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CULTURE AREA STUDIES eJOURNAL
"The Relative Importance of Religion and Region in Explaining Differences in Political Economic and Social Attitudes in Iraq in 2014: Findings from the Arab Transformations Public Opinion Survey"
Arab Transformations Working Paper 1
ANDREA TETI, University of Aberdeen
PAMELA ABBOTT, University of Aberdeen - School of Social Science
Based on the Arab Transformations survey of Iraq in 2014, this paper examines the relative weight of religious identification and region of residence in several key areas, including main challenges perceived by the population, perceptions of security, of economic conditions, of governance, political mobilisation, corruption, and migration. Contrary to the perception that sectarian identity is the most important factor in understanding contemporary Iraqi politics, this analysis shows that religious identification is often a confounding variable, and that regional location better captures variations in respondents’ perceptions, including in key areas such as security, the economy, and migration.
"State-Organised Religion and Muslims' Commitment to Democracy in Albania"
Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 68(2), p. 253-269, DOI/10.1080/09668136.2015.1136596, 2016
AROLDA ELBASANI, European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)
This paper questions why, and indeed how, Muslims have agitated for democracy during different stages of post-Communist transition. Theoretically, we merge the theoretical insights of moderation paradigm and more specific institutional, ideological and historical devices that characterize the post-communist religious field in investigating Muslims’ commitment to democracy in post-Communist Albania. The empirical analysis traces how the centralised Muslim organization, the Albanian Muslim Community (AMC) has navigated the spaces between the emerging institutional solutions, religious interpretations and intellectual arguments in order to define and justify its positions on democracy during different stages of post-communist democratization. The analysis suggests that institutional arrangements have played the primary role. Yet, learning from the experience of dictatorship and from a ready pool of inherited Albanian-specific templates has facilitated the consensual reclaiming of Islam in a local, pro-democratic and pro-European manner.
"Honduras As a Complex Adaptive System and What It Means for the European Union – The Case of Violence"
GIGA - German Institute of Global and Area Studies Working Paper No. 294
KAI ENNO LEHMANN, Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp)
This paper assesses why the various initiatives undertaken by the European Union in Honduras have not had the desired impact of reducing the extraordinary levels of violence in the country. The hypothesis put forward is that the EU’s approach to the issue of violence has been unsuccessful because it does not match the complexity of the problem encountered. As an alternative, the paper puts forward complexity and human systems dynamics as conceptual frameworks for reinterpreting the issue of violence. It shows that violence is one of the results of an incoherent process of self-organisation which marks Honduras and suggests ways of influencing the conditions that make up this pattern in order to address the problem of violence. It also outlines what this new approach would mean for the actions and policies proposed and implemented by the European Union.
"The Politics of Institutional Reform and Post-Conflict Violence in Nepal"
GIGA - German Institute of Global and Area Studies Working Paper No. 296
JULIA STRASHEIM, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies
How does the reform of state institutions shape prospects for peace after war? Existing research on the institutional causes of peace focuses on how institutional designs, as the outcomes of reform processes, reduce post-conflict violence and promote peace. The literature does not, however, adequately address how the politics that characterise reform processes affect the legitimacy of institutions and whether or not violent protest against these institutions ultimately takes place. This focus risks omitting key explanations of how institutional reforms contribute to peace and the mechanisms by which this occurs. By examining the case of Nepal, where clashes between protesters and security forces killed almost 60 people between August 2015 and January 2016, this study shows that emotional rhetoric, elite control of decision-making, backtracking on previous commitments, the acceleration of reform processes, and the embedding of single reforms in a “concert" of reforms that, as a whole, sparks fears of discrimination are all factors that can lead to post-conflict violence.
"Ending in Failure? The Performance of ‘Takeover’ Prime Ministers 1916-2016"
BEN WORTHY, University of London - Birkbeck College
When Theresa May became Prime Minister in July 2016 she joined 11 previous takeover leaders in the last 100 years. While the popular image is of Prime Ministers arriving in power after a General Election victory, more than half of the Prime Ministers who governed since 1916 have arrived as ‘takeover’ leaders through an internal party process. This article analyses how takeovers perform, concluding that May is likely to face greater obstacles and fewer advantages than if she was elected. Takeovers have less time in power, less chance of winning elections and are generally rated as worse performing.
"Rage Against the Machines: Labor-Saving Technology and Unrest in England, 1830-32"
BRUNO CAPRETTINI, University of Zurich
HANS-JOACHIM VOTH, University of Zurich - UBS International Center of Economics in Society, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
Can the adoption of labor-saving technology lead to social instability and unrest? We examine a canonical historical case, the so-called ‘Captain Swing’ riots in 1830s Britain. Variously attributed to the adverse consequences of weather shocks, the shortcomings of the Poor Law, or the after-effects of enclosure, we emphasize the importance of a new technology – the threshing machine. Invented in the 1780s, it spread during and after the Napoleonic Wars. Using farm advertisements from newspapers published in 66 English and Welsh towns, we compile a new measure of the technology’s diffusion. Parishes with ads for threshing machines had much higher riot probabilities in 1830 – and the relationship was even stronger for machine-breaking attacks. Threshing machines were mainly useful in wheat-growing areas. To establish a causal role for labor-saving technology, we instrument technology adoption with the FAO measure of soil suitability for wheat, and show that this in turn predicts unrest.
"Implicit Attitudes Towards an Authoritarian Regime"
RORY TRUEX, Princeton University - Department of Political Science
DANIEL TAVANA, Princeton University
This study measures Egyptian citizens’ attitudes towards President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi using a Single Category Implicit Association Test (SCIAT). Roughly 58% of respondents hold positive implicit attitudes towards Sisi, which suggests a deeper reservoir of popular support than is conventionally assumed. The data also allows for an investigation of attitude dissociation, whereby individuals hold distinct implicit and explicit attitudes towards a target object. Government employees and Copts are more likely to hold positive explicit attitudes towards Sisi but negative or neutral implicit attitudes. Students appear to systematically engage in inverse dissociation -- they voice criticism towards Sisi despite holding more positive implicit attitudes. These findings are interpretable using the Associative-Propositional Evaluation model. The paper closes with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the implicit approach relative to other sensitive question techniques.
"Women on Board and Performance of Family Firms: Evidence from India"
JAYATI SARKAR, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR)
EKTA SELARKA, Madras School of Economics
This paper provides evidence on the effect of women directors on the performance of family firms with a case study of India. Existing literature on the subject has primarily focused on widely held firms, notably in the US. Given that ownership structure and governance environment of family firms are distinctly different from those of non-family firms, the evidence on the relationship between women on board and firm performance in the context of widely held firms may not apply in the context of family firms. India provides an ideal setting for analyzing this question as the presence of family firms is pervasive and since 2013 India has instituted gender quotas on corporate boards. Using a data-set of 10218 firm year observations over a ten year period from 2005 to 2014 which spans the pre-quota and post-quota years, we find robust evidence that women directors on corporate boards positively impact firm value and that this effect increases with the number of women directors on board. However, we find that the positive effect of gender diversity on firm performance weakens with the extent to which the family exerts control through occupying key management positions on the board. In addition, women directors affiliated to the family have no significant effect on firm value whereas independent women directors do. Our results with respect to profitability are somewhat different; while as in the case of market value, women directors positively impact profitability with the positive effect driven by independent women directors, the effect does not vary with the extent of family control. Taken together, our results suggest that though gender diversity on corporate boards may positively impact firm performance in family firms in general, the extent of family control can have a significant bearing on this relationship. The findings from this study could be instructive for emerging economies like India in promoting gender-based quotas on corporate boards.
"Do Share Issue Privatizations Really Improve Firm Performance in China?"
BO LI, Shantou University
WILLIAM L. MEGGINSON, University of Oklahoma, College of Industrial Management
ZHE SHEN, Xiamen University - School of Management
QIAN SUN, Fudan University
We document significant post-share issue privatization (SIP) increases in profitability of divested Chinese state-owned companies, once the negative IPO listing effect is accounted for. This contradicts previous studies showing that profitability declines after privatization. We employ a triple difference approach and examine 204 Chinese SIPs from 1999-2009 matched with otherwise comparable state-owned enterprises and privately-owned firms. We document a negative listing effect since the ROS EBIT/Sales of privately-owned firms decline significantly after going public. After adjusting for this negative listing effect, we show that SIPs yield significantly improved profitability, and find this result is highly robust to alternative specifications.
"Geographical Indications and Quality Promotion of Agricultural Products in Vietnam: An Analysis of Government Roles"
SECO/WTI Academic Cooperation Project Working Paper Series 2016/15
THUY THU NGUYEN, Foreign Trade University (FTU)
GIANG HOANG, Independent
KIEN NGUYEN, Independent
Geographical indications (GIs) play an important in the agriculture sector; however, the link between geographical indications and quality promotion has not been adequately analysed. This paper aims to investigate the influences of geographical indications on the quality of agricultural products in Vietnam, considering the role of public policies in this matter. We review the literature in GI protection in Vietnam, focusing on the role of the Government in structuring and implementing GIs and putting forward the institutional involvement. Three case studies on Phu Quoc fish sauce, Luc Ngan lychee and Moc Chau Shan Tuyet tea have been analysed on institutional influences of GIs on local products quality development and their supply chain management. The paper concludes with recommendations to promote GI implementation in enhancing agricultural product quality in Vietnam.
"Berlin's Concept of Value Pluralism in an Indian Context"
DARWIN JOSEPH GEORGE, Assumption University of Thailand
The purpose of this research is to study Isaiah Berlin’s (1909-97) value pluralism and his insights that provide an anchor in the analysis of the pluralistic Indian society. He argues that the essence of human beings is pluralism which is reflected in the history of humankind but the current thought and practices do not seem to appreciate the pluralism and diversity in the Indian society. Berlin’s value pluralism shows the importance of appreciating pluralism and diversity and this value pluralism can be promoted through the study of philosophy and multicultural education.
About this eJournal
Supported by: American Anthropological Association (AAA)
This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts of studies of specific culture areas. The topics in this eJournal include: Africa; North America; Europe; Middle East; Latin America & South America; Asia & Central Asia; East Asia; South Asia; South East Asia, Oceania, & the Pacific Region; Negative Results - Culture Area Studies.
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