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  • Author: Stanislav Markus
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The literature on corporate governance in Russia stresses the abuse of shareholder rights in the face of various asset-diversion tactics by the management. Attributing this fiasco to a number of structural obstacles and the privatization legacy, the orthodox account fails to incorporate–let alone explain–the recent data demonstrating a qualitative improvement of corporate governance in crucial segments of the Russian economy. This paper disaggregates “corporate governance” into specific institutions and examines their quality at the firm level as well as by sector. The data supporting the analysis is drawn from recent studies by the OECD, UBS Warburg, CEFIR, and other organizations. The causal inference presented in this paper critically evaluates the impact of foreign capital on the improved corporate governance in Russia's blue-chip firms. The paper presents two alternative state-centered scenarios to explain the implementation of internationally accepted standards of corporate governance by Russia's big business.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Cas Mudde
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The finalized "Return to Europe" of the new EU members states of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has created a whole new ballgame for Eurosceptic political actors. In rational choice terms, the costs of Euroscepticism (and even Eurorejection) have gone down dramatically, while the benefits will most probably go even further up. While the effects of EU accession on the party systems of CEE are multifold, this paper develops one possible effect: the transformation of the already present regional divide within CEE countries into a populist, anti-EU center-periphery leavage.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Reimut Zohlnhöfer, Herbert Obinger
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The 1990s have witnessed unprecedented attempts at privatizing state owned enterprises in virtually all OECD democracies. This contribution analyzes the differences in the privatization proceeds raised by EU and OECD countries between 1990 and 2000. It turns out that privatizations are part of a process of economic liberalization in previously highly regulated economies, as well as a reaction to the fiscal policy challenges imposed by European integration and the globalization of financial markets. In addition, institutional pluralism and union militancy yield significant and negative effects on privatization proceeds. Partisan differences only emerge if economic problems are moderate, while intense economic, particularly fiscal, problems foreclose differing partisan strategies.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Duane Swank
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: I offer an explanation for the widespread diffusion of neoliberal tax policies in the developed democracies. Specifically, I argue that the highly visible 1980s market-conforming tax reform in the United States, the late twentieth century's dominant political economy, creates significant incentives for adoption of neoliberal tax policies by decision makers in other polities. As such, I stress a dominant actor model of the diffusion of neoliberalism that is grounded in asymmetric competition for mobile assets and policy learning. However, while the incentives to follow U.S. tax policy are substantial, the relative weight assigned the costs and benefits of reform and, in turn, the pace and degree of neoliberal policy adoption by other nations is fundamentally contingent on features of domestic political and economic environments. I assess these arguments with empirical models of 1981-to-1998 tax rates on capital in sixteen nations. I find that changes in U.S. tax policy influence subsequent reforms in other polities; in the long-term, all nations move toward the U.S. neoliberal tax structure. Analysis also shows, however, that the responsiveness to US tax reforms is notably greater where linkages with U.S. markets are stronger, where domestic economic stress is deeper, and where uncoordinated market institutions are dominant. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of the present analysis for the volume's central questions: are dominant. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of the present analysis for the volume's central questions: of international policy interdependence and domestic political economic forces in shaping policy change?
