National Governments (national + government)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Selected Abstracts

,Sir Stafford Cripps and His Friends': The Socialist League, the National Government and the Reform of the House of Lords 1931,1935

First page of article [source]

Which migration, what development?

Unsettling the edifice of migration, development
Abstract In recent years migration has been rediscovered as a key intervening apparatus in facilitating development, offering a route to mitigating deepening inequalities. National governments, international funding organisations and diasporic organisations have all mobilised migrants to fund development initiatives in ,origin' countries. This has led to a range of calculative processes whereby some forms of migration and particular forms of development come to be visible, while others become ,invisibilised'. This paper explores some narratives of migration and development to illustrate how current debates on migration and development ignore certain scalar politics and specific temporalities, while scaffolding others. It suggests new ways of thinking about migration and development. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Political Determinants of Intergovernmental Grants: Evidence From Argentina

Alberto Porto
This paper explores the determinants of federal grants allocation across provincial states in Argentina. Our analysis suggests that the redistributive pattern implicit in the federal system of intergovernmental grants cannot be explained on normative grounds exclusively. In order to understand the rationale behind federal grants distribution, a positive approach could render better results. Specifically, we claim that the distribution of federal grants could be associated with political variables such as the political representation of jurisdictions at Congress. The econometric analysis suggests that the significant disparity observed in the per capita representation across different provinces is an important factor explaining the allocation of those transfers. In this respect, overrepresented provinces, both at the senate and at the lower chamber, have received, on average, higher resources from the national government compared to more populous and less represented states. These results are consistent with those observed in other countries. [source]

Thinking locally, acting supranationally: Niche party behaviour in the European Parliament

Recent research on the European Parliament (EP) has neglected the idiosyncrasies of niche parties. Similarly, analyses of niche parties have not fully engaged the literature on the EP. This article builds on both literatures by analysing niche party behaviour in the EP as a distinct phenomenon. It is argued that niche parties will respond differently to institutional stimuli than parties more generally. To test this argument, Hix, Noury and Roland's work on EP party voting behaviour is replicated concentrating on niche parties only. It is found that participation in national government and institutional changes affect niche party legislators' voting behaviour, whereas they do not for legislators in the EP overall. These results have important implications for understanding both party behaviour in the EP and niche party behaviour more generally. [source]

The Space of Local Control in the Devolution of us Public Housing Policy

Janet L. Smith
Sweeping changes in national policy aim to radically transform public housing in the United States. The goal is to reduce social isolation and increase opportunities for low income tenants by demolishing ,worst case' housing, most of which is modern, high-rise buildings with high vacancy and crime rates, and replacing it with ,mixed-income' developments and tenant based assistance to disperse current public housing families. Transformation relies on the national government devolving more decision-making power to local government and public housing authorities. The assumption here is that decentralizing the responsibility for public housing will yield more effective results and be more efficient. This paper explores the problematic nature of decentralization as it has been conceptualized in policy discourse, focusing on the underlying assumptions about the benefits of increasing local control in the implementation of national policy. As this paper describes, this conceived space of local control does not take into account the spatial features that have historically shaped where and how low income families live in the US, including racism and classism and a general aversion by the market to produce affordable rental units and mixed-income developments. As a result, this conceived space of local control places the burden on low income residents to make transformation a success. To make this case, Wittgenstein's (1958) post-structural view of language is combined with Lefebvre's view of space to provide a framework in which to examine US housing policy discourse as a ,space producing' activity. The Chicago Housing Authority's Plan for Transformation is used to illustrate how local efforts to transform public housing reproduce a functional space for local control that is incapable of generating many of the proposed benefits of decentralization for public housing tenants. [source]

Swedish healthcare under pressure

Anders Anell
Abstract Swedish healthcare, run by local governments at both the regional (county) and the municipal levels, has been under pressure during the last 15 years, following increased scrutiny of performance and demand for cost-containment. Health-care expenditures per capita and levels of resource inputs have grown, but more slowly than in other EU countries. At the same time, the number of elderly people has increased, as have options for medical treatment. In the late 1980s, several local governments referred to long waiting-lists for elective treatment and anecdotal evidence of inefficiency and poor responsiveness when arguing for market-oriented reforms. A purchaser,provider split followed, and so did changes in the payment systems for health-care providers. According to the available evidence, these reforms yielded an increased volume of services in the short run; but traditional hierarchical management soon replaced the new incentives. Moreover, evidence suggests that changes introduced by the national government, and the deteriorating funding conditions together with a continued use of new medical technology, have had more far-reaching effects on health-care output and outcome than local-government reforms. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

The potential role for economic instruments in drought management,

Stephen Merrett
changement du climat; gestion des sécheresses; irrigation; prix de l'eau Abstract Climate change in the twenty-first century will likely reduce the return period of drought events, indicating that drought management will be even more important in the future than it is already. In the case of England's Anglian region it is shown that two principal institutions are responsible for drought management,the Environment Agency and Anglian Water Services (AWS). The region has a fast-growing population of more than 5 million people, it has 58% of the most productive agricultural land in England and Wales, and in some summers irrigation can make up 50% of water use. An examination of the drought plans of the Agency and AWS demonstrates that in both cases the policy instruments that they deploy to manage drought are informational, infrastructural and regulatory. In neither case would they use water pricing as a management tool. Moreover, the government's drought plan guidelines for the water utilities make no reference to economic instruments of drought management nor do they suggest that utilities should review the economic impact on their customers of regulatory action. The principal issues that would arise if water charging were to be deployed as a drought management instrument are then reviewed. The paper concludes by proposing that national government should evaluate the feasibility, costs, benefits and risks of replacing the regulatory instruments of drought management by economic instruments. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Avec les changements climatiques prévus au vingt-et-unième siècle les périodes de sècheresse deviendront probablement plus fréquentes et la gestion de ces sécheresses deviendra plus problématique. Cet article indique que dans la région Anglian de l'Angleterre deux institutions ont la responsabilité de cette gestion: "the Environment Agency" et "Anglian Water Services". Un examen des plans d'action pour la sécheresse de ces deux institutions montre que, dans les deux cas, les instruments qui seront déployés seront soit informationels soit infrastructurels soit règlementaires. Il n'y a pas dans ces plans une seule référence au prix de l'eau comme instrument de gestion. De même les conseils du gouvernement national pour la préparation de ces plans ignorent les instruments économiques. L'article conclut que le gouvernement doit réviser la faisabilité des instruments de gestion des sécheresses, et d'estimation de leurs coûts et bénéfices pour introduire davantage d'instruments économiques. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Public Organizations in an Emergency: The 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and Municipal Government

Nobuyuki Hashimoto
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit one of the major metropolitan areas of Japan at 5:46 am on 17 January 1995. This paper examines the behaviour of public organizations during this event in four municipal governments. Opening and managing shelters, reception of relief goods and cooperation with volunteers are, especially, studied in detail. Some of the programmes implemented by the national government and Hyogo prefectural government are also studied. Based on these studies, characteristics of the organizations' responses during the emergency are analyzed. It is argued that the structure of organizations or the disaster response programmes are formulated or changed by using more stable structures or procedures. [source]

Admiralty Law and Neutrality Policy in the 1790s: An Example of Judicial, Legislative, and Executive Cooperation

Elliott Ashkenazi
The subject of admiralty law may have lost much of its luster over the years, but during the first decades of the nation's existence this branch of the law provided a vehicle for establishing foreign policy principles that helped protect the new nation. The admiralty cases that reached the U.S. Supreme Court in the mid-1790s were important to administration policy in the realm of foreign affairs and to the Court's own development as an independent arm of the national government. [source]

Institutional Trust and Subjective Well-Being across the EU

John Hudson
SUMMARY This paper analyzes the impact of institutions upon happiness through their intermediary impact upon individual trust. The empirical work is based on Eurobarometer data covering the 15 countries of the EU prior to its expansion in 2004. With respect to trust, we present evidence that, although it is endogenous with respect to the performance of the institution, changes in the individual's personal circumstances can also have an impact, indicating that trust is not simply learned at an early age. Hence unemployed people tend to have lower levels of trust not only in the main economic institutions , government and the Central Bank , but in other state institutions too such as the police and the law. Trust also differs in a systematic manner with respect to education and household income, increases (decreases) in either increase (decrease) trust in most institutions. If we assume that more educated people make better judgments, this suggests that on average people tend to have too little trust in institutions. However, it is also possible that both of these variables impact on the interaction between institutions such as the police and other government agencies and the citizen, with prosperous, well educated people being at an advantage and possibly able to command more respect. Age too impacts on institutional trust. For the UN, the unions, big business, voluntary organizations and the EU, trust first declines and then increases with the estimated turning points ranging between 44 and 56 years. For most other organizations trust significantly increases with age. Turning to subjective well-being, we find the standard set of socio-economic variables to be significant. But the focus here is on the impact of institutional trust. We find that trust (mistrust) in the European Central Bank, the EU, national government, the law and the UN all impact positively (negatively) on well-being. Hence overall our results support the conclusion that happiness does not solely lie within the realm of the individual, but that institutional performance also has a direct impact upon subjective well-being. [source]

Political Parties and Governors as Determinants of Legislative Behavior in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies, 1988,2006

José Antonio Cheibub
ABSTRACT This article examines the relative importance of regional and national forces in shaping the behavior of Brazilian legislators at the national level. A widely held view is that national legislators respond to state pressures in making decisions, rather than pressures from the national government. Governors not only can influence national debates but also can determine outcomes by exerting control over their states' legislative delegations. This article examines a dataset of all roll-call votes in the Chamber of Deputies between 1989 and 2006 to isolate and evaluate the impact of local pressures on legislative voting. Spanning the terms of five presidents and five different congresses, the data show that the local influence is weaker than the national on the voting decisions of individual legislators and the voting cohesion of state delegations. Alternative institutional resources allow the central government to counteract the centrifugal pressures of federalism and other institutional influences. [source]

Representation and Agenda Setting

Bryan D. Jones
We develop a new approach to the study of representation based on agenda setting and attention allocation. We ask the fundamental question: do the policy priorities of the public and of the government correspond across time? To assess the policy priorities of the mass public, we have coded the Most Important Problem data from Gallup polls across the postwar period into the policy content categories developed by the Policy Agendas Project (Baumgartner & Jones, 2002). Congressional priorities were assessed by the proportion of total hearings in a given year focusing on those same policy categories, also from the Agendas Project. We then conducted similar analyses on public laws and most important laws, similarly coded. Finally we analyzed the spatial structure of public and congressional agendas using the Shepard-Kruskal non-metric multidimensional scaling algorithm. Findings may be summarized as follows: First, there is an impressive congruence between the priorities of the public and the priorities of Congress across time. Second, there is substantial evidence of congruence between the priorities of the public and lawmaking in the national government, but the correspondence is attenuated in comparison to agendas. Third, although the priorities of the public and Congress are structurally similar, the location of issues within the structure differs between Congress and the general public. The public "lumps" its evaluation of the nations most important problems into a small number of categories. Congress "splits" issues out, handling multiple issues simultaneously. Finally, the public tends to focus on a very constrained set of issues, but Congress juggles many more issues. The article has strong implications for the study of positional representation as well, because for traditional representation to occur, there must be correspondence between the issue-priorities of the public and the government. We find substantial evidence for such attention congruence here. [source]

Campaigning Against Government in the Old Dominion: State Taxation, State Power, and the Virginia 1997 Gubernatorial Election

POLITICS & POLICY, Issue 3 2002
Stephen J. Farnsworth
James S. Gilmore III (R) credited his election in 1997 as governor of Virginia to his attacks upon the size and taxation authority of state government, a twist on recent Republican attacks upon the size and taxation authority of the national government. Gilmore's plan to eliminate the personal property tax for nearly all cars and trucks was also seen as the key to his victory by independent analysts and by Virginia legislators. This quantitative analysis finds, however, that Gilmore's support was primarily the result of partisan orientations, evaluations of his character, the performance of the incumbent Republican gubernatorial administration, and background measures like the respondent's education and age. Variables that measured an individual's interest in smaller state government, his or her knowledge of which candidate proposed the car tax cut, and the importance he or she placed on tax issues did not achieve statistical significance. [source]

State and Local Governance Fifteen Years Later: Enduring and New Challenges

Frank J. Thompson
This article draws on the contributions to this issue and related evidence to assay the extent to which the states and larger local governments have moved in directions endorsed by the Winter Commission in 1993. The commission's recommendations targeted (1) the political context of state and local governance, with a particular focus on executive leadership, campaign finance reform, and citizen engagement; (2) the specifics of public administration, with primary emphasis on empowering managers through internal deregulation and bolstering human resource capacity; and (3) the nature of the relationship between the national government and the states in a key policy arena. Significant changes in the fabric of state and local governance have occurred in each of these three areas over the last 15 years. Many of these modifications are consonant with the thrust of the Winter Commission report, but the evidence also points to the limits of state and local reform. Further reform initiatives should be built on systematic efforts to advance knowledge concerning the origins, nature, and outcomes of the array of institutions and processes present at the state and local levels. [source]

Economic Voting and Multilevel Governance: A Comparative Individual-Level Analysis

Cameron D. Anderson
An important component of incumbent support is the reward/punishment calculus of economic voting. Previous work has shown that "clarity of responsibility" within the central state government conditions national economic effects on incumbent vote choice: where clarity is high (low), economic effects are greater (less). This article advances the "clarity of responsibility" argument by considering the effect of multilevel governance on economic voting. In institutional contexts of multilevel governance, the process of correctly assigning responsibility for economic outcomes can be difficult. This article tests the proposition that multilevel governance mutes effects of national economic conditions by undermining responsibility linkages to the national government. Individual-level data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems Module 1 are used to test this proposition. Results demonstrate that economic voting is weakest in countries where multilevel governance is most prominent. Findings are discussed in light of the contribution to the economic voting literature and the potential implications of multilevel governance. [source]


Masatoshi Matsumoto
Objectives: The purpose of this paper was to discover to what degree Japanese rural doctors are satisfied with various aspects of their jobs and lives, and to find out whether they intend to continue their rural careers. Design: Nationwide postal survey Setting: Public clinics or hospitals in municipalities that are authorised as ,rural' by the national government. Subjects: A total of 4896 doctors working for public clinics or hospitals. Interventions: Self-evaluation questionnaires were mailed. The rural doctors were asked to evaluate their satisfaction with 19 items related to their job conditions and 10 items concerning life conditions, using a four-point scale. They also were asked to evaluate their intent to stay in rural practice until retirement. Results: The response rate was 64%. Overall, rural doctors were satisfied with both their work and life conditions. However, only 27% of respondents hoped to continue rural practice beyond the usual age of retirement. Among job-related items, continuing medical education and interactions with municipal governments were rated as least satisfactory. Among lifestyle-related items, duration of holidays and workload were unsatisfactory. Subgroup analysis revealed male doctors showed greater intent to stay in rural practice. Doctors aged > 50 years were more satisfied with most aspects of their job and lifestyle than younger doctors. A strong correlation was found between the degree of intent to stay and several items such as interactions with municipal government, human interactions salary and job fulfilment. Conclusions: Strategies, based on the results of this survey, should be implemented. Particularly in Japan, positive interaction between doctors and municipal governments is crucial. [source]

Migration and the Right to Social Security: Perceptions of Off-farm Migrants' Rights to Social Insurance in China's Jiangsu Province

Ingrid Nielsen
J08; J 61; J65 Abstract In 2001 China ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. By so doing the national government became legally bound, "to the maximum of its available resources", to achieve "progressively" full realization of the rights specified in the Covenant. Included amongst these entitlements is the "right of everyone to social security, including social insurance". This paper uses data from Jiangsu to examine the extent to which urbanites agree that previously disenfranchised migrants have the same right to social insurance as the urban population. Many urbanites fear that their existing entitlements to social protection will be diluted if social insurance coverage is extended to include new populations. Accordingly, state agencies and the media have sought to promote acceptance of a more positive view of migrant workers than has traditionally prevailed within towns and cities. We find that younger urban residents, urban residents who already have social insurance and urban residents working in the state-owned sector are more likely to agree that migrants have the same right to social insurance as the urban population. [source]

Pro-Poor Modes of Technical Integration into the Global Econom

Jeffrey James
Recent evidence indicates that globalization based on technical advances in information technology is creating a dualistic situation in the world economy, whereby the benefits tend to accrue to a narrow group of relatively affluent countries, while the majority lag behind. The purpose of this article is to suggest a framework within which to assess an alternative, pro-poor form of technical integration into the global economy , in other words, a form of globalization that benefits the poor as well as the rich. The article focuses particularly on the role that can be played by NGOs, aid donors and national governments in this endeavour. [source]

Conservation and management of the Arctic charr: a forward view

C. E. Adams
Abstract , In this study, we synthesised the views of 34 participants in a workshop to consider the status and future conservation and management of the Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.). These are expressed as a series of resolutions deriving from a conference on Arctic charr conservation held in Perth, Scotland in June 2004. Agreed resolutions from the conference were as follows. (i) The unique diversity of Arctic charr should be recognised for the contribution it makes to biodiversity of northern aquatic communities. (ii) The recognition by the public, nongovernmental organisations and national governments of the importance of Arctic charr in northern ecosystems is an important step to the management and protection that should be pursued. (iii) The taxonomic status of highly variable charr populations requires to be reviewed. (iv) There should be a separate system, complementary to the taxonomic one, which systematically catalogues the biological diversity of S. alpinus. (v) The Arctic charr provides a unique natural resource to study the process of evolution and this requires the highest level of protection from anthropogenic effects. (vi) The status of conservation policy for Arctic charr needs to be urgently reviewed to take account of its unique position in the fauna. [source]

Fiscal policy and interest rates in Europe

ECONOMIC POLICY, Issue 47 2006
Riccardo Faini
SUMMARY Fiscal policy and interest rates in Europe The appetite for fiscal discipline has been steadily declining among most industrial countries. In the past, fiscal profligacy would have been punished by markets with higher interest rates and, in some cases, also exchange rate depreciation. However, in post-EMU Europe, exchange rate markets no longer discipline the fiscal behaviour of national governments. Perhaps more crucially, even the interest rate punishment to fiscal indiscipline is highly uncertain, with academic opinions being quite divided on this issue. This paper takes a close look at the link between fiscal policy and interest rates in the European context. The key finding is that an expansionary fiscal policy in one EMU member will have an effect both on its spreads and on the overall level of interest rates for the currency union as a whole, with the second effect, however, being quantitatively much more significant. This suggests that there are indeed substantial spillovers, through the interest rate channel, among fiscal policies of member countries. To limit countries' incentive to run expansionary fiscal policies, a set of rules, like those embedded in the Stability and Growth Pact, is then needed. Some (weak) evidence is also found that after EMU, interest rate spillovers seem to be more significant for high debt countries with unsustainable fiscal policies, reflecting perhaps market concerns about a possible sovereign bail out or the impact of financial distress. There may be a case then for imposing tighter rules on high debt countries. , Riccardo Faini [source]

The German sustainable development strategy: facing policy, management and political strategy assessments

Ralf Tils
Abstract The Germans' conviction of being an international frontrunner in environmental policy stands in contrast to the unwillingness of the German national governments of the 1990s to undertake a commitment for a nationwide sustainable development strategy. Using five core strategy categories, namely horizontal and vertical integration, participation, implementation mechanism, monitoring and evaluation, this article provides an overview of the German sustainable development strategy preparation and implementation process. While the strategy is an ambitious concept, it also exhibits important shortcomings when viewed with different analytical perspectives such as policy, management and political strategy. Only with all of these perspectives combined can we arrive at specific conclusions about the assessment of the strategy process and make the essential characteristics of political strategy apparent. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Understanding the costs of an environmentally ,friendly' common agricultural policy for the European Union1,

Pamela M. Barnes
Part of the bedrock of the European Union's (EU's) Environmental Policy is the principle that those who pollute the environment should pay for the cost of remedying the damage they cause (the polluter pays principle) (Article 174 para. 2 TEC ex Article 130r TEC). In addition environmental objectives must be integrated into all the sectoral policies of the European Union (Article 6 TEC ex Article 3c TEC). The Common Agricultural Policy's (CAP's) role at the centre of the EU's sectoral policies would appear to make it an ideal focus for implementing Article 6 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC). If integration of environmental protection can be achieved in this central area of the EU's activities then a major source of environmental degradation could be overcome. However, if these requirements are applied to European agriculture the sector will face a budgetary and financial crisis of even greater magnitude than at the present time. Recent reforms of the CAP have been designed with the objective of achieving an agricultural sector that is moving towards sustainability. As this article argues the political, social and economic significance of the agriculture sector is such that national governments of the EU have repeatedly shied away from adopting the measures, which could significantly reduce the pollution from the sector. The proposals for reform made by the Agricultural Commissioner, Franz Fischler, were amended by the meeting of the European Council that took place in Berlin on 24/25 March 1999. These amendments substantially weakened the ambitions of the strategy for development of the EU, the ,Agenda 2000' adopted in 1997, for a number of reasons (CEC, 1997). This article examines the reasons for the disappointments with the amended reforms and speculates on the possible future path that may be taken to improve matters. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Referendums and the Political Constitutionalisation of the EU

Min Shu
One is the revision of national constitutions to accommodate the integration project at the national level. The other is the construction of transnational rules to regulate novel inter-state relationships at the European level. EU referendums are contextualised in such a duel constitutionalisation process. At the domestic level, EU referendums handle the debates on national constitutional revision. At the transnational level, these popular votes ratify supranational constitutional documents. The article comparatively analyses three types of EU referendums,membership, policy and treaty referendums,according to this analytical framework, exploring the campaign mobilisation of voters, national governments, and transnational institutions, and examining the legal and political interaction between referendums and European integration. A key finding is that, as the dual constitutionalisation process deepens and widens, entrenched domestic players and restrained transnational actors are under increasing pressure to ,voice' themselves in EU referendums. [source]

Trouble on the reef: the imperative for managing vulnerable and valuable fisheries

Yvonne Sadovy
Abstract Reef fishes are significant socially, nutritionally and economically, yet biologically they are vulnerable to both over-exploitation and degradation of their habitat. Their importance in the tropics for living conditions, human health, food security and economic development is enormous, with millions of people and hundreds of thousands of communities directly dependent, and many more indirectly so. Reef fish fisheries are also critical safety valves in times of economic or social hardship or disturbance, and are more efficient, less wasteful and support far more livelihoods per tonne produced than industrial scale fisheries. Yet, relative to other fisheries globally, those associated with coral reefs are under-managed, under-funded, under-monitored, and as a consequence, poorly understood or little regarded by national governments. Even among non-governmental organizations, which are increasingly active in tropical marine issues, there is typically little focus on reef-associated resources, the interest being more on biodiversity per se or protection of coral reef habitat. This essay explores the background and history to this situation, examines fishery trends over the last 30 years, and charts a possible way forward given the current realities of funding, capacity, development patterns and scientific understanding of coral reef ecosystems. The luxury live reef food-fish trade is used throughout as a case study because it exemplifies many of the problems and challenges of attaining sustainable use of coral reef-associated resources. The thesis developed is that sustaining reef fish fisheries and conserving biodiversity can be complementary, rather than contradictory, in terms of yield from reef systems. I identify changes in perspectives needed to move forward, suggest that we must be cautious of ,fashionable' solutions or apparent ,quick fixes', and argue that fundamental decisions must be made concerning the short and long-term values of coral reef-associated resources, particularly fish, for food and cash and regarding alternative sources of protein. Not to address the problems will inevitably lead to growing poverty, hardship and social unrest in many areas. [source]

The Politics of Belonging: Complexities of Identity in the Catalan Borderlands

Jouni Häkli
The rise of the European nation,state system profoundly influenced the map of linguistic and cultural minorities. Catalonia in northeastern Spain is no exception. The consolidation of the Spanish and French kingdoms during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries left Catalan speakers without political and cultural sovereignty. Furthermore, in the Treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659, the Catalan homeland els Països Catalans was divided by the Franco,Spanish border. Today, Catalan culture and politics enjoy increasing latitude in both Spain and France. This has encouraged various forms of cross,border co,operation in the Catalan borderlands. It has also led many Catalan nationalists to expect still greater political autonomy. Some activists have voiced claims for independence and even the reincorporation of the Spanish (el Principat) and French Catalonias (Catalunya Nord). However, political tensions regarding the borderland's development exist between the local actors and the Spanish and French national governments, as well as between Catalan nationalists and the population at large. This article examines these tensions, first by looking at cross,border co,operation efforts in Catalonia, and second by assessing the visible markers of identity that Catalan nationalists have placed in the border landscapes. These are contrasted with the results of a survey charting the opinions and attitudes of ,ordinary' Catalans. The article argues that there are significant cleavages among Catalans, and that the era of the nation,states has left a legacy of complex loyalties at international frontiers. [source]

Severe Deep Moist Convective Storms: Forecasting and Mitigation

David L. Arnold
Small-scale (2,20 km) circulations, termed ,severe deep moist convective storms', account for a disproportionate share of the world's insured weather-related losses. Spatial frequency maximums of severe convective events occur in South Africa, India, Mexico, the Caucasus, and Great Plains/Prairies region of North America, where the maximum tornado frequency occurs east of the Rocky Mountains. Interest in forecasting severe deep moist convective systems, especially those that produce tornadoes, dates to 1884 when tornado alerts were first provided in the central United States. Modern thunderstorm and tornado forecasting relies on technology and theory, but in the post-World War II era interest in forecasting has also been driven by public pressure. The forecasting process begins with a diagnostic analysis, in which the forecaster considers the potential of the atmospheric environment to produce severe convective storms (which requires knowledge of the evolving kinematic and thermodynamic fields, and the character of the land surface over which the storms will pass), and the likely character of the storms that may develop. Improvements in forecasting will likely depend on technological advancements, such as the development of phased-array radar systems and finer resolution numerical weather prediction models. Once initiated, the evolution of deep convective storms is monitored by satellite and radar. Mitigation of the hazards posed by severe deep moist convective storms is a three-step process, involving preparedness, response, and recovery. Preparedness implies that risks have been identified and organizations and individuals are familiar with a response plan. Response necessitates that potential events are identified before they occur and the developing threat is communicated to the public. Recovery is a function of the awareness of local, regional, and even national governments to the character and magnitude of potential events in specific locations, and whether or not long-term operational plans are in place at the time of disasters. [source]

Carbon stored in human settlements: the conterminous United States

Abstract Urban areas are home to more than half of the world's people, responsible for >70% of anthropogenic release of carbon dioxide and 76% of wood used for industrial purposes. By 2050 the proportion of the urban population is expected to increase to 70% worldwide. Despite fast rates of change and potential value for mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions, the organic carbon storage in human settlements has not been well quantified. Here, we show that human settlements can store as much carbon per unit area (23,42 kg C m,2 urban areas and 7,16 kg C m,2exurban areas) as tropical forests, which have the highest carbon density of natural ecosystems (4,25 kg C m,2). By the year 2000 carbon storage attributed to human settlements of the conterminous United States was 18 Pg of carbon or 10% of its total land carbon storage. Sixty-four percent of this carbon was attributed to soil, 20% to vegetation, 11% to landfills, and 5% to buildings. To offset rising urban emissions of carbon, regional and national governments should consider how to protect or even to increase carbon storage of human-dominated landscapes. Rigorous studies addressing carbon budgets of human settlements and vulnerability of their carbon storage are needed. [source]

Manipulating Rules, Contesting Solutions: Europeanization and the Politics of Restructuring Olympic Airways1

Kevin Featherstone
In recent years much debate has been generated over the reshaping of the European airline industry and the restructuring of many of the heavily indebted national flag-carriers across the European Union. The European Commission has sought to orchestrate this reform process by the gradual break up of monopolies in air travel and its associated services and a much tighter policing of state aid practices. The EU's liberalizing agenda in air transport, however, has met with strong domestic opposition in the member states. Nowhere else has the resistance to reform been stronger than in Greece, where for a decade successive attempts to restructure or privatize Olympic Airways have yielded very limited success. By focusing, in particular, on the initiative of the Greek government in 2003 to create a new ,Olympic Airlines', the article examines how domestic pressures prompted the Greek government to shift away from cooperation with the Commission and invite conflict. The Greek government lost an ECJ case and both Athens and the Commission were left with a sub-optimal outcome. By linking the narrative to the conceptual literature on Europeanization and compliance, the article addresses a number of themes including: the contestation of European competition rules and the ability of national governments to manipulate them, policy entrepreneurship and complex problem-solving, as well as the Commission's role as a stimulus, but potentially also an obstacle to domestic reform. [source]

The European Union after 9/11: The Demise of a Liberal Democratic Asylum Regime?

Carl Levy
This article examines the domestic and international pressures since 11 September 2001 on the liberal democratic asylum regime practised within the European Union. It looks at three areas of confrontation. The pressures exerted upon national governments by anti-immigrant and anti-asylum seeker/refugee far right populist parties. It examines the attempts by the European Union and its member states to arrive at a Common European Asylum System in light of policy developments over the past 20 years, and places these long-standing processes within the events of 11 September 2001. It discusses whether or not the liberal democratic tradition of asylum embodied in the Geneva Convention of 1951 been sacrificed to the dual pressures of the electoral victories of the far right in Europe and a new form of terrorism that threatens European societies. [source]

Defining Accountability Up: the Global Economic Multilaterals

Miles Kahler
Critics of the global economic multilaterals (GEMs) , the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization , allege that these organizations fail the test of democratic accountability. Two distinct measures of democratic accountability have been applied to the GEMs. To the degree that these organizations display ,accountability deficits', those deficiencies are the result of choices by the most influential national governments. Three techniques have been deployed to enhance the accountability of the GEMs: transparency (more information for those outside the institution), competition (imitation of democratic accountability) and changes in rules of representation (accountability to stakeholders rather than shareholders). Each of these may impose costs, however, and may conflict with other valued aims of the organizations. [source]