Which competences enable problem solvers to successfully deal with complex real-world challenges such as the current economic and financial crises and in so doing, inspire innovation and sustainable development of society? Despite the importance of these questions, and although competences have become more center stage in management strategy, human resource development, and public policy/public administration research, a general theory of problem solving competence has remained elusive, largely because of insular single-disciplinary approaches. Embedded in a comprehensive review of management strategy, human resource development, and public policy/public administration theories, and by contrasting American and Central-European schools of thought, I discuss the theoretical formulations of previous competence frameworks, the empirical support for these frameworks, and their limitations in solving complex realworld problems. I outline how constituents of competence such as abilities, knowledge, and skills are entrenched within a multifaceted environment and influenced by the individual’s mental model(s). Finally, I develop a five-dimensional framework of competences needed to solve complex real-world problems, which considers both individual and collaborative aspects. The five core dimensions of this new competence framework are (1) personal competence; (2) professional domain competence; (3) systemic competence; (4) creativity competence; and (5) sociocultural (collaborative) competence. This paper is aimed at fostering further theory development and stimulating future research in the field of competence development.
Why do religious and political ideologies sometimes produce social and political conflict and other times co-mingle peacefully? The answer must consider both the content of competing ideologies along with the socio-political interests of their believers. In this case study of ideological competition in Central Asia, I show how both philosophical and material concerns explain why many Muslims, while openly retaining their religious-ethnic identity, became active members of an atheistic Community Party. This phenomenon did not occur amongst Christians who necessarily discarded, at least publicly, their religious identities when becoming Communists. So while religious and political conflict openly occurred in Communist societies which were predominantly Christian, many Muslims were able to accommodate their religious convictions with Soviet Communism. In the end, the creation of “Muslim Atheists” depended on not only socio-economic differences between Muslim and Christian societies but also theological differences between Muslim and Christian religions.
Media outlets in multiparty electoral systems tend to report on a wider range of policy issues than media in two-party systems. They thus make more competing policy frames available to citizens. This suggests that a “free press” is insufficient to hold governments accountable. Rather, we should observe more challenges to the governments’ preferred frames and more politically aware citizens in multiparty democracies. Such citizens should thus be better equipped to hold their leaders accountable, relative to their counterparts in two-party democracies. I propose a mechanism through which democratic publics can sometimes constrain their leaders in foreign policy. I test hypotheses derived from my theory with cross-national data on the content of news coverage of Iraq, on public support for the war, and on decisions to contribute troops to the Iraq “Coalition of the Willing.” I find that citizens in countries with larger numbers of parties confronted more critical and diverse coverage of Iraq, while those with more widespread access to mass media were more likely to oppose the war and their nations likely to contribute fewer troops to the Coalition.
What is the impact of three decades of neoliberal narratives and policies on communities and individual lives? What are the sources of social resilience? This book offers a sweeping assessment of the effects of neoliberalism, the dominant feature of our times. It analyzes the ideology in unusually wide-ranging terms as a movement that not only opened markets but also introduced new logics into social life, integrating macro-level analyses of the ways in which neoliberal narratives made their way into international policy regimes with micro-level analyses of the ways in which individuals responded to the challenges of the neoliberal era. The book introduces the concept of social resilience and explores how communities, social groups, and nations sustain their well-being in the face of such challenges. The product of ten years of collaboration among a distinguished group of scholars, it integrates institutional and cultural analysis in new ways to understand neoliberalism as a syncretic social process and to explore the sources of social resilience across communities in the developed and developing worlds.