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Many of our most urgent national problems suggest a widespread lack of concern for the future. Alarming economic conditions, such as low national savings rates, declining corporate investment in long-term capital projects, and ballooning private and public debt are matched by such social ills as diminished educational achievement, environmental degradation, and high rates of infant mortality, crime, and teenage pregnancy. At the heart of all these troubles lies an important behavioral phenomenon: in the role of consumer, manager, voter, student, or parent, many Americans choose inferior but immediate rewards over greater long-term benefits. Choice Over Time offers a rich sampling of original research on intertemporal choice—how and why people decide between immediate and delayed consequences—from a broad range of theoretical and methodological perspectives in philosophy, political science, psychology, and economics. George Loewenstein, Jon Elster, and their distinguished colleagues review existing theories and forge new approaches to understanding significant questions: Why do people seem to "discount" future benefits? Do individuals use the same decision-making strategy in all aspects of their lives? What part is played by situational factors such as the certainty of delayed consequences? How are decisions affected by personal factors such as willpower and taste? In addressing these issues, the contributors to Choice Over Time address many social, economic, psychological, and personal time problems. Their work demonstrates the predictive power of short-term preferences in behavior as varied as addiction and phobia, the effect of prices on consumption, and the dramatic rise in debt and decline in savings. Choice Over Time provides an essential source for the most recent research and theory on intertemporal choice, offering new models for time preference patterns—and their aberrations—and presenting a diversity of potential solutions to the problem of "temporal myopia."
A Positive Theory of Political Behavior
Rational choice theory has become the basis for much of the recent work done in political science. Yet explanations of many political phenomena elude rational choice theorists. Robert Grafstein offers a modification to rational choice theory that extends its ability to explain social behavior. Grafstein argues that, instead of basing the analysis on the assumption that an actor will maximise her expected utility or her utility given the probability that the event will happen, we should define rationality as the maximisation of expected utility conditional on the probability that her act will bring the event about. This definition of utility, based on the work of Richard Jeffrey, restores the consequences of an individual's act to rational choice analysis. For example, in making a decision to vote, a conditional expected utility maximiser will compare the likelihood of victory for her preferred candidate given her own participation with the likelihood of a victory given her abstention. The author shows the theoretical implications of this new definition of rationality and then uses it to explain certain aspects of ethnic identity and mobilization, ideology, and altruism and intertemporal choice. He then explores the implications of this idea for policy analysis and econometrics. This book will provoke a debate about how work based in rational choice theories is done. Robert Grafstein is Professor of Political Science, University of Georgia.
The Future of U.S.-Japan Relations
Whether in the form of the ongoing automotive wars, books and films such as Michael Crichton's Rising Sun, or George Bush's ill-fated trip to Japan in 1991, frictions between the United States and Japan have been steadily on the rise. Americans are bombarded with images of Japan's fundamental difference; at the same time, voices in Japan call for a Japan That Can Say No. If the guiding principle of the Clinton administration is indeed new values for a new generation, how will this be reflected in U.S.-Japanese relations?
Convinced that no true solution to U.S.-Japanese frictions can be achieved without tracing these frictions back to their origin, Ryuzo Sato here draws on a binational experience that spans three decades in both the Japanese and American business and academic communities to do just that. In an attempt to bridge the communication gap between the two countries and dispel some of the mutual ignorance and misunderstanding that prevails between the two, Sato addresses the following questions:
--Is Japan really different?
--Has America's sun set?
--How have conflicting views on the role of government affected U.S.-Japan relations?
--What are the real differences in American and Japanese industrial policies?
--What is the anatomy of U.S.-Japanese antagonisms?
--What effect has the collapse of the bubble economy had on relations?
--What is Japan's future course? Is it truly a technological superpower? Can it avoid international isolation?
An incisive personal look at one of the most important political and economic global relationships, written by a major player in the world of international business and finance, THE CHRYSANTHEMUM AND THE EAGLE provides a readable and engaging tour of U.S.-Japan relations, past and present.
Politiques, pratiques et stratégies d'insertion en emploi et de lutte contre la pauvreté
Ulysse et Lesemann décrivent ici les contextes, politiques, programmes, mesures et lois qui ont été mis de l'avant pour soutenir le développement d'une société qui place les individus au centre de ses préoccupations; ils présentent également les philosophies, idéaux, principes, visions et acteurs en cause.
Office and Sales Workers in Philadelphia, 1870-1920
Below the middle class managers and professionals yet above the skilled blue-collar workers, sales and office workers occupied an intermediate position in urban America's social structure during the age of smokestacks. Bjelopera traces the shifting occupational structures and work choices that facilitated the emergence of a white-collar workforce. He paints a fascinating picture of the lives led by Philadelphia's male and female clerks, both inside and outside the workplace, as they formed their own clubs, affirmed their "whiteness," and even challenged sexual norms. By mapping the relationship between these workers' self-expectations and the shifting demands of their employers, City of Clerks reveals how the notion of "white collar" shifted over half a century. _x000B_ _x000B_
Reconnecting Farm, Food, and Community
While the American agricultural and food systems follow a decades-old path of industrialization and globalization, a counter trend has appeared toward localizing some agricultural and food production. Thomas A. Lyson, a scholar-practitioner in the field of community-based food systems, calls this rebirth of locally based agriculture and food production civic agriculture because these activities are tightly linked to a community's social and economic development. Civic agriculture embraces innovative ways to produce, process, and distribute food, and it represents a sustainable alternative to the socially, economically, and environmentally destructive practices associated with conventional large-scale agriculture. Farmers' markets, community gardens, and community-supported agriculture are all forms of civic agriculture.
Lyson describes how, in the course of a hundred years, a small-scale, diversified system of farming became an industrialized system of production and also how this industrialized system has gone global. He argues that farming in the United States was modernized by employing the same techniques and strategies that transformed the manufacturing sector from a system of craft production to one of mass production. Viewing agriculture as just another industrial sector led to transformations in both the production and the processing of food. As small farmers and food processors were forced to expand, merge with larger operations, or go out of business, they became increasingly disconnected from the surrounding communities. Lyson enumerates the shortcomings of the current agriculture and food systems as they relate to social, economic, and environmental sustainability. He then introduces the concept of community problem solving and offers empirical evidence and concrete examples to show that a re-localization of the food production system is underway.
A thought-provoking investigation of an urgent issue facing American communities today, Edward C. Lorenz’s book examines the intersection of corporate irresponsibility and civic engagement. At the heart of this case study is a group of firms responsible for seven of the most contaminated Superfund sites in the United States, the largest food contamination accident in U.S. history, stunning stock and financial manipulations, and a massive shift of jobs off shore. In the face of these egregious environmental, employee, and investor abuses, several communities impacted by these firms organized to confront and combat failures in corporate and bureaucratic leadership, winning notable victories over major financiers, lobbyists, and indifferent or ineffective government agencies. A critical analysis of public and private leadership, business and economic ethics, and civic life, this book concludes with a stirring blueprint for other communities facing similarly overwhelming opposition.
Transforming the Marketplace in the Twenty-First Century
A civil society is one in which a democratic government and a market economy operate together. The idea of the civil economy--encompassing a democratic government and a market economy--presumes that people can solve social problems within the market itself. This book explores the relationship between the two, examining the civil underpinnings of capitalism and investigating the way a civil economy evolves in history and is developed for the future by careful planning. Severyn T. Bruyn describes how people in three sectors--government, business, and the Third Sector (nonprofits and civil groups)--can develop an accountable, self-regulating, profitable, humane, and competitive system of markets that could be described as a civil economy. He examines how government officials can organize markets to reduce government costs; how local leaders deal with global corporations that would unfairly exploit their community resources; and how employees can become coparticipants in the development of human values in markets. A Civil Economy is oriented to interdiciplinary studies of the economy, assisting scholars in diverse fields, such as business management, sociology, political science, and economics, in developing a common language to examine civic problems in the marketplace. As an undergraduate text, it evokes a mode of thought about the development of a self-accountable system of markets. Students learn to understand how the market economy becomes socially accountable and self-reliant, while remaining productive, competitive, and profitable. Sveryn T. Bruyn is Professor of Sociology, Boston College.
A “civil society” anthology for experts and students alike. Virginia Hodgkinson and Michael Foley have assembled a definitive collection of 24 readings from the writings of thinkers who have shaped the civil society tradition in Western political thought through the ages. Their clear, intelligent introduction establishes a framework for understanding the complex and perennial debate over conditions of citizenship and the character of the good society. The text moves from the origins of the debate, a consideration of Aristotle’s vision of political order, the polis, through the “civic republicanism” of Machiavelli and his English and American followers. It also discusses Hobbes’s and Montesquieu’s conceptions of natural law and the social contract, Immanuel Kant and Adam Ferguson and the emergence of the modern notion of civil society in the late 18th century, and the thoughts and theories of Hegel, Marx, and Gramsci. Contemporary discussion of civil society in the US started with Berger, Newhaus, and others who addressed the role of intermediary institutions and the political process. In the 1980s, especially as the Cold War ended, writing on civil society exploded. The anthology tracks the key works that have influenced public dialogue in this era. Chapters by Walzer, Barber, Putnam, Almond and Verba, Shils, and others describe the role of association in civil society and its role in democratic governance. As the concept of “civil society” grows ever more prominent in academic and public considerations of politics and political organization, citizen participation, political alienation, voluntary organizations, privatization, government deregulation, and “faith-based” charities, Civil Society: A Reader is the essential historical and theoretical text.
Architecte social et gestionnaire
Claude Castonguay a été actuaire-conseil du gouvernement du Québec sur la réforme des fonds de pension et des services de santé; il a également été à l'origine de la Caisse de dépôts et placements et de la fameuse «castonguette». Il a présidé la Commission Castonguay-Nepveu qui a recommandé la rénovation des régimes de santé et de retraite. Par la suite, il a occupé le poste de président de La Laurentienne, qu'il a constituée en groupe, avant d'être nommé sénateur au Parlement canadien.