9A Joint University of Warwick and Monash University, South Africa
This research aimed to investigate the amount of political power that Colombian indigenous communities have and how it affects their political participation in the country and their relation with the government. In Colombia, in the past, all political decisions that affected the natives, such as policies regarding territories or the distribution of water or any other subsistence means were taken by the government without consulting the natives.
In this regard, the International Labour Organization ruled-1, through the Convention 169, the right to prior consultation, which refers to the obligation of the member nations to consult indigenous peoples in all matters that affect them in an open and participatory manner prior to any decision making.
EPICC focused in particular on the effects that the Convention had in Colombia, in order to understand whether the condition of the natives had improved and to investigate the effects of the propositions of the government to preserve the native communities. It also analysed the difficult position of the government, that has to face a number of very different requests and responses from each indigenous community.
This included having access to reserved information at the Ministry of Internal Affaires, participating as a delegate to the Permanent Bureau of Consultation, where the consultation between the government and the communities takes place and living with an indigenous community for a period of time to observe their culture and experience first hand their life-style. The research also dedicated special attention to the condition and role indigenous women in the community.
Xenophobia is a worldwide phenomenon, but recently, atrocious acts of violence have been occurring in South Africa which have resulted in extreme human rights violations. The topic will aid in understanding whether or not xenophobia is a natural phenomenon and whether it can be overcome and prevented.
Xenophobia is essentially a fear of individuals who do not measure up to our ideals of a â€˜personsâ€™, who differ from us on an empirical level, which leads to a diminished concept of personhood. The main focus of this paper is to explore the question: â€œDoes the concept of â€˜selfâ€™, as explained by Immanuel Kant, account for xenophobia because it is a predisposition for individuals to defend themselves against attacks made on their internal integrity, and can the â€˜selfâ€™ correct for such predispositions.â€� The presentation focuses on the works of Adrian M. S. Piper, who concludes that the self can develop and correct itself. In other words, a xenophobic fear can be combated. She even sayâ€™s that the differences between individuals can go from being feared to being intrinsically interesting.
It can be concluded that Kantâ€™s theory of personhood provides us with an explanation as to why individuals face difficulties when presented with experiences that are different to their ideas of â€˜selfâ€™ but also provides an individual with the resources they need to expand their limited empirical experiences, to thus embrace â€˜selfâ€™sâ€™ that differ from their original idea of â€˜selfâ€™ and thus correcting xenophobic ideas and action.
Tropical forests host some of the Earth's most biologically diverse natural ecosystems, making them of fundamental conservation concern. Despite this inherent value, they are experiencing widespread, aggressive habitat destruction; a trend exacerbated by the advent of climate change. In the primary, lowland forests of Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Borneo, we examined the diversity of herbaceous understory plants, aiming to test the accuracy of a commonly used method for building biodiversity estimation models. This work furthered the current endeavor in ecology to quantify biodiversity and identify areas of highest conservation value, such that the limited resources available for environmental conservation can be wisely allocated. Testing a 'species-accumulation' method of biodiversity estimation, we found that roughly 15 (1 x 1 m) quadrats represented a sufficient sampling effort to produce an accurate 'species-accumulation' model for the herbaceous understory. Moreover, small-scale disturbances introduced by the boardwalks that allow ecotourists and park management to access Gunung Mulu significantly affected the distribution of species richness in the area. Because of this ecological heterogeneity, the direction in which we sampled (towards or away from the boardwalk) significantly altered the shape of the species-accumulation models we produced, as well as the accuracy of the final biodiversity estimate. To our knowledge, no previous studies have examine the effects of disturbance-related heterogeneity on estimating plant diversity. These findings imply a methodological approach to improving the accuracy of our biodiversity estimation models, and our decisions about the conservation of tropical forests.
This research aims to investigate how policies fostering access to finance in Brazil are impacting on the gender gap, enabling me to engage in a combination of social, cultural, and economic analysis. While there are numerous ways to measure access to finance in any given economy, due to the limited time I have to carry out this research in Brazil, I will measure access to finance by primarily focussing on women’s access to credit for micro-business loans in Brazil. My hypothesis is that women have less access to credit in comparison to men. If this is proven correct by the data I gather, I hope to discover whether all females are disadvantaged in this way or whether such disadvantage is coupled more with being a type of woman, taking into account identity intersectional factors, such as exploring whether females of a certain age, ethnicity, sexuality or social class are particularly disadvantaged I intend to liaise with local organisations such as NGOs, banks and micro-finance organisations to find out whether the current policies and the legal framework are adequate to ensure a broader inclusion of women in the Brazilian credit market. This research will illustrate how two seemingly separate frameworks (Financial Regulation and Gender) are so closely interconnected. Identifying these links can help to better recognise how to combat the negative effects it has on the social. At the end of this research, I intend to propose ways to better the financial regulation in Brazil, which will effectively promote gender justice.
9B University of Warwick, Baruch College, City University of New York and University of North Carolina, Greensboro
The Efficient Market Hypothesis supposes that prices in financial markets always exhibit the true value of a share. In this framework the occurrence of irrational bubbles is impossible. This paper examines the validity of the Efficient Market Hypothesis by analysing the behaviour of stock prices over a time period of over 140 years. It tests the significance of the determinants of stock prices under the Efficient Market Hypothesis, such as dividends, and analyses the phenomenon of price-to-price feedbacks in form of irrational bubbles.
We tested for the significance of the ‘usual determinants’ of stock prices, such as dividends, by running OLS, Newey-West and rolling regressions. Furthermore, by the implementation of Dickey-Fuller and GLS tests, we tested for price-to-price feedbacks and irrational price bubbles in form of unit roots in stock prices. Additionally, we ran rolling regressions on known bubbles, such as the 2008 financial crisis, in order to empirically back-up our analysis and investigate the mechanism of bubbles. All variables were inflation-corrected.
The results from this analysis show that stock prices do not seem to be driven by the ‘usual determinants’, such as dividends or long-run developments of key economic variables. Instead, stock prices exhibit positive unit roots giving rise to price-to-price feedbacks in form of explosive bubbles, which is not justified by any rational investor framework. The analysis of known bubbles, such as the 2008 financial crisis, provides further evidence for this finding. These results are robust against non-stationarity and serial correlation and broadly reject the Efficient Market Hypothesis.
Private property rights constitute the foundation of capitalism. My research explores the philosophical status of these rights. Our first question is this: under what conditions, if any, is it justifiable to transform unowned worldly resources into private property? Such questions have contemporary relevance, as arguably one’s claim to property is only as good as the previous owner’s claim, and so on until the initial acquirer’s claim. Right-Libertarians including Jan Narveson (2002) think that the appropriation of resources is always just. If you merely use unowned resources, you own them. I argue that such theories all rely on an unacceptable principle. This motivates a defence of an egalitarian theory similar to Otsuka’s (2003), which states that to become the owner of unowned resources, one must observe a certain egalitarian condition. This condition seems to have far-reaching consequences. Such egalitarian theories are in tension with ‘liberal’ theories of private property rights. Liberal rights can be bequeathed, precluding all forms of equality in appropriation. I explore a second question to reconcile the tension: what should the content of private property rights be? I argue, against liberal theories, that the rights to bequeath, gift, destroy and gain an income from property cannot be defended as default rights of ownership. For they clash with the egalitarian conditions one must meet to justly acquire property. This leads to a more ‘social’ conception of private property. These justificatory problems thus challenge liberal capitalism.
9C University of Warwick and University of Tennessee, Knoxville
In examining the Polish Secret Police’s (SB’s) development after Stalin’s death from a rational choice perspective, this paper questions the prevalent claim found in historical analyses that it changed its practices due to pressure stemming from the party. Instead, it will be argued that these changes were in the best interest of the SB leadership itself. This argument is based on evidence drawn from papers and original documents provided by the Polish Institute for National Remembrance, which stores and examines the SB’s original documents.
During Stalinism, the SB leadership justified its sweeping power on its ability to deter enemies by (a) employing brutal officers and (b) spreading distrust through a massive network of civilian collaborators. The quality of the information provided by these collaborators was mediocre since they were forced into collaboration. However, this was of limited importance since the SB merely needed to uphold an image of omnipotence to seem crucial to the regime’s stability, no matter whether it actually possessed insightful information.
Repeated exposure to a neutral stimulus paired with an aversive event, such as an electric shock, causes formation of a fear memory. When the fearful stimulus is later repeatedly presented without the aversive event, extinction of the fear memory will occur in a context-dependent manner (Maren, et al., 2013)._x000D_
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients have been found to have heightened fear response following extinction when extinction occurs in a different context than acquisition (Garfinkel,, et al., 2014; Milad, et al., 2005). This disruption in context-dependent extinction is likely attributed to abnormal hippocampal (responsible for context and spatial processing) volume and functioning (Pitman, et al., 2012). A glucocorticoid antagonist (metyrapone) inhibits cortisol synthesis at mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) and glucocorticoid receptors (GR). MRs are known to be highly concentrated in the hippocampus (De Kloet, et al, 2000), and thus, metyrapone may disrupt normal hippocampal functioning. It is hypothesized that metyrapone administration will lead to diminished context-dependent extinction learning, mirroring results found in PTSD patients. _x000D_
The current study evaluates the effects of fear modulation by cortisol suppression in a context-dependent manner. Healthy adult males undergo fear conditioning and subsequent extinction using the Garfinkel, et al. (2014) paradigm. We replicated the results of this paradigm in healthy control subjects in a pilot study, to ensure the efficacy of the paradigm. Following cortisol suppression prior to consolidation of extinction learning, fear memory is evaluated by skin conductance (SCR) and pupil dilation. Results to be presented are pilot and preliminary SCR and eye tracking data.
In Book II of The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides uses the speeches of Archidamos and Pericles to indirectly show the character of the Athenians and Spartans and the clash of these two supreme Greek polities. He uses the laconic, mission-oriented speech of Archidamos to characterize the Spartans as a more ascetic people whose cultural focus is on their military exploits and accomplishments. Conversely, Thucydides reveals the Athenians to be somewhat arrogant, fickle in their political affiliations, and fond of using grandiloquent vocabulary and rhetoric. Thucydides demonstrates this by his vocabulary selections for Archidamos and Pericles, as well as by the length and frequency of their speeches. He also does this by the content of their particular speeches, in which Archidamos focuses on the present battle, while Pericles speaks about the glory of Athens. In doing so, Thucydides also serves to highlight the prevailing inclinations of both the Spartans and Athenians with regard to their military tactics. The Athenians are presented as a dominant naval power, while the Spartans are a terrestrial military power._x000D_
Thucydides uses these two men as the archetypes for their peoples’ characters because these are the leaders of their respective city states. Furthermore, by using these two he creates a comparison between Athenian democracy and Sparta’s king. This comparison actually seems to favor the Spartan form of government, even though Thucydides was an Athenian commander during the war.
The Algerian War (1954-1962) was among the first to be properly televised and broadcast to the world, as news ‘bulletins’ about the conflict began to be featured on French television from the mid-1950s. These televised news reports grew in sophistication and ultimately replaced cinematic newsreels, foreshadowing the dramatic ‘televisation’ of Vietnam during the 1960s. Through an examination of these televised news bulletins – which I consulted freely at the website of France’s National Audiovisual Institute – my research sought to understand the extent to which – if at all – televised news was able to challenge the dominant, state narrative of France’s ‘civilising’ role in Algeria.
Pervasive state censorship, however, made this practically impossible. Indeed, the government monitored televised news reports as intensely as newsreels, particularly regarding Algeria. Consequently, unsavoury aspects of the War, including the widespread use of torture by the French army, were almost entirely absent from French television screens during the 1950s and early 1960s, contributing to a general silence surrounding the more difficult elements of the conflict.
Along with state-approved newsreels and posters, therefore, televised news reports about Algeria became another form of state propaganda, albeit a more advanced and subtle one (and thus arguably more insidious too). France’s presence in the country was consistently justified as part of a wider ‘civilising mission’, conforming to more than half a century of French colonial imagery and rhetoric.