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Questioning Conventional Wisdom
Anthony Walsh, Boise State University
Availability: In stock
310pp. ¦ $78 £70 €75
This book is an expedition into a number of controversial issues in the social sciences with the intention of challenging the conventional wisdom on those issues. While most social science research is interesting and important, a fair amount of social science research is thinly disguised advocacy research in which conclusions too often precede inquiries. The primary topics are those that the journal Nature described as "Taboo". In order of the degree of censure, the topics are: race, sex differences, intelligence, and violence. The only way to examine these topics with the social science seal of approval attached is through a strictly environmental lens. To bring biological factors to bear on them is politically incorrect and can bring the wrath of the academy down on one’s head. Although many researchers successfully bring biology into their research on these issues, they are said to risk career and reputation for doing so. Speech codes stifling free intellectual exchange pervade the ivory tower, and an overwhelmingly liberal faculty hell-bent on eliminating any vestiges of opposition to their ideology. This is unconscionable in an institution that is supposed to value free exchange of all ideas and opinions. The current state of academic social science is examined before entering the substantive realm to try to explore how the topics I explore have become protected from any claims of "naturalness." Because the left rejects the idea of human nature, it insists that these things are products of social learning and/or social construction and are entirely fluid. To maintain this position in light of the huge and exponential successes of the natural sciences, the left embraces such frames of reasoning as postmodernism, radical relativism, multiculturalism, and political correctness, all of which are examined in this book. Also discussed are human nature, whiteness studies, political temperaments, various criminal justice issues, and capitalism versus socialism.
Peter Stone, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Availability: In stock
214pp. ¦ $60 £49 €57
Almost five decades after his death, there is still ample reason to pay attention to the life and legacy of Bertrand Russell. This is true not only because of his role as one of the founders of analytic philosophy, but also because of his important place in twentieth-century history as an educator, public intellectual, critic of organized religion, humanist, and peace activist. The papers in this anthology explore Russell’s life and legacy from a wide variety of perspectives. This is altogether fitting, given the many-sided nature of Russell, his life, and his work. The first section of the book considers Russell the man, and draws lessons from Russell’s complicated personal life. The second examines Russell the philosopher, and the philosophical world within which his work was embedded. The third scrutinizes Russell the atheist and critic of organized religion, inquiring which parts of his critical stance are worth emulating today. The final section revisits Russell the political activist; it directs an eye both at Russell’s own long career of peace activism, but also at his place in a highly political family tradition of which he was justifiably proud. This book thus constitutes an invitation, if one were needed, to the world of Bertrand Russell. Those new to Russell, but with an interest in biography, philosophy, religion, or politics, will hopefully find something to learn here. This may spark an interest in learning more about Russell. But this book is not just intended for the Russell neophyte. The book sheds fresh light on a number of topics central to Russell studies—his connections to other philosophers, for example. Scholars well-versed in Russell studies will enjoy grappling with the treatment given to these topics here.
Availability: In stock
126pp. ¦ $55 £45 €52
Orthodox macroeconomics is founded on microeconomics. Heterodox economists either reject micro foundations or experiment with behavioural relationships without paying attention to the principles that generate them. The book takes off from Michal Kalecki’s aphorism about economics being a science that confused stocks and flows. Kalecki was famous for presiding over a marriage between Marx and Keynes and all three figure prominently in the volume. However, the first part of the title is a homage to Wynne Godley who pioneered stock-flow-consistent modeling in our times. The authors exploit lagged values of variables emerging from the definitions. Lags also emerge in so-called stock-flow norms connecting the aggregates. Some moving and shaking of identities and a difference or differential equation emerges. The requirements for stability of the dynamic systems are illuminating and the reader can stop at structure and history with the first half of the book. The conversation with orthodoxy begins with the second part. The equivalent equation systems of the first part throw up different pairs of characters whose happiness must be maximised over time. The price to pay through the solution process is the confrontation with many ugly expressions but the explicit calculations are undertaken repeatedly only to reassure students through drillwork that tedium is not the same as difficulty. The payoffs are that variable transitions in capitalism (the second part of the title) are captured from a small clutch of identities. The movements from backward agriculture to capitalism, from ‘golden age’ capitalism to ‘financialization’, are modeled. A separate chapter is devoted to Europe. The policy prescriptions of heterodox economics do not compare with the richness of critique and positive analysis. ‘Positive’ and ‘normative’ are one in this work, the combination of stock-flow norms along with ‘forgotten’ policy variables like the tax rate promising order and stability to economies.
A conceptual framework and implementation guidance for intergenerational fairness
Julia M. Puaschunder, The New School
Availability: In stock
154pp. ¦ $65 £54 €61
Today's grand policy dilemmas, from climate change, to over-indebtedness, to demographic shifts, have momentous long-term implications. Future generations will be constrained by our present decisions to an extent that is without precedent in advanced capitalist democracies. This book is an extensively researched and reasoned appeal in favor of intergenerational fairness - the ability to provide to future generations an at least as favorable standard of living as that enjoyed today. Intergenerational equity is an essential consideration in finding lasting solutions to the multifaceted crises of our time. As an implicit contract and transfer between living and future generations, intergenerational equity avoids discriminating against future generations. The book aims to theoretically define intergenerational equity and to frame it as a natural behavioral law, capturing human ethicality bounds. It follows a long and distinguished tradition of scholarly discourse in turning to natural law for solutions to major social predicaments. Outlining some of the causes of the current intergenerational imbalances regarding climate change and over-indebtedness it sets the basis for understanding their drivers and implications. A central proposition is that the natural human drive towards intergenerational fairness can be the basis for the necessary behavioral responses: the human-imbued moral compass of natural law can be a useful complement, if not alternative, to public policy. This book fills an important gap. Despite a resurgence of literature, the economic and social dimensions of intergenerational equity remain underexplored. Existing literature misses a holistic ethical framework of decision-making failures that addresses intergenerational concerns. Whilst evolutionary grounded, intergenerational fairness has not been recognized as a natural behavioral law – a human-imbued drive being bound by human fallibility. Practical implications and recommendations in advancing an agenda for the advancement of intergenerational equity are provided. Attention is drawn to the problem of providing the required leadership to promote the idea of intergenerational equity as a guiding principle in corporate, social and policy action. This book contributes both theoretical and practical insights and will be of interest to economists, sociologists, public policy makers and corporate executives tasked with tackling the most pressing contemporary challenges of mankind.
Productivity, Export and Development ChallengesApril 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-272-2
Availability: In stock
132pp. ¦ $40 £35 €38
Over the course of the past two decades peripheral European economies in the Balkans and in Eastern Europe have experienced significant structural changes and have adapted to the global economic environment. Agriculture and the processing, using and trading of agricultural products play an important role in their economies. This volume covers several issues facing the contemporary agricultural sector in these countries, such as the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, the identification of an opinion leader portrait in agriculture, the characteristics of using Information and Communication Technologies as tools in the partnerships and internal processes of enterprises throughout the whole agro-food supply chain, the increased need of small-scale artisanal food businesses to seek new markets abroad, the perceptions of Greek olive oil importers in the UK, the barriers that Greek yogurt entrepreneurs face during their export activities, the reasons for the differences in economic performance and the role of tangible and less tangible factors influencing development outcomes. It will be of interest to researchers studying economic development, agricultural economists, businesses active in the primary sector and students of applied economic analysis.