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    The Icon Project: Architecture, Cities and Capitalist Globalisation – Book Review

The Icon Project: Architecture, Cities and Capitalist Globalisation – Book Review

The Icon Project: Architecture, Cities and Capitalist Globalisation. Leslie Sklair. Oxford University Press. 2016.

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The architectural city is a place haunted by phantasms. Across it, images flicker which at once involve and express complex cultural logics. These images are not confined to the many screens distributed around the city and found in the hands of its inhabitants. They […]

Without urgent action big data may widen inequality

I would like to tackle the role of big and open data in contemporary society, and the well-justified fear that the development of related digital technologies and artificial intelligence may widen existing inequalities and social divides. The term “big data” is typically associated with the idea that lots of data, about anything and everything, can now be rapidly produced, […]

UK must create a cap-and-trade pollution market

PMQs on Wednesday opened with an attack on the Government’s air pollution strategy from the backbenches. It was by no means the first time in recent years the strategy has been challenged. It wasn’t even the first time that day. That morning, Government had – for the third time – lost a legal battle over its plan.

All this controversy […]

February 23rd, 2018|Dan Lewis, Environment|0 Comments|

Blockchain: an overview

During the late 1990s, investors were eager to invest in any company with an Internet-related name or a “.com” suffix. Today, the word “blockchain” has a similar effect. Like the Internet, blockchains are an open source technology that becomes increasingly valuable as more people use it due to what economists call “the network effect”. Blockchains allow digital information to […]

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    The educational and economic value of embracing people’s mother tongues

The educational and economic value of embracing people’s mother tongues

In Uganda, only 32 per cent of school children are literate in their mother tongue. They grow up in one of the country’s 65 ethnic tribes, each of which has its own language. But from their fourth year at primary school they are taught in the country’s official language, English. Yet research shows that to achieve their full potential […]

Beyond the ‘Scrum’: the value of individual work

Imagine walking into an open plan office. In the middle of the room there is an animated meeting of six or seven people. They are clearly working on a project together. Ideas are being energetically shared, a steady stream of suggestions being offered, keyboards are enthusiastically tapped, notes made. There is a buzz of achievement, of a team at […]

Delinking economic growth and CO2 emission is possible

Six of the top 10 emitters of greenhouse gas are developing countries, according to a recent analysis of the World Resources Institute (see Figure 1). At present, developing countries already account for more than half of total annual emissions, and the share will only rise as developing countries grow. Clearly, achieving the global climate targets of the Paris Agreement […]

A Research Agenda for Neoliberalism – Book Review

A Research Agenda for Neoliberalism. Kean Birch. Edward Elgar Publishing. 2017.

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Neoliberalism has become a term that is more often used than fully understood in academic discussions, popular writings on the economy and/or the news media. There is a large and growing library of books on the subject, yet still students from undergraduate to PhD level, as well […]

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    Investing in a university diploma in Britain is still worth the cost

Investing in a university diploma in Britain is still worth the cost

In a recent article in The Political Quarterly Alan Ware claimed that for most students, higher education was not worth the cost. He claimed that there is no “need” for higher education, that higher education does not result in higher earnings, higher education does not impart useful skills, nor does it facilitate social mobility. In a recent article in The Political Quarterly I evaluated Ware’s claims and […]

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    Does social media foster polarisation? A close look at the handle @realdonaldtrump

Does social media foster polarisation? A close look at the handle @realdonaldtrump

Social media facilitates communication and an appealing question is whether citizens use it to endorse or criticize the government. I investigate individuals’ potential polarisation about President Trump, as reflected in his personal Twitter account. In this context, polarisation relates to expressing positive or negative judgements through social media.

The reach of social media is not trivial. Users use it to […]

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    Unpicking complex incentive mechanisms that reward top managers handsomely

Unpicking complex incentive mechanisms that reward top managers handsomely

One distinct feature of the rise in income inequality over recent decades is the surging incomes of the working rich, particularly the pay of a class of top managers. A popular view stresses the role of performance-related pay in generating this feature. According to this view, the pay of many top managers is high-powered (i.e., with incentives tied to firm […]

Discrimination at work: a self-fulfilling prophecy?

When we think of discrimination we often think of barriers that minorities face in the hiring process or impediments to receiving equal pay for equal work. We may typically think that this stems from antipathy towards minorities, or what we economists call “taste-based” discrimination. But it may also derive from priors that people have about the average productivity of […]

What can organisations do to close the gender pay gap?

On 10 November 2017 women in the UK were urged to down tools and put an ‘out of office’ on their computers ‘until the end of the year’, as a tongue-in-cheek response to the fact they would now be working for no pay for the next 51 days. Globally, women need to work, on average, more than 70 additional […]

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    How Lübeck faded, while Hamburg survived trade disruption from the Dutch

How Lübeck faded, while Hamburg survived trade disruption from the Dutch

The cities of Hamburg and Lübeck have an interwoven and eventful history. Whereas Lübeck offers an example of how dominant cities may become unattractive and decline when they end up serving the interests of a privileged few and refuse to change, Hamburg serves as a tale of how cities can reinvent themselves by changing with the times. The cities, in the […]

Women & Power: A Manifesto – Book Review

Women & Power: A Manifesto. Mary Beard. Profile Books. 2017.

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Philomela in Metamorphoses. Penelope in The Odyssey. Lavinia in Titus Andronicus. ‘When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice,’ Mary Beard writes in her latest work, Women & Power: A Manifesto. In this short volume adapted from two lectures delivered in […]

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    In Michael Gove’s agricultural utopia, Britain would ‘compete at the top’ after Brexit

In Michael Gove’s agricultural utopia, Britain would ‘compete at the top’ after Brexit

Michael Gove is a man who knows when to pick a fight, and when to make friends. Unlike his tenure in the Department for Education when he took on the ‘vested interests’ of the teachers’ unions and others to implement radical reforms to the education system, his time as Environment Secretary so far has been characterised by a surprisingly […]

What Greek mythology teaches us about love in organisations

In a letter written in 1856, the Russian writer Lev Tolstoy wrote, “One can live magnificently in this world if one knows how to work and how to love.” Love is crucial in everyday people’s life, work and business experiences. However, our common understanding of organisational life tends to treat work and love largely as non-overlapping fields, fuelling the […]

How blockchain can help the fight against counterfeit goods

At one point, purchasing goods and services online was more of a novelty experience with high shipping costs. Today, online purchases are a ubiquitous part of the shopping experience. A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center found that nearly eight-in-ten Americans are making purchases online.

Most consumers are using the Internet to enter a global marketplace where they can […]

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    Business of war: contractors acted as the hidden wiring of the British army in the 1700s

Business of war: contractors acted as the hidden wiring of the British army in the 1700s

Today we are accustomed to hearing of defence contractors playing a vital non-combatant role in warfare. While residual suspicions of fraud and corruption are often raised in areas where public service sits uneasily alongside private business interests, we now like to think that stricter regulation ensures greater transparency, accountability, and economy. It was not always thus. In the eighteenth […]

Hong Kong’s once-vibrant economy has “gone sideways”

For all its political resonance, the British handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 merely ratified a long-standing economic reality. Since the late 1970s, when the People’s Republic began its transformation to a market-based system, Hong Kong’s economy has been deeply intertwined with the mainland. As China’s manufacturing muscle powered the country into the front rank of the […]