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  • 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
  • Author: Ivo Daalder, Michèle Flournoy, John Herbst, Jan Lodal, Steve Pifer
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: This report is the result of collaboration among scholars and former practitioners from the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, the Center for a New American Security, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. It is informed by and reflects mid-January discussions with senior NATO and US officials in Brussels and senior Ukrainian civilian and military officials in Kyiv and at the Ukrainian “anti-terror operation” headquarters in Kramatorsk. The report outlines the background to the crisis over Ukraine, describes why the United States and NATO need to engage more actively and urgently, summarizes what the authors heard in discussions at NATO and in Ukraine, and offers specific recommendations for steps that Washington and NATO should take to strengthen Ukraine’s defenses and thereby enhance its ability to deter further Russian aggression.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Ukraine
  • Author: Mathilde Dugit-Gros
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Has Western involvement in the Arab Spring generated more scepticism in North Africa and the Middle East about foreign influence? This study compares public opinion about foreign influence across five MENA countries: Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and Tunisia. Using data sets from the second and third waves of the Arab Barometer, the study compares the periods pre- and post-2011.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Ismail Alexandrani
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: It is not yet clear what narrative will be told by history, but a dominant media narrative, the official one, has already been found for the on-going turbulence in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. It appears that social media in the Nile Valley has preceded its counterpart in the Sinai Peninsula in developing this narrative due to geographical and demographic factors which are out of the control of the security and military authorities in Egypt. The main bridge connecting the northern Sinai with the Nile Valley has been closed since 30 June, 2013 (setting transport links back to the time when ferries made their way across the Suez Canal between great sea ships) and the military and security authorities have, to a great extent, succeeded in concealing whatever is happening on the ground that contradicts their narrative
  • Topic: War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Mile End Institute, Queen Mary University of London
  • Abstract: The question of when a sense of cultural Englishness became salient, and what kind of collective interest the English feel is at stake in the domestic union, has become the focus of considerable academic debate as well as political interest.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Politics, Domestic politics, Identities, International Community
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom
  • Author: Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: The publication of this issue is foreshadowed by the tragic drowning of hundreds of migrants, including Africans, in the Mediterranean Sea (BBC News 2015, Rosen 2015, Walsh, Almasy and Botelho 2015, Traynor 2015, Fottrell 2015). The sheer size of these drownings have once again caused popular horror and contemplation on causes and consequences of migration. The projection by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that these deaths could increase to over 30,000 just in 2015 is anxiety provoking and shocking (AlJazeera News 2015, Brian and Laczko 2014). The drownings have also caused increased focus on the policies of popular destination countries and regions and critiques of the harshness of these regimes as well as calls for more humane migration policies, research and documentation of the root causes of migration, and heartrending accounts of migrants’ motives and harrowing experiences (Clegg 2015, Barker 2014, Kassam 2014). As well, they have caused intensified media attention to the circumstances that propel migration from various African countries and the choice of destinations in Europe. These conditions and circumstances are hardly new. Neither are the tales of woe that attend the serious decision to abandon familiar misery of migrants’ homelands in hopes of somehow experiencing the miracle of success in unknown climes (Sy 2006, Ndege 2006, Morris 2005, Bailey 2005, Travis August, Kingsley 2015).
  • Topic: Migration, Political Economy, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Gil S. Epstein, Erez Siniver
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: The economic outcomes of a minority group may be adversely affected by the cultural differences between it and the majority group. On the other hand, cultural differences may lead a minority group to concentrate in enclaves, which can offset to some extent the negative effect of cultural discrimination. We examine how the relative size of a minority group and cultural differences between groups can affect economic outcomes. We begin by specifying a simple theoretical framework and then characterize an economy with four ethnic groups that differ culturally and in size. We then test the effect of these differences on economic outcomes. The results indicate that the difference in earnings between native Jews and Ethiopian immigrants and between native Jews and Israeli Arabs is due to taste-based discrimination.
  • Topic: Migration, Political Economy, Immigration, Culture, Immigrants
  • Political Geography: Africa, Israel, Ethiopia