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  • Author: Francesca Bignami
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: European countries have experienced massive structural transformation over the past twenty-five years with the privatization of state-owned industries, the liberalization of markets, and the rise of the European Union. According to one prominent line of analysis, these changes have led to the Americanization of European regulatory styles: previously informal and cooperative modes of regulation are becoming adversarial and litigation-driven, similar to the American system. This article explores the Americanization hypothesis with a structured comparison of data privacy regulation in four countries (France, Britain, Germany, and Italy) and a review of three other policy areas. It finds that European regulatory systems are converging, but not on American-style litigation, rather on an administrative model of deterrence-oriented regulatory enforcement and industry self-regulation. The explanation for this emerging regulatory strategy is to be found in government responses to market liberalization, as well as the pressure created by the governance process of the European Union.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, Italy
  • Author: Sofía Perez, Jonathan Westrup
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes major changes in the regulation of the financial sector in Europe over the last three decades. Focusing on the pattern of change across five countries (Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), the paper identifies two major periods of regulatory change: first, the shift away from postwar patterns of credit regulation in the 1970s and 1980s, and second, the intensification of state supervisory powers and the introduction of new regulatory structures from the 1990s to the present. In both cases, the authors point to the way in which different models of financial sector regulation affect the political consequences of macro-economic policy for political elites as an explanation for choices that governments have made in the regulatory arena. More specifically, while regulatory change in the first period may be largely explained by the way in which different postwar models of credit regulation impinged upon a government's political ability to impose disinflation, choices in favor of different regulatory structures in the second period (single regulator in Britain and Germany versus multiple regulators in the other countries) can be related to differences in the area of pension reform. By focusing on the political implications that different modes of financial regualtion can have for elected officials in the context of different macroeconomic scenarios, the authors offer an explanation of regualtory change that differs from accounts which emphasize the primacy of financial market forces in driving such change.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Kiran Klaus Patel
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Comparing the rise of transnational history in the United States and Germany is difficult, mainly because of the many connections between these historiographies. Still, the article argues that the paths into a transnational historiography were quit e different on both sides of the Atlantic. Apart from similarities and connections, the text therefore highlights the intellectual as well as institutional differences of the debates in the U.S.A. and Germany.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Kiran Klaus Patel
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Comparing the rise of transnational history in the United States and Germany is difficult, mainly because of the many connections between these historiographies. Still, the article argues that the paths into a transnational historiography were quite different on both sides of the Atlantic. Apart from similarities and connections, the text therefore highlights the intellectual as well as institutional differences of the debates in the U.S.A. and Germany.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Germany
  • 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: Carlo Trigilia
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The aim of this article is to discuss the relationship between economic sociology and economic policies. In the last decades, economic sociology has made significant achievements in terms of theory and research, but that its influence on policies has remained weak. While this was inevitable in earlier decades, when scholars had to concentrate most of their effort on defining the role and contribution of economic sociology, it has since become a constraint for the institutionalization and recognition of the discipline. The return to economic sociology, since the 1980s, has brought about important theoretical achievements, especially in the analysis of economic organization at the micro level in terms of social and cultural embeddedness. The role of social relations in contemporary economy has clearly emerged, but its implications for policies to promote economic development have remained more latent so far. Although a weaker institutionalization and a poorer connection to policy-making certainly affect the political influence of economic sociology in comparison to economics, the paper focuses on the research perspective. A shift of the research focus from the statics to the dynamics of economic organization could be useful. In this framework, particular attention is drawn to the study of local development and innovation through a closer relationship of economic sociology with comparative political economy. A separation between these two approaches does not favor a full exploitation of the potential contribution of economic sociology to policies.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Author: Steffen Hillmert
