Well-known as a pioneer of economic development, Albert O. Hirschman has been the flag-bearer of possibilism and reform-mongering in political science. How Reforms Should Be Passed is an anthology of texts chosen personally by Hirschman on the latter production line—as he was to call it informally—that is rooted in his long and quasi-exclusive concern for development and Latin America. Key essays on the formation and the evolution of Hirschman’s point of view on the subject are collected: from "Ideologies of Economic Development in Latin America" to Journeys (and later "A Return Journey") on policy-making; from "Obstacles to the Perception of Change" to "The Search for Paradigms as a Hindrance to Understanding." They show an extraordinary turn of the mind in the making that will be very useful for the United States and the developed world as well—as the final texts of the book on democracy and Europe (Italy, Germany and France) bear out. This book represents a unique opportunity for becoming familiar with many original and perceptive lenses provided by Hirschman to look at the world we live in, and especially to favor social change—focusing (first of all) on the cultural and political side of the matter.
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The Case of Mona Muscă
Alina Petra Marinescu
The book presents the reader with an applied analysis of how the concepts of information and manipulation were illustrated in the Romanian press when the Securitate files were revealed, based on the case of Mona Muscă, a controversial topic that was widely debated by most dailies at the time. One of the most important roles played by the press is agenda setting – the role of setting priorities on the individual’s agenda. Journalists draw up an imaginary list of topics of primary interest for public debate and forming different currents of. The analyzed press segment revealed the predilection for a speech condemning Mona Muscă. The message received by the target audience was not a balanced, objective one, but one that contradicts the deontology of the journalistic profession.
This volume, a contribution to the emergent interdisciplinary field of Kurdish Studies, is an engagement with the politics, culture and history of the Kurds. Sections of the book treat the Kurds in medieval and modern history, including the contemporary ‘Arab Spring’, as well as their language, culture and geography and historiographical issues. Individual chapters focus on the rich cultural history of the Kurds, their language, literary history, their political struggle for self-determination and the participation of women in the resistance movement, and on the encounters of missionaries with Kurdish society as well as on the poetics and politics of the Kurds and Palestinians. The first section examines the contribution to Kurdish scholarship of Professor Amir Hassanpour to Kurdish scholarship, and this anthology is dedicated to his memory. Professor Hassanpour was a prominent Marxist scholar whose revolutionary commitment to preserve, enrich and expand Kurdish History, culture and struggle is inspirational.
The Trump Administration and the Coronavirus
Edited by Stefan Mayr and Andreas Orator
In many parts of today’s world, populist politics increasingly challenge traditional constitutionalist conceptions. The present volume provides a variety of perspectives on democratic decay and the erosion of the rule of law, on the re-emergence of popular sovereignty as a political category, and on public reason in an age of ‘post-truthism’, focusing on the CEE region and South Eastern Europe. With each contribution approaching the subject from its individual angle and having its original ‘tone’, the volume combines theoretical insights and in-depth analyses of current developments in selected polities.
Has the United States Become a Pseudo-Democracy?
Democracy rests on ten pillars. However, they have fallen in the United States because both major political parties have strayed from the concept of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. One party wants to recreate life in the past, while the other party appeals to the economic self-interest of specific groups. The coup on January 6, 2021, has prompted a fundamental analysis of what has gone wrong, but proposed corrections have failed to strengthen belief in democracy.
The fundamental pillars are of two types—preconditions and the structure of government. The preconditions are a strong middle and working class, belief in liberal and social democracy, an informed citizenry, a vibrant civil society, and a Constitution prescribing equal justice. Governments must have legislatures with integrity, an independent and competent bureaucracy and civil society, an executive who acts with civility, and free and fair elections. In each case, the trend had been away from democracy.
According to the Mass Society Paradigm, democracy works best when the voices of the people are aggregated into coherent programs by political parties, which seek majority approval and then demand action by government to solve problems, with the information media performing an oversight over the political process and government actions. But in the United States, some individuals are so cultural desperate that they have supported politicians favoring extreme measures to end democracy by paying attention to alternative concepts of reality. If ever achieved, corrective measures will take decades.
Literary Portrayal of the City in the First Half of the 20th Century
This book is a reflection on the Jewish presence in two European capitals, Warsaw and Berlin, in the first half of the 20th century. It was inspired by the works of Polish-Jewish, Yiddish and German-Jewish authors, as well as by the connections between urban spaces and the formation of different varieties of modern Jewish identity. The spotlight is cast on images preserved in literary works, namely those concerning separate Jewish neighborhoods and the sphere of cultural interethnic contacts. By attempting to restore the presence of Jewish inhabitants of both cities, destroyed by the Holocaust, it may become possible to see how the imagined communities of the time were created and preserved in the texts, even if, in reality, the metropolises were transformed into necropolises.
Edited by Luďa Klusáková and Bianca del Espino Hidalgo
Small towns are continuously overlooked and under-researched, although they represent a type of urban settlement present in large numbers, especially in Europe. Questions regarding the resilience of small towns are an important issue acknowledged in the EU policy of regional development. This volume is written by an international and interdisciplinary team of scholars who are convinced about the importance of the small town as a research topic. It looks at how towns approach heritage, its instrumental use and its commodification in support of its survival, asking about towns’ strategies to achieve resilience to external pressure. The chapters present cases from Europe and beyond. It represents various types of situations and approaches of urban communities, but it is not limited to success stories. The authors deal with places that are undervalued, not fully exploited, or in danger because of lack of appreciation. They explore a wide range of strategies in the fields of revitalization, stabilization, stagnation, decline, or desertification, considering the possible role of heritage, as well as small towns´ creativity in networking initiatives.