Patronage and Power: Local State Networks and Party-State Resilience in Rural China [EPUB]

Patronage and Power: Local State Networks and Party-State Resilience in Rural China [EPUB]
Patronage and Power: Local State Networks and Party-State Resilience in Rural China by Ben Hillman
2014 | EPUB | 7.08MB

Power and Patronage examines the unwritten rules and inner workings of contemporary China's local politics and government. It exposes how these rules have helped to keep the one-Party state together during decades of tumultuous political, social, and economic change.

While many observers of Chinese politics have recognized the importance of informal institutions, this book explains how informal local groups actually operate, paying special attention to the role of patronage networks in political decision-making, political competition, and official corruption. While patronage networks are often seen as a parasite on the formal institutions of state, Hillman shows that patronage politics actually help China's political system function. In a system characterized by fragmented authority, personal power relations, and bureaucratic indiscipline, patronage networks play a critical role in facilitating policy coordination and bureaucratic bargaining. They also help to regulate political competition within the state, which reduces the potential for open conflict. Understanding patronage networks is essential for understanding the resilience of the Chinese state through decades of change.

Power and Patronage is filled with rich and fascinating accounts of the machinations of patronage networks and their role in the ruthless and sometimes violent competition for political power.

Where Song Began: Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World [EPUB]

Where Song Began: Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World [EPUB]
Where Song Began: Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World by Tim Low
2014 | EPUB | 6.17MB

Tim Low, award-winning author of Feral Future, in an eye-opening book on the unique nature of Australian birds and their role in ecology and global evolution.

Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent's tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and are long-lived. They're also ecologically more powerful, exerting more influences on forests than other birds.

But unlike the mammals, the birds did not keep to Australia; they spread around the globe. Australia provided the world with its songbirds and parrots, the most intelligent of all bird groups. It was thought in Darwin's time that species generated in the Southern Hemisphere could not succeed in the Northern, an idea that was proven wrong in respect of birds in the 1980s but not properly accepted by the world's scientists until 2004 – because, says Tim Low, most ornithologists live in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result, few Australians are aware of the ramifications, something which prompted the writing of this book.

Tim Low has a rare gift for illuminating complex ideas in highly readable prose, and making of the whole a dynamic story. Here he brilliantly explains how our birds came to be so extraordinary, including the large role played by the foods they consume (birds, too, are what they eat), and by our climate, soil, fire, and Australia's legacy as a part of Gondwana. The story of its birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of Australia itself, and one that continues to unfold, so much having changed in the last decade about what we know of our ancient past. Where Song Began also shines a light on New Guinea as a biological region of Australia, as much a part of the continent as Tasmania. This is a work that goes far beyond the birds themselves to explore the relationships between Australia's birds and its people, and the ways in which scientific prejudice have hindered our understanding.

The Battles that Changed History (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor) [EPUB]

The Battles that Changed History (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor) [EPUB]
The Battles that Changed History (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor) by Fletcher Pratt
2000 | EPUB | 5.32MB

Profiles of 16 decisive struggles from ancient and modern times. Gripping accounts range from Alexander the Great's overthrow of the Persian empire in the 4th century BC to World War II's Battle of Midway. Pratt depicts the circumstances leading up to the decisive clashes, the personalities involved, and the historically important aftermath. 27 maps.

Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals [EPUB]

Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals [EPUB]
Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals by John N Gray
2016 | EPUB | 0.3MB

A radical work of philosophy, which sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. From Plato to Christianity, from the Enlightenment to Nietzsche and Marx, the Western tradition has been based on arrogant and erroneous beliefs about human beings and their place in the world.

Philosophies such as liberalism and Marxism think of humankind as a species whose destiny is to transcend natural limits and conquer the Earth. Even in the present day, despite Darwin's discoveries, nearly all schools of thought take as their starting point the belief that humans are radically different from other animals. John Gray argues that this humanist belief in human difference is an illusion and explores how the world and human life look once humanism has been finally abandoned.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days [EPUB]

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days [EPUB]
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz
2016 | EPUB | 28.49MB

From three partners at Google Ventures, a unique five-day process for solving tough problems, proven at more than a hundred companies.

Entrepreneurs and leaders face big questions every day: What’s the most important place to focus your effort, and how do you start? What will your idea look like in real life? How many meetings and discussions does it take before you can be sure you have the right solution?

Now there’s a surefire way to answer these important questions: the sprint. Designer Jake Knapp created the five-day process at Google, where sprints were used on everything from Google Search to Google X. He joined Braden Kowitz and John Zeratsky at Google Ventures, and together they have completed more than a hundred sprints with companies in mobile, e-commerce, healthcare, finance, and more.

A practical guide to answering critical business questions, Sprint is a book for teams of any size, from small startups to Fortune 100s, from teachers to nonprofits. It’s for anyone with a big opportunity, problem, or idea who needs to get answers today.