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  • Author: Gerald A. McDermott
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article examines the political conditions shaping the creation of new institutional capabilities. It analyzes bank sector reforms in the 1990s in three leading postcommunist democracies–Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. It shows how different political approaches to economic transformation can facilitate or hinder the ability of relevant public and private actors to experiment and learn their new roles. With its emphasis on insulating power and rapidly implementing self-enforcing economic incentives, the “depoliticization” approach creates few changes in bank behavior and, indeed, impedes investment in new capabilities at the bank and supervisory levels. The “deliberativ e restructuring” approach fostered innovative, cost-effective monitoring structures for recapitalization, a strong supervisory system, and a stable, expanding bank sector.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland, Hungary
  • Author: Stanislav Markus
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The literature on corporate governance in Russia stresses the abuse of shareholder rights in the face of various asset-diversion tactics by the management. Attributing this fiasco to a number of structural obstacles and the privatization legacy, the orthodox account fails to incorporate–let alone explain–the recent data demonstrating a qualitative improvement of corporate governance in crucial segments of the Russian economy. This paper disaggregates “corporate governance” into specific institutions and examines their quality at the firm level as well as by sector. The data supporting the analysis is drawn from recent studies by the OECD, UBS Warburg, CEFIR, and other organizations. The causal inference presented in this paper critically evaluates the impact of foreign capital on the improved corporate governance in Russia's blue-chip firms. The paper presents two alternative state-centered scenarios to explain the implementation of internationally accepted standards of corporate governance by Russia's big business.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Cas Mudde
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The finalized "Return to Europe" of the new EU members states of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has created a whole new ballgame for Eurosceptic political actors. In rational choice terms, the costs of Euroscepticism (and even Eurorejection) have gone down dramatically, while the benefits will most probably go even further up. While the effects of EU accession on the party systems of CEE are multifold, this paper develops one possible effect: the transformation of the already present regional divide within CEE countries into a populist, anti-EU center-periphery leavage.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Frank Schimmelfennig
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, European regional organizations have been engaged in promoting the core norms of the emerging pan-European liberal international community in Eastern Europe: democracy and human rights (including minority rights) and the peaceful and integrative settlement of international and interethnic conflicts. When were these efforts effective? Starting from the two most prominent models in the literature on international norm promotion–the social learning model and the external incentives model–the paper uses Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) to examine the conditions under which governments in eastern Europe have complied with the political demands of European regional organizations. It shows that a credible perspective of EU and/or NATO accession combined with low political adaptation costs for the target governments was a sufficient condition for compliance; it thus corroborates the external incentives model. However, in the final phase of accession negotiations, a positive identification with the West proved sufficient as well–even when compliance threatened the survival of the government. By contrast, the other conditions of the social learning model (legitimacy and resonance) were irrelevant to the effectiveness of international norm promotion.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Reimut Zohlnhöfer, Herbert Obinger
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The 1990s have witnessed unprecedented attempts at privatizing state owned enterprises in virtually all OECD democracies. This contribution analyzes the differences in the privatization proceeds raised by EU and OECD countries between 1990 and 2000. It turns out that privatizations are part of a process of economic liberalization in previously highly regulated economies, as well as a reaction to the fiscal policy challenges imposed by European integration and the globalization of financial markets. In addition, institutional pluralism and union militancy yield significant and negative effects on privatization proceeds. Partisan differences only emerge if economic problems are moderate, while intense economic, particularly fiscal, problems foreclose differing partisan strategies.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Duane Swank
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: I offer an explanation for the widespread diffusion of neoliberal tax policies in the developed democracies. Specifically, I argue that the highly visible 1980s market-conforming tax reform in the United States, the late twentieth century's dominant political economy, creates significant incentives for adoption of neoliberal tax policies by decision makers in other polities. As such, I stress a dominant actor model of the diffusion of neoliberalism that is grounded in asymmetric competition for mobile assets and policy learning. However, while the incentives to follow U.S. tax policy are substantial, the relative weight assigned the costs and benefits of reform and, in turn, the pace and degree of neoliberal policy adoption by other nations is fundamentally contingent on features of domestic political and economic environments. I assess these arguments with empirical models of 1981-to-1998 tax rates on capital in sixteen nations. I find that changes in U.S. tax policy influence subsequent reforms in other polities; in the long-term, all nations move toward the U.S. neoliberal tax structure. Analysis also shows, however, that the responsiveness to US tax reforms is notably greater where linkages with U.S. markets are stronger, where domestic economic stress is deeper, and where uncoordinated market institutions are dominant. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of the present analysis for the volume's central questions: are dominant. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of the present analysis for the volume's central questions: of international policy interdependence and domestic political economic forces in shaping policy change?
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniele Archibugi, Alberto Coco
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The paper discusses the condition and perspective of the European Union in the knowledge economy and the feasibility of the goal given by the European Council at the Summits held in Lisbon (March 2000) and Barcelona (March 2002), that is, to increase European R expenditure up to 3 percent of GDP by 2010. The paper focuses on two aspects: comparative performance with its direct counterparts, in particular the US..; and intra-European distribution of resources and capabilities. A set of technological indicators is presented to show that Europe is still in a consistent delay when compared to Japan and the U.S., especially in R investment and in the generation of innovations. A small convergence occurs in the diffusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the sector most directly linked to the concept of the "new economy." In the field of knowledge collaboration, Europe reveals opposing paths in the business and in the academic worlds. Within Europe, the level of investment in scientific and technological activities is so different across countries that it does not merge into a single continental innovation system.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • 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: David R. Cameron
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The accession of ten new member states in May 2004 and the prospective accession of several more in the near future will pose severe budgetary, administrative, and operational challenges for the European Union. But however great, the challenges of enlargement pale in comparison with the challenges of accession that will be faced by the new member states, especially those which until a decade ago were governed by Communist parties that presided over centrally-planned and predominantly-collectivized economies. This paper explores five of the most critical challenges that will face the new member states of post-Communist Europe: 1) administering the acquis; 2) deepening and extending the reform and transformation of the economy; 3) reducing the high levels of unemployment and large government, trade, and current account deficits; 4) financing accession in the face of the EU’s budgetary constraints and financial provisions; and 5) coping with all of those challenges in the face of low levels of support for enlargement in many of the member states and high levels of ambivalence and skepticism about membership in most of the new member states. The chapter concludes by noting the low levels of trust in the national government and satisfaction with the way democracy works that exist in most of the new member states and suggests that those low levels of trust and satisfaction will make it difficult for the governments in the new member states to address these challenges while also maintaining sufficient public support to retain office.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anna Grzymala-Busse
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Theories of institutional development have tended to view discretion, or the leeway to act within institutional bounds, as an often unintended consequence of agency design and institutional specification. Yet the post-communist states show that discretion is a fundamental goal of institutional creation among competing elites. In turn, while political competition has been identified as a key constraint on discretion in institutional creation, widely-used indicators of political competition are inadequate. As post-communist democracies show, the number or seat share of political parties matters far less than what parties do in parliament. The key factor is a robust opposition: a clear, credible, and contentious threat to governing parties. Such opposition leads to the rise of formal institutions that both minimize the discretion necessary for rent-seeking, and favor equitable distributional outcomes.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Bo Rothstein, Eric M. Uslaner
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The importance of social trust has become widely accepted in the social sciences. A number of explanations have been put forward for the stark variation in social trust among countries. Among these, participation in voluntary associations received most attention. Yet, there is scant evidence that participation can lead to trust. In this paper, we shall examine a variable that has not gotten the attention we think it deserves in the discussion about the sources of generalized trust, namely equality. We conceptualize equality in two dimensions: one is economic equality and the other is equality of opportunity. The omission of both these dimensions of equality in the social capital literature is peculiar for several reasons. One is that it is obvious that the countries that score highest on social trust also rank highest on economic equality, namely the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, and Canada. Secondly, these are countries that have put a lot of effort in creating equality of opportunity, not least in regard to their policies for public education, labor market opportunities and (more recently) gender equality. The argument for increasing social trust by reducing inequality has largely been ignored in the policy debates about social trust. Social capital research has to a large extent been used by several governments and policy organizations to send a message to people that the bad things in their society are caused by too little volunteering. The policy implication that follows from our research is that the low levels of trust and social capital that plague many countries are caused by too little government action to reduce inequality. However, many countries plagued by low levels of social trust and social capital may be stuck in what is known as a social trap. The logic of such a situation is the following. Social trust will not increase because massive social inequality prevails, but the public policies that could remedy this situation cannot be established precisely because there is a genuine lack of trust. This lack of trust concerns both “other people” and the government institutions that are needed to implement universal policies.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada, Netherlands
