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  • Author: Victor Pérez-Diaz
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The author restates a traditional, broad and composite view of civil society, of increasing relevance at a time of ever greater complexity in a non-state centered world; and he explores the relations between markets, associations and politics as parts of that interconnected whole. Markets as conversations shape people's dispositions and help developing a set of civil and civic virtues, bracketed together under the rubric of civility. The paper examines the scope and limits of these civilizing effects on politics and the public sphere.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Markets
  • Author: Robert Falkner
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the transformation of the European Union (EU) from a laggard to a leader in the international politics of biotechnology regulation. The emergence of EU leadership in global environmental politics during the 1990s seems to support recent arguments about the distinctive nature of the EU as a "normative power" in international relations. However, as this paper argues, this perspective lacks historical depth and fails to capture tensions between competing principles and conflict among domestic interest groups in Europe. The paper calls for a more critical reading of the normative power argument and identifies shifts in the domestic political economy of agricultural biotechnology as the key factors behind the EU's support for a precautionary international regime on trade in genetically modified organisms.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Milada Anna Vachudova
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The European Union (EU) may be presiding over the most successful democracy promotion program ever implemented by an international actor. Among postcommunist states with a credible EU membership perspective, we can see a significant – though far from complete – convergence toward liberal democracy. This is all the more interesting since ten years ago many of these states had illiberal or authoritarian regimes. I focus in this article on the sources of political change in previously illiberal regimes before and after "watershed elections," especially in the Western Balkans. I argue that over time the EU's leverage strengthened the hand of liberal forces against illiberal ones by way of four mechanisms: creating a focal point for cooperation, providing incentives for adapting, using conditionality, and serving as a credible commitment for reform. Consequently, most political parties have eventually changed their agenda to make it compatible with the state's bid for EU membership. I investigate the domestic conditions that have caused these mechanisms to function only weakly in Serbia and Bosnia.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Serbia
  • Author: Éloi Laurent
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In this paper, I examine how the specific nature of economic integration in the European Union has affected member states' redistribution policies over the last two decades. More precisely, I attempt to detail the effect of social-tax competition between member states within social models, processes that I label “races to bottoms.” In this framework, I identify the emergence of an informal set of rules effectively constraining national redistribution policies in different ways, given the diversity of tax-social compacts in the EU. Because these rules are implicit and their effect generally underestimated, I gather them under the notion of “shadow” social Europe. Having empirically assessed the impact of this dynamic on the “continental,” the “Nordic,” the “eastern” and the “liberal” social-tax compact, I finally try to present a normative perspective and some policy options on this matter.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Harry G. Gelber
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The 1840-42 Anglo-Chinese war (the so-called “Opium War”) is almost universally believed to have been triggered by British imperial rapacity and determination to sell more and more opium into China. That belief is mistaken. The British went to war because of Chinese military threats to defenseless British civilians, including women and children; because China refused to negotiate on terms of diplomatic equality and because China refused to open more ports than Canton to trade, not just with Britain but with everybody. The belief about British “guilt” came later, as part of China's long catalogue of alleged Western “exploitation and aggression.”
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: China, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Kathrin S. Zippel
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The European integration process has provided both challenges and opportunities to domestic women's movements. One such ambivalent success is the European Union anti-discrimination directive of 2002 that is the outcome of the lobbying efforts of an emerging European transnational advocacy network on gender. The 2002 Directive prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual and gender harassment. It calls on member states to better protect the rights of victims of sexual harassment and to ensure the integrity, dignity, and equality of women and men at work. This paper examines the 2002 Directive and its potential to effect significant changes in EU member states, in particular, to improve victims' rights in member states laws. It addresses the main question: “Is the EU Directive an opportunity to progress in the direction of protecting victims' rights?” The argument advanced here is that the 2002 Directive is the outcome of a political compromise among the member states, on which feminist discourses did have some bearing. On the one hand, the 2002 Directive can be interpreted as a success of feminist activism around sexual harassment, in particular, in the very definition, linking the problem to sex discrimination. On the other hand, it has limitations and does not go as far as feminists had hoped; for example, the EU has left it up to member states to deal with the most difficult aspects of the problem, prevention, implementation, and enforcement of the laws.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefan Collignon
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper models unemployment as a general equilibrium solution in labor and capital markets, while the natural rate hypothesis explains unemployment simply as a partial equilibrium in the labor market. It is shown that monetary policy can have long-run effects by affecting required returns on capital and investment. If monetary policy is primarily concerned with maintaining price stability, the interaction between wage bargaining and the central bank's credibility as an inflation fighter becomes a crucial factor in determining employment. Different labor market institutions condition different monetary policy reactions. With centralized wage bargaining, a central bank mandate focusing primarily on price stability is sufficient. With an atomistic labor market, the central bank must also consider output as a policy objective.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: JoãoOliveira Soares, Carlos M.F. Monteiro, Cristina del Campo
