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1. Collapse of Economy and Social Discontent
2. Bacillus Anthracis
and Bio Terrorism
3. Science and
War Against Terrorism
4. Democracy in
5. A Europe
Without Children: Low Birth Rates and Fast-Shrinking Populations
6. Social and
Public Policy Internet Research
7. Emerging-Market Economies
and Environmental Protection
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Collapse of Economy and Social Discontent in Argentina
yourself how a country lauded in the mid-1990s as an economic miracle could
have descended into nearly complete paralysis. When looking closer the key
problems involved, we find that noneconomic (political, social) rather than
economic conditions are to be blamed. Today, Argentina is largely a lost
cause, with a huge foreign debt of $155 billion being a product of the crisis
rather than its generative force.
Portrayed as an array of financial problems including liquidity, service
on the country's foreign debt and massive dollar flight due to faltering
investor confidence, which saw one-third of the country's foreign investment
portfolios withdrawn this past year. However, the breakdown of the economy
and the flight of capital out of Argentine should be seen merely as manifestations
of a profoundly leprous society. Also, people who are fortunate enough to
have relatives in Europe - especially, Spain, Italy, and Germany (the historical
origins of migrants to Argentine) - queue up in long lines to apply foreign
visa, to leave the country for good.
In fact, while the trigger of the crisis was mainly economic, its fundamental
genesis was principally non-economic. The most important causes of the fast
economic decline of Argentina include long-term persistence of countywide
corruption (which is killing any incentives for investments in the long
run), mismanagement, widening income gaps due to deficiencies in general
education and welfare provisions, and political exclusion of social movements
(e.g. the labor movement) in government formation and policymaking. Read
Bacillus Anthracis and Bio Terrorism
Anthrax is a perfect biological weapon: easily concealed, potent, and easily
delivered. The small quantity of anthrax needed for a lethal inhalation
dose makes concealment, transportation, and dissemination very easy. An
anthrax aerosol is odorless and invisible, making it a very stealthy killer.
Only a millionth of a gram of anthrax is a lethal dose. A kilogram can eradicate
hundreds of thousands of individuals living in a metropolitan area. Another
characteristic making anthrax an effective biological agent, is that anthrax
spores can be stored for decades without losing their viability.
It is highly worth and necessary to learn more about Bacillus Athracis and
other biological weapons, such as smallpox, and their impact on society,
the precautions made, and the future danger implied by them.
There is no doubt that new comprehensive policy responses at home and abroad
(escpecially in the Middle East) need to be sought - beginning from air
travel safety and finding new ways of curing affected victims of bioterrorism
at home; to ensuring a long-term decline in poverty, unemployment, social
and economic exploitation of working-class members (especially migrant workers
and their families), and to construct harmonious, sound Arabian societies
in the Middle East. Read more ...
Bartlett, J.G., et al. "Anthrax as a Biological Weapon." JAMA 1999:
281:1735-1745. Bartlett, J.G., et al. "Smallpox as a Biological Weapon."
JAMA 1999: 281:2127-2137.
Bell, A.J., S.R. Lillibridge, and R.S. Roman. "Center for Disease Control
and Prevention Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response." American Journal
of infectious Control 1999: 463-464.
Dennis, D.T., et al. "Plague as a Biological Weapon, Medical and
Public Health Management." JAMA 2000: 283: 2281-2290.
Science and War Against Terrorism
President Bush's science advisor, John H. Marburger, told an audience at
an American Association for the Advancement of Science symposium on 18 December
that the Bush Administration is dedicated to "winning the war on terrorism
and employing science and technology in this endeavor."
Not only natural and military sciences are meant to help fulfilling this
task, but also social sciences, especially political science, sociology,
economics, and history. Make your own picture on the subject ...
Democracy in Burma
The country of Burma is lush, rich in natural resources and home to dozens
of peoples and cultures. But due to a military government established in
1962 of isolationist economic mismanagement, the 45 million people there
live without their human rights and in extreme poverty. Read more on the
Burmese democratic movement and its policy objectives and achievements ...
A Europe Without Children: Low Birth Rates and
in many European countries has virtually stoped growing. Mothers/parents
chose to have less children and the first child at a much higher age. To
stop a decline of the population of a certain country, on an average birthrate
of 2.1 children per woman is required.
In recent years, average birthrates of less than 1.3 children per woman
have become common across countries of the European Union. Italy,
a country that is known to be proud of its love for children, has become
a country with one of the lowest birthrates in Europe, due to absence of
adequate and sufficient housing facilities, child day care facilities, and
job opportunities causing young families to cancel their plans of having
a second or third child, or one at all.
Sweden, on the other hand, managed to become a pioneer in terms of welfare
provision and child day care provision. Thus, enabling young families to
fully meet their ambitions in raising children. Sweden now shows a birthrate
of a little less than 2 children per women, which is extraordinarily astonishing
since Sweden is also the country with one of the highest female labor force
participation rates in the world.
What can other governments in Europe do to provide its citizen a healty,
agreeable environment to raise their progeny? How significant is the impact
of welfare measures applied in Scandinavia, and can they successfully also
be implemented elsewhere? And how is the issue of migration relate to the
problem of declining birthrates in Europe? Here is some more information
on the topic ...
Social and Public Policy Internet Research
Despite the rapidly growing uses of the Internet there has been little systematic
empirical research on its direct impact on society. Consequently public
policy issues and choices are poorly understood.
Particularly interesting questions in relation to the use of internet and
its impact on society are: (1) Who is and is not accessing the internet,
how much, when, and for what reasons? (2) How large is its impact on existing
societal infrastructure and way of life, including leisure time and work
relationships? (3) What impact does is exert on the economy, politics, and
societal systems, such as the family and the community? (4) Does the internet
help to alter existing gender relationships, and in which ways? (5) Does
the internet bring the world together, as the ultimative universal media
of the world and, thus, enhances democracy and peace around the globe? (6)
And, what new forms of societal organization and interaction (e.g. friendship
relationships, social movements, and religious communities) stem from the
frequent use of the internet?
Please find out by yourself how far the gap is between existing and necessary
research on the new phenomenon of the internet that is rapidly changing
our society ...
Emerging-Market Economies and Environmental Protection
are happy to receive your suggestions for new HOT TOPICS, maybe including
your short description of the topic and some vital links!! (mail to: [email protected])