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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 230448 matches for " Tom R. Burns "
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Boom and Bust Cycles in Financial Markets—Causes and Cures: Multiple Contradictory Functions of Money and Collective Action Problems  [PDF]
Tom R. Burns
Theoretical Economics Letters (TEL) , 2017, DOI: 10.4236/tel.2017.74062
Abstract: The aim of this conceptualization article is to formulate propositions about: (1) systemic faults in established money and financial systems, in particular the mechanisms that make for boom-and-bust cycles; and (2) the cognitive and action factors which limit the central banks capabilities to consistently and effectively to regulate or to limit these cycles. Drawing on earlier research (our own as well as that of others), this conceptualization is presented in Section 1. Section 2 identifies a new design and institutional arrangement, which would minimize the boom-and-bust predispositions in money and financial systems. This work builds on earlier research invested in the Chicago Plan (from the 1930s) in addition to our own research. Section 3 considers the expected political and ideological constraints on reforming financial systems. Previously operating constraints—including Neo-liberal erosion of New Deal banking arguments and reforms—make for formidable barriers. The paper concludes that reform is necessary—if boom-and-bust cycles on the scale of those since 1929 are to be effectively regulated; but it is suggested that such reform is politically and ideologically difficult if not impossible in the short-run.
The Sustainability Revolution: A Societal Paradigm Shift
Tom R. Burns
Sustainability , 2012, DOI: 10.3390/su4061118
Abstract: This article addresses a question relevant to those interested in the achievement of greater sustainability: What are some of the ways that major societal transformations come about? Firstly, four key mechanisms are identified in the article. Then, I go on to focus on one of these, which has a prominent place in the sustainability revolution that it is argued is now taking place. The question of what are characteristic features of the sustainability revolution is addressed. The ongoing transformations are largely piecemeal, incremental, diffuse—in earlier writings referred to as “organic”. Organic is a more encompassing notion than “grassroots”, since the innovation and transformation processes may be launched and developed at multiple levels by collective agents that in some cases are very large and would not be understood as “grassroots” actors. The article argues that the sustainability revolution shares some features, in particular its organic character, with the early industrial revolution. It concludes by addressing the question of what are the similarities and differences between the sustainability and industrial revolutions.
Technology, Complexity, and Risk: Social systems analysis of risky socio-technical systems and the likelihood of accidents
Burns,Tom R.; Machado,Nora;
Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas , 2009,
Abstract: this article conceptualizes the multi-dimensional "human factor" in risky technology systems and cases of accidents. a social systems theory is applied to the analysis of hazardous technology and socio-technical systems, their complex dynamics, and risky dimensions. the "human factor" is often vaguely identified as a risk factor in hazardous socio-technical systems, particularly when accidents occur. but it is usually viewed more or less as a "black box", under-specified and under-analyzed. three key aims of the article are: (1) to identify and theorize in a systematic way the multi-dimensional character of the "human factor" in risky systems and accidents; (2) to enable the systematic application of a substantial social science knowledge to the regulation of hazardous systems, their managers and operatives as well as regulators, especially relating to the "human factor;" (3) to serve as an guiding tool for researchers and regulators in the collection and organization of data on human and other factors in risky systems and accidents. in sum, the article proposes a systematic approach to analyzing many of the diverse human risk factors associated with complex technologies and socio-technical systems, thus contributing knowledge toward preventing - or minimizing the likelihood of - accidents or catastrophes.
Technology, complexity, and risk: a social systems perspective on the discourses and regulation of the hazards of socio-technical systems
Burns,Tom R.; Machado,Nora;
Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas , 2010,
Abstract: this is the second part of a two part article. in part i, a social systems theory was applied to the analysis of hazardous technology and socio-technical systems, their complex dynamics, and risky dimensions and likelihood of accidents. it identified many of the diverse human risk factors associated with complex technologies and socio-technical systems, thus contributing knowledge toward preventing - or minimizing the likelihood of - accidents or catastrophes. this second part of the article will systematically address the broader issues of risk conceptions, analysis, and management in contemporary society including policy and other practical aspects. the social systems perspective and its derivations are contrasted to such impressionistic conceptions as those of ulrich beck. section 1 of the paper introduces the topic of risk as a discursive concept in contemporary society. our point of departure is the social system approach introduced in part i, which is contrasted to that of ulrich beck, who eschews systematic theorizing at the same time that he denigrates empirical sociology. the section stresses that contemporary society is not so much threatened by high risks all around (as in ulrich beck’s “risk society”) but is more characterized by its developed risk discourses (a great deal owing to beck himself), risk consciousness, risk theorizing, and risk management. what is truly characteristic of modern society are discretionary powers to determine dimensions, levels, and regulation of risk, that is, choices can be made whether or not to develop a technology, whether or not to not to tightly regulate it, for instance limiting or banning its use or whether or not to allow its widespread application, and under what conditions. section 2 provides a brief review of our social systems framework, actor-system-dialectics (asd) theory. section 3 treats risk and risk analysis in a systems perspective, emphasizing the limitations of risk assessment and the risk management of
Teorias dos sistemas dinamicos: Teoriza??es sobre o capitalismo e a sua evolu??o
Burns,Tom R.; Deville,Philippe;
Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas , 2006,
Abstract: this article provides a brief overview and assessment of sociological system theories focusing on the dynamics and transformation of social systems with particular attention to capitalist systems. drawing on these system approaches, it provides a synthesis of theorizing about capitalism and points to future research. the article also suggests the value and place in sociological theory of dynamic system theories.
Configura??es de governan?a pluralistas, neocorporativas e da Uni?o Europeia: padr?es de elabora??o de políticas e de ac??o dos lóbis numa perspectiva comparada
Burns,Tom R.; Carson,Marcus;
Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas , 2003,
Abstract: this paper applies the new institutionalism to the comparative analysis of governance and policy-making in different political systems. pluralist, neo-corporatist and european union interest articulation and policymaking arrangements are distinguished and contrasted. the article considers the degree of openness, flexibility, extent of predictability, and patterns of policy production and development in the different systems. it concludes that many of the advantages of the eu system with its flexibility and adaptability to sectoral specific issues and conditions are also a source of its problems of non-transparency and democratic deficit.
Power, knowledge, and conflict in the shaping of commons governance. The case of EU Baltic fisheries
Tom R. Burns,Christian St?hr
International Journal of the Commons , 2011,
Abstract: This article aims at contributing to governance conceptualization and its application to case study analyses. Two of the challenges which the theoretical and empirical work in the article addresses concern the facilitation of comparability of diverse governance cases and a specification of several key mechanisms of governance formation and reform. A proposed model of the architecture of governance systems – their major components and inter-linkages – contributes, as argued and illustrated here, to greater comparability among cases and with the possibility of improved accumulation of knowledge about governance systems. These tools are applied to empirical cases of governance structure and their functioning and reformation. Baltic fisheries, a complex, multi-level case of commons governance, is considered in some detail in order to illustrate and elaborate the key factors of power, knowledge, and conflict in the functioning and transformation of governance systems. In addition to the Baltic fisheries case, we consider briefly for comparative purposes chemicals and gender relations as additional areas of EU governance. The paper is divided into four sections. Section I introduces the basic conceptualization and tools of analysis. Section II presents the case of Baltic fisheries. Section III elaborates the key concepts and tools presented in Section I, in particular considering additional cases of the functioning of governance systems. Section IV is a brief conclusion.
Rational Choice Theory: Toward a Psychological, Social, and Material Contextualization of Human Choice Behavior  [PDF]
Tom Burns, Ewa Roszkowska
Theoretical Economics Letters (TEL) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/tel.2016.62022
Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the rational choice approach, followed by an identification of several of the major criticisms of RCT and its conceptual and empirical limitations. It goes on to present a few key initiatives to develop alternative, more realistic approaches which transcend some of the limitations of Rational Choice Theory (RCT). Finally, the article presents a few concluding reflections and a table comparing similarities and differences between the mainstream RCT and some of the initial components of an emerging choice theory. Our method has been to conduct a brief selective review of rational choice theoretical formulations and applications as well as a review of diverse critical literature in the social sciences where rational choice has been systematically criticized. We have focused on a number of leading contributors (among others, several Nobel Prize Recipients in economics, who have addressed rational choice issues). So this article makes no claim for completeness. The review maps a few key concepts and assumptions underpinning the conceptual model and empirical applications of RCT. It reviews also a range of critical arguments and evidence of limitations. It identifies selected emerging concepts and theoretical revisions and adaptations to choice theory and what they entail. The results obtained, based on our literature reviews and analyses, are the identification of several major limitations of RCT as well as selected modifications and adaptations of choice theory which overcome or promise to overcome some of the RCT limitations. Thus, the article with Table 1 in hand provides a point of departure for follow-up systematic reviews and more precise questions for future theory development. The criticisms and adaptations of RCT have contributed to greater realism, empirical relevance, and increased moral considerations. The developments entail, among other things: the now well-known cognitive limitations (“bounded rationality”) and, for instance, the role of satisficing rather than maximizing in decision-making to deal with cognitive complexity and the uncertainties of multiple values; choice situations are re-contextualized with psychology, sociology, economic, and material conditions and factors which are taken into account explicitly and insightfully in empirical and theoretical work. Part of the contextualization concerns the place of multiple values, role and norm contradictions, and moral dilemmas in much choice behavior. In conclusion, the article suggests that the adaptations and
The great war and the cinema The great war and the cinema
Tom Burns
Ilha do Desterro , 2008,
Abstract: Aside from documentary films of the First World War, fiction films may be categorized as period films, cinematic aptations of classic war novels, and, much the greatest in number, fiction films made after the war. The period films are useful for their clues to public attitudes during or in the decades immediately after the conflict. For example, silent films made during the war, like D.W. Griffith’s Hearts of the World (1918), which used actual footage, were propaganda evidently intended to induce the United States to progress from economic assistance to active military participation on the side of the Allies. The story of the young man, Ben Herron, going off to war would become typical in fiction films made thereafter, since such stories have elements that a mass audience, many of whom had fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, etc. in the military, can actually identify with. As propaganda, such movies—and this would be the case with the Second World War even more—may serve an important political end, by arguably having a much greater influence on public consciousness than official government propaganda, which usually arouses more suspicion. In fact, the US government during both world wars would make a direct appeal to Hollywood producers. Aside from documentary films of the First World War, fiction films may be categorized as period films, cinematic aptations of classic war novels, and, much the greatest in number, fiction films made after the war. The period films are useful for their clues to public attitudes during or in the decades immediately after the conflict. For example, silent films made during the war, like D.W. Griffith’s Hearts of the World (1918), which used actual footage, were propaganda evidently intended to induce the United States to progress from economic assistance to active military participation on the side of the Allies. The story of the young man, Ben Herron, going off to war would become typical in fiction films made thereafter, since such stories have elements that a mass audience, many of whom had fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, etc. in the military, can actually identify with. As propaganda, such movies—and this would be the case with the Second World War even more—may serve an important political end, by arguably having a much greater influence on public consciousness than official government propaganda, which usually arouses more suspicion. In fact, the US government during both world wars would make a direct appeal to Hollywood producers.
Art imitates life: Edward G. Landsdale and the fiction of Vietnam = A arte imita a vida: Edward G. Landsdale e a fic o da guerra de Vietn
Tom Burns
Acta Scientiarum : Language and Culture , 2009,
Abstract: This article examines the adaptation of an historical person, the Air-Force officer and CIA operative named Edward G. Landsdale, as a model for fictional characters in three novels – English, American, and French – dealing with the early years of the Americaninvolvement in Vietnam. Landsdale’s political career and the historical background of his contribution to the creation of the anti-Communist state of South Vietnam is outlined, followed by an examination of his fictionalization in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American (1955), Eugene Burdick and William J. Lederer’s The Ugly American (1958), and Jean Lartéguy’s Yellow Fever (Eng. Transl. 1965). It is seen that Greene’s model is disputed, whileall three novels actually underestimate Landsdale’s historical importance. Neste artigo, examina-se a adapta o de uma pessoa histórica, o oficial da For a Aérea e agente da CIA Edward G. Landsdale, como modelo para personagens ficcionais em três romances – um inglês, um americano e um francês – que abordam os primeiros anos doenvolvimento americano no Vietn . é delineada sua carreira política, bem como os antecedentes históricos de sua contribui o para a cria o do Estado anticomunista do Vietn do Sul. Em seguida, faz-se um estudo de sua ficcionaliza o em The Quiet American, de Graham Greene (1955), The Ugly American (1958), de Eugene Burdick e William J. Lederer, e Yellow Fever, de Jean Lartéguy (Tradu o inglesa de 1965). Observa-se que o modelo de Greene é questionado, enquanto todos os três romances, na verdade, subestimam a importancia histórica de Landsdale.
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