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This article interrogates the operating logic of China's street-level regulatory state, demonstrating that residents’ committees (RCs) assume a role as regulatory intermediaries to enhance the efficiency of local governance. Using Shanghai's new recycling regulations as a case study, it explores the mechanisms by which RCs elicit not only citizens’ compliance but also active participation. We show that the central mechanisms derive from the RCs’ skilful mobilization of particular social forces, namely mianzi and guanxi, which are produced within close-knit social networks inside Shanghai's housing estates (xiaoqu). We advance three arguments in the study of China's emerging regulatory state. First, we show how informal social forces are employed in regulatory governance at the street level, combining authoritarian control with grassroots participation. Second, the focus on RCs as regulatory intermediaries reveals the important role played by these street-level administrative units in policy implementation. Third, we suggest that the RCs’ harnessing of informal social forces is essential not only for successful policy implementation at street level but also for the production of the local state's political legitimacy.
This article explores the way in which Russian and Chinese governments have rearticulated global trends towards active citizenship and participatory governance, and integrated them into pre-existing illiberal political traditions. The concept of ‘participatory authoritarianism’ is proposed in order to capture the resulting practices of local governance that, on the one hand enable citizens to engage directly with local officials in the policy process, but limit, direct, and control civic participation on the other. The article explores the emergence of discourses of active citizenship at the national level and the accompanying legislative development of government-organised participatory mechanisms, demonstrating how the twin logics of openness and control, pluralism and monism, are built into their rationale and implementation. It argues that as state bureaucracies have integrated into international financial markets, so new participatory mechanisms have become more important for local governance as government agencies have lost the monopoly of information for effective policymaking. Practices of participatory authoritarianism enable governments to implement public sector reform while directing increased civic agency into non-threatening channels.
The long-term effects of pediatric concussion on white matter microstructure are poorly understood. This study investigated long-term changes in white matter diffusion properties of the corpus callosum in youth several years after concussion.
Participants were 8–19 years old with a history of concussion (n = 36) or orthopedic injury (OI) (n = 21). Mean time since injury for the sample was 2.6 years (SD = 1.6). Participants underwent diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, completed cognitive testing, and rated their post-concussion symptoms. Measures of diffusivity (fractional anisotropy, mean, axial, and radial diffusivity) were extracted from white matter tracts in the genu, body, and splenium regions of the corpus callosum. The genu and splenium tracts were further subdivided into 21 equally spaced regions along the tract and diffusion values were extracted from each of these smaller regions.
White matter tracts in the genu, body, and splenium did not differ in diffusivity properties between youth with a history of concussion and those with a history of OI. No significant group differences were found in subdivisions of the genu and splenium after correcting for multiple comparisons. Diffusion metrics did not significantly correlate with symptom reports or cognitive performance.
These findings suggest that at approximately 2.5 years post-injury, youth with prior concussion do not have differences in their corpus callosum microstructure compared to youth with OI. Although these results are promising from the perspective of long-term recovery, further research utilizing longitudinal study designs is needed to confirm the long-term effects of pediatric concussion on white matter microstructure.
Scholars of International Relations have called for the creation of a post-Western IR that reflects the global and local contexts of the declining power and legitimacy of the West. Recognising this discourse as indicative of the postcolonial condition, we deploy Homi Bhabha’s concept of mimicry and James C. Scott’s notion of mētis to assess whether international political dynamics of a hybrid kind are emerging. Based on interviews with Central Asian political, economic, and cultural elites, we explore the emergence of a new global politics of a post-Western type. We find that Russia substantively mimics the West as a post-Western power and that there are some suggestive examples of the role of mētis in its foreign policy. Among Central Asian states, the picture is more equivocal. Formal mimicry and mētis of a basic kind are observable, but these nascent forms suggest that the dialectical struggle between colonial clientelism and anti-colonial nationalism remains in its early stages. In this context, a post-Western international politics is emerging with a postcolonial aspect but without the emergence of the substantive mimicry and hybrid spaces characteristic of established postcolonial relations.
This article asks why the Russian government has developed new avenues for public participation in policymaking and delivery and assesses the extent to which these avenues introduce pluralism into these processes. Drawing on 50 interviews with individuals and citizens’ groups involved in either public consultative bodies or socially oriented NGOs, the article demonstrates the government’s desire to harness the knowledge and abilities of citizens and civic groups in place of state departments perceived to be bureaucratic and inefficient, while controlling and curtailing their participation. Arguing that these countervailing tendencies can be conceptualized as limited pluralism, a category elaborated by Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan, we show that citizens and civic groups are able to influence policy outcomes to varying extents using these mechanisms.
In vitro electrophysiology using microelectrode arrays (MEAs) plays an important role in understanding fundamental biologic processes, screening potential drugs and assessing the toxicity of chemicals. Low electrode impedance and ability to sustain viable cultures are the key technology requirements. We show that MEAs consisting of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) and coated with poly-L-lysine satisfy these requirements. Hippocampal cell cultures, maintained for 3–6 weeks on these MEAs, give high quality recordings of neural activity. This enables the observation of drug-induced activity changes, which paves the way for using these devices in in vitro drug screening and toxicology applications.
This article examines the emergence of the concept obshchestvennyi kontrol’ in Russian state discourse, the practices to which it has been attached and the legitimating narrative employed to justify them. It traces the concept of kontrol’ from Leninist conceptions olrabochyi kontrol’, through post-Stalinist discourses of narodnyi kontrol ‘, demonstrating that contemporary state-driven articulations of obshchestvennyi kontrol’ exhibit a substantial amount of continuity in the conceptualisation of the role of the citizen as assisting the state in its pre-determined goals. However, in contrast to rabochyi and narodnyi kontrol’, which were legitimated by various aspects of Marxist-Leninist theory, contemporary mechanisms of obshchestvennyi kontrol’ are accompanied by a rhetoric of increasing international competitiveness, thereby allowing the Kremlin to respond to international norms of a ‘small state’, outsourcing and civic participation.
There is a widening mental health treatment gap for children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. The region has few economic or human resources dedicated to the mental health of children and young people. The World Health Organization's Mental Health Gap Action Plan and the push for mental health to be included in the Millennium Development Goals have raised the profile of child mental health but comparatively few studies have estimated prevalence rates or assessed needs or tested interventions in African countries. In most countries there is no clear pathway to access treatment, especially in-patient facilities. This article considers these issues from clinical, educational and research perspectives.
We report three cases of an abnormal finding of duplicated left pulmonary artery: two of these occurring in children with Kabuki syndrome and configuring the setting of a pseudo-pulmonary sling without any clinical or cardiac cross-sectional evidence of tracheal compression. The other case instead represents duplicated left pulmonary artery with pulmonary sling caused by the retro-tracheal course of the lower left pulmonary artery associated with “Christmas Tree” arrangement of the tracheo-bronchial system.
In both patients with pseudo-pulmonary sling and Kabuki syndrome, the abnormal finding was incidental during echocardiographic examination and neither of the patients required surgical repair for the condition. To the best of our knowledge, they represent the third and fourth cases in which such an anomaly of the pulmonary artery branches not forming a sling is seen in association with Kabuki syndrome. Another case represents our second experience and the second case reported in literature with duplicated left pulmonary artery in the setting of a complex tracheal anatomy. In this symptomatic patient, surgical repair of atrial septal defect and relief of the vascular ring were indicated, and the surgical repair was performed successfully at the age of 3 years.
Substantial improvements of agricultural systems are necessary to meet the future requirements of humanity. However, current agricultural knowledge and information systems are generally not well suited to meet the necessary improvements in productivity and sustainability. For more effective application of research output, research producers and research consumers should not be considered as separate individuals in the knowledge chain but as collaborating partners creating synergy. The current paper investigates the relationships between scientists and stakeholders and identifies approaches to increase the effectiveness of their communication. On-farm research has proven to be an effective means of improving exploitation of research output at farm level because it connects all relevant partners in the process. Furthermore, pilot farms can act as an effective platform for communication and dissemination. Regional networks of pilot farms should be established and connected across regions.