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Session 20A-20B 15:30-19:00 // day two

20A Joint University of Warwick and Baruch College, CUNY

‘Leading’ and ‘powerful’ are words describing important actors in the international political economy. Such adornments, however, were not always monopolised by China as they seemingly are today. Indeed, Japan had once shaped regional and international trends according to the norms and interests that it sought to propagate. Whether this is still true is debated, and forms the rationale for this essay.

The essay analyses three time periods that are historical, contemporaneous and pivotal to Sino-Japanese affairs. Firstly, the colonial era (1853-1945). Secondly, the post-war economic boom (1945-1991). Thirdly, China’s rise and Japan’s ‘Lost Decades’ (1980s-present). Under individual time periods, different types of leadership (political, economic, and others) are discussed within the context of relevant trends and events. Finally, neo-realist and neoliberal perspectives are then deployed to critique and evaluate. Overall, the research base is interdisciplinary, spanning: history, international political economy and international relations.

This essay’s conclusion is fourfold. Firstly, a mutually exclusive ‘leadership dichotomy’ exists between China and Japan. (If China’s leadership is diminished in one area – Japan’s would rise.) Secondly, Japan’s leadership is no longer undisputed, but should not be fully dismissed. This is because of, thirdly, Japan’s alignment with the United States (US) and how the US – even from afar – holds decisive influence in East Asia. Fourthly, China is the dominating ‘leader’ – but faces multiple problems and opposition.

Today, the consensus is that China’s leadership rise is pervasive and potent. This essay analyses how – even in China’s own backyard in East Asia – such conventional wisdom requires deeper nuance.

This is a research study done in New York City, which explores Hip-Hop music's consumers experiences and perceptions on Hip-Hop's ability to influence their life,sense of self, and aspirations.
The Japanese population has been aging at a rapidly increasing rate since the 1960s. This study examines the economic growth consequences that may occur in the future if corrective measures are not implemented soon. I use a modified version of the Solow model to analyze the relationship between a negative population growth rate and economic performance. I incorporate into the Solow model the dependency ratio as a proxy for population structure to better understand the population dynamics. The results indicate that population decline hinders Japan's economic development and will continue to affect future performance. A substantial and audacious effort from the Japanese government, private sector and society is urgently needed in order to overcome the challenge of rapid aging.
For the past 20 years states have been the primary recipients of services of private military companies (PMCs) valued at $200 bln annually. This paper examines the motivation behind employing PMCs by Western democracies and the political consequences of such decisions. Firstly, it argues that the expansion of this market enables states to circumvent public policy limitations. It is important, because in the post-Cold War era it has become increasingly difficult to justify military interventions to citizens. Case studies of US activity in Bosnia and Iraq demonstrate that PMCs offer means to drastically reduce the number of national troops involved in a conflict as well as resort to plausible deniability. Secondly, it argues that PMCs allow states to conduct foreign policy while minimizing the risk of engagement in long-lasting conflict. It is demonstrated how US was able to secretly channel over $100 mln annually to DynCorp for assisting Colombian Anti-Drug Brigades. Thirdly, it argues that the growing dependence on this market warrants attempts of PMCs to influence state’s decisions regarding security issues, and how PMCs may be perceived as the new dimension of Military-Industrial Complex. It is concluded that for countries like US PMCs offer much more than just additional and potentially cheaper soldiers. The ability to circumvent public policy limitations and avoid political consequences of military involvement is invaluable, and this is precisely what has driven the expansion of this industry in the 21st century.

20B Joint University of Warwick, University of North Carolina, Greensboro and University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Two procedures for estimating the seismic vulnerability for existing buildings in Central Mexico using ambient vibration records are presented. The vulnerability is estimated in terms of a reliability measure. The reliability analysis is carried out using analytical models which provide the linear and non-linear responses. The dynamic properties of those models are calibrated from experimental analysis considering ambient vibrations of the buildings. The simplified procedure, using linear responses, employs a safety factor. The detailed procedure, using the non-linear responses, employs a damage index defined as the Secant Stiffness Reduction Index (ISSR); here the capacity measure of the structural systems is estimated from the pushover analysis. In order to illustrate the procedures, two buildings, both in central Mexico, were analysed, one of them was a reinforced concrete school building that belongs to the infrastructure of the UPAEP University and is located in Puebla; another one is a precast concrete Hospital building located in Tlaxcala. After analyzing the results we can conclude that the building studied presents an acceptable level of reliability. Finally, the procedures presented here can be used to other kinds of existing buildings and the information obtained can be useful for mitigating the seismic risk of existing buildings.
It can be seen within the literature that people are convinced cooperation cannot arise from selfish societies where defecting is the strategy leading to a Nash Equilibrium. Despite this, we see cooperation all around us. This project aims to examine how cooperation within a defecting society comes to exist. Using ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations, we will examine how mutations and hybridization within societies lead to a transition from selfishness to cooperation. Further, we wish to determine where in the landscape this transition is likely to occur and model how having a leader in a moving cooperative group affects cooperation. Our results will give further understanding as to how the evolution of cooperation comes to be.
Rumination is continually thinking about past events and questioning why they occurred. Rumination was originally conceptualized as a risk factor for depression, but recent research has shown connections between rumination and many psychopathologies other than depression, such as anxiety (Nolen-Hoeksema, Wisco & Lyubomirksy, 2008). This indicates that rumination may not only affect sad mood, but other negative emotions, such as anxiety and anger. This study evaluated how rumination affects a range of emotions. The sample consisted of 100 individuals recruited from a subject pool and surrounding community. Individuals completed a prescreening assessment to classify them as dysphoric (Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)≥16) or non-dysphoric (BDI≤9). Participants were randomly assigned into a rumination or distraction condition. The rumination condition consisted of self-focused prompts (e.g. “Think about whether you are fulfilled”). The distraction condition consisted of externally focused prompts (e.g. “Think about band playing outside”).Participants completes Likert scale questions about their mood before and after completing the assigned induction. We conducted planned contrasts comparing change in emotions among ruminating dysphoric individuals to the other three groups. Rumination did not affect anxiety, anger, or sadness in dysphoric individuals (ts<1.4,ns). Ruminating dysphoric individuals demonstrated a significant increase in hostility, (t(92)=1.98,p=.051) decrease in happiness (t(93)=2.78,p=.007) and marginally significant increase in depressed mood, (t(92)=1.74,p=.086). This suggests, that rumination is not specific to feelings of sadness, but is related to other emotions as well, particularly hostility. These findings could explain the relationship that rumination has with symptoms other than depression, such as difficulties regulating anger.
Drug production often halts at late stages of testing due to toxicity issues that cannot be observed until insertion in animals, which can result in a loss of millions of dollars and years of research. In order to prevent this loss, four major drug companies collaborated and produced a list of forty-four proteins that present prominent toxicity issues. Using virtual screening, we are predicting ligand binding affinity of these proteins, in an effort to reduce adverse drug effects. We created biological profiles containing information on the protein’s function, structure, therapeutic applications, and ligands, from which a small molecule database was created. We are performing docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations using Molecular Operating Environment (MOE), on the enzyme Phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D), a primary cAMP hydrolyzing enzyme crystalized with the ligand Rolipram. We will perform computational docking of the small molecules in various energetically-accessible structures of the protein target to access whether we can accurately predict specificity of the ligand database. The ligand interactions were compared, but with inaccurate results. The binding site presents issues as it can accommodate larger molecules that interact better than the co-crystallized compound, because water molecules inhabit some of the active site of the crystal. We will run further molecular dynamics simulations in an attempt to solve this problem.