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Although there were no self-avowed British atheists before the 1780s, authors including Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, Sarah Fielding, Phebe Gibbes, and William Cowper worried extensively about atheism's dystopian possibilities, and routinely represented atheists as being beyond the pale of human sympathy. Challenging traditional formulations of secularization that equate modernity with unbelief, Reeves reveals how reactions against atheism rather helped sustain various forms of religious belief throughout the Age of Enlightenment. He demonstrates that hostility to unbelief likewise produced various forms of religious ecumenicalism, with authors depicting non-Christian theists from around Britain's emerging empire as sympathetic allies in the fight against irreligion. Godless Fictions in the Eighteenth Century traces a literary history of atheism in eighteenth-century Britain for the first time, revealing a relationship between atheism and secularization far more fraught than has previously been supposed.
The purpose of the analysis presented in this book was to examine a highly distinct period in the tradition of republican liberty that developed in Poland–Lithuania and prevailed from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. It might be helpful to summarise some of the key elements of this tradition and its ideal of libera res publica – the free commonwealth, before moving on to remarks on how this tradition evolved in later epochs.
This chapter introduces the historical and political context for the analysis of the Polish republican discourse, including the constitutional arrangements of the Polish Kingdom and the rise of humanism in the fifteenth century. It presents the institutional background for the republican discourse that was provided by the rise of parliamentarism and several charters of rights and privileges issued by Polish kings in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. These developments greatly contributed to the growing role of active citizenship and the vision of a free commonwealth. Not only was the Polish Kingdom in the fifteenth century not becoming more centralised and absolutist, but it was heading towards an elective parliamentary monarchy within the Jagiellonian dynasty, with a growing role for the representative body of the Sejm. This alone was a fertile ground for the emergence of a republican discourse of liberty and res publica. The chapter also discusses how Renaissance humanism and its studia humanitatis opened up the Polish culture to the influence of Platonism, Aristotelianism, rhetoric and the interpretation of the works of Cicero, often mixed with elements of the scholastic tradition.
Chapter 3 engages in a close analysis of several interrelated categories of the normative order that, together, provide the ethical foundations of the res publica. They include the concepts of virtue, the common good, citizenship, education and customs, which are discussed as representing a coherent normative political theory influenced by the classical republican tradition, but also by the empirical context of the Commonwealth. For the republican writers, it was evident that in a well-ordered political community liberty could be preserved only by the law and virtue. They paid scrupulous attention to character formation and the duties of citizenship. It is argued that, in doing so, they were followers of Aristotle and civic humanists for whom the virtuous character of citizens rather than a well-designed institutional order was the most important safeguard of liberty. This chapter stresses the influence of Platonic and Aristotelian insights in the republican discourse. Numerous texts published in the sixteenth century shared the same conclusion, that a free political community needed constant attention and improvement, because of the weakness of imperfect human nature
Chapter 4 focuses on the institutional foundations of a republican order, including the mixed form of government (forma mixta). All Polish republican authors argued in favour of the mixed polity, although they disagreed as to which of the elements of the mixed constitution should be strengthened or how the balance between them should be achieved. A close examination of these issues demonstrates that it is possible to talk about several republican projects at the time, as well as in later epochs, but there is no doubt that in Polish sixteenth-century republican visions of politics only a mixed res publica of a monarchical character was seen as the best guarantee of its normative foundations. In the republican discourse, the institutional order of the commonwealth served the same goal as the normative categories, which was the attainment and the preservation of a free and well-ordered polity. The category of a republic in its original Ciceronian form referred to the political order of a civitas libera, a free political community governed by laws and not by men.
The political theory that developed in Poland in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries can be read as primarily a theory of the libera res publica, a free, well-ordered commonwealth. The term res publica was widely used in both its Latin version and Polish calque (rzeczpospolita) and indicated that with the rise of the Renaissance prominence was given also in political theory to the heritage of the ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and its key political and ethical concepts.
A free political community (res publica) was supposed to be built on a coherent understanding of the nature of community and its goals, the sources of justice and law as well as on the paradigm of liberty. This second chapter provides conceptual analysis of the major republican texts that were published in Poland–Lithuania in the sixteenth century, looking particularly at the very concept of a res publica and its foundations: justice, the rule of law and the paradigm of liberty. In these works, the normative foundations of the res publica and its independence were seen as the most fundamental safeguards of individual freedom. At the same time, corruption was regarded as inimical to liberty, as the most pernicious obstacle to preserving the freedom and independence of the commonwealth. In the political discourse that developed, a number of authors shared the same vision of the best political order, which was deeply influenced by classical and contemporary republican ideas. But they disagreed as to the role of the lower strata of society and their status.
To measure the association between statewide adoption of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Core Elements for Hospital Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (Core Elements) and hospital-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (MRSA) and Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) rates in the United States. We hypothesized that states with a higher percentage of reported compliance with the Core Elements have significantly lower MRSA and CDI rates.
All US states.
Observational longitudinal study.
We used 2014–2016 data from Hospital Compare, Provider of Service files, Medicare cost reports, and the CDC’s Patient Safety Atlas website. Outcomes were MRSA standardized infection ratio (SIR) and CDI SIR. The key explanatory variable was the percentage of hospitals that meet the Core Elements in each state. We estimated state and time fixed-effects models with time-variant controls, and we weighted our analyses for the number of hospitals in the state.
The percentage of hospitals reporting compliance with the Core Elements between 2014 and 2016 increased in all states. A 1% increase in reported ASP compliance was associated with a 0.3% decrease (P < .01) in CDIs in 2016 relative to 2014. We did not find an association for MRSA infections.
Increasing documentation of the Core Elements may be associated with decreases in the CDI SIR. We did not find evidence of such an association for the MRSA SIR, probably due to the short length of the study and variety of stewardship strategies that ASPs may encompass.
Our study analysed evolving regional commitments on food policy in the Pacific. Our aim was to understand regional priorities and the context of policy development, to identify opportunities for progress.
We analysed documentation from a decade of regional meetings in order to map regional policy commitments relevant to healthy diets. We focused on agriculture, education, finance, health, and trade sectors, and Heads of State forums. Drawing on relevant political science methodologies, we looked at how these sectors ‘frame’ the drivers of and solutions to non-communicable diseases (NCD), their policy priorities, and identified areas of coherence and tension.
The Pacific has among the highest rates of non-communicable diseases in the world, but also boasts an innovative and proactive response. Heads of State have declared NCD a ‘crisis’ and countries have committed to specific prevention activities set out in a regional ‘Roadmap’. Yet, diet-related NCD risk-factors remain stubbornly high and many countries face challenges in establishing a healthy food environment.
Policies to improve food environments and prevent NCD are a stated priority across regional policy forums, with clear agreement on the need for a multi-sectoral response. However, we identified challenges in sustaining these priorities as political attention fluctuated. We found examples of inconsistencies and tension in sectoral responses to the NCD epidemic that may restrict implementation of the multi-sectoral action.
Understanding the priorities and positions underpinning sectoral responses can help drive a more coherent NCD response, and lessons from the Pacific are relevant to public health nutrition policy and practice globally.
People with cognitive disabilities face specific forms of discrimination and disadvantage in the criminal justice system, including in legal proceedings. While unfitness-to-stand-trial provisions are intended to assist in avoiding unfair trials, in application, such laws can exacerbate disadvantage. A recent research project sought to increase the participation of accused persons with cognitive disabilities in legal proceedings by developing, implementing and evaluating a model in which disability support workers were embedded in legal services in three Australian jurisdictions. This paper details the findings of a cost–benefit analysis undertaken of that model compared with the common outcomes for accused persons with cognitive disability, including a finding of unfitness to stand trial. The analysis provides evidence of how a tailored programme intervention at a critical point can provide savings in police, courts and custody costs in addition to improving the timeliness and quality of outcomes for people with cognitive disabilities.
Maternal education plays a central role in children’s health, but there has been little research comparing the role of maternal education across health outcomes. It is important to distinguish child health outcomes from medical care outcomes. Health outcomes such as short-term morbidity and stunting are multifactorial in origin and determined by a range of factors not necessarily under a mother’s control. Mother’s education, given the necessary structural factors such as medical centres, is likely to lead to increased access to, and uptake of, medical services. Using data from the 2004–05 India Human Development Survey, eight separate logistic regressions were carried out on 11,026 women of reproductive age and their last-born child under five years of age. The results showed that maternal education had the strongest association with medical care, immunization (except polio) and iron supplementation for pregnant mothers, moderate association with underweight and weak association with short-term diseases and stunting. In addition, the study investigated whether maternal education impacts child health and medical care outcomes through the intervening roles of empowerment and human, social and cultural capital. These intervening linkages were found to be missing for short-term diseases and stunting, bolstering the argument that the influence of maternal education is limited for these outcomes.