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Does decentralization strengthen or weaken the state? Authority and social learning in a supple state

Faguet, Jean-Paul; Fox, Ashley M.; Poeschl, Caroline
Fonte: Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /08/2014 Português
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We examine how decentralization affects four key aspects of state strength: (i) Authority over territory and conflict prevention, (ii) Policy autonomy and the ability to uphold the law, (iii) Responsive, accountable service provision, and (iv) Social learning. We provide specific reform paths that should lead to strengthening in each. Decentralizing below the level of social cleavages should drain secessionist pressure by peeling away moderate citizens from radical leaders. The regional specificity of elite interests is key. If regional elites have more to lose than gain from national schism, they will not invest in politicians and conflicts that promote secession. Strong accountability mechanisms and national safeguards of minority rights can align local leaders’ incentives with citizens’, so promoting power-sharing and discouraging local capture or oppression. “Fragmentation of authority” is a mistaken inference; what decentralization really does is transform politics from top-down to bottom-up, embracing many localities and their concerns. The state moves from a simpler, brittler command structure to one based on overlapping authority and complex complementarity, where government is more robust to failure in any of its parts. Well-designed reform...

“Why I decentralized Bolivia”

Sánchez de Lozada, Gonzalo; Faguet, Jean-Paul
Fonte: Department of International Development, The London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Department of International Development, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /08/2014 Português
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Why would any president, having spent a career achieving the pinnacle of power, willingly hand it away to others he cannot control? This is the black hole at the heart of the decentralization debate that has never been satisfyingly answered. We attempt to answer this question for the radical case of Bolivia through an extended interview with the man who decentralized Bolivia. Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada was a principal actor in some of the most important events in Bolivia’s – and indeed Latin America’s – modern history. A highly improbable politician and statesman, he rose to prominence as the minister who designed the stabilization plan that defeated hyperinflation in a period of near-national collapse. He was elected president in 1993 and again in 2002. His first term saw a burst of reforms that decentralized political power and resources to municipalities, privatized the largest state enterprises, reformed education, created a public pension scheme, and reformed the executive branch of government. His second term saw rising unrest that culminated in huge demonstrations, shocking violence, and Sánchez de Lozada’s overthrow/flight to the US, where he lives today. This chapter focuses on his formative experiences in government...

Wellbeing and welfare regimes in four countries

Gough, Ian
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Research Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Research
Tipo: Conference or Workshop Item; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf; application/pdf; application/pdf
Publicado em /06/2007 Português
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This paper begins to link the earlier ‘Bath’ research into welfare regimes in developing countries with the WeD research into wellbeing in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Peru and Thailand. It thus presents a qualitative comparative analysis of wellbeing across the four countries. The welfare regime model is modified in two main ways: to include satisfaction with important life goals as a measure of wellbeing outcomes, and to include comparative family and cultural structures as major explanations of welfare regimes. The second section summarises the global context shaping the four countries since 1990 and the combined and unequal reflection of these in the political economies of the four countries. The next four sections consider in turn: welfare and wellbeing outcomes, the ‘welfare mix’ (the ways states, markets, communities, households and their international equivalents interact to produce wellbeing or illbeing), some of the structural determinants of these, and political mobilisations to protect or change the regime pattern. It concludes by relating welfare regimes to the idea of wellbeing developed within the WeD programme.

Book review: The great rivalry: Gladstone and Disraeli: a dual biography

Berry, Richard
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 04/09/2013 Português
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"The Great Rivalry: Gladstone and Disraeli: A Dual Biography." Dick Leonard. IB Tauris. June 2013. --- Benjamin Disraeli and William Ewart Gladstone are without doubt the two most iconic figures of Victorian politics, whose distinctly different personalities and policies led to 28 years of bitter political rivalry. In The Great Rivalry, Dick Leonard aims to provide the full story of their rivalry and its origins, comparing the upbringing, education and personalities of the two leaders, as well as their political careers. A thoughtful and rewarding read, finds Richard Berry.

Insights from societal psychology: a contextual politics of societal change

Howarth, Caroline; Campbell, Catherine; Cornish, Flora; Franks, Bradley; Garcia-Lorenzo, Lucia; Gillespie, Alex; Gleibs, Ilka H.; Goncalves-Portelinha, I.; Jovchelovitch, Sandra; Lahlou, Saadi; Mannell, Jenevieve Claire; Reader, Tom W.; Tennant, C.
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Research Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Research
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2013 Português
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In this paper we demonstrate that societal psychology makes a unique contribution to the study of change through its focus on the 'contextual politics' of change, examining the different interests at stake within any social context. Societal psychology explores the contexts which promote or inhibit social and societal change and can be seen as a bridge between social and political psychology. It focuses on how the context shapes the ways in which societal change is understood, supported or resisted. To understand the intellectual rationale of societal psychology, and how it aims to foster societal change, we first consider the history of the discipline. Second, we consider what is meant by 'context', as understanding the environment of change is the hallmark of societal psychology. Third, we lay out three distinct features of a societal psychological approach to change: the politics of change; interventions and planned change; emergent change processes. Finally, the paper examines possible future developments of societal psychology and its role in understanding and creating societal change, alongside its place within the wider canon of social and political psychology. The article is available in full...

Book Review: Policy analysis in Germany

Himmrich, Julia
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 19/12/2013 Português
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"Policy Analysis in Germany." Sonja Blum and Klaus Schubert (eds.). Policy Press. July 2013. --- This book aims to outline the development of policy analysis activities in Germany, identify its role in academic education and research, and examine its styles and methods. The authors focus on the role of policy analysis for governments and parliaments, for parties, social partners, and interest groups. Julia Himmrich finds that the volume grapples with the question of the role academics play in policy analysis by raising issues around independence, academic rigour, methodology, and political interest.

The GCC: Gulf state integration or leadership cooperation?

Partrick, Neil
Fonte: The London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: The London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /11/2011 Português
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The GCC was forged as an alliance of politically like-minded states which sought to cooperate in the face of perceptibly increasing security threats. The conflict between Iraq and Iran presented security threats to the different Gulf Arab regimes. Saudi Arabia was concerned that the war could encourage some of the smaller states to bandwagon with one of the two adversaries. The smaller Gulf states were prepared to work with Saudi Arabia in preference to the greater threat of Iraq and Iran. The Gulf Arab hereditary regimes formed an association whose launch reflected Arab and national norms by not defining itself in opposition to others and by emphasizing economic operation, not common security interests. The ideational construct of Gulf cooperation proved insufficient to overcome the statecentric rationale of maximizing national sovereignty through loose regional political cooperation and bilateral defence pacts with Washington. The increased economic weight of some of the GCC states has seen a competitive search for international prestige that has sometimes been expressed through the construct of ‘regional’ interests but is fundamentally state-leadership focused. These leaderships remain pivotal in polities largely defined by a ruling family where there is little tradition or practical capacity for devolving authority. As such a major transfer of political authority to supra-state GCC institutions also remains a far-off prospect.

Book review: presidents, parties and prime ministers: how the separation of powers affects party organization and behaviour

Blumenau, Jack
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 20/09/2012 Português
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When political science scholars first asserted the essential connection between political parties and democracy, most of the world’s democracies were parliamentary. Yet by the dawn of the twenty-first century, most new democracies had directly elected presidents. David Samuels and Matthew Shugart provide a theoretical framework for analyzing variation in the relationships among presidents, parties, and prime ministers across the world’s democracies, revealing the important ways that the separation of powers alters party organization and behaviour. Jack Blumenau applauds the authors’ enormous data collection project, which examines biographical information of all prime ministers and presidents in democratic countries from 1945 to 2007.

