Publications

2009
Rodrik, Dani. 2009. “An Imf We Can Love?”. Publisher's VersionAbstract
What a difference the crisis has made for the International Monetary Fund. It was just a few months ago that this important but unloved institution, a landmark of post-war global economic arrangements, seemed destined to irrelevance.The IMF has long been a whipping boy for both left and right—the former because of the Fund’s emphasis on fiscal rectitude and economic orthodoxy, and the latter because of its role in bailing out indebted nations. Developing nations grudgingly took its advice, while advanced nations, not needing the money, ignored it. In a world where private capital flows dwarf the resources at its disposal, the IMF had come to seem an anachronism. And, when some of the IMF’s largest debtors (Brazil and Argentina) began to prepay their debts a few years ago with no new borrowers in sight, it looked like the final nail in the coffin had been struck. The IMF seemed condemned to run out of income, in addition to losing its raison d’être. It shrank its budgets and began to downsize, and, while it was handed some new responsibilities in the meantime—surveillance over "currency manipulation," in particular—its deliberations proved largely irrelevant. But the crisis has invigorated the IMF. Under its capable managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Fund has been one of the few official agencies ahead of—instead of behind — the curve. It moved quickly to establish a fast-disbursing emergency line of credit for countries with "reasonable" policies. It ardently championed global fiscal stimulus on the order of 2 per cent of world GNP—a position that is all the more remarkable in view of its traditional conservatism on all fiscal matters. And, in the run-up to the G-20 summit in London, it thoroughly overhauled its lending policies, de-emphasising traditional conditionality and making it easier for countries to qualify for loans. Even more significantly, the IMF has emerged from the London meeting with substantially greater resources, as well as new responsibilities. The G-20 promised to triple the Fund’s lending capacity (from $250 billion to $750 billion), issue $250 billion of new Special Drawing Rights (a reserve asset made up of a basket of major currencies), and permit the Fund to borrow in capital markets (which it has never done) if necessary. The IMF was also designated as one of two lead agencies—along with an expanded Financial Stability Forum (now renamed the Financial Stability Board)—charged with providing early warning of macroeconomic and financial risks and issuing the requisite policy recommendations. Another piece of good news is that the Europeans have now given up their claim on naming the IMF’s managing director (as have the Americans their corresponding claim on the World Bank presidency). These senior officials are henceforth to be selected "through an open, transparent, and merit-based selection process." This will provide for better governance (although Strauss-Kahn’s leadership has been exemplary), and will enhance both institutions’ legitimacy in the eyes of developing nations. So the IMF now finds itself at the centre of the economic universe once again. How will it choose to deploy its newfound power?The greatest risk is that it will once again over-reach and over-play its hand. That is what happened in the second half of the 1990s, as the IMF began to preach capital-account liberalisation, applied over-stringent fiscal remedies during the Asian financial crisis, and single-handedly tried to reshape Asian economies. The institution has since acknowledged its errors in all these areas. But it remains to be seen if the lessons have been fully internalised, and whether we will have a kinder, gentler IMF in lieu of a rigid, doctrinaire one.One encouraging fact is that developing countries will almost certainly get a larger say in how the Fund is run. This will ensure that poorer nations’ views receive a more sympathetic hearing in the future. But simply giving developing nations greater voting power will make little difference if the IMF’s organisational culture is not changed as well. The Fund is staffed by a large number of smart economists, who lack much connection to (and appreciation for) the institutional realities of the countries on which they work. Their professional expertise is validated by the quality of their advanced degrees, rather than by their achievements in practical policymaking. This breeds arrogance and a sense of smug superiority over their counterparts—policymakers who must balance multiple, complicated agendas. Countering this will require proactive efforts by the IMF’s top leadership in recruitment, staffing and promotion. One option would be to increase substantially the number of mid-career recruits with actual practical experience in developing countries. This would make the IMF staff more cognizant of the value of local knowledge relative to theoretical expertise. Another strategy would be to relocate some of the staff, including those in functional departments, to "regional offices" in the field. This move would likely face considerable resistance from staff who have gotten used to the perks of Washington, DC. But there is no better way to appreciate the role of context than to live in it. The World Bank, which engaged in a similar decentralisation a while back, has become better at serving its clients as a result (without facing difficulties in recruiting top talent).This is an important moment for the IMF. The international community is putting great store in the Fund’s judgment and performance. The Fund will require internal reforms to earn that trust fully.
The author, Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government, is the first recipient of the Social Science Research Council’s Albert O Hirschman Prize. His latest book is One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth.
Nye, Joseph S., Jr.. 2009. “Which Globalization Will Survive?”. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The world economy will shrink this year for the first time since 1945, and some economists worry that the current crisis could spell the beginning of the end of globalization.Hard economic times are correlated with protectionism, as each country blames others and protects its domestic jobs. In the 1930s, such "beggar-thy-neighbor" policies worsened the situation. Unless political leaders resist such responses, the past could become the future.Ironically, however, such a grim prospect would not mean the end of globalization, defined as the increase in worldwide networks of interdependence.Globalization has several dimensions, and, though economists all too often portray it and the world economy as being one and the same, other forms of globalization also have significant effects—not all of them benign—on our daily lives.The oldest form of globalization is environmental. For example, the first smallpox epidemic was recorded in Egypt in 1350 B.C. It reached China in 49 A.D., Europe after 700, the Americas in 1520, and Australia in l789.Bubonic plague, or the Black Death, originated in Asia, but its spread killed a quarter to a third of Europe's population in the fourteenth century.Europeans carried diseases to the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries that destroyed up to 95 percent of the indigenous population.In 1918, a flu pandemic caused by a bird virus killed some 40 million people around the world, far more than the recently concluded world war. Some scientists today predict a repeat of an avian flu pandemic.Since 1973, 30 previously unknown infectious diseases have emerged, and other familiar diseases have spread geographically in new, drug-resistant forms. In the 20 years after HIV/AIDS was identified in the 1980s it killed 20 million people and infected another 40 million around the world.Some experts project that that number will double by 2010. The spread of foreign species of flora and fauna to new areas has wiped out native species, and may result in economic losses of several hundred billion dollars per year.Global climate change will affect the lives of people everywhere. Thousands of scientists from more than 100 countries recently reported that there is new and strong evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities, and average global temperatures in the 21st century are projected to increase between 2.5 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit.The result could be more severe variations in climate, with too much water in some regions and not enough in others.The effects will include stronger storms, hurricanes, and floods, deeper droughts, and more landslides. Rising temperatures have lengthened the freeze-free season in many regions, and glaciers are melting. The rate at which the sea level rose in the last century was 10 times faster than the average rate over the last three millennia.Then there is military globalization, consisting of networks of interdependence in which force, or the threat of force, is employed. The world wars of the twentieth century are a case in point. The prior era of economic globalization reached its peak in 1914, and was set back by the world wars.But, while global economic integration did not regain its 1914 level until half a century later, military globalization grew as economic globalization shrank.During the Cold War, the global strategic interdependence between the United States and the Soviet Union was acute and well recognized. Not only did it produce world-straddling alliances, but either side could have used intercontinental missiles to destroy the other within 30 minutes.This was distinctive not because it was totally new, but because the scale and speed of the potential conflict arising from military interdependence were so enormous.Today, al-Qaida and other transnational actors have formed global networks of operatives, challenging conventional approaches to national defense through what has been called "asymmetrical warfare."Finally, social globalization consists in the spread of peoples, cultures, images, and ideas. Migration is a concrete example. In the 19th century, some 80 million people crossed oceans to new homes ― far more than in the 20th century. At the beginning of the 21st century, 32 million U.S. residents (11.5 percent of the population) were foreign-born. In addition, some 30 million visitors (students, businesspeople, tourists) enter the country each year.Ideas are an equally important aspect of social globalization. Technology makes physical mobility easier, but local political reactions against immigrants had been growing even before the current economic crisis.The danger today is that short-sighted protectionist reactions to the economic crisis could help to choke off the economic globalization that has spread growth and raised hundreds of millions of people out of poverty over the past half-century. But protectionism will not curb the other forms of globalization.Modern technology means that pathogens travel more easily than in earlier periods. Easy travel plus hard economic times means that immigration rates may accelerate to the point where social friction exceeds general economic benefit.Similarly, hard economic times may worsen relations among governments, as well as domestic conflicts that can lead to violence. At the same time, transnational terrorists will continue to benefit from modern information technology, such as the Internet.And, while depressed economic activity may slow somewhat the rate of greenhouse-gas build-up in the atmosphere, it will also slow the types of costly programs that governments must enact to address emissions that have already occurred.So, unless governments cooperate to stimulate their economies and resist protectionism, the world may find that the current economic crisis does not mean the end of globalization, but only the end of the good kind, leaving us with the worst of all worlds.
Frankel, Jeffrey. 2009. “The Estimated Trade Effects of the Euro: Why Are They Below Those from Historical Monetary Unions Among Smaller Countries?”.Abstract
Andy Rose (2000), followed by many others, has used the gravity model of bilateral trade on a large data set to estimate the trade effects of monetary unions among small countries. The finding has been large estimates: Trade among members seems to double or triple, that is, to increase by 100-200%. After the advent of EMU in 1999, Micco, Ordoñez and Stein and others used the gravity model on a much smaller data set to estimate the effects of the euro on trade among its members. The estimates tend to be statistically significant, but far smaller in magnitude: on the order of 10-20% during the first four years. What explains the discrepancy? This paper seeks to address two questions. First, do the effects on intra-euroland trade that were estimated in the euro’s first four years hold up in the second four years? The answer is yes. Second, and more complicated, what is the reason for the big discrepancy vis-à-vis other currency unions? We investigate three prominent possible explanations for the gap between 15% and 200%. First, lags. The euro is still very young. Second, size. The European countries are much bigger on average than most of those who had formed currency unions in the past. Third, endogeneity of the decision to adopt an institutional currency link. Perhaps the high correlations estimated in earlier studies were spurious, an artifact of reverse causality. We test the hypotheses regarding lags and size directly; and we address the endogeneity problem by means of a natural experiment involving trade between the CFA countries of Africa and the euro countries of Europe. Contrary to expectations, we find little evidence that any of these factors explains a substantial share of the gap, let alone all of it.
