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Using institutions to moderate separatist tendencies : a focus on Iraqi Kurdistan

Weinstock, Adele B., 1980-
Fonte: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 48 p.; 4665249 bytes; 4668958 bytes; application/pdf; application/pdf
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This thesis offers an alternate theory to the problem of secessionism by integrating two separate fields of research: nationalism and constitutional engineering. In particular, I apply two prominent theories of nationalism, those of Ernest Gellner and Benedict Anderson, to the problem of constitutional engineering. The theories developed by Gellner and Anderson have furthered our understanding of the historical and evolutionary processes of nationhood and nationalism. I argue that the insight offered by these theories can therefore better guide policy makers, scholars, and constitutional engineers in the design of political institutions for deeply-divided societies. The engineering of institutions has the capacity to contain separatist conflict by striking at what I argue are the two necessary cause of secessionism - desire and ability. In my thesis I focus on one case study in particular, that of Iraqi Kurdistan. I argue that a secessionist movement by Iraqi Kurds can best be thwarted by applying a two-pronged strategy: First, devolve enough power to the Kurds so that their rights as a minority group are protected and their desire for self-rule is fulfilled. Likewise, ensure the representation of Kurds in all levels of government. Second...

The new politics of welfare in post-socialist Central Eastern Europe; new politics of welfare reform in post-communist Europe

Brown, Dana L., Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Fonte: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 309 p.; 22372546 bytes; 22386981 bytes; application/pdf; application/pdf
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This dissertation explores the evolution of welfare systems in post-socialist countries. Utilizing a range of data on social policy legislation and outcomes across countries, the author shows the extent to which post-socialist welfare systems vary in their design and effects. Variation is demonstrated using six indicators that measure: the extent of universality of social benefits, active policies, effective redistribution, wage-based financing of social programs, benefit levels and familization. Cross-country variation has occurred in spite of the common experiences of opening their economies to international competition and in spite of political pressure from international organizations and the European Union to adopt similar, pre-packaged policy agendas. To explain this variation, the author uses case studies of unemployment and family policies in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, to argue that domestic policy actors in each country make the critical decisions about welfare reform. Comparative case analyses show that the direction of welfare reform in the post-communist countries was largely set in place during the few years following regime change in each of them.; (cont.) At this time, domestic institutions involved in policy formation were vested with particular inclinations regarding the objectives of state welfare...

Beyond the letter of the law : transforming labor institutions and regulations in Argentina

Natalicchio, Marcela
Fonte: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 276 leaves; 21130082 bytes; 21149457 bytes; application/pdf; application/pdf
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This dissertation analyzes the factors that lead to the transformation of labor regulations and institutions after the opening of previously closed economies, using the case of Argentina as a "crucial case". In the 1990s, almost every government in the Latin American region attempted to reform its labor code and systems of labor relations. However, despite these attempts at reform, the labor codes and their systems of labor relations appeared resilient to change. The bulk of the literature on the political economy of reforms had concluded that labor unions had managed to stall or derailed these attempts, although unions had been unsuccessful at stopping all other market-oriented reforms. I conceptualized the labor codes and the system of labor relations considering the way they work in practice, including informal arrangements, and I use the notion of "labor regimes". This conceptualization differs from the dominant approach on this issue, which focuses almost exclusively on changes in labor codes approved by Congress. Using this approach, I argue that a system of rigid labor laws and centralized bargaining institutions in a more competitive, pro-business environment tends to get relaxed and more decentralized.; (cont.) However, changes do not necessarily occur through modifications in the overall national legal framework. Changes occur through: 1) layers of regulations that overlap with the old system...

Justice and the demands of realism

Munro, Daniel K., 1972-
Fonte: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 260 leaves; 14845121 bytes; 14844893 bytes; application/pdf; application/pdf
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The dissertation examines how concerns about the demands of realism should be addressed in political theories of justice. It asks whether the demands of realism should affect the construction of principles of justice and, if so, how principles should respond to those demands. To address the problems posed by the demands of realism, the dissertation focuses on two specific realist concerns - namely, a concern about the motivational demands of justice and a concern about moral and religious pluralism - and asks what role, if any, these concerns should play in the articulation of principles of justice. Through a critical interrogation of the theories of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Rawls, and Jurgen Habermas, the author argues that a conception of justice should be attentive to citizens' motivational capacities and reasonable moral and religious worldviews but should not automatically accommodate their determinate preferences, opinions, and beliefs which may be objectionable. Endorsing an ideal of deliberative democracy and a conception of deliberative citizenship, the author argues that institutional arrangements which encourage democratic deliberation can help citizens to be more reflective about their determinate motives and beliefs and help them to acquire the desire and reason necessary to support just principles and institutions.; (cont.) At the same time...

