National Level (national + level)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Elites in Local Development in the Philippines

Andreas Lange
ABSTRACT For many Philippine provinces, decentralization and more autonomous local development planning did not lead to the desired outcomes. This article examines the experiences of the two provinces of Cebu and Leyte. While Cebu became a centre of trade and industry, Leyte is still struggling with its local economy oriented to natural resources. A main reason for the divergent development paths of the two islands can be found in the emergence of different elite structures, which resulted in different path-dependent patterns of economic specialization. Despite this different historical experience, both provinces today suffer from similar institutional infirmities in their planning system for promoting local development. Local planning capacity constraints, such as regional and local co-ordination and co-operation patterns, local finances, human capital and knowledge are analysed. The Cebuano elites used the room for manoeuvre provided by decentralization reforms more successfully than elites in Leyte. This created pockets of efficiency in Cebu leading to more development-friendly investment policies. In order to increase local and regional planning capacity, short-term interventions and policy reforms at the local, regional and national level are discussed. [source]

Mental health care reform in Sweden, 1995

C.-G. Stefansson
Objective:,To describe the content of the Community Mental Health Care reform in Sweden, in effect from 1995 and directed to severely mentally ill people (SMI). Method:,Evaluating changes, at local and national level, in living conditions among SMI and resources of services directed to them, by using registers, questionnaires, interviews and case studies. Results:,A survey, covering 93% of the population, identified 43 000 SMI (prevalence of 0.63%); 4000 long-stay patients and 400 rehabilitation programmes were transferred from psychiatric services to social services (15% of the budget of psychiatric services). Employment and rehabilitation projects, family support and user programmes and educational projects for social services staff, were launched (funded by state subsidies). Conclusion:,SMI still have difficulties in obtaining adequate support on the basis of disability laws and there continue to be barriers between social services and psychiatric services. [source]

Revealing the socioeconomic impact of small disasters in Colombia using the DesInventar database

DISASTERS, Issue 2 2010
Mabel C. Marulanda
Small disasters are usually the product of climate variability and climate change. Analysis of them illustrates that they increase difficulties for local development,frequently affecting the livelihoods of poor people and perpetuating their level of poverty and human insecurity,and entail challenges for a country's development. In contrast to extreme events, small disasters are often invisible at the national level and their effects are not considered as relevant from a macroeconomic standpoint. Nevertheless, their accumulated impact causes economic, environmental and social problems. This paper presents the results of an evaluation of the DesInventar database, developed in 1994 by the Network for Social Studies in Disaster Prevention in Latin America. In addition, it proposes a new version of the Local Disaster Index developed in 2005 within the framework of the Disaster Risk and Management Indicators Program for the Americas, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank. [source]

Why Do Mortgage Markets Matter?

Geoffrey Meen
1999 saw the return of large scale mortgage equity - ie mortgage borrowing to finance consumption rather than house purchase - for the first time for a decade. Recent developments of the OEF macroeconometric model of the UK economy have focused on the determination of mortgage lending, looking in particular at the impact of downpayment constraints - ie the deposit borrowers have to put down when they buy a house. In this article, Geoffrey Meen uses this model to analyse the effects of mortgages on: (i) the cycle in the UK housing market at a national level; (ii) regional house price differentials; and (iii) aggregate savings and consumer behaviour. [source]

Delocation and European integration: is structural spending justified?

ECONOMIC POLICY, Issue 35 2002
Karen Helene Midelfart-Knarvik
SUMMARY How is European integration changing the location of industry? And what part are national and EU aids to industry playing in this process? We show that states and regions are becoming more specialized within the EU, but this process is very slow. While there is no evidence of polarization occurring at the national level, some regions are losing out. National state aids to industry appear to have little effect for either good or ill, since their effectiveness at attracting economic activity and employment is limited. European Structural Funds expenditure, by contrast, does have an effect on the location of industry, notably by attracting industries that are intensive in research and development. However, this effect has mostly been acting counter to states' comparative advantage , R&D-intensive industries have been encouraged by these aids to locate in countries and regions that have low endowments of skilled labour. Only in Ireland, where Structural Funds reinforced rather than offset comparative advantage, have poor regions been enabled systematically to catch up with the EU average. [source]

Chronic pain syndromes in the emergency department: Identifying guidelines for management

Kylie Baker
Abstract Objectives:, To explore current literature on chronic pain syndromes and develop ED recommendations for the management and minimalization of chronic non-cancer pain. Methods:, A focused literature review. Results:, Chronic pain is a common presentation to the ED but is poorly understood and managed. Research into the psychophysiology of chronic pain shows that there are definite changes in the receptive and processing pathways in patients suffering chronic pain syndromes. Evidence shows the effectiveness of early recognition with multimodal treatment, however high level evidence is lacking. All experts recommend balanced drug therapy, cognitive and behavioural interventions. Certain interventions are appropriate to the ED setting. Conclusions:, Emergency Medicine lacks a cohesive, informed strategy for management of chronic pain. The proposed guidelines represent the first step toward establishing consistency in the management of patients with chronic pain syndromes. Further work needs to be undertaken at a national level in developing evidence based guidelines. [source]

A survey of tobacco dependence treatment services in 36 countries

ADDICTION, Issue 2 2009
Martin Raw
ABSTRACT Aims This paper reports the results of a survey of national tobacco dependence treatment services in 36 countries. The objective was to describe the services and discuss the results in the context of Article 14 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which asks countries to promote adequate treatment for tobacco dependence. Design, setting and participants A questionnaire on tobacco dependence treatment services was e-mailed to a convenience sample of contacts in 2007. Completed questionnaires were received from contacts in 36 countries. Measurements The survey instrument was a 10-item questionnaire asking about treatment policy and practice, including medications. Findings According to our informants, fewer than half the countries in our survey had an official written policy on (44%), or a government official responsible for (49%), treatment. Only 19% had a specialized national treatment system and only 24% said help was easily available in general practice. Most countries (94%) allowed the sale of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), bupropion (75%) and varenicline (69%) but only 40% permitted NRT on ,general sale'. Very few countries responding to the question fully reimbursed any of the medications. Fewer than half (45%) fully reimbursed brief advice and only 29% fully reimbursed intensive specialist support. Only 31% of countries said that their official treatment policy included the mandatory recording of patients' smoking status in medical notes. Conclusion Taken together, our findings show that few countries have well-developed tobacco dependence treatment services and that, at a national level, treatment is not yet a priority in most countries. [source]

Nature conservation and urban development control in the Portuguese planning system: a new impetus against old praxis?

Teresa Fidelis
Abstract Natura 2000 areas bring a new incentive to assess the performance of land-use planning in protecting environmental values from the impacts of development pressures. In the last decades, urban growth and consequent environmental impacts on natural areas have been a major concern for the Portuguese land-use planning system. Sprawl around sensitive areas has been revealed to be a persistent phenomenon in spite of the increasing challenges underlying land-use plans. This article critically analyses the content of three main documents recently adopted by the Portuguese government , the ,National Strategy for Sustainable Development', the ,National Policy Programme for Spatial Planning' and the ,Sector Plan for Natura 2000' , seeking prospects to innovate future plans at lower levels in order to prevent additional pressures on natural areas. First, the article reviews the recent theoretical debate on planning for the protection of natural areas. Results evidenced by recent EU evaluation reports are used to propose a set of guidelines to evaluate planning guidance at national level. Second, it critically analyses the three planning documents, bearing in mind the main features of the planning system and the proposed guidelines. The article is concluded with a discussion of their potential, exploring whether they bring a new impetus to the role of land-use planning against an outdated and persistent praxis, or whether, on the contrary, further efforts to strengthen planning guidance remain to be formulated. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Waste management modeling with PC-based model , EASEWASTE

