• A phoenix of the modern world: the re-emergence of National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and its implications for scientific partners

      Walther, Gerald; Dando, Malcolm R. (2015)
      While there are many mythical stories of various kinds about the Phoenix it retains several features throughout all of them. In ancient Egypt, the Phoenix was the prodigy of the sun god Ra and appeared in the shape of a giant bird of fire, which was one of the most beautiful creatures on earth. It was remarkable in that it could not foster any offspring and at the end of its life would explode in a ball of fire. Out of the ashes, an egg is formed which then hatches the Phoenix again in its young form. The cry of a Phoenix was supposed to be of miraculous beauty. This chapter will explore if the Phoenix is a suitable metaphor for the recent re-emergence of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which was tasked with providing scientific expertise to the government on questions of the security risks of emerging science and technology in the life sciences. The analogy to the Phoenix suggests itself because the NSABB, chartered in 2004, had been inactive for over two years and only recently took up its work. The comparison between the Phoenix and the NSABB gives rise to several questions: first, has the re-emergence of the NSABB been met with an equally beautiful cry of joy among the scientists and security experts? Second, what happens when the Phoenix lies dormant? And third, what took place before the Phoenix was created?
    • Access to finance: an empirical analysis

      Arora, Rashmi (2014-12)
      Financial access is gradually being recognised as an important input to economic development. Using World Bank (2007) database, this study measures the extent of financial access in developed and developing countries. Further, it develops a new Socio-Economic Development Index, which incorporates financial access. It then compares socio-economic development of various countries as shown by Human Development Index (HDI) alone and by the new index incorporating financial access. The results of the study show that Spain ranks highest in terms of financial access followed by Belgium, Malta and South Korea. In addition, the ranking of countries in terms of HDI changes if financial access is taken into account
    • Accounting for success and failure: a discursive psychological approach to sport talk

      Locke, Abigail (2004)
      In recent years, constructionist methodologies such as discursive psychology (Edwards & Potter, 1992) have begun to be used in sport research. This paper provides a practical guide to applying a discursive psychological approach to sport data. It discusses the assumptions and principles of discursive psychology and outlines the stages of a discursive study from choice of data through to transcription and analysis. Finally, the paper demonstrates a discursive psychological analysis on sport data where athletes are accounting for success and failure in competition. The analysis demonstrates that for both success and failure, there is an apparent dilution of personal agency, to either maintain their modesty in the case of success or to manage blame when talking about failure. It is concluded that discursive psychology has much to offer sport research as it provides a methodology for in-depth studies of supporting interactions.
    • Accurate inferences of others thoughts depend on where they stand on the empathic trait continuum

      Wu, W.; Mitchell, Peter (2019-10)
      This research explores the possibility that a person's (perceiver's) prospects of making a correct inference of another person's (target's) inner states depends on the personal characteristics of the target, potentially relating to how readable they are. Twenty-seven targets completed the Empathy Quotient (EQ) and were classified as having low, average or high EQ. They were unobtrusively videoed while thinking of an event of happiness, gratitude, anger and sadness. After observing targets thinking of such a past event, fifty-two perceivers (participants) in Study 1 were asked to infer what the target was thinking, and fifty perceivers in Study 2 were asked to rate the target's expression – positive or negative. Results suggested that (1) perceivers' accuracy in detecting targets' thoughts depended on which EQ group the target belonged to, and (2) target readability is not a proxy measure for level of target expressiveness. In other words, something about EQ status renders targets more or less easy to read in a way that is not simply explained by expressive people being more readable. We conclude with discussion of the importance of the target's trait as well as situation they experience in determining how accurately a perceiver might infer their inner states.
    • Act now to close chemical-weapons loophole

      Shang, Lijun; Crowley, Michael J.A.; Dando, Malcolm R. (2018-10-18)
      As the Fourth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention meets next month, state parties need to address mounting concerns about the potential development and use of law-enforcement weapons involving chemical agents that act on the central nervous system (CNS).
    • Actualising the `democratic family'? Swedish policy rhetoric versus family practices.

      Ahlberg, J.; Roman, C.; Duncan, Simon (Oxford University Press, 2008)
      In this paper we examine empirically a key element of individualisation theory - the democratic family. We do so using the `acid test' of family policy, and family practice, in Sweden. First we review the progress of family policy in Sweden since the 1960s, which has expressly promoted an agenda of gender equality and democracy in families, with individual autonomy for both adults and children as one key element. We then turn to family practice, looking particularly at negotiation and adult equality, lifelong parenting after separation, and children's autonomy. While Swedish policy makers and shapers seem to have developed the idea of the democratic family long before the sociologist Anthony Giddens, the results in practice have been more ambivalent. While there has been change, there is more adaptation to pre-existing gender and generational norms.
    • Administrative Decision Making in Child-Care Work: Exploring Issues of Judgement and Decision Making in the Context of Human Rights, and Its Relevance for Social Workers and Managers

