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  • Author: Thomas Jeffrey Miley
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes patterns of linguistic adaptation, cultural assimilation, and hidden contestation in contemporary Catalonia. It makes use of public opinion data available for the general population there, compared and contrasted with the results of primary research from 355 interviews conducted by this author with a random sample of Catalan politicians and schoolteachers. In the process, it assesses the relative merits of the “competitive assimilation” thesis, the dominant framework for understanding the dynamics of language politics in Catalonia. It contends that this thesis is critically flawed, both as description and as explanation.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Demographics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Catalonia
  • Author: Michèle Lamont, Christopher Bail
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article offers a framework for analyzing variations in how members of stigmatized ethnoracial groups establish equivalence with dominant groups through the comparative study of “equalization strategies.” Whereas extant scholarship on anti-racism has focused on the struggle of social movements against institutional and political exclusion and social justice, we are concerned with the “everyday” anti-racist strategies deployed by members of stigmatized groups. We seek to compare how these strategies vary according to the permeability of inter-group boundaries. The first section defines our research problem and the second section locates our agenda within the current literature. The third section sketches an empirical context for the comparative analysis of equalization strategies across four cases: Palestinian citizens of Israel, Catholics in Northern Ireland, blacks in Brazil, and Québécois in Canada. Whereas the first two cases are examples of ethnic conflict where group boundaries are tightly policed, the second cases exemplify more permeable boundaries. We conclude by offering tentative hypotheses about the relationship between the permeability of inter-group boundaries and the salience and range of equalization strategies used by members of stigmatized ethno-racial groups to establish equivalence with their counterparts in dominant majority groups.
  • Topic: Civil Society
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, Canada, Israel, Brazil, South America, North Ireland
  • Author: Paul Christopher Manuel, Maurya N. Tollefsen
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the thirty-three years since the April 25, 1974, Carnation Revolution, there have been sporadic efforts by progressive forces to legalize abortion in Portugal. This activity has intensified over the past nine years, culminating with two national referenda on the subject, one in 1998 which narrowly affirmed the ban on abortion, and the second in 2007 which allowed for the procedure during the first ten weeks of pregnancy. One reason that the abortion debate in Portugal attracted much interest in the world press was what it would potentially teach about the Roman Catholic Church's contemporary role in Portuguese society. That is, would the Church maintain its traditional influential role over public policy formation in a secularizing Portugal, especially related to its moral teaching? There is some controversy about the type of secularization which is taking place (i.e., Portuguese-style secularization may be of a different sort than that of Northern European countries), but there is little doubt that the Church's ability to define morality for its members has been reduced in recent years. The Church now competes with many secular voices to frame issues such as sexuality, marriage, divorce and abortion. The recent vote to legalize abortion—a move bitterly opposed by the Church—is but one of many examples symbolizing a drift in Portuguese society toward secularization. There was another dimension to the national debate over abortion as well: the pro-choice side successfully harmonized its rhetoric to certain traditional communal values found in Portuguese society—namely compassion, solidarity and support—and, in so doing, forged a recovery of those values.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Portugal
  • Author: Stefan Collignon
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper models unemployment as a general equilibrium solution in labor and capital markets, while the natural rate hypothesis explains unemployment simply as a partial equilibrium in the labor market. It is shown that monetary policy can have long-run effects by affecting required returns on capital and investment. If monetary policy is primarily concerned with maintaining price stability, the interaction between wage bargaining and the central bank's credibility as an inflation fighter becomes a crucial factor in determining employment. Different labor market institutions condition different monetary policy reactions. With centralized wage bargaining, a central bank mandate focusing primarily on price stability is sufficient. With an atomistic labor market, the central bank must also consider output as a policy objective.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Béland
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This theoretical contribution explores the role of political actors in the social construction of collective insecurity. Two parts comprise the article. The first one briefly defines the concept of collective insecurity and the second one bridges existing sociological and political science literatures relevant for the analysis of the politics of insecurity. This theoretical framework articulates five main claims. First, although interesting, the concept of moral panic applies only to a limited range of insecurity episodes. Second, citizens of contemporary societies exhibit acute risk awareness and, when new collective threats emerge, the logic of "organized irresponsibility" often leads citizens and interest groups alike to blame elected officials. Third, political actors mobilize credit claiming and blame avoidance strategies to respond to these threats in a way that enhances their This theoretical contribution explores the role of political actors in the social construction of collective insecurity. Two part s comprise the article. The first one briefly defines the concept of collective insecurity and the second one bridges existing sociological and political science literatures relevant for the analysis of the politics of insecurity. This theoretical framework articulates five main claims. First, although interesting, the concept of moral panic applies only to a limited range of insecurity episodes. Second, citizens of contemporary societies exhibit acute risk awareness and, when new collective threats emerge, the logic of “organized irresponsibility” often leads citizens and interest groups alike to blame elected officials. Third, political actors mobilize credit claiming and blame avoidance strategies to respond to these threats in a way that enhances their position within the political field. Fourth, powerful interests and institutional forces as well as the “threat infrastructure” specific to a policy area create constraints and opportunities for these strategic actors. Finally, their behavior is proactive or reactive, as political actors can either help push a threat onto the agenda early, or, at a later stage, simply attempt to shape the perception of this threat after other forces have transformed it into a major political issue.