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Since the early discussions of polycentricity, the concept (and variations such as polycentric political systems, polycentric governance, polycentric order, etc.) has seen the development of numerous permutations, digressions, and contradictions. This chapter is meant to carefully step through key notions tied to polycentricity and polycentric governance. The chapter’s purpose is to discuss polycentric governance in particular, while giving some attention to polycentricity as a term from which polycentric governance originates. We build upon the classic version of polycentric governance as a 'polycentric political system', link this concept with broader conceptualizations of polycentricity, and survey the related ideas that have been investigated around the concepts of polycentric political systems, polycentric order, polycentric governance, and polycentric arrangements.
A revised application of Ostrom's (Ostrom, 2007) Social-Ecological System (SES) framework to Hardin's ‘tragedy of the commons’ (Hardin, G. (1968), Science, 162(3859): 1243–1248) demonstrates that its institutional structure is more complex than either Hardin or Ostrom had imagined. The ‘tragedy’ arises from several interacting resources and institutions. If the grass on the pasture was not subject to appropriation, the cattle were not privately owned, or property- and contract-enforcement institutions supporting market exchange were absent, then the ‘tragedy of the commons’ would not have arisen regardless of the open-access pasture. This paper highlights the utility of the SES framework and the care required to apply it precisely to specific social-ecological situations.
For too long, nuclear deterrence theory has been treated as a casualty of the end of the Cold War. During the preceding period of superpower rivalry, debates over the credibility of nuclear deterrence attracted the attention of sophisticated game theorists in diverse disciplines. But with the end of the Cold War, this research tradition virtually ground to a halt. In this important new book, two long-term contributors to this body of research revisit these issues and effectively recast these models as representations of policy dilemmas of long-standing and continuing relevance. For instance, their models of U.S. strategic doctrines of massive retaliation and flexible response prove relevant to any situation in which the parties perceive two levels of conflict to be significantly different, even if neither level involves the use of nuclear weapons.
The ion-assisted nucleation of diamond was studied in a microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition system to gain insights into the processes controlling this phenomenon. The dependence of the nucleation density on bias voltage and temperature, as well as experiments with an electrically isolated substrate, are consistent with an ion bombardment mechanism for diamond nucleation. However, the growth of these nuclei is dominated by neutral species rather than ions. Measurements of the bias current under various conditions also provide details on the roles of the incident ion flux and substrate electron emission during this process. Furthermore, Monte Carlo simulations of the ion energy distribution at the substrate are compared to experimental measurements. Preferential sputtering, thermal spike, and carbon subplantation nucleation mechanisms are assessed based on the experimental and modeling results.
We investigate the dynamics of superpower rivalry. Participants in policy debates within each state use information about expected future threats and economic costs to influence other policy actors, and this process of sophisticated reaction links the security policies of these two states into a single rivalry system. Analysis of vector autoregression models of U.S. and Soviet military expenditures and diplomatic hostility and U.S. gross national product supports the hypothesis that these policies approximate the behavior of unitary rational states capable of forming rational expectations of each other's future behavior. The dynamic response of this system to a wide range of exogenous shocks (or innovations) reveals the underlying stability of this rivalry system. The military expenditures of both states exhibit a cyclical response to innovations, with a shorter U.S. cycle. This lack of synchronization creates several problems for analysis and for policy change.
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