Darius Ornston and Mark I. Vail, The Developmental State in Developed Societies: Power, Partnership, and Divergent Patterns of Intervention in France and Finland

While the state continues to play a prominent role in the literature on developing countries, its absence in the work on advanced, industrialized societies is equally conspicuous. This article examines what happens to developmental states as they mature by analyzing the evolution of two, similar, statist societies, France and Finland. In contrast to recent literature on state-led or state-enhanced capitalism, we identify two responses to contemporary challenges. The French “marketizing state” used a combination of coercion and compensation to increase market competition, whereas the Finnish “investment state” targeted productivity-enhancing collective goods. We attribute these divergent responses to the structure of the postwar developmental state.

Hernán Flom and Alison E. Post, Blame Avoidance and Policy Stability in Developing Democracies: The Politics of Public Security in Buenos Aires

Democratization originally inspired hope that new regimes would privilege human rights. However, progressive reforms to the criminal code have been insufficient to stem dramatic increases in incarceration rates, and developing democracies have made little headway reforming their ineffective police forces. How can we explain the stability and enforcement of punitive criminal justice policies and the erosion of police reforms? We offer a novel theoretical explanation of these contrasting patterns through a comparison of these two policy areas in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Incentives to avoid blame for salient crimes discourage politicians from repealing punitive criminal justice policies and incentivize judges to enforce them. Responsibility for failed police reforms, however, is harder to assign, giving the police and their allies opportunities to undermine them.

Steven T. Wuhs, Paths and Places of Party Formation: The Post-Unification Development of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union

Maps of electoral results across the Federal Republic of Germany show remarkable stability over the postwar period. While historical social cleavages are the foundation of western Germany’s stable electoral geography, in the five eastern states crucial events in 1989 and 1990, largely independent of social structural factors, established particular trajectories of party formation that shaped parties’ electoral success. Drawing on interviews with political elites and archival documents, I use a critical juncture analysis approach to explain the temporally and spatially contingent nature of party formation processes in eastern Germany after 1989. This analysis shifts debates about party formation from the questions of when and why, to how and where parties form, while also explaining the origin and persistence of territorialized party systems.

Kerstin Hamann, Alison Johnston, and John Kelly, The Electoral Effects of General Strikes in Western Europe

General strikes against unpopular policy reforms have occurred with increasing frequency across Western Europe since 1980. These strikes, in conjunction with governments’ willingness to offer concessions in their wake, raise the question of whether they have electoral consequences. We analyze how the interaction between general strikes and social spending retrenchment, as well as the interaction between social pacts and social spending retrenchment, influence electoral outcomes for governments for sixteen Western European countries (EU15 plus Norway) from 1980–2012. We find that electoral losses for incumbents engaging in welfare retrenchment are magnified by a general strike during the electoral cycle, but are mitigated if a social pact is concluded in the same electoral cycle. These magnifying and mitigating effects are greater the closer a general strike or a social pact is to an election. Our results suggest that general strikes, unlike social pacts, serve the important function of blame attribution, as they publically assign the responsibility of retrenchment policies to incumbents.

Michael K. Miller, Democracy by Example? Why Democracy Spreads When the World’s Democracies Prosper

Does a positive association between democracy and economic growth around the world encourage the spread of democracy? Although this intuitive relationship has been linked to the global ebb and flow of fascism and Communism, no study has empirically tested this question. I argue that democracy’s relative economic success in the world influences perceptions of its domestic advantages and thereby shifts popular and elite preferences in favor of democracy. Looking at 172 countries from 1820–2010, I show that the world-level correlation between democracy and economic growth robustly predicts the spread of democracy and represents a major source of its historical advance. The results provide new insights into the foreign influences on democratization, China’s challenge to the liberal democratic order, and the political legacy of the global financial crisis.

Melanie Kolbe and Markus M. L. Crepaz, The Power of Citizenship: How Immigrant Incorporation Affects Attitudes towards Social Benefits

Natives in Europe are often opposed to immigrants receiving social services that previously have been reserved for citizens only, but as it turns out, so are a number of immigrants. This article argues that seemingly “welfare chauvinist” attitudes among immigrants are in fact an expression of incorporation as naturalized immigrants are more critical of unconditional benefits usage. Using survey data, we compare attitudes among natives, naturalized citizens, and foreign residents, and test competing explanations for welfare chauvinism. We find that naturalization is the strongest predictor of reservations towards benefit openness for immigrants among foreign-born individuals. This article contributes to contemporary studies on the importance of citizenship for community membership, welfare chauvinism in European societies, and the growing field of immigrant public opinion research.

Jennifer Cyr, Between Adaptation and Breakdown: Conceptualizing Party Survival

What happens to political parties after they experience a sudden and dramatic decline in their national vote share? The literature identifies two outcomes. Parties successfully adapt to change, or they fail and breakdown. I provide nuance to this dichotomy by conceptualizing party survival as a stage that lies between adaptation and breakdown. I argue that a party survives national-electoral crisis when it continues to fulfill at least one of its primary functions. It may survive as: a localized subnational electoral entity, a nationalized subnational entity, or as part of the public debate. I identify examples of each survival type in a region where electoral crises have been particularly acute: the Andean region of Latin America. These cases demonstrate that party survival matters for politics.