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The two sides of institutional innovation

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

The introduction defines political/democratic innovation as the capacity of government to express political will and civil society inputs in several formats. Usually, these inputs are linked to the introduction and/or implementation of public policies, through which civil society and the state interact in order to democratize the state itself. It based on this definition that different experiences of innovation will be analysed.

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Introduction: The theory of institutional innovation – an overview

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

The introduction of the book discusses the state of the art of the theory of institutional innovation and discusses the main theme of the book in the following terms: because there are good reasons to promote innovation but also to stick with a democratic core of norms without which democracy itself may be endangered, the key question is: how can we learn to separate the positive from the negative elements of institutional innovation?

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk and Rolph van der Hoeven

Peter van Bergeijk and Rolph van der Hoeven discuss the design and development of the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) and their strengths and weaknesses. Based on the findings in this edited volume they point out persistent high and/or growing national inequality in different regions in the world. The absence of any concern for inequality in the predecessors of the SDGs, the Millennium Development Goals was a great omission as reducing income inequality is one of the most important challenges countries are facing. Although the SDGs contain a goal to reduce inequality (goal 10) the target related to this goal is wholly insufficient as it relates only to progress of the bottom 40 per cent of the population. There is no sensible indicator to attest the growing importance of the growing cleavage between income of work and income of capital and the income of super rich (the top-1 per cent) which manifest themselves in much more visible form in emerging and in developed countries. The authors argues that concern for income inequality should receive far greater attention in the implementation of the SDGs

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Antonios E. Platsas

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Antonios E. Platsas

Chapter 1: background information and the parameters of the book’s proposed analysis are offered in this chapter. In particular, the chapter defines relevant concepts, proceeds with the analytical strategic parameters for the models and factors, which are to follow, and attempts to familiarise the reader with the book’s overall subject matter.

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Liam Clegg

In this chapter, the central lines of analysis developed in the book as a whole are introduced. The main engagement offered is with literatures on international organisations where the ‘constrained experimentalist’ model of operational change offers an extension to existing studies. In addition, findings over the difficulties of securing progressive outcomes through market-based mechanisms in regulatory states of the global South, and over mismatches between visions of the post-Washington Consensus and recent World Bank practice, are outlined.

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Anthony F. Lang, Jr. and Antje Wiener

This chapter provides an introduction and framework to the volume. It provides a historical overview of constitutional thought and highlights the four principles of constitutionalism: rule of law, separation of powers, constituent power, and rights. It demonstrates the ways in which this history and these principles are relevant for global constitutionalism. It argues that a practice-based approach to global constitutionalism provides space for contestation of the traditional liberal history and principles of constitutional thought, highlighting new ways in which this idea can be understood and assessed.

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Stefano Bianchini

This chapter describes the crisis that affected, in different ways, the Russian, the Ottoman and the Austro-Hungarian Empires at the dawn of the twentieth century, by focusing on the demands for autonomy that characterized the different national groups. Particular importance is ascribed to the multiple dynamics that affected the Baltic and Ukrainian regions within the Tsarist Empire, the role of the small independent states of the Balkans in imposing the Ottoman partition in South East Europe, as well as the strategic inspiration they drew from the Italian and German experience and, finally, the debates on national and institutional reforms within the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the assassination in Sarajevo.

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Stefano Bianchini

The chapter offers to the reader an insightful description of opposing, sometimes overlapping, nationalist projects in Europe. Beginning from the Enlightenment, the narrative focuses first on the main makers of nationalism (ideas of freedom, group homogeneity, collective culture and standardized language, centralization). It then describes some of the most relevant personalities that influenced the debate and the praxis of national and federal strategies around Europe. A special emphasis is given to the effects that Italian and German unifications had on revolutionary aspirations of nationalist movements. Finally the chapter presents the dynamics that led to the transformation of these ideals from political opposition to state ideology and imperialism. Within this framework, the Polish-Lithuanian and the Serbo-Croatian expectations for federal or ethno-national arrangements are analysed as key examples of multiple, opposing, national projects.