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Democracy in the Pacific Islands

Comparable Practices, Contested Meanings

Jack Corbett

Ian Shapiro identifies three traditions of democratic thought: aggregative, deliberative, and minimalist. All three are apparent in the Pacific Islands despite most commentators and donors assuming that the meaning of democracy is fixed. The focus in development studies on institutions and their capacity to deliver pro-poor growth has generated a fourth tradition that revolves around the now pervasive governance concept. Rather than focusing on the general will of a sovereign people, this perspective is predominately concerned with the legitimate use of violence as a precursor to any development-orientated democratic state. Having reviewed the literature on democracy in the Pacific to parse out these four meanings, this article concludes that paying greater attention to this ideational equivocality would extend discussions about the suitability and transferability of this type of regime.

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Introduction

Seeds—Grown, governed, and contested, or the ontic in political anthropology

Birgit Müller

Seeds are simultaneously a meaningful part of the daily life of many people involved in agriculture and instruments for national and international policy making. This thematic section explores the sensorial connections between people and plants, the relationships of power that impact and frame them, and the reflections and contestations that they are a part of. In the midst of Western societies and among scientists and farmers, different ontologies and different perceptions of being and coevolving with others in the world coexist, as we will show by looking at human-seed relationships. Local and global legacies create powerful differences between seeds, while various forms of international governance simultaneously push seeds toward homogenization and agriculture toward industrialization while claiming to preserve diversity. Intellectual property rights over seeds and seed regulations have become powerful tools of multinational seed corporations for appropriating large parts of farmers' incomes and controlling the food chain, while it is the sensorial and emotional connections between humans and plants that provide the drive to resist them.

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After Ujamaa?

Cultures of Governance and the Representation of Power in Tanzania

Maia Green

This article explores some cultural dimensions of governance in Tanzania in the context of transnational efforts to establish a vibrant civil society as part of the democratization agenda. Far from providing alternative modalities of political organization intermediate between the family and the state, the newly established community organizations formed in response to donor initiatives actually replicate social relations and practices associated with government. Governance as a cultural practice in Tanzania enacts the hierarchical relations between lower and higher tiers in models premised on the conceptualization of the village as both object and lowest level of government. Parallels between civil society models of governance and those associated with local governance are explained by identical vertical relations between donors and rural residents, and by shared expectations about the performance of power.

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De la gestión local a la gobernanza global

Actores e interacciones multiniveles en la gestión del agua en la ciudad de México

Joyce Valdovinos

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: The provision of water services has traditionally been considered a responsibility of the state. During the late 1980s, the private sector emerged as a key actor in the provision of public services. Mexico City was no exception to this trend and public authorities awarded service contracts to four private consortia in 1993. Through consideration of this case study, two main questions arise: First, why do public authorities establish partnerships with the private sector? Second, what are the implications of these partnerships for water governance? This article focuses, on the one hand, on the conceptual debate of water as a public and/or private good, while identifying new trends and strategies carried out by private operators. On the other hand, it analyzes the role of the state and its relationships with other actors through a governance model characterized by partnerships and multilevel networks.

Spanish abstract: La provisión del servicio del agua ha sido tradicionalmente considerada como una responsabilidad del Estado. A finales de la década de 1980, el sector privado emerge como un actor clave en el suministro de servicios públicos. La ciudad de México no escapa a esta tendencia y en 1993 las autoridades públicas firman contratos de servicios con cuatro consorcios privados. A través de este estudio de caso, dos preguntas son planteadas: ¿Por qué las autoridades públicas establecen partenariados con el sector privado? ¿Cuáles son las implicaciones de dichos partenariados en la gobernanza del agua? Este artículo aborda por una parte, el debate conceptual del agua como bien público y/o privado, identificando nuevas tendencias y estrategias de los operadores privados. Por otra parte, se analizan el rol y las relaciones del Estado con otros actores a través de un modelo de gobernanza, definido en términos de partenariados y redes multi-niveles.

French abstract: Les services de l'eau ont été traditionnellement considérés comme une responsabilité de l'État. À la fin des années 1980, le secteur privé est apparu comme un acteur clé dans la fourniture de certains services publics. La ville de Mexico n'a pas échappé à cette tendance et en 1993, les autorités publiques ont signé des contrats de services avec quatre consortiums privés. À travers cette étude de cas, nous nous interrogerons sur deux aspects : pourquoi les autorités publiques établissentelles des partenariats avec le secteur privé ? Quelles sont les implications de ces partenariats sur la gouvernance de l'eau ? Cet article s'intéresse, d'une part, au débat conceptuel sur l'eau en tant que bien public et/ou privé, en identifiant les tendances nouvelles et les stratégies menées par les opérateurs privés. D'autre part y sont analysés le rôle de l'État et ses relations avec d'autres acteurs à travers un modèle de gouvernance, défini en termes de partenariats, et des réseaux multi-niveaux.

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Deliberative Safeguards and Global Governance

A Market-based Approach to Address Garrett W. Brown's 'Deliberative Deficit' within the Global Fund

Alejandro Agafonow

Garrett W. Brown has argued that donor voting caucuses produce a deliberative deficit between donor and non-donor members in the Global Fund International Board. Although we agree with this assessment, in our research on low-transaction cost alternatives to cope with consistent deliberative conditions (i.e. low-cost arrangements to bring about the exchange among Board members in a certain way) we have found that deliberation and interest-based preference maximisation are not necessarily mutually exclusive, as long as we manage to stop donor members from behaving like monopolists. To this end, we have to open up the Board from its present state of non-transparency, so that new input can be obtained from new constituents. This will also soften the current principal-agent structure that links members to their donors, easing the transition to market-driven governance rules that provide for the replacement of Board members if they do not fulfil the new constituents' expectations.

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Governance of or through culture?

Cultural policy and the politics of culture in Europe

Banu Karaca

The notion of culture has loomed large in discourses and polemics regarding European integration and immigration in the European framework. While culture, as in fundamental cultural difference, is identified as the source of contemporary political quandaries, its incarnation as intercultural dialogue is conceived as their solution. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in the arts settings of Berlin and Istanbul, this article elucidates how this type of "culture talk" intersects with recent cultural policy formations in the European Union and the national arenas of Germany and Turkey. Much of the political productivity of culture arises from a constant slippage between the different, often contradictory, meanings accorded to the culture-concept. This extension of the "rhetoric of culture" engenders a shift from a governance of culture to one through culture by relaying an array of pressing political concerns from the realm of social and economic policy to that of culture in the sense of artistic expression.

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Regional free movement of people

The case of African Regional Economic Communities

Sonja Nita

English abstract: While the idea of global free movement of people is discussed merely in normative terms, it has become a concrete policy goal in different world regions. The article aims to assess the prospects of regional free movement by discussing its theoretical and practical implications, with a specific focus on African sub-regional organizations. This is achieved by outlining the meaning, rights, and rationale of the free movement of people and by situating the regional level within the overall context of international migration governance. The eight African Regional Economic Communities serve as a practical illustration on how the goal of free movement is translated (or not) into concrete policies.

Spanish abstract: Aunque la idea de la libre circulación mundial de personas se discute sólo en términos normativos, se ha convertido en un objetivo político concreto en diferentes regiones del mundo. Este artículo tiene como objetivo evaluar las posibilidades de libre circulación regional (continental), discutiendo sus implicaciones teóricas y prácticas, con un enfoque específico en las organizaciones subregionales africanas. Esto se logra delineando el significado, los derechos y la razón de ser de la libre circulación de personas, y situando el nivel regional dentro del contexto general de la gobernanza de la migración internacional. Las ocho comunidades económicas regionales de África sirven como un ejemplo práctico de cómo se traduce el objetivo de la libre circulación, o no, en políticas concretas.

French abstract: Bien que l'idée de la libre circulation mondiale des personnes soit essentiellement traitée en termes normatifs, elle est devenue un objectif politique concret dans différentes régions du monde. Cet article vise à évaluer les perspectives de la libre circulation régionale en discutant de ses implications théoriques et pratiques, avec un accent particulier sur les organisations sous régionales africaines. Ceci est réalisé en soulignant la signification, les droits et la justification de la libre circulation des personnes et en situant l'échelle régionale dans le contexte global de la gouvernance de la migration internationale. Les huit communautés économiques régionales africaines constituent un exemple concret de la façon dont l'objectif de la libre circulation se traduit (ou non) par des politiques concrètes.

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Arthur P.J. Mol

This paper aims to understand and illustrate how and to what extent the increasing role and importance of information, informational processes, and information technologies have changed the environmental policies and politics of state institutions. More specifically, how have states tried to find answers to the dilemmas resulting from a growing centrality of informational processes in environmental governance? As such, the paper sets out the contours of what can be labeled informational governance on the environment.

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Alex B. Brillantes and Maricel T. Fernandez

This article discusses how the Gawad Kalinga movement in the Philippines has operationalized good governance among its communities. This movement has not only provided opportunities for collaboration and cooperation between and among the three major governance actors, governments, business, and civil society, but more important, provided a framework for active citizen engagement in the process of improving their quality of life. Citizen participation is central not only in the theory of social quality but also in good governance. The paper argues argues that in order for reforms to be successful and sustainable, institutional reforms and active citizen engagement are necessary. These reforms are key to addressing some basic problems facing nations today, an alarming decline in trust in institutions and corruption. This paper is divided into three parts. The first part discusses good governance approaches and reform of public administration in relation to social quality theory. The second part discusses the tenets of citizenship and civil organization leadership within the context of good governance. The third part focuses on an emerging citizens’ movement in the Philippines—the Gawad Kalinga movement, which highlights the aspects of citizen engagement. The last part contains some concluding remarks drawn from the Gawad Kalinga experience as applied governance reform, and its implications for enhancing social quality.

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Charlotte Prové, Denise Kemper and Salma Loudiyi

Urban agriculture (UA) has turned into a diverse and complex movement. Important challenges will be to set accurate expectations by civil society in relation to UA development, and to find ways to discuss UA in governance and collaboration networks from an aggregate point of view. However, analytical tools that allow comprehensive study of UA initiatives (UAIs) are absent. This article elaborates on a conceptual framework from the COST Action Urban Agriculture Europe (Prové et al. 2015) and evaluates findings that result from applying the framework to four UAIs. We found that, analytically, the framework generates in-depth information on UAIs, and argue that it can be a useful tool in networks that are responsible for collaboration, support, or governance within the UA movement. We also discuss its usability issues and discuss future research.