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  • Author: Chanchal Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: What kept the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from becoming a reality in India for a quarter of a century after the adoption of the structural adjustment programme in 1991? What made it possible in 2016? To what extent the Indian model of GST reflects a compromise between the need to keep fiscal federalism intact and to respond to a more global economic imperative? To what extent India’s transition to a concurrent dual GST has brought about a change in the principles, rules, frameworks, and institutions guiding intergovernmental fiscal interactions? This paper investigates these issues and shows that the shifts in the indirect tax regime in India since independence have taken place within the structural context of constitutional rules, the economic policy paradigm and political dynamics. Party congruence after 2014 helped to facilitate the introduction of the GST, but the shape thereof was strongly marked by path-dependent logics and the role of state governments as institutional veto players. In addition, the paper examines the ways in which India’s transition to a concurrent dual GST has brought about a fundamental change in the principles, rules, frameworks, and institutions guiding intergovernmental fiscal interactions.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Governance, Tax Systems, Institutions, Services
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Cordula Tibi Weber
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article presents the first comparative evaluation of the social media presence of 17 Latin American high courts. We explore the intensity with which they use Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as the level of influence that each court has developed on these platforms. The resulting classification of courts shows how their performances differ: the most influential courts are not necessarily the most active; rather, they make a differentiated use of social media. The least influential courts show great dispersion around their respective levels of activity. Additionally, we present a preliminarily evaluation of the relationship between the level of trust in the judiciaries and the courts’ presence on social media. We see that courts with higher levels of distrust are moderately more active and tend to have less influence. Two motivations could explain the court behaviour in social media: the pursuit of strategic self-promotion, and an ideal of institutional transparency.
  • Topic: Mass Media, Social Media, Courts, Judiciary
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • 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: Luicy Pedroza
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This piece is both an exercise in critical conceptual landscaping in the field of Migration Studies and the proposal of an analytical framework that can correct some of its most serious biases. The framework I propose allows the observing of migration policies as if they constituted a comprehensive policy field. This will permit comparisons across the whole spectrum of migration policies on a rigorous basis, and for all countries and regions. I identify two constitutive sides to the proposed framework, each dealing with how state‐like polities regulate the mobility of incoming or outgoing persons. I further suggest that it include regulations on the rights of individuals to pass through three stages of any international migration journey: the right to enter/exit; the rights as immigrant residents/emigrant non‐residents; and, the rights to citizenship and nationality. This comprehensive framework for studying migration policy promises advances for empirical agendas, but also for connecting them to normative ones rooted in global justice and democratic concerns.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Migration, Immigration, Justice
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Azul Aguiar Aguilar
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Judges’ ideas, beliefs, and values are central to adjudication. Empowering the courts was a crucial step in third‐wave democracies and, after some unfulfilled promises regarding the potential of the judicialization of politics for rights expansion, we need to learn more about the individuals that were empowered and what their legal culture can tell us about judicial behavior. Do judges consider themselves political actors having a legislative role? What type of legal culture do they have? To advance our understanding of these key determinants of judicial behavior, I use a survey with federal judges in Mexico to explore to what extent judges adhere to a positivist or a principle‐based constitutionalist legal culture. Findings suggest that there is a tension in the judiciary, with some judges embracing the idea of legislating from the bench while others prefer to play the role of being “the mouthpiece of the law.”
  • Topic: Culture, Democracy, Legal Theory , Judiciary
  • Political Geography: North America, Mexico
  • Author: Lea Muller-Funk, Christiane Frohlich, André Bank
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Between normative aspirations and national interests, forced migrants often become pawns in host states’ negotiations with internal and external actors. Focusing on North Africa, the Middle East, and the Horn of Africa, this paper offers an analytical framework to better understand forced migration governance across space and time from a more global, pluralist perspective in a logic of iterative theory-building. We hypothesise that some drivers of forced migration governance are distinct from drivers of migration governance – for example, global policy and conceptions of humanitarian norms and principles play a larger role in the former. We hypothesise that while forced migration governance is negotiated around humanitarian principles, in which international actors, externalisation, and civil society play a crucial role, it also functions as a regime strategy and is driven by certain characteristics of forced migrant groups, including size and perceived identity proximity. Finally, forced migration governance is characterised by strong path dependency.
  • Topic: Migration, Governance, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Joachim Betz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Despite being a consolidated democracy with free and fair elections and having a political system with intense party competition, a relatively vibrant civil society, and a functioning federal set-up, India still ranks poorly in terms of the coverage, generosity, efficiency, and quality of its social protection. This is difficult to explain based on the factors usually advanced for the implementation of generous social policies. A second puzzle is the predominantly protective nature of welfare policies in India in the current era of globalisation, which should necessitate policies enabling workers to participate successfully in a more demanding economic environment. These puzzles may be explained partly by (a) the long-term insulation of the Indian economy from international competition, (b) the low share of industry and modern services in GDP until recently, (c) the precedence of identity policies, (d) the fragmentation of the political sphere, and (e) the meagre empowerment of women in India. We should, however, acknowledge that change is underway and that the picture is not bleak across India as a whole – being supported by economic reforms and growth, a greater degree of decentralisation and party competition within the country, increasingly discerning voters, and progress on female education and employment opportunities.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Reform, Democracy, Social Policy, Welfare
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • 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: 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: Helen Deacon, Maximilian Gorgens
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In Colombia, the ongoing armed conflict has had severe effects on internal migration and displacement. While occasions of mass displacement usually attract significant attention, little is known about why forced displacement in Colombia primarily occurs gradually over time and in smaller groups. To address the apparent research gap, this paper analyses the consequences and mechanisms of forced slow-onset displacement and focuses on the interactions between "violence," "food security," and "climate change" as its determinants.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Food Security, Displacement, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South 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: 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: Ana Karen Negrete-García
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the existence and nature of constraints prevailing among Mexican microenterprises. It provides inter‐temporal insights by relying on firm‐level data span‐ning from 1994 to 2012. A performance index is defined based on firm levels of capital stock and monthly profits, and is used to estimate the empirical probability of a business’s success. The predicted values are used to classify every microenterprise into one of three categories: upper, middle, or lower segment. Overall, the study provides evidence of con‐ strained productivity and capital misallocation. Specifically, middle‐segment firms exhibit entrepreneurial features and their average marginal returns are 15 percent. Because this segment faces mainly external constraints, cost‐effective interventions are plausible. Re‐garding the lower‐segment firms, it is estimated that their average monthly marginal re‐ turns are 30 per cent, compared to 1 per cent for the upper segment. It is also shown that, over time, the share that middle‐segment firms represent relative to all microenterprises increased from 16 to 22 percent. Lastly, the sources of variation in monthly profits among segments are explored using the Oaxaca‐Blinder decomposition method.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Betcy Jose, Christoph H. Stefes
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Western actors have long dominated the political processes and discourses that shape global norms impacting interstate behaviour. Yet, more recently, powerful autocratic regimes such as China and Russia have seemingly challenged democracies, emerging as potential contesters of international norms. What might be the outcome of this contestation? This paper broadly explores this query by investigating Russia’s humanitarian justifications for its Ukrainian incursion. It examines whether Russia’s claim of humanitarian intervention is more than a petty attempt to disguise pure power politics. Is Russia contesting Western understandings of humanitarian interventions in order to reshape our ideas of permissible violations of sovereignty norms to protect vulnerable populations? Using Atlas.ti, we also explore global responses to Russia’s humanitarian claims. Our initial findings indicate that the Ukrainian intervention enabled Russia to contest Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and to champion an alternative version of humanitarian intervention with some limited success.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Military Strategy, Authoritarianism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Crimea
  • 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: Christopher Huber
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Previous research has shown that minority grievances can contribute significantly to violent conflict. However, it appears that grievances do not inevitably induce religious and other minorities to engage in protest or rebellion. Moreover, relative deprivation may explain conflict but not necessarily violent conflict. Contributing to research on these questions, this paper explores the conditions under which the grievances of religious minorities lead to non‐violent or violent protest. Using a motive‐opportunity framework, we assume that members of religious minorities who feel discriminated against must be willing and able to engage in peaceful and violent forms of protest – and that certain conditions are required for grievances to result in peaceful or violent dissent. We test this proposition by comparing the Jewish and Muslim communities in Canada. Our findings indicate that relative economic and political deprivation may create concrete grievances that in combination with origin-based value incompatibilities can explain differences in behaviour in reaction to these grievances.
  • Topic: Religion, Minorities, Discrimination, Protests, Anti-Semitism
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • 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: Chanchal Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper links the foreign economic engagement of India’s states with the literature on federalism, thereby contributing to an understanding of the political economy of FDI in‐flows in a parliamentary federal system. More specifically, it studies subnational governments’ international engagements to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and investigates whether the political affiliations of states’ chief ministers and parliamentarians determine the spatial distribution of FDI across the Indian states, correcting for the influence of per capita income, population density, urbanisation, infrastructure, policy regime, and human development. Although the central government plays no direct role in determining the state to which FDI goes, the centre–state relations in a federal structure play a role in creating perceptions about the relative political risk involved in different investment destinations. Employing multiple linear regressions to analyse time‐series (2000–2013) cross‐sectional (12 states) data using the panel procedure, the study finds that affiliated states attract relatively more FDI per capita in comparison to states ruled by opposition parties or coalition partners. However, some exceptions do result, primarily due to two phenomena: first, the presence of a strong state leadership and, second, the presence of a significant share of members of parliament belonging to the prime minister’s party in the non‐affiliated states. Further, states ruled by outside supporters have been most successful in attracting FDI inflows during the coalition period.  
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus