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  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Alexander Stroh, Cordula Tibi Weber, Charlotte Heyl
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the extent to which elected power holders informally intervene in the judiciaries of new democracies, an acknowledged but under-researched topic in studies of judicial politics. The paper first develops an empirical strategy for the study of informal interference based on perceptions recorded in interviews, then applies the strategy to six third-wave democracies, three in Africa (Benin, Madagascar and Senegal) and three in Latin America (Argentina, Chile and Paraguay). It also examines how three conditioning factors affect the level of informal judicial interference: formal rules, previous democratic experience, and socioeconomic development. Our results show that countries with better performance in all these conditioning factors exhibit less informal interference than countries with poorer or mixed performance. The results stress the importance of systematically including informal politics in the study of judicial politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Power Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Argentina, Latin America, Tamil Nadu
  • Author: Ruben Gonzalez-Vicente
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article reviews dependency postulates and examines whether they are applicable to explain the political economy of China's contemporary relations with Peru. It argues that the dichotomy between Peru as a commodity-providing periphery and China as a core manufacturing centre is insufficient to explain the ways in which power is embedded in the international economic system, and particularly inadequate to identify winners and losers in the international division of labour. Thereby, in line with some recent international political economy discussions of power, the article proposes that China should not be understood as a self-contained economic entity, but as a hub where natural resources are mobilized for transnational production. Furthermore, contending that a focus on nation-states fails to capture the complexity of (under)-development dynamics, it suggests that notions of internal colonialism, flexible sovereignties and postcolonial analyses of representation provide fresher perspectives from which to understand the distribution of power along the political economy of Sino-Peruvian relations.
  • Topic: Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America
  • Author: Miriam Shabafrouz, Annegret Mähler, Georg Strüver
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Natural resources are often held responsible for intrastate conflicts. As a consequence, both national and international measures to avoid the detrimental impact of resource endowments have increasingly been discussed and implemented in resource-rich countries. These measures include stabilization funds, subregional development programs, revenue-sharing regimes, and transparency initiatives. However, comparative empirical studies of the actual impact of these measures, particularly regarding their contribution to conflict prevention, are scarce. This paper contributes to the filling of this gap: combining a medium-N sample of oildependent countries and three in-depth case studies (Algeria, Nigeria, and Venezuela), we evaluate different instruments of resource management and their effects on conflict risk factors. On the one hand, the findings do not show any systematic connection between the countermeasures and a reduction in resource-related risks; on the other, the paper highlights common causal factors for the lack of implementation of resource-related countermeasures.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, Latin America, Venezuela, Nigeria
  • Author: Otto Argueta
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: It has become commonplace to explain the proliferation of private security services as causally determined by crime rates and institutional weakness. By contrast, this paper argues that another explanatory factor needs to be emphasized, especially for post-war societies: continuity and change of social control mechanisms. The paper first presents the current situation with commercial and noncommercial private security services in Guatemala (private security companies, as well as neighborhood security committees). Against this background, it reconstructs mechanisms and critical junctures by which the Guatemalan state sourced out policing functions to the private sector during the war, and traces the reinforcement of these mechanisms in the post-war society. It argues that the proliferation of private security services is an outcome of the overlapping of different political processes and sequences. The continuity of social control mechanisms thereby emerges as a stronger explanatory factor for this proliferation, rather than the common justification of high crime rates.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Crime, Development
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Guatemala