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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.

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James Crotty

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Ronald W. Coan

A History of American State and Local Economic Development: As Two Ships Pass in the Night presents a three-part history of American state and local economic development since 1789. Part I concentrates on economic development from colonial times thru 1929. Part II deals with a transition era that starts with the Depression/New Deal and proceeds through Eisenhower (1961). Part III lays the foundation for twenty-first-century contemporary economic development focusing primarily thru the 1990s. Chapter 1 argues the need for, and value of, a history of American economic development as a “bottom-up” jurisdictional public policy perspective that views economic development strategy, tools, and programs as outputs of a jurisdictional policy system. The policy system rests on the jurisdictional political culture which shapes but does not determine its outputs. American economic development has displayed through its history the existence of two macro-political cultures: progressivism and privatism—these are the Two Ships. Each culture forged its own “style” or approach to economic development: mainstream/classic economic development (privatism) and community development (progressivism). The Chapter 1 model provides a framework for the history. That framework includes: characteristics of the profession (“onionization,” siloization, and bifurcation); the three drivers of economic development policy (industry/sector profit cycle, population mobility, and competitive hierarchies); and outputs which can be strategies, tools, and programs delivered by economic development organizations (EDOs) constructed, tasked, and empowered to respond to issues and problems generated in the course of the history. In particular, structural types such as “hybrid public–private,” jurisdictional lead agency, and specialized EDOs are key players in jurisdictional policy systems.

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James Crotty

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Henrique Schneider

The chapter provides the background on the economics of this book, on the ‘sharing economy’ and how Uber can be assessed as an economic agent. This book understands markets as open-ended undetermined series of exchanges between a potentially unlimited number of agents. These agents engage voluntarily in the different market processes without knowing more than the other agents but judging their own beliefs, preferences and costs subjectively. Agents use the market processes in order to learn about other agents’ beliefs, preferences and costs. Market processes are cooperative actions. Whatever might be labelled the sharing economy relies on these market processes and does not in any way fundamentally change them. The sharing economy is not different from the traditional economy; to the contrary, it applies and broadens the application of market processes and individual actions. However, the role that technology plays is important. With the development of online networking, e- and online payment methods as well as individual online mobility, many business models gain scale and scope. Technology often makes it possible to diminish costs of participating in a market process, to learn quickly or gather information in a timely manner as well as to scale up some market processes. Uber, in due entrepreneurial spirit, seized this opportunity and turned it into a successful business model.
Open access

Richard Anker and Martha Anker