11,763 research outputs found

    The non-use and influence of UK energy sector indicators

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    This paper presents the results from a case study on the role in policymaking of UK Energy Sector Indicators (ESIs), introduced by the government in 2003. The findings show that the ESIs constituted a very minor element within the broader evidence-base used by policymakers, and that this indicator set and its objectives were poorly known even to central players in the sector. The findings of this research provide further evidence for the observation that scientific knowledge (including evaluations, assessments and indicators) seldom play an instrumental role in policymaking, and are more likely to produce indirect, conceptual and political impacts. The analysis provides a number of tentative conclusions concerning such potential indirect impacts that accrue mainly through processes of dialogue and argumentation both during the preparation of the indicators and after their publication as part of the annual reporting by the UK energy department. The ESIs have played various conceptual and political roles, yet the concrete outcomes in terms of policy change remain to be explored. The conclusions highlight the limitations of rationalist notions of direct, instrumental use in the efforts to understand the role of indicators in policymaking. The paper concludes by three tentative propositions concerning the explanations to the absence of instrumental role of the ESIs, which could be usefully explored in future research: the characteristics of the energy sector; the characteristics of the UK policy culture; and the exceptionality of the ESIs in the general evidence-base of UK energy sector

    A note on minors determined by clones of semilattices

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    The C-minor partial orders determined by the clones generated by a semilattice operation (and possibly the constant operations corresponding to its identity or zero elements) are shown to satisfy the descending chain condition.Comment: 6 pages, proofs improved, introduction and references adde

    Indicators: tools for informing, monitoring or controlling?

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    Today, indicators are produced and used worldwide; across all levels and sectors of society; by public, private and civil society actors; for a variety of purposes, ranging from knowledge-provision to administrative control. While the use of quantitative data as policy support, including policy formulation, has a long history, recent decades have seen the rise of what some have called an ‘indicator industry’ (for example, Hezri and Hasan 2004), focused especially on the production of environmental and sustainability indicators, within a framework variously called ‘governance by numbers' (Miller 2001; Lascoumes and Le Galùs 2005; Jackson 2011), ‘management by numbers’ in public service (for example, Hood 2007) or ‘numbers discourse’ (Jackson 2011, p. 23). Indicators are generally expected to enhance the rationality of policymaking and public debate by providing a supposedly more objective, robust, and reliable information base. Indicators can operate as ‘boundary objects’ (for example, Turnhout 2009; Star 2010), catering to both technocratic and deliberative ideals, by combining ‘hard facts’ and modelling with collective reasoning and ‘speculation’. Research and development work in the area has hitherto overwhelmingly concentrated on improving the technical quality of indicators, while the fate of indicators in policymaking and the associated sociopolitical aspects have attracted little attention. This chapter focuses on this neglected area of indicator research, by providing an overview of the multiple types of existing indicators, as well as their use and influence in various venues of policymaking. Empirical examples are drawn mainly from the fields of environmental and sustainability indicators

    Reconstructing multisets over commutative groupoids and affine functions over nonassociative semirings

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    A reconstruction problem is formulated for multisets over commutative groupoids. The cards of a multiset are obtained by replacing a pair of its elements by their sum. Necessary and sufficient conditions for the reconstructibility of multisets are determined. These results find an application in a different kind of reconstruction problem for functions of several arguments and identification minors: classes of linear or affine functions over nonassociative semirings are shown to be weakly reconstructible. Moreover, affine functions of sufficiently large arity over finite fields are reconstructible.Comment: 18 pages. Int. J. Algebra Comput. (2014

    World mission opportunities for Lutherans today

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    Mission responsibilities must be reconsidered to focus on the future as churches discuss merger and its eschatological dimensions. Renewal in other churches may be stimulated as they examine models suggested by merging churches. In spite of divergent views among Protestant and within the Lutheran family itself concerning an understanding of mission, there exists several convergent convictions. Mission is: inherent in the Gospel; evangelization as center; witness; forever; crossing of frontiers (geographical, economic, sociological, scientific, religious); for every country; responsibility of whole church; giving and receiving; facilitated by specialists; not triumphalistic; in need of more influence from Lutheran theological heritage; is God\u27s. Various strategies and cooperative efforts of engaging in mission should be planned after consideration of past commitments, experience and identity of church. A global perspective and two-way character should be maintained. God uses the church as an instrument for his mission


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    We evaluate impacts of milk quota abolition in Finland where production costs and producer price of milk are among the highest in the EU. We analyse several price scenarios for dairy products corresponding to 10-30% reductions in raw milk prices in the EU following milk quota expansion of 2% per year. The sector model includes 18 dairy products and regions and other agricultural activities. Armington -assumption is used in modelling foreign trade. Trade of milk quotas and structural change are endogenous in the model. The results suggest that 10-15% reductions in the EU milk prices would result in less than 10% decrease in Finnish dairy production. Investments to large farm units would still increase. However, if the EU milk prices decreased by 15-20% production would fall by 10-22%. Overall it seems that milk quota abolition is not likely to result in any drastic downscaling of dairy sectors in Finland.Milk quotas, EU, milk production, dairy product processing, farm size, investments, Demand and Price Analysis, International Relations/Trade, Livestock Production/Industries,