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Research on society and environment has a rich history that is challenging to access. We define socio-environmental research as structured inquiry about the reciprocal relationships between society and environment. It has evolved from early observational expeditions to today’s data-intensive, interdisciplinary work. We assemble readings from the late 1700s to the mid-1990s to showcase this legacy and organize readings into chapters. Each chapter is introduced by a prominent scholar, who discusses the context key insights. Considered over time, readings suggest certain research themes have endured, forming lineages: a focus on populations and their resource bases, sustainable management of common-pool resources, society and land, technology, and systems. As a guide, this anthology can help new researchers gain a basic vocabulary and overview of different research traditions. Current researchers can learn different ways to conceptualize society–environment relationships, supporting interdisciplinary teams. For specialists in socio-environmental research, the readings can stimulate new questions and illuminate the historic nature of contemporary ideas and concerns.
A distinct branch of socio-environmental research, grounded in the physical principles of conservation of mass and energy, applies a systems modeling approach to society–environment interactions, emphasizing material and energy flows. Technology and technological advancement, alongside population and resources, feature prominently in determining the metabolisms linking society and nature. This approach mostly focuses on analyzing industrial systems (e.g. Ayers and Kneese, Meadows et al., Beck, Graedel et al.) but also offers insight on agrarian societies (Boserup) and hunter-gatherer communities (Fischer–Kowalski). Across these levels of social organization, technology is variously viewed as overcoming the limits nature places on society, as facilitating the resource exploitation and production of waste that lead to social collapse, or as the basis for internalizing externalities and building a circular economy. Key readings constituting this branch of socio-environmental research draw on tools from economics and engineering, such as input–output models, system models, feedback loops, environmental impact analysis, and material and energy flow accounting.
This article examines a pair of anecdotes in the works of Suetonius and Cassius Dio, describing Nero's passionate late-career interest in the instrument known as the hydraulis or water-organ. The first half of the article contextualizes the water-organ episode in light of both the history of the instrument's reputation and the wider characterization of Nero in the literary sources. The rest of the article uses the episode to shed light on Nero's self-representation as princeps, focussing on the significance of the water-organ as both a musical instrument and a technological marvel. On the one hand, the organ's popularity with Roman audiences of the Early Imperial period made it a politically strategic choice for a music-loving emperor with strong populist leanings. On the other hand, the association of the organ with the intellectual world of Hellenistic Alexandria appealed to a certain group of Roman elites (including Nero himself), who shared a keen interest in technological innovation and technical knowledge more broadly. In the end, however, Nero's experiments with the water-organ were cleverly trivialized by hostile writers and redeployed as an illustration of the emperor's most appalling vices.
In this chapter, the philosopher Mathias Risse reflects on the medium and long-term prospects and challenges democracy faces from AI. Comparing the political nature of AI systems with traffic infrastructure, the author points out AI’s potential to greatly strengthen democracy, but only with the right efforts. The chapter starts with a critical examination of the relation between democracy and technology with a historical perspective before outlining the techno skepticism prevalent in several grand narratives of AI. Finally, the author explores the possibilities and challenges that AI may lead to in the present digital age. He argues that technology critically bears on what forms of human life get realised or imagined, as it changes the materiality of democracy (by altering how collective decision making unfolds) and what its human participants are like. In conclusion, Mathias Risse argues that both technologists and citizens need to engage with ethics and political thoughts generally to have the spirit and dedication to build and maintain a democracy-enhancing AI infrastructure.
One important piece of the return to the 1970s is to return to 1970s levels of crime. The good news is we are already well on our way. As Figure 21.1, from the PEW Research Center, shows, the United States has been enjoying steady declines in the crime rate since the 1990s.1
This article examines the work and trajectory of ʿAbd al-Salam al-Diyuri, a Moroccan engineer educated in Egypt who became a nationalist writer, editor, and publisher during the last decade of the French Protectorate (1912–56). One of only a few Moroccan engineers trained in Arabic during this period, al-Diyuri developed a vision of modernization rooted in the popularization of technical knowledge that distinguished him from colonial engineers as well as nationalist elites. French experts exercised an epistemic dominance over the practice of engineering under the protectorate as well as after Morocco's independence. In this context, al-Diyuri's arguments traced the contours of an alternative future for the country—one that tied decolonization to the cultivation of technical competencies among the public at large. This article follows the path of a nationalist engineer and intellectual whose work both embodied and attempted to move beyond a contradiction between the democratization of knowledge and the demands of development.
