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This book seeks to identify the forces which explain how and why some parts of the world have grown rich and others have lagged behind. Encompassing 2000 years of history, part 1 begins with the Roman Empire and explores the key factors that have influenced economic development in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Part 2 covers the development of macroeconomic tools of analysis from the 17th century to the present. Part 3 looks to the future and considers what the shape of the world economy might be in 2030. Combining both the close quantitative analysis for which Professor Maddison is famous with a more qualitative approach that takes into account the complexity of the forces at work, this book provides students and all interested readers with a totally fascinating overview of world economic history. Professor Maddison has the unique ability to synthesise vast amounts of information into a clear narrative flow that entertains as well as informs, making this text an invaluable resource for all students and scholars, and anyone interested in trying to understand why some parts of the World are so much richer than others.
This book uses a comparative approach to explain why China’s role in the world economy has changed so dramatically in the last thousand years. This edition has been revised and updated and Chapter 4 is new. It concludes that China will resume its role as the world's largest economy by 2015.
One of the biggest debates in economic history deals with the Great Divergence. How can we explain that at a certain moment in time (the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) a certain part of the world (the West) escaped from general poverty and became much richer than it had ever been before and than the rest of the world? Many prominent scholars discussed this question and came up with many different answers. This book provides a systematic analysis of the most important of those answers by means of an analysis of possible explanations in terms of natural resources, labour, capital, the division of labour and market exchange, accumulation and innovation, and as potential underlying determining factors institutions and culture. The author juxtaposes the views of economists / social scientists and of global historians and systematically compares Great Britain and China to illustrate his position. He qualifies the importance of natural resources, accumulation and the extension of markets, points at the importance of factor prices and changes in consumption and emphasizes the role of innovation, institutions – in particular an active developmental state – and culture.
ECONOMICS: PRIVATE AND PUBLIC CHOICE, Fifteenth Edition, reflects current economic conditions, enabling students to apply economic concepts to the world around them. The up-to-date text includes analysis and explanation of measures of economic activity in today's market. It also includes highlights of the recession of 2008-2009, and an in-depth look at the lives and contributions of notable economists. ECONOMICS: PRIVATE AND PUBLIC CHOICE dispels common economic myths. The text uses the invisible hand metaphor to explain economic theory, demonstrating how it works to stimulate the economy. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
Of the 54African states, only South Africa is categorised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) amongst industrialised countries. The economic activities in Africa are still dominated by the production and trade of agricultural and mineral commodities. This situation is in spite of the longstanding Africa--European Union (EU) co-operation, which intends, among other things, to support Africa’s industrialisation endeavours. Imperatively, a long road to substantive levels of industrialisation still lies ahead of most African countries. This raises the question as to what role the international community could and should play in the twenty-first century to provide the support needed to expedite Africa’s industrial transformation. This book argues that to supplement the initiatives of each African country, international partnerships, of both a ‘North–South’ and ‘South–South’ nature, will serve better purposes if they are leveraged to develop productive capacities in African economies. In order to enable the African countries to leverage their traditional partnership with the EU for industrialisation, a paradigm shift is obligatory. A feasible model should emulate the Japanese-led ‘flying geese’ model and the Chinese-led ‘bamboo capitalism’ model.
What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom
Author: Mark S. Weiner
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Category: Political Science
A revealing look at the role kin-based societies have played throughout history and around the world A lively, wide-ranging meditation on human development that offers surprising lessons for the future of modern individualism, The Rule of the Clan examines the constitutional principles and cultural institutions of kin-based societies, from medieval Iceland to modern Pakistan. Mark S. Weiner, an expert in constitutional law and legal history, shows us that true individual freedom depends on the existence of a robust state dedicated to the public interest. In the absence of a healthy state, he explains, humans naturally tend to create legal structures centered not on individuals but rather on extended family groups. The modern liberal state makes individualism possible by keeping this powerful drive in check—and we ignore the continuing threat to liberal values and institutions at our peril. At the same time, for modern individualism to survive, liberals must also acknowledge the profound social and psychological benefits the rule of the clan provides and recognize the loss humanity sustains in its transition to modernity. Masterfully argued and filled with rich historical detail, Weiner's investigation speaks both to modern liberal societies and to developing nations riven by "clannism," including Muslim societies in the wake of the Arab Spring.
Bestselling author Michael Shermer's exploration of science and morality that demonstrates how the scientific way of thinking has made people, and society as a whole, more moral From Galileo and Newton to Thomas Hobbes and Martin Luther King, Jr., thinkers throughout history have consciously employed scientific techniques to better understand the non-physical world. The Age of Reason and the Enlightenment led theorists to apply scientific reasoning to the non-scientific disciplines of politics, economics, and moral philosophy. Instead of relying on the woodcuts of dissected bodies in old medical texts, physicians opened bodies themselves to see what was there; instead of divining truth through the authority of an ancient holy book or philosophical treatise, people began to explore the book of nature for themselves through travel and exploration; instead of the supernatural belief in the divine right of kings, people employed a natural belief in the right of democracy. In The Moral Arc, Shermer will explain how abstract reasoning, rationality, empiricism, skepticism--scientific ways of thinking--have profoundly changed the way we perceive morality and, indeed, move us ever closer to a more just world.
The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence. This profoundly ambitious and original book picks its way carefully through a vast tract of forbiddingly difficult intellectual terrain. Yet the writing is so lucid that it somehow makes it all seem easy. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
Interest in economics is at an all-time high. Among the challenges facing the nation is an economy with rapidly rising unemployment, failures of major businesses and industries, and continued dependence on oil with its wildly fluctuating price. Americans are debating the proper role of the government in company bailouts, the effectiveness of tax cuts versus increased government spending to stimulate the economy, and potential effects of deflation. Economists have dealt with such questions for generations, but they have taken on new meaning and significance. Tackling these questions and encompassing analysis of traditional economic theory and topics as well as those that economists have only more recently addressed, 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook is intended to meet the needs of several types of readers. Undergraduate students preparing for exams will find summaries of theory and models in key areas of micro and macroeconomics. Readers interested in learning about economic analysis of an issue as well students embarking on research projects will find introductions to relevant theory and empirical evidence. And economists seeking to learn about extensions of analysis into new areas or about new approaches will benefit from chapters that introduce cutting-edge topics. To make the book accessible to undergraduate students, models have been presented only in graphical format (minimal calculus) and empirical evidence has been summarized in ways that do not require much background in statistics or econometrics. It is thereby hoped that chapters will provide both crucial information and inspiration in a non-threatening, highly readable format.
This book offers a critical analysis of consumer credit markets and the growth of outstanding debt, presenting in-depth interview material to explore the phenomenon of mass indebtedness through the life trajectories of self-identified debtors struggling with the pressures of owing money. A rich and original qualitative study of the close relationship between financial capitalism, consumer aspirations, social exclusion and the proliferation of personal indebtedness, The Dark Side of Prosperity examines questions of social identity, subjectivity and consumer motivation in close connection with the socio-cultural ideals of an ‘enjoyment society’ that binds the value of the lives of individuals to the endless acquisition and disposal of pecuniary resources and lifestyle symbols. Critically engaging with the work of Giddens, Beck and Bauman, this volume draws on the thought of contemporary philosophers including Žižek, Badiou and Rancière to consider the possibility that the expansion of outstanding consumer credit, despite its many consequences, may be integral to the construction of social identity in a radically indeterminate and increasingly divided society. A ground-breaking work of critical social research this book will appeal to scholars of social theory, contemporary philosophy and political and economic sociology, as well as those with interests in consumer credit and cultures of indebtedness.