This article examines how the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) catalyzed cross-border labor cooperation and col- laboration (i.e., labor transnationalism), by creating a new political opportunity structure at the transnational level. Because there are differences in the way power is constituted at the transnational and national levels, theories of national political opportunity structures cannot be directly mapped onto the transnational level. The author describes three primary dimensions of political opportunity structure at the transnational level that explain how power is established: (1) the constitution of transnational actors and interests, (2) the definition and recognition of transnational rights, and (3) adjudication at the transnational level. The case of NAFTA suggests that while the emergence of national social movements requires nation-states, global governance institutions can play a pivotal role in the development of transnational social movements.
On August 28, 2003, the Commissioners of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) submitted their Final Report to President Alejandro Toledo and the nation. After two years of work and some 17,000 testimonies, the Commissioners had completed their task of examining the causes and consequences of the internal armed conflict of the 1980s-1990s.
Among the most striking conclusions in the Final Report is the number of fatalities—69,280 deaths, three times the number cited by human rights organizations and the government prior to the TRC—and the responsibility for these deaths (America's Watch, 1992). In the section of the Final Report regarding accountability, the Commissioners state that the Shining Path guerrillas (Senderistas) were responsible for 54 percent of the fatalities reported to the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC, 2003).
The year 2005 has become the year of development. In September, at the UN Millennium Summit meeting of heads of state, in New York,
leaders of wealthy nations will emphasize their commitment to deeper
debt relief and increased aid programs for developing countries. The
Millennium Development Goals, the centerpiece of the conference’s
program, call for halving the levels of world poverty and hunger by 2015.
The summit will focus on increasing international aid to 0.7 percent
of donors’ gross national product to finance a doubling of aid transfers
to especially needy areas, particularly in Africa.With respect to global
trade, efforts will center on the Doha Round of multilateral trade
negotiations and opening markets to important exports (such as cotton)
from developing countries. The discussions will thus proceed based
on two implicit but critical underlying assumptions: that wealthy
nations can materially shape development in the poor world and that
their efforts to do so should consist largely of providing resources to
and trading opportunities for poor countries.
With Daniel Hopkins. American Political Science Review (forthcoming, August 2005)
We acknowledge the contribution of von Stein (200X) in calling attention to the very real problem of selection bias in estimating treaty effects. Nonetheless, we dispute both von Stein?s theoretical and empirical conclusions. Theoretically, we contend that treaties can both screen and constrain simultaneously, meaning that findings on screening do nothing to undermine the claim that treaties constrain state behavior as well. Empirically, we questions von Stein?s estimator on several grounds, including its strong distributional assumptions and its statistical inconsistency. We then illustrate that selection bias does not account for much of the difference between Simmons? (2000) and von Stein?s (200x) estimated treaty effects, and instead reframe the problem as one of model dependency. Using a preprocessing matching step to reduce that dependency, we then illustrate treaty effects that are both substantively and statistically significant – and that are quiet close in magnitude to those reported by Simmons (2000).
We combine particular features of the German civil service with the unique event of German reunification to test the theory of precautionary savings and to quantify the importance of self–selection into occupations due to differences in risk aversion. In the presence of self–selection, failing to control for risk aversion in empirical tests of precautionary savings results in a bias that could lead to a false rejection of the theory. We exploit the fact that for individuals from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) German reunification in 1990 caused an exogenous reassignment of income risks. Our findings suggest that self–selection of risk averse individuals into low–risk occupations is economically important and decreases aggregate precautionary wealth holdings significantly.
We describe the patterns of international capital flows in the period 1970–2000. We then examine the determinants of capital flows and capital flows volatility during this period. We find that institutional quality is an important determinant of capital flows. Historical determinants of institutional quality have a direct effect on today's foreign investment. Policy plays a significant role in explaining the increase in the level of capital flows over time and their volatility.
Working Paper 11696, National Bureau of Economic Research, October 2005.
Many emerging democracies across the globe are scrambling to craft new constitutions. The modal constitution being chosen in this most recent wave of democratization is a rather unknown, and under–theorized, type: semi–presidentialism. This article brings semi–presidentialism back to comparative constitutional theory, distinguishing it from presidentialism and parliamentarism, and guarding against its hasty export to new democracies. This article details when, and why, semi–presidentialism can be problematic from the standpoints of democracy, constitutionalism, and the protection of fundamental rights; and the conditions under which it can be supportive of them. After establishing the analytical framework, this article compares developments in two important historical cases of regime change under semi–presidentialism, cases which have also been among the most influential countries for European politics in the twentieth century: the French Fifth Republic and Weimar Germany. The concluding section draws the evidence together.
This article explores the dynamics of cross–national cultural diffusion through the study of a case in which a symbolically powerful cultural practice, the traditionally English sport of cricket, successfully diffused to most but not all countries with close cultural ties to England. Neither network ties, nor national values, nor climatic conditions account for this disparity. Our explanation hinges instead on two key factors: first, the degree to which elites chose either to appropriate the game and deter others from participating or actively to promote it throughout the population for hegemonic purposes; and second, the degree to which the game was “popularized” by cultural entrepreneurs looking to get and keep spectators and athletes interested in the sport. Both outcomes relate to the nature of status hierarchies in these different societies, as well as the agency of elites and entrepreneurs in shaping the cultural valence of the game. The theoretical significance of this project is thus the observation that the diffusion of cultural practices can be promoted or discouraged by intermediaries with the power to shape the cultural meaning and institutional accessibility of such practices.
A recent endogenous growth literature has focused on the transition from a Malthusian world where real wages were linked to factor endowments, to one where modern growth has broken that link. In this paper we present evidence on another, related phenomenon: the dramatic reversal in distributional trends—from a steep secular fall to a steep secular rise in wage-land rent ratios—which occurred some time early in the 19th century. What explains this reversal? While it may seem logical to locate the causes in the Industrial Revolutionary forces emphasized by endogenous growth theorists, we provide evidence that something else mattered just as much: the opening up of the European economy to international trade.
Three propositions have become conventional wisdom in Washington and elsewhere. Americans save too little. As a consequence, the US current account deficit is unsustainably large. A necessary step to bring the global economy into sustainable balance is a significant appreciation of the Chinese currency, which in practice has been fixed to the dollar for over a decade. All these separate but related propositions are highly questionable. This policy brief addresses each in turn. It suggests that Americans save quite enough for future generations, that the startlingly large US current account deficit is not only sustainable but a natural feature of today's highly globalized economy, and that a revaluation of the Chinese currency, far from alleviating global imbalances, would run the risk of precipitating a financial crisis. These claims are not meant to suggest there are no problems with the current state of affairs. Rather, this brief suggests that events need to be interpreted in light of the evolution of the US and world economies in recent years and that this interpretation will put the global imbalances in a different perspective.