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  • Author: Luis Moreno
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Despite the fact that the Nordic welfare model has become less exceptional in recent times, it continues to offer numerous examples for “best practices” in social policy provision, together with a high degree of welfare political legitimacy. This paper explores Nordic “benchmarking” as reference to the case of welfare development in Spain. In the general process of convergence of the European welfare states towards the middle, the Spanish case stands out as the one Mediterranean EU country which has gone further in incorporating inputs and traits of the social-democratic Nordic world of welfare capitalism. While Spain's welfare state has become more liberal in macroeconomic policies, and social policymaking has followed a pattern of universalization of welfare entitlements and provision, there has been a detachment from the Bismarckian principle of income maintenance. This paper deals with Spain's evolution in two main areas, which have distinctively characterized Nordic welfare in contemporary times: fiscal resources, and female employment. The analytical purpose of the first section is to ponder the claim as to whether or not Spanish welfare has intensified a socioeconomic path in the direction of the Nordic model. Subsequently, Spain's societal changes and welfare reforms are reviewed with relation to the two areas identified as having the greatest impact in the future evolution of Spain's welfare: conciliation of work and family life, and the territorial politics of welfare provision. Concluding remarks speculate on the hypothesis that countries with fragmented political institutions and a decentralized state organization, such as Spain, may move faster and be more responsive in the development of new welfare Polices. Likewise, the emergence of gender and family issues into the political arena is also regarded as generating pressure for major changes in Spain's Mediterranean welfare, and possibly intensifying its Nordic path or component.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Markets, Migration, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: James Cronin
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The so-called “special relationship” has been a fixture of international relations since at least 1940, but it seemed of declining significance during the 1960s and 1970s. It has nevertheless been revived, even refounded, since then; and it has served as the strategic base on which a new Anglo-American vision of the world has been articulated. At the core of the new connection, and the vision to which it gave rise, is a strong preference for the market and a set of foreign and domestic policies that privilege markets and see their expansion as critical to peace, prosperity and the expansion of democracy. This essay examines the origins of this new paradigm as a response to a set of interrelated crises in the 1970s, its elaboration and application during the 1980s under Reagan and Thatcher, its curious history since the end of the Cold War, and the way it evolved into the failed policies of the post-9/11 era.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Barbara G. Haskel
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to explain how an intergovernmental process among four countries to “harmonize” the “architecture” of their higher education systems in under ten years turned into an “OMC-type” process with a full role for the European Commission and a membership of forty-six countries, a system which appears to have had some substantial results. The paper argues that the speed of the process is accounted for by a “coordination imperative,” and that the sustainability (institutionalization) of the process has been a product of the initiatives for goals, instruments, support structures, and measurements generated by an “entrepreneurial alliance” composed of the Commission and the European Universities Association as “drivers” of the process and as solver of a collective action problem among social actors interested in university re-form, in the context of a permissive consensus of the member states.
  • Topic: International Relations, Education
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Bahri Yilmaz
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to examine the foreign trade patterns and/or specialization in foreign trade of three EU member countries – namely, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and candidate country Turkey – and to compare the foreign trade patterns with the EU/12 in the period 1995- 2005. The paper is divided into seven main sections. The first section summarizes the export and import developments of the countries in question between the years 1995 and 2005. The second section describes the methodology and data sets. Empirical analysis is found in the third section, where in five subsections we investigate international competitiveness and trade specialization using different indices. In the fourth part of the research we compare the dynamic products in world exports with dynamic products in the exports of the four countries. The final section gives brief conclusions drawn from the results and considers the future position of Turkey within the enlarged EU. In this research we do not intend to explain why the foreign trade patterns are different in the considered countries. We simply try to show whether and where there are any differences in foreign trade specialisation among the four countries and EU/12.
  • Topic: International Relations, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, South Sudan
  • Author: Éloi Laurent, Jean-Paul Fitoussi
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In this paper, we try to point out some important weaknesses of the contemporary French social-economic model, focusing on relevant elements of comparison with Nordic countries. In doing so, we rely on the idea that large and small countries differ in terms of growth and governance strategies. Hence, while a look at the “Nordic model” can be a good way to reveal of some of France's major problems, it is also an ambiguous template for reform. The paper starts by examining the question of growth strategy (macroeconomic management and structural reforms), then goes on to investigate governance strategy (trust, confidence, governance quality) and finally explores the issues of diversity and integration policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Political Economy, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Volker Schneider, Frank M. Häge
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Is the state on the retreat? We examine this question through an analysis of changing patterns of government involvement in infrastructure provision, which is generally considered to be one of the primary functions of the modern state. Based on an analysis of the extent of privatization of infrastructure companies between 1970 and 2000 across twenty-six OECD countries, we find that there is indeed a general trend towards less public infrastructure provision visible in all of the countries and that the main factors associated with the extent of privatizations are EU membership and government ideology. We argue that the trend of privatizing infrastructure companies was triggered by a change of the prominent economic discourse in the 1970s and that a rightist party ideology and EU membership fostered the adoption and implementation of these ideas in domestic settings.
  • Topic: Government, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Carmen López Alonso
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article examines the changing views of Israel in democratic Spain and its historical background. History plays an important part in the Spanish relationship to Israel: not only have Jewish people been for centuries an "absent presence" but, during the long period of the Franco dictatorship, Israel, as a model, has played an important role in the Spanish path to democracy. That democracy has been and still is the key point in Spain's relationship to Israel explains why democratic Spain is not essentially different from the rest of Europe in what relates to Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even if manifestations of antisemitism are present in Spanish public opinion, many of the criticisms of Israel are not about antisemitism but of specific Israeli policies.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel, Palestine, Spain
  • Author: Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper addresses two related puzzles confronting students of regional and international integration: Why do states willingly pool and delegate sovereignty within international institutions? What accounts for the timing and content of regional integration agreements? Most theories of integration suggest that states integrate in order to solve problems of incomplete information and reduce transaction costs and other barriers to economic growth. In contrast I argue that integration can serve to establish a credible commitment that rules out the risk of future conflict among states of unequal power. Specifically, I suggest that integration presents an alternative to preventive war as a means to preclude a rising revisionist power from establishing a regional hegemony. The implication is that it is not countries enjoying stable and peaceful relations that are most likely to pursue integration, but rather countries that find themselves caught in a regional security dilemma, which they hope to break out of by means of institutionalized cooperation. I evaluate this proposition against evidence from two historical cases of regional integration: the German Zollverein and the European Communities.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Tanja A. Börzel, Meike Dudziak, Tobias Hofmann, Carina Sprungk, Diana Panke
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to explain inter-state variation in non-compliance with European law. While non-compliance has not significantly increased over time, some member states violate European law more frequently than others. In order to account for the variance observed, we draw on three prominent approaches in the compliance literature–enforcement, management, and legitimacy. In the first place, we develop a set of hypotheses for each of the three theories. We then discuss how they can be combined in theoretically consistent ways and develop three integrated models. Finally, we empirically test these models drawing on a unique and comprehensive dataset, which comprises more than 6,300 instances of member-state non-compliance with European law between 1978 and 1999. The empirical findings show that the combined model of the enforcement and the management approach turns out to have the highest explanatory power. Politically powerful member states are most likely to violate European law while the best compliers are small countries with highly efficient bureaucracies. Yet, administrative capacity also matters for powerful member states. The UK and Germany are much more compliant than France and Italy, which command similar political power but whose administrations are ridden by bureaucratic inefficiency and corruption.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, Italy
  • Author: Ellen Verbake, Thomas A. DiPrete
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The distribution of well-being in society and comparisons of well-being across societies depend both on the amount of inequality at the national level and also on the national average level of well-being. Comparisons between the U.S. and western Europe show that inequality is greater in the U.S. but that average GDP/capita is also greater in the U.S., and most Americans have higher standards of living than do Western Europeans at comparable locations in their national income distributions. What is less well-known is that (depending on the country) much or all of this gap arises from differences in the level of working hours in the U.S. and in Western Europe. Crossnational comparisons of well-being have typically relied on the methodology of generalized Lorenz curves (GLC), but this approach privileges disposable income and cash transfers while ignoring other aspects of welfare state and labor market structure that potentially affect the distribution of well-being in a society. We take an alternative approach that focuses on the value of time use and the different distributions of work and family time that are generated by each country's labor market and social welfare institutions. We show that reasonable estimates of the greater contribution to well-being from non-market activities such as the raising of children or longer vacations overturn claims in the literature that the U.S. offers greater well-being to more of its citizens than do Western European countries.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Netherlands