Other social sciences
This book presents the main findings of a study on school learning environments and student outcomes, which the World Bank conducted in 2019 in three regions of the Russian Federation. Using data collected through the OECD School User Survey and the pilot “Trends in Mathematics and Science Study” (TIMSS), the book analyzes how a school’s infrastructure and learning environment may affect the progress and success of students in math and science. It also delves into teaching practices, analyzing their impact on learning and highlighting the important nexus between learning environments and teaching methods. The book concludes by recommending areas in which focused attention by educational authorities could improve educational policy and help maintain high-quality learning environments. The book will be useful for educators, school principals, architects, and policy makers who are involved in school infrastructure projects and are interested in increasing their knowledge of school design planning.
This book gathers the outcomes of several scientific events that were organized and conducted by the Institute of Scientific Communications (Volgograd, Russia) and the leading universities of the Volgograd region. The contributing authors include more than 700 scholars from various cities and regions of Russia. 124 works were selected out of 3,000 papers on the preconditions of formation, transformation, and legal provision of social institutes, topics that are in high demand in connection with a core aspect of digital modernization – the Internet of Things. The book is intended for a broad target audience, including scholars of various generations and various disciplines. These include young researchers (undergraduates and postgraduates) and recognized scholars (professors and lecturers) who study the socioeconomic and legal consequences of the emergence and dissemination of digital technologies, including the Internet of Things. In addition, the book will benefit all those who are interested in the development of the information society, information and telecommunication, and digital technologies. The content is divided into three logical parts, the first of which is devoted to the essence of the process of institutionalization and legal regulation of the information society.
This report summarizes the results of a German-Russian dialogue project, which was implemented and designed by inmedio peace consult gGmbh (Berlin) and the Institute for Law and Public Policy, ILPP (Moscow) and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office under the ‘Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia’ Programme. Using a mediative dialogue approach, 20 experts from academia, thinks tanks and NGOs as well as journalists and cultural exchange/dialogue practitioners met near Moscow in September 2018 and in Berlin in November to analyse and reflect on the Russian and Western narratives on what went wrong since the end of the Cold War regarding the deterioration of Russian-Western relations.
quarter of a century has passed since the Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted in 1993, yet the issue of the results and the prospects for constitutional transformation has not disappeared from the political agenda. For some, the Constitution signifies an ultimate break up with the communist past and a legal foundation for the advancement of the Russian society toward democracy and the rule of law; for the others, it is exactly the Constitution that is the culprit for the authoritarian trend that has prevailed, and for the sustained stagnation in Russia’s economic, social and political development. The author of this chapter is in the middle of these extreme viewpoints. He believes that the Constitution has truly played a pivotal role in Russia’s move toward democracy by establishing the basic principles of civil society and the rule of law, and in this respect, it remains of everlasting and paramount importance. Nevertheless, that does not mean that it should be utterly inaccessible for changes, especially given the elapsed time and the negative experience of the authoritarian transformation of the political regime, the amendments that were introduced between2008 and 2014, and the current objectives of the democratic movement. The rationale for changes is to return to the constitutional principles, reaffirm their initial democratic meaning by rejecting the excessive concentration of the Presidential power, the results of counter-reforms and the adulteration through legislative and regulatory compliance practices. Some of the proposed remedies aim to establish a new form of government (Presidential - Parliamentary), which would necessitate Constitutional amendments — adjustments that would regulate the separation of powers and redistribution of authority. Others seek to transform the system without changing the text of the Constitution through legislative reforms, judicial interpretation and the policy of law. Yet, the third approach prioritizes institutional reforms. Not everything in social development depends on the provisions of the law, political improvisation and practice can prove just as critical. In their cumulative entirety such initiatives can help avoid the two extremes: that of constitutional stagnation gravitating toward the bureaucratic asphyxiation, and that of constitutional populism which has a tendency to destabilize the political system. In its practical activities to transform the political regime, the opposition ought to remember the maximum repeatedly confirmed by experience, — the further a party is from power, the more radical tend to be its constitutional proposals. Conversely, empowered groups tend to be more moderate in their initiatives.
While workers movements have been largely phased out and considered out-dated in most parts of the world during the 1990s, the 21st century has seen a surge in new and unprecedented forms of strikes and workers organisations. The collection of essays in this book, spanning countries across global South and North, provides an account of strikes and working class resistance in the 21st century. Through original case studies, the book looks at the various shades of workers’ movements, analysing different forms of popular organisation as responses to new social and economic conditions, such as restructuring of work and new areas of investment.
