Carbon Democracy

Author: Timothy Mitchell
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781781681169
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Political Science

Carbon Democracy provides a unique examination of the relationship between oil and democracy. Interweaving the history of energy, political analysis, and economic theory, Mitchell targets conventional wisdom regarding energy and governance. Emphasizing how oil and democracy have intermixed, he argues that while coal provided the impetus for mass democracy, the shift to oil drastically limited democratic possibility; above all, the ability to confront contemporary ecological crises.

Carbon Democracy

Author: Timothy Mitchell
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781844678969
Release Date: 2011-11-05
Genre: Political Science

Oil is a curse, it is often said, that condemns the countries producing it to an existence defined by war, corruption and enormous inequality. Carbon Democracy tells a more complex story, arguing that no nation escapes the political consequences of our collective dependence on oil. It shapes the body politic both in regions such as the Middle East, which rely upon revenues from oil production, and in the places that have the greatest demand for energy. Timothy Mitchell begins with the history of coal power to tell a radical new story about the rise of democracy. Coal was a source of energy so open to disruption that oligarchies in the West became vulnerable for the first time to mass demands for democracy. In the mid-twentieth century, however, the development of cheap and abundant energy from oil, most notably from the Middle East, offered a means to reduce this vulnerability to democratic pressures. The abundance of oil made it possible for the first time in history to reorganize political life around the management of something now called “the economy” and the promise of its infinite growth. The politics of the West became dependent on an undemocratic Middle East. In the twenty-first century, the oil-based forms of modern democratic politics have become unsustainable. Foreign intervention and military rule are faltering in the Middle East, while governments everywhere appear incapable of addressing the crises that threaten to end the age of carbon democracy—the disappearance of cheap energy and the carbon-fuelled collapse of the ecological order. In making the production of energy the central force shaping the democratic age, Carbon Democracy rethinks the history of energy, the politics of nature, the theory of democracy, and the place of the Middle East in our common world.

Oil Exploration Diplomacy and Security in the Early Cold War

Author: Roberto Cantoni
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9781315531526
Release Date: 2017-03-27
Genre: History

The importance of oil for national military-industrial complexes appeared more clearly than ever in the Cold War. This volume argues that the confidential acquisition of geoscientific knowledge was paramount for states, not only to provide for their own energy needs, but also to buttress national economic and geostrategic interests and protect energy security. By investigating the postwar rebuilding and expansion of French and Italian oil industries from the second half of the 1940s to the early 1960s, this book shows how successive administrations in those countries devised strategies of oil exploration and transport, aiming at achieving a higher degree of energy autonomy and setting up powerful oil agencies that could implement those strategies. However, both within and outside their national territories, these two European countries had to confront the new Cold War balances and the interests of the two superpowers.

Ownership and Control of Oil

Author: Bianca Sarbu
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317695431
Release Date: 2014-05-09
Genre: Technology & Engineering

Ownership and Control of Oil examines government decisions about how much control to exert over the petroleum industry, focusing on the role of National Oil Companies in the production of crude oil since the nationalizations in the 1970s. What are the motives for which some producing states opt for less and NOT more control of their oil production sector? When can International Oil Companies enter the upstream industry of producing states and under what conditions? The diversity of policy choices across producers provides the stage for this investigation: different theoretical explanations are confronted, with the empirical evidence, with the aim of finally proposing an interdisciplinary framework of analysis to explain who controls oil production around the world. This book is intended for both specialists and general readers who have an interest in the issue of government control of the petroleum industry. Due to its multidisciplinary approach, the book is aimed at a large academic public composed of scholars of Political Science, International Political Economy, Comparative Politics, and Middle East Area Studies. Moreover, this book should be relevant to international consultants, industry professionals and decision-makers in countries assessing their experience with existing control structures as well as the many countries in the process of joining the ‘petroleum club’ of oil producing nations.

Blood

Author: Gil Anidjar
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231537254
Release Date: 2014-04-29
Genre: Religion

Blood, according to Gil Anidjar, maps the singular history of Christianity. As a category for historical analysis, blood can be seen through its literal and metaphorical uses as determining, sometimes even defining Western culture, politics, and social practices and their wide-ranging incarnations in nationalism, capitalism, and law. Engaging with a variety of sources, Anidjar explores the presence and the absence, the making and unmaking of blood in philosophy and medicine, law and literature, and economic and political thought from ancient Greece to medieval Spain, from the Bible to Shakespeare and Melville. The prevalence of blood in the social, juridical, and political organization of the modern West signals that we do not live in a secular age into which religion could return. Flowing across multiple boundaries, infusing them with violent precepts that we must address, blood undoes the presumed oppositions between religion and politics, economy and theology, and kinship and race. It demonstrates that what we think of as modern is in fact imbued with Christianity. Christianity, Blood fiercely argues, must be reconsidered beyond the boundaries of religion alone.

The Energy of Slaves

Author: Andrew Nikiforuk
Publisher: Greystone Books
ISBN: 9781553659792
Release Date: 2012-08-17
Genre: Political Science

By the winner of the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion. What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.

Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature

Author: Seth L. Sanders
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479863983
Release Date: 2014-04-28
Genre: History

Until very recently, the idea of ancient Jewish sciences would have been considered unacceptable. Since the 1990’s, Early Modern and Medieval Science in Jewish sources has been actively studied, but the consensus was that no real scientific themes could be found in earlier Judaism. This work points them out in detail, and posits a new field of research: the scientific activity evident in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Jewish Pseudepigrapha. The publication of new texts and new analyses of older ones reveals crucial elements that are best illuminated by the history of science, and may have interesting consequences for it. The contributors evaluate these texts in relation to astronomy, astrology and physiognomy, marking the first comprehensive attempt to account for scientific themes in Second Temple Judaism. They investigate the meaning and purpose of scientific explorations in an apocalyptic setting. An appreciation of these topics paves the way to a renewed understanding of the scientific fragments scattered throughout rabbinic literature. The book first places the Jewish material in the ancient context of the Near Eastern and Hellenistic worlds. While the Jewish texts were not on the cutting edge of scientific discovery, they find a meaningful place in the history of science, between Babylonia and Egypt, in the time period between Hipparchus and Ptolemy. The book uses recent advances in method to examine the contacts and networks of Jewish scholars in their ancient setting. Second, the essays here tackle the problematic concept of a national scientific tradition. Although science is nowadays often conceived as universal, the historiography of ancient Jewish sciences demonstrates the importance of seeing the development of science in a local context. The book explores the tension between the hegemony of central scientific traditions and local scientific enterprises, showing the relevance of ancient data to contemporary postcolonial historiography of science. Finally, philosophical questions of the demarcation of science are addressed in a way that can advance the discussion of related ancient materials. Online edition available as part of the NYU Library's Ancient World Digital Library and in partnership with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW).

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World

Author: Paul Graves-Brown
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191663956
Release Date: 2013-10-17
Genre: Social Science

It has been clear for many years that the ways in which archaeology is practised have been a direct product of a particular set of social, cultural, and historical circumstances - archaeology is always carried out in the present. More recently, however, many have begun to consider how archaeological techniques might be used to reflect more directly on the contemporary world itself: how we might undertake archaeologies of, as well as in the present. This Handbook is the first comprehensive survey of an exciting and rapidly expanding sub-field and provides an authoritative overview of the newly emerging focus on the archaeology of the present and recent past. In addition to detailed archaeological case studies, it includes essays by scholars working on the relationships of different disciplines to the archaeology of the contemporary world, including anthropology, psychology, philosophy, historical geography, science and technology studies, communications and media, ethnoarchaeology, forensic archaeology, sociology, film, performance, and contemporary art. This volume seeks to explore the boundaries of an emerging sub-discipline, to develop a tool-kit of concepts and methods which are applicable to this new field, and to suggest important future trajectories for research. It makes a significant intervention by drawing together scholars working on a broad range of themes, approaches, methods, and case studies from diverse contexts in different parts of the world, which have not previously been considered collectively.

Environmental Imaginaries of the Middle East and North Africa

Author: Diana K. Davis
Publisher: Ohio University Press Series i
ISBN: UCSD:31822039599600
Release Date: 2011-12-20
Genre: Nature

The landscapes of the Middle East have captured our imaginations throughout history. Images of endless golden dunes, camel caravans, isolated desert oases, and rivers lined with palm trees have often framed written and visual representations of the region. Embedded in these portrayals is the common belief that the environment, in most places, has been deforested and desertified by centuries of misuse. It is precisely such orientalist environmental imaginaries, increasingly undermined by contemporary ecological data, that the eleven authors in this volume question. This is the first volume to critically examine culturally constructed views of the environmental history of the Middle East and suggest that they have often benefitted elites at the expense of the ecologies and the peoples of the region. The contributors expose many of the questionable policies and practices born of these environmental imaginaries and related histories that have been utilized in the region since the colonial period. They further reveal how power, in the form of development programs, notions of nationalism, and hydrological maps, for instance, relates to environmental knowledge production.

Egypt s Desert Dreams

Author: David Sims
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 9781617976384
Release Date: 2015-01-01
Genre: Social Science

Egypt has placed its hopes on developing its vast and empty deserts as the ultimate solution to the country’s problems. New cities, new farms, new industrial zones, new tourism resorts, and new development corridors, all have been promoted for over half a century to create a modern Egypt and to pull tens of millions of people away from the increasingly crowded Nile Valley into the desert hinterland. The results, in spite of colossal expenditures and ever-grander government pronouncements, have been meager at best, and today Egypt’s desert is littered with stalled schemes, abandoned projects, and forlorn dreams. It also remains stubbornly uninhabited. Egypt’s Desert Dreams is the first attempt of its kind to look at Egypt’s desert development in its entirety. It recounts the failures of governmental schemes, analyzes why they have failed, and exposes the main winners of Egypt’s desert projects, as well as the underlying narratives and political necessities behind it, even in the post-revolutionary era. It also shows that all is not lost, and that there are alternative paths that Egypt could take.

The Best Business Writing 2013

Author: Dean Starkman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231535175
Release Date: 2013-06-18
Genre: Business & Economics

An anthology Malcolm Gladwell has called "riveting and indispensable," The Best Business Writing is a far-ranging survey of business's dynamic relationship with politics, culture, and life. This year's selections include John Markoff (New York Times) on innovations in robot technology and the decline of the factory worker; Evgeny Morozov (New Republic) on the questionable value of the popular TED conference series and the idea industry behind it; Paul Kiel (ProPublica) on the ripple effects of the ongoing foreclosure crisis; and the infamous op-ed by Greg Smith, published in the New York Times, announcing his break with Goldman Sachs over its trading practices and corrupt corporate ethos. Jessica Pressler (New York) delves into the personal and professional rivalry between Tory and Christopher Burch, former spouses now competing to dominate the fashion world. Peter Whoriskey (Washington Post) exposes the human cost of promoting pharmaceuticals off-label. Charles Duhigg and David Barboza (New York Times) investigate Apple's unethical labor practices in China. Max Abelson (Bloomberg) reports on Wall Street's amusing reaction to the diminishing annual bonus. Mina Kimes (Fortune) recounts the grisly story of a company's illegal testing—and misuse—of a medical device for profit, and Jeff Tietz (Rolling Stone) composes one of the most poignant and comprehensive portraits of the financial crisis's dissolution of the American middle class.

Criminological and Legal Consequences of Climate Change

Author: Stephen Farrall
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 9781847319210
Release Date: 2012-04-02
Genre: Law

This edited collection, the result of an international seminar held at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Oñati, Spain in 2010, explores the potential legal and criminological consequences of climate change, both domestically and for the international community. A novel feature of the book is the consideration given to the potential synergies between the two disciplinary foci, thus to encourage among legal scholars and criminologists not only an analysis of the consequences of climate change from these perspectives but to bring these fields together to provide a unique, inter-disciplinary exploration of the ways in which climate change does, or could, impact on our societies. Such an inter-disciplinary approach is necessary given that climate change is a multifaceted phenomenon and one which is intimately linked across disciplines. To study this topic from the point of view of a single social science discipline restricts our understanding of the societal consequences of climate change. It is hoped that this edited collection will identify emerging areas of concern, illuminate areas for further research and, most of all, encourage future academic discussion on this most critical of issues.

Towards a Better Global Economy

Author: Franklin Allen
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191035135
Release Date: 2014-09-04
Genre: Business & Economics

Substantial progress in the fight against extreme poverty was made in the last two decades. But the slowdown in global economic growth and significant increases in income inequality in many developed and developing countries raise serious concerns about the continuation of this trend into the 21st century. The time has come to seriously think about how improvements in official global governance, coupled with and reinforced by rising activism of 'global citizens' can lead to welfare-enhancing and more equitable results for global citizens through better national and international policies. This book examines the factors that are most likely to facilitate the process of beneficial economic growth in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. It examines past, present, and future economic growth; demographic changes; the hyperglobalization of trade; the effect of finance on growth; climate change and resource depletion; and the sense of global citizenship and the need for global governance in order to draw longer-term implications, identify policy options for improving the lives of average citizens around the world, and make the case for the need to confront new challenges with truly global policy responses. The book documents how demographic changes, convergence, and competition are likely to bring about massive shifts in the sectoral and geographical composition of global output and employment, as the center of gravity of the global economy moves toward Asia and emerging economies elsewhere. It shows that the legacies of the 2008-09 crisis-high unemployment levels, massive excess capacities, and high debt levels-are likely to reduce the standard of living of millions of people in many countries over a long period of adjustment and that fluctuations in international trade, financial markets, and commodity prices, as well as the tendency of institutions at both the national and international level to favor the interests of the better-off and more powerful pose substantial risks for citizens of all countries. The chapters and their policy implications are intended to stimulate public interest and facilitate the exchange of ideas and policy dialogue.