February 9, 2021

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Edward Elgar Publishing signs the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Publishers Compact

Edward Elgar Publishing signs the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Publishers Compact

We are delighted to announce that we have signed up to the UN’s SDG Publishers Compact.

As signatories we aspire to develop sustainable practices and act as champions of the SDGs during the Decade of Action (2020-2030), publishing books and journals that will help inform, develop and inspire action. The compact includes 10 action points that publishers can commit to undertake to accelerate progress to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

We aspire to develop sustainable practices and act as champions of the SDGs during the Decade of Action

Our commitment to the compact aligns with our company mission to enrich and support our academic and professional communities in social sciences and law through creative commissioning and effective dissemination of high calibre content for a global audience. It also reflects our values of thoughtful publishing and a collaborative, long term and globally oriented approach to business.

Explore our curated content that relates to individual Sustainable Development Goals through our SDG collection.


August 23, 2019

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Open Access Publishing

High angle view of many hardback books. Library or school.

Alex Pettifer, our Editorial Director, discusses Elgar’s approach to assessing and publishing new Open Access titles.

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October 20, 2021

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Ageing’s Impacts Already Are Here: The Effects of Falling Working Age Populations on Business

Alfred Marcus and Mazhar Islam examine how demographic changes introduce new challenges for businesses.

The impacts on countries that have falling working-age populations – Japan, Germany, Russia, Taiwan, the US and China – are profound. First, a shortage of labour is leading to higher pay, which has resulted in an uptick in inflation. Second, economic growth, which arises from having more workers and their being more productive, has been slowing and it is likely to continue to slow. Countries with fewer workers have to increase their productivity rapidly, or else they face diminishing growth. At best, they can maintain the same level of economic activity. However, it will be hard for ageing countries to increase this level. Third, demand will fall.

These reflections about what will happen next are not speculations. Businesses must recognize that a decline in working-age adults means fewer taxpayers and, with fewer taxpayers, the stress on social security and welfare systems of countries that have fewer workers grows. As populations contract, the challenge for governments is to find sufficient revenue to fund programs that look after the elderly, while continuing to nourish the young. Governments must rely on their populations being replenished by immigration or their economies being transformed by technological advances. Without these, the decline in family size – families being neither large nor stable enough – presents a daunting challenge, one that no government has yet to master fully.

Already in the US the number of jobs is exceeding the number of job seekers, a development that makes perfect sense as the number of elderly rises and immigration is curtailed. Without increases in productivity, or delays in the age of retirement, businesses have to recognize that countries with fewer workers are not likely to grow rapidly. Were there to be another economic shock like the great recession of 2007–08 or some other unexpected event like the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be very difficult for countries with declining workforces to return to a normal level of growth.

The positive side of reduced growth in ageing countries is less negative environmental impact. Reduced growth boosts efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but this reduction may be accompanied by declines in food, water, and energy consumption, and lower living standards. Therefore, technological innovation that is good for the planet and good for the corporate bottom line should be a high priority that is pursued vigorously by all companies. Companies also need to closely collaborate with government and policymakers in ageing countries so that the governments undertake policies that promote such technological innovation.

Immigration is the sensible way to replenish lagging working-age populations. Businesses should become major supporters of pro-immigration policies. However, until now, immigration at the scale needed to make a significant dent in the problem has been politically unfeasible in almost all countries. The rise of nationalist leaders around the world and their ascent to power is harming the ability of the world to adjust to the challenge of ageing. Businesses must do all they can to oppose these movements and to put a stop to the policies they represent. It is in the self-interest of business to do so.

The alternative, to persuade citizens to have more babies, or to incentivize them with monetary rewards, is a far slower and less certain way to approach the problem of ageing. Typically, most of the subsidies offered to people to have more children are absorbed by people who would have had such children without the subsidy. Experience in Europe with longer parental leaves as a way to encourage increased births suggests that such policies do not impact birth rates significantly. However, such benefits do lead to better parenting and positive societal benefits. Subsidized childcare does seem to help, though the effects are not sufficient for countries to move their fertility rates back to the replacement level which would guarantee population stability.

Therefore, businesses should support these subsidies. They should support them because they signal to women that they can have families and at the same time fully pursue their careers without impairing either quest to any great extent. Women need to feel that they can participate fully in the workforce. Their participation has never been needed as much as now, especially in ageing societies.

There are several other implications for management about how it should prepare for a situation in countries where the size of the working class is shrinking:

  • Salaries and benefits might have to be increased to retain quality human capital which might
    be in great demand in these societies.
  • Human resource practices must be implemented that attract employees who have traditionally
    remained outside the workforce.
  • It must be recognized that demand patterns will be far different in ageing societies.
    Marketing and product development will change.

Management must devise strategies that take advantage of the world’s demographic diversity. It cannot rely solely on aging societies as their vitality will inevitably diminish to some degree. As well as making aggressive attempts to innovate technologically, businesses must never let up in their strong support for liberal immigration policies.


Demography and the Global Business Environment by Alfred A. Marcus and Mazhar Islam will be published in November,

Alfred A. Marcus is Edson Spencer Professor of Strategy and Technology Leadership, Carlson School of Management and the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota. Mazhar Islam is Assistant Professor of Management and the Chase Distinguished Professor of International Business, College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans, US

October 4, 2021

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Nordic Perspectives on Nature-based Tourism

Authors Peter Fredman and Jan Vidar Haukeland discuss a nature-based tourism in a Nordic context
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September 21, 2021

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Marxism for Human Geographers

Kevin R. Cox author of An Advanced Introduction to Marxism and Human Geography, discusses this insightful topic.

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August 2, 2021

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Handbook for Democracy and Development Book Launch

By Laura Sulin, Research Assistant, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University

Professor Gordon Crawford (Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations) and Professor Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai (University of Ghana Business School) marked the publication of their edited Edward Elgar Handbook for Democracy and Development in a recent book launch event organised by CTPSR. The Handbook is the first in the new series by Edward Elgar on Development.

The Handbook for Democracy and Development explores and contributes to the controversial updates on the relationship between democracy and development, providing clarification on the interlinkages between political regime type and socio-economic development. The Handbook focuses on analysing the relationship between political regime types, and broader development indicators, the different chapters covering topics such as economic growth, inequality, poverty and human development, conflict, human rights and environmental sustainability. The contributors of the book examine these issues from multidisciplinary perspectives across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

The launch event kicked off by the editors highlighting the important contribution the Handbook brings to the existing debate. As they argued, the relationship between socio-economic development and political democracy is one of the most researched and debated topics in social sciences however, many of these debates remain unresolved. The Handbook aims to bring additional clarity to these complex debates.

As the editors presented during the launch event, three current issues make the book and its contribution even more pertinent. Firstly, the sharp rise in global inequalities that has become a major concern. Democratic electoral competition has been increasingly responsible for rising socio-economic inequalities. Secondly is the current disillusionment with democracy, which is associated with the rise of right-wing authoritarian populism. And lastly, is the issue of state capacity. Research has increasingly highlighted the significance of state capacity for development. Emerging literature on “political settlements” is considering how what matters more in shaping a country’s development is not just whether a country is democratic or autocratic but whether those in power feel secure enough to pursue long-term policies in the national interest.

The launch event heard from the contributors of the Handbook, by presenting short videos on four themes around definitions and interlinkages, outcomes, impact on inequalities and regional and country perspectives. The authors reflected on questions such as how the two key concepts of democracy and development can be defined, has democracy tempered or intensified various forms of inequalities and what are the key issues concerning the relationship between democracy and development in specific regional contexts.  These videos can be watched in full on CTPSR’s Youtube channel.


Research Handbook on Democracy and Development, edited by Gordon Crawford, Coventry University, UK and Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai, University of Ghana Business School, Ghana is out now

Read the introduction and other free chapters on Elgaronline

July 6, 2021

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The International Rule of Law: Scope, Subjects, Requirements

By Denise Wohlwend

Over the past decades, the topic of the international rule of law (‘IROL’) has received considerable attention in the practice and scholarship of international law. Most prominently, in the 2005 World Summit Outcome, the United Nations member states recognized the rule of law (‘ROL’) as one of the organization’s ‘core values and principles’, as well as recognizing ‘the need for universal adherence to and implementation of the rule of law at both the national and international levels’.[1] Since 2006, ‘The rule of law at the national and international levels’ has been a standing item on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly, which has adopted annual resolutions reaffirming the aforementioned commitment.[2] In addition, many academic publications, conferences, research projects and even a journal[3] have been dedicated to the IROL. 

Yet, despite the great interest in and the multiplicity of works on the IROL, the theoretical issues of the general possibility and desirability of the IROL remain underexplored. The book ‘The International Rule of Law: Scope, Subjects, Requirements’ responds to this deficit in the contemporary international legal scholarship on the IROL. It examines in an in-depth manner whether, and if so how and to what degree, the current international legal order can and should conform to and develop the moral-legal principle of the ROL. Moreover, incorporating both international and domestic law, the book argues for a transition in the way the IROL is theorized towards an approach that understands the IROL as beneficial to individuals and as closely linked to the domestic rule of law (‘DROL’).

The book focuses on the three fundamental issues of the scope, subjects and requirements of the IROL. First, the scope of the IROL. Generally, the ROL directly concerns governmental actions in connection with the operation of the legal order.[4] Unlike at the domestic level, where the identity of the legal order is usually bound up with the identity of the state,[5] at the international level, where no world state exists, the identity of the international legal order has been contested. In many respects, international law operates in relation to domestic law. This is especially apparent where international law regulates intra-state relations, such as in the area of human rights law.[6] Thus, the question of the scope of the IROL arises: does the IROL pertain to the international level and the DROL to the domestic level? Or do they relate? If so, how?

Second, the subjects of the IROL. Generally, the ROL requires that the government should exercise its authority within a legal framework and that people should obey the law. The principle is generally valued since its observance furthers individual values, such as autonomy.[7] Domestically, the state and individuals are usually the subjects of the ROL, i.e., those in and under political authority.[8] Internationally, where primarily states but also international organizations are involved in the making, application and enforcement of international law, and where primarily states but also international organizations and, increasingly, individuals are called to obey international law, it may be asked who constitute the subjects of the IROL? Who should exercise its authority within an international legal framework and over whom and for whose sake?[9]

Third, the requirements of the IROL. Generally, the availability, importance and detailed design of various ROL requirements depend on the social and cultural conditions prevailing within individual legal orders.[10] At the domestic level, legal orders usually exhibit some specific characteristics besides the characteristics they share with one another. At the international level, the law also possesses its own particularities besides the features it shares with domestic law. At first blush, international law seems to differ more from domestic law than different domestic legal orders do from one another. Thus, the question of the requirements of the IROL arises: what does the ROL require at the international level? How, and to what degree, can and does the international legal order conform to and develop the principle?

This blogpost is based on Chapter 1 of ‘The International Rule of Law: Scope, Subjects, Requirements’.


[1] World Summit Outcome, UNGA Res 60/1 (16 September 2005) UN Doc A/RES/60/1, paras 119, 134.

[2] Most recently: UNGA Res 75/141 (15 December 2020) UN Doc A/RES/75/141.

[3] See the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law <https://www.springer.com/journal/40803&gt; accessed 6 July 2021, which also concerns the domestic rule of law.

[4] See Joseph Raz, The Authority of Law: Essays on Law and Morality (Clarendon Press 1979) 218; Grant Lamond, ‘The Rule of Law’ in Andrei Marmor (ed), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Law (Routledge 2012) 502.

[5] Joseph Raz, ‘The Identity of Legal Systems’ (1971) 59 California Law Review 795, 812.

[6] James Crawford, Chance, Order, Change: The Course of International Law: General Course on Public International Law (Hague Academy of International Law 2014) para 265.

[7] Jeremy Waldron, ‘The Rule of Law’, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer edn, 2020) <https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rule-of-law/&gt; accessed 6 July 2021.

[8] See Samantha Besson, ‘The Authority of International Law–Lifting the State Veil’ (2009) 31 Sydney Law Review 358 on the concept of legitimate authority.

[9] See Jeremy Waldron, ‘Are Sovereigns Entitled to the Benefit of the International Rule of Law?’ (2011) 22 European Journal of International Law 315.

[10] See Raz (n 4) 214; Lamond (n 4) 502.


The International Rule of Law by Denise Wohlwend, attorney-at-law, Zurich, Switzerland is out now.

Read chapter 1 free on Elgaronline

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