New Books in Economic and Business History

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Interviews with scholars of the economic and business history about their new books

New Books Network


    • Jan 13, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 57m AVG DURATION
    • 462 EPISODES


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    Latest episodes from New Books in Economic and Business History

    Sabrina Mittermeier, "Fan Phenomena: Disney" (Intellect Books, 2023)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 13, 2023 55:14


    Sabrina Mittermeier's edited volume Fan Phenomena: Disney (Intellect Books, 2023) analyzes the fandom of Disney brands across a variety of media including film, television, novels, stage productions, and theme parks. It showcases fan engagement such as cosplay, fan art, and on social media, as well as the company's reaction to it. Further, the volume deals with crucial issues—race and racism, the role of queerness, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the advent of the streaming service Disney+—within the Disney fandom and in Disney texts. The authors come from a variety of disciplines including cultural and media studies, marketing and communications, cultural history, theater and performance studies, and more. In addition to interviews with fan practitioners, the essays feature both leading experts in fan and Disney studies alongside emerging voices in these fields. A vital new addition to the growing subdiscipline of fan studies, it will be popular with scholars of cultural studies, cultural history, and media studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    The Future of Inequality: A Discussion with Mike Savage

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 13, 2023 42:08


    Most people in developed countries think inequality is increasing. And most would also agree that in terms of the global poor, the last 20 years have seen vast improvements with hundreds of millions living much better lives than their parents. These are some of the themes Professor Mike Savage addresses in his book The Return of Inequality: Social change and the Weight of the Past (Harvard UP, 2021). Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Tricia Starks, "Cigarettes and Soviets: Smoking in the USSR" (Cornell UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2023 42:45


    Seeing cigarette smoking as a cultural phenomenon of Western modernity is perhaps easier when the test case is outside the US where the narrative is dominated by Big Bad Tobacco and litigation. Tricia Starks's two volume study does just that. Her second volume, Cigarettes and Soviets: Smoking in the USSR (Cornell University Press, 2022) traces the rise and fall of cigarettes during the Soviet period. (Her first volume covered the pre-Revolutionary era.) In a beautifully written and jargon-free account illustrated with dozens of color plates, Starks tracks how the early revolutionaries tried unsuccessfully to combat mass smoking, how subsequent Soviet leaders made peace with it, and how in the post-war period, Soviet health authorities slowly made inroads against smoking, albeit with different arguments than those used in the anti-tobacco campaigns in the West. Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Hermes in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at DanielxPeris@gmail.com or via Twitter @HistoryInvestor. His History and Investing blog and Keep Calm & Carry On Investing podcast are here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Understanding Technology Bubbles

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2023 77:46


    Brent Goldfarb and David Kirsch, professors of entrepreneurship and strategy at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, talk about their book, Bubbles and Crashes: The Boom and Bust of Technological Innovation, with Peoples & Things host Lee Vinsel. Bubbles and Crashes puts forward a parsimonious model of how and when economic bubbles develop around new technologies. In the conversation, Goldfarb and Kirsch reflect on a variety of topics, including why it matters that Elon Musk is such a good story teller, whether we are currently in a technology bubble, and what we can do to prevent bubbles in the future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Alessandro Iandolo, "Arrested Development: The Soviet Union in Ghana, Guinea, and Mali, 1955-1968" (Cornell UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2023 56:30


    In the middle of the 20th century, there was a passionate affair, between the Soviet empire and newly independent West African states. It was a short, intense, and acrimonious love story built on shared dreams for a noncapitalist future. Alessandro Iandolo's new book, Arrested Development: The Soviet Union in Ghana, Guinea, and Mali, 1955-1968 (Cornell UP, 2022), explores the history of this unlikely romance. The book traces the rise and fall of the Soviet Union's engagement with these three West African nations, which Iandolo argues were at the center of the Soviet search for development in the Third World. Elisa Prosperetti is an Assistant Professor in International History at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. Her research focuses on the connected histories of education and development in postcolonial West Africa. Contact her at here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Clemente Penna, "Urban Economies, Capital, Credit, and Slavery in Rio de Janeiro, 1820-1860" (UFRJ, 2019)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2023 56:07


    On this episode, Martín Garrido Lepe y Beatriz Rodriguez-Satizabal talk with Clemente Penna winner of the Tamás Szmrecsányi Prize for thesis in economic history of the period 1810 to 1913 during the second edition of the Prize for the best PhD thesis in Latin American economic history, awarded by the Peruvian Association of Economic History, in the VII Latin American Congress of Economic History. By analysing newspaper, notary books, debt ligation, judicial attachments and bills of exchange registries, Clemente investigates the build up of a strong private non-banking credit market with complex relationships between “the business of slavery”, the property rights, and the access to capital. The Red de Historia Económica Iberoamericana (RHEI) is an organization that seeks to help in the dissemination of research by young researchers in Ibero-American Economic History. In this space broadcast by NBN Español, we conducted a series of interviews where recently graduated authors present their doctoral theses. Hosts: Beatriz Rodriguez-Satizabal, Universidad del Pacífico (Perú) and Martín Garrido Lepe, Universidad de Barcelona (España) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    The History of Household Technology from Open Hearth to the Microwave

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 9, 2023 74:12


    Historian Ruth Schwartz Cowan talks about her book, More Work for Mother, with Peoples & Things host Lee Vinsel. The book examines the history of how Americans industrialized their homes over the past two hundred years and how supposedly labor-saving technologies led women to do increased housework. Cowan also reflects on what it was like to work as a professor as a woman and mother in the 1970s and how families have changed their relationship to technology and housework in the nearly forty years since the book was published. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Neoliberalism and Higher Education

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2023 66:33


    This episode is a roundtable discussion on the influence of the neoliberal project on higher education. Our guests are Professor Emeritus Frank Fear from Michigan State University, Professor Claire Polster from the University of Regina, and Professor Ruben Martinez from Michigan State University. The conversation is wide-ranging across topics such as the quantification of higher education and the concept of students as customers. John Kaag is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at UMass Lowell and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. John W. Traphagan, Ph.D. is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    (In)efficiency: Should Efficiency be a Moral Value?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2023 16:40


    Efficiency has moved from a technique for measuring machines to a widely held moral value. But at what cost? Guests Jennifer Alexander, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota and author of The Mantra of Efficiency: From Waterwheel to Social Control Tom Hodgkinson, founder and editor of The Idler Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Regine A. Spector, "Order at the Bazaar: Power and Trade in Central Asia" (Cornell UP, 2017)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2023 39:43


    Order at the Bazaar: Power and Trade in Central Asia (Cornell UP, 2017) delves into the role of bazaars in the political economy and development of Central Asia. Bazaars are the economic bedrock for many throughout the region--they are the entrepreneurial hubs of Central Asia. However, they are often regarded as mafia-governed environments that are largely populated by the dispossessed. By immersing herself in the bazaars of Kyrgyzstan, Regine A. Spector learned that some are rather best characterized as islands of order in a chaotic national context. Spector draws on interviews, archival sources, and participant observation to show how traders, landowners, and municipal officials create order in the absence of a coherent government apparatus and bureaucratic state. Merchants have adapted Soviet institutions, including trade unions, and pre-Soviet practices, such as using village elders as the arbiters of disputes, to the urban bazaar by building and asserting their own authority. Spector's findings have relevance beyond the bazaars and borders of one small country; they teach us how economic development operates when the rule of law is weak. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Josiah Ober, "The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reason" (U California Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 2023 65:35


    Tracing practical reason from its origins to its modern and contemporary permutations, the Greek discovery of practical reason, as the skilled performance of strategic thinking in public and private affairs, was an intellectual breakthrough that remains both a feature of and a bug in our modern world. Countering arguments that rational choice-making is a contingent product of modernity, The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reason (U California Press, 2022) traces the long history of theorizing rationality back to ancient Greece. In this book, Josiah Ober explores how ancient Greek sophists, historians, and philosophers developed sophisticated and systematic ideas about practical reason. At the same time, they recognized its limits—that not every decision can be reduced to mechanistic calculations of optimal outcomes. Ober finds contemporary echoes of this tradition in the application of game theory to political science, economics, and business management. The Greeks and the Rational offers a striking revisionist history with widespread implications for the study of ancient Greek civilization, the history of thought, and human rationality itself. Javier Mejia is an economist teaching at Stanford University, whose work focuses on the intersection between social networks and economic history. His interests extend to topics on entrepreneurship and political economy with a geographical specialty in Latin America and the Middle East. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Los Andes University. He has been a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at New York University--Abu Dhabi and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Bordeaux. He is a regular contributor to different news outlets. Currently, he is Forbes Magazine op-ed columnist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Luke Munn, "Automation Is a Myth" (Stanford UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2022 66:30


    For some, automation will usher in a labor-free utopia; for others, it signals a disastrous age-to-come. Yet whether seen as dream or nightmare, automation, argues Munn, is ultimately a fable that rests on a set of triple fictions. There is the myth of full autonomy, claiming that machines will take over production and supplant humans. But far from being self-acting, technical solutions are piecemeal; their support and maintenance reveals the immense human labor behind "autonomous" processes. There is the myth of universal automation, with technologies framed as a desituated force sweeping the globe. But this fiction ignores the social, cultural, and geographical forces that shape technologies at a local level. And, there is the myth of automating everyone, the generic figure of "the human" at the heart of automation claims. But labor is socially stratified and so automation's fallout will be highly uneven, falling heavier on some (immigrants, people of color, women) than others.  In Automation Is a Myth (Stanford UP, 2022), Munn moves from machine minders in China to warehouse pickers in the United States to explore the ways that new technologies do (and don't) reconfigure labor. Combining this rich array of human stories with insights from media and cultural studies, Munn points to a more nuanced, localized, and racialized understanding of the "future of work." Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Garritt van Dyk, "Commerce, Food, and Identity in Seventeenth-Century England and France" (Amsterdam UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 26, 2022 72:07


    Garritt van Dyk talks about national identity, food, and cooking in this conversation about Commerce, Food, and Identity in Seventeenth-Century England and France: Across the Channel (Amsterdam University Press, 2022) "Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you who you are" was the challenge issued by French gastronomist Jean Brillat-Savarin. Champagne is declared a unique emblem of French sophistication and luxury, linked to the myth of its invention by Dom Pérignon. Across the Channel, a cup of sweet tea is recognized as a quintessentially English icon, simultaneously conjuring images of empire, civility, and relentless rain that demands the sustenance and comfort that only tea can provide. How did these tastes develop in the seventeenth century? Commerce, Food, and Identity in Seventeenth-Century England and France: Across the Channel offers a compelling historical narrative of the relationship between food, national identity, and political economy in the early modern period. These mutually influential relationships are revealed through comparative and transnational analyses of effervescent wine, spices and cookbooks, the development of coffeehouses and cafés, and the 'national sweet tooth' in England and France. Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Naa Oyo A. Kwate, "White Burgers, Black Cash: Fast Food from Black Exclusion to Exploitation" (U Minnesota Press, 2023)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 25, 2022 44:38


    The long and pernicious relationship between fast food restaurants and the African American community. Today, fast food is disproportionately located in Black neighborhoods and marketed to Black Americans through targeted advertising. But throughout much of the twentieth century, fast food was developed specifically for White urban and suburban customers, purposefully avoiding Black spaces.  In White Burgers, Black Cash: Fast Food from Black Exclusion to Exploitation (U Minnesota Press, 2023), Naa Oyo A. Kwate traces the evolution in fast food from the early 1900s to the present, from its long history of racist exclusion to its current damaging embrace of urban Black communities. Fast food has historically been tied to the country's self-image as the land of opportunity and is marketed as one of life's simple pleasures, but a more insidious history lies at the industry's core. White Burgers, Black Cash investigates the complex trajectory of restaurant locations from a decided commitment to Whiteness to the disproportionate densities that characterize Black communities today. Kwate expansively charts fast food's racial and spatial transformation and centers the cities of Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C., in a national examination of the biggest brands of today, including White Castle, KFC, Burger King, McDonald's, and more. Deeply researched, grippingly told, and brimming with surprising details, White Burgers, Black Cash reveals the inequalities embedded in the closest thing Americans have to a national meal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    John D. Wong, "Hong Kong Takes Flight: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Global Hub, 1930s-1998" (Harvard UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 44:05


    On July 6, 1998, the last flight took off from Kai Tak International Airport, marking the end of an era for Hong Kong aviation. For decades, international flights flew over the roofs of Kowloon apartments, before landing on Kai Tak's runway, extending out into the harbor. Kai Tak–frankly, a terrible place for one of the world's busiest international airports–is a good symbol of the story of Hong Kong's aviation, as told in Hong Kong Takes Flight: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Global Hub, 1930s–1998 (Harvard University Press, 2022) by John D. Wong and published by Harvard University Press. Hong Kong's growth as a hub for commercial aviation was often unplanned, often the result of compromise–and yet wildly successful. The city was able to carve a niche for itself, in both the declining British empire and the wider world, while also having to deal with colonial bureaucracy, geopolitics, fierce competition and an entirely new Communist government across the border. In this interview, John and I talk about Hong Kong's history with aviation, from its very start with flying boats and puddlejumpers right through to the jumbo jet era. John D. Wong is Associate Professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, The University of Hong Kong. He is also the author of Global Trade in the Nineteenth Century: The House of Houqua and the Canton System (Cambridge University Press, 2016) You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Hong Kong Takes Flight. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    The Future of Global Trade: A Discussion with Shannon K. O'Neil

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 45:08


    Critics of globalisation come in many forms from environmentalists to trade unionists and many others in between. In the midst of all the controversy less attention has been paid to how big a phenomenon globalisation actually is and how it compares to another trend – regionalism. In this podcast Owen Bennett Jones discusses The Globalisation Myth: Why Regions Matter (Yale University Press, 2022) with its author, Shannon K. O Neil.  Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Illiquidity + Opacity = Insolvency: A Discussion with Gary Stern, Former President of the Minneapolis Fed

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 48:44


    What's going on in private markets? As interest rates have gone up, public markets have been marked down much more severely than assets in the private market. Will the chickens come home to roost? And, if so, when?  Gary Stern was president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from March 1985 to September 2009. Stern, a native of Wisconsin, joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in January 1982 as senior vice president and director of research. Before joining the Minneapolis Fed, Stern was a partner in a New York-based economic consulting firm. Stern's prior experience includes seven years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Stern serves on the board of directors of FINRA, The Dolan Company, The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, Ambac Assurance Corporation, and the Council for Economic Education (CEE), where he served for a time as acting President and Chief Executive Officer. Stern is co-author of Too Big to Fail: The Hazards of Bank Bailouts, published by The Brookings Institution (2004). Stern holds an A.B. in economics from Washington University, St. Louis, and a Ph.D. in economics from Rice University, Houston. Robert Kowit began a career in investing in 1972, working in International Fixed Income and Foreign Exchange as a Senior Vice President at White Weld, Kidder Peabody, and as a Director of Midland Montagu. Moving to the buy-side in 1990, he was Senior Vice President and Head of International Fixed Income at John Hancock and then at Federated Investors until his retirement. He currently participates on committees of the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Trade and Forfaiting Association on ways to attract more financial investors to trade finance assets. Robert is a contributor to the IMF World Bank Handbook, “Developing Government Bond Markets" and key speaker at the IMF World Bank Annual General Meeting. He is also lead author of the peer-reviewed paper, “Trade Finance as a Financial Asset: Risks and Risk Management For Non-Bank Investors” and most recently a contributor to Trade Wars Are Class Wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Clara E. Mattei, "The Capital Order: How Economists Invented Austerity and Paved the Way to Fascism" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2022 62:31


    A groundbreaking examination of austerity's dark intellectual origins. For more than a century, governments facing financial crisis have resorted to the economic policies of austerity—cuts to wages, fiscal spending, and public benefits—as a path to solvency. While these policies have been successful in appeasing creditors, they've had devastating effects on social and economic welfare in countries all over the world. Today, as austerity remains a favored policy among troubled states, an important question remains: What if solvency was never really the goal?  In The Capital Order: How Economists Invented Austerity and Paved the Way to Fascism (University of Chicago Press, 2022), political economist Clara E. Mattei explores the intellectual origins of austerity to uncover its originating motives: the protection of capital—and indeed capitalism—in times of social upheaval from below. Mattei traces modern austerity to its origins in interwar Britain and Italy, revealing how the threat of working-class power in the years after World War I animated a set of top-down economic policies that elevated owners, smothered workers, and imposed a rigid economic hierarchy across their societies. Where these policies “succeeded,” relatively speaking, was in their enrichment of certain parties, including employers and foreign-trade interests, who accumulated power and capital at the expense of labor. Here, Mattei argues, is where the true value of austerity can be observed: its insulation of entrenched privilege and its elimination of all alternatives to capitalism. Drawing on newly uncovered archival material from Britain and Italy, much of it translated for the first time, The Capital Order offers a damning and essential new account of the rise of austerity—and of modern economics—at the levers of contemporary political power. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Carl Griffin, "The Politics of Hunger: Protest, Poverty and Policy in England, 1750-1840" (Manchester UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2022 67:57


    The eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were supposedly the period in which the threat of famine lifted for the peoples of England. But hunger remained, in the words of Marx, an 'unremitted pressure'. The 1840s witnessed widespread hunger and malnutrition at home and mass starvation in Ireland. And yet the aptly named 'Hungry 40s' came amidst claims that, notwithstanding Malthusian prophecies, absolute biological want had been eliminated in England. The Politics of Hunger: Protest, Poverty and Policy in England, 1750-1840 (Manchester UP, 2020) (Manchester University Press, 2022) by Dr. Carl Griffin offers the first systematic analysis of the ways in which hunger continued to be experienced and feared, both as a lived and constant spectral presence. It also examines how hunger was increasingly used as a disciplining device in new modes of governing the population. Drawing upon a rich archive, this innovative and conceptually-sophisticated study throws new light on how hunger persisted as a political and biological force. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Jane Tynan, "Trench Coat" (Bloomsbury, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2022 59:00


    Object Lessons is a Bloomsbury series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. This interview focuses on Trench Coat by Dr. Jane Tynan, published in 2022. We think we know the trench coat, but where does it come from and where will it take us? From its origins in the trenches of WW1, this military outerwear came to project the inner-being of detectives, writers, reporters, rebels, artists and intellectuals. The coat outfitted imaginative leaps into the unknown. Trench Coat tells the story of seductive entanglements with technology, time, law, politics, trust and trespass. Readers follow the rise of a sartorial archetype through media, design, literature, cinema and fashion. Today, as a staple in stories of future life-worlds, the trench coat warns of disturbances to come. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Pamela H. Smith, "From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Reconstructing Practical Knowledge in the Early Modern World" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2022 61:59


    How and why early modern European artisans began to record their knowledge. In From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Reconstructing Practical Knowledge in the Early Modern World (U Chicago Press, 2022), Pamela H. Smith considers how and why, beginning in 1400 CE, European craftspeople began to write down their making practices. Rather than simply passing along knowledge in the workshop, these literate artisans chose to publish handbooks, guides, treatises, tip sheets, graphs, and recipe books, sparking early technical writing and laying the groundwork for how we think about scientific knowledge today. Focusing on metalworking from 1400-1800 CE, Smith looks at the nature of craft knowledge and skill, studying present-day and historical practices, objects, recipes, and artisanal manuals. From these sources, she considers how we can reconstruct centuries of largely lost knowledge. In doing so, she aims not only to unearth the techniques, material processes, and embodied experience of the past but also to gain insight into the lifeworld of artisans and their understandings of matter. Please visit MS FR 640 at The Making and Knowing Project.  Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Jeremy L. Wallace, "Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China" (Oxford UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 18, 2022 57:07


    For decades, a few numbers came to define Chinese politics--until those numbers did not count what mattered and what they counted did not measure up.  Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China (Oxford UP, 2022) argues that the Chinese government adopted a system of limited, quantified vision in order to survive the disasters unleashed by Mao Zedong's ideological leadership. Political scientist Jeremy Wallace explains how that system worked and analyzes how the problems that accumulated in its blind spots led Xi Jinping to take drastic action. Xi's neopolitical turn--aggressive anti-corruption campaigns, reassertion of party authority, and personalization of power--is an attempt fix the problems of the prior system, as well as a hedge against an inability to do so. The book argues that while of course dictators stay in power through coercion and cooptation, they also do so by convincing their populations and themselves of their right to rule. Quantification is one tool in this persuasive arsenal, but it comes with its own perils. Jeremy Wallace is an associate professor of Government at Cornell University, who studies authoritarianism with a focus on China, cities, statistics, and climate change. His academic research has appeared in the American Political Science Review, the China Quarterly, International Organization, and other prominent journals. His popular writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the LA Times, and Foreign Policy. His first book was Cities and Stability: Urbanization, Redistribution, and Regime Survival in China. This episode is co-hosted by Lizzi C. Lee, an MIT-trained economist who is currently working as a reporter and host in Chinese for the New York-based independent media outlet Wall Street TV and in English for ChinaEdge, which is part of the English language media company The China Project. Host Peter Lorentzen is the Chair of the Economics Department at the University of San Francisco. His research focus is the political economy of governance in China. He is a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations (NCUSCR) and USF's new Center on Business Studies and Innovation in the Asia-Pacific. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Quentin Bruneau, "States and the Masters of Capital: Sovereign Lending, Old and New" (Columbia UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 18, 2022 51:44


    Today, states' ability to borrow private capital depends on stringent evaluations of their creditworthiness. While many presume that this has long been the case, Quentin Bruneau argues that it is a surprisingly recent phenomenon--the outcome of a pivotal shift in the social composition of financial markets. Investigating the financiers involved in lending capital to sovereigns over the past two centuries, Bruneau identifies profound changes in their identities, goals, and forms of knowledge.  In States and the Masters of Capital (Columbia University Press, 2022), he shows how an old world made up of merchant banking families pursuing both profit and status gradually gave way to a new one dominated by large companies, such as joint stock banks and credit rating agencies, exclusively pursuing profit. Lacking the web of personal ties to sovereigns across the world that their established rivals possessed, these financial institutions began relying on a different form of knowledge created to describe and compare states through quantifiable data: statistics. Over the course of this epochal shift, which only came to an end a few decades ago, financial markets thus reconceptualized states. Instead of a set of individuals to be known in person, they became numbers on a page. Raising new questions about the history of sovereign lending, this book illuminates the nature of the relationship between states and financial markets today--and suggests that it may be on the cusp of another major transformation. Quentin Bruneau is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    The Future of the Arms Industry: A Discussion with Pieter D. Wezeman

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2022 45:53


    If you read the business pages of most newspapers, they are filled with stories about the sort of companies that people do business with – airlines, retail outlets, football clubs and the like. There tend to be far fewer stories about the arms industry - unless it's about some scandal – generally bribes or sales to governments with poor human rights records. So today we are discussing the future of the arms industry with Pieter D. Wezeman who researches these matters at the leading institute in this area, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute or SIPRI. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Dan Slater and Joseph Wong, "From Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2022 58:10


    Why some of Asia's authoritarian regimes have democratized as they have grown richer—and why others haven't Over the past century, Asia has been transformed by rapid economic growth, industrialization, and urbanization—a spectacular record of development that has turned one of the world's poorest regions into one of its richest. Yet Asia's record of democratization has been much more uneven, despite the global correlation between development and democracy. Why have some Asian countries become more democratic as they have grown richer, while others—most notably China—haven't?  In From Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia (Princeton University Press, 2022),' Dan Slater and Joseph Wong offer a sweeping and original answer to this crucial question. Slater and Wong demonstrate that Asia defies the conventional expectation that authoritarian regimes concede democratization only as a last resort, during times of weakness. Instead, Asian dictators have pursued democratic reforms as a proactive strategy to revitalize their power from a position of strength. Of central importance is whether authoritarians are confident of victory and stability. In Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan these factors fostered democracy through strength, while democratic experiments in Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar were less successful and more reversible. At the same time, resistance to democratic reforms has proven intractable in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Reconsidering China's 1989 crackdown, Slater and Wong argue that it was the action of a regime too weak to concede, not too strong to fail, and they explain why China can allow democracy without inviting instability. The result is a comprehensive regional history that offers important new insights about when and how democratic transitions happen—and what the future of Asia might be. Javier Mejia is an economist teaching at Stanford University, whose work focuses on the intersection between social networks and economic history. His interests extend to topics on entrepreneurship and political economy with a geographical specialty in Latin America and the Middle East. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Los Andes University. He has been a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at New York University--Abu Dhabi and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Bordeaux. He is a regular contributor to different news outlets. Currently, he is Forbes Magazine op-ed columnist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Cynthia Radding, "Bountiful Deserts: Sustaining Indigenous Worlds in Northern New Spain" (U Arizona Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 58:56


    Common understandings drawn from biblical references, literature, and art portray deserts as barren places that are far from God and spiritual sustenance. In our own time, attention focuses on the rigors of climate change in arid lands and the perils of the desert in the northern Mexican borderlands for migrants seeking shelter and a new life. Bountiful Deserts: Sustaining Indigenous Worlds in Northern New Spain (U Arizona Press, 2022) foregrounds the knowledge of Indigenous peoples in the arid lands of northwestern Mexico, for whom the desert was anything but barren or empty. Instead, they nurtured and harvested the desert as a bountiful and sacred space. Drawing together historical texts and oral testimonies, archaeology, and natural history, author Cynthia Radding develops the relationships between people and plants and the ways that Indigenous people sustained their worlds before European contact through the changes set in motion by Spanish encounters, highlighting the long process of colonial conflicts and adaptations over more than two centuries. This work reveals the spiritual power of deserts by weaving together the cultural practices of historical peoples and contemporary living communities, centered especially on the Yaqui/Yoeme and Mayo/Yoreme. Radding uses the tools of history, anthropology, geography, and ecology to paint an expansive picture of Indigenous worlds before and during colonial encounters. She re-creates the Indigenous worlds in both their spiritual and material realms, bringing together the analytical dimension of scientific research and the wisdom of oral traditions in its exploration of different kinds of knowledge about the natural world. Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Gregory Smithsimon, "Liberty Road: Black Middle-Class Suburbs and the Battle Between Civil Rights and Neoliberalism" (NYU Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 84:37


    Half of Black Americans who live in the one hundred largest metropolitan areas are now living in suburbs, not cities. In Liberty Road: Black Middle-Class Suburbs and the Battle Between Civil Rights and Neoliberalism (NYU Press, 2022), Gregory Smithsimon shows us how this happened, and why it matters, unearthing the hidden role that suburbs played in establishing the Black middle-class. Focusing on Liberty Road, a Black middle-class suburb of Randallstown, Maryland, Smithsimon tells the remarkable story of how residents broke the color barrier, against all odds, in the face of racial discrimination, tensions with suburban Whites and urban Blacks, and economic crises like the mortgage meltdown of 2008. Drawing on interviews, census data, and archival research he shows us the unique strategies that suburban Black residents in Liberty Road employed, creating a blueprint for other Black middle-class suburbs. Brittney Edmonds is an Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison. I specialize in 20th and 21st century African American Literature and Culture with a special interest in Black Humor Studies. Read more about my work at brittneymichelleedmonds.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Stephanie Decker, "Postcolonial Transition and Global Business History: British Multinational Companies in Ghana and Nigeria" (Routledge, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 59:51


    In this episode, I interview Prof. Stephanie Decker about her new book Postcolonial Transition and Global Business History British Multinational Companies in Ghana and Nigeria (Routledge, 2022). Prof. Mick Rowlinson also joined the conversation about the book. British multinationals faced unprecedented challenges to their organizational legitimacy in the middle of the twentieth century as the European colonial empires were dismantled and institutional transformations changed colonial relationships in Africa and other parts of the world. This book investigates the political networking and internal organizational changes in five British multinationals (United Africa Company, John Holt & Co., Ashanti Goldfields Corporation, Bank of West Africa and Barclays Bank DCO). These firms were forced to adapt their strategies and operations to changing institutional environments in two English-speaking West African countries, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) and Nigeria, from the late 1940s to the late 1970s. Decolonization meant that formerly imperial businesses needed to develop new political networks and change their internal organization and staffing to promote more Africans to managerial roles. This postcolonial transition culminated in indigenization programmes (and targeted nationalizations) which forced foreign companies to sell equity and assets to domestic investors in the 1970s. Postcolonial Transition and Global Business History is the first in-depth historical study on how British firms sought to adapt over several decades to rapid political and economic transformation in West Africa. Exploring both postcolonial transitions and development discourse, this book addresses the topics with regard to business and economic history and will be of interest to researchers, academics, and students in the fields of organizational change, political economy, African studies and globalization. Connect on Twitter @deckersteph or LinkedIn to continue the conversation with Stephanie Decker. Your host, Paula De La Cruz-Fernandez is a consultant, historian, and digital editor. Editor New Books Network en español. Edita CEO. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe, "When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World's Most Powerful Consulting Firm" (Doubleday, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 35:27


    An explosive, deeply reported exposé of McKinsey & Company, When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World's Most Powerful Consulting Firm (Doubleday, 2022) by Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe (Doubleday, 2022) highlights the often drastic impact of the most prestigious consulting company in the world. McKinsey's vaunted statement of values asserts that its role is to make the world a better place, but what does it actually do? Often McKinsey's advice boils down to major cost-cutting, including layoffs and maintenance reductions, to drive up short-term profits, thereby boosting a company's stock price and the wealth of its executives who hire it, at the expense of workers and safety measures. McKinsey also collects millions of dollars advising government agencies. Bogdanich and Forsythe have penetrated the veil of secrecy surrounding McKinsey by conducting hundreds of interviews, obtaining thousands of revelatory documents, and following the money. When McKinsey Comes to Town is a landmark work of investigative reporting. Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Hermes in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at DanielxPeris@gmail.com or via Twitter @HistoryInvestor. His History and Investing blog and Keep Calm & Carry On Investing podcast are here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Daniel Gross. "A Banker's Journey: How Edmond J. Safra Built a Global Financial Empire" (Radius Book Group, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2022 61:34


    Who was Edmond J. Safra? "The greatest banker of his generation," in the estimation of a former World Bank President. The founder of four massive financial institutions on three continents, and a proud child of Beirut's Jewish quarter. An innovative avatar of financial globalization, and a faithful heir to a tradition of old-world banking. The leading champion and protector of the Sephardic diaspora.  In A Banker's Journey: How Edmond J. Safra Built a Global Financial Empire (Radius Book Group, 2022), financial journalist and historian Daniel Gross, who, like Safra, traces his heritage to Aleppo, Syria, reconstructs the public life of an intensely private man. With exclusive access to Safra's personal archives, Gross tracks the banker's remarkable journey from Beirut to Milan, São Paulo, Geneva, and New York--to the pinnacle of global finance.Edmond Safra was fifteen in 1947, when his father sent him to establish a presence in Milan, Italy. Fluent in six languages, and with an eye for value, managing risk, and personal potential, Safra was in perpetual motion until his tragic death in 1999. The modern, global financial empire he built was based on timeless principles: a banker must protect his depositors and avoid excessive leverage and risk. In an age of busts and bailouts, Safra posted remarkable returns while rarely suffering a credit loss. From a young age, Safra assumed the mantle of leadership in the Syrian-Lebanese Jewish community, providing personal aid, supporting the communities that formed in exile, and championing Sephardic religious and educational efforts in Israel and around the world. Edmond J. Safra's life of achievement in the twentieth century offers enduring lessons for those seeking to make their way in the twenty-first century. He inspired generations to make the world a better place. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Jake S. Friedman, "The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age" (Chicago Review Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2022 52:56


    Soon after the birth of Mickey Mouse, one animator raised the Disney Studio far beyond Walt's expectations. That animator also led a union war that almost destroyed it. Art Babbitt animated for the Disney studio throughout the 1930s and through 1941, years in which he and Walt were jointly driven to elevate animation as an art form, up through Snow White, Pinocchio, and Fantasia. But as America prepared for World War II, labor unions spread across Hollywood. Disney fought the unions while Babbitt embraced them. Soon, angry Disney cartoon characters graced picket signs as hundreds of animation artists went out on strike. Adding fuel to the fire was Willie Bioff, one of Al Capone's wiseguys who was seizing control of Hollywood workers and vied for the animators' union. Using never-before-seen research from previously lost records, including conversation transcriptions from within the studio walls, author and historian Jake S. Friedman reveals the details behind the labor dispute that changed animation and Hollywood forever. The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age (Chicago Review Press, 2022) is an American story of industry and of the underdog, the golden age of animated cartoons at the world's most famous studio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    James Mark and Paul Betts, "Socialism Goes Global: The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the Age of Decolonisation" (Oxford UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2022 81:55


    Socialism Goes Global: The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the Age of Decolonisation (Oxford UP, 2022) is the first work to provide a broad history of the relationship between Eastern Europe and the decolonising world. It ranges from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century, but at its core is the dynamic of the post-1945 period, when socialism's importance as a globalising force accelerated and drew together what contemporaries called the 'Second' and 'Third Worlds'.  At the centre of this history is the encounter between the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe on one hand, and a wider world casting off European empires or struggling against western imperialism on the other. The origins of these connections are traced back to new forms of internationalism enabled by the Russian Revolution; the interplay between the first 'decolonisation' of the twentieth century in Eastern Europe and rising anti-colonial movements; and the global rise of fascism, which created new connections between East and South. The heart of the study, however, lies in the Cold War, when these contacts and relationships dramatically intensified. A common embrace of socialist modernisation and anti-imperial culture opened up possibilities for a new and meaningful exchange between the peripheries of Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Such linkages are examined across many different fields - from health to archaeology, economic development to the arts - and through many people - from students to experts to labour migrants - who all helped to shape a different form and meaning of globalisation. Jill Massino is a scholar of modern Eastern Europe with a focus on Romania, gender, and everyday life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Robert L. Hetzel, "The Federal Reserve: A New History" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2022 102:08


    In The Federal Reserve: A New History (University of Chicago Press, 2022), Robert Hetzel draws on a 43-year career as an economist in the central bank to trace the influence of the Fed on the American economy. Hetzel compares periods in which the Fed stabilized the economy and periods in which it destabilized the economy. He draws lessons about what monetary rule is stabilizing. Recast through this lens and enriched with archival materials, Hetzel's sweeping history offers a new understanding of the bank's watershed moments since 1913. They include critical accounts of the Great Depression, the Great Inflation, and the Great Recession. The Federal Reserve: A New History arrives as a critical history for a critical moment. It promises to recast our understanding of the central bank in its second century. Robert L. Hetzel is a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and a senior affiliated scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Max Haiven, "Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire" (Pluto Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2022 54:13


    Palm oil is a commodity like no other. Found in half of supermarket products, from food to cosmetics to plastics, it has shaped the world in which we live. In Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire (Pluto Press, 2022), Max Haiven tells a sweeping story that touches on everything from empire to art, from war to food, and from climate change to racial capitalism. By tracing the global history of this ubiquitous elixir we see how capitalism creates surplus populations: people made dependent on capitalist wages but denied the opportunity to earn them - a proportion of humanity that is growing in our age of racialized and neo-colonial dispossession. Inspired by revolutionary writers like Eduardo Galeano, Saidiya Hartman, C.L.R. James and Rebecca Solnit, this kaleidoscopic and experimental book seeks to weave a story of the past in the present and the present in the past. Max Haiven is Canada Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice at Lakehead University in Northwest Ontario and director of the Reimagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL). He writes articles for both academic and general audiences and is the author of the books Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power: Capitalism, Creativity and the Commons, The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity (with Alex Khasnabish) and Cultures of Financialization: Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life. He is currently working on a book titled Art after Money, Money after Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, "Indentured Students: How Government-Guaranteed Loans Left Generations Drowning in College Debt" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2022 64:49


    It didn't always take thirty years to pay off the cost of a bachelor's degree.  In Indentured Students: How Government-Guaranteed Loans Left Generations Drowning in College Debt (Harvard UP, 2021), Elizabeth Tandy Shermer untangles the history that brought us here and discovers that the story of skyrocketing college debt is not merely one of good intentions gone wrong. In fact, the federal student loan program was never supposed to make college affordable. The earliest federal proposals for college affordability sought to replace tuition with taxpayer funding of institutions. But Southern whites feared that lower costs would undermine segregation, Catholic colleges objected to state support of secular institutions, professors worried that federal dollars would come with regulations hindering academic freedom, and elite-university presidents recoiled at the idea of mass higher education. Cold War congressional fights eventually made access more important than affordability. Rather than freeing colleges from their dependence on tuition, the government created a loan instrument that made college accessible in the short term but even costlier in the long term by charging an interest penalty only to needy students. In the mid-1960s, as bankers wavered over the prospect of uncollected debt, Congress backstopped the loans, provoking runaway inflation in college tuition and resulting in immense lender profits. Today 45 million Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion in college debt, with the burdens falling disproportionately on borrowers of color, particularly women. Reformers, meanwhile, have been frustrated by colleges and lenders too rich and powerful to contain. Indentured Students makes clear that these are not unforeseen consequences. The federal student loan system is working as designed. Elizabeth Tandy Shermer has written about labor, politics, and education for the Washington Post, HuffPost, and Dissent. Author of Sunbelt Capitalism: Phoenix and the Transformation of American Politics, she is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. Tom Discenna is Professor of Communication at Oakland University whose work examines issues of academic labor and communicative labor more broadly. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Joseph Sassoon, "The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire" (Pantheon Books, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2022 44:28


    The Sassoons were one of the great merchant families of the nineteenth century, alongside such names as the Jardines, the Mathesons, and the Swires. They dominated the India-China opium trade through the David Sassoon and E.D. Sassoon companies. They became Indian tycoons, English aristocracy, Hong Kong board directors, and Shanghai real estate moguls. Yet unlike the Kadoories and Swires, the Sassoon companies no longer exist today. Professor Joseph Sassoon in his latest book The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire (Pantheon, 2022) helps to answer that question, from the Sassoons' start fleeing Baghdad for Bombay, through to Victor Sassoon's investments in the Shanghai before the Second World War. In this interview, Joseph and I talk about the Sassoon family: from David, the patriarch of the family, through to Victor Sassoon, Shanghai real estate mogul. And we also think about the Sassoons as a business: how did this great, global family trading house decline–and are there lessons for the businesses of today? Joseph Sassoon is Professor of History and Political Economy and Director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He is also a Senior Associate Member at St Antony's College, Oxford and a Trustee of the Bodleian Library. His previous books include the prize-winning Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime (Cambridge University Press: 2012), The Iraqi Refugees: The New Crisis in the Middle East (I. B. Taurus, 2010), and Anatomy of Authoritarianism in the Arab Republics (Cambridge University Press: 2016). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of The Sassoons. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Paul Belleflamme and Martin Peitz, "The Economics of Platforms: Concepts and Strategy" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 50:08


    Digital platforms controlled by Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Tencent and Uber have transformed not only the ways we do business, but also the very nature of people's everyday lives. It is of vital importance that we understand the economic principles governing how these platforms operate. Paul Belleflamme and Martin Peitz's book The Economics of Platforms: Concepts and Strategy (Cambridge UP, 2021) explains the driving forces behind any platform business with a focus on network effects. The authors use short case studies and real-world applications to explain key concepts such as how platforms manage network effects and which price and non-price strategies they choose. This self-contained text is the first to offer a systematic and formalized account of what platforms are and how they operate, concisely incorporating path-breaking insights in economics over the last twenty years. Martin Peitz is professor of economics at the University of Mannheim (since 2007), a director of the Mannheim Centre for Competition and Innovation – MaCCI (since 2009). He has been member of the economic advisory group on competition policy (EAGCP) at the European Commission (2013–2016), an academic director of the Centre on Regulation in Europe, CERRE (2012–2016) and head of the Department of Economics (2010–2013). Martin has widely published in leading economics journals. He also frequently trains and advises government agencies in Europe and abroad on competition and regulation issues. Peter Lorentzen is economics professor at the University of San Francisco. He heads USF's Applied Economics Master's program, which focuses on the digital economy. His research is mainly on China's political economy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Mathematical Morality: The Ideology that Justifies Billionaires

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 49:36


    How can billionaires justify the endless accumulation of wealth? Effective altruism. An almost religious philosophical belief. Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO and founder of collapsed crypto exchange FTX is a major proponent, as is Elon Musk. Now, SBF and many in Effective Altruism have also embraced longtermism, a strand of extreme utilitarian thinking that tells us we should worry about the interests of future people -- trillions of future people, 1000s of years into the future, and in planets far away. We examine the complicated moral math of longtermism with Émile P. Torres, a former longtermist who is now one of the movement's sharpest apostates. SUPPORT THE SHOW You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we'd really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there's bonus material on there too. ABOUT THE SHOW For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Trevor Jackson, "Impunity and Capitalism: The Afterlives of European Financial Crises, 1690-1830" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 67:28


    Whose fault are financial crises, and who is responsible for stopping them, or repairing the damage? Impunity and Capitalism: The Afterlives of European Financial Crises, 1690-1830 (Cambridge University Press, 2022) develops a new approach to the history of capitalism and inequality by using the concept of impunity to show how financial crises stopped being crimes and became natural disasters. Dr. Trevor Jackson examines the legal regulation of capital markets in a period of unprecedented expansion in the complexity of finance ranging from the bankruptcy of Europe's richest man in 1709, to the world's first stock market crash in 1720, to the first Latin American debt crisis in 1825. He shows how, after each crisis, popular anger and improvised policy responses resulted in efforts to create a more just financial capitalism but succeeded only in changing who could act with impunity, and how. Henceforth financial crises came to seem normal and legitimate, caused by impersonal international markets, with the costs borne by domestic populations and nobody in particular at fault. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Agathe Demarais, "Backfire: How Sanctions Reshape the World Against U.S. Interests" (Columbia UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022 67:28


    Sanctions have become the go-to foreign policy tool for the United States. Coercive economic measures such as trade tariffs, financial penalties, and export controls affect large numbers of companies and states across the globe. Some of these penalties target nonstate actors, such as Colombian drug cartels and Islamist terror groups; others apply to entire countries, including North Korea, Iran, and Russia. U.S. policy makers see sanctions as a low-cost tactic, but in reality these measures often fail to achieve their intended goals--and their potent side effects can even harm American interests.  Backfire: How Sanctions Reshape the World Against U.S. Interests (Columbia UP, 2022) explores the surprising ways sanctions affect multinational companies, governments, and ultimately millions of people around the world. Drawing on interviews with experts, policy makers, and people in sanctioned countries, Agathe Demarais examines the unintended consequences of the use of sanctions as a diplomatic weapon. The proliferation of sanctions spurs efforts to evade them, as states and firms seek ways to circumvent U.S. penalties. This is only part of the story. Sanctions also reshape relations between countries, pushing governments that are at odds with the U.S. closer to each other--or, increasingly, to Russia and China.  Full of counterintuitive insights spanning a wide range of topics, from commodities markets in Russia to Iran's COVID response and China's cryptocurrency ambitions, Backfire reveals how sanctions are transforming geopolitics and the global economy--as well as diminishing U.S. influence. This insider's account is an eye-opening, accessible, and timely book that sheds light on the future of sanctions in an increasingly multipolar world. Mathias Fuelling is a doctoral candidate in History at Temple University, working on a political history of Czechoslovakia in the immediate post-WWII years. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bucephalus424 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Darra Goldstein, "The Kingdom of Rye: A Brief History of Russian Food" (U California Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 77:29


    The Kingdom of Rye: A Brief History of Russian Food (U California Press, 2022) unearths the foods and flavors of the Russian land. Preeminent food studies scholar Darra Goldstein offers readers a concise, engaging, and gorgeously crafted story of Russian cuisine and culture. This story demonstrates how national identity is revealed through food—and how people know who they are by what they eat together. The Kingdom of Rye examines the Russians' ingenuity in overcoming hunger, a difficult climate, and a history of political hardship while deciphering Russia's social structures from within. This is a domestic history of Russian food that serves up a deeper history, demonstrating that the wooden spoon is mightier than the scepter. Darra Goldstein is the Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian, Emerita, at Williams College and founding editor of Gastronomica: A Journal of Food and Culture, named Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. She is author of six award-winning cookbooks, including Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore, and Fire + Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking, which was nominated for a James Beard, IACP, and The Art of Eating awards. Darra also serves as a series editor of California Studies in Food and Culture and has written for Gourmet, Saveur, Bon Appetit, and The New York Times. Follow Darra on Instagram. Yelizaveta Raykhlina is a historian of Russia and Eurasia and holds a PhD from Georgetown University. She is a faculty member at New York University. To learn more, visit her website or follow her on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Kwasi Konadu, "Many Black Women of this Fortress: Graça, Mónica and Adwoa, Three Enslaved Women of Portugal's African Empire" (Hurst, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 115:36


    Kwasi Konadu's book Many Black Women of this Fortress: Graça, Mónica and Adwoa, Three Enslaved Women of Portugal's African Empire (Hurst, 2022) presents rare evidence about the lives of three African women in the sixteenth century--the very period from which we can trace the origins of global empires, slavery, capitalism, modern religious dogma and anti-Black violence. These features of today's world took shape as Portugal built a global empire on African gold and bodies. Forced labor was essential to the world economy of the Atlantic basin, and afflicted many African women and girls who were enslaved and manumitted, baptised and unconvinced. While some women liaised with European and mixed-race men along the West African coast, others, ordinary yet bold, pushed back against new forms of captivity, racial capitalism, religious orthodoxy and sexual violence, as if they were already self-governing. Many Black Women of this Fortress lays bare the insurgent ideas and actions of Graça, Mónica and Adwoa, charting how they advocated for themselves and exercised spiritual and female power. Theirs is a collective story, written from obscurity; from the forgotten and overlooked colonial records. By drawing attention to their lives, we dare to grasp the complexities of modernity's gestation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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