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  • Author: Vikram K. Chand
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Until recently, the monitoring of elections in a sovereign country by outside actors was extremely rare. The United Nations (UN) had significant experience in conducting plebiscites and elections in dependent territories but did not monitor an election in a formally independent country until 1989, when it reluctantly became involved in the Nicaraguan electoral process. At the regional level, the Organization of American States (OAS) occasionally sent small delegations to witness elections in member states, but these missions were too brief to permit any real observation of the processes, and failed to criticise fraud. Since the 1980s election-monitoring has become increasingly common in transitional elections from authoritarian to democratic rule. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), domestic and international, were the first to become involved in election-monitoring in the 1980s followed by international and regional organisations like the UN, the OAS, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the 1990s. Election-monitors played a crucial role in transitional elections held in the Philippines (1986), Chile (1989), Panama (1989), Nicaragua (1990) and Haiti (1990). In addition, elections began to form a crucial element of UN 'peace-building' strategies in countries torn apart by civil strife such as Namibia (1989), Cambodia (1993) and El Salvador (1994). By the middle of the 1990s, international election-monitoring had thus become widely accepted, and fairly universal standards established for defining the term 'free and fair' elections.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Non-Governmental Organization, Sovereignty, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Philippines, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Chile, Namibia
  • Author: Imtiaz Hussain
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: Conventionally viewing the state as a black box and focusing almost exclusively on its outward orientation, the Westphalia paradigm, I argue, has outlived its purpose, and may even be misleading when applied to the more porous and democratic state today. Rather than measure state viability in terms of power balances abroad, three constituent elements extracted from the Westphalia literature are used to evaluate internal state viability instead: the relationship between the nation and the state, the capacities of the state itself, and the state within a collectivity. Whereas the first is operationalized in terms of Buzan's four-fold typology, the second focuses on how two forms of internal divisions have been resolved—between city and country interests over policy-making, and between various classes in society through governmental income redistribution programs—while the third evaluates the propensity of the state to delegate loyalties to any supranational entity in the 1990s. Over 160 sovereign countries are pooled into 5 geographical regions for the analysis. The results strengthen the above argument, and generally portray the exceptionalism of West Europe: It is the global hub of established national states, even though there are more state nations worldwide whose historical emergence accented internal development over external security considerations; viable states, measured in terms of established democracies, urban preponderance over policy making, and welfare redistribution; and transferring loyalties beyond the state.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Maryland, Westphalia
  • Author: Grzegorz Ekiert, Jan Kubik
  • Publication Date: 10-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for European Studies at Cornell University
  • Abstract: The paper argues that a robust and assertive civil society has emerged in post-communist Poland during the first few years following the fall of state socialism. Civil society is defined as a specific social space and a set of specific social organizations. The most important factors shaping the character of this renewed civil society are the patterns of its institutionalization after 1989, the predominance of organizations inherited from the old regime, and the marginality of anti-systemic groups. The institutional patterns are shaped by the sectoral composition of the new civil society, the relationships among its various organizations, and by these organizations' links to such collective actors/institutions as political parties and state agencies. These patterns influence the quality of political participation and democratic performance.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John W. Schiemann, Kenneth Benoit
  • Publication Date: 05-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Theories which explain the origins of institutions as the product of struggles for distributive advantage provide only a general framework with no conceptualization of the bargaining process and few applications to empirical cases. We address both problems and extend the distributive theory of institutional origins by drawing on a unique set of data to examine the creation of the Hungarian electoral law of 1989. Arguing that outcomes are shaped by four mechanisms arising from bargaining - time preferences, the credibility of threats and promises, mimicked fairness, and symmetrical division - we develop observable implications of these mechanisms and test them empirically by analyzing the bargaining which produced the multiple rules of Hungary's complex electoral system. Not only does the Hungarian case confirm the bargaining mechanism theory of institutional origins, but the theory also explains many curious features of the Hungarian electoral institutions, including its surprising combination of extraordinary complexity and unusual stability.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Author: Wolfgang Biermann, Martin Vadset
  • Publication Date: 04-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: UN Peacekeeping after the Cold War shows that options of what the international community can achieve by intervening into or after civil war-like conflicts are in reality more limited than political or moral desires may demand. Finding out the criteria of the 'practicability' and feasibility of UN mandates is a challenging task for research as well as for political and military decision-makers. The Danish Norwegian Research Project on UN Peacekeeping (DANORP) has considered the peacekeepers themselves as a best resource to answer the question of 'practicability' of mandates they are expected to implement, and to identify political and operational "secrets of success" or "reasons for failure".
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Policy Information Center
  • Abstract: Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, was a pioneer in the movement for African independence. In past centuries, its territory was home to a series of powerful and technically-advanced societies, renowned for their artistic, commercial, and political achievements.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Salih Booker
  • Publication Date: 03-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Policy Information Center
  • Abstract: Recent Congressional action to significantly cut aid to Africa is only one sign among many of a trend to reduce U.S. involvement on the continent. How much further Africa is marginalized in the U.S. will ultimately depend on the ability of Africa's multiple constituencies to reverse this trend. Nevertheless, events on the continent are likely to compel a greater commitment of resources than U.S. policymakers currently contemplate. And engagement at any level needs to be based on clear identification of U.S. interests in Africa and well-defined criteria for establishing priorities.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Rudolf Joo
  • Publication Date: 02-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Political control of armed forces is not a problem that has confronted only liberal democracies of the twentieth century. Even less is it an issue challenging only the democratizing societies of Central and Eastern Europe in the l990s. The crucial dilemma -- that a separate armed body established in order to protect a society might pose a threat to that same society -- goes back to antiquity. The ever-relevant question of who guards the guards was a central issue in Plato's dialogue The Republic, written about 2,500 years ago. Plato, in presenting what he considered to be the right order of society, described the military state as a deviation. Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire were both confronted with the dilemma `sed quis custodiet ipsos Custodes?' The question has remained the same over the centuries, but as armed forces and society have changed, the nature of the problem has also changed.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Greece
  • Author: Robert A. Pastor
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In my travels throughout Latin America, I have always found the region's leaders eager to converse with American statesmen, but with few exceptions, they mostly had to content themselves with speaking to specialists like me. The kind of transnational dialogue that would permit hemispheric relations to rise to a higher level just did not exist. When President Carter asked if I would direct a new program at The Carter Center, my thoughts turned to the question of whether I could help form a group of senior statesmen from thoughts the hemisphere, who not only could consult with each other, but also work together to advance the ideals of human rights, democracy, social justice, and equitable development that lie at the core of the inter-American promise.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean
  • Author: Wolfgang Seibel, Christopher S. Allen, Hans-Georg Betz, Henry Kreikenbaum, John Leslie, Andrei S. Markovitz, Ann L. Phillips, Michaela W. Richter
  • Publication Date: 03-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of European Studies
  • Abstract: According to West German standards, there is only a weak nonprofit sector in East Germany today. The East German quasi-nonprofit sector nonetheless is an indispensable institutional ingredient of political integration. It is characterized by an amazing degree of structural and ideological continuity. Much of its organizational setting dates back to the pre-1989 era. Both funding and managerial attitudes are shaped by state-centeredness. Nonprofit institutions are heavily engaged in mitigating the social costs of economic transformation. Many of them, especially at the local level, are controlled by members of the former-communist PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism). Thus, the East German quasinonprofit sector presumably integrates two important societal groups more effectively than the regular polity: those alienated from the new democracy due to economic disappointment or deprivation and those alienated from the new democracy due to ideological reasons (former communists in particular). This indicates a remarkable institutional elasticity whose main function is to "synchronize" the dramatically accelerated pace of political change and the much slower pace of societal change.
  • Topic: Cold War, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John W. Slocum
  • Publication Date: 07-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Abstract: Practitioners of the late lamented science of Sovietology have been roundly criticized for failing to predict one of the most momentous events of the twentieth century—the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Anxious to avoid a repetition of past mistakes, post-Sovietologists have in turn devoted a good deal of attention to the question of whether the USSR's largest successor state, the Russian Federation, is itself in danger of breaking apart. Like the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation is a multinational state with ethnically-defined territorial subunits; political elites in these subunits, faced with massive political, economic and social uncertainty, may be attracted by the idea of political independence. During the first half of the 1990s, post-Soviet Russia has indeed experienced more than one crisis of center-periphery relations. The present study, however, suggests that the likelihood of a general disintegration of the Russian Federation peaked in the early 1990s and is now decreasing. In view of this analysis, the war in Chechnya is an exception to an overall trend toward consolidation, rather than an indicator of a general breakdown in center-periphery relations.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 09-1994
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In September 1994, the Commission on Radio and Television Policy, bringing together the New Independent States, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the United States, met in St. Petersburg, Russia, to discuss the most important policy issue of the electronic media: how to strengthen the independence of radio and television. The members of the Commission represented several different approaches and types of government, but, in the end, there was unanimous agreement on a communiqué urging all parties to defend and extend autonomy of the media.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-1994
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The national elections on August 21, 1994 will be an important milestone in Mexico's political opening. During the last four years, the Mexican Congress approved a number of important reforms to the electoral process. Yet the Mexican population remains highly skeptical about the integrity of the elections. Opinion polls show that nearly one-half of respondents expect fraud, and more than one half expect post-electoral violence.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Richard Joseph
  • Publication Date: 05-1994
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: On May 13-14, 1994, a group of 32 scholars and practitioners took part in a seminar on Democratization in Africa at The Carter Center. This consultation was a sequel to two similar meetings held in February 1989 and March 1990. Discussion papers from those seminars have been published under the titles, Beyond Autocracy in Africa and African Governance in the 1990s. During the period 1990-94, the African Governance Program of The Carter Center moved from discussions and reflections to active involvement in the complex processes of renewed democratization in several African countries. These developments throughout Africa were also monitored and assessed in the publication, Africa Demos.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America
  • Publication Date: 11-1992
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Robert Pastor, Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Program at The Carter Center and Executive Secretary of the Council, opened the conference with a reference to Mexican Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz who once said, "A nation without free elections is a nation without a voice, without eyes, and without ears." Pastor noted that the right to free and fair elections is a universal right enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Charter of the Organization of American States. In the spirit of honoring that right, the Council was formed in 1986 to lend support and assistance to the democratization movement in the Americas.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: The Conference Center
  • Publication Date: 07-1992
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In the two years that have elapsed since The Carter Center hosted "Investigating Abuses and Introducing Human Rights Safeguards in the Democratization Process," the issues we discussed then have become even more pivotal as our views of governance and the rights of individuals and of state sovereignty itself are being fundamentally transformed. It was our view that, although the Center did not previously publish the seminar proceedings, making them available at this time would serve to further inform those who are working in this field by providing insightful observations by many human rights activists, journalists, and academicians who were involved directly in political transitions in their own countries and by others who studied these events from the outside.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Human Rights, International Cooperation
  • Publication Date: 05-1990
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: During the entire electoral process, the political system in Nicaragua gradually opened so that by election day, the major political parties acknowledged that they had an adequate opportunity to explain their positions to the Nicaraguan people. The Council of Freely-Elected Heads of Government shared the conclusion of the parties: the Nicaraguan people were free to vote their preferences in a fair election, and the official results reflected the collective will of the nation.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Publication Date: 02-1989
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The aim of the inaugural seminar of the Governance in Africa Program (G.A.P.) was to bring together a diverse group of scholars to reflect on some of the central issues which confront the continent. The program takes its acronym from the increasing gap between the democratic and developmental aspirations expressed during the anti-colonial struggle and the monopolization of power and the deepening economic predicament today.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa