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H.K. Colebatch and Robert Hoppe

This chapter begins by clarifying what is meant by ‘policy’ and ‘process’. It then focuses on the dominant paradigm, which depicts policy as a pattern of authoritative instrumental choice, involving design, choice and implementation and evaluation. The chapter then examines policy as a pattern of association – that is, a continuing, structured interaction among a diversity of participants, inside and outside government, the stabilization of which produces distinct clusters and linkages of actors (e.g. ‘policy communities’ or 'networks') – and the argument that this has produced a new mode of governing (‘governance’). The chapter also recognizes the way in which policy rests on meaning or shared understandings – of what is normal and what is problematic, what is known about problems, what action is appropriate and who should act – and examines how the structuring of shared knowledge allows participants to manage the co-existence of very different forms of understanding. Finally, the chapter examines the long-term dynamics and limits to policy – the tension between incrementalism and choice, stasis and change, the significance of socio-economic constraints, and of policy as its own cause or policy feedback.

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Edited by Rune Halvorsen and Bjørn Hvinden

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Rune Halvorsen and Bjørn Hvinden

Many observers have considered the Nordic countries as a group of countries with shared priorities for redistribution-oriented provisions, and recently, a group providing similar responses to supranational and domestic expectations to adopt new and statutory social regulation instruments to ensure non-discrimination in the labour market. Yet, policy reforms since the late 1990s and early 2000s provide the authors in this volume with reasons to re-examine whether this is still the case and how the Nordic countries perform in facilitating the transition to the labour market for young adults. This chapter argues for seeing the Nordic countries as a case of both theoretical and political interest in the wider European context. The chapter presents the analytic framework for the volume as a whole and the main compositional factors relevant to examining old and new social risks and intersectionality for young adults in transition from education to employment.

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Edited by David Levi-Faur and Frans van Waarden

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

This chapter introduces the problem that this book addresses: how do societies come to be constructed in such a way that residents cannot drink the water that is supplied to them? The example of the supply of water to Shanghai is taken as a case through which to examine this question. Shanghai, it is argued, is an assemblage of interacting actors. This book examines the properties and characteristics of four principal actors: the hydro-geological conditions and rivers that provide water; the people, corporations and institutions within Shanghai who use and pollute the water; the institutions of central and other governments that regulate the use of the rivers and the discharges into them; and the infrastructures that governments and corporations have built to manage the river. The chapter concludes by outlining the organisation of the chapters through which the book addresses the question.

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

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Kris Bezdecny and Kevin Archer

The past half-century has seen a fragmentation of urban theory, one that is also evidenced in city-spaces. Cities have been labeled post-modern, post-industrial, post-colonial, mega, global, sustainable, creative, neoliberal, gentrified, themed, among a multitude of theoretical framings. All of these framings are descriptive of key dynamics witnessed in some (but not all) cities, but none describe well all those dynamics in any city. This is a problem showcased by current debates in urban theory today, particularly the recent debate between Scott and Storper (2015) in their discussion of the nature of cities, contested by such researchers as Mould (2016) and Roy (2016b), which calls into question whether a shared theoretical understanding of the ‘city’ is even possible. Indeed, this kind of debate has only intensified as urbanization continues its hyper-acceleration on a planetary scale (Brenner, 2014). As of 2009, over half the world’s population lives in a city (UNDESA, 2014). This means that roughly twice as many people are (re)producing their lived spaces in cities than the entire global population in 1900. An estimated one in eight people live in a megacity, or in cities with a population greater than 10 million; nearly half live in cities with a population below 0.5 million (UNDESA, 2016). By 2050, it is anticipated that as many as two-thirds of all people will be living in cities – with modest gains in already urbanized North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe and exploding growth in Asia and Africa – ultimately resulting in as many city-people at mid-century as live on the Earth today (UNDESA, 2009). Not all cities are created equal. Cities are often ranked competitively, based on a variety of criteria: population size, areal size (land consumed), and economic value. There are currently 214 cities ranked as global cities, those deemed most important to facilitating the global economy (Friedmann, 1986; Beaverstock, Smith and Taylor, 1999; GaWC, 2016). These are further ranked as alpha (49), beta (81), and gamma (84) cities – further demarcating the disparities between the command-andcontrol centers of global capital (while erasing those cities that are not considered competitive enough to be ranked) (GaWC, 2016). The megacity, by contrast, ranks cities by absolute population size, with 47 cities meeting the megacity definition of a population of 10 million or greater, and roughly 600 more cities having a population of 1 million or greater (UNDESA, 2016). Interestingly, there is overlap between urban definitions, in that cities defined by one definition become more likely (or less likely) to also meet an alternative definition (shown by the 40 out of 47 megacities that are also ranked as global cities).

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David Levi-Faur, Nir Kosti and Frans van Waarden

Democratic empowerment via institutional designs that extend the political rights of European citizens to participate in policy making stands at the centre of this book. We move beyond the concept of the democratic deficit within the European Union (EU), paying attention to the possibilities and barriers for democratic empowerment of European citizens. We focus especially on three major and more general themes: first, the positive and negative effects of the EU institutional design on the political rights of its citizens. Second, challenges for democratic regimes over the world in the twenty-first century in the context of regionalism and globalization. Third, the constraints of neoliberalism and capitalist markets on the ability of citizens to effectively achieve their political rights in order to shape policies, politics, social choices as well as in the economic and financial spheres.

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Richard Woodward

Since the Financial Crisis of 2008, there has been unprecedented interest in, and political momentum behind, reform of the international corporate tax regime. This chapter outlines the origins and subsequent failings of the international corporate tax regime and identifies the factors that, criticism notwithstanding, have made it resistant to change since its origins in the 1920s. The chapter traces the critical periods in the development of the international tax regime as it currently stands, highlighting both victories and setbacks. The analysis presented highlights the difficulties of achieving meaningful reform in collective action problems, such as international taxation, that rely upon high-level international cooperation. The recent BEPS initiative is examined (and discussed further in Chapter 2), and presented as a reminder of the pervasiveness of the obstacles to reform identified elsewhere in this chapter, and in the rest of this book. While recent reforms have showed some promising signs, history suggests that prophecies of thoroughgoing change should be treated with caution.

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John Casterline and Stuart Gietel-Basten

As home to 60% of the world’s population, population in Asia is truly a global issue. Fertility, as the primary determinant of contemporary population growth (and decline) is therefore of central importance. However, while much has been written about rates and trends in fertility – and respective macro-level causes and consequences – the underlying individual dynamics, namely fertility desires and preferences, are often overlooked. This chapter presents a state-of-the-art review of the ways by which fertility desires have (and have not) been integrated into the theoretical and empirical framework of demography in Asia. The chapter also draws out some of the key themes of the various chapters of the book, namely: son preference; whether sub-replacement fertility norms are emerging; the switch from excess to unrealized fertility; and the drivers behind the declining desire for children.