New books

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.

The end of cheap China

The end of cheap ChinaThe end of cheap China: Economic and cultural trends that will disrupt the world / Shaun Rein
Hoboken: Wiley, 2012. 224 p.

Rein takes an engaging and informative approach to examining the extraordinary changes taking place across all levels of Chinese society, talking to everyone from Chinese billionaires and senior government officials to poor migrant workers and even prostitutes and drawing on personal stories and experiences from living in China since the 1990s as well as hard economic data. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of China's transformation, from fast-improving Chinese companies to confident, optimistic Chinese women to the role of China's government, and at the end breaks down key lessons for readers to take away.
The End of Cheap China shows:
-How rising labor and real estate costs are forcing manufacturers of cheap Chinese products to close, relocate, or move up the value stream
-How a restructuring economy moving away from exports to domestic consumption, and rising incomes will create opportunities for foreign brands to sell products in China rather than just producing there
-How Chinese consumption will build pressure on the global commodities markets, causing inflation and friction with other nations
-How China's economic transformation spells the end of cheap consumption for Americans
China's days as a low cost production center are numbered. The End of Cheap China exposes the end of America's consumerist way of life and gives clear advice on how companies can succeed in the new world order.


Europe in crisis: Bolt from the blue?

Europe in crisisEurope in crisis: Bolt from the blue? / Berend, T. Ivan
New York: Routledge, 2013. 169.

This book analyzes the European Great Recession of 2008-12, its economic and social causes, its historical roots, and the policies adopted by the European Union to find a way out of it. It contains explicit debates with several economists and analysts on some of the most controversial questions about the causes of the crisis and the policies applied by the European Union.
It presents the cases of Iceland, Greece and Ireland, the countries that first declined into crisis in Europe, each of them in a different way. Iceland is a case study for reckless banking practices, Greece of reckless public spending, and Ireland of reckless household indebtedness. At least seven other countries, mostly from the peripheries of Europe, had similarly reckless banking and spending practices.
In the center of the book are the economic and social causes of the crisis. Contemporary advanced capitalism became financialized, de-industrialized and globalized and got rid of the "straitjacket" of regulations. Solid banking was replaced by high-risk, "casino-type" activity. The European common currency also had a structural problem — monetary unification without a federal state and fiscal unification. The other side of the same coin is European hyper-consumerism. A new lifestyle emerged during two super-prosperous periods in the 1950s to 1960s, and during the 1990s to 2006. Trying to find an exit policy, the European Union turned to strict austerity measures to curb the budget deficit and indebtedness. This book critically analyzes the debate around austerity policy.
The creation of important supra-national institutions, and of a financial supervisory authority and stability mechanisms, strengthens integration. The correction of the euro’s structural mistake by creating a quasi-fiscal unification is even more important. The introduction of mandatory fiscal rules and their supervision promises a long-term solution for a well-functioning common currency. These measures, meanwhile, create a two-tier European Union with a fast-track core. This book suggests that the European Union will emerge stronger from the crisis.
This book will be of particular interest to students and researchers of economics, history, political science and international finance, but will also prove profitable reading for practitioners and the interested public.


Performing mixed reality

Performing mixed realityPerforming mixed reality / Steve Benford
Cambridge, US: MIT Press, 2011. 296 p.

Working at the cutting edge of live performance, an emerging generation of artists is employing digital technologies to create distinctive forms of interactive, distributed, and often deeply subjective theatrical performance. The work of these artists is not only fundamentally transforming the experience of theater, it is also reshaping the nature of human interaction with computers. In this book, Steve Benford and Gabriella Giannachi offer a new theoretical framework for understanding these experiences - which they term mixed reality performances - and document a series of landmark performances and installations that mix the real and the virtual, live performance and interactivity.
Benford and Giannachi draw on a number of works that have been developed at the University of Nottingham’s Mixed Reality Laboratory, describing collaborations with artists (most notably the group Blast Theory) that have gradually evolved a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to combining practice with research. They offer detailed and extended accounts of these works from different perspectives, including interviews with the artists and Mixed Reality Laboratory researchers. The authors develop an overarching theory to guide the study and design of mixed reality performances based on the approach of interleaved trajectories through hybrid structures of space, time, interfaces, and roles. Combinations of canonical, participant, and historic trajectories show how such performances establish complex configurations of real and virtual, local and global, factual and fictional, and personal and social.


The Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurship

The Microtheory of Innovative EntrepreneurshipThe Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurship / Baumol, William J.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010. 246 p.

Entrepreneurs can be “replicative” or “innovative.” A replicative entrepreneur is one who organizes a new business firm. An “innovative entrepreneur” is one who finds new ideas and puts them to use. The innovative entrepreneur is not covered in basic economic textbooks. The development of theory has been impeded by the heterogeneity of the product and the view that activities of entrepreneurs are very risky and beset with discontinuities. Baumol seeks to overcome these impediments.
"Even as innovative entrepreneurship has emerged as the goal for policymakers around the globe, economists have struggled to find its proper place in microtheory. No more. In this pathbreaking new book, William Baumol provides the blueprint for understanding the crucial role of entrepreneurship and its contribution to innovation and ultimately economic growth. This lively and thoughtful book highlights the distinct role entrepreneurs play in the economy and reveals why the entrepreneur can no longer remain the invisible man in economic theory."


Makers: The new industrial revolution

Makers:The new industrial revolutionMakers: The new industrial revolution / Chris Anderson
New York : Crown Business, 2013. 257 p.

Wired magazine editor and bestselling author Chris Anderson takes you to the front lines of a new industrial revolution as today’s entrepreneurs, using open source design and 3-D printing, bring manufacturing to the desktop. In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing. A generation of “Makers” using the Web’s innovation model will help drive the next big wave in the global economy, as the new technologies of digital design and rapid prototyping gives everyone the power to invent - creating “the long tail of things”


The age of equality

The age of equalityThe age of equality / Richard Pomfret
Cambridge, US: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2011. 283 p.

In 1900 the global average life expectancy at birth was thirty-one years. By 2000 it was sixty-six. Yet, alongside unprecedented improvements in longevity and material well-being, the twentieth century also saw the rise of fascism and communism and a second world war followed by a cold war. This book tells the story of the battles between economic systems that defined the last century and created today’s world.


Internet architecture and innovation

Internet architecture and innovationInternet architecture and innovation / Barbara van Schewick
Cambridge, US: MIT Press, 2010. 574 p.

The Internet's remarkable growth has been fueled by innovation. New applications continually enable new ways of using the Internet, and new physical networking technologies increase the range of networks over which the Internet can run. Questions about the relationship between innovation and the Internet's architecture have shaped the debates over open access to broadband networks, network neutrality, nondiscriminatory network management, and future Internet architecture. In Internet Architecture and Innovation, Barbara van Schewick explores the economic consequences of Internet architecture, offering a detailed analysis of how it affects the economic environment for innovation. Van Schewick describes the design principles on which the Internet's original architecture was based--modularity, layering, and the end-to-end arguments--and shows how they shaped the original architecture of the Internet. She analyzes in detail how the original Internet architecture affected innovation--in particular, the development of new applications--and the how changing the architecture would affect this kind of innovation. Van Schewick concludes that the original architecture of the Internet fostered application innovation. Current changes that deviate from the Internet's original design principles reduce the amount and quality of application innovation, limit users' ability to use the Internet as they see fit, and threaten the Internet's ability to realize its economic, social, cultural, and political potential. If left to themselves, network providers will continue to change the internal structure of the Internet in ways that are good for them but not necessarily for the rest of us. Government intervention may be needed to save the social benefits associated with the Internet's original design principles.


Beyond mechanical markets

Beyond mechanical marketsBeyond mechanical markets: Asset price swings, risk and the role of the state / Roman Frydman and Michael D. Goldberg
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011. 285 p.

The year 2008 saw not only financial failure but the failure of an idea, the economic theory in which financial markets are mechanically determined to settle at equilibrium and economically efficient prices. So why did standard models in financial economics not see the crisis coming? What can be done to keep a repeat of this crisis from happening? These are the questions at the heart of Roman Frydman and Michael D. Goldberg’s book. The authors not only show the insufficiency of current theory, they also present an alternative, “Imperfect Knowledge Economics”, that aims to address these issues and give very different policy recommendations from the ones considered en vogue now. What’s more, Beyond Mechanical Markets gives us a doctor’s prescription for dampening – and possible even avoiding altogether – the next economic crisis.


Debtor nation: The history of America in red ink

Debtor nationDebtor nation : The history of America in red ink / Louis Hyman
Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2011. 378 p.

Before the twentieth century, personal debt resided on the fringes of the American economy, the province of small-time criminals and struggling merchants. By the end of the century, however, the most profitable corporations and banks in the country lent money to millions of American debtors. How did this happen? The first book to follow the history of personal debt in modern America, Debtor Nation traces the evolution of debt over the course of the twentieth century, following its transformation from fringe to mainstream--thanks to federal policy, financial innovation, and retail competition.
How did banks begin making personal loans to consumers during the Great Depression? Why did the government invent mortgage-backed securities? Why was all consumer credit, not just mortgages, tax deductible until 1986? Who invented the credit card? Examining the intersection of government and business in everyday life, Louis Hyman takes the reader behind the scenes of the institutions that made modern lending possible: the halls of Congress, the boardrooms of multinationals, and the back rooms of loan sharks. America's newfound indebtedness resulted not from a culture in decline, but from changes in the larger structure of American capitalism that were created, in part, by the choices of the powerful--choices that made lending money to facilitate consumption more profitable than lending to invest in expanded production.
From the origins of car financing to the creation of subprime lending, Debtor Nation presents a nuanced history of consumer credit practices in the United States and shows how little loans became big business.


From perestroika to rainbow revolutions

From perestroikaFrom perestroika to rainbow revolutions: Reform and revolution after socialism / Vicken Cheterian
London: Hurst, 2013. 249 p.

Twenty-five years after Gorbachev came to power and two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the questions that were behind the reform efforts at the start of Perestroika are still relevant: how to modernise the economy, and how to recreate a basis for political legitimacy? The wave of 'Colour Revolutions' that precipitated regime change in Eastern Europe, starting in Serbia, and later in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, were carried out in the name of democratic legitimacy, and in order to fight corruption. The current debate in Moscow under the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev revolves around the same idea: what is the way forward for Russia's modernisation, economically and politically? This volume brings together six experts on East Europe and the former Soviet Union to compare and evaluate the evolution of ideas behind Gorbachev's reforms, Yeltsin's transition, and the more recent wave of the Colour Revolutions. It does not propose a coherent regard to these historic events, but rather dispersed discussion from various perspectives tracing the contradictory development of ideas of reform, the transformation of the notion of revolution, on the role of civil society, and individual chapters from the four cases of Colour Revolutions. Contributors: Catherine Samary, Jean-Arnault Derens, Ghia Nodia, Dominique Arel, Anara Tabyshalieva.