Recent Submissions

  • Open Society Unresolved: The Contemporary Relevance of a Contested Idea

    Royer, Christof; Matei, Liviu; Department of Public Policy (CEU PressBudapest - Vienna - New York, 2022)
    Is the concept of open society still relevant in the 21st century? Do the current social, moral, and political realities call for a drastic revision of this concept? Here fifteen essays address real-world contemporary challenges to open society from a variety of perspectives. What unites the individual authors and chapters is an interest in open society’s continuing usefulness and relevance to address current problems. And what distinguishes them is a rich variety of geographical and cultural backgrounds, and a wide range of academic disciplines and traditions. While focusing on probing the contemporary relevance of the concept, several chapters approach it historically. The book features a comprehensive introduction to the history and current ‘uses’ of the theory of open society. The authors link the concept to contemporary themes including education, Artificial Intelligence, cognitive science, African cosmology, colonialism, and feminism. The diversity of viewpoints in the analysis reflects a commitment to plurality that is at the heart of this book and of the idea of open society itself.
  • Voters and the IMF: Experimental Evidence From European Crisis Countries

    Hübscher, Evelyne; Sattler, Thomas; Wagner, Markus; Department of Public Policy (SAGE Publications Inc, 2023)
    IMF interventions are often associated with rising political discontent in countries where the Fund intervenes. Studies examining this relationship, however, face the challenge of disentangling the impact of the IMF from the impact of the crisis that triggered the intervention. To address this challenge, we conduct survey experiments in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain and directly assess how voters evaluate the costs and benefits of an IMF intervention. We find that voters believe that the crisis will more likely be solved when the IMF intervenes, but they are also critical of the corresponding loss of national sovereignty. Because the former consideration, on average, dominates their assessment, IMF interventions increase the support of voters for unpopular economic policies. Nonetheless, cross-country differences suggest that continued public support for intervention hinges on the IMF’s ability to deliver on its promise to help resolve the crisis.
  • Backsliding in area of constitutional safeguards and independent institutions, corruption control, and general equality and minorities

    Bátory, Ágnes; Sitter, Nick; Krizsán, Andrea; Zentai, Violetta; Department of Public Policy (Center for Policy Studies, Central European University (CEU CPS), 2017)
  • Literature and Report Review: Work Package 2 - Deliverable 2.1

    Bátory, Ágnes; Svensson, Sara; Department of Public Policy (Center for Policy Studies, Central European University (CEU CPS)Budapest, 2017)
    This report constitutes the first deliverable of the project TROPICO (Transforming into Open, Innovative and Collaborative Governments), a project that between June 2017 and May 2021 comparatively examines how public administrations are transformed to enhance collaboration in policy design and service delivery, and advance the participation of public, private and societal actors. TROPICO investigates collaborative governance across five different European administrative traditions represented by ten European Union member states: Nordic (Norway, Denmark), Central and Eastern European (Estonia, Hungary), Continental (Netherlands, Germany), Napoleonic (France, Spain) and mixed (Belgium). This report is produced within Work Package (WP) 2, which is focused on the institutional conditions shaping collaboration in and by governments within the context of reform trajectories. It runs in parallel with WP3, which researches the transformations of individual drivers and barriers of collaboration. It precedes later work packages that will carry out empirical research on policy design and public service delivery within the context of internal and external collaboration (WP4 – WP7), and work packages that will look into the effects of collaboration on legitimacy, accountability and government efficiency (WP8 – WP9). This report reviews both scholarly and grey literature, spanning several disciplines and consisting of several inter-related strands, on collaborative governance. Based on a quantitative text analysis of over 700 publications, it provides a systematic review of how the concept is interpreted in the academic literature, as well as a qualitative review drawing on a wide range of sources. We find that the term ‘collaborative governance’ is used to describe practices that differ in terms of five key dimensions: Participation (inside and/or outside government); agency (who drives these processes); inclusiveness (organizational and/or citizen participation); scope (time frame and stage of policy cycle); and normative assumptions (positive or neutral). Furthermore, the report derives from the literature a list of institutional factors that may facilitate or obstruct collaboration with some tentative propositions about the causal mechanisms behind these variables. Finally, the report confirms a gap in the scholarly and practitioner literature with respect to the nature and analysis of relevant rules and legal frameworks that structure collaborative practices (‘codes of collaboration’).
  • The fuzzy concept of collaborative governance: A systematic review of the state of the art

    Bátory, Ágnes; Svensson, Sara; Department of Public Policy (2019)
    This article contributes to the consolidation and synthesis of scholarship on collaborative governance by expanding our knowledge of how the term is used in the academic literature and policy documents in a range of European countries. It adds value to the existing reviews of the field by conducting a systematic literature review on a corpus of over 700 article abstracts and a traditional literature review identifying five key analytical dimensions. The article also provides an exploratory analysis of grey literature hitherto outside the purview of researchers and considers the linguistic and cultural connotations that alter the meaning of the term when translated into new contexts in ten EU/EFTA countries. Findings indicate heterogeneity and fuzziness in the way the concept is used. The article argues that explicit positions with respect to five main analytical dimensions and taking into account the national connotations that the term carries across political systems would inject more clarity into the academic discourse. This, in turn, will help policymakers to make informed use of the concept, especially in multi-national policy-making arenas.
  • (e-)Participation and propaganda: The mix of old and new technology in Hungarian national consultations

    Bátory, Ágnes; Molnár, András; Svenson, Sara; Randma-Liiv, Tiina; Lember, Veiko; Department of Public Policy (Edward ElgarCheltenham, 2022)
    This chapter provides a case study of the use of online platforms for national consultations that target all citizens in Hungary. The Hungarian government, since 2010 led by the national-conservative populist party Fidesz, has carried out what is the most extensive series of consultations in contemporary Europe if measured by the share of citizens involved. The consultations are dominantly conducted by questionnaires that are printed and mailed by the postal service to all citizens, but recent consultations have also offered an online platform. Drawing on previous research on what happens when populist actors employ and institutionalize participatory methods, the chapter extends the inquiry to include the use of an electronic platform. Findings of this work shows that the online component has so far not led to new dynamics, and to the limited extent that it had any effect, it has largely been negative in terms of procedural guarantees. Due to the weakness of technology to prevent abuse, the online version of the consultation eroded rather than enhanced the credibility of the consultation process. The case study serves as a cautionary tale to those believing that e-participation practices ‘by default’ lead to superior normative and/or policy outcomes.
  • Election Briefing No 51: Europe and the Hungarian Parliamentary Election of April 2010

    Bátory, Ágnes; Sitter, Nick; Department of Public Policy (Sussex European InstituteSussex, 2010)
  • Election Briefing No 28: Europe and the Hungarian Elections of April 2006

    Bátory, Ágnes; Sitter, Nick; Department of Public Policy (Sussex European InstituteSussex, 2006)
  • Hungary: Creeping Authoritarianism in the Name of Pandemic Response

    Bátory, Ágnes; Ringe, Nils; Rennó, Lucio; Department of Public Policy (RoutledgeAbingdon, 2022)
    This chapter considers response to the Coronavirus pandemic in Hungary, governed since 2010 by the EU’s arguably most successful populist party, Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz. Governmental responsibility for containing the virus forced the party to adopt, by and large, the “standard” policy measures, including lockdowns, social distancing, and mask-wearing, and to roll out and propagate a broad vaccination program. At the same time, the party used the opportunity offered by the pandemic for further extending the executive’s powers and limiting civil rights and liberties. Fidesz’ handling of the crisis polarized the Hungarian public: highly criticized by the opposition parties’ supporters, its own camp continued to rally to Orbán’s call, despite the extremely high death toll imposed on the country by the inadequacy of the control measures.
  • A preliminary engagement with the spatiality of power in cyberwar

    Ashraf, Cameran (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023)
    The growing prevalence of cyberwar highlights rapidly shifting conceptions of geopolitical space in global politics. However, critical geographical engagement with the topic remains limited, leaving the geopolitical spaces of cyberwar critically unexamined. To facilitate greater geographical engagement with cyberwar, this paper proposes a spatiality of power model to examine how political space and power might manifest in cyberwar. The model proposes four ways in which political space and power manifest offline and how the model can be applied towards cyberwar. The utility of the model is then applied as a framework for examining three well-known cyberwar case studies: the Estonia–Russia 2007 cyberwar, the Georgia–Russia cyber and kinetic war in 2008, and the U.S.-Iran cyberwar from 2010 to 2013 with a focus on the Stuxnet malware.
  • University Autonomy Decline: Causes, Responses, and Implications for Academic Freedom

    Roberts Lyer, Kirsten; Saliba, Ilyas; Spannagel, Janika (Routledge, 2022)
    This book provides empirically grounded insights into the causes, trajectories, and effects of a severe decline in university autonomy and the relationship to other dimensions of academic freedom by comparing in-depth country studies and evidence from a new global timeseries dataset. Drawing attention to ongoing discussions on standards for monitoring and assessment of academic freedom at regional and international organizations, this book identifies a need for clearer standards on academic freedom and a human rights-based definition of university autonomy. Further, the book calls for accompanying international oversight and the inclusion of criteria related to academic freedom in international university rankings. Five expert-authored case studies on academic freedom from diverse nations (Bangladesh, Mozambique, India, Poland, and Turkey) are included in the volume. Drawing on both qualitative and quantitative evidence, the book offers a unique and timely contribution to the field and will be of great interest to scholars, researchers, and students in the fields of higher education, human rights, political science and public policy.
  • Change at the Top: The Necessity of Transitional Leadership Provisions in the Laws of Independent State-Based Institutions

    Roberts Lyer, Kirsten (Oxford University Press, 2023)
    The leadership of independent state-based bodies is critical to their independence and proper functioning. Where leadership ends, either within or outside of the term of office, legislation must ensure that the institution can continue to function. Transitional leadership provisions provide for the continuation of the powers of office in the event of the absence of the mandate holder. Through a textual analysis of the legislation of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and ombudspersons from 85 jurisdictions, this article identifies a lack of provision for transitional arrangements in enabling laws. It also discusses the problematic aspects of these legislative arrangements where they are present. It identifies the core requirements to ensure there is no leadership gap for an institution. The findings of the article are relevant for a broad range of state-based institutions including anti-corruption and data protection commissions, equality bodies and police oversight bodies, because all state mandated institutions risk their ability to function being undermined where legislation fails to account for a gap in leadership or does not include sufficient protections, such as immunity, for transitional office holders. This article calls for more robust focus on comprehensive transitional provisions in international standards on NHRIs and ombudspersons, and for the inclusion of such transitional provisions in the enabling laws of all legislatively mandated independent state-based institutions.
  • Is Populism Bad for Business? Assessing the Reputational Effect of Populist Incumbents

    Sousa, Luís; Fernandes, Daniel; Weiler, Florian; Department of Public Policy (Wiley, 2021)
    This article seeks to assess whether populist incumbents affect their country’s perceived political stability and business climate. Existing evidence contends that populist governments in European democracies produce more moderate policy outcomes than their agendas would suggest. However, populist parties are still regarded as disruptive, as they are perceived to not conforming to the politics of negotiation and compromise that are central to liberal democracies. Therefore, their presence in government may generate political uncertainty and negatively affect the business climate. Drawing on a sample of 26 European democracies between 1996 and 2016, we find that populist incumbency initially generates market uncertainty, but after about two years in office, the negative effect on the business climate vanishes.
  • Parliaments as Human Rights Actors: The Potential for International Principles on Parliamentary Human Rights Committees

    Roberts Lyer, Kirsten; Department of Public Policy (Taylor & Francis, 2019)
    Parliaments have long been overlooked as national human rights actors. Yet given their powers to oversee the executive, and functions that can ensure laws, policy and practice are in compliance with the state's international human rights commitments, they have significant potential in supporting the international human rights system and improving the implementation of international standards at the domestic level. Building on previous UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly resolutions encouraging human rights engagement by parliaments, in June 2018 the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published a set of draft principles aimed at strengthening the interaction of parliaments with the national and international systems, and placing them as an active part of the national human rights system through the establishment of dedicated parliamentary human rights committees. In the context of these ongoing efforts, this article considers the potential for the new (soft) standards for parliamentary human rights mechanisms, critically assessing the UN initiative. It discusses the challenges inherent in formal parliamentary engagement on human rights through committees, particularly at the international level, argues for necessary safeguards, and makes proposals for further research and institutional initiatives to solidify parliaments' role as effective national human rights actors.
  • The Radical Milieu and Radical Influencers of Bosnian Foreign Fighters

    Metodieva, Asya; Department of Public Policy (Taylor & Francis, 2021)
    This research note looks at the radical influencers of Bosnian foreign fighters. This group is important, as the Balkan region has been seen as a spot of jihadist activism and recruitment for the IS and Al-Nusra Front. Previous research on foreign fighters emphasized that a small number of individuals (religious leaders, former combatants, and others) at the local level play a significant role in this recruitment. The influence of such figures results in hotspots of radical activism, which are called “power centers” here. This research note argues that such dynamics are likely to be even more evident in postwar societies due to state weaknesses, which create more power for social actors and inhibit counterterrorism. The paper also analyses the role of leader-led radical “institutions” that have appeared after the Bosnian War. By doing so, it stresses the significance of local radical influencers in the recruitment of Bosnian foreign fighters. The research note shows that radical influencers in postwar radical milieus manage to “institutionalize” their authority by filling the void left by domestic war(s) with life guidance and religious values. The paper provides insights into the social relations, authority and decision-making connected with foreign fighter departures to Syria and Iraq (2012-2016).
  • The European Union in disequilibrium: new intergovernmentalism, postfunctionalism and integration theory in the post-Maastricht period

    Hodson, Dermot; Puetter, Uwe; Department of Public Policy (Taylor & Francis, 2019)
    The crises that weigh heavily on the European Union (EU) in the 2010s have underlined the continued importance of integration theory, albeit in ways that go beyond classic debates. Postfunctionalism, in particular, has shown how European integration and its problems stand on shifting political cleavages. And yet, postfunctionalist claims that such changes would create a constraining dissensus in the EU rests uneasily with the intensification of European integration since the Maastricht Treaty was signed. This article offers a new intergovernmentalist explanation of this puzzle, which shows how mainstream governing parties have circumvented rather than being constrained by Eurosceptic challenger parties and challenger governments. The result, it contends, is not a constraining but a destructive dissensus that adds to the EU’s political disequilibrium. Understanding the persistence of this disequilibrium and its potential to unwind disruptively is a key challenge for contemporary integration theory.
  • The extra-legal governance of corruption: Tracing the organization of corruption in public procurement

    Fazekas, Mihály; Sberna, Salvatore; Vannucci, Alberto; Department of Public Policy (Wiley, 2022)
    This article traces the organization of corruption in public procurement, by theoretically and empirically assessing the contribution of extra-legal governance organizations (EGO) to supporting it. Theoretically, we explore the governance role played by organized criminal groups in corruption networks, facilitating corrupt transactions by lowering search costs, bargaining costs, and enforcement cots. Empirically, the analysis exploits a rare empirical setup of proven cases of both EGO presence and absence in contract awards by Italian municipalities. We use traditional regression and supervised machine-learning methods for identifying and validating proxy indicators for EGO presence in public procurement such as single bidding or municipal spending concentration. Internal validity of our models is very high, 85% of unseen contracts are correctly classified. External validity is moderate, our predicted EGO presence score correlates with established indicators of organized criminality across the whole of Italy and Europe with a linear correlation coefficient of about 0.4.
  • Measuring regional quality of government: The public spending quality index based on government contracting data

    Fazekas, Mihály; Czibik, Ágnes; Department of Public Policy (Taylor & Francis, 2021)
    Government contracting is crucial for defining the quality of government and public services because it amounts to about 29% of government spending. However, regional quality of government indicators, especially for public spending, are largely missing. We assess the quality of public spending by transparency, competition, efficiency and corruption using a novel database of 4 million contracts from the EU-28 between 2006 and 2015. We find that public spending quality is associated with gross domestic product (GDP)/capita, the European quality of government index (EQI) and public sector meritocracy. We confirm large within-country regional variations, but also find considerable change over time: the steady deterioration of performance in old European Union member states.
  • Drain on your health: Sanitation externalities from dirty drains in India

    Dayal, Vikram; Murugesan, Anand; Rahman, Tauhidur; Department of Public Policy (Wiley, 2022)
    We highlight an overlooked channel of disease transmission in developing countries: dirty drains. We make the case that sanitation efforts should move to improve the condition of drains to build on increased toilet provision since they are a key transmission channel for waterborne diseases. We develop an economic model of sanitation externalities that incorporates the role of drains and then empirically examine the relationship between the sanitary quality of neighborhood drains and household ill-health incidence using a primary survey of 1,530 households from rural Uttarakhand, India. We find a strong and positive association between household ill-health incidence and dirty neighborhood drains, controlling for household toilet usage, community-level toilet availability, and an array of other household attributes. We employ a variety of robustness checks to validate our findings. Our findings suggest that bringing the policy focus to overall sanitation infrastructure will have substantial health returns.
  • Air pollution trade-offs in developing countries: an empirical model of health effects in Goa, India

    Das, Sanghamitra; Dayal, Vikram; Murugesan, Anand; Rajarathnam, Uma; Department of Public Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2022)
    Developing countries experience both household air pollution resulting from the use of biomass fuels for cooking and industrial air pollution. We conceptualise and estimate simultaneous exposure to both outdoor and household air pollution by adapting the Total Exposure Assessment model from environmental health sciences. To study the relationship between total exposure and health, we collected comprehensive data from a region (Goa) in India that had extensive mining activity. Our data allowed us to apportion individuals' exposure to pollution in micro-environments: indoor, outdoor, kitchen, and at work. We find that higher cumulative exposure to air pollution is positively associated with both self-reported and clinically- diagnosed respiratory health issues. Households in regions with higher economic (mining) activity had higher incomes and had switched to cleaner cooking fuels. In other words, household air pollution due to higher biomass use had been substituted away for outdoor air pollution in regions with economic activity.

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