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Stein Rokkans idé om «Bybelte-Europa» har prega mange norske statsvitarars oppfatning av europeisk historie. Men nærare undersøking undergrev Rokkans framstilling. Han overvurderte byanes tyding og undervurderte Det heilage romerske riket og europeisk stormaktspolitikk i sin analyse av det moderne Europas framvekst.
Professor of sociology, Stein Rokkan (1921–1979), found a “great paradox” in the history of European state-building: Why did the nation-state not emerge at the centre of Europe, where it could have built on the legacy of the Roman Empire, but rather in the surrounding “periphery”? His answer was that the nation-state was impeded by the historical presence of a great number of strong and autonomous cities in the area stretching from northern Italy to the Baltic and North seas. He called this area “Citybelt Europe”. Rokkan’s notion of the citybelt is key to his interpretation of European state-building, and has influenced many political scientists’ and sociologists’ understanding of European history. However, professional historians have hardly commented, and nobody at all seems to have critically examined the notion of the citybelt. This article argues that the historical basis of the notion is weak. It goes on to propose an alternative explanation of the “great paradox” that emphasises the significance of the Holy Roman Empire and of European power politics. It concludes that a viable cosmopolitan-federal German-Roman empire was a more important reason for the late arrival of the nation-state in the western part of Central and Southern Europe than strong cities.
Da verdensutstillingen (EXPO) ble arrangert i Shanghai i Kina i fjor, var det en stor begivenhet – kanskje en av byens største i moderne tid. Det skulle feires at Kina vinner terreng som global stormakt. Alt måtte være i sin skjønneste orden, også befolkningen. Omfattende siviliseringskampanjer skulle få kineserne til blant annet å slutte å spytte overalt og la være å tusle rundt i pyjamas i offentligheten.
An indication of the thoroughgoing modernization China is going through is the state initiated disciplinary processes and the civilizing of the Chinese populace. The Chinese civilizing processes have always been an element of Chinese society, but are now taking a new, conscious direction as a result of China’s increased commerce with the West after the country’s Reform and Opening at the beginning of the 1980’s. But while the western process of civilization has focused on the guidance of the individual through an increased degree of emancipation and self control, the processes in China have unique cultural characteristics and are much more temporally compressed than the similar processes which occurred in the West. This is made possible by an authoritarian and centralized state apparatus. Campaigns prior to, and during the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai acted as catalysts for these forms of civilizing and can illustrate that similar civilizing processes are occurring in China today. One campaign which has caused debate and attention is the government’s attempt to prohibit people from wearing pyjamas in public.
Internett har endret markedet for papiraviser og redusert lønnsomheten dramatisk. Pressestøtte vil derfor få stor betydning for framtidens -mediestruktur. Den samlede pressestøtten er på 1,8 milliarder kroner, men har verken vært grundig evaluert eller gjenstand for samfunns-økonomisk analyse. En moderne mediestøtte kan begrunnes i journalistenes rolle som kunnskapsprodusenter. Kort sagt vil markedet tilveiebringe for lite undersøkende journalistikk. Dette kan kompenseres for gjennom støtte til redaksjonelt arbeid, for eksempel i form av skatte-fradrag for redaksjonelle stillinger. Det vil være et mer fleksibelt og treffsikkert tiltak enn dagens momsfritak.
Internet has changed the market for newspapers and reduced their profitability dramatically. Press subsidies will therefore be of great importance for the future structure of the media industry. Total press subsidies in Norway amounts to NOK 1.8 billion, most of which is indirect support in the form of VAT tax exemption. However, the design of the subsidies has never been subject to thorough economic analysis, nor has their effectiveness been evaluated empirically. I argue that media support can be justified by the journalists' role as knowledge producers and has a parallel in subsidies for research and development. In short, a free market will bring about too little journalism, in particular investigative journalism and accountability reporting. This can be compensated for by a subsidy scheme targeted towards editorial work, for example in the form of tax credits for wage costs associated with editorial positions. This will be a more flexible and efficient policy instrument than the current VAT tax exemption scheme.
Den tid da fagforeninger skal godkjenne legespesialister er forbi, sa Arbeiderpartiets helseminister Bjarne Håkon Hanssen i 2009. I høst, 1. oktober, overtar staten godkjenningsmyndigheten fra Legeforeningen – som siden 1982 har sertifisert legespesialister med delegert myndighet fra staten, og før dette med selvbestaltet myndighet siden 1919. Forandringens trykk ble for alvor innledet på 1990-tallet.
Since the beginning of the 20th century the Norwegian Medical Association has controlled the training and credentialing of medical specialists. In 1982, the specialist regulation was made public, several years after the transferring of the regulation functions from the medical associations to state authorities in other European countries. By reason of its corporate power, expertise, and administrative capacity, the Norwegian Medical Association was, however, formally recognised as a consultative and an administrative agency that included delegated specialist recognition authority. In 1999, after a growing critique of the power of the medical association from academic medicine, political parties, and the government, the medical association lost its role as a consultative agency. In 2009, the parliament decided on the basis of a proposal from the centre-left coalition government that delegated specialist recognition authority should be transferred to the state medical bureaucracy. The decision will be implemented from October 1, 2011, with no room left for the medical association’s administrative prerogatives.
Following up their 2009 White Paper on Research (forskningsmelding), the Norwegian Government is currently preparing national strategies for nanotechnology and biotechnology. This paper welcomes the governmental strategies but remains critical to the political signals presented so far by the Ministries and Ministers in charge of them. In particular, we argue that such processes of policy-making should become more inclusive and democratic rather than uncritically adopting the prevailing socio-technical imaginaries of spokesmen of science and technology. Whereas public statements on nanotechnology by the Minister of Trade and Industry merely reproduce optimist imaginaries, the Ministry of Education and Research so far appears more balanced in their statements on biotechnology. Still, in the debate so far, economic, scientific and industrial interests remain largely unchecked and unchallenged. We propose a political initiative to govern the co-production of science, technology and society, along the lines of the science-in-society strategy of European Union, and identify historical, economic and political factors that make Norway a good candidate for broad and inclusive governance of science-in-society.
Norsk debatt om humaniora er forskjellig fra den amerikanske. I USA er begrepet knyttet til et dannelsesideal som ikke har tradisjoner i høyere utdanning i Norge. Hva kan vi lære av den amerikanske forståelsen av humaniora? Humanister bør forsvare universitetet, bygge allianser med kolleger i andre fag og vise konkret hvilken kunnskap og verdier humanistiske fag står for. Humanistisk forskning er personlig forskning. Programstyring er ikke alltid det beste.
This paper focuses on the difference between Norwegian and American debates about the humanities. In the United States the concept of the humanities is closely connected to the ideal of a liberal arts education, an ideal that has no tradition in higher education in Norway. Given this difference, this paper asks what Norwegians nevertheless can learn from the American understanding of the humanities. Humanists must defend the idea of the university, build alliances with colleagues in other disciplines, and spread concrete knowledge about the kind of knowledge humanists provide. Drawing both on a philosophical understanding of what the humanities are, and on established American practice, the paper argues that grant-giving organizations in Norway should focus more on individual projects, and less on large, overarching research programs. The paper ends by suggesting that many Norwegians already agree that profit can't be the only principle that rules research. Norwegian society is enriched by the values and knowledge of the humanities.
Er samfunnsvitere som ikke benytter seg av biologiske forklarings-modeller kunnskapsløse eller likefrem motstandere av biologisk kunnskap? Det var lett å sitte tilbake med det inntrykket etter den heftige mediedebatten som fant sted våren 2010 i kjølvannet av TV-serien Hjernevask. Men innsikt i og respekt for biologisk kunnskap betyr ikke nødvendigvis at denne kunnskapen er relevant for ethvert samfunns-vitenskapelig eller humanistisk forskningsspørsmål. Jeg vil her diskutere i hvilken grad biologisk kunnskap om kjønn er relevant for den type av samfunnsvitenskapelig forskning som undersøker kontinuitet og sosial endring i kjønn med kvalitative metoder.
Are social scientists who do not work with biological explanations of human behaviour necessarily ignorant or even against biological knowledge? That was the impression one could get when the role of evolutionary psychology in the social sciences was discussed in the Norwegian media in the spring of 2010.
To appreciate the value and importance of biological knowledge, however, is not the same as saying that it is equally relevant to all research questions in the social sciences. This article offers a critical discussion of the mechanical-additive understanding of nature-nurture found in evolutionary psychlogy and quantitative genetics (heritability studies) and compare them with the dynamic conception arising from current brain research, genetics and epigenetics. The work of two feminist scholars – Elisabeth Grosz and Evelyne Fox Keller – is used to accentuate the dynamic aspect of Darwin's theory of change and to put focus on individual malleability instead of fixation. In the second part of the article the relevance of biological knowledge of gender is discussed in relation to qualitative research on patterns of change and inertia in the gendered behaviour of children and young people.
Forsvaret er inne i en omorganisering med vidtrekkende konsekvenser. Resultatene avtegner seg ikke bare i form av funksjons-dyktige styrker, men også i en ny og annerledes krigerkultur. Allerede før verneplikten er avskaffet, merker vi savnet av den vernepliktige soldat, sivilsamfunnets agent i militærkorpset.
The Norwegian Armed Forces have gone through radical changes over the past years. According to the Norwegian constitution, there still is compulsory military service for all fit male citizens in Norway. It seems however only to be a question of time until the regime of conscription will be discontinued, which already is the fact in neighbouring countries like Sweden and Germany. Due to the international climate in the wake of 9.11., the Norwegian Armed Forces now focus on international operations on foreign grounds. This situation has laid bare a culture of professional soldiers – or ‘warriers’ – who partly oppose the civic values they are set to defend. The warrior culture is intertwined with the professionalisation of the Norwegian Armed Forces, and is the result of a defined political strategy. There are interesting parallels between the initiated warrior culture among the Norwegian soldiers and positions in the writings of the German right wing intellectual Ernst Jünger. Even before the institution of compulsory military service has been officially discontinued, we miss the main stream conscript as a defender of civic values among his comrades in arms.
Den aristoteliske dydsetikken har de siste årene blitt utsatt for det mest dramatiske angrepet siden den ble omstartet for et halvt århundre siden. Den kanskje viktigste konsekvensen er at dydsetikeren konfronteres med den politiske teoriens spørsmål, enten hun vil det eller ei. Mange av oss kan være enige i at dyder har og bør ha en plass i politisk liv. Men de valgene som nå fremtvinges er vanskelige. Hvor langt er vi villige til å gå i detaljstyringen av den sosiale og private verden for å sikre dydene en plass?
It is commonly understood that Norway had no part in the colonisation of the south, a perception that makes out an important part of the Norwegian self-image as champions of development-cooperation and peacemediation. During the past ten years, however, a line of research has been published that uncovers the presence and activitites by a surprisingly high number of Norwegians and Norwegian companies who followed in the wake of colonialism, taking the opportunities at hand to establish trade and other enterprises, buying land, settling down, running commercial estates, and enlist in colonial services. This new research offers an important adjustment to Norwegian self-image, and contributes to a better understanding of the long lines of continuity in Norwegian relations to Africa.