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniele Archibugi
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Will Kymlicka has argued “democratic politics is politics in the vernacular.” Does it imply that democratic politics is impossible in a multilingual community, whether at the local, national, regional or global level? This paper discusses this assumption and maintains that democratic politics should imply the willingness of all players to make an effort to understand each other. Democratic politics imply the willingness to overcome the barriers to mutual understanding, including the linguistic ones. Any time that there is a community of fate, a democrat should search for methods that allow deliberation according to the two key conditions of political equality and participation. If linguistic diversity is an obstacle to equality and participation, some methods should be found to overcome it, as exemplified by the Esperanto metaphor. The paper illustrates the argument with four cases of multi-linguistic political communities: a) a school in California with English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students; b) the city of Byelostok in the second half of the nineteenth century, where four different linguistic communities (Polish, Russian, German and Yiddish) coexisted. This led Markus Zamenhof to invent Esperanto; c) the linguistic problems of the Indian state, and the role played by English – a language unspoken by the majority of the Indian population in 1947 – in developing Indian democracy; and d) the case of the European Parliament, with twenty languages and a wealth of interpreters and translators.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, India, California, Germany
  • Author: Endre M. Tvinnereim
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Democratic theory tells us that competition between political parties fosters more responsive government by disciplining elected leaders. Yet party competition may not always attain the levels desirable for holding leaders accountable, notably at the sub-national level. This paper hypothesizes that variations in competition-induced accountability affect regional, or state, government behavior, and that this variation is reflected in citizen satisfaction with regional government performance. The hypothesis is confirmed using survey data from sixty-eight German state election studies. Specifically, a widening of the gap between the two main parties of each state is shown to affect subsequent individual-level satisfaction negatively. This finding presents a conjecture that should be generalizable to other countries with strong sub-national units.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Claes H. de Vreese
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This study tests competing hypotheses about popular support for European integration. It introduces anti-immigration sentiments as a key variable for understanding reluctance towards integration. Drawing on survey data, it is found that anti-immigration sentiments, economic considerations, and the evaluation of domestic governments are the strongest predictors of both support for integration and individuals' propensity to vote “Yes” in a referendum on the enlargement of the EU. When extrapolating the findings to future referendums on issues of European integration, it may be predicted that such referendums will result in a “No” outcome under the conditions of high levels of anti-immigration sentiments, pessimistic economic outlooks, and/or unpopularity of a government.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrew Martin
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper will be a chapter in Euros and Europeans: Monetary Integration and the European Social Model, Andrew Martin and George Ross, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2004. Over time, the impact of EMU on the European social model (ESM) is likely to depend most fundamentally on its effects on unemployment. If EMU makes possible a significant reduction in unemployment, it poses no threat to the ESM. However, EMU is likely to keep unemployment at high levels. This expectation hinges on two propositions: 1) in order to bring unemployment back down after an extended period of disinflation has kept growth below its potential and unemployment high, a period of economic growth above its long-run potential – a growth spurt – is necessary, and 2), the EMU macroeconomic policy regime, as interpreted and implemented by the ECB, blocks such a growth spurt. The first part of the paper describes the policy regime, arguing that the ECB's implementation of it so far and the bank's rationale for doing so indicate an unwillingness to permit the growth spurt needed to significantly reduce unemployment. Its rationale invokes the orthodox view that monetary policy has no long run effects on growth and employment. This view is challenged by an alternative view, described in the second part. The alternative rests mainly on an empirical analysis of cases in which disinflation was and was not followed by growth spurts during the 1980s and 1990s. Showing that in the long run unemployment was lower without higher inflation where monetary policy permitted growth spurts than where it did not, this analysis suggests that the ECB's orthodoxy is fundamentally flawed and that adherence to it will perpetuate Europe's high unemployment.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Christopher Manuel, Margaret Mott
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Throughout the contemporary period, the Church-State relationship in the nation-states of France, Italy, Spain and Portugal – which we will refer to as Latin Europe in this paper – has been a lively source of political conflict and societal cleavage, both on epistemological, and ontological grounds. Epistemological, in that the person living in Latin Europe has to decide whether his world view will be religious or secular; ontological, in that his mortality has kept some sense of the Catholic religion close to his heart and soul at the critical moments of his human reality. Secular views tend to define the European during ordinary periods of life, (“métro boulot dodo,”) while religious beliefs surge during the extraordinary times of life (birth, marriage, death,) as well as during the traditional ceremonial times (Christmas, Easter). This paper will approach the question on the role of the Catholic church in contemporary Latin Europe by first proposing three models of church-state relations in the region and their historical development, then looking at the role of the Vatican, followed by an examination of some recent Eurobarometer data on the views of contemporary Catholics in each country, and finishing with an analysis of selected public policy issues in each country. Throughout, it is interested in the dual questions of whether religion still plays an important role in Latin Europe, and whether or not the Catholic church is still able to influence the direction of public policies in the now democratic nation-states of France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal
  • Author: Vivien A. Schmidt
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Democratic legitimacy for the EU is problematic if it is seen as a future nation-state. If instead the EU were seen as a regional state—with shared sovereignty, variable boundaries, composite identity, compound governance, and a fragmented democracy in which the EU level assures governance for and with the people through effective governing and interest consultation, leaving to the national level government by and of the people through political participation and citizen representation—the problems of the democratic deficit diminish for the EU level. But they become even greater for the national level, where the changes to national democratic practices demand better ideas and discourses of legitimization. A further complicating factor results from problems of “institutional fit,” because the EU has had a more disruptive impact on “simple” polities, where governing activity has traditionally been channeled through a single authority, than on more “compound” polities, where it has been more dispersed through multiple authorities.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Europe