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Salomon v A. Salomon Ltd

This essay argues that the doctrine of ‘separate legal personality’ confirmed in the case of Salomon v A. Salomon Ltd though greatly diminished in importance by numerous judicial and statutory exceptions, remains bedrock English company law. The essay explains the meaning and origin of the doctrine before discussing the various judicial and legislative exceptions to it. With the help of decided cases, the essay shows how the doctrine has been eroded. It is concluded that despite these numerous exceptions, the core of the doctrine remains intact and hence it would be wrong to assert that the doctrine has been ‘fatally undermined. To support this assertion, cases where the courts have refused to lift the veil and those were the veil has been reluctantly pierced due to the need not to depart from the doctrine are highlighted.


Introduction

This essay analyses the current legal standing of the cardinal doctrine of ‘separate legal personality’ as applied in English law. Arguably, though the doctrine has been greatly undermined by exceptions that allow for ‘lifting the corporate veil’ (Wild and Weinstein, 2011), it remains bedrock English law. The exceptions developed by courts and the legislature have indeed severely undermined the doctrine but not fatally. Rather than expand exceptions, the courts have in some instances instead abandoned some exceptions, notably, the ‘interests of justice’ exception (Moore, 2006).

The doctrine

The doctrine of ‘separate legal personality’ originated in the 1844 Joint Stock Companies Act. It was later articulated in Salomon v A. Salomon Ltd [1897]. Also known as the ‘Salomon doctrine’, the doctrine requires properly incorporated companies to be regarded as autonomous legal persons in its own right, capable among others of bearing rights and obligations (Moore, 2006). The doctrine applies to protect shareholders in the event of liability (Hannigan, 2009; Dignam and Lowry, 2010; Wild and Weinstein, 2011; Macintyre, 2010). English courts have over the years been keen to uphold the cardinal doctrine.

The exceptions

The exceptions to the doctrine were either developed by the courts or by statute.

Mere sham or fa?ade

This is the most established and clear judicial exception to the Salomon doctrine. It was applied in the case of Gilford Motor Co Ltd v Horne [1933] Ch. 935 (CA) where an ex- employee sought to avoid being bound by a restrictive covenant. The court found the ex-employee’s company to be a sham intended to achieve an illegal purpose. Several cases have applied this exception to the extent that it can be said to be the deepest incision into the separate corporate personality doctrine (Jones v Lipman (1962). In contrast, in Ord v Belhaven Pubs Ltd [1998], court affirmed its power to pierce the veil but there was no evidence to show that the company was a mere sham. Arguably, the exception is in line with general public policy not to enforce fraudulent activities and to facilitate avoidance of existing legal obligations (Hannigan, 2009). Due to the nature of what it protects, it would be wrong to argue that this exception fatally undermines the Salomon doctrine. Laws need to be read in harmony with each other.

Agency

This exception is used to lift the corporate veil where it appears that a subsidiary company is in fact carrying on business simply as the agent of the parent company to avoid existing legal obligations. This exception was applied in Smith, Stone & Knight Ltd v Birmingham Corp [1939]. However, the same principle was found inapplicable in the case of Adams v Cape Industries plc [1990]. Court declined to pierce the corporate veil merely because the shares are in the control of one shareholder or even where the corporate structure has been used to avoid future potential liability that could otherwise be incurred by a parent company. Court stated that the Salomon doctrine was in fact inherent in English corporate law.

Single economic unit exception

The Adams case reasserted the separate corporate personality principle by rejecting the single economic unit exception that had been applied by Lord Denning in DHN Food Distributors Ltd v Tower Hamlets (1976). Lord Denning’s approach had in fact directly been attacked by the House of Lords in the case of Woolfson v Strathclyde RC (1978). So with regard to future liabilities, the doctrine of separate legal personality stands not fatally undermined. However, with regard to already acquired legal rights, the courts can greatly undermine the doctrine as happened in Re a Company [1985], and in Trustor AB v Smallbone and Kensington International Ltd v Republic of Congo [2006].

Protecting the public interest to avoid trading with ‘enemy aliens’

The courts have had to ignore separate corporate personality by lifting the corporate veil to avoid trading with alien enemies during periods of war (Daimler v Continental Tyre and Rubber Co. [1916]). This confirms that the doctrine of separate legal personality is not sacrosanct. Nevertheless, it does not support the assertion that the doctrine has been fatally undermined.

Statutory law: taxation, insolvency, employment and others

The most near fatal undermining of the Salomon doctrine is provided by statutory law. The companies Act, the Insolvency Act 1986, taxation legislation are key examples. Re H [1996] was a taxation case where actually the sham or facade exception was deployed. Under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, directors who act while disqualified will be jointly and severally liable cannot rely on the Salomon doctrine to avoid liability. The Insolvency Act 1986 provides for lifting of the veil in situations of fraudulent and wrongful trading (section 213 and 214 respectively). Further, under the Companies Act 2006, Plc company directors trading without a trading certificate are personally responsible despite the separate legal personality. The Employment Rights Act 1986 protects continuous employment where employees are transferred from one subsidiary company to another within a group (Dignam and Lowry, 2010, p. 32) by treating separate entities as one.

Tortious liability exception

English courts have allowed lifting of the veil in order for a claimant to sue a holding company for tortious acts of a subsidiary. In Connelly v RTZ Corporation Plc (1988), the dissenting Judge vouched strongly for the separate legal personality doctrine. Accordingly, this principle remains a major principle that it cannot easily be swept under the carpet through piercing of the veil. (Lubbe v Cape Industries Plc (2000).

Conclusion

The doctrine articulated in the case of Salomon v A Salomon Co. Ltd is very much alive and respected in English company law despite the many exceptions imposed both by the courts and statute. Courts zealously uphold the doctrine except in certain factual situations where they have either pierced the corporate veil or declined to do so citing concerns over the Salomon doctrine. Legislative interventions are the greater threat to the doctrine. However, the doctrine’s core remains a backbone of company law in England. In conclusion, the doctrine has not been fatally undermined.


References and bibliography


Dignam, A. & Lowry, J., “Company Law”, Oxford University Press ( 2010)

Griffin, S., “Company Law: Fundamental Principles”, Pearson, (2006)

Gower, D., and Davies, “Principles of Modern Company Law”, Sweet and Maxwell, (2008)

Grantham, R.B. & Rickett, E.F., “The bootmaker’s Legacy to Company Law Doctrine, in Grantham, R.B. and Reckitt, E.F. (eds.), Corporate Pesrsonality in the 20th Century, Hart Publishing (1998)

Hanigan, B., “Company Law”, Oxford University Press, (2009)

Kenton, M., and Walker, M.,”Antonio Gramsci Shipping Corp v Stepanovs, Case commentary, [2011] Company Lawyer 274

Macintyre, E, “Business Law”, Pearson (2010)

Maughan, B and Copp, S., “Piercing the corporate veil”, N.L.J. 1998, 148(6846), 938-940

(2006)

Moore, M “A temple built on faulty foundations”: piercing the corporate veil and the legacy of Salomon v Salomon”(2006) JBL 180

Morse, G., “Charlesworth’s Compnay Law”, Sweet and Maxwell (2005)

Muchlinski, P., “Limited Liability and Multinational Enterprises: a case for reform?(2010) 34 cambridge Journal of Economics 915

Rixon, F.G., “Lifting the veil between Holding and Subsidiary Companies”[1986] LQR 415

Wild, C., and Weinstein, S, “Smith and Keenan’s Company Law”, Pearson, (2011)

Cases:

Adams v Cape Industries Plc [1990] Ch. 433 (CA (Civ Div))
Apthorpe v Peter Schoenhofen Brewing Co 4 T.C 41 (CA)

Connelly v RTZ Corporation Plc (1998) 854

Creasey v Breachwood Motors Ltd [1992] B.C.C. 638 (QBD)
Daimler Co Ltd v Continental Tyre & Rubber Co (Great Britain) Ltd [1916] 2 A.C. 307 (HL)
DHN Food Distributors Ltd v Tower Hamlets (1976) 3 All E.R. 462

Gilford Motor Co Ltd v Horne [1933] Ch. 935 (CA)
Gramophone & Typewriter Ltd v Stanley [1908] 2 K.B. 89 (CA)
Jones v Lipman [1962] 1 All E.R. 442

Kensington International Ltd v Republic of Congo [2006] 2 BCLC 296

Lubbe v Cape Industries Plc (2000) 1W.L.R. 1545 HL

Ord v Belhaven Pubs Ltd [1998] 2 BCLC447, C.A.

Re a Company [1985] BCLC 333, CA

Re H and others [1996] 2 BCLC 500 (CA)

Salomon v A. Salomon & Co Ltd [1897] A.C. 22 (HL)
Smith, Stone & Knight Ltd v Birmingham Corp [1939] 4 All ER 116

Trustor AB v Smallbone [2001]2 BCLC 436

Tunstall v Steigmann [1962] 2 Q.B. 593 (CA)
V.T.B. Capital PLC v Nutritek International Corp [2011] EWHC 3107(Ch)(Ch.D)

Woolfson v Strathclyde RC 1978 S.C. (H.L.) 90 (HL)

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Strategic Analysis of Vodafone Group PLC

Beginning with a basic tool, a mobile wallet and how Vodafone (rated 10th on the FTSE 100 index) is engaging this issue, then moving on to discuss smartphones and how their popularity is increasing. An assortment of examples where strategic management is occurring within the organization alongside the frameworks used by managers to calculate the company’s future expansion will be reviewed; plus, where threats are causing concern and how Vodafone plans to start a new strategic approach to tackle them. Finally, a conclusion based on the evidence will provide recommendations on how the organization should progress in order to sustain future growth.

Introduction

This report will illustrate how Vodafone Group PLC (the world’s leading mobile network company), is using key strengths and opportunities; with a series of analytical frameworks employed by managers, explaining how capitalization is being accomplished. An overview of Vodafone’s M2M markets will be provided, to illustrate the importance of the organization’s interest in merging and acquisition to compete globally with rivals and their substitutes. The examples and strategic methods will identify how the company will protract future growth and emphasize areas of concern in mature European markets. Finally, implications toward what needs to be enhanced and maintained to maximize growth will be examined, because Vodafone currently stands 10th on the FTSE 100 index; and, since 2010, revenue has become ‘organic’.

M2M Marketing and Future Innovation

Most consumers seem not too bothered by having a mobile wallet – younger people do not feel as subdued as older users. Vodafone is working with Visa to reach out to consumers who are willing to use one; also, to combat substitutes such as Orange who have merged with MasterCard. A smartphone is needed by consumers to obtain a mobile wallet. ‘Smartphones now make up the majority of consumers’ handsets, with 53% of mobile phone subscribers using a smartphone as their primary handset. This is a rise of 17 percentage points from one year ago,’ (Mobile Network Providers, Mintel, 2012). Ten percentage points of this rise included a Vodafone competence, their Blackberry device. Vodafone has noticed augmentation in smartphone usage ‘with 27% of customers in Europe using these devices today, compared to 19% last year,’ (Vodafone Annual Report, p. 22, 2012). Generic strategies in the U.K. seemingly target the younger generation (16-24 year olds) and Vodafone appears to be thinking broadly with what seems to be a cost leadership strategy to trounce rivals.

Technological innovation and Vodafone’s vigorous market position enables it to offer new commodities to its consumers; but however, robust competition from telecommunications companies are threatening overall growth. Vodafone has merged with and acquired organizations to strategically position itself globally in the M2M market.

‘The global cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity cervices market is growing rapidly. M2M refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same ability. The M2M market has become a mainstream segment of the cellular industry. The market for cumulative cellular M2M connections is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 25% between 2011 and 2016 and is expected cross 360 million connections.’ (Vodafone Group PLC, SWOT Analysis, Marketline, p. 6, 2012)

Corporate strategies seem centred on market penetration, as Vodafone aims to increase its share in a growing market. The ‘new markets and existing products’ quadrant of the product/market matrix is one Vodafone often selects to obtain new territories, segments and uses. Currently, tactics in the M2M market are seemingly being reconsidered, since Vodafone ‘is focused on offering value added mobile data services to its customers. In addition, is also focused on improving technologies to deliver data faster,’ (MarketLine, p. 7, 2012). This indicates Vodafone is also enhancing ‘existing markets and new products/services’ with product development. ‘Vodafone has a strong focus on providing M2M services. The group serves around 5.3 million M2M connections around the world. In addition, Vodafone is in the best position to take advantage of the Vodafone Group Public Limited Company global M2M communications opportunity and was topped in a benchmarking study by Machina Research. The group’s diversified geographic presence and long-established network of partner markets would further accelerate this opportunity. Hence, the positive outlook for these services would allow Vodafone to increase its revenues and market share in the future’ (MarketLine, p.p. 6-7, 2012).

Vodafone is frequently expanding its M2M market. After bidding for the troubled telecoms group Cable & Wireless Worldwide (C&WW), the group’s shares increased by almost ‘45% after Vodafone confirmed that it was interested. […] Confirmation of Vodafone’s interest pushed up shares in C&W Worldwide 28.5p, taking the company’s equity value to more than ?700m,’ (Financial Times, 14-02-2012). On April 23rd 2012 Vodafone’s strategic capability increased with a deal, alongside external interest from shareholders. ‘Under the conditions of the deal, Vodafone will pay 38 pence per C&WW share, meaning the firm has a value of ?1.044bn. The deal will add a U.K. fixed-line network to Vodafone’s mobile network currently in place.’ (BBC, 24-03-2012).

European markets are an area of concern (particularly competency in mature markets), also, various legal proceedings – perceived as external threats – have been occurring there, which could potentially damage intangible resources such as reputation and popularity in the region alongside attitudes, opinions and interests (AOIs); plus, ‘high penetration rates in these markets signify weak prospects for the group to report growth, making it dependent on differentiation and value added services for future growth,’ (MarketLine, p.9, 2012). So, the company’s development of ‘long-term evolution technology’ (LTE) seems to be an attempt to tackle this, which can produce ‘user speeds of up to 12 Mbps, compared to up to 6 Mbps on 3G. In Germany, our first market to launch LTE, we have already deployed the capability on 12% of our radio sites,’ (Vodafone Annual Report, p.24, 2012).

Conclusion

Vodafone’s value chain will need to be altered upon acquiring C&WW. Firm infrastructure, technology development and service will possibly be enhanced; especially by obtaining C&WW’s unique resources including corporate voice, data and hosting services; which can potentially impinge on the primary activities within the value chain; increasing marketing and sales, operations and service. Vodafone should continue with their penetration strategies in growing markets as acquisition has been functional for growth. In Europe, decisions should be based on consolidation to protect the company’s shares; because the business has selected a differentiation strategy, which seems sensible with weak prospects. Therefore, LTE should be prioritised for ‘4G’ phones now and in the future, because the experience curve will potentially increase in emerging markets (i.e. India etc.) as it decreases in Europe and the U.S. hence, entrepreneurial innovation and core competences are practical to uphold cost leadership.

Online References

Mobile Network Providers, 2012. Mintel. [online] Available at: http://academic.mintel.com/sinatra/oxygen/display/no_redirect&id=614468&?select_section=614469 [Accessed 7th June 2012].

Vodafone Group PLC, 2012, Vodafone Annual Report. [pdf]. 31 March 2012, Available at: http://www.vodafone.com/content/dam/vodafone/investors/annual_reports/Vodafone_Annual_Report_12.pdf [Accessed 6th June 2012].

MarketLine, 2012. Vodafone Group Public Limited Company, SWOT Analysis. [pdf] Available at: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&hid=123&sid=387f388a-6245-440f-8c14-41aa6663438b%40sessionmgr112 [Accessed 6th June 2012]

Financial Times, 2012. Vodafone confirms talks with C&WW. [press release], 14 February 2012, Available at: http://academic.mintel.com/sinatra/oxygen_academic/search_results/show&&type=NSItem&class=News&sort=recent&display=abridged&page=1/display/id=611097&anchor=611097 [Accessed 7th June 2012].

BBC, 2012. Vodafone agrees takeover of C&W Worldwide. [press release], 24 March 2012, Available at: http://academic.mintel.com/sinatra/oxygen_academic/display/id=52609/display/id=619664 [Accessed 8th June 2012].

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Explore the many ethical dimensions of contemporary healthcare in terms of abortion


The aim of this essay was to explore the many ethical dimensions of contemporary healthcare in terms of abortion. Abortion rates in the UK have been reported, as has abortion globally as an increased method of population control. The reasons for abortion, are varied, including abortion as a contraceptive, attitudes to human life, and disability and eugenics, all of which have been discussed. There is a clear need for the ethical implications of abortion to be addressed in relation to the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of healthcare professionals working with women either considering or opting for an abortion.

1. INTRODUCTION

A medical abortion has been defined by the National Abortion Federation (Dudley and Mueller, 2008) as a termination “that is brought about by taking medications that will end a pregnancy” (p.1). The NAF further clarify that, “The alternative is surgical abortion, which ends a pregnancy by emptying the uterus (or womb) with special instruments” (p. 1). Abortions are permitted under the Abortion Act 1967 (UK Government, 1967) by a registered medical practitioner subject to certain conditions.

Research by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that abortion rates are steady, at 28 abortions per 1,000 women globally (Sedgh et al., 2008). A quarter of pregnant women in the world have either an unwanted birth or an abortion (Aguirre, 2007). In England and Wales, figures from the Department of Health (DH) show a slight rise of 0.3% in abortions, from 189,100 in 2009 to 189,574 in 2010 (DH, 2011). Almost half (49%) of the women opting for abortions in 2010 were in a partnership, while 26% were single, and 16% married (DH, 2011). The abortion rate in girls under 16-years of age was 4.0 in 2009, reducing to 3.9 in 2010 (DH, 2011). Rates for girls aged 15-19 years old were also lower in 2010 compared to 2009, although rates in women aged 30-37 years of age were higher.

With such a large percentage of the population being subject to an abortion, many health professionals are confronted with the moral and ethical issues surrounding abortions. For example, according to Brody (1972), a woman should not consider the option of having an abortion when the foetus has developed biologically and genetically, into what is classed as a human being as opposed to a collection of cells. He maintains that this life, albeit in the early stages, has the same value as any other human life and therefore should be afforded the same rights.

Whilst some pro-life groups or anti-abortion movements advocate that it is always inappropriate to have an abortion as it is ultimately not allowing the creation of a new human life (Harris, 1985, Schultz and Van Assendelft, 1999), a more open-minded view would be that a woman has the right to pursue an abortion (Warren, 2009). Indeed, it could be argued that each incidence and each woman should be measured on their own merit as to whether their actions contravened the foetus’ right to life and human rights. Another contrasting view would be to look at an abortion as a woman acting in self-defence in such instances whereby continuing with the pregnancy could or would damage health or even threaten the life of the woman (Warren, 2009; MacGuigan, 1994). Indeed, evidence supports the fact that where there is a “choice” between the continuation of a woman’s life or that of a foetus’, the woman’s body will instinctively act in self-preservation to the detriment and potential termination of the pregnancy. It is this type of incidence, in particular, that raises the need for the application of ethical theories.

2. ETHICAL ISSUES IN ABORTION

The relationship between abortion and contraception highlights its own ethical dilemma, which can shift the burden of responsibility from the pregnant woman to health professionals and those in authority. For example, studies conducted by Marston and Cleland (2003) reveal that abortion is not deliberately used as a method of contraception, but is more so used due to a lack of knowledge or understanding by the pregnant woman. Therefore, it is the obligation of policy-makers and healthcare professionals to ensure that information and contraception are readily available and easy to understand. This is essential in the empowerment of women, allowing them to take control of their lives and enabling them to take all possible measures against an unwanted pregnancy. Education is considered to be the easiest and most open non-invasive measure, which where necessary can be provided confidentially, obtained in private, and in some instances contact with a health centre or medical staff is not necessary. However, there will always be cases where an emergency or medical abortion is necessary, no matter how well informed or prepared a woman may be.

Thus, contraception focuses on the importance of starting with and prioritising women’s needs regarding abortion concerns. In order to improve medical services, healthcare professionals need to ask questions about the level of knowledge the woman has about abortion, in addition to considering relevant ethical issues (International Consortium for Medical Abortion, ICMA, 2012). They must ensure that the woman has all the information regarding potential risks and problems, that measures to reduce levels of pain are implemented, and that the women is aware of what to expect prior, during and after the procedure (ICMA, 2012). Additional staffing is also necessary for the provision of more efficient medical services, as well as more empathetic and highly trained staff. Furthermore, those women who are considering an abortion must have their concerns and the circumstances surrounding their own ethical dilemmas addressed (Tremayne, 2000; Karasahin and Keskin, 2011).
It has been argued by Rosenfeld (1992) that “healthy women who want to complete an unintended pregnancy in the first trimester have few significant or negative emotional consequences” (p. 137). Although a few women may have feelings of ambivalence or guilt, many also feel a sense of freedom and experience other positive reactions, including relief. However, the emotional response of a woman and her family to medical or therapeutic abortion is complicated. A number of factors may help address women at risk of emotional problems and depressive symptoms after abortion (Rosenfeld, 1992). Women who terminate their pregnancy during the second trimester, have a history of multiple abortions, have pre-existing psychiatric problems or have a lack of support at home are more likely to have emotional problems (Rosenfeld, 1992). By being aware of this, health professionals can implement the appropriate pre- and post-abortion care. This is also the case for women who have an abortion for medical or genetic reasons. These women are at increased risk of developing depressive symptoms and therefore health professionals are required to provide the appropriate psychological as well as medical support (Boss, 1994). Blumberg et al. (1975) explains, “Perhaps the role of decision making and the responsibility associated with selective abortion explains [sic] the more serious depression following [the abortion]” (p. 805).
Medical ethics related to abortion are most relevant when they focus on the individuals choosing to have an abortion, as opposed to just health professionals carrying out the abortion or treating the aftermath. To this end, a philosopher, focusing on medical ethics can play a vital role in exposing problems which exist within hospitals.There is an enormous demand for philosophers within the healthcare setting, suggesting a common ethical, moral and social viewpoint that could facilitate advice-giving to health professionals (Polaino Lorente, 2009).

2.1 International Ethical Codes

In the Hippocratic Oath, abortion is connected to medical ethics in both its actual form and contemporary reformulation such as stated in the World Medical Association’s 1948 Declaration of Geneva (Kivity, Borow and Shoenfeld, 2009). According to this oath, all members of the human race have a right to life and this is agreed globally in conventions such as:

1.The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949)

2.Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which clearly refers to such rights as applying to the unborn (1959)

3.International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976).
However, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children’s (SPUC’s) opposition to abortion is dependent on ethical principles which have masked universal acceptance (SPUC, 2012a). While the SPUC consists of members from many different religions, it is not an organisation based on religion. Nevertheless, this highlights the need of a focus on common acceptable (as opposed to religious-based) ethical dimensions in contemporary healthcare, especially in terms of considering the ethical implications of abortion.

2.2 Abortion in the United Kingdom

The main reason for legalising abortion inBritainwas the suspected number of illegal abortions being carried out. Pro-abortionists indicated that every year, there were 100,000 illegal abortions before legalisation (SPUC, 2012b). The committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists provides evidence that in England and Wales, there were 15,000 illegal abortions annually in 2007 (Event, 2008). Thus, in theUK, the application of ethical theories along with related approaches to practical dilemmas in healthcare focusing on abortion is particularly important and relevant.

2.2.1 Actual counts of legal abortions

The Abortion Act was agreed in 1967 and a year later it became effective as a statute inEngland,WalesandScotland. For the period of 30 years following the implementation of the Act, year on year the total number of abortions performed rose by 700% (SPUC, 2012b). InBritain, five million abortions were performed over this period. Yearly, 170,000 abortions occurred during the 15 years prior to 1997. It was over 187,000 in 1998, with more than 510 abortions a day, which was 87% higher than the pro-abortionists’ estimate of illegal abortions in the 1960s (Sedgh et al., 2012).

2.3 Reasons for abortion

Although more than 90% of abortions are authorised and performed to protect the mother’s physical or mental health, the majority of these abortions are performed for social reasons rather than medical reasons, and this has become widely accepted (Corkindale et al., 2009). Indeed, inBritainabortion is efficiently practised on demand (Ingham et al., 2008). This poses further ethical implications for healthcare professionals since abortion is no longer only considered for medical reasons, but is frequently a social choice and a method of solving an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy (Koyama et al., 2005).

2.3.1 Contraception and abortion

Although the pro-life movement is reluctant to make a connection between contraception and abortion, with some contraceptives there is both a link to abortion and identification with abortion (Smith, 1993). Indeed, some contraceptives are abortifacients and work by causing early term abortion. Furthermore, the number of abortions cannot be stopped primarily by contraception since pregnancy prevention also results in an anti-child state of mind; such unplanned babies are observed only as the unwanted result of contraceptive failure.

2.3.2 The eugenics movement

Eugenic ethics is protected as a religious belief, political philosophies, and judicial systems, and it is the reverse of the code that all human beings have equal value (Kasun, 1988). The mentality of the eugenic adjudicators is unusually narrow compared to physical, psychological or social situations (Connelly, 2008). This leads to disabled and unborn groups. Thus, issues of disability and eugenics are remarkably relevant to the application of ethical theories focusing on practical dilemmas in healthcare.

2.3.3 Foetal tissue in medical research

The major source for research into foetal tissue is from babies that are the result of induced abortion; such research consists of the human genome project. If permission is given, the dead bodies may well be used for research, but a mother aborting her child would not likely provide such support. In research, the use of foetal tissue seems to justify abortion because it can be used to assist in the health and life of other people. At the same time, it could be argued that such research is morally wrong because it neglects the unborn baby’s right to life (Nie, 2002).

