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  • Author: Eleni Mahaira-Odoni
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In his Poetics Aristotle underscores the interaction between poetry and history by assigning to poetry the task of dealing with the universal while history delves in the particular. The writers Thanassis Valtinos, Rea Galanaki and the poet C.P. Cavafy have created an imposing body of Modern Greek literary works built on the intimate relationship between history and literature. For each writer the choice of particular historical instances serves a very different purpose. Valtinos grapples with the condition of the common man/woman whereas Galanaki focuses mostly on the existential parameters of exceptional women’s lives. For C.P. Cavafy, poetry, the ultimate universal, validates his own self-exploration by means of particular historical narratives.
  • Topic: History, Culture
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Marius R. Busemeyer
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The issue of skill formation features prominently in the literature on the political economy of redistribution. But surprisingly, the study of the micro foundations of education policy preferences has largely been ignored so far. This paper provides a first step in this direction, relying on survey data for a large number of OCED countries. Challenging the assumptions of established political economy models of the formation of education preferences, it is shown that the individual position on the income scale is not a strong predictor of support for increasing public spending on education. The reason for this non-finding is that the association between income and preferences varies across countries and institutional contexts. The core hypothesis of the paper is that levels of economic inequality and the degree of stratification of the education system strongly affect and shape the redistributive political economy of education on the micro level. The empirical part of the paper employs a two-stage hierarchical model specification to provide evidence for this claim.
  • Topic: Education, Political Economy, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Giovanni Capoccia, Daniel Ziblatt
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The paper lays the theoretical and methodological foundations of a new historically-minded approach to the comparative study of democratization, centered on the analysis of the creation, development and interaction of democratic institutions. Historically, democracy did not emerge as a singular coherent whole but rather as a set of different institutions, which resulted from conflicts across multiple lines of social and political cleavage that took place at different moments in time. The theoretical advantage of this approach is illustrated by highlighting the range of new variables that come into focus in explaining democracy's emergence. Rather than class being the single variable that explains how and why democracy came about, we can see how religious conflict, ethnic cleavages, and the diffusion of ideas played a much greater role in Europe's democratization than has typically been appreciated. Above all, we argue that political parties were decisive players in how and why democracy emerged in Europe and should be at the center of future analyses.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Economy, History
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andreas Grimmel
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: During the last two decades, law as a factor in European integration has attracted great scientific interest. Numerous studies and theoretical analyses have been published which have undertaken the task of examining and explaining the role of law in the progress of integration. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in particular, as Europe's judiciary body, draws much attention in this context. However, the inflexible, mechanistic and universalistic notion of rationality that these works employ leads to serious misinterpretations and unjustified criticism regarding the role the ECJ takes in the course of integration. Within the frameworks of contemporary approaches the Court is perceived as just one more political player among other actors and institutions able to shape the EU in the pursuit of its own rational interests. By outlining the theoretical concept of context rationality, this article shows that the logics of law and judicial law making are based on a non-trivial and non-political rationality and cannot be understood appropriately without paying attention to the context of European law.
  • Topic: International Law, Regional Cooperation, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Christopher Manuel
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The notion of Portuguese exceptionalism resonated with the European political and economic elite for some two hundred years: there was a widespread belief that Portuguese society and government existed outside of European understandings of society, politics and authority relations. In the thirty-five years since the 25 April 1974 Carnation Revolution, the Portuguese political system has developed new mechanisms for debate, elections and policy adoption. Portugal is currently completely integrated into Europe as a member of the European Union, with a democratic government and a developing economy. Portugal's return to the overall pattern of European democratic institutions in the years following the 25 April 1974 revolution can be understood as a much needed corrective of both Portuguese authoritarianism and its associated notions of lusotropicalism: that is, democracy and Europe have replaced corporatism and the Portuguese overseas empire as two of the key defining elements of contemporary Portuguese identity. It was certainly a long historical struggle from monarchy to democracy: the contemporary Portuguese political system is currently dynamic, democratic, durable and European.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Francesca Bignami
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: European countries have experienced massive structural transformation over the past twenty-five years with the privatization of state-owned industries, the liberalization of markets, and the rise of the European Union. According to one prominent line of analysis, these changes have led to the Americanization of European regulatory styles: previously informal and cooperative modes of regulation are becoming adversarial and litigation-driven, similar to the American system. This article explores the Americanization hypothesis with a structured comparison of data privacy regulation in four countries (France, Britain, Germany, and Italy) and a review of three other policy areas. It finds that European regulatory systems are converging, but not on American-style litigation, rather on an administrative model of deterrence-oriented regulatory enforcement and industry self-regulation. The explanation for this emerging regulatory strategy is to be found in government responses to market liberalization, as well as the pressure created by the governance process of the European Union.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, Italy
  • Author: Marino Regini, Sabrina Colombo
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The “European social model” includes a welfare regime with generous social expenditure; high employment or income protection; a well-developed system of industrial relations; and involvement of social partners in policymaking. Within the Italian social model, however, one can find three major dividing lines. The first one stems from the coexistence of different models in different areas of the country. Second, an occupation-based principle in pensions and in unemployment benefits coexists with a citizenship-based one in health and education. Finally, core workers enjoy high job and income security, whereas outsiders are highly dependent on the market. These three dividing lines substantially endanger the legitimacy and social acceptance of the Italian social model: each of them profoundly affects the perceptions of workers and citizens, leading to widespread criticism of even those aspects that clearly benefit them and, at the same time, to fierce opposition to the several attempts at reforming it.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Ali Tekin, Paul A. Williams
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the role of Turkey in the European Union's energy security and its implications for the Turkish accession process. The EU is increasingly interested in diversifying its imports of energy, as well as the transit routes for these imported supplies. Extant and future projects to secure energy supplies from Russia, the Caspian and the Middle East indicate quite persuasively that Turkey has become more crucial to the attainment of the EU external energy policy objectives. However, Turkey may have reached the limits of its willingness to cooperate on energy security without more decisive EU reciprocation of Turkey's own EU membership efforts. In the short run, Turkey is not essential to the EU, but in the longer run, as European energy needs become more pressing, the EU may have to give more serious consideration to Turkey's accession.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Sebastian Royo
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Is globalization forcing non-“Coordinated Market Economies” such as Spain to converge on an Anglo-American model? This paper seeks to build on the hypotheses generated by the literature on “Varieties of Capitalism” to analyze the challenges of developing and sustaining coordination while adjusting for economic change. In particular it seeks to explore ways in which subnational factors promote the ability of socioeconomic actors to develop public-private institutions. By focusing on a particular autonomous region of Spain, the Basque Country, this paper will explore the role of institutional arrangements at the regional level in determining national adjustment. In the Basque Country the relative power and the particular interests of the regional state have been central factors in promoting distinctive patterns of coordination. At the same time, actors' preferences and policy outcomes have been constrained by the differences in the quality and configuration of institutional frameworks, political deals, and the existing economic structure.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Spain
  • Author: Malgorzata Runiewicz-Wardyn
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: There are significant differences in the innovative capacities between the economies of the United States and European Union. The US was able to gain and maintain technological leadership, whereas most of the EU member states (with the exception of some Scandinavian economies) still lag behind in the competitiveness and innovation rankings.
