– Seeking reviews: (free) Stayed on Freedom’s Call: Cooperation…

Seeking reviews for my (free) book on Community Cooperation:
on Open Archive: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnFreedomsCall

on GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21532511-stayed-on-freedom-s-call

(if anyone knows how to get rid of the Amazon link on GR pls tell me: my publisher put it there, so I cannot really rm it from A…)

here on WP: https://shiradest.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/stayed-on-freedoms-call.pdf

in the year 12015 HE

4 thoughts on “– Seeking reviews: (free) Stayed on Freedom’s Call: Cooperation…

  1. Adding indep. review of my PhDwork book: Shared Monetary Governance:
    “Review reposted from the IJCCR, 2012:
    by Kristofer Dittmer

    As regular readers of this journal will be well aware, money stands out among the main institutions of modern societies for the remarkable lack of democratic influence over its nature and management. Although monetary democracy is certainly a concern of many complementary currency practitioners and researchers, there are few books, perhaps none, that focus as explicitly on the democratic potential of alternatives to ordinary money as this one.

    The book, published by the controversial VDM Verlag (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VDM_Publishing), is based on a master thesis, which in fact is the version that has been facilitated for this review. [two papers from this book have since been published in IJCCR, volume 15 (2011)]. Jones theorizes social control over monetary institutions in terms of governance processes that “balance” the power of three distinct stakeholder groups: external regulators, internal decision‐makers, and currency users. On the basis of the widely advocated governance principles of regulatory
    consistency, transparency, accountability, and participa‐
    tion, Jones elaborates a framework – named as the main title of the book -­‐ aimed at the theoretical and empirical exploration of various currencies’ potential for democratic control.

    After an introductory discussion of the need for monetary democracy and the relevance of complementary currencies in this regard, chapter 2 brie^ly reviews the literatures on governance and the functions of money. The literature review then adopts the structure of the aforementioned stakeholder categories with their corresponding channels of influence over monetary governance. Accordingly, the influence of external regulators over a particular currency is mirrored by the degree of regulatory tolerance towards it. Second, internal decision‐makers are assumed to be concerned with the distribution of seigniorage revenues, currency issuance, and choice of backing. Finally, currency
    users are assumed to exert influence through what is termed “currency scale”, a somewhat awkward mixture of the monetary functions performed by a particular currency (e.g. unit of account, means of exchange, store of value), and its geographical extension. In a rather tiring manoeuvre, this structure is largely repeated in chapter 3, which adds theoretical discussion.

    The core of the book is chapters 4‐6, an empirical exercise aimed at operationalizing the theoretical framework so as to produce “an indicator showing how effectively any currency institution facilitates the sharing of monetary governance”. Chapter 4 presents a method that builds upon fuzzy‐set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to allow the quantification of qualitative data collected for four different currencies, all from the United States: the US Dollar, Humboldt Exchange Dollars, Time Dollars, and Deli Dollars. The choice of fuzzy set theory is fortunate, since it allows the appreciation of ambiguity: an element is not necessarily either a member of or external to a set, but can have degrees of membership, since the set boundaries are fuzzy. For instance, Jones uses this approach to capture ambiguities in the regulatory stance towards non‐official currencies, expressing degrees of tolerance in terms of percentages, where anything above 50% indicates a predominantly positive stance. However, the choice of percentages is very
    arbitrary, and sometimes clearly mistaken, as when a requirement to report earnings in a currency to the fiscal authorities is taken to suggest regulatory acceptance at 60%, despite the fact that the corresponding taxes are payable only in official money, a well‐known scourge to non-official currencies.
    Similarly, the issues assumed to be of concern to internal decision-­‐makers (seigniorage distribution, currency issuance, and backing) are each given equal weight, when there is no obvious reason why this should be the case.
    Perhaps the weakest part of the method is the opaque manner by which the percentage scores allocated to the various aspects of regulatory tolerance or internal decision‐making are eventually condensed into a single percentage that is then used to make comparisons across currencies. In sum, in its current form, the method suffers from an excessive dependence on the arbitrary value judgements of the analyst. A more transparent scoring system, combined with a more participatory approach to criteria definition and weighting (as in participatory multi‐criteria evaluation) would be more in line with the principles that the method asks of its objects of analysis.

    Despite its shortcomings, the book is a valiant attempt at breaking new ground in an important but largely neglected area, and should be appreciated as such. Although it is too technical for a wide audience, it will be of interest to numerically inclined readers concerned with monetary democracy.

    Kristofer Dittmer
    Institut De Ciència I Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA),
    Universitat Autònoma De Barcelona,Spain


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