This major study examines one of the most surprising developments in East Central European politics after the democratic transitions of 1989: the completely unexpected regeneration of the former communist parties. After the collapse of the communist regimes in 1989, these ruling communist parties seemed consigned to oblivion. However, confounding scholarly and popular expectations, all of these parties survived. Some have even returned to power. This in-depth, comparative study systematically analyzes the trajectories of four cases: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary (with additional examination of other communist party successors). Relying on extensive, and unprecedented, primary research, this analysis employs a consistent analytical framework that combines the peculiarities of the post-socialist cases with broad theoretical concerns of institutional analysis, democratic transitions and consolidation, and party politics.
The establishment of electoral systems in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan presents both a complex set of empirical puzzles and a theoretical challenge. Why did three states with similar cultural, historical, and structural legacies establish such different electoral systems? How did these distinct outcomes result from strikingly similar institutional design processes? Explaining these puzzles requires understanding not only the outcome of institutional design but also the intricacies of the process that led to this outcome. Moreover, the transitional context in which these three states designed new electoral rules necessitates an approach that explicitly links process and outcome in a dynamic setting. This book provides such an approach. Finally, it both builds on the key insights of the dominant approaches to explaining institutional origin and change and transcends these approaches by moving beyond the structure versus agency debate.
Chinese entrepreneurs have founded more than thirty million private businesses since Beijing instituted economic reforms in the late 1970s. Most of these private ventures, however, have been denied access to official sources of credit. State banks continue to serve state-owned enterprises, yet most private financing remains illegal. How have Chinese entrepreneurs managed to fund their operations? In defiance of the national banking laws, small business owners have created a dizzying variety of informal financing mechanisms, including rotating credit associations and private banks disguised as other types of organizations. Back-Alley Banking includes lively biographical sketches of individual entrepreneurs; telling quotations from official documents, policy statements, and newspaper accounts; and interviews with a wide variety of women and men who give vivid narratives of their daily struggles, accomplishments, and hopes for future prosperity. Kellee S. Tsai's book draws upon her unparalleled fieldwork in China's world of shadow finance to challenge conventional ideas about the political economy of development. Business owners in China, she shows, have mobilized local social and political resources in innovative ways despite the absence of state-directed credit or a well-defined system of private property rights. Entrepreneurs and local officials have been able to draw on the uncertainty of formal political and economic institutions to enhance local prosperity.
During the past two decades, virtually all developing countries shifted from state-led to market-oriented neoliberal economic policies. This book analyzes fresh evidence from Southern Mexico about the effects of this global wave of policy reforms. The evidence challenges the widely held view that these reforms have set countries on a convergent path toward unregulated markets. The analysis shows that free-market reforms, rather than unleashing market forces, trigger the construction of different types of new regulatory institutions with contrasting consequences for economic efficiency and social justice.
Many environmental problems cross national boundaries and can be addressed only through international cooperation. In this book Robert Darst examines transnational efforts to promote environmental protection in the USSR and in five of its successor states--Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania--from the late 1960s to the present. The core of the book is a comparative study of three key issues: nuclear power safety, transboundary air pollution, and Baltic Sea pollution.Although expectations were high that the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union would lead to increased East-West environmental cooperation, the opposite has been true. Russia and the other successor states have generally agreed to address such problems only when paid to do so. Darst finds that post-Cold War environmental cooperation has been most successful when there is an overlap between the environmental and economic interests of the successor states and those of their Western neighbors, and when the foundation for cooperation was laid during the Cold War period.The book is based on extensive original field research, including interviews with diplomats, government officials, scientists, and environmental activists in the successor states and Western Europe. Its findings underscore the importance of the domestic and international political context in which international environmental policy making occurs. It also deepens our understanding of the opportunities and dangers of positive inducements as a tool of international environmental policy.
The 2000-2001 academic year saw the release of a major publication from the Academy's Global Cultures Program. Arising from a 1999 Harvard Academy symposium, Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress was published in 2001 by Basic Books. The book is edited by Lawrence Harrison (an Academy affiliate and author of Underdevelopment is a State of Mind) and Academy Chairman Samuel Huntington.
Culture Matters examines the question of why some countries and ethnic groups are better off than others, and the role that cultural values play in driving political, economic, and social development. A distinguished group of scholars, journalists, and practitioners looks at the role of culture in developmental contexts across the globe. Among this diverse group of contributors are Francis Fukuyama, Nathan Glazer, Ronald Inglehart, Seymour Martin Lipset, Orlando Patterson, Michael Porter, Jeffrey Sachs, and Richard Shweder. Most of these contributors but not all conclude that cultural values are a powerful factor in promoting development and value change is indispensable to future progress in underdeveloped countries.
Described as "stunning" by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Culture Matters was favorably reviewed in such diverse publications as Time, The Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs. It has stimulated extensive discussion in the United States and other countries, been the subject of a long story in The New York Times, and is being translated or has been translated into seven foreign languages.
In 1999, responding to the initiative of Academy Scholars Peter Andreas and Timothy Snyder, the Academy sponsored a project and a conference dealing with the efforts of the United States and Western European countries to control immigration. This resulted in a book, The Wall Around the West: State Borders and Immigration Controls in North America and Europe (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000), edited by Snyder and Andreas.
In March 2001, the Academy held a symposium on the issues raised by the book. Challenging the conventional wisdom of a "borderless" future, The Wall Around the West demonstrates that, far from disappearing, many borders are being redrawn and reinforced by state regulators. Focusing on economic divides in North America (the southern border of the United States) and Europe (the eastern and southern borders of the European Union), the contributors to the volume show how the regulatory apparatus of the state is being "transformed, not transcended" in such important issue areas as trade, immigration, and drug trafficking. At the March symposium, the editors responded to commentaries on the volume by Academy Senior Scholars Samuel Huntington and John Coatsworth, as well as Academy Scholar Keith Darden.