Mark Huberty, Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University The development of the high-technology startup sector in Germany is critical for the adjustment of the German economy to growing international competition in traditional industrial sectors. The article explores whether changes to the German venture capital financing sector in the period 1995-2005 indicate an improved development path for high-technology startup firms. Based on the volumes and structure of venture capital investments during this period, I conclude that the venture capital sector has undergone substantial change in favor of financing and supporting high-technology startup firms. However, small firm behavior suggests that even with a changed venture capital sector, the overall regulatory structure of the German economy will result in lower rates of firm success than otherwise would be expected from a resurgent venture capital market. The policy implication is that, without additional regulatory reform favoring small, high-technology enterprises, the transformation of German industry will continue to be constrained.
Jesús Mirás and Alberte Martínez
Some years ago, Javier Vidal took stock of the historiography on transport in Spain, noting its main achievements and shortcomings. Here we continue by analyzing the Spanish historiography of this subject published since then, that is, from 2010 to 2012—a productive if brief period in this subfield. Researchers of the Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles have been leaders in the field, through the publication of monographs, the journal Transportes, Servicios y Telecomunicaciones (TsT), and conferences. We hope that the present economic reform policies do not hinder its long and fruitful career.
Konstantin B. Klokov
In the 1990s, dramatic socio-economic changes caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union greatly impacted reindeer husbandry across Russia. The overall decline of reindeer population at the federal level can be directly linked to economic reforms, which affected all branches of the economy. However, different local herding communities adopted different strategies, which resulted in various and even contradictory trends of reindeer numbers at the regional level. This article analyzes this diversity using statistics from the federal, regional, and local levels, and interviews with herders in different northern regions.
Kang Hu and Raymond K. H. Chan
Promoting civic engagement could be a way of strengthening the social solidarity of China's urban population. The drastic socio-economic changes resulting from recent economic reform are likely to have a deleterious effect on social solidarity. Based on a survey conducted in 2010 in the Southern China city of Xiamen, this paper examines a specific form of civic engagement - citizen cooperation - to resolve community problems, and assesses its relationship with social capital. The study reveals that discrepancies in the level of civic engagement exist among urban residents and that inequality of social capital plays a significant role in these discrepancies. The findings suggest that such gaps could be addressed by increasing social capital, especially by expanding residents' personal community networks.
Włodzimierz Brus and the Limits to Classical Marxist Political Economy
In 1956 communists North of the Limpopo discovered, to their horror, that ‘he who had been the leader of progressive humanity, the inspiration of the world, the father of the Soviet people, the master of science and learning, the supreme military genius, and altogether the greatest genius in history was in reality a paranoiac torturer, a mass murderer, and a military ignoramus who had brought the Soviet state to the verge of disaster’ (Kol˜akowski 1978:450). The decade which followed was to witness an important although inconclusive challenge to the orthodoxy and authority of the once omniscient Soviet Union; a development characterised by increasingly heterogenous relations within Comecon, and by a series of bold but ultimately unsuccessful attempts at economic reform (Swain & Swain 1993:127).
Nguyen Van Suu
Đô'i Mó'i, the name given to the economic reforms initiated in 1986 in Vietnam, has renewed the party-state's ambitious scheme of industrialization and has intensified the process of urbanization in Vietnam. A large area of land has been converted for these purposes, with various effects on both the state and society. This article sheds light on how land conversion has resulted in farmers' resistance and in what way and to what extent it has transformed their livelihoods in the transitional context of contemporary Vietnam. The article argues that agricultural land use rights remain an important asset for Vietnamese farmers, containing great value and meaning for them besides forming a means of prod
Indigenous Peoples, Neo-liberal Regimes, and Varieties of Civil Society in Latin America
Edward F. Fischer
Emerging from the convergence of neo-liberal reforms, democratic openings, and an increase of interest in indigenous issues among international organizations, the growth of civil society in recent years has dramatically altered the political-economic landscape of Latin America. For a number of Latin American indigenous causes, civil society's surge in importance has been empowering, allowing access to funds, national and international attention, and in some cases increases in de facto and de jure autonomy. At the same time, the rise in the importance of civil society goes hand in hand with the rise of neo-liberal political and economic reforms that threaten the material bases of indigenous culture and expose populations to the vagaries of private funding. In this way, civil society also serves as an arena for neo-liberal forms of governmentality.
Race and the Neo-liberal State
Since the 1990s, many countries have jettisoned a focus on economic development in favor of promoting markets and market efficiency. Much has been written on the influence of these neo-liberal economic policies and the linked idea of globalization. Less noticed is that this shift from a developmentalist ideology to neo-liberal reform has often been paired with an ideology that casts the state as neutral with respect to race, ethnicity, and even nationality. Indeed, while the heyday of wholesale adoption of neo-liberal economic policies may be receding, the neo-liberal state appears to be a more enduring feature. There is a need to examine more closely the neo-liberal ideology that pairs economic reforms with a neutral state, and a need to understand how this ideology is involved in the creation of racialized identities and racist practices.
Changing Migration Patterns in the Russian North
This article examines changes in the migration system in the Russian North over the two decades since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the beginning of economic reforms using unpublished data from the Federal State Statistics Service of Russia. This is done by computing several measures of migration for selected northern regions: 1) measures of migration efficiency to determine the extent to which migration in the northern regions is redistributing the population; 2) migration transition probabilities to measure changes in the origins and destinations of migrants in the Russian North; and 3) the average distance of moves to determine the effects that increased costs of transportation have on migration. The regions examined in this article include Khanty-Mansi and Iamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Magadan Oblast', and Murmansk Oblast'. The findings show that as the market has taken hold, regions of economic growth are becoming primary migration destinations for persons migrating both to and from the North.
The unprecedented government majority that resulted from the 2001
election and the radical promises of the prime minister candidate Silvio
Berlusconi had suggested that epochal change could follow the
alternation of government from left to right. Major constitutional and
socio-economic reform had been promised that would create a new,
successful, and dynamic country of which Italians could be proud.
More specifically, the public had been led to believe that the government
would enact strong federal reform while reinforcing the executive,
perhaps especially the prime minister, and introducing a new era
of markedly liberal economic policies. Thus, tax cuts and the promotion
of economic growth would create jobs and guarantee continuing
high standards of living. The government’s “honeymoon period,” however,
was short-lived. By the end of the year, trust in the government
had fallen to just below 50 percent, where it stabilized throughout
2002. Doubts about the government’s ability to deliver reflected its
poor performance on economic and social matters, resulting from both
the international economic downturn and its own mismanagement of
the domestic agenda, most notably industrial relations. By the autumn
of 2003, the Bank of Italy was drawing attention to a two-year period
of domestic stagnation and a decade-long investment slump.