How do EU states coordinate research and innovation policies? How do governments ensure viable network standards? How do floods affect education in Zambia? Just three of the questions tackled by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance in June 2015. Our most recent publications are detailed below including one book, two working papers, and three journal articles. Click here for the full list.
Socio-Economic Development. This book explores the dynamics of socio-economic development and stagnation in developing countries. Thoroughly updated and revised, this second edition includes new material on the effects of the 2008 financial crisis, the emergence of the BRICS economies, the role of institutions in development and the accelerated growth of economies in Africa and Asia. Taking a comparative approach, the author places contemporary debates within their broader contexts and combines insights and theories from economics, economic history, political science, anthropology and sociology. By Prof. Adam Szirmai.
Cross-border Social Security Coordination, Mobility of Labour and Pension Outcomes. This book chapter is a contribution to the publication The young and the elderly at risk: Individual outcomes and contemporary policy challenges in European societies, which encompasses a selection of empirical studies reflecting on when and why the young and the elderly are at risk in several (mostly Western) European countries. Contributions in the book examine inter alia the educational achievement of youths and poverty risk experienced by the elderly, especially if they are also immigrants and/or women. By Dr. Irina Burlacu and Prof. Cathal O’Donoghue.
Civic, Ethnic, Hybrid and Atomized Identities in Central and Eastern Europe. This journal article uses a four-category typology of identity that considers both in-group and out-group attachments to address hypotheses about competing identities and about factors influencing minorities to adopt one identity type over others. Based on unique data evidence of 12 ethnic minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, this study concludes that the ‘hybrid’ identity, rather than the literature-assumed ‘ethnic’ identity, tops the identification preference of minorities, although there are differences in levels and patterns when controlling for various covariates. By Dr. Victor Cebotari.
Key findings of comparative research on assisted voluntary return and reintegration of migrants. This journal article provides an overview of the key findings from the Comparative Research on Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Project. The results from this study show that motivations and reasons for migration affect reintegration. Individuals who migrate for security reasons as opposed to economic reasons and also rejected asylum-seekers are less likely to be reintegrated. By Prof. Khalid Koser and Dr. Katherine Kuschminder.
Does Shelter Assistance Reduce Poverty in Afghanistan? This article assesses the UNHCR post-return shelter assistance programme in Afghanistan during 2009–11. Adopting a multidimensional approach, the results show that shelter assistance reduces the multidimensional poverty index of benefiting households by three percentage points. Looking at individual indicators of deprivation the study finds that assistance has the biggest effect on dietary diversity, food security, and heating. By PhD fellow Craig Loschmann, Dr. Melissa Siegel et al.
Effective research and innovation (R&I) policy in the EU-28: A causal and configurational analysis of political governance determinants. This working paper investigates the separate influence of inter-ministerial coordination, regulatory impact assessment extended to sustainability checks, parliamentary committee surveillance, media attention and societal consultation in a political governance model for effective R&I policy in the EU-28. The study shows that the societal consultation, policy-informed opposition and sector-informed informal policy coordination are necessary but not sufficient to bring about effectiveness to R&I policy. Their influence on effectiveness of R&I policy depends on the combination with either media attention or regulatory impact assessment (RIA) extended to sustainability checks. By PhD fellow Serdar Turkeli and Prof. René Kemp.
Local innovation and global value chains in developing countries. This working paper is part of a collaborative research effort of UNIDO and UNU‐MERIT, commissioned as a background paper for the UNIDO Industrial Development Report 2016. The authors say that investigations should not only focus on global value chains GVC and the role of lead firms, but should take into account domestic technological capabilities at the firm, industrial cluster/regional and local innovation system-levels. This paper consolidates earlier studies calling for integration between GVC and innovation studies. By Valentina De Marchi, Elisa Giuliani and Roberta Rabellotti.
Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015. The European Commission’s Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015 reveals that the EU’s overall level of innovation has remained stable. However, the crisis has left an impact on the private sector’s innovative activity: the number of innovative firms is in decline, as are SMEs’ innovations, patent applications, exports of high-tech products, venture capital investments and sales of innovative products. While there have been improvements in human resources, business investments in research and development and the quality of science, these are not enough to result in a stronger innovation performance. By Nordine Es-Sadki, Hugo Hollanders and Minna Kanerva.
The never-ending project: understanding e-government project escalation. This dissertation provides an insight into the escalation of commitment in public IT projects, a process in which a project is persisted in spite of results demonstrating that it is not achieving the desired outcome. The dissertation further examines how the escalation of commitment issue can be solved in a political environment. By Dr. Niels Peter Groen.
The Psychosocial Health of Children ‘Left Behind’ by Migrant Kin in Moldova and Georgia. This dissertation examines the relationship between family-member migration and the psychosocial health of children remaining in the origin country. Using survey data collected in Moldova and Georgia, analyses revealed that child-migrant separation does not correspond to universally negative child emotional health outcomes. The results suggest that the potential impacts of migration on child psychosocial health are heterogeneous and shaped by factors such as the gender of the migrant and child. By Dr. Michaella Vanore.
Teacher-based reactivity to provincial large-scale assessment in Canada. Using the 10 provinces of Canada as examples, this study examines if teachers do react to large-scale centralised tests, and in what ways. Results show that teachers are quite reactive to assessment data across all the provinces, although the degree and types of instructional changes differed. More generally accepted instructional changes are correlated to positive attitudes about testing, the sharing of data, division-level supports, perceived pressure, and age. Teaching to the test, which denotes less generally accepted instructional practices, is more common and correlated with the return of more kinds of data, perceived pressure on teachers, and teaching at higher grade levels. By Dr. Derek Copp.
Natural Hazards and Education: The Impact of Floods on Primary School Education in Zambia. This study has been designed to investigate how floods affect primary education in the flood plains in Zambia. Both qualitative phenomenological and quantitative comparative methods were used for the study. Two communities with primary school going children (those affected by floods and those not affected by floods within a 5 years period) were investigated and compared. The study found that children in the flood plains compared to those in the upper land have low net school enrolment, the rate of repeating classes is high, dropout rate is high and performance in national examination is low. This will affect human capital and development in the flood plain environment in the long run. By Dr. Ibrahim Conteh.
The economic and social effects of remittances and return migration in conflict-affected areas: The case of Burundi. This dissertation studies the effects of remittances and return migration on households and communities in Burundi and shows that in a conflict-affected country such as Burundi, which is one of the poorest countries the world, migration does not have the anticipated development-boosting effect that comes forward from the policy and academic literature on migration and development. The economic development impact of remittances, for example, was limited because remittances did not reach the citizens who needed it the most. Similarly, return migration led to structural inequalities between return and non-return households in terms of land ownership and was found to negatively affect the living conditions of non-return households as well. The findings of this research highlight the necessity of a basic level of development before migration can positively affect development. By Dr. Sonja Fransen
Regional policies: convergence, trade and the allocation of public capital. This dissertation presents novel evidence that public internet infrastructure increases the speed of convergence of a regional economy to its steady-state. Regarding trade, the results suggest that contrary to the theoretical assumption of symmetry, empirical research has generally estimated that infrastructure enhances exports more than it does imports. Results also point out to specific trade-related infrastructures and their roles in regional exports. The thesis finds that infrastructure allocation in Turkey has been influenced by the political distances of regions to the central government during the period 1999-2011. By Dr. Mehmet Guney Celbis.
Interoperability governance and standards adoption in government information networks. This dissertation investigates the issue of standardisation and interoperability in ICT-enabled, inter-organisational public-sector networks (“Government Information Networks”). Specifically, it focuses on standards adoption by organisations in such networks. Based on the development of a framework with the essential dimensions of interoperability governance centralisation and network complexity, this thesis provides a number of propositions arguing that higher network complexity requires more centralised interoperability governance. By Dr. Florian Henning.
Staff images: UNU / H.Pijpers
Video: UNU / H.Hudson