National University of Ireland, Maynooth

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    From Toxic Industries to Green Extractivism: Rural Environmental Struggles, Multinational Corporations and Ireland’s Postcolonial Ecological Regime

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    In this article, we analyse the political ecology of Ireland’s industrial landscape in the current era of digital capitalism, which has been posited as the primary engine of an oncoming “green” eco-modernisation via smart technologies. As our research has found over the past several years (see Bresnihan and Brodie 2021a, 2021b, 2023), far from representing benevolent contributors to the planetary transition away from fossil fuels, digital corporations are poised to become primary beneficiaries by funnelling accumulation through green transition strategies into and through their proprietary infrastructures. In what follows, we unravel the ways in which this does not represent a necessarily new development in Ireland, but rather a historical and continuous transition within Irish environmental governance that facilitates the accumulation strategies of multinational companies via a model of foreign direct investment (FDI)-led state development. In so doing, the Irish state not only participates in these activities as they implicate Irish territory within these global extractive regimes, it also enrols Irish land, labour and infrastructure into them in geographically uneven ways. But, at the same time, there have been a multitude of historical and contemporary examples of civil society objection and outright popular resistance to this development model, representing points of friction at which environmental contradictions are negotiated and contested across local communities and the state in often ambivalent way

    European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

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    Los Vínculos entre el Partido y la Base, la Movilización Contestataria y las “Tensiones Creativas” en Bolivia

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    The abstract is included in the text

    How can we research social movements? An introduction

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    This introductory chapter is written for beginning researchers, whether in movements or universities, for people from non-traditional academic backgrounds and non-native English speakers. We share some of our own complicated and messy routes to movement research. We also explain why researching social movements matters, and how it can genuinely help movements. This is the first methods handbook for movement researchers that takes a genuinely global perspective, rather than focussing on researchers and movements in the global North. Understanding movements means not being restricted to knowing about one movement or one academic discipline. The chapter introduces the book’s themes - the methodologies and politics of knowledge of movement research; different methods of data collection/analysis; and the uses of research for movements - followed by a chapter-by-chapter overview, highlighting the specific movements studied. The chapter concludes with reflections on the future of social movements research and a call for solidarity

    Professional and Family Carers’ Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Supported Decision-Making with Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: A Qualitative Online Survey

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    Background: COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland varied in levels of severity throughout 2020 and 2021. The aim of the present study was to explore the experiences of professional and family carers in supporting people with intellectual disabilities to make their own decisions during these restrictions. Methods: Participants recruited between July and December 2021 via social media, disability services, and academic experts completed a qualitative online survey. Results were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results: Data from 16 participants (eight professional carers, eight family carers) were included. Three main themes were identified: 1. centring the person, 2. adapting to COVID, and 3. restricted lives. Anxiety, confusion, and boredom among adults with intellectual disabilities during restrictions were reported by both professional and familial carers. Professional carers reported some positive outcomes, including greater chances for independence among service users and new activities becoming available via online resources. Family carers reported more negative outcomes, including isolation from disability services. Conclusions: People with intellectual disabilities had their choices markedly curtailed during the restrictions. Future studies should focus on improving the ability of services to reach users who may not have the ability to attend services in person

    Education Can’t Wait for LGBTIQ Refugees? Exploring Inclusion and Access to Higher Education in Kakuma Refugee Camp.

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    Enabling access to, and reaping the benefits of, higher education in refugee camps, while not an easy task for any refugee, is, for the most part, out of reach for the most vulnerable ones who experience multiple and often intersecting layers of discrimination (Walton et al. 2020). The lesbian, gay, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) “community”Footnote1 in Kakuma refugee camp is the case in point. LGBTIQ refugees and asylum seekers have a long experience of discrimination in Kakuma refugee camp (Zomorodi 2016; NGLHRC 2016), where the authors have been running higher education courses for the last five years. Even though Kenya is the only country in the region to permit asylum seekers to be recognized as refugees on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity, LGBTIQ refugees in Kakuma suffer multiple layers of prejudices from fellow refugees, the host community, national police, and international organizations (Pincock 2020; NGLHRC 2016). In a context where homosexual acts are criminalized (Kenya Penal Code, Section 162 (a) and (c), Section 163, Section 165) and given the severe lack of learning infrastructure (such as adequate learning technology and safe learning spaces) and limited resources, these refugees have very limited access to the few higher education opportunities that other refugees might have

    Investigating the effects of glyphosate on the bumblebee proteome and microbiota

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    Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides globally. It acts by inhibiting an enzyme in an aromatic amino acid synthesis pathway specific to plants and microbes, leading to the view that it poses no risk to other organisms. However, there is growing concern that glyphosate is associated with health effects in humans and an ever-increasing body of evidence that suggests potential deleterious effects on other animals including pollinating insects such as bees. Although pesticides have long been considered a factor in the decline of wild bee populations, most research on bees has focussed on demonstrating and understanding the effects of insecticides. To assess whether glyphosate poses a risk to bees, we characterised changes in survival, behaviour, sucrose solution consumption, the digestive tract proteome, and the microbiota in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris after chronic exposure to field relevant doses of technical grade glyphosate or the glyphosate-based formulation, RoundUp Optima+®. Regardless of source, there were changes in response to glyphosate exposure in important cellular and physiological processes in the digestive tract of B. terrestris, with proteins associated with oxidative stress regulation, metabolism, cellular adhesion, the extracellular matrix, and various signalling pathways altered. Interestingly, proteins associated with endocytosis, oxidative phosphorylation, the TCA cycle, and carbohydrate, lipid, and amino acid metabolism were differentially altered depending on whether the exposure source was glyphosate alone or RoundUp Optima+®. In addition, there were alterations to the digestive tract microbiota of bees depending on the glyphosate source No impacts on survival, behaviour, or food consumption were observed. Our research provides insights into the potential mode of action and consequences of glyphosate exposure at the molecular, cellular and organismal level in bumblebees and highlights issues with the current honeybee-centric risk assessment of pesticides and their formulations, where the impact of co-formulants on non-target organisms are generally overlooked

    Countering racial discrimination in algorithmic lending: A case for model-agnostic interpretation methods

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    In respect to racial discrimination in lending, we introduce global Shapley value and Shapley–Lorenz explainable AI methods to attain algorithmic justice. Using 157,269 loan applications during 2017 in New York, we confirm that these methods, consistent with the parameters of a logistic regression model, reveal prima facie evidence of racial discrimination. We show, critically, that these explainable AI methods can enable a financial institution to select an opaque creditworthiness model which blends out-of-sample performance with ethical considerations

    The Dirichlet energies of functions between spheres

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    Abstract included in Introductio

    Skills narratives amongst media degree graduates and students: Discourses of hard and soft skills in education-to-work journeys

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    This article focuses on media students and graduates’ subjective understanding and expression of skills acquired while undertaking an undergraduate media studies degree programme. It reports on a single undergraduate media studies programme in Ireland and draws from two questionnaires: a 2019 questionnaire of graduates who reflected on the skills developed during their education as well as their employability; and, following a subsequent skills development intervention in the media programme, a 2021 questionnaire of final-year students who undertook a newly introduced module focusing on media and non-media work, skills development and employment in Ireland. This latter questionnaire had the dual purpose of assessing whether students had benefited from this new module and, more generally, of understanding students’ perceptions of their skills and employability. This study was concerned to ascertain whether the provision of a new module that reflected on skills development through a media programme aided students’ understanding of how their knowledge and skills related to employability. Ultimately, the study found that the module was successful in developing students’ understanding of the alignment between transversal skills and employment. However, despite the intervention, students still perceived employability as related mainly to practical skills and supplemental career development activities


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