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This chapter discusses the overlapping interest in political communication and mediation in recent Chinese and European historiographies. It explores a shared trend towards the social appropriation and reproduction of central (or ‘state’) authority by various kinds of intermediaries in the late Middle Ages, and underscores the use of a comparative historical inquiry in analyzing the different modalities and effects of the social appropriation of state authority in Chinese and European history.
Keywords: political communication, mediation, literati, Catholic Church, clergy, political community
Comparisons between European and Chinese history are in danger of becoming the cliché of the global turn. Whether it is a case of comparative studies of empire, the exploration of ‘Great Divergence’, or the study of ‘Eurasian Transformations’, the choice of ‘Europe’ and ‘China’ as comparators seems inescapable. While there is some comparative work that deliberately takes a different line — Victor Lieberman's ‘Strange Parallels’ between Eurasian ‘rimlands’ would be one obvious example — it is not hard to see why discussion so often focuses on these two major centres of culture and power: there are rich Anglophone historiographies; there are equalities of scale; there is topicality; and there is a pre-existing comparative literature which inevitably raises questions for further examination. We make no apology for adding yet another layer of Chinese-European comparison in this volume. Although we shall draw on some established approaches — above all, the ground-breaking work of Shmuel Eisenstadt in the 1960s — we shall also seek to strike out in new directions.
As a starting point, we will build our comparison upwards, starting from themes that are more prominent in the regional literatures of European and Chinese history than in the comparative literature. We hope that this might help us to break free from some of the familiar repertoires of analysis — particularly the comparison of ‘states’ — and to do justice to the specificity of social experience, capturing something of the micro- and meso-levels of political life as well as the macro-level. Second, we aim to explore process more than structure or development. Like Eisenstadt, but resisting the pressure to create taxonomies, we want to get at patterns of interaction rather than grand narratives. Third, as the Introduction indicates, we want to extend our examination into periods less frequently compared.
Soft matter has historically been an unlikely candidate for investigation by electron microscopy techniques due to damage by the electron beam as well as inherent instability under a high vacuum environment. Characterization of soft matter has often relied on ensemble-scattering techniques. The recent development of cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) provides the soft matter community with an exciting opportunity to probe the structure of soft materials in real space. Cryo-TEM reduces beam damage and allows for characterization in a native, frozen-hydrated state, providing direct visual representation of soft structure. This article reviews cryo-TEM in soft materials characterization and illustrates how it has provided unique insights not possible by traditional ensemble techniques. Soft matter systems that have benefited from the use of cryo-TEM include biological-based “soft” nanoparticles (e.g., viruses and conjugates), synthetic polymers, supramolecular materials as well as the organic–inorganic interface of colloidal nanoparticles. Many challenges remain, such as combining structural and chemical analyses; however, the opportunity for soft matter research to leverage newly developed cryo-TEM techniques continues to excite.
This article focuses on the finite element modeling of toroidal microinductors, employing first-of-its-kind nanocomposite magnetic core material and superparamagnetic iron nanoparticles covalently cross-linked in an epoxy network. Energy loss mechanisms in existing inductor core materials are covered as well as discussions on how this novel core material eliminates them providing a path toward realizing these low form factor devices. Designs for both a 2 μH output and a 500 nH input microinductor are created via the model for a high-performance buck converter. Both modeled inductors have 50 wire turns, less than 1 cm3 form factors, less than 1 Ω AC resistance, and quality factors, Q’s, of 27 at 1 MHz. In addition, the output microinductor is calculated to have an average output power of 7 W and a power density of 3.9 kW/in3 by modeling with the 1st generation iron nanocomposite core material.
Significant reductions recently seen in the size of wide-bandgap power electronics have not been accompanied by a relative decrease in the size of the corresponding magnetic components. To achieve this, a new generation of materials with high magnetic saturation and permeability are needed. Here, we develop gram-scale syntheses of superparamagnetic Fe/FexOy core–shell nanoparticles and incorporate them as the magnetic component in a strongly magnetic nanocomposite. Nanocomposites are typically formed by the organization of nanoparticles within a polymeric matrix. However, this approach can lead to high organic fractions and phase separation; reducing the performance of the resulting material. Here, we form aminated nanoparticles that are then cross-linked using epoxy chemistry. The result is a magnetic nanoparticle component that is covalently linked and well separated. By using this ‘matrix-free’ approach, we can substantially increase the magnetic nanoparticle fraction, while still maintaining good separation, leading to a superparamagnetic nanocomposite with strong magnetic properties.
There are multiple recent reports of an association between anxious/depressed (A/D) symptomatology and the rate of cerebral cortical thickness maturation in typically developing youths. We investigated the degree to which anxious/depressed symptoms are tied to age-related microstructural changes in cerebral fiber pathways. The participants were part of the NIH MRI Study of Normal Brain Development. Child Behavior Checklist A/D scores and diffusion imaging were available for 175 youths (84 males, 91 females; 241 magnetic resonance imagings) at up to three visits. The participants ranged from 5.7 to 18.4 years of age at the time of the scan. Alignment of fractional anisotropy data was implemented using FSL/Tract-Based Spatial Statistics, and linear mixed model regression was carried out using SPSS. Child Behavior Checklist A/D was associated with the rate of microstructural development in several white matter pathways, including the bilateral anterior thalamic radiation, bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculus, left superior longitudinal fasciculus, and right cingulum. Across these pathways, greater age-related fractional anisotropy increases were observed at lower levels of A/D. The results suggest that subclinical A/D symptoms are associated with the rate of microstructural development within several white matter pathways that have been implicated in affect regulation, as well as mood and anxiety psychopathology.
In a piquant aside in his propitiatory treatise, The Tree of Commonwealth, Edmund Dudley remarked on the want of ‘lerninge of vertue and conning’ among the chivalrous classes of England, adding that this was the reason why ‘childeren of poore men and meane folke’ were promoted to high office. How, if at all, Dudley meant these words to bear upon himself is not clear: although he is to us the very epitome of a legally trained and low-born evil councillor, he was actually a Sussex gentleman, the grandson of a baron in a cadet line and the nephew of a bishop. It was a literary commonplace that noblemen lacked learning, and Dudley was far from alone among contemporary pundits in suggesting they should be better educated. What gave his views an edge – besides his personal notoriety and the peculiarity of his circumstances – was his attempt to provide a sociological explanation for the supposed rise of councillors who had been ‘y-broughte up of noughte’: those ‘caitiffs and villains of simple birth’, who were so widely denounced in the second half of the fifteenth century. Where public opinion complained about the ‘covetise’ of these men, Dudley presented their education as a positive reason why they were so influential. In doing so, he drew on other strands in contemporary discussion of counsel: first, approbation for training in the humanities – classical rhetoric, history and philosophy – as a preparation for service to the res publica or commonwealth; and, second, admiration for wisdom, expertise and impartiality – not the olympian detachment of the wealthy landowner, assumed to be above bribery and self-promotion, but the disengagement of the professional administrator from lordly networks and court factions. Dudley's words thus evoke two of the major themes in historical discussion of the decades around 1500: the rise of a class of ‘new men’ in place of the ‘old nobility’; and the arrival of new kinds of training – in the reviving classics or the common law – at the heart of government.
Once upon a time, it was axiomatic that these themes were interwoven: two different facets of the emerging Tudor despotism, founded on the destruction of the medieval baronage and the rise of a newly educated and secular ‘middle class’. For much of the twentieth century, however, such views were under attack.