The Company of Strangers

A Natural History of Economic Life

Author: Paul Seabright

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400834785

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 400

View: 4546

The Company of Strangers shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives. This completely revised and updated edition includes a new chapter analyzing how the rise and fall of social trust explain the unsustainable boom in the global economy over the past decade and the financial crisis that succeeded it. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Paul Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, cities, and the banking system to provide the foundations of social trust that we need in our everyday lives. Even the simple acts of buying food and clothing depend on an astonishing web of interaction that spans the globe. How did humans develop the ability to trust total strangers with providing our most basic needs?

The War of the Sexes

How Conflict and Cooperation Have Shaped Men and Women from Prehistory to the Present

Author: Paul Seabright

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691159726

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 2242

As countless love songs, movies, and self-help books attest, men and women have long sought different things. The result? Seemingly inevitable conflict. Yet we belong to the most cooperative species on the planet. Isn't there a way we can use this capacity to achieve greater harmony and equality between the sexes? In The War of the Sexes, Paul Seabright argues that there is--but first we must understand how the tension between conflict and cooperation developed in our remote evolutionary past, how it shaped the modern world, and how it still holds us back, both at home and at work. Drawing on biology, sociology, anthropology, and economics, Seabright shows that conflict between the sexes is, paradoxically, the product of cooperation. The evolutionary niche--the long dependent childhood--carved out by our ancestors requires the highest level of cooperative talent. But it also gives couples more to fight about. Men and women became experts at influencing one another to achieve their cooperative ends, but also became trapped in strategies of manipulation and deception in pursuit of sex and partnership. In early societies, economic conditions moved the balance of power in favor of men, as they cornered scarce resources for use in the sexual bargain. Today, conditions have changed beyond recognition, yet inequalities between men and women persist, as the brains, talents, and preferences we inherited from our ancestors struggle to deal with the unpredictable forces unleashed by the modern information economy. Men and women today have an unprecedented opportunity to achieve equal power and respect. But we need to understand the mixed inheritance of conflict and cooperation left to us by our primate ancestors if we are finally to escape their legacy.

The Pinch

How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children's Future - And Why They Should Give It Back

Author: David Willetts

Publisher: Atlantic Books Ltd

ISBN: 0857891421

Category: Political Science

Page: 300

View: 6104

The baby boom of 1945-65 produced the biggest, richest generation that Britain has ever known. Today, at the peak of their power and wealth, baby boomers now run our country; by virtue of their sheer demographic power, they have fashioned the world around them in a way that meets all of their housing, healthcare and financial needs. In this original and provocative book, David Willetts shows how the baby boomer generation has attained this position at the expense of their children.Social, cultural and economic provision has been made for the reigning section of society, whilst the needs of the next generation have taken a back seat. Willetts argues that if our political, economic and cultural leaders do not begin to discharge their obligations to the future, the young people of today will be taxed more, work longer hours for less money, have lower social mobility and live in a degraded environment in order to pay for their parents' quality of life. Baby boomers, worried about the kind of world they are passing on to their children, are beginning to take note. However, whilst the imbalance in the quality of life between the generations is becoming more obvious, what is less certain is whether the older generation will be willing to make the sacrifices necessary for a more equal distribution. The Pinch is a landmark account of intergenerational relations in Britain. It is essential reading for parents and policymakers alike.

The Oxford Handbook of the Macroeconomics of Global Warming

Author: Lucas Bernard,Willi Semmler

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190204192

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 560

View: 769

The first World Climate Conference, which was sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization in Genève in 1979, triggered an international dialogue on global warming. From the 1997 United Nations-sponsored conference-during which the Kyoto Protocol was signed-through meetings in Copenhagen, Cancún, Durban, and most recently Doha (2012) and Warsaw (2013), worldwide attention to the issue of global warming and its impact on the world's economy has rapidly increased in intensity. The consensus of these debates and discussions, however, is less than clear. Optimistically, many geoscience researchers and members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have supported CO2 emission reduction pledges while maintaining that a 2°C limit in increased temperature by the year 2100 is achievable through international coordination. Other observers postulate that established CO2 reduction commitments such as those agreed to at the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference (2009) are insufficient and cannot hold the global warming increase below 2°C. As experts theorize on precisely what impact global warming will have, developing nations have become particularly alarmed. The developed world will use energy to mitigate global warming effects, but developing countries are more exposed by geography and poverty to the most dangerous consequences of a global temperature rise and lack the economic means to adapt. The complex dynamics that result from this confluence of science and geopolitics gives rise to even more complicated issues for economists, financial planners, business leaders, and policy-makers. The Oxford Handbook of the Macroeconomics of Global Warming analyzes the economic impact of issues related to and resulting from global warming, specifically the implications of possible preventative measures, various policy changes, and adaptation efforts as well as the different consequences climate change will have on both developing and developed nations. This multi-disciplinary approach, which touches on issues of growth, employment, and development, elucidates for readers state-of-the-art research on the complex and far-reaching problem of global warming.

