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  • Author: Jon Erik Dølvik
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the negotiated Nordic labor market regimes and their various paths of adjustment from bust to boom in recent decades. Developed in small, open economies, the Nordic labor regimes are often associated with strong centralized agreements and associations, high union density, and extensive worker representation, which have been embedded in social models based on close interaction between working life policies, the welfare state and macroeconomic policies. In leaner forms these features have undoubtedly contributed to the high Nordic levels of mobility, equality and employment in recent years (“flexicurity”), but an often overlooked part of the story is the increased scope for product market competition and the supply-side reforms undertaken in the Nordic countries since the crises in the 1980-90s. Another distinction of the revitalized Nordic models is the growing importance of management-union negotiations and dialogue at the company level. A key argument in this paper is thus that the capacity for negotiated flexibility and adjustment in Nordic labor markets has been critically reliant on the multilevel, single-channel pattern of articulation between centralized coordination and decentralized negotiations linking restructuring, training, productivity and pay issues.
  • 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: Eleni Mahaira-Odoni
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the little-known beginning of Venetian rule of Sifnos, one of the Greek Aegean islands presumably apportioned to Venice following the Fourth Crusade in 1204. Whereas historians have traced the non-Venetian dynasts that ruled Sifnos after around 1310, no one has attempted to investigate the presumably preceding rulers: the Venetian "Soranzos of Sifnos," cursorily mentioned by a couple of scholars. Relying on sources as well as local fieldwork, this paper proposes that, before becoming doge of Venice in 1312, Giovanni Soranzo may indeed have been the first Venetian lord of Sifnos, between c. 1285 and 1310. The exploration of his career, the tragic life story of his daughter Soranza Soranzo and his son-in-law Niccolò Querini, point to Sifnos as a most likely location for the couple's refuge and exile following Querini's involvement in the 1310 seditious acts against the Republic of Venice. This conclusion is informed by a brief examination of apposite coats of arms, proper names and local toponyms.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Jenny Andersson
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the Third Way's relationship to the knowledge economy, and the way the Third Way's understanding of the knowledge economy leads to a reinterpretation of fundamental postulates of the Left in relation to capitalism. The paper argues that Third Way ideology is informed by a discursive logic of capitalization, a logic whereby social democracy identifies human potential–human knowledge, talent, creativity–as economic goods and ultimately new forms of capital. It insists that the Third Way is not neoliberal, as suggested by much research on the Third Way. The paper concludes that while the Third Way draws on fundamental continuities in the social democratic project, it nevertheless breaks with many of social democracy's historic articulations in critique of capitalism, since these are transformed instead into arguments in favor of capitalism and are thus drawn into the process of capitalist improvement. The paper looks into this tension by analyzing particularly the notions of conflict, the Third Way's notion of public good, and its articulation of culture.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Author: Xavier Coller, Helder Ferreira do Vale, Chris Meissner
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the social profile of the regional elite that has emerged in Spain since the democratization and federalization of the country. For the first time, researchers present data about crucial variables like gender, place of birth, age, education, and profession. They make inter-regional comparisons, put their data on an international perspective, and try to explain some unexpected findings, such as the behavior of political elites in Catalonia and Castile-La Mancha. The authors compare also the social profile of MPs of the two largest parties and show that the gap between society and political elite has been reduced over the years. The paper offers a research agenda.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: Spain
  • Author: Evelyn Gick, Wolfgang Gick
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Changes in the world of fashion from haute couture to prêt-à-porter, the introduction of the mass market as well as the democratization of fashion call for a new explanation of the fashion formation process. We offer a three-player cheap talk disclosure mechanism to explain why, after observing the collection of designers, the fashion media sometimes proclaim a new fashion, and why they often do not. This mechanism is more informative than one in which only one designer is consulted. Our paper extends the literature on fashion economics; our findings are in line with those of fashion experts.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Author: Nicola Lacey
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: It is generally agreed that the humanity, fairness and effectiveness with which a governments manages its criminal justice system is a key index of the state of a democracy. But the constraints on realization of democratic values and aspirations in criminal justice are markedly variable. In the last two decades, in the wake of both increases in recorded crime and a cluster of cultural and economic changes, criminal justice policy in both Britain and the U.S. has become increasingly politicized: both the scale and intensity of criminalization, and the salience of criminal justice policy as an index of governments' competence, have developed in new and, to many commentators, worrying ways. These developments have been variously characterized as the birth of a "culture of control" and a tendency to "govern through crime"; as a turn towards the "exclusive society"; and in terms of the emergence of a managerial model which focuses on the risks to security presented by particular groups. In the U.S., we witness in particular the inexorable, and strikingly racially patterned, rise of the prison population, amid a ratcheting up of penal severity which seems unstoppable in the face of popular anxiety about crime. In the context of globalization, the general, and depressing, conclusion seems to be that, notwithstanding significant national differences, contemporary democracies are constrained to tread the same path of penal populism, albeit that their progress along it is variously advanced. A significant scaling down of levels of punishment and criminalization is regarded as politically impossible, the optimism of penal welfarism a thing, decisively, of the past.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • 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: Vivien A. Schmidt
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) literature's difficulties in accounting for the full diversity of national capitalisms and in explaining institutional change result at least in part from its tendency to downplay state action and from its rather static, binary division of capitalism into two overall systems. This paper argues first of all that by taking state action—used as shorthand for government policy forged by the political interactions of public and private actors in given institutional contexts—as a significant factor, national capitalisms can be seen to come in at least three varieties: liberal, coordinated, and state-influenced market economies. But more importantly, by bringing the state back in, we also put the political back into political economy—in terms of policies, political institutional structures, and politics. Secondly, the paper shows that although recent revisions to VoC that account for change by invoking open systems or historical institutionalist incrementalism have gone a long way toward remedying the original problem with regard to stasis, they still fail to explain institutional change fully. It is not enough to turn to rational choice institutionalist explanations focused on the micro-foundations of action, as some do, since this does not get at the dynamics behind changing preferences and innovative actions. For this, I argue, it is necessary to add discursive institutionalist explanations focused on the role of ideas and discourse. Bringing the state back into the substantive account of capitalism actually promotes this methodological approach, since an important part of politics is political communication and deliberation on the choice of policies within given institutional contexts, economic as well as political.
  • 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
  • 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: Gabriel T. Swank, Tim Büthe
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Antitrust regulation and the related merger review are essential for making a market economy work. Merger review is also among the most prominent powers of the European Commission in the Common Market of the EU. How did this supranational actor come to acquire such power? And what explains the variation in the Commission's decisions in some of the trans-atlantically most controversial merger review cases in recent years? In this paper, we develop a modified neofunctionalist theory as a historical institutionalist theory of institutional change that integrates elements of rational choice and social constructivism. We argue that it provides a superior explanation of (1) the institutional development of the European Commission's competence over antitrust matters and merger review from the 1950s negotiations over the Treaty of Rome through the changes of 2004 and (2) the Commission's decisions in some of the most prominent cases, where a high level of politicization makes a neofunctionalist explanation least likely.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe