Soc. Sci.2014, 3(3), 326-340; doi:10.3390/socsci3030326 - published online 24 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper examines the responses of state and third sector agencies to the emergence of child abuse in sport since the mid-1980s. As with other social institutions such as the church, health and education, sport has both initiated its own child protection interventions and also responded to wider social and political influences. Sport has exemplified many of the changes identified in the brief for this special issue, such as the widening of definitional focus, increasing geographic scope and broadening of concerns to encompass health and welfare. The child protection agenda in sport was initially driven by sexual abuse scandals and has since embraced a range of additional harms to children, such as physical and psychological abuse, neglect and damaging hazing (initiation) rituals. Whereas in the 1990s, only a few sport organisations acknowledged or addressed child abuse and protection (notably, UK, Canada and Australia), there has since been rapid growth in interest in the issue internationally, with many agencies now taking an active role in prevention work. These agencies adopt different foci related to their overall mission and may be characterised broadly as sport-specific (focussing on abuse prevention in sport), children’s rights organisations (focussing on child protection around sport events) and humanitarian organisations (focussing on child development and protection through sport). This article examines how these differences in organisational focus lead to very different child protection approaches and “solutions”. It critiques the scientific approaches used thus far to inform activism and policy changes and ends by considering future challenges for athlete safeguarding and welfare.
Soc. Sci.2014, 3(3), 314-325; doi:10.3390/socsci3030314 - published online 1 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Peer-to-peer (P2P) systems are widely used to exchange content over the Internet. Knowledge of pedophile activity in such networks remains limited, despite having important social consequences. Moreover, though there are different P2P systems in use, previous academic works on this topic focused on one system at a time and their results are not directly comparable. We design a methodology for comparing KAD and eDonkey, two P2P systems among the most prominent ones and with different anonymity levels. We monitor two eDonkey servers and the KAD network during several days and record hundreds of thousands of keyword-based queries. We detect pedophile-related queries with a previously validated tool and we propose, for the first time, a large-scale comparison of pedophile activity in two different P2P systems. We conclude that there are significantly fewer pedophile queries in KAD than in eDonkey (approximately 0.09% vs. 0.25%).
Soc. Sci.2014, 3(3), 308-313; doi:10.3390/socsci3030308 - published online 26 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cities are increasingly being recognized as sites of resilience, or as centres of life that will have to become more resilient in a world of intensifying hazard and risk. The literature on urban resilience tends to emphasize either the qualities of human cooperation and solidarity or those of the city’s intelligence capabilities—human or technological. This paper focuses, instead, on the city’s supply networks, arguing that the “machinic” qualities of mass provisioning and the flexibilities capacity of the city’s infrastructures may be key to the capacity of a city to mitigate against, or bounce back from, adversity.
Soc. Sci.2014, 3(2), 288-307; doi:10.3390/socsci3020288 - published online 17 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Great Recession that began in 2008 hit the economy of the European Union extremely hard. The year 2009 brought decline to the majority of the member states, inducing a desperate crisis management process. The few common EU-level crisis management measures that were implemented have brought about little success due to the modest volume of the common budget and the inertia of decision making attempting to harmonize often contradicting interests. As there was no credible crisis management at the EU level, most member states introduced their own set of measures. The efficiency of these was influenced by the economic performance of primary trading and investing partners, and by the volatility of the bond markets. In terms of economic performance, member states of the EU followed various paths and experienced various levels of recession in 2009, then various levels of upswing in 2010–2011, only to be hit by a second wave of recession of various extents after 2011. Although many member states took their own measures, general tendencies in crisis management can be defined. At first, the restoration of the functioning of the markets was targeted by generating additional demand through fiscal stimulus, but was then gradually replaced by imperative fiscal consolidation and austerity measures. The effectiveness of austerity programs is questionable: while the bond markets’ volatility called for the correction of fiscal balances, tax hikes and governmental spending cuts tendentiously pushed back economic performance and postponed recovery, making economic growth possible only by increasing public debts. In this study, I present arguments in favour of the view that, in the current economic climate of the EU, prosperity could not be restored exclusively by austerity. Accordingly, I present case studies of the three member states with the largest increases in public debts: Ireland, Cyprus and Greece. My aim is to assess the efficiency of these member states’ crisis management procedures: whether state interventions financed by public debt could result in economic recovery. I also argue that, given the current economic situation, the recovery in these member states in times of crisis is not foreseen.
Soc. Sci.2014, 3(2), 272-287; doi:10.3390/socsci3020272 - published online 4 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The paper argues for a governmentality perspective on risk-management politics and resilience-related governance. This perspective pays ample attention to conflicts and discursive ‘battles’ in which different truths and normative assessments, including specific rationalities, subjectivities and technologies of governing compete against. Up to now, the literature on governmentality and resilience has mainly been based on empirical research in the UK. This research highlights the growing importance of neoliberal forms of governing, including a shift in governing strategies towards activating and responsibilizing the public. This is to some extent in contrast to observations about dealing with flood risk on the river Weisseritz in Dresden. The paper reflects on possible avenues for further conceptual and empirical research on ‘governing through resilience’ in the context of flood protection in Germany. It is based on a brief conceptualization of ‘governmentality’ as introduced by Michel Foucault, a literature review, and selected observations from a case study on flood protection for the river Weisseritz in Dresden.
Soc. Sci.2014, 3(2), 264-271; doi:10.3390/socsci3020264 - published online 21 May 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: There is growing use of household surveys by conservation organizations as they seek to measure the social impacts of conservation initiatives, especially in developing countries. Several recent health-sector studies suggest that computer-aided personal interviewing may be a cheaper and faster alternative to the traditional paper-based interviewing. Here, a comparison of The Nature Conservancy-funded tablet computer-based and paper-based household surveys is presented. Because the tablet and paper surveys were not identical except for the data collection tool, the results are suggestive. In the comparison, the cost per completed interview for the tablet-based survey was 74% less than the paper-based survey average, and the average time per interview question for the tablet-based survey was 46% less than the paper-based survey average. The cost saving came primarily from less need for data cleaning and lower enumerator fees. The time saving came primarily from faster data entry. The results suggest that there may be substantial savings in costs and time when using tablets rather than paper for survey data collection in a developing country.