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A Plea for Experimentalism
In Crippling Epistemologies and Governance Failures, Gilles Paquet criticizes the prevailing practices of the social sciences on the basis of their inadequate concepts of knowledge, evidence and inquiry, concepts he claims have become methodological “mental prisons”. Paquet describes the prevailing policy development process in Canada in terms of its weak information infrastructure, poor accountability, and inflexible organization design. In contrast, he suggests that social science and public policy should promote forms of “serious play” that would allow organizations to experiment with new structures.
Paquet engages with numerous foundationalist programs in the social sciences in order to show their inadequacy and suggests important and unexplored directions in policy areas as diverse as education, science, health, intergovernmental and foreign policy. He closes the work with a plea for experimentalism in academic research, policy development, and organization design.
Essays reevaluating and challenging the critiques of the urban studies field. This volume revisits the tradition of critical scholarship characteristic of the urban studies field. Urban scholarship has had detractors of late, particularly in mainstream political science, where it has been accused of parochialism and insularity. Critical Urban Studies offers a sharp repudiation of this critique, reasserting the need for critical urban scholarship and demonstrating the fundamental importance of urban studies for understanding and changing contemporary social life. Contributors to the volume identify an orthodox perspective in the field, subject it to critique, and map out a future research agenda for the field. The result is a series of inventive essays pointing scholars and students to the major theoretical and policy challenges facing urbanists and other critical social scientists.
Environmental Security and Justice in the Indian Ocean Region
Spanning a vast, multicontinental area-from Asia to Africa, and including the Middle East and Australia-the Indian Ocean Region represents a diverse and historical network of cultures, economies, and environments. It has been described as the "heart of the Third World" and, in precolonial times, "a crucible for a first global economy." Today, it is a crucible for global survival. In this collection, Timothy Doyle and Melissa Risely bring together an international group of environmentalists, political scientists, and international relations scholars largely from the region to address key issues vital to determining the human and environmental security of the region. Addressing topics that include agrifood production systems, the geopolitics of water resources along the Mekong River basin, oil production, transportation, waste disposal, and climate change, the contributors highlight the importance of regional collaboration and offer policy and management strategies for cooperative, multinational problem solving.
Most scholarship on the Cuban economy looks at the island nation from the outside in. Cuban Economists on the Cuban Economy is the first collection to bring together some of the island’s leading economists to discuss the good and the bad about their own economy. These thirteen voices--seldom published together in English--offer clear and straightforward analyses of how Cuban society provides for its needs, distributes surplus, and assesses its shortcomings.
Focusing on changes in policy during the Special Period, the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, this volume tracks various shifts, both major and minor, in the island’s planned economy as leaders adapted to changing global relations while developing independent sources of income. These essays offer invaluable and sober assessments of Cuba’s entrance into the international economy through such sectors as tourism, knowledge-based goods and services, and agriculture.
Cuban Economists on the Cuban Economy was written, in part, to reveal the rigorous research conducted within the country and to clarify the different factors that Cubans emphasize in examining their place on the world economic stage. It also provides unique insights into the island’s fight against poverty, its aging population, and its trade unions. This book will be an invaluable resource for years to come.
Strategic Approaches to Cooperation
Approaching an uncertain future without Fidel Castro, and still reeling from a downturn at the end of the cold war, Cuba must act decisively to improve its economy and living conditions. One of the major challenges facing the impoverished island nation is securing access to energy resources that are sufficient to meet the needs of its revitalization and development goals. What steps can Cuba take to achieve both short- and long-term energy sustainability and self-sufficiency? In this timely analysis, Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado and his colleagues answer that question.
Cuba's Energy Future sets the geostrategic context within which Cuba is operating. The book provides an overview of the evolving relations among Caribbean states and explains why Cuba and its longtime nemesis the United States should look for ways to cooperate on developing energy resources. The possible role of oil companies is explored, as is Cuba's energy relationship with Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.
The second section of Cuba's Energy Future features economic and technical appraisals, economic projections, and trends affecting Cuba's energy needs, including oil and natural gas potential, the country's antiquated electric power sector, and the role of biofuels such as sugarcane ethanol. The concluding section focuses on the conditions necessary for, and the mutual benefits of, greater cooperative engagement with the United States.
Contributors: Juan A. B. Belt (Chemonics International, formerly USAID), Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado (University of NebraskaOmaha and University of Georgia), Amy Myers Jaffe (Rice University), Jorge R. Piñón (Florida International University), Ronald Soligo (Rice University).
Contestation and Symbolic Landscapes
From cartoons of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper to displays of the Confederate battle flag over the South Carolina statehouse, acts of cultural significance have set off political conflicts and sometimes violence. These and other expressions and enactments of culture—whether in music, graffiti, sculpture, flag displays, parades, religious rituals, or film—regularly produce divisive and sometimes prolonged disputes. What is striking about so many of these conflicts is their emotional intensity, despite the fact that in many cases what is at stake is often of little material value. Why do people invest so much emotional energy and resources in such conflicts? What is at stake, and what does winning or losing represent? The answers to these questions explored in Culture and Belonging in Divided Societies view cultural expressions variously as barriers to, or opportunities for, inclusion in a divided society's symbolic landscape and political life.
Though little may be at stake materially, deep emotional investment in conflicts over cultural acts can have significant political consequences. At the same time, while cultural issues often exacerbate conflict, new or redefined cultural expressions and enactments can redirect long-standing conflicts in more constructive directions and promote reconciliation in ways that lead to or reinforce formal peace agreements. Encompassing work by a diverse group of scholars of American studies, anthropology, art history, religion, political science, and other fields, Culture and Belonging in Divided Societies addresses the power of cultural expressions and enactments in highly charged settings, exploring when and how changes in a society's symbolic landscape occur and what this tells us about political life in the societies in which they take place.
Bank Crises and Democratic Accountability in Comparative Perspective
Rosas's compelling theory and wide-ranging empirical evidence yield a persuasive but surprising conclusion in light of the financial meltdown of 2008–9. In the event of banking crises, not only do elected governments treat taxpayers better and force bankers and their creditors to pay more for their mistakes, but bankers in democracies are more prudent as a consequence . . . essential reading for all interested in the political economy of crisis and in the future of banking regulation. ---Philip Keefer, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, The World Bank "Rosas convincingly demonstrates how democratic accountability affects the incidence and resolution of banking crises. Combining formal models, case studies, and cutting-edge quantitative methods, Rosas's book represents a model for political economy research." ---William Bernhard, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois "When the financial crises of the 1990s hit Asia, Russia, and Latin America, the U.S. scolded them about the moral hazard problems of bailing out the banks. Now, the shoe is on the other foot, with the U.S. struggling to manage an imploding financial sector. Rosas's study of bank bailouts could not be more timely, providing us with both a framework for thinking about the issue and some sobering history of how things go both right and badly wrong. Democratic accountability proves the crucial factor in making sure bailouts are fair, a point that is as relevant for U.S. policy as for an understanding of the emerging markets." ---Stephan Haggard, Krause Professor, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego Banking crises threaten the stability and growth of economies around the world. In response, politicians restore banks to solvency by redistributing losses from bank shareholders and depositors to taxpayers, and the burden the citizenry must bear varies from case to case. Whereas some governments stay close to the prescriptions espoused by Sir Walter Bagehot in the nineteenth century that limit the costs shouldered by taxpayers, others engage in generous bank bailouts at great cost to society. What factors determine a government's response? In this comparative analysis of late-twentieth-century banking crises, Guillermo Rosas identifies political regime type as the determining factor. During a crisis, powerful financial players demand protection of their assets. Rosas maintains that in authoritarian regimes, government officials have little to shield them from such demands and little incentive for rebuffing them, while in democratic regimes, elected officials must weigh these demands against the interests of the voters---that is, the taxpayers. As a result, compared with authoritarian regimes, democratic regimes show a lower propensity toward dramatic, costly bailouts. Guillermo Rosas is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Fellow at the Center in Political Economy at Washington University in St. Louis.
This collection presents 14 essays by renowned scholars on Deaf people, Deafhood, Deaf histories, and Deaf identity, but from different points of view on the Deaf/Disability compass. Editors Susan Burch and Alison Kafer have divided these works around three themes. The first, Identities and Locations, explores Deaf identity in different contexts. Topics range from a history of activism shaped by the ableism of Deaf elites in the United States from 1880–1920, to a discussion of the roles that economics, location, race, and culture play in the experiences of a Deaf woman from northern Nigeria now living in Washington, D.C. Alliances and Activism showcases activisim organized across differences. Studies include a feminist analysis of how deaf and hearing women working together share responsibility, and an examination of how intra-cultural variations in New York City and Quebec affect deaf-focused HIV/AIDS programs. The third theme, Boundaries and Overlaps, explicitly addresses the relationships between Deaf Studies and Disability Studies. Interviews with scholars from both disciplines help define these relationships. Another contributor calls for hearing/not-deaf people with disabilities to support their Deaf peers in gaining language access to the United Nations. Deaf and Disability Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives reveals that different questions often lead to contrary conclusions among their authors, who still recognize that they all have a stake in this partnership.
Debating the Global Financial Architecture opens up the contemporary debate surrounding the reform of the “global financial architecture.” Economists and political scientists explore the economic and technical content of alternative global financial regimes as well as the political processes through which such changes are negotiated. The contributors, though diverse, jointly fear that rapid removal of the remaining controls on private international financial transactions risks systematic crisis. By initiating a cross-disciplinary discussion, they hope to see the politics of global financial design examined more honestly, yet without discarding or devaluing a solid economic analysis of global money and investment flows.
Despite rapid urbanisation, Africa remains predominantly rural. This calls for decentralisation beyond the dominant concern by states and government with urban spaces. Rural areas, rural development and the future of rural settlements need to be understood and addressed in the context of the ongoing democratisation trends and the emergence and development of civil society. States have tended to tame rather than serve civil society in Africa. By establishing a single cultural reference and imposing a centralised state, African governments have exacerbated the fragmentation of civil society. However, political pluralism has slowly been gaining ground since the 1990s. This book explores the scope for implementing decentralisation programmes that focus on citizens in rural areas. For the purpose of decentralisation, civic participation in local politics and user participation in development programmes must be seen as two sides of the coin. The book focuses on spatial planning ñ a process concerned with spatial organisation in an integrative manner, and incorporates the design, establishment and implementation of a desired spatial structural organisation of land. This is especially relevant in a context where the formulation of guidelines for spatial development at the overall level of a state is inadequate.