Effects of TVET on the well-being of youth from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Evidence from the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Ashaiman, Ghana UAR Working Paper No.17
Considered by policy-makers of the global South as a tool to fight youth unemployment and alleviate poverty, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) has experienced esurgence in the course of the last decade. While academic research appears to focus on (macro-)economic effects of TVET and qualitative empirical research on micro-level effects of TVET participation is limited, this paper broadens the perspective on education and training by exploring the effects of TVET participation on overall well-being of youth from low socio-economic backgrounds. This thesis bases its findings on indicative data derived from a field study conducted in late 2014 and encompassing personal interviews with graduates from the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Ashaiman, Ghana and employer representatives from the industry for data triangulation.
Keywords: TVET, well-being, youth, Ghana, Don Bosco Technical Institute
The strong nation-state and violence, UAR Working Paper No. 16
Our world is still massively violent. This is in harsh contrast to Elias’ civilisation process, implying ever more peaceful conduct as modernity manifests. The very organisation he designates for pacifying society, the modern state, is itself central cause for ongoing violence. In fact, most of modernity’s notorious massacres, genocides, and ethnic cleansings could not have been committed by lesser organisations than strong states. I seek to explicate this connection, using an historical institutionalist approach, from a perspective critical of established orders. Modern statehood will be conceptualised as ascribed status, depending on external demands from an ‘international community’. This ascription is based on existence of five sets of institutions, or dimensions of state activity. A state is considered strong when perceived to perform effectively in the dimensions of monopolising the military draft, direct taxation, bureaucratic organisation, promotion of formal economy, and keeping internal order. As meeting these conditions depends on direct rule, strong modern states are necessarily nations. Using an actor-centred concept of violence, I assess the violence necessary in creating and maintaining such orders. I conclude that nation-states have an institutional disposition towards massviolence. Thus one has to think beyond this political order when seeking less violence.
Keywords: Modern statehood, strong state, nation-state, violence, ethnic cleansing, historical-institutionalist, critique of domination.
Why do Wine Producers seek a Fairtrade Certification? Perspectives from the Western Cape, South Africa, UAR Working Paper No. 14
Fairtrade’s engagement in South Africa is unique as it emerged from an initiative of local producers seeking the certification in 2003. Since then, the number of Fairtrade wine farms has steadily increased. The inclusion of hired labour plantations has resulted in a vivid discussion amongst scholars. However, research on the perspectives of management on hired labour plantations about Fairtrade remains limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to understand the motivation behind South African wine producers’ pursuit of a Fairtrade certification. Having constructed a conceptual framework incorporating isomorphic drivers and legitimation strategies, the study draws on theoretical concepts mainly used to assess companies’ motivation for social and environmental reporting. The overarching finding of this study supports scholars who claim that Fairtrade rests on the same market forces as conventional trade. The tide in South Africa’s wine industry has turned; initiated by local producers, but gradually being taken over by international retailers. It remains questionable whether such enforced standards can lead to a sustainable change within the industry.
Keywords: Fairtrade, Isomorphism, Legitimacy, Organisational Behaviour, Social Responsibility, South Africa, Wine Industry
Paving the Way for Investment in Geothermal Power Deployment in Developing Countries, UAR Working Paper No. 13
Geothermal power represents a unique source of electricity, for instance due to its low-carbon and base-load character. Some developing countries have a great potential for deploying geothermal power and, thus, for providing climate-friendly electricity to their economies and people. However, in order to reap the benefits of geothermal power substantial barriers must be overcome. By having screened the relevant literature, important hurdles to geothermal power deployment were defined: financing barriers, institutional barriers and uncertainty, lack of human resources, information barriers and social opposition. Through desk research carried out for Indonesia and Kenya, both of which are frontrunners in terms of installed geothermal power capacity, this study identifies options that contribute to overcoming aforementioned barriers. Hence, it offers recommendations primarily to developing countries in order to realize geothermal power production and, thus, to contribute to climate change mitigation.
Keywords: geothermal power, renewable energy sources, climate change, deployment barriers, investment and policy framework, Indonesia, Kenya, developing countries
Corruption and Political Stability in Post-Conflict Countries: Is there really a Trade-Off? UAR Working Paper No. 12
The assumption of a trade-off between the levels of corruption and political
stability in a post-conflict situations is not new to the peacebuilding debate,
but expert opinions deviate significantly on how the former may affect the
The study at hand asks whether corruption is a significant obstacle for
peacebuilding in post-conflict societies, or might even have a stabilizing
effect. The concept of Hybrid Political Orders is used to model post-conflict
societies. The basic assumptions of the literature analysis of central
concepts of peacebuilding and corruption are tested against the case
study of Sierra Leone for the period 2002-2012.
Assuming different concepts of factors of political stability, such as
legitimacy, it becomes clear that the effect of corruption on political
stability can vary significantly, depending on the socio-economic and
socio-cultural context, and is not necessarily destabilizing.
Keywords: post-conflict society, Sierra Leone, corruption, Hybrid
Political Orders, Political Stability, Peacebuilding.