What is a rule, if it appears to become confused with life? And what is a human life, if, in every one of its gestures, of its words, and of its silences, it cannot be distinguished from the rule? It is to these questions that Agamben's new book turns by means of an impassioned reading of the fascinating and massive phenomenon of Western monasticism from Pachomius to St. Francis. The book reconstructs in detail the life of the monks with their obsessive attention to temporal articulation and to the Rule, to ascetic techniques and to liturgy. But Agamben's thesis is that the true novelty of monasticism lies not in the confusion between life and norm, but in the discovery of a new dimension, in which "life" as such, perhaps for the first time, is affirmed in its autonomy, and in which the claim of the "highest poverty" and "use" challenges the law in ways that we must still grapple with today. How can we think a form-of-life, that is, a human life released from the grip of law, and a use of bodies and of the world that never becomes an appropriation? How can we think life as something not subject to ownership but only for common use?
There are many problems regarding poverty, inequality and growth in developing countries in Asia and Africa. Policy makers at the national level and at international institutions such as the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and others have implemented various policies in order to decrease poverty and inequality. This book provides empirical observations on Asian countries and Africa. Each chapter provides theoretical and empirical analysis on regional case studies with an emphasis on policy implications. The book will be of use to many who wish to assess and improve policies in developing countries and mitigate poverty and inequality, and stimulate growth, by drawing on relevant empirical research and economic theories. Clearly, there have been numerous policy failures and the book aims to provide a basis for improving policies and outcomes based on relevant empirical observations.
Child poverty and the well-being of children is an important policy issue throughout the industrialised world. Some 47 million children in 'rich' countries live in families so poor that their health and well-being are at risk. The main themes addressed are: · the extent and trend of child poverty in industrialised nations; · outcomes for children - for example, the relationship between childhood experiences and children's health; · country studies and emerging issues; · child and family policies. All the contributions underline the urgent need for a comprehensive policy to reduce child poverty rates and to improve the well-being of children. Findings are clearly presented and key focus points identified for policy makers to consider.
Human Rights, Democracy and Common Goods in Today's Europe
Author: Council of Europe
Publisher: Council of Europe
Category: Social Science
We are at a point in history where economic inequalities are more widespread each day. The situation of extreme poverty experienced by the majority of the populations in developing countries ("Third World" countries) often coincides with an absence of democracy and the violation of the most fundamental rights. But in so-called "First World" countries a non-negligible proportion of inhabitants also live in impoverished conditions (albeit mainly "relative" poverty) and are denied their rights. The European situation, which this publication aims to analyse, is painful: the entire continent is afflicted by increasing poverty and consequently by the erosion of living conditions and social conflicts.The economic and financial crisis has resulted in the loss of millions of jobs, and created job insecurity for many still working. Economic insecurity raises social tensions, aggravating xenophobia, for instance. Yet the economic and financial crisis could present a good opportunity to rethink the economic and social system as a whole. Indeed, poverty in modern societies has never been purely a question of lack of wealth. It is therefore urgent today to devise a new discourse on poverty. In pursuit of this goal, the Council of Europe is following up this publication in the framework of the project "Human rights of people experiencing poverty", co-financed by the European Commission.