Jump to content
Safir

Safir's blog

Recommended Posts

Re: My ideas and thoughts

I'll be posting in this thread my thoughts about topics that I think might be interesting.

Posts so far:

Overcoming Soccermanager addiction

How to Speed Read

I'll be happy to hear any feedback and opinions about my posts, especially if they differ from mine.

###############################################

04-05-2011 update: I'll post new stuff when I can. Which is anywhere from this week to next year. :P

---

Later on, I might add somewhat controversial arguments that are purposefully over the top. The idea is to push an argument to its extreme to generate interesting discussion.

--

Update 12-4-2011: Naw, forget the above. I'm gonna start using this thread to talk about things I wouldn't wanna talk about in real life but have fun theories about. Perhaps something controversial. This'll be my free online therapy, huh? :D

PS. Wow! Just realized this thread has over 2000 views. I remember it had maybe 400-500 back in May, which is when I made my last post. I guess that link in my sig did draw some viewers (although no one commented or repped so the post probably just sucked haha)

##############

Overcoming Soccermanager addiction

Checking the Soccermanager account too often is a significant time drain. If you find yourself logging onto your account more frequently than you'd like, perhaps it's time to make a change.

Here are some tips to prevent your Soccermanager-hobby from becoming an undesirable addiction.

1. Decide in advance exactly when you’ll log onto Soccermanager.

Don't check your account haphazardly. It's quite easy to waste several hours in a day by just logging onto your account every hour. In addition, if you are on Soccermanager very frequently, chances are that it keeps dominating your thoughts even when you're not actively managing your team or socializing on the forums. These actions waste your time and decrease your productivity on other activities.

Planning in advance how frequently you manage your clubs allows you to take charge of the amount of time you spend on Soccermanager. For example, if you check your account in the morning, set a specific time for your next visit. If you get addicted to checking your account too often, you can help break the habit by making it harder to access the website. Remove the direct link from your desktop, remove saved passwords, remove the link favorites, etc. Experiment with what works for you. Adding extra steps can help break the pattern of impulse checking.

2. Log your visiting frequency.

Create a Soccermanager visiting frequency log, and record how often you check your account. Simply write down or type the start and stop times whenever you log in. Do it for about a week, and see how much time you’re spending on Soccermanager. Is it worth it?

Eventually, try giving yourself a daily or weekly Soccermanager checking quota, and once you hit it, you can’t check your account anymore until the next day/week when your quota resets. Perhaps offer yourself a reward for sticking to this plan.

This is a truly enjoyable hobby for footballing fans; however, when a hobby turns into an uncontrollable addiction that affects your everyday life, it might be the time to stop, reassess the situation, and make changes.

---

Obviously, these same methods can be used to combat forum addiction, in case you feel that is becoming a problem as well.

PS. Yes, I am speaking from personal experience in case someone in wondering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: My ideas and thoughts

Objective:

Similar to your first paper, you will choose at least two texts that we have discussed in class and employ “close reading” techniques to dig into the heart of your interpretation of the material. In addition to your own analysis, you will be required to include outside research in order to help you establish your critical framework. You will need to search the library’s “Articles +” feature for articles or books that relate to your texts. Each of these articles will have some sort of critical/theoretical lens through which they are reading the material; this lens may be a general theme, a theory, historical context, etc. It is your job to use these lenses as the supporting evidence for your own paper.

I will be looking for you to place the texts into a conversation with the criticism and with each other.

Do not simply talk about one text then move on to the next. I want to see you talking about both texts within the context of your analysis. For example, “Similar to author A, author B also shows this idea in the lines...” or “In contrast to text A, text B takes the idea in a different direction by stating...”

It is much easier to write a paper in which you agree with the critical article because you can use their research as supporting evidence for your own thesis. You are also welcome to disagree with the critical article and support your counter-thesis with evidence from the text that supports your claim. This is a much more challenging approach, but it can be very interesting for you to write and for me to read.

2,000 - 2,500 words

Annotated bibliography containing your subject texts plus at least 3 outside sources. You may use any citation style you wish (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) as long as you are consistent.

............................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: My ideas and thoughts

"it's quite easy to waste several hours in a day by just logging onto your account every hour"

I deny I'm addicted. I say I'M NOT ADDICTED!!

You can't draw conclusions from me running round the room throwing plates of spaghetti at the walls when the websites down, I'm sure most people tend to do this.

Anyway "Every Hour" ? NOT ME!

I don't log-off so I'm not addicted then..... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: My ideas and thoughts

Oscar Wilde: The Art and Society in England during Restoration

In both The Importance of Being Earnest, and Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde argues that placing primacy on ethical sympathies diminishes the quality of the work of art. Instead of dividing works of art into “moral” and “immoral”, “vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art”.

As the more expansive text, Earnest goes further in its commentary beyond art and on society – it both celebrates and criticizes the frivolousness of the high society in England during Restoration.

Elena Gomel argues that Wilde saw artistic morality as poised on the cusp between two contrary statements. The morality of art, when combined with the imperfect medium of the human personality, leads to a gap between body and soul, desire and fulfillment – the perfection in art can never completely eradicate the gap between the realism of life and the idealism of art.

Otto Reinert argues that Bunburying in Wilde's Earnest is a microcosm of “normal Victorians who want to retain the respect of their conventional society” “while living in a world of irresponsibility, freed from the enslavement of a hypocritical convention”. “They are leading double lives, one respectable, one frivolous, neither earnest”.

Richard Foster argues that the dramatic effect of Earnest “is not of foolish but real people flaunting the real world's laws of reason but of archetypal roles being gravely travestied”. Tying it to Miss Prism's comment – that “the good [novels] ended happily, and the bad unhappily”, Wilde satirizes the society for its shallowness “through direct ridicule of the shallow art in which it sees its reflection”.

Preliminary bibliography

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the (Un)Death of the Author; Elana Gomel; The Ohio State University Press, Vol. 12, No. 1 (January 2004), pp. 74-92.

Satiric Strategy in the Importance of Being Earnest; Otto Reinert; College English, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Oct., 1956), pp. 14-18.

Wilde as Parodist: A Second Look at the Importance of Being Earnest; Richard Foster; College English, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Oct., 1956), pp. 18-23.

.........................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Safir's blog

Standard: How persuasive are interest group explanations of trade policy? Discuss with reference to specific examples.

Interest group explanations

Ikenberry lake mastanduno organization: system, society, state. Argument: need more state.

State plays a passive role, transcribing interests into policies

Protectionism in 1930

Export-oriented in post-war

Import-competing in 1980

Why system-oriented sucks: US didn't take postwar leadership

State-oriented: can't act as a coherent unit to determine policy because interest groups are inside it

Criticism: lacks firepower, since it has no predictive power. You can only figure out which interest is strong after the result has happened. Tautological, un-rigorous explanation.

Criticism: politicians can have a hand. Harrison in 1890. (Oatley as well)

Criticism: Demand-side explanation only, ignoring the “supply-side” (political institutions).

Milner international trade. Write down everything underlined, excellent material available

0 - Overall outline of all arguments of trade policy – skipping for now

Four sets of factors that political scientists refer to when trying to understand trade politics

First some focus on the preferences of domestic groups. These scholars see trade policy as primarily being shaped by the preferences of strongest groups in domestic politics.

Second, political institutions

Third, factors at the international level shape trade policy choices. The nature of relations among countries and the structure of the international system may affect domestic choices about trade. Hegemonic stability theory was an early structural theory of trade.

Finally, some scholars have asked how international trade itself affects states and the international political system. They use trade as a cause in cause-and-effect. This is especially relevant in globalization debates.

1 - Interest groups milner outline of one-liners:

Interest groups and protectionism: One motive for this has been the observation that the extent of protection and the demands for it vary both across industries and across countries.

Explaining this variance has been a key feature of the literature.

Factoral versus sectoral policy preferences.

Evidence in support of the factoral model

Evidence in support of the sectoral model

Clout of the industry or how institutions shape its access to policymakers

Second, might not these differences in preferences give policy-makers a great deal of leeway to implement their own preferred policies, thus weakening the influence of interest groups?

The literature on interest groups in trade policy-making continues to wrestle with these issues.

CA 1:

Without a concomitant theory of which groups are able to organize and exert influence, theories about interest groups and voters are best able to explain the demand for trade policy domestically.

The preferences of policymakers play a different role. They may be more likely to explain the supply-side of trade policy; that is, they may indicate the willingness of political leaders to supply protection or liberalization as separate from the demand for it.

Theories about the conditions under which policymakers will abandon their ideas that produce ‘bad’ results and what ideas they will adopt in their stead are largely unavailable.

In sum, theories of trade preferences seem to provide an initial level of explanation for the supply and demand for trade policy. But they cannot as of yet provide a complete explanation of this process.

2 - Political institutions

A number of scholars have argued that while preferences play a role in these arguments, the main claim is that institutions aggregate such preferences. Different institutions do so differently, thus leading to distinct policies.

On the domestic side, different institutions empower different actors

For example, the fact that US congress controlled trade policy exclusively before 1934 made it very susceptible to protectionist pressures from interest groups.

Other institutions insulate policy-makers from these demands, allowing them more leeway in setting policy.

In general, concentrating trade policy-making capabilities in the executive’s hands seems to be associated with the adoption of trade liberalization in a wide variety of countries.

Trade liberalization in numerous LDCs: “In every successful reform effort, politicians delegated decision-making authority to units within the government that were insulated from routine bureaucratic processes, from legislative and interest group pressures, and even from executive pressure.

Many of these institutional arguments thus depend on prior claims about actors’ preferences. For instance, many of the arguments about insulation assume that the policy-makers (usually executives) who are insulated from societal demands are free traders.

But they may actually be protectionist, in which case insulation allows greater protection than otherwise.

This one after CAs, or in conclusion – about combining demand-side and supply-side:

Thus having theories that bring together both preferences and institutions seems most valuable, since we know that both matter.

Very few studies, however, try to bring together theories of both preference formation and institutional influence (Gilligan, Milner).

Moreover, the matter of which comes first, is far from settled.

Those who focus on preferences tend to argue that institutions are often shaped by the preferences of those in power.

In contrast, those who emphasize institutions argue that they may actually shape actors’ preferences.

The growing consensus is that both matter and are jointly determined, but parsimoniously modeling and testing this is an area for future research.

3 - International politics – skip for now:

A favored argument among realists has been that the distribution of capabilities in the international system has a fundamental effect on trade (HST)

Perhaps the most interesting point about this theory is that it has tried to explain change over time in the overall level of openness in the trading system

Other scholars have felt that aspects of the international security environment best explains the pattern of trade. Gowa has argued that countries which are military allies trade more with each other and that is especially the case for those within the same alliance in the bipolar system.

Third, the presence and influence of international institutions.

There are debates about whether they matter at all. Some say that the participation of states indicates that they feel it matters.

Finally, the creation of the WTO out of the GATT Uruguay round represents a step toward the deeper institutionalization of an open trading system. It seems likely that their (institutions) influence varies over time and across countries.

4 - A final area of interest is the reciprocal effect of international trade on domestic and international politics.

Once countries have liberalized or protected their economies, what might be the subsequent effects of such choices?

Three aspects of the domestic political economy: How policies change preferences.

First, trade liberalization can in its wake change domestic preferences about trade.

Milner also argues that openness raises the potential number of supporters of free trade as exporters and multinational firms multiply.

A second aspect of domestic politics involves the character of national political institutions.

How trade policies change institutions.

Compensation thesis. Rogowski’s PR election systems.

This part is boring.

5 - The end.

---

Milner PE of trade organization: society, state, system, and how trade affects states and the system (good or bad?). Argument: “but changes in preferences cannot be overlooked”. Empirics: trend for global free trade since 1980

Economists puzzle over why anybody wants to be protectionist, given free trade is best for most states most of the time. They go for domestic group explanations using SS.

Political scientists puzzle over why any country would ever free trade and not be protectionist.

HST and dependency theory predicted more protectionism over free trade. But empirics has proven otherwise.

Advanced industrialized: virtuous cycle, more trade → more in favor of it. No pinpoint.

LDCs: other policies sucked, vindication. Authoritarians or new-democracies going for it.

System approaches are less well supported by evidence (“harder to argue”): yeah commies collapsed but liberalization was done pre-collapse.

Two main arguments: domestic preferences (interest group explanations) and international institutions (GATT in advanced; IMF and world bank in LDCs) were key.

“In sum, theories of trade preferences seem to provide only poor explanations for

the major change in trade policy that has occurred globally in the past decade.”

“Although strong evidence has not yet been presented, at this point changes in

political regimes, and specifically the spread of democracy, may be the institutional

change that best helps explain the rush to free trade.”

system: meh

“Thus, changing preferences among political leaders and societal groups,

institutional changes (especially democratization), and the increased influence

of international institutions that supported trade liberalization may best explain

the global rush to free trade witnessed since 1980.”

OK great, she just said that everything matters.

Three things: interest groups (+politicians), democratization, institutions. Of the three, interest groups + politicians (“”leaders' and social groups' preferences for free trade”) seems to fare best on sustainability of free trade.

There are two questions that are interesting here. One is how much interest group explanations matter in explaining trade policy. Second is how central are interest group explanations in explaining why there has there been an increase in free trade since 1980s.

There are a number of arguments for interest group explanations. Generally they argue that the factor or sector you are in determines your interest, and that these interest groups vye for trade policy. However, while interest group explanations do heavy lifting on explaining preferences – e.g. the demand-side, they don't explain how preferences are transformed into policies – e.g. the supply-side. They also don't explain why there is bias towards protectionism, which collective action problem explains. Also what is not talked about are policymakers' preferences, realist explanations ( a) being free of interest group demands leads to policy embodying state goals; and B) state strength).

Interest-based explanations

Factor model

Sector model

Factor mobility

Other societal explanations and define societal explanations

Institutional explanations

Organization and mobilization as preferences not automatically transformed into policies

Collective action problem

Bias towards protectionism because import-competitors have more incentive to work for defensive laws. Free rider problem for actors in export-competing industries.

Nature of domestic political institutions

Legislature or political parties or the executive

Realist explanations

Being free of interest group demands, so trade policy embodies state goals

Protectionism

State strength (Strong states vs weak states)

Other stuff not supported by slides

RTAA

Parties

HST

Security

9. Oct. 23 The Domestic Sources of Trade Policy

The distributional implications of trade policy. Winners and losers of protectionism. Theoretical approaches: interests, institutions and ideas.

*Frieden, Lake & Broz, ch. 2, 20, 21 & 24.

Eichengreen Smoot hawley

Rogowski

http://www.olivialau.org/ir/archive/rog5.pdf

Alt Gilligan

http://www.olivialau.org/ir/archive/alt1.pdf

http://www.olivialau.org/ir/archive/alt3.pdf

http://www.olivialau.org/ir/archive/alt2.pdf

Cox RTAs

*Oatley, ch. 4, 5 & 6.

Society-centered

State-centered

Developing countries: ISI

ok-*H. Milner, “The Political Economy of International Trade,” Annual Review of Political Science, 2 (1999).

ok-* H. Milner, “International Trade” in W. Carlnaes et. al. (eds.) Handbook of International Relations.

ok-*J. Ikenberry, D. Lake and M. Mastanduno, “Approaches to Explaining American Foreign Economic Policy,” International Organization, 42 (1988).

http://www.olivialau.org/ir/archive/lak6.pdf - close but not quite

pages 7-9: interest-based explanations

ok-A. Krueger, “The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society,” American Economic Review, 64 (1974).

H. Milner and K. Kubota, “Why the Move to Free Trade? Democracy and Trade Policy in the Developing Countries,” International Organization, 59 (2005).

M. Bailey, J. Goldstein, and B. Weingast, “The Institutional Roots of American Trade Policy: Politics, Coalitions, and International Trade,” World Politics, 49: 3 (1997).

http://www.olivialau.org/ir/archive/bai2.pdf

http://www.olivialau.org/ir/archive/bai1.pdf

ok-J. Alt et al., “The Political Economy of International Trade: Enduring Puzzles and an Agenda for Inquiry,” Comparative Political Studies, 29: 6 (1996).

J. Goldstein, “International Law and Domestic Institutions: Reconciling North American “Unfair” Trade Laws,” International Organization, 50: 4 (1996).

http://www.olivialau.org/ir/archive/gol6.pdf

D. Rodrik, “The Limits of Trade Policy Reform in Developing Countries,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 6: 1 (1992).

new protectionism

Early interest group example

Schattschneider (1935) was another early proponent of the view that special economic interests were mainly responsible for the choice of protectionism; he showed how these pressure groups hijacked the American Congress in 1929-30 and via a logroll produced one of the highest tariffs ever in American history, the Smoot-Hawley tariff. Milner

Factor model definition

Heckscher-Ohlin model assumes factors of production can move costlessly among sectors. Thus the fortunes of owners of a particular factor rise and fall together regardless of which industry employs them. Second, regions naturally export goods whose manufacture uses intensively factors in which they are abundantly endowed and import goods intensive in their scarce factors. Thus trade benefits owners of abundant factors and, absent compensation, harms owners of scarce factors. Hence owners of abundant factors will favor free trade, owners of scarce factors will be protectionist, and empirically we would expect trade policy coalitions to form along factor or class lines. Alt

Factor model empirics (missing a part)

Rogowski (1989) found support for the Stolper-Samuelson-type factoral models.

Rogowski: That situation has positioned workers to demand greatly increased compensation: these groups, in short, have had large potential gains.

Sector model definition

The Ricardo-Viner model assumes that at least some factors cannot move between sectors of the economy, as some (perhaps most) investments are “stuck” in their present occupations. The fortunes of the specific factors in an industry then rise and fall together whether they are the same type of factor or not. Hence we would expect trade policy coalitions to form along the lines of exporting versus import-competing industries or sectors. If the United States is abundant in software-producing capital but scarce in up-to-date auto-producing capital, and if shifts between these uses are costly and slow, then software manufacturers will embrace free trade and automakers will be protectionist. Alt

Sector model empiric (missing a lot)

Frieden (1991) uses the Ricardo-Viner model.

CA: politician's preferences over interest groups, with empiric.

CA: Policy makers' opinions: A key example of this is Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who co-authored a central dependency theory book in the 1970s, arguing for the continuation of ISI policies to shelter LDCs from the capitalist world economy (Cardoso, Faletto 1979). In the 1990s, of course, Cardoso was elected president of Brazil and initiated a major economic reform program, including extensive trade liberalization. Changes in the ideas that policy-makers have about trade policy may then, as this example suggests, play a large role in affecting trade policy choices. Milner PE

CA: collective gains of economic restoration from the funk over interest groups, just arg

CA: Rodrik argues that macroeconomic crises of the 1980s were so bad that 'the overall gain from restoring the economy's health [in part via trade liberalization] became so large that it swamped distributional considerations (1994). Milner

Weaknesses and remaining challenges

Factor model weaknesses

What the mobile factors model does not readily explain is variations among capitalists and among workers (e.g. why automakers are protectionist but software manufacturers are not) as well as the rise of sectoral coalitions (e.g. between U.S. automakers and autoworkers) in support of protection. At the same time, the breakdown of factoral solidarity on trade issues should imply ever greater specificity of assets. Yet, as Kim (1992) shows for the U.S. case, both capital and labor have become far more mobile among regions and employments since World War I, and a three-factor Heckscher-Ohlin model predicts regional specialization within the United States far better after 1967 than before (and much better than before 1939). Alt

Notes: Rogowski does not believe that a factoral/conflict model will be able to tell who will win in such conflicts' it can tell where the axes of conflict will lie and which groups (given exogenous easing or contraction of trade) will be gaining relative to other, competing groups. He note however that “victory of defeat depends, so far as [he] can see, both on the relative size of the various groups and on the institutional and cultural factors that this perspective so resolutely ignores”.

Most of the disagreement seems to exist among the economic models, but no two are mutually exclusive. Each appears to explain some things the others do not, and the phenomena each emphasizes are likely to be at work to some degree. Alt

Lots of one-sentence empirics shoved together - oatley

The European Union's reluctance to liberalize European agriculture reflects EU policymakers' responses to the demands of European farmers. The Japanese government's commitment to high tariffs demands of European farmers. The Japanese government's need to respond to the demands of Japanese rice growers. The American effort to open foreign markets to American high technology and service exports while continuing to protect the American textile, apparel, and steel industries all reflect the influence that industry-based interest groups exert on American trade policy. Oatley

Factor model empirics oatley

And indeed, American labor unions have been very critical of globalization. AFL-CIO, a federation of 64 labor unions representing 13 million American workers, has been among the most prominent critics of globalization. It played a leading in organizing the protest against the WTO in Seattle in December 1999. In addition, it has fought consistently to prevent passage of fast-track authority. It is also highly critical of NAFTA and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Oatley

And American business has been very supportive of globalization. The business roundtable, a business association composed of the chief executives of the largest American corporations, strongly supports globalization. It has been an active lobbyist for fast-track authority, it supports NAFTA and the FTAA, and it strongly supported China's entry into the WTO. The antional association of manufacturers, which represents about 14,000 American manufacturing firms, also supports the WTO and regional trade arrangements. Oatley

Thus, American labor and capital demands reflect the income consequences that the factor model highlights. The scarce factor, American labor, opposes trade liberalization, while the abundant factor, American capital, supports it. Oatley

Sector model empirics oatley

We might expect therefore that UNITE, the union of needletrades, industrial, and textile employees, the principal union in the American apparel industry, and the American textile manufacturers institute, a business association representing American textile firms, would both oppose globalization. Indeed, this is what we find. UNITE has been a vocal opponent of NAFTA, of the free trade area of the Americas, and of fast-track authority. For its part, the American textile manufacturers institute has not been critical of all trade agreements, but is has opposed free-trade agreements with South Korea and Singapore, has been very critical of the American decision to grant China permanent normal trade status, and does not support further opening of the US market to foreign textiles through multilateral trade negotiations. In general, labor and capital employed in textile and apparel are both skeptical of globalization.

Conversely, the sector model predicts that capital and labor in export-oriented industries will both support globalization. For example, a coalition of business associations representing American high-tech firms-- including the consumer electronics association, electronic industries alliance, information technology industry council, multimedia telecommunications association, the semiconductor industry association – has supported fast-track authority (the president, instead of the Congress, can negotiate international trade agreements*) the approval of normal trade relations with China, NAFTA, and the FTAA. While it is more difficult to document attitudes of workers employed in these industries, in large part because workers are not organized to the same extent as low- and medium-skill workers in manufacturing industries. However, workers in high-tech industries are predominantly high skilled, and on average, high-skilled workers are more supportive of trade liberalization than low-skill workers. Although this is indirect evidence, it is consistent with the prediction that both labor and capital employed in American high-technology industries will support globalization. Oatley

*the Congress still has to approve them

Questions that the interest model does not answer

Why import-competing groups on average seem to win out in net against exporting groups? Alt

http://www.sarc.miami.edu/e-newsletters/student-affairs/thanksgiving/

J. Lawrence Broz, "The Domestic Politics of International Monetary Order: The Gold Standard" in

Contested Social Orders and International Politics, ed. David Skidmore. 1997.

Short summary:

The stability of the nineteenth century international monetary system was maintained not by a single

hegemonic state, nor by a cooperative agreement between several states with homogenous preferences.

Instead, it was the result of specialization of tasks (providing a stable international unit of exchange,

serving as lender of last resort) between different states. Moreover, this specialization was determined by

the composition of domestic interest groups in each state.

Longer summary:

What explains international monetary system stability?

1. Hegemonic stability theory. One state will acquire a large enough share of the benefits from maintaining

a stable international monetary system that it voluntarily absorbs the costs of coordination.

2. Functional theories of international regimes. In the absence of hegemony, states create international

institutions to ensure cooperation.

3. Domestic-international "virtual circle" theory. Non-participant governments are lured by welfare gains

to participate in the system. Domestic actors that compete with foreigners who benefit from the regime

encourage their governments to participate, as well.

These explanations fail because they assume homogenous preferences among states, which is empirically

unjustified. We need a theory that explains stability based on heterogenous preferences among states.

Broz argues that even if domestic interests give rise to different state preferences, this may lead different

states to specialize in different tasks necessary for stability.

Some domestic actors prefer fixed exchange rates because they reduce the risk of international trade and

investment (export-oriented producers of tradable goods, international merchants, global investors). Others

prefer flexible rates because fixed exchange rates tie the government’s hands on monetary policy (importcompeting

producers of tradable goods, producers of non-tradables). All actors will include in their

calculation the potential benefit of a stable international monetary system, but this will be a second order

consideration stability is a public rather than a private benefit.

As a result, states will vary in their exchange rate policy, but each will play a role based on their policy in

maintaining stability. Stability requires both 1) one or more key currencies that can be converted abroad,

and 2) one or more lenders of last resort who are willing to lend to other governments during financial

crises. A state that strongly prefers fixed rates will provide a key currency because holders of that currency

are reasonably certain that the value of that currency will not change. A state that strongly prefers flexible

rates because it wants control over its monetary policy in order to reduce the impact of foreign economic

shocks on its economy will also provide a lender of last resort role because this also reduces the impact of

foreign shocks. Thus the result of heterogenous domestic preferences is specialization in the tasks that

contribute to international monetary stability.

Empirical analysis:

England strictly adhered to a fixed rate gold standard in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, thus

providing a key currency. But the main reason they stuck with gold was the alignment of land, the City’s

merchant banks and acceptance houses, and creditors of the government. Note that the landed aristocracy

leased out their land, so they were more interested in high interest rates and low inflation (as opposed to

farmers who would have been happy with higher commodity prices and lower lease payments). [Never

mind that throughout this literature that there is a huge problem with conflating flexible exchange rates

with high interest rates and low inflation and vice versa]. Financial institutions benefited from reduced

currency risk, a higher-valued currency, and the business they received because other currencies were less

stable. Government console holders (bondholders) managed to lock in very high rates during the

Napoloeonic Wars, so they mainly wanted inflation to stay low to maintain the purchasing power of their

coupon payments (as opposed to taxpayers who had to finance this debt).

France had a gold standard, too, but in practice they used capital controls and discretionary rules to keep

gold in the country and build up a massive reserve. They used this reserve to stabilize domestic monetary

policy, but they also had it on hand to serve as lender of last resort to both England and the United States

during significant economic shocks. France had a monetary policy orientation because (unlike England)

landowners were more likely to be small and work their own land (no landed aristocracy), and finance and

industry were smaller and more domestically-oriented.

Germany’s gold standard was not enforced, either. They also intentionally built up a large gold reserve that

was used to stabilize domestic monetary policy and to lend abroad during foreign financial crises.

Germany’s monetary policy orientation was the result of an alliance between Junkers who controlled large

land-estates (as in France, they farmed the land they owned), and financial and industrial leaders who

looked more to one another for the bulk of their business than they looked abroad.

This is broz, stone cold nuts for this answer.

http://www.olivialau.org/ir/archive/bro1.pdf

"The Domestic Politics of International Monetary Order"

.....................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Safir's blog

There are two questions that are interesting here. One is how much interest group explanations matter in explaining trade policy. Second is how central are interest group explanations in explaining why there has there been an increase in free trade since 1980s.

There are a number of arguments for interest group explanations. Generally they argue that the factor or sector you are in determines your interest, and that these interest groups vye for trade policy. However, while interest group explanations do heavy lifting on explaining preferences – e.g. the demand-side, they don't explain how preferences are transformed into policies – e.g. the supply-side. They also don't explain why there is bias towards protectionism, which collective action problem explains.

1a - Introduction: introduce the debate that the question addresses. Define terms.

Why do we study this? Interest groups and protectionism: One motive for this has been the observation that the extent of protection and the demands for it vary both across industries and across countries. Explaining this variance has been a key feature of the literature.

Four sets of factors that political scientists refer to when trying to understand trade politics

First some focus on the preferences of domestic groups. These scholars see trade policy as primarily being shaped by the preferences of strongest groups in domestic politics.

Second, political institutions

Third, factors at the international level shape trade policy choices. The nature of relations among countries and the structure of the international system may affect domestic choices about trade. Hegemonic stability theory was an early structural theory of trade.

Finally, some scholars have asked how international trade itself affects states and the international political system. They use trade as a cause in cause-and-effect. This is especially relevant in globalization debates.

I define interest group explanations as those of factor and sector explanations – explanations that the society's abundant factors and sectors prefer free trade and the import-competing ones prefer protectionism.

1b - Summarize your main argument.

I argue that interest group explanations explain demand-side well, but supply-side poorly. In unison with institutional explanations, they'd be strong. Other arguments are peripheral.

1c - Briefly discuss how the essay will be structured.

First, I will provide arguments and empirics for interest groups. Then I will talk about interest group's weaknesses and institutional arguments that provide an argument to address those weaknesses. I will follow this with a talk about the logic and empirics of the alternative arguments (I will give special emphasis to policymaker explanation), my views, and the conclusion.

2 – Identify the authors associated with each perspective and summarize their main arguments and the empirical evidence that they provide in support of these claims.

2a – interest group definitions and evidence

so I moved it

Outline of how I want to see sections 2a-2b form.

1 - Interest groups milner outline of one-liners:

Interest groups and protectionism: One motive for this has been the observation that the extent of protection and the demands for it vary both across industries and across countries.

Explaining this variance has been a key feature of the literature.

Factoral versus sectoral policy preferences.

Evidence in support of the factoral model

Evidence in support of the sectoral model

Clout of the industry or how institutions shape its access to policymakers

Second, might not these differences in preferences give policy-makers a great deal of leeway to implement their own preferred policies, thus weakening the influence of interest groups?

The literature on interest groups in trade policy-making continues to wrestle with these issues.

2b – interest group weaknesses and institutionalism

2 - Political institutions

A number of scholars have argued that while preferences play a role in these arguments, the main claim is that institutions aggregate such preferences. Different institutions do so differently, thus leading to distinct policies.

On the domestic side, different institutions empower different actors

For example, the fact that US congress controlled trade policy exclusively before 1934 made it very susceptible to protectionist pressures from interest groups.

Other institutions insulate policy-makers from these demands, allowing them more leeway in setting policy.

In general, concentrating trade policy-making capabilities in the executive’s hands seems to be associated with the adoption of trade liberalization in a wide variety of countries.

Trade liberalization in numerous LDCs: “In every successful reform effort, politicians delegated decision-making authority to units within the government that were insulated from routine bureaucratic processes, from legislative and interest group pressures, and even from executive pressure.

Many of these institutional arguments thus depend on prior claims about actors’ preferences. For instance, many of the arguments about insulation assume that the policy-makers (usually executives) who are insulated from societal demands are free traders.

But they may actually be protectionist, in which case insulation allows greater protection than otherwise.

This one after CAs, or in conclusion – about combining demand-side and supply-side:

Thus having theories that bring together both preferences and institutions seems most valuable, since we know that both matter.

Very few studies, however, try to bring together theories of both preference formation and institutional influence (Gilligan, Milner).

Moreover, the matter of which comes first, is far from settled.

Those who focus on preferences tend to argue that institutions are often shaped by the preferences of those in power.

In contrast, those who emphasize institutions argue that they may actually shape actors’ preferences.

The growing consensus is that both matter and are jointly determined, but parsimoniously modeling and testing this is an area for future research.

(this is really a transition topic)

One of the most salient changes in the world economy since 1980 has been the move toward freer trade among countries across the globe

Can these preference-based theories explain the rush to free trade we have witnessed recently?

Various exogenous changes may have created new actors who favor free trade, shifting the domestic balance of power in favor of liberalization.

Numerous studies however, suggest that many interest groups in LDCs opposed trade liberalization and few supported it

Nonetheless, many scholars recognize that the support of societal groups favoring free trade is an essential element of the reform process, if not for its initiation at least for its implementation.

Governments seeking to liberalize trade clearly gain by building ties to private sector organization with export interests and by weakening institutions that provide access for firms in the import-substituting sector.

(Milner PE)

2c – alternative explanations

2d – my views

3 - conclusion

The relative impact of interest groups on trade policy

There are four sets of factors that political scientists refer to when trying to understand trade politics. First some focus on the preferences of domestic groups. These scholars see trade policy as primarily being shaped by the preferences of strongest groups in domestic politics. Second, how do political institutions affect the ways in which preferences of actors are translated into policy. Third, factors at the international level shape trade policy choices. The nature of relations among countries and the structure of the international system may affect domestic choices about trade. Hegemonic stability theory was an early structural theory of trade. Finally, some scholars have asked how international trade itself affects states and the international political system. They use trade as a cause in cause-and-effect. This is also called the second-image reversed view. This is especially relevant in globalization debates (Milner, PE).

In order to evaluate the persuasiveness of interest group explanations on trade policy, I will compare the strength of its arguments with the alternative views. I will argue that while preferences of strongest groups explain much of the demand-side of trade policy, it is more lacking in its ability to explain how preferences are translated into policy.

I will begin this paper by providing the arguments and empirics of domestic group explanations. I will then talk about their strengths and weaknesses and provide viewpoints that might address those weaknesses better. I will then discuss the logic and empirics of alternative arguments, and finally follow them with my views and the conclusion.

..........................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How to Speed Read

How to speed read

For most of my life, I have been reading like most people, vocalizing words in my mind. Sadly, this is extremely inefficient. However, a few months ago I stumbled upon speed reading, a collection of methods I found very helpful in increasing my reading speed. When I began applying these techniques, I saw dramatic increase in speed (over 200%) and comprehension while reading.

Learning speed reading is fast and easy. After reading this guide, immediately practice with these techniques. You should be able to see a significant increase in your reading speed.

Principles

Get rid of distractions. Go to quiet places. If impossible, get earplugs. To read at maximum speed, you need maximum concentration that comes with quietness.

Some people say they read better with music. In reality, no one reads the best with music; rather, music is used as a substitute distraction over some more annoying distractions (like the noises from loud roommates). So yes, music might be better than some other forms of noise. However, having no distraction is far more optimal (If you’re a university student, you can go to an isolated section in the library).

Eliminate rereading. Rereading is a huge waste of time. An average reader engages in regression (conscious rereading) and back-skipping (subconscious rereading stemming from misplaced focus) for up to 30% of total reading time. Some strategies to prevent that would be to hold a pen, your finger, or an index card (with 1 inch indentation marks) under the line you’re reading and move it along. You can also try to cover the text you’ve already read with a sheet of paper.

Don’t vocalize individual words in your mind. Our brains can take in information much faster than we can vocalize words. Move your eyes along the text faster than you can vocalize individual words in your mind, but slow enough for you to understand the text. If you still find yourself vocalizing, try repeating to yourself 1-2-3-4 in your mind.

Techniques

Read blocks of words. Instead of reading word by word, try reading blocks of words. For example, I now read a line in 1-2 fixations (a moment during which your brain soaks in words), instead of 10-15 fixations (like I used to). This decrease in fixations doesn’t decrease comprehension. Rather, I’ve noticed that my brain registers words better with my current method. Instead of stopping 10 times during a sentence and interrupting myself all the time, my reading has become more fluid, allowing me to read faster and with greater comprehension.

Minimize the number and duration of fixations per line to increase speed. You don’t read in a straight line, but rather in a sequence of jumps. Each of these jumps ends with a fixation. To demonstrate these jumps, close one eye, place a fingertip on top of that eyelid, and then slowly scan a straight horizontal line with your other eye-you will feel distinct and separate movements and periods of fixation.

Use central focus. Try focusing at the center of each line. Begin by placing your eyes in the middle of the line and move your eyes peripherally (register the entire line and then move down). This method has allowed me to save considerable time. Once you’ve mastered this method, you can try focusing in the middle of a paragraph and gradually soak it in. If you’re having difficulty with it, try starting out with a text you’re already familiar with to ease the transition.

Develop your peripheral vision span. Practice increasing your horizontal peripheral vision span and the number of words registered per fixation. Without using horizontal peripheral vision span during reading, you can lose up to 50% of words per fixation (the number of words that can be perceived and “read” in each fixation). Moving your head as you read is a bad idea; it takes time and disrupts your concentration.

Applying Speed reading

Adjustment. Not all reading materials are created the same. Some require more concentration, and thus, slower reading speed (such as complex math). However, you can go faster through more accessible texts, such as newspaper articles.

Start with bigger font. Bigger font is easier to speed read. As you practice, you can gradually adjust to smaller fonts. It is also easier to speed read texts with proper space between the lines.

Gradually increase your speed. Going too fast makes speed reading useless. Therefore, start with whatever is the maximum speed at which you can comprehend well. You should increase the speed gradually and keep challenging yourself. It may be easier to start with a text you’re already familiar with and work your way up to more challenging reading tasks.

Time yourself. Pick a book worth reading and time yourself. Begin with your current methods and see how long it takes you to read a few paragraphs. Now, apply the tips in this article and see if how much you’ve improved. As you develop your abilities as a speed reader, test yourself every once in a while to see how much you’ve improved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Safir's blog

Ok, so my post about speed reading is up. If you're not familiar with speed reading, it could be very helpful to you.

I'll have tomorrow a TV related post (if I bothered to finish it).

I'll welcome any feedback on my speed reading post.

EDIT: The lazy me has kicked in last week and now I got a little busier in real life. Pre-wrote the TV related post few weeks ago. Will have it up probably sometime next week :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Safir's blog

Of course' date=' I've slacked off and thus, only have one article for now. In my defense, I was busy dealing with idiotic maintenance people.

[b']Besides, no one is reading this so no harm no foul [/b]:D.

:P not entirely true-you have 395 views

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Safir's blog

:P not entirely true-you have 395 views

Well' date=' as long as I'm beating Stuart's blog in views, that's good :D.

Loved that speed-reading post! I'm a fast reader and never realised why :P That should speed me up and help me take in more too :)

Glad to hear :). That post was based on a compilation of speed reading guides that I tested out. So that's by no means the ultimate speed reading guide by an expert but rather me reporting on what worked for me.

If you have some additional techniques that work, I'll be happy to hear them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Safir's blog

Well' date=' as long as I'm beating Stuart's blog in views, that's good :D.

Glad to hear :). That post was based on a compilation of speed reading guides that I tested out. So that's by no means the ultimate speed reading guide by an expert but rather me reporting on what worked for me.

If you have some additional techniques that work, I'll be happy to hear them.[/quote']

No techniques specifically but I'd emphasise the point that speed reading isn't always the best idea if you're reading a very dense text.

I've now found myself focusing on the centre of a line, flicking left, flicking right and moving down. It's so much faster than reading across the page :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Safir's blog

No techniques specifically but I'd emphasise the point that speed reading isn't always the best idea if you're reading a very dense text.

True. But I think with practice it becomes gradually easier.

I've now found myself focusing on the centre of a line' date=' flicking left, flicking right and moving down. It's so much faster than reading across the page :P[/quote']

I started that way but have found that for me, it's faster to focus fairly close to the left side of the line. I then use peripheral vision to soak in the line in 1-2 fixations. This way, the entire line isn't "in your face" immediately and I can get just about 100% comprehension. I get around 600 words/min this way.

I do use central focus if I'm only skimming something really quickly. But that's when understanding doesn't quite go as fast as my eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Safir's blog

So, I decided to quit all but one of my clubs (CSKA, Russian Championship 173) today in SM. Trying to drastically reduce the time I spend in SM.

Among them, my jewel, EC 5749 Bradford City, Div. 4 challenge. 1 year 3 month's work. 750m+ squad value, 150m budget. Starting its first week in EPL in 2 weeks.

As for custom setups, I'll keep them on hold and will stick until end of season/find replacements. I want to do this the right way. I owe it to the creators for their trust.

As for blog posts, I'll have some up every once in a while, mostly for my own amusement (just like the 2 previous ones so far :D). So stay subscribed and if you see a post here in 6 months, perhaps I have some life-changing message here for you (or just the rubbish drivel I've delivered so far :P)

Cheers,

Safir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...