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Archive for 29. November 2019

The Makings of a “Geopolitical” European Commission

Posted by hkarner - 29. November 2019

Mark Leonard is Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

As if incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was not already inheriting a full plate of major challenges, she has also promised to reshape the EU into a „geopolitical“ force to be reckoned with. To succeed, she will need to pass seven tests, in areas ranging from climate change to cybersecurity and competition policy.

BERLIN – On December 1, Ursula von der Leyen will finally take office as president of the European Commission. She has promised to lead a commission that will avoid a scenario in which, as French President Emmanuel Macron recently warned, Europe might “disappear geopolitically” amid an escalating Sino-American rivalry.

To be sure, the European Union has the largest market in the world, the second-highest defense spending (after the United States), 55,000 diplomats, and the world’s largest development-assistance budget. But these strengths are constrained by the fragmentation of European power both between and within member states and EU institutions. While China and the US are both adept at integrating geopolitics with their economic interests, the EU stubbornly acts as if these were separate agendas. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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You’d never know it, but the future of the United Kingdom is at stake

Posted by hkarner - 29. November 2019

Date: 28‑11‑2019

Source: The Guardian Martin Kettle

The upcoming election could trigger the breakup of the union, and yet the main all‑UK parties have barely mentioned it

If the Conservatives win a majority on 12 December, as they are favourites to do, they will claim a mandate to “get Brexit done”. As a result, there is an extremely real possibility that, by the time of the next scheduled election in 2024, the United Kingdom as we know it will no longer exist. Scotland may by then have voted to become an independent country. Northern Ireland may have voted to unify with the Irish republic. But you would hardly know any of this from the general election campaign so far.

In the leaders’ debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, there was much discussion of Brexit. But there was no discussion about Brexit’s consequences for the parts of the UK – Scotland and Northern Ireland – that did not vote for it. Nor was there a single word about Brexit’s effect on the unresolved divides in Ireland. This was genuinely remarkable. For the past three years, the issue of Ireland has been at the very core of the argument about Brexit. But now, from the leaders of Britain’s two main parties, there was absolutely nothing. Not for the first time in British political debate, it was as though Ireland simply did not exist. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Climate emergency: world ‚may have crossed tipping points’

Posted by hkarner - 29. November 2019

Date: 28‑11‑2019

Source: The Guardian

Warning of ‘existential threat to civilisation’ as impacts lead to cascade of unstoppable events

‘Part of the west Antarctic ice sheet may be in irreversible retreat,’ said one of the researchers.

The world may already have crossed a series of climate tipping points, according to a stark warning from scientists. This risk is “an existential threat to civilisation”, they say, meaning “we are in a state of planetary emergency”.

Tipping points are reached when particular impacts of global heating become unstoppable, such as the runaway loss of ice sheets or forests. In the past, extreme heating of 5C was thought necessary to pass tipping points, but the latest evidence suggests this could happen between 1C and 2C.

The planet has already heated by 1C and the temperature is certain to rise further, due to past emissions and because greenhouse gas levels are still rising. The scientists further warn that one tipping point, such as the release of methane from thawing permafrost, may fuel others, leading to a cascade. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Management research is clear as mud

Posted by hkarner - 29. November 2019

Date: 28‑11‑2019

Source: The Economist: Bartleby

It is not fit for purpose, a new book argues

BEWARE THE guru with a theory that explains how companies behave or the perfect recipe for how firms succeed. Beware, too, the lengthy academic studies to similar effect. That is the stark warning of “Management Studies in Crisis: Fraud, Deception and Meaningless Research”, a new book by Dennis Tourish, a scholar of organisations at the University of Sussex.

The idea of “scientific management” dates back to Frederick Winslow Taylor, who wrote a treatise on it in 1911. One example invoked the Bethlehem Iron company, where he supposedly persuaded an employee named Schmidt (about whom Taylor was very condescending) to work harder by paying a piece rate. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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