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The Evolution of Modern States, first published in 2010, is a significant contribution to the literatures on political economy, globalization, historical institutionalism, and social science methodology. The book begins with a simple question: why do rich capitalist democracies respond so differently to the common pressures they face in the early twenty-first century? Drawing on insights from evolutionary theory, Sven Steinmo challenges the common equilibrium view of politics and economics and argues that modern political economies are best understood as complex adaptive systems. The book examines the political, social, and economic history of three different nations - Sweden, Japan, and the United States - and explains how and why these countries have evolved along such different trajectories over the past century. Bringing together social and economic history, institutionalism, and evolutionary theory, Steinmo thus provides a comprehensive explanation for differing responses to globalization as well as a new way of analyzing institutional and social change.
Historical institutionalism has deep roots in Political Science and related fields, and crystalized into a distinct research tradition during the 'new institutionalisms' debate that began in the late 1980s. It has since established strong footholds in four large subfields of Political Science: comparative, American, European, and international politics. The present volume is the first to take stock of the tradition's contributions across multiple areas of study,and includes chapters by many of its most prominent practitioners. As the world again grapples with how to understand the short- and long-term consequences of economic crises, revolutions, and newpatterns of governance, historical institutionalism is poised to offer valuable insights into how past events and decisions will shape political trajectories at local, national, and international levels.
Liberal internationalism has been the West's foreign policy agenda since the Cold War, and the West has long occupied the top rung of a hierarchical system. In this book, Hilton Root argues that international relations, like other complex ecosystems, exists in a constantly shifting landscape, in which hierarchical structures are giving way to systems of networked interdependence, changing every facet of global interaction. Accordingly, policymakers will need a new way to understand the process of change. Root suggests that the science of complex systems offers an analytical framework to explain the unforeseen development failures, governance trends, and alliance shifts in today's global political economy. Root examines both the networked systems that make up modern states and the larger, interdependent landscapes they share. Using systems analysis -- in which institutional change and economic development are understood as self-organizing complexities -- he offers an alternative view of institutional resilience and persistence. From this perspective, Root considers the divergence of East and West; the emergence of the European state, its contrast with the rise of China, and the network properties of their respective innovation systems; the trajectory of democracy in developing regions; and the systemic impact of China on the liberal world order. Complexity science, Root argues, will not explain historical change processes with algorithmic precision, but it may offer explanations that match the messy richness of those processes.
Compared to other wealthy countries, America stands out as a gluttonous over-consumer of both food and fuel. The United States boasts an obesity prevalence double the industrial world average, and per capita carbon emissions twice the average for Europe. Still worse, the policy steps taken by America in response to obesity and climate change have so far been the weakest in the industrial world. These aspects of America's exceptionalism are nothing to be proud of. Is it possible that America is hard-wired to consume too much food and fuel? Unfortunately, yes, says Robert Paarlberg in The United States of Excess. America's excess is driven in each case by its distinct endowment of material and demographic resources, its unusually weak national political institutions, and a unique political culture that celebrates both individual freedoms over social responsibility, and free markets over governmental authority. America's over-consumption is shown to be over-determined. Because of these powerful underlying circumstances, America's strongest policy response, both to climate change and obesity, will be adaptation rather than mitigation. As the damaging consequences of climate change become manifest, America will not impose adequate measures to reduce fossil fuel consumption, attempting instead to protect itself from storms and sea-level rise through costly infrastructure upgrades. In response to the damaging health consequences of obesity, America will opt for medical interventions and physical accommodations, rather than the policy measures that would be needed to induce better diets or more exercise. These adaptation responses will generate serious equity problems, both at home and abroad. Responding to obesity with medical interventions will fall short for those in America most prone to obesity - racial minorities and the poor - since these groups have never enjoyed adequate access to quality health care. Responding to climate change by building more resilient infrastructures at home, while allowing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to continue their increase, will impose greater climate disruption on poor tropical countries, which are far less capable of self-protection. Awareness of these inequities must be the starting point toward altering America's current path.
This new Handbook offers a combination of theoretical, thematic and empirical analyses of the statebuilding regime, written by leading international scholars. Over the past decade, international statebuilding has become one of the most important and least understood areas of international policy-making. Today, there are around one billion people living in some 50-60 conflict-affected, 'fragile' states, vulnerable to political violence and civil war. The international community grapples with the core challenges and dilemmas of using outside force, aid, and persuasion to build states in the wake of conflict and to prevent such countries from lapsing into devastating violence. The Routledge Handbook of International Statebuilding is a comprehensive resource for this emerging area in International Relations. The volume is designed to guide the reader through the background and development of international statebuilding as a policy area, as well as exploring in depth significant issues such as security, development, democracy and human rights. Divided into three main parts, this Handbook provides a single-source overview of the key topics in international statebuilding: Part One: Concepts and Approaches Part Two: Security, Development and Democracy Part Three: Policy Implementation This Handbook will be essential reading for students of statebuilding, humanitarian intervention, peacebuilding, development, war and conflict studies and IR/Security Studies in general.
'Taxing Reforms is a good short book about the comparative policies of Value Added Taxation (VAT) in Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States. . . Taxing Reforms is a fine book, well worth reading, especially for specialists in the comparative political economy of taxation. . . its richly detailed case studies will make it a fruitful source of comparative hypotheses.' - Isaac W. Martin, Journal of Economic Literature
Modern social sciences have, over the past forty years, been committed to the improvement of public policy. More recently, however, doubts have arisen about the possibility and desirability of a policy-oriented social science. In this book, leading specialists in the field analyze both the development and failings of policy-oriented social science. In contrast to other writings on the subject, this volume presents a distinctively historical and comparative approach. By looking at earlier periods, the contributors demonstrate how policy orientation has been central to the emergence and evolution of the social sciences as a form of professional activity. Case studies of rarely examined societies such as Poland, Brazil and Japan further demonstrate the various ways in which intellectual developments have been shaped by the societal contexts in which they have emerged and how they have taken part in the shaping of these societies.

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