  • Author: Endre M. Tvinnereim
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Democratic theory tells us that competition between political parties fosters more responsive government by disciplining elected leaders. Yet party competition may not always attain the levels desirable for holding leaders accountable, notably at the sub-national level. This paper hypothesizes that variations in competition-induced accountability affect regional, or state, government behavior, and that this variation is reflected in citizen satisfaction with regional government performance. The hypothesis is confirmed using survey data from sixty-eight German state election studies. Specifically, a widening of the gap between the two main parties of each state is shown to affect subsequent individual-level satisfaction negatively. This finding presents a conjecture that should be generalizable to other countries with strong sub-national units.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dorothee Bohle, Bela Greskovitz
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: During the past decade of European economic integration vastly worse standards have emerged in work conditions, industrial relations, and social welfare in Eastern Europe than in the West. Area scholars explain this divide by labor weakness caused by the ideological legacy of communism, and do not problematize the impact of transnational capital. In contrast, this essay argues that the reason why the European social model has not traveled to the East is that its socio-economic foundations, the industrial building blocks of the historical compromise between capital and labor, have not traveled either. In the West, the compromise had been rooted in capital-intensive consumer durables industries, such as car-manufacturing, and their suppliers. These sectors brought together organized and vocal labor with businesses willing to accommodate workers' demands, because for them labor had been less a problem as a cost-factor and more important as factor of demand. However, the main driving force of the eastward expansion of European capital has been the relocation of labor-intensive activities where business relies on sweating masses of workers, whose importance as consumers is marginal, and who are weak in the workplace and the marketplace. With this general conceptualization of how the emerging new European division of labor constrains the social aspects of East European market societies as a background, the essay studies the cases of Hungarian electronics and Slovak car industries in order to better understand how particular features of various leading sectors mediate the general pattern.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Sebastian Royo
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to outline the main consequences for Portugal and Spain of EU integration. It uses the integration of Portugal and Spain into the European Union as an opportunity to draw some lessons that may be applicable to East European countries as they pursue their own processes of integration into the European Union. It examines challenges and opportunities that new member states from central and Eastern Europe will face when trying to integrate in the EU. Finally, the paper analyzes the impact the 2004 enlargement will have on the Iberian countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Stephen Crowley
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Studies on the changing labor relations in post-communist countries have flourished in recent years, such that a review and analysis of what has been reported is overdue. Yet, interestingly, these studies have not reached a consensus on what they seek to explain. Indeed, some of the main questions remain under contention. First, is labor in post-communist societies weak, or (in at least some countries) strong? What should the referent be in determining strength or weakness? To the extent labor is weak, what would explain this weakness? If labor's power varies throughout the region, what would explain this variation? There have been a number of answers posed to these questions to date, but not a thorough testing of rival hypotheses. This paper will demonstrate, using a variety of measures, that labor is indeed a weak social and political act or in post-communist societies, especially when compared to labor in western Europe. This general weakness is rather surprising when one examines it against the now considerable economic and political diversity that exists in the post-communist world. The paper will then examine a number of hypotheses that have been proposed to explain labor's weakness, concluding that the institutional legacies of post-communist trade unions, and the ideological legacy of the discourse of class, best explain this overall weakness. However, the concept of legacy is itself found wanting, since it is unable to account for the extent of this weakness or the trends that have occurred in the region over time.
