Peter M. Lewis
This article discusses Africa’s political economy in the contemporary era. It begins with an overview of various theories, models and debates that address African economic performance before turning to a discussion of the interrelationships between institutions, politics, and economic change. It then proceeds with an analysis of the politics of economic change in Africa following years of colonization; how the development strategies charted at independence came under stress from internal and global factors in the 1970s; the shifts in development strategy and policy orientation that African states went through in the 1980s; the influence of political reform and democratization on the trajectory of African economies during the 1990s; and the acceleration of economic growth in many African countries in the twenty-first century. Finally, the article assesses African economies under the contemporary period in which enhanced performance and a more propitious context create opportunities for a shift in developmental trajectories.
Jamila Celestine Michener, Andrew Dilts, and Cathy J. Cohen
Political participation has been a fundamental constant in the lives of African American people. Whether it is voting, membership in social/political community organizations, or participation in social movements for causes ranging from abolition to civil rights, black Americans have consistently leveraged politics and civic engagement as vehicles for freedom and justice. This article focuses on the history of political activism among African American women, reviewing the manifold ways they have participated while traversing the often perilous American political landscape. It highlights significant trends and provides a broader context for understanding those trends. To that end, the article begins with a broad discussion of the intersectional positioning of African American women. Subsequently, it discusses the patterns of black women's participation between Reconstruction and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Finally, it rounds out the historical account by addressing black women's traditional forms of participation since the Voting Rights Act.
This chapter describes shifts in gender roles and agency during times of conflict, noting that the changes men and women experience are interdependent and arguing that a conflict period may offer a window of opportunity to speed up normative social change. The chapter describes how qualitative data from multiple conflict sites illustrate that while women may experience an increase in economic agency during a conflict period, many men feel emasculated or disempowered when their livelihoods are disrupted during conflict. Two case studies, from the Gaza Strip and Liberia, illustrate this dynamic of female empowerment and male emasculation. The Gaza example shows a community where these dynamics are present, but changes to the underlying gender norms are limited. Liberia offers an example of a post-conflict society where gender roles have not only been relaxed but have undergone a normative change, as women have begun participating in political, economic, and civic life.
Rebecca Nelson and Richard Coe
The smallholder farmers who cultivate many of the planet’s diverse production systems are faced with numerous challenges, including poverty, shrinking farm sizes, degrading natural resources, and climate variability and change. Efforts to improve the performance of smallholder farming systems focus on improving access to input and output markets, improving farm resource use efficiency, and improving resources invested in smallholder farming. In order to support market-oriented production and self-provisioning, there is a need for greater focus on agroecological intensification (AEI) of smallholder production systems. This chapter provides an overview of some of the research frontiers supporting AEI. Market-oriented and agroecological approaches may or may not conflict, and more effort should be made to ensure that they are mutually reinforcing. To be reliable, value chains must be founded on sound production ecology. Agroecological options may be limited if farmers cannot participate in markets that support investment in the intensification and diversification of these systems. Because options must be adapted to farmers’ heterogeneous and dynamic contexts, successful AEI will require that specifics be optimized locally. Researchers must therefore understand and communicate relevant agroecological principles, and farmers and intermediaries must develop their capacity to adapt the principles to local needs and realities.
Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States
This chapter discusses Albert Hirschman’s Exit, Voice and Loyalty, a classic known for its relatively simple argument that has found many applications in fields ranging from personal relationships and workplace relations to emigration, political parties, and more importantly, public policy. Published in 1970, the book argues how exit and voice can be used by consumers of a product or service to let producers know their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with that good. This chapter first examines the influence of Exit, Voice and Loyalty in various fields before turning to some criticisms and extensions of Hirschman’s framework. It then assesses how exit and voice relate to loyalty and social investment as well as the evidence for Hirschman’s claim of the exit–voice trade-off. Finally, it analyses evidence on the efficiency of different exit mechanisms.
This chapter examines an agroecological approach to agricultural development called the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). SRI can boost paddy yields by 50 to 100 percent using less inputs of seed, water, fertilizer, and labor. The article first considers the opportunities offered by SRI methods compared to current agricultural practices. It then looks at the effects of agroecological management with other crops and the dynamics of an agroecological innovation. The concluding section discusses broader implications for politics and society.
Ambiguous Transformations: The 2007/08 International Financial Crisis and Changing Economic Roles of the State
Over the past century, international financial crises have often helped transform the role of the state within domestic economies as well as the nature of economic relations between states. The international financial crisis of 2007–08 has so far left a very ambiguous legacy. The crisis initially seemed likely to challenge “neoliberal” economic regimes at the domestic level but that outcome has looked increasingly less convincing over time. At the international level, the crisis immediately triggered a strengthening of multilateral economic cooperation, but the significance of this cooperation and states’ enduring commitment to it are easily overstated. Given these ambiguities and the fact that current domestic and international trends are often working at cross-purposes, the world is left in a kind of interregnum in which the longer term significance of the 2007–08 crisis for the transformation of the economic role of the state is not yet clear.
Lewis A. Kornhauser
Many analyses of courts within the economic analysis of law are indistinguishable from those produced by positive political theorists; they consider how judges control, exploit, or resolve conflicts of interest among judges. This article considers three contributions by economic analysts of law outside this common, positive, political theoretic model but which still exploit the tools of rational-choice theory. These contributions either integrate appellate decisio -making within a more comprehensive model of litigant and trial behavior; assume that judges constitute a team with shared preferences; or assume that judges decide cases rather than announce or implement policies. These three elements yield a substantively different understanding of courts than the standard model of positive political theory (PPT). The assumption of shared preferences explicitly rejects the principal-agent model that is standard in PPT. The integration of appellate decision making with other aspects of the disputing process and the shift from policies to cases are consistent with, but potentially transformative of, the standard principal-agent models of adjudication.
This article discusses anarchy and also introduces recent research from economics that models anarchy. It shows that this research has clear implications for thinking about interstate relations. There are also indications that such relations are becoming greater as well as a fruitful concern.
This essay surveys the representation of animals in folklore from the fables of Aesop to the search for Bigfoot. Unlike most of modern culture, folklore attributes great power, understanding, autonomy, and significance to animals. While folklorists have often found this deeply poetic, they were also made uncomfortable by the suggestion of magic and, to protect their claim to superior rationality, tried to distance themselves from folktales. The English demonized animal helpers in fairy tales, while the French gave these figures human form. The Grimm brothers and other romantics removed fairy tales from the context of everyday life by placing them in a remote realm such as an ancient civilization, a marginal social order, or the enchanted world of childhood. As the naturalistic paradigm, with its implicit anthropocentrism, declines, folk literature provides models for more balanced relationships between animals and human beings.
Kuhika Gupta and Hank Jenkins-Smith
This chapter comments on Anthony Downs’s 1972 seminal paper “Up and Down with Ecology: The ‘Issue-Attention’ Cycle,” which tackles the concept of “public” or “issue” attention. Focusing on domestic policy, particularly environmental policy in the United States, Downs describes a process called “issue-attention cycle,” by which the public gains and loses interest in a particular issue over time. This chapter summarizes studies that directly put Downs’s propositions to the test, laying emphasis on research that probes the existence of and interrelationships among the public attention cycle, media attention cycle, and government attention cycle. It then reviews the main arguments put forward by Downs before concluding with a discussion of promising avenues for future research as well as important theoretical and methodological questions that need further elucidation.
Richard W. Waterman
This article summarizes the literature on the president's unilateral powers and explores the implications of the related unitary executive model. It first investigates the association between unilateral power and Richard Neustadt's bargaining model. Neustadt argues that presidents must use their resources wisely if they are to have influence in Washington. Unilateral action provides an alternative to the Neustadt bargaining model for presidents who seek to increase their political influence. While there are a number of unilateral powers, political scientists focus most of their attention on executive orders. A central concept of the unitary executive is the idea of ‘departmentalism’ or ‘coordinate construction’. The issues raised by the unitary executive and the president's unilateral powers offer fodder for additional qualitative and quantitative studies of the presidency, as well as more developed theories that will better help in the understanding of the continuing evolution of the presidential office and presidential power.
This article discusses authoritarian government, and argues that the literature on authoritarianism can be integrated into a unified framework that explains variance in economic performance across dictatorships. It discusses the organizational theory of dictatorship and addresses the question why there are few stationary bandits. The logic of terror, which is the most direct strategy to curb the launching organization, is introduced in one section. This is followed by a study of the logic of co-optation, which is the strategy of co-opting the leadership of a launching organization by buying its loyalty. The final section focuses on the logic of organizational proliferation.
This article analyses the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social movements in the World Trade Organization (WTO). After providing a theoretical overview that outlines the rationale for NGO involvement in intergovernmental organizations, it discusses the role of NGOs in the multilateral trading system from a historical perspective. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) offered little scope for NGO involvement, but the WTO accorded some recognition to NGOs through a vague reference to the possibility for consultation by the General Council in the Marrakesh Agreement. This relationship was clarified through the 1996 guidelines on arrangements for relations with NGOs. Although the WTO offered more engagement with NGOs than the GATT, they still had no place in the ‘inner sanctum’ of its decision making. The article also looks at the determinants of interaction between WTO and non-state actors.
Government weakness and political fragmentation lie at the roots of the Bank’s importance in economic governance. The Bank maintained independence in appointments throughout the postwar period, acting as a breeding ground for civil servants and developing extensive technical expertise. Its independence increased after 1981, when it was freed from the obligation to buy unsold treasury bills. The Bank’s influence on policy was extensive: it was the main advocate of stable macroeconomic policies, exploiting European economic policy constraints to foster reform, and managing the exchange rate to fight inflation and promote industrial restructuring. With the third phase of Economic and Monetary Union, the Bank focused on promoting the consolidation of the banking system and modernizing it. However, the relative strengthening of domestic political institutions, the curtailing of the Bank’s independence in 2005, and the flow of powers to the European level have somewhat reduced the Bank’s functions.
David Pimentel and Michael Burgess
A rapidly growing world population and an even more rapidly growing consumption of fossil fuels are increasing demand for both food and biofuels, which will exaggerate both the food and fuel shortages around the world. Producing biofuels requires huge amounts of both fossil energy and food resources, which will intensify conflicts over these resources. Using food crops to produce ethanol raises major nutritional and ethical concerns. More than 66% of the world human population is currently malnourished, so the need for grains and other basic foods is critical. Growing crops for fuel squanders land, water, and energy resources vital for the production of food for people. Using food and feed crops for ethanol production has brought increases in the prices of US beef, chicken, pork, eggs, breads, cereals, and milk of 10% to 20%. In addition, Jacques Diouf, Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that using food grains to produce biofuels is already causing food shortages for the poor of the world. Growing crops for biofuel ignores the need to reduce natural resource consumption and exacerbates the problem of malnourishment worldwide by turning food grain into biofuel.
Mark S. Copelovitch and Jon C.W. Pevehouse
The inextricable link between trade and exchange rates is a central feature of the international economy. As the cost of traversing international borders has decreased, as production of goods has become globalized, and as exchanging currencies has become easier, the effect of exchange rates on the price of goods and services has become more visible to the average citizen. Yet despite widespread acknowledgment of the links between trade and exchange rates, international political economy scholars have largely treated the two policy areas as distinct. And while the literature traversing these topics is not an empty set, it is substantially smaller than one might expect. This chapter highlights some of the work that has begun to explore the linkages between trade and exchange rate policies, focusing on policies such as optimal currency areas and preferential trade agreements. We also take stock of our state of knowledge and suggest fruitful avenues for research in the years ahead.
This chapter explains basic concepts used by the executive branch and Congress in requesting and allocating federal budget resources for national security. It provides a context for mandatory and discretionary budgeting and also defines some basic budget terms, such as “budget authority” and “outlays.” The chapter briefly explains the budgeting process, first within the executive branch (e.g., the White House and Departments of Defense and State) and then within the Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate. In addition, the chapter highlights some of the trade-offs that the executive branch and Congress must make in allocating federal budget resources to national security.
Tanja A. Börzel and Nicole Deitelhoff
Business has become an important governor in areas of limited statehood (ALS). While the shadow of hierarchy is not necessary to incentivize companies, their contributions to governance still seem to require a minimum of statehood to be effective and legitimate. These findings point to a dilemma for (business) governance in ALS: companies are most likely to provide collective goods and services beyond their purview where those are needed the least to compensate for the lack of state governance. Yet, the literature has mostly focused on multinational companies that have their headquarters in democracies with consolidated statehood. Future research should focus on business in the non-OECD world to explore whether and to what degree consolidated statehood is necessary for governance by business to be effective and legitimate.
Over the past three decades, water supply has become big business, and fierce debates have emerged in many countries over water privatization and water markets. This chapter reviews five dimensions of this debate: (1) the privatization of ownership and management; (2) the commercialization of water management organizations; (3) the environmental valuation and pricing of water; (4) the marketization of exchange mechanisms (“water trading” and “water markets”); and (5) the neoliberalization of governance. The analysis offers an analytical framework within which more structured, comprehensive assessments of market environmentalism—which is multifaceted and highly varied, difficult to implement in practice, and by no means hegemonic—in the water sector might be conducted. The chapter concludes with some reflections on the future of this debate.