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Abstract

The article addresses the need to identify and quantify the external costs of air pollution on the health of the population, especially children. The subjects of evaluation are the respiratory illnesses acute nasopharyngitis and acute bronchitis, both of which have very high incidence in connection with air pollution. The aim of this paper is to estimate the cost of morbidity and to determine the amount of additional social costs of airway morbidity among children aged 0–15 years in Ostrava city, one of the most polluted cities in Europe, compared to the incidence of these diseases in the whole Czech Republic. Estimation of social costs is based on the Cost-Of-Illness approach, in which the total value is made up of the costs actually incurred in treating illness and in loss of productivity. Using this approach, additional costs related to the treatment of illnesses were calculated at approximately €20 million per year, which represents approximately 0.4% of Ostrava's regional gross domestic product (GDP).

Abstract

The paper focuses on the main features of corporate volunteering in companies from the Sverdlovsk region (Russian Federation), with a population surpassing 4.5 million inhabitants. Corporate volunteering is analyzed in the context of the trend characteristic for the post-Soviet space. The article systematizes approaches to the definition and study of this phenomenon, implemented by researchers from different countries. The main goal of the article is to identify the specific features of corporate volunteering in a large Russian region, considered typical for industrial territories in post-Soviet areas, seen through the social value that local communities attribute to corporate volunteering. The paper is based on the results of a public opinion poll and structured interviews, carried out in the Sverdlovsk region, where there is a concentration of enterprises of “hard” industries. The responses obtained in the poll were further subjected to analysis using statistical methods. The data are supplemented with information collected through the qualitative interviews. Interviewed experts are the top managers of enterprises and the deputy directors for HR, GR, or social issues. The study shows that in Russian industrial cities, where large enterprises are the main employers for most residents, many questions on the implementation of social policy fall under the responsibility of these enterprises, and not of the local government. Researchers argue that corporate volunteering is not widespread in the large Russian regions. It most often develops within the framework of event planning and environmental projects, managed by enterprises in cooperation with social and cultural institutions of local communities and not with the non-profit sector. The traditions of the organization of mass social work formed during the socialist period are still deeply rooted in enterprises, and managers rarely identify volunteering as a new managerial tool, thus being untangled from the global trend of promoting corporate volunteerism as a means of building corporate culture.

Abstract

This paper deals with the principle of subsidiarity in asylum law. It exposes some of the most important ‘push’ factors that have been considered by the European Union (EU) as arguments for the centralisation of asylum law. Through the application of an economic approach, this text examines the need for harmonization of asylum standards to reach the goal established in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. An economic methodology is used to investigate the application of the subsidiarity principle by considering some of the most important economic criteria for both centralisation and decentralisation, and by applying the findings to the asylum law. Specifically, this paper considers the Tiebout model, the problem of the ‘race to the bottom’, the reduction of transaction costs, and the importance of the protection of refugee human rights. These theories are commonly used in the cases of a specific issue with a transboundary nature, which produces [negative] international externalities. In addition, they reflect the significance of equal conditions within the EU Member States as well as the role of the EU as a sui generis organisation protecting human rights. It should be noted that this paper does not deal with the basic normative question of whether or not refugees deserve protection, but it aims to expose the advantages and disadvantages of an EU asylum policy. In its conclusion, the paper discusses the advantages of a centralised EU policy that also allows, within certain conditions, some type of competition between the Member States.

Abstract

In this article, we aim to explain international differences in socio-demographic structure of population among people around retirement age. We further test if transition into retirement is an important factor for obesity. Using Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) data, we first document that the Czech Republic has a significant and increasing trend in body mass index (BMI) and obesity (BMI > 29.99) for both men and women aged 50–70 years compared to other countries. Men have much higher level of BMI in comparison to many other European countries, whereas BMI of women is comparable to Estonia and Slovenia. However, we show a little evidence that underlying structure of Czech population with respect to education, occupation, health, age, and so on may explain increasing trend as well as higher level of obesity when compared to other European countries. Furthermore, we show that the transition into retirement is not associated with an increase in BMI. Using fixed effect model, we found that the obesity is directly related to increasing trend in obesity already before entering the retirement.

Abstract

In this article, we aim to explain international differences in socio-demographic structure of population among people around retirement age. We further test if transition into retirement is an important factor for obesity. Using Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) data, we first document that the Czech Republic has a significant and increasing trend in body mass index (BMI) and obesity (BMI > 29.99) for both men and women aged 50–70 years compared to other countries. Men have much higher level of BMI in comparison to many other European countries, whereas BMI of women is comparable to Estonia and Slovenia. However, we show a little evidence that underlying structure of Czech population with respect to education, occupation, health, age, and so on may explain increasing trend as well as higher level of obesity when compared to other European countries. Furthermore, we show that the transition into retirement is not associated with an increase in BMI. Using fixed effect model, we found that the obesity is directly related to increasing trend in obesity already before entering the retirement.

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Abstract

The paper is an ethnography of cultural workers from the contemporary art centre from Cluj-Napoca, Romania – The Paintbrush Factory. The one-decade existence of the alternative space contributed to a range of changes in the local cultural scene and evolved from a physical space into a resource for the city’s culture-led development strategy. It also became affected and reshaped by wider changes in terms of applied cultural policies. Cultural workers’ perspective, their precarity and their involvement in the local art scene influenced the current commodification and entrepreneurialisation of the cultural offer. The Paintbrush Factory’s expansion and contraction are vividly presented through the reflexive lenses of the cultural workers and managers, whose case-study could easily be regarded as a signal and a symbol of the deficient cultural policies mostly oriented to profit and lacking any local and long term-vision.

Abstract

What have been the conditions of production for a political theatre to appear in post-1990s Romania? How and why contemporary theatre in Romania ended up ignoring or dismissing the leftwing, engaged or militant theatrical movements active before 1945? Why local theatre history and theory entirely obliterated, also, the politically-engaged theatre forms active during communism itself? What kind of tradition forms the contemporary political theatre, what is the politics that informs their working practices and collaborations, how do the artists engage with the groups they choose to give voice and with the audience? Using a broad and on-purpose multi-faceted definition of political theatre, the article focuses on theatre artists, practices and performances that question capitalism as a social and power structure, sometimes from an intersectional perspective, but always framing this criticism in a class approach. Largely a practice-based analysis, the text gives a comprehensive on-going history of a strong performative movement and its challenges, from the representational strategies and the financial and positioning issues to the scarcity of critical covering and reviewing and the extending of an (opposite) political engagement in the mainstream theatre in Romania.

Abstract

In this article, I analyse the transformations of the Romanian post-communist intellectual elites, using as a case study the disputes in the cultural press in Romania from 2002 to 2004, disagreements that influenced the repositioning of the Romanian public intellectuals through ideological alignments. Those debates gave birth afterwards to a cohesive Conservative pole and to anti-conservative tendencies of diverse political orientations, which constitutes the origin of the current divisions of the intellectual space. The analysis combines the Bourdieusian perspective on the social field and the theory of social networks with the purpose to formulate a hypothesis concerning the competitions meant to produce and preserve the prestige of the status groups in the social space that generate conflicting ideological positions. It outlines an alternative form of reassessing the “reputation economy” outside the space of the commodity exchange economy, starting instead with symbolic exchanges. The study describes the social rationale behind status production, as a source of strategies for maintaining dominant positions in a social field.