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The Welfare State A Very Short Introduction

Author: David Garland
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019165308X
Size: 60.45 MB
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Welfare states vary across nations and change over time. And the balance between markets and government; free enterprise and social protection is perennially in question. But all developed societies have welfare states of one kind or another - they are a fundamental dimension of modern government. And even after decades of free-market criticism and reform, their core institutions have proven resilient and popular. This Very Short Introduction describes the modern welfare state, explaining its historical and contemporary significance and arguing that far from being 'a failure' or 'a problem', welfare states are an essential element of contemporary capitalism, and a vital concomitant of democratic government. In this accessible and entertaining account, David Garland cuts through the fog of misunderstandings to explain in clear and simple terms, what welfare states are, how they work, and why they matter. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Public Administration A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stella Z. Theodoulou
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019103620X
Size: 26.20 MB
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Public administration ensures the development and delivery of the essential public services required for sustaining modern civilization. Covering areas from public safety and social welfare to transportation and education, the services provided through the public sector are inextricably part of our daily lives. However, mandatory budgetary cuts in recent years have caused public administrators to radically re-think how they govern in the modern age. In this Very Short Introduction Stella Theodoulou and Ravi Roy offer practical insight into the major challenges confronting the public sector in the globalized era. Tackling some of the most hotly debated issues of our time, including the privatization of public services and government surveillance, they take the reader on a global journey through history to examine the origins, development, and continued evolution of public administration. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Magic A Very Short Introduction

Author: Owen Davies
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191623881
Size: 67.23 MB
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Defining 'magic' is a maddening task. Over the last century numerous philosophers, anthropologists, historians, and theologians have attempted to pin down its essential meaning, sometimes analysing it in such complex and abstruse depth that it all but loses its sense altogether. For this reason, many people often shy away from providing a detailed definition, assuming it is generally understood as the human control of supernatural forces. 'Magic' continues to pervade the popular imagination and idiom. People feel comfortable with its contemporary multiple meanings, unaware of the controversy, conflict, and debate its definition has caused over two and a half millennia. In common usage today 'magic' is uttered in reference to the supernatural, superstition, illusion, trickery, religious miracles, fantasies, and as a simple superlative. The literary confection known as 'magical realism' has considerable appeal and many modern scientists have ironically incorporated the word into their vocabulary, with their 'magic acid', 'magic bullets' and 'magic angles'. Since the so-called European Enlightenment magic has often been seen as a marker of primitivism, of a benighted earlier stage of human development. Yet across the modern globalized world hundreds of millions continue to resort to magic - and also to fear it. Magic provides explanations and remedies for those living in extreme poverty and without access to alternatives. In the industrial West, with its state welfare systems, religious fundamentalists decry the continued moral threat posed by magic. Under the guise of neo-Paganism, its practice has become a religion in itself. Magic continues to be a truly global issue. This Very Short Introduction does not attempt to provide a concluding definition of magic: it is beyond simple definition. Instead it explores the many ways in which magic, as an idea and a practice, has been understood and employed over the millennia. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Taxation

Author: Stephen Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199683697
Size: 21.25 MB
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Tax revenues pay for many public services, including roads, health care, and education. However, it has become a contentious political issue of public debate. In this volume, Stephen Smith explains the role that taxes play in a modern economy and describes some of the main taxes used by most developed and developing countries. It considers the key issues: the question of where the burden of taxation really lies, how taxation affects the economy, and the effects of tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Marine Biology A Very Short Introduction

Author: Philip V. Mladenov
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199695059
Size: 35.52 MB
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In this Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a fascinating overview of marine biology. Including a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs, he outlines the principles of marine biology whilst demonstrating the fundamental impact humans have on the oceans and their ecology.

Fascism

Author: Kevin Passmore
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199685363
Size: 51.99 MB
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Fascism is notoriously hard to define. In the new edition of this Very Short Introduction, Kevin Passmore unravels the paradoxes of one of the most important phenomena in the modern world, to make sense of its ideology and place in the modern world.

Twentieth Century Britain A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kenneth O. Morgan
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191606480
Size: 35.69 MB
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First published as part of the best-selling The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, Kenneth Morgan's Very Short Introduction to Twentieth-Century Britain examines the forces of consensus and of conflict in twentieth-century Britain. The account covers the trauma of the First World War and the social divisions of the twenties; fierce domestic and foreign policy debates in the thirties; the impact of the Second World War for domestic transformation, popular culture and the loss of empire; the transition from the turmoil of the seventies to the aftermath of Thatcherism and the advent of New Labour. Throughout, cultural and artistic themes are woven into the analysis, along with the distinct national experiences of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. The profound tension that shook the United Kingdom are juxtaposed against equally deep forces for stability, cohesion, and a sense of historic identity. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Capitalism

Author: James Fulcher
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198726074
Size: 53.22 MB
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This title outlines the history and development of capitalism and addresses important 21st-century issues, such as New Labour's relationship with capitalism, recent crises in capitalist systems, the significance of global capitalism, and distinctive national models of capitalism. The word is heard and used frequently. Most people have an opinion about it. Has capital escaped the nation-state by going global? Is it doomed? There are alternatives to capitalism, in the guises of socialism, communal and cooperative experiments, and alternatives proposed by environmentalists.

Globalization

Author: Manfred B. Steger
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198779550
Size: 13.58 MB
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'Globalization' has become one of the defining buzzwords of our time - a term that describes a variety of accelerating economic, political, cultural, ideological, and environmental processes that are rapidly altering our experience of the world. It is by its nature a dynamic topic. This Very Short Introduction has been fully updated for a fourth edition, to include recent developments in global politics, the global economy, and environmental issues. Presenting globalization as a multifaceted process encompassing global, regional, and local aspects of social life, Manfred B. Steger looks at its causes and effects, examines whether it is a new phenomenon, and explores the question of whether, ultimately, globalization is a good or a bad thing. In this fourth edition Steger discusses some of the key features of recent years, such as the EU fiscal crisis, the rise of robot technology and new war technology with civilian usage such as drones, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and new identity discussions around gender fluidity and sex change in the media. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Social Work

Author: Sally Holland
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198708459
Size: 58.64 MB
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Sally Holland and Jonathan Scourfield explain what social work is and the range of cases it deals with. Looking at its history and main debates, as well as the theories and methods of social work, they include a range of case studies from around the world.