2.4 Abortion and disability

Every abortion involves an assumption that the existence of unborn babies is of lesser value than an adult human’s life. It could be argued that abortion due to a disability diagnosed in the unborn child is not only an attack on the most vulnerable but on one who it is necessary to protect. It is also offensive to all disabled community members as it transmits to them the sense that they are inferior to, as well as of less worth than, the able-bodied (Sheldon and Wilkonson, 2010).

2.4.1 Pre-natal screening

In Britain, most pregnant women are offered regular pre-natal testing. It is a crucial activity, which has resulted in a greater number of women who may not have considered it before going on to have an abortion. Such tests are presented and if the results are positive for a disability, the immediate option given to parents is to make a choice between either continuing with the pregnancy or having an abortion. Britain offers pre-natal screening for disabilities only where a routine ultrasound has highlighted a potential problem, there is family medical history to suggest a child may inherit a condition, or the age of the mother puts her child at an increased risk of having, for example, Down’s syndrome.
In cases of artificial insemination, before implantation and hopefully fertilisation, the embryo is screened. Whilst still in the test tube embryos are monitored to determine their sex and genetic conditions, but can be superfluous. This approach prevents embryos from continuing to live (Hundt et al., 2011). Thus, medical and nursing professionals working in healthcare related to abortion must address the issues related to pre-natal screening adequately.

2.4.2 Gene technology

Genetic science is used to enhance the well-being of humanity, through exploration into gene therapy and to care for people with, for example, a genetic condition such as cystic fibrosis. However, this technology may be misused in order to limit human life. Genetic engineering attempts to engineer babies by manipulating their genes in the laboratory. However, the source from the genetic map position in the human genome program may be misused (Heinrichs, 2002).

3. DISCUSSION

The topic of abortion raises moral and ethical issues that need to be addressed by physicians, nurses, and clinic staff involved with conducting abortions. While abortions for medical reasons are legal in Britain, some staff may question the procedure for personal and religious reasons. Those staff who are pro-life (and see abortion as akin to murder) will likely seek work in other settings and thus alleviate their sense of guilt. Obstetricians, who often participate in the act of abortion, will need to have a professional view that sees the action as ethical, although some may hold private views of its morality, perhaps influenced by religious beliefs (Chervenak and McCullough ,1990). For example, health professionals might ask the question, “When is the foetus a patient?” The answer is when it is viable, regardless of age of gestation. Indeed, it could be argued that only the woman carrying the foetus can give a pre-viable foetus patient status. If the foetus is classified as a patient, it can be further argued that ending its life is almost never ethically justified.

The statistical data discussed within this essay indicate that few abortions are actually for medical reasons, but rather for personal, social and economic reasons. This has generated a great deal of discussion in terms of the ethics of abortion. Since the procedure is primarily used by the lower economic classes (who perhaps become pregnant because of lack of knowledge about birth control), abortion can be seen as a method to keep the future population of those likely to require government assistance in welfare and medicine somewhat reduced. As yet, there doesn’t appear to be any political or ethical writer ready to take this issue up. Some groups (such as African Americans) see this as an attack on their race. Feminists likely support the procedure if it is the wish of the pregnant woman. Many health workers would continue to support abortion on demand as it eliminates reliance on illegal abortions, which were often dangerous to a woman’s health, as was a huge problem in the past.
A few points should be made about the ethical issues posed by new technologies (such as embryos in stem cell research, sex selection and gene manipulation). In all of these cases, decisions are being made to limit viable life. Outka (2002) raised questions about the ethics of human stem cell research. Many good embryos are destroyed for the sake of research. This is seen as clearly unethical. Outka concludes that it is acceptable to conduct research on ‘excess’ embryos by appealing to the principal of “nothing is lost.”

Modern science has made it easy to determine the sex of the foetus at a very early stage. If the sex is female (and the parents already have a girl), will they seek an abortion Is the doctor or clinic likely to raise moral and ethical concerns In many cultures, a son is deemed necessary, so with new technologies many female foetuses inIndia andChina have been aborted. This raises the question of whether this cultural bias being seen in the large Indian population in theUK?

3.1 CONCLUSION

Ethical Issues in healthcare related to abortion are becoming increasingly relevant, as it provides an opportunity for discussion on various dimensions of contemporary healthcare. It also examines the application of ethical theories along with related approaches focusing on abortion. However, it is suggested that medical institutes and hospitals providing safe abortions should be aware of all ethical issues and the human rights implications involved. Their workers, including doctors and nurses, should be trained on the ethical issues of abortion so that they can provide comprehensive medical care to women who consider or opt for an abortion.
It is important to explore new opportunities for the in-depth study of ethical dimensions of modern healthcare, which examines the appropriate application of ethical theories and related approaches to effective dilemmas in healthcare focusing on abortion. There are many suitable applications of ethical theories and approaches to an ethical dilemma available, which mainly focus on the international and the population-control development, reasons for abortion, contraception and abortion, birth control and human life attitudes, disability and eugenics, abortion and disability, and other related ethical issues. Nevertheless, there remains a need to address each of these ethical issues specifically in terms of healthcare and the dilemmas experienced by healthcare professionals.

REFERENCES

Abortion Act, 1967. (C.87),London: HMSO.
Aguirre, D.G. and BillingsD.L. 2007. Unwanted Pregnancy and Unsafe Abortion. TUFH Women and Health Taskforce. [online] Available from: http://www.the-networktufh.org/sites/default/files/attachments/basic_pages/WHLP%20Unwanted%20Pregnancy%20and%20Unsafe%20Ab.pdf [cited 05 May 2012].
Blumberg, B.D., Golbus, M.S. and Hanson, K.H., 1975. The psychological sequelae of abortion performed for a genetic indication. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 122(799-808), p. 806.
Boss, J.A., 1994. First trimester prenatal diagnosis: Earlier is not necessarily better. Journal of Medical Ethics, 20(146-151), p.147.
Brody, B., 1972. Thomson on Abortion. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1(3), pp.335-340.
Chervenak, F. A. and McCullough, L. B., 1990. Does obstetric ethics have any role in the obstetrician’s response to the abortion controversy American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 163(5 Pi), po.1425-1429.
Connelly, M., 2008. Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population Cambridge: Belk nap Press of Harvard University Press.
Corkindale, C.J., Condon, J.T., Russell, A. and Quinlivan, J.A., 2009. Factors that adolescent males take into account in decisions about an unplanned pregnancy. Journal of Adolescence, 32(4), p.995-1008.
Department of Health., 2011. Abortion statistics, Englandand Wales: 2010. [online] Available from: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsStatistics/DH_126769 [cited 05 May 2012].
Dudley,S. and Mueller, S. What Is Medical AbortionNational Abortion Federation. [online] Available from: http://www.prochoice.org/pubs_research/publications/downloads/about_abortion/medical_abortion.pdf [cited 05 May 2012].
Event, F.R., 2008. Proceedings of the International Consortium for Medical Abortion. Reproductive Health Matters, 16(31 Suppl), p.1-204.
Harris, J., 1985. Abortion and Infanticide. Journal of Medical Ethics, 11(4), p.212.
Heinrichs, L., 2002. Linking olfaction with nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, recurrent abortion, hyperemesis gravidarum, and migraine headache. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 186(5 Suppl Understanding), p.S215-S219.
Hundt, G.L., Bryanston, C., Lowe, P., Cross, S., Sandall, J. and Spencer, K. 2011. Inside “Inside View”: reflections on stimulating debate and engagement through a multimedia live theatre production on the dilemmas and issues of pre-natal screening policy and practice. Health expectations an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy, 14(1), p.1-9.
Ingham, R. Lee, E., Clements, S.J. and Stone, N., 2008. Reasons for second trimester abortion in Englandand Wales. Reproductive Health Matters, 16(31 Suppl), p.18-29.
Karasahin, K.E. and Keskin, U., 2011. Pain and abortion. Contraception, 84(3), p.337.
Kasun, J., 1998. The War Against Population.San Francisco,USA: Ignatius Press.
Kivity, S., Borow, M. and Shoenfeld, Y., 2009. Hippocrates’ Oath is challenged. The Israel Medical Association journal IMAJ, 11(10), pp.581-584.
Koyama, A. and Williams, R., 2005. Abortion in Medical Institute Curricula. McGill Journal of Medicine, 8(2), pp.157-60.
MacGuigan, M., 1994. Abortion, Conscience & Democracy. Toronto,Canada: Dundurn, Hounslow Press.
Marston, C. and Cleland, J., 2003. Relationships between contraception and abortion: a review of the evidence. International Family Planning Perspectives, 29(1), pp.6-13.
Nie, J.B., 2002. Chinese moral perspectives on abortion and foetal life: a historical account. New Zealand Bioethics Journal, 3(3), p.15-31.
Outka, G. 2002. The ethics of human stem cell research. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 12(2), pp.175-213.
Polaino Lorente, A., 2009. Psychopathology and abortion. Cuadernos de bioetica revista oficial de la Asociacion Espanola de Bioetica y Etica Medica, 20(70), pp.357-380.
Rosenfeld, J.A., 1992. Emotional responses to therapeutic abortion. American Family Physician, 45(1), p.137-140.
Schultz, J.D., Van Assendelft,L.A., 1999. Encyclopedia of women in American politics. The American political landscape. (1st ed). Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 195.
Sedgh, G., Singh, S., Shah, I.H., Ahman, E., Henshaw, S.K. and Bankole, A. 2012. Induced abortion: incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008. Lancet, 6736(11), pp.1-8.
Sheldon, S. and Wilkonson, S., 2010. Abortion and Disability. The disability studies reader. [online] Available from: http://www.prochoiceforum.org.uk/aad5.asp. [cited 05 May 2012].
Smith, J., 1993. The Connection between Contraception and Abortion. Universityof Dallas. [online] Available from: http://www.goodmorals.org/smith4.htm [cited 05 May 2012].
SPUC, 2012. Abortion briefing. Society for the Protection of Unborn Children . [online] Available from: http://www.spuc.org.uk/education/abortion/briefing [cited 05 May 2012].
The ICMA Information Package on Medical Abortion., 2012. Information for health care providers. INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM FOR MEDICAL ABORTION. [online] Available from: http://www.medicalabortionconsortium.org/about.html [cited 05 May 2012].
Tremayne, S., 2000. Abortion in the Developing World. Journal of Medical Ethics, 26(6), pp.483-484.
Warren, M.A. 2009. On the moral and legal status of abortion. InE. Soifer(ed.). Ethical Issues: Perspectives for Canadians. (3rd ed).Toronto,Canada: Broadview Press.

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Critical discussion of the Stanford prison experiment

The Stanford prison experiment (1971) continues to be relevant in psychology for various reasons. Zimbardo attempted to study the development of norms and effects of social roles and expectations on healthy average men by simulating a prison. It resulted in mental breakdowns, abusive and sadistic behaviour among prison guards and was terminated well ahead of schedule. A study that was prior approved by ethical bodies, it has been criticised for unethical and unscientific methods – leading the way for significant changes in ethical standards of for psychological research. Further, results of the study have contributed to development of various theories and concepts in social psychology.

Introduction

The Stanford prison experiment is an important study in the history of social psychology for experts and laymen. Zimbardo (1971) designed the study to understand development of norms and effects of social roles and expectations on ‘normal’, healthy and otherwise average men by simulating a prison environment as accurately as possible. The study was conducted at Stanford and funded by a grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to study antisocial behaviour and conflict among prisoners and military guards.

Details of the Study

Advertisements for a study on the psychology of imprisonment, offering $15 per day, were used to recruit twenty-four male students with no prior criminal arrests, medical conditions or psychological disorders. They were randomly assigned prisoner or prison guard roles in a mock basement prison (Zimbardo, 1999). Prison guards were briefed regarding preservation of law and order, avoiding corporal violence and preventing prisoners from escaping etc. Prisoners were arrested in their home – handcuffed, searched and driven away by police – and charged with burglary or armed robbery (Leithead, 2011). They had to follow strict rules, such as silence during rest hours, eating at meal times, cleaning prison cells etc. The prisoners were allowed to quit and though some did, many seemed to forget that they could leave via straightforward procedures. Nearly 50% of prisoners were released ahead of schedule due to extreme emotional disturbance (Zimbardo, 1999).

Interestingly, personality did not predict/distinguish between levels of abusiveness among guards, as did situational characteristics (Dean, 2007; Zimbardo, 2007). Participants became entirely involved in their ‘new life roles’ – suffering mental breakdowns and guards becoming so abusive and sadistic that the study was terminated within six days, rather than two weeks (Zimbardo et al., 1999).

Relevance in the Present Day

“…[A] classic demonstration of the power of situations and systems to overwhelm good intentions of participants and transform ordinary, normal young men into sadistic guards or for those playing prisoners to have emotional breakdowns.” – Prof Zimbardo (Leithead, 2011).

This study highlights various issues that are still relevant to the present day. Results arguably demonstrated the obedience and malleability of people given legitimizing dogma and adequate institutional/collective support, cognitive dissonance theory and power of authority. Situational characteristics affected participants’ behaviour, rather than personal characteristics (Zimbardo et al., 1999; Zimbardo, 2007; Dean, 2007).

Though all students signed a consent form prior to participation and the study was cleared by relevant committees at Stanford, Office of Naval Research and the American Psychological Association (Zimbardo et al., 1999), the study is criticised as being unethical and, subsequently, caused a widespread revision in ethical standards (Carnahan & McFarland, 2007). For these reasons, the experiment is often compared to Milgram’s (1961) obedience experiment.

Conclusion

Unmistakeably, the study has paved the way for much understanding in the area of social psychology, especially with regard to power of authority, obedience and situational characteristics over personality. Further, the study’s effect on participants caused ethical standards for research to change significantly. Thus, this study remains highly relevant to the present day.

References

Carnahan, T., McFarland, S. (2007) “Revisiting the Stanford prison experiment: Could participant self-selection have led to the cruelty?” Personality & social psychology bulletin, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 603-14.

Dean, J. (2007) Our dark hearts: The Stanford prison experiment, [Online], Available: http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/09/our-dark-hearts-stanford-prison.php [29 May 2012].

Leithead, A. (2011) Stanford prison experiment continues to shock, [Online], Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14564182 [29 May 2012].

Zimbardo, P. G., Maslach, C. & Haney, C. (1999) “Reflections on the Stanford prison experiment: Genesis, transformation, consequences, in Blass, T. (ed.), Obedience to authority: Current perspectives on the Milgram Paradigm, Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Zimbardo, P.G. (1999) The Stanford prison experiment, [Online], Available: http://www.prisonexp.org/faq.htm [29 May 2012].

Zimbardo, P.G. (2007) The Lucifer effect: Understanding how good people turn evil, New York: Random House.

Zimbardo, P.G. (n.d.) The psychology of power and evil: All power to the personTo the situationTo the system[Online], Available: http://www.prisonexp.org/pdf/powerevil.pdf [29 May 2012].

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Report on the European Bond Market – November 2010 to April 2012

This report describes the performance of the European bond market for the last 18 months and evaluates the impact of the major events, causes and factors which affected the sovereign and corporate bond market during this period. The report also provides the future of the European bond market based on the political scenario prevailing in that region along with a discussion on the methods to ease the financial crisis in the Euro zone.

Introduction

The European bond market experienced severe tension in the year of 2011 and the sovereign yields increased further. Wealth holders are aware of the risk and price the bonds accordingly. In some cases there is an overestimation of risk which leads to an increase of the respective yield (see Appendix 1.1) (European Central Bank, 2012).

European Bond Market Performance

Performance of Sovereign Bond

The risk involved in the European bond market intensified considerably over the past 18 months due to slowing global growth prospect and broadening of concern about the government debt position in large European economies. Chart 1 shows the yield spreads (Appendix 1.2) of selected European countries against the German bund. The yield spread has increased by the end of 2011 except for Ireland.

Chart 1 – Yield spreads of European bonds over German bunds (a)

Source: Thomson Reuters Data stream and Bank calculations cited in Bank of England, 2011b, p.7.

(a) Ten-year government and EFSF bond spreads over German bunds. (b) Spreads as on 15 June 2011 except for EFSF, which is as on 17 June 2011. (c) Spreads as on 22 November 2011.In May, Portugal becomes the third European country to seek financial assistance from European authorities and International Monitory Fund (IMF) (Bank of England, 2011a). Even though Greece and Portugal obtained financial support, market was concerned about the sustainability of their fiscal position. Chart 2 plots the yield on 10 year government bond of Greece which shows that the yield has come down in March 2012 and after that it shows a rising trend due to uncertainty about the financial stability of Greece.

Chart 2 – Yield of 10 year Government bond of Greece

Source: www.tradingecnomics.com / Public Debt Management Agency, 2012

During the same period Ireland showed a decline in bond yield (Chart 3). This is achieved by building confidence in economy though implementation of adequate fiscal adjustment measures.

Chart 3 – Yield of 10 year Government bond of Ireland

Source: www.tradingecnomics.com / Ireland Department of Treasury, 2012

Similarly the ten year Government bond yield spread for Greece (Chart 4) shows an increasing trend which confirms that the bailout package provided by the European Union (EU) and IMF has not provided the expected results.

Chart 4 – Yield spread of 10 year Government bond of Greece

(Bench mark – German Bunds)

Source: Bloomberg, 2012.

Another development in 2011 is the increase in the number of factors affecting the sovereign yield. After the introduction of Euro in 1998, the bond yield among the European nations remained the same (Chart 5) and during the period 2003-2007 the yield spread was very minimal due to abundant global liquidity. Chart 5 clearly shows that since 2007 onwards the bond yield shows a diverging trend. The increase in European bond yield spread in 2011 can be attributed to the fiscal sustainability concerns and risk aversion.

Chart 5 – Yield spread of 10 year Government bond of European countries to 10 year German Bunds

Source: Bloomberg Global Financial Data cited in www.rba.gov.au, 2012.

Apart from the fiscal related concerns, the yield on European sovereign bond is influenced by strong demand for safe assets and change in investor demand. Chart 6 shows the yield spread between the government guaranteed agency bonds and sovereign bonds of Germany. It can be seen that during the tense times in 2011 the agency-sovereign spread was around 60 basis points which is attributed by the better liquidity of the sovereign bond compared to the agency bond. In 2012, with the improvement in financial markets the agency-sovereign spread shows a declining trend.

Chart 6 – Yield spread between the government guaranteed agency bonds and sovereign bonds of Germany

Source: Thomson Reuters and European Central Bank cited in European Central Bank, 2012, p.22.

The performance of European sovereign bonds for the past 18 months shows that country wide effects like fiscal situation, economic outlook, risk aversion among investors and portfolio shift to safe assets are influencing more in driving yield development.Performance of Corporate BondYields of corporate bond also showed divergence across European countries similar to sovereign bond. Investors now apply more rigorous risk pricing methods to individual company specific risks within the same country. Chart 7 and 8 shows the yield curves for the covered bond markets of Germany and France which are estimated for various issuers in these markets. The dispersion of yield for individual bonds in both countries was high in past 18 months compared to that observed in 2008. This shows that the yield of corporate bond is changing not only with respect to country of origin, but also with individual issuer.

Chart 7 – German covered bond yield curve in 2008 and 2011

Source: Bloomberg and ECB calculations cited in European Central Bank, 2012, p.24

Notes: For both years, the first Monday of the second half of the year (in July) is chosen. Estimated par yield curves (solid lines) and observed yields to maturity (points) are presented.

Chart 8 – French covered bond yield curve in 2008 and 2011

Source: Bloomberg and ECB calculations cited in European Central Bank, 2012, p.24

Notes: For both years, the first Monday of the second half of the year (in July) is chosen. Estimated par yield curves (solid lines) and observed yields to maturity (points) are presented.

Future of the European Bond MarketFor the next 12 months the outcome of the elections in European counties will have a major impact on investor confidence and global growth expectations. The citizens of Ireland, Spain and Portugal have already voted to change their government and Greece is moving forward to a coalition government. Among the four, Ireland showed a decline in yield on bonds, but it has the worst public finance in Europe. For the other three, a turnaround will be less likely for the next one year since they have got large fiscal and trade deficit, look uncompetitive and needs support for years. One of the options to ease the European crisis is to go for large scale bond buying of the affected countries by the European Central Bank (ECB).But such purchases are against the ECB rules and can slowdown the fiscal and structural reforms adapted by the members of EU. This can bring future losses to the ECB and its member banks. ECB and Germany are of the opinion that the euro zone government has to support the peers using the funds raised though European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) or obtained from IMF (Ian Campbell, 2012). But this route can burden the core economies which are at risk themselves and further worsen the situation.

Conclusion

Predictability attracts long term investors in betting a currency or trading in a bond. But the euro area faces political and financial uncertainty. The future of Greece, lately a byword for ‘Euro-geddon’, will be decided by voters those who are fighting against the imposed austerity measures by the EU and IMF and those who want a stable future for the euro. Crisis in some European area sovereign debt markets and their impact on credit conditions along with high unemployment are expected to dampen the underlying growth momentum. The US market is also having uncertainty because of the presidential election planned to be held in November 2012.Presently investors in bond markets are looking for safe heavens with reasonable returns. South East Asian and Australian markets offer a good opportunity for investment.Even though growth is slow along with global economy, these markets can still outpace the European and US markets.

Appendix

1.1 Definition of Yield The yield of bond is defined as the single discount rate when applied to all future interest and principal payments produces a present value equal to the purchase price of the bond. The yield depends on the risk involved in holding the bond. A greater risk can fetch a higher yield and a lower risk will result in lower yield.1.2 Definition of Yield spreadYield spread is defined as the difference between yields of two bonds. Usual practice is to fix the yield of one bond as a benchmark and to calculate the yield spread of other bonds. The yield spread is generally specified in basis points and a difference in yield of one percent is equal to 100 base points. Yield spread helps the bond trader to get a clear picture of relative movement of the bonds. Finally it is used as a tool to decide the buying or selling of a bond.

Reference List

Bank of England, 2011a. Financial Stability Report June 2011, Issue no 29. [pdf] London: Bank of England. Available at: [Accessed 23 May 2011]. Bank of England, 2011b. Financial Stability Report December 2011, Issue no 30. [pdf] London: Bank of England. Available at: [Accessed 23 May 2011]. Bloomberg, 2012. Snap shot of Greek-German spread (.GRGER10). [online] Available at : [Accessed 23 May 2011]. Campbell, I., 2012. Another Year of Living Euro-Dangerously. Reuters Breakingviews, p.37. European Central Bank, 2012. Financial Integration in Europe April 2012. [pdf] Frankfurt: European Central Bank. Available at: [Accessed 23 May 2011]. Gartside, N., 2011. Global Bond Outlook. [pdf] New York: J.P.Morgan Asset Management. Available at: [Accessed 23 May 2011]. Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), 2012. Graphs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 May 2011]. Tradingeconomics, 2012. Greece Government Bond 10 Y. [online] Available at : [Accessed 23 May 2011]. Tradingeconomics, 2012. Ieland Government Bond 10 Y. [online] Available at : [Accessed 23 May 2011].

Bibliography

Bank of England, 2010a. Financial Stability Report June 2010, Issue no 27. [pdf] London: Bank of England. Available at: 0http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Pages/fsr/2010/fsr27.aspx >[Accessed 23 May 2011]. Bank of England, 2010b. Financial Stability Report December 2010, Issue no 28. [pdf] London: Bank of England. Available at: [Accessed 23 May 2011]. European Central Bank, 2011. Financial Integration in Europe May 2011. [pdf] Frankfurt: European Central Bank. Available at: [Accessed 23 May 2011]. Forbes,S.M. et al, 2008. Yield-to-Maturity and the Reinvestment of Coupon Payments. Journal of Economics and Finance Education, 7(1), p.48. Jorg Homey and Michael Spies, 2011. The German Pfandbrief Market 2011-2012. Hamburg: Deutsche Genossenschafts-Hypothekenbank AG, Rodrigo, 2012. Report on the European Bond Market- March 2010 to August 2011.[online] Available at: [Accessed 23 May 2011].

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What role has been played by the media in US political contests?

In democratic societies the media has traditionally played the role of intermediary in electoral contests, disseminating information from political campaigns and candidates to the voting public. However, some political scientists believe that, in contemporary US elections, the media act not merely as a medium through which campaign information is filtered, but as a agent which shapes the campaign agenda and influences voters perceptions of candidates.

Introduction

This essay discusses the various roles which the media play when reporting on elections in the United States. It traces the changing perceptions of the role of the journalist and media, from the theory of the fourth estate to the practise of agenda-setting within a partisan media organisation. The rise of social media within election campaigns allows candidates to become the medium, connecting with voters directly.

Media Role

In The Fourth Branch of Government, Cater described the role that reporters and the media play in the political system (quoted in Cook, 1998). He believed reporters were a ‘recorder of government, but also a participant’ (Cook, 1998:1). Cook himself saw the media as a political institution in its own right, without whose interaction with the other branches of government (executive, legislature, judiciary), democracy could not function. The relationship between media and government is, Cook believes, a ‘co-production’ and the reporter ‘a key participant in decision-making and policy making’ (1998:3). The political news media themselves see their role as that of the Fourth Estate, a collective watchdog which holds government and politicians to account and plays an educator role in keeping citizens informed about the key issues shaping their economy and society. At no time is the media’s role as instrumental as during an election campaign. As Dalton, Beck and Huckfeldt (2008b: 111) point out, ‘the media’s role as an intermediary is most evident at election time, when the media are the primary conduits for information on the campaign’.

In the US, the commercial media play a dual role during political contests – as well as scrutinising the behaviour and policies of candidates, it carries paid-for political advertisements. These adverts constitute a significant source of income for news media: the Campaign Media Analysis Group estimate that $2.6bn was spent on political advertising during the 2008 Presidential election. The media, especially television, therefore also plays a commercial role in US elections. The commercial nature of the candidate’s relationship with media affects the coverage given to candidate’s campaigns, with media bias or partisanship now prevalent within most major US media outlets (DellaVigna and Kaplan, 2007). Broadcasters such as CNN and PBS, along with print and digital media such as The New York Times, Newsweek and The Huffington Post are perceived to have a bias toward Democratic candidates, while news media such as FOX, The Washington Post and Time magazine give more favourable coverage to Republican candidates.

Between the 1940s and 1970s, there was a widespread assumption that citizens voted along predictable, partisan lines, and therefore media reporting of campaigns had little or no impact on election outcomes (Lazarfeldt referred to by Finkel, 1993). The decline of partisanship in US politics since the 1960s (Abramson 1982, referred to in Finkel 1993) has seen this theory of minimal effects replaced with a belief that media can influence and change voter orientation (Finkel 1993). This acknowledgement of the influence of media has led to renewed focus on the role the media plays in elections. Shaw has highlighted the distinction between the media as medium and the media as agent (2001:16). In the 2008 primaries, for example, it is widely believed that the Democratic-leaning media forced John Edwards out of the nomination race, while advocating the candidatures of both Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. In such cases, the role of the media as agent becomes apparent. Stromback and Dimitrova, after conducting a comparative content analysis of election coverage in selected Swedish and US newspapers, concluded that while Swedish media focused on campaign issues, US media treated political contests as more of a ‘strategic game’ or ‘horse-race’ (2006: 132). Their contention was that the media had come to see a political race almost as a sporting event, prioritising trivia and personalities over the substance of policy and ideology. Dalton, Beck and Huckfeldt challenged this view however, when they analysed data from media coverage of the 1992 presidential election. Comparing issues covered by the media to issues the public professed to care about, they found a very tight convergence between the issues relevant to media, candidates and the general public (1998a). McCombs (1997) explains the rationale behind this finding. He believes that the media play an agenda-setting role by giving greater prominence or ‘salience’ to certain issues. Once in the public domain, these issues capture the public’s attention. In this way the public agenda and the media agenda have tended to converge toward a consensus.

Comscore, a US company which monitors the digital world, confirmed in a recent report entitled The Digital Politico that digital media is now a ‘formidable platform’ for political campaigns (2012). While campaign finance teams continue to spend more on TV and Radio advertising than on digital, activities such as social media (in particular Twitter), digital advertising and paid search are playing an increasingly prominent role in US elections. The use of social media as campaign strategy has given candidates more opportunities to set their own agendas and communicate directly with the electorate. Farnsworth and Lichter contend that these ‘unmediated speeches, advertisements and internet web pages … qualify as the more substantive, more useful and more accurate forms of campaign discourse’ (2007:6).

Conclusion

The ideal of the media as a watchdog on power is still relevant to some extent, as many media outlets do hold candidates to account through scrutiny of campaign finances or probing of a candidate’s commitment to a policy. However, the commercial nature of media and cable television in particular, means that media organisations have become increasingly partisan. Most political scientists today agree that the US media influences the campaign as a political agent, and is no longer just a medium through which the public receives news and analysis.

Bibliography

Cook, T.E, Governing with the News: The News Media as a Political Institution, University of Chicago Press 1998

Comscore Inc., 2012, The Digital Politico: 5 Ways Digital Media is Shaping the 2012 Presidential Elections, April 30 2012

Dalton R.J, Beck P.A, Huckfeldt R. 1998a, A Test of Media-Centered Agenda Setting: Newspaper Content and Public Interests in a Presidential Election, Political Communication Journal, Vol 15, Number 4, 1 September 1998 pp 463-481 (19)

Dalton R.J, Beck P.A & Huckfeldt R. 1998b, Partisan Cues and the Media: Information Flows in the 1992 Presidential Election, American Political Science Review, Vol 92, Number 1, March 1998

DellaVigna, S & Kaplan E. The Fox News Effect, Media Bias and Voting, Quarterly Journal of Economics 122 (August 2007)

Farnsworth, S.J & Lichter S.R, The Nightly News Nightmare: Television’s Coverage of Presidential Elections, 1988-2004, 2nd ed. 2007 Rowman and Littlefield

Finkel, S.E, Re-examining the Minimal Effects Model in Recent Presidential Campaigns, The Journal of Politics, Vol 55, Number 1 (Feb 1993) pp 1-21

Roderick P.H & Shaw D.R 2001, Communication in US Elections, Rowman and Littlefield

Stromback J & Dimitrova D.V 2006, Political and Media Systems Matter, A Comparison of Election News Coverage in Sweden and the US, The International Journal of Press/Politics, Fall 2006 Vol 11, Number 4, pp 131-147

McCombs, M, 1997, Building Consensus, The News Media’s Agenda Setting Roles, Political Communication, Vol 14, Issue 4, pp 433-443

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The Role of Transnational Corporations and NGOs in International Relations

The recent increase in the international activities of transnational corporations and nongovernmental organisations has challenged state-centric models of international relations to explain the apparent contribution that non-state actors make to the international political system. NGOs influence the international system by introducing principles into discussions on the legitimacy of states’ behaviour, while TNC capital movement affects states’ policy decisions more directly. Accordingly, one-dimensional state-centric theories are ill-equipped to account for our multi-dimensional world with its various actors and their interests. The 50 largest transnational corporations (TNCs) have an annual sales revenue greater than the gross national product of 132 member countries of the United Nations, and many non-governmental human rights advocacy organisations (NGOs) now count their members in the millions while at least 40 UN countries have fewer than a million citizens (Willetts, 2001). The involvement of such large transnational corporations and NGOs in international politics suggests that state-centric models of international relations, which propose states as the primary international actors, are outdated. The aim of this paper is to describe the involvement of TNCs and NGOs in international relations and to show that state-centric models are unable to explain many of the changes in the international political system.

The International Activities of NGOs

Numerous recent changes in the international system can be traced directly back to NGO activities. In the 1970s Amnesty International led an extensive worldwide campaign against state torture, which culminated in the 1984 signing of the international convention against torture. A second example is a group of NGOs and governments that campaigned for the banning of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of landmines and cluster munitions. This process eventually resulted in theOttawamine ban treaty and the convention on cluster munitions that have now been signed by 160 and 108 countries respectively. A third example involves Child Soldiers International, a group of transnational NGOs that managed to bring about the 2000 UN “Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict”, currently signed by 129 countries. These three cases, among very many others, demonstrate that transnational NGOs contribute many changes to the international system and that they are, thus, important international actors. Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye (1971), Richard Mansbach (1976, 1981) and James Rosenau (1990) reached a similar conclusion following extensive quantitative analyses of the amount of NGO involvement in international decisions. Kenneth Waltz, on the other hand, argues that NGOs sometimes do play a role, but that the capabilities and power of states render them so much more significant that the international system can be understood without reference to non-state actors (1979). The most powerful actors determine the structure of the international system and regulate the roles that others can play. States operate to ensure their survival in an insecure international environment, so when “the crunch comes, states re-make the rules by which other actors operate (Waltz, 1986). Accordingly, almost all countries use torture when they experience a substantial loss of security, employ landmines if no better weapons are available (Evans and Leigh, 2010) and utilise child soldiers if no other option presents itself (Human Rights Watch, 2011). This implies that NGOs can make contributions to international policies, but only to policies that governments are willing to change. Those policies that states are strongly attached to cannot be changed by non-state actors, and will be altered only when those states discover new methods to obtain the same benefits or avert the same threats. This state-centric view captures the foundational elements of the international inter-state security milieu, but cannot account for the international interactions that shape it. NGOs are gradually affecting a shift in the types of policies that states can legitimately and publically adopt without widespread mutiny. Between the 1950s and 1970s, theUnited Statescould persuade most of its citizens that the war inVietnam, with its tens of thousands of American and millions of Asian deaths, was crucial to American interests. With much lower damage, the majority of Americans quickly opposed their wars inAfghanistanandIraq. Similarly, in 2006 and 2009,Israelreceived a more hostile civil society response to their killing of 1,100 Lebanese and 1,417 Palestinians than it received to the killing of 20,000 Lebanese in the 1980s. Even the Russian conduct inGeorgiain 2008 was more measured than its carpet-bombing of Afghan villages in the 1980s. Similarly, concerned reports of sanctions-related Iranian civilian suffering have already appeared in the European press. It is doubtful that civil society will tolerate thousands of deaths, let alone the hundreds of thousands of sanction-related deaths thatIraqsuffered during the 1990s. Over time, transnational NGOs have contributed to the debate on what can qualify as a security problem and what can pass as an acceptable response to it. By introducing information, norms and the language of rights into international policy debates, their contribution is tangible through their influence over those upon whom governments rely to carry out state policies.

The International Activities of TNCs

Transnational corporations exercise their influence in the international system through the movement of capital from states that curb their profits to states that do not. Accordingly, states tend to conceive of corporate interests as national interests and often implement business-friendly policies without being explicitly pressured (Korten, 1995, Ohmae, 1995, Willetts, 2001). The current reluctance of Europe and theUSto regulate the financial sector stems partly from the fear that large investors will transfer their investments from countries that do regulate to countries that do not. The same dilemma is noticeable in African debates about investors with poor human rights records. For example, while the trade unionists in the South African government opposed Walmart’s investment in the country, they were outvoted by ministers who argued that the country needed the investment. While Andrew Walter argues that academic literature often over-states the case for corporate influence, he cites only a few East Asian states as examples of states that manage to resist it successfully (Walter, 1999). A detailed investigation of the question is beyond the scope of this paper, but the prima facie case is certainly strong that corporate capital mobility has affected the contours of the international system.

Conclusion

While the state-centric model of international relations may have been appropriate to capture the post-world war II international system, it lacks the ability to account for a world where state security has to compete with human rights and financial profits for importance on the international stage. While it is true that states champion security issues, it is also true that NGOs promote human rights and that TNCs advance the goal of financial profit. A one-dimensional world fit for a one-actor theory has given way to a complex world of multiple issues and the multifarious actors that promote them.

References

Evans, R. & Leigh, D. (2010) WikiLeaks Cables: Secret Deal Let Americans Sidestep Cluster Bomb Ban. The Guardian. London. Human Rights Watch (2011) U.S., Don’t Fund Child Soldiers. New York. Keohane, R. O. & Nye, J. S. (1971) Transnational Relations and World Politics, Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press. Korten, D. (1995) When Corporations Rule the World, San Francisco, Berrett-Koehler. Mansbach, R. W., Ferguson, W. Y. & Lampert, D. (1976) The Web of World Politics: Non-State Actors in the Global System, New Jersey, Prentice Hall. Mansbach, R. W. & Vasquez, J. A. (1981) In Search of Theory: A New Paradigm for Global Politics, New York, Columbia University Press. Ohmae, K. (1995) The End of the Nation State, New York, Free Press. Rosenau, J. N. (1990) Turbulence in World Politics, New York, Harvester Wheatsheaf. Walter, A. (1999) Globalization and policy convergence: the case of direct investment rules. IN HIGGOTT, R. & BEILER, A. (Eds.) Non-State Actors in the Global Economy. London, Routledge. Waltz, K. (1979) Theory in International Politics, Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley. Waltz, K. (1986) Political Structures” and “Anarchic Orders and Balances of Power. IN KEOHANE, R. O. (Ed.) Neorealism and its Critics. New York, Columbia University Press. Willetts, P. (2001) Transnational Actors and International Organizations in Global Politics. IN BAYLIS, J. B. & SMITH, S. (Eds.) The Globalisation of World Politics. New York, Oxford University Press.

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Vodafone Group Plc SWOT Analysis and Porters Five Forces

Vodafone Group Public Limited Company is the world’s leading mobile telecommunications company operating in more than five continents. The company runs its operations from two geo-regions: Europe, which includes Western Europe andGermany, and EMAPA, which includes Middle East, Africa,Asiaand the pacific. The European market is the largest accounting for close to 80 percent of the revenues as of 2009. However, the increasing partnerships with other mobile networks globally have seen revenues from regions outsideEuropeaccount for close to 40 percent as of 2011. The success story of Vodafone Group PLC revolves around the strategic competencies and acquisitions of other networks to become a powerful and leading mobile services provider. Strategic competencies and operations are well captured in the SWOT analysis, as well as the Porters five forces, which help give the position of the company and the challenges it encounters both within and without the organization.

Introduction and background information

Vodafone Group Public Limited Company is a global telecommunication company operating in various continents including Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, United Statesand the Pacific. Vodafone Group PLC has its headquarters in Newbury, United Kingdomand ranks among the leading global telecommunications providers. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, it is a part of the FTSE 100 Index with the largest revenue among the telecommunications companies. It ranks second behind China mobile in terms of worldwide subscribers, but leads the track in terms of revenues. Vodafone Group PLC ranks among the top 20 companies of the FTSE 100 Index coming in at position three based on statistics released on August 3 2012 (Financial Times, 2012).

The company has equity interests in over thirty countries globally with approximately forty partner networks. Vodafone has achieved this place through a process of competent acquisitions of communication networks in different countries, powerful organizational ability and efficient techniques that have permitted it to build out Wi-Fi systems, which are extremely competitive. The company also provides effective data services, which subscribers can access using the extremely progressed third-generation (3G) communications systems available to its markets globally. This analysis will look into factors that have propelled Vodafone to its position, how it markets and promotes itself in the competitive telecommunications market, and the competition it experiences in the telecommunications industry (MarketLine, 2012, p. 7). The internal and external environment explained using the SWOT and Porters 5 forces analysis will help provide a better market picture for Vodafone Group PLC.

Body

Financial analysis

A report by Mintel released in 2010 indicates that Vodafone is the fastest growing mobile company globally with over sixteen million new subscribers each month (Mobile Network Providers, Mintel, 2012). This explains its huge turnovers and revenues attributed to the ever-growing number of subscribers as well as wireless and wire line networks across the world. For instance, the yearly revenues increased from ?45.9 billion to ?46.9 billion in the first quarter of 2012 (Vodafone Annual Report, 2012). A general observation and analysis of the financial report released in the first quarter of 2012 indicates that the results are negative, probably due to the Euro zone crisis, but the bottom line is that the revenues, especially from EMAPA have kept increasing as summarized in the tables below.

Source: http://www.vodafone.com/

Strengths

Vodafone’s major strengths are the reason behind its success in the global telecoms market. These strengths include

Diversified and expanded geo-regions across the world divided into two:Europeand EMAPA. The diversification has strengthened its mobile network operations in these regions and accorded it more subscribers
A strapping international presence and powerful brand image have made it the leading telecommunications company. According to a Mintel report released in 2010, Vodafone is the most trusted service brand owing to its excellent signal strength and efficient services (MarketLine, 2012, p. 5)
Vodafone has well-defined cost reductions structures owing to the vibrant cost cutting initiatives, effective outsourcing and managed purchasing. This has improved the company’s revenues by reducing the operational costs
An excellent network infrastructure with innovative services including 3G network and Wi-Fi systems
An established presence in mature and emerging markets such as Africa andAsia, which have expanded its market share and revenues
Vodafone’s major weaknesses include
Uncertainty in the profits obtained from the HSDPA networks attributed to the slow consumer take-up of improved 3G networks services
Vodafone’s return on assets is negative, which means that its competitors such as Deutsche Telecom and BT Group surpass it due to underperformance
Over-reliance in the European market, which has seen its revenues and share decline due to the crisis in Europe(MarketLine, 2012, p. 6)
Vodafone does not have network operations in rural areas
Vodafone specializes in mobile services that lead to greater churn rates. The incapacity to offer bundled services due to specializations has compelled the company to compromise its prices
The growing demand for 3G networking among businesses globally has seen Vodafone collaborate with leading laptop manufacturers to embed its SIM chip to allow for up selling of the broadband service
Vodafone has also diversified its market share and EMAPA remains the leading target because of its potential. Indeed, recent statistics indicate that revenues from EMAPA have improved (MarketLine, 2012, p. 6)
The strategy to drive higher voice usage acrossEuropehas spread to other locations implying that the company does not have to reduce prices to increase call time since the monthly bundle provides customers with enough voice time
The telecommunications market is swiftly growing and becoming highly competitive with extremely high penetration rates in the European markets. Its major competitors includeChinamobile, Deutsch Telecom and BT Group
Frequent tariff interventions and European Union policies on cross border mobile usage put pressure on its revenues
Vodafone lags behind its major competitors inAmerica

Porter’s five forces

Buyer power

The bargaining power of buyers in the telecommunications industry is high due to the cutthroat competition and lack of differentiated products. The strong buyer power effectively reduces the cost prices in the industry though not to the level of its competitors. As such, Vodafone will keep making reasonable profits compared to its competitors.

Supplier power

Vodafone’s suppliers have a high bargaining power since the company operates with greater margins compared to its competitors. As a leader in the market, the market share is large meaning that it can easily absorb any price increments from the suppliers more than its competitors can. As such, Vodafone can easily maintain low prices from its suppliers and continue making profits (MarketLine, 2012, p. 9).

Threat of substitutes

Vodafone faces a considerable threat for products and services. The landline and CDMA services are fast declining while broadband services are fast becoming common. Video conferencing, VOPI such as Skype, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger, email and social networking have emerged as substitutes to mobile services. However, due to the strong buyer power and effective economies of scale, Vodafone does not need to pass down the costs attributed to substitution to consumers (MarketLine, 2012, p. 8).

Threat of entrants

The threat of fresh market entrants is low because of barriers to entry. Companies wishing to enter the market must pay huge licensing fees coupled by spectrum availability and regulatory issues attached to the industry. Similarly, the costs of setting up network infrastructure are high, and the rapidly changing technology make is difficult for new entrants to cope. However, Vodafone can cope with this by maintaining high-level efficiency of its services to unrivaled heights.

Industry rivalry

Vodafone faces extremely high rivalry from its competitors due to the low call rate prices charged by its closest competitors. Similarly, the competitors constantly provide innovative products and services to the customers, which mean that Vodafone has to provide the same to its customers.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Vodafone has consistently outperformed its competitors despite the cutthroat competition in the industry. This notable performance and ability to diversify its products together with numerous acquisitions have seen it become a leading company in the industry. It financial position also continues to grow due to the innovativeness and ability to explore new markets in different geographical regions. Similarly, Vodafone has capitalized on its opportunities and worked on ways to eliminate the threats and improve on its weaknesses through various competitive strategies (MarketLine, 2012, p. 7). In recommending to Vodafone, the company must increase its GPRS subscriber base due to the high demand, deliberate more on value added services, introduce location-based services, diversify its broadband network by introducing voice over internet and finally tapping rural markets.


References

BBC, 2012. Vodafone agrees takeover of C&W Worldwide, 24 March 2012, viewed 14 August 2012

Financial Times, 2012. Vodafone confirms talks with C&WW. 14 February 2012, viewed 14 August 2012

Mobile Network Providers, 2012. Mintel. [Online] viewed 14 August 2012

MarketLine, 2012. Vodafone Group Public Limited Company, SWOT Analysis. Viewed 14 August 2012

Vodafone Group PLC, 2012, Vodafone Annual Report. 31 March 2012, viewed 14August 2012

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Vodafone Group Market Analysis

This report examines the current market position of Vodafone, which is currently ranked second on the FTSE 100, and has a market capitalization of 84,991 Million GBP. The report undertakes a SWOT analysis to examine the main strengths and weaknesses of Vodafone. This is followed by a Porter’s five forces analysis of the industry structure. The main conclusion of this report is that Vodafone needs to change rapidly to meet the needs of the customers, and meet the changing demands in the industry. These include the changing nature of the mobile communication, and the dynamics of the digital economy, which have led to the changes in the market. Vodafone must therefore change its strategy to deal with these changes in the market.

1Introduction

Vodafone is one of the largest telecommunications operators in Europe and around the world and provides mobile voice and data communications to consumers and the businesses (Daruwala, 2011, Mc, 2012). Vodafone is currently ranked second on the FTSE 100, and has a market capitalization of 84,991 Million GBP (FTSE, 2012). Vodafone group has recorded revenue of 45,884 million GBP during the fiscal year ended March 2011, and has an increase of around 3.2 percent over fiscal year 2010. This report examines the strengths and weaknesses of Vodafone to discuss the ways in which the company can improve its competitive position in the industry. One of the key recommendations of this report is that Vodafone needs to work more actively in developing data communications to counter the business risk in a volatile European market, which will help the organization to grow in the short and medium term. Vodafone also needs to develop mobile applications and new digital media to remain competitive in this market.

2Market Analysis

A detailed analysis of the telecommunications sector shows that it is highly competitive today, as the different companies and their brands are continuing to introduce new and robust products to their customers (FEER, 1999). A SWOT analysis has been carried out for the Vodafone, which has highlighted a number of strengths and weaknesses of the organization. One of the key strengths of Vodafone is that it has a robust brand image, which has been developed over time and has a highly extensive market reach (Browning, 2011). The organization has also been able to develop a deeper understanding of the needs of its customers, which has allowed it to grow phenomenally, and has enabled the organization to develop a customer loyalty which is highly important for it (Datamonitor, 2012). For example, the annual BrandX Top 100 valuable global brands have ranked Vodafone as second highest brand and it is a top brand in UK. Similarly, Brand Finance has ranked Vodafone as the fifth most valuable brand in the world (Datamonitor, 2012). However, the weakness of the organization has been its inability to capture the brand loyalty and market share in terms of new customers. Vodafone has not been able to capture the level of customers in the new digital environment, and therefore the market growth has not been as phenomenal in UK (Anwar, 2003) as some other brands such as ‘Three’. Another weakness of Vodafone is its inability to capture the Third Generation signal market, which could have been a significant catapult for the organization.

However, the same weaknesses of Vodafone also is one of the key opportunities for the company, the mobile data market is exploding, with the use of smart phones and other wireless enabled devices increasing phenomenally (Savitz, 2012, Uzama, 2009, Mishra et al., 2010, Nayak and Pai, 2012). The ability of Vodafone to provide services to these services is one of the best opportunities in Europe. However, outside Europe, many other countries have not introduced a high speed mobile data service, and these are also expected to be a significant opportunity for these companies. In such a case, Vodafone can potentially have significant growth avenues, which can led to significant profits for the organization (Mishra et al., 2010, Nayak and Pai, 2012). These opportunities also present a number of threats to Vodafone. In this regard, the most significant threat is the increased use of VOIP services, which challenges the traditional model of mobile phone companies due to lost revenue and customers. However, the mobile companies can continue to provide wirelesses services to customers, which they can then use to generate other forms of revenue. Another threat to Vodafone is the mature European market, which has become highly competitive with lower margins for profits and could potentially be an issue for the organization (Grocott, 2010, Jankovic, 2010).

A Porters five forces analysis of the mobile industry also shows a number of issues for Vodafone, which needs consideration. One of the key aspects of the five forces model is that it enables the examination of the various forces which are exerted on an organization within the industry. In this regard, the buying power of the buyer has certainly increased (Glajchen, 2006), as they are no longer constrained by the mobile service providers. The buyers can choose other providers and VOIP based services (Hass, 2006), which is a key concern for Vodafone. Another concern is the potential competition between the companies, which is increasing due to the maturing of the mobile phone market. A third issue for Vodafone is the power of the suppliers such as Apple, who are able to dictate their terms on the use of services (Glajchen, 2006), and therefore a significant threat to the business of Vodafone. The threat of new entrants and new substitute products is also ever increasing in the mobile communications markets (Hass, 2006), as new digital products and services are continuously evolving which limits the use of mobile phone services by the consumer (Jung and Ibanez, 2010, Te-Yuan et al., 2010). These include VOIP based services such as Skype and Facetime, which have meant that some services such as video calls from mobile operators have been completely made redundant (Chang et al., 2010, Bodhani, 2011, Shin, 2012).

3Conclusions & Recommendations

A number of conclusions can be drawn based on the SWOT and Porter analysis of Vodafone conducted as part of this essay. One of the key aspects of the future of Vodafone depends on its ability to harness the data communication, which will be the future of the company. Increasingly, innovative applications and products are being used by customers to communicate at a lower cost, and the role of the traditional mobile phone calls is increasingly being marginalized. Vodafone needs to realize the potential of data communication, and use new and innovative strategies to ensure that it can stay ahead of the competition and deliver groundbreaking and new services to its customers. The future of mobile telephony may depend on 4G connections, and Vodafone needs to ensure that it is fully ready to deal with the new challenges which it will face in the changing landscape of mobile communications. New services such as mobile payment and online communities are also significant new avenues for future growth, however proper planning is needed to meet these needs of the customer.

References

Anwar, S. T. (2003) Vodafone and the wireless industry: A case in market expansion and global strategy. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 18(3), 270.

Bodhani, A. (2011) Voip – voicing concerns. Engineering & Technology (17509637), 6(7), 76-79.

Browning, J. (2011) Vodafone tears down its walled garden. Bloomberg Businessweek, 4257), 30-33.

Chang, L.-h., Sung, C.-h., Chiu, S.-y. & Lin, Y.-w. (2010) Design and realization of ad-hoc voip with embedded p-sip server. Journal of Systems & Software, 83(12), 2536-2555.

Daruwala, F. (2011) Vodafone revisited. International Financial Law Review, 30(5), 52-52.

Datamonitor 2012. Datamonitor: Vodafone group public limited company. Datamonitor Plc.

FEER (1999) Britain’s vodafone. Far Eastern Economic Review, 162(42), 66.

