This book is the product of a joint research program between the Institute of West Asia & African Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing and the Energy Program Asia of the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden University. China’s transition to an urban-industrial society relies on its abundant domestic coal supplies, and on an increase in oil and gas imports. However, authorities are confronted with trade-offs between investments in expanding supplies of fossils, environmental sustainability, energy efficiency and in clean energy. Resources spent on expanding imported energy have to weighted against clean energy investments and improving efficiency of the fossil-fuel sector. The same is no less true for the European Union and its member states. Import dependency on piped gas is again growing. Security of supply of natural gas depends on political cooperation with energy-rich countries. At the same the EU has to meet its clean energy commitments by compromises between member states and ‘Brussels’. Chinese National Oil Companies bridge the worlds of government in China and the extractive sector in hydrocarbon exporting-countries. At the global level, Chinese (Trans-)National Oil Companies maintain competitive and cooperative relations with privately owned International Oil companies. This book focuses, among others, on these networks with the objective to contribute to the study of the geopolitical economy of the energy sectors in the global system.
Contributors are: M.P. Amineh, Eric K. Chu, Wina H.J. Crijns-Graus, Robert Cutler, Li Xiaohua, Liu Dong, Chen Mo, Nana de Graaff, Joyeeta Gupta, Sara Hardus, Barbara Hogenboom, Sun Hongbo and Yang Guang.
Life Advice from Below, Eric C. Hendriks offers the first systematic, comparative study of the globalization of American-style self-help culture and the cultural conflicts this creates in different national contexts. The self-help guru is an archetypical American figure associated with individualism, materialism and the American Dream. Nonetheless, the self-help industry is spreading globally, thriving in China and other seemingly unlikely places. Controversy follows in its wake, as the self-help industry, operating outside of formal education and state institutions, outflanks philosophical, religious and political elites who have their own visions of the Good Life. Through a comparison of Germany and China, Hendriks analyzes how the competition between self-help gurus and institutional authorities unfolds under radically different politico-cultural regimes.
“This witty book charms its way through a very serious sociology of the seriously quirky field of self-help books. Read it for its fascinating pop-culture insights and you’ll come away with a deep understanding of contemporary sociological theory. Highly recommended.” - Salvatore Babones,
University of Sydney
“Hendriks’ finding that Germany rather than China is more resistant to self-help gurus offers a powerful corrective to the assumption in much of the globalization literature that the greatest cultural divide is between the Anglo-Western European sphere and the rest of the globe.” - Rodney Benson,
New York University