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A Green Revolution for Rwanda? The Political Economy of Poverty and Agrarian Change

A Green Revolution for Rwanda? The Political Economy of Poverty and Agrarian Change

Stringent targets are also formulated in the area of land registration. According to several interviewees in the Ministry of Land, the issue of land registration should not pose a major problem for the local population. One stated, “Land is not a sensitive issue to Rwandans. People going into the field [referring to researchers] often expect a lot of disputes, but in fact this is not the case. Most disputes that exist are within families, and due to polygamy. Therefore, land dispute is not the most serious issue in land reform, the most serious thing to look at is the human capacity building. The rest will be simple. In fact, in the past, land was managed under the customary system. So the es- sence of the organic land law is to start issuing rights. It is now that people get rights. There is therefore a huge need for people with skills to do the land administration. The need for trained people to do this is the biggest constraint. Setting up procedures and systems is simple. But who is going to manage them; that are the hard things. The rest is not very difficult. […] We start from fresh. It is easy to get the system running because you are not competing with something what existed before. As a result there can be no resistance from other things. In any case, people will be happy as we offer them a better option for their future” (interview M, July 2007). A foreign consultant within the Ministry of Land opined, “… the problem of land conflicts in Rwanda is overblown by the international aid community and the western embassies. Land is not the cause of a lot of war. Indeed there are problems related to polygamy and to struggling brothers. But in fact the formal registration could turn out to be an opportunity for solving conflicts by providing a simple clear and formal procedure” (interview K, May 2007).
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Sustainable International Relations. Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato si’ and the Planetary Implications of the “Integral Ecology” 1

Sustainable International Relations. Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato si’ and the Planetary Implications of the “Integral Ecology” 1

There is no doubt that the mode of production and distribution of energy at state and international level has heavy consequences on the models of governance and the concentration/diffusion of power. There are, however, opposite interpretation of the political and institutional aspects of the transitions towards clean and renewable energy. From the one side, it is said that solar energy is deeply connected with empowerment and self-government of local communities, enabling them to become more independent form the choices of national and trans-national corporation pushing towards concentration of decision-making processes at the top of the economic and political scale. In this reading, energy democracy is the opposite of energy authoritarianism. But there is an alternative way of reading the global transition towards a green and circular economy: in that version, the process needs a robust political and institutional drive, since huge investments and R&D initiatives are needed in order to make renewable energy both accessible and affordable for all. Contrary to the narrative of decentralizing energy power, this understanding of energy transition implies, for instance, strong governments, credible international institutions, cogent rules and regulations, especially in order to create incentives and inducements.
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Three Essays on China's Political Economy, Environmental Policy, and Green Job Guarantee

Three Essays on China's Political Economy, Environmental Policy, and Green Job Guarantee

Hence, the contradictions in China’s environmental policy reflected “deep contradictions that developed in… [China’s] transformation from a traditional agricultural society to a modern industrial one and Chinese national rejuvenation in international structure” (Bao 2006). In this context, the Chinese state has prioritized economic growth for most of the years after the 1978 economic reform. This was evidenced by China’s refusal to sign the emissions restrictions agreement at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. As the Chinese delegate argued in the convention, “poverty eradication and economy development are still the overriding priorities of China,” and that “it is not possible for the Chinese government to undertake the obligation of reducing greenhouse gases until the economy develops” (Wan 1998). This official stance has led many to predict a rather gloomy environmental future for China, as Li wrote, “in light of its vast territory and traditional economic structure, it is unlikely that China will adopt strategies that promote ‘clean industries’ to minimize environmental damage.” Li further argues as recently as in 2006 that, “it is estimated that China will maintain its focus on heavy industries, such as petrochemicals, steel, construction materials, power generation, and coal mining, which employ technology that is more wasteful in energy and resources.” It therefore appeared that, “the ethos of the reforms and the political economy constructed to support reform goals are antithetical to solving China's environmental problems” (Jahiel 1997).
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"Methodological Discourse of International Economic Policy"

"Methodological Discourse of International Economic Policy"

R. Keohane is a liberal institutionalist who states that institutions, established rules and regulations can have a significant impact on the behavior of states with multilateral interests. The main issue is the manner in which institutions, including formal international organizations, international regimes and conventions, customs, can help countries to overcome the barriers encountered with in international cooperation. It is stressed that international institution structures properly worked out can help to create a more humane global system. The prominent position in the works of R. Keohane is allocated to the problems of «complex interdependence», which, under certain circumstances, allows countries to use international institutions to diversify and deepen the cooperation. In particular, when developing the regime theory, he argues that regardless of the size of countries, it is possible to gain benefits due to lowering the trade barriers and overcoming the uncertainty. At the same time, when analyzing the behavior of states as a response to market failure, transaction costs and uncertainty, R. Keohane sees the transformation of rational behavior in irrational and warns countries not to agree to cooperate because they do not know the motives of the opposite side. In general, he uses the methodology of rational choice in international political economy.
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International trade in services and services co production: An investigation into the nature of services and their political economy consequences on international trade

International trade in services and services co production: An investigation into the nature of services and their political economy consequences on international trade

However, these definitions suffer from many flaws. First and foremost, as definitions they only attempt to distinguish services from goods without positively specifying the unique qualities or essence of services. Ironically, they do not provide a definition of goods, either. Hence, we are left with neither an understanding of what are goods, nor of how services differ from them. Second, many market entities considered to be services are not intangible at all. Written reports of consultants, certain maintenance services, digital media and software are all cases in point. As Fuchs said, “A dentist who makes a false tooth and places it in the patient's mouth is certainly delivering a tangible product, but dentistry is invariably classified as a service” (Fuchs 1968: 15). Third, the notion that services are non-durable and cannot be stocked can be refuted by a variety of empirical examples such as haircuts,64 messages recorded on answering machines, or voicemails and other forms of digital media, like music recordings and software. Finally, the argument that intangibility and inaccessibility to the senses are at the root of the uncertainty of services trade is rather weak. The argument is based on two non-verified assumptions. The first is that sensual experience is a precondition (though not necessarily a sufficient condition) for greater certainty in transactions. As a matter of fact, many goods, although accessible to our senses, are often traded across borders without the client’s direct or indirect sensual experience. An example is the wide online international trade in books. The second assumption regarding intangibility and uncertainty in trade is that there is some notion of uniformity with regard to sensual
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Green net national product for the sustainability and social welfare

Green net national product for the sustainability and social welfare

λ * * ; K , * = p ( ) t ( u C ( ) t − u C * ( ) t ) . Hence, the change in the value of consumption measures the current change in utility, while the change in the value of investments measures the time derivative of the discounted inter-temporal sum of future changes in utility. This implies that green NNP can be used to verify that no policy change should be implemented at any point in time, if it can be shown that any small policy change would contribute non-positively to green NNP. The above results on the measurement of net social profit are general; i.e., they do not depend on there being a constant utility discount rate or there being no exogenous technological progress (Asheim 2000).
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Three essays in imperfect competition, political economy
and international trade

Three essays in imperfect competition, political economy and international trade

Given the equilibrium of product market competition and cooperative advertising is the equilibrium type of investment, in the first stage of the game the government of country i chooses [r]

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International political economy, the globalisation debate and the analysis of globalisation discourse

International political economy, the globalisation debate and the analysis of globalisation discourse

Antoniades’ research generates a large number of important findings. Having studied political parties, trade unions, business groups and the media, he found that in Greece globalisation discourse produced multi-level societal struggle. Globalisation acquired a heavily politicised and contested character. In contrast, in Ireland, globalisation was apolitical, and became one of the fundamental ‘givens’ of political life. In practice, it appears that Antoniades’ research is highly concerned, perhaps even primarily, with how the globalisation concept is actually employed by agents, in relation to the policy agenda outlined above – especially in the case of Greece. To some extent, this undermines his research. He treats globalisation discourse monolithically, and expects to find only different patterns of materialisation. Yet he finds agents not only shaping the material process, but the ideational dimension too – in ways that do not fit comfortably, we could say, in a neo-Gramscian framework of hegemony versus counter-hegemony. In detailing a range of different ‘ideological discourses’ of globalisation, this is a problem overcome by James Mittelman’s analysis. Nevertheless, Antoniades is able, in relation to the concept’s use, to generate impressive insight. For instance, perhaps supporting one of Hay’s arguments, he found that left-wing actors in Greece associated globalisation with a loss of autonomy and control, and contrasted in negatively with the more benign process of Europeanisation. He also argues that the concept itself was largely absent from Irish politics until 2000. He suggests that the concept is more visible when the process is contested – as it was in Greece, and only in Ireland after 2000 (2004: 319). In this way he argues that Nicola Smith, from Colin Hay’s branch of the ‘third wave’, ‘over- emphasised the role and importance of the concept of globalisation in the Irish public discourse’ (2004: 319; see Smith 2005; also Hay & Smith 2005). In this way he attempts to explain his otherwise contradictory focus on the concept in the case of Greece.
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International Political Economy

International Political Economy

need examination. Skocpol’s view of the international system mirrors the neoliberal ‘billiard ball’ model, but with greater detail on why states succeed domestically (Hobson 2002: 176). Walker’s (1993) intervention was to take the leading lights of Anglo-American International Relations (IR) to task for thoughtlessly reproducing the assumptions and legacies of modern political theory. We would therefore do best, he argued, to read theories of international relations as inputs into the workings of world politics, rather than take them at their word as mere observations or descriptions (Walker 1993: 5-6). As far as critiques go, Walker’s is ambitious: economy, society, culture, politics; time, space, structure, history – nothing is safe. Beneath all the dissolution of received categories, however, is a more or less straightforwardly sociological emphasis on the reflexive character of human life, and of the organizational forms that constitute it over time. With this comes an implicit reassertion of the sociological over the economic. Walker alludes, for example, to the existence of “an all-consuming global economy” (1993: 3), but his analysis remains firmly fixed on the “discursive economy of the modern state” (Walker 1993: 187) – a topos in which, it must be said, neither labor nor capital even appear, let alone figure as objects of theory. Walker’s key contribution, then, was to question the basic premises we use to understand the international system, and to argue for a greater openness to the views of ‘critical’ scholars on language, power, and identity.
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The political economy of corporate governance

The political economy of corporate governance

Clarke argues that the current push towards shareholder primacy leads to an obsession with shareholder value, manifested in financial performance measures and stock options, increasingly short term business horizons, and a move away from the use of retained earnings to finance raised on the equity market. Clarke argues, however, that the ‘optimal’ outcome of corporate governance arrangements differs considerably among different perspectives on history and politics, law and regulation, culture, and institutional complementarities. A focus on the strengths of a functional diversity of corporate governance systems would mean that corporate governance as a field would need to embrace the variety of governance systems and multiple equilibria, rather than strive for the development of one optimal model. This model would maintain the comparative advantages of (competing) systems of corporate governance, and would counter the current ‘debilitating ideology’ of shareholder value and preserve more positive outcomes for the economy and society.
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The political economy of corporate governance

The political economy of corporate governance

post-crisis alternatives to the liberal-juridical notion took root. These sections instead capitulate to the dubiously abstract explanatory resources of ‘convenient amnesias’ and their occasional ‘disturbance’ [156-7]. These two chapters certainly aren’t without their merits and, were it not for how high Davies had set the bar earlier on, I wouldn’t have had reluctant cause to wave a small red flag now. After the financial crisis, the underwhelming but nevertheless plausible account goes, contemporary political governance is no longer justified with respect to competitive dispersal or economic efficiency but in explicitly contingent terms. Ours now is the world governed by expert-forums and think-tanks, by audited score cards and business schools: it is a world theorized by Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben then largely presided over by Michael Porter and his consultative acolytes. The neoliberal economy has demonstrably failed us, so post-crisis neoliberalism’s second philosophy of the common good goes, and this is precisely why we need the guidance of the management and political strategist, however anti-democratically or even violently imposed this guidance might be. The sanctity granted by the early neo-liberals to the necessity of the rule of law has been replaced today by the widely acknowledged arbitrariness of executive decision [152]. The law no longer serves as the foundation for political-economic decisions, rather, the executive decision, governed by the logic of the friend- enemy distinction, is now revealed to all as the fundamental basis of law, politics and economics 11 .
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Ferguson et al - Industrial Structure and Party Competition.pdfView Download

