrepreneurial features and their average marginal returns are 15 percent. Because this segment faces mainly external constraints, cost‐effective interventions are plausible. Re‐garding the lower‐segment firms, it is estimated that their average monthly marginal re‐ turns are 30 per cent, compared to 1 per cent for the upper segment. It is also shown that, over time, the share that middle‐segment firms represent relative to all microenterprises increased from 16 to 22 percent. Lastly, the sources of variation in monthly profits among segments are explored using the Oaxaca‐Blinder decomposition method.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Tim Wegenast, Georg Strüver, Juliane Giesen
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Qualitative studies and media reports suggest that the presence of Chinese oil or mining companies generates resentments among local extractive communities due to low wages, poor working conditions, environmental degradation, the employment of foreign labour, and perceived racial discrimination. At the same time, Chinese investment in the extractive sector appears to enhance local infrastructure. So far, these claims have not been empirical‐ly tested in a systematic way. Relying on novel data on the control‐rights regimes of dia‐mond, gold, and copper mines and geo‐referenced information from Afrobarometer sur‐veys, this paper examines whether Chinese‐controlled mining promotes anti‐Chinese sen‐timents among the local populations of sub‐Saharan African countries. In addition, we test the effect of mining contractors’ nationality on socio‐economic indicators such as local employment rates and infrastructure levels. Our logistic regression analysis for the period 1997–2014 reveals that the effect of Chinese mining companies on African local develop‐ ment is ambiguous: while proximity to Chinese‐operated mines is associated with anti‐ Chinese sentiments and unemployment, populations living close to Chinese mining areas enjoy better infrastructure, such as paved roads or piped water. Multilevel mixed‐effects estimations using district‐level data from the Demographic Health Survey for 20 sub‐ Saharan countries corroborate these findings.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Chanchal Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper links the foreign economic engagement of India’s states with the literature on federalism, thereby contributing to an understanding of the political economy of FDI in‐flows in a parliamentary federal system. More specifically, it studies subnational governments’ international engagements to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and investigates whether the political affiliations of states’ chief ministers and parliamentarians determine the spatial distribution of FDI across the Indian states, correcting for the influence of per capita income, population density, urbanisation, infrastructure, policy regime, and human development. Although the central government plays no direct role in determining the state to which FDI goes, the centre–state relations in a federal structure play a role in creating perceptions about the relative political risk involved in different investment destinations. Employing multiple linear regressions to analyse time‐series (2000–2013) cross‐sectional (12 states) data using the panel procedure, the study finds that affiliated states attract relatively more FDI per capita in comparison to states ruled by opposition parties or coalition partners. However, some exceptions do result, primarily due to two phenomena: first, the presence of a strong state leadership and, second, the presence of a significant share of members of parliament belonging to the prime minister’s party in the non‐affiliated states. Further, states ruled by outside supporters have been most successful in attracting FDI inflows during the coalition period.  
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sören Scholvin
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The second‐most powerful states in regional hierarchies – or “secondary powers” – can be expected to contest against hegemons. In this paper, I assess the power that secondary powers in sub‐Saharan Africa wield vis‐à‐vis South Africa and suggest that their intended and unintended contestation can be captured as hard balancing, soft balancing, rejection of followership, and disregard of leadership. Angola’s foreign policy is marked by a mix of these types of contestation and a recent shift towards soft balancing, which results from Angola’s increasing economic influence in some regional countries. Kenya might reject followership or even hard‐balance in economic affairs but has not done so yet. Nigerian– South African relations are characterised by a disregard of South African leadership, especially in security policy, and unintended economic soft balancing
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Anika Oettler
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The legitimacy of transitional justice currently derives from the contribution it makes to the recognition of victims. Adding the aspect of authoritative power to ongoing debates on transitional justice, however, could significantly alter our views on recognition. Recognition is widely believed to be key to overcoming traumatic experiences. At the same time, however, it strengthens authoritative power. Seeking a more nuanced understanding of the recognition–power nexus, the paper provides a rough and critical account of various understandings of recognition and power on the part of authors such as Honneth, Fraser, Bertram and Celikates, Ikäheimo, Arendt, Foucault, Popitz, and Bourdieu. It then examines how these theoretical approaches intersect and speak to each other. To see recognition as a reciprocal interaction sensitive to power relations is to pave the way for a power‐sensitive turn in current debates on victim‐centred transitional justice. Multidirectional relationships of power exist, with varying forms of coercion, resistance, and struggle. This insight corresponds with the observation, seen from the other perspective, that truth and recognition are inside power. Placing theoretical approaches to power and recognition side by side has strong implications for politics. The paper therefore applies these theoretical insights to the Colombian peace process, showing the potential and pitfalls of putting recognition into practice.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Simone Schotte
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Beyond the hopes placed in Africa’s emergent middle class as an engine of economic growth, some analysts see this group as a bastion of political stability and enduring democratisation across the continent. This paper’s approach differs from that of most studies, which treat the middle class as a homogeneous group, through two key contributions. First, using cluster analysis, I propose a novel way of conceptualising social class that broadly draws on the Weberian idea of shared life chances. I apply this method to South Africa and identify five social classes characterised by their members’ living standards, overall life satisfaction, and self‐perceived upward mobility. Second, the empirical analysis reveals significant discrepancies in attitudes towards democracy between the downwardly and upwardly mobile strata of the middle class, which I term the “anxious” and the “climbers,” respectively. On the one hand, the “climbers” show the highest generic support for democracy as a form of government, whereas the “anxious” middle class displays feelings of resignation. On the other hand, I find indicative evidence of a status‐quo bias among the “climbers.” Rather than assuming a more demanding or critical stance in politics, they allow their political priorities to be at least partly shaped by an interest in securing and expanding attained living standards; being upwardly mobile is even associated with a higher tolerance for government attempts to constrain freedom of information, opinion, or expression.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Kappel
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper deals with Germany’s new Africa policy. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) presented a new Africa concept in January 2017. The BMZ wants to counter the further marginalisation of Africa with inclusive and sustainable growth. Chancellor Angela Merkel will explain her new policy for Africa at the G20 summit in Hamburg in July 2017, in an attempt to gain the approval of the other G20 members for focused cooperation with Africa. The paper argues that it remains solely the duty of African states to take their development into their own hands. Cooperation can support this process, but it cannot assume what is each state’s individual responsibility.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Germany