      Holt, Kim; Kelly, Nancy (2014)
      The Public Law Outline (PLO) introduced in England and Wales in April 2008 appeared to hold out the promise of a fairer process for parents within pre-proceedings decision-making processes that determine whether or not the local authority will make an application to court. Whilst the rhetoric of the PLO to provide consensual solutions within administrative rather than judicial decision-making processes may be laudable, there are tensions and dilemmas in ensuring the rights of parents and children are protected when important decisions are being made without the oversight of the court. Despite the rhetoric of keeping children and families at the heart, there appears no relief from the procedural and managerial processes set within a context of public sector cuts affecting all professionals tasked with protecting children. Achieving justice for children and families to ensure their rights are protected within a protocol that necessitates increased resources will be a challenge.
    • Adult recollections of childhood memories: What details can be recalled?

      Wells, C.E.; Morrison, Catriona M.; Conway, M.A. (2013-12-03)
      In a memory survey, adult respondents recalled, dated, and described two earliest positive and negative memories that they were highly confident were memories. They then answered a series of questions that focused on memory details such as clothing, duration, weather, and so on. Few differences were found between positive and negative memories, which on average had 4/5 details and dated to the age of 6/6.5 years. Memory for details about activity, location, and who was present was good; memory for all other details was poorer or at floor. Taken together, these findings indicate that (full) earliest memories may be considerably later than previously thought and that they rarely contain the sort of specific details targeted by professional investigators. The resulting normative profile of memory details reported here can be used to evaluate overly specific childhood autobiographical memories and to identify memory details with a low probability of recall.
    • Adults who grew up in care: constructing the self and accessing care files.

      Horrocks, Christine; Goddard, James A. (2006)
      Past research on care leavers has, understandably, tended to focus on those who are in their mid- to late-teens or early 20s. This reflects the profound impact of central and local government policy on those young people. It also reflects their prominence in contemporary analyses of most of the indicators of social exclusion among young people in the UK - unemployment, homelessness and lack of educational qualifications among them. However, some issues affecting adults who grew up in care apply across the life course. One such issue is the access that former care adults have to their child care files. Indeed, as we shall see, this issue has particular importance for many older adults (in their 30s and upwards). Policy and practice in this field has changed significantly during the past 20¿years and there is a growing awareness of the needs of former care adults in this area. Access to such files can be a significant element in the process of seeking to address identity concerns centring around family and childhood experiences. This paper explores some of these identity concerns and analyses how access to care files both reflects such concerns and attempts to address them.
    • Advice on Portfolio Development in the Eastern Partnership region and Russia: implications of Ukraine conflicts

      Greene, Owen J.; Morris, K.; Paasiaro, M. (2015-02-01)
      Sida requested the Helpdesk to review and analyse the direct and indirect implications of the conflict in Ukraine in 2014 for the portfolio of programmes supported by Sida in the Eastern Partnership Region (EaP) and in Russia; taking into account the Results Strategies for Sweden’s support to these regions and countries.
    • Age and task difficulty differences in dual tasking using circle tracing and serial subtraction tasks

      Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Stout, J.C. (2014-04)
      The aim of this study was to investigate age-related differences in dual task performance by using an upper limb proprioceptive task. Twenty-eight younger (18–30 years) and 28 older (>60 years) healthy adults performed circle tracing and serial subtraction tasks separately and concurrently. The tasks had two levels of difficulty: easy and hard. The circle tracing task included direct (easy) and indirect (hard) visual feedback conditions, and it was paired with serial subtraction by twos (easy) or threes (hard). We found that older adults were significantly slower than younger adults across all conditions and had significantly greater dual task costs when they performed circle tracing with easy serial subtraction. Higher levels of task difficulty were associated with slower speed in both groups. We found no age differences in accuracy. Participants either traded speed for accuracy or accuracy for speed regardless of age group. Overall, the findings suggest that speed and accuracy may be affected differently during dual tasking. In addition, older adults may rely more extensively on proprioceptive feedback to guide upper limb movement compared with younger adults.
    • Agency, ‘good motherhood’ and ‘a load of mush’: Constructions of baby-led weaning in the press

      Locke, Abigail (2015-11)
      In this age of ‘intensive motherhood’, new mothers are flooded with information on the best ways in which to raise their children. One of the key issues is infant feeding, in particular, the timing and method of weaning their children onto solid food. This paper examines a new approach called ‘baby-led weaning’ (BLW) in which the child feeds themselves instead of being spoon-fed, that came into popular parenting culture in recent years, considering the ways in which it is represented in National and International newspapers. The media search database Proquest International Newsstand, was searched for ‘baby-led weaning’, producing an eventual sample of 78 articles from a number of countries. The articles were subjected to a critical discursive psychological analysis. The key themes that emerged from the newspapers focused around two main areas; the infant as agentive in their eating behaviours; and, constructions of maternal identities and resisting ‘good motherhood’.
    • The Aid paradigm for poverty reduction: Does it make sense?

      Weiss, John A. (Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the ODI, 2008)
      Whilst thinking on economic policy for development has undergone many shifts with the perceived weak results of earlier adjustment reforms a new donor consensus has emerged based around the central themes of economic growth, good governance and social development. This paper examines the logic behind this new Aid paradigm and discusses the empirical evidence to support it. A nuanced story is revealed with country circumstances playing a critical role and particular interventions varying in impact across countries. For example, growth does not always lead to gains for the poor that match the national average; public expenditure needs to be targeted to achieve social development but effective targeting is difficult; governance reform may be critical but there is no simple governance blueprint and the corruption-growth association need not always be negative.
    • Aid, growth and peace: A comparative analysis.

      Suhrke, A.; Buckmaster, J. (University of Bradford, 2005)
      The paper examines patterns of post-conflict aid in a sample of 14 countries, with in-depth, qualitative analysis of seven cases (Bosnia, Cambodia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mozambique and Rwanda). The study takes previous work by Paul Collier and associates in this area as a starting point, but disaggregates the data by type of aid, time intervals, and historical period. The findings significantly qualify the Collier conclusion to the effect that donors respond to a CNN-effect in a dysfunctional manner by rushing in aid soon after a peace agreement is concluded and scaling back too soon. Rather, disaggregated analysis shows that post-war aid follows several patterns and can best be understood as strategic behavior designed to promote a range of economic and political objectives. This paper also questions the related policy recommendation of the Collier research on post-conflict aid, namely that post-conflict aid should be phased in so as to maximize economic growth on the grounds that this is important to sustain peace during the first post-conflict decade. Instead, this paper finds, aid strategies that demonstrate early and firm donor commitment to the new order are more likely to stabilize peace in the short run, and aid strategies that address the underlying sources of conflict are important to sustain peace in the longer run.
    • AIDS activism, stigma and violence: A literature review.

      Boesten, Jelke (University of Bradford, 2007)
      This paper provides an overview of the literature on AIDS activism, stigma, and violence. The literature on AIDS activism, stigma and violence discussed suggests that the physical, emotional and social violence that AIDS as a disease, and stigma as a social construct tied to that disease, can be turned into an empowering experience that joins HIV positive people in productive and constructive networks, that this empowerment fundamentally changes one¿s identity, and that such disease-based identities are reshaping notions of citizenship around the globe. This hypothesis is built, however, on theory and on experiences in a) richer countries with a completely different epidemiology than that of sub-Saharan Africa, b) a highly politicised and activist country such as South Africa, and on c) initial ethnographic evidence from West African countries. Although this seems enough evidence to tentatively observe a trend, we need far more evidence from diverse contexts if this transformative potential is to be explored to the full. The paper concludes by drawing out a research agenda.
    • Alcohol, empathy, and morality: acute effects of alcohol consumption on affective empathy and moral decision-making

      Francis, Kathryn B.; Gummerum, M.; Ganis, G.; Howard, I.S.; Terbeck, S. (Springer, 2019-07)
      Rationale: Hypothetical moral dilemmas, pitting characteristically utilitarian and non-utilitarian outcomes against each other, have played a central role in investigations of moral decision-making. Preferences for utilitarian over non-utilitarian responses have been explained by two contrasting hypotheses; one implicating increased deliberative reasoning, and the other implicating diminished harm aversion. In recent field experiments, these hypotheses have been investigated using alcohol intoxication to impair both social and cognitive functioning. These studies have found increased utilitarian responding, arguably as a result of alcohol impairing affective empathy. Objectives: The present research expands existing investigations by examining the acute effects of alcohol on affective empathy and subsequent moral judgments in traditional vignettes and moral actions in virtual reality, as well as physiological responses in moral dilemmas. Methods: Participants (N = 48) were administered either a placebo or alcohol in one of two dosages; low or moderate. Both pre- and post intervention, participants completed a moral action and moral judgment task alongside behavioural measures of affective empathy. Results: Higher dosages of alcohol consumption resulted in inappropriate empathic responses to facial displays of emotion, mirroring responses of individuals high in trait psychopathy, but empathy for pain was unaffected. Whilst affective empathy was influenced by alcohol consumption in a facial responding task, both moral judgments and moral actions were unaffected. Conclusions: These results suggest that facets, beyond or in addition to deficits in affective empathy, might influence the relationship between alcohol consumption and utilitarian endorsements.