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  • Author: Cherine Chams El-Dine
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Since the end of July 2015 a major popular uprising has erupted in Iraq’s provinces – aside from the territories under the control of the so-called Islamic State (IS) and the Kurdish provinces. This protest movement, deemed to be the largest secular popular movement challenging the post-2003 political order in Iraq, has largely departed from the narrow sectarian paradigm that has so far monopolised the analysis of Iraqi politics. This paper examines the uprising’s actors, its slogans, its internal dynamics/organisational structure, and the Iraqi government’s frenetic response to popular demands.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Isam al Khafaji
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Syrian revolt, which has disintegrated into a bloody attrition war, has been largely viewed as that of a majority Sunni population trying to depose a regime belonging to the minority Alawite sect. While this view may present a partially true explanation, it fails to explain why the involvement of different Sunni regions in the revolt varied to a large extent and the rising gap between the anti-Assad urbanites on the one hand and the armed militants on the other. It further fails to account for the wide diversity within the rebellion camp and the hostilities among the mushrooming opposition groups.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Mile End Institute, Queen Mary University of London
  • Abstract: Over the last four decades, membership of the European Union has touched almost every area of national life. It affects how we trade, the laws by which we are governed, where we go on holiday and who is entitled to live here. Its influence has been felt across British politics, from the Northern Ireland peace process to the struggle for equal pay. The ‘European question’ divided the Labour Party in the 1970s, split the Conservative Party in the 1990s, and drove the two most successful insurgent parties of modern times: the Social Democratic Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party. This summer, the UK will hold only the third nationwide referendum in its history, on whether to remain in the EU or to seek a new position outside.
  • Topic: Politics, Elections
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, Northern Ireland
  • Author: Greg Distelhorst, Jens Hainmueller, Richard M. Locke
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: This study tests the hypothesis that lean manufacturing improves the social performance of manufacturers in emerging markets. We analyze an intervention by Nike Inc. to promote the adoption of lean manufacturing in its apparel supply chain across eleven developing countries. Using difference-in-differences estimates from a panel of over three hundred factories, we find that lean adoption was associated with a 15 percentage point reduction in noncompliance with labor standards that primarily reflect factory wage and work hour practices. However, we find a null effect on factory health and safety standards. This pattern is consistent with a causal mechanism that links lean to improved social performance through changes in labor relations, rather than improved management systems. These findings offer evidence that capabilitybuilding interventions may reduce social harm in global supply chains.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: et al Miguel Centeno
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Starting from the assumption that the aim of development is to increase human flourishing, this paper develops an analytical perspective on how effective states are built. Modern theories of development see the state as the key agent for delivering the most critical forms of productive investment – investment in capability expanding collective goods. Accomplishing this requires bureaucratic capacity, as earlier analyses of state effectiveness have argued, but state-society relations are equally crucial. We focus on the “Sen-Ostrom” model – deliberative mechanisms to specify goals plus engagement of communities as “co-producers” of services – as the key elements of effective state society relations. Our effort to identify institutions and strategies that might lead to the efficacious engagement of the broadest possible cross-section of the populace led us to a re-engagement with left social democracy. But, resuscitating traditional models of left social democracy is not sufficient; different contexts require new conceptualizations. Patrick Heller’s “state-civil society model” and Cheol-sung Lee’s “embedded cohesiveness/political network model” gave us tools for revising, deepening and extending the basic party-union dynamics of the traditional left social democratic model. Putting the Huber-Stephens analysis of left social democracy together with the Heller and Lee models offers a promising platform for future debate on the general political logic of state-society relations
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tanja Mayrgündter
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: In the last decade, the EU has been challenged by major phenomena, such as the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the economic and financial crisis. Unlike other policy areas, where the logic of action and institutional interplays have consequently changed, enlargement constitutes a “paradox”, having largely been resistant to such impact factors. That is, “intergovernmental supranationalism” has remained the dominant feature of the enlargement polity, politics and policy. Even though the overall result has not changed, there has been change in the configuration among the intergovernmental and the supranational elements. That is, while on the one hand intergovernmental forces have increased, on the other hand, all three dimensions have primarily been hit by the “technicality turn”, consequently fostering the supranational momentum. Finally, an overall new balance has been reached under the “old” intergovernmental supranational umbrella.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Jameson Boex, Benjamin Edwards
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: This paper provides a general framework for understanding the political economy and fiscal determinants of sanitation service provision by urban local governments. The paper will address several questions: what do we expect to influence spending on local sanitation? Do different fiscal instruments have an impact on expenditure levels? Do increased local revenues lead to increased expenditures over the long term? What role do different stakeholders play in determining expenditure levels? The paper first looks at the role of political factors in constraining local expenditure decisions, then turns to a review of the fiscal determinants of service delivery expenditures.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Governance, Urban, Sanitation, Services, Cities
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jameson Boex, Luke Fuller, Ammar A. Malik
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: This study analyzes local health finances in Tanzania by considering the extent to which public health resources in Tanzania flow from the district government level to primary health facilities, or whether these resources get stuck at the district level. Our analysis of health expenditures in six rural Local Government Authorities suggests that less than half of local health funding reaches the front-line dispensaries that provide the vast majority of local health services. The structure of the local health system appears to favor top-down interventions and control, rather than empowering local facilities to improve local health outcomes.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, International Development, Cities
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Jameson Boex
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: The role of local governance within global development is approaching an important inflection point. To the extent that local governments function as effective platforms for collective local decision-making and as effective mechanisms for promoting the collective interests of their constituents, local governments are ideal partners for achieving development success. Moreover, regardless of the mechanism or type of decentralization or “localization” that is ultimately chosen, in the end, we cannot ignore the vertical governance mechanisms and multilevel service delivery mechanisms that are needed to ensure the effective delivery of public services at the local level.
  • Topic: Governance, International Development, Services, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Manata Hashemi
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: Disproportionate levels of youth unemployment and economic marginalization in the Middle East have prompted many regional observers to conclude that socioeconomically disadvantaged Middle Eastern youth are more prone to radicalization and thereby constitute a threat to national and international security. The general consensus in these accounts is that low levels of occupational opportunities leave poor youth more disposed to frustration and fatalism, which in turn are strongly linked to radical politics. Alternatively, scholars in the language of rational choice argue that these young people engage in a deliberate calculation of means and ends in order to attain the power and wealth necessary for upward mobility. These scholars posit poor youth as rational, autonomous agents whose goals are defined by individual interests and preferences. However, these respective theories are unable to account for 1) the absence of political radicalism among poor youth in many countries of the Middle East, and 2) the presence of seemingly irrational acts among these youth that neither maximize self-interest, nor necessarily reflect individual preferences. Given the shortcomings of each of these prevailing theories, this paper, instead, synthesizes these two approaches and assesses the social conduct of poor youth in the Middle East from the perspective of aspirations-bounded rationality. From this vantage point, the behaviors of poor youth are not determined by individual economic interests or by pure emotion, but by aspirations. This paper proposes that these youth struggle and create strategies to improve their lives that are conditioned by experience and observation of those who inform their social worlds.
  • Topic: Youth Culture, Employment
  • Political Geography: Middle East