Dynamics Among Nations

Author: Hilton L. Root
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262019701
Format: PDF
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Liberal internationalism has been the West's foreign policy agenda since the Cold War, and the West has long occupied the top rung of a hierarchical system. In this book, Hilton Root argues that international relations, like other complex ecosystems, exists in a constantly shifting landscape, in which hierarchical structures are giving way to systems of networked interdependence, changing every facet of global interaction. Accordingly, policymakers will need a new way to understand the process of change. Root suggests that the science of complex systems offers an analytical framework to explain the unforeseen development failures, governance trends, and alliance shifts in today's global political economy. Root examines both the networked systems that make up modern states and the larger, interdependent landscapes they share. Using systems analysis -- in which institutional change and economic development are understood as self-organizing complexities -- he offers an alternative view of institutional resilience and persistence. From this perspective, Root considers the divergence of East and West; the emergence of the European state, its contrast with the rise of China, and the network properties of their respective innovation systems; the trajectory of democracy in developing regions; and the systemic impact of China on the liberal world order. Complexity science, Root argues, will not explain historical change processes with algorithmic precision, but it may offer explanations that match the messy richness of those processes.

Capital and Collusion

Author: Hilton L. Root
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140088019X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Why does capital formation often fail to occur in developing countries? Capital and Collusion explores the political incentives that either foster growth or steal nations' growth prospects. Hilton Root examines the frontier between risk and uncertainty, analyzing the forces driving development in both developed and undeveloped regions. In the former, he argues, institutions reduce everyday economic risks to levels low enough to make people receptive to opportunities for profit, stimulating developments in technology and science. Not so in developing countries. There, institutions that specialize in sharing risk are scarce. Money hides under mattresses and in teapots, creating a gap between a poor nation's savings and its investment. As a consequence, the developing world faces a growing disconnect between the value of its resources and the availability of finance. What are the remedies for eliminating this disparity? Root shows us how to close the growing wealth gap among nations by building institutions that convert uncertainty into risk. Comparing China to India, Latin America to East Asia, and contemporary to historical cases, he offers lessons that can help the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to tackle the political incentives that are the source of poor governance in developing nations.

Networking Peripheries

Author: Anita Say Chan
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262319535
Format: PDF, ePub
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In Networking Peripheries, Anita Chan shows how digital cultures flourish beyond Silicon Valley and other celebrated centers of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. The evolving digital cultures in the Global South vividly demonstrate that there are more ways than one to imagine what digital practice and global connection could look like. To explore these alternative developments, Chan investigates the diverse initiatives being undertaken to "network" the nation in contemporary Peru, from attempts to promote the intellectual property of indigenous artisans to the national distribution of digital education technologies to open technology activism in rural and urban zones.Drawing on ethnographic accounts from government planners, regional free-software advocates, traditional artisans, rural educators, and others, Chan demonstrates how such developments unsettle dominant conceptions of information classes and innovations zones. Government efforts to turn rural artisans into a new creative class progress alongside technology activists' efforts to promote indigenous rights through information tactics; plans pressing for the state wide adoption of open source--based technologies advance while the One Laptop Per Child initiative aims to network rural classrooms by distributing laptops. As these cases show, the digital cultures and network politics emerging on the periphery do more than replicate the technological future imagined as universal from the center.

Moral Sentiments and Material Interests

Author: Herbert Gintis
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262072526
Format: PDF, Docs
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Multidisciplinary research into cooperation and the implications for public policy, drawing on insights from economics, anthropology, biology, social psychology, and sociology.

The Green State

Author: Robyn Eckersley
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262262590
Format: PDF
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What would constitute a definitively "green" state? In this important new book, Robyn Eckersley explores what it might take to create a green democratic state as an alternative to the classical liberal democratic state, the indiscriminate growth-dependent welfare state, and the neoliberal market-focused state -- seeking, she writes, "to navigate between undisciplined political imagination and pessimistic resignation to the status quo." In recent years, most environmental scholars and environmentalists have characterized the sovereign state as ineffectual and have criticized nations for perpetuating ecological destruction. Going consciously against the grain of much current thinking, this book argues that the state is still the preeminent political institution for addressing environmental problems. States remain the gatekeepers of the global order, and greening the state is a necessary step, Eckersley argues, toward greening domestic and international policy and law.The Green State seeks to connect the moral and practical concerns of the environmental movement with contemporary theories about the state, democracy, and justice. Eckersley's proposed "critical political ecology" expands the boundaries of the moral community to include the natural environment in which the human community is embedded. This is the first book to make the vision of a "good" green state explicit, to explore the obstacles to its achievement, and to suggest practical constitutional and multilateral arrangements that could help transform the liberal democratic state into a postliberal green democratic state. Rethinking the state in light of the principles of ecological democracy ultimately casts it in a new role: that of an ecological steward and facilitator of transboundary democracy rather than a selfish actor jealously protecting its territory.

A Vast Machine

Author: Paul N. Edwards
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262290715
Format: PDF, ePub
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Global warming skeptics often fall back on the argument that the scientific case for global warming is all model predictions, nothing but simulation; they warn us that we need to wait for real data, "sound science." In A Vast Machine Paul Edwards has news for these skeptics: without models, there are no data. Today, no collection of signals or observations -- even from satellites, which can "see" the whole planet with a single instrument -- becomes global in time and space without passing through a series of data models. Everything we know about the world's climate we know through models. Edwards offers an engaging and innovative history of how scientists learned to understand the atmosphere -- to measure it, trace its past, and model its future.

Non Equilibrium Social Science and Policy

Author: Jeffrey Johnson
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319424246
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The overall aim of this book, an outcome of the European FP7 FET Open NESS project, is to contribute to the ongoing effort to put the quantitative social sciences on a proper footing for the 21st century. A key focus is economics, and its implications on policy making, where the still dominant traditional approach increasingly struggles to capture the economic realities we observe in the world today - with vested interests getting too often in the way of real advances. Insights into behavioral economics and modern computing techniques have made possible both the integration of larger information sets and the exploration of disequilibrium behavior. The domain-based chapters of this work illustrate how economic theory is the only branch of social sciences which still holds to its old paradigm of an equilibrium science - an assumption that has already been relaxed in all related fields of research in the light of recent advances in complex and dynamical systems theory and related data mining. The other chapters give various takes on policy and decision making in this context. Written in nontechnical style throughout, with a mix of tutorial and essay-like contributions, this book will benefit all researchers, scientists, professionals and practitioners interested in learning about the 'thinking in complexity' to understand how socio-economic systems really work.

Hamilton s Paradox

Author: Jonathan Rodden
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521603669
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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As new federations take shape and old ones are revived around the world, a difficult challenge is to create incentives for fiscal discipline. By combining theory, quantitative analysis, and historical and contemporary case studies, this book lays out the first systematic explanation of why decentralized countries have had dramatically different fiscal experiences. It provides insights into current policy debates from Latin America to the European Union, and a new perspective on a tension between the promise and peril of federalism that has characterized the literature since The Federalist Papers.

Open Development

Author: Matthew L. Smith
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262525410
Format: PDF, ePub
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Experts explore current theory and practice in the application of digitally enabled open networked social models to international development.

Alliance Curse

Author: Hilton L. Root
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815701514
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In Alliance Curse, Hilton Root illustrates that recent U.S. foreign policy is too often misguided, resulting in misdirected foreign aid and alliances that stunt political and economic development among partner regimes, leaving America on the wrong side of change. Many alliances with third world dictators, ostensibly of mutual benefit, reduce incentives to govern for prosperity and produce instead political and social instability and economic failure. Yet again, in the war on terror and in the name of preserving global stability, America is backing authoritarian regimes that practice repression and plunder. It is as if the cold war never ended. While espousing freedom and democracy, the U.S. contradicts itself by aiding governments that do not share those values. In addition to undercutting its own stated goal of promoting freedom, America makes the developing world even more wary of its intentions. Yes, the democracy we preach arouses aspirations and attracts immigrants, but those same individuals become our sternest critics; having learned to admire American values, they end up deploring U.S. policies toward their own countries. Long-term U.S. security is jeopardized by a legacy of resentment and distrust. A lliance Curse proposes an analytical foundation for national security that challenges long-held assumptions about foreign affairs. It questions the wisdom of diplomacy that depends on questionable linkages or outdated suppositions. The end of the Soviet Union did not portend the demise of communism, for example. Democracy and socialism are not incompatible systems. Promoting democracy by linking it with free trade risks overemphasizing the latter goal at the expense of the former. The growing tendency to play China against India in an effort to retain American global supremacy will hamper relations with both—an intolerable situation in today's interdependent world. Root buttresses his analysis with case studies of American foreign policy toward developing countries (e.g., Vietnam), efforts at state building, and nations growing in importance, such as China. He concludes with a series of recommendations designed to close the gap between security and economic development.