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  • Author: Enrico Calossi
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Although much progress has been achieved in the last sixty years, the European Union still lacks a unique electoral system and a proper party system. Recently some changes have been proposed or introduced in order to homogenise the national electoral systems of the EP and to strengthen political parties at the EU level. Andrew Duff’s proposal for a transnational party list; the establishment of European political foundations in 2007; the updating of the Statute of the European political parties in 2014; the designation of the Spitzekandidaten by Europarties were all useful attempts. More could be done. National democracies can become sources of inspiration for new proposals. Some suggestions may require new formal regulations. Others are more informal or political, and would give political actors new opportunities on voluntary bases.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-72-9
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Stefan Lehne
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Through its European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), the European Union (EU) aims to support the structural transformation of its Eastern and Southern neighbors, promoting democracy, the rule of law, and successful market economies. Ten years after the ENP's launch, it is clear that the policy is not working. Adjusting the ENP to the changing reality on the ground, sharpening its tools, and rebuilding its credibility should be a top priority for the EU's foreign policy leadership.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Sabrina Zajak
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper contributes to the debate on the role of democratic participation in complex systems of governance. It takes a process-oriented constructivist approach asking how transnational activism over time contributes to the construction of access and voice from below and uses the Asia-Europe Meetings (ASEM) to analyze how interactions between civil society and global governance institutions shape concrete forms of participation. The paper shows that transnational activism triggers both discursive and institutional changes within the official ASEM process leading to an informal, fragmented, and fragile institutionalization of civil society participation. However, the paper reveals a division between civil society organizations with some, such as business representatives, having preferential access and voice in comparison to more contentious organizations. The paper explains this fragmented form of democratization as the result of three interrelated processes: the particular history and economic origins of the ASEM; international developments particularly in the ongoing economic crisis; and domestic developments within individual countries (in particular China) which have begun to favor controlled access for civil society participation.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Economics, History, Governance, Developments
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Nazlı Çağın Bilgili
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Elections are central elements of democratic systems as they provide the public with the opportunity – with some restrictions established by legal arrangements such as quotas – to make their voices heard. In other words, it is through election results that we learn a great deal about the social and political circumstances in a country. This paper follows the electoral trends in European countries since the beginning of the 1990s as far as the data makes it possible. In order to create a comprehensive analysis, turnout rates, voter preferences and other major determinants shaping preferences – whether influential economic or identity factors – are considered. Europe is defined, in this research, as all of the EU member states, making a highly complicated and heterogeneous collection. As the trends in these different countries can be expected to diverge, a regional comparison between Western, Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe is provided so that the similar and different electoral trends in these regions are presented clearly.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Yunus Emre, Çağla Gül Çağla Gül
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Social democracy was born as a reaction to the social problems created by capitalist modernization in the nineteenth century. It had a central role in the making of the modern European societies. During the twentieth century, it had immense organizational successes and election victories transforming political relationships in those societies. In the 1970s, orientation towards social democracy increased within many of the countries in the global periphery. Today, social democracy prevails as an influential and successful political and social power system in these periphery countries. This paper seeks to answer whether social democracy should continue to be a model for other countries in the periphery.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Franklin Dehousse
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: One innovative element of the Lisbon Treaty was the creation of a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI). At the time, this was sometimes hailed as a fundamental change in the European institutional system. A few years after the entry into force of the Treaty, however, much less is heard about this “first truly transnational instrument of modern direct democracy”, this “revolution in disguise”, this “very innovative and symbolic” provision5. This could seem surprising at first sight. Since the entry into force of the Treaty, the implementation of this provision has been remarkably rapid. Meanwhile, new arguments have risen concerning the lack of democratic legitimacy of the European Union, and the lack of connection between the European institutions and the citizens.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian von Soest, Julia Grauvogel
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: International sanctions have been one of the most commonly used tools of Western foreign policy in the post‐Cold War era to instigate democratization globally. However, despite long‐term external pressure through sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States and/or the United Nations, nondemocratic rule in cases such as Belarus, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea and Syria has proven to be extremely persistent. In this paper, we analyze a new global dataset on sanctions from 1990 to 2011 and assess which international and domestic factors account for the persistence of nondemocratic rule in targeted regimes. The results of a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of 120 episodes of sanctions provide new insights for the research on both sanctions and authoritarian regimes. Most significantly, sanctions strengthen nondemocratic rule if the regime manages to incorporate their existence into its legitimation strategy. Such a “rally‐round‐the‐flag” effect occurs most often in cases where comprehensive sanctions targeting the entire population are imposed on regimes that enjoy strong claims to legitimacy and have only limited linkages to the sanction sender.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Governance, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North Korea, United Nations, Syria
  • Author: Richard Youngs, Kateryna Pishchikova
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: European support for democracy is at a crucial juncture. Just as the eurozone crisis complicates the European Union's (EU's) efforts to support democratic reform around the world, new forms of political transition are confounding the EU's traditional approach to democracy building. The EU must embrace a wider variety of tactics, models, actors, and strategies, or it risks losing credibility and traction in the field of democracy support.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe