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  • 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: Sebastian Etchemendy, Puente Ignacio
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In the early 1980s Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico had commer- cial banking sectors that were dominated by local banks. The largest countries in Latin America were subjected to common international economic pressures during both the neoliberal 1980s and 1990s – includ- ing the expansion of capital markets in the periphery and integration into the regional trade agreements NAFTA and Mercosur – and the post- 1998 financial turmoil. By 2015, however, the three countries had con- solidated alternative commercial banking systems: domestic private group dominated (Brazil), mixed (i.e., ownership more evenly divided among public, private domestic, and foreign banks (Argentina), and foreign bank dominated (Mexico). The article traces these alternative outcomes to the power of prereform private financial groups, the viru- lence of “twin crises” in the transition from fixed to floating exchange rates, and the (contingent) role played by government ideology.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Finance, Trade, Banking
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Anibal F. Gauna
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines the issue of democratic deterioration by revisiting the Venezuelan case (1974–1998). Using sequence elaboration and alternative case-focused theories, it tests and confirms the hypothesis that presidential partyarchy was the main contextual explanatory factor behind the crisis that led to Venezuela’s democratic deterioration. Building on elite conflict theory, it also aims to integrate previous studies’ insights and better explain the timing of factors to illustrate how economic presidentialism (the highly autonomous executive control of a state-controlled economy) was the main mechanism leading to democratic deterioration.
  • Topic: Economics, Authoritarianism, Democracy, State-Owned Enterprises
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Lucas Gonzalez
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: What is the effect of political competition on subnational social spending? Using descriptive statistics and regression models for original budget panel data for the 24 Argentine provinces between 1993 and 2009, the study finds that social spending increases the more electorally secure governors are and the longer they have been in office. It also finds that other arguments in the literature are relevant in explaining variations on types of spending, such as partisan fragmentation in the districts. The article discusses these findings for the Argentine provinces and explores their implications with regard to the debates on the effects of electoral competition and the design of social policies, especially in developing countries and federal democracies.
  • Topic: Developing World, Elections, Democracy, Local, Social Spending
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Ronald Ahnen
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The success of microcredit lending programs depends in part on the regulatory framework that policymakers create to support them. A fact that many microcredit analyses often ignore or overlook is that this framework is shaped by both ideological and partisan political considerations of policymakers. In Argentina, the Peronist governments of Néstor and Cristina Kirchner launched and supported a state-centered microcredit program characterized by strict loan conditions and direct state grants for capital and operational costs to existing non-profit organizations that were largely supportive of Peronism. Provinces and municipalities governed by anti-Peronists refused to participate. As a result, the National Microcredit Program has come to mimic past patronage based policies to a significant extent, engendering dependency on government resources, and thereby threatening its long-term viability. This article explores the impact of the left’s ideological and political project on microcredit policy, implementation, and outcomes in Argentina.
  • Topic: Regulation, Microcredit, Leftist Politics, Credit
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Emilia Simison
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper studies the territorial scope of the bills presented by members of the Chamber of Deputies (the lower chamber of the Argentine National Congress) during Juan Domingo Perón’s first two terms in office (1946–1955). Its main objective is to observe the effect that modifying the electoral system (switching from incomplete party ballots in multimember districts to relative majorities in single-member districts) had on that scope. Experimental techniques (an interrupted time-series and a within-subjects design) are used to analyze a novel database including every bill presented in the Chamber of Deputies during the period in question. Contrary to theoretical expectations, an increase is observed in the share of bills with a territorial scope that goes beyond deputies’ districts – especially for those presented by legislators from the opposition and from larger provinces. In addition, by separately analyzing the effect on the ruling party and the opposition, the paper uncovers a plausible explanation for previous nonconclusive findings.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Domestic politics, Legislation, Local
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: David Pion-Berlin, Miguel Carreras
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past two decades, the armed forces have increasingly been asked to take an active role in the fight against the rampant crime in Latin America. Since the militaries in this region are not always trained to conduct themselves with restraint, the possibility of excesses and human rights violations is always latent. Despite that prospect, there is a high level of public support for military counter-crime interventions throughout the region. The key argument in this article is that when the Latin American public supports military interventions to combat crime, it makes a comparative judgment call about the relative efficacy of military vs. police conduct in domestic security roles. Latin American citizens have very low confidence in the capacity of the police to fight crime effectively and to respect human rights. They place more trust in the armed forces as an institution capable of performing effectively and in accordance with human rights standards and the rule of law. This study develops these arguments in greater detail and then turns to recent Americas Barometer surveys that clearly show that Latin American citizens place more trust in the armed forces than the police as an institution capable of effectively and humanely fighting criminal violence.
  • Topic: Crime, Law Enforcement, Police, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Jacobo Grajales
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The article examines the links between paramilitary groups and the Colombian state within a context of pervasive violence. Colombia represents a particularly interesting case as high-intensity violence is accompanied by the preservation of a relatively strong institutional framework. Most interpretations of this relationship consider it to be either a sign of state weakness or a centralized strategy to outsource violence. Taking a different stance, the paper argues that the existence of paramilitary groups compels us to analyze government through practices vis-à-vis the treatment of violence. A policy linking private security and counterinsurgency, crafted in the early 1990s and known as Convivir, provides an illustration of this approach.
  • Topic: Security, Counterinsurgency, State Violence, Violence, Paramilitary
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Adrian Lucardi, Maria Gabriela Almaraz
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: How do incumbents manage to relax term limits when they cannot impose their preferences unilaterally? Interpreting constitutional reforms as a bargaining game between a term-limited executive and the opposition, we argue that reforms involving term limits should be more likely when (a) the incumbent party can change the constitution unilaterally, or (b) the opposition is pessimistic about its future electoral prospects; moreover, (c) this second effect should be stronger when a single opposition party has veto power over a reform because this precludes the executive from playing a “divide-and-rule” strategy. We examine these claims with data from the Argentine provinces between 1983 and 2017. In line with expectations, the results show that the probability of initiating a reform is highest when the executive’s party controls a supermajority of seats, but falls sharply when a single opposition party has veto power over a reform and this party expects to do well in the next executive election.
  • Topic: Reform, Domestic politics, Institutionalism, Local, Term Limits
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America