Levitt, Peggy, and Sanjeev Khagram. 2007. The Transnational Studies Reader: Intersections and Innovations. Routledge. WebsiteAbstract
In recent years, 'transnationalism' has become a key analytical concept across the social sciences. While theoretical approaches to the study of global social phenomena have traditionally focused on the nation-state as the central defining framework, transnational studies views social experience as a complex and dynamic product of multiple regional, ethnic, and institutional identities. Far from being static or bounded by national borders, social, political, and economic forces operate on supra-national, trans-regional, and trans-local scales and scopes. Transnational studies compares and contrasts these dynamics to rethink assumptions about identity, sovereignty, and citizenship.Assembling writings from some of the most important theorists in history, politics, economics, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies, The Transnationalism Reader explores the ways that transnational practices and processes in different domains, and at different levels of social interaction, relate to, and inform each other. It also compares the spatial organization of social life during different historical periods.Coherent in its vision and expansive in its disciplinary, geographic, and historical coverage, The Transnationalism Reader is a field-defining collection.
Iversen, Torben, Thomas R Cusack, and David Soskice. 2007. Economic Interests and the Origins of Political Systems.Abstract
The standard explanation for the choice of electoral institutions, building on Rokkan’s seminal work, is that proportional representation (PR) was adopted by a divided right to defend its class interests against a rising left. But new evidence shows that PR strengthens the left and redistribution, and we argue the standard view is wrong historically, analytically, and empirically. We offer a radically different explanation. Integrating two opposed interpretations of PR—minimum winning coalitions versus consensus—we propose that the right adopted PR when their support for consensual regulatory frameworks, especially those of labor markets and skill formation where co-specific investments were important, outweighed their opposition to the redistributive consequences; this occurred in countries with previously densely organized local economies. In countries with adversarial industrial relations, and weak coordination of business and unions, keeping majoritarian institutions helped contain the left. This explains the close association between current varieties of capitalism and electoral institutions, and why they persist over time.
Cole, Shawn. 2007. Financial Development, Bank Ownership, and Growth. Or, Does Quantity Imply Quality?.Abstract
In 1980, India nationalized its large private banks. This induced different bank ownership patterns across different towns, allowing credible identi…cation of the effects of bank ownership on …nancial development, lending rates, and the quality of intermediation, as well as employment and investment. Credit markets with nationalized banks experienced faster credit growth during a period of …nancial repression. Nationalization led to lower interest rates and lower quality intermediation, and may have slowed employment gains in trade and services. Development lending goals were met, but these had no impact on the real economy.
Perry, Elizabeth J, and Merle Goldman. 2007. Grassroots Political Reform in Contemporary China. Harvard University Press. WebsiteAbstract
Observers often note the glaring contrast between China's stunning economic progress and stalled political reforms. Although sustained growth in GNP has not brought democratization at the national level, this does not mean that the Chinese political system has remained unchanged. At the grassroots level, a number of important reforms have been implemented in the last two decades.This volume, written by scholars who have undertaken substantial fieldwork in China, explores a range of grassroots efforts—initiated by the state and society alike—intended to restrain arbitrary and corrupt official behavior and enhance the accountability of local authorities. Topics include village and township elections, fiscal reforms, legal aid, media supervision, informal associations, and popular protests. While the authors offer varying assessments of the larger significance of these developments, their case studies point to a more dynamic Chinese political system than is often acknowledged. When placed in historical context—as in the Introduction—we see that reforms in local governance are hardly a new feature of Chinese political statecraft and that the future of these experiments is anything but certain.
Leaning, Jennifer. 2007. The Dilemma of Neutrality.Abstract
This paper focuses on the dilemma that humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) face in their efforts to gain access to populations caught up in current wars. Narrow and broad concepts of humanitarian protection are discussed and it is argued that despite high levels of professionalism, the space for humanitarian action has constricted sharply since the events surrounding the attacks of 11 September 2001. Increasingly, aid workers are now being viewed with suspicion as agents of the great powers and assertions of humanitarian neutrality are not heeded or rejected. Non-governmental organizations have evolved a range of options to address this problem, but there is an urgent need to work collectively to find more durable and coherent solutions.
Rodrik, Dani. 2007. The Real Exchange Rate and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence.Abstract
I provide evidence that undervaluation (a high real exchange rate) stimulates economic growth. This is true particularly for developing countries, suggesting that tradable goods suffer disproportionately from the distortions that keep poor countries from converging. I present two categories of explanations as to why this may be so, focusing on (a) institutional/contractual weaknesses, and (b) market failures. A formal model elucidates the linkages between the level of the real exchange rate and the rate of economic growth.
Hall, Peter A. 2007. The Dilemmas of Contemporary Social Science.Abstract
For two hundred years, social science has provided the lens through which people view society and the visions animating most demands for political reform – at least since Adam Smith’s efforts to unleash the ‘invisible hand’ of the market without destroying the moral sentiments of society.1 However, the perspectives of social science shift, as each new generation questions its predecessors, with import for politics as well as the academy. From time to time, therefore, we should reflect on them. In this essay I do so from the perspective of political science, mainly about American scholarship and with no pretense to comprehensiveness, but with a focus on the disciplinary intersections where so many have found Archimedean points. Intellectual developments in any one field are often ‘progressive’ in the scientific sense of that term.2 But something can be lost as well as gained in the course of them, and there is reason for concern about the fate of social science over the past twenty-five years. What has been lost becomes clear only if we revisit the path taken.
Culpepper, Pepper. 2007. Eppure, non si muove: Legal Change, Institutional Stability and Italian Corporate Governance.Abstract
Prevailing theories in political economy hold that a coalition or political party, acting through parliament, can break down institutions of stable shareholding. In spite of extremely favourable conditions in the late 1990s—the election and durable rule of a leftist government supported by a transparency coalition, a bureaucratic elite that favoured institutional change, and substantial state shareholdings which the government could privatize in pursuit of its objectives—these reforms failed to affect the concentration of shareholdings among the largest private companies in Italy. This disjuncture between legal change and actual practice in Italian corporate governance suggests that current theories of institutional change in corporate governance systems are incomplete. The focus of inquiry needs to turn to the political resources of those who support the existing system: managers and large shareholders.
Culpepper, Pepper. 2007. Small States and Skill Specificity: Austria, Switzerland, and Interemployer Cleavages in Coordinated Capitalism.Abstract
The varieties of capitalism literature has put skill systems at the center of comparative politics. Yet its claims about skill specificity are driven by two large coordinated economies, Germany and Japan. This article examines political change of skills in two small coordinated economies. Switzerland has expanded its general skills orientation, whereas Austria retains a highly specific skills system. The cause of this divergence is the different interests of small and large employers: Small employers are more cost sensitive than are large employers, which leads them to oppose the introduction of more general education. The study also shows that the primary measure of skill specificity used in quantitative work—vocational training share—is unreliable. It fails to distinguish between secondary and tertiary vocational training, which have opposite effects on skill specificity. The article develops and justifies an alternative measure—tertiary vocational training—that better predicts the skills clusters observed in advanced capitalism.
Toft, Monica Duffy. 2007. The Myth of the Borderless World: Refugees and Repatriation Policy.Abstract
This essay explores the impact of the end of the Cold War on the counter-refugee-crisis policies of the United Nations and its strongest member states. I argue that during the ColdWar, state interests were subordinated to the refugee interests for two reasons. First, refugees were fewin number and tended to be educated, skilled, and informed (valuable). Second, the WWII experience of the Holocaust in Europe led to the institutionalization of concern for the fate of persecuted groups at the expense of state interests. After the end of the Cold War, however, a number of the Soviet Union’s allies and successor states began to fail, and these state failures, combined with unprecedented access to information about living conditions abroad, led to refugee flows that impacted powerful states. Whereas the preferred counter-refugee crisis policy during the Cold War was resettlement, after the Cold War it shifted to repatriation: voluntary repatriation in the best cases, and forced repatriation in the worst. The essay’s primary focus is an assessment of the consequences of this policy shift from resettlement to repatriation of refugees. After introducing a number of important empirical findings regarding the frequency and scale of contemporary refugee crises, I conclude that although in some cases the policy of supporting voluntary repatriation is a good thing, it may have the unintended consequence of involuntary or forced repatriations as receiving states feel little compulsion to resettle these refugees within their borders.
