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The EU Party Democracy and the Challenge of National Populism
This volume aims to provide consolidated analyses of the 2019 European elections and explanations about the future of the European party system, in a context in which the EU has to face many challenges, including the erosion of electoral support for mainstream parties and the increasing success of populist parties. The structure of the book is designed to combine the overall view on the role of elections in shaping the future European project with relevant case studies.

The reader is given a perspective not only on the results of the European Parliament elections as such, but also on how these results are related to national trends which pre-exist and what kind of collateral effects on the quality of democracy they could have.

Contributors include: Jan Bíba, Sorin Bocancea, Dóra Bókay, Radu Carp, József Dúró, Tomáš Dvořák, Alexandra Alina Iancu, Ruxandra Ivan, Petra Jankovská, Małgorzata Madej, Cristina Matiuța, Sergiu Mișcoiu, Valentin Naumescu, Gianluca Piccolino, Leonardo Puleo, Alexandru Radu, Mihai Sebe, Sorina Soare, Tobias Spöri, Jeremias Stadlmair, Martin Štefek, Piotr Sula, and Jaroslav Ušiak.
This book constitutes a sociological research on the current “narrations” of the economic and refugee crisis which has mobilized all the aspects of social storytelling during the last decade, most particularly in the European South. Because the different (mass and social) media reflect the dominant ideas and representations, the research on the meaning of different media narratives becomes a necessary report for the understanding of the relation (or “inexistent dialogue”?) between official political discourses and popular myths (based on everyday life values of prosperity, mostly promoted by the mass culture and the cultural industries’ products). Despite the ongoing inequalities and difficulties, the contemporary audiences seem to counterbalance misery by the dreams of happiness, provided by this kind of products.

Contributors include: Christiana Constantopoulou, Amalia Frangiskou, Evangelia Kalerante, Laurence Larochelle, Debora Marcucci, Valentina Marinescu, Albertina Pretto, Maria Thanopoulou, Joanna Tsiganou, Vasilis Vamvakas, and Eleni Zyga.
Essays on the Political Economy of Late Development
Growth and Change in Neoliberal Capitalism brings together selected essays written by Alfredo Saad-Filho, one of the most prominent Marxist political economists today. This book offers a rich analysis of long-term economic development in the current stage of capitalism, the new relations of dependence between countries, the prospects for poor countries, and the progressive alternatives to neoliberalism. The volume also provides a detailed set of studies of the political economy of Brazil, tracking its achievements, tragedies, contradictions and limitations from the economic transition to from import-substituting industrialisation to neoliberalism, and from military dictatorship to democracy, in order to explain the catastrophes currently unfolding in that country.

Abstract

Alligators were perceived as dangerous by early settlers in Florida, and they also reflected the untamed and potentially untameable Florida wilderness. By the 20th century, alligator farms capitalized on the thrill of alligator encounters in controlled theme park experiences. Alligators are tamed in the current farm context and valued increasingly for the products that can be derived from their bodies. This anthrozoological investigation of perceptions of Florida alligators explores how farms define alligators and why visitors might accept these particular constructed images of alligators, concluding with a wider view to consider these perceptions of farmed animals in relation to the idea of the nuisance alligator. The discussion is framed by multi-species studies that rest on notions of embodiment and attentiveness, which in this case push the importance of alligator experience and agency to the foreground.

In: Society & Animals
Academic Activism in the Neoliberal Era
Author: Philippe Peycam

Abstract

AAALAC International is a nonprofit organization that evaluates and accredits research, testing and educational animal care and use programs around the world. The ethical review and oversight processes are key elements of a program, and therefore are thoroughly assessed during the accreditation process. Legal approaches to ethical review and oversight vary across geopolitical areas and are nonexistent in some regions, creating a heterogeneous landscape of processes globally. In AAALAC’s interpretation, ethical and oversight processes must first comply with applicable legislation (engineering standards), but also they must be effective (performance standards). To evaluate the efficacy of each system and be consistent in the assessments, AAALAC relies on a performance-based approach which focuses on the outcome of the process, as AAALAC considers that the same satisfactory outcome can be achieved by different procedures. How AAALAC assesses the combination of legal compliance and the efficacy of ethical review and oversight processes in the international context is described.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research

Abstract

Through a series of in-depth interviews asking individuals about their decisions to adopt special-needs companion animals, we discovered that a combination of anthropomorphism and empathy are at play when individuals decide to adopt them. This tendency is explained using David Blouin’s typology of guardians: humanistic and protectionistic guardians anthropomorphized their companion animals, exhibited greater empathy, and were more willing to adopt animals with special needs.

In: Society & Animals
Author: Pauliina Raento

Abstract

Postage stamp imagery reveals how humans see other animals in their society; how this relationship changes over time; and in particular political, economic, and cultural contexts; and what the stamp-issuing state wishes to communicate to its citizens. A qualitative mixed-methods exploration of this overlooked, easily accessible visual data identifies trends and representative examples of human-animal relations in Finnish society during the country’s independence (1917-2016). The empirical discussion strengthens method(olog)ical discussion on visual culture and data in animal studies. The examination shows the value of systematic longitudinal data, the inclusion of both consumer and producer perspectives in the analysis, and engagement with scholarly debates outside animal studies.

In: Society & Animals

Abstract

According to Directive 2010/63/EU, project proposals involving experiments on animals must be favourably evaluated by the local Animal Welfare Body (AWB) before submission for approval to the central competent authority, i.e., the Ministry of Health in the case of Italy. Here the working experience of the AWB established in one Italian veterinary public health institution is considered and discussed to identify limits, difficulties, and provide suggestions for improvement based on practical cases. Given its pivotal role, the AWB should be strengthened to guarantee the safety and welfare of animals used for scientific purposes, and to further the awareness of researchers about animal welfare and ethics.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research

Abstract

The aim of this pilot study was to examine the effects of different videos of an unfamiliar dog (tranquil and active) on subjective mental state measures. All participants watched two videos of an unfamiliar dog (tranquil and active). Subjective measures of stress, anxiety, alertness, attention, likeability, and cuteness were assessed. The results showed that the tranquil dog video significantly decreased anxiety only. Additionally, the active dog video significantly decreased stress and anxiety. Across the videos, the results showed the active dog video significantly improved subjective alertness and attention when compared with the tranquil dog video. Lastly, the active dog video was rated more likeable and cuter relative to the tranquil dog video. The practical implications of these findings could include how to improve various subjective mental states for humans in public settings (e.g., hospital) where nonhuman animals are not always allowed.

In: Society & Animals