Transitioning to a Post-Carbon Society Degrowth, Austerity and Wellbeing

Politics, Sociology

Mihalis Kritikos, “EU Policy-Making on GMOs: The False Promise of Proceduralism”
Mark Juergensmeyer, “Princeton Readings in Religion and Violence”
Tim Bird, Alex Marshall, “Afghanistan: How the West Lost Its Way”
Transitioning to a Post-Carbon Society: Degrowth, Austerity and Wellbeing (International Political Economy Series) by Ernest Garcia and Mercedes Martinez-Iglesias
The Arab Spring, Civil Society, and Innovative Activism by Cenap Çakmak

Mihalis Kritikos, “EU Policy-Making on GMOs: The False Promise of Proceduralism”

English | 28 Nov. 2017 | ISBN: 0230299946 | 360 Pages | EPUB | 1 MB

This book examines the development and implementation of the EU’s legislative framework on the commercial release of GMO products as a case study of social regulation operating within a predominantly technical framework. The analysis and findings are based on an extensive documentary analysis and interviews with regulators, risk assessors, public interest groups and biotechnology experts at the national and European levels. It argues that in the case of the EU biotechnology framework, the particular institutional settings created for the formulation and interpretation of its provisions have been of decisive importance in elaborating a proceduralised ‘science-based’ prior authorization scheme as the preferred framework for granting commercial permits. This interdisciplinary work will appeal to EU lawyers, decision-makers and risk managers as well as academics working in the fields of EU studies, politics, law, risk governance sociology of science/risk and technology assessment.

Mark Juergensmeyer, “Princeton Readings in Religion and Violence”

English | ISBN: 0691129142, 0691129134 | 2011 | 256 pages | PDF | 10 MB

This groundbreaking anthology provides the most comprehensive overview for understanding the fascinating relationship between religion and violence–historically, culturally, and in the contemporary world. Bringing together writings from scholarly and religious traditions, it is the first volume to unite primary sources–justifications for violence from religious texts, theologians, and activists–with invaluable essays by authoritative scholars.
The first half of the collection includes original source materials justifying violence from various religious perspectives: Hindu, Chinese, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist. Showing that religious violence is found in every tradition, these sources include ancient texts and scriptures along with thoughtful essays from theologians wrestling with such issues as military protection and pacifism. The collection also includes the writings of modern-day activists involved in suicide bombings, attacks on abortion clinics, and nerve gas assaults. The book’s second half features well-known thinkers reflecting on why religion and violence are so intimately related and includes excerpts from early social theorists such as Durkheim, Marx, and Freud, as well as contemporary thinkers who view the issue of religious violence from literary, anthropological, postcolonial, and feminist perspectives. The editors’ brief introductions to each essay provide important historical and conceptual contexts and relate the readings to one another. The diversity of selections and their accessible length make this volume ideal for both students and general readers.

Tim Bird, Alex Marshall, “Afghanistan: How the West Lost Its Way”

English | ISBN: 0300154577 | 2011 | 304 pages | PDF | 2 MB

In October 2001, NATO forces invaded Afghanistan. Their initial aim, to topple the Taliban regime and replace it with a more democratic government aligned to Western interests, was swiftly achieved. However, stabilizing the country in the ensuing years has proven much more difficult. Despite billions of dollars in aid and military expenditure, Afghanistan remains a nation riddled with warlords, the world’s major heroin producer, and the site of a seemingly endless conflict between Islamist militants and NATO forces. In this timely and important book, Tim Bird and Alex Marshall offer a panoramic view of international involvement in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2011. Tackling the subject matter as a whole, Bird and Marshall weave together analysis of military strategy, regional context, aid policy, the Afghan government, and the many disagreements between and within the Western powers involved in the intervention. Given the complicating factors of the heroin trade, unwelcoming terrain, and precarious relations with Pakistan, the authors acknowledge the ways in which Afghanistan has presented unique challenges for its foreign invaders. Ultimately, however, they argue that the international community has failed in its self-imposed effort to solve Afghanistan’s problems and that there are broader lessons to be learned from their struggle, particularly in terms of counterinsurgency and the ever-complicated work of “nation-building.” The overarching feature of the intervention, they argue, has been an absence of strategic clarity and coherence.

Transitioning to a Post-Carbon Society: Degrowth, Austerity and Wellbeing (International Political Economy Series) by Ernest Garcia and Mercedes Martinez-Iglesias

English | 2016 | ISBN: 1349948888 | 285 pages | PDF | 3,6 MB

This book deals with one of the most pressing social and environmental issues that we face today. The transition to a post-carbon society, in which the consumption of fossil fuels decreases over time, has become an inevitability due to the need to prevent catastrophic climate change, the increasing cost and scarcity of energy, and complex combinations of both of these factors. As the authors point out, this will not only entail political adjustments and the replacement of some technologies by others, but will be accompanied by social and cultural changes that bring about substantial modifications in our societies and ways of life. This book examines whether the current conditions, which date back to the crisis that began in 2007, favour a benign and smooth transition or will make it more difficult and prone to conflict. It argues that, even if this transformation is unavoidable, the directions it will take and the resulting social forms are much less certain. There will be many post-carbon societies, the authors conclude, and any number of routes to social change. Transitioning to a Post-Carbon Society therefore represents a significant contribution to global debates on the environment, and is vital reading for academics, policymakers, business leaders, NGOs and the general public alike.

The Arab Spring, Civil Society, and Innovative Activism by Cenap Çakmak

English | 2016 | ISBN: 1137571764, 9781137571762, B01N0P8XHM | 257 Pages | PDF | 2.76 MB

This book investigates the role of society groups in the making of the Arab Spring and under which conditions they attained their goals. Democracy and recognition of human rights and fundamental freedoms seem to be the main drives of the people organized in form of civil groups or grassroots movements in the Arab Spring countries; but it is essential to identify when they find it suitable to take such extreme action as taking the streets in an attempt to take down the repressive regimes. It is also important to investigate what methods they relied on in their action and how they challenged the state and the government. A review of the cases in this volume shows that civil society has certain limitations in its action. Analysis of the cases also challenges a commonly held assumption that the Arab world does not have strong and rich civil society tradition. However, for a lasting success and consolidation of democracy, something more than civil society action is obviously needed. A strong organized opposition and a democratic culture seems to be indispensable elements for the evolution of a democratic order and tradition.