Archive for Social Sciences

NEW BOOK Co-Authored: Tausch-Heshmati-Karoui, Announced by NOVA Publishers (NYC)

The Political Algebra of Global Value Change: General Models and Implications for the Muslim World

Link to Nova Publishers

Authors: Arno Tausch, Almas Heshmati and Hichem Karoui 
Book Description: 
This book is intended to provide a new approach to the study of global values and global value change, based on representative international survey data, above all, the World Values Survey. This theme is of growing interest not only to the international social science community, but also international policy makers and business and financial executives in the framework of international values and business studies.
Since the book is also designed to serve advanced graduate courses in sociology, political science and economics at Universities, government and business staff training centers, diplomatic academies et cetera, this book also contains themes for 10-20 minute statements (1000-2000 words) that students and course participants should be able to prepare after attending a course on global values.
This book is intended to provide a new approach to the study of global values and global value change, based on representative international survey data, above all, the World Values Survey, covering the entire population in an ever growing number of countries, and now already comprising some 90% of the total global population on earth. The importance of these data for international politics cannot be overestimated: foreign ministries, international organizations, ministerial planning departments of national governments, national intelligence agencies, international bankers and investors, pension fund managers, global insurance enterprises, organizations of national and international security, NGOs, religious communities, they all can benefit from these freely available data, which indeed will revolutionize our discourse on international politics and political culture.
In our book, we will attempt to define “cultures” on a global scale largely following Alesina and Guiliano (2013). Although some of our preferred World Values Survey indicators are different from those used by Alesina and Guiliano (2013), there is sufficient resemblance between the two approaches, and also there is a high correspondence between the choropleth geographical maps of global values, resulting from the research attempt by Alesina and Guiliano, and our own investigations.
We show in this book that the world economic rise of the global South, among them the BRICS countries and the countries of the Arab Gulf, is no coincidence: economic growth in the post-crisis period from 2008 onwards is highly and positively correlated with family values.
All too often, the loss of religion and the rise of the shadow economy, including in leading Western countries, go hand in hand. The decay of family values, which are so deeply enshrined in the religious commandments of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and which are also basic to the other global religious civilizations, goes hand in hand with the decay of economic and social values. (Imprint: Nova)

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Migration, Openness and the Global Preconditions of Smart Development

Arno Tausch, Corvinus University, Innsbruck University

Almas Heshmati, Korea University

Boğaziçi Journal Review of Social, Economic and Administrative Studies, Vol. 26, no. 2 (2012), pp. 27-89.

We present a first empirical reflection on smart development,’ its measurement, possible drivers and bottlenecks.’ We first provide cross-national data on how much ecological footprint is used in the nations of the world system to deliver a given amount of democracy, economic growth, gender equality, human development, research and development, and social cohesion. To this end, we first developed UNDP-type performance indicators on these six main dimensions of development and on their combined performance. We then show the non-linear regression trade-offs between ecological footprints per capita  on these six dimensions of development and their combined performance index. The residuals from these regressions are our new measures of smart development (a country experiences smart development, if it achieves a maximum development with a minimum of ecological footprint). We then look at the cross-national drivers and bottlenecks of this smart development and compare their predictive power using stepwise regression procedures. Apart from important variables and indicators, derived from sociological  dependency and world systems theories, we also test the predictive power of several other predictors as well. Our estimates underline the enormous importance of the transfer of resources from the center to the periphery, brought about by migration, with huge statistical observed positive effects of received worker remittances on smart human development, Happy Life Years, smart gender justice, smart R&D, and both formulations of the smart development index. Read more


Social sciences for knowledge and decision making

By Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Social science research should lead to a better understanding of current societal developments and enable policy makers to propose solutions to problems and design policies that can serve the public more effectively. Governments are increasingly aware of the need and opportunities to improve the contribution of social science knowledge to policy making and are keen to realise this potential. Can the social sciences act as an agent of societal change? How can they contribute to social practice? How can their policy relevance be increased? Can best practice in other research fields and economic sectors be a source of inspiration on new approaches to sharing knowledge? And how can the divide between the two communities – social scientists and decision makers – be narrowed? These are some of the enduring questions tackled by academics and policy makers at the Workshop on the Contribution of Social Sciences to Knowledge and Decision Making, Bruges, 26-28 June 2000. Read more


Basic Concepts In the Methodology of Social Sciences

By Johann Mouton, H. C. Marais

What is social sciences research? 3
Towards problem formulation 29
Conceptualization and operationa…57
Data collection 75
Analysis and interpretation 99 Read more

Discovery: The New Science of Learning

Researchers find social aspects of learning important at all ages

According to recent studies, young children learn best through social interaction. Andrew Meltzoff and his colleagues at the University of Washington are studying an emerging field called the “Science of Learning,” which re-evaluates how children learn in formal and informal settings. Read more


Religion in World Affairs

Its Role in Conflict and Peace

Author: David Smock

Series: USIP Special Reports

This paper addresses the potentially positive role of religion in peacemaking and conflict resolution, commenting on the United States Institute of Peace’s (USIP) field work experiences. It examines the link between religion and conflict, reviews the experiences with religious activism, mediation and facilitation and discusses the importance of interfaith dialogue. Subsequently, the paper points to the US government’s neglect of the religious dimension of conflicts. The author argues that the nature of the religious dimension of international conflict is sometimes neglected, often misunderstood and frequently exaggerated. Read more


Global Restrictions on Religion

The PEW Forum December 2009

Global Restrictions on Religion

Executive Summary

For more than half a century, the United Nations and numerous international organizations have affirmed the principle of religious freedom.1 For just as many decades, journalists and human rights groups have reported on persecution of minority faiths, outbreaks of sectarian violence and other pressures on religious individuals and communities in many countries. But until now, there has been no quantitative study that reviews an extensive number of sources to measure how governments and private actors infringe on religious beliefs and practices around the world. Read more