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African Economic History

Vol. 36 (2008) through current issue

African Economic History, published once a year by the African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focuses on recent economic change in Africa as well as the colonial and precolonial economic history of the continent.

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After Admission

From College Access to College Success

Enrollment at America’s community colleges has exploded in recent years, with five times as many entering students today as in 1965. However, most community college students do not graduate; many earn no credits and may leave school with no more advantages in the labor market than if they had never attended. Experts disagree over the reason for community colleges’ mixed record. Is it that the students in these schools are under-prepared and ill-equipped for the academic rigors of college? Are the colleges themselves not adapting to keep up with the needs of the new kinds of students they are enrolling? In After Admission, James Rosenbaum, Regina Deil-Amen, and Ann Person weigh in on this debate with a close look at this important trend in American higher education. After Admission compares community colleges with private occupational colleges that offer accredited associates degrees. The authors examine how these different types of institutions reach out to students, teach them social and cultural skills valued in the labor market, and encourage them to complete a degree. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person find that community colleges are suffering from a kind of identity crisis as they face the inherent complexities of guiding their students towards four-year colleges or to providing them with vocational skills to support a move directly into the labor market. This confusion creates administrative difficulties and problems allocating resources. However, these contradictions do not have to pose problems for students. After Admission shows that when colleges present students with clear pathways, students can effectively navigate the system in a way that fits their needs. The occupational colleges the authors studied employed close monitoring of student progress, regular meetings with advisors and peer cohorts, and structured plans for helping students meet career goals in a timely fashion. These procedures helped keep students on track and, the authors suggest, could have the same effect if implemented at community colleges. As college access grows in America, institutions must adapt to meet the needs of a new generation of students. After Admission highlights organizational innovations that can help guide students more effectively through higher education.

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After the Crash

The Future of Finance

edited by Yasuyuki Fuchita, Richard J. Herring, and Robert E. Litan

As the global economy continues to weather the effects of the recession brought on by the financial crisis of 2007–08, perhaps no sector has been more affected and more under pressure to change than the industry that was the locus of that crisis: fi nancial services. But as policymakers, fi nancial experts, lobbyists, and others seek to rebuild this industry, certain questions loom large. For example, should the pay of fi nancial institution executives be regulated to control risk taking? That possibility certainly has been raised in offi cial circles, with spirited reactions from all corners. How will stepped-up regulation affect key parts of the fi nancial services industry? And what lies ahead for some of the key actors in both the United States and Japan?

In After the Crash, noted economists Yasuyuki Fuchita, Richard Herring, and Robert Litan bring together a distinguished group of experts from academia and the private sector to take a hard look at how the fi nancial industry and some of its practices are likely to change in the years ahead. Whether or not you agree with their conclusions, the authors of this volume —the most recent collaboration between Brookings, the Wharton School, and the Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research —provide well-grounded insights that will be helpful to fi nancial practitioners, analysts, and policymakers.

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After the End of History

The Curious Fate of American Materialism

Robert E. Lane

Robert E. Lane is one of the most prominent and distinguished critics of both the human impact of market economies and economic theory, arguing from much research that happiness is more likely to flow from companionship, enjoyment of work, contribution to society, and the opportunity to develop as a person, than from the pursuit of wealth and the accumulation of material goods in market economies. This latest work playfully personalizes the contrast through a dialogue between a humanistic social scientist, Dessi, and a market economist, Adam. It is all too rare to have the two sides talking to each other. Moreover, in Lane's witty and literate hands, it is an open-minded and balanced conversation, in which neither side has all the answers. His unparalleled grasp of interdisciplinary social scientific knowledge is brought to bear on the largest questions of human life: What genuinely makes people happy? How should human society be organized to maximize the quality of human lives? --David O. Sears, Professor of Psychology and Political Science, UCLA "Lane's deep knowledge of the sources of human happiness enables him to develop a powerful critique of economic theory." ---Robert A. Dahl, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Yale University Robert E. Lane is the Eugene Meyer Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Yale University. His previous publications include The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies (2000) and The Market Experience (1991).

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Ageing and Long-term Care

National Policies in the Asia-Pacific

David R Phillips and Alfred C M Chan

The case studies in this book focus on the emergence, extent and nature of national policies on ageing and associated strategies to address long-term care needs. Key opportunities for and constraints on policy are identified in this first round of regional studies, written by prominent researchers in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, who are partners in the Ageing Research Network of the Asian Development Research Forum. The case-studies are set in the context of regional and international plans of action on ageing and the deliberations of the Second World Assembly on Ageing held in 2002.

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Agriculture, Environment, and Health

Sustainable Development in the 21st Century

Vernon Ruttan

Agriculture, Environment, and Health offers a broad and challenging analysis of changes now under way at the global level in institutional design and policy reform that ultimately will promote sustainable growth in agricultural production.  Internationally known contributors from the agricultural, health, environmental, and social sciences argue that an interdisciplinary approach is essential to dealing with this global problem.  Particular attention is given to the institutions that conduct research and implement changes in technology and practice in the fields of agriculture and health as well as institutions that monitor the changes in resource endowments, the quality of the environment, and the health of productivity of the human resources employed in agricultural production.

Sustainable development, say the contributors - including Douglass C. North, Carl K. Eicher, and Godfrey Gunatilleke - will be achieved only if knowledge from separate areas is effectively communicated and integrated into the basis of all research conclusions and directives.  Agriculture, Environment, and Health contributes to the productive building of bridges  between research efforts across the fields of health, environment, and agriculture.

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Shock City of Twentieth-Century India

Howard Spodek

In the 20th century, Ahmedabad was India's "shock city." It was the place where many of the nation's most important developments occurred first and with the greatest intensity -- from Gandhi's political and labor organizing, through the growth of textile, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, to globalization and the sectarian violence that marked the turn of the new century. Events that happened there resonated throughout the country, for better and for worse. Howard Spodek describes the movements that swept the city, telling their story through the careers of the men and women who led them.

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Alliance Curse

How America Lost the Third World

Hilton L. Root

In Alliance Curse, Hilton Root illustrates that recent U.S. foreign policy is too often misguided, resulting in misdirected foreign aid and alliances that stunt political and economic development among partner regimes, leaving America on the wrong side of change. Many alliances with third world dictators, ostensibly of mutual benefit, reduce incentives to govern for prosperity and produce instead political and social instability and economic failure. Yet again, in the war on terror and in the name of preserving global stability, America is backing authoritarian regimes that practice repression and plunder. It is as if the cold war never ended. While espousing freedom and democracy, the U.S. contradicts itself by aiding governments that do not share those values. In addition to undercutting its own stated goal of promoting freedom, America makes the developing world even more wary of its intentions. Yes, the democracy we preach arouses aspirations and attracts immigrants, but those same individuals become our sternest critics; having learned to admire American values, they end up deploring U.S. policies toward their own countries. Long-term U.S. security is jeopardized by a legacy of resentment and distrust. A lliance Curse proposes an analytical foundation for national security that challenges long-held assumptions about foreign affairs. It questions the wisdom of diplomacy that depends on questionable linkages or outdated suppositions. The end of the Soviet Union did not portend the demise of communism, for example. Democracy and socialism are not incompatible systems. Promoting democracy by linking it with free trade risks overemphasizing the latter goal at the expense of the former. The growing tendency to play China against India in an effort to retain American global supremacy will hamper relations with both —an intolerable situation in today's interdependent world. Root buttresses his analysis with case studies of American foreign policy toward developing countries (e.g., Vietnam), efforts at state building, and nations growing in importance, such as China. He concludes with a series of recommendations designed to close the gap between security and economic development.

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Altermondialisation, économie et coopération internationale

Edited by Louis Favreau

Les diverses pratiques novatrices d’altermondialisation, d’économie sociale et de coopération internationale mises en place par des acteurs d’organisations de coopération internationale et de mouvements sociaux nous invitent à penser que le phénomène de la mondialisation peut prendre de toutes autres formes que celles que nous connaissons actuellement. Plusieurs chercheurs, également engagés dans ces réseaux internationaux, soulèvent toutefois les problèmes qui se posent et mettent en perspective les débats de l’heure au sein de l’altermondialisation. Cet ouvrage relate les expériences et les savoirs qui se croisent, favorisant ainsi l’émergence d’un nouveau modèle de développement.

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Altruistically Inclined?

The Behavioral Sciences, Evolutionary Theory, and the Origins of Reciprocity

Alexander J. Field

Alexander J. Field is the Michel and Mary Orradre Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University.

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