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Erik Gawel and Kristina Bernsen

Although the traditional approach in water resources management is to address water-related scarcity problems at the local or regional scale, some see water as a global resource with global drivers and impacts, supporting the argument for a global governance of water. If water is not appropriately priced, or if “poor water governance“ creates adverse incentives for resource use in countries that export “virtual water,“ then increased demand from the world market may lead to the overexploitation of water or increasing pollution. Is this reason enough for a global governance of regional water-scarcity problems? On which scale should water-management problems actually be addressed, and can global action compensate for local and regional governance failure? The paper argues that compensating globally for regional governance failure could cause “problems of fit“ and present severe downside risks.

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Gabriela Kütting

This article reviews the contributions of the two main discourses that study the environment and development in global politics: the human/environmental security discourse and the critical globalization discourse. Both sub-disciplines deal with what is substantively the same subject matter from different perspectives. However, there is hardly any cross-reference between these two dialogues. This article explores the contributions of these two bodies of literature and evaluates their common ground. It argues that with the exception of the traditional environmental security school of thought there is substantial overlap in terms of research concerns. However, it also finds that the language of the critical human/ecological security school of thought hinders rather than helps its research concern.

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Peter Del Tredici

Urban habitats are characterized by high levels of disturbance, impervious paving, and heat retention. These factors, acting in concert, alter soil, water, and air conditions in ways that promote the growth of stress-tolerant, early-successional vegetation on abandoned or unmaintained land. In most urban areas, a cosmopolitan array of spontaneous plants provide important ecological services that, in light of projected climate change impacts, are likely to become more significant in the future. Learning how to manage spontaneous urban vegetation to increase its ecological and social values may be a more sustainable strategy than attempting to restore historical ecosystems that flourished before the city existed.

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Dennis W. MacDonald

Among the many contributions of Roderick D. McKenzie to sociology are two ideas which continue to be useful in understanding modern society. First, as the main proponent and theorist of the human ecology of the Chicago School, McKenzie offers suggestions for an alternative conception of society, one that emphasizes among other things the physical basis of social relations. Secondly, McKenzie's works suggest in various ways that modern society is characterized by a growth in physical integration. The first aspect of this argument is found in his discussion of the centrality of institutions in the analysis of social relations. The second aspect is his detailed description and analysis of the “great integrated unity“ that he called the Great Society or World Society. Many decades before sociologists began to write of “globalization,“ McKenzie provides detailed description and extensive analysis of global society and many of the issues in the current globalization debate.

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Glen David Kuecker and Thomas D. Hall

In this essay we explore how humans might face systemic collapse and/or entry into a dark age through forms of community resilience. We also note that nature, types of communities, and degrees of resilience differ in core, peripheral, and semiperipheral areas of the contemporary world-system. Core or global north or first world communities have all but disintegrated due to neoliberal policies. However, communities in peripheral and semiperipheral areas are more emergent, and more resilient. These areas are most likely to have or to creatively develop strategies to overcome global collapse. We further argue that social scientists need to develop new definitions of community that go beyond contemporary conceptualizations.

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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Volume five of Regions & Cohesion has focused significant attention on the subject of regional development. It has done so because 2015 is such an important year in relation to development debates given the definition of the post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda in the United Nations and the official declaration of 2015 as the European Union Year for Development. The introduction to the Leadership Forum of the Spring 2015 issue included important reflections on the theme of “transformative development.” The introduction openly asked whether 2015 could be a decisive year for the global development agenda or whether it will be remembered for global summitry, international declarations and little more.

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Robert A. Denemark

Copeland, Daryl. 2009. Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Mittelman, James. 2010. Hyperconflict: Globalization and Insecurity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Thompson, William R., ed. 2009. Systemic Transitions: Past, Present, and Future. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Regionalizing global social policy in times of economic crises

Comparing the European Union and the Common Market of the South

Stephen Kingah

English abstract: Focusing on the European Union (EU) and the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) this article presents the manner in which regional organizations apply underlying tenets of global social policy (GSP). It notes the challenges regional entities face in doing so. It also argues that the application of GSP at the regional level is important given the nature of many socioeconomic challenges, the effects of which are often felt regionally. Included in the analysis are theoretical premises justifying social policy both at the global and regional levels. In a period of economic hardship with an ever-widening inequality gap, there is pressure to roll back regional endeavours to manage social challenges. However it is exactly during such a period that robust regional measures need to be sustained or put in place to integrate global social policy, map out new social responses to problems, or implement existing regional social norms.

Spanish abstract: Centrándose en la Unión Europea (UE) y en el Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR), este artículo presenta la manera en que las organizaciones regionales aplican los principios básicos de la política social global (PSG), y señala los desafíos que dichas entidades enfrentan al hacerlo. El artículo también sostiene que la aplicación de la PSG a nivel regional es importante dada la naturaleza de muchos desafíos socioeconómicos cuyos efectos con frecuencia se sienten regionalmente. En el análisis se incluyen premisas teóricas que justifican la política social tanto a nivel global como regional. En un periodo de dificultades económicas con una brecha de desigualdad cada vez más amplia, hay una presión por reducir los esfuerzos regionales para enfrentar los desafíos sociales. Sin embargo, es precisamente durante este tipo de periodos que deben mantenerse o poner en marcha sólidas medidas regionales para integrar la política social global, trazar nuevas respuestas sociales a los problemas o implementar existentes normas sociales regionales.

French abstract: En se concentrant sur l'Union européenne (UE) et le Marché commun du Sud (MERCOSUR) cet article entend présenter la manière dont les organisations régionales s'appliquent principes sous-jacents de la politique sociale globale (PSG). Il met en relief les dé fis auxquels sont confrontées ces entités régionales. Il fait également valoir que l'application du PSG au niveau régional soit importante compte tenu des nombreux dé fis socio-économiques dont les effets sont souvent ressentis au niveau régional. Des prémisses théoriques sont incluses dans l'analyse a fin de justifier la politique sociale tant bien au niveau mondial que régional. Dans une période marquée par la crise économique et le fossé toujours grandissant des inégalités, on observe une ne e pression visant à faire reculer efforts régionaux destinés à gérer les dé fis sociaux. Or, c'est justement pendant ce e période que des mesures régionales robustes doivent être maintenues ou mises en place pour intégrer la politique sociale globale; planifier de nouvelles réponses sociales aux problèmes ou me re en œuvre les normes sociales régionales existantes.

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Thomas D. Hall

Global South . Toronto: University of Toronto Press. I should note that I am not an expert in aquaculture. For assessments of substantive details on aquaculture, readers should consult other reviews. I am discussing these two books from several

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Horst-Dietrich Elvers

Phil Brown. Toxic Exposures: Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.

David Naguib Pellow. Resisting Global Toxics: Transnational Movements for Environmental Justice. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007.