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2000 - 2009
Designed to reach a wide audience of scholars and policymakers, Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs provides accessible research on urban areas and issues, including studies on urban sprawl, crime, taxes, education, poverty, and related subjects.
Merchants, Capital, and the Remaking of Natchez, 1865–1914
Builders of a New South describes how, between 1865 and 1914, ten Natchez mercantile families emerged as leading purveyors in the wholesale plantation supply and cotton handling business, and soon became a dominant force in the social and economic Reconstruction of the Natchez District. They were able to take advantage of postwar conditions in Natchez to gain mercantile prominence by supplying planters and black sharecroppers in the plantation supply and cotton buying business. They parlayed this initial success into cotton plantation ownership and became important local businessmen in Natchez, participating in many civic improvements and politics that shaped the district into the twentieth century.This book digs deep in countless records (including census, tax, property, and probate, as well as thousands of chattel mortgage contracts) to explore how these traders functioned as entrepreneurs in the aftermath of the Civil War, examining closely their role as furnishing merchants and land speculators, as well as their relations with the area's planters and freed black population. Their use of favorable laws protecting them as creditors, along with a solid community base that was civic-minded and culturally intact, greatly assisted them in their success. These families prospered partly because of their good business practices, and partly because local whites and blacks embraced them as useful agents in the emerging new marketplace. The situation created by the aftermath of the war and emancipation provided an ideal circumstance for the merchant families, and in the end, they played a key role in the district's economic survival and were the prime modernizers of Natchez.
Perspectives from Ecological Economics
The first decade of the twenty-first century has been characterized by a growing global awareness of the tremendous strains that human economic activity place on natural resources and the environment. As the world’s population increases, so does the demand for energy, food, and other resources, which adds to existing stresses on ecosystems, with potentially disastrous consequences. Humanity is at a crossroads in our pathway to future prosperity, and our next steps will impact our long-term sustainability immensely. In this timely volume, leading ecological economics scholars offer a variety of perspectives on building a green economy. Grounded in a critique of conventional thinking about unrestrained economic expansion and the costs of environmental degradation, this book presents a roadmap for an economy that prioritizes human welfare over consumerism and growth. As the authors represented here demonstrate, the objective of ecological economics is to address contemporary problems and achieve long-term socioeconomic well-being without undermining the capacity of the ecosphere. The volume is organized around three sections: “Perspectives on a Green Economy,” “Historical and Theoretical Perspectives,” and “Applications and Practice.” A rich resource in its own right, Building a Green Economy contains the most innovative thinking in ecological economics at a critical time in the reexamination of the human relationship with the natural world.
Creating Wealth in Low-Income Communities
Poor people spend their money living day to day. How can they accumulate wealth? In the United States, homeownership is often the answer. Homes not only provide shelter but also are assets, and thus a means to create equity. Mortgage credit becomes a crucial factor. More Americans than ever now have some access to credit. However. thanks in large part to the growth of global capital markets and greater use of "credit scores," not all homeowners have benefited equally from the opened spigots. Different terms and conditions mean that some applicants are overpaying for mortgage credit, while some are getting in over their heads. And the door is left wide open for predatory lenders. In this important new volume, accomplished analysts examine the situation, illustrate its ramifications, and recommend steps to improve it. Today, low-income Americans have more access to credit than ever before. The challenge is to increase the chances that homeownership becomes the new pathway to asset-building that everyone hopes it will be.
Constructing Hong Kong Through the Ages
Hong Kong is one of the most spectacular cities in the world. It has been built in a very short time. Its builders have achieved remarkable results but their contribution had not been documented. The Hong Kong Construction Association decided to correct this omission and commissioned this book to mark its 70th Anniversary.
Liu Hongsheng and His Enterprises, 1920-1937
This book examines the relationship between business expansion and the structure of business in pre-war China through a careful and pioneering study of the enterprises of Liu Hongsheng during the 1920s and 1930s
New Forms of Life in the Debris of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Within the context of the absence of effective state sovereignty and the presence of numerous armed struggles for power, Nande traders have managed to build and protect self-sustaining, prosperous, transnational economic enterprises in eastern Congo. This book discusses the commercial enterprises of the Nande trust networks and the subsequent transnational community they have produced, thereby challenging the assumption that a ìweak stateî or a ìfailed stateî or even a ìcollapsed stateî can be presumed to signal a ìfailedî society. It demonstrates the fact that several sovereignties and property right systems can coexist side by side, reinforcing each other ñ an idea which seems inconceivable for those with a normative view of governmental institutions and state sovereignty. Rethinking the question of African state formation, the study contributes to the formulation of a more rigorously transnational and local paradigms in the study of post-colonial African state formations. It constitutes an original contribution to critical theory of societal responses to processes of state implosion, and the anthropology of new social formations that emerge when states disintegrate, especially in war-torn Africa. The book also discusses issues related to the dynamics of conflict, new state formation, transnational trade network, ethnicity, and global political and economic governance. In the midst of abundant anti-ethnic literature on African studies, this study posits that there may be a renewed usefulness and necessity in theorizing the salience and continuing production of ëethnicí differences in a manner that challenges the notion of ethnicity as merely a devious and divisive invention of colonialism that must simply be overcome.
This book brings together international experience of business planning for digital libraries: the business case, the planning processes involved, the costs and benefi ts, practice and standards, and comparison with the traditional library where appropriate. Although there is a vast literature already on other aspects of digital libraries, business planning is a subject that until now has not been systematically integrated in a book. Digital libraries are being created not only by traditional libraries, but by museums, archives, media organizations, and indeed any organization concerned with managing scientific and cultural information. Business planning for digital libraries is the process by which the business aims, products and services of the eventual system are identified, together with how the digital library service will contribute to the overall business and mission of the host organization. These provide the context and rationale, which is then combined with normal business plan elements such as technical solutions, investment, income and expenditure, projected benefi ts or returns, marketing, risk analysis, management, and governance. Business Planning for Digital Libraries is designed for practitioners in the cultural and scientifi c sectors, for students in information sciences and cultural management, and in particular for people engaged in managing digital libraries and repositories, in electronic publishing and e-learning, and in teaching and studying in these fi elds.
Early Consumers in Backcountry Virginia
How did people living on the early American frontier discover and then become a part of the market economy? How do their purchases and their choices revise our understanding of the market revolution and the emerging consumer ethos? Ann Smart Martin provides answers to these questions by examining the texture of trade on the edge of the upper Shenandoah Valley between 1760 and 1810. Reconstructing the world of one country merchant, John Hook, Martin reveals how the acquisition of consumer goods created and validated a set of ideas about taste, fashion, and lifestyle in a particular place at a particular time. Her analysis of Hook's account ledger illuminates the everyday wants, transactions, and tensions recorded within and brings some of Hook's customers to life: a planter looking for just the right clock, a farmer in search of nails, a young woman and her friends out shopping on their own, and a slave woman choosing a looking glass. This innovative approach melds fascinating narratives with sophisticated analysis of material culture to distill large abstract social and economic systems into intimate triangulations among merchants, customers, and objects. Martin finds that objects not only reflect culture, they are the means to create it.
Theology, Ethics, and Economics
Calculated Futures examines the ethical and theological underpinnings of the free-market economy, investigating not only the morality of corporations and exchange rates, but also how the politics of economics shape people as moral agents. It does this less by insisting on the unfavorable effects of capitalism, and more by drawing on theological virtues, Christian doctrines, and liturgical practices to discover what they might show us about economic exchanges. Calculated Futures seeks a way forward by engaging economics as a social scientific discipline without subordinating theology to it.