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"Bongiovanni's message should be heeded, especially in Brussels, Berlin and Paris" - John Peet, Political Editor, The Economist Francesco Bongiovanni returns with a sequel to The Decline and the Fall of Europe, a book Guardian journalist Nils Pratley labelled 'a wake-up call for the twenty-first century'. Since 2012 Europe has been confronted with new, unexpected game-changing challenges such as the refugee crisis and its human tsunami, the surprise of Brexit and the explosion of 'alternative' politics. Europeans have finally come to realize that the open-societies that they have been comfortably living in are under threat and fragmenting, leaving their survival uncertain. Minorities are falling prey to an Islamist ideology that conveys values and customs diametrically opposed to European ones. Terrorist acts have become the 'new normal', part of daily life. The North-South cleavage brought about by the eurozone crisis is now completed by a deep East-West cleavage born from the refugee crisis. Against this backdrop, a Germany that is not all that it seems has become Europe's de-facto ruler, but is unfit to lead, while Trump's America cannot be counted on as it once used to be, forcing Europe to fend for itself. A beacon of stability and prosperity in the past, a naive and unprepared Europe, facing new and terrifying challenges is today more than ever torn apart, increasingly unstable and adrift.
Debt as Power is a timely and innovative contribution to our understanding of one of the most prescient issues of our time: the explosion of debt across the global economy and related requirement of political leaders to pursue exponential growth to meet the demands of creditors and investors. The book is distinctive in offering a historically sensitive and comprehensive analysis of debt as an interconnected and global phenomenon. -- .
Consumer society in the United States and other countries is receding due to demographic ageing, rising income inequality, political paralysis, and resource scarcity. At the same time, steady jobs that compensate employees on a salaried or hourly basis are being replaced by freelancing and contingent work. The rise of the so-called sharing economy, the growth of do-it-yourself production, and the spreading popularity of economic localization are evidence that people are striving to find new ways to ensure livelihoods for themselves and their families in the face of profound change. Indications are that we are at the early stages of a transition away from a system of social organization predicated on consumerism. These developments have prompted some policy makers to suggest providing households with a non-labor source of income that would enable more adequate satisfaction of their basic needs. These proposals include a universal basic income, a citizen's dividend, and a legal framework for broad-based stock ownership in corporations. However, extreme political fractiousness makes it unlikely that these recommendations will receive prompt and widespread legislative endorsement in most countries. In the meantime, we seem to be moving incontrovertibly toward a twenty-first century version of feudalism. How might we chart a different path founded on social inclusiveness and economic security? A practicable option entails establishment of networks of interlinked worker-consumer cooperatives that organizationally unify production and consumer. Such modes of mutual assistance already exist and The Future of Consumer Society profiles several successful examples from around the world. If replicated and scaled, worker-consumer cooperatives could smooth the transition beyond consumer society and facilitate a future premised on sufficiency, resiliency, and well-being.
In this enormously influential book, Jurgen Habermas examines the deep tensions and crisis tendencies which underlie the development of contemporary Western societies and develops a powerful analysis of the legitimation problems faced by modern states. Habermas argues that Western societies have succeeded to some extent in stabilizing the economic fluctuations associated with capitalism, but this has created a new range of crisis tendencies which are expressed in other spheres. States intervene in economic life and attempt to regulate markets, but they find themselves confronted by increasing and often conflicting demands. As individuals become increasingly disillusioned, the state is faced with the possibility of a mass withdrawal of loyalty or support - a 'legitimation crisis'. Widely recognized as a classic of contemporary social and political analysis, Legitimation Crisis sheds light on a range of issues which are central to current debates, from the decline of class conflict and the disillusionment with established political institutions to the crisis of the welfare state. It remains essential reading for students of sociology, politics and the social sciences generally.
The search for alternatives to capitalism and the problem of comparative assessment of the performance of socialist and capitalist systems have inspired one of the richest and most remarkable episodes in the history of economic thought. By the mid 20th century an entire field had emerged, conceptualizing, theorizing, monitoring, and analyzing the largest and most consequential social and economic natural experiment in human history: Real-life Socialism. This volume focuses on the fundamental literature associated with the comparative study of socialist and capitalist systems. It features both a well-rounded inquiry of the modern history of economic thought, as well as a vibrant and critical disentanglement of the role of the economic system from the role of environment and policy decisions, as determinants of economic performance. Together with an original introduction by the editors, this collection will be an interesting and invaluable research resource for libraries, academics and students alike.
The first book length study of property-owning democracy, Republic of Equals argues that a society in which capital is universally accessible to all citizens is uniquely placed to meet the demands of justice. Arguing from a basis in liberal-republican principles, this expanded conception of the economic structure of society contextualizes the market to make its transactions fair. The author shows that a property-owning democracy structures economic incentives such that the domination of one agent by another in the market is structurally impossible. The result is a renovated form of capitalism in which the free market is no longer a threat to social democratic values, but is potentially convergent with them. It is argued that a property-owning democracy has advantages that give it priority over rival forms of social organization such as welfare state capitalism and market socialist institutions. The book also addresses the currently high levels of inequality in the societies of the developed West to suggest a range of policies that target the "New Inequality" of our times. For this reason, the work engages not only with political philosophers such as John Rawls, Philip Pettit and John Tomasi, but also with the work of economists and historians such as Anthony B. Atkinson, Francois Bourguignon, Jacob S. Hacker, Lane Kenworthy, and Thomas Piketty.
How do we ensure that waste and inefficiency do not undermine the mission of publicly funded schools? Derek Neal writes that economists must analyze education policy in the same way they analyze other procurement problems. Insights from research on incentives and contracts in the private sector point to new approaches that could induce publicly funded educators to provide excellent education, even though taxpayers and parents cannot monitor what happens in the classroom. Information, Incentives, and Education Policy introduces readers to what economists know-and do not know-about the logjams created by misinformation and disincentives in education. Examining a range of policy agendas, from assessment-based accountability and centralized school assignments to charter schools and voucher systems, Neal demonstrates where these programs have been successful, where they have failed, and why. The details clearly matter: there is no quick-and-easy fix for education policy. By combining elements from various approaches, economists can help policy makers design optimal reforms. Information, Incentives, and Education Policy is organized to show readers how standard tools from economics research on information and incentives speak directly to some of the most crucial issues in education today. In addition to providing an overview of the pluses and minuses of particular programs, each chapter includes a series of exercises that allow students of economics to work through the mathematics for themselves or with an instructor's assistance. For those who wish to master the models and tools that economists of education should use in their work, there is no better resource available.
The rapid collapse of socialism has raised new economic policy questions and revived old theoretical issues. In this book, Joseph Stiglitz explains how the neoclassical, or Walrasian model (the formal articulation of Adam Smith's invisible hand), which has dominated economic thought over the past half century, may have wrongly encouraged the belief that market socialism could work. Stiglitz proposes an alternative model, based on the economics of information, that provides greater theoretical insight into the workings of a market economy and clearer guidance for the setting of policy in transitional economies.Stiglitz sees the critical failing in the standard neoclassical model underlying market socialism to be its assumptions concerning information, particularly its failure to consider the problems that arise from lack of perfect information and from the costs of acquiring information. He also identifies problems arising from its assumptions concerning completeness of markets, competitiveness of markets, and the absence of innovation. Stiglitz argues that not only did the existing paradigm fail to provide much guidance on the vital question of the choice of economic systems, the advice it did provide was often misleading.The Wicksell Lectures
Personal consumption accounts for two thirds of GDP, yet recent economic events have emphasised our limited ability to translate consumption patterns into policy. Steven Silver analyses this understudied area, exploring the network memberships that emerge from our everyday lives, and the consumption patterns these create.
This book provides a unique study of the differences in economic
behaviour according to the phases of the economic cycle in the
countries of the European Union. It presents a comprehensive
analysis of asymmetry in the EU over the last forty years, and
shows that the problems in the global financial crisis were readily
While accusations of "political correctness" are frequently raised against liberals, there has been surprisingly little discussion of how conservatives foment the use of their own "economically correct" language. In this engaging book, James Arnt Aune examines how the rhetoric of the free market has become the everyday language of American political debate. Outlining the key ideas of free-market economics, Aune shows how they have permeated political decisions around such issues as labor unions, farm subsidies, and the minimum wage. He also illuminates the paradoxes and irrationalities of these ideas, using rhetorical theory as an analytical tool. The book reveals the inherent contradictions between economic libertarianism, nationalist principles, and social conservatism in the positions of such influential right-wing politicians as Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, and Patrick Buchanan. It also provides lively and critical readings of important free-market and libertarian writings by Ayn Rand, Robert Nozick, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Murray.
The Evaluation of the Impact of Natural Monopolies on the National Economy and Competitiveness provides an original approach and develops an original model for analyzing and evaluating the impact of energy market liberalization on competitiveness of Lithuania. The main scientific objective of this monograph is to develop a model for the assessment of impact of natural monopolies on competitiveness and apply this model in the energy sector. It is the hope of the author to define the best measures for mitigating negative impacts of monopolies in the energy sector. The structure of the monograph is determined by its objectives and consists of four chapters. Chapter One is dedicated to setting the theoretical background and explain the relationship between natural monopolies and countries' competitiveness, analyzing concept, features of natural monopolies and reasons for their regulation, as well as its relation to economic subjects in the country. Chapter Two presents the broad review of the Lithuanian energy sector and natural monopolies in electricity, natural gas and district heat sectors; it discusses their liberalization processes and stages of market opening. Chapter Three analyses and systematizes results of studies dealing with the impacts of the energy market opening on energy prices and competiveness. Chapter Four presents the model for multi-criteria assessments of the impact of energy market liberalization on competitiveness of Lithuania and its empirical testing on the Lithuanian power sector.
Economic democracy is essential for creating a truly democratic political sphere. This engaging book uses Marxist theory to hypothesise that capitalism is not a democratic system, and that a modern socialist system of producer cooperatives and democratically managed enterprises is urgently needed. A New Model of Socialism focuses on the current crisis of the political Left, a result of the collapse of the Soviet model of society and the decline of statism and kingship. Bruno Jossa expands on existing theories to explore Marx's notions on economic democracy in a modern setting. He advocates a move away from the centralised planning form of economic socialism towards a self-management system for firms that does not prioritise the interests of one class over another, in order to achieve greater economic democracy. It is argued that the establishment of such a system of democratic firms is the precondition for reducing intervention in the economy, thus enabling the State to perform its ultimate function of serving the public interest. This timely book is ideal for advanced scholars of Marxist, radical and heterodox economic theory, as well as academics with an interest in the rise of socialism in our modern world. Indeed, it will also be of value to all those seeking a viable and practical alternative to existing capitalist and socialist thinking.
Stemming from the idea that economics is a social science that tends to forget its own history, this refreshing book reflects on the role of teaching with historical perspectives. It offers novel ways of integrating the history of economics into the curriculum, both in history of economic thought modules and in other sub-disciplines. Coming from a wide diversity of experiences, the contributors explore the idea that studying the history of thought exposes students to pluralism, and that it is therefore an essential pedagogical tool. They also argue that this method of teaching will reveal the historical contextualisation of current theories and show how they are the results of a specific evolution within the discipline. Ultimately, this book demonstrates how some modules have successfully operationalized both the history of economic thought and the teaching of various sub-disciplines from a historical perspective. Teaching the History of Economic Thought will be invaluable and enlightening for teaching and learning institutes across the academic world, as well as for economists, heterodox economists in particular, and social scientists.
Our contemporary world is plagued by a deep crisis that threatens the survival of our species and the planet. In the midst of this dire situation, we are being misled to believe by transnational corporations, governments, mainstream media networks and spin doctors that neoliberal capitalism has all the answers and can overcome any crisis. But can more of the same and a blind faith in capitalism save our world? Many are not convinced and there is a crucial awakening taking place. The rise of transnational activism, the World Social Forum, the Arab Spring, Occupy, the Climate Justice Movement and a post-neoliberal left affirm the need for alternatives to global neoliberal capitalism. A crucial idea and practice emerging from this ferment is the solidarity economy alternative. This book brings together contributions from leading thinkers and practitioners supporting the solidarity economy alternative in South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States. For the first time there is an attempt to clarify, rather than codify, meanings of the solidarity economy, emphasise crucial theoretical concepts at work in the emergent solidarity economy, and highlight situated movement-building experiences and ways in which the anti-capitalist logic of the solidarity economy can be constituted from below. This book is for anyone concerned about democracy, transformative politics and emancipatory utopian alternatives. 'The Solidarity Economy Alternative propagates the radical impulse of democracy from below while affirming ethical values and principles like social justice. This book is an excellent guide to this powerful idea and an invaluable resource for activists in South Africa and beyond.' Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, patron of the Democracy from Below Campaign, South Africa, and former deputy Minister of Defence and Minister of Health 'A brilliant, contemporary effort to reconstruct, on a new basis, the transformative anti-capitalist vision. It is an immensely valuable, empirically grounded contribution to a fundamentally important debate.' Peter Evans, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, author of Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation Vishwas Satgar is a senior lecturer in international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a political activist and chairs the board of the Cooperative and Policy Alternative Centre.
The old discussion of 'Market or State' is obsolete. There will always have to be a mix of market and state. The only relevant question is what that mix should look like. How far do we have to let the market go its own way in order to create as much welfare as possible for everyone? What is the responsibility of the government in creating welfare? These are difficult questions. But they are also interesting questions and Paul De Grauwe analyses them in this book. The desired mix of market and state is anything but easy to bring about. It is a difficult and sometimes destructive process that is constantly in motion. There are periods in history in which the market gains in importance. During other periods the opposite occurs and government is more dominant. The turning points in this pendulum swing typically seem to coincide with disruptive events that test the limits of market and state. Why we experience this dynamic is an important theme in the book. Will the market, which today is afforded a greater and greater role due to globalization, run up against its limits? Or do the financial crisis and growing income inequality show that we have already reached those limits? Do we have to brace ourselves for a rejection of the capitalist system? Are we returning to an economy in which the government is running the show?
There is no one better qualified to tell us about the failures of
the American financial system and the grotesque abuses that have
taken place in recent years than John Bogle, who as founder and
former chief executive of the Vanguard mutual funds group has seen
firsthand the innermost workings of the financial industry. A
zealous advocate for the small investor for more than fifty years,
Bogle has championed the restoration of integrity in industry
practices. As an astute observer and commentator, he knows that a
trustworthy business and financial complex is essential to
America's continuing leadership in the world and to social and
economic progress at home.
In Science, no-one believes the earth is flat any more. Economists, on the other hand, haven't budged from their original worldview. Market Capitalism depends on seven big ideas: competition, the `invisible hand', utility, agency theory, pricing, shareholder value, and limited liability. These served the world well in the past, but over the years they have become cancerous, and are slowly killing the system as a whole. Eve Poole argues that if you zoom in on any of these firm foundations, they start to blur and wobble. Here she offers alternative views for a healthier system. And looking at them together, it becomes clear why we're so stuck. The capitalist system masquerades as a machine programmed by experts, with only Economists and Governments qualified to tinker with it. But the market is just a mass of messages about supply and demand. The rich world shapes the market in its image, because it has more `votes'. So if we want to change the way things are, we don't need to wait for the experts, we can start now. In each chapter, Poole shows how quiet action by consumers, investors, employees and employers can make big changes, by shifting behaviours and adjusting the way financial `votes' are cast in the market.
This guide gives a brief overview of the whole of Latin American studies. Covering all the possible topics, from colonial cultures and identity to US Latino culture and issues of race, gender and sexuality, the book situates Latin America in its historical, linguistic and cultural context. Whether taking a single module or a whole degree in Latin American studies, it provides students with a companion throughout the course. Written by an international team of authors, each of the book's chapters supplies the necessary basic information and a sound introduction to key ideas, issues and debates. In addition to 13 short chapters on the main topics in Latin American studies, it includes time-lines, a glossary of terms and annotated suggestions for further reading.
Most of us are familiar with free-market competition: the idea that society and the economy benefit when people are left to self-regulate, testing new ideas in pursuit of profit. Less known is the fact that this theory arose after arguments for the scientific method and freedom of speech had gone mainstream-and that all three share a common basis. Proponents of self-regulation in the realm of free speech have argued that unhindered public expression causes true ideas to gain strength through scrutiny. Similarly, scientific inquiry has been regarded as a self-correcting system, one in which competing hypotheses are verified by multiple independent researchers. It was long thought that society was better left to organize itself through free markets as opposed to political institutions. But, over the twentieth century, we became less confident in the notion of a self-regulating socioeconomy. Evan Osborne traces the rise and fall of this once-popular concept. He argues that-as society becomes more complex-self-regulation becomes more efficient and can once again serve our economy well.
The idea that military strength is virtually synonymous with security is deeply entrenched and widely held. But while the threat or use of military force may sometimes be necessary, it cannot keep us as safe as we would be by building relationships that replace hostility with a sense of mutual purpose and mutual gain. Economic relationships, says Lloyd J. Dumas, can offer a far more effective, and far less costly, means of maintaining security. After defining the right kind of economic relationship--one that is balanced and nonexploitative, emphasizes development, and minimizes environmental damage--Dumas then addresses some practical concerns in establishing and maintaining these relationships. He also considers the practical problems of the transition from military-based security arrangements to "economic peacekeeping," and the effects of demilitarized security on economic development and prosperity.
This book delivers the fascinating account of one Western family's time living and working in China. Told through a series of letters, China from the Inside: Letters from an Economist presents insights into the society and economy of a country that is often opaque to outsiders and poorly understood. The author's expertise as an economist, and the family's efforts to integrate into Chinese society, furnish a vivid and unique account. It provides a valuable new perspective on the Chinese worldview, social relations and economy, as well as informed opinion on its projected economic development. Addressing issues ranging from the education system to the sustainability of economic growth, this is an accessible and engaging book that will be essential reading for all those interested in China and its future.
A Commodified World critiques the notion that in Late Capitalism all economic relations become always ever more commodified, while `non-capitalist` activities disappear. It demonstrates that a combination of new 'cultures of resistance' all constrain this tendency or even threaten to reverse it. Colin Williams finds that, even in the advanced economies, a non-commodified realm persists that is as large as the commodified sphere and growing relative to it. He draws on extensive empirical evidence of trends and new patterns of economic activity - including changes in women's participation, differences between wealthy and poor urban areas, and between urban and rural sectors. He explores non-commodified practices of resistance. And he concludes that governments and communities, by de-coupling production and consumption from the commodified realm, could open up alternative development paths.
This book expands the foundations of general systems theory to enable progress beyond the rich heuristic practices available today. It establishes a foundational framework for the development of scientific transdisciplinary systems principles and shows how these can amplify the potential of individuals and teams working in multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary contexts or striving to translate their progress across disciplinary boundaries. Three general scientific systems principles are presented, and their relevance to the design, analysis, management and transformation of systems is explored. Applying lessons from the history and philosophy science, this book disambiguates key concepts of general systemology, clarifies the role of general systemology within the field of systemology, and explains how general systemology supports other forms of transdisciplinarity. These insights are used to develop new perspectives, strategies and tools for addressing long-standing challenges to the advancement and transdisciplinary application of general insights into the nature of complex systems.The material presented in this book includes comprehensive models of the structure of systemology as a disciplinary field, the structure and significance of the general systems worldview, and the role of general systemology as the heart of systems science, systems engineering and systems practice. It explains what a fully-fledged general theory of systems would look like, what its potential is, what routes are available to us to develop it further, and how to leverage the knowledge we have attained so far. Many examples and analogies show how general systemology has the potential to enable scientific discovery, insightful theory building, and practical innovation in all the disciplines as they study, design, nurture or transform complex systems. This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to master the concepts, terminology, models and strategies needed to make effective use of current general systems knowledge and to engage in the further development of the philosophy, science, and practice of general systemology.
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