War and its aftermath serve as powerful motivators for the elaboration and transmission of individual, communal, and national histories. These histories both reflect and constitute human experience as they contour social memory and produce their truth effects. These histories use the past in a creative manner, combining and recombining elements of that past in service to interests in the present. In this sense, the conscious appropriation of history involves both memory and forgetting—both being dynamic processes permeated with intentionality.
In this essay I explore the political use of the narratives being elaborated in rural villages in the department of Ayacucho regarding the internal war that convulsed Peru for some fifteen years. I suggest that each narrative has a political intent and assumes both an internal and external audience. Indeed, the deployment of war narratives has much to do with forging new relations of power, ethnicity, and gender that are integral to the contemporary politics of the region. These new relations impact the construction of democratic practices and the model of citizenship being elaborated in the current context.
Economic historians continue to debate the causes of the 'great divergence of economic'
fortunes which has characterized the last half millennium. In this debate, the role of
colonialism—and specifically the British Empire—must needs play a crucial role. If
geography, climate and disease provide a sufficient explanation for the widening of
global inequalities, then the policies and institutions exported by British imperialism were
of marginal importance;4 the agricultural, commercial and industrial technologies
developed in Europe from 1700 onwards were bound to work better in temperate regions
with good access to sea routes. However, if the key to economic success lies in the
adoption of legal, financial and political institutions favourable to technical innovation
and capital accumulation—regardless of location, mean temperature and longevity—then
it matters a great deal that by the end of the nineteenth century a quarter of the world was
under British rule.
Also Development Research Institute Working Paper Series
No.2, RR# 2003-02. Download PDF
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 ushered in a period of democratization and market reform extending across the East-Central European region, with one important exception: Belarus. Ironically, Belarus's fledgling attempts at democracy produced a leader who has suspended the post-Soviet constitution and its institutions and created a personal dictatorship. Located in the center of the European continent, Belarus lies at the crossroads of an expanded NATO and the Russian "near abroad." This fact underlines the importance of Belarus to European security and to East-West relations. To discuss developments in Belarus, an international group of scholars and policymakers gathered at Harvard University in 1999. The broad spectrum of issues covered is examined in this volume, providing an understanding of Belarus today and its prospects for the future.
In addition to the editors, contributors include Timothy Colton, David Marples, Uladzimir Padhol, Rainer Lindner, Patricia Brukoff, Leonid Zlotnikov, Arkadii Moshes, Andrei Sannikov, Yuri Drakokhrust, Dmitri Furman, John Reppert, Astrid Sahm, Kirsten Westphal, Hrihoriy Perepelytsia, Algirdas Gricius, Agnieszka Magzdiak-Miszewska, Hans-Georg Wieck, Sherman Garnett, Elaine Conkievich, and Caryn Wilde.
Why did some Latin American labor-based parties adapt successfully to the contemporary challenges of neoliberalism and working class decline while others did not? Drawing on a detailed study of the Argentine Peronism, as well as a broader comparative analysis, this book develops an organizational approach to party change. Levitsky's study breaks new ground in its focus on informal and weakly institutionalized party structures. It argues that loosely structured party organizations, such as those found in many populist labor-based parties, are often better equipped to adapt to rapid environmental change than are more bureaucratic labor-based parties. The argument is illustrated in the case of Peronism, a mass labor-based party with a highly fluid internal structure. The book shows how this weakly routinized structure allowed party reformers to undertake a set of far-reached coalitional and programmatic changes that enabled Peronism to survive, and even thrive, in the neoliberal era.
Transition economies faced the formidable task of creating financial markets to ensure that enterprises gained access to external sources of funds under circumstances that were unfavorable for such markets to take off. The two major obstacles for financial market development we identify in this paper are highly incomplete law and the absence of reliable company specific information. We argue that in light of these obstacles standard law enforcement practices, including deterrence and reactive law enforcement by courts, and ex ante screening and proactive law enforcement by regulators are not effective. To jumpstart financial markets under these circumstances, other avenues have to be explored. We suggest that China, but not Russia, has been quite successful in seeking such alternatives. We identify the decentralized process of selecting companies for listing on major stock exchanges as a means for collecting company specific information that cannot be easily standardized and would therefore remain unexplored in a system that relied only on financial reporting and disclosure. While state agents involved in the selection process may have incentives to select lemons rather than viable firms for listing, we argue that the competition among different regions and ministries instilled by the so–called quota system has mitigated these dangers. By contrast, Russia?s reliance on a standard Western disclosure system with law enforcement by a combination of courts and regulators not paid off so far. On the contrary, uncertainties about the effectiveness of law enforcement and absence of reliable information have restrained financial market development. Evidence on lower co–movement of stock in China than in Russia lends support to our theoretical analysis.