Past awardees have conducted the following research under Sylff Research Abroad (SRA):
Name, home institution, host institution, degree, dissertation
- Zornitza GREKOVA, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” (Bulgaria), University of Indonesia (Indonesia) , PhD, The Asian Nationalism and Asian Regionalism in the Foreign Policy of Republic of Indonesia and the People’s Republic of China in Post-Cold War East Asia (1991-2009)
- Robert Eduardo GARCIA FERNANDEZ, El Colegio de Mexico (Mexico), Jawaharlal Nehru University (India), PhD, Conquering Violence: the Domestication of Kings and Spirits in Indian Buddhism
- Shubhasree BHATTACHARYYA, Jadavpur University (India), Howard University (USA) & York University (Canada), PhD, Labor Songs in the Contemporary Urban Space
- Julio CeCEREZAL TAMARGO, University of Deusto (Spain), Princeton University (USA), Master’s, Processes of Identity Construction in Latin American Teenagers
- Thanh Xuan NGUYEN, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales (Australia), Hitotsubashi University (Japan), PhD, Education and Development in Africa: Indigenous Knowledge and Orthopedic Medicine in West Africa
- Fernando Octavio HERNANDEZ-SANCHEZ, El Colegio de Mexico (Mexico), Gadjha Mada University, PhD, The overwhelming dragon: The impact of China’s rise for the Southeast Asian Economics, with Focus on Malaysia and Indonesia
- Wanfu LI, Sun Yat-sen University (China), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), PhD, Internal Control Disclosure and Investment Efficiency
- Lei (Ray) YU, Nanjing University (China), University of California, San Diego (USA), PhD, Logic, Imagination and Possible Worlds: Towards E. A. Poe’s “Morbid” Poetics
- Chikwaba Steven Nakana, University of Geneva, University of California, Berkeley (USA), PhD,China’s Developmental Influence within the Zambia PoliticalEconomy : A Case of Study of Capital labor Relations in the Mining and Infrastructure Sectors, 1997-2008
- Masaaki HIGASHIJIMA, Waseda University (Japan), American University of Central Asia, Bishkek Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyzstan), PhD,Electoral Fraud and the Fate of Electoral Authoritarianism: Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz in a Comparative Perspective
- Dwi RATMONO, Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia), University of Malaya (Malaysia), PhD,The Role of Levers of Control to Manage Strategic Uncertainty and to Enhance Organizational Innovation and Performance
- Fabia Fernandes Carvalho VEÇOSO, University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), University of Helsinki (Finland), master’s International law between special and general law: the case of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
- Oscar Eduardo Aguila ROJAS, University of Deusto (Spain), Imperial Collage London (UK), PhD, Disability Services in Higher Education: Realities, Challenges and Proposals for the Spanish and Latin American Higher Educational System
Name, home institution, host institution, degree, dissertation
- Cannon Awuor PONGE, University of Nairobi (Kenya), University of Sussex (UK), master’s, Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Crop Production: A Study of the Millennium Village Project at Bar-Sauri in Nyanza Province in Kenya
- LIU Xuan, Nanjing University (China), The University of Texas at Austin (USA), PhD, The Role of Asset Securitization in the Subprime Crisis and Implicatiions for China
- Heather J. CRAWFORD, University of New South Wales (Australia),The University of Texas at Austin (USA), PhD, Standardisation of humorous message types in cross cultural advertising: The case of Australia, the United States and the People’s Republic of China
- Jemima REPO, University of Helsinki (Finland), Waseda University (Japan), PhD, Biopolitics of Gender
Program Report (2009 and 2010)
The Asian Nationalism and Asian Regionalism in the Foreign Policy of Republic of Indonesia and the People’s Republic of China in Post-Cold War East Asia (1991-2009)
Zornitza GREKOVA, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
The topic of my dissertation is the Asian nationalism and the new trends of the regionalism in post-Cold war East Asia. As primary examples I am studying the regional foreign policy of the People Republic of China and of the Republic of Indonesia.
The East Asian nationalism and the East Asian regionalism are established with the historical foundations of the cooperation, the global challenge for national survival and identity that represents the West, the secular seeking of an Asian identity. Although it could easier task to define the notion “regionalism” the dissertation will seek the nuances in that notion when it applies to different fields – political, economical, socio-cultural. The Asian nationalism (or “Asianism”) will be defined as composed by the Asian values, regional integration process, sovereignty over natural resources, ‘guided’ democracy (in Indonesia) or one-party system (in China).
The dissertation discusses when the Cold war in East Asia ends. Was it in 1979 when was the last violent conflict in East Asia, or in 1991 when the whole system of international relations has dramatically changed and transformed from bipolar to unipolar (or multipolar?) world, or the Cold war has never ended in East Asia due to the unresolved conflicts between the two Koreas and the two Chinas)? I use the 1991 as chronologic marker because of the transition in the whole international system and the changes that occur in the domestic political life and identity perceptions in China and Indonesia.
The end of the Cold war poses different issues for the Chinese and the Indonesian societies. Until that moment Chinese people considered itself as part of the larger community of Communist states. This affiliation had formed one of the bases of the “new” Chinese identity after the so-called Liberation in 1949. On the other hand, during the Cold war period Indonesia tried to establish its identity of newly formed state through active participation and leadership in the Non-aligned movement or through constructive engagement in the US Pacific foreign policy. The changing realities in East Asia after the Sino-US rapprochement make both RI and PRC to seek an identity that is more relevant to the ongoing processes.
The regionalism in East Asia experienced its largest increase since the early 90s of the twentieth century, when the idea that the Asians of Southeast Asia and the Asians from Northeast Asia share the same traditions and cultural values that distinguish them from the Westerners begins to prevail. The development of the idea makes many authors and researchers to talk about an Asianism, which is divided in its development into two major periods. The first period starts with the end of the Cold War and lasts till the Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998, and the second period begins with the end of the crisis and continues even nowadays (although some authors argue that the financial crisis in 2008/2009 may lead to an unexpected change in the integration model in East Asia).
The dissertation deals also with the role of the regional organisations in nation-state building and community-building and the interaction between conflict/peace and regional integration. Further the issue about ‘the ASEAN way’ of dealing with conflicts and imposing peace-building will be thoroughly discussed.
The first chapter is dedicated to the relevant theories of nationalism and nation-building and the work of Ernst Gellner, Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm are discussed among others. Important notions in this part are “Asian nationalism”, “Asianism”, and “Asian values”. The core elements of the “Asian values” are studied through religion and culture – Islam in Indonesia and Confucianism in China, and their link with nationalism and identity-building. The foreign policy principles of Indonesia and China are described in order to understand their willingness or reluctance to participate in regional fora. The next part of this first chapter is dedicated to the post-World War II historical development of Indonesia and China, which is entirely reflected in their foreign policy decisions and choices.
