Asian Smallholders in Comparative Perspective provides the first multicountry, inter-disciplinary analysis of the single most important social and economic formation in the Asian countryside: the smallholder. Based on ten core country chapters, the volume describes and explains the persistence, transformations, functioning and future of the smallholder and smallholdings across East and Southeast Asia. As well as providing a source book for scholars working on agrarian change in the region, it also engages with a number of key current areas of debate, including: the nature and direction of the agrarian transition in Asia, and its distinctiveness vis à vis transitions in the global North; the persistence of the smallholder notwithstanding deep and rapid structural change; and the question of the efficiency and productivity of smallholder-based farming set against concerns over global and national food security.
This book challenges the notion that there is a single, global process of economic restructuring to which cities must submit. The studies in this volume compare urban development in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, demonstrating that there is significant variety in urban economic restructuring. The contributors emphasize that the economic forces transforming cities from industrial concentrations to postindustrial service centers do not exist apart from politics: all nation-states are heavily involved in the restructuring process.
Contributors: Pierre Clavel, Susan Fainstein, Richard Child Hill, Nancy Kleniewski, Harvey L. Molotch, Michael Parkinson, Edmond Preteceille, Saskia Sassen, H. V. Savitch, John Walton, and the editors.
In the series Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development, edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom.
The study of the chimpanzee, one of the human species’ closest relatives, has led scientists to exciting discoveries about evolution, behavior, and cognition over the past half century. In this book, rising and veteran scholars take a fascinating comparative approach to the culture, behavior, and cognition of both wild and captive chimpanzees. By seeking new perspectives in how the chimpanzee compares to other species, the scientists featured offer a richer understanding of the ways in which chimpanzees’ unique experiences shape their behavior. They also demonstrate how different methodologies provide different insights, how various cultural experiences influence our perspectives of chimpanzees, and how different ecologies in which chimpanzees live affect how they express themselves.
After a foreword by Jane Goodall, the book features sections that examine chimpanzee life histories and developmental milestones, behavior, methods of study, animal communication, cooperation, communication, and tool use. The book ends with chapters that consider how we can apply contemporary knowledge of chimpanzees to enhance their care and conservation. Collectively, these chapters remind us of the importance of considering the social, ecological, and cognitive context of chimpanzee behavior, and how these contexts shape our comprehension of chimpanzees. Only by leveraging these powerful perspectives do we stand a chance at improving how we understand, care for, and protect this species.
The goal of Crime and Justice, Volume 36 is to advance the understanding of the determinants of penal policies in developed countries. The contributors explore the distinctive national differences in policy in responses to rising crime rates, rapid social change, economic dislocation and increased ethnic diversity. Countries covered include Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Japan, France, Norway and the United States.
Prosecutors are powerful figures in any criminal justice system. They decide what crimes to prosecute, whom to pursue, what charges to file, whether to plea bargain, how aggressively to seek a conviction, and what sentence to demand. In the United States, citizens can challenge decisions by police, judges, and corrections officials, but courts keep their hands off the prosecutor. Curiously, in the United States and elsewhere, very little research is available that examines this powerful public role. And there is almost no work that critically compares how prosecutors function in different legal systems, from state to state or across countries. Prosecutors and Politics begins to fill that void.
Police, courts, and prisons are much the same in all developed countries, but prosecutors differ radically. The consequences of these differences are enormous: the United States suffers from low levels of public confidence in the criminal justice system and high levels of incarceration; in much of Western Europe, people report high confidence and support moderate crime control policies; in much of Eastern Europe, people’s perceptions of the law are marked by cynicism and despair. Prosecutors and Politics unpacks these national differences and provides insight into this key area of social control.
Since 1979 the Crime and Justice series has presented a review of the latest international research, providing expertise to enhance the work of sociologists, psychologists, criminal lawyers, justice scholars, and political scientists. The series explores a full range of issues concerning crime, its causes, and its cure.
"Rosas's compelling theory and wide-ranging empirical evidence yield a persuasive but surprising conclusion in light of the financial meltdown of 2008–9. In the event of banking crises, not only do elected governments treat taxpayers better and force bankers and their creditors to pay more for their mistakes, but bankers in democracies are more prudent as a consequence . . . essential reading for all interested in the political economy of crisis and in the future of banking regulation."
---Philip Keefer, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, The World Bank
"Rosas convincingly demonstrates how democratic accountability affects the incidence and resolution of banking crises. Combining formal models, case studies, and cutting-edge quantitative methods, Rosas's book represents a model for political economy research."
---William Bernhard, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois
"When the financial crises of the 1990s hit Asia, Russia, and Latin America, the U.S. scolded them about the moral hazard problems of bailing out the banks. Now, the shoe is on the other foot, with the U.S. struggling to manage an imploding financial sector. Rosas's study of bank bailouts could not be more timely, providing us with both a framework for thinking about the issue and some sobering history of how things go both right and badly wrong. Democratic accountability proves the crucial factor in making sure bailouts are fair, a point that is as relevant for U.S. policy as for an understanding of the emerging markets."
---Stephan Haggard, Krause Professor, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego
Banking crises threaten the stability and growth of economies around the world. In response, politicians restore banks to solvency by redistributing losses from bank shareholders and depositors to taxpayers, and the burden the citizenry must bear varies from case to case. Whereas some governments stay close to the prescriptions espoused by Sir Walter Bagehot in the nineteenth century that limit the costs shouldered by taxpayers, others engage in generous bank bailouts at great cost to society. What factors determine a government's response?
In this comparative analysis of late-twentieth-century banking crises, Guillermo Rosas identifies political regime type as the determining factor. During a crisis, powerful financial players demand protection of their assets. Rosas maintains that in authoritarian regimes, government officials have little to shield them from such demands and little incentive for rebuffing them, while in democratic regimes, elected officials must weigh these demands against the interests of the voters---that is, the taxpayers. As a result, compared with authoritarian regimes, democratic regimes show a lower propensity toward dramatic, costly bailouts.
Guillermo Rosas is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Fellow at the Center in Political Economy at Washington University in St. Louis.
Goedele A. M. De Clerck presents cross-cultural comparative research that examines and documents where deaf flourishing occurs and how it can be advanced. She spotlights collective and dynamic resources of knowledge and learning; the coexistence of lived differences; social, linguistic, cultural, and psychological capital; and human potential and creativity. Deaf Epistemologies, Identity, and Learning argues for an inclusive approach to the intrinsic human diversity in society, education, and scholarship, and shows how emotions of hope, frustration, and humiliation contribute to the construction of identity and community. De Clerck also considers global to local dynamics in deaf identity, deaf culture, deaf education, and deaf empowerment. She presents empirical research through case studies of the emancipation processes for deaf people in Flanders (a region of Belgium), the United States (specifically, at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC), and the West African nation of Cameroon. These three settings illuminate different phases of emancipation in different contexts, and the research findings are integrated into a broader literature review and subjected to theoretical reflection.
De Clerck’s anthropology of deaf flourishing draws from her critical application of the empowerment paradigm in settings of daily life, research, leadership, and community work, as she explores identity and well-being through an interdisciplinary lens. This work is centered around practices of signed storytelling and posits learning as the primary access and pathway to culture, identity, values, and change. Change driven by the learning process is considered an awakening—and through this awakening, the deaf community can gain hope, empowerment, and full citizenship. In this way, deaf people are allowed to shape their histories, and the result is the elevation of all aspects of deaf lives around the world.
Oostindie and Klinkers add depth to the study of post-World War II Caribbean decolonization with their comparative analysis of the former Dutch colonies of Surinam, the Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba. Their detailed analysis of Dutch decolonization policies of the 1940s cover such issues as the political processes of decolonization, development aid, the Dutch Caribbean exodus to the metropolis, and cultural antagonisms. Putting these issues within a larger context, the authors skillfully contrast the decolonization process of Dutch Caribbean states with the current policies pursued in the non-sovereign Caribbean by France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The gap between the richest and poorest Americans has grown steadily over the last thirty years, and economic inequality is on the rise in many other industrialized democracies as well. But the magnitude and pace of the increase differs dramatically across nations. A country's political system and its institutions play a critical role in determining levels of inequality in a society. Democracy, Inequality, and Representation argues that the reverse is also true—inequality itself shapes political systems and institutions in powerful and often overlooked ways. In Democracy, Inequality, and Representation, distinguished political scientists and economists use a set of international databases to examine the political causes and consequences of income inequality. The volume opens with an examination of how differing systems of political representation contribute to cross-national variations in levels of inequality. Torben Iverson and David Soskice calculate that taxes and income transfers help reduce the poverty rate in Sweden by over 80 percent, while the comparable figure for the United States is only 13 percent. Noting that traditional economic models fail to account for this striking discrepancy, the authors show how variations in electoral systems lead to very different outcomes. But political causes of disparity are only one part of the equation. The contributors also examine how inequality shapes the democratic process. Pablo Beramendi and Christopher Anderson show how disparity mutes political voices: at the individual level, citizens with the lowest incomes are the least likely to vote, while high levels of inequality in a society result in diminished electoral participation overall. Thomas Cusack, Iverson, and Philipp Rehm demonstrate that uncertainty in the economy changes voters' attitudes; the mere risk of losing one's job generates increased popular demand for income support policies almost as much as actual unemployment does. Ronald Rogowski and Duncan McRae illustrate how changes in levels of inequality can drive reforms in political institutions themselves. Increased demand for female labor participation during World War II led to greater equality between men and women, which in turn encouraged many European countries to extend voting rights to women for the first time. The contributors to this important new volume skillfully disentangle a series of complex relationships between economics and politics to show how inequality both shapes and is shaped by policy. Democracy, Inequality, and Representation provides deeply nuanced insight into why some democracies are able to curtail inequality—while others continue to witness a division that grows ever deeper.
In this pioneering study of democratization in Argentina, Leslie Anderson challenges Robert Putnam’s thesis that democracy requires high levels of social capital. She demonstrates in Democratization by Institutions that formal institutions (e.g., the executive, the legislature, the courts) can serve not only as operational parts within democracy but as the driving force toward democracy.
As Anderson astutely observes, the American founders debated the merits of the institutions they were creating. Examining how, and how well, Argentina’s American-style institutional structure functions, she considers the advantages and risks of the separation of powers, checks and balances, legislative policymaking, and strong presidential power. During the democratic transition, the Argentinian state has used institutions to address immediate policy challenges in ways responsive to citizens and thereby to provide a supportive environment in which social capital can develop.
By highlighting the role that institutions can play in leading a nation out of authoritarianism, even when social capital is low, Anderson begins a new conversation about the possibilities of democratization. Democratization by Institutions has much to say not only to Latin Americanists and scholars of democratization but also to those interested in the U.S. constitutional structure and its application in other parts of the world.
For those who assume that increased regulation of political spending is inevitable in democratic nations, recent developments in U.S. campaign finance law appear puzzling. Is deregulation, exemplified by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, a harbinger of things to come elsewhere or further evidence that the United States remains an anomaly?
In this volume, experts on the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Germany, Sweden, France, and several other European nations explore what deregulation means in the context of political campaigns and demonstrate how such comparisons can inform the study of campaign finance in the U.S. Whereas the contributors do not settle on any single theory of change in campaign finance law or any single perspective on the relationship between changes seen in the U.S. and those in other nations over the past decade, they do concur that the U.S. is rapidly retreating from the types of regulations that defined campaign finance law in most democratic nations during the latter decades of the twentieth century. By tracing and analyzing the recent history of regulation, the contributors shed light on many pressing topics, including the relationship between public opinion and campaign finance law, the role of scandals in inspiring reform, and the changing incentives of political parties, interest groups, and the courts.
Since 1991, Ethiopia has gone further than any other country in using ethnicity as the fundamental organizing principle of a federal system of government. And yet this pioneering experiment in “ethnic federalism” has been largely ignored in the growing literature on democratization and ethnicity in Africa and on the accommodation of ethnic diversity in democratic states. Ethnic Federalism brings a much-needed comparative dimension to the discussion of this experiment in Ethiopia.
Ethnic Federalism closely examines aspects of the Ethiopean case and asks why the use of territorial decentralism to accommodate ethnic differences has been generally unpopular in Africa, while it is growing in popularity in the West.
The book includes case studies of Nigerian and Indian federalism and suggests how Ethiopia might learn from both the failures and successes of these older federations. In the light of these broader issues and cases, it identifies the main challenges facing Ethiopia in the next few years, as it struggles to bring political practice into line with constitutional theory and thereby achieve a genuinely federal division of powers.
Conventional wisdom holds that globalization has made the world more modern, not less. But how has modernity been conceived of in colonial, postcolonial, and post-revolutionary worlds? In Figurations of Modernity, an international team of scholars probe how non-European worlds have become modern ones, from the perspective of a broad range of societies around the globe.
From vocational education in Argentina to secular morality in Tibet, from the construction of heroes in Central Asia to historical memory in Nigeria, this comprehensive volume reckons with the legacy of empire in a globalizing world. Enhanced by the perspectives of historians, anthropologists, and scholars of comparative education, Figurations of Modernity will be an essential book for those studying post-colonial nations across disciplines.
Debates on immigrant integration often center on “national models of integration,” a concept that reflects the desire of both researchers and policy makers to find common ground. This book challenges the idea that there has ever been a coherent or consistent Dutch model of integration and asserts that though Dutch society has long been seen as exemplary for its multiculturalism—and argues that the incorporation of migrants remains one of the country’s most pressing social and political concerns. In addition to an analysis of how immigration is framed and reframed through diverse dialogues, the author provides a highly dynamic overview of integration policy and its evolution alongside migration research.
This highly readable study addresses a range of fundamental questions about the interaction of politics and economics, from a grassroots perspective in post-transition Argentina. Nancy R. Powers looks at the lives and political views of Argentines of little to modest means to examine systematically how their political interests, and their evaluations of democracy, are formed. Based on the author’s fieldwork in Argentina, the analysis extends to countries of Latin America and Eastern Europe facing similarly difficult political and economic changes.
Powers uses in-depth interviews to examine how (not simply what) ordinary people think about their standard of living, their government, and the democratic regime. She explains why they sometimes do, but more often do not, see their material conditions as political problems, arguing that the type of hardship and the possibilities for coping with it are more politically significant than the degree of hardship. She analyzes alternative ways in which people define democracy and judge its legitimacy.
Not only does Powers demonstrate contradictions and gaps in the existing scholarship on economic voting, social movements, and populism, she also shows how those literatures are addressing similar questions but are failing to “talk” to one another. Powers goes on to build a more comprehensive theory of how people at the grassroots form their political interests. To analyze why people perceive only some of their material hardships as political problems, she brings into the study of politics ideas drawn from Amartya Sen and other scholars of poverty.
Recent acts of terrorism in Britain and Europe and the events of 9/11 in the United States have greatly influenced immigration, security, and integration policies in these countries. Yet many of the current practices surrounding these issues were developed decades ago, and are ill-suited to the dynamics of today's global economies and immigration patterns.
At the core of much policy debate is the inherent paradox whereby immigrant populations are frequently perceived as posing a potential security threat yet bolster economies by providing an inexpensive workforce. Strict attention to border controls and immigration quotas has diverted focus away from perhaps the most significant dilemma: the integration of existing immigrant groups. Often restricted in their civil and political rights and targets of xenophobia, racial profiling, and discrimination, immigrants are unable or unwilling to integrate into the population. These factors breed distrust, disenfranchisement, and hatred-factors that potentially engender radicalization and can even threaten internal security.
The contributors compare policies on these issues at three relational levels: between individual EU nations and the U.S., between the EU and U.S., and among EU nations. What emerges is a timely and critical examination of the variations and contradictions in policy at each level of interaction and how different agencies and different nations often work in opposition to each other with self-defeating results. While the contributors differ on courses of action, they offer fresh perspectives, some examining significant case studies and laying the groundwork for future debate on these crucial issues.
This volume brings together a group of scholars from a wide range of disciplines to address crucial questions of migration flows and integration in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Comparative analysis of the three regions and their differing approaches and outcomes yields important insights for each region, as well as provokes new questions and suggests future avenues of study.
In this book, Mauro F. Guillén explores differing historical patterns in the adoption of the three major models of organizational management: scientific management, human relations, and structural analysis. Moving beyond Reinhard Bendix's classic Work and Authority, Models of Management takes a fresh look at how managers have used these models in four countries during the twentieth century.
Guillén's study of two liberal-democratic societies (the United States and Great Britain) and two corporatist societies (Germany and Spain) reveals significant differences in the way managerial elites and firms have adopted the three models. His data show that ideas themselves—independent of material interests and technology—can cause organizational change. Throughout the book, contrasts between modernist-technocratic and liberal-humanist mentalities, as well as between Protestant and Catholic religious backgrounds, emerge as decisive factors in determining managerial ideology and practice.
In addition to analyzing management methods in organizations, Guillén explores larger issues: the interaction among managerial, government, and labor elites; the impact of the state and the professions on managerial behavior; and the role that managers play in modern societies.
The northern and southern borders and borderlands of the United States should have much in common; instead they offer mirror articulations of the complex relationships and engagements between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. In North American Borders in Comparative Perspectiveleading experts provide a contemporary analysis of how globalization and security imperatives have redefined the shared border regions of these three nations.
This volume offers a comparative perspective on North American borders and reveals the distinctive nature first of the overportrayed Mexico-U.S. border and then of the largely overlooked Canada-U.S. border. The perspectives on either border are rarely compared. Essays in this volume bring North American borders into comparative focus; the contributors advance the understanding of borders in a variety of theoretical and empirical contexts pertaining to North America with an intense sharing of knowledge, ideas, and perspectives.
Adding to the regional analysis of North American borders and borderlands, this book cuts across disciplinary and topical areas to provide a balanced, comparative view of borders. Scholars, policy makers, and practitioners convey perspectives on current research and understanding of the United States’ borders with its immediate neighbors. Developing current border theories, the authors address timely and practical border issues that are significant to our understanding and management of North American borderlands.
The future of borders demands a deep understanding of borderlands and borders. This volume is a major step in that direction.
Donald K. Alper
Alan D. Bersin
Rick Van Schoik
In 1691, a Livonian peasant known as Old Thiess boldly announced before a district court that he was a werewolf. Yet far from being a diabolical monster, he insisted, he was one of the “hounds of God,” fierce guardians who battled sorcerers, witches, and even Satan to protect the fields, flocks, and humanity—a baffling claim that attracted the notice of the judges then and still commands attention from historians today.
In this book, eminent scholars Carlo Ginzburg and Bruce Lincoln offer a uniquely comparative look at the trial and startling testimony of Old Thiess. They present the first English translation of the trial transcript, in which the man’s own voice can be heard, before turning to subsequent analyses of the event, which range from efforts to connect Old Thiess to shamanistic practices to the argument that he was reacting against cruel stereotypes of the “Livonian werewolf” a Germanic elite used to justify their rule over the Baltic peasantry. As Ginzburg and Lincoln debate their own and others’ perspectives, they also reflect on broader issues of historical theory, method, and politics. Part source text of the trial, part discussion of historians’ thoughts on the case, and part dialogue over the merits and perils of their different methodological approaches, Old Thiess, a Livonian Werewolf opens up fresh insight into a remarkable historical occurrence and, through it, the very discipline of history itself.
The Cuban model of communism has been an inspiration—from both a positive and negative perspective—for social movements, political leaders, and cultural expressionists around the world. With changes in leadership, the pace of change has accelerated following decades of economic struggles. The death of Fidel Castro and the reduced role of Raúl Castro seem likely to create further changes, though what these changes look like is still unknown. For now, Cuba is opening in important ways. Cubans can establish businesses, travel abroad, access the internet, and make private purchases. Paths for Cuba examines Cuba’s internal reforms and external influences within a comparative framework. The collection includes an interdisciplinary group of scholars from around the world to explore reforms away from communism.
Much attention has focused on the ongoing role of economics in the prevention of armed conflict and the deterioration of relations. In The Political Economy of Transitions to Peace, Galia Press-Barnathan focuses on the importance of economics in initiating and sustaining peaceful relations after conflict.
Press-Barnathan provides in-depth case studies of several key relationships in the post-World War II era: Israel and Egypt; Israel and Jordan; Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia; Japan and South Korea; Germany and France; and Germany and Poland. She creates an analytical framework through which to view each of these cases based on three factors: the domestic balance between winners and losers from transition to peace; the economic disparity between former enemies; and the impact of third parties on stimulating new cooperative economic initiatives. Her approach provides both a regional and cross-regional comparative analysis of the degree of success in maintaining and advancing peace, of the challenges faced by many nations in negotiating peace after conflict, and of the unique role of economic factors in this highly political process.
Press-Barnathan employs both liberal and realist theory to examine the motivations of these states and the societies they represent. She also weighs their power relations to see how these factor into economic interdependence and the peace process. She reveals the predominant role of the state and big business in the initial transition phase (“cold” peace), but also identifies an equally vital need for a subsequent broader societal coalition in the second, normalizing phase (“warm” peace). Both levels of engagement, Press-Barnathan argues, are essential to a durable peace. Finally, she points to the complex role that third parties can play in these transitions, and the limited long-term impact of direct economic side-payments to the parties.
During the 1980s government economic policies in the United States and many Western countries promoted the privatization of state-owned activities and the liberalization of competition. This has been the Reagan-Thatcher legacy to contemporary political economy. Privatizing the Economy takes a careful second look at the economic arguments that link government ownership with poor economic performance. Through a rigorous comparative analysis of telecommunications policies in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Raymond Duch shows that it is political control rather than economic ownership that accounts for variations in economic performance. He also provides a political explanation of why privatization has progressed further in some countries than others. Privatizing the Economy strikes a unique balance between economic and political theory, empirical and theoretical analysis, and cross-national and case-study research design. Having identified the weaknesses of economic arguments regarding public versus private ownership, the author proposes an alternative political explanation for the variations in the performance of public and private firms. The author seeks to explain why some governments have adopted liberal economic policies while others have not. The discussion draws upon an extensive political economy literature, pointing out weaknesses of existing theories and suggesting a novel way of looking at policy change. Evidence supporting the author's theoretical propositions comes from two distinct comparative research traditions: cross-national and case-study analyses. This novel way of looking at policy change and the author's broad use of political economy literature offers readers an understanding of what benefits liberal economic policies might deliver and of the likelihood that such policy initiatives might succeed.
It is well known that the scope of individual rights has expanded dramatically in the United States over the last half-century. Less well known is that other countries have experienced "rights revolutions" as well. Charles R. Epp argues that, far from being the fruit of an activist judiciary, the ascendancy of civil rights and liberties has rested on the democratization of access to the courts—the influence of advocacy groups, the establishment of governmental enforcement agencies, the growth of financial and legal resources for ordinary citizens, and the strategic planning of grass roots organizations. In other words, the shift in the rights of individuals is best understood as a "bottom up," rather than a "top down," phenomenon.
The Rights Revolution is the first comprehensive and comparative analysis of the growth of civil rights, examining the high courts of the United States, Britain, Canada, and India within their specific constitutional and cultural contexts. It brilliantly revises our understanding of the relationship between courts and social change.
Based on the case of Kyrgyzstan, while going well beyond it to elaborate a theory of the developing state that comprehends corruption as not merely criminal, but a type of market based on highly rational decisions made by the powerful individuals within, or connected to, the state.
Too Many Children Left Behind: The U.S. Achievement Gap in Comparative Perspective
BRUCE BRADBURY is associate professor at the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, Australia. MILES CORAK is professor of economics at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. JANE WALDFOGFEL is professor of social work and public affairs at the Columbia University School of Social Work and visiting professor at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics and Political Science. ELIZABETH WASHBROOK is lecturer in Quantitative Methods for Education at the Graduate School of Education and a member of the Centre for Multilevel Modelling at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. Russell Sage Foundation, 2015 Library of Congress HQ792.U5B7243 2015 | Dewey Decimal 305.230973
The belief that with hard work and determination, all children have the opportunity to succeed in life is a cherished part of the American Dream. Yet, increased inequality in America has made that dream more difficult for many to obtain. In Too Many Children Left Behind, an international team of social scientists assesses how social mobility varies in the United States compared with Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Bruce Bradbury, Miles Corak, Jane Waldfogel, and Elizabeth Washbrook show that the academic achievement gap between disadvantaged American children and their more advantaged peers is far greater than in other wealthy countries, with serious consequences for their future life outcomes. With education the key to expanding opportunities for those born into low socioeconomic status families, Too Many Children Left Behind helps us better understand educational disparities and how to reduce them.
Analyzing data on 8,000 school children in the United States, the authors demonstrate that disadvantages that begin early in life have long lasting effects on academic performance. The social inequalities that children experience before they start school contribute to a large gap in test scores between low- and high-SES students later in life. Many children from low-SES backgrounds lack critical resources, including books, high-quality child care, and other goods and services that foster the stimulating environment necessary for cognitive development. The authors find that not only is a child’s academic success deeply tied to his or her family background, but that this class-based achievement gap does not narrow as the child proceeds through school.
The authors compare test score gaps from the United States with those from three other countries and find smaller achievement gaps and greater social mobility in all three, particularly in Canada. The wider availability of public resources for disadvantaged children in those countries facilitates the early child development that is fundamental for academic success. All three countries provide stronger social services than the United States, including universal health insurance, universal preschool, paid parental leave, and other supports. The authors conclude that the United States could narrow its achievement gap by adopting public policies that expand support for children in the form of tax credits, parenting programs, and pre-K.
With economic inequalities limiting the futures of millions of children, Too Many Children Left Behind is a timely study that uses global evidence to show how the United States can do more to level the playing field.
Since the growth of social media, human communication has become much more visual. This book presents a scholarly analysis of the images people post on a regular basis to Facebook. By including hundreds of examples, readers can see for themselves the differences between postings from a village north of London, and those from a small town in Trinidad. Why do women respond so differently to becoming a mother in England from the way they do in Trinidad? How are values such as carnival and suburbia expressed visually? Based on an examination of over 20,000 images, the authors argue that phenomena such as selfies and memes must be analysed in their local context. The book aims to highlight the importance of visual images today in patrolling and controlling the moral values of populations, and explores the changing role of photography from that of recording and representation, to that of communication, where an image not only documents an experience but also enhances it, making the moment itself more exciting.
This book challenges the commonly held theory that American workers had a far superior standard of living than their European counterparts in the early twentieth century. Peter R. Shergold bases his study on the cities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Birmingham, England, and compares statistical data on wage rates, labor hours, family income, retail prices, diet and budgets. He also presents information from medical investigators, travelers, charity workers, business organizations, diaries, speeches and a wide variety of other sources to breathe human life into his statistical data. Shergold reveals that skilled Americans did earn higher wages than the British, yet unskilled workers did not, while Americans worked longer hours, with a greater chance of injury, and had fewer social services.