« The Power of Inaction. Bank Bailouts in Comparison » by Cornelia Woll

The Power of Inaction. Bank Bailouts in Comparison
by Cornelia Woll
Cornell University Press, April 2014

Bank bailouts in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the onset of the Great Recession brought into sharp relief the power that the global financial sector holds over national politics, and provoked widespread public outrage. In The Power of Inaction, Cornelia Woll details the varying relationships between financial institutions and national governments by comparing national bank rescue schemes in the United States and Europe. Woll starts with a broad overview of bank bailouts in more than twenty countries. Using extensive interviews conducted with bankers, lawmakers, and other key players, she then examines three pairs of countries where similar outcomes might be expected: the United States and United Kingdom, France and Germany, Ireland and Denmark. She finds, however, substantial variation within these pairs. In some cases the financial sector is intimately involved in the design of bailout packages; elsewhere it chooses to remain at arm’s length.

Such differences are often ascribed to one of two conditions: either the state is strong and can impose terms, or the state is weak and corrupted by industry lobbying. Woll presents a third option, where the inaction of the financial sector critically shapes the design of bailout packages in favor of the industry. She demonstrates that financial institutions were most powerful in those settings where they could avoid a joint response and force national policymakers to deal with banks on a piecemeal basis. The power to remain collectively inactive, she argues, has had important consequences for bailout arrangements and ultimately affected how the public and private sectors have shared the cost burden of these massive policy decisions.

One of the Reviews
« Cornelia Woll’s The Power of Inaction is a brilliant, deeply insightful analysis of the political economy of government responses to banking sector crises. Woll has synthesized myriad arguments across disciplines and narratives among nations to produce a unique approach to one of the central questions of our time. »—Rawi Abdelal, Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management, Harvard Business School.

More on the Cornell University Press website

Cornelia Woll is professor of political science at Sciences Po, where she co-directs MaxPo and LIEPP. Her research focuses on the international political economy and economic sociology, in particular regulatory issues, economic policy and finance in the European Union and the United States. A specialist on business-government relations, she is also the author of Firm Interests: How Governments Shape Business Lobbying on Global Trade (Cornell University Press, 2008). See her publications.

Religion in America: A Political History by Denis Lacorne

Religion in America: A Political HistoryReligion in America: A Political History
by Denis Lacorne
Columbia University Press, 2nd ed.

Denis Lacorne identifies two competing narratives defining the American identity. The first narrative, derived from the philosophy of the Enlightenment, is essentially secular. Associated with the Founding Fathers and reflected in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers, this line of reasoning is predicated on separating religion from politics to preserve political freedom from an overpowering church. Prominent thinkers such as Voltaire, Thomas Paine, and Jean-Nicolas Démeunier, who viewed the American project as a radical attempt to create a new regime free from religion and the weight of ancient history, embraced this American effort to establish a genuine “wall of separation” between church and state.

The second narrative is based on the premise that religion is a fundamental part of the American identity and emphasizes the importance of the original settlement of America by New England Puritans. This alternative vision was elaborated by Whig politicians and Romantic historians in the first half of the nineteenth century. It is still shared by modern political scientists such as Samuel Huntington. These thinkers insist America possesses a core, stable “Creed” mixing Protestant and republican values. Lacorne outlines the role of religion in the making of these narratives and examines, against this backdrop, how key historians, philosophers, novelists, and intellectuals situate religion in American politics.

More on Columbia University Press web site

Denis Lacorne is a senior research fellow with the CERI (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales) at Sciences Po. A frequent commentator on American politics in the French press and on French television, his books include With Us or Against Us: Studies in Global Anti-Americanism and Language, Nation, and State: Identity Politics in a Multilingual Age, both with Tony Judt. Other publications.

IDDRI and IOM publish « The State of Environmental Migration 2013 – A review of 2012″

The State of Environmental Migration 2013 – A review of 2012 by François Gemenne; Pauline Brücker; Dina Ionesco

This volume is the third of an annual series, which aims to provide the reader with regularly-updated assessments on the changing nature and dynamics of environmental migration throughout the world. The idea for it stemmed from the course ‘Environment and Migration’, taught at the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) of Sciences Po. The course, which is thought to be the first of its kind in the world, examines the complex relationship between environmental change and migration flows. The best of these papers have been selected and edited, and are presented in this volume. Most of them constitute the first detailed analyses of the migration flows that were induced by some of the most dramatic events of 2012, paving the way for future scholarly works.

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Sciences Po is opening six faculty positions

Submission Deadline - Position

6 January 2014 -  The Law School is opening a campaign to recruit a full professorship in International Public Law for a public-sector teaching position

12 January 2014 -  The Departement of Political Science is opening a campaign to recruit a full professorship in Political Theory / Political Philosophy for a public-sector teaching position

15 January 2014 -  The Law School is opening a campaign to recruit a full professorship in Intellectual Property for a public-sector teaching position

16 February 2014 -  The Departement of Sociology and the Center for Sociology of Organizations are opening a campaign to recruit a full professorship in Sociology for a public-sector teaching position

28 February 2014 -  The Department of Political Science and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP) are opening a campaign to recruit a tenure track faculty position in Political Science

28 February 2014 -  The Department of Sociology and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP) are opening a campaign to recruit a tenure track faculty position in Sociology

« Ethical Consumption » by Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier

Ethical Consumption
by Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier
Fernwood Publishing, October 2013

Consumers are often importuned to exercise responsibility in the market sphere and to consume with an eye to their obligations as citizens. They express their ideals directly through their purchases, participating in larger-scale protests: boycotting products from a large multinational corporation, buying “ethical” products, resisting advertising campaigns and supporting alternative forms of trade. Whether in the form of a small collective action or a mass movement, the capacity to put new environmental or ethical social issues on the political, economic or media agenda via the market is quite real. While most ethical consumption does not challenge capitalism or the very foundations of the market itself, it does raise issues and consciousness about social and environmental justice. In Ethical Consumption, Dubuisson-Quellier suggests that ethical consumption can create a consumerism that is not only a forum for expressing the needs and wants as the market has done in the past, but as a space for the construction of social responsibility. More on the publishing house website

Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier is head of research at Centre national de la recherche scientifique and works at the Centre of Organizational Sociology at Sciences Po (CSO). Her research is situated in the field of economic sociology, and her focus is on the social construction of consumers and markets. See all publications.

« 1989 as a Political World Event Democracy, Europe and the New International System in the Age of Globalization », by Jacques Rupnik (ed.)

1989 as a Political World Event: Democracy, Europe and the New International System in the Age of Globalization
Edited by Jacques Rupnik

This book is not about the events of 1989, but about 1989 as a world event. Starting with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet bloc it examines the historical significance and the world brought about by 1989.

When the Cold War ended in Europe it ushered in a world in which the international agenda is set outside Europe, in America or Asia. The book critically examines and moves beyond some of the conveniently simple paradigms proposed in the nineties, by leading political scientists such as Fukuyama and Huntington, to show how the events of 1989 meant different things to different parties. This was an anti-utopian revolution, a symbol of the possibility of non-violent transitions to democracy, which raised the hopes of world-wide democratic changes. Contributors show how 1989 can be seen as the founding moment of a globalized world, but equal attention should be given to the dispersion of its meanings and the exhaustion of some of its main trends associated with the post-1989 era. Europe was reunited, yet it is in crisis. Twenty years on, global markets have brought about a global financial crisis. The fall of the Berlin Wall was celebrated as the advent of free movement in a world without borders. Now however, we can see that new borders, walls, fences have since been built. More on Routledge web site.

Jacques Rupnik is Senior Research Fellow at CERI and Professor at Sciences Po and the College of Europe in Bruges. Every Jacques Rupnik’s publications.

« The G20 : A New Geopolitical Order » by Karoline Postel-Vinay

The G20: A New Geopolitical Order
by Karoline Postel-Vinay
CERI Series in International Relations and Political Economy
Palgrave Pivot, November 2013

The composition of the Group of Twenty or G20 reflects the metamorphosis of world politics. In contrast with other ‘Gs’ (G8, G77) its members are both developed and emerging economies, democracies and authoritarian regimes, secular and religious governments. This book argues that the G20 is neither a global executive board for a new world order, nor is it just a crisis unit for failing economies. It is a laboratory for the observation, experimentation and invention of new forms of international cooperation that are redefining global politics.More on Palgrave web site. 

Karoline Postel-Vinay is director of research at the CERI. She specializes in International Relations and East Asian politics. Her previous book L’Occident et sa bonne parole analyzes the international scene and dominant geopolitical narratives from a non Western-centric perspective.  See her publications.

Sciences Po Ranked as France’s Top University in Political Science, International Relations, Sociology and History

June 2013

QS has published its international ranking of universities, discipline by discipline. Among the 200 ranked universities, Sciences Po ranks among the best.

In Political Science and International relations, as in Sociology, Sciences Po is ranked 1st among French universities. In addition, Sciences Po is ranked 3rd in History, even though our department of History is of modest size in comparison to the two first French universities.

Internationally, Science Po ranked 16th in both political sciences and international relations, and 30th in sociology.

Vincent Tiberj & alii. publish « Developments in French Politics » , 5th edition

Developments in French Politics
5th edition
Edited by Alistair Cole, Sophie Meunier and Vincent Tiberj
 Palgrave Macmillan, May 2013

Developments in French Politics 5
provides a systematic assessment of French politics following the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections. Bringing together an entirely new set of specifically-commissioned, its central theme is whether the discourse of reform – initiated by Sarkozy – has been translated into tangible change.
Table of contents
1. From Sarkozy To Hollande: The New Normal?; Alistair Cole, Sophie Meunier, Vincent Tiberj
2. The French Presidency; Robert Elgie
3. The ‘New’ French Parliament: Changes And Continuities; Sylvain Brouard, Olivier Costa, Eric Kerrouche
4. Politics And Justice; Yves Surel
5. Local And Regional Governance; Alistair Cole And Romain Pasquier
6. Political Parties: The Ump And The Right; Florence Haegel
7. Political Parties: The Socialists And The Left; Frederic Sawicki
8. The Media; Raymond Kuhn
9. Interests And Collective Action; Arthur Goldhammer
10. Elections In France: Electoral Disorder In A Realignment Era; Florence Gougou, Simon Labouret
11. The Evolution Of Political Attitudes And Policy Preferences In France; James Stimson, Vincent Tiberj, Cyrille Thiebaut
12. France In Crisis? Economic And Welfare Policy Reform; Timothy B. Smith
13. Contested Citizenship In France: The Republican Politics Of Identity And Integration; Patrick Simon
14. France And The European Union; Helen Drake
15. France And The Global Economic Order; Sophie Meunier
16. French Foreign And Security Policy: In Search Of Coherence And Impact; Jolyon Howorth

 

Vincent Tiberj is Associate Research Professor FNSP since 2002, where he specialises in comparative electoral behaviour (France, United States and Europe), the political psychology of ordinary citizens, the sociology of inequalities, the politics of immigration and integration and survey research and methodology. He has been visiting scholar at Stanford University and Oxford University. He also co-ordinates the methodological curricula in the PhD program of Sciences Po. More about his publications.

Christine Musselin & alii. publish « Constructing Quality : The Classification of Goods in Markets »

Constructing Quality : The Classification of Goods in Markets
Edited by Jens Beckert and Christine Musselin
Oxford University Press June 2013

How can we engage in a market relationship when the quality of the goods we want to acquire is unknown, invisible, or uncertain? For market exchange to be possible, purchasers and suppliers of goods must be able to assess the quality of a product in relation to other products. Only by recognizing qualities and perceiving quality differences can purchasers make non-random choices, and price differences between goods be justified.

« Quality » is not a natural given, but the outcome of a social process in which products become seen as possessing certain traits, and occupying a specific position in relation to other products in the product space. While we normally take the quality of goods for granted, quality at a closer look is the outcome of a highly complex process of construction involving producers, consumers, and market intermediaries engaged in judgment, evaluation, categorization, and measurement.

The authors in this volume investigate the processes through which the quality of goods is established. They also investigate how product qualities are contested and how they change over time. The empirical cases discussed cover a broad range of markets in which quality is especially difficult to assess. The cases include: halal food, funeral markets, wine, labor, school choice, financial products, antiques, and counterfeit goods. The book contributes to the sociology of markets. At the same time it connects to the larger issue of the constitution of social order through cognitive processes of classification.

Table of contents

Dean of Research at Sciences Po, Christine Musselin is a sociologist and CNRS research professor. She has been the director of the Center for the Sociology of Organization from 2007 to april 2013, where she heads a comparative research program on higher education systems. More about her publications.