The urban has become a keyword of early twenty-first-century economic, political, and cultural discourse. But as its resonance has intensified in social science and in the public sphere, the conceptual and cartographic specificity of the urban has been severely blunted. Is there any future for a distinct field of urban theory in a world in which urbanization has been generalized onto a planetary scale? This article reflects on this state of affairs and outlines a series of theses intended to reinvigorate the theoretical framework of urban studies in relation to emergent forms of urbanization. Several conceptual distinctions - between categories of practice and categories of analysis, nominal essences and constitutive essences, and concentrated and extended urbanization—are proposed to inform possible future mappings of the planetary urban condition.
The contemporary standoff over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands threatens to exacerbate Japan-China relations in the long run. Despite their disagreement over the islands’ sovereignty, the two governments had successfully depoliticized the issue for nearly four decades since their diplomatic normalization in 1972. The islands issue became politicized after the collision between a Chinese trawler and the Japan Coast Guard in 2010, and has become increasingly militarized after the Japanese government’s purchase of three of the five islands from their private owner in 2012. China has boosted its civilian and military presence in maritime and airspace around the islands, confronting their Japanese counterparts regularly and raising the risk of an armed conflict which potentially involves the United States. What caused the intense politicization and increasing militarization of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute? What are the pragmatic steps which the two governments can take to depoliticize, demilitarize, and deescalate the current situation?
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.
The Cold War seemingly ended in a decisive victory for the West. But now, Noah Feldman argues, we are entering an era of renewed global struggle: the era of Cool War. Just as the Cold War matched the planet’s reigning superpowers in a contest for geopolitical supremacy, so this new age will pit the United States against a rising China in a contest for dominance, alliances, and resources. Already visible in Asia, the conflict will extend to the Middle East (US-backed Israel versus Chinese-backed Iran), Africa, and beyond.
Yet this Cool War differs fundamentally from the zero-sum showdowns of the past: The world’s major power and its leading challenger are economically interdependent to an unprecedented degree. Exports to the US account for nearly a quarter of Chinese trade, while the Chinese government holds 8 percent of America’s outstanding debt. This positive-sum interdependence has profound implications for nations, corporations, and international institutions. It makes what looked to be a classic contest between two great powers into something much more complex, contradictory, and badly in need of the shrewd and carefully reasoned analysis that Feldman provides.
To understand the looming competition with China, we must understand the incentives that drive Chinese policy. Feldman offers an arresting take on that country’s secretive hierarchy, proposing that the hereditary “princelings” who reap the benefits of the complicated Chinese political system are actually in partnership with the meritocrats who keep the system full of fresh talent and the reformers who are trying to root out corruption and foster government accountability. He provides a clear-eyed analysis of the years ahead, showing how China’s rise presents opportunities as well as risks. Robust competition could make the US leaner, smarter, and more pragmatic, and could drive China to greater respect for human rights. Alternatively, disputes over trade, territory, or human rights could jeopardize the global economic equilibrium—or provoke a catastrophic “hot war” that neither country wants.
The US and China may be divided by political culture and belief, but they are also bound together by mutual self-interest. Cool War makes the case for competitive cooperation as the only way forward that can preserve the peace and make winners out of both sides.
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.
Contemporary nationalism is typically framed as an oppositional ideology that legitimates the struggles of ethnic minorities for political sovereignty or, alternatively, justifies the xenophobic claims of nativist fringe groups. The emphasis on nationalism’s incendiary varieties, however, has led to the neglect of everyday popular nationalism—the routine and tacit acceptance of the nation-state as a primary object of identification and loyalty, as well as a fundamental unit of political organization. In an effort to address this gap in research, I examine the cross-national variation in popular conceptions of the nation-state using pooled-sample latent class analysis, a method that allows me to account for both within- and between-country heterogeneity and avoid reductive a priori assumptions about the national boundedness of culture. Having demonstrated that the resulting fourfold typology of popular nationalism is predictive of a wide range of political beliefs and is remarkably consistent across countries and over time, I show how the relative prevalence of the four types of nationalism shifts within countries in response to economic and political events that increase the salience of the nation-state. This study breaks new ground in the study of nationalism and offers a novel approach to the use of survey data in comparative research on political culture.
We argue that in pharmaceutical markets, variation in the arrival time of consumer heterogeneity creates differences between a producer’s ability to extract consumer surplus with preventives and treatments, potentially distorting R&D decisions. If consumers vary only in disease risk, revenue from treatments—sold after the disease is contracted, when disease risk is no longer a source of private information—always exceeds revenue from preventives. The revenue ratio can be arbitrarily high for sufficiently skewed distributions of disease risk. Under some circumstances, heterogeneity in harm from a disease, learned after a disease is contracted, can lead revenue from a treatment to exceed revenue from a preventative. Calibrations suggest that skewness in the US distribution of HIV risk would lead firms to earn only half the revenue from a vaccine as from a drug. Empirical tests are consistent with the predictions of the model that vaccines are less likely to be developed for diseases with substantial disease-risk heterogeneity.