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: It is well-known that there are significant differences among the European Union regions, which have been heightened due to the most recent enlargement in 2004. This paper aims to analyze this diversity and propose a classification of European Regions (EU) that is adjusted to the different axes of socioeconomic development and, simultaneously, is useful for European regional policy purposes. The data used in this paper were published by the European Union Statistical Office (Eurostat) and correspond to the main statistical indicators of NUTS2 (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) regions in the EU. Multivariate statistical techniques allowed the identification of clusters of socioeconomic similarity, which are contrasted with the classes considered in the financial proposal of the European Commission (EC) for the period 2007-2013. It was found that each of the two main groups of the EC classification – convergence regions and competitiveness and employment regions – comprises at least two significantly different groups of regions, which differ not only in their average income but also in other indicators associated with their particular weaknesses. Also, it has been revealed that two other groups–phasing-in regions and phasing-out regions –, beyond their inexpressive denomination, lack homogeneity, being spread throughout different clusters.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Carl Dahlström
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When harsh cuts were introduced in the Swedish welfare state in an agreement between the centre-right government and the opposition Social Democrats in 1992, there were astonishingly few disagreements between the political parties as to which social groups should carry the burdens of the cuts. The conventional wisdom on welfare state retrenchment would lead us to expect a clash of interests, especially considering the strength of interest groups in Sweden and the different constituencies of the five parties included in the agreement. This paper explains why that did not happen. It argues that the role that key officials played in shaping the 1992 retrenchment agreement in Sweden was decisive in averting potential political conflicts. In a crisis, politicians depend on advice from officials as politicians need complex information, often under pressure of time. This paper argues that key state officials, through their advice, defined both the character of the crisis and the range of possible solutions. As the number of options was restricted, key officials were able to define what cuts were reasonable. Within this framework, politicians looked for practical solutions and, to a large extent, disregarded conflicts of interest. This paper also suggests that the content of such advice depends on what is called the loyalty of key officials, which depends on the terms of their employment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Pepper D. Culpepper
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When should we ever expect to see durable moves toward greater wage bargaining coordination? Moving to sustained coordinated wage bargaining presupposes that unions and employers can both be convinced that wage bargaining is in fact a game in which both actors prefer coordination. This can only happen when these social actors come to accept as true an idea of the economy in which their coordination through wage bargaining institutions will give them better outcomes than would bargaining through decentralized institutions. This paper argues that the process of developing common knowledge changes institutional preferences among employers. It was the development of common knowledge that changed employer preferences about the attractiveness of institutions for wage coordination in Ireland in Italy. In both cases, the development of common expectations required the emergence and joint ratification of a common set of references, in what I call common knowledge events. These events led organized employers to change their previous position about acceptable institutions of wage bargaining. This change made possible the institutionalization of coordinated wage bargaining in both countries. As demonstrated through counterfactual analysis of the Australian case, the emergence and ratification of such a common view is the necessary condition for the emergence and survival of coordinated wage bargaining institutions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Australia/Pacific, Ireland
  • Author: Annette Elisabeth Töller
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In looking at the Europeanization of the German Bundestag, the paper brings together two different debates: the well-established debate on the democratic legitimacy of the European Union sees national Parliaments as guarantor of one branch of a “dual” legitimacy. The more recent debate on “Europeanization” addresses the impacts that European integration has had on its Member States. Analyzing the Europeanization of the German Bundestag, the paper identifies and analyzes three dimensions: legislative Europeanization – the extent to which legislative decision making by the German Bundestag has been influenced by European stipulations over the last twenty years; institutional Europeanization – how the Bundestag as an institution reacted to this loss of function by establishing institutional and procedural provisions for influencing the government's Euro-politics; and strategic Europeanization – the ways in which individual MPs started more recently to develop euro-political strategies that go beyond controlling the national government. The paper shows that the Bundestag only hesitantly reacted to the increasing loss of function s through legislative Europeanization by establishing effective institutional and procedural provisions for controlling the government's Euro-political activities. What is more, the establishment of institutions does not guarantee their effective use. All in all, Euro- politics continues to remain the activity of few MPs. These few, however, have more recently started to europeanize their strategies. The empirical findings support the claim that the traditional concept of chains of legitimacy is inadequate, both in conceptual and in empirical terms. With regard to the democratic legitimacy of EU governance, this indicates that, apart from major reform projects, especially with regard to everyday legislation, not too great a burden should be placed on national Parliaments.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Daniel Béland
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This theoretical contribution explores the role of political actors in the social construction of collective insecurity. Two parts comprise the article. The first one briefly defines the concept of collective insecurity and the second one bridges existing sociological and political science literatures relevant for the analysis of the politics of insecurity. This theoretical framework articulates five main claims. First, although interesting, the concept of moral panic applies only to a limited range of insecurity episodes. Second, citizens of contemporary societies exhibit acute risk awareness and, when new collective threats emerge, the logic of "organized irresponsibility" often leads citizens and interest groups alike to blame elected officials. Third, political actors mobilize credit claiming and blame avoidance strategies to respond to these threats in a way that enhances their This theoretical contribution explores the role of political actors in the social construction of collective insecurity. Two part s comprise the article. The first one briefly defines the concept of collective insecurity and the second one bridges existing sociological and political science literatures relevant for the analysis of the politics of insecurity. This theoretical framework articulates five main claims. First, although interesting, the concept of moral panic applies only to a limited range of insecurity episodes. Second, citizens of contemporary societies exhibit acute risk awareness and, when new collective threats emerge, the logic of “organized irresponsibility” often leads citizens and interest groups alike to blame elected officials. Third, political actors mobilize credit claiming and blame avoidance strategies to respond to these threats in a way that enhances their position within the political field. Fourth, powerful interests and institutional forces as well as the “threat infrastructure” specific to a policy area create constraints and opportunities for these strategic actors. Finally, their behavior is proactive or reactive, as political actors can either help push a threat onto the agenda early, or, at a later stage, simply attempt to shape the perception of this threat after other forces have transformed it into a major political issue.