Volume 45, No. 1 | Articles without a common theme

Bjarke Tarpgaard Hartkopf | Does development aid make poor countries richer?

The article intends to clarify the disputed and complex relation between development aid and economic growth. Two arguments are considered essential: 1) Development aid serves many purposes, and its effects should therefore not be assessed exclusively in relation to its effects on economic growth. 2) Economic growth has a unique potential to create sustainable development in poor countries – partly as the financial base for better welfare services and partly due to the connection between economic and democratic development. Based on ideal data, results suggest that development aid has a significant effect on economic growth the same year as the aid is given, and a larger, also significant, effect the following year. Results thus clearly indicate that development aid has a positive impact on economic growth. Considering the size of the effect it is, however, also clear that development aid is not capable of creating economic convergence between rich and poor countries. 

Ulf Hjelmar, Ole Helby Petersen and Karsten Vrangbæk | Contracting out of public services in Denmark. A review of documented effects

The article discusses the documented effects of contracting out in Denmark based on a systematic review of publications in the field from 2000-2011. It is shown that the economic effects of contracting out are 5-15 percent in the technical areas, while there is generally no evidence of economic benefits in social service areas. The studies generally contain insufficient documentation on whether savings have been achieved at the expense of service quality. They do not adequately take into account administrative and transaction costs, and consequences for employees affected by contracting out are only sporadically included. It is concluded that there is a need for broader and more systematic studies in the area since decisions on contracting out currently rest on a very limited foundation.

Ebbe Elhauge Kristensen | American patriotism and cinema. The contest about the patriotic action in light of 9/11

The use of cinema in political science is important, because cinema can be an essential part of legitimating political action. In other words, there is a contest about defining the authentic patriotic action. This is especially true after 9/11. American patriotism in Fahrenheit 9/11 and World Trade Center (WTC) is analyzed and discussed and it becomes evident that the movies represent two opposite sides of American patriotism. The schism concerns critical vs. reproducing patriotism, and it can be argued that Fahrenheit 9/11 represents the former and WTC the latter. It is concluded that the movies, despite the differences, present a universal core argument that America is an exceptional nation, and that community is fundamental to this exceptionalism.

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