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From unemployment to Brexit to climate change, capitalism is in trouble and ill-prepared to cope with the challenges of the coming decades. How did we get here? While contemporary economists and policymakers tend to ignore the political and social dimensions of capitalism, some of the great economists of the past - Adam Smith, Friedrich List, John Maynard Keynes, Joseph Schumpeter, Karl Polanyi and Albert Hirschman - did not make the same mistake. Leveraging their insights, sociologists John L. Campbell and John A. Hall trace the historical development of capitalism as a social, political, and economic system throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. They draw comparisons across eras and around the globe to show that there is no inevitable logic of capitalism. Rather, capitalism's performance depends on the strength of nation-states, the social cohesion of capitalist societies, and the stability of the international system - three things that are in short supply today.
Without nation-states Covid-19, climate change, international cyberattacks, and other threats would go unchecked. In The World of States, John L. Campbell and John A. Hall challenge the view that nation-states have lost their relevance in the context of globalization and rising nationalism. The book traces how states evolved historically, how contemporary states differ from one another, and the interactions between them. States today confront a host of challenges, but two features make some states more effective than others: institutional arrangement and national identity. The second edition has been updated to discuss why the BRICS countries (with the exception of China) are no longer the rising powers they were once thought to be; the effects of Brexit on the European Union; the legacy of the Trump administration for US politics and hegemony; and how the coronavirus may upset the world of states going forward.
The Repugnant Conclusion is an implication of some approaches to population ethics. It states, in Derek Parfit's original formulation,
For any possible population of at least ten billion people, all with a very high quality of life, there must be some much larger imaginable population whose existence, if other things are equal, would be better, even though its members have lives that are barely worth living. (Parfit 1984: 388)
‘Dementia-friendly communities’ herald a shift toward the neighbourhood as a locus for the care and support of people with dementia, sparking growing interest in the geographies of dementia care and raising questions over the shifting spatial and social experience of the condition. Existing research claims that many people with dementia experience a ‘shrinking world’ whereby the boundaries to their social and physical worlds gradually constrict over time, leading to a loss of control and independence. This paper reports a five-year, international study that investigated the neighbourhood experience of people with dementia and those who care for and support them. We interrogate the notion of a shrinking world and in so doing highlight an absence of attention paid to the agency and actions of people with dementia themselves. The paper draws together a socio-relational and embodied-material approach to question the adequacy of the shrinking world concept as an explanatory framework and to challenge reliance within policy and practice upon notions of place as fixed or stable. We argue instead for the importance of foregrounding ‘lived place’ and attending to social practices and the networks in which such practices evolve. Our findings have implications for policy and practice, emphasising the need to bolster the agency of people living with dementia as a route to fostering accessible and inclusive neighbourhoods.
Ecosystem modeling, a pillar of the systems ecology paradigm (SEP), addresses questions such as, how much carbon and nitrogen are cycled within ecological sites, landscapes, or indeed the earth system? Or how are human activities modifying these flows? Modeling, when coupled with field and laboratory studies, represents the essence of the SEP in that they embody accumulated knowledge and generate hypotheses to test understanding of ecosystem processes and behavior. Initially, ecosystem models were primarily used to improve our understanding about how biophysical aspects of ecosystems operate. However, current ecosystem models are widely used to make accurate predictions about how large-scale phenomena such as climate change and management practices impact ecosystem dynamics and assess potential effects of these changes on economic activity and policy making. In sum, ecosystem models embedded in the SEP remain our best mechanism to integrate diverse types of knowledge regarding how the earth system functions and to make quantitative predictions that can be confronted with observations of reality. Modeling efforts discussed are the Century ecosystem model, DayCent ecosystem model, Grassland Ecosystem Model ELM, food web models, Savanna model, agent-based and coupled systems modeling, and Bayesian modeling.
Shows that secularism is a dividing line between the parties, thus suggesting that the United States is moving toward a confessional party system, in which religiosity–secularity is a dividing line between the parties. The religious–secular divide between Republicans and Democrats is illustrated through the use of data from party convention delegates, as well as from the mass public.
Considers the likely future of secularism as a fault line in American politics. Secularism is gaining ground, which suggests that it will feed further political polarization, and perhaps even lead to a confessional party system based on religious–secular differences. We also speculate that the conditions may be right for the creation of a new political movement – a Secular Left to parallel the Religious Right. Such a movement is not a certainty, however. Will the strategic candidates seek to mobilize the growing secular population? The chapter, and thus the book, concludes by suggesting that growing secularism need not mean more polarization, as politicians could seek common ground between religionists and secularists.
Uses a set of experiments to explore how voters react to political candidates who describe themselves with varying degrees of secularity, from a hard-edged version such as “atheist” to a softer statement like “I’m not particularly religious.” The results show that while voters are averse to candidates who express disbelief in God, they are open to candidates who describe their secularity in other ways.
Establishes the political origins of the secular surge by demonstrating that the recent rise in nonreligiosity has been caused, at least in part, by a political backlash against the Religious Right, and the infusion of religion into conservative politics more generally. Using a series of experiments, we show that exposure to religion-infused politics causes people to drop their religious identity.
Examines how personal secularism shapes public opinion where we would expect it to matter: the line between church and state, or public secularism. We explore the nuances in Americans' attitudes on church–state separation, including how both personal secularism and nonreligiosity shape attitudes toward the twin religious protections guaranteed by the First Amendment, protection of religious free exercise and protection from government establishment of religion. Our analysis speaks directly to the current debate over the meaning of religious liberty.
Describes the rising tide of secularism within the United States, including but not limited to the growth of the “Nones” – people without a religious affiliation. Also introduces a key concept in the book: the difference between nonreligiosity and secularism. The former is defined by the absence of religion (what you are not) while the latter refers to an affirmative embrace of a secular worldview (what you are).
American society is rapidly secularizing–a radical departure from its historically high level of religiosity–and politics is a big part of the reason. Just as, forty years ago, the Religious Right arose as a new political movement, today secularism is gaining traction as a distinct and politically energized identity. This book examines the political causes and political consequences of this secular surge, drawing on a wealth of original data. The authors show that secular identity is in part a reaction to the Religious Right. However, while the political impact of secularism is profound, there may not yet be a Secular Left to counterbalance the Religious Right. Secularism has introduced new tensions within the Democratic Party while adding oxygen to political polarization between Democrats and Republicans. Still there may be opportunities to reach common ground if politicians seek to forge coalitions that encompass both secular and religious Americans.
Demonstrates, with original data, that Americans are more secular than they appear. We do so by contrasting conventional measures of nonreligiosity (the absence of religion) with our new and novel measures of personal secularism – or a secular worldview. We use a variety of methods, quantitative and qualitative, to validate these measures, which are then employed throughout the book.
Illustrates how secularism is a potent predictor of public opinion that has, heretofore, been undetected. The chapter then digs deeper into the relationship between secularism, nonreligiosity, and politics. By employing the panel version of the Secular America Study that ran from 2010 to 2012 we test whether political views are more likely to lead to secular orientations or the other way around. The results show a backlash: politics drives people away from religion. But they also show that secularism drives political views, even on issues far removed from questions related to church and state. Secularists are firmly planted in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Examines how secularism affects the civic landscape. To what extent are Secularists civically engaged, including in nonpolitical activity such as community voluntarism and explicitly political action like working on a political campaign? When it comes to engagement outside of politics, Secularists pale in comparison to Religionists but shine next to Non-Religionists. Secularism, however, is a powerful predictor of political activity, and so Secularists are highly engaged in politics.