SOAS, University of London
  • London, United Kingdom
Recent publications
My aim in this chapter is argue that aspects of Hegel’s metaphysics, as an example of ‘speculative naturalism’, can and should be seen as offering a powerful conceptual resource for explicating the cognitive pathology of scientism, and for also contributing to the effort of ‘decolonizing the space of reasons’. By ‘scientism’, I mean the view that the ways in which we make sense of things are ultimately justifiable only by the methods and practices of the Naturwissenschaften. I argue that if one is to overcome scientism, one must develop speculative sense-making practices, in which epistemic power can be rooted in the communicative power of discourse about sense-making. Debunking the colonising framework in favour of a pluralist dialectical framework involves reversing the circulation of epistemic power.
In this commentary we reflect on Shaalan, Eid, and Tourky's (2022) article in which they investigated the Chinese concept and practice of guanxi in the Middle East, ¹ a region in which wasta represents the common way of informal networking. ² While we encourage and welcome research into informal networks, we have serious concerns about the conceptual and methodological approaches taken by Shaalan et al. (2022) in investigating informal networks in the Middle East and explain herein why we do not believe guanxi should have been used in place of wasta .
By the end of the century, over half of the 6500 languages spoken in the world will die out (Turin, 2007). Nepal's situation is particularly dire: of the 120+ distinct languages identified in the 2011 census, 60 are endangered due to globalisation, socio-political unrest, and environmental challenges. The loss of these languages also means the loss of unique cultural and religious identifiers. Given this, there is a need for methods and tools to preserve linguistic diversity. A major challenge in language preservation, however, is the transcription bottleneck (Shi et al., 2021): transcribing one minute of audio requires an average of 40+ minutes (Durantin et al., 2017). This becomes even more complicated for endangered languages with no (standardised) orthographies or documentation. While advanced automatic speech-recognition (ASR) tools are available, they are often ineffective for these extremely low-resource languages (Foley et al., 2018). This poster presents the preliminary results to address these issues for the Newar and Dzardzongke (both representing different branches of the Sino-Tibetan language family, spoken in Nepal) using Wav2Vec2 models fine-tuned for low-resource languages (Coto-Solano 2021, 2022). We show that endangered languages benefit from a specific set of optimisation procedures through tests with Kaldi vs Wav2Vec2; different types of data augmentation, and the development of a new or standardisation of orthography.
The law of the sea is currently understood as a distinct field of international law that came into existence together with (modern) international law. Has this always been so? How did past international lawyers understand what we call today ‘the law of the sea’? Were they aware of the fact that this was a separate legal regime? And when did modern conceptions of the law of the sea emerge? This article examines past scholarship, from the sixteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century, in order to identify how law of the sea was conceived in past scholarship and how this conception links to our current understanding of the field.
This article traces the ways in which the newly inaugurated Turkish Republic dealt with such institutional and legal ‘relics’ as the imperial harem, slavery and polygamy, that it inherited from its immediate, largely undesirable imperial past, condemned retrospectively as ‘backward’, but nevertheless continued to exist for years to come. Focusing on the immediate aftermath of the abolition of the Caliphate and the exile of the Ottoman dynasty, it examines a set of legal, governmental and discursive weapons that the new regime deployed – from expropriation and disposal of dynastic property to exoticisation and sexualisation of court practices – to severe the imperial harem and its erstwhile powerful actors from the political, social and cultural contexts they had long been closely linked with. It argues that while such measures affected a relatively small number of individuals, particularly women, they had significant implications for the republican government's reconceptualisation of citizenship and state belonging for the wider public.
To understand the types of fraud in the business world, we refer to Fraud Tree, published by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). However, we encountered many new different schemes of fraud, especially after the pandemic and digitalization period. The fraudster, victims, material and moral consequences of each scam, and the relevant penal code differ. Therefore, our need for Certified Fraud Examiners, and lecturers who teach fraud prevention in the “sectoral fraud tree”, is clear. In this chapter, we started a trial study for sectoral fraud trees in the health sector.
A fundamental challenge is to understand and navigate trade-offs between ecosystem services (ES) in dynamic landscapes and to account for interactions between local people and broad-scale drivers, such as agricultural intensification. Many analyses of ES trade-offs rely on static mapping and biophysical indicators while disregarding the multiple uses, values, and desires for ES (UVD-ES) that local people associate with their changing landscapes. Here, a participatory UVD-ES framework was applied to assess differences in the use, values, and desire of ES between three zones with different land-use intensities (with pre-frontier, frontier, and post-frontier landscapes) in West Kalimantan (Indonesia). The analysis revealed that (1) almost the full suite of ES uses has become destabilized as a result of agricultural intensification; (2) ES more closely associated with agricultural intensification were largely desired by local people yet they still valued a diversity of traditional ES, such as those derived from the provision of non-timber forest products, fish, and other ES associated with non-material aspects including those tied to traditional culture; (3) the mismatch in used ES versus valued ES increased with agricultural intensification due to a decrease in the flow of non-timber forest products, aquatic, regulating, and non-material (cultural) ES. Together, exploring UVD-ES patterns in a participatory way helped to reveal locally relevant social-ecological drivers of ES and a multidimensional perspective of ES trade-offs. Our UVD-ES framework offers an opportunity to foster participation as a way to reconnect global environmental research agendas with local and regional landscape contexts.
Firms that stand to gain from the institutional framework of a free trade zone (FTZ) usually opt for locations in the FTZ region where they could expect higher returns on investment. This concentration of industries in FTZs can result in a reallocation of productivity, potentially leading to the "hollowing out" effect in existing industries, which can have a beggar-thy-neighbour effect on regional growth. Over the long term, the outcome, whether it leads to prosperity or detriment, hinges on the delicate balance between the immediate static loss associated with resource reallocation and the dynamic gains based on traditional manufacturing sector's growth along the evolving FTZ environment.
This paper develops a novel Bayesian heterogeneous panel vector autoregressive model (B-HP-VAR) that quantifies the impact of geopolitical risk shocks on the tourism industry of 14 emerging market and developing economies (EMDE). We find that increasing geopolitical tensions have a persistent negative effect on tourism demand in most of these countries, as shown by our impulse response estimates. Furthermore, evidence from forecast error variance decomposition reveals that geopolitical risk shocks in many EMDE economies constitute the main driver of tourism demand. Analysis from historical decompositions demonstrates that geopolitical tensions have been particularly influential in driving tourism demand in Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Colombia, and Mexico. Our main findings are robust to several perturbations to the benchmark specification. Our results have several important implications for policymakers in their efforts to strengthen the ability of the tourism industry to absorb shocks from geopolitical tensions.
Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is a problem that cuts across borders and communities. There is an urgency for domestic violence service providers in multicultural societies like the United Kingdom (UK) to adapt to the diverse backgrounds of their clients so that they can better support victims and survivors to cope and exit harmful situations, as well as help perpetrators stop abusive behaviour through interventions that take into account their socio-cultural context. Religious beliefs are an integral part of many people's lives and identities, in uencing rationalisations, attitudes and help-seeking behaviour around domestic violence. Religious mediators often offer a rst point of reference for victimised parties to turn to, with both positive and negative impacts. Despite this recognition, it is unclear to what extent religious sensibilities are being addressed in DVA services, or how best to account for religious beliefs and experiences in a manner that respects religious diversity among clients while recognising gaps in religious literacy among domestic violence providers, social workers, counsellors and other frontline workers responding to the problem. Recognising this, we conducted a scoping review to identify existing approaches and practices for integrating religious beliefs and faith-based resources in domestic violence services. The review had an international scope, was conducted in English and included 30 publications. The synthesis of the evidence pointed to numerous approaches and efforts in integrating religious beliefs and faith-based resources in DVA services, differences and tensions in generalist and community-based responses, and the need for various measures in DVA services to cater to multi-cultural populations
Somalia has a long history of famine and humanitarian crisis. This article focuses on the years 2008–2020, during which governance and aid practices changed substantially and which include three crisis periods. The article examines whether and how governance analysed as a political marketplace can help explain Somalia's repeated humanitarian crises and the manipulation of response. We argue that between 2008 and 2011 the political marketplace was a violent competitive oligopoly which contributed to famine, but that from 2012 a more collusive, informal political compact resulted in a status quo which avoided violent conflict or famine in 2017 and which functioned to keep external resources coming in. At the same time, this political arrangement benefits from the maintenance of a large group of displaced people in permanent precarity as a source of aid and labour.
This article examines how systems and institutions influence the distribution of resources in society and, as such, affect livelihoods, food security, and nutrition. It draws on research on the political economy of food, and the governance effects of food aid practices, conducted in Sudan and Somalia and on the role of a social approach to nutrition in situations of famine and mass starvation. This article argues first for the importance of examining political structures as basic causes of malnutrition as they influence whether and how institutions function (in relation to land, markets, employment, aid, or justice). Second, this article illustrates how, in situations of crisis, the manipulation of institutions can create power for some and vulnerability to malnutrition in others. Third, it argues that a focus on treatment of malnutrition and behavior (hygiene and feeding practices) has drawn attention away from systems and institutions and feeds into discrimination as a basic cause.
In 1998, the red-green Schröder government implemented the Environmental Tax Reform (ETR), raising taxes on petrol, diesel, natural gas and heating oil and introducing a new duty on electricity in Germany. At the same time, it cut non-wage labour costs by reducing public pension contributions. The goal was to achieve Germany’s Kyoto Protocol emissions targets and to reduce a level of unemployment unprecedented since World War II while avoiding the burden on the public budget through revenue recycling. Employing microdata from household budget surveys of 1998 and 2003, this article analyses whether increased duties on motor fuels and electricity lead to a substantial reduction in households’ consumption of these goods. Considering the ETR as a natural experiment, it uses the difference-in-differences approach in a European context with Germany as the treatment group and Italy, Spain and the UK as the control group. Ordinary least square regressions reveal that motor fuel demand is price inelastic, while electricity consumption increased despite the substantial rise in prices. Quartile regressions show that the effect of the motor fuel tax is slightly higher at the bottom than at the upper tail of the distribution supporting the notion that low-level consumers are more likely to find alternative substitutes.
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11,577 members
Miguel Niño-Zarazúa
  • Department of Economics
Mashood Baderin
  • School of Law
Peter Paul Mollinga
  • Department of Development Studies
Kostas Retsikas
  • Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Carlos Oya
  • Department of Development Studies
London, United Kingdom
Head of institution
Politics & International Studies