Gurbakhash S. Bhander
Abstract As life-cycle-thinking becomes more integrated into waste management, quantitative tools are needed for assessing waste management systems and technologies. This article presents a decision support model to deal with integrated solid waste management planning problems at a regional or national level. The model is called EASEWASTE (environmental assessment of solid waste systems and technologies). The model consists of a number of modules (submodels), each describing a process in a real waste management system, and these modules may combine to represent a complete waste management system in a scenario. EASEWASTE generates data on emissions (inventory), which are translated and aggregated into different environmental impact categories, e.g. the global warming, acidification, and toxicity. To facilitate a "first level" screening evaluation, default values for process parameters have been provided, wherever possible. The EASEWASTE model for life-cycle-assessment of waste management is described and applied to a case study for illustrative purposes. The case study involving hypothetical but realistic data demonstrates the functionality, usability, and flexibilities of the model. The design and implementation of the software successfully address the substantial challenges in integrating process modeling, life-cycle inventory (LCI), and impact assessment (LCIA) modeling, and optimization into an interactive decision support platform. © 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 2008 [source]

Structure and development of decision-support systems and their use by the State Plant Protection Services in Germany,

EPPO BULLETIN, Issue 1 2000
B. Kleinhenz
To ensure continuing work on decision-support systems (DSSs) and the elaboration of new systems according to the needs of the Plant Protection Services of the federal states of Germany, these services have installed ZEPP (Central Institution for Decision Support Systems and Programmes in Crop Protection). At the national level, ZEPP guarantees a permanent supply of meteorological data, organizes and co-ordinates trials, incorporates scientific progress into the existing DSSs and, in close co-operation with universities and federal research stations, develops new systems for important pests. The PASO desktop system includes a data bank that administers all relevant meteorological files and field data. It allows for automated simulation runs and forecasts, serving as input for timely warnings by different media. Depending on the individual decision-support modules, results are presented as tables and/or graphs. [source]

How political parties frame European integration

This article analyses how political parties frame European integration, and gauges the consistency of their argumentation. Over the course of investigation, one can see how actors' positions are justified, and how the European Union is perceived (i.e., what forces give rise to Euroscepticism and Europeanism). It is argued here that the parties' framing of issues depends on the interests they traditionally defend at the national level, their general positions on European integration, and whether or not they belong to the established political actors in their respective countries. The coding approach enables the relation of frames to actors and positions, moving beyond the techniques employed by existing studies that analyse the media presentation of European integration. Sophisticated frame categorisations are provided to capture the complex structure of argumentation, going beyond a simple dichotomy of economic and cultural frames. Relying on a large and original media dataset covering the period 2004,2006, six Western European countries are investigated. [source]

Interests and information in referendum voting: An analysis of Swiss voters

Thomas Christin
Referendums impose considerable informational demands on voters. Recent theoretical and empirical research has emphasized the different shortcuts and heuristics they may employ in deciding how to vote. Relying on a substantial series of votes at the national level in Switzerland, we provide empirical tests on how Swiss voters cope with the informational demands in referendum voting. We combine simple heuristics, like partisan cues and endorsements, with indicators of instrumental interests to explain citizens' choices in a series of votes. [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]

Why the Open Method of Coordination Is Bad For You: A Letter to the EU

Vassilis Hatzopoulos
Most writers explore the tentative outcomes of the method, since they lack a solid experimental background, against which to assess its actual effectiveness. Lately, however, some empirical studies have come to light. Among them, some fully discredit the OMC as a means of pursuing common policies at the EU level; while others recognise indirect effects, essentially at the national level of policy setting. On the basis of this assumption, i.e. that the OMC has only restricted direct effects in the short term and indirect effects in the medium to long term, the present article first puts forward a series of arguments against the current ,spread' of the OMC, and then offers some proposals on how to neutralise some of the identified shortfalls of the OMC. Despite the title of the article, the final conclusion is not for the demise of the OMC, but rather for its ,communautarisation'. It is put forward that both the application and the effects of the OMC should be more clearly defined and better integrated with the other pre-existing forms of cooperation, in accordance with basic requirements stemming from the Community legal order. [source]

Drivers of Unsustainable Land Use in the Semi-Arid Khabur River Basin, Syria

Abstract The semi-arid zone of Southwest Asia, known as the Fertile Crescent, is under unprecedented stress because of agricultural development. Where rain-fed agriculture and transhumant herding had prevailed over ten millennia, today intensive cultivation with irrigation threatens future sustainability. A number of interconnected, but uncoordinated drivers of change combine to shape the landscape and its future, and their changes make it hard to anticipate future requirements and opportunities, as well as to implement policies, whether by local stakeholders or at the national level. Among the factors that comprise the socio-natural systems are (1) climate, (2) water and soil resources, (3) history of land use, (4) social, economic and political factors, (5) infrastructural developments (6) interstate impacts, and (7) legacies of the past. The example of the Khabur River drainage in northeastern Syria shows the dynamic interplay among these factors over the past 70 years, with implications for the way future policies and practices are developed. [source]

Opinions of Swedish citizens, health-care politicians, administrators and doctors on rationing and health-care financing

Per Rosén
Objective ,To compare the views of citizens and health-care decision-makers on health-care financing, the limits of public health-care, and resource allocation. Design ,A postal survey based on a randomized sample of adults taken by the national registration and stratified samples of health-care politicians, administrators, and doctors in five Swedish counties. Participants ,A total number of 1194 citizens (response rate 60%) and 427 decision-makers (response rate 69%). Results ,The general public have high expectations of public health-care, expectations that do not fit with the decision-makers' views on what should be offered. To overcome the discrepancy between demand and resources, physicians prefer increased patient fees and complementary private insurance schemes to a higher degree than do the other respondents. Physicians take a more favourable view of letting politicians on a national level exert a greater influence on resource allocation within public health-care. A majority of physicians want politicians to assume a greater responsibility for the exclusion of certain therapies or diagnoses. Most politicians, on the other hand, prefer physicians to make more rigorous decisions as to which medical indications should entitle a person to public health-care. Conclusions ,The gap between public expectations and health-care resources makes it more important to be clear about who should be accountable for resource-allocation decisions in public health-care. Significant differences between physicians' and politicians' opinions on financing and responsibility for prioritization make the question of accountability even more important. [source]

Fighting for Other Folks' Wages: The Logic and Illogic of Living Wage Campaigns

Living wage campaigns have enacted ordinances/policies to raise low wages in over 100 localities. The campaigns galvanize citizens more than national economic issues and allow for pay increases fine-tuned to local realities, but cover relatively few workers. To help the low-paid broadly, the coalitions in living wage campaigns have to scale up to the state or national level while unions and national groups work to devolve labor issues from the gridlock at the federal level to states and localities. [source]

Mind the gap: national and local partnership in the Irish public sector

Michael Doherty
ABSTRACT This article uses case study data from a major Irish city council to investigate and explain public sector worker attitudes towards social partnership at local and national level. It is argued that the more sceptical attitudes to workplace partnership reflect structural differences between local and national arrangements, which have enabled public sector employers to use ,social partnership' as a constraint in the implementation process of a pre-determined public sector reform agenda. [source]

Geographical variations of inflammatory bowel disease in France: A study based on national health insurance data

Virginie Nerich
Abstract Background and Aim: A north-south gradient in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) incidence has been found in Europe and the United States. Its existence is inferred from comparisons of registries that cover only small portions of territories. Several studies suggest that IBD incidence in the north has reached a plateau, whereas in the south it has risen sharply. This evolution tends to reduce the north-south gradient, and it is uncertain whether it still exists. In France, patients with IBD are fully reimbursed for their health expenses by the national health insurance system, which is a potential source of data concerning the incidence of IBD at the national level. The aim of this study was to assess the geographical distribution of Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) in France and to test the north-south gradient hypothesis. Methods: This study was conducted in metropolitan France and included patients to whom IBD reimbursement was newly attributed between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2002. Data provided relate to age, sex, postcode area of residence, and IBD type. The mapping of geographical distribution of smoothed relative risks (RR) of CD and UC was carried out using a Bayesian approach, taking into account autocorrelation and population size in each département. Results: In the overall population, incidence rates were 8.2 for CD and 7.2 for UC per 100,000 inhabitants. A clear north-south gradient was shown for CD. Départements with the highest smoothed RR were located in the northern third of France. By contrast, the geographical distribution of smoothed RR of UC was homogeneous. Conclusions: This study shows a north-south gradient in France for CD but not for UC. [source]

A zoological perspective on payments for ecosystem services

Jeffrey A. McNEELY
Abstract The concept of payments for ecosystem services is being developed as an important means of providing a more diverse flow of benefits to people living in and around habitats valuable for conservation. The Kyoto Protocol, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, includes a Clean Development Mechanism to provide for payments for certain forms of carbon sequestration that may benefit animal species (at least as an incidental benefit). Other market-based approaches for paying for carbon sequestration services outside the Kyoto framework are being promoted in various parts of the world. Another common form of payment for ecosystem services is compensating upstream landowners for managing their land in ways that maintain downstream water quality; this can include habitat management that benefits wild animal species. While biodiversity itself is difficult to value, it can be linked to other markets, such as certification in the case of sustainably-produced forest products. This paper expands on some of the markets for ecosystem services that also benefit wildlife, identifies relevant sources of information, and highlights some of the initiatives linking such markets to poverty alleviation. Making markets work for ecosystem services requires an appropriate policy framework, government support, operational institutional support, and innovation at scales from the site level to the national level. Zoologists have much to contribute to all of these steps. [source]

Misconduct in medical research: whose responsibility?

K. J. Breen
Abstract Examples of many types of misconduct in medical research continue to be reported. The true incidence is unknown because there is strong evidence of under-reporting as well as suggestions of increased detection. Risks to research participants may also be increasing, with contributing factors such as increased pressure on researchers to publish and to produce commercialization of their research. Institutions are perceived to typically respond slowly and inadequately to allegations of research misconduct. More could be done to try to prevent such mis­conduct, such as: (i) educating researchers about research ethics, (ii) assisting and protecting whistleblowers and (iii) instituting processes to adequately and promptly investigate and deal with allegations. In addition, a debate needs to take place as to whether research misconduct allegations should be dealt with at the institutional level or at a national level and whether medical boards should be routinely involved in the more serious breaches of ethical standards by medical practitioners engaged in research. (Intern Med J 2003; 33: 186,191) [source]

Power sector development in India with CO2 emission targets: Effects of regional grid integration and the role of clean technologies

A. K. Srivastava
Abstract The power sector in India at present comprises of five separate regional electricity grids having practically no integrated operation in between them. This study analyses the utility planning, environmental and economical effects of integrated power sector development at the national level in which the regional electric grids are developed and operated as one integrated system. It also examines the effects of selected CO2 emission reduction targets in the power sector and the role of renewable power generation technologies in India. The study shows that the integrated development and operation of the power system at the national level would reduce the total cost including fuel cost by 4912 million $, total capacity addition by 2784 MW, while the emission of CO2, SO2 and NOx would be reduced by 231.6 (1.9%), 0.8 (0.9%), 0.4 (1.2%) million tons, respectively, during the planning horizon. Furthermore, the study shows that the expected unserved energy, one of the indices of generation system reliability, would decrease to 26 GWh under integrated national power system from 5158 GWh. As different levels of CO2 emission reduction targets were imposed, there is a switching of generation from conventional coal plants to gas fired plants, clean coal technologies and nuclear based plants. As a result the capacity expansion cost has increased. It was found that wind power plant is most attractive and economical in the Indian perspective among the renewable options considered (Solar, wind and biomass). Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Deliberate self-harm (DSH) among older people: a retrospective study in Barnet, North London

Florian Alexander Ruths
Abstract Background Rates of suicide remain high among older people and those who deliberately self harm are believed to be at an increased risk of killing themselves in the future. If older people who deliberately harm themselves are to be helped by developments in services we need to understand what currently happens to them in terms of service provision and outcome. Methods A retrospective paper and electronic case note survey was carried out on all older people living in the London Borough of Barnet who presented to Accident & Emergency Departments with DSH over a two-year period. Ensuing actions and events were then tracked. Results Forty-three older people with DSH were identified. 18/43 (42%) had previous contact with local psychiatric services. The main method of DSH was overdose of medication (36/43 or 84%). Compared to the general population there were more women and widows. There were similar levels of physical ill-health. Thirty-seven of 43 (86%) received documented psychiatric input outside of hospital following the DSH. The mean follow-up period was 789.0 days (SD 419.8) and during this time 8/43 (19%) had a further documented episode of DSH, and 18/43 (40%) died from natural causes. Conclusions This study confirms the need for improved documentation of DSH and its coding; this needs to be reviewed at local and national level. The vast majority of older people who attempt suicide do have subsequent contact with psychiatric services. There is a strong likelihood of repeat DSH and a higher risk of death by natural causes, emphasising the need to conceptualise DSH as a risk factor relevant to all medical specialities. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

The EU integration process and the convergence of social protection benefits at national level

Jesús Alsasua
The essential objective of this article is to measure and interpret the degree of convergence of social protection benefits in European Union member states as the process of European integration has progressed. In this sense, the article analyses the potential role of per capita income and of the socio-demographic characteristics of the population as explanatory variables for the levels of social protection provision in European countries. The empirical study focuses on the period from 1985 to 1999, and investigates whether differences in welfare provision levels decreased as European integration progressed, in line with the convergence in economic and socio-demographic variables between member states. [source]

Which type of tourism matters to the regional economic growth?

Italy, The cases of Spain
Abstract Recently, the attention given to the importance of tourism in economic growth has significantly increased. However, research in this area mainly refers to international tourism and to the national level. This paper focuses on the influence of tourism on the economic growth of Spanish and Italian regions. Both international and domestic tourism are analysed and geographical location criteria are considered. Dynamic panel data techniques are applied. The results reveal that both international and domestic tourism have a significant and positive role for regional economic growth in Spain and Italy, although the pattern of these effects differs among different types of region. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Human resource development in the Sultanate of Oman

Pawan S. Budhwar
This study explores the scenario of human resource development (HRD) in the Sultanate of Oman. The investigation was conducted with the help of a questionnaire survey in stateowned enterprises (SOEs). The research findings highlight an increased emphasis on HRD initiatives at a national level in Omani firms. There is a significant degree of awareness among the top managers regarding the benefits of a strategic approach to HRD. Despite all this, the implementation of HRD programmes has not been particularly successful. This is because the state has not been able to develop the skills and competencies of the Omani workforce to the levels required under the sixth national five,year plan. The article makes a number of recommendations in this regard. It also highlights key research areas for further examination. [source]

The Increasing Political Power of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel: From Passive Citizenship to Active Citizenship

