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  • Author: Reimut Zohlnhöfer
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: According to parts of the literature, blame avoidance opportunities, i.e. the necessity and applicability of blame avoidance strategies, may differ among countries according to the respective institutional set-ups and between governing parties according to their programmatic orientation. In countries with many veto actors, a strategy of "Institutional Cooperation" among these actors is expected to diffuse blame sufficiently to render other blame avoidance strategies obsolete. In contrast, governments in Westminster democracies should resort to the more unilateral strategies of presentation, policy design and timing. At the same time, parties of the left are expected to have an easier time implementing spending cuts while right parties are less vulnerable when proposing tax increases. Evidence from the politics of budget consolidation in Britain and Germany does not corroborate these hypotheses. Instead, it seems that party competition conditions the effects institutions and the partisan complexion of governments have on the politics of blame avoidance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: David Coates
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: New Labour's performance in office–as an orchestrator of economic and social change–is situated against, and evaluated by reference to, two sets of legacies: legacies inherited from the years of Conservative political dominance after 1979; and legacies brought to power by New Labour. The paper argues that the first se t of legacies was deep and enduring, and threw a long shadow forward. It argues that the second set of legacies were highly coherent and intellectually informed, but cumulatively involved a diminution in the capacity of the state. The result has been a two-term government that is sufficiently superficially successful to win a third term; but which has yet seriously to transform the legacies it inherited: to our misfortune, and ultimately–in electoral terms–also probably to its own. This paper is based on my study of New Labour's domestic policy–Prolonged Labour: The Slow Birth of New Labour Britain; I have also co-authored a study of New Labour's policy towards Iraq–Blair's War–which was published by Polity Press in 2004.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sebastián Royo
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The proponents of globalization contend that European countries are now converging on an Anglo-American model of capitalism. Contrary to this prediction, this paper will show that in Spain globalization and EMU have promoted rather than undermined coordination among economic actors. Unable to escape from economic interdependence the Spanish economic actors have developed coordinating capacities at the macro and micro levels to address and resolve tensions between economic interdependence and political sovereignty. In this paper I show that there is at least one more variety than the two–LME and CME–that Hall and Soskice cite and also that it is possible to develop coordination capacities in countries that lack a strong tradition of such capacities. In particular, this paper analyzes the resurgence of national-level social bargaining in Spain in the 1990s. This development was the result of the reorientation of the strategies of the social actors. In a new economic and political context, marked by a process of institutional learning, trade unions have supported social bargaining as a defensive strategy to retake the initiative and influence policy outcomes.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gerald A. McDermott
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article examines the political conditions shaping the creation of new institutional capabilities. It analyzes bank sector reforms in the 1990s in three leading postcommunist democracies–Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. It shows how different political approaches to economic transformation can facilitate or hinder the ability of relevant public and private actors to experiment and learn their new roles. With its emphasis on insulating power and rapidly implementing self-enforcing economic incentives, the “depoliticization” approach creates few changes in bank behavior and, indeed, impedes investment in new capabilities at the bank and supervisory levels. The “deliberativ e restructuring” approach fostered innovative, cost-effective monitoring structures for recapitalization, a strong supervisory system, and a stable, expanding bank sector.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland, Hungary
  • Author: Stanislav Markus
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The literature on corporate governance in Russia stresses the abuse of shareholder rights in the face of various asset-diversion tactics by the management. Attributing this fiasco to a number of structural obstacles and the privatization legacy, the orthodox account fails to incorporate–let alone explain–the recent data demonstrating a qualitative improvement of corporate governance in crucial segments of the Russian economy. This paper disaggregates “corporate governance” into specific institutions and examines their quality at the firm level as well as by sector. The data supporting the analysis is drawn from recent studies by the OECD, UBS Warburg, CEFIR, and other organizations. The causal inference presented in this paper critically evaluates the impact of foreign capital on the improved corporate governance in Russia's blue-chip firms. The paper presents two alternative state-centered scenarios to explain the implementation of internationally accepted standards of corporate governance by Russia's big business.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Cas Mudde
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The finalized "Return to Europe" of the new EU members states of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has created a whole new ballgame for Eurosceptic political actors. In rational choice terms, the costs of Euroscepticism (and even Eurorejection) have gone down dramatically, while the benefits will most probably go even further up. While the effects of EU accession on the party systems of CEE are multifold, this paper develops one possible effect: the transformation of the already present regional divide within CEE countries into a populist, anti-EU center-periphery leavage.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Reimut Zohlnhöfer, Herbert Obinger
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The 1990s have witnessed unprecedented attempts at privatizing state owned enterprises in virtually all OECD democracies. This contribution analyzes the differences in the privatization proceeds raised by EU and OECD countries between 1990 and 2000. It turns out that privatizations are part of a process of economic liberalization in previously highly regulated economies, as well as a reaction to the fiscal policy challenges imposed by European integration and the globalization of financial markets. In addition, institutional pluralism and union militancy yield significant and negative effects on privatization proceeds. Partisan differences only emerge if economic problems are moderate, while intense economic, particularly fiscal, problems foreclose differing partisan strategies.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Duane Swank
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: I offer an explanation for the widespread diffusion of neoliberal tax policies in the developed democracies. Specifically, I argue that the highly visible 1980s market-conforming tax reform in the United States, the late twentieth century's dominant political economy, creates significant incentives for adoption of neoliberal tax policies by decision makers in other polities. As such, I stress a dominant actor model of the diffusion of neoliberalism that is grounded in asymmetric competition for mobile assets and policy learning. However, while the incentives to follow U.S. tax policy are substantial, the relative weight assigned the costs and benefits of reform and, in turn, the pace and degree of neoliberal policy adoption by other nations is fundamentally contingent on features of domestic political and economic environments. I assess these arguments with empirical models of 1981-to-1998 tax rates on capital in sixteen nations. I find that changes in U.S. tax policy influence subsequent reforms in other polities; in the long-term, all nations move toward the U.S. neoliberal tax structure. Analysis also shows, however, that the responsiveness to US tax reforms is notably greater where linkages with U.S. markets are stronger, where domestic economic stress is deeper, and where uncoordinated market institutions are dominant. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of the present analysis for the volume's central questions: are dominant. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of the present analysis for the volume's central questions: of international policy interdependence and domestic political economic forces in shaping policy change?
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Robert M. Fishman
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues for the continuing relevance of Max Weber's distinctive methodological perspective by first elaborating its constitutive elements and then applying it to the analysis of an important recent political episode: the Spanish case of elections in the aftermath of terrorism in March 2004. The paper takes as the central feature of Weberian methodology the embrace of both poles in a series of intellectual tensions such as the seeming opposition between pursuing generalizing theorization and case-specific nuance and specificity. The paper examines the basis for this approach in Weber's classic Objectivity Essay and then builds a case for its continuing relevance by arguing that the impact of the March 11, 2004 terrorist attack in Madrid on Spain's March 14 elections cannot be understood without a thorough analysis of much that is specific to the case's political history, its pattern of conflict over regional and national identities, and its distinctive nexus between institutional and social movement forms of political engagement. Emphasis is placed on the large shift of votes in the country's plurinational periphery and the electoral impact of micro-demonstrations. The paper argues that this case shows the importance of using generalizing concepts and theories without losing sight of case-specific dynamics that fail to fit within the a priori assumptions of such generalizing approaches.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Covadonga Meseguer
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In political science, rational learning and bounded learning are commonly studied as two opposing theories of policy choice. In this paper, I use a rational-learning approach to reach conclusions about bounded learning, showing that the two theories are not necessarily incompatible. By examining a rational-learning model and the decisions of a set of developing countries to open up their trade regimes, I show that countries are particularly influenced by the choices of neighbouring countries and by particularly successful policy experiences. These are two typical contentions of the bounded-learning literature. I argue that bounded learning and rational learning yield the same results as soon as one drops the rational-learning assumption that there are zero costs to gathering new information. I use the discussion on rational learning versus bounded learning as a basis for exploring more general issues concerning the diffusion of policy innovations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Edward Mansfield, Helen V. Milner, Liliana B. Andonova
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Studies, University of Southern California
  • Abstract: In this paper, we analyze whether trade liberalization and increasing commercial openness has affected environmental governance in the post-Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. During the Cold War, these countries had closed economies and autarkic trade policies combined with little environmental regulation and poor environmental quality. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union began a process of marked change in the region. Many post-Communist countries have engaged in extensive trade liberalization. Others, however, have been slower to open their markets; and some have maintained highly protectionist trade policies. Have countries that opened up to global markets improved their environmental policies or has increasing exposure to the international trading system led to a “race to the bottom”? Controlling for a wide variety of economic and political factors, our results indicate that heightened trade openness has weakened environmental governance in the post-Communist world, suggesting that an environmental race to the bottom has been occurring among the transition economies.
  • Topic: International Relations, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Berlin
  • Author: Laurent Scheeck
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: As the European Union has become ever more powerful in terms of political output, it has also turned out to be a potential source of human rights violations. While national governments have disagreed on setting up consequential control mechanisms for several decades, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights pre-empted intergovernmental choice. The European courts' paths unexpectedly crossed when they were both impelled to work out a way to deal with a twofold human rights conundrum situated at the EU level. Turbulent interaction between Europe's two supranational courts has not only led to a relative improvement of the protection of human rights, but has also deeply transformed the course of European integration. The courts' increasingly nested linkage has given rise to new forms of supranational judicial diplomacy between European judges. As a result of their evolving relationship, which is simultaneously underpinned by competitive and cooperative logics, the traditional opposition between an "economic Europe" and a "human rights Europe" has been overcome and the EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights is high on the political agenda. Yet, this process of integration through human rights remains a fragile and incomplete endeavour. Just as in co-operative binary puzzles where two players must solve the game together and where both lose as one of them tries to win over the other, solving Europe's binary human rights puzzle has required of European judges a new way of thinking in which it's not the institutions, but their linkage that matters.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: François Dauceé
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Collective mobilizations in post-Soviet Russia constitute an enigma for Western political sociology due to their numerical weakness and their incapacity to strengthen democratic practices in the country. This perplexity can be explained by the unsuitability of the research tools used for their study. Academic research on social mobilization has long been based primarily on postulates concerning the modernization of social movements in a economically and politically liberal context. Western and Russian leaders involved in the transition process demonstrated a will to foster the constitution of organizations independent from the State and the creation of a civil society as an opposition force. In the early 90s, the practices of voluntary organizations in Russia became closer to Western ones. Notions such as "associative entrepreneurship", "professionalization" or "frustration" were shared by Russian movements. However, later evolutions showed the unsuitability of these concepts to understanding the full complexity of these movements. That is why this issue of "Research in question" aims to suggest new theoretical perspectives for studying associations in Russia. These are at the crossroads of various grammars, where civic and liberal principles are combined with domestic and patriotic preoccupations. This complexity, which resists a purely liberal vision of social organizations, draws convergent criticisms against their action. In order to investigate this complexity of practices as well as criticisms, the tools produced by a pragmatic and multiculturalist sociology are useful to show the diversity of social and political bonds that link militants in contemporary Russia.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Tove H. Malloy
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The Laeken Declaration adopted by the European Council in December 2001 recognized, for the first time in European Union (EU) history, regions as potential co-architects of a new and more democratic EU. The Laeken Declaration also initiated the Convention to draft a new Constitution for Europe. The Constitution was negotiated during the Intergovernmental Conference and presented to the citizens of Europe in June 2004. On 29 October 2004, it was signed by heads of states and governments and sent to parliaments for ratifications and referenda. The Constitution provisions an expansion of the principle of subsidiarity affording greater influence to European citizens residing in self-administering and self-governing regions. Article III-270 of the Constitution will empower the Committee of the Regions (CoR) to petition the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on policy matters violating the principle of subsidiarity as laid out in the Constitution. This could become a substantial empowerment of European regions. Although most national minorities do not constitute designated European regions and the Constitution may not be ratified anytime in the near future, the envisaged empowerment of the CoR may nevertheless contribute to a redefinition of the national minority political space. With some of the new members and accession states representing 'regions' of strong national minority identities, the EU may be facing new challenges of integrating diversity. The influence of national minorities in the decision-making processes may therefore assume relevance in the enlarged EU.
  • Topic: Demographics, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dominique Wisler
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: While there is a wide consensus today on the basic principles of democratic policing there is no blueprint of international standards of policing or internationally accepted organisational scheme to which a police in transition looking for guidance could simply seek to conform. Beyond many differences originating from history and political regimes, what exists instead - and can serve as guidance - are best policing practices as well as trends in organising a police service. In fact, as I would like to argue, Western police are experiencing dramatic changes since two decades, changes that affect the organization and the practices profoundly. Police services are indeed reorganized using the conceptual framework of “processes and services” rather than the traditional silos of exclusive competencies between various police branches. Starting from services such as local security, rapid intervention, crowd control and the fight against serious, complex and organized criminality, the architecture of police forces is being remodelled by reformers. Judiciary competencies have ceased to be the basis of a rigid division between the judiciary police and the uniformed police, but, as we will see below, the uniformed police are tasked today with new competencies as a result of a process-oriented reorganisation. This led to a 180 degree shift in the policing architecture: once conceived vertically in hermetic silos of competencies, services are conceptualized more horizontally, process-oriented, cross-cutting competencies.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina
  • Author: José A. Olmeda
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new (Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter 6).
  • Topic: Security, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Rainer Eising
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: The unequal access of interest organizations to the EU institutions is often associated with biased European politics. Nonetheless, systematic accounts of interest group access are rare. Rooted in the organizational theory of resource dependencies and drawing on a survey of 800 EU and national business associations, the article presents a broad conception of European political exchange to explain the contact patterns. Ordinal regressions indicate that three dimensions shape these patterns–organizational characteristics, sectoral-economic features, and national modes of interest intermediation. Nonetheless, EU interest intermediation displays only very few general traits–these are the division of labor among EU and national associations, the economic clout, the financial resources and the expertise of interest groups as well as their political mobilization when they face of EU regulation. Else, the interaction patterns vary along the EU institutions and their levels of decision-making underscoring the importance of the institutional opportunity structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jeffrey T. Checkel
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: Process tracing is in, acquiring near buzz-word status in certain circles. Europeanists do it; IR scholars do it – all with the goal of bringing theory closer to what really goes on in the world. This makes our scholarship more policy relevant and increases the reliability of our findings - non-trivial advantages, for sure. Yet, such benefits do not come without costs. In particular, proponents of process tracing should be wary of losing sight of the big picture, be aware of the method's significant data requirements, and recognize certain epistemological traps inherent in its application.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kivanç Ulusoy
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: This article aims to develop a coherent explanation of the impact of the EU on Turkey's politics between 1987 (the year Turkey applied for EU membership) and 2004, providing a more profound analysis of Turkish political transformation within the framework of its relations with the EU. It integrates Moravcsiks' work on the human rights regime in post-war Europe with Risse's theory on communicative action in world politics to provide an alternative explanatory framework for recent political transformation in Turkey. It will be argued that the main dynamics driving recent democratisation in Turkey were its newfound location within the European human rights regime—a result of having been granted the right to individual petition to the European Court of Human Rights just before its 1987 membership application—and the increasing power of European argument as an alternative way of resolving domestic political conflicts in Turkey.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Johan P. Olsen
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: This paper argues that contemporary European developments provide a window of opportunity for learning about how political community and authority is possible in spite of enduring diversity. The paper explores sources of political unity and how institutions mediate between diversity and unity. The theoretical discussion is then applied to two European puzzles and it is asked whether there is a "European way" to manage unity and diversity and, more generally, what lessons can be drawn from the European case.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe