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ESR 15 Coalition-building and pro-poor governance reform

Early Stage Researchr: Guido Maschhaupt

Research Directors: Prof. Dr. Wil Hout (International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Netherlands); Prof. Dr. Mine Eder (Department of Political Science and International Relations, Boğaziçi University (BOUN), Turkey)

Objectives:
Research on pro-poor governance reform has identified the importance of coalition-building to include ‘reformist' parts of the ruling elite in developing countries. One of the major difficulties faced by reformist forces within governing regimes is their need to retain sufficient support from incumbent, usually conservative, elites, as the latter have great influence on the distribution of leading positions in government and society. Reformist coalitions must navigate and forge alliances with pragmatists among the incumbent elites in order to have their reformist agenda implemented. This ESR project will focus on initiatives by external donors to identify reformist coalitions and will analyse what strategies have been adopted to support the reformers. The project will investigate which strategies of external donors have been successful and will focus on a number of case studies to investigate more in detail why certain initiatives led to greater access to policy-making for the poor while others failed.

Expected Results:
The project will contribute to knowledge about the reform potential of pro-poor coalitions in developing countries. The research findings will be relevant to governance interventions and contribute to reform strategies aimed at inclusive development.

Secondments:
The project involves a strong collaboration between the International Institute of Social Studies of EUR and Boğaziçi University and therefore includes mandatory research stays of the ESR in Istanbul for six months in total.
An additional six-month secondment is planned for as field research period, supervised by the University of the Western Cape (South Africa).

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