37,203 research outputs found

    Electoral Corruption

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    Introduction and background Elections are the keystone of democracy as we know it, but the spectre of corruption and manipulation hangs over all electoral processes. For as long as elections have been held, they have been subject to efforts to corrupt them. Vote-buying and fraud were features of elections in ancient Athens and Sparta two and a half thousand years ago (Staveley, 1972: chap. 5) as well as in early modern elections across the world (Posada-Carbó, 1996; 2000), and the same problems haunt electoral conduct in virtually all contemporary states. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that electoral corruption may be growing as a problem. Not so many decades ago, many of the world‟s most authoritarian states refrained from holding elections at all, whereas in the post-Cold War world, changes in value systems and the forces of globalisation have made it increasingly difficult for states to resist the pressure at least to pay lip service to democracy. Consequently, many more states have begun to hold elections, though the quality of electoral conduct in a number of them leaves much to be desired. Before embarking on a review of the scholarly literature on this topic, it is necessary to provide a brief consideration of what is meant by the term „electoral corruption‟ and what types of activities are collected under this rubric. The phenomenon here termed „electoral corruption‟ goes by a number of names: electoral malpractice, electoral misconduct, electoral malfeasance, electoral fraud, and electoral manipulation. These terms will be used interchangeably in the present analysis. The defining feature of this activity is that it involves the abuse of electoral institutions for personal or political gain. Electoral corruption can be broken down for the sake of convenience into three types according to object: the manipulation of rules (the legal framework), the manipulation of voters (preference-formation and expression) and the manipulation of voting (electoral administration) (see also Birch, 2009). The manipulation of rules involves the distortion of electoral laws so as to benefit one party or contestant in an election. Electoral rules are manipulated to some extent in virtually all states, democratic or otherwise, but electoral rule manipulation can be classified as a form of electoral corruption when it seriously distorts the level playing field subtending elections, as, for example, when the rules governing candidacy prevent certain political forces from contesting elections, or when large sectors of the adult population are excluded from the franchise. This survey of electoral corruption provides an overview of the phenomenon, including a summary of the scholarly research on the topic and an assessment of the relevance of research findings for the practitioner community. The paper is grounded on the assumption that elections are the keystone of modern democracy, and that understanding electoral corruption and addressing its main causes can improve electoral integrity around the world

    Michelle Birch\u27s ePortfolio

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    My ePortfolio best displays my academic and professional achievements as an aspiring producer in the television industry.https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/eportfolio_showcase/1001/thumbnail.jp

    The Search for Invertebrate Consciousness

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    There is no agreement on whether any invertebrates are conscious and no agreement on a methodology that could settle the issue. How can the debate move forward? I distinguish three broad types of approach: theory-heavy, theory-neutral and theory-light. Theory-heavy and theory-neutral approaches face serious problems, motivating a middle path: the theory-light approach. At the core of the theory-light approach is a minimal commitment about the relation between phenomenal consciousness and cognition that is compatible with many specific theories of consciousness: the hypothesis that phenomenally conscious perception of a stimulus facilitates, relative to unconscious perception, a cluster of cognitive abilities in relation to that stimulus. This “facilitation hypothesis” can productively guide inquiry into invertebrate consciousness. What is needed? At this stage, not more theory, and not more undirected data gathering. What is needed is a systematic search for consciousness-linked cognitive abilities, their relationships to each other, and their sensitivity to masking

    The totalitarian corporation?

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    Throughout its history as an institution, the corporation has been associated withtyranny of one sort or another, from the early period with the imperialist expeditions of the East India Company - virtual ruler of the Indian subcontinent - to the vestige of monarchical privilege embodied in corporate charters in the early USA. However, despite these characterisations throughout the centuries, there has been a very limited attempt to provide a rigorous and scholarly account of the totalitarian characteristics of the corporation. Although many would not agree with John McMurtry's assessment that the corporate sphere is a form of totalitarianism, in that we constantly encounter and experience powerful corporate representations of the world (e.g. advertising, marketing, branding) that reinforce and naturalise the corporation's very existence and our subservient place in relation to it (e.g. consumers, insecure employees, emasculated citizens), it is a question worth considering

    Ebonics: The Debate Which Never Happened

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    The thesis of this paper is that no substantive and impartial debate about the pedagogical value of using Ebonics in the classroom could be held in the United States media because America\u27s prescriptive attitude towards Ebonics does not allow fair and objective consideration of the issue. In presenting this theme I will discuss language ideologies in general and prescription in particular as a common attitude towards language. Prescription with respect to Ebonics usually takes the form of language prejudice. I will conclude with an introduction to one area of language planning, status planning, in which language planners try to improve the status of a dialect or language by selecting a goal, planning the necessary research, and devising a marketing or diffusion plan

    The virtual bioeconomy: the 'failure' of performativity and the implications for bioeconomics

