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  • Author: Saskia Brechenmacher, Caroline Hubbard
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Political parties around the world face a crisis in public confidence. Many citizens view them as inaccessible and unresponsive to their concerns. Parties pose specific challenges for women, who face both formal and informal barriers to participation, including opaque nomination procedures, violence, and parties with hypermasculine cultures. The formation of new parties during periods of political transition represents a potential opportunity to break these patterns. Transitions can be openings to transform the broader political, legal, and social barriers to an inclusive kind of politics. In these moments of flux, the development of new party branches and rules, as well as the renegotiation of broader institutional frameworks, can enable women and other marginalized groups to push for greater political representation within party structures. What factors influence the level of gender inclusion in processes of party development? This question is central for policymakers, advocates, and practitioners seeking to support inclusive democracy and gender equality in transitional societies and beyond. To shed light on this topic, this study investigates gender inclusion in three types of party formation that commonly unfold during political transitions: a social movement to a party (as exemplified by Ennahda in Tunisia); an armed movement to a party (as illustrated by the African National Congress [ANC] in South Africa); and a dominant party to a breakaway party (as shown by the Mouvement du Peuple pour le Progrès [MPP] in Burkina Faso).
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, North Africa, Tunisia, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Marie Hyland, Simeon Djankov, Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper provides the first global look at how gender discrimination by the law affects women’s economic opportunity and charts the evolution of legal inequalities over five decades. Using the World Bank’s newly constructed Women, Business and the Law database, it documents large and persistent gender inequalities, especially with regard to pay and treatment of parenthood. The paper finds positive correlations between more equal laws pertaining to women in the workforce and more equal labor market outcomes, such as higher female labor force participation and a smaller wage gap between men and women.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Inequality, Economic Inequality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: COVID-19 is creating a series of crises that increase the risk of conflict worldwide. Beyond the health impact, issues like worsening inequality, food insecurity, human rights abuses, and political tensions can deepen pre-existing social fractures in any country, creating additional layers of grievance. Addressing these risks early on and building resilience to them is key to preventing the potential for violence. But the pandemic also brings new opportunities for peacebuilding. A system-wide implementation of the sustaining peace approach is critical to ensure that United Nations response contributes to decreasing risks for violent conflict in the longer term—including efforts to “build back better.” This report draws on interviews with 25+ individuals across the UN system and member states to highlight some of the key challenges for peacebuilding in the immediate COVID-19 period as well as in the longer term. The report documents how entities across the UN have made positive steps toward implementing a sustaining peace approach, and provides recommendations for deepening these gains across the system.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Inequality, Peace, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tobias Arbogast
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the ownership structure of eurozone public debt and the distribu- tional consequences thereof. Through both a comparative perspective and an explorative case study of Italy, this paper asks two research questions. Firstly, it asks who holds gov- ernment debt in Spain, France, Germany, and Italy. I focus in on Italy to provide, to the author’s knowledge, the first highly disaggregated view of the holding structure of public debt. Secondly, for Italy I study distributional effects by examining who benefits from the interest received on government debt. This is accomplished through an investigation of the various stakeholders associated with public debt. Results indicate that most of the public debt is held by private and public financial institutions but rarely directly by households. Both direct and indirect beneficiaries of the interest received on government bonds in Italy turn out to be largely wealthy households, reflecting the unequal ownership of wealth more generally. However, prominent public financial institutions are also significant beneficiaries, which likely ameliorates a possible regressive distributional effect of the public debt hold- ing structure. The paper discusses the results with an eye on inequality and contributes to further study of the political economy of public debt.
  • Topic: Debt, Inequality, Financial Institutions , Public Debt
  • Political Geography: France, Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Diego Sánchez-Ancochea
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of income inequality in Latin America over the long run, comparing them with explanations of why the whole region is unequal. I first show how land inequality can account for differences between Latin America and other parts of the world but how it does not explain within-region differences. Using qualitative comparative analysis, I then consider how political institution and actors interact with the economic structure (i.e., type of export specialization) and with the ethnic composition of the population. The paper has several findings. A low indigenous/afrodescendant population is a necessary condition for relatively low inequality. I identify two sufficient-condition paths, both of which include the role of democracy, political equality, and a small indigenous and afrodescendant population. The first path also includes a favorable export specialization, while the second one includes the presence of leftist presidents instead. The paper calls for more explicit comparisons between our analytical models for the whole region and our explanations of between-country differences. Hopefully, the paper can also trigger more research on how the interactions between ethnicity, politics, and the export structure shape inequality in Latin America.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Political Economy, Poverty, Race, Social Movement, Democracy, Inequality, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Aspen Institute
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This is the second annual report for the American Talent Initiative, highlighting it has achieved more than 40 percent of the progress needed to realize its goal to enroll 50,000 additional lower-income students at high-graduation rate institutions across the country. This report also centers on the impact that an equity-focused, comprehensive strategy can have on institutions’ ability to enroll and graduate more of these talented students.
  • Topic: Education, Inequality, Income Inequality, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Peter Petri, Meenal Banga
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The unprecedented rise in global interdependence since World War II, especially since the 1970s, has been very productive. World gross domestic product (GDP) growth increased from around 2% per year in the 1970s to 4% per year before the global financial crisis. Globalisation helped to lift a billion people from extreme poverty and improved the lives of billions more. The United States also gained an estimated 11%–19% of its annual GDP. Yet many Americans are concerned about the fairness of these gains. We review evidence of increasing wage inequality and stubborn unemployment effects, even though, on balance, technological change has had a much greater impact on these outcomes than globalisation. Barriers against globalisation do not offer solutions to inequality – they reduce the size of the economic pie without necessarily improving its distribution. Policies should focus on redistributing gains from growth, increasing the productivity of all workers, and helping affected communities adapt socially and economically to rapid change.
  • Topic: Globalization, Financial Crisis, Inequality, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Kimty Seng
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This study analyses the effects of financial inclusion on poverty in terms of household income per capita in Cambodia, with data from the FinScope Survey carried out in 2015. The analysis describes the effects via financial literacy, accounting for endogenous selection bias resulting from unobserved confounders and for structural differences between users and non-users of financial services in terms of income functions. The findings suggest that the use of financial services is very likely to make a great contribution to reducing household budget deficits and poverty if the users, female in particular, have at least basic financial knowledge.
  • Topic: Poverty, Inequality, Finance, Financial Services
  • Political Geography: Asia, Cambodia
  • Author: Rashesh Shrestha, Samuel Nursamsu
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the status of financial inclusion in Indonesia and examines the impact of financial inclusion – based on availability of bank branches on household outcomes – in Indonesia. Based on analysis of the World Bank’s Financial Inclusion Survey (FINDEX) data, Indonesia has made some progress on expanding financial inclusion. The share of individuals with bank accounts rose from less than 20% to just under 50% in 2017. Interestingly, while the gain between 2011 and 2014 was greater for individuals in the upper 60 percentile of income, the gains between 2014 and 2017 were more pro-poor. This progress was made possible due to concerted government efforts to expand financial inclusion. In our empirical analysis, we study how financial inclusion enables households with income gains into savings for assets and earnings. Using the Indonesian Family Life Survey data, we find that living in areas with high density of bank branches helps poor households accumulate savings. The marginal effect of financial inclusion on savings is highest amongst the households in the bottom quintile of per capita consumption distribution. Thus, access to formal financial institutions can lead to improvement in household welfare.
  • Topic: Inequality, Finance, Banks, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia-Pacific, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Takahiro Akita, Sachiko Miyata
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This study measures the pro-poorness of urban and rural economic growth by region from 2004 to 2014 in Indonesia using pro-poor growth indexes, with data from the National Socio-Economic Survey (Susenas). It also conducts a probit analysis to explore the determinants of poverty. All regions (Sumatra, Java–Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and East Indonesia) experienced a substantial increase in expenditure inequality in both urban and rural areas; thus, the change in poverty incidence due to redistribution effects is positive. Apart from East Indonesia, they reduced the incidence of poverty in both areas, but their growth was not pro-poor in the strict sense. According to the pro-poor growth indexes, urban areas performed better than rural areas; in most regions, the growth of urban areas was moderately pro-poor, while that of rural areas was weakly pro-poor or anti-poor. The government needs to take urban–rural and regional differences into account when formulating poverty alleviation policies and programs since these differences would affect economic growth and changes in inequality.
  • Topic: Poverty, Inequality, Economic growth, Urban, Rural
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia-Pacific, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Pery Bazoti
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: The educational system in Greece has always been at the center of public discourse, not only for the shortcomings of its design, but also for the quality of the education offered. In this context, during the last decades, the rise in wage inequalities had led the literature to investigate the existence of a possible causal relationship between the level of education and income inequality. The present paper by Pery Bazoti examines the relationship between tertiary education and economic inequality. Taking into consideration the fact that potential inequalities in access to education can hinder the redistributive role of education, the starting point of the study is the access to tertiary education. The design and flaws of the Greek education system prevent university candidates from equal opportunities since the entrance to tertiary education institutions relies heavily on the economic background of their families. The economic crisis highlighted these inequalities mainly through the decline of the disposable household income and exacerbated the already crippled abilities of the education system due to the extensive cuts that took place during this time. Nevertheless, the data reveals that private expenditure -typically related to students’ preparation for exams for entrance into university, despite its decrease, continues to have the larger share of the households’ education budget.
  • Topic: Education, Reform, Inequality, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Jennifer Nicoll Victor
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Covid-19 makes politics worse because it has generated not only greater awareness about many inequalities in the US, but it also has sharpened those inequalities. Unfortunately, inequalities such as those discussed here have a way of becoming self-perpetuating.
  • Topic: Inequality, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Intissar Kherigi
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: An account of the Arab uprisings of the last decade would be incomplete without an understanding of regional inequalities. While each country’s protests were driven by a distinct combination of grievances, a common factor has been the marginalisation of “peripheries”. The Sidi Bouzid region of Tunisia from which the Arab Spring started is a region rich in agricultural resources yet poor in infrastructure and economic opportunities. Its connection rate to running water is half the national average. A similar story can be seen across the flashpoints of unrest in the Arab world, a story of widening urban-rural divides, uneven regional development and political and economic exclusion of entire regions. Can decentralisation address these grievances? Since the 1980s, decentralisation has been championed as a driver for both democratisation and development, promising to empower regions, granting them political representation and enabling them to create their own economic strategies. However, a key fear among many, from politicians and bureaucrats to ordinary citizens, is that decentralisation is a means for the central state to withdraw from its traditional functions and transfer responsibility for service provision to under-resourced and over-burdened local government. Yet, the demands for freedom, dignity and social justice voiced by the Arab uprisings require the central state to be more present in peripheries, not less. Can decentralisation help achieve greater local development in peripheral regions without allowing the central state to withdraw from its obligations to citizens? Is it even possible to envisage new forms of local development within the framework of highly centralised Arab states? How can Arab states reconfigure their relations with local communities in the context of severe political and economic crises? This article explores these questions in the Tunisian context, where a major decentralisation process is taking place in response to demands for inclusion and development. It argues that in order to produce new modes of local development in peripheries, central state institutions need to fundamentally reform the way they function.
  • Topic: Inequality, Arab Spring, Decentralization , Bureaucracy
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Tunisia, Tunis
  • Author: Axel Berger, Sören Hilbrich, Gabriele Köhler
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Group of Seven (G7) and Group of Twenty (G20) have placed increasing emphasis on gender equality. As part of this focus, the member states of both institutions have set out a series of objectives aimed at advancing gender equality. This report examines the degree to which these goals have been implemented in Germany. First, the gender equality goals that both institutions have set out since 2009 are presented and systematised. The report then investigates the current state of progress in Germany and describes measures that have already been undertaken to implement the goals.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, G20, Women, Inequality, G7
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Shamindra Nath Roy, Partha Mukhopadhyay
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India is one of the lowest globally in terms of female labour force participation (FLFP), ranking only better than Pakistan in South Asia. While the decline in FLFP in rural areas is starkly visible, the urban FLFP has been consistently low since the 1980s despite higher economic growth and increasing level of education among females. The economic cost of such low FLFP (16.8%) is huge and if, for instance, it could be raised to the level of FLFP in China (61.5%), it has the potential to raise India’s GDP up to 27%. This paper attempts to investigate the structural deficiencies behind this consistently low urban FLFP through a variety of perspectives, ranging from measuring the complexity of women’s work to the implications of caste, location and family structure. It finds factors like presence of female-friendly industries, provision of regular salaried jobs and policies that cater to women’s needs to work near home like availability of part-time work, can improve the situation, though prejudices arising from patriarchy require to be addressed to make these measures truly transformative and not palliative.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Inequality, Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: This study sets out to estimate the determinants of household economic wellbeing and to evaluate the relative contributions of regressed-income sources in explaining measured inequality. In particular, a regression-based decomposition approach informed by the Shapley value, the instrumental variables econometric method, and the 2007 Cameroon household consumption survey, was used. This approach provides a flexible way to accommodate variables in a multivariate context. The results indicate that the household stock of education, age, credit, being bilingual, radio and electricity influence wellbeing positively, while rural, land and dependency had a negative impact on wellbeing. Results also show that rural, credit, bilingualism, education, age, dependency and land, in that order, are the main contributors to measured income inequality, meanwhile, the constant term, media and electricity are inequality reducing. These findings have policy implications for the ongoing drive to scale down both inequality and poverty in Cameroon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Inequality, Economic Inequality, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Nicole Froio
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA)
  • Abstract: As numbers of COVID-19 cases in Brazil steadily rise into the thousands, favela community leaders in vulnerable communities have raised concerns about the difficulties of complying with preventative measures in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas because of the lack of consistent water services. President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-science response to the global pandemic, which has included calling the virus a “little flu” and urging businesses to re-open despite World Health Organization advice, has worsened the situation for vulnerable communities in Brazil.
  • Topic: Health, Inequality, Public Health, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Katrina Forrester
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Toynbee Prize Foundation
  • Abstract: John Rawls was undoubtedly one of the most influential liberal political philosophers of the twentieth century. His most famous book, A Theory of Justice, was published in 1971. Prof Katrina Forrester, a historian of twentieth century political thought from Harvard University, tells the story of Rawls’s influence on liberal political philosophy in her recent book In the Shadow of Justice. Forrester shows how liberal egalitarianism—a set of ideas about justice, equality, obligation, and the state—became dominant, and traces its emergence from the political and ideological context of postwar Britain and the United States. In our conversation with Katrina Forrester we discussed Rawls’s creation of A Theory of Justice, how he responded to critiques of his theory, and how his work continues to shape our understanding of war and society up to the present day.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Inequality, Philosophy, Ideology, Justice, Liberalism
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States
  • Author: Liz Hume, Megan Schleicher, Sahana Dharmapuri, Erin Cooper
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Our Secure Future
  • Abstract: This brief provides a summary of key recommendations from civil society on how to integrate gender into the GFS. It is critical that the GFA country and regional plans go beyond the individual empowerment of women in a society and aim to transform the societal power structures that fuel instability and inequality.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Peace, WPS
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Katrin Hansing, Bert Hoffman
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Few political transformations have attacked social inequalities more thoroughly than the 1959 Cuban Revolution. However, as the survey data in this paper shows, 60 years on, structural inequalities which echo the pre-revolutionary socio-ethnic hierarchies are returning. While official Cuban statistics are mute about social differences along racial lines, the authors were able to conduct a unique, nationwide survey which shows the contrary. If the revolutionary, state-run economy and radical social policies were the main social elevators for the formerly underprivileged classes in socialist Cuba, the economic crisis and depressed wages of the past decades have seriously undercut these achievements. Moreover, previously racialised migration patterns have produced highly unequal levels of access to family remittances, and the gradual opening of the private business sector in Cuba has largely disfavoured Afro-Cubans, due to their lack of access to pre-revolutionary property and remittances in the form of start-up capital. While social and racial inequalities have not yet reached the levels of other Latin American countries, behind the face of socialist continuity a profound restructuring of Cuban society is taking place.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Race, Social Stratification, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Tharcisio Leone
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explores the variation in intergenerational educational mobility across the Brazilian states based on Markov transition matrixes and univariate econometric techniques. The analysis of the national household survey (PNAD-2014) confirms a strong variation in mobility among the 27 federative units in Brazil and demonstrates a significant correlation between mobility and income inequality. In this sense, this work presents empirical evidence for the existence of the "Great Gatsby curve" within a single country: states with greater income disparities present higher levels of persistence in educational levels across generations. Finally, I investigate one specific mechanism behind this correlation – namely, whether higher income inequality might lead to a lower investment in human capital among children from socially vulnerable households. The paper delivers robust and compelling results showing that children born into families where the parents have not completed primary education have a statistically significant reduction in their chance of completing the educational system if they live in states with a higher level of income inequality.
  • Topic: Education, Children, Inequality, Mobility
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Semiray Kasoolu, Ricardo Hausmann, Tim O'Brien, Miguel Ajgel Santos
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Women in Jordan are excluded from labor market opportunities at among the highest rates in the world. Previous efforts to explain this outcome have focused on specific, isolated aspects of the problem and have not exploited available datasets to test across causal explanations. We develop a comprehensive framework to analyze the drivers of low female employment rates in Jordan and systematically test their validity, using micro-level data from Employment and Unemployment Surveys (2008-2018) and the Jordanian Labor Market Panel Survey (2010-2016). We find that the nature of low female inclusion in Jordan’s labor market varies significantly with educational attainment, and identify evidence for different factors affecting different educational groups. Among women with high school education or less, we observe extremely low participation levels and find the strongest evidence for this phenomenon tracing to traditional social norms and poor public transportation. On the higher end of the education spectrum – university graduates and above – we find that the problem is not one of participation, but rather of unemployment, which we attribute to a small and undiversified private sector that is unable to accommodate women’s needs for work and work-family balance.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Political Economy, Labor Issues, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Alice Evans
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Support for gender equality has risen, globally. Analyses of this trend focus on individual and/or country-level characteristics. But this overlooks sub-national variation. Citydwellers are more likely to support gender equality in education, employment, leadership, and leisure. Why is this? This paper investigates the causes of rural-urban differences through comparative, qualitative research. It centres on Cambodia, where the growth of rural garment factories enables us to test theories that female employment fosters support for gender equality: potentially closing rural-urban differences; or whether other important aspects of city-living accelerate support for gender equality. Drawing on this rural and urban fieldwork, the paper suggests why social change is faster in Cambodian cities. First, cities raise the opportunity costs of gender divisions of labour – given higher living costs and more economic opportunities for women. Second, cities increase exposure to alternatives. People living in more interconnected, heterogeneous, densely populated areas are more exposed to women demonstrating their equal competence in socially valued, masculine domains. Third, they have more avenues to collectively contest established practices. Association and exposure reinforce growing flexibility in gender divisions of labour. By investigating the causes of subnational variation, this paper advances a new theory of growing support for gender equality.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Urbanization, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Cambodia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Gisela Robles Aguilar, Andy Sumner
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Who are the world’s poor? This paper presents a new global profile of multidimensional poverty using three specifications of multidimensional poverty. The paper draws comparisons with the global monetary poverty profile and with the new World Bank measure of combined monetary and non-monetary poverty; discusses how global poverty differs by specification, the extent of multidimensionality, and presents a set of estimates of the disaggregated characteristics of global multidimensional poverty in 2015. We find the following: (i) at an aggregate level, the overall characteristics of global multidimensional poverty are similar to those of global monetary poverty at $1.90 per day; (ii) at a disaggregated level, we find that poverty in rural areas tends to be characterized by overlapping deprivations in education and access to decent infrastructure (water, sanitation, electricity, and housing) and counterintuitively, given the proximity, in principle, to better health care and economic opportunities, it is child mortality and malnutrition that is more frequently observed within urban poverty; and (iii) the extent of the multidimensionality of poverty differs substantially by region; moreover, some deprivations frequently overlap while others do not.
  • Topic: Poverty, World Bank, Inequality, Rural
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Scott Morris, Gailyn Portelance
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Under the World Bank’s 2018 capital agreement, borrowing countries are expected to gradually reduce their portfolios once a base income threshold—the Graduation Discussion Income (GDI)—is reached. However, the agreement also affirms the case for ongoing lending to these countries. One justification is tied to external value beyond the borrowing country’s borders (global public goods, or GPGs). Another is tied to building capacity within the borrowing country, which can mean a focus on sub-regions where poverty remains high and capacity weak. In this paper, we examine World Bank graduation policies and lending through the lens of China, which maintains a large portfolio of World Bank projects. China currently exceeds the GDI thresholds for IBRD borrowing at the national level, while income inequality within the country leaves many noncoastal provinces below the GDI per capita threshold. Aggregate and provincial-level analysis of World Bank lending in China shows that less than half of China’s portfolio comprises activities clearly linked to GPGs, while a slight majority of projects are based in provinces with per capita income below the GDI threshold. A substantial number of World Bank projects in China focus on climate change mitigation and transportation infrastructure construction, while a smaller number relate to capacity building. Overall, we find evidence that China’s borrowing is broadly consistent with the 2018 principles of institutional capacity strengthening and GPG-related engagement, although significant areas of bank engagement do not appear to fall within the parameters of these principles.
  • Topic: Poverty, Infrastructure, World Bank, Inequality
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Michael Pisa, John Polcari
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: en years ago, only 6 percent of the population in low-income and lower-middle-income countries had access to the internet. Today, nearly one in every three people there does. The rapid expansion of internet access across the globe is a welcome development, but it raises new policy challenges. And while there is broad agreement in the development community on the importance of getting digital policy “right,” too little attention has been paid to how policymakers in the developing world can best engage with the companies who dominate the digital landscape. As governments reassess their relationship with these companies, an increasing number are enacting policies that raise barriers to the cross-border flow of data and put the largely global and open nature of the internet at risk. In this paper, we review how internet use has evolved in the developing world over the last decade, with a focus on initiatives by big tech companies to reach the “Next Billion Users.” We then examine how concerns about data privacy, disinformation, and market concentration have manifested in lower-income countries and how policymakers have begun to respond. We close by considering ways the development community can support policymakers seeking to maximize the benefits of an open internet while minimizing its risks.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Inequality, Privacy, Internet, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Charles Kenny
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There is a lot we don’t know about what automation will mean for jobs in the future, including its impact (if any) on gender inequality. This note reviews evidence and forecasts on that question and makes four main points: Past automation has been (broadly) positive for women’s average quality of life, economic empowerment, and equality. Forecasts of the gendered impact of automation and AI going forward based on the current distribution of employment suggest considerable uncertainty and a gender inequality of impact that is marginal compared to the potential impact overall. The bigger risk—and/or opportunity—is likely to be in the combined impact of automation, policy, and social norms in changing the type of work that is seen as male or female. Minimizing any potential aggravating impact of automation and AI on inequalities in economic power in the future can best be achieved by maximizing economic equality today.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Employment, Inequality, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kimberly Ann Elliott
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: American policymakers have failed to adequately respond to concerns about globalization’s effects and the resulting backlash has taken an ugly turn in recent years. While globalization is only one of many factors contributing to economic dislocation, sluggish wage growth and inequality in the United States, foreigners, and developing countries in particular, are frequently the target of those who are frustrated at being left behind. Yet few realize that US trade policy effectively discriminates against poorer countries. In addition, provisions in trade agreements that tilt the playing field in favor of business interests over those of American consumers and workers also often undermine development priorities in partner countries. American policymakers should rethink the substance and process of trade policy and negotiations to spread the benefits more broadly, at home and abroad.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Inequality, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Maria-Louise Clausen
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the Iraqi Security Forces’ success in the military defeat of Islamic State (IS) and reconquering of territory seized by IS in 2014, the Iraqi state faces substantial challenges. These challenges have been exacerbated by IS, but did not emerge with IS and will therefore also not disappear with the defeat of IS. This DIIS Report underlines the fragmentation and policization of the security sector as a concern. Although the continued threat from IS has a destabilizing impact on the Iraqi state, the report especially points to the role of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF: an umbrella term for more than 50 armed groups that mobilized against IS in 2014), the sustained focus on identity politics and the pressure on the Iraqi state as key issues for the rebuilding and stabilization of Iraq. The presence of PMFs in Iraq is a challenge to the Iraqi state’s monopoly of violence and the PMFs continue to commit violations with impunity. Moreover, the PMFs (Popular Mobilization Forces) are capitalizing on their role in the defeat of Islamic State to increase their political role. Finally, despite the recent movement towards issue-based politics, identity remains a vital element in Iraqi politics, as seen in the continued practice of power-sharing between Kurds, Shias, and Sunnis. This combined with the Iraqi population’s general lack of trust in the political system challenges reconstruction. Nonetheless, the report asserts that there is a window of opportunity for Iraq, that should be seized by the Iraqi elite and the international community to engage in the difficult process of reconstruction and reconciliation. The report provides a brief overview of some of the main challenges facing Iraq that must be dealt with if Iraq is to break the cycle of violence that has haunted the country for decades.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Democratization, Poverty, Terrorism, Non State Actors, Inequality, Fragile States, Economy, Conflict, Violence, Peace, Justice
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Hans Lucht, Luca Raineri
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Though the four-by-fours with migrants still leave regularly for Libya, there’s little doubt that EU driven anti-migration efforts in the Agadez region of Niger has been a blow to the local cross-border economy. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS ■ EU interventions in Niger have had an unintended negative effect on the safety of migrants. It’s therefore important to maintain focus on rescue missions in the desert. ■ Europe must ensure that conflict and context sensitivity remain paramount as well as promoting alternative development opportunities and good governance. ■ National, local and traditional authorities should continue to avoid conflicts linked to natural resources, including gold, uranium, pasturelands and water, by promoting transparency and participatory decision-making.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Migration, Poverty, Border Control, European Union, Inequality, Fragile States, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, North Africa, Niger
  • Author: Patrick Honohan
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Should central banks take more account of ethical issues, notably the impact of monetary policy actions on the distribution of income and wealth and on efforts to combat climate change, in the design and implementation of the wider monetary policy toolkit they have been using in the past decade? Although the scope to influence a range of objectives is more limited than is often supposed, and while it is vital to not derail monetary policy from its core purposes, central bank mandates justify paying more attention to such broad issues, especially if policy choices have a significant potential impact. Carefully managed steps in this direction could actually strengthen central bank independence while making some contribution to improving the effectiveness of public policy on these issues.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Monetary Policy, Inequality, Central Bank
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Inequality and exclusion are among the most pressing political issues of our age. They are on the rise and the anger felt by citizens towards elites perceived to be out-of-touch constitutes a potent political force. Policy-makers and the public are clamoring for a set of policy options that can arrest and reverse this trend. The Pathfinders’ Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion seeks to identify practical and politically viable solutions to meet the targets on equitable and inclusive societies in the Sustainable Development Goals. Our goal is for national governments, intergovernmental bodies, multilateral organizations, and civil society groups to increase commitments and adopt solutions for equality and inclusion.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Multilateralism, Elites, Exclusion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul von Chamier
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This discussion brief is a contribution to the Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion, an initiative of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. Inequality and exclusion harm society in a number of ways, ranging from fraying trust in institutions and increasing volatility in politics, to causing economic damage, physical insecurity, and higher rates of crime and suicide. This brief lays out an array of tangible costs to show that inequality is damaging not only on normative, but also social and economic grounds. The areas of analysis include public health problems, such as anxiety, obesity, and unplanned teenage pregnancies; impacts on safety and security, including homicide rates and violent conflict; and the economic effects of GPD gaps caused by gender discrimination, vertical income inequality, and ethnicity-based discrimination. It also addresses the territorial dimensions of inequality and exclusion, and presents evidence that inequality is a force driving volatile politics, social unrest, and falling levels of trust in public institutions today.
  • Topic: Security, Inequality, Public Health, Exclusion , Civil Unrest
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Peter G. Johannessen
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Do voters use a candidate’s class as an electoral heuristic? And if so, how? Drawing on observational and experimental evidence from Brazil’s local elections (2004–2016), I provide evidence that voters use shared class to draw inferences about a candidate’s type: candidates from different classes receive similar overall levels of support, but receive disproportionate support from voters who share their class. The mechanisms driving this finding vary by a voter’s relative class position: upper-class voters use shared class to draw inferences about a candidate’s quality, trustworthiness, and distributive commitments, but lower-class voters only use shared class to draw inferences about a candidate’s trustworthiness and distributive commitments.
  • Topic: Politics, Poverty, Democracy, Inequality, Citizenship, Identities
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Anna Marie Burdzy, Lorraine Serrano, Megan Bastick
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit, which comprises nine Tools and a series of Policy Briefs. The other Tools and Policy Briefs in this Toolkit focus on specific security and justice issues and providers, with more focused attention on what gender equality looks like and how to achieve it in particular sectors. It is intended that the Toolkit should be used as a whole, with readers moving between Tools and Policy Briefs to find more detail on aspects that interest them. This Policy Brief explains why integrating a gender perspective is important to the regulation of private military and security companies (PMSCs) and provides guidance to States on doing so in national legislation, contracting and procurement policies, as well as certification, oversight and accountability frameworks for PMSCs. The Policy Brief: Outlines what PMSCs are and the role of States in their regulation; explains why a gender perspective is needed for effective regulation of PMSCs; and presents a range of priorities and entry points for States to integrate a gender perspective in regulation of PMSCs.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Law Enforcement, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Christina Nemr, Sara Savage
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Structural factors that can fuel support for violent extremism, like corrupt governance and inequality, are often intertwined with individual-level vulnerability factors, such as a search for identity or a need for quick answers to issues of injustice. Under these circumstances, individuals can be drawn to black-and-white answers that seem to offer simplicity, clarity, and certainty. Unfortunately, a hallmark of violent extremist ideologies is this binary thinking, stripped of complexity and with an identifiable in-group/out-group dynamic that offers a sense of community and belonging to help people make sense of the world. As policymakers and practitioners work to address the larger structural factors fueling violent extremism, psychological interventions may help address the binary construct of thinking that can make violent extremist ideologies sound appealing at the individual level. This policy brief explore the concept of integrative complexity - an empirical, peer-reviewed, and cross-culturally validated measure of the complexity of thinking - and the ways it can be applied in contexts of violent extremism and other instances of intergroup conflict.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Inequality, Psychology, Social Justice, Trauma
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Kenya, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Sweden, Scotland, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Padmashree Gehl Sampath, Walter Park
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: Market concentration in technology intensive industries has been a subject of interest to both scholars and policy analysts. This paper provides a first empirical assessment on how the patenting system contributes to market concentration and the generation of economic rents in three key sectors – pharmaceuticals, chemicals and ICTs. Using data for US multinationals and their foreign affiliates on the one hand, and locally registered private and public companies in Brazil, India and China, we conclude that the concentration of patent ownership is found significantly to relate to market concentration in the USA. In developing countries such as Brazil, India, and China, a strengthening of patent rights has contributed to greater returns for affiliates of U.S. companies but has not stimulated their R&D intensity. The affiliates of U.S. multinationals have enjoyed greater profitability relative to their local competitors in Brazil, India, and China. The paper draws implications for the setting of intellectual property policy and offers suggestions on the role of competition policy in curbing market concentration and related effects on inequality and access.
  • Topic: Markets, Inequality, Patents
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nahla Valji, Pablo Castillo
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: This article highlights the continued stark absence of women from key policy spaces and sites of power and restates the case for the importance of gender parity as a fundamental building block of both gender equality and the overall effectiveness of institutions and outcomes. It does so through a focus on the area of international peace and security and the UN’s efforts, highlighting the way in which women’s inclusion is critical for efforts to secure sustainable peace. At a time when both the movement for gender equality and its backlash are ascendant political forces, and the proliferation of armed conflict is testing the credibility of multilateralism, it is significant that the UN is demanding transformation, starting with its own work force; and essential that this focus also include an emphatic insistence on the question of ‘where are the women’ in all areas of peace and security, serving as a model for other international and national actors.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Inequality, International Community
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Meagan Torello, Nahla Valji, Pablo Castillo, Tanya Ansahta Garnett, Kari Øygard, Lina Abirafeh, Catherine Tinker, Renata Koch Alvarenga, Rachel Clement, Lyric Thompson
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: In the second issue of our 20th volume, the critical diplomatic roles from grassroots advocacy to international negotiations are explored. Nahla Valji and Pablo Castillo open this issue, arguing for the importance, and ultimate necessity, of gender parity for the success of the United Nations’ peace and security efforts. This article discusses the great need for gender parity both within the UN system as well as within its advocacy on the ground. Following, Tanya Ansahta Garnett and Kari Øygard offer a case study on women’s roles in peacebuilding and civic engagement in post-conflict Liberia. They discuss whether or not women’s participation and representation is an effective strategy towards meaningful long-term change. Lina Abirafeh then examines the widespread issue of genderbased violence in the Arab region by outlining several case studies. Abirafeh then considers how it continues to withhold women’s political and legal progress in the region. Changing gears, Catherine Tinker and Renata Koch Alvarenga then survey the successes and continued drawbacks to gender equality in climate finance, offering a call to action for quicker implementation of a genderresponsive approach to mitigating the effects of climate change. Rachel Clement and Lyric Thompson conclude this issue by discussing the theory behind a feminist foreign policy and what it will take to move beyond the definition to a comprehensively feminist approach to foreign policy that is engrained in all sectors of diplomacy while also elevating traditionally unheard voices.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Inequality, Intimate Partner Violence
  • Political Geography: Arab Countries, Global Focus
  • Author: Lyric Thompson, Rachel Clement
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: In 2014, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström took the worldby storm when she launched the world’s first explicitly feminist foreign policy. The new policy would be a way of doing things differently in Sweden’s international affairs, organizing its approach to diplomacy, development, and defense under a 3 Rs framework of women’s rights, resources, and representation, the latter of which this journal issue seeks to explore.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Women, Inequality, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations, Sweden, Global Focus
  • Author: Catherine Tinker, Renata Koch Alvarenga
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: The article concludes that all proposals for funding climate action through entities created under the UNFCCC should be screened according to the gender policies and plans of the climate funds, including the GEF and the GCF, and the results should be available publicly to provide transparency and build trust and accountability. Broader inclusion of women in decision-making and the requirement of evidence of a gender perspective prior to approving financing for climate change projects will contribute to the normative element of sustainable development and its implementation. The intersection of gender justice and climate justice in reducing the dangerous effects of climate change means allocating adequate financial resources to women leaders and projects generated and administered by women at international, regional, national and local levels, for large and small projects and programs alike.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Gender Issues, Treaties and Agreements, Women, Inequality, Climate Finance, Justice
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tanya Ansahta Garnett, Kari Øygard
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: Liberia presents a unique case study in the constant evolution of gender roles in post-conflict African States. Seizing upon the social transformation of the post-conflict environment, Liberian women built upon their peacebuilding roles in an attempt to leverage their newly expanded presence in the public sphere into broader professional and political representation. Though women’s renewed civic engagement and the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf seemed to solidify women’s gains, Liberia remains a largely patriarchal society where women continue to be defined through an essentialist perspective – as wives, mothers, and peacemakers. Instead of fighting against this perception and the patriarchal status quo, women have largely played into this, understanding that it is an entry point by which they can justify their space in the decision-making process. Playing into this essentialism has been fruitful for several women’s peacebuilding organizations in the reconstruction era and has afforded them access to financing from international organizations eager to support their own simplified notions of gender mainstreaming. However, the inability of this approach to meaningfully shift the status quo is apparent when analyzing the struggles that professional women continue to face even as they attain an education and attempt to enter political life. This paper argues that while the essentialist approach to increasing women’s representation may appear to be an effective strategy initially, it continues to limit meaningful change in gender equality in the long-run. This paper concludes by making recommendations for policymakers and international organizations interested in furthering women’s political representation and participation in more meaningful and sustainable ways.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Marwa Daoudy
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past few decades, a new narrative has emerged that seeks to link climate change with political and social unrest. This idea of a climate-conflict nexus is similar to the “water wars” scenario of the 1990s, in which the media and some scholars predicted that water scarcity would be the major driver of inter-state conflict in the twenty-first century. More recently, this climateconflict narrative has been applied to the Syrian case. According to this logic, climate change caused the 2006-2010 drought in Syria, the drought caused agricultural failure, agricultural failure caused poverty, and the resulting displacement and discontent culminated with the 2011 uprising. My forthcoming book, The Origins of the Syrian Conflict: Climate Change and Human Security (Cambridge University Press, spring 2020) questions this line of reasoning, arguing that government policies were at the heart of Syria’s vulnerabilities in the buildup to the uprising. Although global warming is real and international action is urgently needed, climate change was not what was at the forefront of the minds of Syrians in 2011. Instead, most people were focused on a moral ideal: the end of repression and injustice.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Environment, Water, Food Security, Inequality, Syrian War, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto
  • Abstract: The Reach Project is a research initiative based in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. They examine the successful delivery of social services to those who are hardest to reach. This case study examines how the Ministry of Social Development in Palestine designed, implemented, and continues to refine the Palestinian National Cash Transfer Program (PNCTP) to specifically reach those who are hard to reach.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Poverty, Inequality, Social Services
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Sasiwimon W. Paweenawat
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Using a two-stage estimation of matched worker-industry data from 2000 to 2011, this study investigates the impact of global value chain (GVC) integration on wages and the skill premium in 32 industries in Thailand, a country with recent heavy involvement in GVCs. This study employs foreign value added in both final and intermediate goods exports as a proxy for the degree of industry integration in GVCs and applies a panel fixed effects estimation on constructed panel data to investigate its relationship with wages. The main finding indicates that a higher level of industry integration with GVCs leads to higher wages and a higher skill premium, confirming the positive effect of GVC involvement on wages and the complementary effect of high demand for skilled workers in GVC-oriented industries in Thailand. Workers in industries with positions close to the end of the value chain (downstream position) will earn a higher wage than those working in the upstream position. These results have significant policy implications. The Thai government should not only attempt to increase industry involvement in GVCs overall, but also aim to lift industries to higher positions in the GVC to gain the most benefits for Thai workers and the country overall.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Inequality, Wage Subsidies, Global Value Chains
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand
  • Author: Cassey Lee
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The economic development of Malaysia has been strongly driven and shaped by globalisation, from the pre-colonial to the post-independence period. The country has harnessed trade, foreign capital, and foreign labour to grow and has transformed its economy from one that was highly dependent on primary commodities (tin and rubber) into one driven by manufactured exports. The impact of globalisation on the Malaysian economy has changed through the various phases of its development experience. The early phases of the country’s engagement with globalisation reduced poverty and inequality. In later stages, excessive dependence on low-skilled foreign labour, although beneficial initially, may have compromised the competitiveness of the economy. Malaysia’s multi-ethnic society has also posed considerable challenges in the balancing of domestic needs and benefits with greater engagement with globalisation. The openness of the Malaysian economy has also made it vulnerable to global economic shocks.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Inequality, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Malaysia, Asia
  • Author: Dia Anagnostou, Natalia-Rozalia Avlona
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: This policy paper provides an overview of the state of things in the European Union (EU) in the area of gender equality in science, research and higher education, and reviews the EU’s efforts over the last twenty years to develop a comprehensive policy of gender mainstreaming in this area. Even though equality between women and men is a core value that is enshrined in the European Treaties and a large body of related legislation exists, there are persistent gender disparities in academia and scientific research. This paper examines how the EU’s normative and policy guidelines are designed and have evolved over time to tackle such persisting disparities, particularly as these are manifested in the obstacles that prevent women from advancing in the high ranks of the scientific and academic profession. These disparities are noticeably evidenced in the case of Greece, where despite a permissive constitutional frame and existing legislation, the political will, initiative and resources to promote gender equality in research and academic have been thoroughly lacking. By reviewing the Greek legal framework regarding gender equality and relevant policy documents on research and higher education, this paper identifies the implementation gaps and suggests possible tools to address the gender imbalances in Greek research and university structures.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Science and Technology, European Union, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Colin Robertson
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: On Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th of August, the leaders of the major western democracies will meet in their 45th summit. They will discuss global geopolitical and socioeconomic issues in Biarritz, a seaside resort in Basque country on the Atlantic coast, made famous in the 19th century as the summer playground of Europe’s elite. As the host, French President Emmanuel Macron is focusing on inequality: be it income, gender, education, healthcare or access to drinking water. But can M. Macron bring his fellow leaders into consensus given their diverging perspectives on diverse issues including gender, work, climate, energy, protectionism, populism and extremism? What will be the chemistry between the disparate leaders, including the new member of the group, Boris Johnson? And how will these heads of state manage Donald Trump? Will there be a communiqué? As Justin Trudeau will ruefully recall, the US president upended last year’s Charlevoix summit revoking the US agreement to the communiqué while en route to meet Kim Jong-Un in Singapore. There will be various measures of success in Biarritz, but it will be important for leaders to say something and do something on Hong Kong. Keeping the spotlight on this international city will be important to restrain China from rash action. As the principal guardians of international covenants, the G7 leaders have an obligation to Hong Kong. It will also be important for the leaders to make some sort of statement on trade measures. If we are moving into an economic decoupling with China, then it will be vital that the G7 hangs together. A recession will only incite more populism and aggravate the inequalities that are the focus at Biarritz.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Inequality, Multilateralism, Trade, G7
  • Political Geography: Canada, France
  • Author: Rizwan Mustafa, Zoya Jamil Chaudhry
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: This paper examines the post-colonial nation‟s history (India) from perspectives of marginalized minorities in Arundhati Roy‟s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. The aim of this research is to explore the marginalization of “the Others” and traces the otherized segments of contemporary Indian society that are marginalized on the basis of being a hijra, a Dalit, a woman, a Muslim and an Untouchable. This paper analyzes „binarism‟ and the conflict between the center and periphery: between Hindus and Muslims, between male, female and intersex, between Touchables and Untouchables, as well as between the graveyard and the surrounding wider city. Anjum, an intersex, Revathy, a Maoist comrade, Dayachand, an Untouchable, Tilotamma, a wandering Syrian origin half-Dalit woman, Musa Yeswi, a forced Kashmiri freedom fighter– narrate the untold and unheard tales about failure of a secular democratic country. This paper tours the fault lines of India and highlights the struggle of socially excluded people of society, against the established standards of the culture hence challenging contemporary stereotypical representation of “the Others” and eventually resistance. Roy explicitly advocates religious, racial and territorial degenerative system and reflects the challenges of telling national narrative from a multiple minoritarian perspective. The novel has multi-layered and multi-dimensional plot-structure and investigate the causes behind Roy‟s attempt to give voice to the voiceless (Indians). This research is carried out applying Edward Said‟s theoretical framework of “The Self” and “The Other”, “Us” and “Them”, and “Binary Opposition”.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Minorities, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Kashmir, Punjab
  • Author: Marta Pilati
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: The industrial transformation towards a more sustainable, technological and knowledge-intensive economy can bring prosperity to the EU, but also bears the risk of increasing disparities among the EU territories. On the one hand, some regions are more fit to benefit from these changes. On the other, economic activity, especially one that is knowledge- and innovation-intensive, tends to spatially cluster in areas that are already more advanced. Productivity, innovation, skills and thriving firms will increasingly concentrate in a few wealthy areas, while the less prosperous are excluded from the gains. The current debate on an EU industrial policy overlooks this issue of inequality and instead focuses on competitiveness vis-à-vis global competitors, key technologies and achieving sustainability commitments. While this is important, the focus on the technological frontier, international trade and knowledge-intensive production could create unintended negative consequences due to the lack of an explicit goal for even development and inclusive industrial transition. In this Policy Brief, Policy Analyst Marta Pilati argues that the EU industrial strategy should be centred on the issue of inequality. This can be achieved by challenging misconceived assumptions, critically evaluating past and future policies, and designing measures that target all EU regions and successfully bring them along the transformation.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, European Union, Inequality, Trade, Industry
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Francesco Burchi, Daniele Malerba, Nicole Rippin, Claudio E. Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The 2030 Agenda has provided new impetus to two facets of the struggle for poverty alleviation, which is a central goal of the international development community. First, poverty is no longer viewed strictly in monetary terms, but rather as a multidimensional phenomenon. Second, the need to reduce poverty for different social groups and not just at the aggregate, national level is explicitly recognised. Against this background, this paper has three objectives: (1) to analyse the trends in multidimensional poverty in low- and middle-income countries, (2) to explore rural-urban differences in poverty over time, and (3) to assess the validity of the claim that there has been a feminisation of poverty. The analysis relies on a new indicator of multidimensional poverty, the Global Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index (G-CSPI), that incorporates three key components: education, employment and health. The G-CSPI has several methodological advantages over existing measures, including that it is an individual rather than a household-level measure of poverty, which is crucial for gender-disaggregated analysis. Regarding aggregate trends, this paper shows that both income poverty and multidimensional poverty fell between 2000 and 2012. However, the decline in (extreme) income poverty in percentage terms was twice as large as the decline in multidimensional poverty. There is significant heterogeneity in the results across regions. Multidimensional poverty declined the most in Asia, converging towards the relatively low levels of Latin America and Europe, while sub-Saharan Africa’s slow progress further distanced it from other regions. These findings point to the existence of poverty traps and indicate that more efforts are needed to eradicate poverty. Regarding the urban-rural comparison, our analysis shows that poverty is predominantly a rural phenomenon: the rural G-CSPI was more than four times the urban G-CSPI. This difference remained nearly constant over time. As for the third objective, we find no gender bias in 2000 at the global level. This contrasts with the claim made in 1995 in Beijing that 70 per cent of the poor were women. However, we find that multidimensional poverty declined more among men (-18.5 per cent from 2000) than women (-15 per cent), indicating a process of feminisation of poverty. This was triggered by the decline in employment poverty, which was much slower among women. As most existing studies conclude that there was no evidence of the feminisation of poverty, this finding is new to the literature.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Poverty, Inequality, Urban, Rural
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Mariya Aleksandrova
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: This discussion paper aims to further awareness of opportunities to address loss and damage caused by climate change-related slow onset events (SOEs) through social protection. The analysis is based on a review of interdisciplinary theoretical and empirical literature. The findings suggest that designing comprehensive, climate-responsive social protection strategies can strongly support proactive measures to avoid, minimise and address the complex, long-term impacts of SOEs on human health, livelihoods, poverty and inequality. This entails improving the effectiveness and extending the coverage of existing social protection systems; mainstreaming climate concerns, including risks associated with SOEs, into national social protection frameworks; integrating social protection with broader climate and development policies and strategies; and developing innovative and transformational approaches to social protection. To this end, several issues for research and policy are discussed. Overall, the paper attempts to set the groundwork for an advanced research and policy agenda on social protection and climate change as well as emphasise the need for wider consideration of social protection in global climate change debates. In addition, the study aims to inform the future work of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts in the working areas of SOEs and comprehensive risk management approaches.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Health, Poverty, Inequality, Social Services
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mario Negre, Jose Cuesta, Ana Revenga, Prescott J. Morley
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Conventional economic wisdom has long maintained that there is a necessary trade-off between pursuit of the efficiency of a system and any attempts to improve equity between participants within that system. Economist Robert Lucas demonstrated the implications of this common economic axiom when he wrote: “Of the tendencies that are harmful to sound economics, the most seductive, and in my opinion the most poisonous, is to focus on questions of distribution [...] the potential for improving the lives of poor people by finding different ways of distributing current production is nothing compared to the apparently limitless potential of increasing production.” (Lucas, 2004) Indeed, many economists have suggested that too little inequality or too generous a distribution of benefits may undermine the individual’s incentive to work hard and take risks. Setting aside the harsh rhetoric used by Lucas, the practical and ethical acceptability of such a trade-off is debatable. Moreover, evidence from recent decades suggests that the trade-off itself is, in many cases, entirely avoidable. A large body of research has shown that improved competition and economic efficiency are indeed compatible with government efforts to address inequality and reduce poverty, as assessed in a World Bank report (World Bank, 2016). Contrary to another common belief about economic interventions, this research indicates that such policy interventions can be tailored to succeed in all countries and at all times; even low- and middle-income countries in times of economic crisis can successfully pursue policies to improve economic distribution, with negligible negative impacts on efficiency and, in many cases, even positive ones. Some examples of such pro-equity and pro-efficiency measures include those promoting early childhood development, universal health care, quality education, conditional cash transfers, rural infra-structure investment, and well-designed tax policy. Overall, four critical policy points stand out: 1. A trade-off is not inevitable. Policymakers do not need to give up on reducing inequality for the sake of growth. A good choice of policies can achieve both. 2. In the last two decades, research has generated substantive evidence about which policies work to foster growth and reduce inequalities. 3. Policies can redress the inequalities children are born into while fostering growth. But the wrong sets of policies can magnify inequalities early in life and thereafter. 4. All countries can, under most circumstances, implement policies that are both pro-equity and pro-efficiency.
  • Topic: Governance, Inequality, Economic growth, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Roy van der Weide, Ambar Narayan, Mario Negre
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: A country where an individual’s chances of success depend little on the socio-economic success of his or her parents is said to be a country with high relative intergenerational mobility. A government’s motivation for seeking to improve mobility is arguably two-fold. There is a fairness argument and an economic efficiency argument. When mobility is low, it means that individuals are not operating on a level playing field. The odds of someone born to parents from the bottom of their generation will be stacked against him or her. This is not only unfair but also leads to a waste of human capital, as talented individuals may not be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Reducing this inefficiency will raise the stock of human capital and thereby stimulate economic growth. Since the waste of human capital tends to be concentrated toward the bottom of the distribution, the growth brought about by mobility-promoting policy interventions tends to be of an inclusive nature, in line with the spirit of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 on reducing inequality. For large parts of the world’s population, individual education is still too closely tied to the education of one’s parents, and there is a clear divide between the high-income and developing world. The patterns observed globally are also observed within Europe. Intergenerational mobility (or equality of opportunity) is visibly lower in the new member states (i.e. Eastern Europe), where national incomes are lower. Raising investment in the human capital of poor children towards levels that are more comparable to the investment received by children from richer families will curb the importance of parental background in determining an individual’s human capital. Countries at any stage of development can raise intergenerational mobility by investing more to equalise opportunities. The evidence strongly suggests that public interventions are more likely to increase mobility when: a) public investments are sufficiently large, b) are targeted to benefit disadvantaged families/ neighbourhoods, c) focus on early childhood, and d) when there is a low degree of political power captured by the rich.
  • Topic: Education, Children, Inequality, Family, Economic Mobility
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Bertil Emrah Oder
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The recently announced Judicial Reform Strategy was subject to public debate with a series of promises ranging from issuing green passports to lawyers as a privileged of visa exemptions to the introduction of an appeal process in criminal cases concerning the freedom of expression.1 The fundamental shortcoming of this new strategy and other reform efforts is the lack of a specific agenda on the representation of women professionals in the judiciary, especially in the leading positions including the apex courts. Policies on women’s representation in the judiciary remained “invisible” in recent reform efforts on judicial policies.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Law, Women, Inequality, Courts, Criminal Justice, Representation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Zeynep Gülru Göker
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: A recent study published by TESEV shows that science and research is one of the areas with the lowest female participation in high level decision making.1 Among all 201 universities in Turkey, only 9% of the rectors, 10% of the vice rectors and 21% of the deans are women; and again, in Turkey, countrywide, 31% of the professors are women and 69% are men.2 This numerical inequality, as well as being a sign for a lot of other problems, is just the visible or easier-to-see tip of the iceberg. To talk about the obstacles women face in academia and the gender inequality in a wider sense, one must examine all written and non-written rules, practices and norms in every area of academic life, and establishing equality requires transformation in structural, institutional and individual levels. In this report, I will be talking about some of the obstacles women face climbing the career steps in academia and participating in high level decision making and the steps that have been taken and can be taken to ensure gender equality in academic life.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Itır Akdoğan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In this report, we enquire into the issue of gender equality by investigating different sectors at once to offer recommendations for improvement. In this project, which is supported by the Swedish Consulate General in İstanbul, we first examine, in light of data gathered and disseminated by European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the percentage of women high-level decision makers in Turkey’s politics, public administration, local government, civil society organizations, social partners, business, media, judiciary and education/science/research. We compare these rates in their historical transformation and with the rates of European Union countries, thus inspecting them in their wider quantitative context. Next, we conduct in-depth interviews with women (if not present, men) high-level decision makers in these areas to carry out a qualitative assessment of women’s participation in Turkey.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, Politics, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Yume Tamiya
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: In 2018/2019 the CGPE launched an annual Gender & Global Political Economy Undergraduate Essay Prize competition, open to all undergraduate students within the School of Global Studies. The winner of the 2018/2019 competition is Isabella Garcia for the essay “How do global supply chains exacerbate gender-based violence against women in the Global South?” Isabella graduated with a BA in International Relations and Development in July and will join the MA cohort in our Global Political Economy programme for 2019/2020. Given the very strong field of submissions, the award committee further decided to award a second-place prize to Yume Tamiya for the essay “Does the rise of the middle class disguise existing inequalities in Brazil?”. Yume graduated with a BA in International Development with International Education and Development. We are delighted to publish both of these excellent essays in the CGPE Working Paper series.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Inequality, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Shannon Monnat
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: Over the past two decades deaths from opioids and other drugs have grown to be a major U.S. population health problem, but the magnitude of the crisis varies across the U.S., and explanations for widespread geographic variation in the severity of the drug crisis are limited. An emerging debate is whether geographic differences in drug mortality rates are driven mostly by opioid supply factors or socioeconomic distress. To explore this topic, I examined relationships between county-level non-Hispanic white drug mortality rates for 2000-02 and 2014-16 and several socioeconomic and opioid supply measures across the urban-rural continuum and within different rural labor markets. Net of county demographic composition, average non-Hispanic white drug mortality rates are highest and increased the most in large metro counties. In 2014-16, the most rural counties had an average of 6.2 fewer deaths per 100,000 population than large metro counties. Economic distress, family distress, persistent population loss, and opioid supply factors (exposure to prescription opioids and fentanyl) are all associated with significantly higher drug mortality rates. However, the magnitude of associations varies across the urban-rural continuum and across different types of rural labor markets. In rural counties, economic distress appears to be a stronger predictor than opioid supply measures of drug mortality rates, but in urban counties, opioid supply factors are more strongly associated with drug mortality rates than is economic distress. Ultimately, the highest drug mortality rates are disproportionately concentrated in economically distressed mining and service sector dependent counties with high exposure to prescription opioids and fentanyl.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Inequality, Macroeconomics, Drugs
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Servaas Storm
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: Strong labor protections for ordinary workers are often portrayed as a ‘luxury developing countries cannot afford’. No study has been more influential in propagating this perversity trope in the context of the Indian economy than the QJE article of Besley and Burgess (2004). Their article provides econometric evidence that pro-worker regulation resulted in lower output, employment, investment and productivity in India’s registered manufacturing sector. This paper reviews existing critiques of Besley and Burgess (2004), which highlight conceptual and measurement errors and uncover econometric weaknesses. The paper takes a step beyond these: it reports a failure to replicate Besley and Burgess’ findings and demonstrate the nonrobustness of their results. My deconstruction is not only about the econometrics, however. I show that Besley and Burgess’ findings are not just inconsistent with their theoretical priors, but also internally contradictory and empirically implausible, taxing any person’s capacity for belief. The paper, written by two ‘useful economists’, exhibits a gratuitous empiricism in which priors trump evidence. On all counts, it fails the test of being useful to the purpose of ‘evidence-based’ public policy advice.mp Evidence and Progress Gets Stalled
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Labor Issues, Inequality, Labor Policies
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Suresh Naidu, Dani Rodrik, Gabriel Zucman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Economics for Inclusive Prosperity (EfIP)
  • Abstract: We live in an age of astonishing inequality. Income and wealth disparities between the rich and the poor in the United States have risen to heights not seen since the gilded age in the early part of the 20th century, and are among the highest in the developed world. Median wages for American workers remain at 1970s levels. Fewer and fewer among newer generations can expect to do better than their parents. Organizational and technological changes and globalization have fueled great wealth accumulation among those able to take advantage of them, but have left large segments of the population behind. U.S. life expectancy has declined for the third year in a row in 2017, and the allocation of healthcare looks both inefficient and unfair. Advances in automation and digitization threaten even greater labor market disruptions in the years ahead. Climate change fueled disasters increasingly disrupt everyday life. Greater prosperity and inclusion both seem attainable, yet the joint target recedes ever further.
  • Topic: Economics, Capitalism, Inequality, Economic Policy, Economic Theory
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Lillian Mookodi
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis
  • Abstract: This paper applies the Lerman and Yitzhaki (1985) inequality decomposition approach on food and non-food expenditures on the 2009/10 Botswana Core Welfare Indicator Survey; and the 2015/16 Multi Topic Indicator Survey datasets with an objective to see how overall inequality translates into inequality within each expenditure component. To test for a robustness of our results, we apply a simple bootstrap procedure to obtain the means, standard errors and confidence intervals for the component Gini coefficients estimates. The decomposition analysis results show that overall inequality based on the Gini coefficient of consumption expenditure within the groups has increased between the two periods from 0.498 to 0.533. These results suggest that this rise in overall expenditure inequality is due to the increased burden in the household budget of non-food spending, which tends to be more unequal than food spending. The consumption expenditure is very unequal on non-food items like recreation and hotels; health; education and transport. On one hand, lower Gini coefficients are observed for food; and clothing and footwear; these commodities are considered as necessities among others. This paper finally offers some possible policy measures to curb this consumption expenditure inequality.
  • Topic: Economics, Developing World, Inequality, Economic Inequality
  • Political Geography: Africa, Botswana
  • Author: Gilfred Asiamah, Awal Swallah, Kojo Asante, Samuel Baaye
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Ghana Center for Democratic Development
  • Abstract: The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) with funding support from the Department for International Development (DFID) under its Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC) program has initiated a project to track the implementation of the government's flagship Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Program (IPEP).
  • Topic: Government, Poverty, Inequality, State Actors, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Florencia Caro Sachetti, Gala Díaz Langou, Fernando Filgueira
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for the Implementation of Public Policies for Equity and Growth (CIPPEC)
  • Abstract: The demographic transition has been one of the greatest phenomena affecting development worldwide and its effects on gender equity are undeniable. Lower fertility and ageing populations create both challenges and opportunities for gender equity, while women still face obstacles towards labour, financial and digital inclusion. G20 countries are at very different stages of the process, yet most have birth rates below replacement levels and population is ageing. Adopting a comprehensive and intersectional approach to women’s economic empowerment that contemplates age – and gender – specific rights, priorities and needs is crucial to both fulfilling women’s rights and facing the challenges associated with demographic change.
  • Topic: Demographics, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Inequality, Finance, Digital Economy, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stefan Jestl
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of income inequality on consumption-related household indebtedness at the household level. Using the first wave of the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey data, the analysis sheds light on heterogeneous effects across euro area countries. The results suggest a positive impact of income inequality on consumption-related household indebtedness in a small sample of countries. We further employ a multilevel regression model to also take country’s macroeconomic characteristics into account, such as credit market and welfare state design. In this setting, we find an overall positive impact of income inequality on consumption-related household indebtedness.
  • Topic: Economics, Inequality, Economic Inequality, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Santosh Mehrotra
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Globally, research has shown that, there is a high correlation between the level of per capita income and the rate of female labour force participation. At the same time the agency and autonomy of women in a country improve with the level of female labour force participation. Sen (2000) has argued that the autonomy and agency of women in a society and their empowerment is enabled by four conditions in their lives. First the higher the education level of women, the more empowered they are likely to feel. Second, if they are working outside the home, they are likely to feel a sense of autonomy and empowerment. Third, they should also have an independent source of income from that of the significant other in their household. Finally, their empowerment can be usually enhanced if they own assets and have access to them. One can see from this analysis that the first three requirements for women’s’ empowerment are related to each other and to some extent co-dependent. We will keep these considerations in mind as we analyse labour markets and how women engaged with them in different parts of the world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Employment, Inequality
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Neil Webster
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Policy Brief presents the findings and recommendations from a new study of social mobilisation activities in Nepal. The study suggests that the new local government bodies can make a significant difference in bringing better and more inclusive public services and in enabling stronger local economic development. Increased government budgets, better human resources and not least new local elections have changed the conditions for the population. But locally elected representatives need to engage more with citizens and citizens need to engage more with local government. The study suggests that recent experiences with social mobilisation and local governance in Nepal offer important lessons for leaving no one behind in the new context. This policy brief presents the case made by the study, its core findings and the recommendations these give rise to.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Governance, Inequality
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Matthew D. Stephen
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: International institutions thrive when they are utilized, their rules are respected, and they are important in shaping international outcomes. They fail when they fall into disuse, their rules are violated, or they otherwise become peripheral to the events of world politics. In order to function effectively, international institutions require a minimum level of agreement amongst their most powerful members. In many institutions today, the level of agreement is shrinking. While geopolitical tensions are real, the biggest risk to international institutions comes from the unravelling of domestic and transnational social coalitions in favour of economic openness and ideals of internationalism. To rescue international institutions, it will be necessary to take action at the national level. This means using the policy tools available to national governments to create economic security, reduce inequality, and foster inclusive community identities. This may come at the expense of deeper international integration, but it will be better for international cooperation in the long run.
  • Topic: Security, Inequality, Institutionalism, Community, International Institutions
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Séverine Deneulin
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The concept of integral human development is central to the Catholic social tradition. Yet, it remains under-explored with regard to its integrating components and their implications. What does taking an integral human development perspective mean for social analysis and action? The paper seeks to answer this question on the basis of the four encyclicals in which the idea of integral human development is treated, and in combination with two other sources: 1) the literature on “human development” in the multidisciplinary social science field of international development studies and its conceptual foundations in Amartya Sen’s capability approach; and 2) the life of a faith community in a marginalized Latin American urban neighborhood. Based on a combination of these sources, the paper concludes by proposing an understanding of “integral human development” that it calls a spirituality-extended capability approach to the progress of peoples.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Education, Poverty, Religion, Inequality, Youth, Violence, Christianity, Catholic Church
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Sandra Polanía-Reyes
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This study tests an unintended benefit of a conditional cash transfer program in Colombia: the ability to overcome coordination failures. Participants interact with fellow beneficiaries, which gives rise to a coordination device. Beneficiaries participate in a minimum effort coordination game. Those enrolled in the program for over a year are exerting the highest level of effort. The improvement in coordination is not due to potential confounds such as willingness to cooperate or connectivity. A structural choice model illustrates that when beliefs about other’s behavior are sufficiently high the Pareto- dominant equilibrium holds. The findings support nascent initiatives to influence beliefs through policy interventions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Political Economy, Poverty, Communications, Governance, Inequality, Economic growth, Public Policy, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Pierre Kohler, Francis Cripps
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: This paper proposes to revisit the debate on trade and investment agreements (TIAs), development and inequality, looking at the role of Global Value Chains (GVCs) and trans- national corporations (TNCs). It first presents stylized facts about trade and investment (agreements), declining global economic growth and rising inequality under the latest round of globalization. It then provides a long-run perspective on the mixed blessings of external opening, summarizing some key contributions of the mainstream literature, which are converging with long-standing research findings of more heterodox economists, and the eroding consensus today. Based on this stock-taking, it takes a fresh critical look at the TIAs-GVCs-TNCs nexus and their impact. Using data on value-added in trade and new firm-level data from the consolidated financial statements of the top 2000 TNCs going back to 1995, it examines whether the fragmentation of production along GVCs led to positive structural change or rather stimulated unsustainable trends in extractive and FIRE sectors. It then turns to the role of TNC-driven GVCs as a vehicle for economic concentration. Finally, it presents evidence linking TIAs and their correlates to rising inequality. Key findings include the fact that the ratio of top 2000 TNCs profits over revenues increased by 58 percent between 1995 and 2015. Moreover, the rise in top 2000 TNCs profits accounts for 69 percent of the 2.5 percentage points decline in the global labour income share between 1995 and 2015, with the correlation coefficient between annual changes in both variables as high as 0.82. The paper concludes by calling for a less ideological policy debate on TIAs, which acknowledges the mixed blessings of external financial and trade opening, especially their negative distributional impact and destabilizing macro-financial feedback effects, which both call for policy intervention. As an alternative to short-sighted protectionism, it further discusses possible options for anticipating undesirable effects arising from TIAs (e.g. rising carbon emissions, economic instability, inequality, etc.) and addressing those in TIAs themselves.
  • Topic: Inequality, Investment, Trade, transnationalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Therese Adam, Meagan Torello
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: A conversation with former Swiss ambassador Therese Adam.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diplomacy, Gender Issues, Inequality, Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Switzerland, Global Focus
  • Author: Kenneth F. Greene, Mariano Sanchez-Talanquer
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: On 1 July 2018, leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) won a decisive victory in Mexico’s presidential election, while a coalition led by AMLO’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) claimed majorities in both houses of Congress. AMLO’s calls for change resonated with voters frustrated by chronic poverty and inequality, rising violence, and corruption, and his win has called into question the stability of Mexico’s party system. Yet AMLO, who strove to assemble a “big tent” coalition, is ultimately more a product of the system than a disruptive outsider. Moreover, clear programmatic differences among Mexico’s major parties persist, as do the institutional advantages they enjoy. It is thus most probable that MORENA’s ascent augurs a recomposition of the party system rather than a process of partisan dealignment.
  • Topic: Poverty, Elections, Democracy, Inequality, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Mary Boyce, Helen Lu, Carol Mason, Dennis A. Mitchell
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: A discussion on women and equality in academia with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in conjunction with the UN's global HeForShe movement for gender equality.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Science and Technology, United Nations, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: New York, United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Paula-Mae Weekes
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features an address by President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, titled “Glass Ceilings and Dirt Floors”, followed by a question and answer session with the audience
  • Topic: Development, Education, Gender Issues, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: New York, Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America
  • Author: Berfu Şeker
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: We are at a time when the global politics of women’s rights, gender and feminism are intersecting at the regional and national level, forming around similar dynamics and practices. Against the gains made by women and LGBTI+ groups towards changing gender politics until the 2000s, we are seeing that new populist trends have been gaining power since 2000s.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Populism, Feminism, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Bürge Elvan Erginli
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This policy brief is published in the framework of “Inclusive Local Governance for Sustainable City” project under the umbrella project “Supporting Sustainable Cities” of TESEV funded by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty. Actors of various sizes all participate in local programmes, plans and actions on the path towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals. International and regional cooperation are necessary for attaining these goals, for which central government may prove more crucial in its effects, while the inclusion of local actors is imperative for following both a more efficient path and achieving democratic participation. It is thus timely to highlight the importance of local participation in identifying and implementing the 11th Sustainable Development Goal, Sustainable City and Human Settlements. This goal, in which the issues of the right to the city under inclusion(1) the creation of accessible and safe urban spaces for all, and the active and direct participation of civil society come to the forefront, necessitates the active participation of metropolitan municipalities of local governments, as well as district municipalities which are in most contact on many issues with the city’s residents.
  • Topic: Education, Governance, Children, Inequality, Urban
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Bettina Schorr
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program on Sustainable Development and Social Inequalities in the Andean Region (trAndeS)
  • Abstract: Since the publication of the Brundtland Report in 1987, social inequality has been a topic of concern for the international development community. In the last decade, given the rise of global inequality the subject gained even more prominence as several international organizations (UNDP, World Bank, OECD) began emphasizing the negative impact of social inequality on human well-being. The Agenda 2030, the current development strategy adopted by the United Nations in 2015, elevated “reducing inequality” to one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Goal No. 10). This paper connects with this growing concern over the impact of social inequalities on the opportunities for sustainable development. It proposes a research agenda for the social sciences to contribute to the debate by identifying the causal mechanisms that constitute the nexus between social inequalities and sustainable development. The focus on these intermediary steps is important in order to understand in more detail the barriers that social inequalities pose for more sustainable social, economic and ecological arrangements. This is especially necessary when it comes to designing or implementing strategies (political or technological) that aim to promote sustainable development, above all in highly unequal societies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainability, Ecology
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Martyna Berenika Linartas
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program on Sustainable Development and Social Inequalities in the Andean Region (trAndeS)
  • Abstract: Not only has been economic inequality on the rise, but also the research agenda on inequality has moved decisively from the fringes to the center of policy and academic interest. This new concern and concentration in respect to this topic, data records, and methodological approaches have given rise to a vast amount of literature. It is for this reason that I review the most important recent works engaging with the origins of economic inequality – a debate which remains highly controversial. The usual categorization to explain the different storytelling – “to be or not to be neoliberal” – seems inappropriate. In this review on “the rockstars of the realm” (Thomas Piketty, Anthony Atkinson, Branko Milanovic and Walter Scheidel), I argue that the question and reason behind different approaches is instead: politics or the economy, which is the master that defines the space for action? The gradually established allegory of “the mirrored hourglass of inequality” illustrates the salience of this cleavage.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Political Economy, Capitalism, Inequality, Neoliberalism, Economic Inequality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ineildes Calheiro, Eduardo David Oliveira
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Institution: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Abstract: The present essay has cognitive analysis as theoretical and methodological perspective and its focus is on thoughts and theories of African authors, particularly in Nigeria, of gender conceptions in Africa. In the first part, Ifi Amadiume and Oyeronké Oyěwúmí epistemologies point to an egalitarian Africa regarding gender relations before colonization. In the second part, Chimamanda Adichie and Paul Zeleza (from Zimbabwe) talk about an unequal Africa regarding gender relations, particularly binary. They put into evidence the decentralization of the hegemonic epistemology from Europe and North America as important to comprehend the debate about gender in Africa. The study comes from the author intention to explore African epistemologies in the context of gender and feminism, and from the incursion (in 2017) in the course of “Gender and África”, and this research was developed after the incursion of the author in the doctorate study (in 2016), in fields of “Contemporary Philosophy and African Philosophy”, which encouraged the author to study different kinds of epistemologies. In addition, the essay aims to diffuse those knowledges.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Inequality, Feminism, Racism
  • Political Geography: Africa