Author: Roland Baader
This collection of five essays by Germany’s most prominent and influential social thinker both links Luhmann’s social theory to the question “What is modern about modernity?” and shows the origins and context of his theory. In the introductory essay, “Modernity in Contemporary Society,” Luhmann develops the thesis that the modern epistemological situation can be seen as the consequence of a radical change in social macrostructures that he calls “social differentiation,” thereby designating the juxtaposition of and interaction between a growing number of social subsystems without any hierarchical structure. “European Rationality” defines rationality as the capacity to see the difference between systems and their environment as a unity. Luhmann argues that, in a world characterized by contingency, rationality tends to become coextensive with imagination, a view that challenges their classical binary opposition and opens up the possibility of seeing modern rationality as a paradox. In the third essay, “Contingency as Modern Society’s Defining Attribute,” Luhmann develops a further and probably even more important paradox: that the generalization of contingency or cognitive uncertainty is precisely what provides stability within modern societies. In the process, he argues that medieval and early modern theology can be seen as a “preadaptive advance” through which Western thinking prepared itself for the modern epistemological situation. In “Describing the Future,” Luhmann claims that neither the traditional hope of learning from history nor the complementary hope of cognitively anticipating the future can be maintained, and that the classical concept of the future should be replaced by the notion of risk, defined as juxtaposing the expectation of realizing certain projects and the awareness that such projects might fail. The book concludes with “The Ecology of Ignorance,” in which Luhmann outlines prospective research areas “for sponsors who have yet to be identified.”
It Is Right to Rebel
Author: Philippe Gavi, Jean-Paul Sartre, Pierre Victor
The early 1970s were a crucial period in the political and intellectual climate of France. The newspaper Liberation was founded in the wake of the protest movements of 1968 and the country was gripped by industrial, political and civil unrest on a huge scale. Behind all this were deep debates about the nature and justification of revolt, class conflict and consciousness, and the nature of what it meant to be free. It is Right to Rebel, available in English for the first time with a new Preface by Philippe Gavi, is a fascinating discussion between three thinkers about this extraordinary period. The book comprises extensive conversations between the philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre, journalist and co-founder of Liberation Philippe Gavi, and political radical and Maoist Pierre Victor, all conducted between 1972 and 1974. In these conversations Sartre works out his relation between socialism and freedom, providing fascinating background to his tortured relationship with the French Communist Party. Together with his interlocutors they explore and debate what should be the basis of ethics, the nature of oppression and racism, including immigration, the Arab-Israeli conflicts, the Chilean military coup in 1973 and more. A recurring theme is their exploration of two major questions: what should ethics be based on, and what makes for a revolutionary? It is Right to Rebel is a fascinating insight into the philosophical and political background to Sartre's thought as well as the two lesser-known figures of Gavi and Victor, who play political foil to Sartre's measured philosophical stance. It is a fascinating, rich new resource for anyone studying Sartre, political theory, and French politics and political history.
What exactly is a credit crunch? Why do footballers earn so much more than the rest of us? Which country is likely to be the world's leading economy in 10 years' time? And how does economics affect each one of us, every day? In the seventh volume of the successful 50 Ideas series, Daily Telegraph economics editor Edmund Conway introduces and explains the central ideas of economics in a series of 50 clear and concise essays. Beginning with an exploration of the basic theories, such as Adam Smith's "invisible hand," and concluding with the latest research into the links between wealth and happiness, he sheds light on all the essential topics needed to understand booms and busts, bulls and bears, and the way the world really works. Packed with real-life examples and quotations from key thinkers, 50 Economics Ideas provides a fascinating overview of how economics influences every aspect of our lives, from buying a house to what we had for breakfast this morning.
The European Mayor
Author: Henry Bäck, Hubert Heinelt, Annick Magnier
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
With this book we aim at describing and analysing the selection, daily life, networks and values of local top political leaders in seventeen European countries. The empirical nourishment to the investigation into town halls across Europe is a survey conducted in 2003 with mayors and corresponding top local political leaders. The data covering responses from 2700 leaders is a unique and rich material allowing descriptions and analyses pursuing a number of lines of inquiry.
The book provides a sound mathematical base for life insurance mathematics and applies the underlying concepts to concrete examples. Moreover the models presented make it possible to model life insurance policies by means of Markov chains. Two chapters covering ALM and abstract valuation concepts on the background of Solvency II complete this volume. Numerous examples and a parallel treatment of discrete and continuous approaches help the reader to implement the theory directly in practice.
Author: Philipp Bagus
Documents the sad story of the Icelandic government's policy mistakes - the artificial creation of a boom, and the savage bust that was the inevitable outcome of this boom -- Foreword.
Famine aid in North Korea was, and continues to be, accompanied by controversies and disputes. Based upon the North Korean case and other famine aid missions in the past, this book analyzes the timeless dilemma of aid and puts a number of recent debates surrounding today's humanitarianism into perspective.