Book of the week: "Banking on climate change: How finance actors and regulatory regimes are responding", by Megan Bowman

The climate finance field is extremely new. This qualitative study on corporate climate finance spells out the importance of private capital finance and public finance in facilitating the transition to a low-carbon economy. You’ll find a thorough discussion and analysis of the discrete topics of finance and climate change, which will help you in your lending, investing and advising activities.

Megan Bowman draws upon the access she has received to senior bank managers and international workshops to explore the activities of multilateral development banks and specialized climate funds. She also considers the influences of corporate law and corporate governance norms on directors’ decision-making.

She examines the risk/return theory for a range of private finance actors, and explores how business case logic and corporate social responsibility influence financial behaviors. She also looks at the case for Chinese ‘state capital’ for global green investment.

Banking on Climate Change includes personal interviews with senior bank personnel, corporations and non-government organizations in the United States, Europe and Australia. This data will give you a key insight into how and why the banks make their decisions, and will be helpful for legal practitioners, policy-makers and anyone working in other private finance sectors.

Publisher: Alphen aan den Rijn, Kluwer Law International, 2015
Call Number: 347.73(050) HEIA 37833/24

Illustration (cropped): CC By-NC-SA 2.0 Lausanne Action Climat

Book of the week: "Hong Kong under Chinese rule: economic integration and political gridlock", by Zheng Yongnian and Yew Chiew Ping

“This edited volume is a compilation of the analyses written by East Asian Institute experts on Hong Kong since the handover. It covers most, if not all the important events that have taken place in Hong Kong since 1997, including its economic integration and relations with China, its governance conundrums, the Hong Kong identity and nation-building, the implementation of the minimum wage, and the elections from 2011–2012.

The book’s panoramic view of Hong Kong makes it a useful resource for readers who seek a broad understanding of the city and how it has evolved after its return to China. It also offers some glimpses into the direction Hong Kong is heading in its socio-economic relations with China at both the state and society levels, as well as its domestic political developments and the prospects for democratization.”

Publisher: Hackensack, NJ, World Scientific, 2013
Call number: 951.231.7 HEIA 96347


Illustration (cropped and edited): Hong Kong, Cloud City by Andy Leung (Pixabay license)

Book of the week: "Just cool it! The climate crisis and what we can do: a post-Paris agreement game plan", by David Suzuki and Ian Hanington

On Friday 6 December at 10:00, the Graduate Institute library will officially introduce its Right Livelihood Award collection. It holds works from or on laureates of the Right Livelihood Awards, conferred by the Right Livelihood Foundation, whose Geneva office is located in the Maison de la Paix. David Suzuki, a Canadian environmental activist, was awarded this prize in 2009. As the COP 25 is starting in Madrid, this is a good opportunity for us to present one of his books, dealing with the burning question of climate change.

“Climate change is the most important crisis humanity has faced, but we still confront huge barriers to resolving it. So, what do we do, and is there hope for humanity? The problem itself is complex, and there’s no single solution. But by understanding the barriers to resolving global warming and by employing a wide range of solutions—from shifting to clean energy to planting trees to reforming agricultural practices—we can get the world back on track.

Just Cool It is David Suzuki at his most passionate. In this book, he offers a comprehensive look at the current state of climate science and knowledge and the many ways to resolve the climate crisis, imploring us to do what’s necessary to live in a better, cleaner future. When enough people demand action, change starts happening—and this time, it could be monumental.”

Publisher: Vancouver, Greystone Books, 2017
Call number: 577.22 HEILIVE 90

Livre de la semaine: “Cinq types de paix: une histoire des plans de pacification perpétuelle: XVIIe-XXe siècle”, par Bruno Arcidiacono

L’Institut rendra hommage le vendredi 29 novembre au professeur Bruno Arcidiacono, récemment décédé. C’est l’occasion pour nous de présenter un de ses principaux livres.

“Au cours des quatre derniers siècles, les projets de pacification permanente de l’Europe, ou du monde entier, ont constitué un véritable genre littéraire. À un premier niveau, le plus superficiel, le livre offre une vue panoramique de ces projets, depuis le “Grand Dessein” attribué (faussement) à Henri IV jusqu’à la Charte de l’ONU, en passant par les propositions de William Penn, de l’abbé de Saint-Pierre, d’Emmanuel Kant, du comte de Saint-Simon et de tant d’autres, célèbres, moins connus ou oubliés. De règle, ces auteurs sont qualifiés, non sans condescendance, d’utopistes. A un deuxième niveau, le livre est une critique de cet usage paresseux, et les traite comme membres de la famille des réformateurs radicaux. Ayant dressé, chacun à son époque, un réquisitoire sans indulgence contre l’état existant des rapports entre les nations, ils en proposent une réorganisation profonde. Ennemis de l’ordre international établi – un désordre intolérable à leurs yeux-, ils se font les architectes d’un monde nouveau, le meilleur des mondes possibles, dont ils précisent le mode de construction. Si différents soient-ils, leurs écrits se prêtent à être classifiés en un petit nombre de catégories. A un troisième niveau, le livre est un essai typologique. Il suggère une conceptualisation du “système international parfait” qui comporte cinq grands modèles et permet donc de répartir l’ensemble des auteurs passés en revue dans cinq traditions intellectuelles, dont la plus récente est longue de deux siècles et la plus ancienne de sept.”

Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 2011
Cote: 327.6 HEIA 73036
E-book en accès ouvert, sur le site OpenEditions.


Illustration (cropped): Young soldier (Frans Hals II, c. 1650), public domain

Book of the week: “The rise of Evo Morales and the MAS”, by Sven Harten

Evo Morales is one of the world’s most controversial political leaders. His story is extraordinary: poor shepherd-boy, persecuted coca grower, self-professed admirer of Ché Guevara, hero of the anti-globalization movement, and first indigenous president of modern Latin America.

The story of the social movement turned political party he is a part of — the Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) — is also exceptional: originally founded as a splinter of an ultra-right party, it was given as a gift for the coca growers after they had been banned several times for spurious reasons to register their own party, and went on to become an irresistible force for indigenous rights in Bolivia.

In this insightful and revealing book, Sven Harten explains the success of the MAS and its wider consequences, showing how Morales has become the symbol for a new political consciousness that has entailed de-stigmatizing indigenous identities.”

Publisher: London, Zed Books, 2011
Call number: 920(84)MOR HEIA 74764


Illustration (cropped): Constituyente 2006, by A. Davey (CC By 2.0)