Torild Skard is a senior researcher in women’s studies at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo, specialising in women in politics. A pioneer in the women’s movement nationally and internationally, she was formerly an MP and the first woman president of the Norwegian Upper House. She has also been director for the Status of Women in UNESCO Paris, regional director in UNICEF West and Central Africa and director general in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has written numerous books and articles on women’s issues, particularly women in politics, and travels widely, studying and promoting the status of women.
Kenji Hayao argues that the Japanese prime minister can play a major if not critical role in bringing about a change in policy. In Japan the prime minister’s style is different from what is considered usual for parliamentary leaders: rather than being strong and assertive, he tends to be reactive. How did the role develop in this way? If he is not a major initiator of policy change, how and under what conditions can the prime minister make his impact felt? Finally, what are the consequences of this rather weak leadership?
In answering these questions, Professor Hayao presents two case studies (educational reform and reform of the tax system) involving Nakasone Yasuhiro to see how he be became involved in the policy issues and how he affected the process. Hayao then examines a number of broad forces that seem important in explaining the prime minister’s role in the policy process: how a leader is chosen; his relationships with other important actors in the political system - the political parties and the subgovernments; and the structure of his “inner” staff and advisors.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is a self-help book offering advice on how to gain and maintain power, using lessons drawn from parables and the experiences of historical figures.
Power depends on the relationships between a person and those he or she seeks to control. Powerful people must cultivate their appearances to earn respect and eliminate doubt. They must practice selective honesty, misdirection, and an excess of secrecy to gain a tactical advantage. Timing is central to maintaining power, as is the ability to adapt. The array of strategies available when seeking power include mirroring the opponent’s actions and controlling the opponent’s options for action. The powerful must also cultivate a relationship with audiences by creating spectacles and feeding their need to believe in the impossible.PLEASE NOTE: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book.
Inside this Instaread Summary of The 48 Laws of Power:
· Overview of the book
· Important People
· Key Takeaways
· Analysis of Key Takeaways
With only 6 percent of the world’s population, how long will the United States remain a global superpower? The answer, David Boren tells us in A Letter to America, depends on asking ourselves tough questions. A powerful wake-up call to Americans, A Letter to America, forces us to take a bold, objective look at ourselves.
In A Letter to America, Boren explains with unsparing clarity why the country is at a crossroads and why decisive action is urgently needed and offers us an ambitious, hopeful plan.
What the country needs, Boren asserts, are major reforms to restore the ability of our political system to act responsibly. By relying on our shared values, we can replace cynicism with hope and strengthen our determination to build a better future. We must fashion a post–Cold War foreign policy that fits twenty-first-century realities—including multiple contending superpowers. We must adopt campaign finance reform that curbs the influence of special interests and restores political power to the voters. Universal health care coverage, budget deficit reduction, affordable higher education, and a more progressive tax structure will strengthen the middle class.
Boren also describes how we can renew our emphasis on quality primary and secondary education, revitalize our spirit of community, and promote volunteerism. He urges the teaching of more American history and government, for without educated citizens our system cannot function and our rights will not be preserved. Unless we understand how we became great, we will not remain great.
The plan Boren puts forward is optimistic and challenges Americans to look into the future, decide what we want to be and where we want to go, and then implement the policies and actions we need to take us there.