17A - Interactions of Human and Environment University of Warwick and Nanyang Technological University
This research highlights the importance of the environment/sovereignty nexus because the ecological crisis now presents a great challenge to sovereign states. Decision-makers are forced to make choices about the use of limited natural resources, therefore this work aimed to discuss the concept of green sovereignty as a tool to enhance environmental decision-making. Green sovereignty means transforming society into its environmentally friendly version, by deepening democratic accountability and responsiveness of states to environmental concerns.
It is argued that the green sovereignty concept helps us to enhance environmental decision – making by empowering existing state structures to be more ecologically informed. Unlike other green alternatives that see sovereignty/environment in inherent tension, the leverage of using green sovereignty resides in the fact that it provides us with a possibility to see existing structures play a central role in addressing environmental problems.
Critical political ecology is deployed, stressing importance of state intervention in society and economy to promote social and environmental justice. The implication of this work is that green sovereignty enables us to overcome obstacles that democratic states face when trying to enhance the process of environmental decision-making such as the distribution of power and under-representation of green issues.
Case study is used to analyse the green sovereignty. Case study has been conducted under the qualitative research framework using participant observation during internship I had at a firm undergoing EIA and elite interview with CEO of firm where I had internship. Findings included that the imperfect EIA process would benefit from green sovereignty suggestions
Pinochet’s military coup in Chile in 1973 led to a dictatorship that was responsible for numerous forced disappearances and countless human rights violations. Assisted by the World University Service (WUS), some 900 Chileans came to the UK to both live and study. The University of Warwick had close associations with this movement and consequently holds a large amount of unsorted and under-researched WUS documentation in the Modern Records Centre.
As part of a larger research project to understand the importance of the WUS for early coordinated refugee policy in the UK, I will examine, sort and digitalise the WUS collection in the MRC in order to uncover and begin to analyse the individual narratives and stories of this episode of politically motivate exile. The objective of my work will be to draw out the intersections between personal narratives (the journey to the UK, often via Argentina and further repression during the Junta’s ‘dirty war’) and the procedures and policies of organizing refugee action. A further objective is also to use the visual and written materials in the archive to design webpages that will show the depth of the MRC’s holdings and the usefulness for public engagement.
The research falls within the areas of memory studies and migration, refugee and exile experience. Exile memory is significant in the Chilean context as the legacies of the Pinochet dictatorship were silenced for many years, and recent memory work has focused on victims at home. In documenting my findings and rendering them into a more accessible format I will be able to contribute to highlighting the importance of this episode of forced migration with contemporary Chilean history.
17B - Individual and Social ConcernsUniversity of Warwick and Monash University South Africs
Neo-classical economic theorists assumed that agents are utility-maximisers and are perfectly rational, hence they would carry out the best plan without experiencing any self-control problems or mistakes. Nevertheless, behavioural economists argued that humans might not be intelligent enough to attain total rationality, and identified several biases and judgemental mistakes made by agents when choosing their consumption levels.
The aim of the study is to explore the possible relationship between household heads’ education level and their ability to make good financial decisions, which the paper chose households’ net worth as a proxy for; and then attempts to explain the association by comparing and contrasting the results with what being predicted by Neo-classical and behavioural economic theories.
The main dataset used is the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), which reported financial activities of 6026 US households in 2013, and their answers to survey questions revealing their spending habits and attitude to risks. As this dataset employed the Multi-Imputation (MI) technique (which created extra observations for each correspondent, and filled missing data with expected outcomes drawn from appropriate model of regressions considering the available information) to deal with missing data issues; this study will implement the Repeated-Imputation-Inference (RII) in its econometric regressions to account for the consequences.
The result has confirmed the long-standing belief regarding a positive correlation between net worth and academic qualifications. Highly-educated households are also more likely to engage in more sophisticated methods of investments and borrowing. Although this study was able to confirm judgmental mistakes’ existence and the important role it played in households’ spending habits; the evidence regarding behavioural traits and rationality affecting households’ financial standing remains inconclusive.
17C - New ways of ThinkingUniversity of Warwick and Nanyang Technological University
The goal of this project is to formalise Berkeley’s argument for Idealism. It seeks to establish that materialism is incoherent: The world and all its objects are merely ideas in people’s minds. So far, little research has been conducted on how Berkeley’s singular arguments work together to question the concept of matter. This research tries to fill this gap by breaking down Berkeley’s arguments with a classical conception of logic. Accepting four premises, Berkeley’s argument can show that our everyday understanding of matter necessarily leads to a contradiction and thus has to be abandoned. First, Berkeley shows that abstraction cannot be the basis for any general concept. From there, he deduces that existence is linked to perception and initiates the elimination argument against matter. Here, it is shown that matter cannot be perceived nor inferred. Without abstraction, the concept of matter remains consequently empty and has to be abandoned.
Hellenistic art and architecture has influenced western cultures over many generations. The unique style and form has been implemented in our environment today and has changed the way we perceive and understand our surroundings. However, it is important to be aware that it is not only western civilisation that has been influenced by these trends. In 326 BC Alexander the Great entered the River Indus. He explored the city of Taxcila, which is now in Pakistan, and fought the Indian King Porus. Alexander may have been defeated by Porus but he conquered Buddhist art and architecture. The depiction of the Buddha transformed; he was now portrayed in idyllic human form, similar to Greek sculptures of the time, rather than in abstract signs and symbols to represent his presence. Also, Buddhist temples began to adapt to the Hellenistic style, for example acanthus leaves emerged on the columns. The aim of the project is to focus on how Gandhara Buddhist art developed as a result of Alexander the Great’s visit to India. Hellenistic art and architecture has influenced western cultures over many generations. The unique style and form has been implemented in our environment today and has changed the way we perceive and understand our surroundings. However, it is important to be aware that it is not only western civilisation that has been influenced by these trends. In 326 BC Alexander the Great entered the River Indus. He explored the city of Taxcila, which is now in Pakistan, and fought the Indian King Porus. Alexander may have been defeated by Porus but he conquered Buddhist art and architecture. The depiction of the Buddha transformed; he was now portrayed in idyllic human form, similar to Greek sculptures of the time, rather than in abstract signs and symbols to represent his presence. Also, Buddhist temples began to adapt to the Hellenistic style, for example acanthus leaves emerged on the columns. The aim of the project is to focus on how Gandhara Buddhist art developed as a result of Alexander the Great’s visit to India.
By observing the artefacts and analysing the development and change of Buddhist art in the British Museum and researching with the resources in the British Library, I will begin to develop a deeper insight on how the architecture impacted the lives of the Buddhists and in general those who were affected by the Hellenistic trends. It is important to be aware of the basis of one’s surroundings because it is a reflection of how the people lived and their mentality at the time. By completing this project I will reach my personal goal to educate others about eastern civilisations. I want to be able to prove to society that we all impact each other in different ways which will encourage others to celebrate our dynamic global culture.