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    Perspectives et défis pour l'exportation de terres rares d'Afrique subsaharienne vers l'UE

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    The African continent is increasingly becoming a battleground in the race between superpowers for access to critical minerals needed for the 'Green Revolution', such as rare earth minerals (REE). Companies from China, the USA and Russia play a major role. In most cases, critical minerals are mined by international mining companies supported by their governments and organizing complex global value chains. So far, China has dominated supply chains and has secured mining contracts across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Currently, China produces 58% of all REEs worldwide. It is the main importer of minerals from Africa, with mineral exports from sub-Saharan Africa to China totalling USD 10 bn in 2019. Its dominance of the global rare earths market is rooted in politics, not geography. Rare earths are neither that rare nor that concentrated in China. Beijing has adopted a strategy of imports, dumping and control of rare earths that is hardly consistent with WTO rules. Therefore, in June 2022, a newly founded 'Minerals Security Partnership', consisting of the USA, the EU, Great Britain and other Western industrialized countries, invited mineral-rich African countries to counter Chinese dominance. These included resource-rich countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The West's push became even more urgent after Beijing imposed export controls on the strategic metals gallium and germanium in July 2023, sparking global fears that China could be next to block exports of rare earth or processing technology. Because African markets are small, they are forced to rely on foreign financing. However, so far, foreign direct investment in rare earth production has confirmed the 'pollution haven' hypothesis about the environmentally harmful effects of FDI flowing into the affected countries. Although the full potential of rare earths in SSA has remained largely untapped due to low exploration, the dark side of the energy transition is becoming increasingly visible. These include pollution of soil, air and water as well as inadequate disposal of toxic residues and intensive water and energy use, occupational and environmental risks, child labour and sexual abuse as well as corruption and armed conflicts. In August 2023, Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, suspended certain illegal Chinese mining activities within its borders, including the activities of Ruitai Mining Company due to its involvement in illegal titanium ore mining. Namibia and the DR Congo followed suit.Le continent africain devient de plus en plus un champ de bataille dans la course entre les superpuissances pour l'accès aux minéraux essentiels à la "révolution verte", tels que les minéraux des terres rares (REE). Les entreprises chinoises, américaines et russes jouent un rôle majeur. Dans la plupart des cas, les minéraux critiques sont extraits par des sociétés minières internationales soutenues par leurs gouvernements et organisant des chaînes de valeur mondiales complexes. Jusqu'à présent, la Chine a dominé les chaînes d’approvisionnement et a obtenu des contrats miniers dans toute l'Afrique subsaharienne (ASS). Actuellement, la Chine produit 58% de tous les REE dans le monde. C'est le principal importateur de minéraux d'Afrique, les exportations de minéraux de l'Afrique subsaharienne vers la Chine totalisant 10 milliards de dollars en 2019. Sa domination sur le marché mondial des terres rares est ancrée dans la politique et non dans la géographie. Les terres rares ne sont ni si rares ni si concentrées en Chine. Pékin a adopté une stratégie d'importation, de dumping et de contrôle des terres rares peu conforme aux règles de l'OMC. C'est pourquoi, en juin 2022, un nouveau "Partenariat pour la sécurité minière", composé des États-Unis, de l'UE, de la Grande-Bretagne et d'autres pays industrialisés occidentaux, a invité les pays africains riches en minéraux à contrer la domination chinoise. Il s'agissait notamment de pays riches en ressources telles que l'Afrique du Sud, le Botswana, l'Angola, le Mozambique, la Namibie, la Tanzanie, la Zambie, l'Ouganda et la République démocratique du Congo. L'action de l'Occident est devenue encore plus urgente après que Pékin a imposé des contrôles à l'exportation sur les métaux stratégiques, le gallium et le germanium, en juillet 2023, suscitant des craintes mondiales selon lesquelles la Chine pourrait être la prochaine à bloquer les exportations de terres rares ou de technologies de transformation. Les marchés africains étant petits, ils sont contraints de recourir au financement étranger. Cependant, jusqu'à présent, les investissements directs étrangers dans la production de terres rares ont confirmé l'hypothèse d'un "refuge pour pollueurs" concernant les effets néfastes sur l'environnement des IDE affluant vers les pays touchés. Bien que le plein potentiel des terres rares en ASS soit resté largement inexploité en raison du faible niveau d'exploration, le côté obscur de la transition énergétique devient de plus en plus visible. Ceux-ci incluent la pollution du sol, de l'air et de l'eau ainsi qu'une élimination inadéquate des résidus toxiques et une consommation intensive d'eau et d'énergie, les risques professionnels et environnementaux, le travail des enfants et les abus sexuels ainsi que la corruption et les conflits armés. En août 2023, le Nigeria, la plus grande économie d'Afrique, a suspendu certaines activités minières chinoises illégales à l'intérieur de ses frontières, notamment celles de la Ruitai Mining Company en raison de son implication dans l'extraction illégale de minerai de titane. La Namibie et la RD Congo ont emboîté le pas

