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  • Author: Jens Beckert, Jörg Rössel, Patrick Schenck
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Understanding the valuation of goods in markets has become one of the key topics in economic sociology in recent years. Especially in markets for goods that are valued for their aesthetic qualities, the ascription of value appears to be a complex social process because product quality is highly uncertain. The wine market is an extraordinary example because most consumers and even experts are not able to differentiate between wines based on objective sensory characteristics and cannot rank wines in blind tastings according to their price. Our premise is that assessed quality differences cannot be explained by the sensual qualities of the wine. Instead, we explain variations in valuation by social processes in which quality is constructed and contested. To do so we make use of Bourdieu’s field theoretical perspective, which is strongly supported in our empirical analysis of the German wine field. It shows that his model of the structure of fields has considerable power in explaining price differentiation between wineries and that the orientation of consumers towards different segments of the field is based on class hierarchy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Food, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jens Beckert
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Capitalism is an economic and social order oriented toward the future. In this paper, I describe the unfolding of the temporal order of capitalism and relate it to the restless dynamism of capitalism we have observed since the Industrial Revolution. Since the future is open, actors are confronted with the uncertainty of the outcomes of their decisions. What can expectations be under conditions of uncertainty? To answer this question, I introduce the notion of fictional expectations which can be used to describe decisions made under conditions of an open and uncertain future. In the paper’s penultimate section, I apply the concept of fictional expectations to the analysis of four crucial processes of capitalism: money and credit, investments, innovation, and consumption. The main thrust of the paper is that in order to understand economic action in capitalism, actors’ perceptions of the future need to take center stage. Not only “history matters,” but also the “future matters.”
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Socialism/Marxism, Social Movement, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Until recently, 95% of the bandwidth for talking and thinking about the post-2015 agenda was focused on goals and targets. Now that the Open Working Group (OWG) on the post- 2015 agenda has reported, though, policymakers and opinion formers are starting to think more seriously about the ‘how’ as opposed to the ‘what’ – and what a new Global Partnership on development, as well as the overall political outcome on means of implementation (MOI) more broadly, might look like by the end of next year.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gregory S Jones
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: The negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program have been extended to November 24, 2014 from the original July 20, 2014 deadline. Recently there has been much discussion regarding the merits of various proposals relaxing the requirement that Iran restrict its centrifuge enrichment capacity. It has been suggested that perhaps Iran would only reduce its number of centrifuges by 50% instead of 85% or that when Iran reduces its enrichment capacity, instead of removing the centrifuges entirely, it would just disconnect some of the piping.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gregory S Jones
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: Negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program are continuing in an effort to produce a follow-on agreement, termed the “Comprehensive Solution,” to the November 2013 “Joint Plan of Action” (JPA). Much of the discussion of the Comprehensive Solution has focused on the terms such an agreement should include to prevent Iran from being able to produce nuclear weapons. However, this objective will not be attainable unless the agreement addresses key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, fixes the flaws in the JPA which seriously constrain any agreement and recognizes fundamental problems with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as currently implemented.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Global Focus
  • Author: Douglas A. Chalmers
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Even well-established democracies need reform, and any successful effort to reform democracies must look beyond conventional institutions--elections, political parties, special interests, legislatures and their relations with chief executives--to do so. Expanding a traditional vision of the institutions of representative democracy, Douglas A. Chalmers examines six aspects of political practice relating to the people being represented, the structure of those who make law and policy, and the links between those structures and the people. Chalmers concludes with a discussion of where successful reform needs to take place: we must pay attention to a democratic ordering of the constant reconfiguration of decision making patterns; we must recognize the crucial role of information in deliberation; and we must incorporate noncitizens and foreigners into the political system, even when they are not the principal beneficiaries.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Politics, Political Theory, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231162951
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Mike Callaghan
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: In this Lowy Institute Policy Brief, Director of the G20 Studies Centre Mike Callaghan AM argues that the G20 needs to develop a comprehensive growth strategy to lift global growth and create jobs. Callaghan outlines the steps required to develop such a strategy by the Brisbane G20 Summit.
  • Topic: International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rajrishi Singhal
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: India’s decision to block the Trade Facilitation Agreement at the World Trade Organisation in July was perplexing; the confusion was compounded because India was almost alone in its position. This policy perspective explains the reasons for India’s curious stand
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: India, Global Focus
  • Author: Helena Gonçalves
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: In this article, Helena Gonçalves presents some of the main economic instruments and financial incentives in effect today, emphasizing some examples of good international practices in applying these mechanisms. The author highlights the cross-cutting nature between social and environmental problems, as well as the necessary complementarity between society, market and State in order to solve this crisis.
  • Topic: Environment, International Cooperation, International Affairs, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Claudio Contador
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: The opening of the reinsurance market in Brazil finally took place in 2007, amidst euphoria and great expectations. The process lasted nearly two decades, with little movement, to the great frustration of the companies, international investors and, especially, the domestic insurance market, which was in need of modernization and less government involvement. The exhaustion of the nationalized reinsurance model created in 1939 was evident by the 1990s and became even more visible in that decade, in the face of opportunities for insurance offered by the large investments in infrastructure, and rural, environmental and disaster insurance, among others.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Global Focus