An analysis of the impact of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 on the congressional committee assignment process

Velasco, John R. (John Richard)
Fonte: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 115 leaves
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With the passage of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), a flurry of research has been conducted on the impact on political parties. However, there exists a gap in the research regarding the impact of the legislation on the role of Members as fundraisers for their parties. What impact did BCRA have on the size and significance of contributions from Members of Congress to party committees and candidates? Furthermore, are Member contributions significant in determining a Member's likelihood of transferring to a committee and is this effect amplified post-BCRA? This thesis provides historical data on the importance of Member contributions from 1996 to 2004 and then turns to determining what, if any, impact financial prowess has on a Member's likelihood to advance upwards in the committee hierarchy. The principal findings of this research are twofold. First, money matters because BCRA cut soft money, therefore political parties have turned to their Members to serve as vital sources of campaign funds. Second, Member contributions do not significantly impact or influence a Member's probability of transferring to a more prestigious committee.; (cont.) In fact, Member contributions were only significant for the Democratic Party in the era prior to BCRA (105th - 108th Congresses). Member's transfer are shown to be more of a tradeoff between opportunities which exist for moving up the committee hierarchy based on available vacancies and opportunity costs exhibited through a Member's current set of committee assignments. Factors such as a Member's seniority in the chamber and their party loyalty voting scores are also important considerations depending on their party affiliation and seniority on their current committee assignments.; by John R. Velasco.; Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology...

Explaining ethnic conflict in the South Caucasus : Mountainous Karabagh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia

Welt, Cory
Fonte: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 320 p.; 19605622 bytes; 19649253 bytes; application/pdf; application/pdf
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(cont.) the USSR and finds that a focus on opportunity provides the best explanation for the presence or absence of mass mobilization. Finally, the dissertation argues that conventional state security concerns best explain the start of escalation. Union republic opponents, Azerbaijanis and Georgians, perceived regional mobilization to be manifestations of broader "interstate" conflicts pitting Azerbaijan and Georgia against, respectively, Armenia and Russia. They did not consider the actions of regional groups to be a product of group insecurities. The dissertation concludes by applying the above findings to the practice of conflict resolution.; This dissertation investigates the origins of ethnic conflict in the South Caucasus. It explains the mass mobilization of regional groups in Mountainous (Nagorno) Karabagh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia from 1987 to 1989, variation in the goals of these groups (and of other regional groups in the USSR), and the start of the conflict-spirals that ultimately led to ethnic war. The dissertation examines three aspects of mass mobilization: group motivation, the commitment problem, and perceptions of opportunity. Utilizing historical memories, leadership rhetoric, signals of opponent intentions, and evidence of shifting capabilities...

Effects of anti-poverty programs on electoral behavior : evidence from the Mexican Education, Health, and Nutrition Program; Progresa

De La O Torres, Ana Lorena
Fonte: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 202 leaves
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Ever since Latin American economies collapsed in the 1980s and early 1990s, traditional redistributive programs began to coexist with new anti-poverty programs that usually took the form of conditional cash transfers (CCT). I examine the effects of the Mexican Education, Health, and Nutrition program (Progresa), the first and largest CCT implemented in the region, on electoral behavior. I argue that Progresa not only was substantially different from traditional clientelism, but that it challenged local monopolies on political power by increasing voter's income and giving recipients implicit and explicit information about its non-political nature. This weakening of monopolies, in turn, gave political parties incentives to compete for the votes of Progresa recipients. As a consequence, recipients increased their electoral participation, at least in the short term, and clientelism was irrevocably eroded. Despite the increased competition, however, recipients rewarded parties that proposed and retained Progresa. My understanding of Progresa's electoral effects is based on theory, field research on four villages, interviews with Progresa's designers and personnel, and analysis of media sources from 1996 until 2003. To test this argument...

Fractured elites : the politics of economic crisis in Mexico

Schlefer, Jonathan King
Fonte: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 203 p.
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Economic crises are such powerful socioeconomic disasters that, not surprisingly, they are usually explained by powerful socioeconomic pressures, such as global financial speculation, structural economic failure, or populist demands. This thesis, in contrast, identifies the crucial role of elite politics. From the 1950s through the 1980s politics inside a tiny circle of high Mexican officials made the difference between economic crisis (when the exchange rate crashes) and stability. In the 1950s and 1960s, competing grupos, or cliques, within the ruling party abided by a "cooperative" system. The grupo whose leader won the internal contest for presidential nomination, hence automatically won the election, would do better, but losing grupos retained important posts. Such assurance of political survival allowed elites to defend the political system's long-run interests, not just their narrow self-interests, and avoid economic crises. In the 1970s and 1980s, "struggle" emerged as power conflicts became all-or-nothing, erupting in massive expenditures, other economic gambles, and crises. Public spending soared in pre-election years (27 percent in 1975, 22 percent in 1981), when grupos vied to build support for their leader's presidential nomination. Slashing it in the actual election years (0 growth in 1976...

One man's wickedness : malignant narcissism and major blunders in international relations; Malignant narcissism and major blunders in international relations

Landau, Daniel B. (Daniel Bruce), 1969-
Fonte: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Publicador: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: 104 p.; 7015068 bytes; 7027284 bytes; application/pdf; application/pdf
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Malignant narcissism is a personality syndrome marked by hubris, paranoia, and reckless indifference to the human consequences of decisions. Malignant-narcissistic leaders tend to commit major blunders in international relations. Examples include Saddam, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, and Nasser. Seventeen hypotheses are presented on malignant narcissism, exploring its relationships to cognition, domestic political systems, and blunders in international relations. The hypotheses are illustrated with historical examples to support their plausibility. Saddam is explained as a malignant narcissist who was especially prone to blunders throughout his political career.; by Daniel B. Landau.; Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2004.; Includes bibliographical references (p. 96-101).

Book review: accounting for ministers: scandal and survival in British Government 1945-2007

Wilson, Richard
Fonte: The London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: The London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 10/05/2013 Português
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Accounting for Ministers uses the tools of modern political science to analyse the factors which determine the fortunes of Cabinet ministers. Utilising agency theory, it describes Cabinet government as a system of incentives for prime ministerial and parliamentary rule. Lord Wilson has reservations about the attempts to analyse the rich, complex, impossible lives of Ministers with the methods of political analysis used in this book but nevertheless finds it a useful addition to the sum of political knowledge. Accounting for Ministers: Scandal and Survival in British Government 1945-2007. Samuel Berlinksi, Torun Dewan and Keith Dowding. Cambridge University Press. 2012.

Book review: Political parties in Palestine: leadership and thought

Rothkopf, Ilana
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 16/05/2013 Português
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"Political Parties in Palestine: Leadership and Thought." Michael Bröning. Palgrave Macmillan. January 2013. --- Political Parties in Palestine is an up-to-date elucidation of the Palestinian political landscape, aiming to offer vital background information on movements such as Hamas and Fatah, as well as smaller political factions that have defined the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades but, due to lack of available information, have not been subject to academic scrutiny. Michael Bröning’s book is an unquestionably important contribution to the study of Palestinian politics, and a must-read for anyone who hopes to better understand both intra-Palestinian political dynamics, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, writes Ilana Rothkopf.

The voting power approach : a theory of measurement. A response to Max Albert

List, Christian
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 /12/2003 Português
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Max Albert (2003) has recently argued that the theory of power indices “should not ... be considered as part of political science” and that “[v]iewed as a scientific theory, it is a branch of probability theory and can safely be ignored by political scientists”. Albert’s argument rests on a particular claim concerning the theoretical status of power indices, namely that the theory of power indices is not a positive theory, i.e. not one that has falsifiable implications. I re-examine the theoretical status of power indices and argue that it would be unwise for political scientists to ignore such indices. Although I agree with Albert that the theory of power indices is not a positive theory, I suggest that it is a theory of measurement that can usefully supplement other positive and normative socialscientific theories.

Government transfers and political support

Manacorda, Marco; Miguel, Edward; Vigorito, Andrea
Fonte: Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /03/2009 Português
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We estimate the impact of a large anti-poverty program – the Uruguayan PANES – on political support for the government that implemented it. The program mainly consisted of a monthly cash transfer for a period of roughly two and half years. Using the discontinuity in program assignment based on a pre-treatment score, we find that beneficiary households are 21 to 28 percentage points more likely to favor the current government (relative to the previous government). Impacts on political support are larger among poorer households and for those near the center of the political spectrum, consistent with the probabilistic voting model in political economy. Effects persist after the cash transfer program ends. We estimate that the annual cost of increasing government political support by 1 percentage point is roughly 0.9% of annual government social expenditures.

Political competition and the limits of political compromise

Cunha, Alexandre B.; Ornelas, Emanuel
Fonte: Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /03/2014 Português
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We consider an economy where competing political parties alternate in office. Due to rent-seeking motives, incumbents have an incentive to set public expenditures above the socially optimum level. Parties cannot commit to future policies, but they can forge a political compromise where each party curbs excessive spending when in office if they expect future governments to do the same. We find that, if the government cannot manipulate state variables, more intense political competition fosters a compromise that yields better outcomes, potentially even the first best. By contrast, if the government can issue debt, vigorous political competition can render a compromise unsustainable and drive the economy to a low-welfare, high-debt, long-run trap. Our analysis thus suggests a legislative trade-off between restricting political competition and constraining the ability of governments to issue debt.

Book review: Political struggles and the forging of autonomous government agencies

López-Murcia, Julián Daniel
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 01/09/2013 Português
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"Political Struggles and the Forging of Autonomous Government Agencies." Cristopher Ballinas Valdés. Palgrave Macmillan. June 2013. --- The central argument of Political Struggles and the Forging of Autonomous Government Agencies is that the level of autonomy of government agencies is the outcome of struggles between opposing coalitions. Cristopher Ballinas Valdes aims to show how political struggles between politicians and bureaucrats often generate a muddle of agencies that lack coherence and are subject to different and conflicting levels of political control. A must-read for academics and reformers interested in Mexican economic institutions, writes Julián Daniel López-Murcia.

Book Review: Political philosophy: a beginner’s guide for students and politicians

Harkins, Steven
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 16/12/2013 Português
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"Political Philosophy: A Beginner’s Guide for Students and Politicians." Third Edition. Adam Swift. Polity Press. October 2013. --- This new edition of Adam Swift‘s highly readable introduction to political philosophy includes new material on global justice, feminism, and method in political theory, as well as updated guides to further reading. This book aims to bring the insights of the world′s leading political philosophers to a wide general audience, and employs plenty of examples in an attempt to equip readers to think for themselves about the ideas that shape political life. This is a fluent and well written introductory text for students of political philosophy and it serves as a very good jumping off point for studying the issues involved in more depth, writes Steven Harkins.

Political advertising: why is it so boring?

Scammell, Margaret; Langer, Ana
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 /09/2006 Português
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Most analysis of political advertising questions how it matches up to the normative standard of providing information to voters. It tends to treat advertising as a core, and often debased, resource for deliberation. However, advertising as a form is less suited to complex information and more to engagement of interest. Despite this, political advertising normally is both constructed and analysed as information carriers. While commercial advertising attracts interest through pleasure and popular discourse, political advertising remains wedded to information. The persuasive strategies of political and commercial advertising are marked as much by dissimilarity as by similarity, the former aiming at plausibility and the latter at pleasure. The article analyses party election broadcasts in the UK over two general elections, according to a scheme that elicits both the informational content and its aesthetic and emotional appeals. Both the analysis design and the underlying rationale may have application beyond the UK. They help answer the quuestion: why does political advertising seem so dull and so bad to so many people?

Being a member of an interest group stimulates political participation, or at least makes it easier

Holyoke, Thomas T.
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 06/11/2013 Português
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As political participation continues to decline, how can we encourage citizens to re-engage with politics and voting? One area that has seen participation increasing is membership in political interest groups. Using survey data from 1,071 individuals’ contacts with Congress, Thomas T. Holyoke examines the role of interest groups in stimulating political action and participation. He finds that many groups help to increase, or at least direct, their members’ political participation, so that those who are members of both political and professional interest groups have a greater than 60 percent chance of contacting Congress.

Non-embedded autonomy: the political economy of Mexico’s rentier state, 1970–2010

Farfán-Mares, Gabriel
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /10/2010 Português
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Due to its competitive political system and strong non-oil export capacity, Mexico is not considered an oil Rentier State. Yet, the consistent and intensive use of crude oil has fundamentally altered the trajectory of its political economy. State institutions, which had consistently relied on oil rents to finance their operations, tend to preserve social stability and political consensus rather than promote development. The central bureaucracy’s need to control oil rent strengthens and reinforces the role of budgetary institutions within politics and administration. Budget institutions provide the government with an inordinate degree of discretion to allocate the budget, a capacity that supports the State’s political legitimation and helps to overcome economic turmoil. Paradoxically, oil produces a policy curse that reinforces the State’s socio-political embeddedness at the expense of its economic leverage. Thus, undermining the incentives for public officials to tax and deliver expenditure quality, thereby deepening the State’s detachment from normal economic behaviour. Oil rent maximization serves to increase the size and cost of public employment and the magnitude of transfers and subsidies at the expense of gross fixed public investment...

The political discourse of the European Parliament, enlargement, and the construction of a European identity, 1962 - 2004

De Angelis, Emma
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /07/2011 Português
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This thesis explores the European Parliament's construction of European identity in enlargement discourse between 1962 and 2004. It focuses on the idea of "Europe" a constructed by the European Parliament over the past 50 years, analysing both the way which MEPs discuss the idea of Europe and European identity and also looking through the lens at the development of what has so far been a largely neglected institution in the historiography of European integration. The European Parliament is a common subject of political science studies, which often focus on the dynamics of party politics and elections. European identity is also a ubiquitous subject of many political science, sociological, and historical works. Historians of European integration, however, have dedicated little attention to either. This work thus places itself at the intersection of the literature on the idea of European identity, the European Parliament, and European enlargement. The thesis makes a contribution to the understanding of the historical development of a European identity discourse with the enlargement context, showing how one amongst the Community institutions attempted to legitimise the expansion and continuation of the process of European integration through the discursive construction of a European idea. It traces the main themes that emerge over the years out of this construction...