Values, World Society and Modelling Yearbook 2014
The Values, World Society and Modelling Yearbook 2014 analyses contemporary world events, drawing on foundational ideas in various academic disciplines. The year 2014 was the centenary of the start of the First World War and the seventieth anniversary of the Normandy landings in the Second World War. The year saw violent conflict in Ukraine and the rise of the Islamic State in parts of Syria and Iraq. A referendum was held in Scotland to decide whether to stay in the UK. Centrist parties lost ground in the European Parliament elections and a general election was held in India, the biggest ever election in the world. Thomas Piketty sparked debate with his analysis of growing inequality in capitalist economies. Politicians in the UK talked about ‘British values’ and debated ‘is Britain Christian?’ The British Museum lent one of the Elgin Marbles to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and Putin made overtures to China. In California, Elliot Rodger went on the rampage, killing six people. Malala Yousafzay won the Nobel Peace Prize, Maryam Mirzakhani won the Fields Medal and Judit Polgar retired from international chess. Germany won the World Cup in Brazil. Echoes of the Big Bang confirmed the theory of how the universe began. The 2014 Yearbook discusses these events alongside a variety of other specific events and general issues. In addition, this book includes the speech given by Kevin Avruch when he was joint recipient of the Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Prize 2014 for his book Context and Pretext in Conflict Resolution.
Gordon Burt was Chair of the Conflict Research Society from 2008 to 2015, and took the lead role in organising the Society’s annual conference from 2007 to 2014. He is author of Conflict, Complexity and Mathematical Social Science (2010), and the editor of Alternative Defence Policy (1988). He has been an active researcher in peace and conflict studies, politics and international relations for over thirty years.
“Gordon Burt’s Values, World Society and Modelling Yearbook 2014 is exactly that – a roller-coaster of a ride, full of surprising and interesting information on a huge range of aspects, collected under its three main sections. The ‘values’ are extraordinarily diverse, the ‘world society’ stretches from the individual to the global, and the ‘modelling’ is mainly mathematical – the equations baffling for non-specialists, but the final vision intriguing – ‘look at the universe … and see mathematics’. The book is fired by energy and erudition.”
University of Bradford
“Gordon Burt demonstrates how intellectual curiosity about the world around us can be enriched with the mathematician’s toolkit and a search for simplifying models. He analyzes a series of topics as diverse as relationships and divorce, the number of states in the world, the conflict in the Ukraine, and UK house prices, first noting key empirical facts and events, and then trying to think of simple models that can give rise to the observed outcomes and their properties. There is much to be learned from this remarkable book.”
Kristian Skrede Gleditsch
University of Essex
"Amid a rich assortment of offerings, the work contains a fascinating chapter in which one of John Burton’s American critics – the cultural anthropologist, Kevin Avruch – revisits his early debates with Burton about the tension between general theories of Basic Human Needs and the impact of culture and context. Avruch updates his evaluation of Burton as an intellectual revolutionary of his time and finds some meeting ground in their efforts to deal with the problem of power in finding possible resolutions for intractable, asymmetric conflicts."
Christopher Mitchell George Mason University
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