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In the years following Qatar’s successful 2010 bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, there has been a significant shift in its engagement with the migrant labour rights discourse, and subsequent embarkment on significant reforms as the result of intense international scrutiny and advocacy action. The core feature of Qatar’s historically evolved transnational labour management system, Kafala, has become a key focal point of international advocacy efforts. The objective of this article is to assess the extent to which the reforms constitute a break in Qatar’s historical (that is, pre-FIFA 2022) labour management system, and thus a meaningful disruption to the social reproduction regime that allowed the Kafala system to persist. We do so by probing the institutionalisation of those reforms, with a particular focus on the agency of labour through collective worker empowerment. Drawing on interviews with key transnational actors involved in the reform process in situ, we employ the ‘established-outsider’ relations concept in our analysis of the reforms, while highlighting the remaining challenges. Our ultimate argument is that although the reforms in Qatar seek to provide more labour rights and protections, they fall short of loosening the absolute control of sponsors (kafeels) over their employees. This is due to two main reasons: the absence of strong and effective institutions to convert the legal reforms into rights in practice; and the fact that laws outside of the labour ministry, that fall under the jurisdiction of the interior ministry, are the foundation of the relationship between citizens and migrants and remain largely untouched. These double-edged limitations guarantee the social reproduction of the highly unequal labour mobility system by firmly keeping in place ‘established-outsider’ relations.

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Housing and care are key sites of social reproduction that shape and are shaped by the labour process. As a Theory into Practice contribution, this article proposes social reproduction as a corrective that can restore the ‘human’ to discussions on temporary labour migration, including the potential for agency. Traditionally, ‘housing’ and ‘care’ are treated as disparate objects of regulation, which are further fragmented by the process of policy making itself. The article proposes ideas, some reflected in the International Labour Organization (ILO’s) recommendations, to turn aspirational values into lived realities to improve the historical disadvantages faced by temporary migrant workers. While it is widely accepted that this is necessary, we should remain hopeful that it is also achievable.

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This article explores how Indonesian factory workers in Taiwan strive to regain control over time, space, meaning, and dignity in the face of their exploitation, precarity, and racialisation. Drawing on ethnographic insight, I investigate migrant workers’ subjective practices both inside and outside their workplaces. The major contribution to labour mobility regime analysis lies in conceptualising how migrant workers exert agency on an everyday level, beyond formal labour organising. The focus on the everyday brings me, on the one hand, to labour processes at different Taiwanese workplaces that employ migrant workers. On the other, it brings me to the sphere of daily reproduction, that is, time outside waged labour. The article speaks to the central concern of this themed issue, namely theorising the role of social reproduction within labour mobility regimes, as I address the inseparable spheres of production and reproduction as sites of control and agency. I show that, on the shopfloor, Indonesian migrant workers’ practices of regaining control often remain individualised. It is in the sphere of daily reproduction where Indonesian factory workers organise collectively. The workers’ practices are rich and creative, but at the same time they are ambiguous and can result in consent, compliance, or conflict with capital’s attempt to seek profit from migrant labour. Nevertheless, they reveal migrant workers’ interests and desires as well as a (subtle) refusal of their conditions and of the control over their work and lives. This refusal defies victimising representations of migrant labour and paternalistic approaches to migrant workers’ protection.

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We extend the standard optimal linear income taxation model to allow for differences in social and individual work preferences while still maintaining the assumption that individuals are rational. The theoretical and simulation analyses show that when the government places a higher social weight on work than do individuals, the optimal marginal income tax rate (MIT) becomes lower. This implies lower revenue, income guarantee, and overall progressivity. The case for lower MIT is reinforced when the government places a relatively higher weight on work for low earners. Combining our analysis with that of , we, on the one hand, agree with previous studies that the optimal nonlinear income tax schedule would be close to the optimal linear one but, on the other, show that the degree of closeness would depend on preference differences. Our work contributes to the burgeoning field of non-welfarist economics.

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In this article, we consider the relationship between crime and attitudes toward privatization in Ukraine. In our theory, crime is a source of vulnerability that undermines citizens’ support for privatization. However, the success of privatization may also depend on the ability of the government to control crime. To discern these relationships, we first demonstrate that higher rates of crime are associated with less support for privatization, as our theory suggests. To address the possibility that institutional weaknesses during privatization affect the ability to control crime, we use Soviet institutional legacies, specifically industrialization, as an instrumental variable to assess the causal impact of crime on attitudes toward privatization. Soviet-led industrialization contributed to rapid economic growth, but at the cost of declining social and family structures. The instrumental variables analysis suggests crime causes a decline in support for privatization. This evidence suggests controlling crime should be part of Ukraine’s reconstruction effort in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked invasion in February 2022.

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With this article, I present a public choice perspective on Russia’s war on Ukraine. I criticise the realist view according to which Russia’s security concerns, defined by President Putin, prompted the conflict. I argue that realism offers a deficient analytic framework to the extent that it disregards the political and economic structure of Russia and, generally speaking, how the political economy of each case study shapes preferences, strategies and intra-elite relations, which feed into foreign policy formation. Russia is a government-controlled economy and society; a key property of Russia’s political economy is the dependency of key socio-economic actors and groups on the regime’s survival. This landscape pre-empts the expression of genuine feedback and dissent from society, and explains why Putin’s decision has faced very little disagreement and resistance. Given the previously close economic ties between Russia and Ukraine, this article also challenges capitalist peace theory for its blanket assertion that dense economic relations would provide a strong disincentive for countries to resort to war. Instead of talking about capitalism generically, we can discern varieties of capitalism, as they condition state–society relations differently. In Russia, the value that key socio-economic elites assign to their relationship with Putin outweighs the costs they are experiencing from the conflict and the external sanctions. Developing a public choice perspective in the study of international relations focuses on the preferences and strategies of the leadership and of domestic elite-level actors within the aggressor state, and invites attention to the power asymmetries that characterise their relationship.

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This article links Ukraine’s response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion in February 2022 to institutional reforms in the decade before the current war. After the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, Ukrainian civil society, business, and government jointly established an institutional framework to monitor public procurement. The problem of devising institutions to monitor behavior on an ongoing basis is not generally solved through constitutional reforms and revolutions. Public procurement reforms contributed to a culture of coproduction of monitoring that has persisted even when pressure was exerted on open government after Russia’s full-scale invasion. The reforms implemented after the Revolution of Dignity created a robust institutional framework to scale up institutions to monitor public procurement during Ukraine’s ongoing reconstruction effort.

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Contrary to predictions by many experts, Ukraine’s military has been resilient in the face of the Russian government’s invasion. Drawing on the logic of polycentric defense, this article helps explain how Ukraine has remained resistant against a conventionally more powerful adversary. We argue that polycentric defense in Ukraine has four benefits that aid counteroffensive efforts against invasion. First, polycentric defense facilitates the use of local and context-specific knowledge. Second, it permits competition, experimentation, and flexibility. Third, it reduces single-point failure vulnerabilities. Fourth, it encourages a wide variety of individuals to join the armed forces and contribute to the war effort. We present evidence of the benefits of polycentric defense in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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Public choice scholars have long argued that the decentralisation of governance has substantial benefits, though the specific context is necessary to understand why and how it works well. This article provides an Ostromian analysis of decentralised governance in Ukraine based on a wartime survey of 204 Ukrainian local authorities (LAs), in-depth interviews and focus groups with LA representatives. The article identifies empirical evidence of three mechanisms of polycentricity at play locally in Ukraine: the facilitation of local knowledge; resource mobilisation; and the enablement of experimentation and innovation. One year into the full-scale Russian invasion, empirical insights from Ukraine demonstrate how a polycentric governance system can contribute to resilience in a protracted and extreme crisis. The research findings also highlight the critical role of personal communication and technology in enabling social innovation that supports resilience.

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