Along with other Central and Eastern European counties, Czechia has invested significant effort in deterring refugees from entering the country during the ‘refugee crisis’. This article sheds light on the role of the media in legitimising anti-refugee policies by analysing the politicised discourse on refugees in 900 articles published in Czech newspapers between 2014 and 2016. The findings indicate that refugees were depicted as a security threat and an administrative burden partly imposed by the European Union. The article discusses the policy implications of depicting refugees in this way and thus broadens the literature on European narratives during the refugee emergency in Europe.
Pär Magnus Olausson
Modern society has developed a growing dependence on electricity in order to carry out important societal functions. This implies the risk of cascading failures to society in the case of power shortage. The creation of a resilient and sustainable power energy system is therefore crucial. Equal crucial is the preparedness for the event of power shortage. As a part of the Swedish crisis management system, the Swedish Energy Agency (EM) has developed a planning system, STYREL, to identify social important objects in order to ensure important social functions in the case of power shortage. This article examines STYREL as a policy network and as a planning system to ensure a sustainable and resilient power supply. The study focus on the design of the system, the implementation of the system based on the results from the two rounds completed in 2010 and 2014. Using interviews with coordinators at the local and regional level in three counties and a survey including all 21 coordinators at the regional level, it indicates that the design of the planning system reviles opportunities for improvements of the planning system. The study also indicates that the coordinators at the local level lack trust in the planning system depending on both the lack of resource and the lack of feedback. This in turn indicates challenges for the system from a resilient and sustainability point of view.
Marta Postuła and Jacek Tomkiewicz
This article focuses on the effects of corrections to the budgetary policy in eurozone economies. The goal of the text is to check if advancement in implementing modern tools of public management is helpful in the time of fiscal adjustment. We assume that the most important role of a performance approach in conducting fiscal policy is the ability of government to implement active policy meant as structural changes in the composition of public expenditures. In the case of the need to cut general levels of public spending, public sector managers who have knowledge of performance effects of public policies should be able to conduct fiscal adjustment in such a way as to minimise negative outcomes of spending correction on society. The structure of the text is as follows. First, we present some insights on the economic effects of fiscal adjustment. Then, we discuss the concept of performance management presented in the theory and policy agendas of international institutions such as the European Union or the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). Finally, we present the result of an empirical exercise that is designed to combine the level of advancement in implementing performance budgeting (PB) and the social cost of fiscal adjustment in eurozone economies. The most important finding of the research is that PB tools seem to have very limited usefulness in a time of fiscal adjustment. There is no statistical evidence that countries advanced in utilisation of PB tools conduct more active fiscal policy – approach of cutting all expenditures across the border by given percentage rather than looking at priorities and social outcomes of fiscal adjustment dominates in all cases.
Katherine Kirk and Ellen Bal
This paper explores the relationship between migration and integration policies in the Netherlands, diaspora policies in India, and the transnational practices of Indian highly skilled migrants to the Netherlands. We employ anthropological transnational migration theories (e.g., Ong 1999; Levitt and Jaworsky 2007) to frame the dynamic interaction between a sending and a receiving country on the lives of migrants. This paper makes a unique contribution to migration literature by exploring the policies of both sending and receiving country in relation to ethnographic data on migrants. The international battle for brains has motivated states like the Netherlands and India to design flexible migration and citizenship policies for socially and economically desirable migrants. Flexible citizenship policies in the Netherlands are primarily concerned with individual and corporate rights and privileges, whereas Indian diaspora policies have been established around the premise of national identity.
The contemporary diasporic experience is fragmented and contradictory, and the notion of ‘home’ increasingly blurry. In response to these moving circumstances, many diaspora and multiculturalism studies’ scholars have turned to the everyday, focussing on the local particularities of the diasporic experience. Using the Italo-Australian digital storytelling collection Racconti: La Voce del Popolo, this paper argues that, while crucial, the everyday experience of diaspora always needs to be read in relation to broader, dislocated contexts. Indeed, to draw on Grant Farred (2009), the experience of diaspora must be read both in relation to—but always ‘out of’—context. Reading diaspora in this way helps reveal aspects of diasporic life that have the potential to productively disrupt dominant assimilationist discourses of multiculturalism that continue to dominate. This kind of re-reading is pertinent in colonial nations like Australia, whose multiculturalism rhetoric continues to echo normative whiteness.
Germany is considered a relatively recent country where multiraciality has become a recognised phenomenon. Yet, Germany still considers itself a monoracial state, one where whiteness is conflated with “Germanness”. Based on interviews with seven people who are multiracial (mostly Korean–German) in Berlin, this article explores how the participants construct their multiracial identities. My findings show that participants strategically locate their identity as diasporic to circumvent racial “othering”. They utilise diasporic resources or the “raw materials” of diasporic consciousness in order to construct their multiracial identities and challenge racism and the expectations of racial and ethnic authenticity. I explored how multiracial experiences offer a different way of thinking about the actual doing and performing of diaspora.
As interdependence grows, economic issues are increasingly political in their nature and impact, and political issues are increasingly economic. The interdependence is acute in issues that relate to international trade, and especially in the case of landlocked countries. Nepal is one such land-locked country, being between India and China, whose economy depends on the trade relations with its neighbouring countries. Two-thirds of Nepalese trade depends on India. The article presents a summary of Nepal-India trade cooperation, primarily the Nepalese dependence in trade and transit route to India and its effects. It also presents an overview of the trade pattern between the two countries and focuses on the trade embargoes by India. The article analyses the reason behind the embargoes of 1969, 1989 and 2015 and how the situations have been resolved. The embargoes imposed by India on Nepal seem to be more political in nature and their impacts are both political and economic. The Indian embargoes in Nepal follow an objective of compliance, deterrence and subversion. By analysing India’s pursuance of trade embargoes against Nepal, the article reaffirms that landlocked nations such as Nepal are susceptible to manipulation by geopolitical threats since neighbouring countries adjust trade ties or use trade ties to fulfil their political, security and economic interests.
Constituting the key element of a democratic system, political parties are among entities obliged by the Polish legislator to comply with the principle of disclosure by providing public information. The main objective of this paper is to determine the level of Polish political parties’ disclosure, understood here as their willingness to disclose information on their own structures. It seems that the practice of disclosing such basic organizational data may constitute a specific measure of Polish political parties’ respect for the idea of disclosure. The subject matter of the conducted research was particular parties’ sites in the Public Information Bulletin as well as their official websites. An attempt was made to acquire data concerning party structures by way of direct contact with particular parties’ organizational units – questionnaires were sent to both central and regional/district organizational units. In order to acquire a wider perspective, the research also included data provided by the Central Statistical Office concerning political parties’ organizational structures and election manifestos. The conducted analysis was summarized in the form of a ranking of the examined political parties based on a proposed political party disclosure index. This attempt to measure disclosure on the basis of data on internal structures provided by parties themselves is of a preliminary character which, nevertheless, makes it possible to capture the general properties of the phenomenon under analysis. Among the examined parties, it is PSL, SLD, and PO that, to an acceptable degree, follow the principle of disclosure in the analysed scope (indexes at the level of 60%-80% of the maximum value). Four other parties, i.e. N, Wolność, Razem, and Kukiz’15, are on the edge of the zone making it possible to regard their disclosure as sufficient (indexes at the level of around 50% of the maximum value). In the case of PiS, whose index does not reach 20% of the maximum value, it should be concluded that this party implements the principle of disclosure at a minimum level. The ranking did not show relationships between parties’ willingness towards providing information and their sizes or positions on the political scene (parliamentary parties vs. extra-parliamentary parties).