Samson B. Lembani (2014): Institutions and Veto Players in Legislative Decisions - What and Who Matters in Legislative Decisions in Malawi? - II, 28 S.
There exists sparse empirical and comparable knowledge on the functioning of national parliaments in Africa. This information deficiency is particularly acute on institutional factors and actors that influence legislative decision outcomes in contemporary African minority governments. This is asymmetrical to the extensive institutional reforms and redesigning witnessed in Africa prior and subsequent to the third wave of democratization. Besides, existing literature does not sufficiently explain modes and contexts of decision making within political blocks and how such considerations manifest in collective decisions of parliaments. In addition, these analyses do no amply capture how political actors respond to both formal and informal institutional incentives, in legislative decision making of patrimonial settings.
This paper attempts to answer the questions: (a) which actors and incentives influence the decision choices of legislators? (b) Which formal or informal rules regulate legislative decision making? (C) Which are the major points of highest uncertainty in the legislative decision-making process?
The study establishes that the main actors in legislative decision-making processes in Malawi are parliamentary political parties, the state president, CSOs, speaker of parliament, opposition parties in government coalition, judiciary and donors. That parliamentary standing orders and national constitution are the basic formal rules that regulate the behaviour of actors in legislative decisions in Malawi. Further, informal institutions such as neo-patrimonial norms and informal kinship connections and religious links are a source of immense influence on the decision choices of legislators and often eclipse democratic consolidation. In a minority government, the plenary-through voting is the strategic arena of highest uncertainty at which legislative decisions are likely to be overturned, withdrawn or reversed. Other veto-points are the business committee and presidential assent stages. In terms of theoretical framework, the study is premised on institutional theory and the veto-player analysis.
Silas Udahemuka (2012): "Dead aid"? Just a false victim of the quasi-monopoly of aid-growth linkage. - I, 20 S.
Aid-growth linkages quasi-monopolized the academic research on aid effectiveness with the overriding finding that aid does not contribute to economic growth and to some, it is nothing short of "dead aid". Next to this was the enquiry as to why aid failed to spur economic growth as hypothesised by the two-gap model. To this enquiry, the finding that aid would only spur economic growth in good policy environment gained momentum and contributed to aid policy shift from conditionality to selectivity. This paper argues, based on the analysis of the structure of aid allocation by sector, that the hope placed on aid to spur economic growth was misplaced. Even with the selectivity policy as the prescription for a significant growth impact, it is unlikely that the sought impact will be achieved given the current structure of aid which is increasingly allocated to non productive sectors and activities. Under the current aid structure, the paper appeals to look at aid effectiveness rather in term of non-income indicators which so far has received less attention.