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Lessons from the Past and Scenarios for the Future
This book analyzes how the behavior of voters, parties, and the mass media in European Parliament elections affects domestic politics and how, in turn, domestic politics affects those behaviors. The contributors discuss election turnout and party choice, the contract between the European Parliament and national elections, the importance of citizens’ attitudes toward European integration, the relationship between political parties’ domestic policies and their stances on European integration, and the ways in which the mass media and election campaigns affect electoral outcomes. On the basis of this information, the authors present possible scenarios for future European elections and their relationship to the domestic politics of the EU member-states. The product of superb empirical research, European Elections and Domestic Politics is based on a unique combination of data from voter surveys, party manifestos, and mass media reports across all members of the European Union. This book will be essential for anyone interested in the future of the EU.
Improving Government Performance with Independent Monitoring Organizations
This book is based on a simple concept: no one is in a better position to hold a government accountable than those it governs.
When governments fail to meet the needs of their citizens, the international community often turns to large external organizations such as the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank. These analysts and monitors may have the resources and expertise to analyze and advise on public spending and governance, but where do they go when the time comes to implement new policies? And can they really have a more nuanced understanding of the country's problems than its own citizens? Who is there to watch day and night to hold the government accountable?
From the Ground Up proposes that the international community's efforts to improve public expenditure and budget execution decisions would be more effective if done in collaboration with local independent monitoring organizations. Stephen Kosack, Courtney Tolmie, and Charles Griffin track the work of sixteen independent monitoring organizations from across the developing world, demonstrating how these relatively small groups of local researchers produce both thoughtful analysis and workable solutions. They achieve these results because their vantage point allows them to more effectively discern problems with governance and to communicate with their fellow citizens about the ideals and methods of good governance.
The authors also outline some disadvantages facing independent monitoring organizations, such as insufficient resources, inadequate access to data, and too little influence with high government officials. Collaboration with larger international organizations could help independent monitoring organizations overcome such obstacles, increasing their chances of improving governance from the ground up.
Exploring Constitutional Functionality
In the 225 years since the United States Constitution was first drafted, no single book has addressed the key questions of what constitutions are designed to do, how they are structured, and why they matter. In From Words to Worlds, constitutional scholar Beau Breslin corrects this glaring oversight, singling out the essential functions that a modern, written constitution must incorporate in order to serve as a nation’s fundamental law. Breslin lays out and explains the basic functions of a modern constitution—including creating a new citizenry, structuring the institutions of government, regulating conflict between layers and branches of government, and limiting the power of the sovereign. He also discusses the theoretical concepts behind the fundamentals of written constitutions and examines in depth some of the most important constitutional charters from around the world. In assaying how states put structural ideas into practice, Breslin asks probing questions about why—and if—constitutions matter. Solidly argued and engagingly written, this comparative study in constitutional thought demonstrates clearly the key components that a state’s foundational document must address. Breslin draws a critically important distinction between constitutional texts and constitutional practice.
The Rise of Electoral Authoritarianism in Peru
President Alberto Fujimori’s sudden resignation in November 2000 brought an end to a highly controversial period in Peruvian history. His meteoric rise to power in 1990 fueled by widespread popular support, followed by his decision to dissolve Congress and rule by decree in 1992, has made his regime a focus of special attention by scholars trying to understand this complex and contradictory presidency.This book offers a comprehensive assessment of Fujimori’s regime in the context of Latin America’s struggle to consolidate democracy after years of authoritarian rule. Setting the regime conceptually in a discussion of alternative forms of government—delegative democracy, neopopulism, and electoral authoritarianism—the essays study it from two different perspectives: external (in its relations with political parties, Lima’s mayors, public opinion, women, the U.S. government) and internal (examining economic policies as determined by governing coalitions, networks of corruption, and Fujimori’s unsavory relationship with his security advisor Vladimiro Montesinos). Overall, The Fujimori Legacy helps illuminate the persistent obstacles that Latin American countries face in establishing democracy.In addition to the editor, contributors are Robert Barr, Maxwell Cameron, Catherine Conaghan, Henry Dietz, Philip Mauceri, Cynthia McClintock, David Scott Palmer, Kenneth Roberts, Gregory Schmidt, John Sheahan, Kurt Weyland, and Carol Wise.
Women's Movements, State Restructuring, and Global Development in Ecuador
Since the early 1980s Ecuador has experienced a series of events unparalleled in its history. Its “free market” strategies exacerbated the debt crisis, and in response new forms of social movement organizing arose among the country’s poor, including women’s groups. Gendered Paradoxes focuses on women’s participation in the political and economic restructuring process of the past twenty-five years, showing how in their daily struggle for survival Ecuadorian women have both reinforced and embraced the neoliberal model yet also challenged its exclusionary nature. Drawing on her extensive ethnographic fieldwork and employing an approach combining political economy and cultural politics, Amy Lind charts the growth of several strands of women’s activism and identifies how they have helped redefine, often in contradictory ways, the real and imagined boundaries of neoliberal development discourse and practice. In her analysis of this ambivalent and “unfinished” cultural project of modernity in the Andes, she examines state policies and their effects on women of various social sectors; women’s community development initiatives and responses to the debt crisis; and the roles played by feminist “issue networks” in reshaping national and international policy agendas in Ecuador and in developing a transnationally influenced, locally based feminist movement.
Decentralization, Democracy, and Subnational Government in Brazil, Mexico, and the USA
Governance in the Americas, a multidisciplinary volume, offers important new insights about decentralization, federalism, and democratic change in the three largest federal nations in the Americas: Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. Originating in a major research project conducted by teams in each of the three countries, this study contributes significantly to our understanding of how representative and participatory democracy is being constructed at state and local levels in the recently emerged democracies of Brazil and Mexico, and is being recast and sustained in the United States. The contributors evaluate the performance of subnational governments, as these societies become more genuinely decentralized, and as new actors and managerial routines create and implement public policy. The authors challenge the criticism of “exceptionalism” in the United States, seeking instead to understand the points of convergence and divergence among the three countries as each seeks to improve the effectiveness and public accountability of its policy-making processes.
International Institutions in Postcommunist Europe
Though the fall of the Soviet Union opened the way for states in central and eastern Europe to join the world of market-oriented Western democracies, the expected transitions have not been as easy, common, or smooth as sometimes perceived. Rachel A. Epstein investigates how liberal ideas and practices are embedded in transitioning societies and finds that success or failure depends largely on creating a social context in which incentives held out by international institutions are viewed as symbols of an emerging Western identity in the affected country. Epstein first explains how a liberal worldview and institutions like the European Union, World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization go hand-in-hand and why Western nations assume that a broad and incremental program of incentives to join will encourage formerly authoritarian states to reform their political and economic systems. Using Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Ukraine as case studies, she demonstrates the limits of conditionality in the face of national social perceptions and elucidates the three key points around which a consensus within the state must emerge before international institutions can expect liberalization: domestic officials must be uncertain about how changing policies will affect their interests; the status of international and domestic institutions must not be in jeopardy; and the proposed polices must seem credible. In making her case, Epstein cleverly bridges the gap between the rationalist and constructivist schools of thought. Offering new data on and fresh interpretations of reforming central bank policies, privatizing banks with foreign capital, democratizing civil-military relations, and denationalizing defense policy, In Pursuit of Liberalism extends well beyond the scope of previous book-length studies.
Local Politics Go Global
For the last decade, China and India have grown at an amazing rate particularly considering the greatest downturn in the U.S. and Europe since the Great Depression. As a result, both countries are forecast to have larger economies than the U.S. or EU in the years ahead. Still, in the last year, signs of a slowdown have hit these two giants. Which way will these giants go? And how will that affect the global economy? Any Western corporation, investor, or entrepreneur serious about competing internationally must understand what makes them tick. Unfortunately, many in the West still look at the two Asian giants as monoliths, closely controlled mainly by their national governments. Inside Out, India and China makes clear how and why this notion is outdated.
William Antholis a former White House and State Department official, and the managing director at Brookings spent five months in India and China, travelling to over 20 states and provinces in both countries. He explored the enormously diversity in business, governance, and culture of these nations, temporarily relocating his entire family to Asia. His travels, research, and interviews with key stakeholders make the unmistakable point that these nations are not the immobile, centrally directed economies and structures of the past.
More and more, key policy decisions in India and China are formulated and implemented by local governments states, provinces, and fast-growing cities. Both economies have promoted entrepreneurship, both by private sector and also local government officials. Some strategies work. Others are fatally flawed. Antholis's detailed narratives of local innovation in governance and business as well as local failures prove the point that simply maintaining a presence in Beijing and New Delhi or even Shanghai and Mumbai is not enough to ensure success in China or India, just as one cannot expect to succeed in America simply by setting up in Washington or New York. Each nation is as large, vibrant, innovative, diverse, and increasingly decentralized as are the United States, Europe and all of Latin America combined. China and India each have their own agricultural heartlands, high-tech corridors, resource-rich areas, and powerhouse manufacturing regions. They also have major economic, social, environmental challenges facing them. But few people outside these countries can name those places, or have a mental map of how the local parts of these countries are shaping their global futures. Organizations, businesses, and other governments that do not recognize and plan for this evolution may miss that the most important changes in these emerging giants are coming from the inside out.
"This book is for people who wonder about the inside of China and India, and how different local perspectives inside those countries shape actions outside their borders. Though my family and I spent five months traveling in both countries to do research, this book is not a travelogue. Rather, it is an attempt to sketch how a few of China's and India's many component parts are being shaped by global forces and in turn are shaping those forces and what that means for Americans and Europeans conducting diplomacy and doing business there." from the Introduction
The Argentine Puzzle in Context
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has played a critical role in the global economy since the postwar era. But, claims Claudia Kedar, behind the strictly economic aspects of the IMF’s intervention, there are influential interactions between IMF technocrats and local economists—even when countries are not borrowing money.
In The International Monetary Fund and Latin America, Kedar seeks to expose the motivations and constraints of the operations of both the IMF and borrowers. With access to never-before-seen archive materials, Kedar reveals both the routine and behind-the-scenes practices that have depicted International Monetary Fund–Latin American relations in general and the asymmetrical IMF-Argentina relations in particular.
Kedar also analyzes the “routine of dependency” that characterizes IMF-borrower relations with several Latin American countries such as Chile, Peru, and Brazil. The International Monetary Fund and Latin America shows how debtor countries have adopted IMF’s policies during past decades and why Latin American leaders today largely refrain from knocking at the IMF’s doors again.