Article Argues (article + argue)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Towards a More Rational IMF Quota Structure: Suggestions for the Creation of a New International Financial Architecture

Raghbendra Jha
The authors of this article argue that, in the absence of a well-founded quota formula, the very basis of the creation of the IMF as an institution at the centre of international financial arrangements was flawed; that there is no clear rationale for the determinants of quota structures and their weighting scheme; and that the quota allocation as an instrument seeks to target too many objectives. As a result, large and arbitrary cross-country variations exist in the relative impact of different determinants on the quota shares of different countries. The quota formulas therefore need to be reviewed and an alternative approach evolved, in which emphasis is placed on the size of the economy rather than its openness, along with efficiency parameters. The authors suggest some principles which might underpin redefined quota structures in support of a new financial architecture. They provide illustrative calculations using India as a case study, and trace the impact of the redefined quota structures against the backdrop of the impact of the Eleventh General Review on India's quota position. [source]

Telecom Regulation: Lessons from Independent Central Banks

Jon Stern
Consumers do not choose their preferred central bank base rate in the way that they buy, say, telephone services from one of a number of competing companies: independent central banks (ICBs) and utility regulators have different tasks. However, those concerned with the emerging field of utility regulation can still learn much from research on ICBs, not least because, for historical reasons, there is much more of it. The authors of this article argue that the key to the success of both ICBs and utility regulators is proper governance arrangements. They reject the arguments for procedures that are totally rule-based with little or no discretion. Within clear rules, they say, both ICBs and regulators should be given discretion combined with high accountability. [source]

Using disputants' metaphors in mediation

Thomas H. Smith
This article argues that a mediator, conscious of the metaphors disputants use, aware of their implications, and skilled in their use, will hear more; be better able to reframe, disentangle, and guide communications to explore meanings; enhance self-reflection; and expand possibilities. [source]

Walls of secrecy and silence

The Madoff case, cartels in the construction industry
Research Summary Most analysts of the causes of the contemporary credit crunch have concluded that the supervising agencies failed in their duties. The same is true for studies of several major fraud scandals, including the Madoff affair and the Dutch construction fraud. The remedy seems immediately obvious: more and better regulation and supervision. However, this line of reasoning seems somewhat simplistic by ignoring the question of how illegal activities can remain hidden for many years from supervising agencies, victims, and bystanders. This research article argues that the problem also lies in the successful concealment of illegal activities by the perpetrators and in the presence of silence in their social environment. Policy Implications The cases analyzed in this article suggest that financial misconduct also could be controlled by breaking the conspiracies of silence. The strengthening of supervision is unlikely to be effective without simultaneous efforts to encourage people to speak out and to give them incentives to want to know and to tell the truth. [source]


ABSTRACT This article argues for the importance of rewriting the conventional atrocity narrative about violence in King Leopold's Congo Free State in relation to the present, the ongoing war-related humanitarianism and sexual violence in the DRC. The central idea is to push beyond the shock and tenacity of the visual, the ubiquitous mutilation photographs that tend to blot out all else; and instead seek weaker, more fragile acoustic traces in a diverse archive with Congolese words and sounds. This sensory, nonspectral mode of parsing the archive tells us something new about the immediacy of violence, its duration in memory, and the bodily and reproductive effects of sexually torturing women. The sound of twisted laughter convulsed around forms of sexual violence that were constitutive of reproductive ruination during the rubber regime in Leopold's Congo. The work of strategically tethering the past to the present should not be about forging historicist links across time but about locating repetitions and difference, including differences among humanitarian modes and strategies in the early 20th and the early 21st centuries. [source]

The Future of Zoos: A New Model for Cultural Institutions

John Fraser
World-class zoos have invested substantially in species conservation and animal research as part of their involvement in wildlife conservation. However, zoo exhibit interpretation, policy development, and strategic planning are yet to be organized around a well-developed agenda with a clear set of conservation objectives. As museums increasingly redefine their role in society to speak about alternative futures for living with nature, zoos have the potential to become much more focused cultural change agents, potentially crafting a new vision for how society can live in a productive relationship with the world's remaining biodiversity. This article argues for an activist approach in which institutions with living collections would take on unique conservation tasks including scientifically grounded promotion of conservation values. [source]

The Education of Story Lovers: Do Computers Undermine Narrative Sensibility?

ABSTRACT This article argues that computers, at least in their common or prevalent uses, constitute an important undermining influence on people's ability to tell, enjoy listening to, view, and read good stories. We discuss the centrality of narrative in defining our humanity and in educating our children, and justify the emphasis on "good" stories, invoking Ricoeur's views on the hermeneutic level of interpretation. We then address the question of the nonneutrality of electronic wrapping of words and the problematic relationship between computers' navigational properties and narrative, particularly vis-à-vis Deleuze and Guattari's notion of rhizomatic structures. We consider and critique some counterarguments to our claim, specifically those that appeal to postmodern and hypertextual conceptions of narrative, and suggest ways that education can play an important role in counteracting the negative influences we have indicated. [source]

Anti-Politics as Political Strategy: Neoliberalism and Transfrontier Conservation in Southern Africa

Bram Büscher
ABSTRACT Studies on conservation and development often point out that interventions rely on anti-political manoeuvring to acquire legitimacy and support. Recent ,aidnography', in particular, has done much to expand and add nuance to our understanding of the complex, micro- (anti-)politics at work in conservation and development interventions. In doing this, however, aidnography seems to have led the focus away from two crucial, broader issues related to conservation and development interventions: how they are regulated through the wider, neoliberal political economy, and how this fuels and obscures (global) inequality. Drawing on empirical research on a transfrontier conservation and development intervention in Southern Africa, this article argues that the differential workings of anti-politics in practice warrant a renewed appreciation and a more explicit political operationalization of the concept. This is done by re-emphasizing anti-politics as an essential political strategy within conservation and development interventions and as an intrinsic element of the wider political economy of neoliberalism. [source]

Bridging the Social and Digital Divides in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala: A Capabilities Approach

Jayan Jose Thomas
ABSTRACT Combining empirical evidence with Amartya Sen's concept of capabilities, this article argues that the digital divide is not merely a problem of access to ICTs. It is part of a larger developmental problem in which vast sections of the world's population are deprived of the capabilities to use ICTs, acquire information and convert information into useful knowledge. Fieldwork research including sample surveys conducted in rural locations in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh in India shows that these capabilities can only be created through large-scale complementary interventions in economic and social development. [source]

Gender, Vulnerability, and the Experts: Responding to the Maldives Tsunami

Emma Fulu
ABSTRACT This article examines the initial response by national and international agencies to gender issues during the aftermath of the Maldives tsunami, arguing that it was, in general, inadequate. Some agencies took a gender blind approach, ignoring different impacts on men and women, as well as the effects of complex gender relations on relief and recovery efforts. Other agencies paid greater attention to gender relations in their response but tended to focus exclusively on the universal category of the ,vulnerable woman' requiring special assistance, whilst at the same time ignoring men's vulnerabilities. This article argues that such language entrenched women as victims, excluding them from leadership and decision-making roles and as such served to reinforce and re-inscribe women's trauma. It is suggested that it is partly because of the nature of international bureaucracies and the fact that this disaster drew foreign ,experts' from around the world that the response neglected or over-simplified gender issues. [source]

The Politics of Vigilance in Southeastern Nigeria

David Pratten
ABSTRACT This article argues that governance can be best analysed within modes of vigilance. Where recent work on the post-colonial state has emphasized the symbolic and practical constitution of the state through surveillance and spatialization, so in counterpoint, this analysis illustrates that social engagement with the state is based on conceptions of vigilance and practices of counter-surveillance with both spatial and temporal dimensions. Drawing on an ethnography of Annang youth associations in southeastern Nigeria, this analysis outlines how the micro-politics of vigilance are based on knowledge of the states' patrimonial ,ways of operating' and processes which define internal, localized rights, registers and styles of action. This argument is based on an analysis of popular responses to disorder which contribute to an ,insurgent' construction of the public realm in which groups marginalized and excluded challenge the logic, locations, patterns of discourse and constructions of the public good. [source]

Reordering Society: Vigilantism and Expressions of Sovereignty in Port Elizabeth's Townships

Lars Buur
ABSTRACT Crime and vigilantism in South Africa are generally seen as a reaction to the breakdown of formal law. Both are constituted outside the state and emerge when the new social contract has been broken , that is, when the state can no longer provide security. This article argues that there is often an intimate relationship between vigilante formations and state structures. It explores this apparent paradox through public discourses on crime and the emergence of twilight institutions such as vigilante groups. It suggests that vigilantism has to be analysed as an attempt to promulgate a new legal-political order, despite being constructed outside this order. This argument is explored in the context of the Amadlozi, a vigilante group operating in the townships of Port Elizabeth. The article situates this discussion within an examination of discourses on crime, as well as the production of township residents and their protection from crime. Finally, it proffers some ideas on sovereignty and its relationship to twilight institutions. [source]

Semi-Authoritarian Incorporation and Autocratic Militarism in Turkey

Tim Jacoby
This article argues that, since the early 1980s, there have been two regimes in Turkey. The first, which is broadly akin to Michael Mann's characterization of Semi-Authoritarian Incorporation, has predominated in areas of the country not administered through emergency legislation. In keeping with his model, it has been most fully asserted in areas of key economic value , particularly the Marmara region and the environs of the capital, Ankara. In the thirteen predominantly Kurdish provinces of the south-east of the country, on the other hand, a second of Mann's regime types, Autocratic Militarism, is discernible. This was institutionalized under a new constitutional structure introduced following the 1980 coup as a means of dealing with a rise in pro-Kurdish insurgency. [source]

Transforming the Developmental Welfare State in East Asia

Huck-ju Kwon
This article attempts to explain changes and continuity in the developmental welfare states in Korea and Taiwan within the East Asian context. It first elaborates two strands of welfare developmentalism (selective vs. inclusive), and establishes that the welfare state in both countries fell into the selective category of developmental welfare states before the Asian economic crisis of 1997. The key principles of the selective strand of welfare developmentalism are productivism, selective social investment and authoritarianism; inclusive welfare development is based on productivism, universal social investment and democratic governance. The article then argues that the policy reform toward an inclusive welfare state in Korea and Taiwan was triggered by the need for structural reform in the economy. The need for economic reform, together with democratization, created institutional space in policy-making for advocacy coalitions, which made successful advances towards greater social rights. Finally, the article argues that the experiences of Korea and Taiwan counter the neo-liberal assertion that the role of social policy in economic development is minor, and emphasizes that the idea of an inclusive developmental welfare state should be explored in the wider context of economic and social development. [source]

Local Histories, Global Markets: Cocoa and Class in Upland Sulawesi

Tania Murray Li
Research and policy concerning the Southeast Asian uplands have generally focused on issues of cultural diversity, conservation and community resource management. This article argues for a reorientation of analysis to highlight the increasingly uneven access to land, labour and capital stemming from processes of agrarian differentiation in upland settings. It draws upon contrasting case studies from two areas of Central Sulawesi to explore the processes through which differentiation occurs, and the role of local histories of agriculture and settlement in shaping farmers' responses to new market opportunities. Smallholders have enthusiastically abandoned their diversified farming systems to invest their land and labour in a new global crop, cocoa, thereby stimulating a set of changes in resource access and social relations that they did not anticipate. The concept of agency drawn from a culturally oriented political economy guides the analysis of struggles over livelihoods, land entitlements, and the reconfiguration of community, as well as the grounds on which new collective visions emerge. [source]

Empowering Pyromaniacs in Madagascar: Ideology and Legitimacy in Community-Based Natural Resource Management

Christian A. Kull
Development practitioners frequently rely on community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) as an approach to encourage equitable and sustainable environmental resource use. Based on an analysis of the case of grassland and woodland burning in highland Madagascar, this article argues that the success of CBNRM depends upon the real empowerment of local resource users and attention to legitimacy in local institutions. Two key factors , obstructive environmental ideologies (,received wisdoms') and the complex political and social arena of ,community' governance , challenge empowerment and legitimacy and can transform outcomes. In Madagascar, persistent hesitancy among leaders over the legitimate role of fire has sidetracked a new CBNRM policy called GELOSE away from one of its original purposes , community fire management , towards other applications, such as community management of forest exploitation. In addition, complications with local governance frustrate implementation efforts. As a result, a century-long political stalemate over fire continues. [source]

Precarious Democratization and Local Dynamics in Niger: Micro,Politics in Zinder

Christian Lund
Literature on the African state often finds it hard to specify what is state and what is not. The closer one gets to a particular political landscape, the more apparent it becomes that many institutions have something of a twilight character. This article argues that studies of local politics in Africa should focus on how the public authority of institutions waxes and wanes and how political competition among individuals and organizations expresses the notion of state and public authority. This is explored in the context of contemporary political struggles in Niger, played out in three different arenas in the region of Zinder around 1999, as home,town associations, chieftaincies and vigilante groups all take on the mantle of public authority in their dealings with what they consider to be their antithesis, the ,State'. [source]

State Sciences and Development Histories: Encoding Local Forestry Knowledge in Bengal

K. Sivaramakrishnan
Informed by debates on development discourse, local knowledge, and the history of colonial conservation, this article argues for a careful historical investigation of the manner in which scientific managerial knowledge emerges in the field of forestry. It makes its case by focusing on the specific period in the history of Bengal (1893,1937) when scientific forestry was formalized and institutionalized. The processes and conflicts through which local knowledge gets encoded as scientific canon have to be understood to generate effective managerial devolution in participatory projects. This requires an engagement with public understandings of science as practice that arises from a dynamic critique of static, and undifferentiated, notions of development discourse or local knowledge. [source]

Politics, Plurality and Problemsheds: A Strategic Approach for Reform of Agricultural Water Resources Management

Peter P. Mollinga
Starting from the assessment that past efforts at reform in agricultural water management in developing countries have achieved very little, this article argues that a fundamental change is required in the approach to policy and institutional transformation if the present deadlock in the internalisation of ecological sustainability, human development/poverty alleviation and democratic governance into the ,core business' of water bureaucracies is to be overcome. ,Social engineering' approaches need to be replaced by ,strategic action' approaches that acknowledge the inherently political character and the plurality of actors, institutions and objectives of water management , a perspective operationalised here around the notions of ,problemshed' and ,issue network'. [source]

The Macroeconomics of Doubling Aid to Africa and the Centrality of the Supply Side

Tony Killick
The proposed doubling of aid to Africa by 2010 is a less simple proposition, from a recipient point of view, than is commonly supposed. This article argues that it is difficult to manage large and rapidly increasing aid inflows in ways which do not disadvantage producers of tradeable goods, and the private sector generally. This difficulty can be averted if conscious efforts are made to offset it and to stimulate positive responses from the supply side. Whether such responses prevail over the shorter-term management difficulties depends on the efficacy of state actions , and of aid , to bolster the supply side. The outcome is likely to be mixed, depending on country circumstances. [source]

Is There a Place for Virtual Poverty Funds in Pro-Poor Public Spending Reform?

Lessons from Uganda's PAF
Various developing countries with weak public expenditure management systems are establishing virtual poverty funds (VPFs), drawing on the experience of Uganda's Poverty Action Fund. As a mechanism for tagging and tracking the performance of specific poverty-reducing expenditures in the budget, a VPF can be useful. However, this article argues that such devices should be treated from the outset as transitional, and as part of wider processes of strengthening public expenditure management; otherwise, they can seriously distort public expenditure allocations and management systems, potentially undermining growth. Emphasis needs to be placed on identifying the right balance of expenditures in the entire budget; improving the effectiveness and efficiency of existing allocations; and developing better public-sector policies for promoting pro-poor private sector growth. [source]

World Income Distribution and Tax Reform: What Tax Systems Do Low-Income Countries Need?

J. Ram Pillarisetti
This article develops a new method for assessing relative direct tax burdens across all countries, treating the world as a single economic entity and assuming identical preferences across countries. Empirical results show that the new direct tax burden indices are significantly high in low-income countries in comparison with middle- and high-income countries. This article argues in favour of narrowing the base of income and capital gains tax in low-income countries and a long-term convergence of the tax burden levels across countries. Future research into tax reforms in low-income countries should focus simultaneously on economic growth, quality of life and the natural environment. [source]

The Economics of HIV/AIDS: A Survey

Edoardo Gaffeo
This article surveys the main economic issues associated with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, paying special attention to sub,Saharan Africa. It explores the economic and behavioural determinants of HIV transmission, the microeconomics of market failures associated with high HIV prevalence, the prospects for regional development from a macroeconomic perspective and the efficient design of policies for coping with the epidemic. In line with the recent appeal by the UN Secretary General, the article argues that, without a decisive effort to halt HIV/AIDS, people living in the region are bound to experience a further fall in their standard of living in both relative and absolute terms. However, to be effective, anti,AIDS programmes must be rooted in sound economic principles. [source]

Prudential Regulation of Banks in Less Developed Economies

S. Mansoob Murshed
This article argues that developing countries face inherent obstacles in setting up efficient financial regulation, and building up a sound banking sector: the presence of multiple tasks and multiple principals, poor institutions, lack of economies of scale in the banking sector as well as regulatory supervision, and the lack of reputation. Developing countries need a regulatory framework that rewards prudent risk-taking, but punishes misconduct. This is likely to involve a combination of input-based measures impacting on bankers' incentives, with a few direct controls on the output of the sector. The article concludes with a list of policy options whose appropriateness is judged by their ,friendliness' with local circumstances. [source]

Maximizing the use of Project Bioshield contracting opportunities

Dana B. Pashkoff
Abstract This article explores the often complicated relationship between agency policymakers and the contracting officers that are charged with executing agency procurements. In particular, the article explores the role of the contracting officer in maximizing the use of streamlined contracting practices under the Project BioShield Act of 2004 (Public Law 108,276). Project BioShield, which is implemented through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), is designed to encourage procurement activity that protects Americans against a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack. To do so, the Act permits the use of special streamlined contracting authorities, many of which are often unused or ignored by the contracting officers engaged in executing and administering Project BioShield procurements. This article argues that these contracting officers are bound to conduct their duties within the confines of overall agency policy, and they cannot use their contracting discretion to circumvent that policy. As a result, DHHS contracting officers are required to use the Project BioShield streamlined contracting methods. In order to assist the agency in encouraging the use of these procedures, this article also recommends techniques that BARDA can apply in order to encourage contracting officers to take advantage of these contracting opportunities and advance agency's policy with respect to Project BioShield. Drug Dev Res 70:234,238, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

The significance of the Carolingian advocate

Charles West
This article argues that ninth-century advocates in the Frankish world deserve more attention than they have received. Exploring some of the wealth of relevant evidence, it reviews and critiques both current historiographical approaches to the issue. Instead of considering Carolingian advocates as largely a by-product of the ecclesiastical immunity, or viewing advocacy as a Trojan horse for a subsequent establishment of lordship over monasteries, the article proposes a reading of ninth-century advocacy as intimately linked with wider Carolingian reform, particularly an interest in promoting formal judicial procedure. [source]

The making of a minor saint in Drogo of Saint-Winnoc's Historia translationis s. Lewinnae

David Defries
In 1058, the Flemish abbey of Saint-Winnoc stole St Lewinna's relics from a minster in southern England. The community worked to establish her cult in Flanders. Although scholars have focused on the material gain Saint-Winnoc probably hoped the cult would bring, this article argues that the development of the abbey's communal identity figured more prominently in its motives. The community saw Lewinna primarily as a means to help bolster its bid for independence from its mother house. [source]

Talking about history in eleventh-century England: the Encomium Emmae Reginae and the court of Harthacnut

Elizabeth M. Tyler
The Encomium Emmae Reginae was written in the early 1040s to support the interests of Queen Emma amidst the factionalism which marked the end of the period of Danish rule in England. This article argues that the Encomium was shaped by its production and reception in the distinctively multilingual environment of King Harthacnut's court. Attention to Emma's key role in negotiating the interaction of the English, Norse, French, Flemish and Latin literary and linguistic cultures which were present in the Anglo-Danish court reveals growing lay claims to Latin literary culture in eleventh-century England. [source]


Christian Seibert
Deregulation of taxi markets has the potential to deliver significant benefits. However, it presents the problem of transaction costs and in particular problems linked with imperfect information and co-ordination. This article argues that the use of a centralised intermediary in deregulated taxi markets can overcome these problems so that the benefits of competition are maximised, without the need for government fare regulation. [source]


E. J. Mishan
This article argues that unguarded optimism among liberal economists in the West as to the social and economic consequences of globalisation is misguided. Increased and freer international trade may depress living standards in the West as firms move production to those countries where factors of production (including labour) are cheaper and immigrants from poorer countries depress wages in wealthier nations. [source]