Schlagwort-Archive: economy

Two challenges President elect Barack Obama will face when taking office

As President elect Barack Obama is getting ready to take office on january 20th 2009, all political leaders on the international stage rallying to congratulate and confronting him with their tremendous expectations, I would like to express how admirable I find his political campaign. Unfortunately, my post will add to high hopes and expectations he is aware of, anyway, from a German perspective. Having watched the entire election night on November 4/November 5 live and two years of campaign trail on CNN before it is not diffiult for Americans to see that all of us here were in a political campaign fever, too. Rallying around the Obama flag internationally looks like this, these days. Shrinkingissaac writes he „is amused by how many non-Americans i know are as excited about last night as any Americans i know.“ . Marcus Beckedahl at Netzpolitik predicts that German election campaign of 2009 online will be nothing more than a gray shade as compared to Obama’s campaign. The Britons, by contrast, invite Obama’s election campaign team and try to learn how key lessons from Obama’s presidential campaign can be transferred to Britain. That is what I would expect for political campaigning in Germany, as well.

Barack Obama has taken Max Weber’s concept of the charismatic leader to a whole new level and into the 21st century with his impressive campaign. No other political leader can recur on a broad social movement to get things done. No other leader will have as much political power and as much influence as compared to Barack Obama in the years to come.

Fabio Rojas at orgtheory writes: „But before these issues assert themselves and force me to be critical, I wanted to take a few moments to discuss why I found Obama such a profoundly impressive figure over the past ten years.“ and points to Obama’s equanimity and openness in communication and to his persona combining intelligence, broad mindedness, inclusiveness, and charity toward the listener. From what I have perceived on the media Obama has a calmness hat makes him almost inprovokeable. Obama is not only a tremendous speaker in public but also an intellectual, who, I hope, is capable of dealing with enormous complexity, with interlinkeages and interdependencies among the various challenges confronting him. But it is the ascribed personality, our hopes and expectations, is what makes Obama a charismatic political leader unlike any other contemporay politician. So, in the face of the global challenges ahead I’ll try to explore why not only the United States but world citizens long for Barack Obama’s charismatic leadership. Why will Obama need the broad social movement that he created to get things done? Weiterlesen

Hartz IV – Überhitzte Mediendebatte und Wohlfahrtswirklichkeit

In seiner Reihe „Ratgeber & Magazine“ strahlt SAT 1 eine Doku-Reihe mit dem Titel „Gnadenlos gerecht – Sozialfahnder ermitteln“ aus. Darin spüren Mitarbeiter einer ARGE Verdachtsfällen von Sozialbetrug nach. Demnächst wird die Serie abgesetzt. In einer Erklärung teilt Landrat Peter Walter vom Landkreis Offenbach mit, es werde keine weiteren Reportagen mit dem privaten TV Sender Sat. 1 im Bereich „Soziale Ermittlung“ geben. Zugleich rechtfertigt er seine Entscheidung, der TV Produktionsfirma die Erlaubnis erteilt zu haben, die beiden „Sozialfahnder“ begleiten zu lassen. Eine erneute Staffel werde nicht gesendet, doch die zwei verbleibenden von vier Sendungen werden noch ausgestrahlt. In Anlehnung an die SAT 1-Serie bläst die BILD zur Jagd auf Hartz IV Bezieher. Anders als bei der SAT-1 Serie, die sich um Ausgleich bemüht zeigt und gelegentlich über Notlagen hilfsbedürftiger Menschen berichtet, beinhaltet „der grosse Hartz IV-Report“ der BILD zunächst im Portrait-Stil Artikel über Arbeitslose und Jobvermittler, gefolgt von reißerischen Artikeln über Hartz-IV-Betrüger, Sozial-Schmarotzer und Anwälte, die den Betrügern behilflich sind. Die Kernbotschaft lautet: Sozialbetrug stelle nicht die Ausnahme, sondern den Regelfall dar. Das Arbeitslosengeld II müsse gesenkt werden, um Anreize zum Arbeiten zu setzen. Ein Aufheizen der politischen Stimmung wird mindestens bereitwillig in Kauf genommen [siehe SPIEGEL 1, 2]. Die drastischen Beispiele aus der BILD erscheinen mir zudem unglaubwürdig, denn die abgelichteten Personen, die sich stolz und frech vor der Kamera präsentieren, werden anders als die gezeigten Personen in der in der SAT 1-Serie nicht unkenntnich gemacht. Weiterlesen

Saskia Sassen on knowlege and global cities

Understandingsociety has this rare video footage of Saskia Sassen, a sociologist at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Columbia University. In her essay „Embeddedness of global markets“ (2005) in Knorr-Cetina/Brügger „The sociology of Financial Markets“, Sassen argues the topography of global electronic capital markets is embedded in a global cities interconnected through a global technological infrastructure. There is no fully virtualized market, firm or economic sector. Even finance, the most digitalized, dematerialized and globalized of all economic sectors has a topography that interconnects real and digital space and creates a backbone for global financial trading activities. Even though one might expect new information and communication technologies to eliminate the advantages of agglomeration in physical space, global electronic financial trade is dependent on a mix of resources and talents that is concentrated in a network of interconnected urban financial centers. Moreover, the global financial market, no matter how financialized and electronic, requires specific political regulatory conditions and thus depends on national states to produce an  institutional framework that reflects the global market for capital and the various fundamentals it is based upon. The formation of a global financial market is thus hard to imagine without a backbone in offline society and physical space.

In the videos below, we see Saskia Sassen give a lecture on cities as „urban knowledge capital“ at the Urban Age India Conference in Mumbai /India in 2007, and her lecture be transferred straight to YouTube, Google and related platforms. Understandingsociety interprets the almost real time online availability of Sassen’s lecture as a

a dramatic illustration of the potential for diffusion and infusion of knowledge that the internet presents to the global world …

… and my guess is we will expect this type of knowledge transfer from social and physical space at an academic conference to the intenet and multiple mobile devices as a regular pattern of information diffusion, and the use of Social Media such as blogging, microblogging, bookmarking and tagging as common practice and universal standard procedures to interconnect invididual and collective bodies of knowledge. It will contribute to the visibility of scientists and their achievements and enable scientists to access academic and professional information on the day it gets published. Yet, I suspect German academia is not the driving force of this development.

Urban Age India: Saskia Sassen, Part 1

Urban Age India: Saskia Sassen, Part 2

Urban Age India: Saskia Sassen, Part 3