Archive for December, 2010

3 Dec
2010

Governance Crisis and the Andean Region: A Political Economy Analysis

As of the early 21st century, the Andean region of Latin America is experiencing governance and economic difficulties that compound its structural problems of poverty, slow growth, inequality and financial volatility. Governance difficulties are manifested in a high turnover of authorities, low rankings in international indices of institutional effectiveness, recurrent political crisis, and potential fragility of democracy. Moreover, violence is serious in Colombia — over 40,000 people die per year for violent causes (political and criminal)— as the country lives through a four decade old internal conflict

3 Dec
2010

Hard Correa

The two-month-old government of leftist Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and the popular movements that back him have emerged triumphant from their first battle with the oligarchy and traditional political parties that have historically dominated the country. Correa, in his inaugural address in January, called for a “new socialism of the twenty-first century” and declared that Ecuador has to end “the perverse system that has destroyed our democracy, our economy and our society”

3 Dec
2010

Investment Policy Review: Ecuador

Ecuador, like many developing countries, aims at increasing the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in its development not only through attracting more FDI but also through benefiting from it more in terms of technology, employment, exports, skills and, in general, competitiveness. To achieve this, Ecuador, in concert with other member countries of the Community of the Andean Nations (CAN), liberalised FDI policies in the early 1990s. In addition, it opened up its economy to international trade, reformed its tax and fiscal systems and tried to initiate a privatization programme.

3 Dec
2010

Money and the Rule of Law in Ecuador

The rule of law is defined and its implications in the monetary sphere are elaborated. When national monetary arrangements fail to comport with the rule of law, “dollarization” is desirable. That policy provides for more stable money and expectations about its future value. The salutary effects of Ecuador’s “dollarization” program of 2000 are reviewed. In addition, a manifesto for economic reform in Ecuador is presented. Its elements are: financial integration, fiscal transparency and control, tax simplification and reform, supermajority voting, deregulation, and privatization

3 Dec
2010

Natural Resources & Foreign Investors: A tale of three Andean countries

Over the past 25 years, Latin American governments have undertaken a structural-adjustment process including, among other actions, the elimination of trade barriers, privatization of large public domestic firms, and deregulation of markets. This move towards deregulation and market reform has included a new embrace of foreign direct investment, even in the strategic oil-and-gas industry. Considering the former regulations and polices in this sector introduced during the nationalization wave of the 1970s, the transformation has been amazing: foreign investors have not only been welcomed but even granted proprietary rights over extracted oil. Most Latin American oil-and-gas-producing countries agreed to fix royalties at very low levels. Furthermore, the 1990s witnessed the rise of bilateralism (bilateral investment treaties (BITs) plus International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) jurisdiction), which transformed the institutional framework governing the relationship between foreign investors and host states

3 Dec
2010

Nonviolent Insurrection in Ecuador: The 1944 Glorious May Revolution

In her 1988 book Nonviolent Insurrection in El Salvador: The Fall of Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, Patricia Parkman describes a 1944 military-civilian rebellion and a subsequent civic strike as an example of a nonviolent movement which successfully removed a brutal dictator from power in Central America. On May 28 of the same year, a similar alliance with a strong and active presence of women, students, Indians, peasants and other elements of civil society similarly brought an end to the Carlos Arroyo del Río government in Ecuador. These types of general strikes are common in Latin America, but are rarely interpreted as examples of nonviolent movements. This paper applies Parkman’s theoretical model to Ecuador with an eye toward understanding how a peace perspective can lead to a better understanding of social movements in that country

3 Dec
2010

Partidos políticos: el eslabón perdido de la representación

La celebración de la primera vuelta de la elección presidencial, el 16 de julio de 1978, marcó un paso concreto en la transición democrática de Ecuador. Todos los actores involucrados habían cumplido con el compromiso adquirido: los militares auspiciaron una pacífica transición pactada; los candidatos presidenciales se registraron en partidos políticos legalmente constituidos; y más del 80% del electorado ecuatoriano acudió a las urnas en aquella jornada. En ese ambiente de festivo retorno a la democracia, no faltaron quienes se adelantaron a alabar los logros y aciertos del arreglo institucional recientemente aprobado, prediciendo que “…la Ley de Partidos está vigente y, observando los resultados electorales desde la óptica de sus enunciados, es muy posible que de los 14 partidos originalmente admitidos como tales, el país deba en el futuro asistir a la contienda entre sólo cinco de ellos, presenciando la descalificación de nueve organizaciones y movimientos políticos” (Domínguez, 1978: 30). Los pronósticos optimistas se derrumbaron después de poco tiempo: en las elecciones de 1984, 9 candidatos compitieron por la presidencia de la República; 10 candidatos compitieron en 1988; y 12 candidatos hicieron lo propio en 1992. Un indicador muy frecuentado para medir el grado de

3 Dec
2010

Polity IV Country Report 2008: Ecuador

The process of executive recruitment in Ecuador has become increasingly confused and erratic in recent years. While the military has long played a central role in the conduct of Ecuadorian politics, it has not directly controlled the reins of government since 1978. While both the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections were deemed to be “free and fair” by international observers, nonetheless, executive recruitment remained an uncertain and contentious process in Ecuador. In 1997 Congress deposed the winner of the 1996 election, Abdala Bucaram

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