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Mandatory Pension System and Redistribution: The Comparative Analysis of Institutions in Baltic States

Abstract

Mandatory pension systems occupy a central role in the system of social security because of the share of social expenditure in national economies. One of the goals of pension system is to redistribute incomes among individuals. However, it is not clear how the intentions to redistribute incomes coincide with the outcomes. In this paper, we will study the difference between the intentions as they are articulated within institutions, with the outcomes that are generated by them. We use the method of comparative institutional analysis in order to find out the differences. Our comparative institutional analysis is based on the grammar of institutions that is proposed by Crawford and Ostrom. Also, in order to understand the differences, we will compare the institutions in relatively similar cases – the Baltic States. The results show that there is a gap between the intentions and outcomes to redistribute incomes among individuals. The findings from the comparative institutional analysis suggest that the most redistributive old age pension system is in Estonia. However, according to the factual information from Eurostat, the greatest distributive effect is produced by the mandatory pension system of Lithuania.

Open access
Parameters for the Assessment of the Impact of Internationalisation Policy on Quality in Higher Education and its Influence on the Development of Society: The Lithuanian Case

Abstract

The article discusses the envisaged outcomes of internationalisation policy of higher education in the context of the European Higher Education Area, and the effect of internationalisation policy on quality in higher education. In Lithuania, internationalisation of higher education is supported by large amounts of public finance, in the hope that internationalisation will provide added value to the quality of higher education. However, there are no tools for collecting evidence of whether that investment is properly used. The research question of the study is how the internationalisation policy impact on quality in higher education and its influence on wider society may be measured in a particular national context. The article presents exploratory research findings based on an extensive literature review and views of policymakers, higher education administrators and academics evaluated as a set of indicators and criteria to be used in assessing the impact of internationalisation policy on quality in higher education and its influence on wider society.

Open access
Shortfall of Strategic Governance and Strategic Management in the Czech Republic

Abstract

The article analyses the problems of strategic governance and strategic management of the Czechoslovak Government, as well as the Government of the Czech Republic in the years 1989-2016. It seeks the causes and factors that have caused the low levels of strategic governance and strategic management at the level of the ministries of the Czech Republic. It examines the problem from genetic and historical perspective, and from the organizational and human capacity to exercise strategic governance. The study is based on two pieces of empirical research within the ministries of the Czech Republic. It identifies the main cause of failure of strategic governance and strategic management at the level of the central government of the Czech Republic. These include, in particular, the persistent distrust of the ideas of strategic governance and strategic management held by the right-wing governments and the generally low capacity of governments of the Czech Republic to engage in strategic governance. The organizational structure of the central state administration lacks the strategic units that generate ideas for supporting strategic governance. The empirical research of the ministries of the Czech Republic also revealed that policy workers in Czech ministries dedicate a large proportion of their work time to operational and administrative activities at the expense of analytical and strategic activities. The changes require implementation of reforms within the public administration, which (among other things) will eliminate the existing causes and inhibiting factors regarding the lack of strategic governance in the Czech Republic.

Open access
The Development of Mental Health Policies in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic since 1989

Abstract

The article aims to describe the key events in the development of mental health care policies after 1990 in the two countries and identify the main reasons for stagnation or incremental changes to the institutional setting in the field of mental health care. The process of mental health care reform is explained using the framework of historical institutionalism. The explanation shows that the lack of political interest in combination with the tradition of institutional care resulted in poor availability of psychiatric care, outdated network of inpatient facilities and critical lack of community care facilities in both countries. Even though Slovak Republic adopted national programme at the governmental level, it still struggles with its implementation. The ongoing reform attempt in the Czech Republic may bring some change, thanks to a new approach towards strategic governance of the mental health care system and the mechanism of layering that the promoters of the reform use.

Open access
Evaluation of the Impact of the EU Structural Support on the Competitiveness of Lithuanian Economics

Abstract

The topic of competitiveness is becoming increasingly significant in the context of modern economics. Considering intensive processes of globalisation alongside with competitive pressure amongst the countries, competitiveness has become a necessary condition for successful economic and social development of any country. Only by creating, enforcing and maintaining international competitiveness of the country, rapid economic growth during the long term is achievable. Amongst the other urgent issues, the European Union (further the EU) public policies are also focused on competitiveness. After the failure to implement the Lisbon strategy and become “the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy”, the EU declared its new competitiveness aims in the long-term strategy Europe 2020. Promotion of competitiveness is one of the fundamental aims and priority directions of the EU structural policy. The EU structural support is engaged as one of the public policy measures to promote the competitiveness of the member-states. In this context, it is purposeful to research whether the structural support is used efficiently and whether it actually contributes to the implementation of the defined aims. Under the order of various Lithuanian institutions, numerous studies on the efficiency of the EU structural support have been carried out. Nevertheless, by analysing the impact of the EU structural support, insufficient attention has been paid to the aspect of competitiveness. Considering the fact that Lithuania has entered the third programming period 2014-2020, evaluation of the EU structural investment in the country has become even more topical - for successful implementation of the aims raised for this new period, the analysis of the previous results is relevant. This determined formulation of the research problem: what impact does the EU structural support have on the competitiveness of Lithuanian economics? The empirical research has revealed that the EU structural support has a positive impact on Lithuanian gross domestic product growth, promotes foreign direct investment, research and development expenditure and increases the number of operating entities during 2004-2014 period.

Open access
For the Game, for the Loyal Partisans: Distribution of Sport Grants in Slovakia

Abstract

Distribution of resources is at the core of politics. Although this activity is primarily economic in nature, the existing research shows that political representatives often use the allocation of public money to reward their allies at the expense of their rivals. This paper analyses a 2015 governmental programme of local sport grants in Slovakia that aimed to build sport facilities for children and young people. In order to avoid any political bias, the programme was established as a neutral mechanism with an anonymous evaluation of grant requests. The results of analysis, however, provide substantial evidence that the subsidies were given primarily to towns with closer political ties to the government while municipalities led by mayors from the opposition were nearly fully ignored. In addition, the presented social and economic aims of the funding programme were not effectively pursued. The paper thus represents a valuable contribution to the discussion of distributive politics, in general, as it shows that, despite the respective legal framework, the allocation of resources may still end up as a process fuelled by partisan interests.

Open access
What Can We Learn About Regulatory Agencies and Regulated Parties from the Empirical Study of Judicial Review of Regulatory Agencies’ Decisions? The Case of Croatia

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine regulatory agencies and regulated parties in an empirical study of administrative disputes initiated against the decisions of regulatory agencies in Croatia. We first aim to provide an overview of the status and trend estimates regarding these disputes; second, to answer the question how well does the system work from the perspectives of both the plaintiffs and the regulatory agencies; third, to identify the problem areas and to compare these with problem areas identified by the authors studying the broader area of administrative judiciary in Croatia, and finally to compare efficiency level of regulatory agencies to other public authorities in confirming the legality of their decisions and actions. Data on all administrative disputes against 12 Croatian regulatory agencies’ decisions in the 17-year period between 1995 and 2011 are used to identify the main characteristics and trends relating to these disputes. Data for 2012 to 2013 was also examined to identify initial changes and emerging trends in the new administrative judiciary system resulting from fundamental legal reform as part of Croatia’s process of accession to the European Union in 2013. The results show these administrative disputes to be often costly and timely with modest outcome for the plaintiff and impressive success rate for the most of regulatory agencies.

Open access
From Knowledge Utilization to Building Knowledge Networks
Open access
Institutionalization of Foreign Policy Think Tanks in Italy and in the UK: An Explanatory Framework

Abstract

This article explores the phenomenon of foreign policy think tanks in Europe in a comparative perspective and offers a framework of analysis for this topic. Assuming that think tanks were largely imported from the US after World Wars I and II, the article argues that European think tanks have been influenced by the different national political contexts in which they have undergone a process of institutionalization. First, the article hypothesizes that such contexts have contributed to determining different incentives for cooperation between think tanks and national policymakers. Such cooperation is based on the willingness of policymakers to turn to think tanks for expertise, advice or validation of policy decisions. Secondly, different political contexts are expected to influence the strategies of action that think tanks have developed towards policymakers and their audience. In this respect, the article identifies three strategies: the generalist, the advocate and the lobbyist. Empirically, the article is based on a survey of eleven organizations conducted in two countries, Italy and the United Kingdom, in 2013-14. Given that very few data are available on this type of organization, their activities, funding, policy audience and goals are investigated. These indicators are used to investigate the main commonalities and differences between the two cases and to compare them with the hypotheses. The results first show that there is comparatively more funding available for think tanks in the UK system than in the Italian one. Secondly, there is apparently more willingness from policymakers to turn to think tanks for expertise in the former case, considering that the UK think tanks hold a higher number of closed-door events and parliamentary hearings. On the contrary, where policymakers tend, instead, to more scarcely rely on external expertise - as it seems more evident in the Italian case - the core audience of think tanks tends to shift to other, more accessible targets (the public opinion, the academia or even businesses). The case study makes it more evident how advocacy becomes a far less important activity for an Italian think tank than a UK one.

Open access
Measuring the Use of Knowledge in Policy Development

Abstract

Public hearings are frequently used on all levels of government to systematically collect and analyze information in the early stages of legislative policymaking. The methods currently employed measure knowledge utilization in this context by means of citation analysis of edited articles and/or reports that summarize the information shared at these meetings. By combining citation analysis and social network analysis, this article develops a methodology that can be used to capture citations in transcripts of public hearings that precede these reports. In order to demonstrate its strengths and weaknesses, the method is utilized to analyze the 2009 hearings that informed the 2010 House of Commons Transport Committee report on developing the capacity of major roads in the United Kingdom to meet the country’s strategic transport needs. The research shows a good degree of consistency between two independent coders who employed this method to distinguish citations from non-citations and classify the data. It is concluded that the method can be utilized to reliably measure knowledge utilization at public hearings, and that it can be employed in conjunction with research that focuses on measuring citations in memos, briefings, articles or reports integrating some of the evidence given at these meetings.

Open access