We live in a world where a tweet can be instantly retweeted and read by millions around the world in minutes, where a video forwarded to friends can destroy a political career in hours, and where an unknown man or woman can become an international celebrity overnight. Virality: individuals create it, governments fear it, companies would die for it. In this important new book Nahon and Hemsley uncover the factors that make things go viral online. They analyze the characteristics of networks that shape virality, including the crucial role of gatekeepers who control the flow of information. They also explore the role of human attention, showing how word of mouth, bandwagon effects, homophily, and interest networks help to explain the patterns of individual behavior that make viral events.
Drawing on a wide range of examples, this path-breaking account of viral events will be essential reading for students, scholars, politicians, policymakers, executives, artists, and anyone who wants to understand how our world today is being shaped by the flow of information online.
You can find the complete list of new acquisitions on the New books page. The list includes all English-language books bought by the Library in the last two month (and published in the last five years), the books are grouped according to theme and title.
Here you can read selected book recommendations from the list of the new books.
In assigning blame for the recent economic crisis, many have pointed to the proliferation of new, complex financial products--mortgage securitization in particular--as being at the heart of the meltdown. The prominent economists from academia, policy institutions, and financial practice who contribute to this book, however, take a more nuanced view of financial innovation. They argue that it was not too much innovation but too little innovation--and the lack of balance between debt-related products and asset-related products--that lies behind the crisis. Prevention of future financial crises, then, will be aided by a regulatory and legal framework that fosters the informed use of financial innovation and its positive effects on the economy rather than quashing it entirely. The book, which includes two contributions from Robert Shiller as well as a discussion of Shiller's "MacroMarkets" tool, considers the key ingredients of financial innovation from both academia and industry; the positive potential but also the risks of financial innovation and the influence of producers on consumers; rationality- and behavioral-based viewpoints on the causes of the recent crisis; the link between the cycle of financial innovation and financial crisis; and how future innovation-linked crises might be avoided.
This book presents comprehensive coverage of project finance in Europe and North America. The Second Edition features two new case studies, all new pedagogical supplements including end-of-chapter questions and answers, and insights into the recent market downturn. The author provides a complete description of the ways a project finance deal can be organized-from industrial, legal, and financial standpoints-and the alternatives available for funding it. After reviewing recent advances in project finance theory, he provides illustrations and case studies. At key points Gatti brings in other project finance experts who share their specialized knowledge on the legal issues and the role of advisors in project finance deals.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.
Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.
In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.
Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.
Noted British academic and journalist Alison Wolf offers a surprising and thoughtful study of the professional elite, and examines the causes—and limits—of women’s rise and the consequences of their difficult choices.
The gender gap is closing. Today, for the first time in history, tens of millions of women are spending more time at the boardroom table than the kitchen table. These professional women are highly ambitious and highly educated, enjoying the same lifestyle prerogatives as their male counterparts. They are working longer and marrying later—if they marry at all. They are heading Fortune 500 companies and appearing on the covers of Forbes and Businessweek. They represent a special type of working woman—the kind who doesn’t just punch a clock for a paycheck, but derives self-worth and pleasure from wielding professional power.
At the same time that the gender gap is narrowing, the gulf is widening among women themselves. While blockbuster books such as Lean In focus only on women in high pressure jobs, in reality there are four women in traditionally female roles for every Sheryl Sandberg. In this revealing and deeply intelligent book, Alison Wolf examines why more educated women work longer hours, why having children early is a good idea, and how feminism created a less equal world. Her ideas are sure to provoke and surprise, as she challenges much of what the liberal and conservative media consider to be women’s best interests.
What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. His findings will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.
Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have allowed us to avoid inequalities on the apocalyptic scale predicted by Karl Marx. But we have not modified the deep structures of capital and inequality as much as we thought in the optimistic decades following World War II. The main driver of inequality--the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth--today threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values. But economic trends are not acts of God. Political action has curbed dangerous inequalities in the past, Piketty says, and may do so again.
A Social History of Twentieth-Century Europe offers a systematic overview on major aspects of social life, including population, family and households, social inequalities and mobility, the welfare state, work, consumption and leisure, social cleavages in politics, urbanization as well as education, religion and culture. It also addresses major debates and diverging interpretations of historical and social research regarding the history of European societies in the past one hundred years.
Organized in ten thematic chapters, this book takes an interdisciplinary approach, making use of the methods and results of not only history, but also sociology, demography, economics and political science. Béla Tomka presents both the diversity and the commonalities of European societies looking not just to Western European countries, but Eastern, Central and Southern European countries as well. A perfect introduction for all students of European history.
Prior to the financial crisis of 2007-2008, economists thought that no such crisis could or would ever happen again in the United States, that financial events of such magnitude were a thing of the distant past. In fact, observers of that distant past—the period from the half century prior to the Civil War up to the passage of deposit insurance during the Great Depression, which was marked by repeated financial crises—note that while legislation immediately after crises reacted to their effects, economists and policymakers continually failed to grasp the true lessons to be learned.
Gary Gorton, considered by many to be the authority on the financial crisis of our time, holds that economists fundamentally misunderstand financial crises—what they are, why they occur, and why there were none in the U.S. between 1934 and 2007. In Misunderstanding Financial Crises, he illustrates that financial crises are inherent to the production of bank debt, which is used to conduct transactions, and that unless the government designs intelligent regulation, crises will continue. Economists, he writes, looked from a certain point of view and missed everything that was important: the evolution of capital markets and the banking system, the existence of new financial instruments, and the size of certain money markets like the sale and repurchase market. Delving into how such a massive intellectual failure could have happened, Gorton offers a back-to-basics elucidation of financial crises, and shows how they are not rare, idiosyncratic, unfortunate events caused by a coincidence of unconnected factors. By looking back to the "Quiet Period" from 1934 to 2007 when there were no systemic crises, and to the "Panic of 2007-2008," he brings together such issues as bank debt and liquidity, credit booms and manias, and moral hazard and too-big-too-fail, to illustrate the costs of bank failure and the true causes of financial crises. He argues that the successful regulation that prevented crises did not adequately keep pace with innovation in the financial sector, due in large part to economists' misunderstandings. He then looks forward to offer both a better way for economists to conceive of markets, as well as a description of the regulation necessary to address the historical threat of financial crises.
"There are very few detailed studies of how financial regulatory standards diffuse from the major centres of policy innovation to the rest of the world. Hyoung-kyu Chey’s contribution to our understanding of this process is considerable: in a detailed account of how Japan, Korea and Taiwan implemented Basel capital standards he shows how domestic politics and institutions reshaped and adapted these standards to fit local circumstances, often in ways at odds with the Basel Committee’s intent. This is a timely study of direct relevance to the current challenges of implementing Basel III and of reforming global economic governance more generally." — Andrew Walter, Professor of International Relations of School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia
Launching his new book Turbulent and Might Continent: What Future for Europe?, renowned sociologist Professor Lord Giddens discusses why the EU needs to respond to changes affecting the industrial world and why pro-Europeans must rethink the European project to make it more suitable for the needs of the 21st century.