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Theses - Human, Social, and Political Science


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  • ItemOpen Access
    Whose voice prevails? Policy-making at the crossroads between security and development in EU-West African migration cooperation
    Mouthaan, Melissa
    This thesis adds to understanding of EU-African migration cooperation, forming an empirical study on the politics of policy-making between the EU and West African countries. It appraises the scope and limitations of EU external migration governance in Senegal and Ghana, and the participation of diverse actors in the shaping of migration governance. Contextually, the EU has intensified its cooperation with non-EU countries in the area of migration. Governing, shaping and stemming migration flows in regions beyond EU borders, both in the EU’s traditional neighbourhood region of North Africa and the Middle East, but also increasingly in sub-Saharan Africa has formed the basis of an active and dynamic EU external migration policy. This governance overlaps and intersects with security and development policy, where both form an intrinsic part of migration governance agendas and of policy-makers’ toolboxes. Yet the picture that emerges is one where the EU is sometimes – but not always – successful in achieving its policy preferences with non-EU countries. The limitations on powerful actors to govern migration through bilateral and multilateral cooperation exist but remain obscure, while the mediating influence of the domestic context EU policy is received in remains under-theorised. This thesis addresses these gaps. Treating the practice of governance as a complex, multi-layered and multi-sited process, I examine how actors involved in this process form their preferences, and if they are subsequently able to bring their preferences to bear in migration governance. Central to this thesis is the notion that actors involved in EU-African migration cooperation operate in distinct institutional and organisational environments that both inform, and constrain, their actions. EU migration agendas play out at the policy level in formal negotiations but are also implicit in policy narratives that are exported to non-EU countries: both are examined in this research. Policy actors are shown to respond to political imperatives for adapting externalisation in different ways, interpreting and responding to policy adaptation pressures according to diverse rationales and interests. The research finds that this affects how the EU’s external migration governance is shaped and subsequently exported abroad, and the coherence of EU migration policy. EU and West African migration policy priorities diverge significantly in some areas of cooperation, where despite EU efforts to reach agreement, Senegal and Ghana deploy strategies to minimise cooperation. In other areas, migration policy priorities overlap or converge, resulting in specific migration governance agendas becoming legitimised by African domestic actors. These findings indicate that the domestic context is significant in determining EU-African migration cooperation, whereby the ability of powerful actors to co-opt weaker counterparts is nonetheless limited. Resonance with domestic interests and institutions emerges as a key factor in determining cooperation success, and reflects the agency of African actors in EU external migration governance.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Intra-Professional Specialist Differentiation In The UK Surgical Profession
    (2020) Wilkinson, Mark
    This thesis studies specialist differentiation in the surgical profession of the United Kingdom, seeking to clarify what the combinations of factors favour or hinder it. It draws on interviews with two hundred surgeons, general practitioners and hospital CEO’s, as well as on sociological literature, especially Bucher and Strauss’s (1961) ‘Process Model’, the concept of ‘profession’ developed by Freidson (1970), Larson’s (1977) model of the ‘Professional Project’ and Bourdieu’s (1981, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 2005) seminal work on ‘Capital’ and ‘Power’ in ‘Social fields’. The thesis aims to interpret specialisation as a dynamic political process influenced by different groups’ deployment of accumulated specific types of ‘capital’, challenging the view, widespread in the profession itself and still present in functionalist sociological literature, that specialist differentiation is an inevitable consequence of advances in knowledge and technology. In addition to the introduction, conclusion and appendices, the thesis includes chapters on: (1) theoretical framework; (2) methodology; (3) the role of knowledge and technology in specialist differentiation; (4) the role of institutions before the establishment of the NHS; (5) the role of the relationship between the profession and the state in the period 1948-1990; (6) ditto in the period 1991-1997; (7) the current situation and how it might develop.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Values in Action: Simplicity, Completeness, and Carefulness in the Development of the Systematisations of Chemical Elements
    (2020-01-27) Pulkkinen, Karoliina Julia Pulkkinen; Pulkkinen, Karoliina Julia Pulkkinen [0000-0003-4976-8216]
