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Peter A.G van Bergeijk and Selwyn J.V. Moons
Peter A.G. van Bergeijk and Selwyn Moons discuss the emergence of the concept of economic diplomacy in the fields of Accounting, Business Economics, Conflict Studies, Development Studies, International Economics, International Relations, International Trade, Management Science, Peace Science, Political Science and Public Finance. The focus should be on bilateral activities such as nation branding, trade missions, trade fairs and network activities of embassies and consulates and the impact of these tools on import, export and Foreign Direct Investment. The field should extend beyond the traditional boundaries of commercial diplomacy and business diplomacy and also cover the not-for-profit-sector, including universities and other knowledge institutes, the health sector, the cultural sector, NGO’s etc. One key finding for research is the need to consider significant heterogeneities with respect to (the efficacy of) instruments, countries, institutions levels of development and behavior and decision-making of firms.
There are strong linkages between religion, bureaucratic organization, citizen preferences, and political regimes. The views of Lipset and Rokkan, Marx, Lukacs, Marcuse, Adorno, Weber, and Durkheim are discussed. The choice of these thinkers relates to the three grand themes that are discussed in the book: (1) The linkage between religion and political regimes in terms of social welfare expectations by the electorate, surveillance incentives, and collectivist distribution by bureaucrats; (2) The religious traditions that shape the administrative structures of local or regional communities; and (3) The different levels of policy discretion, administrative monitoring, and centralization that correspond to different sets of religious norms adopted by citizens and bureaucrats. The critique of conventional social theory treats religion in its key dimensions: as state structure, party cleavage, and social welfare.
Giuseppe Eusepi and Richard E. Wagner
Antonio de Viti de Marco, accepted David Ricardo’s proposition that an extraordinary tax and a public loan are equivalent. All the same, de Viti’s theory of public debt diverged sharply from Ricardo’s. Ricardo thought effectively in representative agent terms; De Viti did not, and thought instead of macro variables as emerging out of interaction among individuals. Ricardo’s macro framework entailed the self-extinction of public debt due to its representative agent quality. In contrast, de Viti’s micro framework explained that self-extinction depended on the operating properties of the political system in which public debt was generated. Within the theoretical extremum of a system of cooperative democracy, self-extinction was a likely property. Ordinary democratic systems, however, featured continuing competition among elites striving for power. This competition enabled politically dominant groups to pass cost onto others in society, bringing about a de facto form of debt default and not self-extinction.
According to many authors, one still unsolved query is why the broad consensus for the values and culture of the left has broken down. As far as I can see, the answer is that even after the collapse of the Soviet model of society the left held on to the idea of socialism as founded on centralised planning rather than on democratic firm management. The current crisis of the left is caused also by the globalisation of the economy, i.e. by the fact that the political and economic agendas are dictated by supranational oligarchies which are capable of controlling the media, influencing the opinions of electors and the general public and forcing the left into a corner. As a result, the left is seriously ill and must gain an awareness that idle protest leads nowhere. Moreover, statism is on the wane because of its inability to steer the economy and offer satisfactory welfare in a globalised world and because historical experience has taught us that it tends to generate inefficiency and corruption. This conclusion is effectively summed up in the concept of the death of the State and its organisational structure. One of the founding assumptions of this book, therefore, is that the establishment of a system of democratic firms is the precondition for reducing State intervention in the economy and enabling the State to perform its ultimate function, that is to say serving the public interest. Those who think of socialism as a system of self-managed firms are called upon to emphasise the view that, contrary to capitalism, a self-management system is not a system which prioritises the interests of one class over those of another. What is more important, however, is that a system of labour-managed firms has many other advantages (with respect to capitalism), which suggest that it is a very beautiful economic system. The book discusses such advantages.