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American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Impact factor: 0.389 5-Year impact factor: 0.365 Print ISSN: 0002-9246 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subjects: Sociology, Economics

Most recent papers:

  • Implications of Chinese Farmers in the Russian Far East.
    David Sedik, Fujin Yi, Richard T. Gudaj.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. February 06, 2021
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 5, Page 1615-1622, November 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nChinese farmers are actively engaged in the economy of the Russian Far East. We used an econometric model to analyze panel data on the socioeconomic impact on local residents of Chinese farmers and workers in the Russian Far East (RFE). Proximity to Chinese farms and sales to Chinese retailers increases the well‐being, the farm income, and the food costs of Russian rural households. The same factors raise land prices through increased competition, reduce the wages of Russian workers and the number of family members working on Russian farms, increase the number of full‐time jobs for farm workers, lower yields of corn and wheat, and raise yields of potatoes and rice. Thus, the effects of the Chinese presence on rural Russian households varies with the makeup of the household, the amount of land it owns and leases, and the number of household members who work on other farms. Cooperation with Chinese farmers and retailers plays an important role in determining the ability of the rural areas of the RFE to develop sustainably.\n"]
    February 06, 2021   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12368   open full text
  • Perceived Differences: Chinese and Russian Farmers on Business, Law, Management, and Environment.
    Fujin Yi, Diana Kenina, Richard T. Gudaj, Valeria Arefieva, Renata Yanbykh, Svetlana Mishchuk, Tatiana A. Potenko, Jiayi Zhou, Ivan Zuenko.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. February 06, 2021
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 5, Page 1587-1614, November 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nThe People's Republic of China has been following a strategy for several decades to encourage its enterprises to invest overseas. Since the liberalization of the Sino‐Soviet border in the 1990s, Chinese farmers have been actively engaged in the economy of the Russian Far East (RFE). This article examines Chinese and Russian public relations messages broadcast by media about Chinese‐Russian agricultural cooperation that use different arguments, methods of reasoning, and points of view. There is a clash of different national management methods. Legislation applying to Chinese working in Russia has been erratic and unstable, and that makes cooperation more challenging. The concepts of environmental protection and obedience to the law are understood differently by Russians and by Chinese. Cross‐cultural management differences affect the way people on both sides interpret institutions, interactions, and the ability to trust third parties. There are different values and priorities expressed by Russians and by Chinese when it comes to development of rural areas in the RFE.\n"]
    February 06, 2021   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12367   open full text
  • Sino‐Russian Cooperation on Soybean Development in the Russian Far East.
    Fujin Yi, Richard T. Gudaj, Valeria Arefieva, Renata Yanbykh, Svetlana Mishchuk, Tatiana A. Potenko, Jiayi Zhou, Ivan Zuenko.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. February 06, 2021
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 5, Page 1553-1586, November 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nCommercial conflict has limited American soy exports to the biggest market, China, providing Russian farmers an opportunity to enter the Chinese market. The Russian Ministry of Agriculture and the Russian Soybean Union have established a program to promote soybean production and processing. Chinese farmers in the Russian Far East (RFE) and high profits from soybean production make new opportunities and challenges for local farmers. We analyze how the soybean development plan has fared so far and the role of Chinese farmers in Russia. The current Sino‐Russian agricultural agreement has little chance of increasing soybean production because of tariffs, unstable regulatory policies, and restrictions on seeds and labor. The scope of the soybean industry can be developed if Russian authorities will take a more liberal approach in Chinese‐Russian cooperation.\n"]
    February 06, 2021   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12366   open full text
  • Chinese Farmers in the Russian Far East and Local Rural Development.
    Richard T. Gudaj, Fujin Yi, Valeria Arefieva, Renata Yanbykh, Svetlana Mishchuk, Tatiana A. Potenko, Jiayi Zhou, Ivan Zuenko.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. February 06, 2021
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 5, Page 1511-1551, November 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nThe Russian Far East (RFE) is still a backward region of Russia. Per capita agricultural output is lower than the national average. Chinese agricultural entrepreneurs are farming in the region. The business environment is challenging for both Chinese and Russians. We analyze possible ways for agriculture to develop in the RFE with Chinese agricultural entrepreneurs as the main agents of development. We discuss the investment environment in the RFE, the role and impact of Chinese agricultural entrepreneurs, their ability to assist in rural development, and the challenges they face. We examine the current state of agriculture in the RFE, the experience of Chinese and Russian farmers, and the impact of Chinese farmers on Russian farmers. Agriculture can improve in the RFE with better communication and better coordination mechanisms among governments and with more training to help businesses understand existing policies and regulations.\n"]
    February 06, 2021   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12365   open full text
  • Chinese Technology Transfer to Local Farmers in the Russian Far East.
    Fujin Yi, Richard T. Gudaj, Valeria Arefieva, Renata Yanbykh, Svetlana Mishchuk, Tatiana A. Potenko, Jiayi Zhou, Ivan Zuenko.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. February 06, 2021
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 5, Page 1483-1509, November 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nThe availability of large areas of uncultivated land in the Russian Far East (RFE) and the close proximity of millions of skilled, landless farmers in northeastern China has created an opportunity for cooperation in developing the eastern frontier of Russia with Chinese technology. Some Russian scientists claim that there is no advanced technology used in Chinese cultivation. Chinese scientists believe that Russian agricultural technology and genetic seed development stopped in the 1960s. Until now, no economic research has been conducted to determine empirically whether technology transfer is feasible. We applied an econometric model to analyze whether Chinese farmers in the RFE have transferred knowledge of leading plant cultivation methods. We find some evidence of improved yields among Russian farmers who communicate with Chinese farmers in the RFE, strongly suggesting that informal technology transfer is taking place.\n"]
    February 06, 2021   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12364   open full text
  • Chinese Migrant Farmers in the Russian Far East: Impact on Rural Labor Markets.
    Fujin Yi, Richard T. Gudaj, Valeria Arefieva, Renata Yanbykh, Svetlana Mishchuk, Tatiana A. Potenko, Jiayi Zhou, Ivan Zuenko.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. February 06, 2021
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 5, Page 1455-1482, November 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nThe close proximity of China and Russia, the activities of Chinese farmers, and the reduction in Russian labor resources have created job opportunities for Chinese workers in the Russian Far East (RFE). Chinese workers fill a labor shortage in agriculture, but little research has been done on them. We developed an econometric model to test the effects of Chinese intermittent migration on labor markets in the RFE. We found the proximity of Chinese to Russian farms reduces wages for both Russian and Chinese workers and increases their part‐time employment on Russian farms. The greater availability of Chinese workers in the region results in lower number of family members working on Russian farms. Thus, the influx of Chinese workers may contribute to demographic shifts in the Russian population.\n"]
    February 06, 2021   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12363   open full text
  • Impact of Chinese Agribusiness Entrepreneurs on the Local Land Market in the Russian Far East.
    Richard T. Gudaj, Fujin Yi, Svetlana Mishchuk, Tatiana A. Potenko, Ivan Zuenko, Zvi Lerman.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. February 06, 2021
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 5, Page 1417-1454, November 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nChinese originally migrated to the Russian Far East (RFE) to fill a labor shortage on collective farms. In more recent decades, some Chinese migrants have chosen to lease land from Russian farmers to manage their own farms. Rising soybean prices and the trade war between China and the United States have increased demand for land capable of producing soybeans. Thus, Chinese farmers in the RFE compete for land with Russians. The Chinese also contribute positively to local food security by increasing food availability and accessibility. This study uses an econometric model to analyze the impact of Chinese on local land markets in the RFE. Financial support for Russian farmers by the government depresses their demand for land; rising soybean prices and the employment of Chinese farm workers by Russian farmers encourage farm expansion, resulting in higher land prices. Selling farm produce to Chinese merchants increases the amount of land owned, cultivated, and rented by Russian farmers.\n"]
    February 06, 2021   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12362   open full text
  • How Chinese Agricultural Immigrants Affect Farmers in the Russian Far East.
    Fujin Yi, Richard T. Gudaj, Valeria Arefieva, Svetlana Mishchuk, Tatiana A. Potenko, Renata Yanbykh, Jiayi Zhou, Ivan Zuenko.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. February 06, 2021
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 5, Page 1387-1415, November 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nChina’s international position as a net creditor nation provides it with foreign exchange that it has invested in Asian and African countries. One example is China's investment in the Russian Far East (RFE). Thousands of Chinese agricultural workers have migrated to the RFE in recent decades. They are often welcomed by Russian farmers who face a labor shortage and by local residents who can buy cheap vegetables from them, but there are others who resent their presence in the region as competitors. Our study is the first empirical study of this relationship. Our results demonstrate economic benefits to the Russian households. There are, however, some negative repercussions of Chinese farmers in the RFE, and the governments of both China and Russia need to manage the situation wisely.\n"]
    February 06, 2021   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12361   open full text
  • Foreword.
    Clifford W. Cobb.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 08, 2020
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 1063-1072, September 2020. ", nil]
    October 08, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12359   open full text
  • Karol Wojtyła’s Katolicka Etyka Społeczna as Precursor and Hermeneutic Key to Pope John Paul II’s Economic Teaching.
    Gerald J. Beyer.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 08, 2020
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 1111-1145, September 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nThe highly anticipated publication of Karol Wojtyła’s Katolicka etyka społeczna (KES) in 2018 provides a novel and important basis for understanding the economic thinking of Pope John Paul II. The text is comprised of Wojtyła’s extensive lecture notes from the 1950s on the topic of Catholic social teaching and spans almost 500 pages. KES illustrates the future pope’s deep concern for economic justice as a young priest and his ambivalence towards capitalism, which persisted throughout his papacy. Given the size of KES, this article selectively focuses on Wojtyła’s treatment of topics of continuing relevance: the right of the Church to pronounce on economic matters; private property and the “social mortgage” on it; inequality, the just distribution of resources, and the “option for the poor”; the moral assessment of capitalism and Marxism; the dignity of labor and workers’ rights; and the role of conflict in promoting the common good. I contend that KES is consonant with the later papal teaching of John Paul II on economic justice and that it provides a hermeneutic key to understanding it. Furthermore, I argue that the “radicalism” of Karol Wojtyła on matters of economic justice in KES coheres with papal social teaching from Pope Paul VI through that of Pope Francis.\n"]
    October 08, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12358   open full text
  • The Value of Work: Rethinking Labor Productivity in Times of COVID‐19 and Automation.
    Juan Chebly, Austin Schiano, Divya Mehra.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 08, 2020
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 1345-1365, September 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nThis article provides a new perspective on the value of work and recommends ways to respond to labor market failures exacerbated by the COVID‐19 pandemic and by increased automation. We consider the human right to work, the dangers of pursuing short‐term efficiency, and the use of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for inclusive economic innovation. We conclude with recommended policies to build forward and achieve inclusive development.\n"]
    October 08, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12357   open full text
  • Artificial Intelligence and Human Flourishing.
    Charles M. A. Clark, Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 08, 2020
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 1307-1344, September 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nThe polarization of the debate about artificial intelligence (AI) pulls in two mutually exclusive directions of either complete takeover of future jobs by omnipotent algorithms or an absolute bliss with robots at work while humans reap the benefits of endless vacation. Add this to conflicting views of work as either a disutility to be minimized or as an essential component in human flourishing, and it is no wonder a wide range of views are expressed on AI and human flourishing. The literature, from Smith to Keynes and beyond, offers some initial methodological guidance. Still, the true social and economic implications of an AI‐type environment in production and labor markets are yet to be fully understood. This article argues that neither of the predictions are realistic. Instead, the global economy may be passing, albeit at a faster speed, through a phase of technological change, similar to those experienced before. While a nuanced balance is emerging, with an emphasis on human skills in future employment, the benefits may not be equitably distributed, as equality of opportunities for human development may not be reachable, though visible, in the AI‐driven society. Hence, as firms seek efficiency gains, much weight is shifted onto governments and quasi‐private entities in maintaining decent living standards conducive to human flourishing in unprecedented times of the COVID‐19 pandemic. The article reviews various popular concerns and advances new public policy measures aimed at tackling some of the immediate fears of automation.\n"]
    October 08, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12356   open full text
  • On the Priority of Labor Over Capital.
    Charles M. A. Clark.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 08, 2020
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 1147-1180, September 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nIn his encyclical Laborem Exercens, John Paul II asserts the principle of the priority of labor over capital. The purpose of this article is to examine this principle. The conflict between labor and capital is often noted as an essential part of capitalism. There is a long tradition of assigning more significance to labor than to capital. In fact, the classical economists argued that labor determined the “value” of a good. To understand this conflict, we must first review what is capital and its role in capitalism. We will then look at John Paul II’s assertion of the principle of labor over capital, followed by a review of how economists have understood the relationship between labor and capital. Neoclassical economists dismiss labor and capital as classes, so they believe there is no conflict. We examine one neoclassical economist’s claim of a gap in the principle of the priority of labor over capital by not including finance capital in the analysis. We demonstrate that the Church’s teachings on usury answer the objections raised. We conclude with a review of the implications of the priority of labor over capital.\n"]
    October 08, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12355   open full text
  • Humane Capital: A Reexamination of Catholic Social Teachings in Light of the Shift to Human Capital.
    Andrew Beauchamp.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 08, 2020
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 1209-1240, September 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nHuman capital is the set of productive knowledge, skills, and traits that individuals possess. Productive knowledge and skills are typically learned through education and work experience. Character traits matter both for the application of knowledge and skills and for their acquisition in the first place. In the past 100 years—and with enormous social consequences—the economy has transitioned to human capital being the most important resource for individual and social outcomes. Societies responded by emphasizing schooling as the means to develop this resource. In recent decades, however, researchers have discovered that human capital acquisition depends on certain character skills best developed early in life before schooling starts, typically within families. Current research and policy are investigating which combination of early life schooling and improvement in family circumstances can best help people acquire the character skills, and then human capital, needed to flourish. These changes have important implications for the social teachings of the Catholic Church, including moral insights into the distribution of resources, emphasis on the active subject in human work, and the role of civil society in promoting ideas and institutions conducive to an ideal human ecology.\n"]
    October 08, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12354   open full text
  • Universal Basic Income and Work in Catholic Social Thought.
    Kate Ward.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 08, 2020
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 1271-1306, September 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nCatholic social thought (CST) has obvious resonance with universal basic income proposals, due to the tradition’s insistence on basic needs as human rights, comfort with government redistribution, and preference for programs that promote the agency of individuals and local communities, among other similarities. However, some CST scholars believe basic income challenges dearly held values of the tradition. This essay examines both views, concluding that basic income can comport with CST’s view of work, correctly understood.\n"]
    October 08, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12353   open full text
  • Catholic Social Thought and New Institutional Economics: An Assessment of Their Affinities and Areas of Potential Convergence.
    Eileen Norcross, Paul Dragos Aligica.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 08, 2020
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 1241-1269, September 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nThe potential link between Catholic social teaching (CST) and the theoretical developments associated with new institutional economics (NIE) are explored. The emphasis is on the contributions of two Nobel Prize winners in economics—Douglass C. North and Elinor Ostrom—and on the work of political scientist Vincent Ostrom. By adjusting the neoclassical presumptions dominating modern economic theory to include culture, ideas, and religious beliefs in the analysis of economic behavior, the economic and social theorizing developed by these scholars advances a framework that has significant affinities with CST’s foundational critique of economic concepts and theories and with its normative position regarding the nature and functioning of social and economic systems.\n"]
    October 08, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12352   open full text
  • Work Is Love Made Visible: A Meditation on Grace.
    Jim Wishloff.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 08, 2020
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 1181-1208, September 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nHow work is understood and undertaken is a function of particular philosophical and theological assumptions. A meditation on work from the perspective of Catholic social thought must begin with the key articles of the Christian faith, namely, belief in the Trinity and belief in the Incarnation. Human dignity is profoundly grounded in this divine reality. Human persons are made in the image of a triune God and are given a particular vocation to fulfill. The Christian life is a summons to perfect love. Christians are called to love God above all things and to love all others and all of creation for the sake of God. God’s grace elevates Christian disciples to a new level of being, providing them with the supernatural help they need to be co‐creators with him. This mandate is specified more finely by examining the specific commands Jesus gives as to the work that must be done. Jesus sends his followers to reproduce and take care of creation, to be holy, to bear fruit that will last, to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, and to evangelize. In this way, the political economic order is formed according to God’s plan for the world and takes a considerably different shape from the structures that arise from dominant secular premises.\n"]
    October 08, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12351   open full text
  • Work in Roman Catholic Thought.
    Kenneth R. Himes.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 08, 2020
    ["American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 1085-1109, September 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nThis essay examines the idea of work in the Catholic social tradition. Following introductory comments about the Christian vision of work found in the writings of St. Paul and other early Christian authors, the essay provides seven claims as a summary of how work is treated in modern Catholic social teaching. Based on those summary claims, a vision of what good work in the Catholic tradition looks like is then developed. Finally, the phenomenon of the “gig economy” is presented as a contemporary threat to the meaning of good work.\n"]
    October 08, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12350   open full text
  • Consumer Food Co‐ops in the Age of Grocery Giants.
    Jon Steinman.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nAs the primary purveyors of food within most neighborhoods, food retailers—particularly grocery stores—are key determinants of health. Grocery stores are also an important venue for food producers to access their customers. Over the previous 100 years—and more rapidly over the previous 40 years—ownership among grocery retailers has become concentrated in fewer firms. As a consequence, grocery stores have emerged as food system “gatekeepers.” On one side of the gate are consumers, who depend on these firms to access the food supply. On the other side are the food producers: farmers, ranchers, fishers, processors, and manufacturers. As concentration in the grocery retail sector increases, so too have the grocery giants’ practices enabled them to assume much stronger positions in the buyer‐supplier relationship. With a focus on the United States and Canada, this article examines the history and rise to dominance of the largest grocery retailers and the impacts this dominance has had on the food system. Whereas most food retailers are structured under private or publicly traded models of ownership, the cooperative business model—specifically, the consumer‐cooperative model—is presented as an important alternative. Cooperatives are a democratic form of ownership that enables the people who most depend on the grocery store (shoppers) to become equal owners in the business along with thousands of others in their community. The importance of consumer‐food cooperatives (food co‐ops) is examined, including specific case studies of small and large urban centers where food co‐ops are providing substantial benefits to the communities they operate in.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 833-875, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12338   open full text
  • Suburban Practices of Energy Descent.
    Samuel Alexander, Brendan Gleeson.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nThis article proceeds on the basis that the cost of energy will rise in coming years and decades as the age of fossil energy abundance comes to an end. Given the close connection between energy and economic activity, we also assume that declining energy availability and affordability will lead to economic contraction and reduced material affluence. In overconsuming and overdeveloped nations, such resource and energy “degrowth” is desirable and necessary from a sustainability perspective, provided it is planned for and managed in ways consistent with basic principles of distributive equity. Working within that degrowth paradigm, we examine how scarcer and more expensive energy may impact the suburban way of life and how households might prepare for this very plausible, but challenging, energy descent future. The article examines energy demand management in suburbia and how the limited energy needed to provide for essential household services can best be secured in an era of expensive energy and climate instability. After reviewing various energy practices, we also highlight a need for an ethos of sufficiency, moderation, and radical frugality, which we argue is essential for building resilience in the face of forthcoming energy challenges and a harsher climate.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 907-940, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12337   open full text
  • The Rising Costs of Fossil‐Fuel Extraction: An Energy Crisis That Will Not Go Away.
    Bart Hawkins Kreps.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nIn biophysical terms, such as energy return on investment (EROI), energy sources for the global economy have grown more expensive over the last few decades. This trend is likely to be more pronounced in the near‐term future as conventional oil and gas are depleted and difficult‐to‐extract unconventional oil and gas become a larger part of the fossil‐fuel supply. On the one hand, this will lead to “energy sprawl”—the growth of the energy sector, as this sector consumes a much larger portion of the energy it extracts—leaving less energy surplus for other sectors. On the other hand, we will see an unsustainable imbalance between the fuel prices that fossil‐fuel companies will need to meet their costs and the fuel prices that the larger economy can afford to pay. This article reviews the historical role of inexpensive energy in economic growth, discusses the declining availability of conventional oil resources, and examines the increasing reliance on expensive, unconventional petroleum resources such as shale oil in the United States.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 695-717, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12336   open full text
  • The Future Is Rural: Societal Adaptation to Energy Descent.
    Jason C. Bradford.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nOur present era of high‐energy modernity will likely end over the course of the 21st century, as fossil hydrocarbons wane and new energy technologies fail to compensate. Long‐term trends of urbanization will reverse and a migration back to the countryside to regions of high biocapacity will ensue during the coming decades of energy descent. Food will become a central and organizing concern for de‐industrializing populations, and key concepts and general methods to secure food supplies using less mechanization and with few outside inputs are presented. Given that high social complexity is institutionalized, with system identities locked‐in, we should not expect a planned response to declining net energy. Instead, the so‐called Great Simplification will unfold through a series of crises that force reorganization and alter belief systems. Resilience science suggests a role for promoting system transformability along more benign paths and into social forms that are more frugal.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 751-798, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12335   open full text
  • Why Regenerative Agriculture?
    Courtney White.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nRegenerative agriculture is both an attitude and a suite of practices that restores and maintains soil health and fertility, supports biodiversity, protects watersheds, and improves ecological and economic resilience. It focuses on creating the conditions for life above and below ground and takes its cues from nature, which has a very long track record of successfully growing things. By re‐carbonizing soils via photosynthesis and biology, particularly on degraded land, regenerative agriculture can also sequester increasing quantities of atmospheric carbon (CO2) underground, making it a low‐cost “shovel‐ready” solution to climate change. Its multiple co‐benefits, including the production of healthy, nutritious food, means it will be a critical component of our response to rising climate instability.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 799-812, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12334   open full text
  • Reorienting the Economy to the Rhythms of Nature: Learning to Live with Intermittent Energy Supply.
    Kris De Decker.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nIn much current thinking about the necessary and rapid transition to a carbon‐emissions‐free energy system, there is implicit acceptance of the high‐tech, high‐energy nature of the current economy. But by asking deeper questions about this economy, we reveal new opportunities as well as new challenges. First, throughout most of history, both production and consumption were dramatically influenced by the weather, and activities were undertaken or curtailed according to varying availability of energy. In the future, if we again adjust energy demand to such intermittent supplies wherever and whenever possible, we can nevertheless benefit from many scientific and technological advantages that our ancestors did not have centuries ago. Second, in the pursuit of highly energy‐efficient machines that might become new sources of highly concentrated energy, we have begun to rely on “clean energy” machinery made in significant part from non‐recyclable materials. With our current generation of wind turbines, for example, we have sacrificed sustainability in the pursuit of a supposedly renewable‐energy system. By contrast, if we reduce our need for always‐on energy sources by adjusting energy demand to intermittent energy supply, we can greatly reduce the overall energy infrastructure needed, and we will face less pressure to sacrifice sustainability.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 877-905, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12333   open full text
  • What Makes a Good Cargo Bike Route? Perspectives from Users and Planners.
    George Liu, Samuel Nello‐Deakin, Marco te Brömmelstroet, Yuki Yamamoto.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nCargo bikes—bicycles made to carry both goods and people—are becoming increasingly common as an alternative to automobiles in urban areas. With a wider and heavier body, cargo bikes often face problems even in the presence of cycling infrastructure, thus limiting their possibilities of route choice. Infrastructure quality and the route choices of cyclists have been well studied, but often solely based on a quantitative approach, leading to tools such as BLOS (bicycle level of service). With various designs of cargo bikes being used for a wide range of purposes, the route choice of cargo bike users is difficult to generalize. This study combines quantitative and qualitative approaches in order to explore what is important for cargo bike users’ route choice, and how this knowledge can be effectively used for planning. Our results suggest that while some general preferences exist, route choice involves complex dynamics that cannot be fully explained by quantitative measures alone: in addition to understanding “what” is important for cargo bike users, we need to understand “why” it is important. Furthermore, route choice is also influenced by the city context, making a study tailored to the local context essential.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 941-965, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12332   open full text
  • Winds of Trade: Passage to Zero‐Emission Shipping.
    Nicola Cutcher.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nThe shipping industry needs to decarbonize over the coming decades, but there are competing visions about how that will happen. While major shipping companies are looking to potential new fuels, including ammonia, other disruptors are already shipping small quantities of boutique goods, emission free, on sailboats harnessing the power of the wind. They are a reminder that all global trade used to travel by sail. Can wind propel us back to the future? There is a role for wind power in shipping as both a primary means of propulsion and a way to provide wind assistance to reduce a vessel’s fuel use. This article examines the possibilities and challenges for wind‐based sea transport.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 967-979, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12331   open full text
  • Solar Commons: A “Commons Option” for the 21st Century.
    Kathryn Milun.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nPrivate ownership of nature’s gifts—water, air, sunlight—stands in the way of solving the collective problems of the 21st century. In the case of sunlight, common ownership through community solar trusts can overcome both the inequities and the inefficiencies of investor‐owned utilities (IOUs) with legal monopolies. Those monopolies function with the same arrogance as aristocrats did in the past, but now the stakes are higher: the future of the planet. This essay describes the Solar Commons Project by which a team of inspired citizens and public scholars joined to create a form of community‐trust solar‐energy ownership, in which multiple stakeholders benefit. The goal is to make this “Solar Commons” model an iterable, scalable, model of community solar that empowers low‐income neighborhoods in the United States. An integral part of the project is a process of creating community‐engaged public art to communicate the nature of community ownership. Artistic and theatrical presentations can help involve the public in dialogues around questions of utility management that are normally couched in technical language designed to obfuscate the political power of electric utilities. One role citizens can play is unmasking utilities when they publicly promote themselves as providers of clean energy, even when they are actively engaged in protecting the interests of fossil‐fuel companies. Ultimately, however, creating a Solar Commons involves more than criticizing the failed institutions of the past. It requires us to think innovatively about ways to draw upon the history of the commons to design new modes of sharing sunlight and other common goods to create a more equitable, sustainable future.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 1023-1057, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12348   open full text
  • Energy‐Transition Education in a Power Systems Journey: Making the Invisible Visible and Actionable.
    Jonee Kulman Brigham, Paul Imbertson.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nWe describe an approach to educating for systemic change in energy systems by integrating technical knowledge of solutions with reflection on paradigms and norms, facilitated by experiential and art‐based forms of learning. The course, “Power Systems Journey: Making the Invisible Visible and Actionable,” is part of the University of Minnesota interdisciplinary grand‐challenge curriculum. Students take on the challenge of public science communication about how to change the electric‐grid system (from power generation to consumption) as part of an energy transition to respond to climate change. The course integrates electrical engineering, history of science and technology, systems thinking, design thinking, paradigms, art, humanities, science communication, storytelling, experiential learning, and the creation of GIS story‐maps and museum exhibits. The design context and elements of the course are described and include: the grand challenge of the energy transition itself, the context of energy‐transition education, the nature of the grand‐challenge curriculum, the collaborative and teaching philosophy, the role of students, the interdisciplinary course framework, the special focus on the role of arts and humanities in energy education, and the course‐curricular structure, which uses the “Earth Systems Journey” curriculum model. The centerpiece of the article describes the “Power Systems Journey” experience in narrative form to match the pedagogical approach of the course using artwork examples from students as they investigated the grid. The article concludes with reflections from students and teachers on what the course offers and where to go from here.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 981-1022, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12347   open full text
  • Energy Sprawl in the Renewable‐Energy Sector: Moving to Sufficiency in a Post‐Growth Era.
    Bart Hawkins Kreps.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nRenewable‐energy technologies have exhibited rapid price drops in recent years, leading to hopes that such technologies will rapidly replace the entire fossil‐fuel‐energy sector. But renewable‐energy systems have been manufactured in a fossil‐fueled infrastructure. Renewable energy has been functioning as a relatively minor adjunct to the overall energy system rather than displacing fossil fuels. If we expect renewable energies to replace rather than merely supplement the fossil‐fuel infrastructure, “energy sprawl” will be a major issue. The energy return on investment (EROI) of renewables is likely to be far lower than the EROI of fossil fuels in their heyday. If renewable sources were eventually to produce all required energy, the energy‐provision sector would comprise a much larger share of the economy than at present and provide less net energy surplus to other economic sectors. This article examines key problems for wind‐ and solar‐photovoltaic‐energy industries, including: the dependence on fossil fuels to manufacture renewable‐energy equipment; the need to move beyond renewable‐energy “sweet spots”; the increasing need for new infrastructure, including storage and long‐distance transmission; and the difficulty in providing the types of heat needed for many industrial processes. Because the era of abundant, affordable energy that has fueled economic growth is coming to an end, we will need to look beyond providing our existing services with greater efficiency and question which forms of these services are actually needed for sufficiency.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 719-749, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12346   open full text
  • Adaptation and Mitigation amid the Consequences of Failure.
    Paul Cox, Stan Cox.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nSocieties once could choose between changing direction or dealing with climatic disaster; now it is necessary to do both at once. The best‐laid plans for mitigation would be hard enough to fulfill in a stable climate, but they will be vastly harder in the climate chaos ahead. If simultaneous mitigation and adaptation are still achievable, such a difficult balance cannot also take on the burden of supporting unrestrained economic growth. The failing efforts so far have been dominated by a search for synergistic ways to mitigate, adapt, and grow economies at the same time, while wishing away the predictable trade‐offs between these goals. Wealthy polluting countries have enforced this optimistic spirit in international climate debates, in part to counter the language of loss and damage, which they have seen as a direct challenge. Key to their effort has been a reframing of adaptation that flips the focus from the vulnerability of exposed populations to their resilience. However, the reality of implementing plans for resilience is running into problems, and those populations are instead taking up the banner of climate justice. Debt‐ and disaster‐plagued Puerto Rico illustrates the failure of both adaptation and mitigation through growth and the promise of climate justice as a means to articulate other forms of balance.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 651-693, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12345   open full text
  • Differing Visions of Agriculture: Industrial‐Chemical vs. Small Farm and Urban Organic Production.
    Heather Gray, K. Rashid Nuri.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 22, 2020
    ["\nAbstract\nSeed diversity and soil preservation are the foundations of healthy agriculture. Over many generations, farmers have developed varieties of wheat, rice, corn, and other crops that are adapted to local growing conditions. Industrial‐chemical agriculture has abandoned that local knowledge, replacing seed diversity with genetically uniform crops that require large doses of fertilizers and chemical poisons to survive. One way the United States exerted control over Iraq, starting in 2003, was to enable agribusiness to disrupt thousands of years of tradition by imposing industrial methods on the country where evidence of the earliest mass production of food was discovered. Thus, it seems that conquest of people goes hand in hand with conquest of soil. There is resistance to agribusiness around the world. In the United States, small farms and urban agriculture are not only providing healthy food but also reconnecting people who grow up in cities with the life of the soil.\n", "American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Page 813-832, May 2020. "]
    July 22, 2020   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12344   open full text
  • The Throwaway Culture in the Economy of Exclusion: Pope Francis and Economists on Waste.
    Charles M. A. Clark, Helen Alford.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 29, 2019
    --- - |2 Abstract An essential part of Pope Francis’s critique of the “economy of exclusion” is the concept of the “throwaway culture,” which is an attitude and a reality that goes beyond mere exclusion. Francis is building on critiques of consumerism (what John Paul II called “economism”) that noted both the environmental impacts of unnecessary waste and the social and human impact of reducing humans to mere consumers—the idea that happiness is shopping. Francis adds to this a concern for the people on the margins of society who are treated as disposable and for the consequences of climate change, both of which are connected to the throwaway attitude. This article looks at Francis’s views within the tradition of Catholic social thought and at how economists, especially Adam Smith, who provided the foundation for modern economics, looked at waste and consumerism. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 78, Issue 4, Page 973-1008, September 2019. '
    September 29, 2019   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12295   open full text
  • Power, Subsidiarity, and the Economy of Exclusion.
    Charles M. A. Clark.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 29, 2019
    --- - |2 Abstract According to Pope Francis, an “economy of exclusion” is an economy with barriers that prevent individuals and groups from participating in the economy and society to their full potential. Power is a key determinant for both exclusion and inclusion. All economies are based on power relations and an “economy of exclusion” is an abuse of power. This contribution looks at what economic power is and how it can build barriers of exclusion or pathways to inclusion. We use income inequality as a measure of exclusion, giving a general history of power and inequality to demonstrate the role of power. Lastly, we look at the concept of subsidiarity in Catholic social thought as a principle to guide the use of power in the economy. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 78, Issue 4, Page 923-954, September 2019. '
    September 29, 2019   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12294   open full text
  • Effects of Care Leave and Family Social Policy: Spotlight on the United States.
    Tracey Freiberg.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 29, 2019
    --- - |2 Abstract Consistent with Pope Francis's efforts to eradicate social exclusion, most countries in the world have already adopted care leave policies in an effort to reduce the conflict between being an employee and being a caregiver. Care leave policies allow workers time off for family or for self‐care. Historically, care leave policies such as maternity leave are viewed as an employee benefit akin to short‐term disability leave, providing job‐protected time off for new mothers. This study reviews the literature of the short‐ and long‐run economic and societal effects of care leave policies globally, with a specific focus on care leave policies in the United States. Care leave produces positive labor market and health outcomes, including increases in leave taking, improvement in replacement wages, improvements to profitability and employee morale, increases in female workforce participation and continuity, increases in birth weight, and decreases in infant mortality. Despite positive effects, labor market inequalities such as decreases in female labor market participation rates, gender wage gaps, and occupational segregation are often promoted by care leave policies. The conflicted findings in care leave research muddle the anticipated effects of paid care leave but allow room for alternative policy recommendations. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 78, Issue 4, Page 1009-1037, September 2019. '
    September 29, 2019   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12293   open full text
  • Pope Francis on Overcoming Exclusion: A Theological Vision with Economic and Social Implications.
    Thomas J. Massaro.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 29, 2019
    --- - |2 Abstract The ethical imperative to overcome exclusion is a key component of the social teachings and advocacy efforts of Pope Francis. At the very core of the pastoral and social vision he proposes is a drive to resist the global trend toward growing inequality and to encourage greater solidarity, which includes extending economic opportunities much more broadly. Even more vehemently than his papal predecessors, Francis insists on prioritizing the concrete well‐being of people facing hardship and oppression, so that nobody is relegated to the category of “the throwaway.” While the theme of mercy (a “soft” virtue, inasmuch as it involves voluntary action to overcome indifference and suffering) is prominent in many of his ethical appeals, Francis notably displays a distinctive structural analysis (a “hard” diagnostic tool) when addressing injustices in the global economy. The plights of victims of human trafficking, of global climate change, of restricted work opportunities due to globalization, and other causes of human suffering are best analyzed with ample attention to structures that require transformation. While economists and sociologists may be less interested in the underlying moral anthropology and spirituality that grounds the social teachings of Francis, it is undeniable that a coherent social vision undergirds the insistence of the Jesuit pope on greater social inclusion—a vision that applies to the full range of economic, environmental, and social issues. These concerns are on especially full display in two major teaching documents of Francis: his 2013 exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” and his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’. In each, the pope employs an astute structural lens that reveals injustices and allows him to propose strategies to overcome inequality and exclusion. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 78, Issue 4, Page 865-893, September 2019. '
    September 29, 2019   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12292   open full text
  • Uncertainty and the Economy of Exclusion: Insights from Post‐Keynesian Institutionalism.
    David A. Zalewski.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 29, 2019
    --- - |2 Abstract Critics of Pope Francis’s Evangelii gaudium argue that recent economic growth and reductions in inequality are evidence that his notion of the “economy of exclusion” is misguided. However, Francis alludes to another type of exclusion—increased uncertainty generated by technological change that affects citizens even in developed nations. Drawing from Post‐Keynesian institutionalist theory, this article argues that this condition is common in capitalism, and that grassroots reforms are needed to ensure shared prosperity. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 78, Issue 4, Page 955-972, September 2019. '
    September 29, 2019   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12291   open full text
  • Human Vicegerency and the Golden Rule: The Islamic Case Against Exclusion.
    Ayman Reda.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 29, 2019
    --- - |2 Abstract The Islamic conception of social exclusion complements the Catholic perspective found in other contributions to this issue. The Islamic prohibitions of social exclusion are derived from theological principles that combine to provide a metaphysical basis for the golden rule that one should treat others as one wishes to be treated. This article examines the roots of a practical morality that enjoins us to treat other people as equals and prohibits exploitation of them in economic exchange. This philosophy is based on four principles found in the Qur'an and the hadith (teachings of the Prophet): vicegerency, commensurability, responsibility, and prophecy. These four principles combine to show how humans, as God's agents on earth, have the means to carry out the divine will. The practice of justice in Islamic thought does not rely on social conventions that are variable and contingent but on absolute principles revealed to us by the Prophet. That gives Islam an advantage over secular thought in establishing a strong foundation for social and ethical principles that give egalitarianism a transcendent basis. Thus, social inclusivity in Islamic thought is an integral part of a life governed by piety and prophecy. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 78, Issue 4, Page 895-922, September 2019. '
    September 29, 2019   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12290   open full text
  • Mary Griffith’s Three Hundred Years Hence: Utopia, Women, and Marriage.
    Lillian M. Purdy.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. November 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Mary Griffith’s Three Hundred Years Hence (1836) is the first attempt by an American woman to create a literary utopia. With this work, Griffith begins a literary conversation on women and marriage, including women’s rights and gender equality, and she imagines new laws and reforms that strengthen marriages, married life, and family satisfaction. Griffith’s work situates marriage as an integral part of a successful environment and imagines solutions to national concerns regarding women that will be addressed later in the century. Griffith tackles slavery, alcoholism, and divorce laws, as well as issues that directly affected married women, particularly white married women. In the novel, women have earned equality without negatively affecting domesticity or female purity. Women’s daily lives are improved, educational opportunities are opened to women, children’s lives are valued in the new community, and order in the home and community serve as the basis for utopia. Griffith’s vision is bold even as it is limited because, while women are often the creative minds behind the utopian improvements that are described, in the plot itself, women are silent. Other weaknesses in the plot include the oversimplified solution to slavery and the ambiguous resolution of the fate of Native Americans within the utopia. Tragically, in her vision, Griffith has eliminated both groups from the community. Griffith mixes futuristic technological improvements with biting commentary on contemporary social issues and the treatment of women. Griffith uses the genre of utopian vision to present solutions to many challenges facing 19th‐century white women. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 5, Page 1209-1242, November 2018. '
    November 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12245   open full text
  • Writing a Better Ending: How Feminist Utopian Literature Subverts Patriarchy.
    Kirsten Imani Kasai.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. November 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This article explores the historic role of dystopian and feminist utopian fiction in upholding or supplanting capitalist, patriarchal dominance hierarchies. Here, I will examine the following: the persistence and popularity of dystopias; the political and cultural trends that have influenced them; the reasons why feminist writers have typically excluded men from their utopian visions; the sexual objectification of women in dystopias; and the utopian/dystopian parallax. I will discuss the need for feminist writers to envision inclusive alternate futures that propose realistic, cooperative societies that counter prevailing dystopian models. This can be achieved by dismantling and reconstructing our present reality through the act of changing the stories that we tell ourselves. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 5, Page 1377-1406, November 2018. '
    November 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12257   open full text
  • Sublimating an Apocalypse: An Exploration of Anxiety, Authorship, and Feminist Theory in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man.
    Olivia Zolciak.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. November 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Mary Shelley was an early feminist writer, but she has not been recognized as such because of profound misinterpretation of her final novel, The Last Man. Set in the years 2090–2100, the novel is about a plague that obliterates humanity aside from the protagonist, Lionel Verney. As his family and friends perish, Verney journeys alone, and begins to experience psychological and literary anxiety. The novel failed within the conventions of female romance novels of the early 19th century, a category in which it is still often pigeon‐holed. But as the first modern work of apocalyptic fiction, which created a genre now dominated by Stephen King, it was a huge success, for which Mary Shelley is seldom credited. By critically analyzing the novel’s treatment of anxiety of illness and authorship in terms of psychoanalytic theory and juxtaposing these concepts with a long‐standing feminist approach, this article suggests that Mary Shelley’s literary innovations will remain influential in the continuously growing genre of post‐apocalyptic literature in the 20th and 21st centuries. Thematically, the novel also presents a new feminist vision of history, a millennial conflict that requires us to look forward and backward simultaneously. It is also about new ways of recognizing the authority of the female voice in that history, which is normally displaced by the insistence on male authority that comes from historical lineage. The Last Man contests that lineage by showing how apocalyptic narratives can reframe our sense of time and authority. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 5, Page 1243-1276, November 2018. '
    November 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12254   open full text
  • An Exploration of Femininity, Masculinity, and Racial Prejudices in Herland.
    Elinor Bowers.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. November 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935) helped spearhead the fin de siècle and early 20th‐century women’s rights movement and significantly contributed to the feminist literary genre with The Yellow Wallpaper (1892). Despite her dedication to the women’s movement and contributions to feminist literature, her novel Herland (1915) features problematic undertones of racism, elitism, and masculine degradation. Within recent years, feminism has become a term that is synonymous with inclusivity, with a focus on intersectionality and the rights of not only women but others who have been disenfranchised by race, religious affiliation, sexuality, socioeconomic status, or gender identification. Given modern feminism’s focus on diversity, the racist undertones and focus on gender separatism in Herland places Gilman outside the feminist literary genre, particularly as it has been defined in recent decades. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 5, Page 1313-1327, November 2018. '
    November 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12253   open full text
  • Risk and Feminist Utopia: Radicalizing the Future.
    Jeanne Cortiel.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. November 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Risk has taken over the world as the major way of conceptualizing the future as bleak, if one follows Ulrich Beck’s claim in World at Risk (2007). However, there is also a distinctly utopian strand in American risk discourse, one that has, from the outset, been linked to feminist perspectives. Indeed, when risk entered American culture in the 19th century, immediately women’s rights philosophy began to draw on futures shaped by risk, establishing self‐ownership and agency in a context that denied such freedom to women and non‐white men. This article explores connections between risk, futurity, agency, and selfhood as expressed in feminist thought, drawing a line between Margaret Fuller’s political essay Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845), Joanna Russ’s science fiction novel The Female Man (1975), and Mary Daly’s radical feminist manifesto Quintessence: Realizing the Archaic Future (1998). The aim is not to develop a narrative of development but to see how risk has become useful in shaping distinctly feminist visions of the future. More specifically, I would like to see how risk‐taking has enabled feminist social dreaming. It is precisely this groundedness in risk that allows feminist utopian visions to remain productive in popular culture beyond feminist discourse. When, for example, the movie Alien (1979, dir. Ridley Scott) introduced a female protagonist to a science fiction/horror action plot, it drew on feminist utopian narrative patterns grounded in risk and risk‐taking. Feminist utopian visions as well as their continuations in popular culture thus bring out the subversive potential of risk for feminist theory and practice. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 5, Page 1353-1376, November 2018. '
    November 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12252   open full text
  • Eugenics in Late 19th‐Century Feminist Utopias.
    Christina Lake.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. November 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Late 19th‐century feminist utopian fiction provides empowering examples of societies governed by women. However, these imaginary societies only exist through radical changes to women’s reproductive roles. At the same time, these societies also anticipate feminist interest in eugenics through proposals to regulate marriage, eliminate unhealthy members of society, and adopt measures for the moral improvement of the human race. Elizabeth Corbett’s New Amazonia (1889) argues that a state governed only by women would achieve high moral standards, while eugenics and strict scientific regulation would guarantee improvements in health and longevity. Mary E. Bradley Lane’s Mizora (1880–1881) proposes an entirely separatist world where the elimination of men, following the development of an asexual process of reproduction, would lead to a scientifically perfect society. Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant’s Unveiling a Parallel (1893), on the other hand, questions the idea of the intrinsic immorality of men, showing a utopia wherein women behave as badly as men given the same societal freedom. Instead, eugenic selection has supported evolution to a higher state of morality in which children are no longer conceived through sexual acts. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 5, Page 1277-1312, November 2018. '
    November 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12251   open full text
  • Naming a Star: Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed and the Reimagining of Utopianism.
    Katherine Cross.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. November 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract More than most of her works, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed feels unfinished, its perspective blurred. But through its flawed aperture one nevertheless sees why: its subject is all that is left unsaid and undone after a revolution. In this tale of two worlds, anarchist Anarres and statist Urras are implacably opposed. Yet each is continuous with the other. For its flaws, The Dispossessed, as a sociological novel, brilliantly analyzes where emancipatory politics can go wrong, using insights that were new even to social scientists in the early 1970s: the notion that power need not be formally titled or openly hierarchical in order to be effective and oppressive. In short, this is a novel about the dangers of informal power, and how revolutionary dogma can rhetorically mask it. But it stands out among Cold War era fiction for not portraying a flawed leftist society as a dystopia. Instead, Le Guin’s vision of Anarres is of a society that has become complacent, that has forgotten the permanence of revolution, where bad actors take advantage of political dogma and “non‐hierarchical” stations to exercise power in grotesque ways. Power never goes away, and Le Guin’s genius in The Dispossessed lies in showing us the myriad ways it endures. - 'American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 5, Page 1329-1352, November 2018. '
    November 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12250   open full text
  • Issue Information.

    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 25, 2018
    --- - - American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 2, Page 201-204, March 2018.
    March 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12200   open full text
  • Editor's Introduction Corporations as Semi‐Sovereign Powers.

    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 25, 2018
    --- - - American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 2, Page 205-238, March 2018.
    March 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12224   open full text
  • Transnational Corporations and Urban Development.
    Franklin Obeng‐Odoom.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Transnational corporations (TNCs) in Africa play significant roles in controlling utilities, privately appropriating common resources, and planning urban space. On the one hand, the extralegal powers of TNCs are legitimized with patronizing discourses about the incompetence of African nations in managing their own affairs and with the specter of a “resource curse” that supposedly immobilizes the self‐governing capacities of Africans. On the other hand, TNCs arrogate to themselves statutory municipal power, ignore or manipulate various channels of accountability, and privately appropriate sociallycreated rents. Some critics of TNCs propose a withdrawal from globalization or greater regulation to limit the power of TNCs. But protectionist or isolationist approaches are entirely mistaken and further undermine the social management of the commons in Africa. Instead, Africans should seek directly to break the chains of monopoly and oligopoly, especially over natural resources. They should also strive to use land for the common good and to systematically build social states in Africa to overcome subservience to TNCs. While previous attempts at autonomous development in Africa have sometimes led to military action by former colonizers and current neo‐colonial imperialists, recent evidence from Africa suggests that such a strategy might succeed now. This article proposes to extend the politics of urban reform in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era in the United States to contemporary Africa. In doing so, it shows how African cities today are working to create local capacity by municipalizing services that have been privatized, such as distribution of water. Despite many obstacles posed by TNCs and their home governments, Africans are making great strides to overcome the enduring legacies of colonialism. - American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 2, Page 447-510, March 2018.
    March 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12213   open full text
  • Birth of the Modern Corporation: From Servant of the State to Semi‐Sovereign Power.
    Luigi Cerri.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract It is widely known that large business corporations have accumulated enormous political and economic power since the early 20th century. They not only create barriers to entry to small firms in the economic domain, they also pose a serious threat to democracy by dominating public discourse and occupying a wide range of public spaces. Efforts to halt or reverse the growth of corporate power have been largely ineffective, in large part because they have been entirely reactive. In order for citizens to reclaim the economy and politics, a new strategy is necessary, one that starts by analyzing the source of corporate power. The method of analysis in this article is historical, specifically the history of changes in the United States of the legal instruments of incorporation and their relationship to emerging conditions in the economy and business. In the first half of the 19th century, corporations were chartered by state governments to carry out public benefit activities, particularly infrastructure projects. These mixed corporations lost favor during the depression of the 1840s and were replaced by private for‐profit corporations that continued using the same debt financing instruments employed by states. They were also still regulated by the states that issued their charters. When corporations sought to avoid competition by creating cartels, they had difficulty maintaining discipline and discovered they needed new rights in order to gain permanent control of markets. In the 1890s, they were granted the status of “natural persons,” with the legal protections of citizens, but they also gained the right to buy other corporations, thereby solidifying their market power and making them largely autonomous from public control. Each transition was contested, but when it was completed, it seemed to the public as if corporations had always had their new powers. In order to regain the power to hold corporations accountable to the public, those old contested issues need to be brought back into public discourse, so that citizens might decide for themselves how much power corporations should have. - American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 2, Page 239-277, March 2018.
    March 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12212   open full text
  • Controlling Corporate Power in China: Case Studies of Seed Companies and Water Distribution.
    Lanying Zhang, Guanqi Li, Huili He.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract In the course of China's economic transition, the government set up a policy goal to gradually withdraw from the market, while, at the same time, increasing the intensity of anti‐corruption actions. This article reviews the development of Chinese modern corporations and corresponding policy changes. The development and expansion of modern corporations as a result of reforms that occurred after 1978 reveals the government's decision not to fully withdraw from the market. When private companies are allowed to pursue maximum profits, especially in areas of public resources and services, society and the environment suffer severe negative consequences. Case studies of corporate control of seed companies and water utilities demonstrate in detail the damage caused by privatization. In order to protect the interests of society from corruption, government must concentrate on reducing the rent‐seeking behavior of corporations and collusion between businesses and government officials. The Chinese government's fight against corruption in recent years has been based on its market involvement, as well as on its determination to confine the power of corporations, which is a tough game. - American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 2, Page 511-540, March 2018.
    March 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12210   open full text
  • Modern Pirates: How Arbitration Lawyers Help Corporations Seize National Assets and Limit State Autonomy.
    Pia Eberhardt, Cecilia Olivet.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Large‐scale companies have worked for centuries with the governments of powerful nations to extract wealth from the rest of the world. Since the 1990s, one important method of continuing that legacy has been the use of secretive legal proceedings known as investor‐state dispute settlements (ISDS). Through this innocuous‐sounding practice, transnational corporations (TNCs) are able to blame foreign governments for their failure to extract as large a profit as they anticipated from their operations abroad. Asserting that changes in fiscal, environmental, or social policies have harmed them, TNCs have claimed that foreign governments should compensate them for the loss of potential revenues. ISDS tribunals have awarded billions of dollars as a result of such claims, mostly made under the auspices of bilateral investment treaties. Not only must governments spend millions of dollars defending themselves against assaults and tens or hundreds of millions if they lose their cases, but the ISDS system also has a chilling effect on the adoption of legislation designed to protect the health and safety of citizens. As a result of all the lawsuits in which corporations collect damages from governments under investment treaties, an array of groups in the legal industry have profited substantially: law firms representing corporate interests, arbitrators and other specialists in corporate arbitration, and litigation funders. The arbitration industry is, as a practical matter, the glue that holds the system together. The law firms involved in this industry do not wait passively for cases to arise. Instead, they actively pursue corporations to seek arbitration with governments, proselytize for the legitimacy of the current international investment regime, and block reforms that would limit arbitration opportunities. By creating methods of insulating TNCs from normal business risks and forcing host governments to bear the burden of liabilities, the arbitration system has effectively reinstituted a neo‐colonial regime through the judicial system. - American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 2, Page 279-329, March 2018.
    March 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12223   open full text
  • Corporate Power and Expansive U.S. Military Policy.
    Mason Gaffney.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Military defense is generally treated in economics texts as a “public good” because the benefits are presumed to be shared by all citizens. However, defense spending by the United States cannot legitimately be classified as a public good, since the primary purpose of those expenditures has been to project power in support of private business interests. Throughout the course of the 20th century, U.S. military spending has been largely devoted to protecting the overseas assets of multinational corporations that are based in the United States or allied nations. Companies extracting oil, mineral ores, timber, and other raw materials are the primary beneficiaries. The U.S. military provides its services by supporting compliant political leaders in developing countries and by punishing or deposing regimes that threaten the interests of U.S.‐based corporations. The companies involved in this process generally have invested only a small amount of their own capital. Instead, the value of their overseas assets largely derives from the appreciation of oil and other raw materials in situ. Companies bought resource‐rich lands cheaply, as early as the 1930s or 1940s, and then waited for decades to develop them. In order to make a profit on this long‐range strategy, they formed cartels to limit global supply and relied on the U.S. military to help them maintain secure title over a period of decades. Those operations have required suppressing democratic impulses in dozens of nations. The global “sprawl” of extractive companies has been the catalyst of U.S. foreign policy for the past century. The U.S. Department of Defense provides a giant subsidy to companies operating overseas, and the cost is borne by the taxpayers of the United States, not by the corporate beneficiaries. Defining military spending as a “public good” has been a mistake with global ramifications, leading to patriotic support for imperialist behavior. - American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 2, Page 331-417, March 2018.
    March 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12222   open full text
  • Corporations and Nations: Power Imbalance in the Extractive Sector.
    Evaristus Oshionebo.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This article examines the nature and significance of the power imbalance between developing countries and transnational corporations (TNCs) in the natural resource sector. It situates this power imbalance within the context of global economic realities, including the high profitability of extractive TNCs; rampant poverty in developing countries; dependence of many developing countries on the extractive sector for economic sustenance; and lack of regulatory expertise on the part of developing countries. The article suggests two potential avenues for addressing this power imbalance. First, it advocates for the recognition of TNCs as “subjects” of international law, thus paving way for the imposition of some international law duties on TNCs. Secondly, the article argues that civil society groups should be empowered to participate actively in the regulatory process and that an empowered civil society could potentially counterbalance the power of TNCs and other corporations. - American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 2, Page 419-446, March 2018.
    March 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12209   open full text
  • The Coal Mine Mafia of India: A Mirror of Corporate Power.
    Yugank Goyal.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract An investigation of the source of power of mafia‐type organizations may reveal how other non‐state actors can operate as if they are independent of the state. This study of the coal mafia in Dhanbad, India shows that power often derives from socially hierarchical relationships involving debt and/or caste. It also demonstrates how state policies that are thoughtlessly implemented may solidify existing hierarchies. By analogy, modern corporations gain some of their power by behaving as if they were semi‐sovereign institutions that draw their strength informally from social networks and other extralegal relationships. The mafia in the Dhanbad coalfields emerged through a series of institutional changes. Labor shortages were initially resolved by labor intermediaries, who eventually controlled the labor through linkages associated with debt, caste, and social obligations. These intermediaries eventually assumed official positions in labor unions, which gave them a platform for electoral politics. When the coal industry was nationalized, the union leaders further solidified their position in the nationalized corporation. In this way, private labor intermediaries became local political leaders who controlled the state apparatus to some extent. Corporations follow similar patterns. Both mafias and corporations exploit weak governments, collude with them, and often operate with a high degree of independence. Like mafias, corporations often derive their power from socially embedded networks that they craft in local communities and populations. Because the roots of their influence are embedded in social networks, simple legal and regulatory changes are often insufficient to limit their power. Transnational corporations engaged in extraction of natural resources share with mafias the ability to leverage monopoly power in one domain into control of other domains. As a result, this case study of the coal mafia in India offers a unique entry point to understand corporate sovereignty. - American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 77, Issue 2, Page 541-574, March 2018.
    March 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12208   open full text
  • The Drama of the Anthropocene: Can Deep Ecology, Romanticism, and Renaissance Science Rebalance Nature and Culture?
    Robert Schimelpfenig.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 05, 2017
    In the late 20th century, scientists began to warn the public that human activity had begun to change planetary systems. Some have thus named the current geological epoch the Anthropocene, a period in which humans are degrading natural systems. This damage occurs in part because we have not come to terms with the dual character of human nature—being both inside and outside nature.
    September 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12196   open full text
  • Exploring a New Kind of Higher Education with Chinese Characteristics.
    Meijun Fan, Hengfu Wen, Li Yang, Jing He.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 25, 2017
    The future of China's system of higher education will depend on which aspects of its past are most highly valued. This article explores the history of higher education in China from its ancient academies to the modern Western‐influenced university. Although the May Fourth Movement of 1919 recommended the complete elimination of traditional elements in Chinese culture, the past century has revealed problems with the wholesale embrace of Western institutions. Modern higher education, based first on European models and later on American colleges and universities, has been a major part of the transformation of China in the past century. But cracks have appeared in the façade. The balance between tradition and innovation has been lost, students are being produced by universities like products of a factory assembly line, and college graduates often remain unemployed or underemployed for years after completing a degree. To remedy this condition, a number of reformers in China are looking to the past for answers. The article discusses both official and private experiments with “organic” educational programs that aim at creating well‐rounded persons, not merely students crammed with facts. A number of these new programs combine physical work with academic study as a reminder that life is a balance between mental and physical factors. More generally, the reform of modern education reclaims elements of the Chinese tradition that have been neglected, elements that recognize that education should ultimately aim at cultivating wisdom and not merely at accumulating knowledge.
    April 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12192   open full text
  • Higher Education in the Environmental Century.
    Stephen Mulkey.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 25, 2017
    The environmental crisis that threatens the future of our species is unprecedented as we begin the “environmental century.” Natural conditions that were favorable for the development of civilization have been degraded. Climate change has begun to disrupt ecosystems and is likely to undermine agricultural and industrial production, reducing the ability of the global economy to support a growing population. Under these dire conditions, it is imperative that colleges and universities transform themselves into institutions organized around transdisciplinary programs in sustainability science. The curriculum should be oriented around training the future workforce in skills that will be needed in new institutions that seek to adapt proactively to natural systems as they are transformed. Those skills will involve learning to address the dynamic changes of the biosphere rather simply attempting to preserve and restore natural systems to some desired previous condition. Every institution—political, legal, economic, medical, and scientific—will need to be re‐aligned to achieve sustainability. Higher education is currently failing to meet this mandate. Sustainability science remains on the margins of academic life, with few resources and little prestige. Faculty are still primarily oriented toward the questions raised within their disciplinary specialties, not toward tasks associated with transdisciplinary problem solving. Reframing higher education to meet the challenges of the environmental century is going to require a revolution in the purposes and structures of the university.
    April 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12194   open full text
  • The Significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the 21st Century: Will Such Institutions of Higher Learning Survive?
    Earnest N. Bracey.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 25, 2017
    The United States is still dealing with institutional racism in higher education. For most of the past two centuries, African Americans were forced to attend segregated colleges and universities. Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) played a particularly important role during that long period. In many states, there would have been no institutions of higher education at all, were it not for federal legislation (the Morrill Act of 1890), the actions of religious institutions, and the persistent efforts of black Americans to gain an education, despite the obstacles. Even the seemingly race‐neutral G.I. Bill of 1944 had the pernicious effect of reinforcing racial segregation in both higher education and housing. Given this history, it comes as no surprise that some predominantly white institutions of higher education (PWIs) do not show a sustained commitment to educate African‐American students in this country, although they are often eager to recruit black student athletes for their various sport programs without much regard to the education received by those same athletes. Our inability as a nation to even talk intelligently about these intractable educational problems is disturbing. Indeed, diversity is not paramount for some PWIs, particularly in regards to hiring minority faculty. Perhaps more significantly, HBCUs are still necessary in our society today because they have been the mainstay of educating African Americans at the college and university levels. Black communities throughout our nation are still being devastated by economic polarization and by racial discrimination endemic to higher education at white institutions. The need to address the problem of racial discrimination in higher education remains as strong as ever.
    April 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12191   open full text
  • Rhetorical Styles in University Accreditation: Judgmental Rules or Collaborative Creation?
    Daniel J. Royer.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 25, 2017
    The university accreditation process is at a crossroads. After more than a century of allowing universities to function as self‐governing institutions, legislatures are now demanding more accountability. That puts pressure on the accreditation process to impose more external rules, which are diametrically opposed to the high value placed on heterogeneity and the spirit of free and independent inquiry. However, accreditation, and the assessment practices that accompany it, need to resist this restrictive methodology. Assessment is a rhetorical social practice, and as such, the kind of rhetoric we use when we engage this practice influences how we think and feel about the work and contributes to the effectiveness of our practice. Aristotle's distinction between forensic and deliberative rhetoric provides a heuristic framework for us to think about regional accreditation and internal assessment of universities. A close look at recent accreditation guidelines reveals that the context of much regional and local assessment calls for a deliberative rhetoric (thinking together about how to create a common future) rather than forensic rhetoric (gathering evidence to judge a past event). However, habituated responses to existing assessment genres can cause those involved in accreditation and assessment to fail to move beyond a mentality of mere compliance and miss the opportunities of progressive, aspirational assessment practice, a practice that requires a deliberative rhetoric in order to set us on the open pathway of building educational community.
    April 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12190   open full text
  • The Contested Terrain of Academic Freedom in Canada's Universities: Where Are We Going?
    Howard Woodhouse.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 25, 2017
    Academic freedom has been a contested concept throughout its history, but it is a necessary condition for the advancement and dissemination of shared knowledge. It is an integral part of university education and research, and is intimately connected with collegial governance and the common good. In Canada's research‐intensive universities, the threats to academic freedom are both internal and external. This article examines these issues and suggests ways in which to resist and possibly overcome them, including the establishment of alternative universities.
    April 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12189   open full text
  • Liberal Education: Cornerstone of Democracy.
    Stephen C. Rowe.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 25, 2017
    Democracy is a form of government that requires an active and informed citizenry who share material resources sufficiently to enable all members of society to participate. But a minimum of material equality is not a sufficient condition for democracy. Citizens need training in skills beyond those that will enable them to earn a living. Widespread availability of liberal education is an essential component of any society that seeks to sustain democratic institutions. The United States has been fortunate to have had leaders for two centuries who understood the need for liberal education as a cornerstone of democracy. However, the growing demand that universities operate according to the same principles as a business has been undermining the consensus about the need for liberal education.
    April 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12188   open full text
  • The Functions of Higher Education.
    Marcus Ford.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 25, 2017
    In very broad outline, the history of higher education in the United States has had four phases characterized by their primary function: preserving Christian civilization, advancing the national interest, research, and growing the global economy. Today, when we talk about the need for more higher education the assumption is that what is needed is more education devoted to economic growth and, to a lesser extent, certain types of research. Against this background there have always been a few outliers, colleges that do not fit this general trend. These colleges make it clear that there are alternatives to the status quo that do not involve retreating to some previous mode of higher education. It is also possible to educate young people for the continuation of Western civilization, public service, and environmental civilization. Given the critical importance of the global environmental crisis, a good case can be made for looking at these alternatives to the status quo, especially those alternatives that focus on public service and environmental sustainability. The simple fact that higher education has shifted over the centuries in terms of its mission provides some reason to believe that it could, once again, adopt a new form.
    April 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12187   open full text
  • Military Shooter Video Games and the Ontopolitics of Derivative Wars and Arms Culture.
    Peter Mantello.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 07, 2017
    The “military shooter” (MS) video game is the latest in a long line of video games that immerse the player in a fantasy world. Although the MS video game was once regarded as excessively violent, it has now become socially acceptable, as the virtues of military life have become incorporated in popular culture. That transition has taken place in part because the military has begun to work closely with the producers of MS video games, such as the “Call of Duty” series, to imagine and prepare for future military threats, both on virtual battlefields and on actual terrain. The increasing use of highly paid corporate mercenaries in actual war zones has also influenced game play by introducing players to the potential for large financial rewards by becoming experts in virtual combat. Thus, MS video games incorporate players not only into the technological domain of modern warfare but also into the economic domain of fighting war for profit. In the post 9/11 era, warfare has increasingly become a strategy of risk management, in which the battlefield is less a physical space than a semiotic landscape of conflicting loyalties and financial incentives. The MS shooter game is conditioning the soldiers of the future to fight in this shadowy world that lies between the virtual and the real. All of these changes have political ramifications. In the long run, constant exposure to these games is creating a subculture that is not only immersed in an armament culture but also increasingly allied with current patterns of geopolitical domination and subordination.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12184   open full text
  • Learning to Love Biomimetic Killing: How Jurassic World Embraces Life Forms as Weapons.
    Robin Andersen.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 07, 2017
    This article examines how the latest film in a series of movies about a dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, became entangled in the politics of military representations in popular culture. Beginning with the ways in which the Pentagon has influenced the film industry in the 9/11 media environment, we go on to detail how Jurassic World enacts the current high‐tech military research into biowarfare—weaponizing animals and defining nature as the ultimate killing machine. In the film, the dino‐stars are harnessed into battle to protect the humans, led by a former Navy soldier who takes a pack of Velociraptors, and filmgoers, on a thrilling hunt to destroy a bioengineered, genetically modified dino‐monster. Though the film offers a commercial critique of designing animals purely for profit, it fails to challenge the profit‐making ties between the military industries, weapons technology, and corporate entertainment media. Character depictions, narrative, and visual and filmic storytelling devices are explored in order to identify the tropes directing the film's message. Ultimately, Jurassic World presents the military's new frontier of biowarfare with enthusiasm, not skepticism, and Hollywood welcomes a “brave new world” in which the biological world has been harnessed for military purposes.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12183   open full text
  • The Soviet‐Afghan War in Fiction.
    Tom Secker.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 07, 2017
    Fictionalized accounts, particularly feature films, about the Soviet‐Afghan War in the 1980s have played a significant role in shaping public opinion about the history of the region and issues related to Islamic militancy. Novels and films in the West have portrayed the Soviet army as brutal and genocidal and the mujahideen who resisted the invaders as “freedom fighters.” Russian movies have also portrayed the soldiers in a somewhat negative light and the mujahideen as evil terrorists. No fictional treatment has provided enough background to the conflict to reveal that the Russians entered Afghanistan only to provide support to a communist regime that had gained power on its own, and none have revealed the extent of aid from the United States, the United Kingdom, Iran, Pakistan, and China to the mujahideen. The CIA sponsored Charlie Wilson's War, the movie that comes closest to capturing the larger context of the war, but even in that case, crucial elements were removed from early drafts of the script that presented a more complex and accurate picture of the war. In particular, movies have failed to explore the possible links between U.S. support for mujahideen in the 1980s and violent attacks by Islamic extremists since 2001. The one exception is Charlie Wilson's War, where changes to the script had the result of downplaying and trivializing those links.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12182   open full text
  • Transforming Transformers into Militainment: Interrogating the DoD‐Hollywood Complex.
    Tanner Mirrlees.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 07, 2017
    This article examines how the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Hollywood collaborated to manufacture the blockbuster films Transformers (T) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (TRF) to sell in global markets and to sell a positive image of DoD personnel, policy, technology, and practice to the world. T and TRF are global militainment films made by the “DoD‐Hollywood complex” to make money in markets and put the U.S. military before the world in a positive light. To show how, the article's first section defines the “DoD‐Hollywood complex,” presents a brief 20th‐century history of its formation, and describes the current DoD institutions, policies, and practices that fuse DoD publicity agencies to Hollywood filmmakers. The second section highlights how DoD assisted T and TRF's production and contemplates why Hollywood solicited DoD support. The third section shows how T and TRF put DoD in a positive light. The conclusion addresses some of the consequences of T and TRF with regard to democratic theory. By showing T and TRF to be global militainment commodities, this article interrogates the nexus of “reel” and “real” U.S. military power and sheds light on how DoD interacts with Hollywood studios to influence how it gets screened by entertainment media and seen by global spectators.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12181   open full text
  • Why are the Pentagon and the CIA in Hollywood?
    Tom Secker, Matthew Alford.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 07, 2017
    The CIA and the U.S. Department of Defense are both engaged in programs to influence the content of movies produced by Hollywood studios. Although they claim their only purpose in these ventures is to guarantee the accuracy of how military and intelligence activities are conducted, it is clear that their agenda goes beyond that goal. Their true aims include ensuring that movies project a positive image of the relevant government agencies. However, the CIA and DoD differ in their understanding of what constitutes good publicity. Films scrutinized and supported by military agencies are primarily evaluated according to whether they provide a vehicle for showing the technical and organizational competence of the Pentagon. To that end, films based on comic book characters or extraterrestrial invaders are viewed positively because they show the war‐fighting capacity of the military without having to name any actual enemy. The CIA, by contrast, prefers to support films that enable citizens to develop a stronger sense of patriotism in a world of moral ambiguities. As a result, the CIA is much less fearful of revealing the dark side of its undertakings, as long as a given movie presents a story that shows the value of the CIA in protecting the security of the nation.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12180   open full text
  • Edward Snowden, Frenemy of the State.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 07, 2017
    The Edward Snowden whistleblowing event is a calculated spectacle of pseudo‐dissidence that has more in common with Hollywood‐produced propaganda than with genuine whistleblowing. This article presents evidence that Snowden has lied on a number of occasions, calling his credibility into question. Nothing that Snowden has revealed was truly a secret, since several previous whistleblowers had reported, since 2002, about illegal mass surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Agency. Snowden's most striking difference from other NSA whistleblowers is the warm embrace from mainstream media, which has made him a celebrity. The 1998 theatrical film Enemy of the State contained the same sorts of revelations offered by Snowden, and imparts a number of messages to its audience about the security state that are strikingly similar to recurring messages in the Snowden Affair. Since that movie was made with assistance from the CIA these similarities are important to considering how authentic and socially useful his whistleblowing is. It seems evident from Snowden's support for the renewal of the Patriot Act (now the Freedom Act), that he objectively serves the interests of the surveillance state, rather than the public it spies upon.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12179   open full text
  • The Many Layers of Meaning of 007.
    Jay Dyer.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 07, 2017
    Until Umberto Eco developed a semiotic analysis of Ian Fleming's series of novels with James Bond as the protagonist, few literary critics took them seriously. That was a mistake. There are many layers of meaning in Fleming's simple prose, and some of those layers may still elude analysts. The Bond series of books and novels have been mined for ideas about cultural change, sexuality, politics, consumerism, the body as symbol, and other features of the Bond persona. Yet, all of these methods of analysis fail to dig beneath the surface. To fully comprehend the character of James Bond, this article suggests that one must take into account the imperialism of the author, Ian Fleming, who strongly believed in the national destiny of England. Another crucial feature that underlies the motivations of James Bond is the ideology of eugenics, which Fleming wholeheartedly embraced. Finally, some features of the Bond series only make sense if one considers the mystical and alchemical beliefs of Fleming. The heroic archetype of James Bond is not merely a symbol of patriotism. Bond, in a sense, is an alchemist who is able to draw upon elements of fantasy to bring about a purpose that is even higher than nationalism.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12186   open full text
  • Gray Matters on Screen: Intelligence Agencies, Secret Societies, and Hollywood Movies.
    Aaron Franz.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 07, 2017
    We normally think of government agencies as acting in a purely rational and instrumental way. In the case of intelligence agencies, we presume they rely on reason and science to protect the national interest. By contrast, the general view of secret societies and occult groups is that they engage in rituals and practices that have little or nothing to do with normal social intercourse, or even with reality. This article shows that these common assumptions are false, and that secret societies and intelligence agencies share many important traits. Our understanding of the CIA's role in supporting the production of Hollywood movies will be enhanced by taking these similarities into account. Intelligence work and the operations of secret societies are shown to overlap in five categories: religious underpinnings, occult practices to control the mind, cryptography, violations of social convention, and cryptic transparency—the ability to carry out secret activities in plain sight. These affinities explain why the CIA can promote movies that are actually quite candid in their revelation of the dark underside of the Agency. In so doing, the CIA projects a subliminal message that whatever questionable actions it takes are justified by a higher good, which can only be known by insiders.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12178   open full text
  • The Historical Roots of CIA‐Hollywood Propaganda.
    Pearse Redmond.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. March 07, 2017
    The ability to use movies that tell persuasive stories is a powerful tool, particularly if it is consciously used to legitimize war, assassination, and illegal activities and to undermine the core principles of democracy. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. military have made use of that tool for almost a century, starting with the War Department's quiet support for the movie Birth of a Nation in 1915 and continuing for a century, including such recent CIA‐supported products as Homeland, The Agency, The Recruit, and many less likely movies and television shows. During World War II, this sort of propaganda was openly distributed, since there was a widespread consensus in support of that war. However, state‐sponsored propaganda in the form of Hollywood movies continued throughout the Cold War up to the present. The production of movies that completely distorted the political meaning of George Orwell's and Graham Greene's novels were important examples of this practice. CIA involvement was covert, since the target audience was the American public and the ideological perspective being propagated often ran counter to democratic ideals. This article recounts the history of the process by which Americans came to accept the ideas continuously promoted by the government, often without knowing that their favorite movies and television shows had been vetted or even altered by agents of the CIA or the Pentagon. Since these practices violate federal laws, the public at least has a right to know that we are being subjected to this sort of propaganda and how much tax money is spent to produce entertaining forms of disinformation.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12177   open full text
  • A Social History of Christian Thought on Abortion: Ambiguity vs. Certainty in Moral Debate.
    Ignacio Castuera.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 18, 2017
    The authority of Christian thought is based in scripture, tradition, reason, and experience, with the Bible and church history as the major sources. The abortion debate in the USA has been closely tied to claims that rely on Christian authority. However, Christians have never held uniform views about abortion. The almost complete silence on abortion in the Bible and by the two most important Christian theologians—St. Augustine in the 5th century and St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century—undermine sweeping claims about a definitive Christian position. Dogmatism and ethical certainty on abortion were rare in the past and only became dominant themes in the 19th century. This article examines both intellectual debates in the Church and social conditions that influenced thinking on sexuality, the role of women, and the internal politics of the Catholic Church. In the 19th century, the mostly Protestant medical profession played a pivotal role, not only by creating anti‐abortion politics on a national scale, but by taking the place of the patriarchal family in supervising the behavior of women. Protestant churches in the 20th century became politicized and divided into liberal and conservative factions, in part over questions of contraception and abortion. Evangelical Protestants were not deeply troubled by the prospect of liberal abortion laws until they became politicized for extraneous reasons. Christian attitudes on abortion continue to form a maze, never a straight line, just as in the past.
    January 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12174   open full text
  • Punishing Abortion: Duty, Morality, and Practicality in Early 20th‐Century France.
    Karen E. Huber.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 18, 2017
    Debates over the legality and morality of abortion in Europe, especially France, were quite different in the early 20th century than they became in Europe and America after widespread legalization. Instead of focusing on the potential rights of the unborn, politically powerful pro‐natalist activists and their less influential neo‐Malthusian adversaries debated the need for larger populations, the role of abortion in facilitating sexual immorality, and the economics of single motherhood. The fetus was largely ignored as most French people continued to hold pre‐modern views of abortion prior to fetal movement as the morally neutral act of restoring delayed menstruation. French juries often showed leniency to women who aborted, although they more frequently voted to convict abortionists, especially midwives.
    January 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12176   open full text
  • African‐American Midwifery, a History and a Lament.
    Keisha Goode, Barbara Katz Rothman.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 18, 2017
    The medicalization of fertility and infertility, pregnancy, abortion, contraception, childbirth, and postpartum care has not always worked in the interests of women. It has had particularly devastating effects on African‐American women. Their fertility has been managed for hundreds of years, first as slaves forced to have children for owners, then as objects to be experimented on without anesthetics, and finally as mothers sterilized without their consent. The relatively high rates of infant and maternal mortality, along with limited access to safe and high‐quality reproductive services, are continuing signs of such devastation. This article discusses the history and consequences of the medicalization of pregnancy, contraception, and abortion in America. Attention is drawn to the ways in which the profession of medicine took control away from midwives, the traditional birth attendants and pregnancy caregivers, and the particular consequences for African‐American women. Ultimately, we posit that greater access to midwifery care could lower infant and maternal mortality rates and improve reproductive services. The reintroduction of spirituality through midwifery would also restore the important role of “wise women” in supporting women, babies, and communities.
    January 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12173   open full text
  • Constitutional Confusion: Slavery, Abortion, and Substantive Constitutional Analysis.
    Justin Buckley Dyer.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 18, 2017
    A comparison of two U.S. Supreme Court cases about fundamental rights, one on slavery, the other on abortion, sheds light on constitutional law and the principles undergirding liberal constitutional democracy. The Dred Scott case in 1857 denied constitutional rights to enslaved Africans and their descendants living in the United States. The Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 created a constitutional right to abortion that denied constitutional personhood to human beings prior to birth. Both cases involved applications of what legal scholars call “substantive due process”—that is, a substantive interpretation of the constitutional requirement that governments provide persons with “due process of law” that moves beyond procedural formalism. Although many constitutional scholars deny the legitimacy of substantive due process as a legal doctrine, this article proposes that the judicial system cannot ultimately avoid substantive moral questions in constitutional interpretation. In both cases examined here, the crucial question was about who counts as part of the people whom the Constitution protects, and that question could not be answered in purely formal terms. Both Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade erred not by engaging substantive moral questions but rather by denying, in different ways, the natural rights of human persons.
    January 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12172   open full text
  • Nature, Economy, and Equity: Sacred Water, Profane Markets.
    Mason Gaffney.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 26, 2016
    Numerous conflicts over natural resources can be overcome by restoring reciprocity between public and private sectors of the economy. Chapter 1 reviews two competing forms of environmentalism: one that accommodates business interests by giving public resources to them, and one that sacralizes the bond between society and nature by protecting both environmental quality and social equity. Chapter 2 discusses problems around the world that can be traced to mismanagement of natural resources, including land grabs and poverty. It also reveals a natural confluence between environmental, economic, and social concerns. Chapter 3 shows problems created by California's water tenure laws. California's 19th century equitable solution (the Wright Act) is examined, along with inequities in legal regimes of India, Pakistan, South Africa, and the Philippines. Chapter 4 is a case study of how water laws have affected one river in California's Central Valley by preventing efficient water use. Chapter 5 shows why “water markets,” the standard panacea offered by most economists, have failed to improve either the efficiency or equity of water allocations in California and why such schemes are likely to fail for other natural resources. The missing element in such plans is a method of creating reciprocity by compensating the public, as the original owners of all natural resources. Chapter 6 concludes with four principles derived from the foregoing analysis.
    October 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12169   open full text
  • The Nexus of Population, Energy, Innovation, and Complexity.
    Temis G. Taylor, Joseph A. Tainter.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 06, 2016
    For the past 200 years, humans have benefited from the abundant, inexpensive, and easily obtained energy of fossil fuels. Energy surpluses such as this are unusual in human history. In systems with little surplus energy, population growth is low and complexity emerges slowly due to the energetic costs it carries. On the rare occasions when energy is readily available, societies respond by growing rapidly. They must become more complex in response to the social, economic, and resource challenges of dense population. More complex societies are more expensive, requiring greater energy per capita. The process of increasing complexity necessitates greater energy production, creating a positive feedback cycle. Past societies have collapsed under such pressures. Population and complexity grew rapidly when the Industrial Revolution replaced economies based on annual solar radiation with economies fueled by fossil energy. The Green Revolution of the 20th century is credited with preventing mass starvation, but it has made food production and sustaining population ever‐more dependent on high‐energy (low‐entropy) inputs. Some believe innovation will overcome the limitations of resources and permit unchecked growth. However, increases in complexity, innovation, and fossil energy are all subject to diminishing returns, and cannot continue to support population at current levels.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12162   open full text
  • Population Growth and its Implications for Global Security.
    Robert J. Walker.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 06, 2016
    Between 2015 and 2050 world population is projected to increase by nearly 2.5 billion, rising from 7.3 billion to an estimated 9.8 billion. The vast majority of that projected increase—an estimated 97 percent—will occur in the developing world. Demography is not destiny, but population growth in the developing world is a challenge‐multiplier. In recent decades, notable gains have been made in reducing the incidence of hunger and poverty in the world, but progress has been slow in countries with high fertility rates. The nations with the fastest growing populations tend to rank high on global indices of hunger, poverty, environmental degradation, and fragility; and many of these countries face enormous obstacles to economic development in the form of climate change, regional or ethnic conflict, or water scarcity. Most of these countries also have large numbers of unemployed young people between the ages of 15–24, a demographic factor that can contribute to, or exacerbate, political instability and conflict. Unless fertility rates in these countries fall faster than currently anticipated by demographers, many of these countries face an uncertain future. Lack of progress in improving living conditions in these countries could lead to greater political instability and conflict and increase the growing number of refugees and internally displaced persons in the world.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12161   open full text
  • Ending an Era of Population Control in China: Was the One‐Child Policy Ever Needed?
    Zhihe Wang, Ming Yang, Jiaming Zhang, Jiang Chang.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 06, 2016
    The one‐child policy of China, which was initiated in 1980 and was reversed in 2015, has been conceived of as a decision made independently and arbitrarily or a product of impulsive decision making. Therefore, it has received a great deal of criticism from Western democracies. Of course, China faced internal problems related to population, such as the Great Famine of 1958–1961. This might be deemed the direct cause of the one‐child policy. However, the more powerful factors were indirect and of foreign origin. China's one‐child policy was deeply influenced by the West, especially by Western population science. Since the May 4th Movement in 1919, China has had a tendency to worship science because of the Chinese obsession with Western‐style modernization. In other words, China's one‐child policy is a product of blind imitation of Western population science. The action has resulted in serious negative consequences such as an imbalance of the sex ratio, elder‐care problems, human rights violations, undermining of traditional values, and even endangering the regime. Those problems caused China to reverse its one‐child policy. The authors believe that China should develop a postmodern population policy with Chinese character, based on organic thinking, which takes human feelings seriously and empowers people and allows them to act as subjects or agents in decisions about their families, including the size of their family and the selection of gender.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12160   open full text
  • Gender, Honor, and Aggregate Fertility.
    Leslie Root, Jennifer Johnson‐Hanks†.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 06, 2016
    This article examines the tension between population‐level and individual‐level interests regarding childbearing, from Malthus's concern for overpopulation to the contemporary issue of son preference, and argues for an understanding of individual‐level interests that distinguishes parents from households. In making this distinction, we draw attention to how gender norms can play an important role in shaping reproductive interests. Survey data and previous work show a wealth of differences in the number of children men and women would like to have, and in their behaviors toward the children they have. We argue not that gender norms cause women to want more children than men, but that they cause women to want children more, for reasons that include time spent with children, old‐age support, women's proscribed opportunities for achieving social standing, and the relationship in many contexts between honorable female adulthood and bearing children at the right time and under the right circumstances. We further argue that a just and effective population policy must consider fertility outcomes at multiple scales, including that of the welfare of individual women.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12159   open full text
  • Malthus, Darwin, and the Descent of Economics.
    Heather Remoff.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 06, 2016
    Confusion about overpopulation stems from the writings of Thomas Malthus in 1798. It was compounded by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, both of whom made the Malthusian “struggle for existence” the basis of natural selection in the evolutionary process. Malthus argued, without evidence, that human population growth will continue unchecked until regulated by external factors such as hunger and disease. Darwin and Wallace cemented that idea into evolutionary theory. Recent evolutionary biologists have focused on gene frequency as a way to compare the reproductive success of one individual against another within the same species. However, among humans, the true basis of reproductive success is grounded in control of the resources necessary for survival. Humans sometimes adapt to environmental stress by having more children, not fewer, which means that poverty can cause population growth, not the reverse. Recognizing this simple relationship would have helped Darwin resolve a dilemma at the heart of his theory: his expectation that the most successful members of our species would have the most children, an idea contradicted by his observation of large, poor families among the Irish. The evolutionary puzzle can be solved by observing that providing equal access to land enables humans to limit their own fertility. The problem of equal access can be addressed by implementing Henry George's idea of taxing the value of land, thereby preventing hoarding and gross inequality of wealth.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12158   open full text
  • The Center for Rural Affairs: The First 20 Years.
    Don Ralston, Marty Strange.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. May 05, 2016
    The history of the Center for Rural Affairs, a nonprofit advocacy organization in Nebraska, is recounted by two of its founders. The Center began with roots in the anti‐poverty movement in the 1970s. In subsequent years, the Center served as an activist research center that was devoted to serving the interests of the public and small farmers. For example, a Center study showed that center‐pivot irrigation was an initial step toward heavy capitalization of agriculture, a process that increased the debt of farmers and eventually drove many of them into bankruptcy. In other studies, the Center examined specific policies that were indirectly depopulating rural areas by turning farming into an industry. Joining with other groups, the Center fought to keep Nebraska as free as possible from corporate farming. In contrast to organizations that are located in urban areas and analyze rural problems from a distance, the Center is located in a small town in Nebraska, so the staff are personally aware of rural conditions. In addition to describing the research and activism of the Center, this account also provides information about the early obstacles an advocacy group must overcome in terms of funding, building a strong board, and other factors.
    May 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12156   open full text
  • The Middle Way: The National Catholic Rural Life Conference and Rural Issues in the 20th and 21st Centuries.
    David S. Bovée.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. May 05, 2016
    This article explains how the National Catholic Rural Life Conference (NCRLC), from its founding in 1923 to the present, applied basic Catholic principles in response to a succession of changes in American rural society. In doing so, it proposed a middle way between capitalism and socialism and between the Democratic and Republican parties. In the 1920s, the Reverend Edwin V. O'Hara founded the NCRLC mainly to bolster the demographically weak rural Church. In the 1930s, the NCRLC turned to economic concerns in response to the Great Depression. It supported many New Deal programs that helped farmers as well as cooperatives and a “back‐to‐the‐land” movement. The Conference consistently supported the family farm as the basic institution of a morally and economically sound rural society. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Conference entered the realm of international affairs under Monsignor Luigi G. Ligutti and addressed problems of world hunger, land reform, and underdeveloped countries. Under Monsignor Edward W. O'Rourke, who became director in 1960, the NCRLC joined in the movement for social justice and campaigned for the rights of the rural poor and migrant farm workers. Starting around 1970, the Conference became increasingly interested in environmental and energy issues. The NCRLC is in harmony with the 21st‐century pope, Francis, on rural and ecological issues.
    May 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12155   open full text
  • Challenges for Social‐Change Organizing in Rural Areas.
    Maura Stephens.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. May 05, 2016
    Corporate criminality and corporate welfare proliferate, and their victims mount. Rural inhabitants, human and nonhuman, are among those most affected. Rural areas are particularly affected by chemical contamination, fossil fuel exploitation, the absence of coverage of relevant local issues by the media, marginalization by governments, and the loss of cherished places and ways of life. There has never been a greater need for collective opposition to the forces undermining rural life. But conditions make it especially difficult, with growing poverty, dwindling and aging populations, lack of transit, unreliable, spotty telecommunications, and other obstacles. These factors and others are used to illustrate why ramped‐up activism is essential to protect the rights of rural residents, the natural environment, and the farmlands that feed the majority of the U.S. population.
    May 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12154   open full text
  • Whose Water Is It?
    Hilary A. B. Lambert.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. May 05, 2016
    Legal protection of the USA's water resources was reduced during the Bush‐Cheney Administration (2000–2008), facilitating coal, oil, and gas development at the expense of clean water. The “Halliburton Loophole” in the 2005 Energy Act exempted all oil and gas development activities, including fracking (hydraulic fracturing), from the Clean Water Act, Clean Drinking Water Act, and other federal statutes. Two U.S. Supreme Court rulings weakened the Clean Water Act's protections of headwaters, streams, wetlands, and other water bodies. In New York State, communities faced with the imminent prospect of fracking by energy companies organized. From 2008–2014, they prevented fracking in New York. Water protection played a major role in energizing community response, In 2015, a fragile, but resilient, ban was declared statewide. In Kentucky, 150 years of coal mining resulted in pollution of many waterways, with hundreds of stream miles buried beneath mountaintop removal debris. Kentuckians have been pushing back since the 1930s to protect communities, farms, and water quality. They remain hopeful in the face of great odds. Urban populations making daily use of cheap, clean water and fossil‐fuel‐powered energy sources have little knowledge of these struggles. In rural America, the fight to protect communities, lands, and waters from energy exploitation is lifelong.
    May 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12153   open full text
  • New Life for the Octopus: How Voting Rules Sustain the Power of California's Big Landowners.
    Mason Gaffney, Merrill Goodall.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. May 05, 2016
    The concentrated ownership of farmland has influenced rural life in the state of California for more than a century. Reformers have introduced measures to counteract that concentration, such as acreage limits on farms receiving water from federally funded projects. Large landowners have fought back with policies that have protected their ability to amass and maintain their empires. In the first part of this article, Mason Gaffney presents this historical background in broad outlines. In the second part, Merrill Goodall explains an important policy that preserves the power of entrenched interests: water districts that are governed by a board elected by a voting system that allots one vote to each dollar of land value. In these districts, a tiny handful of landowners is able to control a public agency without opposition and without the need to persuade other voters.
    May 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12152   open full text
  • Agricultural Subsidies and Farm Consolidation.
    Traci Bruckner.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. May 05, 2016
    Although agricultural subsidies were begun during the New Deal to provide enough income to enable farmers to continue operating, their net effect has been to raise the price of farmland and to squeeze many owner‐operated farms out of existence, leaving mostly large‐scale operations that are often tied to agribusiness. Numerous efforts have been made, with limited success, to mitigate this problem by limiting the subsidy to small or mid‐size farm operations. The 2014 farm bill, adopted by the U.S. Congress, made the situation worse. Rather than imposing stricter limits on subsidies to the largest farms, the legislation removed existing limits, ended direct payments, and increased subsidies for insurance against crop losses and income risk. The new law not only provides a windfall to owners of very large farms, it also encourages plowing of fragile soils, since the risks of crop failure are now borne primarily by taxpayers. The article concludes by offering recommendations about how to correct these problems
    May 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12151   open full text
  • A Different Path for Rural America.
    John Crabtree.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. May 05, 2016
    A dominant narrative in the United States posits that rural out‐migration and social decline of rural areas and small towns is inevitable. Although there is evidence of that view, there are also positive signs that point to the vitality of rural America. Although rural areas are losing population, that is partly a statistical artifact, since any rural area that succeeds in growing may be reclassified as an urban area, thus incorrectly seeming to indicate rural decline. This article explores three policy changes that could help to restore the vibrancy of rural and small‐town America: increased support for programs targeted toward rural economic development, setting limits on the ability of large farms to accrue a large share of the insurance subsidies available to farmers, and limiting the ability of vertically integrated hog farms to dissuade new farmers from investing in this traditional method of becoming a farmer.
    May 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12150   open full text
  • Who's Afraid of Rural Poverty? The Story Behind America's Invisible Poor.
    Lauren Gurley.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. May 05, 2016
    Rural poverty and rural issues in general remain invisible in the United States to the urban majority. Rural sociologists have tried to raise these issues, but even in the field of sociology, they have been sidelined for several generations. Progressives treat urban poverty with sympathy and rural poverty with contempt because the latter is stereotyped as a problem that afflicts only white families, who are then blamed for failings of the economy as a whole. In fact, persistent rural poverty is concentrated in pockets in Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, and several other regions, many of which are inhabited by blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Nevertheless, it seems that making rural poverty as much a concern among progressive Democrats as urban poverty has been will require a different political orientation towards rural issues. Such an approach was visible briefly during Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, but it has had little influence on other candidates for high office.
    May 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12149   open full text
  • The Role of Foundations in Public Debates in Germany.
    Rupert Strachwitz.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 07, 2015
    Why is the German foundations model different from the U.S. model? Does it have to do with the long and surprisingly unbroken history of foundations in Germany or rather with differences in the role of the state? Whatever the answer, this has enormous repercussions on what foundations may achieve in helping to shape public debates. Using Hirschman's model of loyalty, voice, and exit, and a definition of foundations based on seven different functions, the article explores the history of foundations in Germany and assesses their public role, both as contributors of arguments and policy papers, and as objects of public debate. It describes the amazing revival the concept of philanthropy has encountered over the last 15 years, and discusses whether this is due to long‐term political convictions or rather to short‐term political needs. Using examples taken from the 19th and 20th centuries, the article highlights a number of aspects that serve to illustrate the theoretical dilemma as to whether and to what extent highly hierarchical organisms may legitimately exist in an open heterarchical society.
    September 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12111   open full text
  • The Self‐Help Myth: Towards a Theory of Philanthropy as Consensus Broker.
    Erica Kohl‐Arenas.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 07, 2015
    This article presents a theoretical and methodological approach to studying how philanthropic power is maintained through the process of negotiating consensus between greatly unequal partners such as wealthy funders and social movement leaders. It is proposed that grant agreements between private foundations and social movement organizations construct idealized spaces of public participation and discursive theories of change that draw attention away from structural inequality and antagonism, ultimately generating consent. Drawing upon archival and ethnographic research on philanthropic investments in addressing migrant poverty in California's Central Valley, the article shows how consensus between foundation staff and farmworker and immigrant organizers promote funding frameworks that exclude questions that challenge relationships of power and systems of agricultural production that contribute to enduring poverty across the region. The Gramscian conceptual frames of “discursive power,” “hegemony as politics,” and “strategic articulation” are presented as a theoretical framework from which to understand the power of private philanthropy as consensus broker during historical moments of crisis.
    September 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12114   open full text
  • Black Liberation and the Foundations of Social Control.
    Andrew Gavin Marshall.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 07, 2015
    In regards to funding for the civil rights and black power movements in the United States, the major philanthropic foundations pursued their primary goals of social engineering and implementation of reforms designed to establish and maintain social control. They operated in the ultimate interests of the wealthy corporate and financial interests that dominated foundation boards and founders, promoting incremental reforms in order to secure their own long‐term systemic interests.
    September 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12109   open full text
  • Making Public Policy: The New Philanthropists and American Education.
    Robin Rogers.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 07, 2015
    Power in K–12 education is rapidly moving from local school boards and government to extraordinarily wealthy private philanthropists. Building networks among nonprofits, government agencies, school districts, and others, private foundations such as the Gates, Broad, and Walton family foundations are fundamentally restructuring American K–12 education. The Common Core State Standards, teacher evaluation, and charter schools are a few of the initiatives these funders are backing. The massive influx of private money into education policy and its influence over public education raises questions around the proper role of philanthropy in a democracy. In a society with increasing wealth inequality, should the economic elite be able to gain further power to shape social institutions through giving? Are there or should there be any limits to this power? Examining specific trends and events in education philanthropy over the last 10 years, this article identifies key players in philanthropic education reform and argues that philanthropy in education is now playing a policy‐making role—without checks and balances—that is qualitatively and quantitatively different than before. I conclude with a cautionary note on the dangers of letting education policy become the domain of the economic elite.
    September 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12113   open full text
  • The Gates Foundation, Ebola, and Global Health Imperialism.
    Jacob Levich.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 07, 2015
    Powerful institutions of Western capital, notably the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, viewed the African Ebola outbreak of 2014–2015 as an opportunity to advance an ambitious global agenda. Building on recent public health literature proposing “global health governance” (GHG) as the preferred model for international healthcare, Bill Gates publicly called for the creation of a worldwide, militarized, supranational authority capable of responding decisively to outbreaks of infectious disease—an authority governed by Western powers and targeting the underdeveloped world. This article examines the media‐generated panic surrounding Ebola alongside the response and underlying motives of foundations, governments, and other institutions. It describes the evolution and goals of GHG, in particular its opposition to traditional notions of Westphalian sovereignty. It proposes a different concept—“global health imperialism”—as a more useful framework for understanding the current conditions and likely future of international healthcare.
    September 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12110   open full text
  • The “Big 3” Foundations and American Global Power.
    Inderjeet Parmar.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 07, 2015
    This article shows how the major foundations were extremely influential in America's rise to global hegemony over the past century. The leadership of these foundations was part of the eastern foreign policy establishment that initially mobilized support for a globalist, anti‐isolationist agenda and after World War II worked to construct a viable intellectual framework promoting American perspectives in world affairs. The development of foundation leadership in international relations took place in three phases with different emphases, aimed at softening the sharper edges of globalization and elite dominance to retain public legitimacy: 1) shifting American public opinion from the 1920s to the 1950s in favor of liberal internationalism and a strong national government, 2) creating an integrated global elite from the 1950s to the 1970s that could serve as conduits for American interests within the institutions of each nation, and 3) developing democratic reforms in response to neoliberalism after 1980 to gain legitimacy for the international order, in order to sustain the idea that the political and economic systems work for everyone. In this fashion, foundations were able publicly to espouse principles of self‐determination and economic development for every nation, even though their actions paved the way for the continuation of neocolonialism.
    September 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12115   open full text
  • How Foundations Exercise Power.
    Joan Roelofs.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 07, 2015
    Foundations (and philanthropy in general) have great political power in the United States and worldwide, yet this is hardly noted by political analysts or journalists. Their power is exerted in many ways, such as by funding progressive organizations and movements; sponsoring policy “think tanks” and organizations of public officials; influencing the political culture through media, academic researchers, and university programs (including public interest law in law schools); and co‐opting activists and potential rebels among the rich and poor. Because of their resources and prestige, they are powerful members of coalitions and collaborations with overt and covert government departments, U.N. agencies, universities, and nongovernmental organizations. Foundations have been major actors in the “Cold War,” which continues as the attempt to deflect any movement towards socialism here or abroad. Globalization has amplified the power of foundations, for many of the global institutions were created by foundations and continue to be fostered by them. The sponsorship of civil society institutions worldwide by private foundations, now with additional billions from governments and international governmental institutions, supports U.S. hegemony: military, political, and economic. We cannot know what the world would have been like absent foundation activities, but the current one does not appear to have a democratic, peaceful, or sustainable future.
    September 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12112   open full text
  • A Dynamic Study on Ecological Disaster, Government Regulation, and Renewable Resources.
    Pu‐yan Nie, Peng Sun, Bill Z. Yang.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 02, 2014
    This article develops a dynamic model to investigate renewable resource markets under different property rights. We find that different property rights regimes in renewable resource markets yield very different equilibria. Under private property rights, the valve point increases with the natural growth rate, productivity, number of firms, and marginal costs. Under common property rights, “the tragedy of the commons” inescapably occurs. This study suggests how to avoid ecological disaster by implementing a set of public policies.
    April 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12075   open full text
  • The Effect of Urbanization and Industrialization on Energy Use in Emerging Economies: Implications for Sustainable Development.
    Perry Sadorsky.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 02, 2014
    This article investigates the impact of two important socio‐economic variables—urbanization and industrialization—on energy consumption in a panel of emerging economies. The results indicate that income increases energy consumption in both the long run and the short run. In the long run, urbanization decreases energy consumption, while industrialization increases it. Long‐run dynamics are important as evidenced by the estimated coefficient on the error correction term. These results have implications for sustainable development. Economic growth policies designed to increase income and industrialization will increase energy consumption. Since most energy needs in emerging economies are currently met by the burning of fossil fuels, economic growth and industrialization policies will be at odds with sustainable development.
    April 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12072   open full text
  • A Time Series Approach to Examining Regional Economic Resiliency to Hurricanes.
    Bradley T. Ewing, Daan Liang, Yuepeng Cui.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 02, 2014
    Hurricanes disrupt business processes and activities, energy distribution and consumption, and services of infrastructure and lead to a reallocation of resources and their uses. This research models the relationship among economic and engineering measures of the state of the built environment in order to provide insight into a region's ability to withstand and recover from a future hurricane. As such, we provide a quantitative approach to modeling and measuring a region's economic resiliency. The findings have implications for developing strategies for long‐term sustainability of economic regions.
    April 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12071   open full text
  • National Emissions Standards, Pollution Havens, and Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
    Shane Sanders, Abhinav Alakshendra, Bhavneet Walia.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 02, 2014
    The present study shows that the availability of “pollution havens” can negate the effect of national legislation that tightens industrial greenhouse gas emission standards. In the perverse case, a unilateral tightening of said standards in Country A (a country with relatively stringent industrial emission standards) causes a representative multinational firm to emit more units of greenhouse gas in its global production. The article highlights the potential perils of unilateral action on environmental issues that are global in nature.
    April 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12078   open full text
  • Public Choice and the EPA, 20 Years Later: An Exploratory Study.
    Richard J. Cebula, Franklin G. Mixon, Kamal P. Upadhyaya.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 02, 2014
    Nearly 20 years ago, Mixon (1995) found that urban warming is positively related to the probability of an EPA citation for a violation of carbon emissions standards, whereas lobbying effort reduces the probability of such a citation. This study revisits the Mixon (1995) framework by using data on ozone violations. The results indicate that EPA citations for ozone violations are not significantly related to lobbying effort.
    April 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12077   open full text
  • Are State Renewable Portfolio Standards Contagious?
    Oguzhan Dincer, James E. Payne, Kristi Simkins.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 02, 2014
    This study examines whether the target levels of a state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) are influenced by target levels in neighboring states, controlling for state‐specific characteristics. Contrary to previous studies, target levels in neighboring states have a positive and statistically significant impact. In addition, the renewable energy potential and transmission capacity within a state, as well as in neighboring states, all have a positive and statistically significant impact. Both a state's unemployment rate and its educational attainment have a positive impact. Furthermore, states with Democratic governors have higher RPS target levels. The results also indicate significant regional variation in RPS target levels.
    April 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12073   open full text
  • The Roles of Economic Freedom and Regulatory Quality in Creating a Favorable Environment for Investment in Energy R&D, Infrastructure, and Capacity.
    Richard J. Cebula, Franklin G. Mixon.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. April 02, 2014
    Sustainable investment in energy requires a favorable economic and regulatory environment. A random effects model (PLS estimations), using a four‐year panel, reveals the growth rate in real per capita GDP for OECD nations as an increasing function of both economic freedom and regulatory quality. These results underscore the critical roles that economic freedom and regulatory quality play, directly and indirectly, in creating an environment conducive to sustainable investment in energy R&D and infrastructure.
    April 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12076   open full text
  • Professions and Professionals: Capturing the Changing Role of Expertise Through Theoretical Triangulation.
    Viola Burau, Lotte Bøgh Andersen.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12062   open full text
  • Economic Sociology vs. Real Life: The Case of Grocery Shopping.
    Shelley L. Koch, Joey Sprague.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    Economic sociology improves on neoclassical economics but underanalyzes the economic activity of the consumer, leaving the assumption of consumer sovereignty unchallenged. We believe economic sociology marginalizes consumer activity because it is written from the standpoint of privileged men. Using institutional ethnography, we examine economic activity beginning from a standpoint of the person who grocery shops for a family. Starting from this standpoint exposes the gendered character of both the economy and economic sociology's conventional approach to analyzing it.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12065   open full text
  • The Social and Environmental Costs of Milk Production: Trends and Resistance in Vermont.
    Eric J. Krieg.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    The power of social institutions to influence patterns of behavior is evident in the dairy industry. Secondary data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) show that dairy operators adapt to market pressures by expanding the size of their herds and/or adopting technologies that intensify milk production. A grounded theory approach using primary data collected in interviews with organic dairy operators reveals active resistance to the power imposed upon them by social institutions.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12063   open full text
  • Making Distribution Markets: Market‐Wide Institutions in French and American Bicycle Distribution, 1865–1914.
    Thomas Burr.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    Scholars usually analyze market‐making within specific parameters. Market sociologists analyze institutions primarily between competitors; global value chain scholars study institutional innovation along exchange sequences; and varieties of capitalism scholars examine national institutional frameworks. I analyze how entrepreneurs and trade associations used “market‐wide” institutions such as exhibitions and publications in French and American bicycle distribution systems between 1865 and 1914 to improve exchange efficiencies and to influence other market actors and the markets' environments. I argue that market‐makers adjusted these institutions to market conditions, and also to national institutional frameworks. The findings present opportunities for further research in competition and exchange institutions.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12064   open full text
  • Weber and Baqir as‐Sadr: The Paradox of Economic Development in Islamic Societies.
    Ayman Reda.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    This article attempts to reconsider the controversial relationship between Islam and economic development. It does so by deeply engaging the views of Weber and Baqir as‐Sadr. According to Sadr, the development of capitalism in Europe is a consequence of the moral practice of Western societies, which is fundamentally different from that of Islamic societies. This divergence in moral practices translates into a divergence in economic doctrine, resulting in an incompatibility between the capitalist method and the moral practice of Islamic societies.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12069   open full text
  • Capitalism, Meritocracy, and Social Stratification: A Radical Reformulation of the Davis‐Moore Thesis.
    Costas Panayotakis.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    This article advances a reconceptualization of the Davis‐Moore thesis, which adresses the weaknesses of Davis and Moore's original formulation and can function not as a causal explanation of inequality but as a normative yardstick, against which the efficiency of capitalist society's use of human talents can be measured. I argue that the nonmeritocratic nature of capitalist society prevents it from using human talents efficiently and that this fact is obscured by a “meritocratic illusion” that is systematically generated by the structural logic of capitalist society. After briefly exploring one way in which capitalism's ecological contradictions impinge on the Davis‐Moore thesis, I conclude by arguing that it is the mediation of capitalism's contradictions through social struggles that will determine whether a more meritocratic society consistent with the reconceptualized version of the Davis‐Moore thesis will ever emerge.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12068   open full text
  • Social Capital as Collateral: Banking on the Poor.
    Esayas Bekele Geleta.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    Group‐based micro finance is a field in which the place of social capital in development has been given a central focus. The formation of micro group is based on tapping into the information that group members have about each other, thus relying on social capital. Group‐based micro finance has also been explained as a means of creating social capital. This article, drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's conception of social capital, in contrast to the widely accepted notion of it, critically examines the link between social capital and group‐based micro finance. It argues that group‐based MF is not favored by the marginalized poor, and it serves as a mechanism in the production and reproduction of social conflict and inequality.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12070   open full text
  • Corporate Responsibility and the Collegial Field.
    Jan Tullberg.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    This article is based on 21 interviews of informants actively engaged with corporate responsibility in Sweden. The article introduces a new concept—the “collegial field”—which is helpful in understanding the course of events. With systems that are more open to other organizations, horizontal groupings with common interests become more influential. Collegial fields can also be relevant for understanding other activities in organizations than corporate responsibility.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12061   open full text
  • Good Governance and Norms of Citizenship: An Investigation into the System‐ and Individual‐Level Determinants of Attachment to Civic Norms.
    Peter Kotzian.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    Norms of citizenship are seen as a precondition for a functioning polity and society. But what determines the importance citizens attach to these norms? Are individual‐level features, like education or social embeddedness, relevant? Do system‐level features like the economic situation or quality of governance matter? Our findings from a multilevel analysis indicate that, paradoxically, a political system's effectiveness and legitimacy undermine the very norms on which it depends for both effectiveness and legitimation. In well‐functioning states, citizens' attachment to civic norms declines. As for the effect of welfare policies, there is no “crowding‐out” effect in the sense that if the state provides for citizens who are less well off, solidarity among citizens was reduced. Few individual‐level characteristics that relate to the public sphere—such as social embeddedness—are found to matter, indicating that norms are perpetuated in the private sphere.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12066   open full text
  • Schumpeter's Challenge to Economists: History, Theory, and Statistics as Key Competencies and Sociology as a Vision for the Future.
    Janne Kurtakko.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    Schumpeter wrote that a “scientific” economist is competent in three “techniques”: economic theory, economic history, and statistics. In addition, he mentions economic sociology. The current interpretation is that theory, history, and statistics refer to aspects of research that can emerge in any field of science. Their content and relations can be clarified with Mach's writings. Economic sociology is not a technique within economics, but a part of general sociology. The rationale of economic and general sociology becomes clear by considering Schumpeter's interpretations of Marx's ideas. Schumpeter's ultimate ambition may have been a grand theory following Marx's vision.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12060   open full text
  • Adam Smith's and Douglass North's Multidisciplinary Approach to Economic Development.
    Kwangsu Kim.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. January 02, 2014
    This article aims to point out Adam Smith's and Douglass North's multidisciplinary approach to economic development and history. Based on a philosophical link of methodological issues, Smith and North shared a conceptual framework and explanatory principles in common as well as similar historical illustrations. In terms of the use of comprehensive and integrated models of society, politics, and economy, they presented that economic development relies on how far congenial both institutional environments and sociocultural values of justice, liberty, security, and equality are to economic agents, allowing the interplay between economic performance and polity/culture. Meanwhile, these suggest a bridging role between old and new institutionalism, and, more importantly, a revival of Smithian moral philosophical tradition in the history of economics.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12067   open full text
  • Are Mainstream and Heterodox Economists Different? An Empirical Analysis.
    Michele Di Maio.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    We explore the differences between mainstream and heterodox economists based on the responses to a questionnaire from a representative sample of Italian economists. Using different definitions for mainstream and heterodox economics, we compare the individual and academic characteristics of the economists belonging to these groups. We measure the within and between disagreement for each group and we test whether belonging to one or the other group predicts differences in economists' opinions on economic policy. Results show that: 1) mainstream and heterodox economists differ as to individual and academic characteristics and political views; 2) the disagreement within heterodox economics is lower than within mainstream economics; 3) some of commonly used ways of grouping heterodox and mainstream schools of thought have little explicative power in relation to individual opinions; 4) on critical economic policies, the opinions of heterodox and mainstream economists are significantly different even after controlling for a number of individual characteristics, including political opinions.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12044   open full text
  • When Heterodoxy Becomes Orthodoxy: Ecological Economics in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics.
    Óscar Carpintero.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    Modern ecological economics emerged in opposition to mainstream economics as a scientific approach with many key heterodox features. Among these are an open systems perspective, transdisciplinarity, and radical criticism of the conventional representation of economic process. The term “ecological economics” was included internationally in the second edition (2008) of The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, the most prestigious and widely used dictionary of economics. In our view, however, the entry does little to facilitate understanding of the heterodox features, and theoretical and methodological controversies that have developed in ecological economics over the last two decades.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12043   open full text
  • Lost in Translation: Why Generalized Darwinism is a Misleading Strategy for Studying Socioeconomic Evolution.
    George Liagouras.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    The article is based on Lewontin's distinction between transformational and variational evolution. Given that transformational evolution is dominant in the social realm while variational evolution reigns in the organic world, the question is if Hodgson and Knudsen's Generalized Darwinism bridges the ontological gap between the two types of evolution. It is argued that the three successive strategies of the authors—deconstruction of Lamarckism, appropriation of the Price equation, redefinition of the replication notion—are all based on controversial semantic innovations. Most importantly, it is shown that Generalized Darwinism, in its effort to address the transformational character of social evolution through the notion of generative replication, is compelled to radically restrict the importance of Darwinian natural selection.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12041   open full text
  • Schumpeter, Commons, and Veblen on Institutions.
    Theofanis Papageorgiou, Ioannis Katselidis, Panayotis G. Michaelides.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    This article compares Schumpeter, Veblen, and Commons with regard to institutions setting up the paradigm of institutional evolutionary economics. Their theories are of a complex nature, and as such, it is very difficult to situate them in a clear‐cut tradition. The main similarity is their opposition to the thesis that market economy is an independent and self‐regulating system, in an attempt to integrate economic, sociological, and political perspectives with regard to the functioning of the system. Also, change per se is in contrast to the notion of equilibrium. Of course, despite the parallels, the existence of differences is undeniable.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12042   open full text
  • Classical Surplus Theory and Heterodox Economics.
    Nuno Ornelas Martins.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    It has recently been suggested that heterodox economics can benefit from an engagement with classical surplus theory. However, caution is often recommended due to the ideological concepts that are embedded in classical political economy. This article argues that many of the ideological concepts that are often attributed to classical political economy are actually not part of classical political economy, but rather of a “vulgar” form of political economy, a project that emerged after Ricardo. This vulgar project, often termed as “Ricardian economics,” is often mistakenly taken to be a development of classical political economy, but it is actually a rupture with the classical political economy of Petty, Smith, and Ricardo, as Marx, and later Sraffa, argued. Once this is acknowledged, the relationship between classical political economy and heterodox economics becomes clearer.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12045   open full text
  • Conspicuous Consumption as Routine Expenditure and its Place in the Social Provisioning Process.
    Zdravka Todorova.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    The article utilizes the framework of social provisioning to argue that conspicuous consumption is an essential process of capitalism, and should be explored as a routine practice rather than an exceptional behavior. The objectives are: 1) to discuss conspicuous consumption as a process within a heterodox social provisioning framework; and 2) to emphasize the need for formulating theoretical concepts and discussions that are consistent with heterodox frameworks such as social provisioning.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12039   open full text
  • Financialization and Income Inequality in the United States, 1967–2010.
    Bradford M. Van Arnum, Michele I. Naples.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    This article presents a historical overview of the late 20th‐century advent of financialization, that is, the unprecedented growth of the financial sector. We summarize its origins and consequences, particularly greater income inequality. An econometric model quantifies the relationship. We conclude that along with higher unemployment and an eroding minimum wage, the growth of the U.S. financial sector has contributed to the exacerbation of inequality in recent decades.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12036   open full text
  • The Problem of Epistemic Cost: Why Do Economists Not Change Their Minds (About the “Coase Theorem”)?
    Altug Yalcintas.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    Errors in the history of economic analysis often remain uncorrected for long periods due to positive epistemic costs (PEC) involved in allocating time to going back over what older generations wrote. In order to demonstrate this in a case study, economists' practice of the “Coase Theorem” is reconsidered from a PEC point of view.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12037   open full text
  • The Making of the Institutional Theory of Social Costs: Discovering the K. W. Kapp and J. M. Clark Correspondence.
    Sebastian Berger.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    This article reconstructs the making of the often “overlooked” institutional theory of social costs based on the unexploited correspondence between John Maurice Clark and Karl William Kapp. The reconstruction demonstrates that the institutional argument on social costs was developed as a critique of neoclassical economics and of post‐WWII neoliberalism.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12040   open full text
  • Degraded Work, Declining Community, Rising Inequality, and the Transformation of the Protestant Ethic in America: 1870–1930.
    Jon D. Wisman, Matthew E. Davis.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    The Protestant ethic has been depicted as declining in America between 1870 and 1930, due to new consumer durables and less rewarding work. This study finds that the Protestant ethic did not so much decline as become transformed. The work ethic remained in force, while frugality weakened. This transformation is traced to three dynamic social forces: degradation in the quality of work due to industrialization, the decline of community with urbanization, and a dramatic increase in inequality. Consequently, social respect and social standing came increasingly to be sought through consumption, which became a proxy for hard work, entailing a weakening of asceticism.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12038   open full text
  • An Essay on Distributive Justice and the Equal Ownership of Natural Resources.
    John Pullen.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 18, 2013
    The article argues that, in seeking to establish criteria for distributive justice, consideration should be given to the manner in which Earth's natural resources are owned. The views of seven notable authorities on this issue are presented, ranging from an unrestricted right of private ownership to some form of public or collective ownership. The possibility of a system of ownership that is private but equal is discussed.
    October 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12035   open full text
  • Political Consumerism in Context: An Experiment on Status and Information in Ethical Consumption Decisions.
    Mark Hudson, Ian Hudson, Jason D. Edgerton.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 05, 2013
    This article investigates two possible explanations for willingness to engage in ethical consumption: increased status and improved information about the benefits of ethical consumption for producers and for nature. We approach our hypotheses through an experimental method in which people are asked, under varying conditions, to choose between fair trade and “conventional” coffee. Unexpectedly, status and information provision did not significantly affect consumption decisions. Implications of our findings for the ethical consumption literature and strategies aimed at increasing ethical consumption are discussed.
    September 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12033   open full text
  • Revisiting the Concept of Schools of Thought in Economics: The Example of the Austrian School.
    Ioana Negru.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 05, 2013
    The aim of this article is to explore defining characteristics of schools of thought in economics, with Austrian economics chosen to illustrate some of the themes raised. This article argues that a school of thought can be interpreted as an entity that comprises both a system of thought and its member practitioners. Furthermore, a school of thought presupposes the existence of two elements: coherence and distinctiveness. Despite the existence of Misesian and Hayekian strands and thus of plurality within the Austrian school, the article argues for the existence of a broader notion of coherence within the Austrian school at the level of epistemology, methodology, and agenda/objectives.
    September 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12029   open full text
  • Hayek and the Sorcerer's Apprentice: Whither the Hayekian Logic of Intervention?
    Edward McPhail, Andrew Farrant.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 05, 2013
    Commentators claim that Hayek's work readily explains what consequences are likely to result from the allegedly socialist policies finding favor with the Obama Administration. They have ready cause to invoke his name as Hayek himself has a penchant for promiscuously invoking “planning” with widespread descriptive applicability. This article draws upon archival material to show that Hayek did indeed think that persisting with middle‐way policies (Hayek's supposed “muddle of the middle”) would lead to full‐blown command planning. In particular, Hayek argued that middle‐way policies would induce psychological changes in the populace that would lead it to supposedly favor and call for ever greater government intervention. For Hayek, these supposed psychological changes allegedly provide much grease for any slippery slope that leads to serfdom.
    September 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12034   open full text
  • Self‐Interest vs. Greed and the Limitations of the Invisible Hand.
    Matthew T. Clements.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 05, 2013
    Markets can only function well if there is an appropriate legal framework to restrict the behavior of market participants; however, the legal framework is inevitably inadequate. A “greedy” market participant that seeks to gain at the expense of others can usually find some way to do so. This might be done within the legal framework, or it might involve a violation of the law that is difficult to enforce. Since the legal system does not generally guarantee that markets can function efficiently, there is a role for other institutions to foster a more enlightened self‐interest as a social norm and thus improve efficiency.
    September 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12026   open full text
  • Some Useful Concepts for Development Economics in the Tradition of Latin American Structuralism.
    Leonardo Vera.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 05, 2013
    The aim of this article is to provide a selective account of some of the most important conceptual contributions of the Latin American structuralist tradition to the area of development economics. We argue that this account may help modern development economics theory overcome visible limitations and develop in a more fruitful way. We trace back the origin of these conceptualizations and identify some recent and scant efforts to incorporate them into the mainstream economic development literature. We try to clarify the meaning of the concepts and amplify their current economic significance for developing countries. The constructs selected are: (1) structural change, (2) structural disequilibrium, (3) bottlenecks, (4) structural heterogeneity, (5) endogenous nucleus of technological dynamization, (6) social disarticulation, and (7) conflict‐led instability.
    September 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12027   open full text
  • Double Movement, Globalization, and the Crisis.
    Gökçer Özgür, Hüseyin Özel.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 05, 2013
    This article asks whether the process of financial globalization and its recent crisis can be explained by Karl Polanyi's notion of the double movement and argues, in tune with this notion, that capitalist market relations depend on certain institutional arrangements and yet the development of the market forces deteriorates these institutions' arrangements to such extent that even the “capitalist business itself had to be sheltered from the unrestricted working of the market mechanism” (Polanyi 1944: 193).
    September 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12030   open full text
  • The Shifting Welfare State in Hungary and Latvia.
    Cristina Matos.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 05, 2013
    This article analyzes the evolution of the welfare system in Hungary and Latvia since the early 1990s. We identify the main components of social protection and investigate whether they have shifted. We find evidence of significant changes, but not of a definite and major shift. Rather, we argue that various benefits have evolved differently. In general, reforms tend to recombine (rather than replace) specific components.
    September 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12032   open full text
  • European Periphery Crises, International Financial Markets, and Democracy.
    Jorge Garcia‐Arias, Eduardo Fernandez‐Huerga, Ana Salvador.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 05, 2013
    This article analyzes the origin and causes of the recent economic and financial crises, mainly for the countries located in the periphery of the European Union (EU), as well as their evolution and transformation into social, political, and institutional crises. After explaining the differential impact of the crises on EU economies, we analyze how the economic policies developed thus far not only are unable to resolve the current crisis pattern but also actually entail a risk to the present democratic models by transferring the legitimate control over governments from citizens and democratic parliaments to unelected, nonrepresentative international financial markets.
    September 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12031   open full text
  • An Analysis of the Convergence of the Composition of Public Expenditures in European Union Countries.
    Jesús Ferreiro, M. Teresa García‐del‐Valle, Carmen Gómez.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. September 05, 2013
    The literature on fiscal policies is paying increasing attention to the impact of the composition of public expenditures on long‐term economic growth. Public policy endogenous growth models recommend to change the composition of public expenditures to items considered productive expenditures. In this sense, European institutions are encouraging the rise in the share of productive outlays like public investments, R&D, and active labor market policies, among others. The article analyzes whether these recommendations are followed by European Union countries and whether a convergence to a new pattern of public finances with a higher share of those items considered productive expenditures by European institutions is arising.
    September 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12028   open full text
  • A Mesoeconomic Approach to Socioeconomics.
    Derek Tittle.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 01, 2013
    Economics has developed extensive modeling of household, firm, and aggregated economy‐wide behavior utilizing rational actors. It has not developed social behavior analysis in as great of depth. The model presented here presents justification of the adoption of social norms by the individual as a method of examining the breakdown of social order by self‐identified subgroups and society in general.
    July 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12016   open full text
  • Do Business Executives Give More to Their Alma Mater? Longitudinal Evidence from a Large University.
    Phanindra V. Wunnava, Albert A. Okunade.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 01, 2013
    The novel contribution of this research is the examination of the gift‐giving patterns of alumni business executives of a large urban public university. Our results reinforce the earlier findings that male alumni in Greek social organizations gave more to their alma mater. New insights unique to this study are that alumni with the higher‐order executive job titles are more charitable. Further, the number of known other gift‐giving alumni and friends seems to positively impact giving. The national athletic championship wins are also significant positive drivers of alumni giving in the championship year, as well as in the succeeding nonchampionship year.
    July 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12019   open full text
  • Iranian Disease: Why a Developing Country's Government Did Not Listen to Economists' Advices.
    Tohid Atashbar.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 01, 2013
    Why did the Iranian government push its economy towards Dutch disease, even when the consensus of Iranian economists and the majority of the media warned about the consequences of the adopted policies and the symptoms of economic illness? This study shows that Iranian Dutch disease occurred between 2006 and 2009 when a combination of favorable socioeconomic incentives and affirmative structural‐cultural backgrounds, including public acceptance of redistributive policies, short‐term perspectives of life and the development process, institutionalized obedience, and the increasing general perception of corruption, led the government to neglect economists' warnings and insist on its policies.
    July 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12017   open full text
  • New and Current Evidence on Determinants of Aggregate Federal Personal Income Tax Evasion in the United States.
    Richard J. Cebula.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 01, 2013
    Using the most current data available, this study seeks to identify any new as well as traditional determinants of personal income tax evasion. A variety of empirical estimates find that income tax rates, the IRS audit rate and IRS penalty interest rates, and the unemployment rate all influence tax evasion. In addition, rarely investigated variables including the tax‐free interest rate, the public's job approval rating of the president, and the public's dissatisfaction with government, along with previously unstudied variables, namely, the real interest rate yield on Moody's Baa‐rated long‐term corporate bonds and the real interest rate yield on three‐year Treasury notes, also affect income tax evasion.
    July 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12020   open full text
  • Steven Levitt on Abortion and Crime: Old Economics in New Bottles.
    Robert Chernomas, Ian Hudson.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 01, 2013
    This article explores the work of Steven Levitt on abortion and crime as representative of a new wave of economists that are redefining the mainstream of the discipline. Levitt has moved away from formalized modeling of narrow self‐interested maximization that was a hallmark of the “old” mainstream. However, he retains the “old” mainstream linchpins of a focus on the individual by abstracting from the social context, and an emphasis on the ability of econometric testing to reveal the truth. These crucial elements that Levitt retains from the “old” mainstream create some problems of both emphasis and analysis for his explanation for the drop in crime in the United States.
    July 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12024   open full text
  • Theory and Empirics of Democracy and Crime Revisited: How Much Further Can We Go with Existing Data and Methodologies?
    Jose Cuesta.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 01, 2013
    The vast empirical work on the criminogenic nature of democracies has produced strong—albeit suspiciously wide‐ranging—claims. This article reviews existing evidence and methodologies that link crime and democracies. It asks three questions: Do theories generate separable and exclusionary predictions enabling their identification and testing? Could results be more conclusive given existing data limitations and the current methodological state of the art? How far are we from obtaining such results? We conclude that there are far too many arguments with blurry lines predicting just about any result. Data are more likely to constitute the binding constraint rather than methodology issues, despite the fact that the estimation of causality between democracy and crime can still be improved. Finally, the priority should be the harmonization of existing information sources, which will require overcoming externalities associated with the public good nature of global information generation.
    July 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12025   open full text
  • Deposits, Loans, and Banking: Clarifying the Debate.
    Philipp Bagus, David Howden, Walter Block.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 01, 2013
    The relationship between banking deposits and loans is contentious. While the defense of a 100 percent reserve clause to eliminate fractional reserves has commonly been asserted on economic and ethical grounds, Huerta de Soto (2006) arguments are largely ignored. Rozeff (2010) is an example. We show that treating a loan and a deposit interchangeably is impermissible due to both established and a priori legal principles. At best, fractional reserves may be considered an aleatory contract but this is incompatible with the reason individuals hold money—mitigating uncertainty. Deposit and loan contracts are distinct, and may not be contractually melded together.
    July 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12023   open full text
  • Post‐Socialist Culture and Entrepreneurship.
    Petrik Runst.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 01, 2013
    In this article it is argued that locus of control beliefs and preferences concerning state action negatively affect the formation of new firms in former socialist countries. For this purpose Kirzner's theory of costless entrepreneurship is reviewed and criticized. German reunification, in which the formerly socialist East Germany joined the Federal Republic of Germany, represents an intriguing natural experiment in which the formal institutional structure of one nation was almost fully transplanted into another. Traditional as well as psychological factors are examined. The results suggest that about one‐third of the east‐west gap in new self‐employment can be explained by inert informal institutions.
    July 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12022   open full text
  • Between Rules and Incentives: Uncovering Hayek's Moral Economy.
    João Rodrigues.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 01, 2013
    This article uncovers Hayek's moral economy. It focuses on the relation between markets, as well as on the nonmarket institutions on which the former rely, and the motivations that guide individuals' behavior. Despite his epistemological admonitions, Hayek has a rich set of suggestions about the functional importance of particular individuals' motivation and moral makeup for the development of a market society. This contributes to undermine his claims that a market society can be neutral among different values.
    July 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12018   open full text
  • Mutual Help Networks and Social Transformation in Japan.
    Morio Onda.
    American Journal of Economics and Sociology. July 01, 2013
    Japanese society has changed from the past as a result of modernization. However, there is one aspect of social action that has persisted at least in spirit. The purpose of the article is to show how traditional mutual help remains important, has been transformed in the transition to modernity, and has contributed to the continuing development of Japanese society. Mutual help can be divided into three types: yui, reciprocity through exchanging labor; moyai, redistribution based on a common store of goods and resources; and tetsudai, nonreciprocal support in social rites of passage. While these customs have almost disappeared from modern life, the tradition of mutual help is still manifest in some modern civic activities. The social system of mutual help arose from indigenous conditions in order to overcome the “tragedy of the commons.” Modern society might do well to reconsider such mutual help networks in search of ways of solving both public and private social problems in Japan and overseas as well.
    July 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajes.12021   open full text