    This thesis demonstrates how three chemists – Dmitrii Ivanovich Mendeleev, Julius Lothar Meyer, and John Newlands – emphasised different values when developing their systematisations of the chemical elements in 1863-1875. While no chemist emphasised just one value in the course of establishing of their systematisations, I argue that Newlands elevated simplicity (“simple relation”), Mendeleev completeness (polnost’), and Meyer carefulness when systematising the elements. This thesis sets to show that values provide an illuminating framework to articulate the differences among the competing periodic systems, and give us a novel reading of the priority dispute concerning the discovery of the periodic system. By examining the role of values in the systematisation of the elements, this thesis seeks to give an example of an integrated history and philosophy of science (iHPS) approach to values. As integrating history and philosophy of science introduces some methodological challenges, I will start by arguing in favour the hermeneutic model to iHPS as articulated by Jutta Schickore (Ch.1). Chapters 2-5 are largely historical. Chapter 2 introduces historical background to the challenge of systematising the elements in the nineteenth century. I then demonstrate how Newlands (Ch.3), Meyer (Ch.4), and Mendeleev (Ch.5) emphasised different values in the course of developing their systematisations of the chemical elements. Chapters 6-8 are more philosophical. In chapter 6, I argue in favour of specific abstract characterisations of simplicity, completeness, and carefulness on the basis of the historical material presented in chapters 3-5. After arguing in favour of a specific understanding of values, I identify a distinct relationship between the chemists’ subsequent uses of the systems and their emphasis on specific values during the development of their systems. In particular, I argue that valuing of completeness contributed to Mendeleev’s use of the system for making predictions (Ch.7), whereas valuing of carefulness did much to support using Meyer’s system for error determination (Ch.8).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Agro-Commodity Global Value Chains and Upgrading: The Case of Malaysian Palm Oil
    (2019-02-23) Tong, Yee Siong; Tong, Yee Siong [0000-0003-0731-2245]
    This dissertation consists of three closely related essays on upgrading in agro-commodity value chains, which is an important issue for many developing countries that produce and export commodities in mostly unprocessed form. The essays are based on fieldwork in Malaysia and focus on its palm oil, which is the world’s largest oils and fats product by production and export volumes. The first essay examines the suitability of vertical specialisation for participation and upgrading in agro-commodity value chains based on the case of Malaysian palm oil. It uses data from interviews, site visits, and industry and economic statistics to analyse upgrading at the sector and firm levels. The essay suggests that upgrading is prone to sectoral linkage development and vertical integration at local lead firms. The development is driven by production characteristics, sectoral dynamics, eco-historical settings that are unique to agro-commodity value chains, as well as firm motives seeking resources, markets, efficiency gains, and strategic assets. The second essay studies Malaysia’s industrial policy for its palm oil sector through three distinct stages of development. The findings show that resource-based industrialisation (RBI) requires selective state intervention targeting macroeconomic conditions, infrastructure, business climate, and human capital. The Malaysian experience also highlights the importance of local firms in driving RBI investments, contrary to the emphasis in the literature which either overplays the importance of foreign linkages or dismisses nationality of firms as a non-factor for industrialisation. The third essay investigates economic and social outcomes from upgrading in the Malaysian palm oil sector using gross value added data. It shows that economic upgrading can but does not automatically lead to social upgrading. The essay finds that economic upgrading in value chains improves income of groups of individuals at different rates depending on their position in the value chains. Skills and productivity performance provide only partial explanation for the uneven social outcomes; the differences in institutional arrangements and political representation accorded to the groups are likely to be important factors as well.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Psychosocial interventions in emergencies: theoretical models and their ethical and political implications in the Venezuelan context. The case of UNICEF.
    (2004-02-21) Rodriguez Mora, Isabel
    This dissertation presents an analysis of the models of psychosocial processes structuring UNICEF’s psychosocial intervention after the emergency caused by the floods in Venezuela during 1999, and some of their political and ethical implications. I discuss how UNICEF’s intervention in the shelter of Fuerte Tiuna, in Caracas, provides a context in which discourses and practices construct the disaster as an event of a particular type, affording particular positions to those affected by it, and presenting the intervention as a reparative response that engages in different ways with these constructions. Specific issues explored by this dissertation include how practices and discourses construct the disaster and its impact on persons and communities; the nature of the psychosocial intervention; the subject; and the different forms of expertise involved in the intervention. Further, it examines how the intervention-as-designed is implemented and how the actual contact with the beneficiary population generates changes not only in the implementation itself, but also in the conceptual frameworks displayed by UNICEF. The analysis presents UNICEF’s psychosocial intervention as a practice that is simultaneously material and discursive. The participation of experts, the use of specific resources, the deployment of techniques and their devices, the organisation of time and space within the intervention, can all be considered as supporting certain notions of the disaster, its impact and its solution, which organise the models of the psychosocial. The main issues that appear as relevant for the analysis are related to the way in which the intervention constructs the disaster as a psychosocial problem; the appeal to the notion of trauma to explain the impact on those affected; the disciplinary, ethical and political implications of the different forms of understanding suffering in the Venezuelan contemporary context and how the notions put forward by UNICEF’s intervention engage with the social dynamics in Venezuela, in particular with the processes associated with the social and political polarisation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The relation between post-migration experiences and psychosocial wellbeing: an exploratory study of the perceptions of highly educated refugees in the U.K.
