Natural disasters and armed conflict have marked human existence throughout history and have always caused peaks in mortality and morbidity. But in recent times, the scale and scope of these events have increased markedly. Since 1990, natural disasters have affected about 217 million people every year,1 and about 300 million people now live amidst violent insecurity around the world.2 The immediate and longer-term effects of these disruptions on large populations constitute humanitarian crises. In recent decades, public health interventions in the humanitarian response have made gains in the equity and quality of emergency assistance.
Political scientists have long been interested in the American public’s foreign policy mood, but they have typically separated the microlevel question (who’s more likely to support isolationism?) from the macrolevel one (when does isolationism’s popularity increase?), even though public opinion is inherently a multilevel phenomenon, as the answers to these two questions interact. Showing how multilevel models can deal with the effects of time rather than just space, I find that both guns and butter drive foreign policy mood, but in different ways. When economic assessments sour, the public’s appetite for isolationism increases, but the impact of these individual-level perceptions is constrained by aggregate economic conditions, which are sufficiently salient that they are accessible irrespective of knowledge. The nature of the international security environment, however, predominantly affects foreign policy mood amongst high-knowledge individuals, thereby suggesting that low- and high-knowledge individuals’ foreign policy views are shaped by different situational cues.
Scholars have begun to investigate the mechanisms that link ethnic diversity to low levels of public goods provision but have paid only minimal attention to the role of preferences for public policies. Some argue that ethnic groups hold culturally distinctive preferences for goods and policies, and that such differences impede effective policy making, but these studies provide little evidence to support this claim. Others argue that preferences do not vary systematically across ethnic groups, but again the evidence is limited. In this article, we engage in a systematic exploration of the link between ethnic identity and preferences for public policies through a series of individual and aggregated analyses of Afrobarometer survey data from 18 sub-Saharan African countries. We find that in most countries, preferences do vary based on ethnic group membership. This variation is not merely an expression of individual-level socioeconomic differences or of group-level cultural differences. Instead, we suggest that citizens use ethnicity as a group heuristic for evaluating public policies in a few predictable ways: We find more persistent disagreement about public policies between politically relevant ethnic groups and where group disparities in wealth are high.
It is now widely accepted that the lower castes have
risen in Indian politics. Has there been a corresponding
change in the economy? Using comprehensive data
on enterprise ownership from the Economic Census
of 1990, 1998 and 2005, this paper shows there are
substantial caste differences in entrepreneurship across
India. The scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are
significantly under-represented in the ownership of
enterprises and the share of the workforce employed by
them. These differences are widespread across all states,
have decreased very modestly between 1990 and 2005,
and cannot be attributed to broad differences in access
to physical or human capital.
Industrial policy programs are frequently used by governments to stimulate economic activity in particular sectors of the economy. This study explores how an industrial policy program can affect the creation and evolution of an industry and, ultimately, the long-term performance of firms. We examine the history of the Brazilian bioethanol industry, focusing on the industrial policy program implemented by the Brazilian government in the 1970s to develop the industry. We put together a novel data set containing detailed information about the history of bioethanol producers. Our findings show that plants founded during the industrial policy program tend to be, in the long run, more productive than those founded before the program was in place. Based on additional analyses and complementary fieldwork, we infer that the wave of acquisitions that occurred after the end of the industrial policy program had an important effect on the performance of the plants founded when the program was in place. Industrial policy, especially in conjunction with a competitive post-industrial policy business landscape, can succeed in nurturing competitive firms.
In this paper, we build on the standard resource dependence theory (RDT) and its departure suggested by Vernon to offer a novel explanation for why state-owned entities (SOEs) might seek a global footprint and global cash flows: to achieve resource independence from other state actors. In the context of SOEs, the power use hypothesis of standard RDT can be used to analyze the dependence of SOEs on other state actors, such as government ministries and government agencies that have ownership and control rights in the SOE. Building on Vernon, we argue that the SOE can break free from this power imbalance and establish resource independence from other state actors by becoming a multinational firm and/or by generating global cash flows. We leverage a natural experiment in India and outline both quantitative and qualitative evidence from 42 Indian state-owned laboratories to support this argument.
This Article examines the adoption of rights in national constitutions in the post-World War II period in light of claims of global convergence. Using a comprehensive database on the contents of the world's constitutions, we observe a qualified convergence on the content of rights. Nearly every single right has increased in prevalence since its introduction, but very few are close to universal. We show that international rights documents, starting with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, have shaped the rights menu of national constitutions in powerful ways. These covenants appear to coordinate the behavior of domestic drafters, whether or not the drafters' countries are legally committed to the agreements (though commitment enhances the effect). Our particular focus is on the all-important International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, whose ratification inclines countries towards rights they, apparently, would not otherwise adopt. This finding confirms the complementary relationship between treaty ratification and domestic constitutional norms, and suggests that one important channel of treaty efficacy may be through domestic constitutions.
The Republic of Korea has an elaborate diaspora management policy since the 1990s. But what accounts for the variation in policies toward Koreans in China, Japan, North America, and the former Soviet Union? In this issue brief I explore various explanations for this variation: ethnic hierarchy, with some of these communities considered as more purely Korean than others; the timing and reasons behind the emigration of each group; the skills that each community has; the degree of organization abroad; and, finally, the nature of interstate relations and balance of power between South Korea and the respective host states.
The European Union (EU) tax mandate remains narrow. That there was only a limited transfer of tax authority to the EU exempliﬁes the failure of political and ﬁscal integration. Using a political economy framework, this article analyzes why the heads of state rejected tax harmonization proposals in the intergovernmental conferences. The presented ﬁndings of the original data on the Maastricht, Nice and Lisbon negotiations support the main hypothesis derived from the theoretical
framework – namely that resistance against tax harmonization came predominantly from low-tax countries. Moreover, the results indicate that after the accession of the central and eastern European countries the prospects of harmonizing tax policy starkly decreased. The analysis shows that tax heterogeneity and the enlargements have negative effects on tax integration. Based on the empirical ﬁndings and the theoretical framework, the article concludes by discussing how the creation of the monetary union restructured the politics of tax Europeanization and ﬁscal integration.
Political science can gain from incorporating richer conceptions of social relations into its analyses. In place of atomistic entities endowed with assets but few social relationships, social actors should be seen as relational entities embedded in social and cultural structures that connect them to others in multifaceted ways. Understanding those relationships requires a deeper understanding of how institutional and cultural frameworks interact to condition the terrain for social action. More intensive dialogue with sociology can inform such an understanding. We review the analytical tools cultural sociology now offers those interested in such a perspective and illustrate it in operation in studies of inequalities in population health and the effects of neoliberalism. We close by outlining several issues to which this perspective can usefully be applied, including the problems of understanding social resilience, how societies build collective capacities, and why some institutions remain robust while others deteriorate.
The Federal Reserve's mandate has evolved considerably over the organization's hundred-year history. It was changed from an initial focus in 1913 on financial stability, to fiscal financing in World War II and its aftermath, to a strong anti-inflation focus from the late 1970s, and then back to greater emphasis on financial stability since the Great Contraction. Yet, as the Fed's mandate has expanded in recent years, its range of instruments has narrowed, partly based on a misguided belief in the inherent stability of financial markets. We argue for a return to multiple instruments, including a more active role for reserve requirements.
In the past, industrial countries have tended to pursue countercyclical or, at worst, acyclical ﬁscal policy. In sharp contrast, emerging and developing countries have followed procyclical ﬁscal policy, thus exacerbating the underlying business cycle. We show that, over the last decade, about a third of the developing world has been able to escape the procyclicality trap and actually become countercyclical. We then focus on the role played by the quality of institutions, which appears to be a key determinant of a country’s ability to graduate. We show that, even after controlling for the endogeneity of institutions and other determinants of ﬁscal procyclicality, there is a causal link running from stronger institutions to less procyclical or more countercyclical ﬁscal policy.
Eurozone members are supposedly constrained by the fiscal caps of the Stability and Growth Pact. Yet ever since the birth of the euro, members have postponed painful adjustment. Wishful thinking has played an important role in this failure. We find that governments' forecasts are biased in the optimistic direction, especially during booms. Eurozone governments are especially over-optimistic when the budget deficit is over the 3% cap at the time the forecasts are made. Those exceeding this cap systematically but falsely forecast a rapid future improvement. The new fiscal compact among the euro countries is supposed to make budget rules more binding by putting them into laws and constitutions at the national level. But biased forecasts can defeat budget rules. What is the record in Europe with national rules? The bias is less among eurozone countries that have adopted certain rules at the national level, particularly creating an independent fiscal institution that provides independent forecasts.