Recent Submissions

  • Interpreting signals in other peoples behavior to sense things about them and to infer things about their world

    Wu, W.; Sheppard, E.; Mitchell, Peter (2019-12)
    In this article, we propose a new framework for investigating how accurately and by what process people read others' minds—a process that requires perceivers to make a retrodictive inference. In this context, we discuss the value of a novel methodological approach that complements the conceptual framework. This framework is formulated on the basis of a series of empirical articles emerging over the past few years in which the ideas appear in nascent form. Retrodiction is the process in which, on observing a person's behavior (often but not exclusively a facial expression), people are equipped not only to sense the underlying inner state but also to infer the event that caused that inner state. Indeed, the goal of mindreading need not always be to identify an inner state explicitly but to infer the event that caused the inner state. Doing so is adaptive in that it permits access to a more expansive view of the world through the lens of another mind. This view of mindreading naturally leads to a reconsideration of methods that are fit for purpose and leads to testable hypotheses.
  • “We don’t know who be who”: post-party politics, forum shopping and Liberia’s 2017 elections

    Harris, David; Pailey, R.N. (2020)
    Liberia’s 2017 elections represented a watershed moment in the country’s political history. In addition to completing the first democratic transfer of power from one president to another since 1944, it resulted in wide representation across many different parties and independents as well as high levels of legislative turn-overs. Additionally, these polls brought forward unprecedented numbers of party reconfigurations, increased levels of defections, and politicians/parties losing abysmally in presumed ethno-regional bases. In this article, we argue that Liberia currently exists in a post-war arena of “post-party” politics where a profound disregard for parties is the norm, and in which the electorate and politicians alike forum shop for candidates and/or political configurations they presume will deliver the best results at national, sub-national and local levels. Although literature exploring electoral trends in Africa tends to over-emphasize ethno-regionalism as a driver and constraint in the choices of voters and politicians, we demonstrate instead that Liberians make relatively informed, strategic decisions about political alliances and ballot casting thereby subverting allegiances to ethnicity and region. By further eschewing party loyalties, Liberians have gradually become astute forum shoppers in a political marketplace that makes running for office and voting complex undertakings.
  • Iran's 2019-2020 demonstrations: the changing dynamics of political protests in Iran

    Shahi, Afshin; Abdoh-Tabrizi, E. (2020)
    The widespread protests of November 2019 may be marked as the bloodiest recent chapter of the Islamic Republic of Iran's history in terms of popular dissent. The two major protests in December 2017 and November 2019, followed by the public reaction to the shooting down of the Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 by the IRGC over Tehran after the US killing of General Soleimani, suggest that the prevailing dynamics of political protest in Iran are changing. There is an increasing sense of radicalisation among protesters, while the state is prepared to resort to extreme violence to maintain control. The geography of political protest has changed. The declining economic situation has had a profound impact on the more vulnerable segments of the society who are now increasingly playing a more proactive role in challenging the state. The methods of protest have been evolving over the last four decades, especially in the cultural arena. Last but not least, the willingness of the protesters both to endure and inflict violence is precipitously transforming state-society relations beyond recognition. This article begins by providing a brief overview of protest in the history of the Islamic Republic, up to the public reaction to the 2020 downing of the Ukrainian airline over Tehran. This provides a historical context to assess the ways in which both the political climate and protests have changed over the last four decades. A section identifying and analysing the factors which have created the current political cul-de-sac then follows. The changing dynamics of the protests are the result of the existing political gridlock and the economic crisis, and it is thus important to evaluate the prevailing conditions which have paved the way for the radicalisation of political climate in Iran. The final section examines the changing dynamics of political protest.
  • Peace, War and Gender in the Modern Era

    Pankhurst, Donna T. (2019-03-19)
    The practices and conceptions of peace and war have been highly gendered throughout world history. Indeed, the defining of genders has often itself been rooted in ideas and experiences of war and violence, with men as warriors, and women as the embodiment of peace. It is certainly the case that throughout human history the majority of war combatants have been men. By contrast many women have used their gendered identities, as mothers and guardians of life, in their activism in global peace movements, and in peacemaking at very local levels all over the globe. These gendered experiences of women and men have resonance everywhere in the world, but are also stereotypes. As well as being warriors and the bearers of violence, men have also resisted dominant social pressures to fight, and been active in movements to build peace. Women have also cajoled men, and socialised boys, to fight, and shamed those who did not. Thus, whereas a focus on the stereotypes suggests that the differences between women and men are due to their violent or peaceful natures, paying attention to the full range of behaviour of women and men makes it self-evident that these differences cannot be explained by biological differences alone, because they are so varied. Nonetheless, the roles played by women and men that go beyond the simple stereotypes are persistently regarded as transgressive or insignificant in many cultures, making it difficult to keep the broader picture in mind. That is not to say that gender differences are not significant however; gender remains one of the most important lenses through which to understand war and peace.
  • Ghana’s child panels: effective child protection and juvenile justice system or superfluous creation?

