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  • Author: Rosalba Landa, Beatriz Olivera
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change will strongly affect the production of food and the life conditions of the farming and indigenous families in Central America. The increase in temperatures and the modification of the rainfall cycles will impact the availability of water for the food production and for the populations. In Latin America and the Caribbean, in the past decade, more than 15 million people were affected by floods while more than 3 million were affected by extreme droughts and almost 5 million by extreme temperatures. Furthermore, according to the previsions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the increase in the number of people at risk from suffering from famine could concern 5 million people by the year 2020, and reach up to 26 million by the year 2050.
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America, Caribbean
  • Author: Moussa Haddad, Jane Perry, Martin Williams, Tom Sefton
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Use of emergency food aid in the UK, particularly in the form of food banks, has dramatically increased over the last decade. This research, jointly conducted by Oxfam, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), the Church of England and The Trussell Trust, examines why people are turning to food banks, how food bank use fits with their wider coping strategies, and what might be done to reduce the need that leads to food bank use. Our research used a combination of methodological approaches. We conducted 40 in-depth interviews with clients at 7 food banks in a diverse range of areas across the UK, collected additional administrative data from more than 900 clients at 3 of those food banks regarding the reasons for their referral, and analysed a caseload of 178 clients accessing an advice service at one food bank.
  • Political Geography: England
  • Author: David Bright, Caroline Green, Thalia Kidder
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The growing focus on creating employment for women is welcome, but for women to be economically empowered, it must be decent work with safeguards, alongside integrated interventions to address the structural barriers faced by women. Without this dual approach, evidence shows that apart from a few exceptional women leaders, the majority of women may not be able to access jobs or benefit fully from them. Working women continue to face heavy and unequal responsibilities for household work and care, remaining in low-paid and precarious work, and vulnerable to abuse. Successful experiences have stemmed from integrated investments in social infrastructure, such as women's organisations, social protection, essential services and positive social norms, with transparent governance supporting good employment practices such as written contracts and a living wage.
  • Author: Yared Teka Tsegay, Masiiwa Rusare, Rashmi Mistry
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: South Africa is supposedly a food-secure nation, producing enough calories to feed every one of its 53 million citizens. But despite some progress, one in four people currently suffers hunger on a regular basis and more than half of the population live in such precarious circumstances that they are at risk of going hungry.
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Coghlan Christopher, Muzammil Maliha, Ingram John, Vervoort Joost, Otto Friederike, James Rachel
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This report analyses impacts of four extreme weather events (a heat wave in Russia, flooding in Pakistan, drought in East Africa, and a typhoon in the Philippines) on food security. For each case, the nature of the extreme weather is characterized, and its impact on vulnerable people is assessed by considering when and why threats emerge, and the role of governance in the state and non - state responses to the emergency. Scenarios of the plausible impacts of increased extreme weather severity on food security and other socioeconomic parameters are presented for each case.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, Philippines, East Africa
  • Author: Hanks Kiri
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: UN Secretary - General Ban Ki - moon invited business leaders to bring to the Climate Summit the bold actions they are undertaking to address climate change. These public – private initiatives are touted to be a key outcome of the summit – especially given that few governments will be in a position to make major new commitments. The hope is that they will inject some positive momentum into the global talks by showing that business is already 'getting on with it' and leading the way.
  • Author: Sam Handlin
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • 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.
  • Political Geography: America, Brazil, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador
  • Author: David Altman
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Acknowledging that mechanisms of direct democracy can fall prey to narrow and egoistic interests (regardless of how legitimate they may be) and that legislatures do not always have the incentives to articulate responses to those narrow interests, I propose a hypothetical reform: any time a popular vote (i.e., initiative, referendum, or authorities' referendum) is held, representative and direct institutions should be supplied with a stratified random sample of eligible voters convened to advance citizens' counterproposals. This original institution—which does not exist even in the places where direct democracy is most developed—would discuss, deliberate, and offer an alternative or an improvement to a policy question that is to be decided in the near future; it would refine and enlarge public views on a contentious topic, providing meaningful political choices, and thus strengthening democratic quality. In arguing for this, my research takes insights from two real-world situations—Uruguay's two 2009 initiatives for constitutional reform—in which citizens' counterproposals could have played a crucial role in informing public views on a contentious topic and offered an alternative to both sides of the debate.
  • Author: Svend-Erik Skaaning, John Gerring, Henrikas Bartusevičius
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Recent years have seen an efflorescence of work focused on the definition and operationalization of democracy. One debate concerns the scale, i.e., whether democracy is best measured by binary or graded scales. Critics of binary indices point out at that they are overly reductionist; all features of a regime must be reduced to a single coding decision, producing binary sets that lack discriminating power. Defenders counter that the different levels of graded measures are not associated with a specific set of conditions, meaning that they are difficult to interpret. Against this backdrop, we propose to operationalize electoral democracy as a series of necessary-and sufficient conditions arrayed in an ordinal scale. The resulting “lexical” index of electoral democracy, based partly on new data collected by the authors, covers all independent countries of the world from 1800 to 2008. It incorporates binary coding of its sub-components based on factual characteristics of regimes and in this way reduces the problem of subjective judgments by coders for non-binary democracy indices. Binary codings are aggregated into an ordinal scale using a cumulative logic. In this fashion, we arrive at an index that performs a classificatory function – each level identifies a unique and theoretically meaningful regime type – as well as a discriminating function.
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In the debate over global manufacturing competitiveness, the labour cost question looms largest. The rapid growth in Chinese wages is having an impact not only on firms currently manufacturing in China, but also on emerging economies seeking to grab a share of that manufacturing activity (like Vietnam and Bangladesh) and developed countries seeking to revive their own manufacturing sectors (like the US). Rising wages in China could threaten the country's status as a manufacturing powerhouse if they are not matched by comparable gains in productivity.
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, United States, China, Vietnam