139 research outputs found

    Correctly finger-pointing the Lisbon-process-villains

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    The European Union’s center-piece of economic policy making is the Lisbon process, which tries to make Europe the most competitive economic region in the world economy by 2010. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso recently presented a Centre for European Reform (CER) study that maintained that Denmark, Sweden and Austria are the best performing Lisbon process countries for 2005 and that Romania, Poland and Malta are the lowest ranked countries in the European Union in the same year. Due to lacking data, practically no serious conclusions can be drawn about Turkey. In the study, presented by the Commission President, some real finger pointing is made, with the “good” performers being called “heroes” and the “bad performers” being called “villains”. In the study, Poland was made the European chief “villain” (henceforth called, in keeping with this tendency towards abbreviations in the eurocracy, the ECV, for 2005). Our rigorous re-analysis of the data leads us to the conclusion that the ECV, i.e. the country characterized by past bad cumulated performance, and having no real prospect of things getting better is not Poland but Portugal. It emerges once again that the Lisbon process is in a dire state of affairsEuropean Union; Lisbon process; European integration; policy reform

    Costa Rica, superstar? some reflections on the global drivers and bottlenecks of the happy planet index

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    For some years now, the Happy Planet Organization presents the so-called ‘Happy Planet Index’ (HPI), which is an index of measuring the trade-off between ecological footprint data and life quality (Happy Life Years, HLYE). Costa Rica emerges from these comparisons as the world’s ‘best practice nation’, using a minimum amount of natural resources to achieve a maximum of human happiness. So is Costa Rica the pathway for humanity? There are shortcomings in the formula, with which the index is calculated (Happy Life Years divided by Ecological Footprint per capita, and some constants added). Using a re-formulation, the global ranking with Costa Rica on top is indeed confirmed. We present some evidence on the cross-national drivers and bottlenecks of our re-formulated Happy Planet Index (HPI) performance on a global scale: a wide variety of standard globalization variables have little influence on HPI performance. Big countries with large population resources perform somewhat better, and low military expenditures per GDP are a constraint on HPI performance. Beneficial effects are also wielded by received worker remittances. Efficiency tends to increase and then to decrease with rising development levels.Ecological and environmental phenomena; ecological footprint; globalization; Happy Planet Index; inequality; migration; military expenditures

    Migration, Openness and the Global Preconditions of 'Smart Development'

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    In this article, we present a first empirical reflection on 'smart development', its measurement, possible 'drivers' and 'bottlenecks'. We first provide cross-national data on how much ecological footprint is used in the nations of the world system to 'deliver' a given amount of democracy, economic growth, gender equality, human development, research and development, and social cohesion. To this end, we first developed UNDP-type performance indicators on these six main dimensions of development and on their combined performance. We then show the non-linear regression trade-offs between ecological footprints per capita on these six dimensions of development and their combined performance index. The residuals from these regressions are our new measures of smart development: a country experiences smart development, if it achieves a maximum of development with a minimum of ecological footprint. We then look at the cross-national drivers and bottlenecks of this 'smart development' and compare their predictive power using stepwise regression procedures. Apart from important variables and indicators, derived from sociological dependency and world systems theories, we also test the predictive power of several other predictors as well. Our estimates underline the enormous importance of the transfer of resources from the center to the periphery, brought about by migration, with huge statistical observed positive effects of received worker remittances on smart human development, Happy Life Years, smart gender justice, smart R&D, and both formulations of the smart development index.index numbers and aggregation, environment and development, environment and trade, smart development, sustainability, environmental accounts and accounting, environmental equity, population growth, international migration, remittances

    Learning from Latin America's Experience: Europe's Failure in the "Lisbon Process"

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    The current paper investigates the cross-national relevance of Latin American "dependencia theory" for five dimensions of development (democracy and human rights, environment, human development and basic human needs satisfaction, gender justice, redistribution, growth and employment) on a global scale. It tries to confront the very basic pro-globalist assumptions of the "Lisbon process", the policy target of the European leaders since the EU's Lisbon Council meeting in March 2000 to make Europe the leading knowledge-based economy in the world with a "Latin American perspective". A realistic and politically useful analysis of the "Lisbon process" has to be a "Schumpeterian" approach. First, we analyze the "Lisbon performance" of the world economy by multivariate, quantitative means, looking into the possible contradictions that might exists between the dependent insertion into the global economy and other goals of the "Lisbon process". Dependency from the large, transnational corporations, as correctly predicted by Latin American social science of the 1960s and 1970s, emerges as one of the most serious development blockades, confronting Europe. Secondly, we analyze European regional performance since the 1990s in order to know whether growth and development in Europe spread evenly among the different regions of the continent. It emerges that dependency from the large transnational corporations is incompatible with a balanced, regional development. Finally, we discuss cross-national and historical lessons learned from the views of dependency and Schumpeterian perspectives for current policy-making in Europe, and opt for an industrial policy approach in the tradition of former EU-Commission President (1985-1995) Jacques Delors.Lisbon process, European Union, Latin America, Dependency theory

    Asabiyya: Re-Interpreting Value Change in Globalized Societies

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    This article reflects the renewed interest of economics and the social science discipline in value systems and religion. The World Values Survey provided a data framework of global value change, whose quantitative results led Barro (2004) to analyze the connections between some dimensions of recent sociological religious value research with economic growth. The present essay starts from this methodological position, and links value systems with economic performance in a much wider and macrosociological framework. We further develop the well-known Inglehart and Welzel (2003) map of global values, and develop the idea of "Asabiyya" ("social cohesion"), as a counter-model to both Barro and Inglehart and Welzel approaches. A frequently asked question is whether “modernization” without "spiritual values" in a globalized world economy and world society possible in the long run? Starting from principal component analysis, it is shown that rather two factors are decisive in understanding global value change: a continuum of "traditional versus secular", and a continuum "cheating versus active society". Asabiyya in the 21st Century, as a way out from the modernization trap of societies, characterized by large-scale social anomaly, is a high secularism combined with a high active society score, thus avoiding the "modernization trap". We show that economic growth in the current world crisis is far more connected with these dimensions. We conclude that not a society based on fear is needed in the first place, but an active society of volunteer social work.index numbers and aggregation, international political economy, religion, bureaucracy, corruption

    The failure of the EU in the global “Lisbon process” : a cross-national, quantitative tribute to the relevance of the economic theories of professor Panayotopoulos

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    In this paper we analyze the Lisbon performance of the countries of the European Union from a long-term, structural perspective. It again turns out that first of all things get worse, before they get better – the old wisdom of classical development economics (Kuznets) and political science modernization theory of the postwar period. In addition, it emerges that foreign savings, “economic freedom”, low comparative international price levels, and World Bank type pension reforms are not compatible with a solid and longrun development path, based on our knowledge of 17 component variables, integrating the dimensions growth, environment, human rights, basic human needs satisfaction, and gender equality. In addition, European Union membership (EU-15, “old Europe”) has the numerically highest negative effect on the global Lisbon process; while Muslim population shares in no way bloc the development process, on the contrary. Neo-liberal globalization strategies are condemned to failure; while European decision makers in particular would be strongly advised to re-think their Lisbon strategy, which pushes countries towards accepting strategies, which, inter alia, lower instead of increase the comparative international price level. Is a price level of say, the Congo’s dimension, really the aim of the Lisbon process? Balassa and Samuelson assumed that rising international price levels for the periphery country are a precondition of positive development. Falling relative price levels would suggest in the neo-classical argument that the price of the nontradables in the European economy decreased dramatically over time. Structuralist economists, like Stanford Professor emeritus Pan Yotopoulos, usually warn the weaker countries of the periphery that:“Currency substitution represents an asymmetric demand from Mexicans to hold dollars as a store of value, a demand that is not reciprocated by Americans holding pesos as a hedge against the devaluation of the dollar!” (Yotopoulos and Sawada, 2005). In addition to the above specified dependency theory and world systems theory arguments, urbanization positively affects Lisbon Process Index Indicator. Ceteris paribus, World Bank pension reforms will be negatively related to the process: Pushing Europe downwards the path of falling comparative prices will only increase the growth impediments of the growingly multicultural Europe.peer-reviewe

    The Lisbon process, re-visited. A reality check of the European social model.

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    This article portrays a bleak picture of European realities. Analyzing world social, gender, ecological and economic development on the basis of the main 9 predictors, compatible with the majority of the more than 240 published studies on the cross-national determinants of the “human condition” around the globe, we first present results of 32 equations about development performance in 131 countries with available data. We come to the conclusion that while there is some confirmation for the “blue”, market paradigm as the best and most viable way of world systems governance concerning economic growth, re-distribution and gender issues, the “red-green” counter-position is confirmed concerning such vital and basic indicators as life expectancy and the human development index. We also show that Europe’s crisis is not caused by what the neo-liberals term a “lack of world economic openness” but rather, on the contrary, by the enormous amount of passive globalization that Europe – together with Latin America – experienced over recent years. Our combined measure of the velocity of the globalization process is based on the increases of capital penetration over time, on the increases of economic openness over time, and on the decreases of the comparative price level over time: the United States, Mexico, larger parts of Africa and large sections of West and South Asia escaped from the combined pressures of globalization, while Eastern and Southern Latin America, very large parts of Europe, Russia and China were characterized by a specially high tempo of globalization. The “wider Europe” of the EU-25 is not too distantly away from the social realities of the more advanced Latin American countries. From the viewpoint of world systems theory such tendencies are not a coincidental movement along the historic ups and downs of social indicators, but the very symptom of a much more deep-rooted crisis, which is the beginning of the real re-marginalization and re-peripherization of the European continent. We finally also show the relevance of these assumptions for the analysis of European regional inequality. Established economics teaches us that for economic gaps to be bridged, a process of convergence sets in that was described by Bela Balassa and Paul Samuelson, independently from each other, more than 4 decades ago, and which is called ever since the “Balassa-Samuelson effect”. But a reversal of what was once known as the Balassa/Samuelson effect has set in, with falling prices of non-tradables in the highly developed European center countries. Our macro-quantitative calculations show that considering other important intervening factors, like development levels and human capital formation, the ultraliberal thinking inherent in the recent “Bolkestein directive” that should lead to a considerable lowering of price levels in the formerly “non-tradable” sectors of services in Europe would be certainly compatible with some aspects of growth and better employment (and thus also gender relations), but our three main other indicators of globalization, i.e. high foreign saving, “economic freedom” and high MNC penetration ratios, are still very systematically linked with severe deficits in the social sphere, whatever the research design chosen. And in addition, powerful forces of agglomeration propel Europe in the direction of further regional income concentration and inequality, thus blocking the hopes of the poorer segments of the East European new member countries. A process of catching up development seems under these conditions a very remote hope indeed.Cross-Section Models; Income Distribution; Prices; Business Fluctuations; and Cycles – General; International Economic Order; Inequality; Economic Integration: General

    The efficiency and effectiveness of social spending in the EU-27 and the OECD – a 2011 reanalysis

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    In this contribution, we look again at the trajectory and the efficiency of the ‘European social model’ (EMS). We re-apply an econometric methodology, which was already used in the study Herrmann, Heshmati et al., 2008, 2009. In that study, the authors said that apart from Finland and the Netherlands, some new EU-27 member countries, especially the Czech Republic and Slovenia, provided some answers to the question about the efficiency of state expenditures in reducing poverty rates, while countries like the Federal Republic of Germany achieved only a mediocre ranking. Considering the fact that social expenditures often amount to ÂŒ or even 1/3 of the GDP in advanced Western democracies, this question has acquired new and additional importance during the current international debt crisis, affecting several European countries such as Greece. Put in simple terms: aren’t the Germans, French 
 also throwing a lot of money out of the window, while the world is now fixed on the Greeks? The most influential social science journal article on the subject, mentioning the ESM in the title, was written by Scharpf, 2002 and maintains that efforts to adopt European social policies are politically impeded by the diversity of national welfare states, differing not only in levels of economic development and hence in their ability to pay for social transfers and services but, even more significantly, in their normative aspirations and institutional structures. Hyman, 2005, even says that there is simply no agreement what 'social Europe' means in the first place, let alone how it should be defended against the challenges inherent in the neoliberal approach to economic integration. Jepsen and Pascual, 2005 were equally sceptical about the subject. They even maintain that the very use of the concept under scrutiny here – the EMS - in the academic and political debate is simply a rhetorical resource intended to legitimize the politically constructed and identity-building project of the EU institutions. In our re-analysis of the underlying issues, we first come to the conclusion that the USA not only had lower unemployment and higher economic growth rates than the EU-15. Globalization inflows were smaller than in the EU-15, and – most importantly – the tendency towards sectoral inequality as a proxy for overall inequality was less pronounced than in the EU-15. The average, unweighted performance of the other Western democracies rather resembles the European performance. So the dire fact number one, established in this essay, is that during globalization, the ‘European social model’ is not better avoiding the ills of inequality than the USA or other Western democracies. Following the methodology, developed in Herrmann et al., 2008, 2009, and based on the latest Eurostat data, we then come to the conclusion that currently European social policy only lifts 6.80% of the total European population, i.e. 29.44% of the poor population, out of poverty. A very huge amount of money is required for this. Social transfers amount to ÂŒ of the European GDP in 2006. To lift just 1% of the population out of poverty, a staggering 3.66% of the GDP is now needed on the level of the EU-27. We also show that Sweden, Luxembourg, Finland, Spain, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and France currently spend 5% or more of their GDP to lift just 1% of the population out of poverty. In most EU-27 member countries, only 1/3 or less of the poor population are lifted out of poverty by social transfers. I.e. 2/3 or more of the population are practically not reached by this gigantic machinery EMS, which consumes ÂŒ of European GDP. In accordance with Herrmann et al. 2008, 2009, we also analyze the OECD figures on how much it costs to lift 1% of the population out of poverty. Our analysis reveals that there are only many different single experiences and models of social policy, and these experiences do not confirm stereotypes, typologies or other generalized approaches. Our conclusions from the data for 2003 suggest that very efficient models, like the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic, but also Luxembourg, Hungary and Poland, have to be contrasted by the laggards and high-cost models, like Spain and Mexico, but also Finland, Switzerland, New Zealand, and South Korea. The comparison of the aggregate efficiency parameters would even suggest that there was a convergence of efficiency trends from the mid-1980s onwards across the Atlantic. Again applying the politometric methods, developed in the study Hermann et. al. 2008, 2009, we document the fact that the PIIGS – i.e. Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, which currently are at the centre of the financial storm, affecting Europe (Baglioni and Cherubini, 2010; Andrade and Chhaochharia, 2010; and Zemanek, 2010), do not perform well on our refined social protection expenditure effectiveness indicator. The five leading countries according to our analysis with the latest Eurostat 2008 data are Hungary; Slovakia; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; and Poland, which are all new member states of the Union. The least efficient social sectors are to be found in Latvia, Estonia, the UK and Greece. We also present data from a re-analysis of the UNICEF report (2007) on child poverty in advanced countries. Based on a standard SPSS XVIII principal component analysis of the UNICEF variables, and weighting the five resulting factors according to their contribution in explaining the total variance of the model we arrive at the conclusion that there is no evidence which would suggest that there is a single European social model, to be distinguished from the rest of other Western countries. Not surprisingly, the Scandinavians and North-west Europeans lead the way: Finland; Sweden; Netherlands; Switzerland and Denmark. The most lamentable situation of young people was to be encountered in the Baltic Republics, the USA and Japan. Confronted with the dire fact that neither the European political class, nor the academic community have come up with convincing evidence on the European social model (EMS), we arrive at the final conclusion that the ESM hardly exists.social spending, European Commission, index numbers and aggregation, cross-sectional models, spatial models, economic integration, regional economic activity, international factor movements, international political economy

    On the world market trajectory of 21 major book publishing companies in globalization and European studies in 100+ countries. From “Amsterdam University Press” via “Palgrave” and “Nova Science Publishers” to Transaction Publishers” by international, 19 indicator comparison

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    Ever since the path-breaking empirical studies by Schott (1998) world systems scholars start from the well-established assumption that world science is a single gigantic center-periphery relationship. The strategic and tactical practical conclusions for individual scholars and their agenda in the scientific periphery and the semi-periphery, to which Europe increasingly belongs, are much harder to draw than the general diagnosis. Where can scholars from outside the US attractively publish their manuscripts for the world market? How does the European Union make its point in the global scientific arena in the field of the debates about social policies and globalization? Is there a way, especially for scholars from the new member countries of the European Union, and from the newly formed “Union for the Mediterranean”, to effectively publish their works on the world market? Only three European social affairs ministries (France, Poland, Spain) afford themselves the luxury to publish their own scientific journal, while others must rely on international publishing to make their expertise heard internationally. This article tries to answer tentatively such a difficult and strategic question, and quantitatively compares the performance of Amsterdam University Press (EU); Ashgate (EU); Blackwell (EU); Cambridge UP (EU); Campus (Frankfurt/Ann Arbor) (EU); Cornell UP (USA); Edward Elgar (EU); Houghton/Mifflin (US); IOS Press (EU); Lexington (US); Monthly Review Press (US); Nova Science Publishers (US); Oxford University Press (EU); Palgrave Macmillan (EU); Praeger Publishers (EU); Routledge (EU); Rowman/Littlefield (US); Sage Publications (US); Springer-Verlag (US); St. Martin's Press (US); and Transaction Publishers (US), which in between them control a sizeable share of the social science academic book publishing market in such fields of political science as globalization or European Union studies, with up to nineteen quantitative performance criteria, ranging from market success rates on global markets both in North America as well as mainly in the Asia-Pacific and European region, comparative library presence rates at international organizations libraries, such as the European Union and the United Nations, and the quantitative impact of published titles on combined indices of peer reviewed journals and the international daily and weekly press. In addition, our study evaluates the impact of the companies’ books and journals on the literature, contained in “Google book search” and “Google scholar”, all per total company book and serials output. In terms of their ability to place books on the markets of now 100+ countries well in comparison to total production, the American companies in our sample hold an unparalleled power. The relative market leaders, which get a large percentage of their total book output to more than 50 global libraries each, are: ‱ Lexington (US) ‱ St. Martin's Press (US) ‱ Rowman/Littlefield (US) ‱ Monthly Review Press (US) ‱ Praeger Publishers (US) ‱ Cornell UP (US) ‱ Ashgate (UK) ‱ Transaction Publishers (US) ‱ Edward Elgar (UK) ‱ Nova Science Publishers (US) Our results, based on simple combined ranks and more sophisticated non-parametric and parametric, multivariate SPSS XV factor analytical evaluations of indicator performance are a further sign of the fact that Europe would do well to further learn from the culture of major US Universities.JEL classification: F5 - International Relations and International Political Economy; F50 – General; M3 - Marketing and Advertising; M30 - General
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