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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