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I explore the construction of women as the secret for the ‘successful’ prosecution of war in Afghanistan. To do so, I take up the mobilization of gender in the US counterinsurgency doctrine as deployed in Afghanistan. I draw on the 2006 Counterinsurgency Field Manual, human rights and humanitarian reports, and scholarly works to identify and analyze this mobilization, paying attention to the colonial histories upon which COIN explicitly and implicitly relies. By critically integrating these sources and the paradigmatic moments that exemplify COIN, I demonstrate the constitutive relationship of gender and COIN. The valence of the secret – of women as concealing, revealing, being, and bearing the secret – is still a lesser explored element in the analysis of the gendering of COIN and of its ‘military orientalism’. Even as scholars have powerfully shown how, in the case of Afghanistan and elsewhere, the veil functions as an overdetermined and ‘multilayered signifier’ in its own right, symbolizing the ‘tension between disclosure and concealment that defines the dominant conception of the secret’, less subject to detailed analysis in case of Afghanistan is the ways in which Afghan women are constituted through COIN in polysemous relation to the notion of the secret.
In this article, we focus on the subset of evolutionary theorising self-identified as Feminist Evolutionary Analytic (FEA) within security studies and International Relations. We offer this accounting in four sections. First, we provide a brief overview of the argument that reproductive interests are the ‘origins’ of international violence. Second, we break down the definitions of gender, sex, and sexuality used in evolutionary work in security studies generally and in FEA specifically, demonstrating a lack of complexity in FEA’s accounts of the potential relations among the three and critiquing their essentialist heteronormative assumptions. Third, we argue that FEA’s failure to reflect on the history and context of evolutionary theorising, much less contemporary feminist critiques, facilitates its forwarding of the state and institutions as primarily neutral and corrective bulwarks against male violence. Fourth, we conclude by outlining what is at stake if we fail to correct for this direction in feminist, IR, and security research. We argue that FEA work misrepresents and narrows the potential for understanding and responding to violence, facilitating the continued instrumentalisation of women’s rights, increased government regulation of sexuality, and a more expansive form of militarism.
For this study, we adapted the Montgomery Borgatta Caregiver Burden Scale, used widely in the United States, to the Saudi Arabian context. To produce an Arabic, culturally sensitive version of the scale, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 Saudi family caregivers. The Arabic version of the scale was tested, and participants were asked to comment on the appropriateness of items for the construct of “caregiver burden” using the repertory grid technique and laddering procedure – two constructivist methods derived from personal construct theory. From interview findings, we examined the content of the items and the caregiver burden construct itself. Our findings suggest that the use of constructivist methods to refine constructs and quantitative instruments is highly informative. This strategy is feasible even when little is known about the investigated constructs in the target culture and further elucidates our understanding of cross-cultural variations or invariance of different versions of the scale.
Human shielding occurs through the use of the body—an individual or collective
physical presence—which is not armed and does not rely on the use of force or fire.
Understood as both a means (human shields) and a method (human shielding), shielding is the use of “civilians or other protected persons, whose presence or
movement is aimed or used to render military targets immune from military
operations.” Human shielding raises difficult doctrinal questions as to the
interpretation and implementation of international humanitarian law that are not
easily answered. This is in part because human shielding reanimates a series of
queries that, as I argue elsewhere, are constitutive of international
humanitarian law itself, namely: What and who is a combatant? What and who is a
civilian? Who is to judge and according to which premises? Human shielding reanimates
these questions because it is upon the definition of a civilian, in contradistinction
to the combatant, that the power and efficacy of shielding depends. As I have shown,
the distinction between civilian and combatant is partially constituted through
discourses of gender which naturalize sex and sex difference. These discourses, as
I sketch out below, are cited when theorizing the significance of human shields and
reappear when evaluating the representation and meaning of the embodied movement of
This study was undertaken to determine the optimum approach to screening for head and neck cancer based on international experiences.
To determine whether or not head and neck cancer is suitable for screening, and, if so, what the ideal approach should be.
An electronic search of online databases up to and including May 2014 was conducted. Key search terms included ‘head and neck’, ‘cancer’, ‘screening’, ‘larynx’, ‘oropharynx’ and ‘oral’.
Subset analysis of high-risk cohorts showed statistically significant improvements in early detection of head and neck cancer via screening.
Current levels of public awareness regarding head and neck cancers are suboptimal, despite increased incidence and mortality. Scheduled and opportunistic screening, coupled with efforts to enhance education and health behaviour modification, are highly recommended for pre-defined, high-risk, targeted populations. This can enable early detection and therefore improve morbidity and mortality.
To evaluate the survival outcomes of patients who underwent lateral temporal bone resection as treatment for metastatic skin cancers.
A single-institute, retrospective chart review was carried out on patients who underwent lateral temporal bone resection between January 2000 and December 2012. Overall survival and disease-free survival rates were calculated.
Forty-seven patients underwent temporal bone resection for primary (n = 21) or recurrent (n = 26) malignancies. The majority of patients (95.4 per cent) had advanced disease (stage III or IV). Average patient follow-up duration was 45 months. The 5-year and 10-year overall survival rates were 40 per cent and 23 per cent respectively. The five-year disease-free survival rate was 28 per cent.
Aggressive initial surgical resection is warranted in the treatment of these tumours.
Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) is a cross-diagnostic, patient-centred, self-management intervention for psychiatric illness. WRAP utilises an individualised Wellness Toolbox, a six part structured monitoring and response system, and a crisis and post-crisis plan to promote recovery. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of WRAP on personal recovery, quality of life, and self-reported psychiatric symptoms.
A prospective randomised controlled trial, based on the CONSORT principles was conducted using a sample of 36 inpatients and outpatients with a diagnosis of a mental disorder. Participants were randomly allocated to Experimental Group or Waiting List Control Group conditions in a 1:1 ratio. Measures of personal recovery, personal recovery life areas, quality of life, anxiety, and depression were administered at three time points: (i) pre-intervention, (ii) post-Experimental Group intervention delivery, and (iii) 6-month follow-up. Data was analysed by available case analysis using univariate and bivariate methodologies.
WRAP had a significant effect on two personal recovery life areas measured by the Mental Health Recovery Star: (i) addictive behaviour and (ii) identity and self-esteem. WRAP did not have a significant effect on personal recovery (measured by the Mental Health Recovery Measure), quality of life, or psychiatric symptoms.
Findings indicate that WRAP improves personal recovery in the areas of (i) addictive behaviour and (ii) identity and self-esteem. Further research is required to confirm WRAP efficacy in other outcome domains. Efforts to integrate WRAP into recovery-orientated mental health services should be encouraged and evaluated.
The air sacs of free-ranging birds of prey (n= 652) from southern Italy, including 11 species of Accipitriformes and six of Falconiforms, were examined for infections with Serratospiculumtendo (Nematoda: Diplotriaenoidea). Of the 17 species of birds examined, 25 of 31 (80.6%) peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) from Calabria Region and a single northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) from Campania Region were infected with S. tendo, suggesting a strong host specificity for the peregrine falcon. The northern goshawk and 18 of 25 infected peregrine falcons showed cachexia and all infected birds had bone fractures. At gross examination, air sacculitis and pneumonia were the most common lesions in infected birds. Microscopically, the air-sac walls showed thickening of the smooth muscle cells, resulting in a papillary appearance, along with hyperplasia of the mesothelium and epithelium, and foci of plasma cell infiltration and macrophages associated with several embryonated eggs and adult parasites. Extensive areas of inflammation were found in the lungs, characterized by lymphocytes, macrophages and fibroblasts surrounding embryonated eggs. The northern goshawk also had detachment of the dextral lung with several necrotic foci. In this case, the death of the bird was directly attributed to S. tendo infection. Lesions and pathological changes observed here suggest that S. tendo can cause disease.
Parasite assemblages of the Western whip snake Hierophis viridiflavus carbonarius were investigated from the Calabria region in southern Italy. A total of 14 parasite taxa including 6 nematodes, 3 acanthocephalans, 2 cestodes, 2 digeneans and a single pentastomid was identified. Within the study area, H. v. carbonarius serves as the final host for seven species of helminths, of which only four (Hexametra quadricornis, Kalicephalus viperae, Paracapillaria sonsinoi and Renifer aniarum) can be considered as snake specialists, while one (Oswaldocruzia filiformis) is shared with other reptiles and amphibians, and two (Paradistomum mutabile and Rhabdias fuscovenosa) with lizards. A large proportion of larval forms of six helminth taxa (about 95% of all helminths collected) was found, for which H. v. carbonarius serves as an intermediate and/or paratenic host; however, adult stages of helminths were prevalent in snakes with snout-to-vent length greater than 70 cm. Our results suggest that ontogenetic and ecological factors should exert a strong influence upon the helminth assemblage of Western whip snakes. We concluded that H. v. carbonarius plays an important role in southern Italy as an intermediate/paratenic host for species of helminths infecting vertebrate groups which may include this snake species within their feeding chain. Eleven taxa, including three potential agents of zoonosis, were added to the poorly known parasite fauna of this host.
The phasing out of the European Union (EU) milk quota will create opportunities for producers to expand without the constraint of quota which has limited expansion since 1984. Therefore, it will be necessary for Irish dairy producers to become more competitive by increasing performance using the least amount of inputs per unit of output and maximizing the level of technical and economic efficiency. The objectives of the current study were to measure technical, allocative and economic efficiency, and to investigate the associations of key management, qualitative and demographic characteristics on efficiency. Efficiency scores were calculated using the non-parametric methodology data envelopment analysis (DEA). The DEA results showed that on average the sample of Irish dairy producers were not fully efficient in 2008 with technical, allocative and economic efficiency results under variable returns to scale (VRS) of 0·771, 0·740 and 0·571, respectively. In a second stage analysis, Tobit regressions were used to determine the associations of key variables with the technical, allocative and economic efficiency scores. The efficiency scores were included as dependent variables and the key independent variables were a variety of management and demographic variables. Mean calving date, number of grazing days, breeding season length, milk quality, discussion group membership and soil quality were all associated with technical and economic efficiency. Milk recording, use of artificial insemination (AI) and level of dairy specialization were associated with allocative and economic efficiency only. Age and age squared were the only significant demographic associations with the efficiency scores.
The research presented here aims to mimic the highly specialized local environment of the retina and to exploit the principles that govern its function, in order to construct functional optical interfaces that can be used as biotransducers. In the retina, a chromophore isomerizes and the protein to which it binds changes shape. In this proof-of-concept experiment we engineer an artificial surface to mimic the physiochemical environment of the retina and the key reaction of the visual cycle. We immobilized small peptides on silicon and assessed changes in their surface properties upon chromophore binding via AFM. Our observations suggest that when binding occurs it is accompanied by conformational changes of the surface-anchored peptide.
The outcome of schizophrenia appears to be more favourable than once thought. However, methodological issues, including the reliance on diagnosis at first presentation have limited the validity of outcome studies to date.
We conducted a first-episode follow-up study of 97 patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia over the first 4 years of illness. First presentation and follow-up assessments were compared using paired t tests and a forced-entry regression analysis was used to determine prognostic variables.
There were significant improvements in positive and negative symptoms and global assessment of functioning between first presentation and follow-up. At first presentation, fewer negative symptoms (t=−3.40, p<0.01), more years spent in education (t=3.25, p<0.01), and a shorter duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) (t=−2.77, p<0.01) significantly predicted a better outcome at follow-up.
The outcome of schizophrenia may not be as pessimistic as once thought and most patients did not display a downward deteriorating course of illness. This study supports the relationship between DUP and outcome beyond the early stages of illness.
Non-attendance at out-patient clinics is a seemingly intractable problem, estimated to cost £65 (€97) per incident. This results in under-utilisation of resources and prolonged waiting lists. In an effort to reduce out-patient clinic non-attendance, our ENT department, in conjunction with the information and communication technology department, instigated the use of a mobile telephone short message service (‘text’) reminder, to be sent out to each patient three days prior to their out-patient clinic appointment.
To audit non-attendance rates at ENT out-patient clinics following the introduction of a text reminder system.
Non-attendance at our institution's ENT out-patient clinics was audited, following introduction of a text message reminder system in August 2003. Rates of non-attendance were compared for the text message reminder group and a historical control group.
Before the introduction of the text message reminder system, the mean rate of non-attendance was 33.6 per cent. Following the introduction of the system, the mean rate of non-attendance reduced to 22 per cent.
Sending text message reminders is a simple and cost-effective way to improve non-attendance at ENT out-patient clinics.