152 research outputs found

    Italy seen through British eyes: a European middle power?

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    This article analyses the British perceptions of contemporary Italy and Italian politics. Through the use of a number of sources (parliamentary debates, governmental documents, newspaper articles and interviews) it argues that Italy is not perceived, within Great Britain, as a great power within the European system nor it is viewed as a peripheral actor. Rather, it suggests that Italy seems to have finally found in the post-Cold War scenario its proper role–a European middle power, with important responsibilities within a regional sub-system. A frequent request–and expectation–coming from British politics and society is that Italy should take on more international responsibilities, even in the sphere of defence–as the different readings of Italy's role and leadership in Afghanistan and Lebanon reveal. However, Italy's ability to play this role is believed to be hampered by several factors: its uncertain political situation, its unwillingness to engage in military operations, its reluctance to respect international commitments and its structural economic problems. As a result, further possibilities of cooperation with other international partners as well as its potential for autonomous action on the international stage are, in several cases, precluded. Moreover, if the relations between Italy and the UK are usually seen in a positive way, and Italy is viewed as a reliable partner, the nature of the cooperation between the two countries is often considered to be fragile and based on short-term common interests and strategies

    Diffusive transport in networks built of containers and tubes

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    We developed analytical and numerical methods to study a transport of non-interacting particles in large networks consisting of M d-dimensional containers C_1,...,C_M with radii R_i linked together by tubes of length l_{ij} and radii a_{ij} where i,j=1,2,...,M. Tubes may join directly with each other forming junctions. It is possible that some links are absent. Instead of solving the diffusion equation for the full problem we formulated an approach that is computationally more efficient. We derived a set of rate equations that govern the time dependence of the number of particles in each container N_1(t),N_2(t),...,N_M(t). In such a way the complicated transport problem is reduced to a set of M first order integro-differential equations in time, which can be solved efficiently by the algorithm presented here. The workings of the method have been demonstrated on a couple of examples: networks involving three, four and seven containers, and one network with a three-point junction. Already simple networks with relatively few containers exhibit interesting transport behavior. For example, we showed that it is possible to adjust the geometry of the networks so that the particle concentration varies in time in a wave-like manner. Such behavior deviates from simple exponential growth and decay occurring in the two container system.Comment: 21 pages, 18 figures, REVTEX4; new figure added, reduced emphasis on graph theory, additional discussion added (computational cost, one dimensional tubes

    Language, Culture, and Violence in the Education Crisis of U.S. Latino/ as: Two Courses for Intervention

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    This article discusses the educational crisis of U.S. Latina/as and argues for the recognition and understanding of the extent to which institutional racism and violence are exercised by schools against this cultural sector. It then describes, as forms of intervention, a course which trainsfuture Spanish teachers in developing Latino cultural competence, and a community service learning course which offers tutoring and emotional support to at-risk middle school students

    Biological information processing: the use of information for the support of function

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    In biological systems, the processing and use of information has evolved out of the need for survival in the face of an uncertain environment. As a consequence, the information-function relationship in these systems is shaped by their adaptability characteristics. In contrast, the information-function relationship in man-designed, goal-oriented organizational systems depends on the ability of the information processing system to support the achievement of the organization's goals. In this paper we use results from adaptability theory in the analysis of control-related aspects of the information-function relationship in man-designed organizational systems. In particular, we use a conceptual model of organizational control to characterize features of functional and control structures and their effect on the adaptability of these systems. The concept of implicit control and a design principle for adaptability-enhancing information systems are derived for this analysis.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/28155/1/0000607.pd

    The analysis of distributed control and information processing in adaptive systems: a biologically motivated approach

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    Biological systems have evolved hierarchical, distributed control structures that greatly enhance their adaptability. Two important determinants of biological adaptability considered here are: (i) the pattern of distribution of self-control capabilities; (ii) the degree of programmability of information processing. In this paper we model organizations as goal-oriented, adaptive systems, possessing properties similar to those of biological systems. We use the notion of implicit control (defined as the capability of self-control that is embedded in a system's own dynamics) in the analysis of the impact of specific patterns of distribution of control and information processing on the adaptability of organizations. A principle of design of organizational information systems, that captures important aspects of adaptability-preserving strategies of information processing in biological systems, is stated in terms of the implicit control concept.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/30310/1/0000712.pd

    A synthetic approach to the design of information-systems software

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    This paper presents an approach to the design of information-systems software in which alternative designs can be created, as necessary, until specified requirements are met and specific objectives achieved. This approach takes advantage of, and in fact complements, the abstraction process that characterizes the abstraction-synthesis methodology of information-systems development. A broad concept of function support, as provided by the information system, and a design-independent specification of information-systems requirements, are basic features of this methodology. The view of design presented here takes advantage of these features by providing the necessary flexibility. Design itself is viewed as a search on the space of possible software-system structures until one which satisfies the requirements of the information system and achieves the project's objectives is found. The design space is defined on four dimensions that correspond to important layers of information-system software implementation.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/27855/1/0000266.pd

    Narratives of self and identity in women's prisons: stigma and the struggle for self-definition in penal regimes

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    A concern with questions of selfhood and identity has been central to penal practices in women's prisons, and to the sociology of women's imprisonment. Studies of women's prisons have remained preoccupied with women prisoners’ social identities, and their apparent tendency to adapt to imprisonment through relationships. This article explores the narratives of women in two English prisons to demonstrate the importance of the self as a site of meaning for prisoners and the central place of identity in micro-level power negotiations in prisons

    Lifeworld Inc. : and what to do about it

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    Can we detect changes in the way that the world turns up as they turn up? This paper makes such an attempt. The first part of the paper argues that a wide-ranging change is occurring in the ontological preconditions of Euro-American cultures, based in reworking what and how an event is produced. Driven by the security – entertainment complex, the aim is to mass produce phenomenological encounter: Lifeworld Inc as I call it. Swimming in a sea of data, such an aim requires the construction of just enough authenticity over and over again. In the second part of the paper, I go on to argue that this new world requires a different kind of social science, one that is experimental in its orientation—just as Lifeworld Inc is—but with a mission to provoke awareness in untoward ways in order to produce new means of association. Only thus, or so I argue, can social science add to the world we are now beginning to live in
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