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Introduction: contracting human rights

Crisis, Accountability, and Opportunity

Alison Brysk

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Kristin M.S. Bezio

This chapter addresses Christopher Marlowe, whose influence over his own time was significant, as he was one of the first playwrights to develop the dramatic formula we have come to associate with the now more-famous Shakespeare. In the years since his death in 1593, Marlowe has become an icon of early atheism and heresy, as well as resistance to an authoritarian government. In addition to his impact on the dramatic genre, Marlowe’s work, particularly Massacre at Paris, shows disdain for the violence that seemed to him endemic to the English Reformation, and suggests a nihilistic view of religion as detrimental to society.

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Hans-Uwe Otto, Valerie Egdell, Jean-Michel Bonvin and Roland Atzmüller

In many European countries, a large number of young people aged 15 to 29 years have challenging and complex educational or labour market experiences. Since the 2008 economic crisis, the situation of young people has again deteriorated dramatically in many European countries and in particular in southern and eastern Europe. Employment and training opportunities have reduced, and levels of poverty and social exclusion have increased, not only, but especially, for young people. Thus, the question is emerging as to whether young people are a group at great risk of becoming, being and staying socially disadvantaged. It is this problem of the social disadvantage of young people in Europe in the aftermath of the economic crisis that this volume focuses upon. After having peaked in the immediate years after the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008 and the subsequent sovereign debt crisis in a range of European countries, the unemployment rate in the EU-28 for the 15 to 19 years age group stood at 24.6 per cent,1 for the 20 to 24 years age group at 19.1 per cent, and at 12.4 per cent for the 25 to 29 years age group.2 With the remarkable exception of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, who experienced a temporary peak of youth unemployment in the years preceding the crisis of 2008 (albeit on levels way below the situation in the so-called European periphery), in most European countries youth unemployment had remained relatively stable since the early 2000s – although a high degree of variation between European member states has to be taken into account.

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The history of social innovation

Building Resilience Through Transitions

Katharine McGowan, Frances Westley and Ola Tjörnbo

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Analysing inequality and disadvantage from a capability perspective

Fighting Inequality Through Capability Oriented Policy

Jean-Michel Bonvin, Benoît Beuret and Stephan Dahmen

This chapter emphasizes the various possible ways to conceive inequality and disadvantage, as well as the multiplicity of individual, social, economic, cultural, institutional, and so on, dimensions involved. The challenge in terms of public policies is then to select one informational basis of inequality, that is, to identify which dimensions of inequality are to be tackled via public policies and which ones can be discarded as less significant. In this selection process, the participation of vulnerable people, directly affected by disadvantage, makes a huge difference, as it can allow a more adequate identification of the inequalities to be tackled. The chapter sheds light on the complex intricacies between inequality and participation, and emphasizes the prerequisites for a full and effective participation of vulnerable people in the design and implementation of public policies struggling against inequality and disadvantage.

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An uphill struggle

A Fitness Landscape Model Approach

Lasse Gerrits and Peter Marks

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Unravelling the nexus between entrepreneurship, neighbourhoods and communities – introduction

Towards an Understanding of the Economies of Neighbourhoods and Communities

Reinout Kleinhans, Darja Reuschke, Maarten van Ham, Colin Mason and Stephen Syrett

Until recently, entrepreneurship and neighbourhood studies were academic disciplines which rarely interacted with each other. However, recent macroeconomic and societal trends have pointed the spotlight on the nexus between entrepreneurship, neighbourhoods and communities, highlighting not only the importance of ‘the local’ in entrepreneurship, but also the huge gaps in our knowledge base regarding this tripartite relationship. In much of the literature, a distinction is drawn between entrepreneurship taking place in neighbourhoods or communities, and entrepreneurship taking place for neighbourhoods and communities. This chapter starts out from the international call for interdisciplinary approaches to entrepreneurship and firm formation to overcome entrepreneurship research and neighbourhood and community studies’ mutual neglect for one another’s fields of research. This introduction to a volume of chapters aims to shed light on the multiple relationships between entrepreneurship, neighbourhoods and communities across several countries. It asks how neighbourhoods and communities can shape entrepreneurship, a question for which the relevance stems from radical changes of (inter)national and regional labour markets and growing evidence that neighbourhood contexts impact on entrepreneurship and self-employment in various ways. It also asks the ‘reverse’ question: how does entrepreneurship influence neighbourhoods and communities? In doing so, the chapter (and many other chapters in the book) treat ‘community’ as a local, spatially embedded concept. Particular attention is devoted to community-based forms of enterprise and their potential for contemporary bottom-up neighbourhood regeneration.

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Alfons Bora

This chapter introduces in depth the scientific models and theories which have captured the idea of “shaping society” with their conceptual language. These scientific models are analysed from the perspective of the sociology of knowledge. The underlying intuition is that a deeper understanding of the respective semantics will also improve our comprehension of the social structures in the field. The semantics of governance captures a widespread contemporary description of the exercise of power and its legitimation. Governance is understood as a form of statehood mainly characterized by negotiation and co-operation, in contrast to hierarchical steering, rule-making, enforcement and sanctioning. To a certain extent, governance has turned the scales against the more traditional concepts of law and regulation, which bear some connotations of the nineteenth and twentieth century nation-state and have allegedly become rather outdated models of societal organization. Contrary to this widespread intuition within the governance debate, the chapter demonstrates that the perspective of law and regulation is still fruitful for conceptualizing the relation between the different fields and subsystems of modern society. While governance indeed expanded the analytical realm towards new instruments of control and the new actors involved in decision-making, it did so all the while preserving and even strengthening the idea of controlling and powerfully shaping societal conditions. The chapter therefore suggests recollecting the functional nucleus of “governance” within the terminology of “regulation”. Such a nucleus places particular emphasis on the “ruling part” of governance semantics which (a) remains deeply concerned with questions of exercising influence and (b) feeds to a large extent on legal sources.