academic bloomers

Something is going wrong in academia – is it a matter of the publishing sector or the awarding system? A sentence in Bruno F. Frey’s article on ‘Publishing as prostitution? – Choosing between one’s own ideas and academic success‘ (Public Choice 116: 205–223, 2003) does not provide the answer, though it importantly poses the question.

A well-known example is Akerlof’s “Market for Lemons”, which was rejected by the American Economic Review and the Review of Economic Studies as being “trivial”, and by the Journal of Political Economy for being “too general” before it was accepted by the Quarterly Journal of Economics, which was instrumental in him winning the Nobel Prize.

Will we be able to contribute to the debate during the next days in Shanghai, addressing conference on

Responsible leadership, global citizenship and the role of education – what might the last 10 years tell us about the next 10 years?

organised at theThe Sino-British College, USST, 上海理工大学中英国际学院 ?

Working from rather different perspectives and interests on the contribution, titled “‘Chinese Higher Education in an International Sitting: Progress and Challenges’” (together with Fan Hong/Rzepka, Remi) was already a challenge. The gain for me, against the odds: becoming even more aware of the difficulties to “put students first”.

If I will still be able total up on the new plan: writing an textbook for economics from and for the lifeworld perspective of which the fundamental is that another world is indeed, possible if it trust in the honesty “grand narrative of small people” as main bulwark against strives and lies of old and new princes, West and East.

see also


Realities and perspectives of the progressive and leftist processes in Latin America

In the context of the XIII Conference of Latin American Studies “Realities and perspectives of the progressive and leftist processes in Latin America”, taking place from today until the 21st of October 2016 in Havana, Cuba, an article I read recently, comes to my mind.

It is about the US Blockade on Cuba being ‘Genocidal’ and the fact that it also violates international law and the human rights of Cubans – so the statement of The National Union of Cuban Jurists.
My small contribution to this debate is concerned with reflections on
Reactivating Existing Traditions for Progress
Indeed, the question of today is very much about finding a specific independence of opening economies – counteracting the American strive for another occupation of foreign terrain.
Then, approaching crisis analysis in a more complex way, we detect as one of the fundamental issues the frequent trend of reviving traditional forms of economy and society. This can be seen as matter of the grand narratives of historical development (the renaissance may be seen as one of the most pronounced ‘steps’) but also as matter of the narratives of the medium range.
Currently this pattern should be closely observed, encouraging us to make use out of the current developmental stage and crisis by way of analysing the contradictions of the mode of production. What is usually termed as industry 4.0, fourth industrial revolution and also uberisation and emergence of the big-data-society is surely a double-edged sword. In any case, this ambiguity means not least the emergence of potentials for new spaces of societal practice that allow the creatively-productive integration of economy and social activities on the one hand and the development of individuals in their communities and societal development on the other hand.
Referring to the French Theory of Regulation and the Theory of Social Quality, the contribution will suggest some perspectives for global development, where actually countries from the global periphery can develop an avant-garde position. At the centre, we the following topics will be looked at:
* Politics of New Technologies
* Precarity or a new work-life balances
* Wealth – Redistribution versus New Production
* Local and Global – Development in one country or many different worlds
* Small is Powerful – Potentials for small countries and niche economies.
Matters, narratives of the grand narratives of historical development, the narratives of the medium range and the present moment, merging at times.

Disenchantment …

or enchantment …?
In sociology we know latest since Max Weber about the disenchantment of the world. And still we cannot completely grasp it … – You may remember an entry some time ago, when I wrote about a chat with a friend, looking at The Other Dimension.

There it was about emotions, the exceptional and the part of life we cannot and do not even want to explain. There is again another dimension, the enchantment and fascination we overlook so often for which we do not have the time. The enchantment by something that seems to be just routine, perhaps even left to the autopilot, and as it is part of daily life we forget to approach it – sure, not least a metaphor, but there is indeed some fascination in so many things that may seem so very ordinary, from approaching a another country by plane to the landing, looking into the eyes of friends. Don’t we do it nearly every day, and don’t we easily forget about it ?

Quoting again from the mentioned Other Dimension:

To take it from Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment

Bourgeois society is ruled by equivalence. It makes the dissimilar comparable by reducing it to abstract quantities. To the enlightenment, that which does not reduce to numbers, and ultimately to the one, becomes illusion.

There is surely some Madness of Sincerity of which I learned again – finally

Men are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of the seriousness of your sufferings, except by your death. So long as you are alive, your case is doubtful; you have a right only to their skepticism.”

And isn’t the ease with which we are forgetting this also one of the major wrongdoings when we as teaches stand in class, not fully respecting the performance of the students, also by not teaching them that failing in the courses does not mean “to  be a failure”? And moreover, to teach indeed fascinating innovations, making easily forgetting the foundations that are needed tallow them to evolve? In a recent lecture, part of the teaching BA-students at BCC, I tried to do exactly the opposite.


Over the last year or so, a working group on Migration of the Scientific Council of attac –  Association Pour La Taxation Des Transactions Financières Pour L’Aide Aux Citoyens, elaborated a working paper on issues of Refuge and Migration. At the core of the work stood the elaboration of a document that evaluates and assesses the controversy of the topics Refuge/Asylum/Migration from a non-nationalist perspective. It can be seen as an important contribution against the raising nationalism and strengthening of right-wing movements in Europe, which is not least a futile ground of international terrorisms.
A short version of the document – in German language –  is now published in the journal Sozialismus (43/10): 26-30. The full document (also in German language), which is explicitly understood as working and discussion document, can be found by following this link.