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Subject: Sociology

Political Corruption in a World in Transition

1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-332-3
April 2019
Availability: Forthcoming

This book argues that the mainstream definitions of corruption, and the key expectations they embed concerning the relationship between corruption, democracy, and the process of democratization, require reexamination. Even critics, who did not take the stable institutions and legal clarity of veteran democracies as a cure-all, assumed that the process of widening the influence on government decision making and implementation allows non-elites to defend their interests, define the acceptable sources and uses of wealth, and demand government accountability. This had proved correct, especially insofar as ‘petty corruption’ is involved. But the assumption that corruption necessarily involves the evasion of democratic principles and a ‘market approach’ in which the corrupt seek to maximize profit do not exhaust the possible incentives for corruption, the types of behaviors involved (for obvious reasons, the tendency in the literature is to focus on bribery), or the range of situations that ‘permit’ corruption in democracies. In the effort to identify some of the problems that require recognition, and to offer a more exhaustive alternative, the chapters in this book focus on corruption in democratic settings (including NGOs and the United Nations which were largely so far ignored), while focusing mainly on behaviors other than bribery.

Machinima – Socio-Cultural Disturbance

1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-273-9
September 2018
Availability: Forthcoming

Since its birth in 1996, machinima (machine-cinema) has grown into a truly global phenomenon – and its latest transformation is evident in the Lets Play community. Machinima is the first digital culture to have emerged from the internet into a mainstream creative genre and it has taken shape as an important fan culture. Its impact has been felt across many aspects of popular culture and its influence can be found in contexts such as the arts and cinema, performance, creative technologies and social media, politics and citizenship. This book traces its history and impacts through a selection of the most culturally significant works. It firstly sets out to describe the key films, provides an overview of the creative processes and interviews with filmmakers and contributors involved in their development. It then traces their release and impact among fans, users and appropriators, supported with material and interviews. This important new work focuses on the specific disruptive socio-cultural impacts of key works identified by the community and Harwood research over a period of 10 years – from film and filmmaking to digital arts, practice and theory. The book will be of interest to machinima researchers and practitioners, including game culture, media theorists and digital artists, and those interested in how creative technologies influences communities of practice over time.

Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: Touring Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Intercultural Museum

1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-174-9
May 2018
Availability: Forthcoming

Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: Touring Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Intercultural Museum critically examines international exhibitions, looking at both theoretical and practical implications. How are museums working internationally through exhibitions? What motivates this work? What are the benefits and challenges? What factors contribute to success? What impact does this work have for audiences and other stakeholders? What contributions are they making to cultural diplomacy, intercultural dialogue and understanding? In seeking answers to these questions, the book first provides an overview of the current state of knowledge about international touring exhibitions: their history, current practice, debates and issues. It then proposes an interdisciplinary analytical framework, encompassing museum studies, visitor studies, cultural diplomacy and international relations, intercultural communication/education, and theories of cosmopolitanism. Having laid the theoretical groundwork, it presents a comprehensive empirical analysis of an exhibition exchange involving two exhibitions that crossed five countries and three continents, connecting six high profile cultural institutions and spanning almost a decade from initial conception to completion. A detailed comparison of both the intercultural production of touring exhibitions by museum partnerships and by the interpretive acts and meaning-making of visitors, reveals the many complexities, challenges, tensions and rewards of international museum exhibitions and their intersection with cultural diplomacy. Key themes include the realities of international collaboration, its purposes, processes and challenges, including communication and relationship building; the politics of cultural (self-)representation and Indigenous museology; implications for exhibition design, interpretation, and marketing; intercultural competency and museum practice; audience reception and meaning-making; cultural diplomacy in practice and perceptions of its value. This first-ever detailed, empirically-grounded, theoretical analysis provides the basis of a critical theory of international touring exhibitions and guidelines for practice, including recommendations for successful international museum partnerships and exhibitions aimed at facilitating intercultural understanding for audiences and enhancing intercultural practices among museum professionals, and maximizing the potential contribution cultural diplomacy.

Making Strangers

Outsiders, Aliens and Foreigners
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-324-8
April 2018
Availability: Forthcoming

Studies on foreignness have increased substantially over the last two decades in response to what has been dubbed the ‘refugee crisis.’ Yet, their focus has been generally on specific areas such as region, period, ethnic group or author. Predicated on the belief that this so-called ‘twenty-first century problem’ is timeless, and as old as humanity itself, the proposed collection of essays shows cases based on both long-term historic perspectives and individual occurrences from around the world. Bringing together an international group of scholars from Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, it examines a variety of examples and strategies, mostly from world literatures, ranging from Spain’s failed experience with consolidation as a nation-state-type entity during the Golden Age of Castile, to Shakespeare’s rhetorical subversion of the language of fear and hate, to Mario Rigoni Stern’s random status at the unpredictable Italian-Austrian borders, to Lawrence Durrell’s complacent reluctance to notice the unmistakable reality of the other, to the French government’s ongoing criminalization of hospitality, to Sandra Cisneros’s attempt at straddling two countries and cultures while belonging to neither one, to experimentations with intercultural transfers by Gisèle Pineau. We are not born foreigners; we are made. The purpose of the book is to assert, as denoted by its title, this fundamental premise, and contend that the making of strangers is a deliberate and purposeful process, even though it may be born out of an uncontrollable and primal urge to survive. The ultimate expression of this phenomenon is the compulsive labeling of people along artificial categories such as race, gender, religion, birthplace, or nationality. A corollary purpose of the book is to help shed light worldwide on the current plight of immigrants, refugees and all those excluded within because of race, gender, national origin, religion and ethnicity. As illustrated by the examples examined in this book, humans have certainly evolved in many areas; dealing with the “other” might not have been one of those.

Networks of International Trade and Investment

Understanding globalization through the lens of network analysis
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-065-0
March 2018
Availability: Forthcoming

The globalisation of industries in recent decades has led to a fundamental change in the way in which production is structured: products are no longer manufactured in their entirety in a single location. Integration of global trade has been accompanied by disintegration of production. This disintegration, or rather fragmentation, of production has resulted in a shift-change in patterns of international trade and investment, with a rise in trade of intermediate goods and a rise in FDI activity. In addition, multinational enterprises (MNEs) play a more focal role in this reorganisation of production, spreading out their manufacturing and supply chain activities globally, resulting in an increase in FDI and intra-firm trade. This international fragmentation of production challenges our ability to understand the international economy. Global value chains is one leading theoretical approach encompassing and trying to make sense of these changes, but scholars point to several limitations of it, most prominently the difficulty of aggregating from firm-level observations to national-level. A crucial aspect is that these changes in trade and FDI patterns have resulted in a more interconnected world economy. Understanding the interdependencies between entities involved in the fragmented production process is essential in order to understand the way production is organised today. Traditional methods and statistical approaches are insufficient to address this challenge. This edited book makes a case for the use of network analysis alongside existing techniques in answering burning questions in the areas of international business and economics, such as whether trade has become more global or regional, and to what extent emerging economies challenge the role of traditional producers in specific industries. The book looks at how the approach and methodologies of network analysis can contribute in explaining international business and economics phenomena, in particular related to international trade and investment. It will provide a comprehensive but accessible explanation of the applications of network analysis applications and some of the most recent methodological advances that can contribute to research in the area of international trade and investment. (provisional and subject to change)

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