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  • 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: Julia Lynch
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Welfare states' redistribution of resources across classes, occupations, and genders is the subject of intensive scholarly analysis. Yet we know very little about how and why welfare states treat different age groups differently. This article demonstrates that seniors' demand for welfare does not determine age-orientation. Rather, the “age of welfare” is a largely unintended consequence of the interaction between the structure of social policies and the way that politicians use these programs to compete for votes. An implication for the policy feedback literature is that constituency demand may be less important than the unintended consequences of welfare state institutions.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeffrey Herf, Jürgen Neyer
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: On January 26, 2004, the topic of the CES-Berlin Dialogues was “The 'New World Order': From Unilateralism to Cosmopolitanism.” It was the second in a series of four meetings organized in Berlin under the heading “Redefining Justice.” The session was intended to examine successful and failed arenas of cooperation between the US and Europe; political misunderstandings and conscious manipulation; and models for future transatlantic relations. The presenters were Jeffrey Herf, Professor of History, University of Maryland, and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Neyer, Professor of International Political Economy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, and Heisenberg Fellow of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the Freie Universität Berlin. Jeffrey Herf was asked to speak on the basic tenets of U.S. foreign policy in the administration of President George W. Bush, and Jürgen Neyer focused on the European view of international relations and conduct in the period since the invasion of Iraq.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Berlin
  • Author: Ludger Helms
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In recent comparative works on the constitutional structures of contemporary liberal democracies, the United States and Germany have been grouped together as examples of democratic systems with an exceptionally high degree of “institutional pluralism”. In other typologies both countries have even been classified as “semisovereign democracies”. Whereas such classifications are of some use, especially in the field of public policy research, they fail to pay reasonable attention to the fundamental difference between parliamentary and presidential government that dominated the older literature on comparative political systems. As the comparative assessments offered in this paper suggest, the difference between parliamentary government and presidential government does not only constitute very different conditions of executive leadership in the core executive territory and at the level of executive-legislative relations, but has also a strong impact on the role and performance of the various “veto players” that characterize the political systems of the United States and Germany, and which are at the center of this paper.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany