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This chapter defines robustness and fragility, argues that they can only be determined confidently in retrospect, but that assessments made by political actors, whilst subjective, have important political implications. We suggest some of the consideration that may shape these assessment. They include ideology, historical lessons, and the Zeitgeist. We go on to describe the following chapters, providing an outline of the book.
This volume focuses on the assessments political actors make of the relative fragility and robustness of political orders. The core argument developed and explored throughout its different chapters is that such assessments are subjective and informed by contextually specific historical experiences that have important implications for how leaders respond. Their responses, in turn, feed into processes by which political orders change. The volume's contributions span analyses of political orders at the state, regional and global levels. They demonstrate that assessments of fragility and robustness have important policy implications but that the accuracy of assessments can only be known with certainty ex post facto. The volume will appeal to scholars and advanced students of international relations and comparative politics working on national and international orders.
We review our theoretical claims in light of the empirical chapters and their evidence that leader assessments matter, are highly subjective, and very much influenced by ideology and role models. They are also influenced by leader estimates of what needs to be done and their political freedom to act. This is in turn shows variation across leaders. The most common response to fragility is denial, although some leaders convince themselves – usually unrealistically – they can enact far-reaching reforms to address it.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Common mental disorders (CMDs), particularly depression, are major contributors to the global mental health burden. South Asia, while diverse, has cultural, social, and economic challenges, which are common across the region, not least an aging population. This creates an imperative to better understand how CMD affects older people in this context, which relies on valid and culturally appropriate screening and research tools. This review aims to scope the availability of CMD screening tools for older people in South Asia. As a secondary aim, this review will summarize the use of these tools in epidemiology, and the extent to which they have been validated or adapted for this population.
A scoping review was performed, following PRISMA guidelines. The search strategy was developed iteratively in Medline and translated to Embase, PsychInfo, Scopus, and Web of Science. Data were extracted from papers in which a tool was used to identify CMD in a South Asian older population (50+), including validation, adaptation, and use in epidemiology. Validation studies meeting the criteria were critically appraised using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies – version 2 (QUADAS-2) tool.
Of the 4694 papers identified, 176 met the selection criteria at full-text screening as relevant examples of diagnostic or screening tool use. There were 15 tool validation studies, which were critically appraised. Of these, 10 were appropriate to evaluate as diagnostic tests. All of these tools assessed for depression. Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)-based tools were predominant with variable diagnostic accuracy across different settings. Methodological issues were substantial based on the QUADAS-2 criteria. In the epidemiological studies identified (n = 160), depression alone was assessed for 82% of the studies. Tools lacking cultural validation were commonly used (43%).
This review identifies a number of current research gaps including a need for culturally relevant validation studies, and attention to other CMDs such as anxiety.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
The family physician is key to facilitating access to psychiatric treatment for young people with first-episode psychosis, and this involvement can reduce aversive events in pathways to care. Those who seek help from primary care tend to have longer intervals to psychiatric care, and some people receive ongoing psychiatric treatment from the family physician.
Our objective is to understand the role of the family physician in help-seeking, recognition and ongoing management of first-episode psychosis.
We will use a mixed-methods approach, incorporating health administrative data, electronic medical records (EMRs) and qualitative methodologies to study the role of the family physician at three points on the pathway to care. First, help-seeking: we will use health administrative data to examine access to a family physician and patterns of primary care use preceding the first diagnosis of psychosis; second, recognition: we will identify first-onset cases of psychosis in health administrative data, and look back at linked EMRs from primary care to define a risk profile for undetected cases; and third, management: we will examine service provision to identified patients through EMR data, including patterns of contacts, prescriptions and referrals to specialised care. We will then conduct qualitative interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders to better understand the trends observed in the quantitative data.
These findings will provide an in-depth description of first-episode psychosis in primary care, informing strategies to build linkages between family physicians and psychiatric services to improve transitions of care during the crucial early stages of psychosis.
St Andrews was of tremendous significance in medieval Scotland. Its importance remains readily apparent in the buildings which cluster the rocky promontory jutting out into the North Sea: the towers and walls of cathedral, castle and university provide reminders of the status and wealth of the city in the Middle Ages. As a centre of earthly and spiritual government, as the place of veneration forScotland's patron saint and as an ancient seat of learning, St Andrews was the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. This volume provides the first full study of this special and multi-faceted centre throughout its golden age. The fourteen chapters use St Andrews as a focus for the discussion of multiple aspects of medieval life in Scotland. They examine church, spirituality, urban society andlearning in a specific context from the seventh to the sixteenth century, allowing for the consideration of St Andrews alongside other great religious and political centres of medieval Europe.
Michael Brown is Professor of Medieval Scottish History, University of St Andrews; Katie Stevenson is Keeper of Scottish History and Archaeology, National Museums Scotland and Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History, University of St Andrews.
Contributors: Michael Brown, Ian Campbell, David Ditchburn, Elizabeth Ewan, Richard Fawcett, Derek Hall, Matthew Hammond, Julian Luxford, Roger Mason, Norman Reid, Bess Rhodes, Catherine Smith, Katie Stevenson, Simon Taylor, Tom Turpie.