The Future of the Euro

The Future of the Euro

In The Future of the Euro, a group of the world's top political economists analyze the fundamental causes of the euro crisis, determine how it can be fixed, and consider what likely futures lie ahead for the currency. The book makes three interrelated arguments emphasizing the primacy of political over economic factors. First, the original plan for the euro focused on monetary union, but omitted a financial and banking union, mutually supporting institutions of fiscal union and economic government, and a legitimate political union. Second, the euro's unfinished design led to economic divergence-quietly altering the existing distribution of economic and political power within Europe prior to the crisis-which in turn determined the EU's crisis response. The book highlights how the euro's four most important member states-Germany, France, Italy and Spain-each changed once they adopted the euro, why the crisis affected them so differently, and how each has since struggled to live with the commitments the euro necessitates. Third, the book examines three possible "euro futures" through the lens of the politics of its reluctant leader Germany; through the lens of the EU's capacity to move forward through crises; and through the geopolitical lens of the international monetary system. Any successful long-term solution to the euro's predicament will need to start with the political foundations of markets.

The Future of Consumer Society

Prospects for Sustainability in the New Economy

The Future of Consumer Society

Consumer society in the United States and other countries is receding due to demographic ageing, rising income inequality, political paralysis, and resource scarcity. At the same time, steady jobs that compensate employees on a salaried or hourly basis are being replaced by freelancing and contingent work. The rise of the so-called sharing economy, the growth of do-it-yourself production, and the spreading popularity of economic localization are evidence that people are striving to find new ways to ensure livelihoods for themselves and their families in the face of profound change. Indications are that we are at the early stages of a transition away from a system of social organization predicated on consumerism. These developments have prompted some policy makers to suggest providing households with a non-labor source of income that would enable more adequate satisfaction of their basic needs. These proposals include a universal basic income, a citizen's dividend, and a legal framework for broad-based stock ownership in corporations. However, extreme political fractiousness makes it unlikely that these recommendations will receive prompt and widespread legislative endorsement in most countries. In the meantime, we seem to be moving incontrovertibly toward a twenty-first century version of feudalism. How might we chart a different path founded on social inclusiveness and economic security? A practicable option entails establishment of networks of interlinked worker-consumer cooperatives that organizationally unify production and consumer. Such modes of mutual assistance already exist and The Future of Consumer Society profiles several successful examples from around the world. If replicated and scaled, worker-consumer cooperatives could smooth the transition beyond consumer society and facilitate a future premised on sufficiency, resiliency, and well-being.

The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken

The New Politics of Religion in the United States

The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken

Introduction by John Caputo and Afterword by Slavoj Žižek The triumph of American political conservatism in the last two decades has been paralleled by the ascendance of Christian evangelicalism. More importantly, the political Campaigns of 2000 and 2004 marked a convergence between these two political entities with an effectiveness never before seen in national elections. On the one side, conservatives have successfully set the terms of debate around so-called "family values" and the status of religion in the public sphere. On the other side, evangelicals have mobilized in a new self-awareness of their formidable political power and now demand representation at all levels of government. Upon what fundamental ideas does this convergence rest? What potential dangers does it present for the concepts of "religion," "politics" and "America"? How secure is this alliance, and what does each side sacrifice in order to sustain it? Must all religion in America now become similarly engaged in the political sphere? This volume is a collection of articles by a group of young scholars addressing the nexus between political conservatism, evangelical Christianity, and American consumerist culture.

Climate Change and the Nation State

The Realist Case

Climate Change and the Nation State

'This is one of those rare books that have something really important to say. Anatol Lieven, one of the most original and independent-minded foreign policy thinkers, is telling his fellow realists that at this moment the world's great powers are far more threatened by climate change than they are by each other.' - Ivan Krastev, author of The Light That Failed In the past two centuries we have experienced wave after wave of overwhelming change. Entire continents have been resettled; there are billions more of us; the jobs done by countless people would be unrecognizable to their predecessors; scientific change has transformed us all in confusing, terrible and miraculous ways. Anatol Lieven's major new book provides the frame that has long been needed to understand how we should react to climate change. This is a vast challenge, but we have often in the past had to deal with such challenges: the industrial revolution, major wars and mass migration have seen mobilizations of human energy on the greatest scale. Just as previous generations had to face the unwanted and unpalatable, so do we. In a series of incisive, compelling interventions, Lieven shows how in this emergency our crucial building block is the nation state. The drastic action required both to change our habits and protect ourselves can be carried out not through some vague globalism but through maintaining social cohesion and through our current governmental, fiscal and military structures. This is a book which will provoke innumerable discussions.

A Temporary Future: The Fiction of David Mitchell

A Temporary Future: The Fiction of David Mitchell

Having emerged as one the leading contemporary British writers, David Mitchell is rapidly taking his place amongst British novelists with the gravitas of an Ishiguro or a McEwan. Written for a wide constituency of readers of contemporary literature, A Temporary Future: The Fiction of David Mitchell explores Mitchell's main concerns-including those of identity, history, language, imperialism, childhood, the environment, and ethnicity-across the six novels published so far, as well as his protean ability to write in multiple and diverse genres. It places Mitchell in the tradition of Murakami, Sebald, and Rushdie-writers whose works explore narrative in an age of globalization and cosmopolitanism. Patrick O'Donnell traces the through-lines of Mitchell's work from ghostwritten to The Bone Clocks and, with a chapter on each of the six novels, charts the evolution of Mitchell's fictional project.

The Geography of South Africa

Contemporary Changes and New Directions

The Geography of South Africa

This edited collection examines contemporary directions in geographical research on South Africa. It encompasses a cross section of selected themes of critical importance not only to the discipline of Geography in South Africa, but also of relevance to other areas of the Global South. All chapters are original contributions, providing a state of the art research baseline on key themes in physical, human and environmental geography, and in understanding the changing geographical landscapes of modern South Africa. These contributions set the scene for an understanding of the relationships between modern South Africa and the wider contemporary world, including issues of sustainable development and growth in the Global South.

The Labyrinth of North American Identities

The Labyrinth of North American Identities

What exactly does it mean to be North American? Europeans have been engaged in a long-running debate about the meaning and nature of Europe. The Labyrinth of North American Identities generates a similar discussion in the context of North America: what do we learn about North America as a unit and its individual countries when we explore the idea of a shared North American identity? Combining cultural, anthropological, historical, political, economic, and religious considerations, Philip Resnick acknowledges the relative differences in power and influence of the United States and its North American neighbours but digs deeper to uncover shared characteristics that constitute a labyrinth of North American identities unrestricted by national boundaries. To date, discussions of North America have largely revolved around the often technical implications of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or US homeland security. What has been lacking, by contrast, is a culturally-driven set of reflections. This book examines the legacy of indigenous cultures; the role of organized religion; pathways to independence; the role of imperial languages; manifest destiny; market capitalism and its limitations; democratic practices and failures; diverging uses of the state; new world utopias and dystopias; regional identities; and civilizational perspectives. What results is a vision of North America that defies any top-down attempt to impose a homogeneous "North Americanness."

Radical Political Theology

Religion and Politics After Liberalism

Radical Political Theology

In the 1960s, the strict opposition between the religious and the secular began to break down, blurring the distinction between political philosophy and political theology. This collapse contributed to the decline of modern liberalism, which supported a neutral, value-free space for capitalism. It also deeply unsettled political, religious, and philosophical realms, forced to confront the conceptual stakes of a return to religion. Gamely intervening in a contest that defies simple resolutions, Clayton Crockett conceives of the postmodern convergence of the secular and the religious as a basis for emancipatory political thought. Engaging themes of sovereignty, democracy, potentiality, law, and event from a religious and political point of view, Crockett articulates a theological vision that responds to our contemporary world and its theo-political realities. Specifically, he claims we should think about God and the state in terms of potentiality rather than sovereign power. Deploying new concepts, such as Slavoj Žižek's idea of parallax and Catherine Malabou's notion of plasticity, his argument engages with debates over the nature and status of religion, ideology, and messianism. Tangling with the work of Derrida, Deleuze, Spinoza, Antonio Negri, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, John D. Caputo, and Catherine Keller, Crockett concludes with a reconsideration of democracy as a form of political thought and religious practice, underscoring its ties to modern liberal capitalism while also envisioning a more authentic democracy unconstrained by those ties.

The Jesus Lizard Book

The Jesus Lizard Book

Featured as a "This Week's Reading/What We're Loving" pick at The Paris Review Named the Best Music-Related Book of 2014 by Joel Gausten "If you're a Jesus Lizard fan or a David Yow devotee, you're sure all over this. But even if you've never heard of the band, the book stands as one of the best ways to experience being in a tight, cohesive band. You get everything except the sweat, spilled beer, and blood. It's a fun ride, and the closest thing possible to getting in the van with these guys." --Mother Jones "The Jesus Lizard Book is a beautiful document of a band that wasn't afraid to be abrasive, chaotic, brutal, and sometimes, ugly." --The Chicago Tribune/Printers Row "These guys deserve to pat themselves on the back...If the spectacular photography in The Jesus Lizard Book is to be believed, their shows resembled nothing more than that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where some poor dude has his still-beating heart removed in an elaborate ritual." --The Paris Review "As a reader, you don’t need to hear the songs to appreciate the story--and Book delivers the band right to your coffee table loud and clear." --BoingBoing.net "The gorgeously crafted, 176-page hardcover Book...dives deep and candidly into the Jesus Lizard's first decade and touches a bit on that 2009 coda, too. Through many thousands of words, hundreds of photos, and collected ephemera, it celebrates the sweat, menace, humor, musicianship, lasting power, and genitals of one of the best bands ever coughed up by the rock underground." --The Village Voice "Book is a valuable document that brings us back to the era when artists were conditioned to practice the art of self-defense." --Pitchfork "A series of essays and photos that illuminates the Jesus Lizard--humorous, jolting, sometimes surprisingly moving." --The Chicago Tribune "If there is any recurring theme within the 176 pages of the newly released The Jesus Lizard Book it's this: The Chicago-grown noise rockers will be remembered as one of the greatest live bands to ever grace--or very well desecrate--the stage." --Chicago Sun-Times "Impressively candid, informed and informative history of a remarkable group of musicians. A 'must read' for their legions of appreciative fans...Highly recommended." --Midwest Book Review "Even if you're unfamiliar with or disinterested with the band's music, Book makes for an intriguing exploration of the alternative music scene of the '90s--a short burst in time when a band as gloriously odd as The Jesus Lizard could do whatever they wanted to do and get a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow." --Joel Gausten The Jesus Lizard Book is a coffee table affair of exclusive photography, art, and other imagery with written pieces by all four members of the seminal indie rock band the Jesus Lizard. The layout is stylish and elegant, particularly in contrast with the harshness of much of the band's music. Included are many Polaroids by David Wm. Sims, a delicious recipe by David Yow, a concise list of every show the Jesus Lizard played, and writings by two producers who recorded the band--Steve Albini and Andy Gill. There is biographical material of each member that covers childhood to the demise of the group. Other contributors include, Mike Watt, Alexander Hacke, Steve Gullick, Rebecca Gates, Jeff Lane, Sasha Frere-Jones, KRK, Bernie Bahrmasel, and many more.