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Preface

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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Abbreviations and acronyms

A Constitutional Political Economy Approach

John M. Mbaku

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Introduction

A Comparative Perspective

Christoph Scherrer

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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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Ana Rosa Ribeiro de Mendonça and Simone Deos

The authors emphasize an overlooked raison d’être for public banks. They argue that limiting public banks to filling the gaps left by private banks, the standard argument in economics, neglects a very important dimension of public banks, that is, their capacity to act countercyclically and thereby stabilize access to credit during economic downturns. Taking a cue from Hyman Minsky, they point to the immanent volatility of financial markets dominated by private actors. In order to counter destabilizing tendencies, the presence of institutions with the logic of action that differs from that of the market is necessary. As public banks are not primarily concerned with profitability, they can play this role. To a certain extent, their presence in the market is an automatic stabilizer because public banks provide credit with long maturation. In times of crisis, they can also be used for discretionary intervention, that is, opening up new credit lines.

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Liam Clegg

In this chapter, the central lines of analysis developed in the book as a whole are introduced. The main engagement offered is with literatures on international organisations where the ‘constrained experimentalist’ model of operational change offers an extension to existing studies. In addition, findings over the difficulties of securing progressive outcomes through market-based mechanisms in regulatory states of the global South, and over mismatches between visions of the post-Washington Consensus and recent World Bank practice, are outlined.

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Georg Krücken, Renate E. Meyer and Peter Walgenbach

In the introduction to the volume, Georg Krücken, Renate Meyer and Peter Walgenbach sketch the origins and the development of the European network of scholars interested in new institutionalism. Further, they provide an overview of the content of the volume at hand.

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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.