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After high hopes in the initial post-communist years after 1989, disenchantment became noticeable in some sectors of the local populations in Central and Southeastern Europe. Among the problems which have alienated portions of local publics are the weakness of the economies (especially in Southeastern Europe), the monopolization of the media by new elites, and difficulties in building up constitutional orders, although in each case there are those who benefit from the persistence of these problems. In Catholic countries, especially but not only in Poland, abortion has figured as a pivotal issue, with the Catholic Church pushing for legislation to be binding on all citizens, both Catholic and non-Catholic. Differences in the present state of affairs reflect, in part, differences in the pattern of the breakdown of the communist system, from one state to the other, in particular between transitions engineered from above and transitions pushed forward from below.
The time separating the first appearances of species from their divergences from related taxa affects assessments of macroevolutionary hypotheses about rates of anatomical or ecological change. Branch durations necessarily posit stratigraphic gaps in sampling within a clade over which we have failed to sample predecessors (ancestors) and over which there are no divergences leading to sampled relatives (sister taxa). The former reflects only sampling rates, whereas the latter reflects sampling, origination, and extinction rates. Because all three rates vary over time, the probability of a branch duration of any particular length will differ depending on when in the Phanerozoic that branch duration spans. Here, I present a birth–death-sampling model allowing interval-to-interval variation in diversification and sampling rates. Increasing either origination or sampling rates increases the probability of finding sister taxa that diverge both during and before intervals of high sampling/origination. Conversely, elevated extinction reduces the probability of divergences from sampled sister taxa before and during intervals of elevated extinction. In the case of total extinction, a Signor-Lipps will reduce expected sister taxa leading up to the extinction, with the possible effect stretching back many millions of years when sampling is low. Simulations indicate that this approach provides reasonable estimates of branch duration probabilities under a variety of circumstances. Because current probability models for describing morphological evolution are less advanced than methods for inferring diversification and sampling rates, branch duration priors allowing for time-varying diversification could be a potent tool for phylogenetic inference with fossil data.
Certain taxa are noticeably common within collections, widely distributed, and frequently long-lived. We have examined these dominant genera as compared with rarer genera, with a focus on their temporal histories. Using occurrence data from the Paleobiology Database, we determined which genera belonging to six target groups ranked among the most common within each of 49 temporal bins based on occurrences. The turnover among these dominant taxa from bin to bin was then determined for each of these groups, and all six groups when pooled. Although dominant genera are only a small fraction of all genera, the patterns of turnover mimic those seen in much larger compilations of total biodiversity. We also found that differences in patterns of turnover at the top ranks among the higher taxa reflect previously documented comparison of overall turnover among these classes. Both dominant and nondominant genera exhibit, on average, symmetrical patterns of rise and fall between first and last appearances. Dominant genera rarely begin at high ranks, but nevertheless tend to be more common when they first appear than nondominant genera. Moreover, dominant genera rarely are in the top 20 when they last appear, but still typically occupy more localities than nondominant genera occupy in their last interval. The mechanism(s) that produce dominant genera remain unclear. Nearly half of dominant genera are the type genus of a family or subfamily. This is consistent with a simple model of morphological and phylogenetic diversification and sampling.
This book explores the possible meanings of the 'Global South' and assesses the advantages and disadvantages of adopting it for understanding the contemporary world. It casts a wide exploratory net, addressing historical transformations of world-interpretation and wider cultural-intellectual meanings.
THE TERMS ‘Global South’ and ‘Global North’ are the latest in a long series of conceptual distinctions that serve as attempts at world-interpretation and world-ordering. By now they are widely used without further explanation, in particular the term ‘Global South’, showing that they have entered common language in global public debate. A recent bibliometric study showed that the use of the term ‘Global South’ in the social sciences and humanities has been steadily increasing from 19 in 2004 to 248 in 2013 (Pagel et al. 2014; for general reflections on this rise, see Hylland Eriksen 2015). There are now scholarly journals that carry the term in their title, such as The Global South, published by Indiana University Press and already in its tenth year, or the open access online journal Bandung: Journal of the Global South. Higher education institutions have started to honour the concept by institutionalising it, such as through the Global South Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science or the Global South Studies Center at the University of Cologne. If rapid diffusion is a measure, the apparently geographical distinction between South and North is a great success.
At the same time, this distinction is problematic in numerous respects. Indeed, the stream of publications in which the term ‘South’ is used as a concept – or, some might prefer to say: in place of a concept – as if it had an evident and generally accepted referent keeps being accompanied by a debate about the very meaning and usefulness of the term, in which numerous and not at all consonant voices can be heard. To give just a few illustrations: conceptually, the distinction between North and South has multiple – overlapping, but not identical – meanings. North/South may be taken to be a distinction between the rich and the poor, the dominant and the dominated, the centre and the periphery, the ‘advanced industrial societies’ and the ‘developing’ ones, among others. Empirically, the Global South is not identical with the southern hemisphere, in which societies of the Global North, such as Australia, are located, and vice versa.
There is limited information on the presentation and characteristics of psychotic illness experienced by people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
To describe autistic and psychotic phenomenology in a group of individuals with comorbid ASD and psychosis (ASD–P) and compare this group with populations affected by either, alone.
We studied 116 individuals with ASD–P. We compared features of their ASD with people with ASD and no comorbid psychosis (ASD–NP), and clinical characteristics of psychosis in ASD–P with people with psychosis only.
Individuals with ASD–P had more diagnoses of atypical psychosis and fewer of schizophrenia compared with individuals with psychosis only. People with ASD–P had fewer stereotyped interests/behaviours compared with those with ASD–NP.
Our data show there may be a specific subtype of ASD linked to comorbid psychosis. The results support findings that psychosis in people with ASD is often atypical, particularly regarding affective disturbance.
Child conduct problems (CP) reflect a heterogeneous collection of oppositional, aggressive, norm-violating, and sometimes violent behaviors, whereas child callous–unemotional (CU) behaviors reflect interpersonal styles of interactions reflecting a lack of guilt and empathy as well as uncaring and shallow emotional responses to others. Taken together, high levels of child CP and CU behaviors are thought to identify a relatively homogenous group of children at elevated risk for persistent and more severe problem behaviors across childhood and into adulthood. Although a large body of research has examined the developmental etiology of CP behaviors, only recently has a developmental psychopathology approach been applied to early CU behaviors. The current study examines multiple levels of contextual influences during the first years of life, including family socioeconomic status, household chaos, and parenting behaviors, on CP and CU behaviors assessed during the first-grade year. Whereas previous studies found associations between parenting behaviors and child problem behaviors moderated by household chaos, the current study found no evidence of moderation. However, path analyses suggest that the associations between child CP and CU behaviors and the contextual variables of socioeconomic status (family income and parental education) and household chaos (disorganization and instability) were mediated by maternal sensitive and harsh–intrusive parenting behavior. Analyses are presented, interpreted, and discussed with respect to both bioecological and family stress models of development.
Economic developments are often seen as following their own logics: driven by scientific-technical innovations, such as in the three ‘industrial revolutions’; by market laws of competition and utility, as assumed by the economic sciences; or by profit-seeking expansion and commodification, as maintained by neo-Marxist critical theory. There is a broad consensus today that we have entered a new phase of capitalism since the 1980s, and all three approaches have been employed to understand the recent transformation of capitalism and the specific dynamics of this new phase. To emphasise the inherent logics of an industrial-capitalist-market economy, however, entails downplaying the impact of other social phenomena on economic developments. Such selective emphasis has long been enhanced by disciplinary specialisation in the social sciences and by the assumption that ‘modern societies’ are functionally differentiated and permit each ‘subsystem’ to operate on its own terms. Nevertheless it is surprising that such emphasis is maintained in a context in which ‘the economy’ is marked by dysfunctions, generating crises, poverty, inequality, unemployment and the devastation of the earth, and in which calls for political action to put the economy back on a societally beneficial track are widely voiced. After all, we supposedly live in an era of ‘democratisation’; and if democracy means collective self-determination, it should be possible, in principle, to regulate economic action with a view to collective benefit.
As we shall see, current analyses of capitalism and democracy tend to argue that the posture of ‘yes we can’ is nothing but misplaced political voluntarism and that political claims today are merely another case of ‘we want but we cannot’, to use a common Spanish expression. This chapter, in contrast, argues that democracy matters and can bring about transformations of capitalism, though not without unintended consequences. It will start, in the first section, from observations on a recent turn in the European – or ‘Northern’ – analysis of capitalism away from political considerations and back towards the emphasis on the economy alone. A critical discussion of this shift shows that its limitations arise through its temporally and spatially confined perspective.
We live, supposedly, in the era of freedom and democracy. Never have human rights, many of which are rights to freedom, and democracy been as widely discussed and accepted as key political reference points across the globe as today. Certainly, these commitments are not adhered to everywhere. But recent debate and practice even suggest that external actors have both the right and the responsibility to promote freedom and democracy in regions of the globe where they are not – not yet, as many are inclined to think – fully accepted. This is, so to say, the official view of current politics.
This volume elaborates a very different, much more critical angle on the political condition of the present time. But it also suggests that this official view has to be taken seriously, that it cannot be rejected as merely ideological, as masking domination, as many critics pretend. The official view is based on two key assumptions, one conceptual and the other empirical-historical: that freedom and democracy can attain a coherent, stable form and that this form has been reached in major parts of the world and is about to be achieved in most others, individualisation and democratisation being among the most powerful dynamics of our time. In contrast, this volume maintains that the commitments to freedom and democracy are highly ambiguous and volatile, that they constitute a field of tensions that, in conceptual terms, is devoid of any inclinations towards stability. In historical perspective, furthermore, it suggests that freedom and democracy may have had achieved a temporary, and far from unproblematic, stability in some parts of the world several decades ago, roughly around 1960, but that this stability is long gone and unlikely to return in any similar form.
To characterise the conceptual and empirical agenda of this volume further, we shall start out by capturing some key features of that historical moment: at about 1960, the contemporary description of the political situation in terms of co-existing worlds expressed this sense of relative stability and smooth, gradual change. The ‘First World’, despite the existence of some authoritarian regimes, was modern and had domestically achieved the institutional combination of personal freedom and inclusive democracy.
By placing political condition of our time in its long-term historical context, this book radically reconsiders key issues of political thought and gives you a comparative exploration of the current experiences of democracy in several world-regions.
Democracy is the hegemonic political form today, and at the same time it is often diagnosed as being in profound trouble, even as having reached the end of its possibilities. To arrive at a more adequate understanding of the current state of democracy, in the light of the observations and reflections of the preceding chapters, we proceed in three steps. First, we briefly portray the three dominant views of democracy as underestimating historicity in favour of conceptuality. Secondly, as an alternative, we try to identify the key tensions with the concept of democracy that are actualised in different ways under changing historical conditions. On this basis, finally, we outline the main reasons for the current trouble with democracy.
Three views of current democracy
According to the affirmative narrative, democracy is in its best state ever. After a long history of breakthroughs and setbacks, the democratic imaginary has finally imposed itself all over the world. A wide range of democratic institutions exists with considerable popular support, or at least consent, and there is no other political form that competes against it. At this moment, some contemporary thinkers and politicians do not hesitate to close the historical gap between reality and ideality, which had allowed for unlimited political progress to happen: nowadays reality and ideality are finally matching. Therefore, any critique of the existing democracies is only possible from an instrumental or technical perspective, not from a normative one – from a reformist, not from a radical one, to use Luc Boltanski's distinction. From this moment on, we only have to manage and administer efficiently the democratic institutions in order to keep together the form and content of democracy. The temporal gap between the idea of democracy and its actuality is closed; to criticise democracy would be tantamount to a rejection of democracy per se. Accordingly, the troubles that democracy faces are external and not generated by its own dynamics. They are associated with the other or the outside: religious fundamentalism, power relations, cultural difference and so on. Democracy itself is a stable political accomplishment.
In contrast, the existing critical narrative corresponds roughly to the inverted view. In short, it assumes that what is commonly understood as democracy is only a technique of government which conceals that the real constitution of political power is in fact nondemocratic: reality and ideality are always in conflict.