    (2007-07-10) Psoinos, Maria; Burchell, Brendan
    This study explores how highly educated refugees in the U.K. perceive the relation between their post-migration experiences and their psychosocial well-being. A literature review of the migration and psychological health area and the widely-used stress and coping approach revealed that the “vulnerable” and “passive” images have all too often been assigned to refugees when discussing their psychological health, and that the latter have often been approached as beings detached from their social context. The aim of the research was to explore the participants’ own perceptions (or “lay narratives”) of their experiences and their well-being. These were used to converse with the stress and coping concepts and with the images related to psychological activism, an alternative stress and coping perspective that views people as active agents who try to take control of their life, instead of mere passive recipients of stress. The study is based on constructivism, and accordingly the emphasis is put on the subjective world of experience and the researcher critically reflects on how the social context shapes the participants’ perceptions. The empirical work consists of two studies. In the first one, semi-structured interviews were carried out with fifteen young and highly educated refugees in the U.K. The findings highlight how the participants used the stress and coping concepts and the images related to psychological activism, so the value of such concepts is reconfirmed. But a deeper critical look reveals that the semi-structured interviewing may have strongly directed how the participants discussed their perceptions and that it was unclear how these perceptions are formed in social interaction. Consequently I conducted additional empirical work to carry the emerging issues further. In the second study, autobiographical narrative interviews were carried out with another group of fifteen highly educated refugees in the U.K. The findings reveal that they made sense of their experiences and their well-being through three distinctive stories. The stories of hope and survival presented by two subgroups of participants suggest a more balanced view of refugees, one that is not necessarily “vulnerable” and “passive”. These participants made sense of their experiences and well-being through the elements of “hope, persistence and activism”. But the story of disappointment presented by a third subgroup revealed that some participants did not perceive their experiences and their well-being through a positive lens. It also highlighted the need to further explore how they formed their perceptions in social interaction. Indeed, it was shown how the social context, particularly negative attitudes they received at the community level, was largely responsible for their narrative of disappointment. The theoretical contribution of this research lies in exploring how the participants, through their own narratives, made sense of the concepts of stress and coping. The methodological contribution refers to the bridging of ideas and previous work from other disciplines and to the innovative application of narrative interviewing to this population. A major practical contribution is that this research offered a channel for refugees to talk about their experiences and their well-being in their own words. Furthermore, possible explanations emerge on why some refugee groups can indeed seem “vulnerable” and “passive” and this has important implications for those who design and implement interventions aimed at enhancing the well-being of refugees.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Development of Soviet music policy, 1932-41
    (1999) Brooke, Caroline Mary.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Peasant production and capitalist development: a model with reference to Bangladesh.
    (1984-12-07) Adnan, Abu Mohammad Shapan
    Unlike conventional economic theory, the paradigm of capitalist development contrasts peasant and capitalist production in terms of (i) the market-mediation of production and (ii) the relations of production and forms of exploitation. The structure of causation underlying the capitalist transformation of peasant production has been the object of much discussion and debate; however, there remain problems which are not entirely resolved or taken up. These have to do with the part-market economy of peasant agriculture, the complex and varying relationships between production and the market and the relative significance of market growth and class forces in propelling the process of capitalist development. The thesis aims at reconstructing some of these problems from first principles, drawing upon, in particular, the classical texts. It is argued that in peasant agriculture, production and distribution are interlinked by market and non-market sectors with specifiable properties. Such properties are compatible with different relations of production, so that the latter cannot be deduced from the former. Capitalist development, therefore, is not simply a matter of the growth of the market, nor can such change in the relations of production be adequately explained at the level of circulation processes. In fact, there are complex variations in the relationship between production and the market, manifested in distinct patterns of market participation by peasant classes. Analysis of the conditions of reproduction as a whole endows such patterns with a certain coherence and helps to identify the variable range of 'production problems' which differentiate classes of peasant producers. It is argued that capitalist production may not be undertaken either because it is not feasible, or because it is not systematically necessitated. Furthermore, the reproduction of non-capitalist producers cannot be fully explained without taking account of the relations of production, and corresponding forms of exploitation, to which they are subject. In particular, relations of production which systematically retard the generation of wage labour can constrain capitalist development because of the peculiar properties of land as a means of production. The problem, therefore, has to be posed in terms of the transformation of the pre-existing relations of production rather than choices made by individual agents/enterprises to maximize surplus or to switch to avenues with higher rates of profit. These illustrated arguments are with evidence developed in terms of a model which from Bangladesh, supplemented by that is from India. It is, however, not intended to be an empirical study of peasant production and capitalist development in Bangladesh.