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wolfgang Schroeder, Stephen J. Silvia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper challenges the conventional explanation for declining density of German employers associations. The dominant account asserts that German trade unions have taken advantage of increased globalization since the 1980s – which has made internationally active enterprises more vulnerable to production disruptions – to extract additional monopoly rents from multinational employers via aggressive collective bargaining. Small firms have responded to the increased union pressures by avoiding member ship employers associations, which has produced the density declines. Data, however, disconfirm the conventional explanation; compensation increases have actually become increasingly smaller over the decades. This paper presents an alternative explanation that is consistent with the data. We argue that it is the large product manufacturers rather than the trade unions that have greatly increased price pressures on parts suppliers, which has led to a disproportionate number of suppliers to quit employers associations. The paper also discusses these findings in light of the “varieties of capitalism” literature. It points out that this literature has depicted national models as too homogeneous. The decision of several German employers associations to offer different classes of membership represents an accentuation of variety within national varieties of capitalism.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Reimut Zohlnhöfer
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: According to parts of the literature, blame avoidance opportunities, i.e. the necessity and applicability of blame avoidance strategies, may differ among countries according to the respective institutional set-ups and between governing parties according to their programmatic orientation. In countries with many veto actors, a strategy of "Institutional Cooperation" among these actors is expected to diffuse blame sufficiently to render other blame avoidance strategies obsolete. In contrast, governments in Westminster democracies should resort to the more unilateral strategies of presentation, policy design and timing. At the same time, parties of the left are expected to have an easier time implementing spending cuts while right parties are less vulnerable when proposing tax increases. Evidence from the politics of budget consolidation in Britain and Germany does not corroborate these hypotheses. Instead, it seems that party competition conditions the effects institutions and the partisan complexion of governments have on the politics of blame avoidance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Hubert P. Janicki, Thierry Warin, Phanindra Wunnava
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper presents an empirical assessment of the endogenous optimum currency area theory. This study relies on the original intuition developed by Mundell in 1973. The gravity model is used to empirically assess the effectiveness of the convergence criteria by examining location specific advantages that guide multinational investment within the European Union. A fixed effects model based on a panel data of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows within the EU-15 shows that horizontal investment promotes the diffusion of the production process across the national border. Specifically, the examined Maastricht criteria suggest convergence in interest rate, government fiscal policy, and debt play a significant role in attracting multinational investment.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thierry Warin
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The paper addresses the question of the fiscal perspectives within the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). By using a panel data analysis associated with an interpretation in terms of differences instead of levels, the results show a steady convergence of public deficits across the EMU, and that the EMU needs either to comply with the Lisbon agenda, or some kind of a growth strategy, or reduce the interest of the debt in order to regain some fiscal flexibility while abiding by the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP).
  • Topic: International Relations, Debt, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: David Coates
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: New Labour's performance in office–as an orchestrator of economic and social change–is situated against, and evaluated by reference to, two sets of legacies: legacies inherited from the years of Conservative political dominance after 1979; and legacies brought to power by New Labour. The paper argues that the first se t of legacies was deep and enduring, and threw a long shadow forward. It argues that the second set of legacies were highly coherent and intellectually informed, but cumulatively involved a diminution in the capacity of the state. The result has been a two-term government that is sufficiently superficially successful to win a third term; but which has yet seriously to transform the legacies it inherited: to our misfortune, and ultimately–in electoral terms–also probably to its own. This paper is based on my study of New Labour's domestic policy–Prolonged Labour: The Slow Birth of New Labour Britain; I have also co-authored a study of New Labour's policy towards Iraq–Blair's War–which was published by Polity Press in 2004.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sebastián Royo
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The proponents of globalization contend that European countries are now converging on an Anglo-American model of capitalism. Contrary to this prediction, this paper will show that in Spain globalization and EMU have promoted rather than undermined coordination among economic actors. Unable to escape from economic interdependence the Spanish economic actors have developed coordinating capacities at the macro and micro levels to address and resolve tensions between economic interdependence and political sovereignty. In this paper I show that there is at least one more variety than the two–LME and CME–that Hall and Soskice cite and also that it is possible to develop coordination capacities in countries that lack a strong tradition of such capacities. In particular, this paper analyzes the resurgence of national-level social bargaining in Spain in the 1990s. This development was the result of the reorientation of the strategies of the social actors. In a new economic and political context, marked by a process of institutional learning, trade unions have supported social bargaining as a defensive strategy to retake the initiative and influence policy outcomes.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe