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Welfare, Ethnicity and Altruism: New Data and Evolutionary Theory (Routledge Studies in Nationalism and Ethnicity) by Frank Salter
ISBN: 0714683523
ISBN13: 978-0714683522
Author: Frank Salter
Book title: Welfare, Ethnicity and Altruism: New Data and Evolutionary Theory (Routledge Studies in Nationalism and Ethnicity)
Other Formats: mbr doc lit mobi
Pages: 368 pages
Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 21, 2005)
Language: English
Size PDF version: 1717 kb
Size ePub version: 1159 kb
Size fb2 version: 1146 kb
Category: Social Sciences

Welfare, Ethnicity, and Altruism applies the controversial theory of 'Ethnic Nepotism', first formulated by Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt and Pierre van den Berghe, to the modern welfare state (both are authors in this volume). This theory states that ethnic groups resemble large families whose members are prone to cooperate due to 'kin altruism'. Recent empirical findings in economics and political science offer confirmatory evidence. The book presents two separate studies that compare welfare expenditures around the world, both indicating that the more ethnically mixed a population becomes, the greater is its resistance to redistributive policies. These results point to profound inconsistencies within ideologies of both left and right regarding ethnicity.

Books reviews
I cant write a review because I can't read the book. I can't afford it. Right now I can't even rent it. I'm a freelance writer and not exactly making tons of cash at the moment. I do read voraciously and have found many titles that I can't even afford to rent. It's almost as if you have to be wealthy in order to be intelligent or the intelligent only want the wealthy to gain information. I'm giving this book 4 stars in case I do get to read it. I just wanted to point out the absurdity of having Romance novels shoved down our throats while we can't even access any academic books or research. Of course, that's the American way I suppose.
I was genuinely thrilled to find Amazon had copies of "Welfare, Ethnicity and Altruism," a book of essays edited by Frank Salter, analyzing modern welfare states from an evolutionary perspective. My judgment could be dismissed as egocentric: I wrote one of the essays in the volume ("Why Welfare States Rise -- and Fall..."). I found a copy of page proof of my chapter, but can't find my own copy of the book -- and in rereading my own chapter, was astounded to realize that it's far superior to much of what I've written or read on the reasons why governments succeed and then fall. The argument is very simple: humans both value their present circumstances and their assumptions for the future. This article tested the hypothesis, which others had suggested, that support for a welfare state is enhanced among those who consider the political future will be better than their current situation. If people think the future will be worse than the present, they don't support the government and don't want to pay taxes. It seemed such a reasonable idea that I found objective measures permitting the comparison of people's evaluation of their present and their future. Since writing the chapter, I've forgotten gotten how useful this simple idea (which I borrowed from other researchers) can be. I'll now reread my chapter with special care, because on a first glance it explains such phenomena as Jihadist Islam (and suicide bombers). Since it's widely viewed that the West is engaged in what may be a long term rivalry with Jihadist Islam, I would welcome hearing an assessment of my argument -- and the book as a whole. Current political and social science (and theories of human biology), which usually put the emphasis on "self-preservation" or helping one's own kin, have trouble explaining human altruism, yet American soldiers die for our country (as we've seen, sadly, in Iraq and now Afghanistan) -- and those sitting comfortably in front of their TV sets often benefit thereby (our soldiers have been dying to insure the flow of oil from the Middle East: don't think it's useful? Consider that gas is already $10 a gallon in Sweden). If you are a researcher who wonders about why some humans pay taxes and otherwise sacrifice to defend their country, while others don't (e.g., the Tea Party today), I recommend you read this entire book with care -- and feel free to skip my chapter in so doing.

Prof. Roger D. Masters, Department of Government, Dartmouth College, Hanover,NH 03755
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