News & Events
A recent paper in Business and Politics explores the emergence, evolution and forms of 'growth alliances' in Egypt. Professors Abla Abdel-Latif, of the American University in Cairo, and Hubert Schmitz, of the Institute of Development Studies, show how largely informal and politically-negotiated relations helped to shape alliances between some business sectors and key policy-makers without apparently becoming abused for private gain.
"Engaging politically behind red lines" examines six cases of collective initiatives to advance women's rights in Egypt and Jordan between 2000 and 2010. The study explores what accounts for the emergence, success and failure of women's coalitions in these two countries. Using a case study approach, the study examines the interface between collective agency and structure in two national contexts characterized by authoritarian rule and powerful Islamist movements strongly opposed to any structural transformation of gender hierarchies.
How do women's rights groups campaign for vital institutional reform of archaic laws on sexual violence in new democracies? How can they best 'work politically' to achieve positive outcomes? What lessons are there for donors and supporters? This research paper uses findings from a study of the National Working Group on Sexual Offences to demonstrate how civil society coalitions may draw on and expand their elite networks and exploit political and institutional arrangements to build developmental partnerships.
The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) held its first Research and Policy Workshop in Frankfurt on 10th and 11th March, 2011, facilitated by the GIZ. The focus of the DLP is on the role of developmental leaderships and coalitions in the politics of sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development. The purpose of the workshop was to explore and elaborate the policy, programme and operational implications of the recently completed phase of DLP research and to map the way forward for future research, policy and communications activities.
Dr. Mariz Tadros presented the findings from her recent DLP research paper, "Working Politically Behind Red Lines: Structure and agency in a comparative study of women's coalitions in Egypt and Jordan", at the International Roundtable: "Pathways for Women in Democratic Transitions - International Experiences and Lessons Learned", on June 2nd 2011in Cairo. The objective of this Roundtable was to explore paths towards democratic transitions that ensure good governance, gender equality and social justice.
There is now wide recognition that political processes - and especially the role of leaderships and coalitions - are fundamental in shaping and sustaining the institutional and policy environment that promotes or frustrates sustainable economic growth and inclusive social development. That being so, what is to be done? What does it mean for development policy and practice? In seeking to address some of these issues, the DLP held its first Research and Policy Workshop in Frankfurt in March, 2011. This paper provides a summary of the key findings, insights and initial guidance arising from the workshop and from recent phases of DLP research.
This excellent paper by the Asia Foundation explores the politics of local coalitions working to expand coverage of health services for the poor in two municipalities in Central Java, Indonesia - Semarang and Pekalongan. The research, by Laurel MacLaren, Alam Surya Putra and Erman Rahman, shows that facilitating and supporting the emergence and activities of coalitions of leaders and CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) can be a highly effective means of achieving pro-poor policy outcomes in some institutional contexts.
Policy-makers, researchers and practitioners can learn a great deal about the complexity of the politics of reform from the direct experiences of reform leaderships in developing countries. The Innovations for Successful Societies at Princeton University is building a series of case studies and recordings of interviews with developmental leaders from around the world. This rich source of information will be of great value to those interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the role which developmental leaderships and coalitions can play in promoting locally appropriate institutional and policy innovation and reform in the diverse contexts of their own countries.
Despite a potentially huge range of empirical evidence and examples, our understanding of how coalitions are formed, managed and funded, and what makes for successful coalitions remains remarkably limited. The purpose of the workshop is therefore to deepen our understanding of these crucial developmental political processes, to help classify different forms of coalitions, to derive significant policy and programmatic messages, and to formulate guidelines for the international community about how to broker, facilitate and support progressive developmental coalitions across sectors and issue areas. The workshop will draw on the rich experience and thinking of its participants - a mix of distinguished researchers and practitioners from a variety of contexts.
'Coalitions' are part and parcel of everyday politics, everywhere, nationally and sub-nationally and in all sectors and issue areas. They are also central to the inner politics that shape political settlements and help solve collective action problems. Yet we know very little about what makes for successful coalitions, or what the international community can do to support the emergence of developmental coalitions. The workshop brought together practitioners, researchers and theorists from developed and developing societies and this report summarises the important continuities, generalizations and messages that we identified. It is the first in a series of papers that seek to clarify this pervasive feature of the politics of development.
As part of DLP's coalitions series, this paper revisits one of the earliest attempts to develop a theory of political coalitions, or perhaps a political theory of coalitions - William Riker's classic account of The Theory of Political Coalitions, first published in the early 1960s. While Riker's account focused essentially on legislative and electoral coalitions in stable institutional environments, many of the insights and questions in the book - such as, size, duration, stability, and coherence of goals - remain relevant for a wide range of reform and developmental coalitions in the politics of developing countries. The paper reviews Riker's theory, assesses its limitations, and suggests a series of important issues that require attention.
'Reform' coalitions have been noted by many authors in a very diverse range of literatures. But what do we know about them? And should we not understand better their role in the politics of development? What are the circumstances of their provenance, and the political conditions and characteristics of successful ones? Can it be demonstrated that such coalitions have contributed directly to growth and poverty reduction? And, if so, can or should donors work politically to facilitate, encourage and promote their emergence and functioning? In this paper Caryn Peiffer identifies some of the common features of these coalitions and suggests some of the important questions that will be explored by further DLP research.
What exactly are 'political settlements'? This Concept Brief, the first of a new series, sets out key elements of this increasingly prominent idea. It suggests why it is important, and what policy implications follow from it.
We were delighted that over 100 scholars and development practitioners joined us for the Adrian Leftwich Memorial Conference on 24 January. We commemorated DLP's founding Director of Research with a fascinating day of reflection and discussion.
'Room For Maneuver' explores the politics of social sector policy reform in the Philippines. The book, co-edited by the late Adrian Leftwich, highlights lessons for reform advocates.
Five core themes run through the heart of this new-look Developmental Leadership Program website. They are signposts to help visitors explore our research, and they are the building blocks of the new strategy that will guide our work over the next three years.
On 4 December, Research Fellow Suda Perera will present DLP findings at an expert meeting to help inform Dutch development policy on security and justice.
A new DLP research paper asks what makes the middle classes oppose or support initiatives intended to lift people out of poverty, and how the development community can secure their approval of such policies.
We are delighted to welcome Tait Brimacombe and Gillian Fletcher to the DLP team at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Their research will explore issues including women's involvement in political processes, and strengthening capacity for development through communication.
Achieving Reforms in Oligarchical Democracies: The Role of Leadership and Coalitions in the Philippines
This paper examines the role of developmental leadership in two major reforms introduced in the Philippines in 2012: the Sin Tax Reform and the re-registration of voters in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
This study draws on interviews with Medellín’s political, business and civil society leaders and uses a structure-agency analysis to examine the politics behind the city’s remarkable transformation. It asks how such critical junctures can best be used to advance democratic, peaceful and equitable socio-economic development in a conflict situation.
The case of Somaliland offers insights into why some domestic power struggles – including violent ones – build the foundations for relative political order while others perpetuate cycles of economic malaise and political violence.
Riker in the Tropics: The theory of political coalitions and the politics of change in developing countries
It is more than 50 years since William Riker published his classic book on The Theory of Political Coalitions (1962).This paper revisits Riker’s work to see what contribution his insights and conclusions may have for understanding the success (or failure) of developmental coalitions in the politics of developing countries.
Structure and Agency in the Politics of a Womens Rights Coalition in South Africa: The Making of the South African Sexual Offences Act, 2007
How do women’s rights groups campaign for vital institutional reform of archaic laws on sexual violence in new democracies? How can they best ‘work politically’ to achieve positive outcomes? What lessons are there for donors and supporters?
Reform coalitions - coalitions that include both state and business actors working for policy and institutional reforms - are frequently cited as important components in successful growth outcomes. But what do we know about the inner politics that drive these potentially important coalitions?
Working Politically Behind Red Lines: Structure and agency in a comparative study of women's coalitions in Egypt and Jordan
This study examines six cases of collective initiatives to advance women’s rights in Egypt and Jordan between 2000 and 2010. It explores what accounts for the emergence, success and failure of women’s coalitions in these two countries.
Many new Leadership Development Programmes (LDPs) have emerged as interest within the international development community has increased in ‘leadership’ as a factor in the processes of development. This paper reviews leadership development programmes as a tool for development policy.
This essay offers an interpretation of the rise and fall of Zimbabwe’s political economy through the lens of leadership. Of special interest are the actions of elite coalitions that link political parties, the state bureaucracy, and the security sector.
Indigenous Institutions, Traditional Leaders and Developmental Coalitions: The Case of Greater Durban, South Africa
This paper examines the incorporation of indigenous institutions into the newly democratised eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality (the Metro) in Durban, South Africa, profiling examples of better and worse practice both at provincial level in KwaZulu-Natal and in the context of metropolitan governance.
Coalitions, Capitalists and Credibility: Overcoming the Crisis of Confidence at Independence in Mauritius
Few countries in the developing world have solved the puzzle of governing for broad-based prosperity. Mauritius is an exception. At the end of the colonial period, it was an isolated plantation economy, with a deeply divided population that had experienced violent urban riots. Between 1968 and 1988 it was transformed and has earned its status as a development “superstar" on a number of measures.
A quarter century into the AIDS epidemic, it is increasingly recognised that ‘AIDS leadership’ is crucial to sustaining and improving national and international responses. Under what conditions, and by which processes, do effective AIDS response coalitions emerge? And importantly, how can the international community encourage their formation?
This study, the first of its kind, analyses the inner political story of leaders, elite interactions and coalition formation in the processes of development in Botswana. It examines the role of leaders, elites and coalitions since independence in 1966 in making Botswana a successful ‘developmental state’.
South Africa’s political history in the last two decades can be written, and certainly understood, in terms of the way old, new, political and economic elites interacted in different domains and sectors to resolve major collective action problems and produce institutional solutions that would work, even if contentious. Less attention has been paid to the economic pact made by these elites, and this paper seeks to address this gap.
Leaders, Elites and Coalitions: The case for leadership and the primacy of politics in building effective states, institutions and governance for sustainable growth and social development
This paper makes the case that effective leadership and the collective action of a relatively small number of leaders and elites, across the public and private sectors, are essential for building effective states, ensuring stability and promoting economic growth. We suggest that there is a significant gap in the international community’s knowledge and understanding of the importance of leaders, elites and coalitions in meeting the many different challenges of development in weak states and emerging economies.
The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) addresses an important gap in international thinking and policy about the critical role played by leaders, elites and coalitions in the politics of development.
The key contention of the Developmental Leadership Program is that developmental leaderships and coalitions are critical in shaping the kind and quality of institutions and state-building processes, and hence are central to achieving the goals of economic growth, political stability, security and inclusive social development.
A report on a research workshop held in Cape Town on the 25-26th May 2010 to review four of its ten on-going research projects.
“Working politically behind red lines” examines six cases of collective initiatives to advance women’s rights in Egypt and Jordan between 2000 and 2010. The study explores what accounts for the emergence, success and failure of women’s coalitions in these two countries.
This research paper uses findings from a study of the National Working Group on Sexual Offences, in South Africa, to demonstrate how civil society coalitions may draw on and expand their elite networks and exploit political and institutional arrangements to build developmental partnerships.
This paper looks behind the scenes at the Yemeni regime’s opaque internal politics and at the nature of the neopatrimonial system that it has entrenched over the past 32 years.
This paper analyses the way the implementation of mitigation strategies has been carried out in promoting energy efficiency measures in China and India.
This study highlights the important role that quality education, at both secondary and higher level, has played in the formation of developmental leadership in Ghana.
Executive Summary - Achieving Reforms in Oligarchical Democracies - Leadership and Coalitions in the Philippines
This paper examines the role of developmental leadership in two major reforms introduced in the Philippines in 2012: the excise tax reform, which significantly raised taxes on cigarettes and alcohol – generally referred to as the Sin Tax Reform – and the re-registration of voters in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Politics, Leadership and Coalitions in Development - Policy Implications of the DLP Research Evidence
This document has been prepared for the DLP Research Policy Workshop, held on 10-11 March, 2011 in Frankfurt. It consists of all the Executive Summaries from the first phase of research of the DLP, plus an introductory analysis by Adrian Leftwich.
Findings, insights and guidance from the DLP's first Research and Policy Workshop, Frankfurt 10-11 March 2011.
This 'State of the Art' paper provides an in-depth review of the existing research on the relationship between political and bureaucratic leaders in developing countries, the factors that shape this relationship, and the impact it has on the success and failure of reforms.
This series of 10 Active Citizenship case studies and a synthesis paper of lessons learned have been published by Oxfam as part of a research project supported by DLP.
This paper discusses three theoretical perspectives that can increase our understanding of corruption and how to address it.
Testing Transparency: The Political Economy of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Myanmar
This paper explores the political economy dynamics of extractive resources in Myanmar and, specifically, the EITI process. It examines the interests of political, administrative, private sector and civil society actors engaged in this process and the contests among them. It considers how the EITI process has contributed to Myanmar’s continuing economic and political reforms and identifies challenges and emerging lessons.
Executive Summary - Testing Transparency: The Political Economy of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Myanmar
This two-page summary of the paper below highlights emerging lessons from Myanmar's Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative process.
Thinking and Working Politically to Support Developmental Leadership and Coalitions: The Pacific Leadership Program
This paper explores the experience of four reform coalitions supported by the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and what this tells us about supporting developmental leadership and thinking and working politically in the Pacific.
This paper presents findings from five case studies of coalitions in the Pacific region. It aims to address gaps in our understanding of the role played by civil society and coalitions in challenging gendered power structures and promoting women’s leadership and decision-making in the Pacific.
Brief - Power, Politics and Coalitions in the Pacific: Lessons from Collective Action on Gender and Power
This brief summarises findings from case studies of five gender-focused coalitions in the Pacific, and discusses the implications for coalitions and their supporters.
This study examines how, in the context of Myanmar's transition to democracy and growing international openness, reformers were able to use political savvy, strong leadership and smart institutional design to overhaul the country's telecoms sector. It highlights emerging lessons from this process.