This book offers a comparative analysis of value and identity changes in several post-Communist countries. In light of the tremendous economic, social and political changes in former communist states, the authors compare the values, attitudes and identities of different generations and cultural groups. Based on extensive empirical data, using quantitative and qualitative methods to study complex social identities, this book examines how intergenerational value and identity changes are linked to socio-economic and political development. Topics include the rise of nationalist sentiments, identity formation of ethnic and religious groups and minorities, youth identity formation and intergenerational value conflicts
This paper focuses on the scrutiny of structural units of myth within mass cultural discourse. The author reviews studies of the mythologeme and my theme in semiotics and also relevant research in other fields concerning the announced research object. The main aim of the paper is to distinguish inner semiotic markers of myth and to examine their application to mass cultural narratives. Drawing on the analysis of previous theoretical research and case studies, the author compares the two structural units and makes an attempt to formulate specifications towards existing definitions. Particular examples of mythemes and mythologemes in mass culture discourse are regarded within this paper. The author points out the mytheme of Transformation, the mytheme of Backtracking, the mythologeme of Childhood (Golden Age), the mythologeme of Armageddon (Flood), and the mythologeme of World Tree.
This report presents the results of an ESRC-funded research project that examined the behavioural and attitudinal impacts of the English plastic bag charge that was introduced in October 2015. The project used a mixed-methods longitudinal approach, and included a national survey, a diary-interview study, and supermarket observation study. Overall, the research has shown that the English plastic bag charge has made a strong and positive impact on people’s behaviours and attitudes. The research found that the charge was eff ective at breaking old habits, and that it became more popular as people adapted to the policy. Evidence was also found that the charge increased environmental awareness and the acceptability of other environmental policies. The success of the plastic bag charge in eff ectively changing plastic bag use and increasing support for other charges to reduce waste suggests that similar policies could also be successfully implemented, such as a deposit return scheme on plastic bottles or a charge on disposable coff ee cups.
Background and aims. This research reported here presents findings from an evaluation of the development and implementation of the Healthy Community Challenge Fund (otherwise known as the ‘Healthy Towns’ programme). A key aim of the research has been to inform the development of future environmental and systems‐based ‘whole town’ approaches to obesity prevention. The overall aim of the Healthy Towns programme was to pilot and stimulate novel ‘whole town’ approaches that tackle the ‘obesogenic’ environment in order to reduce obesity, with a particular focus on improving diet and increasing physical activity. Through a competitive tender process, nine towns were selected that represented urban areas across England ranging from small market towns to areas of large cities. The fund provided £30 million over the period 2008‐2011, divided amongst the nine towns. The amounts awarded ranged from £900,000 to £4.85 million. Towns were instructed to be innovative and were given freedom to develop a locally‐specific programme of interventions. This report supplements local process and impact evaluations undertaken by each town (not reported here) by taking an overall view of the programme’s development and implementation. Our evaluation therefore addressed the following research questions: 1. What kinds of interventions were delivered across the Healthy Towns programme? 2. Were environmental and infrastructural interventions equitably delivered? 3. How was the Healthy Towns programme theorised and translated into practice? 4. How was evidence used in the selection and design of interventions? 5. What are the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a systems approach to obesity prevention?
The mode, general understanding, and practices of science diplomacy revolve
around a country’s history, the formation of its scientific institutions, the specifics
of its foreign policy approaches, and its diplomatic practices. The nexus
between science and diplomacy gives various results but ultimately are predetermined
by individual creativity, community values, and state interests and
support. The core element of diplomatic interactions between nations relies
on their historical and contemporary backgrounds. Understanding phenomena
of science diplomacy and their implementing practices helps to promote a
state’s power and influence on both national and international levels to secure
and promote its foreign policy.
Putting oneself into the shoes of others is an important aspect of social cognition.We measured brain hemodynamic activity and eye-gaze patterns while participants were viewing a shortened version of the movie ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ from two perspectives: that of a potential organ donor, who violates moral norms by refusing to donate her kidney, and that of a potential organ recipient, who suffers in pain. Inter-subject correlation (ISC) of brain activity was significantly higher during the potential organ donor’s perspective in dorsolateral and inferior prefrontal, lateral and inferior occipital, and inferior–anterior temporal areas. In the reverse contrast, stronger ISC was observed in superior temporal, posterior frontal and anterior parietal areas. Eye-gaze analysis showed higher proportion of fixations on the potential organ recipient during both perspectives. Taken together, these results suggest that during social perspective-taking different brain areas can be flexibly recruited depending on the nature of the perspective that is taken.
Brazil's Movimento de Trabalhadores Sem Teto (MTST, Homeless Workers' Movement) has grown dramatically in recent years. This growth was partly provided for by the use of a large government housing programme, Minha Casa Minha Vida (MCMV, My House My Life), which allowed the MTST to construct housing for its members and swell its ranks with thousands of new members. Yet some have argued that the MCMV programme used by the MTST may compromise the autonomy of civil society organisations. This article, by contrast, argues that while the MCMV programme encouraged bureaucratic practices, it also helped to promote the cultural politics of the MTST.
Review of the book "Universities and Global Human Development" (by A.Boni and M.Walker)
This paper is devoted to the issue of so–called ‘trophy films’ in the context of Soviet foreign policy. The aim of this research is to reveal how the cultural competition between the USSR and the USA during the early Cold War caused the emergence of the famous credit title «This film was captured as a trophy after the Soviet Army defeated Nazi troops near Berlin in 1945», and, as a consequence, resulted in the establishing of ‘Trophy Film’ concept in public discourse.
In “The University: an owner’s manual” Henry Rosovsky points out that there is a lack of consensus on how teaching should be evaluated, whereas there is more clarity with assessing achievements in research. However, most universities see the need to reward outstanding teaching work and to identify cases of unsatisfactory teaching. In this article we make a brief overview of the instruments used at HSE University for these purposes.
The Circumpolar North has been changing rapidly within the last decades, and the socioeconomic systems of the Eurasian Arctic and Siberia in particular have displayed the most dramatic changes. Here, anthropogenic drivers of environmental change such as migration and industrialization are added to climate-induced changes in the natural environment such as permafrost thawing and increased frequency of extreme events. Understanding and adapting to both types of changes are important to local and indigenous peoples in the Arctic and for the wider global community due to transboundary connectivity. As local and indigenous peoples, decision-makers and scientists perceive changes and impacts differently and often fail to communicate efficiently to respond to changes adequately, we convened a meeting of the three groups in Salekhard in 2017. The outcomes of the meeting include perceptions of how the three groups each perceive the main issues affecting health and well-being and recommendations for working together better.
The Mauritian population has the highest life expectancy in Africa. However, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, stroke, influenza and pneumonia, and lung, breast and colon-rectum cancers are countering the health success of the country. Males, unlike females, are burdened by these diseases. The study assessed the contribution age and cause-specific mortality to the gap in life expectancy among males and females in Mauritius from 2005 to 2015. The role of the age and cause-specific mortality to life expectancy among males and females in Mauritius was decomposed using the Andreev decomposition approach. The study revealed that recorded mortality rates from diabetes, ischemic heart disease, stroke, influenza, and pneumonia were higher among males than females. Health promotion activities will need to be scaled for these causes of death especially among males to achieve national and international health goals
An individual’s subjective judgment about his or her Human Immunodeficiency Virus status depends on certain factors, behavioral, health, and sociodemographic alike. This paper aims to develop a model with good accuracy for predicting subjective HIV infection status using the random forest approach. A total of 12,796 responses of Malawians over a 12-year period were assessed. Fourteen risk factors including behavioral, health, and sociodemographic information were analysed as potential predictors of subjective Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection status in the general population and thirteen behavioral, health, and sociodemographic information were analysed among males and females. The random forest approach was adopted to build a comprehensive model comprising 14 risk factors in Malawi. It was revealed that age, worries about infection, and health rate were the most significant predictors as compared to use of condoms, marital status, and education which were the least important predictors of subjective Human Immunodeficiency Virus status in Malawi. However, the importance of infidelity on the part of a spouse and marital status as predictors of subjective Human Immunodeficiency Virus status alternated among males and females. The importance of infidelity and marital status was relatively high among females than among males. The model achieved a prediction accuracy of about 97%–99% measured by c-statistic with jack-knife cross validation and verified by Mathews correlation coefficient. As a result, RF based model has great potential to be an effective approach for analysing subjective health status