7A - Tackling Conditions Head On University of Warwick and IIE MSA
In the face of the oncoming climate catastrophe, mass pro-environmental social change is vital for the survival of a flourishing earth. Perceptions and attitudes towards sustainable lifestyles are a fundamental factor determining how people live in relation to the environment, and social media is increasing in its capacity to influence such attitudes. This research explores the effects of some of the architects of today's digital influence - Instagram â€˜influencers', and seeks to answer the research question: how can Instagram environmental influencers affect their followers' perceptions of sustainable lifestyles? â€¨Underpinned by social constructivist ontology and interpretivist epistemology, this study employs a naturalistic quasi-experimental approach by asking 7 students to follow a representative selection of environmental influencer content on Instagram for 3-4 weeks, assessing their effect through qualitative semi-structured interviews exploring participants' perceptions before and after. Through thematic analysis, several themes were identified which highlight how the affordances of Instagram influencer content affected perceptions of sustainable lifestyles in heterogeneous ways. Overall, the study finds that while environmental influencer content on Instagram offers new possibilities for the effortless reception of knowledge about aspirational sustainable lifestyle practices and can increase environmental consciousness, participants also perceived these kind of sustainable lifestyles as overly aesthetically idealised, inaccessible, and somewhat inauthentic, as requiring affluence and continued consumption, and as aligning with previously held stereotypes about environmentalists. The results and analysis contribute towards a deeper understanding of how the affordances of specific social media platforms can facilitate and limit the effectiveness of content aiming to foster social change.
The concept of diaspora poses a challenge to the concept of origin. By critically challenging the viewpoint that the concept of diaspora is fixed, I will be adopting the standpoint that diasporic identities are marked by 'routes' - the circulation of people, ideas and practice rather than having a single, fixed origin or 'root'. Through close analysis of the Nigerian diaspora, I will be centring ontological and epistemological stances 'routed' and informed by stories. By adopting this stance , I am able to simultaneously challenge knowledge construction that banishes storytelling to the periphery of real knowledge whilst recognising the gender politics that degrades the art of storytelling. As such, this paper seeks to further cite encounters of home, reflect on identity and recount events of movement and belonging as a storyteller will. To further illustrate that diasporic identities are marked by 'routes', this essay will explore two main "alternative public spheres"(Gilroy,1996)- music and visual art. Such exploration also allows for greater understanding on nostalgia and intimacy whilst subverting the concept of diaspora and the concept of origin/roots.
The adoption of virtual networks has expanded business landscapes. It has increased the opportunity for many businesses to interlink with each other and has created virtual job spaces for numerous employees. The innovative approach of virtual networking has motivated organisations to invest into new technologies. The increased advantages of virtual networking including its improved rates of employee satisfaction, efficiency and growth potential have driven more organisations to allocate more "virtualâ€� employees. Further, organisations such as Google have adapted virtual networking as its flexible and high-speed nature have become an attractive point for individuals to apply to a job. However, constant and continuous monitoring and communication is essential for any virtual network to be successful. South African organisations like Standard Bank and Cell-C have adopted virtual networking methods in order ease the workspace for employees and hence this research will focus on the impact of virtual networking on employability. The research aims to investigate the employment rates of virtual networking organisations versus traditional organisations using existing, limited secondary sources. It is expected that virtual networking will positively impact employability by expanding job opportunities and creating a more flexible environment for employees. This can If the outcome is as expected, the Department of Employment and Labour should form a strategic alliance with the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology in order to reduce the disparities in the job market by aiming for more virtual organisations that can collectively uplift the economic growth of the country.
Although global waste trade is mainly done for further treatment, disposal, or recycling and developed countries have been hailed for their efficiency in handling waste.However, there seem to be challenges with waste being traded to developing countries, these countries lack the technical knowledge and experience required to dispose of the waste without causing adverse effects to the environment and to the health of their citizens. When most developing countries are offered millions of dollars to receive garbage, seeing no alternative, they fall to the temptation. These countries lack the technical knowledge and experience required to dispose of the waste without causing adverse effects to the environment and to the health of their citizens. Toxic or hazardous wastes are often exported from developed countries to developing countries, also known as countries of the Global South (Biello, 2007).The Indian hold 1,3 million pieces of plastics and north Atlantic holds 930 pieces of plastic(Sinai, 2019).
This study is aimed at analyzing the environmental and social impact of consumption and the effects of waste. The intention is to address the global challenges associated with consumption and global waste trade.
This research will discuss data from the (World Bank Report, 2018). I plan to design a model of people's behaviors in the globe, developing countries are experiencing the effects of global trade of which they do not consume so much products that can contribute to waste. Finally I will explore the common ground that trade waste has an environment share.