FTSE. (2012) Ftse factsheet [Online]. London: FTSE. Available: http://www.ftse.com/Indices/UK_Indices/Downloads/UKX_20120430.pdf [Accessed 16 July 2012].

Glajchen, D. (2006) A comparative analysis of mobile phone-based payment services in the united states and south africa, London, Proquest.

Grocott, J. (2010) Tax authorities’ claim vodafone warned of $2 billion tax bill. International Tax Review, 21(6), 6-8.

Hass, M. (2006) Management of innovation in network industries: The mobile internet in japan and europe, Weisbaden, Deutscher Universitatsverlag.

Jankovic, M. (2010) Global communications newsletter. IEEE Communications Magazine, 48(11), 1-4.

Jung, Y. & Ibanez, A. A. (2010) Improving wireless voip quality by using adaptive packet coding. Electronics Letters, 46(6), 459-460.

Mc (2012) Vodafone becomes vodafone. Marketing (00253650), 11-11.

Mishra, G., Makkar, T., Gupta, A., Vaidyanathan, M., Sarin, S. & Bajaj, G. (2010) New media experiences: Dealing with the game changer. Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers, 35(3), 91-97.

Nayak, R. & Pai, G. (2012) India: Sc rules in favour of vodafone. International Tax Review, 23(2), 51-51.

Savitz, E. (2012) Will verizon bid for vodafoneNo, almost certainly not. Forbes.com, 49-49.

Shin, D.-H. (2012) What makes consumers use voip over mobile phonesFree riding or consumerization of new service. Telecommunications Policy, 36(4), 311-323.

Te-Yuan, H., Huang, P., Kuan-Ta, C. & Po-Jung, W. (2010) Could skype be more satisfyingA qoe-centric study of the fec mechanism in an internet-scale voip system. (cover story). IEEE Network, 24(2), 42-48.

Uzama, A. (2009) A critical review of market entry selection and expansion into japan’s market. Journal of Global Marketing, 22(4), 279-298.

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SWOT Analysis and Porter’s 5 Forces analyses for Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS)

This paper looks at the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), one of the leading banks in the world and a very successful brand in the EU region. It examines the environment in which UBS operates while scrutinizing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the banking industry (Porter’s Five Forces analysis). The SWOT analysis is done to bring in to light the banks strengths and weaknesses and to expose any opportunities that it can capitalize on and the possible threats it may stumble upon in the process of further development.

Introduction

Organizations and businesses are in most cases under constant pressure to improve their levels of performance and productivity throughout their existence. To meet the set organizational objectives, various businesses have shifted towards expanding their portfolio and operations to other regions. WetFeet (2012) asserts that the success of a new or existing company is based on the efficiency the company exhibits in terms of market research, customer satisfaction and strategy formulation. With this in mind, this report shall set out to give a detailed analysis of various factors that have enabled UBS to remain profitable despite the unfavorable business environment experienced by the banking sector globally. This shall be achieved by performing a comprehensive Strength, weakness,Opportunity and Threat (SWOT) analysis and Porters Five forces analysis.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

UBS is the second largest financial institution in Europe and the largest private wealth asset manager in the world. It has branches in 50 countries across the world. Some of its strengths include but are not limited to:

i) Geographically diversified operations UBS operates in fifty countries withinAmerica,Europeand Asia Pacific. Over 40% of the group’s annual revenues are derived from its branches abroad (UBS, 2012). This is indicative of the group’s global diversification in terms of operations. By diversifying its operations, UBS is shielded from economic downturns that may affect a particular economy.

ii)Strong market position UBS is the world’s largest wealth manager and the second largest bank withinEuropein terms of market capitalization and profitability. In addition, it is the leading retail and commercial bank inSwitzerland. These among other market factors enable the group to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals in various markets by leveraging its leading position.

iii) Strong Capital Adequacy Ratio The group has a Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio of more than 11% as compared to that recorded by its rivals. In addition, this ratio exceeds the set global average of 8% (UBS, 2012). This is a desirable ratio since it shows the group’s ability to meet set goals whenever a crisis occurs.

Weaknesses

Despite its strengths, there are some weaknesses that threaten the success of UBS. They include the following:

i) Decrease in net income interest The net income interest of the group has been on a downward trend for the past few years. This is indicative of a decline in the profitability of the group’s assets, which earn interest. In addition, this also indicates that some operations are curbed by inefficiencies.

ii)Waning profits and returns Since 2006, the group has recorded significant decline in net profits. This is attributed to a fall in the interest margins and reduced revenues accrued from the cash equity business. Similarly, returns on average assets have declined below the industry’s average, which stands at 1.21%.

iii) Poor performance inSwitzerland Considering that Switzerland is the group’s home market, the poor performance recorded over the years could have an adverse impact on the overall financial performance of the financial institution in the long-run.

Opportunities

There are some emerging avenues through which UBS can further advance its interests and those of its clients. They include the following:

i) Lucrative asset management industry In 2010, the asset management industry grew by 7.8% globally (UBS, 2012). This was equivalent to $52, 706 billion. This figure is expected to rise to $71.6 trillion by the end of 2012 (Economist, 2012). By investing in this segment, UBS will be able to expand its profitability and operations.

ii)Growing investment banking industry The investment banking industry has been on an upward trend over the past decade. Considering that UBS has a division that contributes over 43% of its total revenue dedicated to this segment, it is likely to reap significant benefits if this opportunity is fully utilized.

Threats

i) Consolidation of the financial services industry While many financial institutions are merging so as to reduce individual risks and share the market, this is leading to the establishment of stronger competitors in this sector (Economist, 2012).

Porter’s 5 forces analysis

Level of competition

As mentioned earlier, competition in the financial sector is very stiff globally. This is further worsened by the consolidation of the financial industry, which leads to the creation of bigger and more diversified competitors. However, UBS has a dedicated research team and a large pool of resources that enable the group to innovatively devise better means of staying ahead of the game (UBS, 2012).

Threats of substitutes

To a large extent, there are no substitutes when it comes to financial services. This fact makes the threat of substitutes significantly low. However, UBS operates on a high margin regime, which can be substituted by low margin products and services offered by rival companies.

Threat of new entrants

The threat of new entrants is relatively low. This is mainly attributed to the fact significantly large amount of capital and resources are required to set up an institution that would actively threaten the progress or success of UBS.

Bargaining power of buyers

By globally diversifying its operations, UBS has a larger market. This means that there are more clients and UBS has to cater for their needs in order to maintain and expand its market base. Since UBS has established itself as a top notch investor, its client has a higher bargaining power (WetFeet, 2012).

Bargaining power of suppliers

The suppliers of UBS have a low bargaining power since they all want their product and services to be associated with UBS. By availing their products and services to UBS, suppliers are guaranteed that whatever they are offering will reach a large consumer base. As such, they cannot bargain effectively since they bank on the long-term returns that will emanate from such an association.

Value Chain Analysis

According to Financial Times (2012), the value chain analysis sets out to identify specific functions carried out by a company in order to create a competitive advantage over its rivals. Some of the recognized primary value chain activities include: Inbound logistics, Operations, Outbound logistics, Marketing and sales and Services (Van Bennekom & Goffin, 2010). according to WetFeet (2012), the support value chain activities in UBS bank relate to Human Resource Management (HRM), technological development and firm infrastructure among others.

Conclusion

The success of any organization relies on the leadership and management skills exhibited by the organization. UBS has succeeded over the years due to its ability to plan, lead, distribute and control its resources effectively. As such, no matter the prevailing economic situation, the group has diligently managed to maintain its professionalism, reputation and profitability at an acceptable level (Arnold, 2012). This paper set out to explore various factors that have contributed to UBS’s success. To that end, a SWOT and Porter’s five force analyses have been conducted to evaluate the performance, competitive advantage and organization of this company. While there is room for improvement, UBS should formulate strategies to deal with its threats and weaknesses if it wishes to survive the current market situation.

References

ABC News (2008). Buffet: US essentially in recession. 3 March 2008. www.acnews.go.com (Accessed 2nd/09/2012) Arnold, G. (2012). Corporate financial management. 3d. ed. Essex: Prentice Hall. BBC (2012). Darling signals economic slowdown. 8 March 2012. www.news.bbc.co.uk (Accessed 2nd/09/2012) Dess, G, Lumpkin, G. and Taylor, M. (2004). Strategic Management: Creating Competitive Advantages.London: McGraw Hill Professional, p. 75 Doyle, P. (2012). Marketing Management and Strategy 3d ed.,New York: Pearson Education. Financial Times (2012). Market data. Information on oil prices. 24 March 2012. www.ft.com (Accessed 2nd/09/2012) UBS. (2012). Important Legal Information. 8th May 2012. http://financialservicesinc.ubs.com. (Accessed 2nd/09/2012) UBS. (2012). Our Strategy. 16th July, 2012. http://www.ubs.com/global/strategy.html (Accessed 2nd/09/2012) WetFeet. (2012), UBS 2012. Insider guide, WETFEET, INC,London. World Bank. (2011). Location Decision of Foreign Banks and Competitive Advantage. London:World Bank Publications

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Strategic Analysis of Rio Tinto Plc

Rio Tinto PLC holds a dominant position in the global metals and mining industry. Even though the company has a range of strategic strengths, trends in this industry mean that it needs to take further action in order to remain competitive. Three key actions are recommended.

Introduction

Rio Tinto is the world’s third largest mining company and the eighth highest FTSE 100 company in terms of market capitalisation (PwC, 2012) (Anon., 2012). With operations spread across six continents, and activities ranging from exploration to extraction to processing, Rio Tinto has grown substantially from the Spanish mine that it started from in 1873. Annual revenue in 2011 was ?60.9 billion, profit margins stood at 24%, and the company currently employs 67,930 people worldwide (Orbis, 2011). Market capitalisation stands at ?43.3 billion (Anon., 2012)

Rio Tinto focuses its efforts on finding and mining five groups of minerals. These are aluminium, copper, diamonds and industrial minerals, energy minerals (coal and uranium), and iron ore. The central strategy of the business is to find large, cost-effective mines that will remain viable in the long-term (Rio Tinto PLC, 2011), and the company claims that a long-term approach underpins all of its work.

Key Industry trends

In the long-term, demand for metals and minerals remains strong despite the economic recession. Demand for metals has bounced back faster than expected (Helbling, 2012), and continued development in countries like China is likely to push up demand for other minerals as well (PwC, 2012). For example, the use of coal is expected to increase by 65% over the next 15 years in response to growing energy demands (IEA, 2011).

In the short-term, prices for these commodities remain volatile. The global economy is still fragile, and a four percent change in industrial production can lead to a 22 percent rise or fall in commodity prices (Temperton, 2012) in response. This can pose serious risks for the viability of individual mines: two other large mining companies have already postponed expansion or made significant cutbacks this year due to a fall in the price of iron ore (The Telegraph, 2012) (Bloomberg, 2012). The price volatility is expected to continue (PwC, 2012).

Operating costs are expected to increase in both the short and the long term. The cost of labour and equipment has risen (PwC, 2012), and regulation to tackle climate change is becoming more stringent internationally. New environmental regulation will herald higher compliance costs.

Based on the trends above, companies in this industry will need to fulfil four key criteria in order to remain competitive. As well as being able to ramp up production in order to meet new demand, they will need to astutely manage their operating costs, reduce their exposure to short-term risks, and incorporate environmental sustainability into their longer term planning. Any company that is able to meet all four of these criteria will gain a competitive advantage.

Ability of Rio Tinto to respond to trends

Rio Tinto is in a strong position to respond to price volatility and increases in demand. The diversity of its assets means that changes to the price of one metal has a limited effect on the company overall. For example, the drop in iron ore prices has had a lighter effect on the company as compared to rivals, and so it has been able to continue its plans for spending. It also has the resources to bring new aluminium and copper production online in the near future (Singh, 2012).

The company has displayed impressive foresight in its efforts to manage and reduce operating costs. Finding low cost mines has always been a key strategic goal, and recent investment has focused on automating mining equipment. For example, the Pilbara mine will use the first automated long-distance heavy rail network in the world when it opens in 2014 (AnsaldoSTS, 2012), and Rio Tinto has already invested significantly in driverless trucks (Mining Magazine, 2011). By setting up a “Mine for the Future” program in 2008, the company has been able to dedicate significant research attention into operational efficiency (Rio Tinto PLC, 2011).

The company’s efforts to tackle climate change are less advanced. Although an Energy & Climate Strategy is in place, and one of the seven company KPIs is on climate change, only modest efforts have been made to reduce energy use. The company is only aiming for a 10% improvement in energy intensity by 2015. Given that coal is itself a major source of carbon dioxide, that 45% of Rio Tinto’s carbon dioxide emissions come from Australian operations, and that Australia is now considering a carbon trading scheme, Rio Tinto is also at a significant risk of extra compliance costs (Carbon Disclosure Project, 2011). These will have a substantial impact on its ability to be competitive.