  • Topic: Communism, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Claes H. de Vreese
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This study tests competing hypotheses about popular support for European integration. It introduces anti-immigration sentiments as a key variable for understanding reluctance towards integration. Drawing on survey data, it is found that anti-immigration sentiments, economic considerations, and the evaluation of domestic governments are the strongest predictors of both support for integration and individuals' propensity to vote “Yes” in a referendum on the enlargement of the EU. When extrapolating the findings to future referendums on issues of European integration, it may be predicted that such referendums will result in a “No” outcome under the conditions of high levels of anti-immigration sentiments, pessimistic economic outlooks, and/or unpopularity of a government.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrew Martin
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper will be a chapter in Euros and Europeans: Monetary Integration and the European Social Model, Andrew Martin and George Ross, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2004. Over time, the impact of EMU on the European social model (ESM) is likely to depend most fundamentally on its effects on unemployment. If EMU makes possible a significant reduction in unemployment, it poses no threat to the ESM. However, EMU is likely to keep unemployment at high levels. This expectation hinges on two propositions: 1) in order to bring unemployment back down after an extended period of disinflation has kept growth below its potential and unemployment high, a period of economic growth above its long-run potential – a growth spurt – is necessary, and 2), the EMU macroeconomic policy regime, as interpreted and implemented by the ECB, blocks such a growth spurt. The first part of the paper describes the policy regime, arguing that the ECB's implementation of it so far and the bank's rationale for doing so indicate an unwillingness to permit the growth spurt needed to significantly reduce unemployment. Its rationale invokes the orthodox view that monetary policy has no long run effects on growth and employment. This view is challenged by an alternative view, described in the second part. The alternative rests mainly on an empirical analysis of cases in which disinflation was and was not followed by growth spurts during the 1980s and 1990s. Showing that in the long run unemployment was lower without higher inflation where monetary policy permitted growth spurts than where it did not, this analysis suggests that the ECB's orthodoxy is fundamentally flawed and that adherence to it will perpetuate Europe's high unemployment.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Oliver Gerstenberg
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Against the background of the ECtHR's recent decision in Appleby v UK (a European “counterpart” to the well-known US Supreme Court decision in Marsh v Alabama) the paper addresses, first, the issue of the influence, often perceived as dilemmatic, of human rights norms and constitutional norms on private law. In a second step, then, the paper discusses the promise—and a possible dilemma—of “comparative constitutionalism” as an engine of a more denationalized “constitutional patriotism”: the dilemma that we trade the “closure” of domestic exceptionalism against the new, systemic “closure” of “too much” judicial comity and professionalism, the closure of a new Juristenrecht.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Michael J. Oliver, Hugh Pemberton
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Despite considerable interest in the means by which policy learning occurs, and in how it is that the framework of policy may be subject to radical change, the “black box” of economic policymaking remains surprisingly murky. This article utilizes Peter Hall's concept of “social learning” to develop a more sophisticated model of policy learning; one in which paradigm failure does not necessarily lead to wholesale paradigm replacement, and in which an administrative battle of ideas may be just as important a determinant of paradigm change as a political struggle. It then applies this model in a survey of UK economic policymaking since the 1930s: examining the shift to “Keynesianism” during the 1930s and 1940s; the substantial revision of this framework in the 1960s; the collapse of the “Keynesian-plus” framework in the 1970s; and the major revisions to the new “neo-liberal” policy framework in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe