Comparative Politics

B17 - Development, Sustainability, and Political Parties

Date: Jun 14 | Time: 10:15am to 11:45am | Location:

Beyond the Dichotomy: A Typology of Direct Public Funding: Tobias Gerhard Schminke (Dalhousie University), Scott Pruysers (Dalhousie University)
Abstract: To fulfill their function as the central link between the state and society in representative democracies, political parties require substantial financial resources (i.e., to advertise their policies, pay staff, rent office space, etc.). Funding regimes are typically a combination of public and private sources: Public funding refers to resources provided by the state to political parties, while private funding originates from non-state sources, such as donations, membership fees, and corporate contributions. In recent years, public funding has increased in scope and importance in many states. Funding regimes vary greatly between countries, with countries like Austria, Bulgaria, or Canada, demonstrating considerable diversity in generosity, recipients, allocation procedures, and disbursement modes. The party and party system literature faces challenges in capturing the complexity of these funding regimes. While large-N research often treats public funding availability as a binary variable, it rarely accounts for nuances (i.e., which face of the party receives the funding). Case studies, on the other hand, offer specific insights but lack generalizability due to their case-specific nature. This paper addresses these shortcomings by creating an original typology of public funding regimes that considers variables like generosity, recipients, allocation procedures, and disbursement modes. This is an important first step in uncovering whether certain public funding regimes are associated with different outcomes (i.e., more polarization, ideological diversity, etc.). To demonstrate the utility of this new typology, I show differences in party system fragmentation across regime types.

Urban Sustainability Transition in Turkey: Drivers and Barriers: Zeynep Kadirbeyoglu (Brandeis University), Rabia Kutlu (Stanford University)
Abstract: This paper examines the drivers and barriers of urban sustainability policy transfer through a case study in Turkey. We show that increased opportunities for collaboration between the international and local actors, when local demand exists, can encourage municipalities to espouse sustainability discourse and in turn implement sustainable infrastructure projects, breaking institutional inertia. However, we argue these bottom-up attempts have limited transformative impact unless the central government enacts the necessary legislation and regulation to provide local governments with the authority and tools to pursue urban sustainability. These findings provide an important perspective into forces driving the localization of sustainable development goals.

Beyond Borders: Comparing Green Political Movements for a Sustainable and Just World - Insights from Canada, Europe, and Australasia: Evangeline Kroon (York University), Dennis Pilon (York University)
Abstract: Within the context of the current global discussion on climate change, Canada’s political response to the ongoing climate crisis effects how the country is perceived on the international stage. Canada’s historical and contemporary position as an energy extraction state is key to the nation’s identity and economy, influencing its political decisions. Canada’s location is also uniquely precarious in that it both disproportionality contributes to, and suffers from, the consequences of global warming, and this tension is observable in current political discourse. Therefore, an examination of environmental concern in Canada as reflected in voter support for the Green Party of Canada is overdue. However, though the emergence and success of Green parties in Europe and Australasia have been well-documented since the 1980s, the Canadian Green Party has had almost no attention paid to it and very few long-term success studies or comparative articles exist that examine its growth and political tenure since its formation in 1984. This paper turns to Canada and examines the key themes found to contribute to the emergence and success of Green parties in the EU and Australasia and compares them to the Canadian context. In analyzing where the similarities and differences lie, this project explores if human concern surrounding climate is enough to provide political support and create political change, if is it the only issue needed, and if not, what other political, social or economic factors must fall into place for a Green party to be successful in Canada? In alignment with the theme 'Sustaining Shared Futures', this research underscores the need to reimagine Canada's role in shaping a sustainable, equitable, and just world. It emphasizes the urgency of understanding the multifaceted influences on political, social, and economic landscapes and their collective interplay in steering the success of a Green Party in Canada and, by extension, in fostering a shared and sustainable global future.

Seeing development like the state sees it: Visual content analysis of national development plans since 2012: Lauchlan Munro (University of Ottawa)
Abstract: How do states portray the type of development that they want to promote? One way is through their national development plan (NDP), a document that some 140 countries containing almost 80% of humanity have produced over the last decade. NDPs are not only meant to guide all other development policies, but they also serve to frame debates about key development issues and project literal and proverbial images of what a developed future looks like. Earlier generations of NDPs were staid documents whose cover page usually contained little more than the title, date and publisher, plus perhaps the national emblem or flag. The covers of recent NDPs, in contrast, usually contain striking graphics, photographs and colourful designs. This paper posits that the visual imagery on the covers of national development plans constitute political, cultural and ideological symbols that are redolent with meaning about how the state sees development and about how the state visually portrays development to its citizens and to the world. This paper uses visual content analysis (Carneiro and Johnson, 2014) to see what kinds of imagery are found on NDP covers over the last decade. The texts of those plans are then analysed using conventional and summative content analysis (Hsieh and Shannon, 2005). Comparing visual and textual content analysis provides insights into the broader meanings of the plans themselves and their relation to global policy agendas like the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The paper draws on an electronic archive of 315 NDPs published by 143 countries since 2012.