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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

Shanghai is critically dependent on the Changjiang, China’s largest river, for its water supply. The flow is very stable from year to year but has strong seasonal variation with 70 per cent of flow in the summer season. The total flow is robust in the face of significant human influences. The annual flow is 900 billion cubic metres and only 0.55 per cent of this is taken for Shanghai’s water supply. No significant threats exist to the total volume of water available but there are threats from seasonal low flows, diversions of water to other users, deteriorating water quality and salt water intrusions that affect the main water supply intakes for Shanghai. The operation of the Three Gorges Dam has induced changes to the monthly flow regime, reducing flows in October to fill the dam before the low flow season and raising flows January to March as that water is used for power generation.

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Richard Eccleston

Awareness of tax avoidance by multinational corporations (MNCs) has been growing for some years, but the political and economic legacies of the financial crisis have combined to create a potent new politics of tax justice. This chapter discusses these developments, analysing the factors which have shaped the contemporary international tax agenda and tracing their impacts through a series of international legal frameworks and unilateral national policy interventions. Particular attention is paid to the OECD BEPS suite of initiatives, especially with regard to the options for reforming the way in which corporate profits and tax liabilities are divided between the jurisdictions in which economic activity is created. It is argued that the multitude of recent policy responses to tax avoidance are noteworthy owing to having been prompted, influenced and complemented by new advocacy campaigns and strategies developed and prosecuted by civil society organisations. Whether civil society groups can exert sufficient influence to ensure that MNCs pay their fair share of taxation remains to be seen, but the battle is shaping up to be a critical test of whether MNCs can be subject to an adequate level of democratic accountability.

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Peter D.A. Wood

In this chapter, I analyze urban settlements located along national borders and borderlands as unique and informative sites of urbanism. The study of cities has recently taken a turn to provide alternative theorizations that shy away from overgeneralized models and normativity of the globally Northern city (Sheppard, Leitner and Maringanti, 2013). To contribute to this ongoing work, I first compare the role of border cities between the Global North and South, as well as challenges to this binary categorization of urban zones. Recent research on borders tends to focus on how political boundaries are as much re-territorializations as they are empirical subjects of study (Paasi, 2012). While various world regions receive attention in this research (Jones, 2009; Konrad and Nicol, 2011; Ladysz, 2006; Paasi, 1999), a more generalized assessment of borders as explicitly urban phenomena remains elusive. Urban studies, in contrast, have recently prioritized urban migration and growth in the Global South as a subject of study for its timely relevance (Parnell and Robinson, 2012). As cities grow, and as they grow in countries experiencing dramatic population increases, how they form and are planned is increasingly important. However, the lines crossed during these regional and global flows of movement are often underemphasized when dealing with concerns in urbanism; even when addressed, studies tend to focus on borders as sites of economic-security challenges, like the US–Mexico border (e.g., Dear and Leclerc, 2003; Herzog 1990). In this chapter I aim to bring attention to the intersection of these two bodies of work as they exist in current urban and geographic theory. After exploring differences and commonalities between Northern and Southern cities, I then analyze the historical, economic, and political contexts of different border regions throughout the world. Though sharing the common characteristic of a national border (or borders), not all metropolises in border regions function in the same fashion. Formulating an overarching view of border cities, including their complications and points of difference, is useful for articulating a multipolar and nuanced guide to cities in the 21st century.

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Edited by Richard Eccleston and Ainsley Elbra

Since the financial crisis the extent of corporate tax avoidance has attracted media headlines and the attention of political leaders the world over. This study examines the ‘new’ politics of corporate taxation and the role of civil society organisations in shaping the international tax agenda and influencing the tax practices of the world’s largest and most powerful corporations. It highlights the complex and multi-dimensional strategies used by activists to influence public opinion, formal regulation and corporate behaviour in relation to international taxation.
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Andreas Faludi

Ownership, representation and framing public action, including planning, imply exclusion. But neither territories nor cultures and identities are givens. Rather, they are historic constructs. It is the same with representative democracy: the people becoming the rulers of their territories creates and enforces the idea of them being as one with their territory. So, territory is being perceived and studied – and planned for – as something unique. However, on methodological grounds it is impossible to understand something in its uniqueness. Nor is space absolute, a blank canvas to be filled in. It is rather relative, constituted by the relations between actors. The task of planning is to pursue these relations, both within and beyond the borders of the plan. This means planning beyond territorialism.

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Andreas Faludi

A point in favour of territorialism is the feeling of ownership and security, and the sense of community it gives. Ownership also means willingness to assume responsibility, perhaps even making sacrifices. This is more so where ownership is truly shared. Shared ownership forms the legitimation for public action. It finds expression through democratic representation. The reverse is also true in that representative democracy is above all territorial. This is perhaps the strongest argument in favour of territorialism. Like private owners wanting to know their landed assets, public ownership and representation presuppose the public learning about its territory and people. This knowledge is a precondition of public interventions, including spatial planning.

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Agnes Horvath

This chapter distinguishes two forms of power. Taking a critical look at Weberian or Foucauldian conceptions of power, which either describe institutionalized domination or omnipresent and all-pervasive metapower, Horvath distinguishes ‘first’ from ‘second’ power. Whilst second power has become dominant in modernity, first power is about the centrality of power inside every human being. This chapter therefore shifts attention from the focus on external forces of power, which are a product of necessity or automatic diffusion, towards a focus on power as relying on inner, personal coherence, rooted in a rich and full personality. The chapter’s ultimate claim is that power is a result of the perfect freedom of will, which is capable of giving without the need to receive back. The possession of power centers not only on keeping its borders intact but also on resisting every external intrusion and maintaining its own form.

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Teresa Jurado-Guerrero and Manuela Naldini

Child and family policy has traditionally been very weak in Southern Europe. Comparative research on welfare states has often suggested that Southern European countries are more family-oriented, meaning that the role of the family in welfare provision is stronger. The strong family ties go hand in hand with a very low fertility rate in recent decades. This chapter by Guerrero and Naldini provides a historical and comparative analysis of child and family policy in Southern Europe, focusing on Italy and Spain as examples of similar cases, but also with recently diverging patterns. In Southern Europe, family benefits are not able to mitigate, as in other countries, the very high rate of child poverty. Childcare services and paid leaves to care for children are poorly funded, despite important improvements in some countries. The continuing overall underdevelopment of child and family policy is the result of several historical features of the South. Changes towards more generous services and some advances in gender parity in Spain are related to divergent forms of party competition, public opinion and developments in female employment.

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Tine Rostgaard

The chapter by Rostgaard investigates what has been the foundation for the overall idea of childcare as a global agenda across advanced economies, its changing meaning as well as the implementation in national policy. More specifically, it investigates how the ideational influence of seeing childcare as a global agenda has come about as a response to new contextual, scientific and policy realities in the transition to knowledge economies. Further to this, Rostgaard is particularly interested in how the agenda has been adapted by supranational organizations such as European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as part of the identification of policy problems and legitimate policy solutions. Finally, Rostgaard investigates how the agenda is translated to country-level policy actors in the EU and OECD recommendations as well as how the agenda is adapted in the national implementation of key institutional features of childcare (such as organizational structure, accessibility, quality and affordability).

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Janet C. Gornick and Emily Nell

This chapter by Gornick and Nell assesses child poverty in 24 high- and middle-income countries, using data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database. They assess poverty patterns using both relative and absolute poverty standards to account for variation in income levels both within and across countries. The authors analyse poverty outcomes based on (1) market income (income ‘prior to’ taxes and transfers); (2) income from the market plus ‘family transfers’; and (3) total household income. This disaggregation shows the extent to which – and where – states use public policies to reduce market-generated poverty among children. To flesh out the analyses of poverty reduction based on microdata, the authors shift vantage points and take a brief look at the association between family benefits (both cash and tax breaks, using macro-data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)) and child poverty reduction (due to redistribution, based on the LIS microdata). After assessing poverty and poverty reduction among all children, they consider two crucial risk factors that, within countries, shape children’s likelihood of being poor: family structure and parents’ employment.