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Annual bluegrass is a troublesome weed in turfgrass, with reported resistance to at least 12 herbicide sites of action. The mitotic-inhibiting herbicide pronamide has both preemergence and postemergence activity on susceptible annual bluegrass populations. Previous studies suggest that postemergence activity may be compromised due to lack of root uptake, as well as target-site- and translocation-based mechanisms. Research was conducted to determine the effects of spray droplet spectra on spray coverage and control of annual bluegrass with pronamide, flazasulfuron, and a mixture of pronamide plus flazasulfuron. Herbicides were delivered to annual bluegrass plants having two to three leaves via five different spray spectra based on volume median diameters (VMD) of 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1,000 µm. Fluorescent tracer dye was added to each treatment solution to quantify the effects of herbicide and spray droplet spectra on herbicide deposition. In another experiment, the efficacy of 0.58, 1.16, and 2.32 kg pronamide ha−1; 0.022, 0.044, and 0.088 kg flazasulfuron ha−1, or a combination of the two, were assessed in iteration with droplet spectrum sprays of 400 and 1,000 µm on two pronamide-resistant and two pronamide-susceptible annual bluegrass populations. Spray droplet spectrum affected the deposition of pronamide and flazasulfuron, applied alone and in combination. Pronamide foliar deposition decreased with increasing droplet spectra. Pronamide efficacy was affected by droplet spectrum, with the largest (1,000 µm) exhibiting improved control. Flazasulfuron efficacy and pronamide plus flazasulfuron efficacy were not affected by droplet spectra. Pronamide plus flazasulfuron mixture controlled all four populations more effectively than pronamide alone, regardless of droplet spectra. A mixture of pronamide plus flazasulfuron applied with relatively large droplets may be optimal for annual bluegrass control, which offers valuable insights for optimizing herbicide application and combatting herbicide resistance. However, applications in this controlled-growth pot study may not mimic conditions in which thatch and turfgrass canopy limit the soil deposition of pronamide.
The mitotic-inhibiting herbicide pronamide controls susceptible annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) pre- and postemergence, but in some resistant populations, postemergence activity is compromised, hypothetically due to a target-site mutation, lack of root uptake, or an unknown resistance mechanism. Three suspected pronamide-resistant (LH-R, SC-R, and SL-R) and two pronamide-susceptible (BS-S and HH-S) populations were collected from Mississippi golf courses. Dose–response experiments were conducted to confirm and quantify pronamide resistance, as well as resistance to flazasulfuron and simazine. Target sites known to confer resistance to mitotic-inhibiting herbicides were sequenced, as were target sites for herbicides inhibiting acetolactate synthase (ALS) and photosystem II (PSII). Pronamide absorption and translocation were investigated following foliar and soil applications. Dose–response experiments confirmed pronamide resistance of LH-R, SC-R, and SL-R populations, as well as instances of multiple resistance to ALS- and PSII-inhibiting herbicides. Sequencing of the α-tubulin gene confirmed the presence of a mutation that substituted isoleucine for threonine at position 239 (Thr-239-Ile) in LH-R, SC-R, SL-R, and BS-S populations. Foliar application experiments failed to identify differences in pronamide absorption and translocation between the five populations, regardless of harvest time. All populations had limited basipetal translocation—only 3% to 13% of the absorbed pronamide—across harvest times. Soil application experiments revealed that pronamide translocation was similar between SC-R, SL-R, and both susceptible populations across harvest times. The LH-R population translocated less soil-applied pronamide than susceptible populations at 24, 72, and 168 h after treatment, suggesting that reduced acropetal translocation may contribute to pronamide resistance. This study reports three new pronamide-resistant populations, two of which are resistant to two modes of action (MOAs), and one of which is resistant to three MOAs. Results suggest that both target site– and translocation-based mechanisms may be associated with pronamide resistance. Further research is needed to confirm the link between pronamide resistance and the Thr-239-Ile mutation of the α-tubulin gene.
Management of total anomalous pulmonary venous connections has been extensively studied to further improve outcomes. Our institution previously reported factors associated with mortality, recurrent obstruction, and reintervention. The study purpose was to revisit the cohort of patients and evaluate factors associated with reintervention, and mortality in early and late follow-up.
A retrospective review at our institution identified 81 patients undergoing total anomalous pulmonary venous connection repair from January 2002 to January 2018. Demographic and operative variables were evaluated. Anastomotic reintervention (interventional or surgical) and/or mortality were primary endpoints.
Eighty-one patients met the study criteria. Follow-up ranged from 0 to 6,291 days (17.2 years), a mean of 1263 days (3.5 years). Surgical mortality was 16.1% and reintervention rates were 19.8%. In re-interventions performed, 80% occurred within 1.2 years, while 94% of mortalities were within 4.1 months. Increasing cardiopulmonary bypass times (p = 0.0001) and the presence of obstruction at the time of surgery (p = 0.025) were predictors of mortality, while intracardiac total anomalous pulmonary venous connection type (p = 0.033) was protective. Risk of reintervention was higher with increasing cardiopulmonary bypass times (p = 0.015), single ventricle anatomy (p = 0.02), and a post-repair gradient >2 mmHg on transesophageal echocardiogram (p = 0.009).
Evaluation of a larger cohort with longer follow-up demonstrated the relationship of anatomic complexity and symptoms at presentation to increased mortality risk after total anomalous pulmonary venous connection repair. The presence of a single ventricle or a post-operative confluence gradient >2 mmHg were risk factors for reintervention. These findings support those found in our initial study.
Using capture-recapture analysis we estimate the effective size of the active Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) population that a typical laboratory can access to be about 7,300 workers. We also estimate that the time taken for half of the workers to leave the MTurk pool and be replaced is about 7 months. Each laboratory has its own population pool which overlaps, often extensively, with the hundreds of other laboratories using MTurk. Our estimate is based on a sample of 114,460 completed sessions from 33,408 unique participants and 689 sessions across seven laboratories in the US, Europe, and Australia from January 2012 to March 2015.
Within contemporary welfare states a principle of welfare conditionality links eligibility to publicly funded welfare benefits and services to individuals’ acceptance of state-specified compulsory responsibilities or particular patterns of required behaviour. When welfare conditionality is implemented in policy and practice it routinely involves the use of two core elements. First, compulsion, that is, the requirement that certain people mandatorily engage with specified packages of support, typically designed with the intention of moving them off social security benefits and into paid work, or tackling antisocial/ problematic behaviours. Second, the application of various types of sanction for non-compliance. Those people who do not engage as specified face the denial, or loss, of welfare benefits and services as a consequence of their failure to comply.
Internationally, across many and various types of welfare regimes, welfare conditionality has become a key part of the process of welfare reform (for example, Cox, 1998; Dwyer, 2010; Betzelt and Bothfeld, 2011; Baumberg Geiger, 2017). Influenced by New Right thinking (Mead, 1982, 1986), policymakers and governments from across the mainstream political spectrum have become convinced that the instrumental use of various combinations of sanction (sticks) and mandatory support (carrots) can effectively change citizens’ behaviour to reduce ‘welfare dependency’ and promote personal responsibility. In reality this instrumental behaviourism has been largely implemented in response to the conduct and dependency of poorer and marginalised citizens (Dwyer, 1998; Bray et al, 2014; Harrison and Saunders, 2016; Grymonprez et al, 2020) who rely on what Titmuss (1958) identified as ‘social welfare’ benefits and services to meet their needs. Enforcing behaviour change among more wealthy citizens (the consistent beneficiaries of fiscal and occupational welfare) appears to be less of a concern for governments with the preferred mode of behavioural intervention, ‘nudge’ (Thaler and Sunstein, 2008), less directive or potentially punitive.
Welfare states have always sought to promote particular values and specific types of preferred behaviour alongside the meeting of different types of need (Mann, 1992; Dean, 1998). The advance of welfare conditionality across a range of welfare states and policy sectors can be regarded as an attempt to resolve the long-standing tension between care and control, inherent within social welfare (Goroff, 1974; Brown, 2017), firmly in favour of the latter.
A regularly repeated justification of welfare conditionality within social security systems is the claim that it is effective in moving people off social welfare benefits and into paid employment. Within the UK, the advent of ‘in-work’ conditionality within Universal Credit (UC), has further seen mandatory work search activity and benefit sanctions identified as appropriate tools for enhancing ‘progression’ within the paid labour market (PLM) and simultaneously reducing low-paid workers’ reliance on rent and wage subsidies via paid welfare and taxation systems (see Chapters Two and Three; Jones et al, 2019; Wright and Dwyer, 2022). Drawing on analysis of the qualitative longitudinal data generated by WelCond this chapter explores these claims. The first part of the chapter maps and highlights the differing work and welfare related trajectories and outcomes that ensued for the welfare service users (WSUs) who took part in repeat longitudinal interviews. However, the numerical mapping and typology offered facilitates only a partial and incomplete view of the ways that highly conditional social security systems impact on peoples’ pathways into, and out of, paid work. As Millar (2007: 537) notes, ‘quantitative data can map out trajectories … qualitative data can provide an understanding of what lies behind these’. Subsequent sections of the chapter, therefore, draw upon in-depth individual longitudinal case studies, presenting analysis that enables a more nuanced understanding of how, and why, welfare conditionality structures diverse work-related outcomes for different people, over time. On one level the individual case histories offered are illustrative of the wider patterns noted in the first part of the chapter. However, the detail and depth of these ‘condensed accounts’ enables a shift from ‘an illustrative case study towards the idea of an exploratory case history … [to] capture the essence of the interplay between agency and ecology, the particular and the general’ (Thomson, 2007: 57, 58).
As such they facilitate a deep and grounded understanding of the efficacy (or otherwise) of welfare conditionality in promoting and sustaining paid employment among social welfare benefit recipients.
Attaching behavioural requirements and conditions to receipt of social welfare benefits in the UK is not a new phenomenon. In 1911 the establishment of unemployment benefit saw claimants required to regularly attend the Labour Exchange office and sign a declaration that they were ‘available for employment’ to maintain their claim (see Harris, 2008, for fuller discussion of historical developments in unemployment benefit policy). In the early 20th century workfare type requirements, including non-negotiable attendance at labour camps by young unemployed men in the 1920s and 1930s, were also periodically introduced, particularly during times of economic crisis (Fletcher, 2014a; Cooper, 2021). However, since the late 1980s successive UK governments have embraced, extended and intensified welfare conditionality to an unprecedented extent with more stringent behavioural requirements applied to greater numbers of people in receipt of welfare benefits and services, and penalties (that is, benefit sanctions) for non-compliance have increased significantly in recent years. Concentrating on key policies initiated since the mid-1990s, discussions in this chapter outline developments in relation to the implementation of welfare conditionality in three substantive areas of the UK welfare state, namely: social security; social housing; and the management of antisocial behaviour (ASB) among groups of citizens variously labelled as problematic or vulnerable in different contexts (Brown, 2017; Brown et al, 2017).
The social security system
As noted in Chapter One, prominent American New Right thinkers were at the forefront of propagating the view that unconditional entitlement-based rights to social benefits were instrumental in establishing and sustaining a welfare dependent ‘underclass’ (see, for example, Murray, 1984; Mead, 1986). Despite the loss of much UK manufacturing industry and significant periods of economic downturn, much government rhetoric since the late 1970s drew on this narrowly defined narrative of welfare dependency to emphasise the individual failings of benefit claimants rather than wider structural changes as a key cause of unemployment (Jordan, 2014). In line with their general antipathy towards the idea of social rights and an extensive welfare state, the Conservative administrations of the Thatcher and Major governments (1979–97) instigated significant reductions in both the numbers able to claim unemployment benefits and the generosity of payments while simultaneously increasing the behavioural requirements attached to continued receipt of unemployment benefits.
Chapters Four and Five considered the efficacy of welfare conditionality in moving recipients off social security benefits into paid work and also in relation to the reduction or cessation of harmful and antisocial behaviour. This chapter sets out and explores other significant key outcomes that ensue when ‘work first’ welfare conditionality is extensively promoted and rigorously implemented. The use of benefit sanctions is central to welfare conditionality within social security regimes and the first part of the chapter offers a commentary on the unprecedented rise (and subsequent fall) in the number of benefit sanctions within the UK (see Chapter Two, the social security system). Discussions in the second part of the chapter then set out the WelCond project’s key findings in relation to the implementation of sanction-backed social security regimes, that is, the universally detrimental impacts on the health, financial and emotional wellbeing of those subject to them. Building on this, the third part offers more detailed discussions of how, and why, compulsion alongside the threat and implementation of benefit sanctions prompt a number of unintended behavioural outcomes as people seek either to retain receipt of their benefits, or alternatively reject the imposition of welfare conditionality.
The great UK sanctioning drive
During the period 2010–16, characterised as the ‘great sanctioning drive’ (Webster, 2016), the routine use of benefit sanctions in the UK significantly increased, reaching an unprecedented peak in 2013 before falling away in subsequent years (see Figure 6.1). Between 2009/ 10 and 2013/ 14 more than one-fifth of all those individuals who claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) were sanctioned at some point (that is, 1,833,035 of the 8,232,560 individuals who claimed JSA within the specified five-year period). It is estimated that in the year to 30 September 2014 there were approximately 895,000 JSA and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) sanctions issued before reconsiderations and appeals (Webster, 2015). The National Audit Office estimated that in 2015 there were around 800,000 referrals for a sanction decision among claimants of Universal Credit (UC), JSA, ESA or Income Support (NAO, 2016).
Powerful actors and institutions have long sought to make people behave in specific ways. Within feudal societies, nascent forms of the state were designed to deliver a monarch’s bidding and the threat or use of violence was a key tool in getting subjects to obey the sovereign power. Although retaining a monopoly on the legitimate use of force remains a defining element of the modern state, today, democratically elected governments tend to look beyond brute force and employ a range of techniques and tools to persuade citizens to act in particular ways (Kelly, 2016). Questions about how to make individual citizens behave more responsibly, particularly in relation to public health and environmental concerns, have become a more prominent concern within public policy in recent decades (Collins et al, 2003: 6 et al, 2010; Spotswood, 2016). As Kelly (2016: 11) describes: ‘Behaviour change is usually about making people different from how they are now.’ Policymakers use a range of tools to variously incentivise, persuade, cajole and compel people to behave in prescribed ways regarded as beneficial for the individual concerned and wider society.
This chapter explores how highly conditional welfare interventions are now regarded as important instruments of behaviour change by many governments. The first part of the chapter offers an initial brief overview of broader economic and psychological theories on behaviour change that have held sway within social science and continue to heavily influence the thinking of contemporary policymakers. In the second part, a consideration of how agency and behaviour have been conceptualised within the welfare conditionality literature and the relevance of different policy tools (that is, sanction, support, sermons and nudges) that policymakers have at their disposal when attempting to change the behaviour of those reliant on social welfare benefits and services is then offered. The third part reviews existing evidence on the effectiveness of welfare conditionality, in either moving those reliant on social welfare benefits into paid work or promoting the cessation of problematic behaviour among sections of the population.
Theorising behaviour change
The literature theorising human behaviour and the various models for understanding and generating behaviour change is vast.
This book uses qualitative longitudinal data, from repeat interviews with people subject to compulsion and sanction in their everyday lives, to analyse the effectiveness and ethicality of welfare conditionality in promoting and sustaining behaviour change in the UK.
Beyond social security the use of mandatory engagement with specified systems of support and associated sanctions for non-compliance to tackle the problematic conduct of certain individuals and families is now firmly established within social housing, antisocial behaviour (ASB), family intervention and criminal justice policies, especially with the UK (see Chapters Two and Three). Here discussions focus on the efficacy and impacts of welfare conditionality in triggering and sustaining behaviour change among citizens with more complex needs such as people experiencing homelessness, criminal justice system offenders and individuals and families whose actions have seen them subject to ASB or family intervention policies (FIPs). In order to capture a broad range of interventions within the WelCond study, each of these groups was initially separately purposively sampled. However, analysis revealed that many individuals within these three groups shared common histories in terms of their overlapping vulnerabilities and involvement in various types of behaviours that were perceived as harmful and/ or antisocial. Many had previously experienced and/ or continued to be vulnerable to street homelessness. Substance misuse and addiction, although not universal, was also a recurrent feature in some respondents’ lives. Alongside this, large numbers also discussed ongoing long-term mental and physical impairments, for which some were receiving various medical and therapeutic treatments while others were not. Across the three groups of people experiencing homelessness, offenders and people subject to ASB and/ or FIPs, a total of 82 welfare service users (WSUs) took part in two or three repeat interviews. Of these, 77 people were not in paid employment at their wave a interview and remained out of work at their subsequent repeat interviews. Given the often complex and multi-faceted issues and barriers these people routinely faced, it is perhaps not too surprising to report that welfare conditionality within the social security system overwhelmingly failed to trigger movements off welfare and into work among these often highly vulnerable respondents.
Having previously discussed the limited efficacy of welfare conditionality in moving people into paid work (Chapter Four), the first part of this chapter explores the impacts and effects of welfare conditionality when operationalised as an attempt to curb problematic ASB.
As noted in Chapter One, the use of conditional welfare arrangements which aim to influence the behaviour of social welfare recipients has become an established and expanding feature of UK welfare state provision over the last three decades. Against this backdrop the WelCond project (2013–19) had three core aims. First, to develop an empirically and theoretically informed understanding of the role of welfare conditionality in promoting and sustaining behaviour change among a diversity of social welfare recipients over time. Second, to consider the particular circumstances in which the use of welfare conditionality may, or may not, be ethically justified. Third, to establish an original and comprehensive evidence base on the efficacy and ethicality of conditionality across a range of social policy fields and diverse groups of welfare service users (WSUs).
A qualitative approach
Essentially the WelCond project team were attempting to explore and understand a number of linked questions about the fairness, impacts and effects, intended or otherwise, of welfare interventions underpinned by, and delivered according to, a principle of welfare conditionality. To do this we used a range of appropriate qualitative methods (see, for example, Ritchie et al, 2014; Mason, 2017). Initially, a comprehensive literature review and mapping of theoretical and normative positions related to welfare conditionality and behaviour change was undertaken alongside a rapid review of existing quantitative datasets appropriate to the various sampled populations under consideration within the project. A series of cross-disciplinary seminars convened with expert international speakers also informed the early theoretical work of the WelCond team.
To allow for a comparison of how differing legislative frameworks and political approaches might impact on the implementation and effectiveness of welfare conditionality we chose to undertake our fieldwork in England and Scotland. Before embarking on extensive qualitative fieldwork a series of consultation workshops were then undertaken with practitioners (involved in policy formation and the implementation of welfare conditionality) and WSUs. Subsequently, in order to generate new empirical data to inform our work, we undertook interviews with three sets of respondents. First, the team conducted 52 semi-structured interviews with policy stakeholders (including policymakers, senior officers from government, service provider agencies, umbrella bodies and campaigning organisations).
Beyond previously discussed efficacy issues, welfare conditionality also raises significant ethical questions about the fairness of its use. These debates are important for two reasons. First, because welfare conditionality, by directly linking prescribed patterns of individual behaviour to the regulation of citizens’ access to collectivised systems of welfare, raises profound questions about the substance and reach of welfare states. Second, because governments’ use of welfare conditionality as a behaviour change tool raises deep-seated disagreements about if, when, and why governments might be justified in seeking to modify citizens’ behaviour. The first part of this chapter reviews the main arguments made by proponents and opponents of welfare conditionality. It does this through a discussion of four key contested normative, ethical positions that inform the thinking of advocates and adversaries of welfare conditionality. These are contractualism, paternalism, mutualism and ‘unconditional’ entitlement; the latter based on either universal human rights or the more bounded universalism of national citizenship. Each of these four approaches offer differing ethical stances on the legitimacy of using behavioural mechanisms to alter and regulate citizens’ conduct and the fairness of denying, or rescinding, access to collectivised welfare provisions for non-compliant individuals. These essentially theoretical discussions then facilitate empirically grounded analysis of welfare service users’ (WSUs) diverse opinions on the rights and wrongs of welfare conditionality. The second part of the chapter explores WSUs’ views on the fairness of a principle of welfare conditionality, that broadly asserts that access to collective welfare goods and services should be made contingent on citizens accepting state-specified, individual responsibilities. Questions about the appropriateness of UK governments extending welfare conditionality to previously exempt groups (that is, lone parents and disabled people specifically) are then considered in the third section.
Advocates and adversaries: ethical aspects of welfare conditionality
Behaviour change usually becomes a focus for policymakers’ interventions when the conduct of a specific group is identified as morally reprehensible and/ or a particularly significant drain on state resources (Chatterton, 2016). These themes resonate strongly among proponents of welfare conditionality who view it as a legitimate approach for changing the behaviour of ‘irresponsible’ citizens who are dependent on social security benefits and welfare services.