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  • Author: Selman Almohamad
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the scholarship on security sector reform (SSR) tends to neglect regional politics in the formulation of its concepts and policies, and that this neglect deprives the study of SSR of a valuable analytical level. It therefore uses comparative historical analysis and the model of regional conflict formations (RCFs) to examine army reforms in Sierra Leone and Iraq from a regional angle, thereby illustrating the explanatory potential that regional politics could bring to the study of SSR and its implementation. The paper also distinguishes between convergent and divergent regional formations, whereby the relationship between SSR outcomes and regional politics is conceived of as constitutive, entangled, and holistic.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Military Affairs, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Monica Pachon, Gregg B. Johnson
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines committee behavior in Colombia to determine whether parties or coalitions exert agenda-setting powers despite the fact that the formal rules seemingly create little incentive for cooperation. Colombia’s party system is extremely fragmented, electoral volatility is high, and there is a long history of candidate-centered elec- toral rules, all of which suggests that party and coalition leaders have few tools to control the legislative agenda. Additionally, chairs do not directly control committee reports as in other presidential cases. However, the naming of ponentes (rapporteurs) to write ponencias (bill reports) for the committee may give leaders the opportunity to set the agendas in com- mittees. Hence, we test whether committee chairs strategically name ponentes to control the agenda and favor their partisan or coalition inter- ests. We test these ideas using a unique dataset covering two complete legislative sessions and thousands of bills. Overall, we find that commit- tee chairs use the ponente process to set the agenda and privilege legisla- tion sponsored by allies, especially the executive.
  • Topic: Politics, Legislation, Decentralization , Party System
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: David Samuels, Cesar Zucco Jr.
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: What is the source of the Partido dos Trabalhadores' (PT) success? And is the PT likely to thrive into the future as a key player in Brazil's party system? In this paper we weigh in on an emerging debate about Lula's role in the PT's rise to power. Without Lula's ability to win more votes than his party, we might not be discussing lulismo at all, much less its difference from petismo. Yet despite Lula's fame, fortune, and extraordinary political capabilities, lulismo is a comparatively weak psychological phenomenon relative to and independently of petismo. Lulismo mainly reflects positive retrospective evaluations of Lula's performance in office. To the extent that it indicates anything more, it constitutes an embryonic form of petismo. The ideas that constitute lulismo are similar to the ideas that constitute petismo in voters' minds, and they have been so since the party's founding – a nonrevolutionary quest to make Brazilian democracy more equitable and more participatory. Both lulismo and petismo are key sources of the PT's strength, but petismo is likely to endure long after Lula has departed the political scene.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Jorge F. Garzón
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper inquires into the effects of an emerging multipolar world on the international institution of regionalism. While IR scholarship has been making a strong case for the regionalization of world politics since the 1990s, the fact that most of the rising powers are also the sole regional powers of their home regions has led some scholars to argue that the advent of multipolarity can only strengthen this general trend toward a more regionalized international order. In this contribution, I challenge these arguments by proposing an alternative way of thinking about how multipolarity is developing. The implications of this interpretation are that the emergence of multipolarity may actually generate powerful centrifugal forces within regions, which would have adverse effects on the known forms of regionalism that regional groupings have been implementing thus far. This applies particularly to the global South, where intraregional economic interdependencies tend to be weak. The proposition is tested by examining empirical findings across several regions and through a case study.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Jörg Wischermann, Bui The Cuong, Nguyen Quang Vinh, Dang Thi Viet Phuong, Nguyen Thi Minh Chau
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Civic organizations (COs) are neither a good nor a bad thing. They are not inherently fighters for democracy or supporters of authoritarian rule. The way they develop depends on the impact that various forms of state power have on them and on their influence on the state. Vietnamese COs appear to be no exception. When we examine just one direction of these interdependent and reciprocal relations, it becomes clear that under the constraints of the Vietnamese state's infrastructural power many Vietnamese COs develop features of intra‐organizational authoritarianism; that they help to embed the state and the Communist Party more deeply within Vietnamese society; and, finally, that they contribute to bringing the society further under the control of the state and the party. However, this occurs to a very different degree depending on the type of CO. NGOs and faith‐based organizations in particular, at least in the field of gender norms and practices, seem to resist the state's discursive power. This could imply challenges to the state’s and the party's control of politics and society and leads the authors to draw far‐reaching conclusions as far as developmental cooperation with and potential support for various types of Vietnamese COs is concerned.
  • Topic: Non-Governmental Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Anaïd Flesken
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Ethnic diversity is often seen to be detrimental to peace and stability, particularly if ethnicity is the basis for political mobilization. Mobilization is assumed to increase the salience of ethnicity, and with it in-group cohesion, out-group animosity, and national instability; yet the mechanisms have rarely been studied empirically. This article argues that we need to study ethnicity as the outcome of political processes, focus on the attitudinal mechanisms underlying ethnic relation; and examine this phenomenon at the individual level. To this end, the article first disaggregates the term "ethnicity" into attributes, meanings, and actions. Referring to constructivism, it then argues that political science should focus on meanings. Building on the theory and findings of social psychology, this paper shows that political science must distinguish analytically between meanings regarding different in- and out-group processes. Doing so can help advance the study of ethnic relations and conflict-management practices.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Politics, Ethnic Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Ukraine, Bulgaria
  • Author: Giulia Piccolino
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on the history of statebuilding in Western Europe, fiscal sociology has proposed the existence of a mutually reinforcing effect between the emergence of representative government and effective taxation. This paper looks at the case of Benin, a low-income West African country that underwent a fairly successful democratization process in the early 1990s. It finds, in contrast to previous studies that have emphasized dependency on aid rents, that Benin appears to have reinforced its extractive capacities since democratization. However, the effect of democratization has been largely indirect, while other factors, such as the influence of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the size of the country's informal sector, have played a more direct role in encouraging or inhibiting tax extraction. Nevertheless, the hypothesis that effective taxation depends on a quasiconsensual relationship between government and taxpayers finds some confirmation in the Beninese case.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Europe, West Africa
  • Author: Kenneth Bunker, Patricio Navia
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article applies the debate on the recent emergence of outsider candidates in Latin America to independent presidential candidate Marco Enríquez-Ominami (ME-O) in Chile in 2009. We test five competing hypotheses to explain his electoral success. First, his support is explained by the consolidation of democracy, reflected by the disposition of voters to disregard the authoritarian/democratic-aligned candidates. Second, his support is explained by the decline of ideological identification, reflected by the disposition of voters to prefer nontraditional candidates. Third, his support is explained by the resurgence of the Left, reflected by the disposition of voters to identify with anti-Washington Consensus candidates. Fourth, his support is explained by the demand for quick government action, reflected in the predisposition of voters to consider candidates who will solve problems fast even if they do not ask voters for their opinions. Fifth, his support is explained by the declining support for established parties, reflected by the predisposition of voters to favor antisystemic candidates. We use survey data to test these hypotheses. We find no evidence to support the claims that ME-O fits any of the explanations. Though he was widely referred to as an outsider, his success seems to respond to national affairs rather than to a regional pattern.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Patrick Köllner
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Understanding and explaining the shape and functioning of systems of political rule requires a focus on their informal elements, which exist alongside and interact with formal elements. And indeed, political science and area studies have long been concerned with various aspects of “informal politics” and “informal institutions”. Based on a survey of relevant literature, I show that the empirically-rich work focusing on the “non-OECD world” has applied the term “informal politics” in different ways, leading to conceptual ambiguity. Moreover, the term informal politics, as used in the literature, tends to lack in terms of conceptual differentiation. In contrast, the conceptual and broader analytical foundations of the study of informal institutions have become more advanced in recent times. Here, I particularly highlight work on different “genetic” types of informal institutions – tradition- and transition-based informal institutions – and on the possible relations between informal and formal institutions. Finally, I suggest that a focus on political regimes is particularly useful for analyzing, from an institutional perspective, the shape and functioning of autocracies (and other systems of political rule). However, the very opacity of such systems of rule as well as practical research obstacles will continue to bedevil the study of informal institutions in autocracies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Economy, Politics, Political Theory, Governance
  • Author: Malte Gephart
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While the current international and transnational anti‐corruption campaign (ITACC) has been successful in calling worldwide attention to the topic, several critics have argued that the term “corruption” and the concepts that underlie it are ambiguous and that corruption and anti‐corruption have various meanings. This paper empirically explores these supposedly divergent meanings by comparing the ITACC with the anti‐corruption discourse in Paraguay. In order to explore not only the tensions but also possible coalitions between the ITACC and the Paraguayan discourse, I have conducted discourse analysis and constructionist interviews. The empirical exploration shows that differences, and thus tensions, exist between both levels with respect to the causes and effects attributed to corruption, as well as with regard to the ultimate goal of the fight against corruption. However, there also is a strong discourse coalition between the ITACC and Paraguay concerning concrete countermeasures, which indicates the dominance of the international anti‐corruption approach in the Latin American country. Very different actors with divergent understandings of corruption are able to act collectively against corruption via this discourse coalition, while still interpreting these actions according to their respective political agendas.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America