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Policies on the move: translation, assemblages, and ethnography

I reviewed four recent books on the translation of policies, assemblages and the growing role of ethnography in public policy and urban studies in a new book review essay published in Environment and Planning C. These books are as follows: Blaustein Jarrett, Speaking truths to power: Policy ethnography and police reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina. [...]

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Future of Food Journal

The Ecological Agriculture group at the University of Kassel publishes a journal “Future of Food”. You are welcome to visit their page and make a contribution. More information is below. Open for Bachelor and Master students as well as more seasoned academics.

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On Chess, Public Policy and Strategic Planning

This is a re-post of my original blog post written in October 2011 for my previous blog. I am the sole author of this blog post. Karl Wittfogel, in 1957, published his seminal book “Oriental Despotism“, his claim that state-formation and organization of societies in hierarchies originated from large structural works, mainly irrigation in Mesopotamia [...]

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On Writing, Honesty and Van Gogh

I have recently received two reviews on my writing pieces, which felt like a great achievement for a number of reasons. Five or six other journals rejected one article before it was actually reviewed. Another, a chapter for a prestigious collection, which I am co-writing with a colleague in Australia, finally got reviews from two [...]

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The Books I read in 2015

It becomes a nice tradition to report at the end of the year on the books that I had a blessing to read this year. I usually report on both academic and “fun” books that I discovered, read and enjoyed. This post is about the books that made my year 2015 so interesting! This year [...]

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On Being an Academic and a Public Intellectual

Edward Said is primarily known for this views on Palestine and Israel and for this book “Orientalism” which defined and inspired the post-colonial studies, as discussed before on this blog. He, however, also left a dozens if not hundreds of essays and interviews — the goldmine for anyone interested in the issues of politics, literature, [...]

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Crafting or Designing Socio-Ecological Systems? Read our Special Issue in Environmental Science & Policy

Finally, our Special Issue of Environmental Science & Policy is online, and you can enjoy the articles. You can read our editorial about the issue here, and the article I wrote with colleagues on water user associations in the region here.

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“The Black Swan” by Nassim Taleb

After 3 years of owning the book, I finally made the effort and read the book from cover to cover. It was hard to start off, but then went in a free-flow. There are many reviews on the Internet, so I won’t go on about the book at length, only mention a few things which [...]

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Edward Said: Last Public Intellectual

Last autumn, I started being interested in Professor Edward Said, who is most known for his 1978 book “The Orientalism”. I won’t write about the book here, a lot has been written about it already. Edward Said, however, is much more than an author. He stands out as perhaps the last public intellectual of our [...]

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“Our Kids” by Robert Putnam, 2015

The New York Review of Books published a review of the new book of Robert Putnam “Our Kids”. This book is about where America is going in terms of the “morality” of life — increasing divorce rates, children born out of the wedlock and an overall decreasing happiness trend.

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What Makes Ideas Spread?

There is too much choice at the moment, the tyranny of choice. The only way to make sure that your idea, bad or good, becomes influential, you have to make sure this idea is different from all other ideas! It may be crazy, it may be risky-looking, but this is really the “safe” way to [...]

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Weekend Reading: “Social Theory”

One day when I was a student in Oxford, I went to a student auction to buy a bicycle. Instead, I bought a book. It was only 3 GBP and it was second hand. It was called “Social Theory: a Historical Introduction” by Alex Callinicos, and this was a start of my passion for social [...]

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“Goldfinch” — Pulitzer Prize for Ordinary Work

“The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt snatched the Pulitzer in 2013. “A masterpiece” (The Times), “Superb” (Daily Mail), “Heart-rending” (Vogue), “A gripping page-turner” (Independent on Sunday) — are some of the praise it received in the media.

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Global Governance of Biofuels

Farhad Mukhtarov co-authored a new paper (short communication) with Professor Patricia Osseweijer from Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) and dr. Robin Pierce from Harvard Law School (US). It appeared in the last issue of 2014 of Bio-based and Applied Economics, a new journal devoted to the issues of energy transition and bio-economy as viewed [...]

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Books that Defined 2014 for Me!!!

This year was not rich with books (and time to spare) apart from those for work. Still, there is a number of books I started and some I finished, which makes me feel proud! Below is the list with some first impressions as I am planning more detailed reviews later on. 1. “The Goldfinch”, by [...]

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bell hooks on teaching and critical thinking

One of the major things that makes my life meaningful at this particular moment is teaching and the chance to pass some knowledge and ways of thinking to my students. It is not self-esteem which I am gaining here, although I recognize that teaching is a mildly narcissistic activity which may inflate already oversize egos. [...]

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Weekend Reading: “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference”

The travel of ideas This week’s weekend reading is the international bestseller from Malcolm Gladwell “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference”. In this book released in 2000, the New York Times columnist and a writer Malcolm Gladwell describes the turning point when a trend starts to catch fire, becomes important, [...]

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Weekend Reading: “Tuesdays with Morrie”

It is August, the time when it’s hot outside, there are no classes and one can indulge in an interesting fiction or non-fiction reading. And weekends are sometimes the best time for this even in August as some people have to work, or prefer to keep the usual rhythms of doing ‘me’ things on a [...]

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New Book!!! “River Basin Management in the Twenty-first Century: Understanding People and Place”

Good news for those interested in water resources management and policy! A new book is published by CRC Press, part of Taylor & Francis Group, which is called “River Basin Management in the Twenty-first Century: Understanding People and Place” edited by Victor Squires, Hugh Milner, and Katherine Daniell. It has a rich collection of various [...]

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How Lonely is a Scientist?

Why did I choose to become a scientist? It is a lonely, not so well-paid and often insecure job after all. And in a society where I live and work now, it has little social prestige. Moreover, if you end up as a teacher, it is very hard to juggle teaching, administration, research and writing. [...]

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