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper proposes a comparison of skill formation in Germany and Britain over the last decades. Taking historical trends into account, the two cases can be regarded as representing different types of skill production regimes. Institutional features include a relatively low degree of standardization of training and a larger amount of on-the-job training in Britain. In Germany, post-compulsory training has been conducted predominantly within the dual system of vocational training, underlining the vocational specificity of a large part of the labor market. As a consequence, international differences in individual skill investments, transitions from school to work and other life-course patterns can be observed. At least in Britain, however, the situation seems to have changed considerably during the 1990s. The paper argues that the divergence in more recent developments can still be understood as an expression of historical path dependency given the traditional connections between the post-compulsory training system and the broader societal context in which it is embedded. These concern, in particular, links with the system of general and academic education as the basis for – and also a possible competitor with – vocational training; links with the labor market as they are indicated by specific skill requirements and returns to qualifications; and, links with the order of social stratification in the form of the selective acquisition and the social consequences of these qualifications. The links manifest themselves as typical individual-level consequences and decisions. Founded on the basis of these distinctions, the aim of this paper is to investigate the preceding conditions for recent developments in the qualification systems of Britain and Germany, which have adapted to specific challenges during the last decades.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Justin J.W. Powell
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Over the twentieth century, a growing group of students has been transferred into considerably expanded special education systems. These programs serve children with diagnosed impairments and disabilities and students with a variety of learning difficulties. Children and youth “with special educational needs” constitute a heterogeneous group with social, ethnic, linguistic, and physical disadvantages. An increasingly large percentage of those students at risk of leaving school without credentials participate in special education, a highly legitimated low status (and stigmatizing) school form. While most countries commit themselves to school integration or inclusive education to replace segregated schools and separate classes, cross-national and regional comparisons of special education's diverse student bodies show considerable disparities in their (1) rates of classification, (2) provided learning opportunities, and (3) educational attainments. Analyzing special education demographics and organizational structures indicates which children and youth are most likely to grow up less educated and how educational systems distribute educational success and failure. Findings from a German-American comparison show that which students bear the greatest risk of becoming less educated depends largely on definitions of “special educational needs” and the institutionalization of special education systems.
  • Topic: Development, Education
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Daniele Archibugi
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Will Kymlicka has argued “democratic politics is politics in the vernacular.” Does it imply that democratic politics is impossible in a multilingual community, whether at the local, national, regional or global level? This paper discusses this assumption and maintains that democratic politics should imply the willingness of all players to make an effort to understand each other. Democratic politics imply the willingness to overcome the barriers to mutual understanding, including the linguistic ones. Any time that there is a community of fate, a democrat should search for methods that allow deliberation according to the two key conditions of political equality and participation. If linguistic diversity is an obstacle to equality and participation, some methods should be found to overcome it, as exemplified by the Esperanto metaphor. The paper illustrates the argument with four cases of multi-linguistic political communities: a) a school in California with English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students; b) the city of Byelostok in the second half of the nineteenth century, where four different linguistic communities (Polish, Russian, German and Yiddish) coexisted. This led Markus Zamenhof to invent Esperanto; c) the linguistic problems of the Indian state, and the role played by English – a language unspoken by the majority of the Indian population in 1947 – in developing Indian democracy; and d) the case of the European Parliament, with twenty languages and a wealth of interpreters and translators.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, India, California, Germany
  • Author: Andrei S. Markovits
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: There can be no doubt that the Bush Administration's policies have massively contributed to a hitherto unprecedented deterioration in European-American relations. However, European antipathies towards many things American date back at least to July 5, 1776, if not before. Following a conceptual discussion of anti-Americanism, the paper then turns to an account of these historical dislikes and anchors them particularly among Europe's elites. A discussion of anti-Semitism in relation to anti- Americanism follows in the subsequent section. A summary of an analysis of newspaper articles collected in the decade of the 1990s highlights the widespread nature of anti-American sentiments in Britain, France, Germany, Italy. Lastly, anti-Americanism's functionality as a useful ingredient in Europe's burgeoning state building process concludes the paper.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France, Germany, Italy