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Scholars of Britain’s external relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries readily acknowledge the global nature of their subject. Yet in practice, they tend to dissect it along bilateral lines or with an exclusive focus on the imperial periphery. The tension between Britain’s global strategic interests and its ability to safeguard them has likewise long been the subject of scholarly debates, invariably accompanied by more or less explicit assumptions about the nation’s decline in the twentieth century. Already Arnold J. Toynbee, in reflecting on the origins of the Second World War, contrasted Britain’s assumed position as ‘the arbiter of Europe’ from around the time of the War of the Spanish Succession at the beginning of the eighteenth century until the final years of peace before 1914 with the country’s reduced circumstances in the interwar period.
A fundamental truth about British power in the nineteenth century and beyond was that Britain was a global power. Her international position rested on her global economic, naval and political presence, and her foreign policy operated on a global scale. This volume throws into sharp relief the material elements of British power, but also its less tangible components, from Britain's global network of naval bases to the vast range of intersecting commercial, financial and intelligence relationships, which reinforced the country's political power. Leading historians reshape the scholarly debate surrounding the nature of British global power at a crucial period of transformation in international politics, and in so doing they deepen our understanding of the global nature of British power, the shifts in the international landscape from the high Victorian period to the 1960s, and the changing nature of the British state in this period.
Foreign ministries form a central part of modern diplomatic practice. They emerged slowly and haphazardly from the late fifteenth century onwards. With the growth in scope – both geographical and temporal – and intensity of diplomacy came the need for a central organization that could control and coordinate policy at the seat of government.
In Tudor and Elizabethan England, too, the steady growth of diplomatic activity spurred on institutional change in the shape of the Principal Secretary of State. Initially, an officer of the royal household, executing the decisions of the monarch and the Privy Council, over time much of his business came to be focused on foreign affairs.
We study the evolution of G2 in a Compact Source Scenario, where G2 is the outflow from a low-mass central star moving on the observed orbit. This is done through 3D AMR simulations of the hydrodynamic interaction of G2 with the surrounding hot accretion flow. A comparison with observations is done by means of mock position-velocity (PV) diagrams. We found that a massive (Ṁw = 5× 10−7M⊙ yr−1) and slow (vw = 50 km s−1) outflow can reproduce G2’s properties. A faster outflow (vw = 400 km s−1) might also be able to explain the material that seems to follow G2 on the same orbit.
With the help of 3D AMR hydrodynamical simulations we aim at understanding G2’s nature, recent evolution and fate in the coming years. By exploring the possible parameter space of the diffuse cloud scenario, we find that a starting point within the disc of young stars is favoured by the observations, which may hint at G2 being the result of stellar wind interactions.
Measurements of the proper motions and radial velocities of stars in the central cluster of the Milky Way have revealed the presence of a 2-3 million solar mass black hole at the position of the compact radio source Sagittarius A* (SgrA*). The overall stellar motions do not deviate strongly from isotropy and are consistent with a spherical isothermal stellar cluster. Speckle spectroscopy with SHARP at the NTT and slit spectroscopy with ISAAC at the VLT suggests that several of them are early type stars. This is consistent with the idea that these stars are members of an early type cluster with small angular momentum and therefore are now in the immediate vicinity of SgrA*. Most recent data now allows to measure the curvatures of the stellar orbits for a few of the stars that are closest to the center and have the largest proper motions of up to 1400 km/s. The curvatures indicate that the stars indeed orbit the central compact object and will allow to further determine its mass and compactness.
All 8-metre class telescopes will be equipped with adaptive optics systems in order to reach their highest angular resolutions. With the additional requirement for maximal sky coverage comes the mandatory use of a laser guide star. ALFA is an adaptive optics system using a sodium laser guide star, which is installed on the 3.5-m telescope at Calar Alto observatory. It has shown that it is possible to reach Strehl ratios better than 20% in the K-band. In this contribution we describe the design of the system, the observational trade-off necessary to use a laser guide star, and the performance that might be expected.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have long been considered potential endophenotypes for schizophrenia. However, few studies have investigated the heritability and familiality of NSS. The present study examined the heritability and familiality of NSS in healthy twins and patient–relative pairs.
The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory was administered to 267 pairs of monozygotic twins, 124 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 75 pairs of patients with schizophrenia and their non-psychotic first-degree relatives.
NSS were found to have moderate but significant heritability in the healthy twin sample. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia correlated closely with their first-degree relatives on NSS.
Taken together, the findings provide evidence on the heritability and familiality of NSS in the Han Chinese population.
In the past decade, various astrobiological studies on different lichen species investigated the impairment of viability and photosynthetic activity by exposure to simulated or real space parameters (as vacuum, polychromatic ultraviolet (UV)-radiation and monochromatic UVC) and consistently found high post-exposure viability as well as low rates of photosynthetic impairment (de Vera et al. 2003, 2004a; 2004b; de la Torre et al. 2010; Onofri et al. 2012; Sánchez et al. 2012, 2014; Brandt et al. 2014). To achieve a better understanding of the basic mechanisms of resistance, the present study subdued isolated and metabolically active photobionts of two astrobiologically relevant lichens to UVC254 nm, examined its effect on photosynthetic activity by chlorophyll a fluorescence and characterized the UVC-induced damages by quantum yield reduction and measurements of non-photochemical quenching. The results indicate a strong impairment of photosynthetic activity, photoprotective mechanisms and overall photobiont vitality when being irradiated in the isolated and metabolically active state. In conclusion, the present study stresses the higher susceptibility of photobionts towards extreme environmental conditions as UVC-exposure, a stressor that does not occur on the Earth. By comparison with previous studies, the present results highlight the importance of protective mechanisms in lichens, such as morphological–anatomical traits (Meeßen et al. 2013), secondary lichen compounds (Meeßen et al. 2014) and the symbiont's pivotal ability to pass into anhydrobiosis when desiccating.
[S]uch moments of worry flew away like cobwebs in the wind. Although, every now and then, we thought of war, it was no different from contemplating death – as something that was possible but presumably far away.
STEFAN ZWEIG (1944)
Jagow’s attempt to rationalize German decision-making up to this point of the crisis was tantamount to a declaration of political bankruptcy. Even though the head of the Wilhelmstrasse was acutely aware of the risks entailed in Berlin’s self-imposed passivity, he was determined to stay on the sidelines. There was, it is true, some tactical advantage to be gained from being able to maintain ignorance of Vienna’s intentions, if the crisis later escalated. But that in itself contained the risk – a not inconsiderable one as it turned out – of not being wholly credible. Above all, however, it meant abdicating all influence over the Habsburg leadership at the inception of Austria-Hungary’s planned offensive against Serbia; and that would make it all the more difficult to re-establish any kind of influence later on. Apparent ignorance was thus purchased at the price of impotence. To some extent, Berlin was driven by the perceived weakness of the Austro-Hungarian ally; and that fear of the spiralling decline of the Habsburg Empire gave Vienna a form of negative power over Germany. It was a case of the strong submitting to being led by the weak.
Being led by Vienna also meant being misled. For, by the middle of July, Count Berchtold no longer consulted with the government at Berlin. Indeed he was reluctant to share any information with the Wilhelmstrasse, and would not do so until he communicated, on 22 July, the full text of the ultimatum to be delivered to Belgrade. Berchtold did not wish to give Berlin the opportunity to change course and restrain Habsburg policy, as had been the case during the Balkan turmoil in 1912–13. But his sudden reserve also stemmed from a fear of leaks. By now almost three weeks had passed since the murder of the Archduke and his wife. Any careless indiscretion, any mischievous rumour – the two banes of the diplomatic profession – might force open the whole issue and bring about the interference of the other Powers. Such fears were not groundless.
The initial fright at this war that no-one had wanted, not the peoples, not the government – this war, which had slipped out of the clumsy hands of the diplomats, who had played and bluffed with it – had turned into sudden enthusiasm.
STEFAN ZWEIG (1944)
Giesl’s departure from Belgrade and the severing of diplomatic relations between the Monarchy and Serbia created a new situation in Europe. From the beginning of the Sarajevo crisis, Berchtold later argued, Vienna’s aim had been to coerce the Serbian government into giving both a guarantee that the assassination plot would be thoroughly investigated, and, to reinforce it, a pledge to refrain in future from any anti-Habsburg activities. Belgrade’s reply to the démarche offered nothing of the kind, as Giesl confirmed personally when he called on Berchtold and his senior officials at the Ballhausplatz at 4 p.m. on 26 July. The envoy’s declaration, Berchtold recalled, was decisive: ‘practically nothing had been achieved with the Serbian move and that everything would remain unchanged . . . It would have meant deceiving ourselves had we accepted an apparent but in concreto useless success.’
It must be doubted whether Giesl’s pronouncement was indeed key to decision-making at Vienna. Austria-Hungary’s last envoy to Serbia had merely done what he had been told to do. But Berchtold was satisfied that the breach with Belgrade bore Giesl’s imprimatur. ‘None of us’, one of the officials at the Ballhausplatz explained, ‘could have done it; only a soldier could do it’. Giesl’s profound knowledge of the Balkans and the Southern Slav peoples – he was married to a Serbian lady – also offered a convenient umbrella for protection against current and later criticism. Berchtold himself had worked purposefully towards conflict with Serbia, a third Balkan war that would roll back the recent expansion of the neighbouring kingdom and reassert Austria-Hungary’s beleaguered position and waning influence in the region. The ‘tunnel vision’ of the Habsburg leadership was exclusivly focused on this single object, the diminution, if not outright destruction, of Serbia.