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Brokering development policy change: the parallel pursuit of millennium challenge account resources and reform

Parks, Bradley (2013) Brokering development policy change: the parallel pursuit of millennium challenge account resources and reform. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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A small body of mostly anecdotal evidence suggests that governments have undertaken legal, policy, institutional, and regulatory reforms to enhance their chances of becoming eligible for assistance from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). But we know little about the strength and scope of the so-called "MCC Effect”—in particular, why it seems to exert varying levels of influence across time, space, and policy domains. I collect two novel sources of data on the MCC Effect in order to explain the conditions under which the MCC eligibility standards have influenced the reform efforts of developing country governments. Through formal coding of archival data, I construct a database of more than 14,000 country policy-domain-year observations that measures whether and how governments change their policy behavior in order to achieve or maintain MCC eligibility. I then employ logit, rare event logit, and three-level random intercept modeling techniques as well as propensity score matching methods to explain the policy responses and non-responses of governments to the MCC eligibility criteria. I also draw on data from a first-of-its-kind survey of 640 development policymakers and practitioners in 100 low income and lower-middle income countries to "ground truth" inferences drawn from analysis of the archival data. My findings suggest that a range of factors influence the probability that a government will pursue reform ctivities in response to the MCC eligibility criteria. However, the central contribution of this thesis is the theoretical and empirical argument that the network positions of change management teams shape whether, when, and how externally inspired reforms get adopted and implemented. In this regard, I call attention an underappreciated factor that shapes the adoption and implementation of externally-influenced reforms: the presence of a policymaking team that has sufficient autonomy to introduce disruptive changes to the status quo, but also sufficient embeddednesss to overcome domestic political opposition.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Bradley Parks
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations

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