Tamar Horowitz
The immigrants in Israel from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) followed a different pattern of political growth than other immigrant groups. Their increased power began on the national level and moved down to the local level, rather than from the periphery toward the centre , the pattern followed by the Oriental Jewish immigrants. We can trace three stages in the development of their political power. The first stage was during the 1992 elections when the immigrants attempted to organize their own list. Though they failed, the results of the election strengthened them because they were given credit for the left's victory, giving them a sense of political effectiveness. The second stage came during the 1996 elections. It was a defining moment for the former Soviet immigrants' political power. In this stage external factors and internal factors reinforced each other. The change in the electoral system made it possible for the immigrants to vote for their community on the one hand and for a national figure on the other, thus resolving their identity dilemma. The local elections in 1998 marked the third stage in their political strength. They found the immigrant community better organized, with an improved understanding of its local interests, the capacity to put forward a strong local leadership, and a stronger link between the immigrant political centre and the local level. [source]

Engineered Migration and the Use of Refugees as Political Weapons: A Case Study of the 1994 Cuban Balseros Crisis

Kelly M. Greenhill
This paper presents a case study of the August 1994 Cuban balseros crisis, during which more than 35,000 fled the island and headed toward Florida in the span of a few weeks. It argues that Castro launched the crisis in an attempt to manipulate US fears of another Mariel, and in order to compel a shift in US policy, both on immigration and on a wider variety of issues. The paper further contends that from Castro's perspective, this exercise in coercion proved a qualified success , his third such successful use of the Cuban people as an asymmetric political weapon against the US. In addition, the paper argues that Castro's success was predicated on his ability to internationalize his own domestic crisis and transform it into an American domestic political and foreign policy crisis. Finally, it offers a novel explanation of how, why, and under what conditions, states and/or non,state actors may attempt to use refugees as coercive political weapons. Although dwarfed in size by the larger 1980 Mariel boatlift, the 1994 crisis is important for several reasons. First, despite its brevity, it had far reaching consequences for US,Cuban relations. Without warning or preamble, it catalyzed a shift in US policy vis,à,vis Cuban immigration that represented a radical departure from what it had been for the previous three decades. Second, it influenced US domestic politics on the national level, by expanding the scope and salience of the issue, and mobilizing not only Floridians, but also the larger public concerned about illegal immigration. Third, the crisis illustrated the potential potency of engineered migration as an asymmetric weapon of the weak. Finally, the brief, but significant, interactions of international and domestic actors in this case warrant examination because, although the 1994 crisis was limited, in its dynamics it resembles myriad other international refugee crises, large and small. Thus the case offers valuable lessons that may aid in dealing with future (real or threatened) crises. [source]

The right of all nations to access science, new technologies and sustainable development

Mohammad Reza Majidi
This article explores the need for reflection on the right of developing countries to science and technology in addition to explaining the place of the scientific rights of nations in human rights as a whole. The discussion was conducted in relation to sustainable development. Through the examination of the current situation and the challenges to sustainable development, and taking into account the imbalance in the distribution of the benefits of science and new technologies, the authors advocate a comprehensive approach to promote cooperation and capacity-building in this area. They argue that linkages should be adopted between micro-levels and macro-levels of analysis by elevating rights and related issues from individuals to the national level in the field of the right to science and technology, and from the national to the international level in the field of sustainable development in order to institutionalise and ensure individual and national rights to science, technology and sustainable development. The authors also believe in a multidimensional perspective based on the balanced flourishing of the material and immaterial aspects of humankind in order to realise these rights in the context of dialogue and cultural diversity and to promote the culture of sustainable and dynamic peace based on justice in knowledge societies. [source]

Minimum income schemes for the unemployed: a case study from Dalian, China*

Ge Daoshun
This article summarizes the background, implementation, and impact of a study of social welfare in Dalian, China, designed to enhance the efficiency and fairness of the minimum living protection scheme for unemployed people. While the scope of the case study is fairly narrow, its significance is much broader. In social and economic terms, China is currently undergoing a transitional period in the context of which social welfare reform is an important task. The setting up of a community public service agency in Dalian, as the result of both policy research and government action, is a successful example of Chinese social welfare reform. To that extent, the study is significant for social welfare reform at the national level, as well as providing references for the management of social transition in other developing countries. [source]