ISSN 2047-8747 (Print) ISSN 2047-8755 (Online) Volume 11 Special Issue 2022

Volume 11 Issue 1
Scientific Paradigms, Natural Sciences and Economics
Maurizio Mistri
This paper takes its cue from Philip Mirowski’s radical criticism of the methodology developed by various economists who looked to the natural sciences for their methodologies of reference. The objective of these economists was to make economics an effective scientific discipline in the period between 1870 and 1930. However, their efforts failed to make economics a real science, especially when using analogies with natural sciences. These analogies were often formal, but not substantive, and sometimes involved the use of metaphors. Economists of this period, who we can define as neoclassical, developed models that drew on physics, but did not always have expertise in epistemology, thus becoming prisoners of a physicalist paradigm hailed as the arrival point of scientific processes. Starting from the work of Thomas Kuhn, we analyze the concept of paradigm together with the concept of science as developed by modern epistemology. In our estimation, the question of scientific method is addressed by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern with appropriate references to the evolutionary processes of physics, aiming to construct a specific mathematics for economics that does not necessarily derive from the mathematics for physics.
Volume 10 Issue 4
Rational Irrationality Operationalized: Incivility, the new normal
Derek K. Yonai
Since the 2016 Presidential election, we have seen increased rudeness and externalization of irrational behavior. This paper supports the conclusion that rude, uncivil, intolerant, and irrational thought leaders increase the amount of rudeness, incivility, intolerance, irrational thinking, and externalizing of irrational behavior (referred to as “Uncivil” in this paper) in a society. Anecdotally, we have seen college speakers and faculty cancelled and, statistically, we have seen a significant increase in the number of US hate crimes since the 2016 election (Holley 2017; Jaschik 2017; Table 1 in the Appendix). Using the anecdotal and statistical data of hate crimes as proxies for increased Uncivil behavior in a society the conclusion supported here is that a thought leader can shift a society from an existing evolutionary stable outcome of civility, politeness, tolerance, and rationality.
Foreign Aid Dynamics, Compositions and Trends in Africa: The Case of Middle- Income Countries
Mamo G. Tefera and Nicholas M. Odhiambo
Foreign aid is expected to be a less relevant aspect of the economy as countries move to Middle- Income Countries (MICs). The purpose of this paper is to examine the dynamics of aid trends and patterns among 26 MICs in Africa during 2000-2017. This study considers bilateral aid flows from both Traditional Donors (TDs) and Non-Traditional Donors (NTDs), unlike many earlier studies that focus on TDs. It employs a descriptive analysis technique and tries to answer a critical question: how have aid compositions and dependency on aid evolved in MICs? This study found that between 2000 and 2017: (i) the transition to MICs was not accompanied by a decline in aid flows rather aid increased substantially since 2007; (ii) MICs received nearly two-thirds (66%) of total loans committed to Africa compared to just a one-thirds grant share (29%).
Comment Article: When Warm Becomes Hot: Alarming New Research
Ken Friedman
Recent research by NASA and NOAA (Loeb, N. et al. ‘Satellite and Ocean Data Reveal Marked Increase in Earth’s Heating Rate,’ Geophysical Research Letters, June 15, 2021) provides compelling evidence of an acceleration of global warming, showing a 2005-2019 doubling in net global warming to an average of one watt for every square meter on the Earth’s surface. The research conclusion is compelling because two very different paths – one using satellite data, the other using a system of ocean sensors – led to the same results.
Special Report Volume 10

ESG and good corporate governance in relation to the use of pension funds: Comparison between the United Kingdom and South Africa (The Report).

Ruth Taplin, Professor and Director, Centre for Japanese and East Asian Studies, London UK; Editor, IJEBL

Neels Kilian, LLD, Law Faculty Member, University of the North West, South Africa

Acknowledgements: We are most grateful to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung NPC for their generous support of this project.


Before we can analyse the efficacy of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in relation to pension funds in the City of London UK and South Africa we must assess the progress that has taken place to date, both positive and negative. The City of London is in advance of South Africa in its development of ESG as a tool for good corporate governance and understanding of intangible assets and valuation; while South Africa is in the early stages of doing so especially in relation to their companies integrating ESG into practice. What is clear is that support for good governance when allocating investment in pension funds should ensure that the right choices are made by pension fund managers and trustees to encourage the environmentally sustainable and socially beneficial use of the often, huge sums raised by pension savers. This imperative is as important in the City of London as it is in South Africa. Mitigating climate change is probably the most urgent imperative at present.

Book Reviews

Volume 10 Issue 2
Cyber Risk, Intellectual Property Theft and Cyberwarfare: Asia, Europe and the USA

Ruth Taplin
Routledge: Oxford and New York 2021
ISBN: 9781138320581(hardback)
9780429453199 (e book)

The Great Game. The Scramble for Africa. The Cold War. These are but a few of the combative monikers pervading the history of international affairs. At heart, that history is as repetitive as it is simple. It is one of competitive strife, sometimes centered on military affairs, sometimes solely on trade, but always in motion. Important, then, is that scholars are now studying modern commerce and computing power through the prism of latent global war. To this end, prolific author Ruth Taplin has excelled. Her latest offering Cyber Risk, Intellectual Property Theft and Cyberwarfare is not only well-timed, but insightful, sturdy and apt.

Ed Price