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  • Author: Paul Christopher Manuel
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The notion of Portuguese exceptionalism resonated with the European political and economic elite for some two hundred years: there was a widespread belief that Portuguese society and government existed outside of European understandings of society, politics and authority relations. In the thirty-five years since the 25 April 1974 Carnation Revolution, the Portuguese political system has developed new mechanisms for debate, elections and policy adoption. Portugal is currently completely integrated into Europe as a member of the European Union, with a democratic government and a developing economy. Portugal's return to the overall pattern of European democratic institutions in the years following the 25 April 1974 revolution can be understood as a much needed corrective of both Portuguese authoritarianism and its associated notions of lusotropicalism: that is, democracy and Europe have replaced corporatism and the Portuguese overseas empire as two of the key defining elements of contemporary Portuguese identity. It was certainly a long historical struggle from monarchy to democracy: the contemporary Portuguese political system is currently dynamic, democratic, durable and European.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Omar G. Encarnación
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A key contention of the transitional justice movement is that the more comprehensive and vigorous the effort to bring justice to a departed authoritarian regime the better the democratizing outcome will be. This essay challenges this view with empirical evidence from the Iberian Peninsula. In Portugal, a sweeping policy of purges intended to cleanse the state and society of the authoritarian past nearly derailed the transition to democracy by descending into a veritable witch-hunt. In Spain, by contrast, letting bygones be bygones, became a foundation for democratic consolidation. These counter-intuitive examples suggest that there is no pre-ordained outcome to transitional justice, and that confronting an evil past is neither a requirement nor a pre-condition for democratization. This is primarily because the principal factors driving the impulse toward justice against the old regime are political rather than ethical or moral. In Portugal, the rise of transitional justice mirrored the anarchic politics of the revolution that lunched the transition to democracy. In Spain, the absence of transitional justice reflected the pragmatism of a democratic transition anchored on compromise and consensus.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Politics, International Affairs, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Portugal, Iberia Peninsula
  • Author: Robert Falkner
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the transformation of the European Union (EU) from a laggard to a leader in the international politics of biotechnology regulation. The emergence of EU leadership in global environmental politics during the 1990s seems to support recent arguments about the distinctive nature of the EU as a "normative power" in international relations. However, as this paper argues, this perspective lacks historical depth and fails to capture tensions between competing principles and conflict among domestic interest groups in Europe. The paper calls for a more critical reading of the normative power argument and identifies shifts in the domestic political economy of agricultural biotechnology as the key factors behind the EU's support for a precautionary international regime on trade in genetically modified organisms.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kathrin S. Zippel
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The European integration process has provided both challenges and opportunities to domestic women's movements. One such ambivalent success is the European Union anti-discrimination directive of 2002 that is the outcome of the lobbying efforts of an emerging European transnational advocacy network on gender. The 2002 Directive prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual and gender harassment. It calls on member states to better protect the rights of victims of sexual harassment and to ensure the integrity, dignity, and equality of women and men at work. This paper examines the 2002 Directive and its potential to effect significant changes in EU member states, in particular, to improve victims' rights in member states laws. It addresses the main question: “Is the EU Directive an opportunity to progress in the direction of protecting victims' rights?” The argument advanced here is that the 2002 Directive is the outcome of a political compromise among the member states, on which feminist discourses did have some bearing. On the one hand, the 2002 Directive can be interpreted as a success of feminist activism around sexual harassment, in particular, in the very definition, linking the problem to sex discrimination. On the other hand, it has limitations and does not go as far as feminists had hoped; for example, the EU has left it up to member states to deal with the most difficult aspects of the problem, prevention, implementation, and enforcement of the laws.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: 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: Reimut Zohlnhöfer
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: According to parts of the literature, blame avoidance opportunities, i.e. the necessity and applicability of blame avoidance strategies, may differ among countries according to the respective institutional set-ups and between governing parties according to their programmatic orientation. In countries with many veto actors, a strategy of "Institutional Cooperation" among these actors is expected to diffuse blame sufficiently to render other blame avoidance strategies obsolete. In contrast, governments in Westminster democracies should resort to the more unilateral strategies of presentation, policy design and timing. At the same time, parties of the left are expected to have an easier time implementing spending cuts while right parties are less vulnerable when proposing tax increases. Evidence from the politics of budget consolidation in Britain and Germany does not corroborate these hypotheses. Instead, it seems that party competition conditions the effects institutions and the partisan complexion of governments have on the politics of blame avoidance.
  • Topic: International Relations, 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: Sebastián Royo
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The proponents of globalization contend that European countries are now converging on an Anglo-American model of capitalism. Contrary to this prediction, this paper will show that in Spain globalization and EMU have promoted rather than undermined coordination among economic actors. Unable to escape from economic interdependence the Spanish economic actors have developed coordinating capacities at the macro and micro levels to address and resolve tensions between economic interdependence and political sovereignty. In this paper I show that there is at least one more variety than the two–LME and CME–that Hall and Soskice cite and also that it is possible to develop coordination capacities in countries that lack a strong tradition of such capacities. In particular, this paper analyzes the resurgence of national-level social bargaining in Spain in the 1990s. This development was the result of the reorientation of the strategies of the social actors. In a new economic and political context, marked by a process of institutional learning, trade unions have supported social bargaining as a defensive strategy to retake the initiative and influence policy outcomes.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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