Africa is largely agrarian and the performance of agriculture shapes the performance of its economies. It has long been argued that economic development in Africa is strongly conditioned by politics. Recent changes in Africa’s political systems enables us to test this argument and, by extension, broader claims about the impact of political institutions on economic development. Building on a recent analysis of total factor productivity growth in African agriculture, we find that the introduction of competitive presidential elections in the last decades of the 20th Century appears to have altered political incentives, resulting in policy reforms that have enhanced the performance of farmers.
We revisit Lipset’s law, which posits a positive and significant relationship between income and democracy. Using dynamic and heterogeneous panel data estimation techniques, we find a significant and negative relationship between income and democracy: higher/lower incomes per capita hinder/trigger democratization. We thus challenge the recent empirical literature that found no such significant relationship. We attribute this result to the nature of the tax base, and exploit additional sources of heterogeneity. Decomposing overall income per capita into its resource and non-resource components, we find that the coefficient on the latter is positive and significant while that on the former is significant but negative.
After briefly reviewing the new institutionalism, this article uses the history of political reform in Africa to test its key tenet: that power, if properly organized, is a productive resource. It does so by exploring the relationship between changes in political institutions and changes in economic performance, both at the macro- and the micro-level. The evidence indicates that political reform (Granger) causes increases in GDP per capita in the African subset of global data. And, at the micro-level, it demonstrates that changes in national political institutions in Africa strongly relate to changes in total factor productivity in agriculture.
Africa experienced a wave of democratization over the past 20 years and this increase in democracy, we find, positively and significantly affects income per capita. Our dynamic panel data results suggest that countries only slowly converge to their long-run income values as predicted by current democracy levels, however: African countries may therefore be currently too democratic relative to their income levels. In keeping with this possibility, a significant number of countries experience political ‘back sliding’: elections are won by the use of illicit tactics, term limits on political leaders have been overturned and there have been unconstitutional seizures of power.
Using data from the last 150 years in a small set of countries, and from the postwar period in a large set of countries, we show that large investments in state primary education systems tend to occur when countries face military rivals or threats from their neighbors. By contrast, we find that democratic transitions are negatively associated with education investments, while the presence of democratic political institutions magnifies the positive effect of military rivalries. These empirical results are robust to a number of statistical concerns and continue to hold when we instrument military rivalries with commodity prices or rivalries in a certain country’s immediate neighborhood. We also present historical case studies, as well as a simple model, that are consistent with the econometric evidence.
Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we allow corporations to pay for the right to pollute the atmosphere? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars? Auctioning admission to elite universities? Selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay?In What Money Can’t Buy, Michael J. Sandel takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Is there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don’t belong? What are the moral limits of markets?
In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life—medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. Is this where we want to be?In his New York Times bestseller Justice, Sandel showed himself to be a master at illuminating, with clarity and verve, the hard moral questions we confront in our everyday lives. Now, in What Money Can’t Buy, he provokes an essential discussion that we, in our market-driven age, need to have: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society—and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets don’t honor and that money can’t buy?
Two decades ago affairs between the United States and Cuba had seen little improvement from the Cold War era. Today, U.S.–Cuban relations are in many respects still in poor shape, yet some cooperative elements have begun to take hold and offer promise for future developments. Illustrated by the ongoing migration agreement, professional military-to-military relations at the perimeter of the U.S. base near Guantánamo, and professional Coast Guard-Guardafrontera cooperation across the Straits of Florida, the two governments are actively exploring whether and how to change the pattern of interactions.
The differences that divide the two nations are real, not the result of misperception, and this volume does not aspire to solve all points of disagreement. Drawing on perspectives from within Cuba as well as those in the United States, Canada, and Europe, these authors set out to analyze contemporary policies, reflect on current circumstances, and consider possible alternatives for improved U.S.-Cuban relations. The resulting collection is permeated with both disagreements and agreements from leading thinkers on the spectrum of issues the two countries face—matters of security, the role of Europe and Latin America, economic issues, migration, and cultural and scientific exchanges in relations between Cuba and the United States. Each topic is represented by perspectives from both Cuban and non-Cuban scholars, leading to a resource rich in insight and a model of transnational dialogue.
A glance at a newspaper or the wait staff in a restaurant, at high-technology hubs such as Silicon Valley, on the streets of cities like Berlin or Barcelona, or at the students in our classes makes it clear how many immigrants now live in North America and Western Europe, and how important they are to our cultural, economic, and social lives. A glance at the landscape of governance, however, does not give a clear or consistent image of immigrants’ presence. In 2007, only twelve Representatives in the 435-member United States Congress were immigrants, as were only two each of the 50 governors and 100 senators. Immigrants cast only 6.3 percent of the vote in the American presidential election of 2008, despite being almost 13 percent of the total adult population (Garbaye and Mollenkopf forthcoming 2012). As of 2009, 11 deputies in the 622-seat German Bundestag were foreign-born (Alonso and Claro da Fonseca 2009). As of 2007, no French citizen of Mahgrébin origin had sat in the 555-member National Assembly.
The perception of politics as an obstacle to the advancement of the Caribbean must be removed. In Power, Politics and Performance, Winston Dookeran argues that for meaningful change, politics must be visionary and pursued with principled purpose. He argues for partnership through regionalism and explores the issues facing small developing states and their sovereignty. Dookeran identifies the imperatives of financial stability and the structures required for building a knowledge-based economy. Power, Politics and Performance focuses on key issues of leadership and the political processes suggesting that ultimately, leadership is about finding solutions, and such solutions require radical transformation of political parties and political institutions. The book examines and analyses specific problems and distortions in small states and the challenge of building effective leadership while providing a blueprint for the way forward. Power, Politics and Performance is a welcomed addition to the Caribbean Integration arena and sets the stage for a paradigm shift in the governance of small states.
We identify the major public debt overhang episodes in the advanced economies since the early 1800s, characterized by public debt to GDP levels exceeding 90 percent for at least five years. Consistent with Reinhart and Rogoff (2010) and most of the more recent research, we find that public debt overhang episodes are associated with lower growth than during other periods. The duration of the average debt overhang episode is perhaps its most striking feature. Among the 26 episodes we identify, 20 lasted more than a decade. The long duration belies the view that the correlation is caused mainly by debt buildups during business cycle recessions. The long duration also implies that the cumulative shortfall in output from debt overhang is potentially massive. These growth-reducing effects of high public debt are apparently not transmitted exclusively through high real interest rates, as in eleven of the episodes, interest rates are not materially higher.
This book examines the writings of an early sixth-century Christian
mystical theologian who wrote under the name of a convert of the apostle
Paul, Dionysius the Areopagite. This 'Pseudo'-Dionysius is famous for
articulating a mystical theology in two parts: a sacramental and
liturgical mysticism embedded in the context of celestial and
ecclesiastical hierarchies, and an austere, contemplative regimen in
which one progressively negates the divine names in hopes of soliciting
union with the 'unknown God' or 'God beyond being.'Charles M.
Stang argues that the pseudonym and the influence of Paul together
constitute the best interpretive lens for understanding the Corpus
Dionysiacum [CD]. Stang demonstrates how Paul animates the entire
corpus, and shows that the influence of Paul illuminates such central
themes of the CD as hierarchy, theurgy, deification, Christology,
affirmation (kataphasis) and negation (apophasis), dissimilar
similarities, and unknowing. Most importantly, Paul serves as a fulcrum
for the expression of a new theological anthropology, an 'apophatic
anthropology.' Dionysius figures Paul as the premier apostolic witness
to this apophatic anthropology, as the ecstatic lover of the divine who
confesses to the rupture of his self and the indwelling of the divine in
Gal 2:20: 'it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.' Building
on this notion of apophatic anthropology, the book forwards an
explanation for why this sixth-century author chose to write under an
apostolic pseudonym. Stang argues that the very practice of
pseudonymous writing itself serves as an ecstatic devotional exercise
whereby the writer becomes split in two and thereby open to the
indwelling of the divine. Pseudonymity is on this interpretation
integral and internal to the aims of the wider mystical enterprise. Thus
this book aims to question the distinction between 'theory' and
'practice' by demonstrating that negative theology-often figured as a
speculative and rarefied theory regarding the transcendence of God-is in
fact best understood as a kind of asceticism, a devotional practice
aiming for the total transformation of the Christian subject.
One of the most rigorous methodologies in the corporate governance literature uses firms' reactions to industry shocks to characterize the quality of governance. This methodology can produce the wrong answer unless one considers the ways firms compete. Because macro-level shocks reverberate differently at the firm level depending on whether a firm has a cost structure that requires significant adjustment, the quality of governance can only be elucidated accurately analyzing a firm's business strategy and their corporate governance. These differences can help one determine whether the fruits of a positive macro-level shock have been expropriated by insiders. Using the example of Indian firms, we show that an influential finding is reversed when these differences are considered. We further argue that the conventional wisdom about tunneling and business groups will need to be reformulated in light of the data, methodology, and findings presented here.
One of the most dramatic changes in the fiscal federalism landscape during the postwar period has been the rapid growth in state budgets, which almost tripled as a share of GDP and doubled as a share of government spending between 1952 and 2006. We argue that the greater role of states cannot be easily explained by changes in Tiebout forces of fiscal competition, such as mobility and voting patterns, and are not accounted for by demographic or income trends. Rather, we demonstrate that much of the growth in state budgets has been driven by changes in intergovernmental interactions. Restricted federal grants to states have increased, and federal policy and legal constraints have also mandated or heavily incentivized state own-source spending, particularly in the areas of education, health and public welfare. These outside pressures moderate the forces of fiscal competition and must be taken into account when assessing the implications of observed revenue and spending patterns.
Dionysius the Areopagite, the early sixth-century Christian writer, bridged Christianity and neo-Platonist philosophy. Bringing together a team of international scholars, this volume surveys how Dionysius’s thought and work has been interpreted, in both East and West, up to the present day.
One of the first volumes in English to survey the reception history of Dionysian thought, both East and West
Provides a clear account of both modern and post-modern debates about Dionysius’s standing as philosopher and Christian theologian
Examines the contrasts between Dionysius’s own pre-modern concerns and those of the post-modern philosophical tradition
Highlights the great variety of historic readings of Dionysius, and also considers new theories and interpretations
Analyzes the main points of hermeneutical contrast between East and West
, Global Strategy Journal 2, no. 1: 71-87.Abstract
We build on the emerging literature of influence-based models to study how multinational firms can navigate host governments. Our ‘core-periphery’ framework posits that the actions that an MNC takes with actors in what we call the ‘periphery’—comprised of state, quasi-state, and civil society actors—can lead to positive or negative influence with interconnected state actors in a ‘core.’ There are two mechanisms by which this can happen: engaging the periphery may either change the information set of the core or help align incentives of multiple core actors. Engaging the periphery might be particularly relevant in settings where the institutional framework is still emerging. We build a case study of a multinational firm in the biotechnology sector to illustrate how the core-periphery framework works in multiple emerging markets across institutional differences. The analysis is based on 32 interviews conducted with the CEO and other executives of Genzyme at the corporate headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in subsidiaries in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, France, India, and the United States.
Fallon, Kathleen M, Liam Swiss, and Jocelyn Viterna. 2012.
, American Sociological Review 77, no. 3: 380-408.Abstract
Increasing levels of democratic freedoms should, in theory, improve women’s access to political positions. Yet studies demonstrate that democracy does little to improve women’s legislative representation. To resolve this paradox, we investigate how variations in the democratization process—including pre-transition legacies, historical experiences with elections, the global context of transition, and post-transition democratic freedoms and quotas—affect women’s representation in developing nations. We find that democratization’s effect is curvilinear. Women in non-democratic regimes often have high levels of legislative representation but little real political power. When democratization occurs, women’s representation initially drops, but with increasing democratic freedoms and additional elections, it increases again. The historical context of transition further moderates these effects. Prior to 1995, women’s representation increased most rapidly in countries transitioning from civil strife—but only when accompanied by gender quotas. After 1995 and the Beijing Conference on Women, the effectiveness of quotas becomes more universal, with the exception of post- communist countries. In these nations, quotas continue to do little to improve women’s representation. Our results, based on pooled time series analysis from 1975 to 2009, demonstrate that it is not democracy—as measured by a nation’s level of democratic freedoms at a particular moment in time—but rather the democratization process that matters for women’s legislative representation.