Tag Archives: LSE

The car-dependent society: A European perspective

Book review by  Carlos Carrasco Farré: The Car-Dependent Society: A European Perspective. Hans Jeekel. Ashgate. June 2013.

Cars are essential for many in modern Western societies. For example, the car mobility growth between 1995 and 2006 for Belgium was 12 per cent, for France 13 per cent, for Norway 19 per cent, for the United Kingdom 12 per cent and for Finland 24 per cent. This is a unique situation in history, but one that does not get much attention since car use is seen as just a normal part of our everyday lives. Despite knowing the grim environmental and safety risks that come with regular car use – transport worldwide is responsible for 14 per cent of the global CO2 emissions, with 76 per cent of these emissions coming from road transport – we continue to keep driving. In The Car-Dependent Society, Hans Jeekel (Eindhoven University of Technology) uses data from Western Europe to examine three key themes: frequent car use, car dependence, and the future of passenger car mobility in societies.

Jeekel paints a broad and comprehensive picture on frequent car use and on car dependence, its driving forces, its problems and its perspectives. The book not only covers the Dutch situation, but takes a broader perspective and analyses the picture in Germany, the UK, France, Switzerland, Flanders, Sweden and the Netherlands. The focus is placed on the social and cultural aspects of car mobility, making the book perfect for those not trained in statistics and more involved in sociological and cultural research. Jeekel works from a broad conceptual framework, bringing in all sorts of relevant literature: he introduces some relevant theories such as the mobilities approach of Urry, the time geography of Hagerstrand, and the commons approach of Ostrom.

The book is structured around four central concepts. The first one is car dependence and its different definitions. As Jeekel states, some authors define car dependence as synonymous with a high degree of car use. The point is that although the degree of car use is an important indicator, the author thinks it is an incomplete indicator: “dependence has a relationship to lacking alternative, or at least to the perception that alternatives are lacking”. In other words, car use is an indicator of the need for mobility, but not of dependence. The second aspect is the difference between the factual and the perceived car dependence both at personal and at societal level. The third concept is the driving forces behind frequent car use, such as the urban development that disperses activities over greater geographical areas. The final concept is risk society, based on the idea developed by Beck. Our societies are no longer suffering from primarily external risks such as disasters and diseases, but man-made risks are starting to dominate and these risks are “embedded” in the expanding patterns of modern life. Modern western risk societies are presented and the relationship between those characteristics and frequent car use are explored. To further explain these issues, figures and facts from a number of European countries are presented.

Read the full text of the review on LSE Review of books

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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How do migrants from the BRICS countries participate in shaping the global society?

China in Comparative Perspective Network (CCPN) at LSE is engaged in an international collaborative research project known as ‘Comparative Studies on the New Migrants from BRIC counties in America, Australia, Japan and the UK’ (2009-2013). The project is collaborative with the Department of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan. funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and involves researchers from Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, UK, and USA. Our research focuses on ‘new migrants’ who migrated from BRIC countries to the UK, the USA, Australia and Japan since 1989.

In responding to the changes from BRIC to BRICS, the large and fast-growing economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which significantly influence regional and global affairs, we have added migrants from South Affric in the UK in the comparative studies. Both the BRICS countries themselves and the migrants they send out are of great importance in shaping the future of global society.

Our research can be used to identify ways of fostering the economic and social well-being of BRICS migrants in the four countries under study, and enhance their economic and social contribution to their host countries. We are also interested in ways in which migrants residing abroad can assist in the development of their home countries.

Apart from standard social scientific methods this project uses online questionnaire survey (it will be closed by the 31st January 2013). You are welcome to participate in the survey and the data can be shared at your request.

Date:2nd March 2013, Saturday;  Time: 9:00am-17:00;  Venue: CLM.2.02, LSE

Organisers and convenors



  • Professor Lixing Chen, KGU, Japan; President of Japan-Sino Sociological
  • Association  Dr Xiangqun Chang, Co-Director of CCPN, LSE

Chairs and speakers


  • Professor Athar Hussain, Director of Asian Research Centre, LSE
  • Dr Kent Deng, Director of CCPN; Reader of Economic History, LSE


Morning session 9:00-13:00

Chair: Professor Athar Hussain, Director of Asia Research Centre, LSE
Welcome and guest speeches 9:00-10:15

  • BRICS migrants in the UK, By Lord Michael Bates, Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of the House of Lords
  • The Chinese in Europe: Migration history and their participation in shaping European society, by Professor Minghuan Li, Department of Sociology, Xiamen University, China; Consultant of Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of State Council, PRC
  • UK academic (tbc)

Case studies on the BRICS migrants and migration in the global society

  • 10:15-10:45 Is Japan’s Labour Structure in Transition? Lessons from the Brazilian Labour in the Mie Prefecture, by Professor KUMARA Ananda, Vice-President of Suzuka International University, Japan
  • 10:45-11:15 Russian skilled migration: perspectives from sending and receiving countries, by Dr Esuna Dugarova, Research Analyst, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Switzerland
    11:15-11:30 break
    11:30-12:00 From vulnerability to flexibility: Indian middleman traders in Shaoxing, China, by Mr Ka-kin Cheuk, PhD candidate, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, UK
  • 12:00-12:30 Chinese lawyers in Brazil, Australia and the UK – a three way comparison, by Ms Helen Tung, Barrister, 1 Temple Avenue Chambers, London, UK
  • 12:30-13:00 South Africa as the BRICS Gateway to Africa and its Implications for Migration Patterns, by Ms Ana Faria-Santana, by CCPN Research Associate, LSE; former Research Director, Centre for Chinese Studies, University of Stellenbosch – South Africa
  • 13:00-14:00 Lunch (will be provided at the venue)
    Afternoon session: 13:00-17:00
  • The relationship migrated citizens have with their country of origin in a global society
  • Chair: Dr Kent Deng, Director of CCPN and Reader in Economic History, LSE
  • 2:00-:2:30 Comparative studies on what influence the migration from BRICs channelling back to their home countries, by Professor CHEN Lixing, PI of the BRIC migrant project, School of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan; President of Japan-China Sociological Society (JCSS), Japan
  • 2:30-3:00 Homeland Calling, Family Pulling: New Migrants from BRIC Countries in the UK, USA, Australia and Japan, by Dr SHAO Chunfen, Lecturer of Department of Japanese Studies, the University of Sydney, Australia
    3:00-3:15 break
    3:15-3:45 Allegiance Problems to Settled and Home Countries: Dynamics and Effects, by Professor KOMAI Hiroshi, Professor Emeritus, the University of Tsukuba, Japan
  • 3:45-4:15 How do Migrants from the BRICS Countries Participate in Shaping the Global Society? An overview by Dr Xiangqun Chang, Co-PI of the BRIC migrant project, CCPN, LSE, UK
    4:15-5:00 Closing remarks tbc Professor Stephan Feuchtwang, Department of Anthropology, LSE


  • Click HERE to download programme
  • Click HERE to download abstract
  • Click HERE to register

More information: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/mapsanddirections/howtogettolse.aspx


Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

More Posts - Website