Social Sciences – Comparative, International, Transnational (2011-12-01)

The study of global governance at the University of Duisburg-Essen received an enormous boost with the establishment of a new university Main Research Area in 2009, dedicated to the study of the Transformation of Contemporary Societies: Building Order in a Borderless World. The authors of this volume have benefited from this opportunity to build cross-disciplinary and international research capacities and they present their research here in the English language in order to underline their aim to make an international contribution to the social scientific understanding of this new phase of globalization.

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Claus Leggewie, Dirk Messner

„Transformation Studies – How Society and Science React to the Limits of the Earth System“

The new social contract comprises the proactive state, an active civil society, innovative business and technology, and scientific reflection and guidance. These four partners today are subject to a fundamentally new condition: the limits of the Earth system and the sheer physics of climate change mean that time is running out. Delaying solutions today will only make the problems of tomorrow and beyond all the greater, perhaps even insurmountable.

Birgit Pech, Tobias Diebel

„Corruption as an Obstacle to Development? – Taking Stock of Research Findings and the Effectiveness of Policy Strategies“

The authors recommend a step-by-step approach which sets priorities and combines concrete measures of anti-corruption policies with the adjustment of existing institutional arrangements. Within such an overall concept it may make sense not to immediately aim at decreasing the level of corruption but to first convert the most harmful “corruption syndromes” into less harmful forms.

Winfried Flüchter

„Earthquake – Tsunami – Nuclear Accident – Geo-Risk-Space and Risk Society Japan in Light of the Triple Disaster 2011“

Nature strikes, and forces human-beings under its yoke. This is the geo-deterministic argument. Hazard research contributes an alternative understanding, pointing to how humans attempt to bring nature under their control, in the belief that the more developed the technology, the better our control. The effect, however, is heightened vulnerability.

Marcus Conlé, Markus Taube

„Innovation in Innovative Clusters? – China’s Quest for Technological Progress between Politics and Markets“

Seen in perspective, the very specific framework conditions determining firm strategies and (local) government behaviour in China have resulted in the establishment of an innovative system of clusters. In order to turn China’s biotech clusters into vibrant centers of innovation with a strong ‘creative buzz’, however, substantial changes in China’s politico-economic system and institutional set-up are required.

Thomas Heberer, Anja Senz

„Environmental Policies and Political Steering in China – A View from the Local Level“

Evaluation processes in China show that the counties not only have room to manoeuver in terms of policy priorities, but also that these processes offer incentives for policy implementation, particularly for implementing environmental policies. The incentive and communication system which has been described here with regard to the environmental field is a relevant steering factor in the specific design of Chinese decentralisation; otherwise all benefits of decentralisation would have bogged down.

Flemming Christiansen

„Crossing Borders – Urban-Rural Integration and Labour Migration“

This article focuses on two aspects: first, as political surveillance of fiscal stability by the Stability and Growth Pact proved to be insufficient in the past to say the least, the question is whether this mechanism has been improved. Second, as Greece and other states depend on new packages of financial assistance, various options are under discussion.

Heinz-Jürgen Axt

„Turmoil in the Euro-Zone – No Lifeline without Major Risks“

This article focuses on two aspects: first, as political surveillance of fiscal stability by the Stability and Growth Pact proved to be insufficient in the past to say the least, the question is whether this mechanism has been improved. Second, as Greece and other states depend on new packages of financial assistance, various options are under discussion.

Wiebke Breustedt, Susanne Pickel

„The Rise and Fall of European Democracies – Recent Trends in the Support of Right-Wing Populism among the Citizens of Europe“

Since the mid-1980s, right-wing populist parties have established themselves as a new type of party family in many Western European countries. After the breakdown of Communism, right-wing populist parties also successfully participated in the elections in several Central Eastern European countries. The question is, who elects right-wing populist parties, and why?

Arnd-Michael Nohl, Anja Weiß

„Beyond the German “Green Card” – Migration of Highly Qualified Professionals“

Given the international race for the ‘best minds’, German policy has started, albeit hesitantly, to take action. The Green Card Initiative in 2000 made the first provisions for immigration and recruitment of highly qualified professionals from abroad, but it and other legal changes have not reached the majority of immigrants holding a foreign university degree. It therefore remains to be seen in future how these changes will affect the integration of highly qualified migrant professionals with foreign qualifications in the labour market.

Gerhard Bosch

„Transnationalism of Wage Systems? – Transnational Labour Markets and National Employment in the EU“

While individual migration from Central and Eastern Europe has had a manageable impact on economic aggregates only, postings have the potential to transform institutions. The right to provide services within the EU and the primacy accorded to product markets in the decisions of the European Court of Justice have placed national wage systems in particular under pressure to adjust.

Mathias Knuth, Johannes Kirsch, Gernot Mühge

„Restructuring and Occupational Mobility – Support for Job Transitions in European Comparison“

The job transition schemes in none of the four countries reviewed can be seen merely as another ‘instrument’ of active labour market policy, such as continued vocational training, direct job creation or job brokering. Whatever the technical content of job transition support may be, the framing of the schemes is primarily derived from industrial relations and concerns a negotiated exit from a company’s workforce.

Dieter Grunow

„Reforms of Public Administration – International Comparative Research in the Administrative Sciences“

The contribution gives some examples of research on public administration in the context of the Institute of Political Science and the RISP with an international perspective. The more complex and process-related the cases are, the smaller the number of comparative cases that can be studied.

Melanie Diermann

„Yes He Can – Why Obama’s Government Communication is Successful“

This article examines the leading question of what Obama did differently to Clinton and to what extent varying strategies helped him succeed where Clinton failed. The institutional conditions and aims for both reforms were similar, yet Obama managed to pass the necessary bills while Clinton did not.