Presented at NBER conference "Europe and the Euro," October 17-18, 2008.Download PDF
Marks, Stephen. 2009. “Access to Essential Medicines as a Component of the Right to Health.” In .Abstract
In Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Actors, Andrew Clapham wrote,"Perhaps the most obvious threat to human rights has come from the inability of people to achieve access to expensive medicine, particularly in the context of HIV and AIDS." He was referring to threats to human rights from intellectual property agreements under the World Trade Organization, which are often seen as obeying a different—and many would say utterly incompatible—logic than human rights. The right to health, in the interpretation of the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, means that "States Parties ... have a duty to prevent unreasonably high costs for access to essential medicines."
Abdelal, Rawi E, Alastair Iain Johnston, Yoshiko Margaret Herrera, and Rose McDermott. 2009. Measuring Identity: A Guide for Social Scientists. Cambridge University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The concept of identity has become increasingly prominent in the social sciences and humanities. Analysis of the development of social identities is an important focus of scholarly research, and scholars using social identities as the building blocks of social, political, and economic life have attempted to account for a number of discrete outcomes by treating identities as causal factors. The dominant implication of the vast literature on identity is that social identities are among the most important social facts of the world in which we live. Abdelal, Herrera, Johnston, and McDermott have brought together leading scholars from a variety of disciplines to consider the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with treating identity as a variable, offer a synthetic theoretical framework, and demonstrate the possibilities offered by various methods of measurement. The book represents a collection of empirically-grounded theoretical discussions of a range of methodological techniques for the study of identities.
Dryden-Peterson, Sarah. 2009. Barriers to Accessing Primary Education in Conflict-Affected Fragile States. Final Report. Save the Children International. Save the Children. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Current educational policy and practice are failing the 77 million out-of-school children globally, 41 million of whom live in conflict-affected fragile states (CAFS). This research seeks to identify the factors affecting access to primary education for children in CAFS and to define the mechanisms by which certain factors act as barriers. It does so through a comprehensive review of the literature and field-based case studies of access barriers in Afghanistan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Most of the literature describes approaches to increasing access that address supply- and demand-side solutions separately. This study suggests the need to integrate supply- and demand-side thinking on both access barriers and the interventions designed to overcome them. The paper will recommend existing and promising practices that, within a framework of intersecting barriers, could become viable solutions to expanding primary school access in CAFS.
Barriers to Accessing Primary Education in Conflict-Affected Fragile States (Save the Children)
Simmons, Beth A. 2009. “

Civil Rights in International Law: Compliance with Aspects of the ‘International Bill of Rights’

.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 16 (2): 437-481.Abstract
International law has developed what many might consider a constitutional understanding of individual civil rights that individuals can claim vis-a-vis their own governments. This paper discusses the development of aspects of international law relating to civil rights, and argues that if this body of law is meaningful we should see evidence of links between acceptance of international legal obligation and domestic practices. Recognizing that external forms of enforcement of civil rights is unlikely (because not generally in the interest of potential "enforcers"), I argue that international civil rights treaties will have their greatest effect where stakeholders - local citizens - have the motive and the means to demand treaty compliance. This is most likely to be the case not in stable autocracies, where such demands are likely to be crushed, nor in stable democracies, where the motive to mobilize is attenuated due to rights saturation, but in transitional countries where the expected value of mobilization is maximized. Thus, I test the hypothesis that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is likely to have its greatest positive effects in transitional countries - those that have had some fleeting experience with democratic governance. This proposition is tested quantitatively with indicators for freedom of religious practice and fair trials. The proposition is weakly supported by extremely stringent statistical models that control for the endogeneity of the treaty commitments, country and year fixed effects, and other obvious influences on civil rights practices. I conclude that the International Bill of Rights has the power to influence the direction of rights practices in fluid political situations, but cannot magically transform autocracies into liberal guarantors of civil liberties. Still, these effects are important, and the most we can expect from scraps of paper which the international community has been reluctant to enforce.
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Simmons, Beth A. 2009. “

Should States Ratify the Protocol? Process and Consequences of the Optional Protocol of the Icescr

.” Norwegian Journal of Human Rights 27 (1): 64-81.Abstract
Proponents and opponents of ratification of the ICESCR‟s Optional Protocol have both exaggerated the consequences of giving individuals a “private right of standing” before the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. But this article argues that, on balance, ratification should be encouraged. Individuals will bring new and urgent issues to the international agenda, and the dialog will help to encourage a better sense of states‟ international legal obligations under the treaty. The consequences for ESC rights are likely to be modestly positive, if outcomes under the OP of the ICCPR are any guide. Even states that already respect ESC rights in their domestic law should ratify, because there is a tendency, judging by the ratification behaviour relating to similar agreements, for states to emulate ratification practices of other states in their region. Ratification will neither end deprivation nor damage the credibility of the international legal system. It will be a modest step forward in consensus-formation of the meaning of ESC rights, which in turn is a positive step toward their ultimate provision.
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Simmons, Beth A. 2009. “

Should States Ratify the Protocol? Process and Consequences of the Optional Protocol of the Icescr

.” Norwegian Journal of Human Rights 27 (1).Abstract
Proponents and opponents of ratification of the ICESCR‟s Optional Protocol have both exaggerated the consequences of giving individuals a “private right of standing” before the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. But this article argues that, on balance, ratification should be encouraged. Individuals will bring new and urgent issues to the international agenda, and the dialog will help to encourage a better sense of states‟ international legal obligations under the treaty. The consequences for ESC rights are likely to be modestly positive, if outcomes under the OP of the ICCPR are any guide. Even states that already respect ESC rights in their domestic law should ratify, because there is a tendency, judging by the ratification behaviour relating to similar agreements, for states to emulate ratification practices of other states in their region. Ratification will neither end deprivation nor damage the credibility of the international legal system. It will be a modest step forward in consensus-formation of the meaning of ESC rights, which in turn is a positive step toward their ultimate provision.
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Rogoff, Kenneth S, and Carmen M Reinhart. 2009. “The Aftermath of Financial Crises.” American Economic Review 99 (2): 466-472. DASH RepositoryAbstract
A year ago, we presented a historical analysis comparing the run-up to the 2007 US subprime financial crisis with the antecedents of other banking crises in advanced economies since World War II (Reinhart and Rogoff 2008a). We showed that standard indicators for the United States, such as asset price inflation, rising leverage, large sustained current account deficits, and a slowing trajectory of economic growth, exhibited virtually all the signs of a country on the verge of a financial crisis - indeed, a severe one. In this paper, we engage in a similar comparative historical analysis that is focused on the aftermath of systemic banking crises.
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2008
for Affairs, Weatherhead Center International. 2008. “Weatherhead Center Names Twenty-Six Graduate Student Associates and Grants Three Dissertation Completion Fellowship”.Abstract
The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs is supporting twenty-six doctoral candidates as Graduate Student Associates for 2008-2009. The Center’s Graduate Student Associates are a multidisciplinary group of advanced degree candidates from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ departments of Anthropology, Government, History, Religion, Public Health and Sociology on topics related to international affairs.  The Center provides its Graduate Student Associates with research grants, office space, and computer resources; and they participate in a variety of seminars, including their own graduate student seminars during which they present and receive feedback on their work. This year grantees, along with their research projects, are as follows: Marcus Alexander, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Government. Behavioral political economy; experimental social science; econometrics; dynamics of conflict and cooperation.Christopher Bail, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Sociology. Diverse Diversities: the configuration of symbolic boundaries against immigrants in twenty-three European countries.Suzanna Chapman, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Government. Measuring and explaining trends in restrictive immigration policy in wealthy democracies, 1960–2006. Alex Fattal, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Anthropology. Demilitarization, demobilization, and reintegration of insurgents in Colombia. Garner Gollatz, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Anthropology. Healing, pilgrimage, and spirituality at the Sanctuary of Lourdes, France.Karen Grépin, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Health Policy. Economics of health systems; health human resources; and effectiveness of health development assistance. Research area: Africa, specifically Ghana.Zongze Hu, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Anthropology. How locals have encountered and seen the national state in a North China village. Robert Karl, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History. State formation, politics, violence, and U.S. influence in 20th century Colombia. Yevgeniy Kirpichevsky, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Government. Secret weapons and secret diplomacy in international relations. Ian Klaus, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History. The role of trust in the business and military relations of the British empire.Diana Kudayarova, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History. Labor policy and labor-market strategies of white-collar professionals in the Soviet Union. Rebecca Nelson, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Government. Explaining variation in the terms of sovereign debt restructurings with private creditors in the post-WWII era.Vernie Oliveiro, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History. The United States’ efforts against the bribery of foreign public officials by multinational corporations wishing to do business abroad, 1975-1997. Sabrina Peric, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Social Anthropology. Examining intersections of violence, identity and primary resource extraction in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s ethnographic present, and in its history. Sanjay Pinto, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Sociology and Social Policy. The Political Economy of Social Stratification: Varieties of Class Structure in Post-Industrial and Newly Industrialized Societies.Giacomo Ponzetto, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Economics. The role of partisanship and voters’ asymmetric information in the political economy of trade policy. Brenna Powell, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Government and Social Policy. Comparative ethno-racial politics, civil conflict and political violence; dissertation work in Northern Ireland, Brazil, and the United States.Jonathan Renshon, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Government. How status considerations affect the calculations of states in international politics.Meg Rithmire, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Government. Building modern cities: development, space and power in urban China. Claire Schwartz, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Government. Implications of the shift from state governance toward "civil governance" in industrial regulation and the differential effects of developed and developing countries. Sarah Shehabuddin, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Government. The rules of engagement: women’s rights and the determinants of secularist-Islamist relations. Anthony Shenoda, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Anthropology and Middle East Studies. Coptic orthodox Christian encounters with the Miraculous in Egypt.Anya Vodopyanov, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Government. Political economy of service provision in the Middle East: impact of increased basic service provision by Islamic groups on the quality and reach of government services.Ann Marie Wilson, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History. An investigation into the origins of modern American human rights activism, focusing on the Anglo-American humanitarian movements that arose in response to crises in Armenia, Russia, and the Congo Free State between 1880 and 1920.Lili Zhang, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Government. Reputation and War Termination: An approach based on psychology and behavioral economics. Min Zhou, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Sociology. Grassroots organizations in the 2005 anti-Japan movement in China. The Center also granted three dissertation completion fellowships for the current academic year:
  • Yevgeniy Kirpichevsky, Graduate Student Associate and Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Government was awarded the Sidney Knafel Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Giacomo Ponzetto, Graduate Student Associate and Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Economics was awarded the Hartley Rogers Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Nico Slate, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History was awarded the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Dissertation Completion Fellowship
 
for Affairs, Weatherhead Center International. 2008. “José Manuel Barroso to Deliver the 18Th Paul-Henri Spaak Lecture”.Abstract
The President of the Commission of the European Union, José Manuel Barroso, will speak at the Weatherhead Center's 18th Paul-Henri Spaak Lecture on September 24. Created in 1981 thanks to the generosity of Frank Boas, the Spaak lecture series brought eminent Europeans to Harvard to address issues of importance to both Europe and the United States. After its suspension in 1999—and thanks to a donation by the Nicolas Janssen Family Fund of Brussels—this lecture series has been re-launched to address the new challenges and prospects of transatlantic relations.President Barroso will deliver the 2008 Paul-Henri Spaak Lecture titled "A Letter from Brussels to the Next President of the United States."Barroso became Commission President in the midst of the ratification process of the "Constitutional Treaty," worked out to further advance European unity and to better accommodate the EU enlargement by the formerly Communist Central European countries as well as Malta and Cyprus. He dealt with a crisis when the French and Dutch rejected this Treaty in a referendum in 2005, and spearheaded the drafting of a “Reform Treaty” to meet its constituents’ demands, which was ratified by a large majority of EU members but rejected by the Irish voters in a referendum in 2008. This lecture series was named after Paul-Henri Spaak, the Foreign Minister of Belgium who played a decisive role in working out the Treaty of the European Economic Community and EURATOM of 1958.
Brown, Vincent. 2008. The Reaper's Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery. Harvard University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
What did people make of death in the world of Atlantic slavery? In The Reaper's Garden, Vincent Brown asks this question about Jamaica, the staggeringly profitable hub of the British Empire in America—and a human catastrophe. Popularly known as the grave of the Europeans, it was just as deadly for Africans and their descendants. Yet among the survivors, the dead remained both a vital presence and a social force. In this compelling and evocative story of a world in flux, Brown shows that death was as generative as it was destructive. From the eighteenth-century zenith of British colonial slavery to its demise in the 1830s, the Grim Reaper cultivated essential aspects of social life in Jamaica—belonging and status, dreams for the future, and commemorations of the past. Surveying a haunted landscape, Brown unfolds the letters of anxious colonists; listens in on wakes, eulogies, and solemn incantations; peers into crypts and coffins, and finds the very spirit of human struggle in slavery. Masters and enslaved, fortune seekers and spiritual healers, rebels and rulers, all summoned the dead to further their desires and ambitions. In this turbulent transatlantic world, Brown argues, “mortuary politics” played a consequential role in determining the course of history. Insightful and powerfully affecting, The Reaper's Garden promises to enrich our understanding of the ways that death shaped political life in the world of Atlantic slavery and beyond.
  • 2009 Co-winner of the Merle Curti Award, Organization of American Historians
  • 2009 James A. Rawley Prize, Organization of American Historians
  • 2008-2009 Louis Gottschalk Prize, sponsored by the Executive Board of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Louis Gottschalk Committee
Adjaye-Gbewonyo, Kafui. 2008. “Farmers' Perceptions of Benefits and Risks from Wastewater Irrigation in Accra, Ghana.” Fuaf Foundation. Publisher's Version
Williamson, Jeffery G, Rafael Dobado Gonzalez, and Aurora Gomez Galvarriato. 2008. “Mexican Exceptionalism: Globalization and De-Industrialization, 1750–1877”.Abstract
Like the rest of the poor periphery, Mexico fought with de-industrialization in the century before the 1870s. Yet, Mexican manufacturing defended itself better than did the rest of the poor periphery. Why Mexican exceptionalism? This article decomposes the sources of de-industrialization into productivity events abroad, globalization forces connecting Mexico to those markets, and domestic forces. It uses a neo-Ricardian model to implement the decomposition, advocates a price dual approach, and develops a new price and wage data base. Mexican exceptionalism was due to weaker Dutch disease effects, better wage competitiveness, and the policy autonomy to foster industry.
Estévez-Abe, Margarita, and Takako Hikotani. 2008. “Japan’S New Extrovert Leaders: How Institutions Change Incentives and Capabilities”.Abstract
Japanese political leaders have become "extrovert" in two ways. First, they have become extrovert in terms of seeking media exposure. They have become much enamored of cameras and sound bites. Although the former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (in office from April 26, 2001 to September 26, 2006) did not create this trend, he definitely turned the new trend into a routine by making twice-daily appearances in front of the TV camera—a practice his successors Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe (from September 26, 2006 to September 26, 2007) and Yasuo Fukuda (from September 26, 2007 to present) have inherited. Second, Japanese political leaders have become more assertive and vocal on security and foreign policy issues. Recent developments in Japanese defense policy, including sending Self Defense Forces to Iraq, would not have happened if it were not for the leadership of Prime Minister Koizumi. More politicians actively debate foreign policy in the media, and try to draw appeal with their foreign policy expertise. Why is this change occurring? What is the source of the increasingly "extrovert" behavior among Japanese political leaders?
A paper originally prepared for "Japan and the World: The Domestic Politics of How the World Looks to Japan" Conference at Yale University, March 9-10, 2007. The authors are indebted to comments by the fellow conference participants. Special thanks to Michael Thies for his detailed comments.Download PDF
Domínguez, Jorge I, and Juan Enriquez. 2008. “What About Austerity?”. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Within the billions of sentences about the financial bailout there is one word notably absent, austerity. All talk is of payments, supports, subsidies, incurring more debt, stimulus packages. The thesis seems to be: If only we spend more the party can go on. True, only if the financial meltdown is a temporary mismatch and dislocation in housing and credit markets. But suppose there is something fundamentally wrong with the US economy. Then spending more will not fix it. Getting the diagnosis right means getting the treatment right. It may save us a trillion or two.The subprime collapse is one symptom of years of little regulation, under-taxing, overspending, and massive debt. One way to understand what is happening in the United States is to look at what occurred time and again in Latin America and Asia, hotbeds of financial and banking crises. What we are living through happened time and again in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, as well as Korea and Thailand.If there is too much debt, people lose confidence in the banks, then credit markets, currency, and government.For more than a decade, the international financial cop, the International Monetary Fund, forecast a hurricane was heading toward US shores. As did many heads of the treasury and the Fed. It is, to paraphrase a great writer, a chronicle of an agony foretold. There are five basic drivers of these crises, all based on excess: high income concentration, too much debt, too much reliance on foreign money, not enough tax revenue, and reckless government spending. Time after time governments believe they are different. They are bombarded by warnings but ignore, postpone, spend even more, and crash.Over past decades, most US wages have fared poorly. Despite stagnant wages, consumer spending and debt increased, fueled by cheap credit. Companies also went on a debt binge. Careless deregulation allowed financial cowboys to run the system. Responsible CEOs who kept some cash, maintained moderate debt, invested for the long term, got pink slips. Financial chop shops did leveraged buyouts using a company's own cash and credit. To survive, companies piled on debt.Many politicians decided reelection depended on cutting taxes and offering more benefits. Increase Medicare, postpone Social Security reform, hire more bureaucrats, and pay for a two-front war. Debt grew to pay for this party. These were not true tax cuts, just postponed debt; now we owe more and the bill has come due with interest.Complicating this crisis is US economic hegemony. There were few places to park a lot of money. Despite the euro, European policies on debts and deficits are not much to brag about. So foreigners have gorged on US debt. The United States continues importing more than it exports. Middle Easterners and Asians who save and invest bought dollars for decades, but some of this money is now fleeing. The dollar has dropped sharply. Gold and oil have skyrocketed. In financial crises, huge pools of capital cross borders very quickly; a few can make a great deal of money shorting the country's currency.The United States requires a massive restructuring to address its debt, cutting back on its borrowing, spending, and wars. The bailout package is essential to keep the credit markets open. But absent sentences that include the word austerity all the bailout will accomplish is a temporary postponement. Bailout and stimulus are a stopgap.A solution requires the country to begin to spend what it earns, reduce its mountainous debt, and address massive liabilities, restructure Social Security, pension deficits, military, and Medicare. No wonder politicians would rather spend more of your money now rather than address these problems. Because we have been spending 5 to 7 percent more each year than we earn, a forced restructuring, triggered by a currency collapse, would have the same effect on wages and purchasing power that the housing collapse had on housing prices. So let's learn from our Latin and Asian friends and act before it is too late.Juan Enriquez, managing director of Excel Medical Ventures, is author of "The Untied States of America: Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future." Jorge Dominguez is vice provost for international affairs and a professor of Mexican and Latin American Politics and Economics at Harvard University.
Meierhenrich, Jens. 2008. The Legacies of Law. Cambridge University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Focusing on South Africa during the period 1650–2000, this highly original book examines the role of law in making democracy work in changing societies. The Legacies of Law sheds light on the neglected relationship between path dependence and the law. Meierhenrich argues that legal norms and institutions, even illiberal ones, have an important—and hitherto undertheorized—structuring effect on democratic outcomes. Under certain conditions, law appears to reduce uncertainty in democratization by invoking common cultural backgrounds and experiences. In instances where interacting adversaries share qua law reasonably convergent mental models, transitions from authoritarian rule are shown to be less intractable. Meierhenrich’s innovative longitudinal analysis of the evolution of law—and its effects—in South Africa during the period 1650–2000, compared with a short study of Chile from 1830–1990, shows how, and when, legal norms and institutions serve as historical causes to both democratic and nondemocratic rule.
Varshney, Ashutosh. 2008. “Assault on India’S Fabled City of Dreams”. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Terror has rocked India before but never have terrorists been so audacious. South Mumbai is India’s economic heart. This attack is "India’s 9/11".Mumbai is no routine urban agglomeration. It is a fabled city, where millions of Indians, migrating from poor hinterlands, seek a living; where rags-to-riches stories are not uncommon; where vast business deals are struck. It is where dreams are manufactured by a film industry that gives countless Indians relief from the struggles of life. Millions identify with the city.Mumbai is a paradox. It has areas of appalling squalor but is India’s city of hope. It is in south Mumbai that the Tatas honed world-class business skills, Zubin Mehta learnt how to conduct Beethoven’s Fifth and Salman Rushdie understood how to turn the drama of everyday life into novels. By targeting south Mumbai, the terrorists have not only attacked the economic symbol of a rising India but also its most globalised quarters.A big hypothesis beckons: India is a highly unequal democracy in a bad neighbourhood, and as long as its democracy, inequalities and regional misfortunes remain unreformed, it will be vulnerable to terrorism.Consider how Indian democracy has addressed terrorism. India’s politicians have asked: are terrorists simply terrorists, or are they Muslim or Hindu terrorists? This question is tied up with electoral politics. Muslims comprise about 13 per cent of India’s population. Given how they are geographically distributed, they form a crucial electoral segment of at least a quarter of India’s parliamentary seats. Seeking Hindu votes, some politicians have been quick to equate terror with Islam. Others, especially pro-Muslim political parties, focus on the unfair treatment of Muslims by the police rather than the fight to eliminate terror.Recently Indian democracy has been treated to the obverse of "Muslim terror". Prima facie evidence and intelligence suggest the rise of Hindu networks practising terror against Muslims. In India’s democracy, terror has become identified not as an evil but as an outgrowth of the grievances of Muslims or Hindus, or as a sign of whether the Indian state is unfair to Muslims or Hindus. That is a recipe for further disasters. Inequalities are the second part of the problem. The Indian economy has been booming, but while some business leaders, film stars and sports icons are Muslim, Muslims mostly come from the poorest, least educated and most poorly skilled communities.Nowhere is this contradiction more evident than in Mumbai. It has some of the richest Indian Muslims but there is a huge Muslim underclass and a connection between Mumbai’s underworld and its poor Muslims has been noted. Muslim gangs are among the most powerful players in Mumbai’s organised crime. To many, crime appears to offer greater and easier rewards than a dogged pursuit of regular employment. Finally, Indian democracy functions in a region, whose failings are second only to the Middle East’s. Recent works by Pakistani scholars make it clear that the state in Pakistan has long been fractured between agencies that support terrorism and those that seek to control it. India has its troubles in Kashmir and the north-east, but these conflicts have never reduced the Indian state to a shambles. Alone in south Asia, India has had sufficient institutional strength to hold regular elections.India has to ask how long it can continue to be institutionally strong if the neighbourhood is so violent. Its borders are porous and the prospect of maritime terrorism, raised by the Mumbai carnage, makes them more so. Foreign policy and national security are increasingly tied up with India’s political health, with potential consequences for India’s economic resilience. What can be done? How to include India’s Muslims in the economic mainstream is key. India’s political parties need to learn that terrorism cannot be seen as a vote-winner. It is an evil and a security threat. If political parties link terrorism with Muslims or Hindus, they will only bring greater catastrophe closer. Finally, India must vigorously cultivate peace with Pakistan. Luckily, a government today exists in Pakistan that has made the most resolute gestures towards peace in decades. President Asif Ali Zardari has opened up a unique opportunity for regional peace. After Mumbai, India needs to respond.
Varshney, Ashutosh. 2008. “Why It Won’T Happen: The Improbability of an Indian Obama”. Publisher's VersionAbstract
On January 20, when Barack Obama is formally inaugurated as president, the US will have a tryst with destiny. As famously defined by Jawaharlal Nehru, a national tryst with destiny is “a moment...when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance”. Scholars of nationalism agree that the US was founded upon an ideology, not ethnicity or race. The ideology was contained in the Declaration of Independence of 1776. “We hold these truths to be self-evident”, it said, “that all men are created equal”. Europe, the Old World, was horribly tied up in feudal hierarchies. The New World would have political and social equality at its core. As a corollary, rising from below became the socalled American dream. In reality, however, the US has not fully lived up to this ideal. Indeed, the creed of political equality came entwined with a founding ambiguity. The founders did not abolish slavery, an institution diametrically opposed to equality. This original ambiguity has haunted the US. The election of Obama as president liberates America from its basic contradiction. It is a shining moment in the historical journey of American nationhood and a landmark moment for world history. No society has yet elected someone from its deepest subaltern trenches to the highest office of the nation. Obama is not a slave’s descendant, but he is African-American. It should be no surprise that an international debate about whether other nations can produce an Obama has begun. The debate in India, too, has been vigorous. Can Mayawati become India’s Obama? Can a Muslim be elected India’s prime minister? A Muslim PM would, indeed, be a celebratory landmark for Indian secularism, but that is not an exact comparison. No community of India has suffered more than the nation’s Dalits. Muslims have historically had a dualistic structure: a ruling class and an aristocracy on one side and a vast mass of poor on the other side. In significant ways, that dualism continues to this day: the Azim Premjis and Shah Rukh Khans on the one hand, and the teeming millions on the other. In contrast, no film and sports stars or business leaders have come from the Dalit community. Though not enslaved, at least in modern times, Dalits, much like the African-Americans, have been segregated, stamped upon, and treated shabbily. India also has a founding ambiguity. Our Constitution abolished untouchability, but it is still widely practised. A Dalit PM would constitute a true parallel to the election of Obama. Can India produce an Obama? Three great differences between India and the US make it unlikely. First, party establishments cannot easily be challenged until there are open intra-party elections for the leadership of political parties. American elections start with the primaries, allowing anyone in a political party to stake a claim to leadership. Lacking internal elections, India’s parties today are on the whole family properties. The partial exceptions are the BJP and CPM. But the BJP cannot easily have a leader not approved by the RSS. And the CPM is ruled by an unelected politburo.The Congress was historically based on internal elections, but with the exception of a feeble attempt in the 1990s, internal elections, suspended by Indira Gandhi in 1973, have not been restored. The institutional decay of India’s political parties means that rank outsiders, like Mayawati, tend to create new political parties, but it is well known that it is much harder to create a new nationwide political organisation than use an existing one. The competition between political parties in India is remarkably vigorous, but competition inside is its exact opposite. Second, the US has a presidential system, India a parliamentary one. Since a US president is elected by the whole nation, a presidential system creates a national political arena. Every presidential candidate has to think of how to lead the nation. In a parliamentary system, the electorate votes for an MP, but there is no national election for the PM. Only when a parliamentary system has two (or three) nationwide parties, as in the UK, do political leaders tend to compete the way American presidential candidates do. India does not have a two-party system.Third, to mobilise citizens for vote, one has to speak in a language that the citizens can understand. Political campaigns take place in a linguistic register. Until India becomes more or less fully literate and also bilingual, India’s primary political arenas will be linguistically diverse provincial units. As a result, state-level Obamas will emerge, but national-level Obamas will be extremely hard to come by. Mayawati is at best a provincial Obama, with one major difference. Obama never ran a campaign of bitterness and anger; he subscribed to post-racial politics. In contrast, before the current Brahmin-Dalit brotherhood phase began, Mayawati conflated the politics of dignity with the politics of revenge. Only movement politics, aimed at putting the various communities together, can tear down India’s institutional constraints. The freedom movement was the last great movement that built unity in India. It produced impressive national political leaders. The JP movement in the 1970s presented an alternative version of national unity, but it could not really take off. The Advani-led rath yatra was also one of the biggest movements of 20th century India. But it did not unite; it only divided. Until such time as India’s political parties become more internally democratic, a national level two-party system emerges, or strong movements of national unity come to the scene, India’s national leaders will continue to come from party establishments, not from the lower reaches of society.