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Cultures in Conflict

Religion, History and Gender in Northern Europe c. 1800–2000

Edited by Alexander Maurits, Johannes Ljungberg and Erik Sidenvall

This book includes studies of main conflict areas in modern Western societies where religion has been a central element, ranging from popular movements and narratives of opposition to challenges of religious satire and anti-clerical critique. Special attention is given to matters of politics and gender. With this theme, it provides a useful guide to conflict areas in modern European religious history.

Open access

The (Near) Future of Central Bank Digital Currencies

Risks and Opportunities for the Global Economy and Society

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Edited by Nicola Bilotta and Fabrizio Botti

The value of global cashless payments has been radically increasing worldwide. Despite cash being the most used payment instrument in the world, technological innovation and new consumer preferences are decisively transforming the way consumers pay and manage money. The COVID-19 pandemic may also have been an accelerator of the cashless mega-trend. Private players currently dominate the digital payment ecosystem, urging central banks to seek solutions to ensure public access to legal tender if cash is phased out. In this context, the idea of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is gaining momentum. Nevertheless, there is a need to better understand the implications in terms of risks, benefits and potential costs of CBDCs. From privacy concerns to macroeconomic effects, these implications blur the boundaries of the payment and financial systems, challenging the core functions of our economy and society.

Open access

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Edited by Jorge Cagiao y Conde and Alain-G. Gagnon

The controversial issue of secession has received little attention from experts of federalism. The best federal studies either evade it or dismiss it in a few lines. However, the issue of secession has been present throughout the history of federations. This book is one of the first to explore the complex relationship between federalism and secession.

The authors whose work is presented here recognize the potential of federalism as a way to organize relations between several different states, peoples, nations or territories under the same government. However, they are not naïve or idealist about the ability of the federal idea to succeed in the complex situations in which it is applied. In some cases success seems assured (the United States, Switzerland, Germany, etc.), and the merits of federalism can be showcased. But there are also failures (the former Yugoslavia, or more recently Brexit) and semi-failures that have generated turbulence in recent years in devolutive systems (Scotland in the United Kingdom, Catalonia in Spain) or federative systems (Québec in Canada).

This book provides a nuanced portrait of the issue of secession in federal contexts and lays the groundwork for questioning the still too fragile legacy of the great thinkers of federalism.