Wired for Culture

The Natural History of Human Cooperation

Author: Mark Pagel

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 1846145759

Category: Social Science

Page: 432

View: 8756

'Expresses an infectious sense of wonder at the uniqueness of our species; it is hard not to be affected by his enthusiasm' Sunday Times What explains the staggering diversity of cultures in the world? Why are there so many languages, even within small areas? Why do we rejoice in rituals and wrap ourselves in flags? In Wired for Culture Mark Pagel, the world's leading expert on human development, reveals how our facility for culture is the key to what makes us who we are. Shedding light on everything from art, morality and affection to jealousy, self-interest and prejudice, Pagel shows that we developed culture - cooperating together and passing on knowledge - in order to survive. Our minds are hardwired for culture, and it still determines how we speak, who we love, why we kill and what we think today. 'Human evolution may be the hottest area in popular science writing. Within this field, Wired for Culture stands out for both its sweeping erudition and its accessibility ... richly rewarding' Financial Times 'Impressive for its detail, accuracy and vivacity' Guardian 'Pioneering, vivid ... the best popular science book on culture so far' Nature

Breaking the Spell

Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

Author: Daniel C. Dennett

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101218860

Category: Religion

Page: 464

View: 7157

For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.

Fleeing Vesuvius

Overcoming the Risks of Economic and Environmental Collapse

Author: Richard Douthwaite,Gillian Fallon

Publisher: New Society Publishers

ISBN: 1550924761

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 457

View: 2515

Preparing for a future of economic contraction.

Trust

A History

Author: Geoffrey Hosking

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191022829

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 4570

Today there is much talk of a 'crisis of trust'; a crisis which is almost certainly genuine, but usually misunderstood. Trust: A History offers a new perspective on the ways in which trust and distrust have functioned in past societies, providing an empirical and historical basis against which the present crisis can be examined, and suggesting ways in which the concept of trust can be used as a tool to understand our own and other societies. Geoffrey Hosking argues that social trust is mediated through symbolic systems, such as religion and money, and the institutions associated with them, such as churches and banks. Historically these institutions have nourished trust, but the resulting trust networks have tended to create quite tough boundaries around themselves, across which distrust is projected against outsiders. Hosking also shows how nation-states have been particularly good at absorbing symbolic systems and generating trust among large numbers of people, while also erecting distinct boundaries around themselves, despite an increasingly global economy. He asserts that in the modern world it has become common to entrust major resources to institutions we know little about, and suggests that we need to learn from historical experience and temper this with more traditional forms of trust, or become an ever more distrustful society, with potentially very destabilising consequences.

The Adam Smith Review:

Author: Vivienne Brown

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134060092

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 264

View: 9521

Adam Smith’s contribution to economics is well-recognised but in recent years scholars have been exploring anew the multidisciplinary nature of his works. The Adam Smith Adam Smith’s contribution to economics is well-recognized but in recent years scholars have been exploring anew the multidisciplinary nature of his works. The Adam Smith Review provides a unique forum for interdisciplinary debate on all aspects of Adam Smith's works, his place in history, and the significance of his writings for the modern world. It is aimed at facilitating debate between scholars working across the humanities and social sciences, thus emulating the transdisciplinary reach of the Enlightenment world which Smith helped to shape. The third volume of this refereed series contains contributions from a multidisciplinary range of specialists, including Anthony Brewer, Alexandra Hyard, Charles G. Leathers and J. Patrick Raines, F.P. Lock, D.D. Raphael, Pedro N. Teixeira, Gloria Vivenza, Jack Russell Weinstein, and Donald Winch, who discuss such themes as: · the influence of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith · interpreting the ‘man of system’ in the sixth edition of The Theory of Moral Sentiments · Adam Smith and education · Adam Smith’s economics

The Science of Wealth

Adam Smith and the framing of political economy

Author: Tony Aspromourgos

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134041128

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 416

View: 3315

This study clarifies the character of 'political economy' as a distinct and separable intellectual discipline in the generic sense, in the texts of Adam Smith. It focuses upon the scope and fundamental conceptualizations of the new science. Smith's conceptualization of economic analysis is shown to constitute a unified intellectual piece for understanding economic society and its dynamics. Smith's fundamental economic language is exhaustively examined, in all his texts, with a view to clarifying the meaning of the basic concepts of his system. As well, the 'prehistories' of those concepts, in literature prior to Smith, back to the earliest times, are quite comprehensively treated, thereby placing his political economy in its larger historical context and conveying a rich sense of the history of these ideas over the whole course of our civilization. A quite complete account of Smith's economics as a whole is also entailed by this undertaking: his key substantive economic doctrines are thoroughly considered as well, and all the elements of his economic theory receive attention. To that extent, notwithstanding the focus on concepts, an interpretation of the substance of Smith's political economy is also provided. This focus is partly motivated by the view that Smith's intellectual triumph in the history of social science is not so much about the success of specific doctrines. His more considerable theoretical success is at a deeper level: gaining a wide and long-lasting acquiescence in the conceptual universe framed by the fundamental structures of his system, for a newly emerging discipline. Those who subsequently contested Smithian doctrine did so within Smith's framework; they did so 'on his terms'. While the book's primary purpose is to reconstruct the character of Smith's political economy as a distinct intellectual enterprise, it also addresses its relevance to modern economics, and to policy and practice in contemporary liberal society.