7B - Foreign Policy and Humanitarian Issues University of Warwick and Nanyang Technological University
Following the publication of migrant literature such as the poetry anthology Songs From A Distance from the 2016 Migrant Worker Poetry Competition and Stranger to Myself: Diary of a Bangladeshi in Singapore by Md Sharif Uddin, a broader evocation of migrant experiences in Singapore has emerged. While much scholarship has centered on migrant subjectivities as oppositional to the capitalist state mechanism, this research project seeks to revisit the fraught notion of the economic migrant in Singapore, and how feminist and queer strategies might inform an ethical reading of migrant subjectivities within two works of art: Yeo Siew Hua’s A Land Imagined— a 2018 film that investigates disappearing migrant workers that bagged multiple international and local film awards, which will be compared alongside a poetry anthology titled Braving Life by Bangladeshi migrant worker Md Mukul Hossine, transcreated by Cyril Wong. My reading of migrant subjectivity and citizenship is informed by Lacanian psychoanalysis and intercultural cinema. Drawing on the term "intercultural cinema” coined by Laura Marks, I propose that diasporic subjectivity is not rooted within a singular linguistic discourse but mediated through at least two forms of cultural discourses to account for the migrant's nomadic identity. I then explore how Levinasian ethics can inform a new model of relational subjectivity – through recognising embodied experience and memory as modes of knowledge that can account for the infinite alterity of diasporic otherness that informs the migrant’s identity, and how we can ethically relate to his body in our proximity as citizens or migrants.
Globally, one in every 70 people is embroiled in a humanitarian crisis, often fuelled by conflict and insecurity (UNOCHA, 2019). The nature of this conflict has undergone perceptible change in the post-Cold War era, with the rise of Private Military Security Contractors (PMSC). There is both explicit and implicit agreements in place to protect individuals from humanitarian atrocities. Yet states often do not unilaterally enforce such, often on the grounds of political reasons, and hence a credible solution has become outsourcing issues to PMSCs.
This paper intends to develop an understanding of PMSCs in a humanitarian capacity, through evaluating (1) contemporary humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen, establishing what role a PSMC could provide. (2) Build on the guidelines and justifiability of humanitarian intervention by PMSCs from Pattison (2010), to see if pose an ethical dilemma. (3) This research will then assess the relationship between humanitarian actors and PMSC, in their capacity to work in symbiosis to provide humanitarian aid, though evaluating previous collaborations and reviewing the testimony of these actors and PSMCs.
My research will attempt to develop an understanding of PMSCs in a humanitarian context. To establish if PMSCs can provide humanitarian aid and whether they are compatible alongside other humanitarian actors such as states and NGOs, and whether this is justifiable coming from a private entity. Overall, the aim is to see if PSMCs are a viable solution to contemporary humanitarian crises such as Yemen and Syria.
Nationalist politics, Brexit and recent European parliamentary elections have highlighted the ongoing struggle of the European Union to appeal to its citizens, create cohesion and manifest its democratic position. First set out in the 1992 Maastricht treaty, ‘unity in diversity’ describes a European identity that shall counteract such developments. Political proposals for International Cultural Relations and an EU Global Strategy suggest cultural diplomacy as a means to enhance the EU’s influence domestically and internationally, also referred to as Europeanisation. Museums, similarly, have transformed from traditional holders of (national) identity and heritage into creative industries and important centres for social inclusion and transcultural networks. To what extent can museology, the theory and practice of museums, provide a useful tool for EU cultural policy to further Europeanisation?
Taking the long-running European Capital of Culture (ECOC) programme, this interdisciplinary study compares four museums in the ECOCs Marseille-Provence 2013 and Umeå 2014. The constructivist approach merges Europeanisation studies with museology and network studies. Parallel developments and shared problems in museology and Europeanisation studies manifest museums as political institutions. They become valid participants in the study of meanings in EU cultural policy. Furthermore, analysis of museum programmes, EU documents and websites confirms diverging meanings of ‘Europe’ and ‘Culture’ within ECOC action.
Restricted EU involvement in domestic cultural policies devalues Europeanisation as cultural practice compared to urban regeneration and international reputation. However, ECOC action of and in museums provides blue-prints for cultural networks, development, sustainability and co-creation practices that enrich European soft power in foreign relations. .
The goal of the ‘Human Rights and Macroeconomics’ project is to develop a demand for an approach that would bridge the current disciplinary gap between macroeconomic policy and human rights in order to create more relevant applicable economic frameworks. Each of our individual projects focus on a specific case study showcasing the necessity of such frameworks. Eric diverges into migrant worker labour rights as a subset of human rights within the free trade North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC). He considers the intersection of static, domestic labour rights of NAALC with an increasingly transmigratory irregular economic Central American migration to come up with a further research proposal. Izzy has focused on an analysis of current and past housing policy in the UK as a specific case study and analysed how the outcomes of economic policy can be improved by using a human rights audit framework. Paula focused on Roma communities in the EU; specifically, her project aims to showcase the explicit link between identity-driven discourses of exclusion and alterity, the extent to which fundamental rights are upheld institutionally, and minority communities’ labour market participation.
7C - Environment University of Warwick and Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Antarctic glacial history is a hot topic in palaeoclimatic research. The glacial onset of the continent occurred some 34 million years ago (Ma), at the Eocene-Oligocene transition (EOT). To gain insights in glacial systems and feedback mechanisms, it is important to understand inception processes. A lot of modelling has already been done in this regard, demonstrating the importance of orbital parameter configurations and declining atmospheric CO2-levels around the EOT.
Here, surface mass balance (SMB) was determined for Antarctica, using the slab ocean version of the Hadley Centre Coupled model version 3 (HadSM3) and a positive degree-day (PDD) model. Several EOT experiments were run with HadSM3, consisting of different orbital configurations and atmospheric CO2-concentrations. The outcome was used as input for the SMB calculations by the PDD model. Results showed that glacial inception was favoured by a cold orbital configuration and relatively low CO2-concentration, similar to findings in the literature. This increases confidence in the performance of HadSM3 for the region, around the EOT, although the preceding comparison with the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR) displayed significant differences for the current climate.
Also, the sensitivity of SMB to changes in topography and PDD model parameters was investigated. The magnitude of SMB differences appeared to depend on the topographic data involved and changes in PDD model parameters generated substantial SMB differences. Given this sensitivity, future research should pursue PDD model parameters to be as accurate as possible for the Antarctic.
The 2006 Stern Review was a landmark moment in understanding the net costs of action and inaction on climate change. Its conclusion that the costs of mitigation stood at orders of magnitude less than the potential costs of inaction were largely credited with the then-unprecedented measures taken by the British Government in the 2008 Climate Change Act.
Since its publication, our understanding of the risks in climate systems has significantly improved, in step with the quantity and quality of data we possess. Ongoing discourse, on the likely position and severity of feedback cycles, and normative valuations of the non-monetary impacts of climate change, have led to serious changes in our perception of the Climate Emergency.
Public perceptions of economics have also declined in the intervening years; assumptions made regarding rational human behaviour have been challenged, alongside the omission of questions of â€˜morality' in a subject frequently cited as objective evidence for highly subjective political aims.
This paper aims to draw together these two strands of discussion, considering data-, methodological- and morality-based changes relevant to the Review's analysis that alter its conclusions. In light of this, the potential role of such an update will be evaluated for its potential to combat political deadlock, populist movements, and the ongoing influence of the fossil fuel lobby, and contribute to motivating a materially sufficient response to the Climate Emergency.
America has left a vacuum for global climate change leadership by announcing their withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The most likely and willing power to fill this void is China, who following the withdrawal of America announced their reaffirmation of the goals of the agreement. In this study I look to understand whether this divergence in climate change policy is reflected in the actions of two of the dominant Company Ownership types: the American Publicly-owned corporation and the Chinese State-owned Enterprise, and their compliance with Article 2.1c of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. This subsection has the aim of â€˜making financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.' Firstly, I set out an appraisal method to measure compliance. This is followed by a quantified account of their respective compliance. I then take a theoretical approach to come to an understanding of the reasons behind the level of compliance found in the empirical data. This approach focuses on share-holder primacy theory, American policy, and a holistic understanding of the aims of the Chinese Government and ruling party, and their respective effects on compliance.
We live in the times of consumerism that has a highly negative effect on our natural resources and consequently on the environment and in the future our quality of life. The problem of environmental change has now been confirmed by 97.3% climate scientists that say a man-created climate change is real and makes an extreme weather a new norm (IPCC 2014).
Transnational corporations are one of the biggest contributors to the environmental change and are mostly having negative environmental impact that isn't out weight by positive environmental contribution (Cooney & Freslon, 2018). It is allowed for by current accounting standards and methods in use that are focusing on economic accounts and data with no regards to consequences. Therefore, a new accounting with wider environmental visibility is urgently needed.
Current accounting methods for sustainability such as ecological footprint and bio capacity or costing tools are not enough and don't take enough factors into consideration. Bebbington and Gray experiment (2001) shows sustainability accounting limitations: scope of calculations, lack of reliable data, inability to calculate sustainable state.
Moreover, it is practically impossible to price things like clean air or water. Reason of it is partly our and companies' attitude and lack of appreciation.
My research will look into a change in accounting methods that will change the firms' attitude and behaviour by either forcing them to use environmentally friendly alternatives or do more for the environment to out weight negative impact. This change would hopefully affect all of us in a great matter.