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Political Radicalism, Policy Expectation, and Electoral Competition in France

A Means to the End?

Jocelyn Evans

Political parties use policy radicalism as a means of attaining electoral success. Differentiation from other parties and ideological renewal after a period of incumbency or prolonged opposition are valid reasons for policy innovation, but excessive radicalization has a number of detrimental effects, including mismanaging voter expectations. This article analyzes a number of examples of policy radicalization under the French Fifth Republic. It starts from concepts taken from policy mood and spatial competition models, and examines how French political parties of both Left and Right have overreached in their ideological stances, and thereby exacerbated political disenchantment among the French public. The article concludes by looking at the notion that mainstream politicians may not be acting in their own best interests when they radicalize the political agenda by misreading electoral competitive cues.

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The academic rat race: Dilemmas and problems in the structure of academic competition

Xavier Landes, Martin Marchman, and Morten Nielsen

The social benefits expected from academia are generally identified as belonging to three broad categories: research, education and contribution to society in general. However, evaluating the present situation of academia according to these criteria reveals a somewhat disturbing phenomenon: an increased pressure to produce articles (in peer-reviewed journals) has created an unbalanced emphasis on the research criterion at the expense of the latter two. More fatally, this pressure has turned academia into a rat race, leading to a deep change in the fundamental structure of academic behaviour, and entailing a self-defeating and hence counter-productive pattern, where more publications is always better and where it becomes increasingly difficult for researchers to keep up with the new research in their field. The article identifies the pressure to publish as a problem of collective action. It ends up by raising questions about how to break this vicious circle and restore a better balance between all three of the social benefits of academia.

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What Competition Does: An Anthropological Theory

Leo Hopkinson and Teodor Zidaru

overcome obstacles, before turning on one another—eventually pitting friend against friend and spouse against spouse. The competition's mysterious organizers capitalize on these tragedies by harvesting organs of the dead and selling exclusive viewing rights

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The Temporality of and Competition between Infrastructures

Taxis and E-Hailing in China

Jack Linzhou Xing

decay and maintenance of the commonly imagined “old” urban transport of taxis, the new emergence of e-hailing, the competition between the two, and drivers’ spatiotemporal experience of the two. 4 Via a conceptual framework of transport infrastructures

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“Is There Going to Be Another Competition Today?”

Contesting Development through Competition

Annie McCarthy

like student of the month, drawing and story writing competitions, a recurring ‘scream as loud as you can’ competition for girls, as well as auditions held to cast films for NGOs. Competition was so closely associated with development that on one

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Scientific Concepts and Their Policy Affordances: How a Focus on Compatibility Can Improve Science-Policy Interaction and Outcomes

Paul D. Hirsch and Valerie A. Luzadis

We develop a twofold approach to the development and utilization of policy-relevant knowledge. First, we propose that moving beyond competition to focus on compatibility may promote more effective interdisciplinary collaborations in the context of complex social-ecological problems. Second, we propose that attention to the policy affordances of a set of compatible hypotheses may inform the development of a more holistic and robust set of policy options. This twofold approach is modeled in our methodological approach, in which we have sought to discover how the concepts each of us have been developing are compatible with each other, and what affordances they might offer for improving translation across the science-policy boundary. We illustrate and apply our approach to the complex milieu surrounding the issue of lead paint toxicity. In addition, we draw on findings from focus groups with researchers involved in collaborations at the science-policy boundary to develop recommendations for productive and policy-relevant interdisciplinary collaboration.

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Competition and community in Edinburgh

Contradictions in neoliberal urban development

Christa Ballard Tooley

Cities have long been recognised as key spaces for neoliberal interventions. Identified by municipal leaders as instruments in competition for internationally mobile labour and capital, cities like Edinburgh, Scotland, have increasingly been shaped by urban development practices justified by the exigencies of competition. Any project to centralise urban development processes, however, must navigate the potential obstacles to efficiency found in the discipline of urban planning, which privileges community involvement in such processes. This article explores the tension between the values of community and efficiency in urban development, showing how, in the case of a proposal for development named Caltongate, the role of a community in the planning process was disputed, precisely because of its potential, qua community, to levy moralised claims to representation. I suggest that this case is not exceptional. Rather, it illustrates a characteristic contradiction of community as a politicised identity in neoliberal urban development: it is elevated in (often moralised) rhetoric but in practice is subordinated to the objective of efficiency in the delivery of centrally determined development outcomes.

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Responses to ‘The academic rat race: dilemmas and problems in the structure of academic competition’

Mary Taylor Huber, Joseph Heath, Rebecca Boden, John Craig, and Christopher Newfield

Responses to ‘The academic rat race: dilemmas and problems in the structure of academic competition’, published in Learning and Teaching 5.2 from Mary Taylor Huber, Joseph Heath, Rebecca Boden, John Craig and Christopher Newfield

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Mutualistic vs. zero‐sum modes of competition – a comparative study of children's competitive motivations and behaviours in China

Anni Kajanus

This article investigates the development of competitive motivation in children in the context of the extreme emphasis on competition in post‐reform Chinese society. Drawing from ethnographic and experimental approaches, it compares the competitive modes of children in an urban middle‐class school and a semi‐rural working‐class school. A conceptual model is developed that distinguishes between zero‐sum and mutualistic modes of competition, and the individual orientation and group orientation. The zero‐sum mode emphasises the benefits and losses derived from winning and losing, while the mutualistic mode emphasises the elements of competition that are beneficial to all participants regardless of the outcome. Through these distinctions the article contests the common association of competitiveness with individualism and the opposition between competition and cooperation, and proposes a working model for a comparative study of competitiveness.

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So many strategies, so little time ... making universities modern

John Clarke

This article examines the modernisation of universities in the U.K., arguing that heterogeneous policy objectives and strategies have become condensed in the construction of higher education as a governable system and the university as a corporate enterprise. It argues that managerialism has displaced and subordinated professional and administrative logics for the coordination of universities, articulating them into supporting roles. Finally, it examines some of the cultural psychological states associated with the contradictory and uncomfortable assemblage that is the modernized university: identifying fantasy, dissociation and professional melancholia. It concludes with an argument that nostalgia for a lost academic community cannot be a foundation for political challenges to the present model.