  • Topic: Economics, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Omar G. Encarnación
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A key contention of the transitional justice movement is that the more comprehensive and vigorous the effort to bring justice to a departed authoritarian regime the better the democratizing outcome will be. This essay challenges this view with empirical evidence from the Iberian Peninsula. In Portugal, a sweeping policy of purges intended to cleanse the state and society of the authoritarian past nearly derailed the transition to democracy by descending into a veritable witch-hunt. In Spain, by contrast, letting bygones be bygones, became a foundation for democratic consolidation. These counter-intuitive examples suggest that there is no pre-ordained outcome to transitional justice, and that confronting an evil past is neither a requirement nor a pre-condition for democratization. This is primarily because the principal factors driving the impulse toward justice against the old regime are political rather than ethical or moral. In Portugal, the rise of transitional justice mirrored the anarchic politics of the revolution that lunched the transition to democracy. In Spain, the absence of transitional justice reflected the pragmatism of a democratic transition anchored on compromise and consensus.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Politics, International Affairs, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Portugal, Iberia Peninsula
  • Author: Sofía Perez, Jonathan Westrup
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes major changes in the regulation of the financial sector in Europe over the last three decades. Focusing on the pattern of change across five countries (Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), the paper identifies two major periods of regulatory change: first, the shift away from postwar patterns of credit regulation in the 1970s and 1980s, and second, the intensification of state supervisory powers and the introduction of new regulatory structures from the 1990s to the present. In both cases, the authors point to the way in which different models of financial sector regulation affect the political consequences of macro-economic policy for political elites as an explanation for choices that governments have made in the regulatory arena. More specifically, while regulatory change in the first period may be largely explained by the way in which different postwar models of credit regulation impinged upon a government's political ability to impose disinflation, choices in favor of different regulatory structures in the second period (single regulator in Britain and Germany versus multiple regulators in the other countries) can be related to differences in the area of pension reform. By focusing on the political implications that different modes of financial regualtion can have for elected officials in the context of different macroeconomic scenarios, the authors offer an explanation of regualtory change that differs from accounts which emphasize the primacy of financial market forces in driving such change.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Thilo Bodenstein, Achim Kemmerling
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: We investigate the distribution of European Union (EU) Structural Funds across EU regions. We draw from literature concerning the political economy of national intergovernmental grants, and regarding the EU's two-tiered bargaining process. Bargaining over the distribution of Structural Funds takes place between regions and their respective national governments, but is also influenced by bargaining that occurs on an intergovernmental level. We test our claims with a data set containing the distribution of Objective-1 and Objective-2 funds across EU regions, as well as other economic, institutional and electoral variables. Adjusting for selection bias, we find that the official allocation criteria are not sufficient determinants for explaining the distribution of regional transfers. For Objective-2 they may even be said to bear the opposite sign. Moreover, federalist regions and those with stronger electoral competition receive significantly more transfers than other regions.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thomas Jeffrey Miley
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes patterns of linguistic adaptation, cultural assimilation, and hidden contestation in contemporary Catalonia. It makes use of public opinion data available for the general population there, compared and contrasted with the results of primary research from 355 interviews conducted by this author with a random sample of Catalan politicians and schoolteachers. In the process, it assesses the relative merits of the “competitive assimilation” thesis, the dominant framework for understanding the dynamics of language politics in Catalonia. It contends that this thesis is critically flawed, both as description and as explanation.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Demographics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Catalonia
  • Author: Kiran Klaus Patel
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Comparing the rise of transnational history in the United States and Germany is difficult, mainly because of the many connections between these historiographies. Still, the article argues that the paths into a transnational historiography were quit e different on both sides of the Atlantic. Apart from similarities and connections, the text therefore highlights the intellectual as well as institutional differences of the debates in the U.S.A. and Germany.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Jon Erik Dølvik