Ferguson et al - Industrial Structure and Party Competition.pdfView Download

Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Federal Reserve – not to mention the Treasury – acted like textbook examples of industry-captured vehicles. Before the crash, only one state attorney general – Eliot Spitzer – ever mounted a challenge with real teeth, while isolated activist regulators, notably Brooksley Born, were rolled by the massive weight of industry political power (Epstein and Montecino, 2016) (Ferguson and Johnson, 2009a) (Ferguson and Johnson, 2009b). After the crash, no major financiers went to jail, while first the Republicans and then the Democrats bailed out Wall Street but not Main Street. Citibank and other institutions kept piling on leverage and thinning out their capital but then were rescued, while losses to pensions and housing values of ordinary Americans were never made good – as many Americans certainly still recalled in 2016. Monopolistic practices in telecommunications cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars, with (at best) mild checks – no matter which party is in power, thanks in major share to the power of political money (Cooper, 2016) (Ferguson et al., 2017). No regulator does much to protect consumer privacy. Virtually the only thing one can trust about anti-trust policies is that authorities in charge are far more likely to have qualms about, say, cement companies than real giants whose charges for cable or wireless service come almost miraculously close to each other.
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Information and quality in international trade and the political economy of trade protection

Information and quality in international trade and the political economy of trade protection

to an international setting in order to analyse governments’ incentives for the unilateral setting of minimum quality standards, as well as the scope and effects of international cooperation on welfare and international trade. National standards are endogenous and result from a standard-setting game between governments. The analysis delivers four results. First, there exist four unregulated Nash equilibria in minimum standards, two symmetric and two asymmetric, depending on the quality ranking of firms in each market. The analysis establishes th at in all four cases, unilaterally selected minimum quality standards are inefficient as a result of cross-country externalities. Sec­ ond, minimum quality standards are shown to operate as non-tariff barriers to trade. Third, the world welfare maximising symmetric standard can be reached through reciprocal adjustments in national minimum standards from either of the two symmetric Nash equilibria. Finally, the scope for m utu­ ally beneficial cooperation is shown to be significantly restricted when cross­ country externalities are asymmetric.
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Monica Arruda de Almeida th Street Falls Church, VA MonicaArruda

Monica Arruda de Almeida th Street Falls Church, VA MonicaArruda

- “The Political Economy of Trade Protectionism in Brazil.” Paper presented at the Latin American Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, October 2005.. - “The International Economy in the Aftermath[r]

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Political Economy

Political Economy

Therefore, the acknowledgment of government failure should not make us blind for the existence of market failure. Political Economy has to take both into account. This becomes obvious if we consider today’s discussion about the appropriate regulation of Banks which, due to the extreme ‘too big to fail’ prob- lematic, is of particular interest in Switzerland. Governments might, in their own interests, have a tendency to over-regulate the Banking-Sector. Representative of Banks, on the other hand side, in their attempts to increase profits and knowing that they are too big to fail and, therefore, having an implicit insurance by the government, go into rent-seeking in order to restrict regulations by the govern- ment and/or the Central Bank as far as possible. Thus, the current game between regulatory authorities and commercial banks might be a rather good object of future politico-economic analyses.
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Opening skies: The political economy of the air cargo industry in the Philippines and Taiwan

Opening skies: The political economy of the air cargo industry in the Philippines and Taiwan

The key domestic interests involved in Taiwan’s commercial policy development were its two principal air cargo firms, China Airlines (CAL) and EVA Air (EVA). The focus of their lobbying was primarily ASAs. The logic for their involvement was straightforward: with the vast majority of their revenues coming from international routes, and a significant portion (about 40%) of this revenue derived from cargo, ASAs went a long way in determining the growth and financial viability of these firms. It is therefore not surprising that a majority of the ASAs were negotiated at the behest of these domestic interests. Taiwan’s status in the international system as a de facto state added an interesting twist to ASA development: if the other country did not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, CAL and EVA were encouraged to first negotiate desired air routes with appropriate air carrier(s) in the other country. If the parties were able to reach an agreement, then the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) was brought into the negotiations. TECO was Taiwan’s unofficial organization for handling trade and commercial matters with states lacking official
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Political Economy

Political Economy

In the old countries there is a large sprinkling of men whose minds, even if they have had no special training, are yet prepared by high cultivation to appreciate the force of the abstra[r]

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Ecological Sustainability and the Green Economy: on the implementation of the Green Economy

Ecological Sustainability and the Green Economy: on the implementation of the Green Economy

When constituting and maintaining a successful Green Economy system, one could ask what roles are there to be fulfilled and to which actors they should be allocated? In our society, a number of actors can be assigned a designated function. The government, for instance, is usually seen as the most directive and powerful actor, since it can enforce laws and provide polluting businesses and other damaging parties with subsidies and fines. Conversely, the power of government action is often questioned, for its limits in terms of its inertia and indecisiveness should be recognised. Institutions (governance) are usually in charge with the coordination of information and the inciting transformation in attitudes towards matters such as the ecosystem, fair trade and sustainable development (see, for instance, Elizabeth DeSombre (2011, 470-471) and Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz (2011)). Furthermore, citizens may also play a large part in the effectuation of a shift towards ecological sustainable development. Paul Wapner (2011) for example emphasises the power of civil society in his Fostering of a Green Economy Transition, yet acknowledges its limitations. These actors can be used to change the most powerful actor of all: business.
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International political economy, Part II: key factors and controversies

International political economy, Part II: key factors and controversies

The hitherto obscure ‘Group of 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ suddenly emerged as a key actor in IPE amidst the backdrop of the ‘Credit Crunch’ global recession in 2008-9. This G20 was not the same as the G20 WTO caucus group of the most powerful developing states, referred to earlier. It includes the following 19 states: US, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Spain, Russia, Australia, China, Brazil, India, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, South Korea, Turkey, Indonesia and its 20th member is the EU. G20 was set up by G7 in 1999 in response to the Asian financial crisis in order to coordinate monetary planning with key economies affected by the downturn (which spread to Latin America). Once the global economy began slumping in 2008, however, low key annual meetings of finance minsters and the heads of the Central Banks became high profile twice yearly summits inclusive of heads of government.
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Hotels and tourists in an international political economy perspective: The case of Thailand

Hotels and tourists in an international political economy perspective: The case of Thailand

American Airways (Pan Am), then the dominant US international airline, was the main civilian contractor to the Air Force for the transport of personnel and supplies to Germany and across the Pacific. The Pacific Airlift ended, however, in 1953 and hence a valuable source of revenue was lost (PAA, 1952; 1953). This was followed by an independent change in government policy that limited Pan Am's income even more, through the removal of the mail subsidy. The airline had been receiving lucrative mail contracts from its earliest days, as Bender and Altschul {op. cit. :91) noted. ’’Pan American Airways, the nation's first, and for a long while only, airline in foreign service, was built in Washington D.C... [where]... mail routes were created in the office of the Post-master General... [and]... in the cloakrooms of Congress’’. Hence, from "... Caribbean mail carrier to circumnavigator of the globe, Pan American's growth was nourished by subsidy concealed in the revenues collected from the US Post Office. As late as 1950, almost one-fourth of the company's total operating revenues represented mail payments." {ibid. :476). When, in 1954, the airline was eventually forced to detail the accounts of its mail payments, the subsidy alone was over US$20 million, in a year when gross operating profit was US$17 million. In addition to the subsidy, the airline also receive a mail service payment of almost US$13 million, bringing the total revenue from mail contracts to nearly 20 per cent of operating revenues (PAA, 1954; 1962). However, the subsidy was sharply reduced in the following year and, in 1957, was cancelled completely (PAA, 1957).
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