Toft, Monica Duffy. 2007. Population Shifts and Civil War: A Test of Power Transition Theory.Abstract
Do shifts in the distribution of ethnic group populations within a multinational state make civil war more likely? This article tests the proposition that they do using the competing logic of two core theories of interstate politics: power transition (PTT) and balance of power theory (BPT). The universe of potential population transition types are reduced to nine, and the logic of each of the competing explanations of war likelihood are reduced to four testable hypotheses. Overall, PTT fares better than BPT; although the article concludes that, as is the case at the interstate level, the key determinate of war likelihood rests more with how power is perceived than with raw changes in its distribution across the spectrum of meaningful political actors. Finally, the article offers a useful framework for further specifying the conditions under which population shifts alter the likelihood of an escalation to civil war.
Rodrik, Dani. 2007. How to Save Globalization from its Cheerleaders.Abstract
When future economic historians write their textbooks, they will no doubt marvel at the miraculous turn the world economy took after 1950. Over the long stretch of history, neither the Industrial Revolution nor the subsequent economic catch-up of the United States and other “western offshoots” looks as impressive (Figure 1). The period since 1950 has witnessed more rapid economic growth than any other period before, with only the classical gold standard era between 1870 and 1913 coming close. Even more striking, there has been a quantum jump in the growth rate of the most rapidly growing countries since 1950. Prior to 1950, growth superstars experienced growth rates that barely surpassed 2 percent per annum (in per capita terms) over long stretches. Compare this with the post-1950 growth champions: Japan, South Korea, and China; each grew at 6-8 percent per annum during 1950-73, 1973-90, and 1990-2005, respectively. Even allowing for the shorter time slices, this indicates that the world economy became a much more enabling environment for economic growth after 1950. Clearly, the architects of this new world economic system got something right.
Rodrik, Dani, Ricardo Hausmann, and Jason Hwang. 2007. What You Export Matters.Abstract
When local cost discovery generates knowledge spillovers, specialization patterns become partly indeterminate and the mix of goods that a country produces may have important implications for economic growth. We demonstrate this proposition formally and adduce some empirical support for it. We construct an index of the "income level of a country’s exports," document its properties, and show that it predicts subsequent economic growth.
Culpepper, Pepper, and Archon Fung. 2007. Do All Bridges Collapse? Possibilities for Democracy in the European Union.Abstract
It is tempting, but wrong, to infer from the failures of the EU draft constitution that all reforms based on increasing citizen participation in the European Union are doomed to fail. Andrew Moravcsik’s trenchant dismissal of the constitutional project commits this error. Moravcsik’s sweeping claims, based on what he calls empirical social science, speak well beyond the evidence on democratic institutional innovations. Participatory measures such as consultative Citizens’ Assemblies may articulate a citizens’ perspective that can help to anchor the democratic legitimacy of the EU. We do not know if such innovations can resolve the problems of the democratic deficit, but we do know that empirical social science has not spoken decisively on the issue. It is worth examining their democratic potential rather than dismissing them outright.
Hochschild, Jennifer L, and Traci Burch. 2007. Contingent Public Policies and Racial Hierarchy: Lessons from Immigration and Census Policies. NYU Press. WebsiteAbstract
Individually or in combination, two federal policies have the potential to transform the American racial and ethnic hierarchy more than any other policy changes since the civil rights movement. They are the Immigration Act of 1965 and the introduction of the "mark one or more" instruction in the race question on the 2000 census. Unlike the civil rights activities of the 1940s through 1960s, the first change was not intended to overturn the racial order and the second was a response to a process of transformation already underway. Both were, and remain, highly dependent on the isolated choices of many people around the world, as well as strategies of political and business leaders and economic or other forces outside anyone's control. Because the long-term effects of these policies have not played out fully, their ultimate outcomes will remain unclear for a long time—but they could be substantial.
Walt, Stephen M, and John Mearsheimer. 2007. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. WebsiteAbstract
The Israel Lobby, by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory. Originally published in theLondon Review of Books in March 2006, it provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy. Now in a work of major importance, Mearsheimer and Walt deepen and expand their argument and confront recent developments in Lebanon and Iran. They describe the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the United States provides to Israel and argues that this support cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds. This exceptional relationship is due largely to the political influence of a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction. Mearsheimer and Walt provocatively contend that the lobby has a far-reaching impact on America’s posture throughout the Middle East—in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and the policies it has encouraged are in neither America’s national interest nor Israel’s long-term interest. The lobby’s influence also affects America’s relationship with important allies and increases dangers that all states face from global jihadist terror.Writing in The New York Review of Books, Michael Massing declared, “Not since Foreign Affairs magazine published Samuel Huntington’s ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ in 1993 has an academic essay detonated with such force.” The publication of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is certain to widen the debate and to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.
Ferguson, Niall. 2007. The Problem of Conjecture: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine.Abstract
It is now nearly five years since President Bush promulgated what has become known as "the Bush Doctrine". The seminal document, published above the President’s signature twelve months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and entitled National Security Strategy of the United States, argued that because "deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network or murderous dictator … constitute as grave a threat as can be imagined", the President as commander-in-chief should, at his discretion, "act preemptively" to forestall or prevent any such threat. "As a matter of common sense and self-defense", the President stated, the United States would “act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed” and before they reached America’s borders. NSS-2002 asserted not only the principle of preemption but also the principle of unilateralism. "While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community," the document declared, "we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary..." At the time, and subsequently, the two principles of preemption and unilateralism were widely criticized as dangerous novelties in American foreign policy.
Kelman, Herbert C. 2007. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process and its vicissitudes: Insights from attitude theory.Abstract
The vicissitudes of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process since 1967 are analyzed using attitudes and related concepts where relevant. The 1967 war returned the two peoples' zero-sum conflict around national identity to its origin as a conflict within the land both peoples claim. Gradually, new attitudes evolved regarding the necessity and possibility of negotiations toward a two-state solution based on mutual recognition, which became the building stones of the 1993 Oslo agreement. Lacking a commitment to a final outcome, the Oslo-based peace process was hampered by reserve options, which increased avoidance at the expense of approach tendencies as the parties moved toward a final agreement. The resulting breakdown of the process in 2000 produced clashing narratives, reflecting different anchors for judgment and classical mirror images. Public support for violence increased, even as public opinion continued to favor a negotiated two-state solution. Reviving the peace process requires mutual reassurance about the availability of a partner for negotiating a principled peace based on a historic compromise that meets the basic needs and validates the identities of both peoples.
Kelman, Herbert C. 2007. Social psychological dimensions of international conflict. U.S. Institute of Peace Press. WebsiteAbstract
Social-psychological concepts and findings have entered the mainstream of theory and research in international relations. Explorations of the social-psychological dimensions of international politics go back at least to the early 1930s. Research on foreign policy decision making and the cognitive, group, and organizational factors that help to shape it, negotiation and bargaining, enemy images, public opinion in the foreign policy process, deterrence and other forms of influence in international politics, and reconciliation draws extensively on social-psychological research and theory.
Williamson, Jeffery G, Branko Milanovic, and Peter H Lindert. 2007. Pre-Industrial Inequality: An Early Conjectural Map.Abstract
Did our pre-industrial ancestors have incomes and life expectancies as unequal as they are today? Or is inequality largely the result of the Industrial Revolution? For want of sufficient data, these questions have not yet been answered. This paper infers inequality for 15 ancient, pre-industrial societies using what are known as social tables, stretching from the Roman Empire 14 AD, to Byzantium in 1000, to England in 1688, to Nueva España in 1790, to China in 1880 and to British India in 1947. It applies two new concepts in making those assessments—what we call the inequality possibility frontier and the inequality extraction ratio. Rather than simply offering measures of actual inequality, we compare the latter with the maximum feasible inequality (or rent) that could have been extracted by the elite. The results, especially when compared with modern countries the world round, give new insights in to the connection between inequality and economic development in the very long run.