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Cecilia Rubiolo

Abstract

Intra-EU labour migration literature is fairly limited within migration studies and it has seldom considered migrants' embodied experiences and processes of subjectivation as a constitutive element of translocal economic transformations. The present paper focuses on the popular economies enacted by a segment of the migrant working class moving from Vicovu de Sus in Suceava district, Romania to Turin, Italy after 1989 as entangled in the production of “neoliberalism from below” (Gago, 2015). Mobilizing oral histories collected during an ethnographic fieldwork undertaken between 2012 and 2013, I will present some aspects related to the fields of production and reproduction within the movements of migrants belonging to a pentecostal community affiliated to the Cultul Penticostal – Biserica lui Dumnezeu Apostolică. Pentecostalism is here understood as a performative regime of truth and practices (Foucault, 1987; Marshall, 2009), through which migrant bodies perform processes of subjectivation to actively “inhabit” the borders of the State and Capital. Bukovinean pentecostal discourse, through an entrepreneurial drive, a cultural shift towards material prosperity and a strict gendered division of labour, seems to have fostered the creation of a self-organized translocal community whose economic practices obey/re-enact rather than escape/re-signify the dynamics of exploitation and dispossession proper of Romania's peripheral incorporation into contemporary global regimes of production, accumulation and division of labour.

Open access

Sorin Gog

Abstract

My paper focuses on the shift in religious values in post-socialist Romania and explores the emergence of alternative spiritual beliefs and practices among the younger generations socialized during the post-communist period. It analyses some of the changes that occurred in the wider traditional religious field and looks at the various spiritualized technologies of the self that produce a distinctive type of religious subjectivity and an immanent ethics of authenticity. By departing from the idea of an integrated religious community and from the relational understanding of religious transformation, the field of alternative spiritualities operates a radical break with traditional religion and emphasizes the possibility of spiritual self-realization and self-discovery. It is this process of the individualizing sacralization of the self that constitutes the object of various workshops, blogs, personal and spiritual development literature, courses, spiritual retreats and counselling services. My research looks at how innovative technologies of the self are developed within these spaces that emphasize creativity, wellbeing and a new understanding of subjective interiority that learns how to find in itself the resources it needs to live in a spiritualized ontology of the present.2

Open access

Rachel Sullivan Robinson

Abstract

Sub-Saharan African countries have the highest population growth rates in the world, and are also the poorest. In response to a variety of global and local forces, during the 1980s and 1990s two thirds of sub- Saharan African countries adopted national population policies to reduce population growth. Drawing from existing research and using the texts of population policies to illustrate key points, this article summarises the factors that drove population policy adoption in the region. Globally, powerful donors with significant leverage promoted population policies as a solution to lagging socioeconomic development while international organizations spread norms about women’s rights and reproductive health. Locally, technocrats working within relevant ministries backed efforts to increase contraceptive prevalence, and population policies furthered political projects unrelated to population. The interplay of global and local forces led to governments adopting population policies. Ultimately, continued high desired fertility and limited implementation capacity have prevented population policies from significantly lowering fertility, but these policies have likely increased the availability of contraception, created important discursive space related to gender and sexuality, and provided countries with an opportunity to test procedures and approaches for policy-making on sensitive issues.

Open access

Assefa Hailemariam

Abstract

Background: The Ethiopian government promulgated its first ever explicit, comprehensive and multisectoral population policy in 1993. The policy aimed at harmonizing population growth rate with that of the economy and the capacity of the country for sustainable socio-economic development. As with any population policy, there are important lessons to be learnt from the problems and challenges encountered during its implementation.

Objective: The paper assesses the extent to which the population policy objectives have been realized; highlights the successes registered and identifies challenges encountered in its implementation and proposes the way forward.

Methodology: Trend analysis using secondary data from censuses, surveys and UN sources were used and policy documents, research findings, development plan and program reports reviewed.

Results: Fertility, infant, under-five and maternal mortality have declined significantly. Female participation in education and labour force increased. A range of legal, policy and institutional frameworks have been developed and implemented on environmental security and on gender equity, equality and the empowerment of women. Legislative measures were also taken to remove harmful traditional practices. However, the pace of implementation has been slow and there are areas where not much progress was made.

Conclusion: Despite the progress made, there are critical challenges. Failure to establish the National Population Council; weak coordination and institutional arrangement due to absence of legally defined structure for implementation, lack of monitoring and evaluation system, absence of a comprehensive population program and financial constraints, among others are the major barriers. There is need to revise the policy and address these impediments and continuing and evolving challenges.

Open access

Meimanat Hosseini-Chavoshi, Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi and Peter McDonald

Abstract

The Islamic Republic of Iran has experienced a remarkable demographic transition over the last three decades. As a result of social, demographic and economic changes, Iran’s fertility declined from 7.0 births per woman in 1980 to around 1.8 to 2.0 in 2011 based on our estimation (McDonald et al. 2015). The initial rise and rapid fall of fertility accompanied by a decline of child mortality led to a post-revolutionary youth bulge in the age distribution that will lead to rapid ageing in the longer-term future. Others have argued that Iran’s fertility has fallen to much lower levels - as low as 1.5 births per woman (eg. Erfani 2013). Such low estimates led to the Government of Iran adopting a pronatalist policy with the aim of increasing fertility, although the components of the policy are still under discussion. Different views have been expressed on the role of family planning and other programs in meeting population policy goals in Iran in the future with some advocating the discontinuation of government assistance to family planning. This paper aims to review the trends and levels of fertility, marriage, and family planning and their implications for policy. Using various datasets and detailed parity-based measures of fertility, the dynamics of fertility regulation practiced by Iranian couples are investigated. Our findings suggest that contraceptive use stabilized before 2000 and postponement of the first child and wide birth intervals are the main contributors to the level of fertility. Therefore, instead of discontinuation of the family planning program, policy to sustain fertility at its present level or a little higher needs to focus upon improving the economic circumstances of young people so that they are able to make less constrained choices about family formation than is the case at present.