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wolfgang Schroeder, Stephen J. Silvia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper challenges the conventional explanation for declining density of German employers associations. The dominant account asserts that German trade unions have taken advantage of increased globalization since the 1980s – which has made internationally active enterprises more vulnerable to production disruptions – to extract additional monopoly rents from multinational employers via aggressive collective bargaining. Small firms have responded to the increased union pressures by avoiding member ship employers associations, which has produced the density declines. Data, however, disconfirm the conventional explanation; compensation increases have actually become increasingly smaller over the decades. This paper presents an alternative explanation that is consistent with the data. We argue that it is the large product manufacturers rather than the trade unions that have greatly increased price pressures on parts suppliers, which has led to a disproportionate number of suppliers to quit employers associations. The paper also discusses these findings in light of the “varieties of capitalism” literature. It points out that this literature has depicted national models as too homogeneous. The decision of several German employers associations to offer different classes of membership represents an accentuation of variety within national varieties of capitalism.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: David Coates
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: New Labour's performance in office–as an orchestrator of economic and social change–is situated against, and evaluated by reference to, two sets of legacies: legacies inherited from the years of Conservative political dominance after 1979; and legacies brought to power by New Labour. The paper argues that the first se t of legacies was deep and enduring, and threw a long shadow forward. It argues that the second set of legacies were highly coherent and intellectually informed, but cumulatively involved a diminution in the capacity of the state. The result has been a two-term government that is sufficiently superficially successful to win a third term; but which has yet seriously to transform the legacies it inherited: to our misfortune, and ultimately–in electoral terms–also probably to its own. This paper is based on my study of New Labour's domestic policy–Prolonged Labour: The Slow Birth of New Labour Britain; I have also co-authored a study of New Labour's policy towards Iraq–Blair's War–which was published by Polity Press in 2004.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Bo Rothstein, Eric M. Uslaner
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The importance of social trust has become widely accepted in the social sciences. A number of explanations have been put forward for the stark variation in social trust among countries. Among these, participation in voluntary associations received most attention. Yet, there is scant evidence that participation can lead to trust. In this paper, we shall examine a variable that has not gotten the attention we think it deserves in the discussion about the sources of generalized trust, namely equality. We conceptualize equality in two dimensions: one is economic equality and the other is equality of opportunity. The omission of both these dimensions of equality in the social capital literature is peculiar for several reasons. One is that it is obvious that the countries that score highest on social trust also rank highest on economic equality, namely the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, and Canada. Secondly, these are countries that have put a lot of effort in creating equality of opportunity, not least in regard to their policies for public education, labor market opportunities and (more recently) gender equality. The argument for increasing social trust by reducing inequality has largely been ignored in the policy debates about social trust. Social capital research has to a large extent been used by several governments and policy organizations to send a message to people that the bad things in their society are caused by too little volunteering. The policy implication that follows from our research is that the low levels of trust and social capital that plague many countries are caused by too little government action to reduce inequality. However, many countries plagued by low levels of social trust and social capital may be stuck in what is known as a social trap. The logic of such a situation is the following. Social trust will not increase because massive social inequality prevails, but the public policies that could remedy this situation cannot be established precisely because there is a genuine lack of trust. This lack of trust concerns both “other people” and the government institutions that are needed to implement universal policies.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada, Netherlands
  • Author: Jörg Hackmann
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Voluntary associations are a major topic of historical research on nation building and civil society in Europe. This paper focuses on the associational sphere in the Baltic provinces of Tsarist Russia and tries to outline the impact of associations on modern societies in this region. The first section addresses the legal and social frameworks of voluntary associations, followed by a sketch of developmental trends in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The next sections discuss the role of voluntary associations within the concepts of civil society and cultural nation building. Slightly different from conventional functionalist national discourses, it is argued here that, in the perspective of cultural history, voluntary associations contributed considerably to the emergence of the region of North Eastern Europe, a region shaped by close cultural contacts and inter-ethnic relations within the Baltic Sea region as well as by the strivings of the small nations to integrate with larger European structures.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Ulrich Krotz
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Beneath the relations among states, and distinct from the exchanges of an autonomous regional or global civil society, there is another set of international practices which is neither public nor private but parapublic. The Franco-German parapublic underpinnings consist of publicly funded youth and educational exchanges, some two thousand city and regional partnerships, a host of institutes and associations concerned with Franco-German matters, and various other parapublic elements. This institutional reality provides resources, socializes the participants of its programs, and generates social meaning. Simultaneously, parapublic activity faces severe limits. In this paper I clarify the concept of “parapublic underpinnings” of international relations and flesh out their characteristics for the relationship between France and Germany. I then evaluate the effects and limits of this type of activity, and relate this paper's findings and arguments to recent research on transnationalism, Europeanization, and denationalization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Education
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany