Rescuing Human Rights: A Radically Moderate Approach


Book by Hurst Hannum: “The development of human rights norms is one of the most significant achievements in international relations and law since 1945, but the continuing influence of human rights is increasingly being questioned by authoritarian governments, nationalists, and pundits. Unfortunately, the proliferation of new rights, linking rights to other issues such as international crimes or the activities of business, and attempting to address every social problem from a human rights perspective risk undermining their credibility.

Rescuing Human Rights calls for understanding ‘human rights’ as international human rights law and maintaining the distinctions between binding legal obligations on governments and broader issues of ethics, politics, and social change. Resolving complex social problems requires more than simplistic appeals to rights, and adopting a ‘radically moderate’ approach that recognizes both the potential and the limits of international human rights law, offers the best hope of preserving the principle that we all have rights, simply because we are human….(More)”.

Twentieth Century Town Halls: Architecture of Democracy


Book by Jon Stewart: “This is the first book to examine the development of the town hall during the twentieth century and the way in which these civic buildings have responded to the dramatic political, social and architectural changes which took place during the period. Following an overview of the history of the town hall as a building type, it examines the key themes, variations and lessons which emerged during the twentieth century. This is followed by 20 case studies from around the world which include plans, sections and full-colour illustrations. Each of the case studies examines the town hall’s procurement, the selection of its architect and the building design, and critically analyses its success and contribution to the type’s development. The case studies include:

Copenhagen Town Hall, Denmark, Martin Nyrop

Stockholm City Hall, Sweden, Ragnar Ostberg

Hilversum Town Hall, the Netherlands, Willem M. Dudok

Walthamstow Town Hall, Britain, Philip Dalton Hepworth

Oslo Town Hall, Norway, Arnstein Arneberg and Magnus Poulsson

Casa del Fascio, Como, Italy, Guiseppe Terragni

Aarhus Town Hall, Denmark, Arne Jacobsen with Eric Moller

Saynatsalo Town Hall, Finland, Alvar Aalto

Kurashiki City Hall, Japan, Kenzo Tange

Toronto City Hall, Canada, Viljo Revell

Boston City Hall, USA, Kallmann, McKinnell and Knowles

Dallas City Hall, USA, IM Pei

Mississauga City Hall, Canada, Ed Jones and Michael Kirkland

Borgoricco Town Hall, Italy, Aldo Rossi

Reykjavik City Hall, Iceland, Studio Granda

Valdelaguna Town Hall, Spain, Victor Lopez Cotelo and Carlos Puente Fernandez

The Hague City Hall, the Netherlands, Richard Meier

Iragna Town Hall, Switzerland, Raffaele Cavadini

Murcia City Hall, Spain, Jose Rafael Moneo

London City Hall, UK, Norman Foster…(More)”.

Setting Foundations for the Creation of Public Value in Smart Cities


Book edited by Manuel Pedro Rodriguez Bolivar: ” This book seeks to contribute to prior research facing the discussion about public value creation in Smart Cities and the role of governments.  In the early 21st century, the rapid transition to a highly urbanized population has made societies and their governments around the world to be meeting unprecedented challenges regarding key themes such as sustainability, new governance models and the creation of networks.

Also, cities today face increasing challenges when it comes to providing advanced (digital) services to their constituency. The use of information and communication technologies (usually ICTs) and data is thought to rationalize and improve government and have the potential to transform governance and organizational issues. These questions link up to the ever-evolving concept of Smart Cities. In fact, the rise of the Smart City and Smart City thinking is a direct response to such challenges, as well as providing a means of integrating fast evolving technology into our living environment….(More)”.  

Technology and National Security


Book from the Aspen Strategy Group: “This edition is a collection of papers commissioned for the 2018 Aspen Strategy Group Summer Workshop, a bipartisan meeting of national security experts, academics, private sector leaders, and technologists. The chapters in this volume evaluate the disruptive nature of technological change on the US military, economic power, and democratic governance. They highlight possible avenues for US defense modernization, the impact of disinformation tactics and hybrid warfare on democratic institutions, and the need for a reinvigorated innovation triangle comprised of the US government, academia, and private corporations. The executive summary offers practical recommendations to meet the daunting challenges this technological era imposes….(More)”.

The Discrete Charm of the Machine: Why the World Became Digital


Book by Ken Steiglitz: “A few short decades ago, we were informed by the smooth signals of analog television and radio; we communicated using our analog telephones; and we even computed with analog computers. Today our world is digital, built with zeros and ones. Why did this revolution occur? The Discrete Charm of the Machine explains, in an engaging and accessible manner, the varied physical and logical reasons behind this radical transformation.

The spark of individual genius shines through this story of innovation: the stored program of Jacquard’s loom; Charles Babbage’s logical branching; Alan Turing’s brilliant abstraction of the discrete machine; Harry Nyquist’s foundation for digital signal processing; Claude Shannon’s breakthrough insights into the meaning of information and bandwidth; and Richard Feynman’s prescient proposals for nanotechnology and quantum computing. Ken Steiglitz follows the progression of these ideas in the building of our digital world, from the internet and artificial intelligence to the edge of the unknown. Are questions like the famous traveling salesman problem truly beyond the reach of ordinary digital computers? Can quantum computers transcend these barriers? Does a mysterious magical power reside in the analog mechanisms of the brain? Steiglitz concludes by confronting the moral and aesthetic questions raised by the development of artificial intelligence and autonomous robots.

The Discrete Charm of the Machine examines why our information technology, the lifeblood of our civilization, became digital, and challenges us to think about where its future trajectory may lead….(More)”.

Urban Computing


Book by Yu Zheng:”…Urban computing brings powerful computational techniques to bear on such urban challenges as pollution, energy consumption, and traffic congestion. Using today’s large-scale computing infrastructure and data gathered from sensing technologies, urban computing combines computer science with urban planning, transportation, environmental science, sociology, and other areas of urban studies, tackling specific problems with concrete methodologies in a data-centric computing framework. This authoritative treatment of urban computing offers an overview of the field, fundamental techniques, advanced models, and novel applications.

Each chapter acts as a tutorial that introduces readers to an important aspect of urban computing, with references to relevant research. The book outlines key concepts, sources of data, and typical applications; describes four paradigms of urban sensing in sensor-centric and human-centric categories; introduces data management for spatial and spatio-temporal data, from basic indexing and retrieval algorithms to cloud computing platforms; and covers beginning and advanced topics in mining knowledge from urban big data, beginning with fundamental data mining algorithms and progressing to advanced machine learning techniques. Urban Computing provides students, researchers, and application developers with an essential handbook to an evolving interdisciplinary field….(More)”

Configurations, Dynamics and Mechanisms of Multilevel Governance


Book edited by Nathalie Behnke, Jörg Broschek and Jared Sonnicksen: “This edited volume provides a comprehensive overview of the diverse and multi-faceted research on governance in multilevel systems. The book features a collection of cutting-edge trans-Atlantic contributions, covering topics such as federalism, decentralization as well as various forms and processes of regionalization and Europeanization. While the field of multilevel governance is comparatively young, research in the subject has also come of age as considerable theoretical, conceptual and empirical advances have been achieved since the first influential works were published in the early noughties. The present volume aims to gauge the state-of-the-art in the different research areas as it brings together a selection of original contributions that are united by a variety of configurations, dynamics and mechanisms related to governing in multilevel systems….(More)”.

What is Digital Sociology?


Book by Neil Selwyn: “The rise of digital technology is transforming the world in which we live. Our digitalized societies demand new ways of thinking about the social, and this short book introduces readers to an approach that can deliver this: digital sociology.

Neil Selwyn examines the concepts, tools and practices that sociologists are developing to analyze the intersections of the social and the digital. Blending theory and empirical examples, the five chapters highlight areas of inquiry where digital approaches are taking hold and shaping the discipline of sociology today. The bookexplores key topics such as digital race and digital labor, as well as the fast-changingnature of digital research methods and diversifying forms of digital scholarship.

Designed for use in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses, this timely introduction will be an invaluable resource for all sociologists seeking to focus their craft and thinking toward the social complexities of the digital age….(More)”.

The Art of Structuring: Bridging the Gap Between Information Systems Research and Practice


Book edited by Katrin Bergener, Michael Räckers and Armin Stein: “Structuring, or, as it is referred to in the title of this book, the art of structuring, is one of the core elements in the discipline of Information Systems. While the world is becoming increasingly complex, and a growing number of disciplines are evolving to help make it a better place, structure is what is needed in order to understand and combine the various perspectives and approaches involved. Structure is the essential component that allows us to bridge the gaps between these different worlds, and offers a medium for communication and exchange.

The contributions in this book build these bridges, which are vital in order to communicate between different worlds of thought and methodology – be it between Information Systems (IS) research and practice, or between IS research and other research disciplines. They describe how structuring can be and should be done so as to foster communication and collaboration. The topics covered reflect various layers of structure that can serve as bridges: models, processes, data, organizations, and technologies. In turn, these aspects are complemented by visionary outlooks on how structure influences the field….(More)”.

Open Data Politics: A Case Study on Estonia and Kazakhstan


Book by Maxat Kassen: “… offers a cross-national comparison of open data policies in Estonia and Kazakhstan. By analyzing a broad range of open data-driven projects and startups in both countries, it reveals the potential that open data phenomena hold with regard to promoting public sector innovations. The book addresses various political and socioeconomic contexts in these two transitional societies, and reviews the strategies and tactics adopted by policymakers and stakeholders to identify drivers of and obstacles to the implementation of open data innovations. Given its scope, the book will appeal to scholars, policymakers, e-government practitioners and open data entrepreneurs interested in implementing and evaluating open data-driven public sector projects….(More)”