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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



The Process of Internationalization: Strategic, Cultural and Policy Perspectives by Frank McDonald, Michael Mayer (Palgrave Macmillan) The Process of Internationalization is the eleventh volume in this series and presents the work of leading international business scholars delivered at the 30th Annual Conference of the UK Chapter of the Academy of International Business. The focus of the papers reproduced here revolves around the process of internationalization and is centred on four main themes:

  • The strategic and organisational development of the internationalized firm
  • The role of culture and institutions in international business
  • Internationalization by small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Foreign direct investment, impact and policy implications

The topics covered include strategic, organizational, corporate governance, HRM issues, and others such as the role of culture, institutions and government policy in the internationalization process. Investigation of entry mode and international joint ventures, and issues connected to pricing, supply chain strategies and exporting are also examined. 

Frank McDonald is Professor of International Business Strategy at the University of Plymouth. He has co-authored books in the area of European and international business and published in numerous journals. He is also a member of the executive committee and treasurer of the UK Chapter of the Academy of International Business.

Michael Mayer is Reader in Strategic Management at the University of Edinburgh and received his doctorate from the University of Warwick. He has co-authored a book on European corporations and has published in several journals. His current research interests include the relationship between strategy and organization.

Trevor Buck is Research Professor of Business Policy in the Department of Strategy and Management in the Leicester Business School, DeMontfort University. He has published extensively in journals, and his main research interests are executive remuneration in the USA, UK and Germany, enterprise strategies among privatized firms of the former Soviet Union, and business history. 

Community Economics: Linking Theory and Practice 2nd Edition by Ron Shaffer, Steve Deller, Dave Marcouiller (Blackwell Publishers) This complete revision of Dr. Shaffer's classic Community Economics provides readers with a compre­hensive understanding of economic structure in small communities and urban neighborhoods of America. Authors Shaffer, Deller, and Marcouiller review the economics of smaller communities with continued emphasis on how to build and achieve theoretically sound community economic development policy. The text also demonstrates how local participation and knowledge can be used to iden­tify problems, form solutions, and maintain community support for long-term goals.

The main body of economic research and literature has neglected the economics of smaller com­munities. Community Economics: Linking Theory and Practice fills that information void. This text serves as a comprehensive guide on smaller, open economies and urban neighborhoods for economists, regional planners, rural sociologists, and geographers. Additionally, Community Economics is an issue-oriented handbook of development strategies for development practitioners, planning and zoning offi­cials, and others involved in the day-to-day activities of community economic development. 

Ron Shaffer is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Shaffer is also a community development economist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension. 

Steve Deller is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Deller also holds joint appointments in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the Center for Community Economic Development, and the Center for Local Government and is a community development economist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension.  

Dave Marcouiller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Marcouiller also holds joint appointments in the Department of Forest Ecology and Management, the Institute of Environmental Studies, and the Center for Community Economic Development and serves as a resource economist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension. 

Since the first edition was written in 1989, two contrasting phenomena continue to evolve. The first deals with an ever-expanding base of understanding about the functioning and change in small open economies. The second has to do with how much we still do not understand. As we gain more insight into community economics, the more we realize how much we do not understand. The more questions we answer, the more questions arise. Community eco­nomics remains a work in progress. As a result, we have completely updated the text and added several new chapters.

We have progressed in our understanding of community economic development from both theoreti­cal and practical perspectives. A significant shift in this edition is that it more fully challenges the stu­dent to better understand the linkage between theo­ry and practice. For this to occur, we require the student to better appreciate the theoretical founda­tions of community economics. Conversely, by bet-ter understanding the practical aspects of community economic development, we can reinforce existing theory and develop more grounded theoretical approaches.

This book was written with two audiences in mind. The first audience is upper-level undergradu­ates and graduate students in the disciplines of eco­nomics, sociology, political science, and geography and the applied professional programs in planning, public administration, policy studies, and development studies. The second audience is the practition­er who is faced with day-to-day, real-world problems. The book has restated problems faced in the real world within specific theoretical frame-works. Making clear distinctions among alternative theories helps one think through real-world prob-lems that are seldom neat. Theory gives some orga­nization to the mass of confusion that seems to surround the problem. Theory provides some guidance to policy-makers in thinking comprehensively. There is a need to understand community economic development theories because they help us under-stand policy options. Theory helps us understand the limits of narrowly conceived policy suggestions and enables us to offer sound alternatives.

Although this edition is more technical, it was written with the mathematically challenged in mind. While some math is included, it is minimal; it should be viewed as a tool to help think through a problem. Graphical and verbal arguments are used to flesh out intuitive appreciation of the theories.

Our primary objective is to improve economic literacy in community economic development. That means helping people make wise decisions. Wise decisions include understanding economic change, learning how to analyze economic conditions, examining what can and cannot be done, and reviewing cause and effect of policy choices. Ultimately this book is written to help people make decisions that are more informed.

This edition takes a broader view of community economic development by introducing theories and concepts that are beyond the control of the commu­nity. The first edition was limited to a discussion of factors that can be influenced by the community. Communities, however, need to have a broader understanding and appreciation of the larger forces at play because it is precisely these outside influ­ences that provide context fer the real-world choic­es available to local policy-makers.

This book is unique in regional science because we specifically focus on smaller open economies.

The economics at play and the policy options open to the community apply equally from small rural hamlets to larger urban neighborhoods. This is important because most people live and work in smaller open economies.

Globalization and the Decline of Social Reform: Into the Twenty-First Century, 2nd Edition by Gary Teeple (Humanity Press) Read this book for an perceptive analysis of globalization and its effects. Want to understand why the social safety net in the US is being systematically shredded? Want to know why the two major parties in the US have nearly indistinguishable economic policies? Want to understand the significance of NAFTA and the FTAA?  Understand the rationale of the protests in Seattle and Quebec City ?.

Globalization is the coming of the 'triumph of capitalism,' the growing ascendancy of economics over politics, of corporate demands over public policy, of private over public interest. It represents the approaching completion of the capitalization of the world, carried out by 'self-generating capital' in the form of transnational corporations within an increasingly coherent transnational regulatory regime.

Neo-liberal policies at the national level, argues the author, represent the policy side of globalization, the political requirements of global capital, and harmonization of the national with the global. They mark the transition between two eras, from a world of national corporations and nation states to a world of transnational corporations and supranational regulatory agencies.

The author examines the postwar conditions that gave rise to the modern welfare state and the politics of social democracy throughout the industrial world. He traces the transformation of these conditions in the 1970s with the coming of a computer-based mode of production and the consequent necessity for global relations of production. In the face of global assertions of the rights of corporate private property, he makes the case that the world's subordinate classes and peoples will have to create global means of resistance.

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