Book Review: media practices and protest politics: how precarious workers mobilise

Anstead, Nick; Mattoni, Alice
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2012 Português
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How do precarious workers employed in call-centres, universities, and the fashion industry organise to become influential political subjects? Media Practices and Protest Politics reveals the process by which individuals at the margins of the labour market communicate outside the realm of institutional politics to gain recognition in the political sphere. Nick Anstead values Alice Mattoni’s original examples from precarious workers’ mobilizations in Italy, which explore a range of activist media practices and compare different categories of media technologies and organizations, from the printed press to alternative media.

Book Review: Euroscepticism within the EU institutions: diverging views of europe

Brown, Stuart A.; Brack, Nathalie; Costa, Olivier
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /06/2012 Português
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Since its origins, there have been competing views concerning the nature, scope and objectives of the process of integration and of the European Union. Attitudes towards Europe and European integration, both among political elites and citizens, have been much studied over the last 15 years. But there is no comprehensive analysis of these competing views of Europe at the supranational level. Stuart A. Brown reviews Nathalie Brack and Olivier Costa’s edited collection on the divergence in views about the European Union, which lends insight into its consequences for the functioning of the EU and its institutions.

In quest for accountability in Greek public administration: the case of the Taxation Information System (TAXIS)

Prasopoulou, Elpida
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science, Hellenic Observatory Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science, Hellenic Observatory
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /12/2011 Português
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The paper examines how specific properties of the Greek political system such as legalism, clientelism and an authoritarian notion of accountability influence the deployment of information and communication technologies in the public sector. The paper argues that the reasons for this should be traced in the way bureaucratic clientelism deploys ex-ante accountability combined with procedural ambiguity within public organisations as a mechanism for the solidification of patron-client relationships both at the top and bottom of the administrative echelon. As such, findings fill a lacuna in existing literature by showing how the practices and operation of Greek public administration condition ICT implementations in ways that are not conducive to actual reform. Thus, research in Greek public administration moves from traditional issues of clientelism and corruption to examine the underlying paradigm of action and the repercussions of the absence of a solid techno-scientific rationality for its operations.

Trust, representation and communication are key to increasing engagement between the British Muslim community and the government

Mason, Robert; Gadelrab, Sherry Sayed
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 25/08/2011 Português
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The ongoing situations in Afghanistan and Iraq and high profile debates on multiculturalism raise questions about British foreign policy and the support of British Muslims for the government’s overseas policy decisions. Robert Mason and Sherry Sayed Gadelrab examine opinions of the British Muslim community around political engagement and how stronger links between this community and the coalition government could be developed.

London bucks the UKIP surge and appears headed in a direction far removed from the rest of the UK

Oliver, Tim
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 02/06/2014 Português
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It should come as no surprise that UKIP failed to make significant gains in London during the recent European and local elections. A global and European city that benefits immensely from how the UK is currently run and which is home to the UK’s largest non-British population was never going to be fertile territory for a party campaigning on an anti-immigration, anti-Europe and anti-London ticket. The results highlight that Britain’s capital city is growing into a more distinct political space in the UK, writes Tim Oliver.

Book review: Civic participation in America by Quentin Kidd

Hayward, Nick
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 17/03/2014 Português
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"Civic Participation in America." Quentin Kidd. Palgrave Macmillan. December 2013. --- Participation in democratic processes has fallen significantly in recent years, a decline Quentin Kidd believes to be associated with changes in citizenship, the political economy and the public sphere. This is a book focused on the United States that has great relevance for Britain and the rest of Europe, writes Nick Hayward, although there are questions around the author’s reluctance to address the importance of social and economic inequalities in the debate about falling participation.

Book review: Governing Britain: power politics and the Prime Minister by Patrick Diamond

Wargent, Matthew
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 28/03/2014 Português
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"Governing Britain: Power Politics and the Prime Minister." Patrick Diamond. I.B. Tauris. November 2013. --- In this book, Patrick Diamond examines the administrative and political machinery serving the Prime Minister, and considers how it evolved from the early years of New Labour to the election of the Coalition Government in 2010. The author attempts to provide an analysis which considers the continuing power of the civil service, the tensions between permanent officials and political aides, and the hard grind of achieving change from the centre in Whitehall. While the author has a clear, readable style and his arguments feel considered and well thought through, Matthew Wargent finds that the real strength of this book lies in the data he has to offer.

Book review: Justification and critique by Rainer Forst

Nell, Miranda
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 14/03/2014 Português
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"Justification and Critique." Rainer Forst. Polity. October 2013. --- With Justification and Critique, noted political theorist Rainer Forst presents a selection of essays on the limits and potential of justice. Starting from the concept of justification as a basic social practice, Forst develops a theory of political and social justice, human rights and democracy, as well as of power and of critique itself. Miranda Nell finds this an insightful and exciting read.

Book review: Risk: a study of its origins, history and politics by Matthias Beck and Beth Kewell

Zhivitskaya, Maria
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 22/03/2014 Português
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"Risk: A Study of its Origins, History and Politics." Matthias Beck and Beth Kewell. World Scientific Publishing. March 2014. --- Over a period of several centuries, the academic study of risk has evolved as a distinct body of thought, which continues to influence conceptual developments in fields such as economics, management, politics and sociology. Risk: A Study of its Origins, History and Politics aims to provide a detailed study of key turning points in the evolution of society’s understanding of risk. Matthias Beck and Beth Kewell map the political origins and moral reach of some of the most influential ideas associated with risk and uncertainty at specific periods of time. Political historians will find much of interest, writes Maria Zhivitskaya. This book has the potential to make a prominent contribution in its field, for the reason that others can work to fill the gaps the authors leave.

Book review: the implosion of capitalism by Samir Amin

Lane, Christel
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 06/05/2014 Português
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The Implosion of Capitalism is political economist Samir Amin’s take on the connections between key events of our times – financial crisis, Eurozone implosion, the emerging BRIC nations and the rise of political Islam – identifying them as symptoms of a profound systemic crisis. Despite some theoretical flaws, this is a stimulating book offering a wide-ranging and timely analysis and critique of the current form of capitalism, as well as posing challenges for the radical Left about steps towards a socialist future, writes Christel Lane.

A Hindu right wing day out

Mehta, Akanksha
Fonte: LSE Research Festival 2014, The London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: LSE Research Festival 2014, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Image; NonPeerReviewed Formato: image/jpeg
Publicado em 08/05/2014 Português
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My PhD research examines public space and the politics of women in India’s Hindu right wing movement. Clad in saffron, the colour of the movement, millions of women embrace the violent and cultural/ethnic nationalist politics of the populist project, bringing it into their homes and classrooms. My photograph, A Hindu Right Wing Day Out, depicts a young boy and his schoolmates, dressed up by their mothers as revered founding Hindu nationalist leaders. It examines how right wing women ritually appropriate history and mythology and manipulate political/religious discourse in continuity with a constructed glorious ‘Hindu’ past. More importantly, as the young boys dress up as if for a school play or a costumed day out, the photograph aims to begin a conversation about the gendered transformation of political public space in a site of leisure, pleasure, and recreation.

Epistemic solidarity as a political strategy

Goodin, Robert E.; Spiekermann, Kai
Fonte: Department of Government, The London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Department of Government, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2014 Português
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Solidarity is supposed to facilitate collective action. We argue that it can also help overcome false consciousness. Groups practice “epistemic solidarity” if they pool information about what is in their true interest and how to vote accordingly. The more numerous “Masses” can in this way overcome the “Elites,” but only if they are minimally confident with whom they share the same interests and only if they are (perhaps only just) better-than-random in voting for the alternative that promotes their interests. Being more cohesive and more competent than the Masses, the “Elites” can employ the same strategy perhaps all the more effectively. But so long as the “Masses” practice “epistemic solidarity” they will almost always win, whether or not the “Elites” do. By enriching the traditional framework of the Condorcet Jury Theorem with group-specific standards of correctness, we investigate how groups can organize to support the alternatives truly in their interests.