For developing countries, decentralising power from central government to local authorities holds the promise of deepening democracy, empowering citizens, improving public services and boosting economic growth. Decentralised Governance brings together a new generation of political economy studies that explore these issues analytically, blending theoretical insights with empirical innovation.Book Details
Trade is an essential driver of economic transformation, growth, and prosperity. At a time of global uncertainty and policy fluidity, this comprehensive volume demystifies African trade and trade policy to provide a deeper understanding of how trade impacts the lives of all Africans and the continent’s development aspirations.
Featuring a wealth of data-driven evaluations of trade negotiations and policy choices, How Africa Trades is an invaluable open access resource for making sense of the continent’s major trade challenges, including commodity dependence, competitiveness, and how African countries engage with often unconducive international trade rules that distort global markets.
In-depth analysis focuses on intra-African trade initiatives, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), trade between African countries and their major trading partners, and how the short-term shocks of Covid-19 restrictions brought about longer-term changes in informal and formal trade patterns, and sped-up shifts in digital trade.
Edited by Professor David Luke, and featuring vital contributions on trade economics, international law and sustainable development, How Africa Trades draws on the research expertise of LSE’s Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa. This volume provides information, expertise and tools for policymakers, stakeholders and scholars with an interest in understanding the dynamics of trade and in making effective policy decisions that centre development and inclusivity for Africa and its people.Book Details
Access to the radio spectrum is vital for modern digital communication. It is an essential component for smartphone capabilities, the Cloud, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, and multiple other new technologies. Governments use spectrum auctions to decide which companies should use what parts of the radio spectrum. Successful auctions can fuel rapid innovation in products and services, unlock substantial economic benefits, build comparative advantage across all regions, and create billions of dollars of government revenues. Poor auction strategies can leave bandwidth unsold and delay innovation, sell national assets to firms too cheaply, or create uncompetitive markets with high mobile prices and patchy coverage that stifles economic growth. Corporate bidders regularly complain that auctions raise their costs, while government critics argue that insufficient revenues are raised. The cross-national record shows many examples of both highly successful auctions and miserable failures.
Drawing on experience from the UK and other countries, senior regulator Geoffrey Myers explains how to optimise the regulatory design of auctions, from initial planning to final implementation. Spectrum Auctions offers unrivalled expertise for regulators and economists engaged in practical auction design or company executives planning bidding strategies. For applied economists, teachers, and advanced students this book provides unrivalled insights in market design and public management. Providing clear analytical frameworks, case studies of auctions, and stage-by-stage advice, it is essential reading for anyone interested in designing public-interested and successful spectrum auctions.Book Details
Afghanistan has been in the headlines for many years – but tragically for all the wrong reasons. First invaded by the Soviets in 1979, the country then experienced the trauma of civil war followed by yet another intervention, this time by the United States and allies, which ended with the West’s ignominious withdrawal in August 2021. Afghanistan: Long War, Forgotten Peace examines multiple dimensions of what happened and why, and what the future holds for the country now the Taliban are back in power.
Multidisciplinary in approach, this book features analysts from a variety of academic disciplines, including policy-makers and public intellectuals – many with direct experience of having lived and worked in Afghanistan. It explains why the Taliban finally triumphed, what this means for Afghan society, and how competing actors in the international system have reacted to the Taliban takeover. Questions include whether the West’s withdrawal represented a major or only a temporary setback for NATO and the United States, and whether and how there can be any amelioration of the situation in Afghanistan itself. The country and its people face multiple interrelated challenges, including those of women’s rights, the drugs economies and human trafficking and exploitation.
This volume is essential reading for all those concerned with what happens in Afghanistan over the coming months and years, the consequences for the Afghan people – and for the rest of the world.Book Details
In the past 30 years, senior executive pay has increased dramatically in the UK, US and other developed countries, causing much debate and, at times, public outrage. In this book, Alexander (‘Sandy’) Pepper argues that inflation in executive pay is the result of a market failure, leading to inefficient pay practices as firms compete over recruitment.
But are executives themselves really the greedy, self-interested, fat cats of popular culture? Based on a survey of beliefs of over a thousand senior executives, Pepper and his colleagues found that business executives tend not to believe they are entitled to act entirely in their own self-interest. Instead, they expressed support for a range of ethical beliefs on inequality and distributive justice. Many believe that in a civilised society everyone has the right to an income that is sufficient for a dignified life, and that companies, not just governments, have responsibilities in this respect. So, Pepper argues, it is market failure that has created such wage inflation at the top, and this ultimately requires an ethical response from investors, companies and executives.
This is a book for anyone who wishes to understand and tackle business’s role in the growing social inequality of advanced economies in an informed, fair and feasible way.Book Details
Economic growth is often a disruptive social process - so how has the Chinese state been able to maintain compliance from its people while at the same time pushing ahead an exceptionally rapid social and economic transformation? This book explores the question via detailed analysis of the trajectories, policy rationale, and effects of China’s pension reforms, demonstrating how statecraft shapes the ways that citizens ascribe credit and responsibility for pensions protection across themselves, the state and other actors.
The book shows that China’s governmentality for manufacturing compliance is hybrid, organic, and dynamic. The targeted allocation of benefits, policy experimentation, propaganda and knowledge construction, and many other approaches are used to shape public expectations and to justify state rule. An original contribution to the study of legitimation in modern states, the analysis particularly highlights that when active counter-conduct (such as resistance) is confined, individuals may choose cognitive rebellion and falsify their public compliance.Book Details
Governments in liberal democracies pursue social welfare, but in many different ways. The wellbeing approach instead asks: why not focus directly on increasing measured human happiness? Why not try to improve people’s overall quality of life, as it is subjectively seen by citizens themselves?
The radical implications of this stance include shifting attention to previously neglected areas (such as mental health and ‘social infrastructure’ services) and developing defensible measures of overall wellbeing or quality of life indicators. Can one ‘master’ concept of wellbeing work to create more holistic policy-making? Or should we stick with multiple metrics? These debates are well-developed in health policy-making and in alternative ‘capabilities’ approaches to assessing quality of life. Most recently, the connections between wellbeing and political participation have come into sharper focus.
Wellbeing remains a contested concept, one that can be interpreted and used differently, with consequences for how it is incorporated into policy decisions. By bringing together scholars from economics, psychology and behavioural science, philosophy and political science, the authors and editors of this short volume explore how different disciplinary approaches can contribute to the study of wellbeing and how this can shape policy priorities.Book Details
Populist movements, parties and leaders have gained influence in many countries, disrupting long-established patterns of party competition, impugning the legitimacy of representative institutions and sometimes actively weakening or coarsening government capabilities. By positing an acute contrast between the will of the people and established elites, and advocating simplistic policy solutions careless of minority rights, populists have challenged the development and even the maintenance of liberal democracy on many fronts.
Social scientists’ attention to populism has grown rapidly, although it remains somewhat fragmented across disciplines. Many questions remain. Are populism’s causes economic or cultural? National or local? Is populism a threat to liberal democracy? If so, what kind of threat? And what can be done about it? Employing a range of conceptual toolkits and methods, this interdisciplinary book addresses in a critical and evidence-based way the most common diagnoses of populism’s causes, consequences and policy antidotes.Book Details
COVID-19 presents huge challenges to governments, businesses, civil societies, and people from all walks of life, but its impact is highly variegated, affecting society in multiple negative ways, with uneven geographical and socioeconomic patterns. In this regard, this edited volume brings together the voices of researchers who work on and in Southeast Asia to show how COVID-19 reveals existing contradictions and inequalities in our society, compelling us to question what it means to return to 'normal' and what insights we can glean from Southeast Asia for thinking about a post-pandemic world. This volume also contributes to ongoing efforts to de-centre and decolonise knowledge production.Book Details
Violence and war were ubiquitous features of politics long before the emergence of the modern state system. Since the 1780s revolutions and terrorism have also challenged the idea of the state as a final arbiter of international order. This book covers ten major theorists of politics, violence and relations between states – Thucydides, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Clausewitz, Lenin and Mao, and Schmitt. Each thinker is considered in detail, not just as a placeholder in ‘realist’ versus moralism debates.
Conflict, war and revolution are generally seen in political thought as problems to be managed by stable domestic political communities. In different ways, all the paradigmatic thinkers here see them as inevitable dimensions of human experience, while yet manifested in different logics of acting politically and requiring different ways of handling. This book dramatically broadens the canon of political thought by considering perspectives on the international system that challenge its historical inevitability and triumph.Book Details