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  • Author: Dina Smeltz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the past 12 months, there have been more discussions between South Korean, US, and North Korean officials about Pyongyang’s potential denuclearization than at any time since the Six-Party Talks in 2006 and 2007. Exactly where those discussions are headed is unclear. But in South Korea, the public generally sees an improvement in the South Korean security situation according to a just-completed Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey. As a result, support for South Korea developing its own nuclear weapon appears to have waned, though a slight majority remains in favor. Despite what seems to be a slight sense of relief, the South Korean public is skeptical that either Moon or Trump can convince Kim Jong Un to fully denuclearize
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dana Stroul, Hanin Ghaddar
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Apart from its military intervention, Tehran has pursued a wide range of economic and social tactics for increasing its sway in Syria, but Washington can still push back with targeted assistance, innovative sanctions, and strategic messaging. This PolicyWatch is the first in a two-part series on how to counter Iran’s expanding activities in Syria amid talk of U.S. military withdrawal. Part 2 will discuss the array of Iranian-backed armed groups currently operating there
  • Topic: International Affairs, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Jerusalem seeks to mitigate the potential risks of the president’s decision by shaping its implementation and obtaining U.S. security guarantees, though long-term concerns still loom. Israeli officials have been careful not to publicly criticize President Trump’s recent announcement that all U.S. military forces will be pulled out of Syria. Below the surface, however, they have exuded dissatisfaction, concern, and a desire to make the best out of the situation. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s initial public response was lukewarm, stating that Israel will continue to take care of its security and “will not abide Iranian entrenchment in Syria.” He followed those remarks with hectic bilateral discussions on the matter, holding a phone call with President Trump, meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the sidelines of a gathering in Brazil, and hosting National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem. These discussions elicited U.S. public assurances about Israel’s security and, so it appears, opened opportunities to affect the manner in which Trump’s decision is implemented.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jana Juzová
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The Visegrad countries have since their own accession to the EU been one of the most active European actors advocating for further EU enlargement towards South- Eastern Europe. On the joint Visegrad-level as well as in their own foreign policies, the Western Balkans have a special position; the V4 countries provided them support on their path of European integration with transfer of know-how based on the V4’s own successful experience with economic and political transformation, regional cooperation and Euro-Atlantic integration. However, the Visegrad approach towards the Western Balkans is now being undermined and is losing its legitimacy due to several factors outlined in this paper. In spite of the positive impact of the Visegrad policy towards Western Balkans1, recent trends, such as worsening state of democracy in Hungary, Hungarian PM Orbán’s connections to autocratic leaders in the region (recently granting the asylum to former Macedonian PM Gruevski who escaped to Hungary from a jail sentence at home) are weakening not only Visegrad’s legitimacy as advocate for transformation of the region and its integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures, but also the normative power of the EU. Other V4 countries’ indifference towards this trend coupled with Poland’s new involvement in the Berlin Process framework, another EU member states’ initiative focused on the Western Balkans, only contribute to raising doubts about the commitment and legitimacy of Visegrad’s Western Balkan policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gentiola Madhi
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Gentiola Madhi authored, within the Think Visegrad Non-V4 Fellowship programme, an analysis on the state of the affairs of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The federal government remains in a partial shutdown, the longest in US history, as President Trump and Democrats in Congress are deadlocked over funding for expanding the border wall with Mexico. A just-completed Chicago Council Survey shows that both sides have the backing of their public constituencies, but the President’s insistence on this topic has not boosted support for the expansion among the general public. Overall more Americans now oppose expanding the US-Mexico border wall since last asked in 2016.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The extraordinary criticism that Saudi Arabia is under holds the potential for the US Congress enacting legislation against OPEC. Anti-trust legislation would have turbulent impact on the global energy market in that such pressure could lead members withdrawing from OPEC.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Anna Jacobs
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Morocco’s migration policy reflects of the interconnectedness of foreign policy priorities, desired reform and the reality of domestic politics. Morocco has positioned itself as a counterterrorism and migration ally for Europe; while leaning toward the African Union, and African markets.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ville Sinkkonen, Mika Aaltola
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Finnish Institute for International Affairs
  • Abstract: Donald Trump’s first year as President has been marked by continuity in US security policy, a partial challenge to the global principles of free trade, and a sea change in commitments to the liberal international order. These reflect a view of the international system as a zero-sum competitive realm.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Political Theory, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samantha Custer, Elizabeth M King, Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Lindsay Read, Kabir Sethi
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Today, 650 million children around the globe are at risk of being left behind as they fail to learn basic skills. Inequitable access to education is part of the problem, but even when children are in school, they may not be learning. In Uganda, for instance, barely half of grade 6 children read at a grade 2 level (Uwezo, 2016). In India, just one in four children enrolled in grade 5 can read a simple sentence or complete simple division problems (ASER Centre, 2017).
  • Topic: Education, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Johannes Lang, Rens van Munster, Robin May Schott
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Disagreements on how to define “autonomy” are stalling formal UN discussions on the compliance of autonomous weapons with international humanitarian law. A pragmatic approach that focuses on the weapon’s critical functions, such as target selection and firing, can help move discussions forward in the future.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jean Pascal Zanders
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: This Policy Forum issue analyses both progress made by and challenges facing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). It does so in order to explore under what conditions and to what extent these two conventions might help build a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery vehicles (DVs). Finally, the issue presents some options for the future and a major long-term initiative towards this ambitious goal.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alain Tschudin, Albert Trithart
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: While the importance of good governance to sustaining peace is widely recognized, the focus tends to be on national governance. This overlooks the crucial role of local governance actors, particularly when the central government is fragmented or lacks broad legitimacy. These actors include not only formal institutions like municipal governments but also a mix of other actors that could range from traditional chieftaincies to community-based organizations to religious institutions.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Israel's Policy toward the Far-Right Party in Austria, Summary of a Knesset Meeting.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The Collapse of Israel's Foreign Service, Summary of a Knesset Conference, February 2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The Crisis in Israel-Jordan Relations, Summary of a Knesset Conference, January 2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jaïr van der Lijn
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Multilateral peace operations are increasingly confronting a set of interrelated and mutually reinforcing security challenges that are relatively new to them, that do not respect borders, and that have causes and effects which cut right across the international security, peacebuilding and development agendas. As a result, the New Geopolitics of Peace Operations III: Non‑Traditional Security Challenges initiative seeks to enhance understanding about peace operations and non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism and violent extremism, irregular migration, piracy, organized crime and environmental degradation. As a part of this initiative, this SIPRI Background Paper explores the ‘non-traditional’ security challenges that organized crime presents to multilateral peace operations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The United States remains committed to its role as a global leader on humanitarian issues and will continue seeking to avert crises that spawn the need for humanitarian aid, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eleanore Ardemagni, Umberto Profazio
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Th e reaction of the Arab armies to the 2011 uprisings is a subject that has been frequently examined, but the evolution and reform of Arab armies is a neglected topic.2 In times of global interdependence, the Atlantic Alliance must be ready to understand and interact with a changing Middle East, since NATO Arab partners’ security is more and more NATO’s security, in terms of shared objectives, common threats and cooperative security. Arab armies have entered a new era: traditional obstacles to military reform, mostly due to their politicization, persist; other variables emerge from the interaction of domestic, foreign and transnational threats.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kyle L Marquardt
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Many datasets use experts to code latent quantities of interest. However, scholars have not explored either the factors affecting expert reliability or the degree to which these factors influence estimates of latent concepts. Here we systematically analyze potential correlates of expert reliability using six randomly selected variables from a cross-national panel dataset, V-Dem v8. The V-Dem project includes a diverse group of over 3,000 experts and uses an IRT model to incorporate variation in both expert reliability and scale perception into its data aggregation process. In the process, the IRT model produces an estimate of expert reliability, which affects the relative contribution of an expert to the model. We examine a variety of factors that could correlate with reliability, and find little evidence of theoretically-untenable bias due to expert characteristics. On the other hand, there is evidence that attentive and condent experts who have a basic contextual knowledge of the concept of democracy are more reliable.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matthew Blackwell, Adam Glynn
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Repeated measurements of the same countries, people, or groups over time are vital to many fields of political science. These measurements, sometimes called time-series cross-sectional (TSCS) data, allow researchers to estimate a broad set of causal quantities, including contemporaneous and lagged treatment effects. Unfortunately, popular methods for TSCS data can only produce valid inferences for lagged effects under very strong assumptions. In this paper, we use potential outcomes to define causal quantities of interest in this settings and clarify how standard models like the autoregressive distributed lag model can produce biased estimates of these quantities due to post-treatment conditioning. We then describe two estimation strategies that avoid these post-treatment biases—inverse probability weighting and structural nested mean models—and show via simulations that they can outperform standard approaches in small sample settings. We illustrate these methods in a study of how welfare spending affects terrorism.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Robinson, Marcus Tannenberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: The study of popular support for authoritarian regimes, and the comparative study of political attitudes, has long relied on the assumption that survey respondents provide truthful answers on surveys. However, when measuring regime support in closed political systems there is a distinct risk that individuals are less than forthright due to fear that their opinions may be made known to the public or the authorities. In order to test this assumption, we conducted a novel web-based survey in China in which we included four list experiments of commonly used items in the comparative literature on regime support. We find systematic bias for all four measures as a result of selfcensorship; substantially more individuals state that they support the regime with direct questioning than do when presented with our anonymous, indirect list experiments. The level of self-censorship, which ranges from 16 to 22 percentage points, is considerably higher than previously thought. Selfcensorship is further most prevalent among the wealthy, urban, female and younger respondents. These findings indicate that prior studies that have found high levels of support for the Chinese regime using these particular measures likely overestimate the true level of support. Further, crossnational studies which compare popular support across regime type may be systematically biased if responses are not subject to the same level of falsification across regime types.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carl Henrik Knutsen
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: The Historical Varieties of Democracy Dataset (Historical V-Dem) is a new dataset containing about 260 indicators, both factual and evaluative, describing various aspects of political regimes and state institutions. The dataset covers 91 polities globally – including most large, sovereign states, as well as some semi-sovereign entities and large colonies – from 1789 to 1920 for many cases. The majority of the indicators are also included in the Varieties of Democracy dataset, which covers the period from 1900 to the present – and together these two datasets cover the bulk of “modern history”. Historical V-Dem also includes several new indicators, covering features that are pertinent for 19thcentury polities. We describe the data, the process of coding, and the different strategies employed in Historical V-Dem to cope with issues of reliability and validity and ensure inter-temporal- and cross-country comparability. To illustrate the potential uses of the dataset we provide a descriptive account of patterns of democratization in the “long 19th century.” Finally, we perform an empirical investigation of how inter-state war relates to subsequent democratization.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Håvard Hegre, Michael Bernhard, Jan Teorell
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: The democratic peace is one of the most robust findings in international relations. Yet it suffers from two important limitations. First, even those who fully embrace the democratic peace have difficulty precisely identifying which facet of democracy drives the result. Second, the vast majority of studies have relied on a single measure of democracy – the Polity index. This paper reassesses interstate conflict on several new measures of democracy and their disaggregated components from the Varieties of Democracy project in a global sample of 173 countries from 1900–2010 (www.v-dem.net). We theorize three distinct mechanisms of constraint that may explain why some countries do not engage in military conflict with each other: formal vertical (e.g. elections), informal vertical (e.g. civil society activism), and horizontal accountability (e.g. interbranch constraint on the executive). We find that the formal vertical channels of accountability provided by elections are not as crucial as horizontal constraint and the informal vertical accountability provided by a strong civil society.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Armand M Leroi et al
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Sometimes the normal course of events is disrupted by a particularly swift and profound change. Historians have often referred to such changes as "revolutions" and, though they have identied many of them, they have rarely supported their claims with statistical evidence. Here we present a method to identify revolutions based on a measure of the multivariate rate of change called Foote Novelty. We dene revolutions as those periods of time when the value of this measure, F, can, by a non-parametric test, be shown to be signicantly greater than the background rate. Our method also identies conservative periods when the rate of change is unusually low. Importantly, our method permits searching for revolutions over any time scale that the data permit. We apply it to several quantitative data sets that capture long-term political, social and cultural changes and, in some of them, identify revolutions, both well known and not. Our method is a general one that can be applied to any phenomenon captured by multivariate time series data of sufficient quality.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tytti Erasto, Sibylle Bauer, Shannon N. Kile, Peter Topychkanov
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Recognizing that the current international context is hardly conducive to arms control and disarmament, SIPRI working paper ‘Setting the stage for progress towards nuclear disarmament’ identifies 10 practical steps to revitalize the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as the principal normative and legal foundation of the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. At the same time, it recognizes the NPT’s inherent compatibility with other disarmament initiatives, most notably the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In addition to restoring a sense of common purpose and addressing ‘old’ nuclear weapon-related risks, the paper highlights ‘new’ risks arising from developments in conventional capabilities and emerging technologies. The overarching objective is to set the stage for future concrete steps and initiatives to reduce the role of nuclear weapons and to eventually eliminate them.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Diana Ngo, Sebastian Bauhoff
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Rwanda’s performance-based incentives were effective for some indicators, but unconditional financing also induced improvements. The incentive effects persisted in the mediumrun and as the program was scaled-up. Additionally, the analysis demonstrates how observational research methods and secondary data can generate new insights on existing evaluations
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ifran Yar
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: In the wake of the incipient peace process in Afghanistan, new hopes have emerged and an aura of optimism has spread across the country. After the first successful meeting with the Taliban, US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met recently with the insurgents to discuss the peace talks in Qatar. This comes after Russia, reasserting its influence in the region, hosted a landmark international conference aimed at spurring the peace efforts in its restive neighborhood. The meeting was attended by the Taliban and its adversaries and concluded without any formal breakthrough. Since 2010, many efforts have been made to broker a peace deal with the Taliban but to no avail. Will this peace process convince the Taliban to give up its insurgency?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ben Tannenbaum
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: Turkey’s military has historically played an outsized role in the country’s politics. Since assuming power in 2003, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have worked to limit the military’s political influence, a process that has damaged Turkish civil society. The military overthrew the previous AKP government in 1997, and Erdoğan sought to avoid a similar fate. However, after the first decade of Erdoğan’s rule, political loyalties shifted. His chief ally against the military, Fethullah Gülen, became Erdoğan’s principal rival. The drama escalated in 2016 when Gülen allegedly cultivated a cohort of military officers in an attempted coup against Erdoğan. Since thwarting the coup, Erdoğan has successfully re-escalated his quest to constrain the military’s domestic political role. Nevertheless, despite this political feuding, Erdoğan and the Turkish military do hold some common interests on foreign policy. Their overlapping goals have provided some basis for cooperation between Erdoğan and his military. Erdoğan has scored political gains from his relationship with the military, instituting policies that have harmed Turkey’s economy and threatened its democracy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basel Ammane
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: During the last NATO Summit in Brussels in July, the first since the onset of the Trump presidency, observers were carefully watching in anticipation of any indicators about the state of commitment by the US to the alliance. Trump’s antics, such as the insults he levelled at Germany, the impudent demands he made, and the thinly-veiled threat he issued unsurprisingly dominated media coverage. This served as a reminder that the alliance and its members need to work vigorously to safeguard US commitment given that this president’s preoccupation with prodding allies into increasing military spending, though echoed by previous administrations, is much more forceful and borders on the nakedly belligerent. To make matters worse, a skeptical view of alliances that sees them through a transactional prism and portrays them as burdens seems to be a consistent view that President Trump has held for years. This further demonstrates that the risk of a declining US commitment to the alliance is real. But a shaky commitment by a US president is hardly the only source of problems for today’s NATO.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basel Ammane
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The recent attacks in Eastern Ghouta in which a swath of land housing a population of 400,000 was surrounded, shelled incessantly and later invaded have refocused the world’s attention on the events in Syria.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: As available resources for official development assistance have come under strain in the past ten years, blended finance has been hailed as a means to finance development in low- and middle-income countries. Governments and international organisations are increasingly advocating the use of blended finance to fill the “financing gap” between current commitments and target levels of investment needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Little consideration has been given to potential corruption risks in blended finance mechanisms. As a result, integrity issues in blended finance projects are understudied and poorly appreciated by many development practitioners, investors and regulators. As blended finance becomes an increasingly common instrument in development assistance, a richer understanding of the cause and impact of corrupt practices in this form of development finance is essential.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: One of the oldest weapons in Transparency International’s anti-corruption arsenal is the Integrity Pact, designed specifically to tackle corruption in public procurement – one of the biggest areas of corruption risk for governments.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Social audit is a powerful social accountability tool. It has led to the conviction of public officials for violating the right to information law in Guatemala, a 50 per cent reduction in the costs of public construction works in Peru, and cancelling an illegal education fee in Ghana. Social audit scrutinises public officials’ decisions and/or actions, looking for administrative or financial irregularities. It seeks to uncover discrepancies by comparing public documents, processes or services with how they should be. It can take many names and forms, ranging from social audits in Guatemala and anti-corruption brigades in Peru, to social auditing clubs in Ghana. This report extracts lessons from the social audits implemented by Acción Ciudadana in Guatemala, Proética in Peru and Ghana Integrity Initiative in Ghana. The report examines the social audit outcome reports and other records shared by the three Transparency International chapters, and includes an extensive review of the wider literature on social audits. Based on these experiences, the report outlines 20 key steps to implement an effective social audit.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marina Nistotskaya, Michelle D'Arcy
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: The institutional literature on development has emphasized the need to check abuse of power, but overlooked whether the state has power in the first place. Bridging the state capacity and collective action literatures, we argue that since public goods critical for development, such as public health provision, constitute collective action problems (CAPs), and solving CAPs in groups the size of countries requires state high infrastructural power that makes individual behaviour observable/legible, so that it can be monitored and compliance enforced. It is only when democracy is institutionalized within such a state that it can have a positive effect on public goods provision. We test this argument using a novel measure of accumulated infrastructural power – the age, extent and quality of cadastral records – for over 1,000 years for 155 countries. Our analysis shows that this variable has an independent positive effect on infant and child mortality, and it also conditions the effect of democracy. This research has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 339571) and the Swedish Research Council (grant agreement D0112101). The authors thank Robert Ellisa for excellent research assistance.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Anna Khakhunova, Marina Nistotskaya
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: New Public Management (NPM) reforms have been adopted worldwide since the mid-1970s to improve government effectiveness and efficiency. The basic premise of NPM reforms is that market orientation and management focus in the public sector will enhance effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery (Christensen and Lægreid 2010). Although NPM reforms have existed for a quarter century, we still have limited understanding of whether NPM reforms fulfill their expectations. Most importantly, very few empirical studies have been conducted that actually assess the impact of NPM reforms on performance (Alonso, Clifton, and Díaz-Fuentes 2015, Dahlström, Nistotskaya, and Tyrberg 2016, Hammerschmid and Van de Walle 2011). This study helps fill this gap by examining the effect of different NPM-type reforms on municipal performance. In particular, we assess the impact of NPM reforms on three dimensions of municipal performance – gender equity, efficiency and effectiveness – by using a data set of 810 city-level Japanese municipalities. Findings show that municipalities’ overall effort to create NPM reforms is not associated with gender equity and effectiveness in revenue expansion. However, findings suggest that municipalities with a higher commitment to various NPM- type reforms are likely to operate with lower administrative overhead costs. Results also suggest that municipalities’ efforts supporting individual reform, including outsourcing and municipal assets and debt management reform, are associated with higher efficiency in overhead costs and increased revenues from selling municipal assets. This study tests the impacts of NPM-type reforms on municipal performance in an understudied Asian developed setting.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sofia B. Vera
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: The literature studying citizen responses to exposed political corruption is rapidly growing. While some studies explore how information credibility and group identities can reduce the electoral impact of the exposure of corruption, this article addresses different mechanisms for weak electoral accountability for corruption: public works provision and corruption prevalence. It uses a vignette experiment embedded in a national survey in Peru to isolate the causal effect of political corruption on electoral support. The results suggest that even types of corruption with side benefits would be harshly punished when attributed to incompetent politicians. They also indicate that while voters punish corruption more leniently when a candidate is competent, they respond negatively to corruption regardless of the prevalence of corruption, which casts doubt on the idea that voters in highly corrupt environments are tolerant of corruption
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lena Wängnerud
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: There are a growing number of studies with the ambition to present causal reasoning linking the presence of women in political organizations to reductions in levels of corruption. The theoretical mechanisms proposed are however seldom directly tested, instead scholars tend to use designs where a large number of control variables are introduced in order to “rule out” rivalry hypotheses. These designs leave us with a number of loose ends that needs to be more carefully dealt with. The aim of this paper is to introduce a new and comparatively simple way of measuring degrees of femininity and masculinity and discuss whether this approach could add to the understanding of gender effects found in research on corruption. The analysis show that femininity is linked to pro-social values and the suggestion is for future research to focus more on indirect effects on corruption from the inclusion of women in political organizations. Exposure-based theories highlight mechanisms such as changed group norms that may pave the ground for an increased focus on the public good. The data used draws on a large-scale survey among Swedish citizens in 2013.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rasmus Broms, Carl Dahlström, Marina Nistotskaya
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: Against a backdrop of increased levels of marketization of welfare services in OECD countries, this article aims to shed light on the separate effects of private ownership and competition on service quality. Using residential elderly care in Sweden as our case, we leverage unique panel data of ownership and competition against a set of indicators, pertaining to the structure, process and outcome dimensions of care quality. The main finding of our analyses is that competition does surprisingly little for quality: private entrepreneurs perform neither better nor worse under stiff competition and the quality of care is approximately the same in those nursing homes that are exposed to competition from private actors as in those that are not.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gabriella R. Montinola, Sarah Prince
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: The longstanding debate on whether foreign aid promotes development suggests that aid’s efficacy depends on conditions in recipient states. Advocates of gender equality argue that empowering women is desirable not only in its own right but also as a means to other sought-after outcomes. We bring together these issues and argue that women’s empowerment in aid-receiving countries should enhance the effect of foreign aid on child development outcomes. We find support for this argument in analyses of up to 107 developing countries from 1986-2010. Our results indicate that aid is associated with greater reductions in infant mortality where women are more empowered. Furthermore, we find that among the different dimensions of empowerment—political, economic and social—political participation has the strongest and most consistent mediating effect on foreign aid. Our work has implications for research on aid effectiveness, the consequences of gender equality, and the politics of presence
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gissur Ólafur Erlingsson, Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: The longstanding debate on whether foreign aid promotes development suggests that aid’s efficacy depends on conditions in recipient states. Advocates of gender equality argue that empowering women is desirable not only in its own right but also as a means to other sought-after outcomes. We bring together these issues and argue that women’s empowerment in aid-receiving countries should enhance the effect of foreign aid on child development outcomes. We find support for this argument in analyses of up to 107 developing countries from 1986-2010. Our results indicate that aid is associated with greater reductions in infant mortality where women are more empowered. Furthermore, we find that among the different dimensions of empowerment—political, economic and social—political participation has the strongest and most consistent mediating effect on foreign aid. Our work has implications for research on aid effectiveness, the consequences of gender equality, and the politics of presence
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dragana Davidovic
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: Environmental taxes are argued to be the key to more effective environmental protection in developing countries. This paper investigates whether such taxes have the necessary public support to be successfully implemented in different contexts, including countries outside the Western and European spheres. Applying a multilevel analysis approach, using data from the World Values Survey and International Social Survey Programme, interaction effects between values, political and social trust, and perceived quality of government (QoG) are explored. It is hypothesized that if people lack trust in public authorities to implement green taxes in an efficient, fair and uncorrupt manner, they will be less likely to support such taxes despite their strong pro-environmental values or trust in other people. The results show that people holding green values are more likely to support environmental taxes if they live in countries with high levels of QoG. Moreover, the effect of social trust on support for green taxes appears to be contingent on individual-level political trust rather than the quality of government institutions. These interactions need further exploration since they vary across countries and datasets. While support for environmental taxes is found to be relatively high in some developing countries, public aversion towards higher taxes for environmental protection is still relatively high internationally.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Monika Bauhr, Nicholas Charron
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: What factors explain public support for international redistribution? While the European Union has sent billions of taxpayers’ money to over indebted euro countries in an attempt to avoid an economic collapse, these transfers have encountered fierce resistance among both donor and recipient constituents. However, we know surprisingly little about why citizens support or oppose redistribution within the EU. This paper suggests that domestic levels of corruption and institutional quality may be one of the most important explanations for the great variation in public support for financial assistance and aid. Using recent European Elections Survey data merged with data on regional level quality of government, we show that the effects of institutional quality are consistently stronger than macro-economic factors, including economic development, inequality or levels of public debt. We find strong evidence that citizens’ in low corrupt contexts are more likely to support financial assistance to fellow member states. The results have implications for future challenges in securing public support for EU economic integration as well as for our understanding of how and why corruption undermines society’s collective action capacity
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kamil Frymark
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Germany’s collaboration with Central European countries, and especially the Visegrad Group (V4) is often perceived through the prism of political differences that have arisen from divergent visions of the future EU migration policy and debates on the rule of law. Simultaneously, new opportunities to deepen the already existing cooperation may appear due to the turmoil in Germany’s domestic politics as well as the international environment..
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Louise Riis Andersen
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Anti-corruption is central to building capable and legitimate security institutions in fragile states. However, military capacity-building programs often do not include anti-corruption measures. Denmark should strive to put the fight against military corruption on the international agenda
  • Topic: Corruption, International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tony Bricktua, Abigail Lawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Report Recommends Approaches to Meet Needs of Law Enforcement While Managing Risks to Cybersecurity and Privacy
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wael Abdul-Shafi, Jan Hanrath
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The repercussions of climate change and environmental challenges pose enormous risks to Iran and Saudi Arabia alike. While there are differences in geography and climate in both countries, they also have many environmental challenges in common. Problems such as sand and dust storms or diminishing water resources are border-crossing phenomena that no country can deal with alone; therefore, cooperation is key. At this point in time, however, willingness to cooperate is utterly lacking in a region marked by geo-strategic rivalries, ongoing military conflicts and deep-rooted mutual distrust between regional rivals, and between Saudi Arabia and Iran in particular.
  • Topic: Environment, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Thomas Renard , Rik Coolsaet
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Some 5000 men, women and children have travelled from Europe to Syria and Iraq since 2012. An estimated 1500 of these foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) have returned so far. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands represent a third of European FTF and returnees. This report looks into the evolution of policies on returning foreign fighters in these three countries, comparing responses with regard to fighters that are still in the conflict zone, policies to deal with returnees in prison and attitudes towards the children of foreign fighters. It is the very first systematic and in-depth study into national approaches and policies vis-à-vis returnees. Its added value lies in the wealth of data, including data that has not been published before, and in the comparative angle.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alice Dabarre
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: While humanitarian action was traditionally designed to be a short-term emergency response, this is increasingly perceived as inaccurate and even undesirable. Humanitarian actors have acknowledged a responsibility to work toward bridging the “humanitarian-development divide” and not to overlook the nexus between addressing and reducing humanitarian needs and building the foundations for sustaining peace.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Current drug policy too often has a negative impact on communities and runs counter to efforts to ameliorate poverty through sustainable development. However, this is often not captured by the metrics used to measure the impact of drug policy. One way to improve these metrics is to align them with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This would not only help overcome many of the limitations of drug policies resulting from suboptimal metrics but also make sure these policies enhance, rather than hinder, efforts to achieve the SDGs.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Global Focus