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  • Author: Nilgün Arısan, Atila Eralp
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The negotiations in Cyprus are at yet another critical juncture. Time is running short for a comprehensive settlement on the island. The present conducive environment is not likely to last indefinitely, as has been observed in previous rounds of negotiations. In fact, the Cyprus negotiations reflect some clear missed opportunities. Much valuable time has been spent on this process, and it should be apparent to all that drawing out the negotiations benefits no one. All actors involved should at this point be seeking a rapid conclusion of the talks.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Cyprus
  • Author: Robert Warren
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Undocumented immigration has been a significant political issue in recent years, and is likely to remain so throughout and beyond the presidential election year of 2016. One reason for the high and sustained level of interest in undocumented immigration is the widespread belief that the trend in the undocumented population is ever upward. This paper shows that this belief is mistaken and that, in fact, the undocumented population has been decreasing for more than a half a decade. Other findings of the paper that should inform the immigration debate are the growing naturalized citizen populations in almost every US state and the fact that, since 1980, the legally resident foreign-born population from Mexico has grown faster than the undocumented population from Mexico.
  • Topic: Politics, Elections, Immigrants
  • Political Geography: Mexico, United States of America
  • Author: Wolfgang Mühlberger
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The September ceasefire in Syria expired after the scheduled duration of a week due to the bombardment of sensitive targets by the brokers – instead of being extended and shored up by a political track. Agreeing on the modalities without the ability or willingness to enforce them, makes ceasefires futile and undermines peace negotiations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Ian Johnstone
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations
  • Abstract: The array of tools the UN has developed to prevent, manage and resolve conflict has expanded in recent years. They are being deployed in new formats, from political missions and small peacebuilding teams, to large observer missions and multidimensional peace operations with offensive capabilities. But the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) and other recent reports question whether the tools are being used as effectively as they could be. The HIPPO recommended, “the full spectrum of peace operations must be employed more exibly to respond to changing needs on the ground”. It said the UN must deliver more “right fit” missions, a “continuum of response and smoother transitions between different phases of missions.” This message was echoed in the Secretary-General’s follow up report, the Advisory Group of Experts (AGE) on the Peacebuilding Architecture Review, and the Global Study on the implementation of resolution 1325. It is also implicit in the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, which calls for creativity in how to respond to that threat.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Stearns
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations
  • Abstract: Since October 2014, the region around the town of Beni in north eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) has been the site of some of the worst massacres in the country’s recent history. Over five hundred people have been killed and tens of thousands have fled their homes. The UN mission and the Congolese government have publicly stated that the massacres are the work of Ugandan rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Research by the Congo Research Group (CRG) based on interviews conducted with over a hundred witnesses and local leaders indicates that the definition of the ADF needs to be revised. Rather than a foreign Islamist group driven by revenge, our research points to a group that has forged strong ties with local interest groups and militias over the course of twenty years of insurrection around Beni. Moreover, our preliminary findings indicate that responsibility does not lie with the ADF alone. In addition to commanders directly tied to the ADF, members of the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC), the national army; former members of the Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie—Kisangani/Mouvement de libération (RCD– K/ML); as well as members of communal militias have also been involved in attacks on the civilian population.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, United Nations, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Mireya Solis
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Trade policy, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in particular, is vitally connected to the national interests of prosperity, security, and governance. With novel rules on the digital economy, high tariff elimina- tion targets, and disciplines to address behind-the-border protectionism, the TPP creates opportunities for American sectors that enjoy competitive strength—services, advanced manufacturing, agriculture—to expand their reach in overseas markets. Projected annual income gains from this trade deal range between $57 billion and $131 billion by 2032, compared to a base- line scenario. In sharp contrast to the experience of import competition with China, the TPP will not impose large adjustment costs in terms of employment and wages, generating instead a net (albeit small) positive effect on job creation and wage rates. However, the individual costs for displaced employees are very high, and the contours of a new pro-adjustment safety net that enables workers to navigate difficult economic transitions (brought about by technological change or trade) are highlighted below.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Sverker Jagers, Simon Matti, Katarina Nordblom
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: We analyze the importance of legitimacy and compare how drivers of public policy attitudes evolve across the policy process consisting of the input (i.e., the processes forgoing acquisition of power and the procedures permeating political decision-making), throughput (i.e., the inclusion of and interactions between actors in a governance system), and output (i.e., the substantive consequences of those decisions) stages. Using unique panel data through the three phases of the congestion tax in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, we find that legitimacy is indeed important in explaining policy support. Moreover, we find a lingering effect where support in one phase depends on legitimacy both in the present and in previous phases. Hence, our study takes us one step further on the road to understand the complicated dynamic mechanisms behind the interactions between policy mak- ing, policy support, and the legitimacy and approval of politicians and political processes. Keywords: Policy, Support, Attitudes, Legitimacy, Policy Cycle, Environment, Congestion Tax
  • Topic: Environment, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Sweden
  • 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: Frida Boräng, Sverker Jagers, Marina Povitkina
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: One of the central questions in research on the drivers behind public good provision is how political regimes and institutions impact the provision of public goods. Previous research within this field has shown that democratic history is positively related to public good provision, including the universal provision of reliable electricity. In this paper, we elaborate on these findings by investigat ing how corruption interacts with democratic history in shaping electricity provision. It is argued that since corruption can shape the implementation process of public policies as well as the policy choices, high levels of corruption are likely to limit the positive effect of democratic experience. Following Min (2015), we measure electricity provision by the share of population living in unlit areas. We find that democratic history leads to higher electrification rates only when corruption is relatively low. In high-corrupt contexts, however, the positive effect of democratic history is absent.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democracy, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gissur Ólafur Erlingsson, Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: The extent of corruption in Iceland is highly contested. International corruption measures indicate a relatively small amount of corruption, while domestic public opinion suggest a serious corruption problem. Thus, uncertainty prevails about the actual extent of corruption and whose perceptions to rely on. This problem is relevant for corruption research in general. Perceptions are increasingly used as proxies for the actual levels of corruption in comparative research. But we still do not know enough about the accuracy of these proxies or the criteria they must meet in order to give depend- able results. In fact, radical differences exist concerning evaluations of perceptions between those who believe in unbiased learning and those believing perceptual bias to be widespread. The purpose of this article is, therefore, to attempt to gauge which factors may influence how perceptions of corruption are shaped and why differences in corruption perceptions between different groups may be so pronounced. We present findings from original survey data from three parallel surveys – among the ‘public’, experts, and ‘municipal practitioners’ – conducted in Iceland in 2014. Expecta- tions based on the perceptual bias approach are tested, indicating that perceptions may be affected by (1) information factors, (2) direct experience of corruption and (3) emotive and/or ideological fac- tors. The validity of perception measures should be considered with this in mind. Domestic experts are likely to be well informed and avoid perceptual bias to a greater extent than other groups. Our examination of the Icelandic case suggests that the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) tends to underestimate corruption problems in ‘mature welfare states’, such as Iceland, whilst the general public tends to overestimate it.
  • Topic: Corruption, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Iceland