The future of retail

The famous Tokyo Tower view

I was remiss not to post a link to a Morgan Stanleys Ideas podcast that I featured on. Head to the website to listen to the episode “Shopping for the Future”, in which the authors try to understand what modern retail can learn from Japan. I start to speak at around 7:00.

Syllabus Metropolitan Tokyo

The last of four posts sharing my TUJ syllabi is Metropolitan Tokyo. I probably put most work into this class: It was the one closest to my own research, the bar was high and I kept adapting the syllabus the more I taught it, in total five times over two years. Continue reading

Syllabus Global Cities

The last of my four classes I taught at TUJ was this general education — “Gen Ed” — urban studies class, which TUJ ran for three consecutive semesters. Looking back, this may have been the most enjoyable of the classes of the four I taught in Tokyo. (I have also added the syllabi for two other classes I taught, i.e. Politics of the Global Economy and Economics of Development and Growth and will shortly put up the one for Metropolitan Tokyo.) Continue reading

Syllabus Politics of the Global Economy

Another syllabus of one of the classes I taught at TUJ after the jump, this time for a course called Politics of the Global Economy. This was a more or less straightforward undergraduate IPE class following a standard textbook. Do get in touch if you need any of the lecture materials or want to hear more about the course.  Continue reading

Urban governance

One of the chapters of my PhD deals with urban governance in postwar Tokyo. I argue that the intermediate layer of government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, was an effective arbiter of the “developmental city”. A Guardian article from 2015 caught my eye.

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Tinkering on the margins

The Greens are known to come up with what many perceive as draconian regulations to protect the environment. They even went as far as suggesting a “veggie Friday”, in meat-loving Germany!

Now they have suggested to ban private fireworks, put a small deposit on coffee cups and prohibit gravel pit as a surface cover in cities. They’re flying high on their recent electoral successes and can seriously contemplate becoming the strongest party in Germany if elections were called later this year.

I don’t think anyone has any problem with their ideas and understands their rationale. It’s just the scale and lack of boldness in them that I find striking, coming from a Green party that was once known to be a hotbed of radicalism but has long lost its zeal. My friend Gareth calls them “neoliberals with wind farms”.

You can’t pile dozens of regulations on your population to nudge consumption patterns, while the elephant in the room, the current economic system and its reliance on hydrocarbons, remains untouched. The Greens’ ideas to avert climate change are not going to bring about the rapid change needed to avert climate catastrophe. The “Fridays for the Future” campaign has rightly called them out on it.

Some other climate-related thoughts have come out of reading a few Jacobin stories on top of the one linked above recently, including on “why it’s OK to have children”, “in defense of air conditioning” and on the “green new deal” by Thiti Bhattacharya.