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  • Author: Lars Buur, Obede Baloi, Carlota Mondlane Tembe
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the General Peace Accord (GPA) in 1992 ending the civil war and the first democratic elections in 1994, Mozambique has experienced a peaceful transition towards democracy, underpinned by successive rounds of local and national elections, which have been, if not totally free, then at least sufficiently free to be accepted by the international community. This, combined with sustained economic growth (Sousa and Sulemane 2007), a substantial decline in people living below the poverty line, relatively high levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) and very high and continued levels of foreign donor support has made Mozambique 'a success story' for the international donor community where few such stories seem available (Renzio and Hanlon 2006: 3). This has triggered continuous and generous levels of assistance and made Mozambique the ultimate 'donor darling'. But with the opening up of the rich natural resource endowment in energy, gas, oil and minerals to exploitation after Frelimo's election victory in 2009, the country stands at a critical juncture, with the potential to become donor-independent within the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Political Economy, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Julie Elisabeth Pruzan-Jørgensen
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Islamic women's activism may appear a contradiction in terms to many Western audiences accustomed to presentations of Islam as counterproductive to the promotion of women's empowerment and the situation of women more generally. Yet in the Arab world (and beyond) many different groups and individuals – as scholars, as charity and welfare providers, and as religious or political activists – work to empower women based on Islamic arguments and references.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Islam, Politics, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: José Jaime Macuane
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Discussion of development strategies in Mozambique reveals three main perspectives on the role of elites in the policy process: donor dominance, political dominance over technocracy, and the emergence of non-state (economic and civil society) actors as players in the policy process, although still with a marginal role. These analyses tend to see the identity of these actors as monolithic and clearly identifiable. The identities condition the involvement of these actors in a set of dichotomous relations, such as politicians versus technocrats, donors versus internal actors, and state versus non-state actors. Based on this understanding, this paper analyses the role of elites in policy processes, focusing on elite formation and power relations in Mozambique in a context of an economically dependent country undergoing democratization. The paper shows that the dominant analyses of the role of the elites in the policy process in Mozambique overlook the process of elite formation, which contributes to the existence of multiple and overlapping elite identities in the policy process. In this regard, the paper concludes that, despite the emergence of new elites (economic, societal and bureaucratic) resulting from economic and political liberalization and as an aspect of pro-poor policies, the differentiation between these elitesis more apparent than real because of the strategies they have adopted to maintain their dominance in a context of the increasing importance of electoral politics. Further, the paper concludes that the political elite still dominates the process, even with donor dependence, but that nonetheless this dominance is being challenged by an erosion of legitimacy caused by the low effectiveness of the development strategies, reflected in increasing public contestation over government policies, which opens up a space for changes in the current pattern of elite relations.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Ghana has exhibited rather strong economic growth since the 1980s, but little transformation of the productive structure of its economy. The paper argues that ruling elites' policy choices are shaped by their political survival strategies. In turn, these strategies are shaped by (1) the characteristics of the ruling coalitions, which include a high degree of vulnerability in power, strong lower-level factions of the ruling coalition, and a substantial amount of fragmentation among the higher factions of the ruling coalition; (2) the weak capabilities and political influence of the nascent productive capitalists; and (3) easy access to financing for the state and the ruling coalition from foreign aid, mining and cocoa bean exports. As a result, ruling elites' policy actions did not prioritize the development of new productive sectors (or upgrading of old ones), but were geared towards delivering benefits to the higher and lower levels of the ruling coalition, as well as delivering a small amount of visible goods and services to as much of the population as possible in an effort to 'swing' voters their way at election time. Neither of these political survival strategies resulted in significant productive sector investments.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Fourth Republic was inaugurated in 1993, politics in Ghana has been increasingly characterized by competitive clientelism. Ruling coalitions are characterized by a high degree of vulnerability in power due to a strong opposition party, by strong lower-level factions within the ruling coalition due to their importance in winning elections, and by a high degree of fragmentation among the ruling elite. These characteristics, combined with a weak domestic capitalist class and high inflows of foreign aid, have led the ruling elites across political parties to pursue and implement policies that have a short time horizon, that do not significantly shift the allocation of resources towards building productive sectors, and which are often plagued by problems of enforcement. The results have led to growth without economic transformation. In particular, the country has witnessed recurrent macroeconomic instability, a haphazard process of privatization of state-owned enterprises, and no serious attempt to build up productive sectors outside of cocoa and gold.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Jeppe Strandsbjerg
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the relationship between geography and politics; and more specifically, the relationship between sovereign claims and cartography. I introduce the term 'cartopolitics' to describe a particular way of making space real and corresponding with politics that defines contemporary bordering practices in the Arctic region. The paper argues that too often boundary studies assume that socio-political space arises as a result of boundary practices. In contrast, this paper proceeds from a notion that space should precede boundaries in the analysis because, unless space is taken as a natural given and constant background, its 'construction' conditions how boundaries can be established in the first place. In sequence, I argue how the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea builds on–and requires–a particular spatiality epitomised by so-called modern cartography. This has implications for the way in which sovereignty over space is transferred from a political to a scientific domain, and essentially, it tends to mask the constructed nature of the spatiality given objectivity through the law of the sea.
  • Topic: International Law, Politics, United Nations, Maritime Commerce
  • Author: Mette Buskjær Christensen
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This report describes and analyses the procedures applied by Danish political parties when selecting candidates for EP elections 2009. Furthermore, it examines Danish political party cooperation at the European level with both European party federations and political groups in the EP.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jon A. Olsen
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The present report is based on in-depth interviews with individuals formerly involved in politically motivated group violence, in order to acquire accounts of processes of radicalization in their own words. The main themes in the interviews were the following: 1) How did they become involved with militant activist groups? 2) What drove them to take part in specific militant operations? And: 3) What role did ideology, identity and social group processes play in these decisions? The latter theme is the main problem dealt with in this text.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anja Dalgaard-Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Why do some apparently well-integrated youth in Europe become attracted to Islamist militancy? Why and when do people cross from violent talk to violent action? What prevents others, exposed to the same political, ideological, and socioeconomic influences, from crossing? When and how might people de-radicalize and draw back from violent action? What policy initiatives would be called for to limit the spread of radical ideas, counter the factors that spur violent radicalization, and strengthen those, which pull in the other direction? In sum: When, why, and how do people living in a democracy become radicalized to the point of being willing to use or directly support the use of terrorist violence against civilians, and what can be done about it?
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anja Dalgaard-Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Why do some apparently well-integrated youth in Europe become attracted to Islamist militancy? Why and when do people cross from violent talk to violent action? What prevents others, exposed to the same political, ideological, and socioeconomic influences, from crossing? When and how might people de-radicalize and draw back from violent action? What policy initiatives would be called for to limit the spread of radical ideas, counter the factors that spur violent radicalization, and strengthen those, which pull in the other direction? In sum: When, why, and how do people living in a democracy become radicalized to the point of being willing to use or directly support the use of terrorist violence against civilians, and what can be done about it?
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ole Therkildsen
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Although Graduated Personal Tax (GPT) paid to local government in Uganda has caused numerous tax riots throughout the past century, it is only since the mid-1990s that competitive presidential elections have provided people with an effective way to express their dissatisfaction with it. Thus, greater political competition was instrumental in almost dismantling the GPT in 2001 and abolished in 2005. Positive governance effects will follow from this. As shown by the comparison of taxpayer rights and enforcement practices (in particular the use of imprisonment) for GPT and income tax paid to central government, the former has been collected with the use of much more coercion than the latter. Coercive approaches to taxation become more difficult to sustain with greater political competition.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Luke Patey
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since its revolutionary birth in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has had a turbulent existence in international relations. From the US hostage crisis to the Iran-Iraq War to the current provocative development of its nuclear program, the short history of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been characterized by its volatile foreign politics. In fact, this is a feature very much resemblant of the country's tumultuous past, born from both its immense energy resources and its geo-strategic location. Regardless if Iran was under the rule of a Shah or the ultimate power of an Ayatollah, since the discovery of oil in the early 1900s, Iran's generous natural endowments have created an intimate link between itself and geopolitical competition.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran
  • Author: Bjørn Moller
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Recent violent conflicts in Africa have seen extensive use of very irregular armed forces by governments. Examples include the use of Kamajors in Sierra Leone, Janjaweed and other militias in Sudan and Interahamwe militias in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The paper, originally written for a seminar on Threatened Trust. The transformation of the state and fading civil security at the Centre for African Studies, Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Basel, Basel, 9-10 January 2006, analyses the historical background of such phenomena, the strategic benefits and drawbacks of the resort to such forces, the consequences for the conduct of armed conflicts and the implications thereof for the civilian populations. Finally, it points to a number of complications caused by the presence of such forces for peace settlements and post-conflict peacebuilding, including DDR (disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration) of former combatants and security sector reform.
  • Topic: Civil War, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Bjørn Moller
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In the paper, commissioned by Hussein Solomon and Akeem Fadare for their forthcoming anthology on Political Islam and the State in Africa, the focus placed on the political role of Islam in Kenyan politics. Prevalent fears (e.g. in the United States) of the country becoming a hotbed of Islamist radicalism and terrorism are critically examined against the background of the various categories of Kenyan Muslims, their general position in Kenyan society, their grievances, organisation and occasional role in various conflicts. This is all set against a background of Kenyan history, where the role of other religions (Christianity and traditional religion) is also highlighted. The paper concludes with some tentative recommendations for how the (mainly latent) conflicts might be defused.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, United States
  • Author: Riina Isotalo
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Taking its cue from the literature on return migration and repatriation processes as well as the Palestinian refugee problem, this paper looks first at the issue of return to place of origin or not. Return migration to the West Bank and Gaza Strip is then considered in the light of this schema, and stipulations of the politicisation of a transnational paradigm and the structural invisibility of return migration are highlighted. The present paper argues that in the Palestinian context, return is a political issue for all parties concerned and that Palestinian return migration has been structurally invisible. The paper concludes that politicisation of a transnational paradigm should be acknowledged in studying Palestinians' transnational mobility and relations because otherwise the fact that some transnational practises might aim at permanent return can pass unnoticed.
  • Topic: Development, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Gaza
  • Author: Pertti Joenniemi
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This contribution probes the essence of Denmark as a political project by using conscription as an inroad and employing it as a lens that provides insight into the way some of the key constitutive relationships underpinning Denmark have been unfolding over time. Conscription is approached by focusing on its discursive features, those furnishing it with – or depriving it of – ideational power.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Hanne Kirstine Adriansen
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the 2003 war against Iraq, the newspapers are full of stories about the monstrosities of Saddam Hussein's regime. One example is the destruction of the Iraqi marshlands leading to severe consequences for the human and wildlife population. While the responsibility for the atrocity against the Marsh Arabs is Saddam Hussein's, the desiccation of the marsh environment can be ascribed to a number of the hydro-political decisions made in the catchment area of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. Based on an analysis of the discourses of the destruction, it is demonstrated how these have changed after the war and are used in the battle to legitimise the war. This has led to a simplified image of the marshes and the Marsh Arab way of life. As the paper shows, a more complex approach towards the processes leading to this human and environmental disaster is required, if repatriation and rehabilitation of the area are to stand a chance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Environment, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Nils Ole Bubandt
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Tracing the political history of the global concept of 'security' through a variety of national and regional inflections in Indonesia, this paper argues for the analytical usefulness of the concept of 'vernacular security'. Entailed in this is a proposal to treat the concept of security as a socially situated and discursively defined category that needs a politically contextualised explication rather than as an analytical category that needs refined definition and consistent use.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Catharina Sørense
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The aim of the working paper is to examine similarities and differences between Danish and British sceptical or negative public attitudes towards the European Union. It looks at problems involved with defining and measuring the phenomenon of popular euroscepticism, before turning to characteristics specific for the case countries. The conclusion drawn from the comparison is that the phenomenon differs significantly even between two countries often associated for a discernible euroscepticism. In conclusion, the contemporary relevance of the study of popular euroscepticism is discussed with reference to the increasing use of referenda as a means to settle political questions in today's EU.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sergei Prozorov
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The article seeks to map the emergent discursive field of conservatism in Russian politics in the context of the reshapement of the political space in the Putin presidency. In the course of Putin's first presidential term 'conservatism' became a privileged mode of political selfidentification in the Russian discourse, functioning as the nodal point of the hegemonic project of the Presidency. Yet, in accordance with the Foucauldian understanding of discourse as a system of dispersion, the article demonstrates the way the conservative discourse is internally fractured into two antagonistic strands, identified by their practitioners as liberal and left conservatisms. While the liberal-conservative orientation supports and sustains the depoliticising project of the Putin presidency, which orders and stabilises the effects of the anti-communist revolution, left conservatism functions in the modality of radical opposition to the Putinian hegemony, thereby contributing to the pluralisation of political space in contemporary Russia. In the present Russian political constellation 'conservatism' is therefore less a name for a stable hegemonic configuration than a designator of the field of political struggle over the very identity of postcommunist Russia. The article concludes with a critical discussion of the relation the two strands of Russian conservatism establish to the period of the 1990s as the 'moment of the political' in the Russian postcommunist transformation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia