9A - War, Economics & Culture University of Warwick, Monash University South Africa, and University of Leeds
During the 30th Summit of the African Union (AU) in January 2018 the AU Peace and Security Council urged AU member states to adopt softer approaches to their counter terrorism strategies. This call could not have come a better time since terrorist activity in Africa increased by 200% between 2009 and 2015. The purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, it aims to offer a brief explanation as to why counter terrorism has failed in Africa. Secondly, an assessment of Africaâ€™s top sixteen contributors to global terrorism, as determined by the Global Terrorism Index 2017, will be undertaken using a combination of qualitative and desktop research methods whereby each contributor (state) is assessed in accordance with their compliance to deradicalisation, demilitarisation, resocialisation, religion education and youth initiative programmes. The assessment suggests that Africa is not yet ready for soft power, particularly given the lack of resocialisation and religion education programmes made available by states. As such six key challenges have been identified along with possible remedies to solve them. Embracing soft power is a bold move for Africa but, it is one that is necessary. African governments would do well to keep an eye on the challenges discussed in this paper and monitor their current compliance to ensure the sustainability of their mechanisms. However, such developments are subject to political will which is often subject to debate and destiny.
The aim of the project is to investigate whether current monetary policy, constrained by dollarisation, worsens or reduces the impact of resource dependence on Ecuador’s economic stability. By looking at the consequences of exchange rate rigidity and other contingent peculiarities on three key determinants of macroeconomic stability -- GDP growth, unemployment, and inflation -- we attempt to uncover the scale of the effects of the limitations imposed on monetary policy as a consequence of dollarisation. Importantly, this will include a brief discussion of the effects of dollarisation on the intensity of oil extraction, and the environmental externalities thereby imposed onto a country whose constitution codifies the ‘Rights of Nature’ under its environmentalist philosophy, 'Sumac Kawsay'.
Ecuador is a particular case: it is dollarised, oil accounts for nearly half of its exports, and it has experienced a downturn since the oil price drop in 2014, symptomatic of a ‘resource curse’ that destabilises long term growth prospects. Past research has suggested that dollarisation significantly affects the contribution of resource-led industries to the Ecuadorian economy through pegged inflation, more developed lines of credit, and policy credibility. We explore this hypothesis using econometric analysis and policy research.
The Biafran War was a genocidal war that occurred between 1967 and 1970 as a result of political, economic and ethnic tensions that arose in Nigeria as well as the divide and rule strategy employed by the British which engendered this conflict.Using the ontological position and critical realist stance that memories of wars such as the Biafran war are under constant internal influence (personal memories) and external influence ( arts, literature,media) I argue that the memory of war and the (mis)remembering and forgetting of war is inherently political.Through qualitative research methods such as content analysis of research articles , I argue that there is a gap in research literature such as the absence of women’s experiences in the Biafran war which contributes to the (mis)remembering and forgetting of histories.To conceptualise the history of the genocidal war, I highlight how memories of war are also social and personal. By using visual research methods to explore the politics of trauma in art and photography, I am able to better interpret these personal and social experiences of the Biafran war . Through close analysis of interview responses, oral narratives about the Biafran war and thematic readings of literature, I can further examine the effects such gaps in research literature have on the fabric of postcolonial Nigeria. Such findings demonstrate the impact of silence in shaping the post-colonial landscape of Nigeria as well as the epistemic violence that arises as a result of this mis(remembering) and forgetting.
This research investigates the concept of consumer perceptions in relation to marketing communications and their exposure towards various forms of stimulus present in the consumer environment. With the proliferation of multinational corporations, international marketers are expected to produce appropriate marketing strategies acceptable by consumers belonging to multiple cultural environments to achieve economies of scale in marketing expenditures. Therefore, they require an understanding of different forms of stimulus and their influential powers to get intended responses from customers. Correspondingly, this research tries to comprehend the impact of culture on consumer perceptions towards advertisements. Precisely, it identifies the differences and similarities in consumer perceptions towards fashion advertisements among 'individualistic' and 'collectivistic' cultural societies. Additionally, it distinguishes the influence of these characteristics amid industrialised and emerging markets. Through conducting focus groups with participants representing five different regions, valuable insights were gained about how consumers from different culturally and economically diverse environments perceive and get influenced by advertisements. Empirical findings show that the intensity of advertisement efficacy varies across different cultures and economies; along with variations in their attitudes towards the ad content. A significant inference is that if the content of an advertisement is not in line with the expectations of the consumers, it might do more harm than good. Culture and economic situation of a country have been found to impact the affectability of advertisements. For international marketers, such stimuluses can have substantial business implications. It has been suggested that international marketers try to achieve harmonised advertisements by avoiding extremities in ad-content.
9B - Systems of the Future University of Warwick, University of Leeds, and Baruch College, City University of New York
With growing populations and decreasing land availability, farmers face mounting challenges to meet food supplies by 2050- which is the year the UN aims to eliminate world hunger. An innovative solution to these issues currently attracting attention and support, is vertical farming. In these systems, food is grown in multilayered artificial structures in urban environments under controlled environment conditions. Vertical farming has been criticized because of its dependence on artificial light for production and the consequential high energy demands and financial costs involved. The feasibility of such production systems has recently been enhanced by developments in lighting systems through the use of energy efficient LED systems, and multiple vertical farms are beginning to pop up around the globe. My research thus aims to address qualitatively whether vertical farming will currently be able to contribute to the UN's aim, through critically examining each of the key obstacles to food security in the context of Vertical farming. This will be done through an extended literature review on the subject, including everything from professional reports and markets analyses to 'agritechture blogs'. My research will culminate in the design of my own vertical farm for use in Cape Town, by explaining how it will operate sustainably within a urban system using diagrams and real-life examples. This work examines vertical farming from a fresh perspective, offering a novel analysis of an already established problem with vertical farming as the solution.
The purpose of this study was to quantify the number of oysters needed to mitigate at least half of the nutrient load in the Bronx River. Eutrophication is a global ecological issue caused by the overflow of excess nutrients such as phosphorous or nitrogen into estuaries due to storm runoff and sewage overflows. This excess of nutrients leads to harmful algal blooms that cut off sunlight and oxygen supply to the marine ecosystem thus creating dead zones in many bodies of water. New York City used to be a hotspot for oysters and bioremediation using this native bivalve is currently being employed all along the Hudson River thanks to the Billion Oyster Project. This study aims to quantify the effect of oysters at a very specific site in the Bronx surrounded by multiple wastewater treatment plants which are significant sources of nutrient input. Oysters are able to intake nitrogen and store nutrients in the tissues and shell. Oyster harvests represent the most direct method of nitrogen removal from the system. The study focuses on this simple method of nutrient remediation due to its directly quantifiable variables and aims to find the best month throughout a 6 month period for harvest with respect to oyster morphometrics. In addition, other practical uses for the harvested oysters from the Bronx River were proposed in order to evaluate a cost-benefit analysis for a large scale management project. Oyster remediation must be paired with other waste management practices in order to restore the marine ecosystem.
Anthropogenic climate change is expected to decrease snow cover extent in the Northern Hemisphere as increasing temperatures have been found to diminish the persistence, amount and depth of snow cover. The ski industry is indisputably sensitive to the impact of climate change, as it is reliant on snowy mountainous terrains. The Scottish ski industry is small and lies at low altitudes, meaning the Scottish ski industry is likely to be one of the first to experience the effects of climate change due to the effect of altitude on both temperature and precipitation. There is a lack of recent academic studies researching into the effects of climate change on Scottish ski resorts. Therefore, Nevis Range, Glencoe and Glenshee ski resorts in Scotland were investigated to assess the impact of climate change on their future life expectancies and economic viability. Economic viability was assessed using the 100-day rule. Life expectancy was assessed using the relationship between temperature and the following variables; days of snow lying and ski resort statistics. SkiSim2.0, a ski season simulation model, was used to evaluate the effect of climate change on future ski season length and snowmaking requirements. SkiSim2.0 failed calibration due to errors and uncertainties that existed within Scottish climate data, the process of data collection and the model itself. Glencoe, Glenshee and Nevis Range ski resorts are expected to be economically viable until 2027, 2031 and 2020 respectively. The best- case scenario for the life expectancies
Protein engineering is a new and exciting discipline, estimated to reach a market value of USD 3.09 billion by 2025. Traditionally proteins are engineered by using directed evolution, which simulates natural evolution in the laboratory by selecting for protein mutations from a random library, to obtain a protein with desirable properties. Thanks to advancements in computational power during the last few decades, rational approaches are beginning to be developed in order to identify mutations in a more targeted and efficient approach. This project explores such methods to find stabilising mutations in the artificial antibody scaffold Adhiron in order to improve its shelf life, expression yield, and performance in vivo. We took the evolutionary data of proteins related to Adhiron in order to determine which mutations evolution tends to select for. We found that there is a correlation between the stabilising contribution of each amino acid and the frequency at which it is observed in nature, implying that our method can be used as a quick and easy way to engineer proteins that will perform better and last longer.