Is it familiar that a moment when you sit to write something, all of a sudden everything else becomes more attractive, be this checking emails, cleaning the house, feeding the cat or calling your mom?! You happen to remember at this particular moment that the plants have not been watered for weeks and that a …
Farhad Mukhtarov and Andrea Gerlak have just published an article in Policy Sciences, a well-respected political science journal, on Ways of Knowing and Integrated Water Resources Management. In this article, the authorss came up with the argument that there are 3 ways of knowing reality, and public policy for that matter, which they named prescriptive, discursive …
A team of Spanish researchers Fransisco Colom Jover, José Antonio Carrillo, Vicente Plaza and Emma Gabaldà were awarded a European scholarship to do their research in Baku. Their research is focused on the way Baku has been growing and how its evolution has affected the coastline and the Caspian Sea.
While they are researching, it is becoming clear that there are some important problems related to the environment both in the coastline and the Caspian.
More information on the project, their work and more interviews can be found here.
At the Amsterdam Ethnography Symposium, a full room of scholars, mostly anthropologists, is captivated by the charismatic speaker telling the tale of mass killing and normalization of such. The subject is the ethnography of a slaughterhouse. The element of story-telling is combined with stand-up comedy, when the presenter takes questions from the audience in the …
It is one thing for a concept and a network of scholars around it to get into the panels at conferences, and it is another thing when those panels are attended by a large number of people among whom are the distinguished policy analysis scholars with the world-wide fame. We can say with confidence that Policy Translation has reached that stature when it attracts the full room of interested policy scholars and students as it was in Vienna conference on Interpretative Policy Analysis. (more…)
Albert Einstein famously proclaimed that “you can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it”. But we keep trying to fool ourselves that we can. We see technology as our ultimate solution, from extending our lives through synthetic biology, to arguing that we must have genetically modified food and other organisms as we are growing out of proportions, available food and resources. It is an old Malthusian argument, but with a naive hope that if only technology is there, we can continue our unsustainable, non-reflexive, impulsive and consumerist behaviour with no or little impact on ecosystems. Wrong! We can’t. (more…)
How often do you see a scientific concept with which you have dealt in your PhD in a museum on a sight-seeing tour? A product of isolated and a bit weird scientists in an ivory tower cannot make it to the popular arenas such as musea, right? Alas, a surprise awaited me in Barcelona!
Guest contribution by Gül Özerol, Cheryl de Boer, and Joanne Vinke-de Kruijf. “Water Governance, Policy and Knowledge Transfer: International Studies of Contextual Water Management” is the title of a new book published in May by Routledge as part of the book series Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management. A major finding of the book is that context …
The photo (credit John Kaplan, 1993) shows an eight-year-old street child in St. Petersburg, Sergei, who insists on smoking Marlboros. The Former Soviet Bloc including Eastern Europe and Asia now represent about 50% of all cigarette sales globally. The tobacco epidemic has been truly exported to the developing world. The powerful Big Tobacco companies targeted aggressive marketing and advertisement to promote American cigarettes. (more…)
“Old Joe Camel cartoon advertisements are far more successful at marketing Camel cigarettes to children than to adults. This finding is consistent with tobacco industry documents that indicate that a major function of tobacco advertising is to promote and maintain tobacco addiction among children.” (more…)
I was once a member of a committee whose purpose was to hire a new colleague in our university department. Unimpressed with one of the candidates who claimed he was a ‘trouble-shooter’, the head of the committee, a distinguished scholar, said something I will remember for long. He said “a scientist is not someone who solves problems but who knows how to problematise things” (more…)
River Basin Organizations are ubiquitous nowadays. They carry different functions, forms and are founds across the world. However, what is the history of their evolution and who are the actors behind their prominence in water governance? Who are interested in the promotion of river basin organizations and how those actors have achieved their goals? (more…)
I had a nice childhood — full of happiness, joy and drive. Chess took a large part of my childhood and I had great people to share it with having grown in Baku. In this little essay I recount on my experiences of being a ‘chess-kid’ in Baku in the 1990s, it was originally prepared for the chess magazine of Caissa-Amsterdam club, September 2012.
Recently I went to the Deutsche-Guggenheim Museum in Berlin (yes, they also have a subsidiary there) to see an exhibition that inspired the name to this blog and bore the title ‘Found in Translation’.
My favourite piece is the video installation which shows the video used to teach English language to Latino children in the U.S. By using words and scenes, which are culturally sanctioned, language is a medium and a means to create a new reality in the mind of a child. Often sterile, advertisement like, those pictures are nothing less that colonizing the minds by illusions of idyllic life that is somehow linked just to the faculty of English language. Wow!!! And that is the feeling you get going through the installations. Strongly recommend to see the summary of this event here!
The exhibition was devoted to the theme of translation in language and in our lives as essential sense-making, as the process through which our identities are shaped but yet the process which often remains second-hand, in the shadow and under-rated. The curator of the exhibition, Nat Trotman, to my unspoken joy, has written the following: (more…)
Copyright of the picture: The Economist. You must have heard of the recent ban by ‘Yahoo’ to work from home…Now, as in the picture, workers are chained to their workplace, either they want it or not. I must say, in unison with plethora of evidence from elsewhere, that the ‘presence in the office all week’ policy is out-dated, discouraging and above all — is difficult to defend. (more…)
An interview with Prof. Martin de Jong of Delft University of Technology on ‘Institutional Transplantation’. Prof. de Jong is one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the policy transfer school in public policy. The book he has co-edited in 2002 and entitled “The Theory and Practice of Institutional Transplantation” has become a classic in this area. In this interview Martin tells us about his work, hopes and challenges with regard to cross-national learning and movement of policies and ideas.
By Farhad Mukhtarov. It is not clear how to reconcile emotion and policy analysis which seem to encompass different worlds. The first is enveloped in subjectivity, whereas the second claims to be objective; the first occurs mostly in private sphere, whereas the second is mandated and takes place in public arena. The challenge is great: we know that emotion is important in policy making and often key to politics, but we do not have a faintest idea how to account for emotion in political analysis. The one who gets this problem solved deserves a Nobel Prize. (more…)
The DG Regio held an open Day on 11 October 2012 within which a workshop entitled ‘Troubling multilevel governance: coordinating spatial interventions” was organized. Regional development is perhaps the best example in which multi-level governance manifests itself as an extremely complex phenomenon. Among several participants from various institutions was also our colleague Paul Stubbs whose …
By Farhad Mukhtarov. As we reported earlier, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) is currently hosting its 2012 annual session in San-Francisco. Within this session there is a roundtable arranged for the discussion of the dialogue between public policy and anthropology. Our colleague Paul Stubbs has given a short talk in which he emphasized the recent development sin this field as well as what each of the discipline can learn from each other. Below is the script of the talk and in a few days we will provide a full analysis of the roundtable. (more…)
The Jerusalem Water Group of the Hebrew University is organizing a Workshop entitled “The Securitization of the Water Discourse” and to be held on December 17-18 in Jerusalem. The key-note speakers at the workshop will be Aaron Wolf, François Molle, Eran Feitelson and Max Boykoff. The theme of the workshop is the securitization of the water issues and the impact such moves have on how water is imagined and managed. The securitization of water is a problematic issue because of its paradoxical outcomes. On the one hand, an issue becomes politically ‘hot’ and is easily put on the agenda of politicians when it is framed as a security matter. (more…)