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The Social Challenge Ahead

Edited by Ulf Bernitz, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Infrastructure and Territoriality

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

Infrastructuring is core to understanding state territoriality. It is the provision of the physical structures that are central to understanding the control that states seek to assert over their territory. This infrastructuring strategy is contextualised in terms of a defined infrastructural mandate which identifies the multi-functional role that infrastructure plays in state territoriality. The infrastructural mandate stresses that states seek a National Infrastructure System to perform a number of functions, namely to offer territorial integration, security, control and growth.

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Introduction: Asia-Pacific resource politics between boom and crisis

The Political Economy of Conflict and Cooperation

Jeffrey D. Wilson

What explains the emergence of international resource conflicts in the Asia-Pacific during the last decade? This chapter first introduces the empirical scope of this book – providing a broad overview of the global resource boom of the 2000s, the resource security challenges it has posed, and emerging patterns of inter-governmental conflict these have engendered. It then reviews existing theoretical approaches to international resource politics, outlining how these fail to move beyond the systemic level to probe the wider range of factors at both the international and domestic levels driving government’s policy behaviour. It argues that to adequately explain these dynamics, it is necessary to examine why resource interdependence has become a securitised policy domain, and the political-economic factors driving this shift.

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Introduction: plan and scope of the book

What Can Be Done About Wealth Inequality?

Roger A. McCain

Sketches the plan of the book. Argues that wealth inequality is the basis of many other economic problems, noting that concentrations of wealth inevitably become concentrations of political power; this concentration of political power makes political democracy increasingly difficult to sustain; concentration of wealth inevitably creates instability and differences of social status, and inequality of wealth is the major cause of income inequality.

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Integration through law

A Critical Assessment of the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement

Clair Gammage

Chapter 1 presents the main epistemological framework and ontological claims of the book and asserts that regions should be understood primarily as legal regimes. Through the marriage of material power, ideational forces and institutions this book aims to promote an understanding of regions as fundamentally legal regimes. The law generates an assumption of the ‘right’ and ‘just’ way to live, guiding behaviour of institutions and of people through legal codification of norms. Legal philosophers are concerned with the validity of legal norms, their claim to correctness, and to understanding the reasoning and logic of the legal system while sociologically informed analyses of law seek to reveal the practical or empirically valid nature of legal norms in relation to other spheres of action, such as politics and the economy. Using the discourse theory of law, this book proposes that legitimate law is that which is normatively perceived to provide ‘good’ reasons for action. This book aims to demonstrate how legitimate law can emerge from a discursive and participative process of deliberation. It will be argued that the EPAs have created discursive spaces for deliberation albeit the inclusion of non-state actors in that process across the regional groupings has been limited. As such, the extent to which the EPAs constitute legitimate legal regimes in a Habermasian sense is questionable.

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The earth is flat

Authority and Exchange in a Global Age

David Reisman

The reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers, improvements in transport and communications and an overall rise in standards of living have produced a unparalleled expansion in trade, a new world division of labour and an integration of heterogeneous cultures. Globalisation at the same time is often blamed for widening inequalities within the nations and for a new world division of labour between the rich countries and the poor that governments and not the market alone have the duty to address.