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  • Author: Aleksandra Maatsch
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper investigates how the intergovernmental reform process of European economic governance affected national parliaments’ oversight of this policy area. Which parliaments became disempowered and which managed to secure their formal powers – and why? The dependent variable of the study is operationalized as the presence or absence of “emergency legislation” allowing governments to accelerate the legislative process and minimize the risk of a default by constraining national parliaments’ powers. The paper examines how national parliaments in all eurozone states were involved in approving the following measures: the EFSF (establishment and increase of budgetary capacity), the ESM, and the Fiscal Compact. The findings demonstrate that whereas northern European parliaments’ powers were secured (or in some cases even fostered), southern European parliaments were disempowered due to the following factors: (i) domestic constitutional set-up permitting emergency legislation, (ii) national supreme or constitutional courts’ consent to extensive application of emergency legislation, and (iii) international economic and political pressure on governments to prevent default of the legislative process. Due to significant power asymmetries, national parliaments remained de jure but not de facto equal in the exercise of their control powers at the EU level. As a consequence, both the disempowerment of particular parliaments and the asymmetry of powers among them has had a negative effect on the legitimacy of European economic governance.
  • Topic: Politics, Governance, Law, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Giorgio Gomel
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: There is some degree of ambivalence, mistrust, and even hostility between Europe and Israel. Europeans see Israel on a path of permanent occupation of Palestinian territories. Israel sees the European posture as unbalanced and biased against Israel. Economic and institutional linkages are strong. A further strengthening of relations is however difficult unless a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is reached. For the EU resolving the conflict is a matter of both interests and values. The engagement of the EU can take different forms, in the realm of sticks one may point to legislation concerning the labelling of products from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and carrots such as the EU offer of a special privileged partnership with Israel. For the Israeli public a clearer perception of the costs of non-peace and the benefits from a resolution of the conflict could help unblock the stalemate and remove the deceptive illusion that the status quo is sustainable.
  • Topic: Politics, Geopolitics, Israel, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel
  • Author: Andreas Bagenholm, Stephan Dahlberg, Maria Solevid
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: In this paper, we argue that the effects of corruption on voter turnout not necessarily have to be negative. We argue that voters’ willingness to participate in elections will increase when parties politicize the issue of corruption in electoral campaigns, as it indicates party responsiveness to voter concerns. We test this claim by using individual-level data from CSES coupled with unique context data on party politicization of corruption in campaigns. Our findings show that higher perceived levels of corruption are associated with lower voter turnout but that the negative effect of perceiving high corruption on turnout is reduced in an electoral context where corruption is politicized. The results thus show that if corruption is not politicized, individuals’ corruption perceptions exert a significant negative impact on turnout. By politicizing anti-corruption measures, political parties are acting policy responsive and by that they are also affecting voters’ decision whether to vote or not.
  • Topic: Politics, Political Theory, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It has long been acknowledged that the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) act in a complex political setting. They represent national parties and are elected nationally, and their campaigns are often built around domestic issues. However, in the European Parliament (EP), the MEPs mostly work within transnational party groups, which form the main channel through which they can influence European decision-making. Although most national parties have affiliated themselves to party groups with similar ideological leanings, the views of the MEPs' national parties and their European party groups do not always overlap. In such situations, the MEPs are forced to choose between their different 'principals'. This raises several questions: Who do the MEPs ultimately represent? To what degree do domestic political factors and national concerns condition their behaviour in the EP? And to what extent do the political cleavages in the EP reflect the conflict lines in national politics?
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Giulia Piccolino
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on the history of statebuilding in Western Europe, fiscal sociology has proposed the existence of a mutually reinforcing effect between the emergence of representative government and effective taxation. This paper looks at the case of Benin, a low-income West African country that underwent a fairly successful democratization process in the early 1990s. It finds, in contrast to previous studies that have emphasized dependency on aid rents, that Benin appears to have reinforced its extractive capacities since democratization. However, the effect of democratization has been largely indirect, while other factors, such as the influence of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the size of the country's informal sector, have played a more direct role in encouraging or inhibiting tax extraction. Nevertheless, the hypothesis that effective taxation depends on a quasiconsensual relationship between government and taxpayers finds some confirmation in the Beninese case.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Europe, West Africa
  • Author: Tiberius Barasa, Andvig Jens Chr
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The starting point of the paper is the spatial characteristics of slums when it seeks to explain why rulers tend to neglect the welfare of their dwellers: they don't have to. Their economies are fairly closed. While located close to the centers of power, their high population density implies that they cover small space and are easy to cordon off in case of danger. The ease of control from the outside allows rulers to spend less attention to the control of their complex inside. Particularly when a slum is based on shack architecture, the high degree of mutual monitoring among dwellers may cause sharp shifts in the control regime of crime. The emphasis on spatial configurations motivates the focus on one specific slum: Mathare Valley. Paths back to colonial rule are outlined. The paper is stylistically unkempt.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Hanna Shelest
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The pictures of Kyiv on fire in early 2014 have attracted attention of the world's media, with Molotov cocktails, barricades and injured journalists making headlines. This is in sharp contrast to the previous two months, when hundreds of thousands of people were coming every Sunday to the main square – Maidan Nezalezhnosti – in peaceful protest.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Heidi Reisinger
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: On 27 January 2014, the NATO Defense College Research Division hosted its Russia Roundtable, where international experts from various research institutions meet senior practitioners from the International Staff and International Military Staff from NATO HQ.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: A. Orlov
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: Today, we are watching how the present stage of world history is coming to an end amid great or even fundamental changes of the geopolitical picture of the world. The twenty-five-year-long partnership between Russia and the West (never easy and never straightforward), which began back in the last years of Soviet perestroika, has ended. It will be probably replaced with a new structure of international cooperation much more pragmatic and devoid of illusions and exaggerated expectations nurtured by Russia rather than the West. It is wrong to expect that when the situation in Ukraine has been stabilized (it will be stabilized sooner or later) the world (or at least the part which stretches from Vladivostok in the east to Vancouver in the west) will go back to its pre-crisis state. There is no way back. The old bridges were burned while new bridges have not yet been built. The paradigm of world development geared at the prospects of long-term partnership (which, for a long time, had looked the only option) was destroyed.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Politics, History, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, United States of America
  • Author: Fritz W. Scharpf
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: At the end of the postwar period, the politically shaped configurations of normatively integrated European political economies differed greatly among “social-market” and “liberal market economies.” Such differences persist even though the characteristic achievements of social market economies have since eroded under the pressures of global capitalism and of European integration. Focusing on European integration from a social-market perspective, there is no question that it has widened the range of individual options. But it has also reduced the capacity of democratic politics to deal with the challenges of global capitalism, and it has contributed to rising social inequality and the erosion of public services and transfers. This paper will first summarize those asymmetries of European integration which have done the most to constrain democratic choices and to shift the balance between capital, labor, and the state by establishing an institutional priority of negative over positive integration and of monetary integration over political and social integration. It will then explain why efforts to democratize European politics will not be able to overcome these institutional asymmetries and why politically feasible reforms will not be able to remove the institutional constraints. The changes that would be required to restore democratic capacities to shape the political economy could only have a chance if present veto positions were to be fundamentally shaken. On the speculative assumption that the aftermath of a deep crisis might indeed create the window of opportunity for a political re-foundation of European integration, the concluding section will outline institutional ground rules that would facilitate democratic political action at both the European and national levels.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Politics, Labor Issues, Democracy, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Fritz W. Scharpf
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper attempts a normative assessment of the input and output-oriented legitimacy of the present euro-rescuing regime on the basis of policy analyses examining the causes of present crises, the available policy options, and the impact of the policies actually chosen. Concluding that the regime lacks input-oriented legitimacy and that its claim to output-oriented legitimacy is ambivalent at best, the paper explores potential – majoritarian or unilateral – exits from the present institutional constellation that is characterized by the synthesis of a non-democratic expertocracy and an extremely asymmetric intergovernmental bargaining system.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Financial Crisis, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: W. Streeck, L. Elsässer
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Regional disparities within the European Union have always been perceived as an impediment to monetary integration. This is why discussions on a joint currency, from their very beginning, were linked to compensatory payments in the form of regional policy payments. Structural assistance to poor regions and member states increased sharply at the end of the 1980s. Today, however, fiscal support has to be shared with the new member states in the East. Moreover, due to the financial crisis, the cheap credit that poor EMU member countries enjoyed as a result of interest rate convergence is no longer available. We predict that in the future, some sort of financial aid will have to be provided by rich member countries to poor ones, if only to prevent a further increase in economic disparities and related political instability. We also expect long-lasting distributional conflict between payer and recipient countries far beyond current rescue packages, together with disagreement on the extent of aid required and the political control to be conceded by receiving countries to giving countries. We illustrate the dimension of the distributional conflict by comparing income gaps and relative population size between the center and the periphery of Europe on the one hand and on the other, between rich and poor regions in two European nation-states characterized by large regional disparities, Germany and Italy. While income gaps and population structures are similar in the two countries to those between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean periphery, regional redistribution is much more extensive in the two nation-states. We conclude that this presages a difficult future for the domestic politics of Euroland.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Financial Crisis, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe