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Decision Making in Psychiatric Reform: A Case Study of the Czech Experience

Abstract

This study examines the initial impact of a broadly participatory planning process in the Czech Republic during 2016–2017, aimed at both reducing inpatient care and expanding community mental health systems, on policy and programmatic decision making. A central focus of the study involves the trade-offs between and efforts to integrate shared decision making with evidence-based planning methods within the context of a national psychiatric reform strategy, particularly one involving a former Soviet bloc state.

Given the uniqueness of the Czech experience, an exploratory case study methodology is used, one involving ten interviews with key informants and examination of a wide variety of documents. Results include the development of broad new decision and oversight structures, and the initial implementation of community mental health services. The nation faces some of the same trade-offs found elsewhere, such as in the United States, between an inclusive participatory process, and one that systematically incorporates empirical rational and evidence and best practices within bounded parameters.

Implications for new psychiatric deinstitutionalization initiatives are identified, including development of a national mental health authority, a professional workforce, new funding strategies, multi-level service coordination, mechanisms to assure transparency, among others.

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The fuzzy concept of collaborative governance: A systematic review of the state of the art

Abstract

This article contributes to the consolidation and synthesis of scholarship on collaborative governance by expanding our knowledge of how the term is used in the academic literature and policy documents in a range of European countries. It adds value to the existing reviews of the field by conducting a systematic literature review on a corpus of over 700 article abstracts and a traditional literature review identifying five key analytical dimensions. The article also provides an exploratory analysis of grey literature hitherto outside the purview of researchers and considers the linguistic and cultural connotations that alter the meaning of the term when translated into new contexts in ten EU/EFTA countries. Findings indicate heterogeneity and fuzziness in the way the concept is used. The article argues that explicit positions with respect to five main analytical dimensions and taking into account the national connotations that the term carries across political systems would inject more clarity into the academic discourse. This, in turn, will help policymakers to make informed use of the concept, especially in multi-national policy-making arenas.

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The influence of age factors on the reform of the public service of Ukraine

Abstract

It had been established that the heads of institutions should form teams of workers of different generations with different expectations and methods of work in the context of reforming the public service. The periods of forming generations have been set on the basis of literary sources, such as: Generation X (the period up to 1980); Generation Y (from 1981 to 1996); and Generation Z (after 1997). The most important criteria which form the characteristics of public servants have been singled out, and common and distinctive traits of Generations X, Y, and Z have been systematized. The distribution of the number of public servants in Ukraine has been analyzed by gender, age and the category of position. Based on the use of correlation-regression analysis, the tendency of changes in the share of state servants of Ukraine by age category up to 2020 was investigated. This made it possible to confirm the suggested hypothesis of the dependence of the effective reform of the Ukrainian public service on the effective interaction and cooperation of all generations of public servants. The main requirements for a public institution in which the employees of the new generation will work have been systematized.

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Secular Formatting of the Sacred: Human Rights and the Question of Secularization and Re-Sacralization

Abstract

Whereas Samuel Moyn has argued that human rights represent the last utopia, sociologist Hans Joas suggests that the modern history of human rights represents a critical alternative to the common theory of secularization understood as disenchantment (Weber). In Joas’s reading, the political and social emphasis on human rights contributes to a sacralization of the person, not only understood as utopia, but also as societal ideal. Following Durkheim, Joas understands the sacred within the society as the continuous process of refashioning the ideal society within the real society. Although acknowledging Joas’s critique of Weber, the author is more critical of his idealization of universal human rights and his affirmative genealogy of this ideal running back to the so-called Axial Age. Mjaaland argues that the normative and formative functions of human rights are better served by a suspicious genealogy of morals, taking also the problematic aspects of human rights policy into account, including its dependence on new forms of violence and cruelty. He concludes that a more modest and pragmatic understanding of human rights may therefore strengthen rather than weaken their authority and future influence.

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Contemporary Religiosity and the Absence of Solidarity With Those in Need

Abstract

The article uses an adapted version of the multidimensional theory of religion to explore changes in contemporary religiosity in Central Europe, with a special focus on the Czech Republic. It asks whether there are any possible connections between the current absence of welcome of refugees, and the fact that the dominant religiosity that replaced the secularist ideology despises religious dogmas and institutions. It asks how people believing in “something”, who do not wish to define that “something” or share its vision with others, can make an informed and healthy judgment and make themselves capable of solidarity with others. The final part of the article returns to the possibilities of strengthening precisely those dimensions of religion that have been downplayed, yet without unrealistic expectations that people would move back to the form of religiosity their parents, but more often already their great-grandparents, left behind.

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How to Respond to Conflicts Over Value Pluralism?

Abstract

This paper starts with arguing that the main reason why value pluralism has become conflictual is that it challenges people’s socio-cultural identity. The next section gives a summary of recent sociological research on socio-cultural tensions and conflicts in the Netherlands and Europe. They are closely linked to “globalization issues,” such as cosmopolitism, immigration, and cultural integration. This shows that the prediction of the modernization theory, according to which substantial socio-cultural values would be replaced by a universalist, procedural ethics, has not come true. The third section discusses the philosophical reasons of the potentially conflictual character of today’s value pluralism: the fragility of socio-cultural identity, the spread of the culture of expressive individualism and the ethics of authenticity, and the influence of the (politics of) recognition of socio-cultural differences. The fourth section discusses two philosophical responses to the conflictual character of value pluralism. First, there is Taylor’s plea for a broadening of our socio-cultural horizon and a transformation of our common standards of (value-)judgments, based on his idea of a fusion of cultural horizons. In spite of its obvious merits, Taylor underestimates the degree of cultural distance that characterizes many instances of value pluralism. Second, there is an idea of cultural hospitality, which is an application of Ricoeur’s idea of linguistic hospitality to the cultural sphere. It is more modest than Taylor’s proposal, since it recognizes the unbridgeable gap that separates different cultures and their values. Another even more modest suggestion to diminish the conflictual character of value pluralism is the virtue of tolerance, which combines the idea that I have good reasons for my value attachments with the recognition that my values are not the completion of the ideal of human existence.

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The Challenge of Postsecularism

Abstract

Since September 11 attacks on World Trade Center, the word “postsecularism” became a kind of key to explain the existing tension between the secular and “indifferent toward religion” Western world, and the growing religious fundamentalism. However, the existence of conflict between secular and religious worldviews and the attempts to overcome it are not new. The aim of my paper is to present a few examples of successful endeavors of worldviews exchanges between believers and nonbelievers. But, first, a definition of postsecularism will be suggested together with some critical reflection on the concept of religion. I will also discuss some inspiring ideas and theories of postsecularism from the last decade. I would like to suggest a comprehension of postsecularism as a kind of pluralism.

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ASEM’s First Two Decades: A Role Discovered

Abstract

This article examines the first two decades of the transregional Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) from its inception with the Bangkok Summit of 1996. Examining instances of region building and the socialisation of states, it identifies the gradual emergence of a role for the forum, one that stands in some contrast to initial participant expectations. In this respect, rather than a structure for delivering substantive negotiated outcomes around issues such as trade liberalisation, the value of ASEM across its first 20 years came increasingly to be seen in its ideational aspects: identity building, norm diffusion, and dialogue without preconceptions.

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The Asian Experience for Europe: New Perspectives
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The Belt and Road Initiative: The Cornerstone of the New-Fangled Financial Institutionalism Led by China

Abstract

The debate about the benefits and the risks brought both to People’s Republic of China and to the other participant countries by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been gaining momentum in the academic and in the political landscapes. We argue that the BRI is the main pillar of the new financial institutionalism proposed by China to redefine the current global financial architecture and that, consequently, the initiative needs to be considered in that context. This paper (i) reviews the timeline that led to this Chinese-led new financial institutionalism, (ii) proposes two theoretical frameworks to define the concept of multilateral financial statecraft and of new financial institutionalism led by China, and (iii) enumerates the main differences and similarities observed between this new financial institutionalism and the one dominated by the Bretton Woods-related institutions that gradually emerged after World War II, such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Marshall Plan, and the Asian Development Bank.

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