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    This article considers how the bioeconomy - conceived as a market constituted by and constituting technologies derived from the biosciences - can be usefully considered as a virtual economy in that the representations and practices of economic activity differ significantly from one another. It does so through an analysis of the economic theories on spatial innovation processes (e.g. clusters) that have proved a popular approach in economic geography. The article contrasts the theory of performativity with that of virtualism in order to illustrate how the failure of economic performativity helps to explain economic practices rather than assuming that economic theories necessarily 'work' as implied by the theory of performativity. This has important implications for how we understand the bioeconomy because it means that we have to reconsider the production of biovalue

    Introduction : biofutures/biopresents

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    Two very different reports produced for the UK government in the last three years have connected the state of our physical health with that of our material wealth. The first of these was produced in 2003 by the Bioscience Innovation and Growth Team (BIGT) titled Improving National Health, Improving National Wealth, whilst the second, called Health Inequalities-Status Report on the Programme for Action, was produced in 2005 by the Department of Health (DH).1 The former produced a series of recommendations designed to 'secure' the economic position of the UK bioscience industry and through this the health of the UK population, whilst the latter repeated the finding that socio-economic status and physical health are strongly related, revealing significant spatial and social health inequalities across the UK (see Batty, 2005; Shaw et al., 2005). These different understandings of the health-wealth link provide a useful foil to explore the central focus of this special issue, namely the construction and definition of particular problems and their solutions encompassing the technoscience of new genetics. Here the popular term technoscience is used to denote a technological context that promotes and maintains forms of scientific enquiry and understanding particular to that set of artefacts: in its simplest formulation, it posits that technology is both shaped by and shapes society. In this special issue we seek to explore the specific technoscientific context in which the biosciences-molecular biology, genetics, genomics, proteomics-are situated and subsequently promulgated: their biopresents and their biofutures. Using the government reports above to illustrate the context of the biosciences reveals two very different approaches to understanding national healthcare. The BIGT report implies that our health is dependent upon ensuring future industrial performance through building 'a mutually advantageous collaboration between the NHS and industry for patient benefit' (2003, p. 5). In contrast, the DH report implies that our health is dependent upon existing resource distribution with the government response, according to Shaw et al. (2005), consisting of an 'individualistic rhetoric of behavioural prevention [of illness]' as opposed to building 'mutually advantageous' alliances between different institutions. This is exemplified in the DH proposal for 'health trainers' for deprived areas which Caroline Flint MP, Minister for Public Health, says would assist people in adopting 'a healthier way of life' (quoted in Batty, 2005). Other wide-ranging changes to the UK health service have also been oriented towards promoting such an agenda based on personal choice, healthier lifestyles and medical innovations derived from modern biotechnology (i.e. targeted at individuals). Furthermore, this agenda has been supported by the extension of privatized provision of services across the NHS [see Pollock (2004) for a critical review]

    Neoliberalising bioethics: Bias, enhancement and economistic ethics

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    In bioethics there is an ongoing debate about the ethical case for human enhancement through new biomedical technologies. In this debate there are both supporters and opponents of human enhancement technologies such as genetic improvements of cognitive abilities (eg, intelligence). The supporters argue that human enhancement will lead to healthier and therefore better lives, meaning that any delays to the introduction of such technologies is problematic. In contrast, the opponents argue that new technologies will not solve problems such as inequality and social justice. In order to overcome opposition to human enhancement, Bostrom and Ord have outlined a test to evaluate ethical arguments for 'status quo bias' or what they call 'intuitive judgements' in the assessment of human enhancement. This article is a response to their paper in which I raise a number of problems with their position, particularly with their 'status quo bias' test and the incorporation of economistic thinking into their ethical arguments

    The impact of tangible rewards on empowerment in the hotel sector

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    The need to empower employees to respond in a timely and innovative manner to customer’s requests and problems has been acknowledged as a source of competitive advantage by service managers. Hence, researchers and practitioners have proposed that empowered behaviour should be rewarded. However, research on the impact of tangible rewards on intrinsically motivated behaviour, such as empowered or discretionary behaviour, indicates that tangible rewards may not be effective. In light of the high financial and social costs of administering reward systems, it is important that service managers understand how tangible rewards impact on the behaviour of service employees. This paper presents the findings of an exploratory study of the impact of tangible reward systems on employee empowerment and the discretionary behaviour of service employees. In-depth interviews, conducted with human resource managers in three five-star hotels, indicated that while management is keen to empower their employees to deal with guest’s need and problems, they are uncertain about how to use rewards to encourage creative discretionary behaviour. Focus groups with staff from four departments of one major hotel indicated that the employees do feel empowered to satisfy guests, however while tangible rewards are appreciated, it is the praise and recognition received from guests, supervisors and peers that motivates them to ‘go the extra mile’. Further, analysis of the focus group discussions indicated that managers who are rewarded and recognised are more likely to reward and recognise the efforts of their subordinates

    The Electoral College: An Enigma in a Democratic Society

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