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  • Author: Tom Nicholas
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Abstract: Recent sociological analysis of the extent to which modern British society has become more meritocratic raises important conceptual issues for the recurrent economic history debate concerning the social mobility of Britain's business leaders. The majority view in this debate is that high social status backgrounds have predominated in the profiles of businessmen throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. François Crouzet's The First Industrialists reveals that Britain's industrial pioneers were drawn largely from the middle-and upper-classes, and that the image of the self-made man as the mainstay of the Industrial Revolution is a myth. Stanworth and Giddens identify a prevalence of 'elite self-recruitment' among deceased company chairmen active in large corporations and banks between 1900 and 1970. Scott's work on the upper classes distinguishes a 'core' business stratum characterised by kinship and privilege. Bringing together a range of research on the social origins of businessmen in the twentieth century, Jeremy asserts that 'it was rare for sons of the semi-skilled and unskilled to rise to national leadership in Britain'. The typical twentieth century business leader is upper-or upper middle-class by social origin, rising through the public schools and Oxbridge into the higher echelons of the business community.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom
  • Author: Philip Epstein
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Abstract: Economic convergence has emerged as one of the key debates in the theoretical and historical literature over the last decade. Galor identified three forms of long run per capita income convergence: absolute convergence, whereby convergence occurs independently of the initial conditions facing each economy; conditional convergence, whereby convergence occurs among economies which have identical structural characteristics, independently of their initial conditions; and club convergence, whereby convergence occurs only if the structural characteristics are identical and initial conditions are also similar. Of these, the absolute convergence hypothesis has been discredited whereas there is empirical support for both the conditional convergence and club convergence hypotheses. The club convergence hypothesis, in particular, has much to offer to economic historians. It stresses the importance of both the initial conditions facing each economy and the structural and institutional features of the economy (e.g. preferences, technologies, rates of population growth, government policies, etc.).
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Christodoulakim Olga
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Abstract: Although industrial production and growth in Greece during the interwar period has attracted considerable attention, there has not been any serious challenge either in qualitative or quantitative terms to the orthodoxy established in the period itself. The literature usually sees the 1920s as a landmark in the industrialisation of the country and a time when Greek manufacturing achieved an "unprecedented prominence". The momentum given to industrial expansion in the 1920s was encouraged by institutional changes brought about by government policy aimed at reducing social tensions stemming from unemployed refugees gathered in urban areas, by the depreciation of the drachma and heavy tariffs. The swift demographic changes that happened in the country following the Asia Minor debacle, however, have played a pivotal role in the literature in explaining industrial growth in the 1920s. According to conventional belief, the arrival of the refugees created the preconditions for an industrial expansion in the 1920s. The sudden increase in the population of the country has been linked to industrial growth in three ways: firstly, the abundance of cheap labour gathered in urban centres exerted downward pressures on wages; secondly, the refugees it is argued, brought with them entrepreneurial skills, their skilled labour, in short contributing to an improvement of the human capital in Greece, and took initiatives that promoted industrial development; finally, the sudden expansion of the domestic market because of the increase in the population boosted demand which consequently stimulated industrial production. The carpet industry, an industry that emerge in the 1920s and was mainly run by refugees, is usually mentioned as a representative example of the impact that refugees had in promoting new industries and entrepreneurial skills in the country.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Greece, Asia
  • Author: Jérùme Destombes
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Abstract: This research takes Iliffe's suggestion seriously. For the student of Sub- Saharan Africa who has decided to explore a plausible route of causation between nutrition and poverty, the most urgent task is to disregard the initial discouragement triggered by the scarcity of references. The lack of relevant data is commonly pointed out and the contrast with the powerful insights made throughout the last decade by development economists is striking: poverty issues have been comprehensively investigated with behavioural models that strive to capture household strategies to cope with nutritional inadequacy and scarcity of resources. Although these strategies potentially have immense effects on welfare, development and the effectiveness of public policies, there have been few attempts to examine nutrition in less-developed countries through an economic history lens.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Ghana
  • Author: Susanne Jonas
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: This paper presents a political history and interpretation of the Guatemalan peace process, its turning points, and its crises. Beyond the significance of the process for Guatemala itself, the story of the peace negotiations holds fascinating and surprising lessons for a conflict-ridden world. Highlighted are the dynamics of the negotiation in its different stages, the role of the UN as a central player, its interactions with the key Guatemalan players, and some suggested hypotheses about the effects of the UN involvement.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Carol Wise
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: This paper tackles the question of trade strategy and differential economic performance in Latin America, with a focus on the four countries -- Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico -- most important for the successful completion of a full Western Hemispheric integration scheme. The analysis distinguishes between a “standard” market strategy that assigns the task of economic adjustment to market forces and a “competitive” strategy that more actively employs a range of public policies to facilitate adjustment and correct for instances of market failure. The choices of strategy are explored against the backdrop of international pressures, government-business relations, and institutional reform within the state. Two main conclusions are drawn: first, the competitive strategy strongly correlates with more favorable macro-and microeconomic outcomes and, second, mediocre economic performance under a standard market strategy has undermined the spirit of collective action that will be necessary to forge ahead at the hemispheric level.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Dick Thornburgh
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Clarke Center at Dickinson College
  • Abstract: On the evening of March 28, 1979 America experienced the first, and worst, nuclear power plant accident in its history. The crisis began when a valve opened, unnoticed, allowing coolant water to escape from the plant's new Unit 2 reactor. Following a series of technical and human failures, temperatures within the unit rose to more than 5,000 degrees, causing the fueling core to begin melting. During the next tension-packed days, scientists scrambled to prevent a meltdown while public officials, including Governor Dick Thornburgh and President Jimmy Carter, attempted to calm public fears. In spite of these efforts, thousands of residents fled to emergency shelters or left the state, driven by rumors of an imminent CHINA SYNDROME. In the end, only one layer of the containment structure was compromised and the accident never reached the proportions of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. The accident nonetheless resulted in the release of some radiation, the quantity and effects of which are still debated.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Island
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: At the outset of this study, the Task Force observed that there was no such thing as “just” tactical communications. Rather, it saw requirements for conducting military operations in two major theaters of war as well as for conducting a wide variety of other missions. It also saw emerging requirements for a telecommunication infrastructure to support rapid force projection, early entry, reachback/split-base, and high mobility operations. Furthermore, Joint Vision 2010 (JV2010) assumed information superiority to be necessary for dominant maneuver, precision engagement, full dimensional protection and focused logistics. All these factors have led our Military Services to express a need for a fully integrated, strategic/tactical, voice/data/information telecommunications infrastructure rather than merely “tactical” communications. This infrastructure must bring post-camp-station information services to deployed forces and, conversely, bring information from our deployed forces to the continental United States (CONUS) or to other locations geographically distant from areas of operations.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: About 150 participants, including an international gathering of experts, examined whether and how technology may be leading to a paradigm shift in the nature and conduct of warfare, a shift that has been generally categorized as a "revolution in military affairs" (RMA).They concluded: The United States is the far—and—away leader in this drive. In fact, the United States is the only country intent on achieving a high technology RMA. No country is likely to match the United States in the broad—based technological sophistication of its military capabilitiesor even to try. US successes in developing RMA capabilities will drive potential adversaries toward asymmetric responses including weapons of mass destruction and information warfare. Some countries probably would be able to pose serious operational and strategic challenges to the United States by acquiring military technologies and capabilities that were in their eyes, "good enough." Also, countries can exploit "sidewise" technologies—old by US standards but still new to many other countries—to pose significant security threats and complicate US military operations. These technologies, if employed in a "novel" operational manner rather than high-end technologies, could drive development of the next RMA. Participants believe that—of the countries considered for discussion—China, Russia, India, and Australia have the greatest potential to achieve an RMA, should they decide to pursue the option.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, International Political Economy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Australia
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: The worldwide ballistic missile proliferation problem has continued to evolve during the past year. The proliferation of technology and components continues. The capabilities of the missiles in the countries seeking to acquire them are growing, a fact underscored by North Korea's launch of the Taepo Dong-1 in August 1998. The number of missiles in these countries is also increasing. Medium- and short-range ballistic missile systems, particularly if armed with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) warheads, already pose a significant, threat to US interests, military forces, and allies overseas. We have seen increased trade and cooperation among countries that have been recipients of missile technologies from others. Finally, some countries continue to work toward longer-range systems, including ICBMs.
  • Topic: International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea