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  • 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: 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: Ludger Helms
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In recent comparative works on the constitutional structures of contemporary liberal democracies, the United States and Germany have been grouped together as examples of democratic systems with an exceptionally high degree of “institutional pluralism”. In other typologies both countries have even been classified as “semisovereign democracies”. Whereas such classifications are of some use, especially in the field of public policy research, they fail to pay reasonable attention to the fundamental difference between parliamentary and presidential government that dominated the older literature on comparative political systems. As the comparative assessments offered in this paper suggest, the difference between parliamentary government and presidential government does not only constitute very different conditions of executive leadership in the core executive territory and at the level of executive-legislative relations, but has also a strong impact on the role and performance of the various “veto players” that characterize the political systems of the United States and Germany, and which are at the center of this paper.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Martin Höpner
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the current discussion on links between party politics and production regimes. Why do German Social Democrats opt for more corporate governance liberalization than the CDU although, in terms of the distributional outcomes of such reforms, one would expect the situation to be reversed? I divide my analysis into three stages. First, I use the European Parliament's crucial vote on the European takeover directive in July 2001 as a test case to show that the left-right dimension does indeed matter in corporate governance reform, beside cross-class and cross-party nation-based interests. In a second step, by analyzing the party positions in the main German corporate governance reforms in the 1990s, I show that the SPD and the CDU behave “paradoxically” in the sense that the SPD favored more corporate governance liberalization than the CDU, which protected the institutions of “Rhenish,” “organized” capitalism. This constellation occurred in the discussions on company disclosure, management accountability, the power of banks, network dissolution, and takeover regulation. Third, I offer two explanations for this paradoxical party behavior. The first explanation concerns the historical conversion of ideas. I show that trade unions and Social Democrats favored a high degree of capital organization in the Weimar Republic, but this ideological position was driven in new directions at two watersheds: one in the late 1940s, the other in the late 1950s. My second explanation lies in the importance of conflicts over managerial control, in which both employees and minority shareholders oppose managers, and in which increased shareholder power strengthens the position of works councils.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Niilo Kauppi
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Pierre Bourdieu's structural constructivist theory of politics offers powerful instruments for a critical analysis of political power. In this paper, I explore structural constructivism as a theory of politics and of European integration. By structural constructivism I refer to a mostly French research tradition that develops some of Bourdieu's theoretical tools. In European studies, social constructivism has provided an alternative to traditional approaches such as intergovernmentalism and neofunctionalism. Structural constructivism remedies some of the weaknesses of most versions of social constructivism, such as their diffuse conception of power and ideational notion of culture. This paper develops a structural constructivist approach that examines the European Union as a multileveled and polycentric emerging political field.
  • Topic: International Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Iain Begg
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Although the launch of the euro went better than many expected, sluggish growth, persistent unemployment and growing disenchantment with key elements of the economic governance system have led to demands for change, especially in policy coordination. This paper examines the criticisms of economic policy in the EU and the mechanisms through which it is coordinated, and considers how the EMU policy system might be reformed. It points to problems and paradoxes in the way economic governance operates, notably those surrounding its ability to deliver a coherent policy mix that brings together monetary fiscal and supply-side policies. The paper concludes with a discussion of whether gouvernment économique might offer a way forward.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Magnette
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The European Convention, set up by the Heads of state and governments during the Laeken Summit of December 2001, was presented by its initiators as a means of strengthening the legitimacy of the EU. Is this a rhetorical argument of politicians, which could be explained by the intense electoral cycle of 2002- 2004? Or is there something, in the process of the Convention, that could change the nature of the EU constitution?
  • Topic: International Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Pedro Tavares de Almeida, António Costa Pinto
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper provides an empirical analysis of the impact of regime changes in the composition and patterns of recruitment of the Portuguese ministerial elite throughout the last 150 years. The 'out-of-type', violent nature of most regime transformations accounts for the purges in and the extensive replacements of the political personnel, namely of the uppermost officeholders. In the case of Cabinet members, such discontinuities did not imply, however, radical changes in their social profile. Although there were some significant variations, a series of salient characteristics have persisted over time. The typical Portuguese minister is a male in his midforties, of middle-class origin and predominantly urban-born, highly educated and with a state servant background. The two main occupational contingents have been university professors - except for the First Republic (1910-26) - and the military, the latter having only recently been eclipsed with the consolidation of contemporary democracy. As regards career pathways, the most striking feature is the secular trend for the declining role of parliamentary experience, which the democratic regime did not clearly reverse. In this period, a technocratic background rather than political experience has been indeed the privileged credential for a significant proportion of ministers.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos, Dimitris Bourikos
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The study of Greek political elites used to be concentrated on parliamentary deputies. Ministerial elites were rarely studied. In this paper, we take a long-term view of the Greek ministerial elites, studying their socio-political profile from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. We find that this profile does not change so much with regime change, but instead follows political developments at certain time points within specific regime periods. At these points, new political leaders were ushered into power. Examples were Eleftherios Venizelos in 1911 and Andreas Papandreou in 1981. Changes in personnel were not accompanied by changes in geographical origin or professional outlook, which took much longer to effect. In the nineteenth century mainly landowners and state officials dominated cabinets. After the beginning of the twentieth century, however, liberal professions, particularly lawyers, were overrepresented among ministers. This pattern continued throughout the twentieth century. Both the predominance of lawyers and the changes in the profile of ministers over time are attributed to the type of state built in modern Greece, a clientelist, overcentralized and legalistic state which only recently has started its transformation, requiring a different, more modern type of politician.
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Dean Baker, John Schmitt, Andrew Glyn
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the last twenty five years, there has been a sharp divergence in trends in the unemployment rate among OECD countries, with some seeing much larger increases in unemployment than others. This divergence is usually explained by institutions that lead to labor market inflexibility – generous unemployment benefits, employment protections, and strong unions – in countries with high unemployment rates. This paper examines the evidence for this view. It shows that there is no simple bivariate relationship between standard measures of labor market institutions and unemployment rates across countries. It then critically examines several of the most often cited studies that support the labor market inflexibility view. It finds that these studies present relatively weak and to some extent contradictory support for the labor market inflexibility view. Finally, the paper presents the results of a set of tests designed to replicate some of the earlier multivariate analyses with more current data. These tests consistently fail to find robust evidence to support the labor market inflexibility view.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Volker Schneider, Frank M. Häge
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • 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: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Helga A. Welsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: For more than a decade, bemoaning the many roadblocks to reforming important aspect of German politics has become commonplace. Explanations emphasize formal and informal veto points, such as the role of political institutions and the lack of elite and societal support for reform initiatives. Against this background, I was interested in factors that place policy issues on the political agenda and follow up with concrete courses of action; i.e., in factors that lead to a disentangling of the reform gridlock. I emphasize the importance of agenda setting in the emergence of higher education reform in Germany. Globalization, European integration and domestic pressures combined to create new pressures for change. In response, an advocacy coalition of old and new political actors has introduced a drawn-out and ongoing process of value reorientation in the direction of competition, including international competition, and greater autonomy. The result has been a burst of activities, some moderate, some more far-reaching in their potential to restructure German higher education.
  • Topic: Education, Globalization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Milada Anna Vachudova, Andrew Moravcsik
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The EU enlargement process and its consequences are decisively influenced by material national interests and state power. Current EU leaders promote accession primarily because they believe it to be in their longterm economic and geopolitical interest, and applicant states embark on the laborious accession process because EU membership brings tremendous economic and geopolitical benefits, particularly as compared exclusion as others move forward. As in previous rounds of EU enlargement, patterns of asymmetrical interdependence dictate that the applicants compromise more on the margin—thereby contributing to a subjective sense of loss among those countries (the applicants) that benefit most. Domestic distributional conflict is exacerbated everywhere, but the losses are in most cases limited, inevitable and, in the longer term, even beneficial. Once in, we should expect applicant states, like their predecessors, to deploy their voting and veto power in an effort to transfer resources to themselves. While overrepresentation of smaller states gives the applicants an impressive number of votes, the lack of new “grand projects” essential to existing members, the diversity of the new members, and above all, the increasingly flexible decision-making structure of the EU, will make it difficult for the new members to prevail.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Miguel Sebastian
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Europe has been the driving force of economic policy in Spain over the last four decades and the key factor behind the modernization and globalisation of the Spanish Economy. The accession to the EEC in 1986 was a crucial step in the process of economic and political integration.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Christoper Manual, Sebastián Royo
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to use the fifteenth anniversary of the accession of Portugal and Spain to the European Union as an opportunity to reflect on what has happened to both countries since 1986. It examines the integration process and how it has affected political, economic and social developments in Portugal and in Spain over the last fifteen years. In our view, and on balance, Spain and Portugal have benefited from accession. Since the last century, the obsession of Spanish and Portuguese reformists has been to make up the lost ground with modernized Europe. EU membership has been a critical step in this direction. The record of the past fifteen years is that this dream is becoming an economic reality. Despite impressive achievements, however, namely, since 1986, Portugal's average per capita income has grown from 56 percent of the EU average to about 74 percent, whereas Spain's has grown to 83 percent—both Iberian countries still have a long way to go to reach the EU average wealth. In addition, the question of Iberian and/or European citizenship, and its impact on the Portuguese and Spanish, remains open.
  • Topic: Government, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: William Phelan
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many observers have suggested that the strengthening of executives vis-à-vis other political actors, in particular national parliaments, has been one of the principal effects of European integration (and perhaps international cooperation more generally) on national democracies, with democracy being “perverted” and parliaments becoming “rubber stamps” Moravcsik (1994) has argued that there were four theoretical ways in which international cooperation could “strengthen the state,” by redistributing institutional power, initiative (agenda-setting), information and ideas in favor of the executive in Europe. However, consideration of domestic politics in Europe shows that elites are already – for exogenous reasons – dominant in institutions, initiative and information. In Europe, therefore, the “strong” executive is not a product of European integration, and the reverse may even be true: that the dominance of the executive in national political systems has been a prerequisite for the success of European integration – that European openness has been built on national political closure. More generally, assessments of the impact of international cooperation on democracy should measure the effect of international cooperation at the margin on the existing characteristics of particular national democratic systems.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Neugart, Donald Storrie
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A striking feature of OECD labor markets in the 1990s has been the very rapid increase of temporary agency work. We augment the equilibrium unemployment model as developed by Pissarides and Mortensen with temporary work agencies in order to focus on their role as matching intermediaries and to examine the aggregate impact on employment. Our model implies that the improvement in the matching efficiency of agencies led to the emergence and growth of temporary agency work. We also show that temporary agency work does not necessarily crowd out other jobs.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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
  • Author: Ulrich Krotz
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article systematically scrutinizes the intergovernmental and administrative aspects of Franco-German relations with the 1963 Elysée Treaty at their core. This treaty, together with its various additions and extensions, has defined the basic processes of bilateral interaction between the French and German states. Recurrent tension in Franco-German relations notwithstanding, many observers and participants have viewed France and Germany to be connected particularly closely since the 1960s. This article explores key elements of what it is that links France and Germany. Thereby it clarifies the concept of regularized inter governmentalism, suggests viewing this specific set of international practices from a social-structural perspective, and evaluates the effects and limits of such regularized procedures. Its findings suggest that bilateral structures have complemented and undergirded a broadly multilateral post-World War II world and are likely to continue to do so.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • 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