Volume 38, Number 3, April 2006

//Volume 38, Number 3, April 2006

Volume 38, Number 3, April 2006

Johannes Lindvall, "The Politics of Purpose: Swedish Economic Policy after the Golden Age"

Three models of economic policymaking—the politics of bargaining, the politics of expertise, and the politics of purpose—can explain why Swedish governments made low inflation the primary objective of macroeconomic policy ten to fifteen years later than most other advanced democracies. Major economic policy shifts are caused by the disintegration of established norms regarding the purpose of political authority. Neither structural economic change nor the introduction of new economic ideas made Swedish governments give up the defense of full employment. They gave up its defense only after the norms of Sweden’s political culture changed in the late 1980s.

Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, "When Do Elites Compete? The Determinants of Political Competition in Russian Regions"

Most empirical studies of corruption rely on data using perceptions of corruption as a proxy for actual corruption. While this approach might be appropriate for advanced democracies, it is less effective for hybrid regimes. In these regimes corruption allegations are often used in political battles, raising public perceptions of corruption and thus reflecting the degree of political competition rather than actual corruption. The data on public perceptions of corruption in Russian regions produced by Transparency International and the Information for Democracy Foundation (INDEM) shows that higher levels of political competition and press freedom along with lower economic development appear as the key variables contributing to higher public perceptions of corruption in Russian regions.

Andrew C. Mertha, "Policy Enforcement Markets: How Bureaucratic Redundancy Contributes to Effective Intellectual Property Implementation in China"

The widespread assumption that redundancy necessarily leads to inefficiency is incorrect. Parallel bureaucracies can contribute to more efficient and effective policy outcomes, and their absence can lead to wasteful and unproductive attempts at policy implementation. In China, institutional arrangements and interbureaucratic competition over overlapping jurisdictions explain why copyright enforcement, where redundancy is absent, is poor and trademark enforcement, where redundancy is present, has been successful. These findings provide an alternative framework to study policy implementation and suggest future Chinese compliance patterns with World Trade Organization rules and prospects for the rule of law in China.

Sanjay Ruparelia, "Rethinking Institutional Theories of Political Moderation: The Case of Hindu Nationalism in India, 1996-2004"

Did India’s democratic regime moderate the politics of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during its tenure in office from 1996 to 2002? The centrist logic of India’s plurality rule electoral system, parliamentary form of cabinet government, and semiconsociational federal party system compelled the BJP to moderate its official ideological position after 1996. However, the BJP circumvented these institutional constraints in various realms, manipulated the terms of discourse to its partisan advantage, and shifted the political center of gravity to the right. Institutional theories have both strengths and weaknesses in explaining the prospects and assessing the dangers of militant ethnic-religious nationalism.

Matthew M. Taylor, "Veto and Voice in the Courts: Policy Implications of Institutional Design in the Brazilian Judiciary"

Brazil’s federal courts have played an increasingly important public policy role since Brazil’s return to democracy in the mid 1980s. This article evaluates the effects of a specific constitutional review mechanism, the direct action of unconstitutionality, on public policy. Institutional location is important. Institutional rules and mechanisms produce veto points that enable veto players effectively to delay public policies in areas in which they might otherwise have little or no leverage over a policy.

Review Article: Omar G. Encarnación, "Civil Society Reconsidered"

For much of the past two decades, students of democracy have operated under the spell of civil society. A new and extensive body of literature, however, suggests the limits of this evocative concept in explaining the making and maintenance of democratic regimes. Despite its recent popularity, civil society remains mired in conceptual confusion regarding what the term is meant to represent. More important, the theoretical agenda underpinning the civil society revival lacks much of a foundation in real-life politics. A central problem is the tendency to treat civil society’s effects on politics in isolation from the political context.