The second chapter is dedicated to the development of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the 1990s as I consider ASEAN as main driving force of the East Asian regionalism. Although it is often criticized by scholars for being too inactive or cautious when it comes to adopting and implementing measures, the organisation proves its vitality through the years and the expanding membership now covering almost all nations in Southeast Asia (with the exception of East Timor and Sri Lanka as for the later there were discussion about its place in South or Southeast Asia). In chapter II I discuss the relevance of the theories about region, regionalisation, regionalism and regional integration and their applicability towards the “Asian” case. I found that most of the theories lack the broader point of view and cannot fully explain the process of regional integration in East Asia. I use the historical development of the regionalism in Southeast and later on in East Asia to show some of the divergences between theory and practice and how the regionalism developed and what kind of stages it took. One event made Southeast and Northeast Asia realise their mutual binding and the necessity of common and stable economic development and this event was the Asian financial crisis in 1997-1999. It started in Thailand to blow in a short time the major Southeast Asian economies and to hit Republic of Korea and to decrease the economic growth of Japan. Many scholars blamed ASEAN for being unable to help the economies recover from the crisis but eleven years later and especially after the beginning of the Global economic crisis it looks like ASEAN has drawn the right conclusion from its previous lack of success when dealing with economic issues.
The third chapter studies the East Asian regionalism through three main organisations – ASEAN, ASEAN + 3 and the East Asian Summit (EAS). The main point that I discuss is that after the Asian financial crisis the notion of East Asian regionalism is transformed and now encompasses Northeast and Southeast Asia. ASEAN has decided to enlarge its interactions with China (PRC), Japan and South Korea under the auspices of ASEAN + 1. After that the establishment of ASEAN + 3 comes as a natural consequence. This process marks the beginning of the real East Asian regionalism and for the moment shapes and defines its boundaries. The idea of East Asia as a distinct region has an interesting development with the setting up of the East Asian Summit that includes states from East Asia, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific. With the Global crisis now we witness a competition between these two regional fora for influence in the region.
Conquering Violence: the Domestication of Kings and Spirits in Indian Buddhism
Robert Eduardo GARCIA FERNANDEZ, El Colegio de Mexico
In this research project my objective is to reevaluate the use of the concept of religious conversion within the field of Buddhist Studies centered in ancient Indian Buddhism. In it I’m questioning the use of the term “conversion”, commonly used by scholars and translators of Buddhist texts to refer to different processes by which an individual adheres to, enters and takes a commitment to Buddhism. My main object of study is a set of narrative episodes, depicted literarily and visually, which deals with the integration of powerful people, specifically kings and “spirits” of nature, to the ranks of devotees, patrons and protectors of the Buddhist community. In analyzing these, I propose that for certain kinds of religious transformation it is preferable to use “domestication” as a key concept.
This sense of domestication in the stories is reinforced when we analyze what happens after the experience of transformation of these characters. Just as an animal is tamed to employ forces in a given task, in these narratives kings and spirits are tamed in order to contain its wild nature, and especially to convert their powers into instruments of protection of the Buddhist community.
The research method is focused on the analysis of both literary and visual narratives, as well as in the discussion of these with the academic advisor in the Host Institution, and with other scholars specialized in Buddhist Studies.
Within the proposed outcomes is the compilation of specialized literature on Buddhist processes of proselytism , and also of a digital image collection centered on the theme of domestication in Buddhist archaeological sites.
Another crucial outcome is the conformation of a solid theoretical framework which allows me to structure the research in order to handle the literary and visual sources.
Labor Songs in the Contemporary Urban Space
Shubhasree BHATTACHARYYA, Jadavpur University
Research plan for USA
To do a comparative study between USA and India of labour and work song traditions with special reference to the African American traditions. The research aimed to understand the discourses, scholarly literature and archival materials in relation to work/labour songs in order to arrive at a holistic understanding of the relation between work and sound historically and in the contemporary times. My focus in USA was mostly on the archival resources.
a) Reviewed literature and archival collections on work song traditions in the USA
b) Consulted faculty members in Howard University – Dr. Rebecca Reviere and Dr. Walda Katz Fishman, School of Sociology and Anthropology. Interacted with students engaging closely with the multicultural space of the University with a special focus on performance and music
c) Consulted experts, critics, archivists, folklorists, ethnomusicologists, performers like Jeff Place, Kip Lornell, Joe Hickerson
d) Accessed the resources of Howard University Library, particularly the Moorland and Spingarn Collections and textual and archival resources of the Library of Congress (especially the music division, performing arts, and American Folklife Centre and Motion pictures section resources) and the Smithsonian Folkways Archive. Interacted with music and Folklore specialists at the Library of Congress
e) Closely examined works of collectors in USA like Alan Lomax as well as sound archives like the Tony Schwartz collection
f) Consulted experts and activists like Darryl Moch, James Early associated with labour history and movements in connection with AFLCIO, the Washington Labour Chorus and the Smithsonian Institution
The information and materials collected would contribute to a chapter which would critically examine from a comparative perspective, concepts of work song traditions with special reference to traditions in West Bengal, India and USA taking into account the definitional paradigms, historiography and politics and methods of documentation.
Research plan for Canada
To gain an insight into the sociology of music in the urban context and the interdisciplinary framework connecting urban studies, performance, labour studies. My research also aimed at understanding the rich literature on sound and soudscapes produced in Canada and to see new ventures in sound design and sound art in continuum and in transition from older traditions of rhythms of work. My focus here was more on the theoretical framework of my work in relation to sounds and rhythms, work and contemporaneity.
a) Reviewed literature on work songs and sounds of work in connection with the urban space at York University and University of Toronto libraries and archives
b) Consulted faculty members like Dr. Karen Bridget Murray, Laam Hae, Ananya Mukherjee Reed, Scott Forsyth at York University from the departments and disciplines of Political Science, Geography, Economics and Film studies
c) Consulted sound artists, sound designers and composers like Alyssa Ryvers, Ed Douglas
d) Did an in depth reading of the formative and groundbreaking literature produced in Canada on soudscapes starting from the work of R Murray Schafer
The analysis will broaden my understanding of the contemporary urban milieu and its soundscapes in which I situate the tradition of work songs vis-à-vis new developmental patterns and acoustic spaces in the contemporary city and the existence of such traditions and their connections with mechanization, migration, displacement and the changing nature of work.
