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  • Author: Jon Erik Dølvik
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The enlargement of the EU / EEA area on 1 May 2004 to comprise 28 countries – including eight Central and Eastern European countries, in 2007 followed by Bulgaria and Romania – was a milestone. The subsequent opening of the markets for labor and services between countries with gaps in wages and living conditions comparable to those along the U.S./Mexican border has no modern precedent, prompting new patterns of competition, migration and adjustment in national labor market regimes. This paper reviews developments in labor migration after enlargement and the implications for the labor markets in the Baltic states and Poland, which have accounted for a predominant share of the intra- EU / EEA migration flows since 2004. Besides the UK and Ireland, where almost one million EU 8 citizens had registered in 2007, the booming Nordic economies have become important destinations, having granted more than 250,000 permits and seen sizeable additional flows of service providers and self-employed from the Baltic states and Poland. In the sending countries, rising demand for labor has, alongside strong outmigration – especially among young and well-educated groups – engendered falling unemployment, soaring wage growth, and made shortages of skills and labor an obstacle to further economic recovery. Yet, while better paid temporary work abroad may weaken the incentives for employment, mobility and training in the home country, aging will lead to shrinking working-age populations in the coming years. Unless the Baltic states and Poland can entice a larger share of the population to work in their home countries – and/or can attract substantial labor migration from third countries – the declining work force may easily entail economic stagnation and reinforce the outflow of human resources. These countries are thereby facing a critical juncture in their economic and social development. In the recipient Nordic countries, the growing labor and service mobility, low cost production, and competition for labor in Europe, as well as emerging lines of division in the labor markets, have, on the other hand, raised new questions as to how the principles of free movement and the egalitarian Nordic models can be made reconcilable in the open European markets.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Ireland
  • Author: Gerald A. McDermott
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article examines the political conditions shaping the creation of new institutional capabilities. It analyzes bank sector reforms in the 1990s in three leading postcommunist democracies–Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. It shows how different political approaches to economic transformation can facilitate or hinder the ability of relevant public and private actors to experiment and learn their new roles. With its emphasis on insulating power and rapidly implementing self-enforcing economic incentives, the “depoliticization” approach creates few changes in bank behavior and, indeed, impedes investment in new capabilities at the bank and supervisory levels. The “deliberativ e restructuring” approach fostered innovative, cost-effective monitoring structures for recapitalization, a strong supervisory system, and a stable, expanding bank sector.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland, Hungary
  • Author: Cas Mudde
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The finalized "Return to Europe" of the new EU members states of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has created a whole new ballgame for Eurosceptic political actors. In rational choice terms, the costs of Euroscepticism (and even Eurorejection) have gone down dramatically, while the benefits will most probably go even further up. While the effects of EU accession on the party systems of CEE are multifold, this paper develops one possible effect: the transformation of the already present regional divide within CEE countries into a populist, anti-EU center-periphery leavage.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • 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: Christiane Lemke
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: With the EU-enlargement process well underway, this paper focuses on social citizenship as a conceptual frame for analyzing the restructuring of social institutions in applicant countries in East Central Europe. So far, comparative welfare state analysis has concentrated mainly on the developed economies of the OECD-countries; there is little systematic analytical work on the transitions in post-communist Europe. Theoretically, this paper builds on comparative welfare state analysis as well as on new institutionalism. The initial hypothesis is built on the assumption that emerging patterns of social support and social security diverge from the typology described in the comparative welfare state literature inasmuch as the transformation of postcommunist societies is distinctly different from the building of welfare states in Europe. The paper argues that institutionbuilding is shaped by and embedded in the process of European integration and part of governance in the EU. Anticipating full membership in the European Union, the applicant countries have to adapt to the rules and regulations of the EU, including the “social acquis”. Therefore, framing becomes an important feature of institutional changes. The paper seeks to identify distinct patterns and problems of the institutionalization of social citizenship.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • 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