This chapter argues that natural law duties and corresponding human rights require attention to moral and metaphysical frameworks, and education into moral traditions sustaining those frameworks. If such traditions are eclipsed, or lost for a time, there will be deformations in our understanding and language concerning the relationship between the self and the moral universe around us; and, thus, to our understanding and application of human rights. In particular, the chapter examines the shift in language from ‘virtue’ to ‘values’ and ‘person’ to ‘individual’. It explores how the abstracted concepts of ‘values’ and ‘individual’ create confusions in the application of human rights. Instead, it is argued that the moral language supporting human rights application should be sustained within a metaphysical tradition. And, for such traditions to thrive, they require subsidiarity for what Habermas calls ‘life-worlds’ – the many and varied voluntary associations that make up human life in community. Without commitment to subsidiarity, the pursuit of mere techné will undercut the moral sources embedded within those life-worlds, which nourish understanding of and respect for human rights.
‘Follow the money’ is currently the central principle of international financial security, although money itself is probably one of the most unlikely objects to make traceable. Two recent scandals around a security unit and the payment processor Wirecard show how existing systems of financial surveillance that seek to capture ‘flows’ of money for security purposes are either enabled or frustrated. While this current regime of financial surveillance adheres to demanding the free flow of money through financial infrastructures and various actors and intermediaries, new digital currencies build on a set type of ledger(s) in which money is stored as data. Hence, what we understand as money does not ‘flow’, but is rather updated. This change in the underlying infrastructure means that traceability does not need to be enacted; it is an intrinsic feature of digital currencies. With new central bank digital currencies (CBDC), the regime of financial security thus changes from the monitoring of financial flows and flagging of (potentially) illicit transactions towards the storage of financial data in (de)centralised ledgers. This form of transactional governance is engendered by shifting geopolitical agendas that increasingly rely on fractured instead of globalised financial infrastructures, thus making CBDCs themselves subject to security efforts.
Chapter 2 explores lifestyle factors which have a significant impact on children’s and young people’s mental health, including sleep, nutrition, exercise and movement, technology, bullying and academic pressures and alcohol and drugs.
This article studies infrastructure development in the colony of German East Africa from the early 1890s to 1907. By focussing on questions of continuity and change in the transition phase from the precolonial era to German colonial rule, the article demonstrates that colonial road planning coexisted and often collided with established infrastructure systems. After 1891, colonial authorities sought to transform existing caravan paths into all-weather highways. The analysis applies an actor-centred approach to explain why almost all of these efforts failed. A focus on those actors being expected to construct or maintain (residents) and to use (transport workers) colonial roads reveals the non-compliance of colonial subjects, the persistence of African spatial practices, and the resulting contestation of colonial rule in everyday life. In this way, the article illuminates how Africans responded to European interventions which restructured space and how these responses complicated and frustrated colonial road works. Hence, the article challenges classical narratives of infrastructure as a ‘tool of empire’ and instead highlights the resilience of vernacular structures and their producers under colonial rule.
This chapter explores the beginning of the end of the emotional regime of Romantic sensibility and the origins of surgical scientific modernity. It illuminates this crucial period of transition through the juxtaposition of two distinct but conceptually and ideologically intertwined moments in surgical history. These are, firstly, the debates surrounding the practice of anatomical dissection that came to the fore in the 1820s and culminated in the passage of the Anatomy Act in 1832, and, secondly, the introduction and early use of inhalation anaesthesia in the later 1840s. In both instances it highlights the powerful influence of utilitarian thought in divesting the body, both as object and subject, of emotional meaning and agency. In the former instance it demonstrates how an ultra-rationalist understanding of sentiment was set in opposition to popular ‘sentimentalism’ in order to divest the dead bodies of the poor of emotional value. Meanwhile, in the latter, it considers how the emotional subjectivity of the newly anaesthetised patient was swiftly tamed by the operations of a techno-scientific rationale.
