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  • Author: John McArthur
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: To what extent have developing countries' patterns in reducing under-5 mortality rates (U5MR) changed since the advent of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)? This paper investigates that question across multiple time horizons, with attention to the fact that countries' progress had already begun to accelerate during the late 1990s compared to the early 1990s. The paper gives special consideration to countries the MDGs were primarily intended to support, including initially “Off Track” and low-income countries. Although only 21 percent of originally Off Track countries and 34 percent of originally low-income countries are now on a path to achieve the MDG target by 2015, at least 80 percent of each group has seen accelerated progress since 2001. Approximately 90 percent of countries in sub-Saharan Africa have accelerated. Most importantly, regression analysis indicates that cross-country trends since 2000 differ considerably from previous decades. The years since the launch of the MDGs include the first extended period in at least four decades during which rates of U5MR decline have not been negatively correlated with U5MR levels. Compared to a conservative counterfactual trend from 1996 to 2001, at least 7.5 million additional children's lives are estimated to have been saved between 2002 and 2013. The results suggest that much of the greatest structural progress has been achieved by countries not likely to achieve the formal MDG targets, even if their progress might be linked to the pursuit of those targets. Implications are considered for setting U5MR targets through to 2030.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: George Ingram
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: A decade of reform of U.S. development assistance programs has brought significant and important improvement in the nature and delivery of U.S. assistance. But the 21st century world is witnessing constant change in development. More developing countries are ascending to middle income status and gaining the capability, resources, and desire to finance and direct their own development. The rapid expansion of private capital flows, remittances, and domestic resources has significantly reduced the relative role of donor assistance in financing development. Donors are becoming more numerous and varied. There is growing recognition that the private sector, both nationally and internationally, is an indispensable component of sustainable development.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Steven
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The world faces old and new security challenges that are more complex than our multilateral and national institutions are currently capable of managing. International cooperation is ever more necessary in meeting these challenges. The NYU Center on International Cooperation (CIC) works to enhance international responses to conflict, insecurity, and scarcity through applied research and direct engagement with multilateral institutions and the wider policy community.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Children
  • Author: Anna van der Vleuten
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Research Center (SFB) 700
  • Abstract: As early as 1992, the Treaty of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) already included a commitment to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law as governance standards in its member states, but it was in 2001 that SADC significantly broadened its efforts at governance transfer. SADC focuses in particular on standards related to gender, (socioeconomic) human rights, and (electoral) democracy, which are promoted and protected through various instruments including military interventions and sanctions in the framework of security cooperation. While the rule of law and good governance have also gained a more prominent place on the agenda since 2001, standards and instruments are less developed. Overall, there is a significant gap between the prescription of standards and policies on the one hand and the implementation of measures on the other. The suspension of the SADC Tribunal in 2010 following its rulings on human rights issues clearly shows the limits of SADC as an active promoter vis-à-vis its member states.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sam Handlin
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: What are the causes and implications of polarization in new democracies? During Latin America’s “Left Turn” period, highly polarized party systems emerged in some countries–Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and El Salvador–but not the rest of the region. This paper proposes a theory to explain variation, centered on the presence of electorally relevant parties of the left in the pre-Left Turn period and, most critically, the quality of governance in that period. Poor governance created opportunities for partisan actors on the left to politicize a second dimension of political contestation, anti-systemic versus systemic positions on the design and operation of the state, and thus chart alternative paths to electoral viability that required little left-right programmatic moderation. This dynamic empowered radical party factions and drove polarizing dynamics in party systems. High quality governance, in contrast, gave left parties little choice but to moderate their programs in search of electoral viability. This dynamic empowered moderate party factions and drove centripetal dynamics in party systems. Empirically, the paper tests these arguments through a broad overview of the case universe and in-depth case studies of Venezuela and Brazil.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Josef Hien
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: For centuries, churches were the main institutional providers of welfare in Europe before the state took over this role in the late 19th century. The influence of modernization theory meant that modern welfare state theorists increasingly regarded religion and its impact on welfare as a relic from the distant past. It was anticipated that modern, differentiated, and industrialized societies would see the decline and inevitable disappearance of religious welfare provision along with religiosity. Surprisingly, however, at the beginning of the 21st century in many modern industrialized societies, religious institutions are increasingly becoming involved in welfare provision again. The religion blind classic welfare state literature offers no explanation for this phenomenon. This present paper argues that the resurgence of faith-based welfare providers is the reversal of a phenomenon that occurred in the late 19th century when modern states started to strip religious providers of their prerogatives in welfare provision. The result was the ascendance of the modern state and the demise of religion in the late 19th century. The return of welfare to religious providers can therefore be interpreted as the beginning of the demise of the modern state.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Non-Governmental Organization, Religion, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Sabrina Zajak
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper presents a novel analytical framework to study transnational activism in the context of today’s international governance architecture. While there is a considerable amount of literature on the emergence, development, and effects of transnational activism in specific transnational governance arrangements or within a specific local context, an integrated framework that analyzes the dynamic interplay between activism, transnational institutions, and domestic contexts is still lacking. The framework of transnational pathways of influence intends to help close this gap. It integrates insights from social movement research on transnational collective action and insights from institutional theorists on institutional interactions. The framework consists of three major concepts: the concept of intra-pathway dynamics captures the relationship of mobilization and institutional chance within one path; the concept of inter-pathway dynamics encompasses institutional interactions and interdependencies between activism across paths; and the concept of the global–local link characterizes the relationship of activism within each path to local actors, the domestic context, and the political regime. The paper outlines this framework and exemplifies it by taking the case of transnational labor-rights activism targeting labor-rights violations in a strong and nondemocratic state: the People’s Republic of China. It shows that the study of activism across different transnational pathways over time is necessary to understand the combined effects of activist interventions, institutional co-evolution and interaction as an explanation of the process of selective convergence between global norms and local practices.
  • Topic: Development, Politics, Labor Issues, Governance, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Until recently, 95% of the bandwidth for talking and thinking about the post-2015 agenda was focused on goals and targets. Now that the Open Working Group (OWG) on the post- 2015 agenda has reported, though, policymakers and opinion formers are starting to think more seriously about the ‘how’ as opposed to the ‘what’ – and what a new Global Partnership on development, as well as the overall political outcome on means of implementation (MOI) more broadly, might look like by the end of next year.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus