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This chapter establishes four evaluative themes that will be employed across this volume to analyze the institutional complexity of policy fields in the climate-energy nexus: coherence, management, legitimacy, and effectiveness. Coherence among institutions is conceptualized along four dimensions: convergence on an overarching core norm for the policy field, balanced coverage and distribution of memberships (private, public, hybrid), balanced coverage and distribution of governance functions (standards and commitments, operational activities, information and networking, financing), and mechanisms underlying cross-institutional relations (cognitive, normative, behavioural). Management will be examined according to types of managing agents, political levels (from domestic to global), and the consequences of management efforts in enhancing coherence. Legitimacy will be assessed along nine dimensions, among them expertise, transparency, accountability, or procedural and distributive fairness. Effectiveness, finally, will be examined in terms of normative and legal output produced by the institutions, their behaviour-changing outcome, and their ultimate problem-solving impact. Altogether, the four themes and their dimensions make up a novel framework for an in-depth analysis of a governance nexus. They help us examine a variety of important questions in a comparative research design, combining a high level of ambition with feasibility and novelty.
This article offers a synthesis of understandings of wasta, seen as a form of social network prevalent in the Arab Middle East. Whilst there has been increasing interest in this practice, research remains fragmented and has been criticised for its limited theoretical rigor. To address this issue, a systematic review of peer-reviewed journal articles exploring wasta published between 1993 and 2019 was conducted. We analysed the identified papers according to the theoretical lens from which wasta was viewed, creating a bridge between a theoretical focus on the macro aspect of wasta and an alternative focus on its micro aspects, leading to the development of a holistic model of wasta. The model also helps us to understand the complexity of wasta, both as the network itself and as the social ties that exist among its members, and sheds light on the complex nature of the role and interactions of the wasta. The findings respond to calls for more holistic and inclusive research to inform social networks research and bridge the micro–macro divide. This article offers recommendations to future researchers to build on the holistic and emic approach to wasta research adopted here.
In this article, I aim to clarify some key issues in the ongoing debate about the relationship between Rawlsian political philosophy and business ethics. First, I discuss precisely what we ought to be asking when we consider whether corporations are part of the “basic structure of society.” I suggest that the relevant questions have been mischaracterized in much of the existing debate, and that some key distinctions have been overlooked. I then argue that although Rawlsian theory’s potential implications for business ethics are more extensive than some have suggested, the nature of the concern that we ought to have about the effects of corporate behavior on individuals’ economic and social conditions should lead us to reject the view that corporations are bound by principles of justice only if, and insofar as, they are part of the basic structure.
Little has contributed more to the emergence of today's world of financial globalization than the setup of the international monetary system. In its current shape, it has a hierarchical structure with the US-Dollar (USD) at the top and various other monetary areas forming a multilayered periphery to it. A key feature of the system is the creation of USD offshore – a feature that in the 1950s and 60s developed in co-evolution with the Bretton Woods System and in the 1970s replaced it. Since the 2007–9 Financial Crisis, this ‘Offshore US-Dollar System’ has been backstopped by the Federal Reserve's network of swap lines which are extended to other key central banks. This systemic evolution may continue in the decades to come, but other systemic arrangements are possible as well and have historical precedents. This article discusses four trajectories that would lead to different setups of the international monetary system by 2040, taking into account how its hierarchical structure and the role of offshore credit money creation may evolve. In addition to a continuation of USD hegemony, we present the emergence of competing monetary blocs, the formation of an international monetary federation and the disintegration into an international monetary anarchy.
During the 1980s, the state was “brought back in” to political sociology (Evans, Rueschemeyer, and Skocpol 1985), but its reappearance has taken a number of forms. For many scholars, the state returned in the role of a dominant actor or as a centralized organizational vehicle controlled by political elites and bureaucratic officials. Others conceptualized the state as the locus of “exchange” of social capitals among other domains (Bourdieu 2014) or as a centralized node harnessed to interlinked power networks that “penetrate” the economy and civil society within a particular territory (Mann 1986; Mitchell 1991). Still others envisioned the state as a concatenation of problem-solving projects or “assemblages” (Clemens 2006; Joyce and Mukerji 2017; Loveman 2005) rather than a bounded, coherent, hierarchical organization.
Carceral states rely on incarceration of an exceptionally large number of their citizens, typically accompanied by a diversity of supplemental methods of criminal justice control. The United States of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century is such a carceral state. In the words of political scientist Marie Gottschalk (2015: 1): “a tenacious carceral state has sprouted in the shadows of mass imprisonment and has been extending its reach far beyond the prison gate. It includes not only the country’s vast archipelago of jails and prisons, but also the far-reaching and growing range of penal punishments and controls that lies in the never-never land between the prison gates and full citizenship.” And indeed, jails and prisons in America today are supplemented by expanding probation and parole systems, community sanctions, drug courts, immigrant detention and deportation, public stigmatization of released sex offenders, and the disenfranchisement of ex-felons.
Polanyi–s and Galbraith–s analyses of very long-run changes in, and main characteristics of, economic and social structures. It is pointed out how neo-institutionalism is grounded in the traditional marginalist approach, thus sharing its limits, while the evolutionary and institutional approaches, with strong connections among them, are born in counterposition to the marginalist approach. Their contributions, in particular those to the analysis of technical change, are then illustrated. With reference mainly to Hirschman, the cultural element in development economics is recalled. A final section illustrates the –varieties of capitalism–.
In relation to Keynes's thought on general theorising, consumption theory and institutions, this paper closely examines Geoff Hodgson's views as set out in his magisterial work, How Economics Forgot History. While in full agreement with its advocacy of the institutionalist programme, it finds that Keynes's position has been misunderstood in all three areas, and that deep compatibilities exist between the General Theory and institutionalist analysis. Using all his available writings, it is argued that Keynes's conception of a general theory is very different from that underpinning neoclassical economics so that criticisms of the latter are irrelevant to the former, that Keynes's ‘fundamental psychological law’ was never advanced as a universal law applicable to all economies, and that Keynes expressly analysed a historically specific economic institution and its assemblage of sub-institutions. Keynes is an ally, not an enemy, of institutionalism in pursuing better economic theory.
The study of policy feedback on public attitudes and policy preferences has become a growing area of research in recent years. Scholars in the tradition of Pierson usually argue that positive, self-reinforcing feedback effects dominate (that is, attitudes are commensurate with existing institutions), whereas the public thermostat model developed by Wlezien and Soroka expects negative, self-undermining feedback. Moving beyond the blunt distinction between positive and negative feedback, this article develops and proposes a more fine-grained typology of feedback effects that distinguishes between accelerating, self-reinforcing and self-undermining, specific and general, as well as long- and short-term dynamic feedback. The authors apply this typology in an analysis of public opinion on government spending in different areas of the welfare state for twenty-one OECD countries, employing a pseudo-panel approach. The empirical analysis confirms the usefulness of this typology since it shows that different types of feedback effects can be observed empirically.
The “new institutionalist revolution” in social sciences has led to a repositioning of social norms to the forefront of the pre-analytic vision in institutional theory and to the consolidation of the contextual analysis approach. That has significant epistemological, methodological, and political philosophy implications. This essay follows the logic of these developments showing: (a) why they inherently lead to the feasibility problem, the key of applied theory, toward which both contemporary philosophy and institutional analysis converge from different venues; (b) how feasibility is a nexus of empirical, counterfactual, normative, and contextual elements, that is, something more complex than a mere matching between empirical reality and institutional design; (c) what are the governance implications of all of the above, with an emphasis on an alternative approach (distinctive enough to circumvent both the conservative averseness to intervene and progressive drastic interventionism) and in which the public choice process is seen mainly as endogenized, socialized, and institutionalized, as opposed to formalized, intellectualized, and externalized.
The aim of this article is to assess Italy’s behaviour in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Council, both as a recommending state and as a state under review. The UPR is a peer review mechanism launched in 2008, through which all UN member states can make recommendations to each other regarding human rights practices. Drawing on role theory, liberal and constructivist institutionalism, and the two-level game approach, the analysis reveals that Italian decision-makers played parallel games at the domestic and international tables of the UPR, and managed to adapt country’s human rights foreign policy goals according to the different social contexts where they operated. Indeed, while in the review phase in Geneva, Italy sought legitimacy for both its policies and its status as an international ‘human rights friendly’ actor, at domestic level a policy of inactivity was chosen, in order to minimize the impact of the most costly UPR recommendations, and protect the dynamics of domestic politics. The time-span of the analysis covers the first 19 UPR sessions (2008–14), broadly coinciding with Italy’s first two membership terms at the Human Rights Council.
This essay examines the recent rise in popularity of science fiction in Africa. I argue that this growth can be traced to key shifts within the logic of structural adjustment programs. Over the last twenty years, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have begun to place a heightened emphasis on “poverty reduction strategies” (or PRSs). These PRSs have taken the two organizations’ longstanding commitment to free-market policies and adapted them to the rhetoric of social and economic justice by suggesting that “sustainable” welfare programs can only be constructed through the “long-term” benefits of well-planned “institutions.”
As I show, this vision of long-term development has encouraged a move toward fictional forms capable of speaking to elongated temporal scales. Using Nnedi Okorafor’s novel Lagoon as my primary example, I investigate how sci-fi narratives have struggled to represent social agency within the longue durée of institutional planning.
As gender quotas change the formal rules governing candidate selection, party leaders use informal practices in order to preserve the choicest candidacies for men. This article uses a critical case to highlight how the opposite also occurs. In Mexico, female elites built informal, cross-partisan networks that, in collaboration with state regulators, successfully eliminated political parties’ practices of allocating women the least-viable candidacies. Traditional party elites rely on informal tactics to secure the status quo, but female party members devise their own strategies to force changes to candidate selection, signalling that informality cannot be theorized as wholly negative for women.
Although new institutionalism has long been criticised for presenting overly static accounts of social reality, that critique is becoming increasingly unwarranted. In recent years, historical, ideational and rational choice institutionalists have produced a rich body of literature on mechanisms and processes of institutional change. This article reviews this emerging literature and concludes that the most promising avenue for future research is to further explore the potential for combining insights from the three subtypes of institutionalism. In the hopes of encouraging future studies of institutional change to engage more explicitly in theoretical integration, this article proposes a sequential approach to combining insights from different traditions and providing comprehensive accounts of exogenous and endogenous processes of institutional change.
The purpose of this paper is to account for varieties of organizational change. In particular, we contend that in order to explain change in international organizations (IOs) we cannot simply dichotomize between change and the lack thereof. Rather, change is best conceptualized as made up of two dimensions: speed and scope. The combination of the two dimensions leads to a taxonomy with four distinct types of policy change. The paper evaluates the emergence of different types of change by focusing on the relationship between IOs and their fields. Specifically, the position of the organization in the field helps to account for the speed of change (slow vs. rapid), whereas the openness of the organization to the inputs coming from the field helps to explain the scope of change (incremental vs. radical). We illustrate our argument by comparing the changes in the International Monetary Fund's policies in the areas of financial sector surveillance and poverty reduction.
This article concerns the second round of consultations on the drafting of the 2002 Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. In this context, it explores the nature of the “communication space” within which regulatory authorities and interest groups interact with each other. The authors analyse the extent to which the consultations met their main goal of remedying the lack of democratic legitimacy in the process of drafting the regulations. Both discourse analysis and analysis of the concrete results of the consultations reveal that the “communication space“ is shaped by certain pre-established rules. The authors codify and compare the arguments put forward by interest groups in their proposals for modifications as well as the justifications offered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. They conclude that issues capable of calling into question the soundness of regulatory interventions, having already been dealt with during the first round of consultations, are seldom raised during the second round. The authors also assert that the relationship between state and non-state actors is complementary and interdependent rather than antagonistic, noting that interventions by interest groups have a real impact on the regulations. Consultation is at the root of plurality of modes of production of law within the legal order of the state. The article highlights the complementary nature of the norms produced by state and other sources of normativity and draws attention to the importance of the cooperation between state and civil society actors.
Our goal in this article is to explain how South Korea's Hyundai Motor Company successfully transferred its production system to the United States. When a production system is transferred to another country, it is modified under the influences of different institutional environments. The key to the success of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Hyundai's transplant in Montgomery, Alabama, is found in Hyundai's relatively low dependence on skill formation and high reliance on numerical flexibility of its production system relative to its Japanese counterparts. While Japanese automakers had difficulties transferring their production system to their US transplants, Hyundai did not because its production system did not require highly skilled labor. Alabama's flexible labor market and the absence of labor unions enabled Hyundai to more efficiently utilize the numerical flexibility of production workers than was possible at its original plant in Korea, which suffered from adversarial labor relations. This case study casts doubt on the convergence model of technology and globalization, because it shows varieties of production systems developing under different institutional environments.
The article reviews the “Varieties of Capitalism” (VoC) approach and its large impact on the field of comparative political economy. It situates the approach within the field, and stresses its specificities. The article argues that VoC's firm-centeredness, parsimony, and reliance on conceptual tools borrowed from economics, fit better than other approaches to a Zeitgeist formed in the context of the demise of Western capitalism's alternatives, and the globalization-induced shift of societies’ center of gravity away from politics towards firms and markets. The article then revisits major debates that have followed the publication of the seminal Hall-Soskice book. The debates have revealed that VoC's greatest strengths, in the end, turn out to be obstacles when it comes to analyzing problems of contemporary capitalism.
This article argues that, in contrast with prevalent choice-theoretic accounts of institutional origins in new democracies, the passage of Indonesia's regional autonomy laws in 1999 took place despite the interests of powerful political actors rather than because of them. Lacking the past experience to calculate retrospectively the likely electoral payoff from supporting an effort to devolve political power to Indonesia's city and regency governments, New Order–era political elites in Jakarta gambled on the advice of a team of experts. The experts assured them that supporting the effort would give them strong and salient reformist credentials on the eve of free elections. The conclusion of the article suggests that the political origins of regional autonomy in Indonesia have broad implications for the understanding of institutional genesis in new democracies, and that the potential impact of expert advisers is a fruitful focus of future research.