Friday, March 04, 2011

The China Anhui Traditional Orchestra

Thanks to He Laoshi, we had the opportunity to take in the China Anhui Traditional Orchestra's performance the other night at the Kennedy Center.

The orchestra blends a small number of Western instruments with a much larger assortment of traditional Chinese instruments. These instruments range from suona (a Chinese trumpet that I know Z, as the trumpeter in the family, really appreciated) to the yueqin (or "moon guitar", called that because of its round shape). A personal favorite of mine is the sheng, which we posted about last summer when we bumped into a man practicing on this mouth organ in a remote corner of the Summer Palace. It was a classic Chinese scene that I know I'll never forget.

And then there were the orchestra's soloists, who played beautifully on the pipa, erhu (another one of Z's instruments), and dizi. For a more nuanced take on what these soloists accomplished, as well as the overall vibe of concert, check out the Washington Post's review of the evening's program.

~Steve

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Handbook Of The Politics Of Regulation

A project I have been associated with for a number of years is about to come to fruition. The Handbook of the Politics of Regulation is now in the midst of production. For a bit of a preview, click here to go to the book's current website, courtesy of editor David Levi-Faur.

This unique handbook offers the most up to date and comprehensive, state of the art reviews of the politics of regulation. It presents and discusses the core theories and concepts of regulation in response to the rise of the regulatory state and regulatory capitalism, and in the context of the 'golden age of regulation'. Its ten sections include forty nine chapters covering issues as diverse and varied as theories of regulation; historical perspectives on regulation; regulation of old and new media; rise regulation, enforcement and compliance; better regulation; civil regulation; European regulatory governance; and global regulation. As a whole, it provides an essential point of reference for all those working on the political social and economic aspects of regulation.


This comprehensive resource will be of immense value to scholars and policymakers in numerous fields and disciplines including political science, public policy and administration, international relations, regulation, international law, business and politics, European studies, regional studies and development studies.


"Political science has leap-frogged law, economics and sociology to become the dominant discipline contributing to regulatory studies. David Levi-Faur's volume taps the rich veins of regulatory scholarship that have made this the case. It brings together the talented new network of politics scholars intrigued by the importance of the changing nature of state and non-state regulation. Their fresh insights complement important new work by established stars of the field. Definitely a book to have on your shelf when in search of exciting theoretical approaches to politics"


Prof. John Braithwaite, Australian National University


"“Regulation,” in its manifold forms, is the central process of contemporary governance, as it seeks to blend the dynamism of market economies with responsiveness to political and normative demands for health, safety, environmental protection, and fairness. Understanding regulation’s varieties, vulnerabilities and virtues has become a significant focus of academic research and theory. This volume provides an extraordinary survey of research in that field -- a survey remarkable in its comprehensiveness, outstanding in the quality of the contributions by leading regulatory scholars from different nations and academic disciplines."


Prof. Robert A. Kagan, Professor of Political Science and Law, University of California, Berkeley


"An authoritative collection by a range of contributors with outstanding reputations in the field"


Prof. Michael Moran, WJM Mackenzie Professor of Government, University of Manchester


"This is an extraordinarily useful one-stop-shop for a wide range of traditions and approaches to the political aspects of regulation. David Levi-Faur has assembled a fine collection that by reporting on the state of the art also shows the way ahead for a discipline that has to capture and explain dramatic changes in real-world regulatory philosophies and policies"


Prof. Clausio Radaelli, Director, Centre for European Governance, University of Exeter (UK)


"This is an unusually impressive edited volume. Its contributors include the leading academic experts on government regulation from around the world. Its several clearly written and informative essays address the most important topics, issues, and debates that have engaged students of regulatory politics. I strongly recommend this volume to anyone interested in understanding the breadth and depth of contemporary scholarship on the political dimensions of regulation".


Prof. David J. Vogel, Department of Political Science & Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley


~Steve

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The King's Speech...

...is the feel good movie of the year!

Seriously, it is one excellent film. I just can't help but paraphrase from that bit that Dana Carvey and Steve Carrell did all of those years ago when they played "Germans Who Say Nice Things."

Mr. Holland's Opus is ze feel good movie of ze year! Click here to relive that memory!

~Steve

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Blockading Wangfujing

Consistent with the speculation in our blog post this past Friday, temporary steps were taken yesterday to prevent crowds from massing on Wangfujing, the Beijing shopping district that has been the announced gathering place for demonstrations against the government.

Click here to read the entire article in the Washington Post. Below is the relevant excerpt...

At 2:30 p.m., about a half-hour after the scheduled start of the silent protest walk, officers blocked off the entrance to Wangfujing Street with police tape.

~Steve

Monday, February 28, 2011

Caught On Film!

In an almost unbelievable development, Jon Huntsman, the US ambassador to China, was caught on film at the planned "jasmine revolution" demonstration in Beijing. Click here and scroll down to watch a video of Huntsman at the McDonald's where the non-protest went down. The video, I think you'll quickly discover, demonstrates the serious implications this kind of diplomatic faux pax can have for the tone of relations between our two countries. I'm betting there are some folks in the White House who are not happy at all...

~Steve

PS: Thanks to Dan for the find!