Unintended Consequences of Human Actions

Author: Elena Ermolaeva
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 0761854460
Format: PDF
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Using a mixed-method approach, Unintended Consequences of Human Actions documents a wide range of unintended and unanticipated consequences of human actions. The major message is the urgent need to review a range of possible outcomes of human actions. During these fragile times 'looking down the road' has become imperative.

The Invisible Hand in Economics

Author: N. Emrah Aydinonat
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 0415569540
Format: PDF
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This is a book about one of the most controversial concepts in economics the invisible hand. The author explores the unintended social consequences implied by the invisible hand and discusses the mechanisms that bring about these consequences. The book questions, examines and explicates the strengths and weaknesses of invisible hand explanations concerning the emergence of institutions and macro-social structures, from a methodological and philosophical perspective. Aydinonat analyses paradigmatic examples of invisible-hand explanations, such as Carl Menger's `Origin of Money' and Thomas Schelling's famous chequerboard model of residential segregation in relation to contemporary models of emergence of money and segregation.Based on this analysis, he provides a fresh look at the philosophical literature on models and explanation and develops a philosophical framework for interpreting invisible hand type of explanations in economics and elsewhere. Finally, the author applies this framework to recent game theoretic models of institutions and outlines the way in which they should be evaluated. Covering areas such as history, philosophy of economics and game theory this book will appeal to philosophers of social science and historians of economic thought, as well as to practising economists.

Decoding the Social World

Author: Sandra González-Bailón
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262343460
Format: PDF
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Social life is full of paradoxes. Our intentional actions often trigger outcomes that we did not intend or even envision. How do we explain those unintended effects and what can we do to regulate them? In Decoding the Social World, Sandra González-Bailón explains how data science and digital traces help us solve the puzzle of unintended consequences -- offering the solution to a social paradox that has intrigued thinkers for centuries. Communication has always been the force that makes a collection of people more than the sum of individuals, but only now can we explain why: digital technologies have made it possible to parse the information we generate by being social in new, imaginative ways. And yet we must look at that data, González-Bailón argues, through the lens of theories that capture the nature of social life. The technologies we use, in the end, are also a manifestation of the social world we inhabit. González-Bailón discusses how the unpredictability of social life relates to communication networks, social influence, and the unintended effects that derive from individual decisions. She describes how communication generates social dynamics in aggregate (leading to episodes of "collective effervescence") and discusses the mechanisms that underlie large-scale diffusion, when information and behavior spread "like wildfire." She applies the theory of networks to illuminate why collective outcomes can differ drastically even when they arise from the same individual actions. By opening the black box of unintended effects, González-Bailón identifies strategies for social intervention and discusses the policy implications -- and how data science and evidence-based research embolden critical thinking in a world that is constantly changing.

Global Environmental Change

Author: Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 030958342X
Format: PDF, Docs
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Global environmental change often seems to be the most carefully examined issue of our time. Yet understanding the human side--human causes of and responses to environmental change--has not yet received sustained attention. Global Environmental Change offers a strategy for combining the efforts of natural and social scientists to better understand how our actions influence global change and how global change influences us. The volume is accessible to the nonscientist and provides a wide range of examples and case studies. It explores how the attitudes and actions of individuals, governments, and organizations intertwine to leave their mark on the health of the planet. The book focuses on establishing a framework for this new field of study, identifying problems that must be overcome if we are to deepen our understanding of the human dimensions of global change, presenting conclusions and recommendations.

Water Climate Change and the Boomerang Effect

Author: Larry Swatuk
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351369415
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In line with COP21 agreements, state-led climate change mitigation and adaptation actions are being undertaken to transition to carbon-neutral, green economies. However, the capacity of many countries for action is limited and may result in a ‘boomerang effect’, defined as the unintended negative consequences of such policies and programmes on local communities and their negative feedbacks on the state. To avoid this effect, there is a need to understand the policy drivers, decision-making processes, and impacts of such action, in order to determine the ways and means of minimizing negative effects and maximizing mutually beneficial policy outcomes. This book directly engages the policy debates surrounding water resources and climate actions through both theoretical and comparative case studies. It develops the ‘boomerang effect’ concept and sets it in relation to other conceptual tools for understanding the mixed outcomes of state-led climate change action, for example ‘backdraft’ effect and ‘maldevelopment’. It also presents case studies illustrative of the consequences of ill-considered state-led policy in the water sector from around the world. These include Africa, China, South Asia, South America, the Middle East, Turkey and Vietnam, and examples of groundwater, hydropower development and forest hydrology, where there are often transboundary consequences of a state's policies and actions. In this way, the book adds empirical and theoretical insights to a still developing debate regarding the appropriate ways and means of combating climate change without undermining state and social development.

System Effects

Author: Robert Jervis
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400822409
Format: PDF
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Based on more than three decades of observation, Robert Jervis concludes in this provocative book that the very foundations of many social science theories--especially those in political science--are faulty. Taking insights from complexity theory as his point of departure, the author observes that we live in a world where things are interconnected, where unintended consequences of our actions are unavoidable and unpredictable, and where the total effect of behavior is not equal to the sum of individual actions. Jervis draws on a wide range of human endeavors to illustrate the nature of these system effects. He shows how increasing airport security might actually cost lives, not save them, and how removing dead trees (ostensibly to give living trees more room) may damage the health of an entire forest. Similarly, he highlights the interconnectedness of the political world as he describes how the Cold War played out and as he narrates the series of events--with their unintended consequences--that escalated into World War I. The ramifications of developing a rigorous understanding of politics are immense, as Jervis demonstrates in his critique of current systemic theories of international politics--especially the influential work done by Kenneth Waltz. Jervis goes on to examine various types of negative and positive feedback, bargaining in different types of relationships, and the polarizing effects of alignments to begin building a foundation for a more realistic, more nuanced, theory of international politics. System Effects concludes by examining what it means to act in a system. It shows how political actors might modify their behavior in anticipation of system effects, and it explores how systemic theories of political behavior might account for the role of anticipation and strategy in political action. This work introduces powerful new concepts that will reward not only international relations theorists, but also all social scientists with interests in comparative politics and political theory.

The Rise of Investor State Arbitration

Author: Taylor St John
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198789912
Format: PDF, ePub
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Today, investor-state arbitration embodies the worst fears of those concerned about runaway globalization - a far cry from its framers' intentions. Why did governments create a special legal system in which foreign investors can bring cases directly against states? This book takes readersthrough the key decisions that created investor-state arbitration, drawing on internal documents from several governments and extensive interviews to illustrate the politics behind this new legal system.The corporations and law firms that dominate investor-state arbitration today were not present at its creation. In fact, there was almost no lobbying from investors. Nor did powerful states have a strong preference for it. Nor was it created because there was evidence that it facilitates investment- there was no such evidence.International officials with peacebuilding and development aims drove the rise of investor-state arbitration. This book puts forward a new historical institutionalist explanation to illuminate how the actions of these officials kicked off a process of gradual institutional development. While theseofficials anticipated many developments, including an enormous caseload from investment treaties, over time this institutional framework they created has been put to new purposes by different actors. Institutions do not determine the purposes to which they may be put, and this book's analysisillustrates how unintended consequences emerge and why institutions persist regardless.

The Invisible Hand in Economics

Author: N. Emrah Aydinonat
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 0415569540
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
This is a book about one of the most controversial concepts in economics the invisible hand. The author explores the unintended social consequences implied by the invisible hand and discusses the mechanisms that bring about these consequences. The book questions, examines and explicates the strengths and weaknesses of invisible hand explanations concerning the emergence of institutions and macro-social structures, from a methodological and philosophical perspective. Aydinonat analyses paradigmatic examples of invisible-hand explanations, such as Carl Menger's `Origin of Money' and Thomas Schelling's famous chequerboard model of residential segregation in relation to contemporary models of emergence of money and segregation.Based on this analysis, he provides a fresh look at the philosophical literature on models and explanation and develops a philosophical framework for interpreting invisible hand type of explanations in economics and elsewhere. Finally, the author applies this framework to recent game theoretic models of institutions and outlines the way in which they should be evaluated. Covering areas such as history, philosophy of economics and game theory this book will appeal to philosophers of social science and historians of economic thought, as well as to practising economists.

The Spatial Market Process

Author: David Emanuel Andersson
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
ISBN: 178190006X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Key features of Austrian economic theory are the use of methodological individualism, the view that entrepreneurs cause development, and the recognition that local knowledge is largely tacit and thus difficult to communicate. The contributors to The Spatial Market Process show how these and other Austrian features provide an alternative foundation for understanding the spatial manifestation of economic phenomena. Many chapters elaborate upon theoretical insights first formulated by F.A. Hayek. The work of urban theorist Jane Jacobs, the entrepreneurship theories of both Joseph Schumpeter and Israel Kirzner, transaction costs in the Coasean tradition, and Fritz Machlup's notion of "knowledge conveyors" are examples of other theoretical constructs that are integrated into new spatial theories by the contributors; combining classical Austrian theories with contemporary breakthroughs.