The way public transportation and highway policies are considered in tandem is determinant of how the means of transportation are used, and that policy choices have implications in the middle and long term as they forge path dependence. This paper discuss this issues, using the case of Switzerland—often considered a best-practice country in terms of coordination—to explore the obstacles encountered when transportation policies à la Swiss are "imported" to other countries.
Concluding Thoughts Based on the Case of Switzerland
The Return of Transport Coordination
The coordination of transport was heavily debated in the interwar period, as mechanized road traffic for the first time posed a serious challenge to the railways as the backbone of the transport system. The main issues of the interwar period bear resemblances with current challenges for transport policy, and historical studies may improve our understanding of contemporary transport coordination. This introduction sets the stage by discussing the concept of transport coordination and its historiography.
The Debate on Transport Policy in Belgium, 1920-1940
When new motorized means of transport, such as buses, vans, and lorries, captured part of the transport market in Belgium in the interwar period, the rail companies engaged in a political fight to restrict the new modes of road transport. Attempts were made to introduce fiscal and administrative measures aimed at limiting road transport. This coincided with an intense debate on transport policy, both in the press and in parliament. The article focuses on the discourse driving this debate. It is argued that the positions taken were motivated by economic issues, but that there were underlying cultural motivations, different perceptions of what transport should represent in the lives of the users and the whole of society. The focus on the so-called coordination debate is widened beyond the conflict between trains and vans in the 1930s, to include the conflict between automobiles, buses, and trams in the 1920s.
Passenger Transport in Interwar Germany
The development of bus transport in European countries followed distinctly different paths. Unlike in the liberal economic regimes of the U.K. and the Netherlands, the German transport policy in the interwar years was characterized by a high degree of state intervention, of regulation and restrictions on inter-modal competition. The main purpose of the regulatory regime in Germany was to ensure the profitability of the national railroad, whereas the interests of passengers ranked second. Concessions for private inter-urban bus services were severely restricted by the political priorities for the railroad and the bus lines of the Postal Service.
A Diagram of Coordination in a Satoyama Forest
Elaine Gan and Anna Tsing
This article experiments with combining three concepts— coordination, assemblage, diagram—to make vivid the composition of a satoyama forest in central Japan. The forest comes to life as a more-than-human assemblage that emerges through coordinations established by evolutionary and historical accommodations to life cycles, seasonal rhythms, and activity patterns. These coordinations are expressed through a diagram of intersecting temporalities of people, plants, and woodlands that condition the flourishing or decline of wild matsutake mushrooms. Working diagrammatically, we can better articulate how juxtapositions of humans and non-humans become assemblages that hold together through coordinations—without a unified purpose or design. We argue that understanding coordination is key to more livable multispecies worlds.
In this special issue, we draw on our collaborative research as the Matsutake Worlds Research Group to explore the world-making dynamics of multispecies encounters. We center our exploration on matsutake, a gourmet mushroom eaten primarily in Japan. Drawing on cases from around the world, we suggest that the cosmopolitan worlds of matsutake cannot be accounted for by any single agent or individual set of cultural or political economic processes. Rather, we propose that contingent multispecies attunements and coordinations knit together the various world-making processes that allow matsutake to flourish. We use the notion of ‘elusiveness’ to capture these shifting dynamics of attraction, coordination, and elusion.
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.
Megafone.net is a mobile web-based collective platform for group coordination and communication regarding issues of mobility in urban spaces. Among its features is geo-localization, which allows the carrying out of digital public cartography projects. Directed by Antoni Abad and programmed by Matteo Sisti Sette, since 2004 Megafone.net has been inviting groups of people marginalized within society to express their experiences and opinions. Using mobile phones to create audio recordings, videos, and images that are immediately published on the Web, participants transform these devices into digital megaphones, amplifying the voices of individuals and groups who are often overlooked or misrepresented in the mainstream media.
For the parties of the center-left, 2005 was a year of significant progress
toward the objective of wresting the government from Berlusconi’s center-
right coalition. It began with Romano Prodi’s initially uncertain return
to the Italian political stage after his “exile” in Brussels as president of
the European Commission, and familiar divisions—enthusiastically aired
in the media—over how the center-left should be organized and structured
and over the selection of candidates and alliances for the April
regional elections. However, 2005 went on to provide two major boosts
to the center-left: a surprisingly decisive victory in the regional elections,
and an equally decisive outcome to the primary election held to choose a
“premier candidate” for the alliance. Although big questions of organization
and coordination remained unresolved, the center-left finished the
year in a stronger position than at its beginning. After providing a little
background, this chapter will assess the coalition’s progress over the
year and offer some tentative interpretations of the key turning points.
Despite Silvio Berlusconi’s much-publicized friendship with US President
George W. Bush, the election of Barack Obama in November 2008
did not lead to any appreciable deterioration of US-Italy relations. The
clash of personalities and “ideologies” that some had predicted did not
materialize. The two leaders soon established a cordial and pragmatic
relationship. The emphasis on continuity, however, did not deter
change. In fact, the shift in priorities and approach brought about by
the Obama administration during its first year in office altered the context
within which Italian foreign policy was carried out. New opportunities
opened up as Italy’s engagement with Russia and Iran, which
had attracted criticism in the past, also became the stated goal of the
US government. At the same time, Italian foreign policy was faced
with new constraints as Obama’s new course combined US leadership
with coordination, expecting European allies to consult with Washington
on dossiers having both national and transatlantic dimensions.