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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.
The Social Challenge Ahead
Edited by Ulf Bernitz, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson
The Social Challenge Ahead
Ulf Bernitz, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson
The introductory chapter provides an overview of the great social challenge that the EU currently faces. The editors raise the question of what can be done to bridge the prosperity gap in Europe. First, they briefly describe the background: the social dimension of European cooperation and its historical development. Second, they identify the new social challenges that the Union faces in the wake of the Great Recession, the ongoing refugee crisis, and the Brexit referendum. Third, an analytical point of departure for examining these challenges is presented, consisting of an interdisciplinary approach that pinpoints a number of overarching problems and possibilities associated with the social dimension of European integration. Fourth and finally, the book’s chapters are introduced, and their key policy recommendations are summarized. The chapter concludes with the argument that much of the EU’s future relevance and ability to stay together depends on its capacity to counteract the prosperity gap and reverse the negative trend that emerged during the crisis.
Caroline Kuzemko, Michael F. Keating and Andreas Goldthau
This chapter makes the case for nexus thinking in the study of the international political economy of energy and resources, that is their inter-dependencies with other policy areas. It argues that it is imperative to go beyond an IPE of ‘just energy’ – rather than treating it as truly ‘discrete’ – to understand energy and resources as part of dynamic inter-relationship with other issue areas. In addition to the ones related to climate change, security and development, nexuses as identified in the chapter include the energy–technology nexus, the energy–water nexus, the energy–food nexus, or the global–local nexus in energy, all of which are increasingly identified within some global and national governance organisations and within recent scholarship. The chapter suggests that from a scholarly point of view this establishes energy as a highly complex, interconnected policy area – both in terms of how energy markets and technical regimes are constituted, their implications for other issue areas, and in terms of the extent to which governance institutions are being designed that stretch across these issue areas. Moreover, the chapter makes the case for the ‘IPE toolkit’ being well equipped to capture energy nexuses in their various forms and shapes. Finally, the chapter lays out the structure and the content of the Handbook.
Alina Averchenkova, Sam Fankhauser and Michal Nachmany
Chapter 1 offers an overview of the book and summarizes the state and trends in climate change legislation. Making use of a unique global database, Climate Change Laws of the World, the chapter identifies over 1,200 climate change laws and policies of similar stature in the 164 countries the data covers. This stock of laws is the result of over 20 years of policy making and speaks to the growing attention that legislators are devoting to climate change. In 1997, at the time the Kyoto Protocol was signed, there were only about 60 relevant laws and policies. Countries use different routes to address climate change. In some countries the primary avenue is acts of parliament, that is, formal laws passed by the legislative branch. In others, the policy direction is defined through executive orders, decrees and strategies. Climate change laws also differ in scope and ambition. Some laws are specifically focused on climate change, advancing explicitly emissions reduction or adaptation targets. Others introduce climate concerns into sector policies, such as those on energy, or broader development plans. Understanding these different approaches becomes increasingly important as countries implement their pledges under the Paris Agreement.