Vorträge im Sommersemester 2014, auch als PDF zum Download
New economic coordination has changed the landscape of EU governance (Amtenbrink 2012). The impact of this new governance regime on the EU’s social dimension is topic of political and scholarly debate. Some argue that the EU has lost track of its social aspirations (e.g. Janssen 2013; Watt 2013; Clauwaert and Schömann 2012). Others are more optimistic in their search for a new space for social Europe (e.g. Bekker and Klosse 2013; Vanhercke 2013). This lecture adds to the discussion of the impact of new economic governance on social policies and explores opportunities for and constraints on social Europe.
This paper argues that attempts by the European colonial powers to implement welfare measures in Africa after World War II represented efforts to newly legitimize and to stabilize colonial rule as well as to make colonial territories south of the Sahara more productive. Soon, however, colonial governments and politicians had to realize that their social policies created massive problems, but did not stabilize neither the colonial economies nor the ideological basis of colonial authority. Still, the project of the welfare state exerted considerable attraction on African nationalist elites. After indepedence they designed their new states as welfare states, but were soon confronted with the legacies of a weak and authoritarian colonial state and with very limited economic possibilities, especially after the oil shock 1973/74. Around this time, the new term "urban informal economy" started to be used to capture what didn’t fit inside national labour and welfare regulations. This analytically highly problematic term pointed to the continued - indeed growing - importance of forms of work and welfare that lay outside the forms of labour and welfare legislations which African countries inherited at independence and outside the limits of the imagination of policy-makers who thought they were modernizing Africa.
Although ideological polarization creates problems in terms of governability and even for democratic stability, I argue that it has positive effects in new democracies because it contributes to the formation of party systems that are responsive to voter preferences. This contention is supported by a comparative historical analysis of ten Latin American cases showing that the vast differences in party system responsiveness across the continent are rooted in the historical balance of power between the left and right, which, in turn, leads to a bifurcation of Latin American party systems in the first half of the 20th century. While prolonged periods of ideological conflict occurred in some countries, polarization was aborted in others. No matter whether party cartels were formed by conservative actors, or by revolutionary parties of the left that swept the political landscape, party systems that followed the second route share the lack of responsiveness to voter preferences and a rampant use of clientelism in voter mobilization. An analysis of the quality of representation using data from the 1980s and 1990s demonstrates that how political actors responded to ideological polarization in the first half of the 20th century continued to shape party system responsiveness after the most recent wave of re-democratization.