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Mid-century Ireland was a society of surreal contradictions: an island that declared neutrality an emergency, a nation that became a republic by accident. This chapter examines how Irish writers responded to and reimagined the political and ideological contours of both states on the island in the post-war period, and in particular the creation by artists of altered states in which to seek refuge from the foreclosed reality of official Ireland(s). It charts the responses made by a group of writers whose themes ranged from a historical sense of dislocation and the search for a voice and an audience to an openness to vision and a careful attention to the environment. Initially discussing the novels of Elizabeth Bowen, Brian O’Nolan and Edna O’Brien, it outlines how they conceived of their roles within and beyond the nation in this time of change. The chapter then discusses how the outbreak of the Troubles in Northern Ireland provided the backdrop and impulse for new collective aesthetic projects in these later decades, such as the Field Day project and Atlantis magazine, that advanced the use of literature to imagine alternate Irelands beyond the pale of state and nation.
This paper examines the concept “career politician.” It seeks to clarify, systematize, and measure this ambiguous multidimensional concept in order to facilitate testing theories and hypotheses associated with it. We argue that career politicians are full-time politicians who lack significant experience in the wider world and have other distinguishing attributes for which they are both appreciated and criticized. From claims and critiques put forward by political scientists, journalists, publics, and politicians, we extract four principal dimensions: Strong Commitment, Narrow Occupational Background, Narrow Life Experience, and Strong Ambition. These dimensions and their indicators fit Wittgenstein’s family-resemblance conceptual structure, which is how we analyze, measure and validate them with data from a longitudinal study of British MPs spanning 1971–2016.
Metaphors are inescapable in human discourse. Policy researchers have suggested that the use of particular metaphors by those implementing policy changes both influences perceptions of underlying reality and determines what solutions seem possible, and that exploring ‘practice languages’ is important in understanding how policy is enacted. This paper contributes to the literature exploring the generative nature of metaphors in policy implementation, demonstrating their role in not just describing the world, but also framing it, determining what is seen/unseen, and what solutions seem possible. The metaphor ‘care pathway’ is ubiquitous and institutionalised in healthcare. We build upon existing work critiquing its use in care delivery, and explore its use in health care commissioning, using evidence from the recent reorganisation of the English NHS. We show that the pathways metaphor is ubiquitous, but not necessarily straightforward. Conceptualising health care planning as ‘designing a pathway’ may make the task more difficult, suggesting a limited range of approaches and solutions. We offer an alternative metaphor: the service map. We discuss how approaches to care design might be altered by using this different metaphor, and explore what it might offer. We argue not for a barren language devoid of metaphors, but for their more conscious use.
Although early life adversity (ELA) increases risk for psychopathology, mechanisms linking ELA with the onset of psychopathology remain poorly understood. Conceptual models have argued that ELA accelerates development. It is unknown whether all forms of ELA are associated with accelerated development or whether early maturation is a potential mechanism linking ELA with psychopathology. We examine whether two distinct dimensions of ELA – threat and deprivation – have differential associations with pubertal timing in girls, and evaluate whether accelerated pubertal timing is a mechanism linking ELA with the onset of adolescent psychopathology.
Data were drawn from a large, nationally representative sample of 4937 adolescent girls. Multiple forms of ELA characterized by threat and deprivation were assessed along with age at menarche (AAM) and the onset of DSM-IV fear, distress, externalizing, and eating disorders.
Greater exposure to threat was associated with earlier AAM (B = −0.1, p = 0.001). Each 1-year increase in AAM was associated with reduced odds of fear, distress, and externalizing disorders post-menarche (ORs = 0.74–0.85). Earlier AAM significantly mediated the association between exposure to threat and post-menarche onset of distress (proportion mediated = 6.2%), fear (proportion mediated = 16.3%), and externalizing disorders (proportion mediated = 2.9%).
Accelerated pubertal development in girls may be one transdiagnostic pathway through which threat-related experiences confer risk for the adolescent onset of mental disorders. Early pubertal maturation is a marker that could be used in both medical and mental health settings to identify trauma-exposed youth that are at risk for developing a mental disorder during adolescence in order to better target early interventions.
It is unclear how individual differences in parenting and brain development interact to influence adolescent mental health outcomes. This study examined interactions between structural brain development and observed maternal parenting behavior in the prediction of adolescent depressive symptoms and psychological well-being. Whether findings supported diathesis-stress or differential susceptibility frameworks was tested. Participants completed observed interactions with their mothers during early adolescence (age 13), and the frequency of positive and aggressive maternal behavior were coded. Adolescents also completed structural magnetic resonance imaging scans at three time points: mean ages 13, 17, and 19. Regression models analyzed interactions between maternal behavior and longitudinal brain development in the prediction of late adolescent (age 19) outcomes. Indices designed to distinguish between diathesis-stress and differential susceptibility effects were employed. Results supported differential susceptibility: less thinning of frontal regions was associated with higher well-being in the context of low levels of aggressive maternal behavior, and lower well-being in the context of high levels of aggressive maternal behavior. Findings suggest that reduced frontal cortical thinning during adolescence may underlie increased sensitivity to maternal aggressive behavior for better and worse and highlight the importance of investigating biological vulnerability versus susceptibility.
The Zika virus was largely unknown to many health care systems before the outbreak of 2015. The unique public health threat posed by the Zika virus and the evolving understanding of its pathology required continuous communication between a health care delivery system and a local public health department. By leveraging an existing relationship, NYC Health+Hospitals worked closely with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to ensure that Zika-related processes and procedures within NYC Health+Hospitals facilities aligned with the most current Zika virus guidance. Support given by the public health department included prenatal clinical and laboratory support and the sharing of data on NYC Health+Hospitals Zika virus screening and testing rates, thus enabling this health care delivery system to make informed decisions and practices. The close coordination, collaboration, and communication between the health care delivery system and the local public health department examined in this article demonstrate the importance of working together to combat a complex public health emergency and how this relationship can serve as a guide for other jurisdictions to optimize collaboration between external partners during major outbreaks, emerging threats, and disasters that affect public health. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:689-691)
The prevalence of depression rises steeply during adolescence. Family processes have been identified as one of the important factors that contribute to affect (dys)regulation during adolescence. In this study, we explored the affect expressed by mothers, fathers, and adolescents during a problem-solving interaction and investigated whether the patterns of the affective interactions differed between families with depressed adolescents and families with nondepressed adolescents. A network approach was used to depict the frequencies of different affects, concurrent expressions of affect, and the temporal sequencing of affective behaviors among family members. The findings show that families of depressed adolescents express more anger than families of nondepressed adolescents during the interaction. These expressions of anger co-occur and interact across time more often in families with a depressed adolescent than in other families, creating a more self-sustaining network of angry negative affect in depressed families. Moreover, parents’ angry and adolescents’ dysphoric affect follow each other more often in depressed families. Taken together, these patterns reveal a particular family dynamic that may contribute to vulnerability to, or maintenance of, adolescent depressive disorders. Our findings underline the importance of studying affective family interactions to understand adolescent depression.
The optimal balance between central governmental authority and the degree of autonomy of local public bodies is an enduring issue in public policy. The UK National Health Service is no exception, with NHS history, in part at least, a history of repeated cycles of centralisation and decentralisation of decision-making power. Most recently, a significant reorganisation of the NHS in 2012–13 was built around the creation of new and supposedly more autonomous commissioning organisations (Clinical Commissioning Groups – CCGs). Using Bossert's (1998) concept of ‘decision space’, we explored the experiences of local commissioners as they took on their new responsibilities. We interviewed commissioning staff from all of the CCGs in two regional health care ‘economies’, exploring their perceptions of autonomy and their experiences over time. We found significant early enthusiasm for, and perceptions of, increased autonomy tempered in the vertical dimension by increasingly onerous and prescriptive monitoring regimes, and in the horizontal dimension by the proliferation of overlapping networks, inter-organisational groups and relationships. We propose that, whatever the balance between central and local control that is adopted, complex public services require some sort of meso-level oversight from organisations able to ‘hold the ring’ between competing interests and to take a regional view of the needs of the local health system. This suggests that local organisational autonomy in such services will always be constrained.
If from a cultural perspective the idea of 1916 has continuing meaning for contemporary Ireland, it is to provoke critical reflection on the evolving and interconnected processes of aesthetic and historical transformation that act upon it. For some decades now, the cultural history of Ireland has been the subject of sophisticated literary analysis, with more sporadic attention given to the visual arts and music. This history has remained largely the site of established narratives of cause and effect, which have been shaped in turn by ideas of nation and state that have undergone little renovation, for all the more recent turn away from the canonical figures of high politics towards micro-studies of place and community. Recently, a shift towards memory and the transnational as theoretical terms of engagement has brought history closer to a literary study that understands Ireland and its culture as one part of a globally complex equation. To think of the cultural representation of 1916 is to ask questions of production and reception in a twentieth- and twenty-first-century Ireland that continues to be the contested site of far-reaching processes, in empire and after.
Evidence for this registers in the resurgence of 1916 as a public point of interest at key moments in political history. The Easter Rising has not been a constant cause for celebration in the hundred years since its occurrence. The fact of its centenary should not obscure the variable pull of its significance on the public consciousness, and as Anne Dolan has remarked, the civil war lingers still like Banquo's ghost at the commemoration feast. The cultural representation of 1916 north of the border is another matter altogether, given the synthesis of the Somme with particular kinds of unionist identity. There, sacrifice on the Western Front is significant of Ulster's loyalty to the crown, a split history that is inaccurate, partial and significant mostly of subsequent conditions of twentieth-century Ireland, namely partition and violence.
These realities have their common core in the island of Ireland's deep experience of empire. Britain entered a new phase of global hegemony in the nineteenth century. British power was military and commercial, and the cultural effects of this combination registered in Dublin as home to a thriving music hall and cinema culture that integrated popular entertainment with sophisticated synergies of image, music and text.
Anderson (2014) uses an impressive, consolidating review of the literature to argue for major changes in cognitive science. Arguably, however, much of what he proposes is not particularly new. He also neglects important predictive coding approaches that call his perspective of the brain into question, and his misconstrual of evolutionary psychology devalues an influential paradigm that promises to complement his own.
Affective family processes are associated with the development of depression during adolescence. However, empirical description of these processes is generally based on examining affect at the individual or dyadic level. The purpose of this study was to examine triadic patterns of affect during parent–adolescent interactions in families with or without a depressed adolescent. We used state space grid analysis to characterize the state of all three actors simultaneously. Compared to healthy controls, triads with depressed adolescents displayed a wider range of affect, demonstrated less predictability of triadic affective sequences, spent more time in and returned more quickly to discrepant affective states, and spent less time in and returned more slowly to matched affective states, particularly while engaged in a problem-solving interaction. Furthermore, we identified seven unique triadic states in which triads with depressed adolescents spent significantly more time than triads with healthy controls. The present study enhances understanding of family affective processes related to depression by taking a more systemic approach and revealing triadic patterns that go beyond individual and dyadic analyses.
You can’t expect [politicians] to be perfect, but you can expect them to respect the rules. So it’s up to the rules to ensure they are adequate.
(Female focus group participant, Hackney)
With the partial exception of Chapter 3, where we surveyed the ethical landscape of British politics up until the 2010 general election, our primary focus throughout this book has been citizens’ subjective views of political ethics and politicians’ conduct. We have otherwise avoided engaging with debates about actual standards of conduct in British political life and institutional arrangements for ensuring high standards. We have also avoided engaging with the enormously important topic of how such standards and arrangements affect and are affected by subjective evaluations of political ethics, and what has been done and what might be done to improve the moral standing of politicians in the public’s eye. In this chapter we turn our attention to such matters.
Our starting point is the failure of recent official attempts to bolster wider public confidence in the integrity of national-level politics. As we saw in Chapter 3, the introduction of various codes of conduct and regulators since the mid-1990s has helped to institutionalise a preoccupation with ethics throughout public life. No generation of British politicians has ever been subject to such extensive and formalised ethics regulation. And yet, politicians are no more trusted than they were before. If anything, public confidence in the integrity of British political institutions and processes has declined.
As set out in Chapter 1, the vast majority of the survey data that we analyse in this book come from questions included in waves 2, 3, 5 and 6 of the British Cooperative Campaign Analysis Project (B/CCAP). B/CCAP was a panel study based on a sample of approximately 10,000 respondents; individual teams of researchers could ‘hire’ sections of this sample and ask them questions at various points in time. Our participation in B/CCAP was funded by the British Academy (grant No. SG-52322) and the Economic and Social Research Council (grant No. RES-000-22-3459). All the B/CCAP surveys were conducted online by the YouGov opinion polling organisation. Wave 2, ‘spring 2009’, was completed between 21 April and 6 May; wave 3, ‘autumn 2009’, was completed between 23 and 28 September; wave 5, ‘spring 2010’, was completed between 23 April and 4 May; and wave 6, the post-election survey, was completed between 15 and 30 June 2010. Our initial panel comprised 1,388 adult respondents from across Britain; this represented a response rate of 70.17 per cent of YouGov’s pre-selected sample. YouGov provided weighting variables for each wave reflecting the demographic characteristics of the entire adult population. Data concerning candidates’ and MPs’ attitudes, which we describe in Chapter 4, come from the 2005 British Representation Study. See Nicholas Allen and Sarah Birch (2012) for further details.
The variables that appear below appear in at least one of our figures or tables. Other questions to which we refer in prose only are described in full in the text or in footnotes.
Public perceptions of political ethics are at the heart of current political debate. Drawing on original data, this book is the first general account of popular understandings of political ethics in contemporary British politics. It offers new insights into how citizens understand political ethics and integrity and how they form judgments of their leaders. By locating these insights against the backdrop of contemporary British political ethics, the book shows how current institutional preoccupations with standards of conduct all too often miss the mark. While the use of official resources is the primary focus of much regulation, politicians' consistency, frankness and sincerity, which citizens tend to see in terms of right and wrong, are treated as 'normal politics'. The authors suggest that new approaches may need to be adopted if public confidence in politicians' integrity is to be restored.