University of Groningen

Dissertations of the University of Groningen
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    Climate Security and Religion in Africa:Towards Sustainable Development Goals

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    Climate impacts in Africa contribute to climate-related security risks in numerous pathways. Most of the research on climate security has been carried out in Africa, where the population is highly religious and, in some cases, treats natural resources as sacred. In addition, when climate-related conflicts ensue, groups may form alliances along religious lines of difference. However, religion is conspicuously absent in the discourse. The literature has a consensus that there is no direct link between climate change and conflict. Climate change does not cause conflict but contributes to climate security risks in combination with other factors. Because of this consensus, the discussion has begun to shift the focus of inquiry, language and register to talk about the relationship between climate and security from identifying linear causal linkages to developing a more nuanced understanding of this relationship in general. Mediating and moderating factors, thus, can explain how climate change promotes or undermines climate-related security risks. This chapter takes a focused analysis of religion as one hitherto absent variable in the climate security discourse

    A TWAIL Engagement with Customary International Investment Law:Some Strategies for Interpretation

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    Article 42 Independence

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    The Histories of the Achaian League:Constructing Identities in the Early Hellenistic Peloponnese

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    Theorising TikTok cultures:Neuro-images in the era of short videos

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    Instead of viewing TikTok as a platform, in this article we borrow Dutch film theorist Patricia Pisters’s concept of neuro-images to approach TikTok as a cultural form that is deeply participatory, platform contingent, and algorithmically engraved. In the co-production between algorithms and users, TikTok becomes an enormous database and generates personalised narratives about individuals and the world onto and through its ‘brain-screen’ interfaces, which simulate our conscious and unconscious mind, and actualise the idea of creativity based on repetition. TikTok thus enables a quasi-automated cinema, whose non-stopping filming of everyday lives does not seek to reduce desires and tastes into a singular and coherent structure, but instead uncovers, releases and contains them in its vast database and interfaces, leading to a fluid and modulating categorisation of identities. It is within this quasi-automated, deeply participatory digital cinema that TikTok constitutes neuro-images, producing a distinctive experience of time, and unpredictable and unstable futures.</p

    Unravelling the signaling power of pollutants

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    Exposure to environmental pollutants contributes to diverse pathologies, including pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, cancer, and stroke. Pollutants' entry can occur through inhalation, traversing endothelial and epithelial barriers, and crossing the blood-brain barrier, leading to a wide distribution throughout the human body via systemic circulation. Pollutants cause cellular damage by multiple mechanisms encompassing oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, (neuro)inflammation, and protein instability/proteotoxicity. Sensing pollutants has added a new dimension to disease progression and drug failure. Understanding the molecular pathways and potential receptor binding/signaling that underpin 'sensing' could contribute to ways to combat the detrimental effects of pollutants. We highlight key points of pollutant signaling, crosstalk with receptors acting as drug targets for chronic diseases, and discuss the potential for future therapeutics.</p

    “Self-Other, and the Oppositional Discursive Logic behind Populist Foreign Policy. The Case of the Lega Nord”

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    The chapter addresses the influence of populist communication on international political processes and outcomes by analysing the case of the Italian party Lega Nord (LN). The claim advanced is that populist foreign policy does not have a substantively specific content, but is characterized by a single oppositional discursive logic that is given different substantive contents depending on the policy arena. More specifically, while the Self is organically linked with conceptions of group identity developed at home, the chapter shows that the articulations of the Other are informed by the policy field at hand, and the overall structure is then actualised in the policy arena through specific policy decisions. On these terms, the influence of populist discourse on foreign policy is not a substantive ideology resulting from the linear translation of the traditional ‘people vs elite’ antagonism. Rather, it amounts to forcing foreign policy into a variable Self-Other logic—which also creates the grounds for contradictory positions held by populist parties in international policy arenas. The chapter develops these arguments through an analysis of the LN separatist rhetoric—itself taken as a case of foreign policy—and the conduct within the European Union as a policy arena during an eight-year timeframe

    ‘Je was erbij, dus je bent erbij’:Groepsaansprakelijkheid van artikel 6:166 BW en het Byzantijns recht

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    In hoeverre kan de bestudering van Romeins en Byzantijns recht toegevoegde waarde hebben bij de uitleg en de toepassing van het huidige recht? Aan de hand van een voorbeeld zal ik in deze bijdrage op die vraag ingaan. Ik zal mij daarbij richten op de discussie die in Nederland is ontstaan over groepsaansprakelijkheid (art. 6:166 BW). Naar aanleiding van Byzantijnse en westerse commentaren over groepsaansprakelijkheid zal ik ook ingaan op de verhouding tussen de Byzantijnse en de westerse juridische traditie en de rol die Byzantijns recht kan spelen bij de interpretatie van het Corpus Iuris Civilis

    Tuning of Passivity-Based Controllers for Mechanical Systems

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    This article describes several approaches for tuning the parameters of a class of passivity-based controllers for standard nonlinear mechanical systems. In particular, we are interested in tuning controllers that preserve the mechanical system structure in the closed loop. To this end, first, we provide tuning rules for stabilization, i.e., the rate of convergence (exponential stability) and stability margin (input-to-state stability). Then, we provide guidelines to remove the overshoot. In addition, we propose a methodology to tune the gyroscopic-related parameters. We also provide remarks on the damping phenomenon to facilitate the practical implementation of our approaches. We conclude this article with experimental results obtained from applying our tuning rules to a fully actuated and an underactuated mechanical system.</p

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