    A Deliberative Democracy Framework for Analysing Trust in Journalists: An Application to Italy

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    In the current public sphere, the "deliberative model of democracy" may represent both the necessary benchmark and the best lens through which to view developments in the public debate. Democracy can never become really deliberative without the active participation of news media. The assumption of this article is that if news media are to disseminate knowledge, trust in them is crucial. This article examines an aspect neglected by studies on media trust: trust in journalists. It presents the results of a longitudinal survey carried out in May and September 2020 in Italy, right at the end of the first mass Covid-19 lockdown (Wave 1) and after the first pandemic summer (Wave 2), therefore a time when there was a great need for quality information. The main findings reveal that the use of social media decreases trust in journalists; furthermore, those who mainly rely on political institutions' social media accounts for information place less trust in journalists than those who mainly rely on journalistic sources on those platforms. Instead, the use of traditional media (radio, television, newspapers) increases trust in journalists

    National Map of Security Threats as a Citizen Involvement Tool for Planning Safer Urban Public Spaces

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    The National Map of Security Threats (NMST) implemented in Poland in 2016 is a GIS-based tool for digital crime and threat mapping involving citizens in the processes of shaping local security by reporting hazards in their neighbourhood (volunteered geographic information). The map - open for external users - is a source of information about common threats to the safety of human life and health, property, and public order, taking into account their spatial distribution, in the opinion of its users. Among 26 reportable hazards, there are categories related to (1) Traffic, (2) Greenery, (3) Water, (4) Demoralisation and Vandalism, (5) Poverty, (6) Alcohol and Drugs, and (7) Animals. The study aims to investigate which threats reported by citizens are the most represented on the NMST. The study covered data collected based on public access to the map in the period from January–December 2022. The analysis of the results allowed us to conclude that the most common threats belong to the following categories: (1) Traffic, (2) Alcohol and Drugs, and (3) Greenery. While the first two categories are not a surprise for researchers, and their importance is confirmed by other studies, the category of Greenery - its condition, damage, etc. - becomes more and more important, which was not confirmed in previous studies. Recognizing this is crucial to support processes of planning and designing more secure public spaces

    News Media Monitoring Capabilities in 14 European Countries: Problems and Best Practices

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    Social acceleration has been a catalyst for rapid changes concerning the mediascapes of European societies. Democratic societies need deliberation, but what kinds of journalism and communication cultures are supported by different stakeholders and structural possibilities? The aim of this article is to conceptualise and analyse the risks and opportunities concerning the monitoring capabilities in key domains of the media field. This includes the performance and normative regulation of news media (journalism) as well as media usage patterns and competencies of different actors, all of which influence the quality of deliberative communication across cultures. The monitoring potential is related to various stakeholders who gather data and information on media and media usage, transform the information into knowledge, and use this knowledge to create evidence-based media policy. What interests and values are served by which stakeholders and how does this actual monitoring serve the media policy in different European countries? What is the role and resources of media researchers? These questions are answered with the help of an extensive literature review and a synoptic analysis of the monitoring capabilities of 14 European countries, based on original case studies. The article will, thus, broaden the conceptual understanding of risks and opportunities for deliberative communication in democratic societies - and at the same time offer an initial inventory of typical problems and best practices for monitoring deliberative communication across Europe

    Who Watches the Watchdog? Understanding Media Systems as Information Regimes

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    This article explores institutions that monitor news media performance. It opens up critical inquiry into how knowledge about media systems is shaped, shared, and bounded in society. Using Sweden as an illustrative and data-rich case, we first map the overall media monitoring structure in Sweden. Second, we examine the kind of knowledge and data about media that monitoring institutions produce, including their motives and the underlying values they support. Third, we extrapolate questions about implicit and explicit motives to participate in an "information regime." Fourth, by means of media system theory, we discuss the international relevance of the Swedish case to understand media monitoring systems in other parts of the world

    Costly Signaling and China's Strategic Engagement in Arctic Regional Governance

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    In recent years, China has become an increasingly important actor in Arctic regional governance. While Beijing consistently frames its engagement in the region as a strategy of mutually-beneficial cooperation, some Arctic countries have raised significant concerns about its growing economic presence, warning that China may leverage its geopolitical influence to change the existing norms and rules in the polar region. Facing the mounting “China threat” skepticism, what are Beijing's coping strategies to belie concerns? Based on a review of the existing research and government documents, particularly Chinese-language scholarly works and official reports, this article specifically identifies two types of costly signaling approaches employed by China to reduce Arctic countries' distrust. First, China has started to curtail its Arctic investment in oil, gas, and mining while engaging more in sectors that chime well with Western societies' global environmental values, including clean and renewable energy, ecological research that addresses further climatic change associated with global warming, and other environmentally sustainable industries. Second, Beijing has increasingly involved in regional international organizations, such as the Arctic Council, to signal its willingness to exercise state power under institutional constraints. These approaches aim to send a series of costly signals to conventional Arctic states, reassuring them that China is not a revisionist power that pursues hegemony in the region. Taken together, our findings have both scholarly and policymaking implications to understand China's participation in Arctic regional governance

    Continuous Militarization as a Mode of Governance of Indigenous People in the Russian Arctic

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    This article analyzes ethnographic data that shows long-term militarization forms a significant part of state governance of the population and environment in the Arctic. Kola Peninsula, the study region, is a borderland with the West and has since the 1950s been a heavily militarized area. Applying insights from research on militarization, subjectivities, materiality, borders, and regionalism in autocratic regimes, I show how militarization shapes the environment and the lives of Indigenous reindeer herders. Despite discourses of demilitarization in the 1990s, Kola Peninsula did not move away from militarization as part of governance. The article explores what I call continuous militarization by engaging with two phenomena: (a) fencing off territories for military use and infrastructure, and (b) nuclear pollution. It discusses the interrelations of materiality and knowledge in maintaining Indigenous subjectivities and culture in line with the objectives of militarization, and shows how Russia uses participation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region to support the objectives of militarization and justify them to the local population. The article finds that militarization is employed by the authorities to solidify the current autocratic regime among residents in the Arctic

    ThemenMonitor, 3. Quartal 2023: Tabellenband

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    Ergebnisse der wöchentlichen Umfragen, welches Thema aus Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft die Bundesbürger persönlich am meisten beschäftigt

    The Soundscape and Listening as an Approach to Sensuous Urbanism: The Case of Puerta del Sol (Madrid)

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    This article focuses on the placemaking process and experimental research on the citizens' assessment of the soundscape in Puerta del Sol in Madrid. Numerous studies conducted in recent decades have shown that sound is a crucial element capable of providing new insights into the relationship between human beings and the environment. Sound possesses physical-sensory-perceptual qualities which connect the emotional and the rational aspects of the experience of the place, overcoming the aesthetic/scientific duality. By default, the soundscape is the result of a collective production. It is the resonant expression of the multiple activities and uses that inhabit a space. The soundscape of everyday life provides a vision of life in a particular place, giving meaning and a singular character to the fact of living there. The concept and methods of the soundscape arise from sensitive experiences of the place in direct relation to a community. This exploratory research focused on in situ methods (soundwalks, improvised interview mappings, sound archives, performances, and collective sound actions) as expressions of collective listening to place. This article also focuses on how to map and share the result of this research, the technology to build a collective digital place as a place of confluence of experiences, citizen knowledge, and reflection on the situated soundscape

    Medienzukunft 2025 - Wie kann Vielfalt gelingen? Zur Weiterentwicklung der öffentlich-rechtlichen Medien

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    Die Meinungsmacht der öffentlich-rechtlichen Medien schien lange Zeit weitgehend unangetastet. Als Folge der digitalen Transformation hat sich das geändert. Das Überwinden von Informationsasymmetrien gelingt immer weniger, stattdessen wachsen die Ränder des Meinungsspektrums. Die zentrale Frage lautet: Wie kann gesellschaftliche Vielfalt künftig angemessener abgebildet werden, ohne Verbindendes weiter abzubauen? Die Beiträger*innen des Bandes loten die bestehenden Medienstrukturen kritisch aus und zeigen mögliche Alternativen auf. So könnte ein konkurrierendes Modell der Direktbeauftragung von Medienmacher*innen, finanziert aus den bestehenden Beitragseinnahmen, ARD, ZDF und Co. zum Sparen zwingen und das System in Bewegung bringen, ohne Mehrkosten zu verursachen


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