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Between Conflicting Systems

An Ordinary Tragedy in Now-Capitalist Albania

Matthew Rosen

mediated AK and AN's vision of their city can be found not just in Tirana, Albania, or the former socialist cities of Europe; they can be found wherever durable systems of meaning are suddenly devalued, contested and rendered confusing – that is, wherever

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Eleanor Sterling, Tamara Ticktin, Tē Kipa Kepa Morgan, Georgina Cullman, Diana Alvira, Pelika Andrade, Nadia Bergamini, Erin Betley, Kate Burrows, Sophie Caillon, Joachim Claudet, Rachel Dacks, Pablo Eyzaguirre, Chris Filardi, Nadav Gazit, Christian Giardina, Stacy Jupiter, Kealohanuiopuna Kinney, Joe McCarter, Manuel Mejia, Kanoe Morishige, Jennifer Newell, Lihla Noori, John Parks, Pua’ala Pascua, Ashwin Ravikumar, Jamie Tanguay, Amanda Sigouin, Tina Stege, Mark Stege, and Alaka Wali

and resilience at the local level. Resilience refers to the capacity of a system to absorb shocks and disturbances and to catalyze renewal, adaptation, transformation, and innovation ( Béné et al. 2013 ). Identifying and setting criteria for the

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Systematizing Democratic Systems Approaches

Seven Conceptual Building Blocks

Rikki Dean, Jonathan Rinne, and Brigitte Geissel

The notion that democracy is a system is ever present in democratic theory. However, what it means to think systemically about democracy (as opposed to what it means for a political system to be democratic) is under-elaborated. This article sets out a meta-level framework for thinking systemically about democracy, built upon seven conceptual building blocks, which we term (1) functions, (2) norms, (3) practices, (4) actors, (5) arenas, (6) levels, and (7) interactions. This enables us to systematically structure the debate on democratic systems, highlighting the commonalities and differences between systems approaches, their omissions, and the key questions that remain to be answered. It also enables us to push the debate forward both by demonstrating how a full consideration of all seven building blocks would address issues with existing approaches and by introducing new conceptual clarifications within those building blocks.

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Julienne Weegels

,’ he answers sternly. ‘Burn them because it's una sal (bad luck).’ According to Bobby, the haunting grip of the Nicaraguan prison system is extended through the belongings one takes along from prison, in the very clothes one wears when leaving. It

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Jean-Philippe Mathy

The “Déjà views” theme incites us to reflect on the repetitive nature of American discourses on France, on the fact that they occur and recur in strikingly similar forms during the long history of French-American relations. Moreover, many of the negative perceptions of France are closely interrelated, making up what might be called the “system of Francophobia.” The following remarks are attempts to underline both the systematicity and the historicity of some widespread American representations of French culture and society.

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Azim Malikov

often take its specific name’ ( DeWeese 1999: 507–508 ). Local conceptions of Xoja kinship systems have an impact on people’s identity formation. Kinship is one form of identification that constitutes people’s multiple identities. Kinship patterns and

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Convergence in Social Welfare Systems

From Evidence to Explanations

Denis Bouget

After the Second World War, the view that people of every nation would be entitled to experience rising standards of living pervaded all corners of the globe. Convergence was seen as a positive way of achieving a Golden Age and a peaceful and affluent utopia, through modernisation and technical progress. Within this general belief, the development of national social welfare systems in Europe in the postwar period appears to be the outcome of autonomous national processes. The construction of Europe, which imposed common rules in many areas, was nonetheless consistent with the national development of social welfare systems within each national culture. The idea of a common system of social protection has always been linked to European political and economic construction, which was expected to create a more cohesive society. Reference is made constantly to convergence as a catching-up process in the comparative evaluation of national social policies, but the implementation of an ambitious European system of social protection and the creation of harmonised national welfare systems have always proved to be impossible. The paper focuses on two specific topics. Firstly, it examines attempts to quantify convergence among EU and OECD countries at the macro-economic level, using social indicators to assess the convergence or divergence of social expenditure. The evidence of convergence is shown to be ambiguous due to a number of methodological problems. Secondly, two main interpretations of convergence are examined: economic forces and legal frameworks. The paper shows that the analysis of national trajectories of social expenditure and the link with economic development can enrich the analysis of convergence or divergence in social protection. Even if the maturation or reform of national social policies explains the origins of increases in social expenditure, macro-economic pressures, or constraints (globalisation, Single Market), on public expenditure can fuel certain type of convergence. In all the developed countries, social welfare systems are based on national legal frameworks. A goal of social Europe is not only to work towards European solidarity but also to build common social rights throughout Europe. Convergence of national social welfare systems can, therefore, be interpreted as a component in a general process of convergence in law within the developed countries, especially within Europe. However, common explanations of convergence in social welfare systems often neglect elements of divergence. They, therefore, conceal the complexity of the process and very often underestimate the full extent of divergence.

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Gamed by the System

Exploring Black Male Youths’ Motivation to Participate in Sports

Deborwah Faulk, Robert A. Bennett III, and James L. Moore III

bodies are used to profit a capitalistic system and structure (teams, team owners, colleges, and so on). This is to say that much like slavery, institutional actors within the sports arena benefit from the labor of Black male athletes. According to Hughs

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Building a Hybrid Highway System

Road Infrastructure as an Instrument of Economic Urbanization in Belgium

Michael Ryckewaert

This paper investigates the conception and construction of the Belgian highway network since 1945. It focuses on the formative decades of the 1950s and 1960s, when the network was designed and an important financing mechanism established (the 1955 Road Fund). A distinguishing characteristic in the construction of the network is the use of highways as a vector of urbanization for economic development purposes. Combining long-distance traffic with local access to adjoining services, these highways fulfill a twofold role defined at the conception of the network in 1951. Incorporating ring roads, expressways, regional highways, and a high density of exits into a transnational system, the Belgian network is a "hybrid" highway system.

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Russell J. Dalton and Willy Jou

Few aspects of politics have been as variable as partisan politics in the two decades since German unification. In the East, citizens had to learn about democratic electoral politics and the party system from an almost completely fresh start. In the West, voters experienced a changing partisan landscape and the shifting policy positions of the established parties as they confronted the challenges of unification. This article raises the question of whether there is one party system or two in the Federal Republic. We first describe the voting results since 1990, and examine the evolving links between social milieu and the parties. Then we consider whether citizens are developing affective party ties that reflect the institutionalization of a party system and voter choice. Although there are broad similarities between electoral politics in West and East, the differences have not substantially narrowed in the past two decades.