Effects of Participation in Sports Activities in the Integration
Process of Children of Immigrants
Julio CeCEREZAL TAMARGO, University of Deusto
Foreign immigration in Spain has grown very fast in the last two decades and today children of immigrant represent the fastest growth component of the population (Portes, Aparicio, Haller, & Vickstrom, 2010) and most of them are in primary and secondary education. This is why, it is important to develop studies showing their everyday reality and that could be used as reference for the creation and implementation of programs leading to their integration in the host society. School has been the main form of social integration and the center of attention of the research on children of immigrants. Nevertheless, current studies address the role of out-of-school activities in this population (Burdsey, 2006; Collins & Kay, 2003).
Children of immigrants, struggle to get adapted to the new school, the new society, and must make new friends. Each of them has experienced a different immigration and family history and need to face adaptation situations that are added to the particular characteristics of the age, since they are in stage of physical and mental development and their personality and identity are in construction. They are also subject to gender differences which influence their integration process (Suárez-Orozco & Suárez Orozco, 2002).
Grown-up immigrants have solid identities they bring from their country of origin but their children are educated in a different environment and find themselves in the middle of two realities, that of the host country present in most structures of society and that of the country of origin of their parents present at home and in the social networks where they participate. They are in a middle point between both cultures and frequently fall into a no-place state, it means, not from here and not from there (Hadj Handri, 2008) and their identity is constantly changing. This is why the forms in which they self-identify could play a decisive role in their future (Rumbaut, 2005).
In regards to education, segmented assimilation studies present three factors that could determine the educational achievement or failures of children of immigrants including the human capital or their parents, the family composition and the context of reception (Portes & Fernández-Kelly, 2008). From this last factor is inferred that the host society may create a positive framework to help children of immigrants in their social inclusion. This framework could include structures that complement the work made in schools through out-of-school activities and, in this regard, sports have been proved to be a very effective integration tool (Burdsey, 2006; Kennet, DeMoragas, Sagarzazu, & Cerezuela, 2006).
Political parties have adopted policies that are including sports as a tool for new citizens to integrate positively in the receiving societies. In school age, sports are a fundamental part of children and youth’s lives, and in the specific case of children of immigrants it could also be a bridge that helps them in the integration process by influencing in the accumulation of social capital as well as in their process of identity construction.
The main goal of this qualitative research of descriptive-exploratory type has been to offer a study to analyze the experiences of children of immigrants who participate in sports activities as a positive tool to promote integration in the host societies. The main research problem to be answered was: How participation in sports activities can favor the integration of children of immigrants in host societies?
This question was answered using a case study of an Association that works with sports to help disadvantaged youth. This association is located in a neighborhood with a high level of immigration and the participants are mainly children of immigrants. Attending to the different activities of the association and helping in different tasks allowed to make a participant observation and have informal conversations with participants, coaches and instructors. In depth interviews were also carried out to eight student-athletes aged 12-14 who have been practicing sports for over one year in Bilbao and two instructor-coaches who have worked in the association for over two years. This allowed knowing to what extent the participation in sports activities have helped in the integration of children of immigrants.
The data collected showed that sports have actually helped children of immigrants in their integration, since this has provided them with a space to spend the free time, doing what they like to and where they are assisted to develop as athletes as well as in terms of schooling. The participation in sports activities within the association has favored the increase of their social capital since this facilitates the growth of friendship networks which allow them to interact with peers while giving and receiving help which is translated in direct benefits. Although it’s important to indicate that this is a case of bonding social capital (Putnam, 2007) since networks increase but within the same group. It was also seen that in sports activities children get in contact with people who can guide them positively in society and who could eventually become a “meaningful other” (Portes & Fernández-Kelly, 2008), in this case, coaches and instructors.
Besides meeting new friend in the same association, participation in sports activities also gave them the opportunity of interacting with native people from other clubs, schools and associations in competitions, and they showed that they can perfectly handle relations in both environments, taking into account that they have developed feelings of dual belonging. Their family and community environment struggle to maintain the cultural background and memories form the country of origin, but they have developed a strong feeling of belonging to the society where they live and especially to the association where they spend a lot of time, and which they feel very proud to represent. These youth also have high levels of social and academic expectations. The challenging atmosphere found in the association demands them to improve every day and for that they count on the support of peer groups, coaches and instructors. Their self-esteem is in the normal range although they know their limitations. Parents are more relaxed because they know their children are in a safe place, away from the dangers of the street.
Taking into account the data collected and analyzed using the Atlas.ti software, this research has demonstrated that a good use of sports activities, especially in an associative context, is a great tool to help children of immigrants to integrate in the host society.
This work has been possible thanks to the support provided by SYLFF program (Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund), by granting me a scholarship which has allowed me to enter and complete the Master in Migrations, Conflicts and Social Cohesion in Global Society held in the University of Deusto. This Foundation also awarded me with a grant to participate in their SYLFF Research Abroad program by which I could spend two months in the Center for Migration and Development of Princeton University which was a great opportunity to discuss with renowned researches in the field of migration and to advance in the completion of the dissertation. I would also like to extend my gratefulness to the Association that allowed me to make the field work, including participant observation and interviews. Now I am continuing my studies in the PhD. Program in International and Intercultural Studies in the same university.
Burdsey, D. (2006). “If I Ever Play Football, Dad, Can I Play for England or India?”
British Asians, Sport and Diasporic National Identities. Sociology , 40 (1), 11-28.
Collins, M., & Kay, T. (2003). Sport and Social Exclusion. London and New York:Routledge.
Hadj Handri, N. (2008). La identidad mutante. La construcción de la identidad en los hijos de inmigrantes. Documentación Social. Revista de Estudios Sociales y de Sociología Aplicada (151), 35-48.
Kennet, C., De Moragas, M., Sagarzazu, I., & Cerezuela, B. (2006). Deporte e inmigración en España: el papel del deporte en la integración de los ciudadanos [Memoria final]. Centre d’Estudis Olímpics. Barcelona: Bellaterra.
Portes, A., & Fernández-Kelly, P. (2008). No Margin for Error: Educational and Occupational Achievement among Disadvantaged Children of Immigrants. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (620), 12-36.
Portes, A., Aparicio, R., Haller, W., & Vickstrom, E. (2010). Moving Ahead in Madrid: Aspirations and Expectations in the Spanish Second Generation. International
Migration Review , 44 (4), 767-801.
Putnam, R. D. (2007). E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century. The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture. Scandinavian Political Studies, 30 (2), 137-174.
Rumbaut, R. (2005). Turning Points in the Transition to Adulthood: Determinants of Educational Attainment, Incarceration, and Early Childbearing among Children of Immigrants. Ethnic and Racial Studies (28), 1041-1086.
Suárez-Orozco, C., & Suárez Orozco, M. (2002). Children of Immigration. Harvard:
Harvard University Press
Education and Development in Africa: Indigenous Knowledge and Orthopedic Medicine in West Africa
Thanh Xuan NGUYEN, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales
I benefited a lot from the advices from Professor Jota Ishikawa and other faculty members at Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University on the last chapter of my PhD dissertation, “Technology Spillover and Export-Platform FDI”. Many new and important findings have come up thanks to various discussions during my visit at Hitotsubashi University related to recommendations for optimal trade policy and optimal intellectual property rights (IPR) policy.
The objective: The research was to explore the relationship between regional trade liberalization and IPR policy of a developing (or South) country which hosts export-platform FDI by a Northern firm (with superior technology). We also aim to study the welfare impacts of trade liberalization and a change in market size in this context.
The methods: The research was to develop a new theoretical framework that address IPR issue in the context of export-platform FDI by combining the traditional export-platform FDI literature (see for example, Ekholm, Forslid and Markusen 2007) with technology spillover literature (see for example, Chin and Grossman 1990, Glass and Saggi 2002, and Morita and Nguyen 2010).
The outcomes: The research undertaken at Hitotsubashi University under the SRA grant was a set of policy recommendations related to trade and IPR, taking the advantage of various discussions with the host, Professor Jota Ishikawa, the author of many related papers and other faculty members at the host institute.
The Overwhelming Dragon: The impact of China’s rise for the Southeast Asian Economics, with Focus on Malaysia and Indonesia
Fernando Octavio HERNANDEZ-SANCHEZ
This research aims to explore and evaluate the relationship among China and the ASEAN countries. Since the 1990’s, Southeast Asia’s countries have had to face the rise of China as a regional and global power and this empowering of China is a cause of concern for them. From the political side, the governments of these countries have had to redefine their relationship towards a new China more powerful and eager to play a strong role in the regional security system in the Asia-Pacific. Coincidentally, the Chinese government has shown a great disposition to create a constructive and respectful relationship with the ASEAN countries since 1991 in order to bolster a stable and peaceful regional environment. Nevertheless, there is a strong economic competition among China and the ASEAN countries too meanwhile the former has attracted a huge amount of Foreign Direct Investment for several years and the commercial competition of the chinese manufactured products is a cause of worrying for several Southeast Asia’s local producers. So, this investigation will analyze the effect of this financial and commercial competition of China on Southeast Asian economies, with a comparative focus on its impact on the Indonesian textile industry and the Malaysian electronics industry. I pretend to confront the strength of the several political agreements signed among China and the ASEAN countries to the uneasiness created throughout Southeast Asia by the commercial and financial competition of China in order to evaluate the current status of the relationship among China and the ASEAN countries. Specially, I will evaluate the claims made by entrepreneurs and workers who participate in both industries mentioned above and the responses made by officials of both countries to the challenges posed by the Chinese economic competition in order to develop a clearer view of the entire range of Southeast Asian perspectives on the rise of China.
Internal Control Disclosure and Investment Efficiency
Wanfu LI, Sun Yat-sen University
Our proposed research aims to find that whether internal control disclosure is associated with
investment efficiency in view of the importance of internal control in guaranteeing financial
reporting informativeness, and that whether the efforts by the regulators in improving internal
control disclosure information environment is value relevant or merely an addition to a company’s
compliance burdens. As is well known, internal control systems have long been advocated as a
mechanism for providing reasonable assurance to investors with regard to the achievement of
objectives concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, the reliability of financial
reporting and the compliance with laws and regulations (COSO, 1992). So it is interesting and
significant to study the topic about whether the information of internal control disclosure is valuerelevant. The tools used in this project are statistical softwares such as SAS and Stata. The
method of case study is also used in the course of finishing the project.
The outcomes show that, (1) raising the level of internal control disclosure helps reduce
information asymmetry in internal control governance and the agency problem generated or
exacerbated by information asymmetry, and thereby effectively suppress over-investment behavior
of enterprises, (2) over-investment is inclined to make firms fall into financial crisis. The more
seriously a firm makes over-investment, the greater likely will it fall into financial crisis, (3) internal
control disclosure helps reduce the negative impact of over-investment and lower the likelihood of
firms’ falling into financial crisis. Our study enriches the existing literature on information disclosure
affecting investment efficiency, confirms the importance of internal control disclosure, and shows
that the regulatory authority’s decision requiring firms strengthen internal control disclosure is
helpful to protect investor’s benefit. The study also provides a useful perspective for practitioners
and regulatory agencies to develop policies with regard to internal control and investor protection.
Logic, Imagination and Possible Worlds: Towards E. A. Poe’s “Morbid” Poetics
Lei (Ray) YU, Nanjing University
Given the present never-ending critical controversy, I intend to cover Poe’s literary products from a perspective that on the one hand breaks the boundaries of literature per se and, on the other, bridges the concepts of various disciplines. This interdisciplinary study will in particular concentrate upon the problem of loic in his ostensibly illogic literary manufacturing process. To deal with this never-seriously-tackled unknown field in Poe’s literary realm, my research conflates the philosophical modal logic discussion, not least that of possible world semantics, on the one hand, and the fictional world truth-valuation in modern study of narratology on the other. Furthermore, to understand how Edgar Allan Poe’s literary logic functions so successfully in his creative process, I would also involve in my study certain conceptions of cognitive sciences (such as how the reader decode his texts or how the author encode his texts) to set up a theoretical paradigm for the literary imagination. Why should a story be written in this way rather than that way? What politico-economic factors have been there while a literary text is being produced? I should add, though, that my concern with political or economic situation in literature, despite similar appearance, is far from the traditional ideological criticism in that what I intend to do is find how the author actively insinuates his way into the literary logic by conflating the fantasy part of a story and the critique part of a discourse. In a nut shell, my research aims to treat Poe’s textual world as a possible world both in the sense of the modal logic semantics and in the sense of the narratological “storyworld”, and in so doing, offer Poe’s literary space an ontological status so that literary semantics, not least the criteria of judging what is true and what is false, can be studied from such extreme case as Poe’s literary morbid texture.
China’s Developmental Influence within the Zambia Political Economy : A Case of Study of Capital labor Relations in the Mining and Infrastructure Sectors, 1997-2008
Chikwaba Steven Nakana, University of Geneva
SRA grant was awarded for conceptual research for my study on Chinese investors in the Zambian mining sector, where they have witnessed a rise in strike action by organized labor. These protest actions have led to studies investigating China’s developmental influence within the African political economy, wherein, two contradictory interpretations exist. The first observes that strike actions are attributable to exploitative Chinese labor practices, therefore, views China as problematic for the development and governance of African countries, while the second views China as a “trade partner” and “development model”, observing that during the past two decades China has provided condition-free aid to African countries and lacks a colonial history.
The objectives of the study is moving beyond this debate, and provide a fuller picture of Sino-Zambian capital-labor relations by properly theorizing and investigating the relationship between Chinese investments and strike actions during the period 1997-2008 at mines owned by China Nonferrous Corporation Mine and the China Geo-Engineering Corporation.
Apart from examining the history and protest culture of Zambian organized labor, I researched ways of utilizing the concept of “social integration” as a lens through which to explore the extent to which protest action has been used as a tool to induct Chinese corporate entities into the norms and values of Zambian labor law regimes in the absence of state capacity to enforce these laws.
1. Research Questions
- What is the relationship between Chinese investors and strike action by Zambian organized labor?
- How has Zambian organized labor socially inducted Chinese capital into the norms and values enshrined in Zambia’s labor law regimes?
2. Research Purpose
There were several conceptual and analytical reasons for conducting the research. First, while Sino-African relations are cause for concern, sensationalist rumors are obscuring a proper understanding of China’s engagement in Africa. This happenstance is a product of a lack of proper conceptual tools that can aid in understanding this relationship. Therefore, I set out to find ways of utilizing “social integration” as a conceptual tool and “transnationalism” as the analytical frame to understand China’s developmental influence within Zambia, and pioneer the use of the concept of “social integration” as a tool for studying micro-level processes of social interaction between Chinese and African actors and thereby help to shift the focus of the China-Africa debate from the state level to the micro level.
A major research finding is that although “social integration” is a concept that has had limited application in the field of International Relations (IR), which has traditionally focused on “security-seeking states” vying for power within an anarchical system. Social integration is a concept that will help in shedding light and help to provide answers regarding the question on the relationship between Chinese investors and strike action by Zambian organized labor.
Although one IR theorist has utilized the concept of social integration, but only to examine macro behavior, i.e., the induction of states into multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. The research assisted in finding was of transplanting the concept that originated in the field of sociology, (where it was identified as encapsulating micro-social processes of induction, ranging from benign to militant methods of social action that lead to the adoption, acceptance, and internalization of norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors) and embed it within the field IR.
Thus, I will confidently apply this micro conceptualization to the field of international relations by examining smaller units of analysis than the state – the social actors themselves – to measure Chinese social integration into the Zambian political economy. Several sociologists argue that social phenomenon like strike actions are best measured from the perspectives of the social actors themselves, taking into consideration their views, beliefs, and historical experience.
Therefore, the value added by the research is that strike action can indeed be used as a measure of social integration in that it is a tool used by organized labor to persuade employers to accept, comply with, and internalize demands, rules and norms, such as the right to safe working conditions embedded within Zambian labor laws.
Scholars concerned with state intervention in the economy, and market-oriented reforms in particular, have argued that it is useful to begin understanding the systemic aspects of the concept and to expand it to include physical capital investment projects as indicators and benchmarks of social integration. Thus, another value that was added by the research included understanding the systemic aspects of the concept, thereby making it possible for me to begin measuring social integration conceptualized in this study as Chinese capital investment within the Zambian political economy.
Finally, the impact that the research has added to my study is finding literature that has already helped me with embedding the fieldwork findings into “transnationalism,” a conceptual lens that is premised on the metaphysical assumption that social realities are inherently transnational. This framework acknowledges that the nation-state, while significant, is not the central organizing principle in the transnational arena.
“Transnationalism” is chosen as the best analytical frame, because the Sino-Zambian trade relationship is viewed as a transborder social phenomenon that affects individuals and shapes social processes, such as employer-worker relations, which in turn impact localized conflict, such as strike action. Transnationalism is particularly useful in a Sino-Zambian study, because it allows for an in-depth and disaggregated micro-level analysis of China’s involvement within individual African countries on a case-by-case basis, rather than using less precise state, continental, or global units of analysis. Transnationalism focuses on “territorially enclosed sites of social interaction” that are linked to trans-border phenomena and attempts to unpack “the transnational aspects of localized conflicts and protests”.
In my case, the “trans-border social phenomenon” which I unpack is one sovereign state’s investment project within another sovereign state’s business sector, and the “localized conflict” is the strike action deployed by organized local workers within that sector, presumably as a means of gaining concessions from their foreign employers. The simultaneously trans-border and yet “territorially enclosed” micro-units consist of the Chinese-owned mining firm, NFCA in Zambia.
Electoral Fraud and the Fate of Electoral Authoritarianism: Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz in a Comparative Perspective
Masaaki HIGASHIJIMA, Waseda University
This research compares the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to shed light on how political elections affect the political system in the context of authoritarian regimes, thereby presenting a new framework for research.
It is an empirical study utilizing both quantitative analysis and qualitative understanding to test a hypothesis that the difference in political change between Kazakhstan—where elections have led to the stabilization of the regime—and Kyrgyzstan—where they have led to regime collapse—is attributed to the disparity of patronage allocations between the political elite and citizens in the two countries during the pre-election periods.
This research involved the collection of (1) data on the political elite in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, (2) monthly economic statistics in Kyrgyzstan, (3) data on political candidates and voter turnout rates by election district in the two countries, and (4) socioeconomic data at the provincial level in both countries.
The gathering of quantitative resources to corroborate the hypothesis of my PhD dissertation is almost complete. I have also collected articles from a major newspaper in Kyrgyzstan during the pre-and post-election periods and books on Kazakhstan’s politics, enabling me to follow the pre-and post-election political process.
This has given me sufficient information to judge what more I need to collect—particularly from nonprint sources—in preparing for interviews to be conducted toward the end of long-term research to complete my PhD dissertation.
The Role of Levers of Control to Manage Strategic Uncertainty and to Enhance Organizational Innovation and Performance
Dwi RATMONO, Gadjah Mada University
a. Research Objectives
The findings provided by the management control system (MCS)-strategy stream of research remain ambiguous and sometimes contradictory (Henri, 2006a; Langfield-Smith, 2007). Thus, Langfield-Smith (2007) emphasizes that future MCS-strategy research should focus on the empirical investigation of Simons’ levers of control (LOC) theory (1995a, 2000) to explain these inconclusive findings.
The objectives of this research are to examine: (i) the antecedent of the use of LOC (i.e. strategic uncertainty), and (ii) the benefit of the intensive use of LOC (i.e. organizational innovation and performance) based on Simons’ levers of control theory. More specifically, the objectives are to answer three research questions: (i) Is there a positive relationship between the extent to which firms face strategic uncertainties and the use of level of levers of control (LOC)?, (ii) Is the intensive use of levers of control (LOC) positively associated with the higher of organizational innovation?, (iii) Is organizational innovation positively associated with organizational performance?.
In other word, the objective is to examine empirically the following theoretical model:
Companies under the manufacturing industry are selected as the research sample since this industry has multi Strategic Business Unit (SBU) and multi product or brands which are expected to employ different types of management control system design. Unit of analysis are Strategic Business Units (SBU) under manufacturing industry.
Information about research variables will be collected through mail survey. Target respondents are Strategic Business Unit (SBU) managers, controller or chief financial officer for each sample firm. Their functional roles within the firms as information analyzers and data providers make them the best possible candidates to supply information about MCS and financial conditions.
There are 4 variables in this research: (i) strategic uncertainty, (ii) levers of control, (iii) organizational innovation, and (iv) organizational performance. To measure these variables, this research will use questionnaire instruments that are adopted from existing literature and LOC previous research.
The hypotheses will be tested by using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). SEM is appropriate as statistical tool in this study because the theoretical model has two features: (i) presence of multiple and interrelated dependence relationship, and (ii) presence of latent variables that can be observed directly.
The outcomes of this research are:(i) For management practice:
Outcomes of this research can be guidelines to company’s manager how to use management accounting and control systems strategically and effectively to face high turbulent business environment and hyper competition today. Moreover, outcome of this research are also practical recommendation how to use MCS to enhance organizational innovation; a key organizational capability to get sustained competitive advantage. How companies enhanced their sustained competitive advantage is important step to support society and national economic development.
(ii) For management accounting and control systems literature:
To explain the findings of previous MCS-strategy research remain inconclusive (Henri, 2006, p.530). This research use more comprehensive theory to develop the hypotheses than prior research. The other expected outcome of this research is to provide empirical evidences about validity of Simons’ propositions (1995a, 2000). This study extends previous MCS-strategy research that has examined LOC theory by focusing on the test of Simons’ propositions (1995a, 2000) of the integration of four control system as “a control package” that creates dynamic tension. To the best of author’s knowledge, there was no previous LOC research that has empirically tested this proposition. Moreover, this study contributes to test formally the relation between a balance between different uses of MCS, dynamic tension, and organizational capabilities or performance, an important area for future research as suggested by Mundy (2010, p. 516). In summary, the results of this study can enhance the management accounting and control systems knowledge of accounting academicians and researchers.
International Law between Special and General Law: the Case of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Fabia Fernandes Carvalho VEÇOSO, University of Sao Paulo
Originally, the study aimed to understand the specialization process undertaken by the case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. To this end, all decisions issued by the Court since its establishment would be analyzed, with the identification of rules considered by the Court itself as rules of general international law. Moreover, the research would seek to understand the arguments used by the Court to eventual non-application of the rules of general international law, in order to verify the existence of patterns in the argumentation of the Court. The research would develop within the so called “fragmentation of international law”, topic that refers to the work of the International Law Commission from the United Nations, led by Professor Martti Koskenniemi – my academic advisor during my period as Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Helsinki.
The study would be based on prior bibliographical research on the notion of “general international law”. Analysis of the Court´s decisions should not be random, but upon searching previously selected elements to characterize rules of general international law.
My main objective was to determine the alignment of the idea of “general international law” as adopted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in an attempt to effectively contribute with studies related to the fragmentation of international law.
Besides, the specific objective was to clarify the use of the interpretative maxim lex specialis derogat lege generali in the practice of the mentioned Court, considering the hypothesis that points to an ongoing process of specialization within the Inter-American system.
With respect to outcomes, the research could be used as reference in studies about the practice of other international courts, considering that, at the present time there are 16 international courts and over 70 quasi jurisdictional mechanisms to help solving international conflicts.
Disability Services in Higher Education: Realities, Challenges and Proposals for the Spanish and Latin American Higher Educational System
Oscar Eduardo Aguila ROJAS, University of Deusto
The main research proposal was to spent some time among the Disability Advisory Service (DAS) of the Imperial College London as part of their staff with the DAS Researcher level, in order to achieve specific objectives for the development of my thesis dissertation, getting first hand information about the actual management and functioning of the DAS. These objectives were:
- Study and observe the actual strategic planification process about disability and inclusion of the DAS and Imperial College London.
- Study the organizational structure of the DAS and getting to know about the process of implementation of this service withill the Imperial CoJlege London.
- Study the services, good practices and methodologies that the DAS staff use in the attention and support of students with disabilities at Imperial.
- Get involved in daily activities tl1at the DAS have to manage with both students and central administration and management.
- Assist and participate in several meetings regarding disabilities issues at Imperial in different committees.
- To know about the possibilities and opportunities that students with disabilities have to access the
British higher educational system (Grants, scholarships, Disability Students Allowance, etc).
- Spent time working and making in-depth interviews with the DAS staff and with other significant people (Dean of Students at Imperial, Student Deputy President-Welfare).
- To know -by my own experience as a person with a major physical disability how the Imperial College and the city in general fare in terms of accessibility issues and inclusion for disabled people. All my objectives were successfully fulfilled. The Methodology used to achieve these objectives were:
Sylff Research Abroad Program Report Format July 2011
1. Application for University recognition of my status as a Disability Advisory Service Researcher Staff, in order to get access to the college buildings and services and to have an appropriate induction process to this institutional service.
2. Creation and presentation of my proposal and research activities with my academic advisor (Mrs. Mary Bown) in order to get the institutional support to develop my research planning and coordinate times and significant activities during my visit.
3. Incorporation in the DAS building with an office to work and develop my activities.
4. Permanent observation and registration of situations and issues that the DAS have to manage every day.
5. Maintain a professional, proactive and cooperative attitude in every work day, meeting or activities that I was involved.
6. In-depth interviews with the DAS staff and other significant people related to the disability issues at Imperia
Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Crop Production: A Study of the Millennium Village Project at Bar-Sauri in Nyanza Province in Kenya
Awuor Cannon PONGE, University of Nairobi
Over the years, Indigenous Knowledge has emerged as a significant resource in development discussions. This project attempts to interrogate the concept of Indigenous Knowledge and the strategies it advances to promote sustainable development especially in the field of agriculture for enhanced crop production and poverty alleviation. The project proposes that Indigenous Knowledge and its integration for purposes of sustainable development is paramount if at all we are to achieve sustainability of the Millennium Development Goals and more especially in the context of the Millennium Village Project at Bar-Sauri in Nyanza Province in Kenya. Sustainable productivity of crops usually entails efficient utilization of locally available resources. This includes the utilization of abundant traditional (local) knowledge in crop production such as internally derived inputs, recycled nutrients, crop rotations, improved management of pests and diverse cropping. To productively engage Indigenous Knowledge in development, we must go beyond the dichotomy of indigenous versus scientific and work towards greater integration of the two for sustainability of development interventions. For the MVP to have any meaningful impact on the people of Bar-Sauri and its environs, the achievements must be sustainable. The achievements of the MVP cannot be meaningful if the poverty of the region is not alleviated. Since agriculture has been seen as the vehicle through which poverty can be alleviated, it goes without saying that agricultural production must be enhanced to ensure not only food security for the people, but to see the village transition from simple subsistence to self-sustaining commercial activity in line with the initial goal of the MVP. It is also agreed that crop production cannot be enhanced and sustained if the indigenous knowledge of the people is not consciously harnessed. It is along this line that this study centres on the role of synthesising the two knowledge systems for ensuring the eventual sustainability of the development intervention. Nevertheless, it is important to note that harnessing the local knowledge for sustainable productivity requires, among other things, systematic and detailed studies of local knowledge systems as well as understanding of contemporary scientific approaches in crop production.
The Role of Asset Securitization in the Subprime Crisis and Implicatiions for China
LIU Xuan, Nanjing University
This thesis sets Subprime Lending Crisis as a background to study the risk of asset securitization, especially in the form of macro risk and the reasons put forward to prevent the risk of asset securitization in the macro-countermeasures and the development of asset securitization of significance are described.
In this thesis, the generation of asset securitization and development, combined with the fictitious capital of Marxist theory, detailed analysis of the MBS, ABS, CDO and other asset-backed securities on the basis of the structure and characteristics of the fictitious features of asset securitization. Asset securitization is a complex financial derivatives, with the characteristics of fictitious capital, as long as a steady flow of cash income, the assets can be securitized. We can say that it can not simply categorize a particular type of a traditional fictitious capital, but on the basis of Marx’s analysis of more complex financial derivatives, is the traditional combination of several types of fictitious product of capital is Fictitious higher stage of economic development. Meanwhile, asset securitization can also be seen as indirect financing and direct financing of the complex combination, it appears as two types of capital allocation model of communication tools and bridge. According to Marx’s analysis, based on the form of fictitious capital of the fictitious economy has generated double effect of positive and negative, as a rapid development of financial innovation, asset securitization, of course, is no exception. The positive features, micro, asset securitization is a way to provide liquidity for the participants transformation function, to avoid regulatory functions and the function of risk transfer products; the macro level, changes in asset securitization structure of the financial system and improve efficiency; Provides an effective mechanism for redistribution of risk and promote the financial infrastructure changes. Because the function of asset securitization so significant to a few decades to the rapid development time, the banks with asset securitization technology and using its microscopic features lead to sub-prime loans and securitized products in great demand.
On the other hand, the risk of asset securitization in the micro and macro can be divided into two levels, including micro risk is the risk to participants, can be divided into the risk of the underlying asset and cash flow risk securitization process Two, the former refers to the underlying asset as the cash flow generated by the uncertainty and risks, including credit risk and prepayment risk. The latter refers to the process of securitization of the risks arising, including product design, risk and structural risk. Over the years, been focused on micro-risk, practice has also designed and created a series of methods and tools for management, and macro risks are not fully understood. Macro-risk subprime mortgage crisis is accumulated to a certain extent the product of concentration of the outbreak. This thesis focuses on in-depth understanding of the macro risks of asset securitization.
First，the capital securities products as an innovative fictitious capital, running on top of other fictitious capital, farther away from the reality of capital, not the reality of capital constraints, easy to over-development from the real economy, thus promoting the asset price bubble. In this thesis, asset securitization and credit expansion effect and the link between asset bubbles. The micro level, increase liquidity and regulatory capital arbitrage is the most important banks securitization motives, both of which will eventually produce the same results, that is expanded through the sale of assets and effective source of financing, which made banks more in the short term More loans. When the object is the subject of the securitization of real estate mortgage loans, such credit expansion will bring more money into the real estate market, to promote real estate prices continued to rise. Since the effect of the existence of pre-crisis mortgage backed securities caused the rapid development of asset bubbles is one important reason.
Second, the use of vector autoregressive (VAR) systems Granger causality test, impulse response (Impulse responses) analysis tools to study the transmission asset securitization’s role in the crisis. The sub-prime crisis originated in the U.S. housing market, the initial local risk characteristics of asset securitization as the conduction spread to the entire financial system. On the one hand, the secondary rise in mortgage defaults led to the subprime mortgage-backed securities increased risk of default, the market price significantly diminished, so that the credit risk of subprime mortgages from commercial banks transferred to the capital markets. On the other hand, commercial banks, directly or indirectly to buy a large number of subprime mortgage-backed securities and the crisis in the capital market to a certain extent the accumulation of the feedback transfer back to the credit markets. Effect of the crisis in the two-way conduction growing magnitude of the stimulation, so that the final evolution of the local risk of systemic crisis.
Third, a comprehensive study of the process of asset securitization existing adverse selection and moral hazard.With Stiglitz and Winston (1981) classic model borrowers and adverse selection between the promoters.Found in a condition of asset securitization, due to the lack of appropriate checks and balances, borrowers and sponsors of the performance between the adverse selection problem more serious.Crazy regardless of borrower ability to repay loans, and lack of oversight power promoters, and too busy to take measures to prevent adverse selection.Construction of incomplete information dynamic game model between the promoters and investors, adverse selection problems. That the Securitization of the role of lender of the largest borrowers of its collection of information hidden incentives.When more than a certain degree of securitization, the loans obtained by the sale price difference higher incomes. Different lenders now need to determine the quality of the loan project loans were interest in holding or selling loans earn the difference between the trade-off. Because of asymmetric information, investors can not determine the type of loan program lenders to master the information more fully, therefore, can only be based on the average standard of loan pricing, low-risk loans because the price would gradually withdraw from the market than expected. The degree of adverse selection would increase with the degree of securitization and increasing high-risk loans on the market will more and more the quality of mortgages lower. Under asymmetric information with the principal - agent model of asset securitization special purpose entities, investment banks and credit rating agencies, the moral hazard problem, the existence of irrational incentives makes the identification of the securities shall bear the quality of products not only intermediaries Not responsible, but waves. As Asset Securitization serious adverse selection and moral hazard problems, since 2001, before the outbreak of the subprime crisis to, as the degree of deepening the securities, leading to the overall quality of U.S. mortgages continue to decline, when the crisis induced Important reasons.
Draw lessons from the subprime crisis, asset securitization in order to ensure to continue to play its own normal function of the financial system by preventing the negative effects of too much, the need to improve the existing monetary policy and financial regulation policies to strengthen the regulation of the market.
First, the analysis of asset securitization impact on the effectiveness of monetary policy on how to improve the object and the way monetary policy to improve the effectiveness of monetary policy. First, the traditional monetary policy is not the capital markets and related institutions into the scope of direct control. Second, the ultimate goal of monetary policy from the point of view, is concerned only with inflation, and does not contain the level of asset prices. Again, even if the traditional monetary policy attempt to asset securitization into the regulation of the class range of financial products, also because of the characteristics of asset securitization leaving the existing monetary policy tools lose results. For these problems, the direction of future monetary policy improvements, on the one hand, the “shadow banking” into the scope of monetary policy, the creative use of reserves and open market operations. On the other hand, should be more active in responding to asset price volatility. On this basis, combining the development status of asset securitization in China, elaborated on China’s monetary policy in China.
Second, the research asset securitization impact on the effectiveness of regulatory policies that the current “co-existence of multiple micro-prudential regulator”model can not conduct a comprehensive asset-backed securities regulators, there are serious gaps in the regulatory and supervisory arbitrage.Thus, with the constant deepening of securitization, making the overall quality of U.S. mortgages falling into one of the important reasons for the crisis.
Third, the previous paper based on the research design of the asset securitization arrangements to monitor the system. One is to establish macro-prudential framework to enhance all aspects of asset securitization and related supervision, including the strengthening of the underlying asset quality control, risk prevention from the source; strengthen the operation of asset securitization regulation; to strengthen the supervision of rating agencies, Facilitate the provision of more objective and neutral rating services; strengthen Mixed range, product regulation, setting up a firewall. Second, the asset securitization products must establish an effective information disclosure system, fully reveal the risks and help investors to trade-offs. Third, this crisis as an opportunity to adapt to changing circumstances, improving the current financial crisis early warning system should have a comprehensive indicator system would be more sensitive and forward-looking reflect the credit market and capital market changes, to accommodate financial institutions, financial markets, Financial products and other factors.
Affected by the crisis in 2008, issued after the securitization of domestic assets and environmental degradation, China Banking Regulatory Commission has suspended accepting new credit asset securitization program. This thesis is also the next step of the development of asset securitization strategies to think that both from the perspective of financial institutions, or from the investors ,financiers point of view, or from the perspective of multi-level capital market, the implementation of asset securitization are Beneficial. If the United States subprime mortgage crisis is because innovation over, then the status of our country is currently facing a serious shortage of financial innovation, which reduces the efficiency of the financial system, therefore, need to take various measures to promote the development of asset securitization in China.
Standardisation of humorous message types in cross cultural advertising: The case of Australia, the United States and the People’s Republic of China
Heather J. CRAWFORD, University of New South Wales
Humour is frequently used in advertising, but its effects on an audience and effectiveness as an appeal are not well understood. This thesis proposes a model of the use of humour in cross cultural advertising which accounts for the effects of culture and individual differences in need for cognition (NFC) and need for humour (NFH). The model is developed based on a comprehensive review of the literature on humour, culture and psychological differences at the individual level.
The research examines the influence of national culture on advertiser choice of humour as an advertising appeal, comparing the frequency of its use in the United States, the People’s Republic of China and Australia. Content analysis indicated that the USA and China had similar proportions of humorous television ads; however, the use of humorous appeals was significantly higher in Australia than in the other two countries. Results also provided support for the theory that the incongruity-resolution mechanism of humour is universal.
Responses to humour vary based on individual differences including individual-level cultural values and psychographics. The influence of these responses on measures of effectiveness of humour in advertising has been tested extensively within a national context, but little work has been published on the use of these measures in a cross-cultural context. Thus, an experiment conducted in three distinct cultural environments examined the influence of individual differences on response to a set of standardised humorous advertisements.
Neither national nor individual-level culture generally had significant impact on audience response, but results indicate that idiocentrics perceive more humour in aggressive themed ads than in non-aggressive themes. The personality dimension of NFH moderates the influence of perceived humour on attitude to an ad but does not significantly impact on attitude to brand or purchase intention for unfamiliar brands. NFC was not a significant influence on the relationship between perceived humour and measures of ad effectiveness.
This thesis provides support for advertiser belief that humorous appeals in television advertising can have a positive influence on consumer responses. Additionally, it is shown that standardised humorous communications can be used across national borders to target global consumer segments.
The Biopolitics of Gender
Jemima REPO, University of Helsinki
This thesis inquires into the relationship between gender and biopolitics. It argues that gender is technology of biopower specific to the optimisation of the reproduction of life since the scientific and governmental problematisation of declining fertility rates in the 1950s. Just as sexuality as examined by Michel Foucault became a scientific and political discourse in the nineteenth century, gender has also emerged in these fields since. In this disseration, gender is treated therefore neither as a representation of sex, nor a cultural construct. Rather, a genealogy of ‘gender’ as an apparatus of biopower demonstrates how twentieth century demographic science marshalled ‘gender’ into the sex/sexuality apparatus as a new technology of liberal biopower in the project of the reproduction of life. I introduce the concept of the ‘life function’ to describe the biopolitical strategics of the sex/sexuality/gender apparatus. To do this, the thesis rereads the work of Michel Foucault through Gilles Deleuze for a stronger grasp of the material strategies of biopower. The work of Judith Butler, in turn, is used as a foil against which to rearticulate and examine ‘gender’ biopolitically. The thesis then executes a genealogy of ‘gender,’ tracing the changing rationalities of sex/sexuality/gender from early feminist thought, through mid-twentieth century sexological, feminist, and demographic research, to current EU policy.
The crucial theoretical and genealogical argument of the thesis, that ‘gender’ emerged biopolitically as a technology of biopower that enables the continued and optimised reproduction of life, radically challenges the liberal premises of gender theory and feminist politics, as well as the emancipatory potential often granted to the gender concept. The project asks what gender means and what function it performs in biopolitics – the mode of politics that is ‘situated and exercised at the level of life’ (Foucault 1981: 137). In so doing, it relocates feminist politics from these areas to biopolitics and the problem of life as the most urgent arena for a feminist politics of the present.