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  1. Rents, Power and Governance in Global Value Chains

    This paper addresses the  generation  of  rents  and  the  distribution  of  gains  in  the  global  operations  of  governed Global  Value  Chains  (GVCs)  and  seeks  to  provide  an  architecture  for  analyzing  the  governance  of  GVCs.  It distinguishes between four sets of rent—gifts of nature; innovation rents; exogenously defined rents; and market power—and three spheres of governance—setting the rules -“legislative governance”; implementing the rules -“executive governance”; and monitoring rules and sanctioning malfeasance -“judicial governance.” The exercise of governance power in
  2. Buen Vivir as Policy: Challenging Neoliberalism or Consolidating State Power in Ecuador

    Core countries, including the United States, and global financial institutions have exerted an unmatched power to define and implement neoliberal policies, globally. These policies conceive of development as strictly economic in nature and call for a reduction in the size of the state and increasing privatization to guarantee growth. In this paper I examine Ecuador’s adoption of ‘Buen Vivir’ to understand how the state can challenge the neoliberal agenda and how its power is redefined in the process.
  3. Interwar Romania and the Greening of the Iron Cage: The Biopolitics of Dimitrie Gusti, Virgil Madgearu, Mihail Manoilescu, and Ştefan Zeletin

    This study examines the reconfiguration of the colonial matrix of power along biopolitical lines in interwar Romania. I reconstruct a shifting field of human sciences and governmentality whose cognitive interest resided in identifying the proper template for national subject-making and social modernization. This undertaking was predicated on diagnosing economic, political, and cultural blockages hindering the transformation of Romanian peasants into active political subjects.
  4. Marxist Thought and the City

    First published in Paris in 1972, Marxist Thought and the City is the latest collection of urban writings by the French social thinker Henri Lefebvre to appear in English translation. The book is a close reading of the largely fragmentary urban reflections in the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. While it is written a bit like a comprehensive exam, Lefebvre manages to turn this simple exercise into a vibrant book of contemporary (and still fresh) urban theory.

  5. Neoliberalism

    Johanna Bockman unpacks a hefty term, neoliberalism. She cites its roots and its uses, decoding it as a description of a “bootstraps” ideology that trumpets individualism and opportunity but enforces conformity and ignores structural constraints.

  6. Reclaiming Democratic Control: The Role of Public Ownership in Resisting Corporate Domination

    In response to increasing inequality, the rising power of large corporations, climate change, and other challenges, public ownership is back on the agenda in the United States and around the world. In this "new gilded age" there is much to learn from past experiments as we construct a new vision of public ownership for the Twenty-First Century.
  7. Towards a Dynamic Theory of Civil Society: The Politics of Forward and Backward Infiltration

    This article develops a conceptual framework to theorize the processes of mutual penetration between civil society, the state, and the economy, where incumbents and challengers continuously formulate new strategies against each other. We criticize the prevailing Weberian and Tocquevillian concepts of civil society, and then, drawing on research in social movements and comparative political economy, propose a new framework: the politics of forward and backward infiltration.
  8. Crisis as Opportunity: Nixon’s Announcement to Close the Gold Window

    The authors reexamine the announcement of the August 1971 decision to suspend convertibility of U.S. dollars to gold, or closing of the gold window, which ended the Bretton Woods system and ushered in the neoliberal era. Existing accounts identify critical pressure on the U.S. gold supply after May 1971 international currency disruptions as a tipping point for this policy. In contrast, using new archival evidence, the authors reveal that Nixon strategically framed May 1971 events as an urgent economic “crisis,” deploying “crisis” as a justification for closing the gold window.
  9. The Political-Military Foundations of China’s Global Ascendency

    In recent years China has positioned itself as a global economic leader, working through its “Belt and Road” initiative (BRI) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), to not only expand its global economic reach, but to organize and lead global economic relations. China’s rise is largely understood in economic terms, but the history of global power dynamics suggests that such leadership is built on both economic and political-military foundations.
  10. Will China's Development lead to Mexico's Underdevelopment?

    China has become an important global actor in the arenas of production, trade, and foreign investment. In 1948, China contributed slightly less than 1 percent to global exports; by 2013, it had grown to almost 12 percent. Has China's vertiginous trade growth come at the expense of other exporters or does it represent an expansion of new consumer markets? For policy makers in the so-called "emerging markets," this is most relevant since many have adopted the export-led model as their engine of development.