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Michael Burgess, the Associate Librarian who serves as the Chief Cataloger at California State College, San Bernardino, came to the attention of the library community on…
Michael Burgess, the Associate Librarian who serves as the Chief Cataloger at California State College, San Bernardino, came to the attention of the library community on 11 October 1983, when he entered record number 10,000,000 into the OCLC database. However, writing under the pseudonymn of R. Reginald, which he has used since 1968, he has edited two major reference books published by Gale Research, among dozens of other published books and articles. R. Reginald also owns the Borgo Press, which specializes in current affairs bibliographies and science fiction, and which operates out of Burgess' San Bernardino home.
Using the case of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, I argue that the catastrophe was less an example of a low probability-high catastrophe event…
Using the case of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, I argue that the catastrophe was less an example of a low probability-high catastrophe event than an instance of socially produced risks and insecurities associated with deepwater oil and gas production during the neoliberal period after 1980. The disaster exposes the deadly intersection of the aggressive enclosure of a new technologically risky resource frontier (the deepwater continental shelf) with what I call a frontier of neoliberalized risk, a lethal product of cut-throat corporate cost-cutting, the collapse of government oversight and regulatory authority and the deepening financialization and securitization of the oil market. These two local pockets of socially produced risk and wrecklessness have come to exceed the capabilities of what passes as risk management and energy security. In this sense, the Deepwater Horizon disaster was produced by a set of structural conditions, a sort of rogue capitalism, not unlike those which precipitated the financial meltdown of 2008. The forms of accumulation unleashed in the Gulf of Mexico over three decades rendered a high-risk enterprise yet more risky, all the while accumulating insecurities and radical uncertainties which made the likelihood of a Deepwater Horizon type disaster highly overdetermined.
This paper serves as an introduction to Risking Capitalism. To this end, I discuss the key questions, aims, and themes driving this collective project. Although the…
This paper serves as an introduction to Risking Capitalism. To this end, I discuss the key questions, aims, and themes driving this collective project. Although the contributions differ in their use of political economy and political ecological with regard to housing, poverty, and climate change, they share a similar concern of interrogating the material, institutional, and discursive features of the production, representation, and governance of risk – a phenomenon that the World Bank views as loss and opportunity. In particular, they chart the relationship between risk, contemporary capitalism and its neoliberal modes of governance. After establishing the objectives of Risking Capitalism, I provide a general context from which to understand the significance and meaning of global risk management (GRM) with reference to the shared policy experiments of the World Economic Forum and World Bank. Mirroring the contributions in this volume, I start from the premise that risk is a social relation. This allows me to argue that GRM represents a new mode of neoliberal governance emergent from the structural violence produced by the expansion of credit-led capitalism. In the final section, I lay out the structure of the volume.
Most economists are reluctant to discuss values in their papers and books, and some have recently argued that it is generally unnecessary as well as undesirable to do so…
Most economists are reluctant to discuss values in their papers and books, and some have recently argued that it is generally unnecessary as well as undesirable to do so (Stigler and Becker, 1977, p. 76). But most are noticeably more willing to discuss different types of economic systems which, it is argued here, originally developed out of different beliefs concerning the proper ends of human activity and/or different ideas on what effectively motivates human action. And, while comparative enconomic systems textbooks are now often written from a positive, value‐free, point of analysis (i.e., an efficiency criterion and Pareto‐optimality or some other valuing procedure is accepted, at least implicitly, so that results of different policies and institutional arrangements may be evaluated), the more important observation for this article is that when economists begin discussing “isms” they often introduce simultaneously concepts of freedom, equity (justice), equality, security, etc. This phenomenon seems to hold true for the very conservative (e.g., Friedman and Hayek), the very liberal (e.g., Heilbroner and Lekachman) and even that much overworked comparison group, mainstream textbook authors (e.g., McConnell and Baumol and Blinder).
This chapter examines the emergence of India as a site for surrogacy, which has led intended parents from all over the world to contract with Indian gestational surrogates…
This chapter examines the emergence of India as a site for surrogacy, which has led intended parents from all over the world to contract with Indian gestational surrogates to carry “their” babies for them. Through participant observation in a surrogacy workshop, interviews with American intended parents, and interviews with Indian surrogates, I show how ideologies of normative, nuclear families built around genetically similar children, drives American consumers' desires to seek fertility intervention, and, finally, surrogacy. In India, gender ideologies shape the contours of an inexpensive, compliant labor force of surrogate mothers.
This chapter discusses the experiences of black men who encounter the phenomena of a mental health diagnosis, detention and death in a forensic setting in England…
This chapter discusses the experiences of black men who encounter the phenomena of a mental health diagnosis, detention and death in a forensic setting in England. Although there are black women with mental health issues who have also died in forensic settings, the occurrence is significantly higher for men who become demonised as ‘Big, Black, Bad and dangerous’. The author discusses the historical over representation of mental ill health amongst black people in the general community and the plethora or reasons attributed to this. The author then discusses the various points of entry into the criminal justice system, where black men with mental health issues are over represented. The author explores some inquiries into the deaths of black men in custody and the recommendations that were subsequently made, which successive governments have failed to act upon. The author argues that the term ‘Institutional Racism’ is insufficient to explain this phenomenon; and offers her own theoretical interpretation which is a combination of systemic racism influenced by post-colonial conceptualisation
This paper examines localized conditions and responses to what people see as ordinary variations in the weather, drawing on their own archive of knowledge and practice for…
This paper examines localized conditions and responses to what people see as ordinary variations in the weather, drawing on their own archive of knowledge and practice for “coping” with it, as distinct from year-to-year climate patterns that may entail “adaptation.”
This paper draws on ethnographic field research and rainfall statistics collected in 1968–1969 and 1987–1988, in a rural area of Western Nigeria where guinea-savannah small-scale farmers now grow increasingly for the market. Research in the 1980s was designed to track all changes since the 1960s. It is revisited here to draw out the rainfall variable.
In the 1980s, farmers noted a decline in the first rains of the early growing season, and a change in the short dry season, over a period of three years, in a way that differed from the expected patterns of twenty years previously. The shift is confirmed by rainfall statistics. Their crop repertoire choices are noted.
Limitations and research implications
The paper’s themes are culled from a broader range of observations over the 20 years. The interweaving of the variables in complex change over several decades is noted as a research challenge.
Local time series, interpreted through the local archive of social and technical practice, offers a rich entry point into what the recent AAA climate change review refers to as coping and adaptation, with respect to what I call “weather” and “climate.”
Conceptualizing development in terms of risk management has become a prominent feature of mainstream development discourse. This has led to a convergence between the…
Conceptualizing development in terms of risk management has become a prominent feature of mainstream development discourse. This has led to a convergence between the rubrics of financial inclusion and risk management whereby improved access for poor households to private sector credit, insurance and savings products is represented as a necessary step toward building “resilience.” This convergence, however, is notable for a shallow understanding of the production and distribution of risks. By naturalizing risk as an inevitable product of complex systems, the approach fails to interrogate how risk is produced and displaced unevenly between social groups. Ignoring the structural and relational dimensions of risk production leads to an overly technical approach to risk management that is willfully blind to the intersection of risk and social power. A case study of the promotion of index-based livestock insurance in Mongolia – held as a model for innovative risk management via financial inclusion – is used to indicate the tensions and contradictions of this projected synthesis of development and risk management.