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Social Sciences > Political Science > Comparative Politics
Victim Movements and Government Accountability in Japan and South Korea
Government wrongdoing or negligence harms people worldwide, but not all victims are equally effective at obtaining redress. In Accidental Activists, Celeste L. Arrington examines the interactive dynamics of the politics of redress to understand why not. Relatively powerless groups like redress claimants depend on support from political elites, active groups in society, the media, experts, lawyers, and the interested public to capture democratic policymakers' attention and sway their decisions. Focusing on when and how such third-party support matters, Arrington finds that elite allies may raise awareness about the victims’ cause or sponsor special legislation, but their activities also tend to deter the mobilization of fellow claimants and public sympathy. By contrast, claimants who gain elite allies only after the difficult and potentially risky process of mobilizing societal support tend to achieve more redress, which can include official inquiries, apologies, compensation, and structural reforms.
Arrington draws on her extensive fieldwork to illustrate these dynamics through comparisons of the parallel Japanese and South Korean movements of victims of harsh leprosy control policies, blood products tainted by hepatitis C, and North Korean abductions. Her book thereby highlights how citizens in Northeast Asia—a region grappling with how to address Japan’s past wrongs—are leveraging similar processes to hold their own governments accountable for more recent harms. Accidental Activists also reveals the growing power of litigation to promote policy change and greater accountability from decision makers.
Explaining International Regulatory Regimes
Has globalization diluted the power of national governments to regulate their own economies? Are international governmental and nongovernmental organizations weakening the hold of nation-states on global regulatory agendas? Many observers think so. But in All Politics Is Global, Daniel Drezner argues that this view is wrong. Despite globalization, states--especially the great powers--still dominate international regulatory regimes, and the regulatory goals of states are driven by their domestic interests.
As Drezner shows, state size still matters. The great powers--the United States and the European Union--remain the key players in writing global regulations, and their power is due to the size of their internal economic markets. If they agree, there will be effective global governance. If they don't agree, governance will be fragmented or ineffective. And, paradoxically, the most powerful sources of great-power preferences are the least globalized elements of their economies.
Testing this revisionist model of global regulatory governance on an unusually wide variety of cases, including the Internet, finance, genetically modified organisms, and intellectual property rights, Drezner shows why there is such disparity in the strength of international regulations.
News stories remind us almost daily that anti-American opinion is rampant in every corner of the globe. Journalists, scholars, and politicians alike reinforce the perception that anti-Americanism is an entrenched sentiment in many foreign countries. Political scientist Giacomo Chiozza challenges this conventional wisdom, arguing that foreign public opinion about the U.S. is much more diverse and nuanced than is generally believed. Chiozza examines the character, source, and persistence of foreign attitudes toward the United States. His findings are based on worldwide public opinion databases that surveyed anti-American sentiment in Islamic countries, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and East Asia. Data compiled from responses in a wide range of categories—including politics, wealth, science and technology, popular culture, and education—indicate that anti-American sentiments vary widely across these geographic regions. Through careful analyses, Chiozza shows how foreign publics balance the political, social, and cultural dimensions of the U.S. in their own perceptions of the country. He finds that popular anti-Americanism is mostly benign and shallow; deep-seated ideological opposition to the U.S. is usually held among a minority of groups. More often, Chiozza explains, foreigners have conflicting attitudes toward the U.S. He finds that while anti-Americanism certainly exists, the United States is equally praised as a symbol of democracy and freedom, its ideals of liberty, equality, and opportunity applauded. Chiozza clearly demonstrates that what is reported as undisputed fact—that various groups abhor American values—is in reality a complex story.
The Politics of Institutional Weakness
During the 1990s Argentina was the only country in Latin America to combine radical economic reform and full democracy. In 2001, however, the country fell into a deep political and economic crisis and was widely seen as a basket case. This book explores both developments, examining the links between the (real and apparent) successes of the 1990s and the 2001 collapse. Specific topics include economic policymaking and reform, executive-legislative relations, the judiciary, federalism, political parties and the party system, and new patterns of social protest. Beyond its empirical analysis, the book contributes to several theoretical debates in comparative politics. Contemporary studies of political institutions focus almost exclusively on institutional design, neglecting issues of enforcement and stability. Yet a major problem in much of Latin America is that institutions of diverse types have often failed to take root. Besides examining the effects of institutional weakness, the book also uses the Argentine case to shed light on four other areas of current debate: tensions between radical economic reform and democracy; political parties and contemporary crises of representation; links between subnational and national politics; and the transformation of state-society relations in the post-corporatist era. Besides the editors, the contributors are Javier Auyero, Ernesto Calvo, Kent Eaton, Sebastián Etchemendy, Gretchen Helmke, Wonjae Hwang, Mark Jones, Enrique Peruzzotti, Pablo T. Spiller, Mariano Tommasi, and Juan Carlos Torre.
From Conflict to Integration
Many armed-political movements such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) have their roots in insurrection and rebellion. In Armed Political Organizations, Benedetta Berti seeks to understand when and why violent actors in a political organization choose to vote rather than bomb their way to legitimacy. Berti argues that the classic theory of the democratization process, which sees violence and elections at opposite ends of the political spectrum, is too simplistic and wholly inadequate for understanding the negotiation and disarmament work that is necessary for peaceful resolution of armed conflicts and movement toward electoral options. In this comparative study, she develops an alternative cyclical model that clarifies why armed groups create a political wing and compete in elections, and how this organizational choice impacts subsequent decisions to relinquish armed struggle. In her conclusion, Berti draws out what the implications are for a government’s ability to engage armed political groups to improve the chances of political integration. Berti’s innovative framework and careful choice of case studies, presented in a jargon-free, accessible style, will make this book attractive to not only scholars and students of democratization processes but also policymakers interested in conflict resolution and peacekeeping efforts.
The ascent of globalisation tells the sweeping historical drama of the development of globalisation, from the Second World War to the present day. The story is told through the richly detailed accounts of eighteen remarkable men and women, describing how these architects reshaped the modern world, for better or worse. Profiling their lives, ideas and struggles reveals fresh insights into the nature of globalisation. The book also examines their legacies, shedding new light on many of the problems the world faces today: the global financial crisis, the political and economic malaise afflicting Europe, the numerous failures of the United Nations, the unchecked power of corporations and the inability of governments to cooperate on critical issues such as climate change.
The Challenge to Democracy
Over the past decade, illiberal powers have become emboldened and gained influence within the global arena. Leading authoritarian countries—including China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela—have developed new tools and strategies to contain the spread of democracy and challenge the liberal international political order. Meanwhile, the advanced democracies have retreated, failing to respond to the threat posed by the authoritarians.
As undemocratic regimes become more assertive, they are working together to repress civil society while tightening their grip on cyberspace and expanding their reach in international media. These political changes have fostered the emergence of new counternorms—such as the authoritarian subversion of credible election monitoring—that threaten to further erode the global standing of liberal democracy.
In Authoritarianism Goes Global, a distinguished group of contributors present fresh insights on the complicated issues surrounding the authoritarian resurgence and the implications of these systemic shifts for the international order. This collection of essays is critical for advancing our understanding of the emerging challenges to democratic development.
Contributors: Anne Applebaum, Anne-Marie Brady, Alexander Cooley, Javier Corrales, Ron Deibert, Larry Diamond, Patrick Merloe, Abbas Milani, Andrew Nathan, Marc F. Plattner, Peter Pomerantsev, Douglas Rutzen, Lilia Shevtsova, Alex Vatanka, Christopher Walker, and Frederic Wehrey
Urban Political Development in the United States and the United Kingdom
In Blazing the Neoliberal Trail, Timothy Weaver asks how and why urban policy and politics have become dominated, over the past three decades, by promarket thinking. He argues that politicians such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher targeted urban areas as part of their far broader effort to remake the relationship between markets, states, and citizens. But while neoliberal policies were enacted in both the United States and the United Kingdom, Weaver shows that there was significant variation in the ways in which neoliberal ideas were brought to bear on institutional frameworks and organized interests. Moreover, these developments were not limited to a 1980s right-wing effort but were also advanced by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, whose own agendas ultimately reinforced neoliberal ideas and practices, though often by default rather than design. The enduring impact of these shifts is evidenced today by the reintroduction of enterprise zones in the United Kingdom by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and by President Obama's announcement of Promise Zones, which, despite appearances, are cast in the neoliberal mold.
By highlighting the bipartisan nature of the neoliberal turn, Weaver challenges the dominant narrative that the revival of promarket policies was primarily driven by the American GOP and the United Kingdom's Conservative Party. Drawing on extensive archival research and interviews with key political actors, Weaver examines national-level policies, such as enterprise zones—place-based articulations of neoliberal ideas—in case studies of Philadelphia and London. Through an investigation of national urban policy and local city politics, Blazing the Neoliberal Trail shows how elites became persuaded by neoliberal ideas and remade political institutions in their image.
Legislative Member Organizations as Social Networks in the United States and the European Union
Legislative member organizations (LMOs)—such as caucuses in the U.S. Congress and intergroups in the European Parliament—exist in lawmaking bodies around the world. Unlike parties and committees, LMOs play no obvious, predefined role in the legislative process. They provide legislators with opportunities to establish social networks with colleagues who share common interests. In turn, such networks offer valuable opportunities for the efficient exchange of policy-relevant—and sometimes otherwise unattainable—information between legislative offices. Building on classic insights from the study of social networks, the authors provide a comparative overview of LMOs across advanced, liberal democracies. In two nuanced case studies of LMOs in the European Parliament and the U.S. Congress, the authors rely on a mix of social network analysis, sophisticated statistical methods, and careful qualitative analysis of a large number of in-depth interviews.