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Mary Venner

Donors, public finance and ‘liberal peace’ There is a high level of agreement between most donor organisations on the centrality of public finance management (PFM) for effective government and economic stability, and broad concurrence on the policies and systems that constitute good management of public finances. Although the ‘neo

in Donors, technical assistance and public administration in Kosovo
Author: Mary Venner

The reconstruction of Kosovo after 1999 was one of the largest and most ambitious international interventions in a post conflict country. Kosovo was seen by many international actors as a ‘green fields’ site on which to construct the government institutions and practices they considered necessary for future peace and prosperity. For a while Kosovo was close to being a laboratory for the practice of institution building and capacity development. This book looks beyond the apparently united and generally self congratulatory statements of international organisations and donors to examine what actually happened when they tried to work together in Kosovo to construct a new public administration. It considers the interests and motivations and the strengths and weaknesses of each of the major players and how these affected what they did, how they did it, and how successful they were in achieving their goals. Although in general the international exercise in Kosovo can be seen as a success, the results have been uneven. Some public administration institutions perform well while others face ongoing challenges. The book argues that to a significant extent the current day performance of the Kosovo government can be traced to the steps taken, or sometimes not taken, by various international actors in the early years of the international intervention.

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Mary Venner

responsible, through its civil administration component, for establishing the Kosovo Civil Service and its management procedures, rules and standards. Behind the scenes, however, there was considerable conflict between UNMIK and many of the other international actors. The EU was involved in public administration and public finance through several separate entities, the two most important being UNMIK’s ‘Pillar

in Donors, technical assistance and public administration in Kosovo
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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

Community engagement and lifelong learning
Author: Peter Mayo

In this broad sweep, Mayo explores dominant European discourses of higher education, in the contexts of different globalisations and neoliberalism, and examines its extension to a specific region. It explores alternatives in thinking and practice including those at the grassroots, also providing a situationally grounded project of university–community engagement. Signposts for further directions for higher education lifelong learning, with a social justice purpose, are provided.

The well-being of Europe’s citizens depends less on individual consumption and more on their social consumption of essential goods and services – from water and retail banking to schools and care homes – in what we call the foundational economy. Individual consumption depends on market income, while foundational consumption depends on social infrastructure and delivery systems of networks and branches, which are neither created nor renewed automatically, even as incomes increase. This historically created foundational economy has been wrecked in the last generation by privatisation, outsourcing, franchising and the widespread penetration of opportunistic and predatory business models. The distinctive, primary role of public policy should therefore be to secure the supply of basic services for all citizens (not a quantum of economic growth and jobs). Reconstructing the foundational has to start with a vision of citizenship that identifies foundational entitlements as the conditions for dignified human development, and likewise has to depend on treating the business enterprises central to the foundational economy as juridical persons with claims to entitlements but also with responsibilities and duties. If the aim is citizen well-being and flourishing for the many not the few, then European politics at regional, national and EU level needs to be refocused on foundational consumption and securing universal minimum access and quality. If/when government is unresponsive, the impetus for change has to come from engaging citizens locally and regionally in actions which break with the top down politics of ‘vote for us and we will do this for you’.

Author: Luke de Noronha

Deporting Black Britons provides an ethnographic account of deportation from the UK to Jamaica. It traces the painful stories of four men who were deported after receiving criminal convictions in the UK. For each of the men, all of whom had moved to the UK as children, deportation was lived as exile – from parents, partners, children and friends – and the book offers portraits of survival and hardship in both the UK and Jamaica. Based on over four years of research, Deporting Black Britons describes the human consequences of deportation, while situating deportation stories within the broader context of policy, ideology, law and violence. It examines the relationship between racism, criminalisation and immigration control in contemporary Britain, suggesting new ways of thinking about race, borders and citizenship in these anti-immigrant times. Ultimately, the book argues that these stories of exile and banishment should orient us in the struggle against violent immigration controls, in the UK and elsewhere.

State, market, and the Party in China’s financial reform
Author: Julian Gruin

Over more than thirty years of reform and opening, the Chinese Communist Party has pursued the gradual marketization of China’s economy alongside the preservation of a resiliently authoritarian political system, defying long-standing predictions that ‘transition’ to a market economy would catalyse deeper political transformation. In an era of deepening synergy between authoritarian politics and finance capitalism, Communists constructing capitalism offers a novel and important perspective on this central dilemma of contemporary Chinese development. This book challenges existing state–market paradigms of political economy and reveals the Eurocentric assumptions of liberal scepticism towards Chinese authoritarian resilience. It works with an alternative conceptual vocabulary for analysing the political economy of financial development as both the management and exploitation of socio-economic uncertainty. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork and over sixty interviews with policymakers, bankers, and former party and state officials, the book delves into the role of China’s state-owned banking system since 1989. It shows how political control over capital has been central to China’s experience of capitalist development, enabling both rapid economic growth whilst preserving macroeconomic and political stability. Communists constructing capitalism will be of academic interest to scholars and graduate students in the fields of Chinese studies, social studies of finance, and international and comparative political economy. Beyond academia, it will be essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of Chinese capitalism and its implications for an increasingly central issue in contemporary global politics: the financial foundations of illiberal capitalism.

A comparative case study of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda
Ivica Petrikova and Melita Lazell

democratisation aid programmes during the periods 2002–5, 2006–10 and 2011–15. Overall, investments in ‘public sector policy and administrative management’ and in ‘democratic participation and civil society’ were most popular. The first category includes initiatives aimed at strengthening the countries’ governments – for example, helping with the formulation of poverty reduction strategies or planning health sector reforms – while the second primarily comprises schemes funding civil society organisations. ‘Public finance management’, where DFID advises aid-recipient governments

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century
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Mary Venner

, processes and systems in public finance and public administration. The shortcomings of these methods, which have been identified in the literature on development assistance many times in the past, also affected the performance of donors in Kosovo. In spite of this, in many areas international actors achieved considerable success against the goals they set themselves. The UN itself also had a large role to

in Donors, technical assistance and public administration in Kosovo