This quasi-experimental study tracks the efficacy of a planned explicit intervention with an EFL learner group in Mexico, using the under-researched speech act of refusals as the pragmatic target. Thirty university students were recruited to an Experimental (N=15) or Control group (N=15) to measure instructional effects of a ten-hour training programme which employed a pre-test, post-test design. Performance results were enhanced with semi-structured interviews to identify learners’ cognitive processes when producing refusals and their perceptions of the pragmatics training. The findings revealed the pragmatic instruction facilitated more elaborate refusals which showed increased sensitivity to sociopragmatic aspects. Both the frequency and variety of indirect strategies and adjuncts were markedly different to those produced by their non-instructed counterparts. This positive trend in the quantitative findings was also corroborated in the qualitative data. The interview data highlighted the instructed group’s cognitive processes when carrying out the pragmatic tasks and showed the learners’ planning and thought processes when performing refusals were different before and after receiving instruction.
The chapter examines the relationships between music, sport and Welsh identity. Focusing on the national rugby union and football teams, it explores the ways in which performances of ‘Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ by players and supporters have contributed to a cohesive sense of national identity. Examples range from its first recorded use prior to the rugby team’s famous victory over the New Zealand All Blacks in 1905 to its part in the Football Association of Wales’s efforts to galvanise supporters during the team’s successful Euro 2016 campaign. It also considers the adoption of popular hymns such as ‘Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah’ and ‘Calon Lân’ by supporters, investigating the extent to which affiliation to the national team takes on a spiritual quality. Drawing on the contributions of popular Welsh artists such as Max Boyce, the chapter also assesses the self-referential nature of connections between musicality and sporting pride in corporate expressions of national identity. It considers the ways in which language, religious practice and social structures encouraged and maintained a culture of massed patriotic singing, and how this has been reimagined and perpetuated in the twenty-first century through a combination of institutional support, technological developments and the influence of social media.
Australian Property Law: Principles to Practice is an engaging introduction to property law in Australia. Covering substantive law and procedural matters, this textbook presents the law of personal and real property in a contemporary light. Australian Property Law details how property law practice is transformed by technology and provides insights into contemporary challenges and risks. Taking a thematic approach, the text covers possession of goods and land, land tenure, estates and future interests, property registration systems, Indigenous land rights and native title, social housing, Crown land and ethics. Complex concepts are contextualised by linking case law and legislation to practical applications. Each chapter is supported by digital tools including case and legislation boxes with links to the full source online, links to useful online resources, multiple-choice questions, review questions and longer narrative problems.Australian Property Law provides an essential introduction to the principles and practice of property law in an ever-changing technological environment.
This chapter raises the question whether attribution of wrongful acts to the State is based on ‘objective’ causal chains or ‘subjective’ mental states. It argues that attribution of conduct to the State is not primarily causal or fault-based. First, it shows that several of the Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts cannot be understood in terms of causation or fault. Second, it argues that causal and fault-based theories of attribution are either circular or incomplete. Instead, the chapter claims, the logic of attribution is primarily functional. The rules of attribution converge around the central principle that an act of State is an act performed in the service of a State function, such as defence or detention. Functional attribution is best understood as ‘intersubjective’: it is determined not by objective causal chains or by subjective mental states, but by shared ideas about the functions of the State and what it means to perform them. The functional character of the rules of attribution allows them to adapt to economic and technological changes, such as the growth of corporations and the development of autonomous weapons.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruptions in services and necessitated innovation to continue care provision to the vulnerable population of older adults with psychiatric needs.
The objective of this study was to examine the experiences of staff and patients using a hands-free electronic smart-hub (eSMART hub) intervention to keep patients connected with psychiatry of old age following COVID-19 restrictions.
A risk stratification register was created of all patients known to the Psychiatry of Old Age service in the North-West of Ireland to identify those at highest risk of relapse. These patients were offered a smart-hub with remote communication and personal assistant technology to be installed into their homes. Smart-hubs were also installed in the team base to facilitate direct device to device communication. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 10 staff members and 15 patients at 6-12 months following the installation of the smart-hubs.
The smart-hubs were utilized by the POA team to offer remote interventions over video including clinician reviews, regular contact with key workers and day-hospital based therapeutic interventions such as anxiety management groups and OT led physical exercises. Patients also used the personal assistant aspect of the hub to attend to personal hobbies such as accessing music and radio. Positive feedback related to companionship during isolation and connectivity to services. Negative feedback was mainly related to technology, particularly internet access and narrow scope of communication abilities.
Electronic smart-hub devices may offer an acceptable avenue for remote intervention and communication for isolated high-risk older persons.
The smart hub devices used in this study were donated by Amazon. However, the company was not involved in any other aspect of the study and the researchers have no significant financial interest, consultancy or other relationship with products, manufactur
Cybervetting is the widespread practice of employers culling information from social media and/or other internet sources to screen and select job candidates. Research evaluating online screening is still in its infancy; that which exists often assumes that it offers value and utility to employers as long as they can avoid discrimination claims. Given the increasing prevalence of cybervetting, it is extremely important to probe its challenges and limitations. We seek to initiate a discussion about the negative consequences of online screening and how they can be overcome. We draw on previous literature and our own data to assess the implications of cybervetting for three key stakeholders: job candidates, hiring agents, and organizations. We also discuss future actions these stakeholders can take to manage and ameliorate harmful outcomes of cybervetting. We argue that it is the responsibility of the organizations engaged in cybervetting to identify specific goals, develop formal policies and practices, and continuously evaluate outcomes so that negative societal consequences are minimized. Should they fail to do so, professional and industry associations as well as government can and should hold them accountable.
The rapid pace at which technology changes creates a challenge for industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists, who often conduct hypothetico-deductive research. In this article, we examine technology research in the I-O psychology community by asking three questions: Why should I-O psychologists study new technologies? How timely is I-O psychologists’ technology research? How can I-O psychologists produce timelier technology research? Using archival data from 23 years of SIOP conferences and a historical timeline of technology innovations, we find that I-O psychologists study technology milestones an average of 6.10 years after they first enter widespread awareness and adoption. We discuss the implications of this lag and conclude by urging I-O psychologists to study technology with an eye toward action, exploration, collaboration, dissemination, and creation.
New emergent technologies, like cloud computing, blockchain, the ‘internet of things’, and artificial intelligence (AI), have received significant attention from research and industry. Public and private organisations benefit from these technologies, but the privacy of individuals is threatened. This research paper, by Varda Mone and CLV Sivakumar, analyses the existing data protection laws with respect to new emerging technologies like AI, big data, and algorithms. The purpose is first, to discuss and analyse the impact and emergence of modern concepts like big data, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), Cloud computing, and the ‘internet of things’, etc mainly in light of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) provisions. The article examines the challenges of GDPR compliance posed by the features of these technologies, both individually and collectively. Due to the unique features of these technologies, we are able to identify areas of compliance that needed attention. With regard to the compliance issues identified, we discuss possible solutions as well as raise new questions for further investigation. It is not an exhaustive assessment of these fields but an attempt is made to shed light on a few of them from a data protection perspective.
Technological innovations give new perspectives in many fields, including health. It was in this context that the IT4Anxiety project was born in 2019 bringing together mental health professionals and start-ups, but also universities, research centres, higher education establishments and public authorities from the North-West Region of Europe. The project is challenging our ability, as partners, to gather stakeholders from different background, medical and non-medical field, in order to support the implementation and co-conception of innovative solutions with the objective of reducing the anxiety of mental health service users. During the four years of project implementation (2019-2023), the stakeholders will have opportunities to work with the end-users, expecting to address the needs of around 3,000 mental health service users suffering from anxiety. The fifteen start-up involved in the project activities will be recruited through hackathons and calls based on identified needs. They will join the project in order to test and improve their solutions. This will create opportunities to connect the start-ups with the medical world, research codes and procedures and to give them a new perspective in the understanding of their targeted market segment. Furthermore, almost a thousand mental health professionals will be trained in e-mental health, benefiting from our training modules and an e-mental health job profile will be designed and implemented in our partner hospitals in Belgium and in Germany.