Reconstituting social contracts in conflict-affected MENA countries: Whither Iraq and Libya?
This article discusses the prospects for forging new social contracts in highly fragile and conflict affected countries. Building on analytical insights from the political settlements and state fragility literature, conceptualising peacebuilding processes as efforts to forge social contracts enables us to address the roles of governments, social groups, citizens and external stakeholders. We discuss the potential for peacebuilding processes to realise social contracts by assessing societal perceptions of the core public good that citizens expect the state to provide, namely protection. We address two cases where ‘stateness’ was destroyed by foreign intervention and civil war: Iraq (since 2003) and Libya (since 2011). We discuss the troubled recent trajectories of efforts to build peace in Iraq and Libya along the substantive, spatial and temporal dimensions of the social contract. Drawing on interviews, survey results and estimates of civilian casualties, we take a ‘bottom-up’ perspective of their societies’ experiences and expectations regarding protection. We conclude that in both countries the provision of protection by the state and others runs counter to the expectations of significant parts of the population. At the national level, major social groups have been unable to overcome mutual distrust, while continued threats to physical security reduce the prospects that any social contract able to deliver other public goods can ever emerge. Existing political settlements in both countries have rewarded the politicization of ethno-sectarian identity (especially in Iraq) and have benefited economic war lordism (especially in Libya). We conclude that as social contracts at the national level are unlikely to emerge, the consequences of de-facto break ups of both countries must be acknowledged if social contracts at sub-national levels are to have any chance of delivering peace.
Polycrisis as an opportunity for development cooperation? Building a better global architecture for international development cooperation after the COVID-19 pandemic
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the multiple crises it unleashed around the world coincided with the beginning of the period that the world leaders dubbed the “Decade of Action” to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Launched at the beginning of 2020, it aims to instill a sense of urgency, thereby spurring action, unlocking development finance, and harnessing innovative approaches for the attainment of the SDGs and the promise of “leaving no one behind”. A strong call for action was based on the realization that the world was seriously off-track in its progress towards sustainable development. Delivering on the promises of financing and the commitments of partnership is key for progress across the goals.
Monitoring in German bilateral development cooperation: a case study of agricultural, rural development and food security projects
Monitoring and evaluation to increase evidence and thus aid effectiveness remains a challenge in the development community. This analysis of German bilateral development cooperation projects highlights quality challenges in German reporting and recommends adjustments for a more effective M&E system.
Migration and the 2030 Agenda: making everyone count - migrants and refugees in the Sustainable Development Goals
With its guiding principle “leave no one behind”, the 2030 Agenda aims at improving the living conditions of poor and marginalised groups. Migrants and refugees are not systematically considered in this process. In oder to do so, data disaggregated by migratory status is urgently needed.
Organic defaults in online‐shopping: immediate effects but no spillover to similar choices
Changing defaults—the preselection that becomes effective without active choice—is becoming a prominent policy tool, after having been proven to be effective in areas as varied as retirement savings, organ donation and product customization. Yet, little is known about how default effects spill over to subsequent similar behaviors. In an online shopping scenario, we found standard default effects on the share of organically produced products in the overall selection of products. These effects did not spill over to subsequent active shopping choices. This was true for defaults that were hard and easy to change (Exp. 1, N = 90), for immediate and delayed subsequent choices (Exp. 2, N = 106) and for self-selected defaults (Exp. 3, N = 181). These findings suggest that the reach and scalability of default manipulations in policy making may be limited, but also speak against the possibility for negative spillover.
COVID-19: super-accelerator or game-changer for international (development) co-operation?
The outbreak of COVID-19 as a global health emergency and the resulting socio-economic crisis is testing global structures of co-operation. The challenges are giving rise to new forms and expressions of transnational solidarity.
Towards greening trade? Environmental provisions in emerging markets’ preferential trade agreements
This chapter focuses on the linkage between economic and environmental governance by tracking environmental provisions in preferential trade agreements (PTAs). While the USA and the European Union are frequently seen as innovators of ‘green’ content in PTAs, systematic research on the role of emerging markets in promoting this development is scarce. For this reason, we develop an original, detailed data set mapping the environmental content in 48 PTAs signed by the emerging markets China, India, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico. Our findings clearly indicate a trend towards more environmental content in those countries’ PTAs over time. At the same time, the data hint at patterns that suggest that these developments may at least be partly driven by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. The chapter contributes to the literature on the design of PTAs, the linkage between trade and environment, as well as the role of emerging markets in global governance.