Tag Archives: social

The European ‘Global Macro-Region’ – Redrawing the world map of globalization by Kathy Pain and Gilles Van Hamme

June 10, 2014

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Globe

The European ‘global macro-region’ is a functional space distinct from the EU, which has been identified in a European Commission funded study by academics from Belgium, the UK, France, Italy, Bulgaria and Sweden. 

The two-and-a-half year study has investigated the major changes that people, businesses and state authorities in European countries are being swept up in as the dynamic changes associated with globalization proceed.

The research provides new answers to leading questions about Europe’s changing urban and regional relations in an increasingly integrated and global world:

1 – To what extent is Europe on the receiving end of the forces of globalization?

2 – To what extent is Europe a leading driver in the dynamics of global change?

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Impediments in Developing Islamic Economics as Social Science – by Muhammad Akram Khan

May 13, 2014

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Islamic_column For the last three decades now, there have been significant developments in the production of research documents, books and journal articles on Islamic economics and finance. For example, the Harvard Islamic Finance Project databank had by April 2014 more than 9000 records available for free access.  A number of websites and several research journals publish material on the subject. A number of educational and training institutions now offer courses in Islamic finance.  During the last two decades literally thousands of publications and hundreds of discussion forums have been held on Islamic economics and finance. Despite significant progress in terms of literature and research, Islamic economics is yet not a social science. Generally speaking a social science studies some social phenomenon; has a clearly defined scope and boundary lines; and applies research methods to formulate theories for making predictions about the future. A literature review shows that Islamic economics does not meet the above criteria as discussed below.

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Vanity Economics: An Economic Exploration of Sex, Marriage and Family – by C. Simon Fan

May 6, 2014

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Couple Shopping

We live in an era of consumerism. Influenced by a powerful media, many people indulge in the purchase of ever-expanding varieties of goods and services. A new word, “oniomania,” was created to describe some people’s compulsive urge to shop. However, most consumption activities are simply for “vanity” rather than for biological needs. Back in 1899, Veblen put forward the theory of “conspicuous consumption”, which argues that economic behaviour is socially determined and driven by the human instincts of emulation and social comparison. Similarly, John Maynard Keynes argued that an important aspect of our desire for the conspicuous consumption of goods is “in the sense that we feel them only if their satisfaction lifts us above, makes us feel superior to, our fellows.” Dave Ramsey puts it more vividly: “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don ’t like.”

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