    Adu-Gyamfi, Jones (2019-12)
    In accordance with the United Nations’ requirements for dealing with juvenile offenders, Ghana’s Children Act 1998 mandated local authorities to establish child panels to mediate minor offences committed by children. However, to date there has not been any research that has examined the functioning and effectiveness of the child panels. This research examined the operationalisation and effectiveness of child panels in Ghana. The study involved the use of semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with panel members of four local authorities. Findings showed that the child panels are not functioning effectively in Ghana. The relevance of the child panels has been questioned since it was found to be duplicating the roles of some other child welfare agencies. This article discusses the challenges impeding the effectiveness of the child panels and outlines recommendations to improve their effectiveness.
  • Financial development, economic growth and human capital accumulation: what is the link?

    Das, K.; Harper, J.; Arora, Rashmi (2014-07)
    A number of studies have explored the factors influencing financial development. Among them are national legal origin, settler mortality hypothesis, institutional factors, political factors, macroeconomic policies including capital account openness, social capital and also cultural factors. The relationship between financial development, human capital and economic growth, although acknowledged in the theoretical literature remains less explored at the empirical level. In this study we examine interaction between financial development, human capital and economic growth. The study aims to understand and examine how financial development is related to human capital accumulation and economic growth in a unified framework. In a cross-country panel data context using rigourous econometric techniques we examine these questions.
  • The Politics of Accountability in South East Asia: The Dominance of Moral Ideologies

    Rodan, G.; Hughes, Caroline (Oxford University Press, 2014-02)
    Calls by political leaders, social activists, and international policy and aid actors for accountability reforms to improve governance have never been more widespread. For some analysts, the unprecedented scale of these pressures reflects the functional imperatives and power of liberal and democratic institutions accompanying greater global economic integration. This book offers a different perspective, investigating the crucial role of contrasting ideologies informing accountability movements and mediating reform directions in Southeast Asia. It argues that the most influential ideologies are not those promoting the political authority of democratic sovereign people or of liberalism's freely contracting individuals. Instead, in both post-authoritarian and authoritarian regimes, it is ideologies advancing the political authority of moral guardians interpreting or ordaining correct modes of behaviour for public officials. Elites exploit such ideologies to deflect and contain pressures for democratic and liberal reforms to governance institutions. The book's case studies include human rights, political decentralization, anticorruption, and social accountability reform movements in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. These studies highlight how effective propagation of moral ideologies is boosted by the presence of powerful organizations, notably religious bodies, political parties, and broadcast media. Meanwhile, civil society organizations of comparable clout advancing liberalism or democracy are lacking. The theoretical framework of the book has wide applicability. In other regions, with contrasting histories and political economies, the nature and extent of organizations and social actors shaping accountability politics will differ, but the importance of these factors to which ideologies prevail to shape reform directions will not.
  • International Intervention and Local Politics

    Hameiri, S.; Hughes, Caroline; Scarpello, F. (Cambridge University Press, 2017-08-24)
    International peace- and state-building interventions have become ubiquitous in international politics since the 1990s, aiming to tackle the security problems stemming from the instability afflicting many developing states. Their frequent failures have prompted a shift towards analysing how the interaction between interveners and recipients shapes outcomes. This book critically assesses the rapidly growing literature in international relations and development studies on international intervention and local politics. It advances an innovative approach, placing the politics of scale at the core of the conflicts and compromises shaping the outcomes of international intervention. Different scales - local, national, international - privilege different interests, unevenly allocating power, resources and political opportunity structures. Interveners and recipients thus pursue scalar strategies and socio-political alliances that reinforce their power and marginalise rivals. This approach is harnessed towards examining three prominent case studies of international intervention - Aceh, Cambodia and Solomon Islands - with a focus on public administration reform.
  • Intellectual Resistance Paul Schiemanns Rejection of The New Nationalist Wave 23 June 1932

    Housden, Martyn (Groniek, 2019)
    Paul Schiemann’s name is well-known only in relatively small academic circles, for example among historians interested in Latvia, the Baltic states and German national minorities. He had formidable intellectual strength, clear moral vision and substantial personal courage, all of which enabled him to resist the rise of Nazism among German national minorities. This paper explains Schiemann’s world view, together with his attempts to promote values of tolerance and justice in the face of destructive nationalism.
  • Should universities actively help build peace? Reflections from 'Programme for a Peaceful City'

    Cumming, Lisa F.; Chesters, Graeme S.; Khatun, A. (Routledge, 2017)
    This chapter draws on the experience of Programme for a Peaceful City (PPC) at the University of Bradford. The PPC has created spaces to exchange ideas about peace thinking and practice for over ten years, in response to some of the worst rioting the UK mainland has ever seen and heated domestic debates about cohesion and multiculturalism. Its work continues to be rooted in a constantly shifting local context and this chapter describes the spaces created for academics, practitioners and activists to exchange knowledge and ideas about conflict, participatory peacebuilding, good relationships and social change.
  • Lafayette, the Lameths and 'republican monarchy'

    Price, Munro (Virginia University Press, 2020-01)
  • Security, culture and human rights in the Middle East and South Asia

    Bluth, Christoph (Xlibris, 2019-08)
    European countries are dealing with an increasing number of refugees seeking asylum. Country evidence is critical in the assessment of any asylum claim. The purpose of this study is to review some of the common issues which frequently are the focus of asylum appeal cases in relation to applicants from South Asia and the Middle East. The focus is on Pakistan, Iraq and Iran and it covers a range of issues that give rise to asylum claims, such as the general security situation, the risk from terrorism and other forms of political violence, the risk to political opponents of governments, the risks in blood feuds and from the perceived violation of family honour, religious persecution and the risks faced by ethnic minorities. It is a very useful resource to volunteers and professionals involved in supporting asylum seekers.
  • New frontiers of the capability approach

    Comim, F.; Fennell, S.; Anand, Prathivadi B. (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
    For over three decades, the capability approach proposed and developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum has had a distinct impact on development theories and approaches because it goes beyond an economic conception of development and engages with the normative aspects of development. This book explores the new frontiers of the capability approach and its links to human development in three main areas. First, it delves into the philosophical foundations of the approach, re-examining its links to concepts of common good, collective agency and epistemic diversity. Secondly, it addresses its 'operational frontier', aiming to give inclusive explanations of some of the most advanced methods available for capability researchers. Thirdly, it offers a wide range of the applications of this approach, as carried out by a mix of renowned capability scholars and researchers from different disciplines. This broad interdisciplinary range includes the areas of human and sustainable development, inequalities, labour markets, education, special needs, cities, urban planning, housing, social capital and happiness studies, among others.
  • Strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention: The vital importance of a web of prevention for effective biosafety and biosecurity in the 21st Century

    Novossiolova, Tatyana; Whitby, Simon M.; Dando, Malcolm R.; Pearson, Graham S. (Biological Weapons Convention, 2019-11)
  • Ethics, neuroscience and public policy: can team-based learning be a means to raise awareness of the problem of dual-use among practicing neuroscientists?

    Whitby, Simon M.; Dando, Malcolm R. (Routledge, 2018-11-02)
    The revolution in neuroscience, based on the recent development of novel techniques such as brain imaging that allow greater insight into the working of the central nervous system, will be accelerated by the injection of major funding in state-level brain research projects around the world and will undoubtedly lead to great benefits. However, the results of the research may be subject to hostile misuse, which in the context of chemical and biological weapons has been called the problem of dual use. An example could be the development of novel so-called non-lethal incapacitating chemical and biological agents that attack the central nervous system based on the knowledge derived from benignly-intended civil brain research. Unfortunately, most practicing neuroscientists are not aware of this problem and therefore cannot add their expertise to efforts to prevent such misuse. This paper reviews an attempt to test whether a Team-Based Learning (TBL) active learning exercise could be used to raise awareness of the problem of dual use amongst a group of practicing neuroscientists. It is concluded that TBL is a useful approach, but to effectively engage neuroscientists in helping to deal with dual use it would need to be incorporated within a co-ordinated national, regional and international educational initiative.
  • Capacity development for civil service reform in Croatia

    Analoui, Bejan David; Analoui, Farhad (Routledge, UK., 2016-10)
  • Water security and the rise of sectarian conflict in Yemen

    Shahi, Afshin; Vachkova, M. (The CRC Press,, 2018-10)
  • The Shi'i State and the socioeconomic challenges of the Sunni communities in Iran: historical and contemporary perspectives

    Shahi, Afshin; Abdoh-Tabrizi, E. (Hurst, 2019)
    Although Iran is one of the most diverse nations in the Middle East, the state historically has been reluctant to adapt a pluralistic approach to both socio-political and economic development. This chapter focuses on the Sunni population in Iran, which is often overlooked in studies dealing with state-minority relations in Iran. It examines the socio-economic challenges of the Sunni population under both the Pahlavi dynasty and the Islamic Republic. Although the Islamic Republic based its ideology both on redistribution of wealth and empowerment of the impoverished, the ethnic Sunni Iranians who lived in the most impoverished regions of the country received very little attention from the new post-revolutionary order.
  • Talibanization of the Islamic State and the quest for retrospective legitimacy

    Shahi, Afshin; Mohamad, A. (2019)
    This paper develops the notion of ‘Talibanization’ – a concept which stems from the resilience and the determination of the Taliban to remain a dominant player in Afghanistan even after the downfall of their state in 2001. The factors that helped the Taliban to maintain their influence after the disintegration of their state constitute a pattern which could be applied to other conflict-driven areas such as Syria. By critically examining the socio-political conditions in the Syrian district of Jarablus, this paper demonstrates the ways in which the inept post-IS administration is inadvertently helping IS to gain what we call ‘retrospective legitimacy’ a drive which could sustain its influence for many years following its downfall.
  • Sierra Leone: A Political History

    Harris, David (Hurst, 2020-06)

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