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  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Mora Deitch
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In spring 2020, observers and practitioners warned that COVID-19 would increase violence in sub-Saharan Africa by creating an economic shock that would lead to distributional conflicts and government repression. Compared to before the pandemic, violence did increase in 2020, rising by 40 and 60 per cent in terms of fatalities and events, respectively. Controlling for important confounders, COVID-19 proves significant to the increase in violence in many models; however, a robust effect can be found only for “COVID-19 unrest,” which forms a fraction of the violence and stems from the stringency of government reactions rather than the pandemic itself. Pre-pandemic fragility accounts best for the region’s rise in violence. Expert assessments confirm these findings but also yield evidence warning against prematurely announcing an all-clear. The fallout of the pandemic on conflict is likely to have a longer period of incubation, and there are initial indications that conditions will worsen.
  • Topic: Violence, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Julia Grauvogel, Hana Attia
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Research on sanctions has hitherto focused on their implementation and effectiveness, whereas the termination of such measures has received only little attention. The traditional model, which looks at sanctions and their removal in terms of rational, interstate bargaining, focuses on how cost–benefit calculations affect the duration and termination of such measures. Yet, this research insufficiently captures the back and forth between easing sanctions, stagnation, and renewed intensification. It also fails to account for the multifaceted social relations between senders, targets, and third actors that shape these termination processes, as well as for the signalling dimension of ending sanctions – not least because existing datasets tend to operationalise sanctions as a single event. To help fill these gaps, the paper proposes a process-oriented and relational understanding that also recognises how sanctions termination conveys the message of ending the visible disapproval of the target, which may be heavily contested. Case studies on Zimbabwe and Iran illustrate how such an approach sheds light on the different logics of action that shape processes of sanctions termination, and thereby contributes to a more holistic understanding of sanctions in general.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iran, Middle East, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Selman Almohamad, Markus A. Kirchschlager, Sabine Kurtenbach
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Sustainable Development Goal 16 on “peace, justice, and strong institutions” is widely con- sidered a central pillar of sustainable development. Based on a comprehensive concept of peace that goes beyond the mere absence of war, it might also be the most difficult to realise. Debates in Peace and Conflict Studies have followed other Social Science debates in exiting the “national container,” namely by focusing on the interaction between global and subna- tional or local dynamics. However, the regional dimension is no longer acknowledged as an important intervening variable in peace and conflict dynamics. This article thus develops the concept of “regional peace formation,” arguing that the neighbourhood matters either as an enabling or hindering factor for peacebuilding. Based on empirical evidence from Latin America, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa, we show the usefulness of this concept in explaining regional differences.
  • Topic: Development, Sustainable Development Goals, Conflict, Peace, Regionalism, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Latin America, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Nils Lukacs
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Ten years ago, President Barack Obama’s unprecedented address to the Muslim world from Cairo was hailed as a landmark in US–Middle Eastern relations and described by contemporary observers as a historical break in US foreign policy in the region. Yet it soon became clear that the president’s vision for a “new beginning based on mutual interest and mutual respect” would face many practical constraints. Analysing the thematic and rhetorical development of Obama’s speeches during the formative period between summer 2008 and 2009, as well as the public and academic perception of and reaction to these moments, the paper examines the underlying interests and motivations for the president’s foreign policy approach in the Middle East. It argues that despite the low priority given to foreign policy issues during the economic crisis occurring at the time, the key pillars of Obama’s ambitious vision for the Middle East were rooted in pronounced US interests as well as the president’s personal convictions, rather than opportunistic calculations. It thus counters retrospective post-2011 criticism which argues that Obama’s words were never meant to be put into practice. The study contributes to the establishment of a solid empirical and conceptual base for further research on the United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East under the Obama administration.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Selman Almohamad
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the scholarship on security sector reform (SSR) tends to neglect regional politics in the formulation of its concepts and policies, and that this neglect deprives the study of SSR of a valuable analytical level. It therefore uses comparative historical analysis and the model of regional conflict formations (RCFs) to examine army reforms in Sierra Leone and Iraq from a regional angle, thereby illustrating the explanatory potential that regional politics could bring to the study of SSR and its implementation. The paper also distinguishes between convergent and divergent regional formations, whereby the relationship between SSR outcomes and regional politics is conceived of as constitutive, entangled, and holistic.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Military Affairs, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Kressen Thyen
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In the Middle East and North Africa, EU foreign policy has tended to prioritise regime stability over democratisation. Existing research has argued that this could create anti‐European sentiment in the respective populations. However, empirical evidence on the relationship between the EU’s stance towards regime change and citizen attitudes remains rare. Focusing on Morocco and Egypt, this study uses a mixed‐methods approach, combining qualitative case studies with original survey data to examine whether the EU’s divergent responses to the 2011 uprisings in these two countries are mirrored in regime opponents’ support for EU cooperation.
  • Topic: Social Movement, European Union, Democracy, Arab Spring, Protests
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Egypt, Morocco
  • Author: Tim Wegenast, Georg Strüver, Juliane Giesen
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Qualitative studies and media reports suggest that the presence of Chinese oil or mining companies generates resentments among local extractive communities due to low wages, poor working conditions, environmental degradation, the employment of foreign labour, and perceived racial discrimination. At the same time, Chinese investment in the extractive sector appears to enhance local infrastructure. So far, these claims have not been empirical‐ly tested in a systematic way. Relying on novel data on the control‐rights regimes of dia‐mond, gold, and copper mines and geo‐referenced information from Afrobarometer sur‐veys, this paper examines whether Chinese‐controlled mining promotes anti‐Chinese sen‐timents among the local populations of sub‐Saharan African countries. In addition, we test the effect of mining contractors’ nationality on socio‐economic indicators such as local employment rates and infrastructure levels. Our logistic regression analysis for the period 1997–2014 reveals that the effect of Chinese mining companies on African local develop‐ ment is ambiguous: while proximity to Chinese‐operated mines is associated with anti‐ Chinese sentiments and unemployment, populations living close to Chinese mining areas enjoy better infrastructure, such as paved roads or piped water. Multilevel mixed‐effects estimations using district‐level data from the Demographic Health Survey for 20 sub‐ Saharan countries corroborate these findings.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Robert Kappel
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper deals with Germany’s new Africa policy. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) presented a new Africa concept in January 2017. The BMZ wants to counter the further marginalisation of Africa with inclusive and sustainable growth. Chancellor Angela Merkel will explain her new policy for Africa at the G20 summit in Hamburg in July 2017, in an attempt to gain the approval of the other G20 members for focused cooperation with Africa. The paper argues that it remains solely the duty of African states to take their development into their own hands. Cooperation can support this process, but it cannot assume what is each state’s individual responsibility.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Germany
  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Michael Wahman
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Building on theoretical insights from research on the rentier state and the “resource curse,” several studies have supported the argument that oil hinders democracy. However, previous research on the rentier state has neglected the global surge of multiparty autocracies or “electoral authoritarian” regimes since the end of the Cold War. No systematic study has been carried out on the question of whether or not and how oil affects electoral contests in nondemocratic regimes. In this paper we contribute to filling this gap by combing the literature on multiparty autocracy and the political economy of the rentier state. As oil production creates substantial, nontransparent revenue streams to national and subnational governments, we hypothesize that oil production has a negative effect on electoral competitiveness, both cross‐ and subnationally, in multiparty autocracies. Consequently, the democratic “resource curse” emphasized in earlier work on the rentier state is likely to persist even after the introduction of multipartyism in cases where oil production predates democratic institutions. The paper tests the hypothesis cross‐nationally, using data on all multiparty elections held in the world in the period 1975–2010, and subnationally, using a new data set on subnational election results and oil production in Nigeria. Our results confirm that oil impedes electoral competitiveness, both cross‐ and subnationally, in multiparty autocracies.
  • Topic: Cold War, Democratization, Oil
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Alexander De Juan
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Does extraction increase the likelihood of antistate violence in the early phases of state building processes? While much research has focused on the impacts of war on state building, the potential “war‐making effects” of extraction have largely been neglected. The paper provides the first quantitative analysis of these effects in the context of colonial state‐building. It focuses on the Maji Maji rebellion against the German colonial state (1905–1907), the most substantial rebellion in colonial Eastern Africa. Analyses based on a newly collected historical data set confirm the correlation between extraction and resistance. More importantly, they reveal that distinct strategies of extraction produced distinct outcomes. While the intensification of extraction in state‐held areas created substantial grievances among the population, it did not drive the rebellion. Rather, the empirical results indicate that the expansion of extractive authority threatened the political and economic interests of local elites and thus provoked effective resistance. This finding provides additional insights into the mechanisms driving the “extraction–coercion cycle” of state building.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Germany
  • Author: Michael Wahman
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The African party literature, especially research prescribing to the long‐dominant ethnic voting thesis, has asserted that African party systems exhibit low levels of party nationalization. However, systematic research on nationalization across parties and party systems is still lacking. This study argues that the prospects for building nationalized parties vary substantially between incumbent and opposition parties. Incumbent parties, with their access to state resources, have been successful in creating nationwide operations, even in countries where geographical factors have been unfavorable and ethnic fractionalization is high. The analysis utilizes a new data set of disaggregate election results for 26 African countries to calculate nationalization scores for 77 parties and study the correlates of party nationalization. The results show that factors like ethnic fractionalization, the size of the geographical area, and urbanization affect party nationalization, but only in the case of opposition parties. Incumbent parties, on the other hand, generally remain nationalized despite unfavorable structural conditions.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Carlo Koos
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Studies have found that politically deprived groups are more likely to rebel. However, does rebellion increase the likelihood of achieving political rights? This article proposes that rebellion helps ethnic groups to overcome deprivation. I illustrate this by using a "typical" case (the Ijaw's struggle against the Nigerian government) to demonstrate how ethnic rebellion increases the costs for the government to a point where granting political rights becomes preferable to war. Further, I exploit time-series-cross-sectional data on deprived ethnic groups to show that rebellion is significantly associated with overcoming deprivation. The statistical analysis shows that democratic change is an alternative mechanism.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Poverty, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Dhaka
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Alexander Stroh, Cordula Tibi Weber, Charlotte Heyl
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the extent to which elected power holders informally intervene in the judiciaries of new democracies, an acknowledged but under-researched topic in studies of judicial politics. The paper first develops an empirical strategy for the study of informal interference based on perceptions recorded in interviews, then applies the strategy to six third-wave democracies, three in Africa (Benin, Madagascar and Senegal) and three in Latin America (Argentina, Chile and Paraguay). It also examines how three conditioning factors affect the level of informal judicial interference: formal rules, previous democratic experience, and socioeconomic development. Our results show that countries with better performance in all these conditioning factors exhibit less informal interference than countries with poorer or mixed performance. The results stress the importance of systematically including informal politics in the study of judicial politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Power Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Argentina, Latin America, Tamil Nadu
  • Author: Julia Grauvogel
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of regionally imposed sanctions on the trajectory of the Burundian regime and its involvement in the peace process following the 1996 coup in the country. Despite the country's socioeconomic and geopolitical vulnerability, the Buyoya government withstood the pressure from the sanctions. Through a vocal campaign against these sanctions, the new government mitigated the embargo's economic consequences and partially reestablished its international reputation. Paradoxically, this campaign planted the seed for comprehensive political concessions in the long term. While previous literature has attributed the sanctions' success in pressuring the government into negotiations to their economic impact, the government actually responded to the sanction senders' key demand to engage in unconditional, inclusive peace talks under the auspices of the regional mediator once the economy had already started to recover. The regime's anti-sanctions campaign, with its emphasis on the government's willingness to engage in peace talks, backfired, with Buyoya forced to negotiate after having become entrapped in his own rhetoric.
  • Topic: Government, Regime Change, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burundi
  • Author: Birte Pfeiffer, Holger Görg, Lucia Perez-Villar
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: It is generally accepted by policymakers that outward foreign direct investment (FDI) can contribute to economic development in host countries via knowledge spillovers to the domestic economy. Given that multinational corporations (MNCs) possess technological or managerial advantages, they can generate positive externalities through the diffusion of knowledge to domestic firms. This knowledge transfer can occur horizontally, if firms in the same sector benefit from the presence of multinationals, or vertically, if upstream or downstream domestic sectors gain from the presence of foreign investors. Yet, whereas the FDI literature has reached a certain level of agreement that vertical relationships with local suppliers generate positive productivity spillovers, the evidence on horizontal spillovers is still mixed and inconclusive, and estimates differ in terms of statistical significance and magnitude (Havranek and Irsova 2013).1 These inconsistencies derive largely from differences in the measurement of foreign presence and the type of data used – cross‐sectional versus panel – across studies (Görg and Strobl 2001). Further, there are determining factors at the firm and country level that enhance the realization of spillovers and need to be taken into account. Görg and Greenaway (2004) show that studies accounting for the heterogeneity of domestic firms, and especially their absorptive capacity, tend to report positive results.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Sebastian Elischer
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The effects of organized labor on regime change in developing countries are not clear‐cut. Optimists argue that union agitation is conducive to both democratic transition and consolidation processes. Pessimists hold that unions will support any regime that is conducive to their demands. Accordingly, unions may support regime transitions; however, once their economic interests are under threat, they will jeopardize the subsequent consolidation process. Systematic studies on the effects of organized labor on regime change in sub‐ Saharan Africa are sparse and largely confined to the (pre)transition phase. This article examines the role of organized labor in Niger between 1990 and 2010. Given the high number of regime breakdowns during the period, a longitudinal study of Nigerien labor enables a critical examination of motives and actions of organized labor toward different regime types. In contrast to other recent findings on African unionism, the article confirms the pessimistic view.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Regime Change, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Nicole Hirt
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines the impact of UN‐imposed sanctions on the stability of the Eritrean regime, using diaspora behavior as an explanatory variable of crucial importance. It explores the transnational nature of Eritrean society, which is characterized by long‐distance nationalism, and examines the history and structure of the Eritrean diaspora as well as its transformation since the political crisis of 2001. The paper argues that the government and its supporters among the diaspora, as well as regime opponents, have all instrumentalized the sanctions for their own specific purposes. While the former use the sanctions to create a “rally around the flag” effect and for fundraising purposes, the latter campaign against the 2 percent diaspora tax levied by the government because it may be used for illicit purposes in breach of the sanctions regime. However, due to the opposition\'s disunity and failure to organize joint campaigns, its efforts have so far failed to decisively contribute to the demise of Eritrea\'s crumbling rebel regime. Meanwhile financial flows to both the government\'s coffers and to private individuals continue to play a stabilizing role. Nevertheless, unsuccessful domestic policies, the mass exodus resulting from the militarization of the entire society and an isolationist foreign policy are all contributing to the growing weakness of the regime, and with it the State of Eritrea.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Diaspora, Insurgency, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Eritrea
  • Author: Karsten Giese, Alena Thiel
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In this article Chinese-Ghanaian employment relations are analyzed using the concepts of foreignness, the psychological contract, equity, and cross-cultural communication. Based on a qualitative study conducted in Accra, Ghana, we discuss the labor market in general and introduce the conditions under which Chinese sojourners operate their family trade businesses in the city. After discussing the phenomenon of Ghanaian employment within Chinese trade companies from a theoretical perspective, we explain how Chinese employers' and Ghanaian employees' culturally based perceptions of employment relations are contradictory and prone to conflict. We then show how, under the condition of the employers' foreignness, Ghanaian employees perceive their psychological contracts as being violated and Chinese employers regard the equity of exchange relations as distorted. We discuss how Ghanaian employees cope with this situation by means of voice, silence, retreat or destruction, while Chinese employers, who lack both sufficient language skills and effective sanctions, choose to endure perceived distortions of equity and in some cases ultimately terminate employment relations when inadequate cross-cultural communication results in a failure to mediate conflicts.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Ghana
  • Author: Alexander De Juan
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Institutions can contribute to regulating interethnic conflict; however, in many cases they fail to bring about lasting peace. The paper argues that their negligence of intraethnic factors accounts for some of this failure. Ethnic groups are often treated as unitary actors even though most consist of various linguistic, tribal or religious subgroups. This internal heterogeneity is often obscured by overarching collective ethnic identities that are fostered by interethnic conflict. However, when such interethnic conflict is settled, these subgroup differences may come back to the fore. This “resurgence” can lead to subgroup conflict about the political and economic resources provided through intergroup institutional settlements. Such conflict can in turn undermine the peace-making effect of intergroup arrangements. Different subgroup identity constellations make such destructive effects more or less likely. The paper focuses on self-government provisions in the aftermath of violent interethnic conflict and argues that lasting intergroup arrangements are especially challenging when they involve “contested” ethnic groups.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Religion, Governance, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iraq
  • Author: Jann Lay, Janosch Ondraczek, Jana Stoever
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: We study the determinants of households' choices of lighting fuels in Kenya, including the option of using solar home systems (SHSs). The paper adds new evidence on the factors that influence the introduction and adoption of decentralized and less carbon‐intensive energy sources in developing countries. We capitalize on a unique representative survey on energy use and sources from Kenya, one of the few relatively well‐established SHSs markets in the world. Our results reveal some very interesting patterns in the fuel transition in the context of lighting‐fuel choices. While we find clear evidence for a crosssectional energy ladder, the income threshold for modern fuel use – including solar energy use – is very high. Income and education turn out to be key determinants of SHSs adoption, but we also find a very pronounced effect of SHSs clustering. In addition, we do not find a negative correlation between grid access and SHSs use.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa