Category Archives: Volume 11, no.1 (2016)

Site-specific Perception. Philosophical reflections on the impact of environment on perception

The question raised is about the differences in perception between people due to different environmental backgrounds. The assumption is that we learn to perceive and that the environment is essential for this learning. This is discussed taking a classical philosophical view on perception from Leibniz and Baumgarten’s aesthetics recently revived in the concept of atmosphere, as proposed by Gernot Böhme. The conclusion points to questions of the consequences of the environment for our perception as well as to the importance of aesthetic education in training perception.

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When the Treasury and its Models Seize Power

This paper explains how short- and medium-term macroeconomic projections are undertaken within the Danish Ministry of Finance (DMF) by the use of an annual macroeconometric model, ADAM, together with a theoretical, structural general equilibrium model, DREAM. DREAM is used to calculate the structural public sector budget deficit, which by law is required never to exceed ½ percent of GDP. This legal restriction on fiscal policy gives the structural model (and the ‘model-operators’) a hitherto unseen political power. This ‘institutional’ status of DREAM causes a number of questions about democracy to be asked. First, why has an elected government accepted to surrender its legal right to undertake an active fiscal policy? Secondly, how can it be that DREAM – a neoliberal general equilibrium model without proper empirical tests and operated by anonymous civil servants – has been elevated to a position akin to a high court’s? The paper demonstrates how this model set-up within the DMF reproduces reality poorly. Therefore, these models should rather be seen as social constructs predetermined be neoclassical/neoliberal economic theory, which has to be acknowledged as a democratic challenge.

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Little Italy: Seeking a Niche in International Arctic Relations

In December 2015, The Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation published Verso una strategia italiana per l‘artico (Towards an Italian Strategy for the Arctic). In this article, the authors explain and evaluate the document in light of Italy’s connections to and interests in the Arctic, the Kiruna rules for observers at the Arctic Council, and the Arctic policies of other observers. They conclude that the intended audience for Verso una strategia is the Arctic States. Therefore, the document emphasises relevant Italian scientific efforts and promotes Italy’s oil and gas industry while downplaying the rights of indigenous peoples and avoiding issues of controversy. Publication of the document as a work in progress indicates the ministry’s willingness to listen to feedback and adapt its approaches as it develops a more comprehensive and nuanced strategy.

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Holger Fleischer, Jesper Lau Hansen & Wolf-Georg Ringe (eds.), German and Nordic Perspectives on Company Law and Capital Markets Law (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015)

Book review of: Holger Fleischer, Jesper Lau Hansen & Wolf-Georg Ringe (eds.), German and Nordic Perspectives on Company Law and Capital Markets Law (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationals Privatrecht, Beiträge zum ausländischen und internationalen Privatrecht, 2015)

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Steinar Imsen (ed.), The Norwegian Dominion and the Norse World c. 1100-c1400 & Taxes, Tributes and Tributary Lands in the Making of the Scandinavian Kingdoms in the Middle Ages (Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press, 2010 & 2011)

Book review of: Steinar Imsen (ed.), The Norwegian Dominion and the Norse World c. 1100-c1400 and Taxes, Tributes and Tributary Lands in the Making of the Scandinavian Kingdoms in the Middle Ages (Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press, 2010 & 2011)

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Caspar Jørgensen & Morten Pedersen (eds.), Industrial Heritage in Denmark: Landscapes, Environments and Historical Archaeology (Aarhus: Kultur Styrelsen & Aarhus University Press, 2015)

Book review of: Caspar Jørgensen and Morten Pedersen (eds.),  Industrial Heritage in Denmark: Landscapes, Environments and Historical Archaeology (Aarhus: Kultur Styrelsen and Aarhus University Press, 2015), 285 pp. ISBN 978 87 7124 108 2

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The Invention of the Nordic Cuisine

The article proposes an analysis of the success of the restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. In order to achieve this goal, it focuses on the viewpoint of its chef, René Redzepi and analyses the new trending culinary movement known as New Nordic Cuisine. Behind the success of the restaurant Noma, a deep reconfiguration of the Northern European culinary culture can be recognized which is not limited to food but claims for a general turnover of the entire Scandinavian identity. The article enlightens a deep connection between the story of the fictional character Babette (protagonist of both the short novel and the movie “Babette’s Feast”) and the shift led by the New Nordic Cuisine’s movement over the identity of Northern Europe. Also, it shows how this new foundation represents a contemporary attempt of “reinvention” of the tradition, being built through aesthetic and semiotic tools turned into gastronomic actions.

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Mapping the Unknown – North as threshold: a meditation in three examples

This essay is a personal attempt at introducing a possible creative history of the idea of North. This is presented via three different examples through which notions such as those of limit and experience are thought of as preliminary phases and yet, combined together, also as something essential to better understand the sense of threshold qua notion which, as I suggest, can be used to describe and depict the North in contemporary terms.

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