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The enlargement of the EU / EEA area on 1 May 2004 to comprise 28 countries – including eight Central and Eastern European countries, in 2007 followed by Bulgaria and Romania – was a milestone. The subsequent opening of the markets for labor and services between countries with gaps in wages and living conditions comparable to those along the U.S./Mexican border has no modern precedent, prompting new patterns of competition, migration and adjustment in national labor market regimes. This paper reviews developments in labor migration after enlargement and the implications for the labor markets in the Baltic states and Poland, which have accounted for a predominant share of the intra- EU / EEA migration flows since 2004. Besides the UK and Ireland, where almost one million EU 8 citizens had registered in 2007, the booming Nordic economies have become important destinations, having granted more than 250,000 permits and seen sizeable additional flows of service providers and self-employed from the Baltic states and Poland. In the sending countries, rising demand for labor has, alongside strong outmigration – especially among young and well-educated groups – engendered falling unemployment, soaring wage growth, and made shortages of skills and labor an obstacle to further economic recovery. Yet, while better paid temporary work abroad may weaken the incentives for employment, mobility and training in the home country, aging will lead to shrinking working-age populations in the coming years. Unless the Baltic states and Poland can entice a larger share of the population to work in their home countries – and/or can attract substantial labor migration from third countries – the declining work force may easily entail economic stagnation and reinforce the outflow of human resources. These countries are thereby facing a critical juncture in their economic and social development. In the recipient Nordic countries, the growing labor and service mobility, low cost production, and competition for labor in Europe, as well as emerging lines of division in the labor markets, have, on the other hand, raised new questions as to how the principles of free movement and the egalitarian Nordic models can be made reconcilable in the open European markets.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Ireland
  • 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.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland
  • Author: Kiran Klaus Patel
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Comparing the rise of transnational history in the United States and Germany is difficult, mainly because of the many connections between these historiographies. Still, the article argues that the paths into a transnational historiography were quite different on both sides of the Atlantic. Apart from similarities and connections, the text therefore highlights the intellectual as well as institutional differences of the debates in the U.S.A. and Germany.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Sylvie Tissot
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: At the end of 1980s, the question of « quartiers sensibles » (at-risk neighborhoods) started to be very publicized in France. It was not only the subject of many front-page articles, but also the target of a new public policy aimed at promoting urban and social development in about 500 neighborhoods (Politique de la ville). I argue that such a focus on « quartiers sensibles » does not only result from increasing problems such as unemployment, poverty or juvenile delinquency ; it also represents a major change in public policy. Focusing on « quartiers sensibles » directly contributed to the restructuring of the French welfare state by centering its action on specific urban spaces rather than national territory, and on social links rather than economic reality, contrary to what the welfate state claimed to do during the Fordist period. The outbreak of riots in November 2005 is inextricably bound up with the way some problems (like lack of communication and weakening social links) have been associated with the question of « quartiers sensibles » whereas the French model of integration, based on equality among abstract citizens, left some others (like ethnic discrimination) unquestioned.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Political Economy, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Durban
  • Author: Jon Erik Dølvik
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The enlargement of the EU/EEA area on 1 May 2004 to comprise 28 countries – including eight Central and Eastern European countries, in 2007 followed by Bulgaria and Romania – was a milestone. The subsequent opening of the markets for labor and services between countries with gaps in wages and living conditions comparable to those along the U.S./Mexican border has no modern precedent, prompting new patterns of competition, migration and adjustment in national labor market regimes. This paper reviews developments in labor migration after enlargement and the implications for the labor markets in the Baltic States and Poland, which have accounted for a predominant share of the intra-EU/EEA migration flows since 2004. Besides the UK and Ireland, where almost one million EU8 citizens had registered in 2007, the booming Nordic economies have become important destinations, having granted more than 250,000 permits and seen sizeable additional flows of service providers and self-employed from the Baltic states and Poland. In the sending countries, rising demand for labor has, alongside strong outmigration – especially among young and well-educated groups – engendered falling unemployment, soaring wage growth, and made shortages of skills and labor an obstacle to further economic recovery. Yet, while better paid temporary work abroad may weaken the incentives for employment, mobility and training in the home country, aging will lead to shrinking working-age populations in the coming years. Unless the Baltic states and Poland can entice a larger share of the population to work in their home countries – and/or can attract substantial labor migration from third countries – the declining work force may easily entail economic stagnation and reinforce the outflow of human resources. These countries are thereby facing a critical juncture in their economic and social development. In the recipient Nordic countries, the growing labor and service mobility, low cost production, and competition for labor in Europe, as well as emerging lines of division in the labor markets, have, on the other hand, raised new questions as to how the principles of free movement and the egalitarian Nordic models can be made reconcilable in the open European markets.
  • Topic: Demographics, Markets, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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
  • 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