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Book part
Publication date: 12 February 2013

Gregor McLennan

Sociology is often pitched as the social science discipline most obviously in need of postcolonial deconstruction, owing to its ostensibly more transparent Eurocentrism as…

Abstract

Sociology is often pitched as the social science discipline most obviously in need of postcolonial deconstruction, owing to its ostensibly more transparent Eurocentrism as a formation. For this reason, even postcolonial scholars working within the ambit of sociology are reluctant to play up its analytical strengths in addition to exposing its ideological deficits. Without underestimating the profound impact of the growing body of postcolonial theorizing and research on self-reflexivity within sociology, this paper points up some key ways in which the structure of comprehension within postcolonial critique itself is characteristically sociological. Alternatively, if that latter conclusion is to remain in dispute, a number of core epistemological and socio-theoretical problems must be accepted as being, still, radically unresolved. Consequently, a more dialectical grasp of sociology’s role within this domain of enquiry and style of intellectual politics is needed. I develop these considerations by critically engaging with three recent currents of postcolonial critique – Raewyn Connell's advocacy of “Southern Theory”; the project of “reinventing social emancipation” articulated by Boaventura de Sousa Santos; and the “de-colonial option” fronted by Walter D. Mignolo.

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Postcolonial Sociology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-603-3

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Anthony Friend

In the wake of the ongoing financial crisis, US managerialism has been denounced as a professional caste that has slowly served to erode the competitiveness of the US…

Abstract

Purpose

In the wake of the ongoing financial crisis, US managerialism has been denounced as a professional caste that has slowly served to erode the competitiveness of the US economy. In light of this, there is an increasing search for possible alternatives to US managerialism, with some authorities putting forward that one enviable alternative is “Confucian management”, which they claim is a means of organising in Chinese institutions that gets things done by pulling on the rich heritage of Ancient Chinese philosophy. The purpose of this paper is to interrogate “Confucian management”.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper questions the common view of “Confucian management” through an ethnography of Baiyun University (a pseudonym) in South China, where the author worked as a “foreign” English lecturer for one academic year, and in order to do this the author draws on participant-observation and semi-structured interviews. Ethnography has long been associated with colonialism and has more recently been connected with post-colonialism, so in an attempt to decolonise the methodology, the author analyses the generated research data through a Chinese sensitive cultural framework.

Findings

This paper argues that “Confucian management” offers a confused and epistemologically questionable view on Chinese management. It points to some of the limitations of management and organisation studies brought about by claims being made without sufficient empirical evidence.

Research limitations/implications

The focus is on “Confucian management” at Baiyun University so findings are specific to this empirical research site. It is also acknowledged that universities have a divergent form of management to other institutions. The paper’s intent is ideographic rather than nomothetic; therefore, no claims to generalisation are made.

Originality/value

The paper makes three substantive contributions. First, the empirical contribution is an ethnographic description of “Confucian management” at Baiyun University. Second, the methodological contribution attempts to decolonise methodology by analysing the generated research data through a Chinese sensitive cultural framework. Third, the epistemological contribution queries to what extent “Confucian management” as an idea that is enunciated from the Global North is able to effectively speak about a practice that is supposedly performed in the Global South.

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Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2008

Michael D. Ward and Peter D. Hoff

Using data over the period from 1950 to 2000, we estimate a model of bilateral international trade to explore the linkages between (a) alliances, (b) joint memberships in…

Abstract

Using data over the period from 1950 to 2000, we estimate a model of bilateral international trade to explore the linkages between (a) alliances, (b) joint memberships in international institutions, (c) mutual cooperation and (d) conflict, (e) mutual economic freedom, and (f) democracy and bilateral trade. We incorporate exporter and importer effects as well as reciprocity into a gravity model and cross-validate it against annual out-of-sample data. The resulting, empirical findings show the importance of second and third-order dependencies in bilateral trade data. Military alliances, membership in IGOs, international cooperation, and mutual economic freedom are shown to be strongly associated with bilateral trade. Conversely, conflict and the level of democracy do not demonstrate strong, discernable linkages to bilateral trade.

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War, Peace and Security
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-535-2

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Ozcan Saritas

This paper aims to report the author’s observations and opinions during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2014. Discussions presented focus on recent…

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633

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report the author’s observations and opinions during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2014. Discussions presented focus on recent technological developments and their impacts on society with three plausible future scenarios; the energy agenda with new technological advancements and future energy partnerships; and the dynamics of Russia’s future development agenda amid the Ukraine crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper includes a commentary on the SPIEF 2014 Forum. Ideas presented are extended through the review of relevant references and future scenarios.

Findings

Technological development will continue to shape societies and may even result with the transformation of social classes. Energy will remain as a top priority area on the global and regional socio-economic agenda, with political implications across the world and in Russia.

Research limitations/implications

A number of research questions arose through the discussion on the relationships between science, technology and society; future energy technologies; and geo-politics.

Social implications

Technological development will certainly have implications on society. The paper explores those impacts through “visionary”, “negative” and “different” scenarios. Similarly, the transformations in the energy sector will have broader social and environmental impacts.

Originality/value

With the original ideas presented, this viewpoint paper addresses some of the grand social, technological, economic, environmental and political challenges that societies face today.

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Foresight, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2008

Masudul Alam Choudhury

To address the much heated debate now raging in the international scene, namely between Islam and the West as two great civilization forces of mankind.

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2143

Abstract

Purpose

To address the much heated debate now raging in the international scene, namely between Islam and the West as two great civilization forces of mankind.

Design/methodology/approach

The objective is achieved by studying it in the light of rigorous analysis involving the world‐systems of the two paradigms and by subjecting the analysis to mathematical investigation as necessary.

Findings

Some specific issues, such as epistemology and the associated phenomenological model, its application for economy, markets, money and globalization are investigated to establish the arguments of the paper.

Research limitations/implications

If research is reported on in the paper this section must be completed and should include suggestions for future research and any identified limitations in the research process.

Practical implications

Some practical implications arising from the theoretical basis of the paper are shown in the areas of money and real economy, globalization and the economy.

Originality/value

Such a contrasting scientific argumentation between Islam and neoliberalism as the contrasting paradigms has not been undertaken in any paper that I know of. Thus, this is an original paper in argumentation rather than polemics.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2021

Ronald Barnett and Carolina Guzmán-Valenzuela

This paper aims to propose a thesis about the historical evolution of the relationship of the European University in relation to the idea of social responsibility.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a thesis about the historical evolution of the relationship of the European University in relation to the idea of social responsibility.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is philosophical, conceptual and theoretical and in proffering a bold thesis, has an argumentative character appropriate to that style.

Findings

Three stages can be identified over the past 200 years in the relationship between the university and the matter of social responsibility, being successively tacit, weak and now hybrid. In the present stage, new spaces are opening for the university to transcend social responsibility, moving to a worldly and earthly responsibility. However, this new stage is having to contend against the university in an age of cognitive capitalism. As such, a large but hitherto unnoticed culture war is present, the outcome of which is unclear.

Research limitations/implications

The scholarship informing this paper is wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary (history, social theory, philosophy, critical higher education studies, literature on the idea of the university, comparative higher education, ethics and sociology of knowledge), as it has to be in sustaining the large thesis being contended for, and it has broad hinterlands, which can only lightly be intimated.

Practical implications

The key implication is that the idea of social responsibility is currently being construed too narrowly and that, therefore, universities – in developing their corporate strategies and missions – should be more ambitious and set their responsibility goals against horizons that go well beyond the social realm.

Originality/value

The thesis developed here is original in offering a three-stage theory of a 200-year evolution of the socially responsible European university. A new stage of an Earthly responsibility is glimpsed but it is having to contend with a continuing performative university, so leading to a hidden culture war and such that the future of university social responsibility is in doubt.

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International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2007

R.I. Westwood and Gavin Jack

Submitted in the form of a manifesto, this article seeks to make a call to scholars in international management and business studies to embrace post‐colonial theory and to…

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1813

Abstract

Purpose

Submitted in the form of a manifesto, this article seeks to make a call to scholars in international management and business studies to embrace post‐colonial theory and to allow it to provide an interrogation of the ontological, epistemological, methodological and institutional resources currently dominating the field.

Design/methodology/approach

A manifesto approach is adopted in providing a series of deliberately provocative principles which it seeks to have the field adopt.

Findings

The paper finds the field to be currently imprisoned within a limited and limiting paradigmatic and institutional location and offers the resources of post‐colonial theory as a way to interrogate and reconfigure it.

Research limitations/implications

The paper points to the limitations of the field and provides the grounds for a radical reconfiguration across all aspects of its knowledge production, dissemination and research practice.

Practical implications

The paper offers practical steps which the field can take to reconfigure itself more appropriately in terms of its various research commitments and its institutional frame.

Originality/value

This article offers an original assessment of the orthodoxy currently controlling and disciplining the field, presented in the relatively novel and challenging form of a manifesto.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2008

Robin Hunt

This paper aims to explore some initial and necessarily broad ideas about the effects of the world wide web on our methods of understanding and trusting, online and off.

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1550

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore some initial and necessarily broad ideas about the effects of the world wide web on our methods of understanding and trusting, online and off.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper considers the idea of trust via some of the revolutionary meanings inherent in the world wide web at its public conception in 1994, and some of its different meanings now. It does so in the context of the collaborative reader‐writer Web2.0 (of today), and also through a brief exploration of our relationship to the grand narratives (and some histories) of the post‐war West. It uses a variety of formal approaches taken from information science, literary criticism, philosophy, history, and journalism studies – together with some practical analysis based on 15 years as a web practitioner and content creator. It is a starting point.

Findings

This paper suggests that a pronounced effect of the world wide web is the further atomising of many once‐shared Western post‐war narratives, and the global democratising of doubt as a powerful though not necessarily helpful epistemological tool. The world wide web is the place that most actively demonstrates contemporary doubt.

Research limitations/implications

This is the starting place for a piece of larger cross‐faculty (and cross‐platform) research into the arena of trust and doubt. In particular, the relationship of concepts such as news, event, history and myth with the myriad content platforms of new media, the idea of the digital consumer, and the impact of geography on knowledge that is enshrined in the virtual. This paper attempts to frame a few of the initial issues inherent in the idea of “trust” in the digital age and argues that without some kind of shared aesthetics of narrative judgment brought about through a far broader public understanding of (rather than an interpretation of) oral, visual, literary and multi‐media narratives, stories and plots, we cannot be said to trust many types of knowledge – not just in philosophical terms but also in our daily actions and behaviours.

Originality/value

This paper initiates debate about whether the creation of a new academic “space” in which cross‐faculty collaborations into the nature of modern narrative (in terms of production and consumption; producers and consumers) might be able to help us to understand more of the social implications of the collaborative content produced for consumption on the world wide web.

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Aslib Proceedings, vol. 60 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Abstract

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Understanding Brexit
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-679-2

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Ngambouk Vitalis Pemunta

The purpose of this paper is to examine the structural factors responsible for why “donor darling” has not changed the pitfalls of stagnation and lifted post‐conflict…

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1241

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the structural factors responsible for why “donor darling” has not changed the pitfalls of stagnation and lifted post‐conflict Sierra Leone out of poverty.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a bottom‐up approach (“through the eyes of the poor”) and a combination of primary and secondary research methods – substantial desk research to investigate and review documentation related to the project and field interviews with development stakeholders at the national, district, and community levels with humanitarian aid workers, local civil society organisations, international non‐governmental organizations (NGOs) and national government officials.

Findings

It is argued that aid without the necessary local institutional structure for effective coordination and stringent aid conditionality – and therefore narrow focus – has stifled sustainable socio‐economic development initiatives. The international community's narrow definition and support for liberal peace, in tandem with the overarching neoliberal economic paradigm and failure to embrace an inclusivist approach to peacebuilding, has further stonewalled effective reconstruction, growth and development.

Originality/value

The paper calls the attention of development NGOs to be self‐reflexive, “wear native spectacles”, coordinate their actions and avoid “development as dependence”, by prioritizing what matters most to the beneficiaries of development. The basis of effective and sustainable socio‐economic development is institutional building.

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