Srinavas R. Melkote and H. Leslie Steeves. Communication for Development in the Third World: Theory and Practice for Empowerment. New Delhi. Sage Publications, 2001. 422 pages. Paperback. Indian Rs 295.00. This book criticises prevalent modes of knowledge, questions the assertions of modernism, and explores the liaison that exists between dominant knowledge and social power. This second edition is organised in a conceptual framework that takes into account historical evolution and competing paradigms. Successfully integrating contributions from diverse fields of academic endeavour, this work will be of particular interest to social scientists and general readers alike. (Ilhan Niaz)
John M. Riley. Stakeholders in Rural Development: Critical Collaboration in State-NGO, Partnerships. New Delhi. Sage Publications, 2002. 214 pages. Paperback. Indian Rs 250.00. Drawing upon the experiences of five NGOs operating in Tamil Nadu, Riley analyses and explains the nature and scope of collaboration between the state and non- state actors in the context of the development process. The approach is both panoramic and practical as issues and solutions are both critically analysed. More importantly, by providing a vision of the possibilities of a harmonious co-existence between the two entities widely regarded as somewhat antagonistic, this book will have utility for people working on both sides of the organisational divide. (Ilhan Niaz)
Lawrence Saéz. Federalism Without a Center: The Impact of Political and Economic Reforms on India’s Federal System. New Delhi. Sage Publications, 2002. 251 pages. Hardbound. Indian Rs 440.00. Lawrence Saéz has undertaken what is arguably the first serious effort to analyse the impact of economic liberalisation and coalition politics on India’s federal state structures. The argument, as implied by the title, is that with the end of Congress dominance and progressive dismantling of state-owned enterprises and controls, the balance of political power is shifting in favour of the provinces. Backing up this impressive thesis with the latest data and presenting an insightful comparison with China, Saéz manages to argue his case well. Swadeshi and globaliser alike need to take note of his findings. (Ilhan Niaz)
Michele Ruth Gamburd. Transnationalism and Sri Lanka’s Migrant Housemaids: The Kitchen Spoon’s Handle. New Delhi: Vistaar Publications, 2000. 275 pages. Hardbound. Indian Rs 450.00. Though essentially a book about social relations, it reveals numerous layers of interdependence and interaction arising from and contributing to the export of female labour to the Persian Gulf. From the point of view of gender studies, this is an extremely useful book, as it is relevant to other labour-exporting countries as well. (Ilhan Niaz)
Somesh Kumar. Methods for Community Participation: A Complete Guide for Practitioners. New Delhi: Vistaar Publications, 2002. 333 pages. Paperback. Indian Rs 380.00. Recognising the importance of people’s participation in the viability of the development process, Kumar has produced an eminently practical and down-to-earth manual for translating mere recognition into reality. Taking advantage of the lessons learnt from as far afield as Nigeria, and using a simple step by step approach, this is a most welcome and much-needed addition to the literature on governance which takes into account the grassroots involvement. (Ilhan Niaz)
Toke Aidt and Zafiris Tzannatos. Unions and Collective Bargaining: Economic Effects in a Global Environment. Washington, D. C.: World Bank, 2002. 168 pages. Paperback. Price not given. Labour standards have been considered to be one of many important determinants of economic performance. One of the major reason is the expansion of international trade and the liberalisation of financial markets, also identified as globalisation. As the process of globalisation continues, the differences in labour standards between countries and regions become important. This is not only because such differences give a cost advantage in internationally-traded goods to countries with low standards, but also because new technology enables labour services to be directly subcontracted to workers in low-standard countries. This book is about the economic effects of unions and collective bargaining. It investigates the link between labour standards and economic performance. The main contribution of the book is the thorough review of the literature on trade unions and collective bargaining and their impact on micro- and macroeconomic outcomes, thus identifying areas for more innovative future research on the link between labour standards, collective bargaining, and economic performance. The first chapter, with a brief introduction on labour standards, summarises the findings of the book. In Chapter Two, a cross-country comparative perspective on labour standards is provided to examine any impact of the differences in labour standards on economic performance. Chapter Three reviews the theoretical literature related to unions, employers’ organisations, and collective bargaining. The Fourth Chapter, in the light of the literature reviewed in Chapter Three, examines what micro- econometric studies of union behaviour and collective bargaining at the firm and industry level can tell us about the impact on the economic well-being of individual workers and on the performance of firms where industrial relations are based on collective bargaining between unions and employers. Chapter Five examines the impact of adopting different institutional approaches to collective bargaining on macroeconomic performance. The effects of collective bargaining in different country settings and in different time periods are demonstrated. It will be of interest to students and scholars of labour policy as well as to policy-makers. (Afia Malik)
Monroe Friedman. Consumer Boycotts: Effecting Change Through the Market Place and the Media. New York and London: Routledge, 1999. 284 pages. Paperback. Price not given. This book explores the micro-dynamics of consumer boycotts. It examines American boycott actions from the 1880s to the present. The book is organised in ten chapters. The first chapter gives the definition and classifications of consumer boycotts and establishes the historical roots for the term “boycott”. The analytical framework used is multidisciplinary, i.e., theoretical studies in the behavioural and social sciences as well as empirical studies conducted by the author and the others. In the second chapter, the author describes the perspective of instrumentality theory from organisational psychology to identify variables that predict boycott success. Chapter Three reflects on labour boycotts, while Chapter Four is about consumer economic boycotts. It investigates what influence consumer economic boycotts have had in advancing the consumer interest in America. In Chapter Five the author has examined the boycotts that are of concern to African minority groups in America, as these groups are of the opinion that there are certain issues peculiar to their circumstances as a minority. Besides Africans, there are some other minority groups in America. Chapter Six narrates the story of their boycott efforts. For many years in the history of America, religious groups have used the boycott strategy to promote their goals. Thus Chapter Six narrates the story of their boycott efforts. For many years in the history of America, religious groups have used the boycott strategy to promote their goals. Thus Chapter Seven provides an overview of the role of rightist (conservative) as well as leftist (liberal) religious groups’ boycott activities. Chapter Eight reflects on a relatively new phenomenon of boycotts, i.e., ecological boycotts. This chapter reports some 24 efforts by ecological groups which perceived threats to environmental quality, both for humans and non-humans. In Chapter Nine, a project report is presented which identifies and evaluates a positive behavioural model for consumer activism. As much of the literature on consumer affairs is full of the negative impact of consumer boycotts, this chapter is an attempt to give the other side of the story. In Chapter Ten, the author throws light on different issues and tactics relating to consumer boycotts in a historical perspective. (Afia Malik)
Stoyan Tenev, Chunlin Zhang, and Loup Brefort. Corporate Governance and Enterprise Reform in China: Building the Institutions of Modern Markets. Washington, D. C.: World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, 2002. 168 pages. Paperback. Price not given. Over the past decade or so, China has made significant progress in developing the institutional foundations of a modern corporate governance system. More than 80 percent of all small and medium enterprises have been transformed, with a significant portion sold to employees and outside investors. In the process, new institutions for the exercise of corporate control have emerged, and so have the new issues relating to these institutions. The book is about the short- to medium-term corporate governance issues which are arising in the course of transformation of ownership in the Chinese state enterprise sector. This volume examines the companies participating in the two main forms of ownership diversification, i.e., listed companies and small and medium enterprises whose ownership structure is dominated by insiders. The book has been divided into six chapters. The ‘introduction’ is followed by a narrative on the historical development in China’s state enterprise reform from a governance perspective. Chapter Two explores the evolution of the main governance problems, from controlling the agency costs of increased enterprise autonomy to the emergence of a modern corporate governance framework. Chapter Three examines the ownership diversification in transformed small and medium state-owned enterprises and the roles of creditors, and private equity investors in corporate governance. Chapter Four explains the ownership and control structures of listed companies, and the main corporate governance issues associated with these. Here the focus is on the board of directors as the main corporate governance mechanism. Chapter Five is about the structural characteristics of Chinese stock markets that affects the capacity to promote good corporate governance. The focus is on information disclosure. The sixth chapter makes some recommendations on corporate governance issues relevant to listed companies.