The Australian presence of Rio Tinto also brings additional risks. First, the new Marginal Rent Reduction Tax from the Australian government will incur an extra cost of ?1 billion on operations there (Rio Tinto, 2012), which will dig into profitability. Second, a number mines are vulnerable to flooding: four Queensland mines had to submit a force majeure in 2010 due to the impacts of heavy rain (Rio Tinto PLC, 2011). The concentration of activity in this area carries a strategic risk as well as a benefit.

Overall, Rio Tinto is in a strong position to cope with trends in its industry. However, to remain competitive, it needs to accelerate its efforts to reduce both operating costs and carbon dioxide emissions. A renewed focus on finding mines that are outside of Australia would also help to reduce the costs of taxation, flooding and environmental regulation.

Conclusion

Rio Tinto has the potential to become a market leader in its industry. However, although its direct exposure to price and cost risks is lower than competitors, its exposure to indirect risks requires more careful strategic management. Accelerating existing efforts and seeking more mines outside Australia will help it to remain a strong player in the years to come.

Appendix

Anon., 2012. FTSE All-Share Index Ranking (unofficial), as at close Monday 10th September. [Online]
Available at: http://www.stockchallenge.co.uk/ftse.php
[Accessed 10th September 2012].

AnsaldoSTS, 2012. Ansaldo STS wins EURO 289 million contracts in Australia. [Online]
Available at: http://www.ansaldo-sts.com/sites/ansaldosts.message-asp.com/files/downloads/asts_2012_07_06_australia_eng.pdf
[Accessed 10 Sept 2012].

Bloomberg, 2012. Vale seen cutting budgets as iron ore collapses: corporate Brasil. [Online]
Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-10/vale-seen-cutting-budget-as-iron-ore-collapses-corporate-brazil.html
[Accessed 10 Sept 2012].

Carbon Disclosure Project, 2011. Investor CDP 2011 Information Request: Rio Tinto, s.l.: CDP.

Helbling, T., 2012. Commodities in Boom. Finance and Development, 49(2), pp. 30-31.

IEA, 2011. World Energy Outlook, Paris: International Energy Agency.

Miller, J. W., 2012. Why Mega Mining Deals are so Difficult to Pull Off. [Online]
Available at: http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2012/09/06/why-mining-deals-are-so-hard-to-pull-off/
[Accessed 10th September 2012].

Mining Magazine, 2011. Rio Tinto boosts driverless truck fleet to 150. [Online]
Available at: http://www.miningmagazine.com/panorama/rio-tinto-boosts-driverless-truck-fleet-to-150
[Accessed 12 Sept 2012].

Orbis, 2011. Company Report of Rio Tinto PLC, s.l.: s.n.

PwC, 2012. Mine – a review of global trends in the mining industry, s.l.: PwC.

Regan, J., 2012. Rio upbeat on copper amid end of boom fears. [Online]
Available at: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/08/24/uk-riotinto-copper-idUKBRE87N06120120824
[Accessed 10th Sept 2012].

Rio Tinto PLC, 2011. Annual Review, s.l.: Rio Tinto plc.

Rio Tinto, 2012. Exporation fact-sheet, s.l.: Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto, 2012. Rio Tinto announces first half underlying earnings of $5.2 billion. [Online]
Available at: http://www.riotinto.com/media/18435_media_releases_22270.asp
[Accessed 12 September 2012].

Roache, S. K., 2012. China’s Impact on World Commodity Markets: IMF Working Paper, s.l.: International Monetary Fund.

Singh, S., 2012. Rio Tinto intends to maintain spending plan. American Metal Market, 120(6), pp. 32-34.

Temperton, P., 2012. Commodities: how large an exposure?. Financial Times, 10th September.

The Telegraph, 2012. BHP Billiton and Xstrata cut coal jobs in Australia. [Online]
Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/mining/9532629/BHP-Billiton-and-Xstrata-cut-coal-jobs-in-Australia.html
[Accessed 20 Sept 2012].

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Vodafone Plc SWOT Analysis and Five Forces

Abstract

Aim: This essay aims to perform an analysis on the basis of integration of SWOT and Porter’s Five Forces frameworks. The key aim of this essay is to establish the reasons behind the success of Vodafone, which is ranked 3rd in FTSE100 Company ranking, and thereby represent the implications and recommendations.

Methodology: This paper is based on integration of the secondary research, which includes recent reports, books and journal articles.

Findings: The key findings indicate that Vodafone is a well – established global company with a highly successful internationalization strategy. This implies that Vodafone has a lot of opportunities to take advantage of, despite the recent economic adverse events.

1.0.Introduction

This paper aims to demonstrate an analytical essay on the company, which is FTSE100 Top 20 Company as of July, 2012. A chosen company for this report is Vodafone Group Plc, which is ranked third in FTSE100, with the market capitalization of $ 87.53 billion (Financial Times, 2012).

2.0.SWOT analysis

SWOT framework is utilized in order to evaluate the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats on a micro-level (Kotler and Armstrong, 2010)

2.1.Strengths

As the recent FTSE100 report demonstrates, Vodafone is ranked 3rd on the basis of market capitalization numbers. This suggests that Vodafone Company has a strong brand reputation in domestic (UK) and international markets. According to Brand Directory, (2011), Vodafone has increased the brand value by 6 % in 2011 (from $ 28,995 to $ 30,674 millions).

Vodafone has always followed an aggressive internationalization strategy, which has been supported by the recent investments in Australian and African markets (Brand Finance, 2011).

2.2.Weaknesses

Vodafone faces a tough competition in the domestic market from another mobile network leader – O2 and recently merged T-Mobile and Orange (BBC News, 2012). The rivalry is further intensified in the light of recently introduced high data excess charges by Vodafone (Guardian, 2011).

The primary emphasis is placed on domestic (UK) market, which in turn weakens Vodafone’s position in international markets (i.e. US)

2.3.Opportunities

The partnership between O2 and Vodafone may influence the enhancement of the certain services (4G services). This, in turn, would align with the recent trends in the technology area (BBC News, 2012).

Further aggressive expansion to the untapped markets (i.e. recent internationalization to Australia and Africa) may align well with the core strategy of Vodafone (Strategic Direction, 2002).

Constant increase in popularity of smartphones and tablets may also increase the revenue of Vodafone as a result of utilization of 3G data services (KPMG, 2012). Additionally, there is an opportunity for development of the new services and products that would align with the technological innovations.

2.4.Threats

New mobile market entrants and future strategic partnerships may become a threat to Vodafone.

Inability to satisfy the needs of the target markets, (i.e. students) may reduce the market share of Vodafone. This implies that there are a lot of international students, residing in UK whilst Vodafone tends to apply high charges for them, regardless the potential decrease of the demand for Vodafone services within this consumer group.

SWOT analysis has demonstrated that one of the main Vodafone’s problems is a tough competition and lack of focus on the presence in international markets versus domestic markets. In UK, one of the key threats is related to the company’s inability to meet consumer needs on the basis of service quality and price ratio. Additionally, some of the consumer groups are being disregarded (i.e. students).

3.0.Porter Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces framework is utilized in order to evaluate the attractiveness of the particular industry on the basis of the measurement of the strengths of the following forces, namely power of buyers, power of suppliers, threat of new entrants, threat of substitutes and degree of rivalry (Kotler and Armstrong, 2010).

3.1.Power of Buyers

The power of buyers is low, due to the strong market presence in UK and internationally. Additionally, due to the complexity of the mobile market structure, products and services, it is difficult for buyers to implement backward integration. This suggests that the power of buyers is low.

3.2.Power of Suppliers

The power of suppliers is of medium strength. Vodafone has several main suppliers, with whom they tend to have long term relationships. Huawei is a one of Vodafone’s official suppliers since 2005 (Huawei Official Website, 2012). However, as the market research demonstrates, there are a lot of suppliers in the mobile market, which may substitute Huawei.

3.3.Threat of New Entrants

Threat of new entrants is low. The barriers for new entrants are relatively high due to the complexity of the mobile market structure and a need for a high degree of investments. Furthermore, given the current poor economic conditions, the risk of new mobile players’ entrance is decreased. It is also supported by the intense competition in UK mobile market, with such clear leaders as O2 and Vodafone (Independent, 2012).

3.4.Threat of Substitutes

Threat of substitutes is high. There are a lot of alternatives that may be utilized instead of the mobile phone, due to the rapid development of new technology, (Lane, 2010). The most popular are the landline phones and video conference. Additionally, VOIP services are quite popular now, due to the associated low costs of communication (i.e. Skype, Yahoo Messenger) (Tsai, Lo and Chou, 2009).

3.5.Degree of Rivalry

The degree of rivalry is high, since there are two mobile market leaders in UK, namely O2 and Vodafone. Additionally, the mobile companies tend to form the strategic alliances, as T-Mobile and Orange have done recently (BBC News, 2012). This, in turn, increases the competition.

The switching costs are low, especially on Pay as You Go basis, whereas the switching costs are more increased on a Pay Monthly contractual basis. It is further supported by the increased loyalty towards a particular mobile operator in case of the subscription to Pay Monthly contract.

The exit barriers are also high, due to the complexity of the mobile industry and its structure.

Porter’s Five Forces analysis has demonstrated that there are three forces with low and/or medium strength, which may be taken advantage of, namely power of buyers, power of suppliers and threat of new entrants.

4.0.Conclusion

It has been estimated as a result of SWOT analysis that Vodafone is a global, well-established competitive company with a lot of opportunities to take advantage. As a result of Porter’s Five Forces analysis, it is recommended for Vodafone to continue emerging into the new markets in order to align with the successful globalization strategy. Additionally, it is recommended to implement more personalized approach toward consumer groups. This implies that is advisable for Vodafone to establish the prices for the products that would be attractive for certain target groups in relation to their needs and profiles. This would increase the competitive advantage of Vodafone, thus differentiating this company in highly competitive UK market arena.

5.0.References

BBC News, (2012), “O2, Vodafone, and a 4G promise”, Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18355569 (Accessed on 26/07/2012)

Brand Directory, (2011), “Global 500 2011”, Available from: http://brandirectory.com/league_tables/table/global_500_2011 (Accessed on 26/07/2012)

Brand Finance, (2011), “Vodafone is the world’s most valuable Telecoms brand”, Available from: http://www.brandfinance.com/news/in_the_news/vodafone-is-the-worlds-most-valuable-telecoms-brand (Accessed on 26/07/2012)

Financial Times, (2012), “Vodafone Group Plc”, Available from: http://markets.ft.com/Research/Markets/Tearsheets/Summary?s=VOD:LSE (Accessed on 25/07/2012)

Guardian, (2011), “Vodafone price rises unleash customer fury”, Available from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/sep/23/vodafone-price-rises-customer-fury (Accessed on 25/07/2012)

Huawei Official Website, (2012), Available from: http://www.huawei.com/en/ (Accessed on 25/07/2012)

Independent, (2012), “Vodafone and O2 to save ‘hundreds of millions of pounds’ by sharing networks”, Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/vodafone-and-o2-to-save-hundreds-of-millions-of-pounds-by-sharing-networks-7827959.html (Accessed on 26/07/2012)

Kotler P., Armstrong G., (2010), “Principles of Marketing”, 13th ed., Pearson: USA

KPMG, (2012), “‘Smartphone and tablet popularity brings maturity to mobile payment marketplace’ says KPMG”, Available from: http://www.kpmg.com/uk/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/newsreleases/pages/%E2%80%98smart-phone-and-tablet-popularity-brings-maturity-to-mobile-payment-marketplace%E2%80%99-says-kpmg.aspx (Accessed on 25/07/2012)

Lane M., (2010), “Slash the Cost of Your Landline”, Available from: http://www.money.co.uk/article/1005940-slash-the-cost-of-your-landline.htm (Accessed on 25/07/2012)

Strategic Direction, (2002), “The phenomenal growth of Vodafone: Rapid rise through an aggressive leadership style”, Strategic Direction, Vol.19, Iss.7, pp. 25-26

Tsai W., Lo H., Chou W., (2009), “Evaluation of mobile services for the future of 3G operators”, International Journal of Mobile Communications, Vol.7, Iss.4, pp.470-493

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“The doctrine of ‘separate legal personality’, as embodied in Salomon v Salomon & Co Ltd [1897] AC 22, has been fatally undermined by the number of subsequent exceptions to it.” Discuss this statement, stating whether you agree or disagree, in whole or in part, and why.


Abstract

Comments on the doctrine of separate legal personality, a major principle in English company law, and the fear that the growing number of exceptions to the doctrine is fatally undermining it. Explores the doctrine and its main exceptions to assess the extent to which the exceptions undermine the doctrine of separate legal personality. Discusses whether the exceptions are in fact necessary to uphold the doctrine of separate legal personality.

The doctrine of separate legal personality

The doctrine of separate legal personality is a fundamental principle of English company law essential to the act of incorporation. Upon incorporation a company gains an artificial legal personality, quite distinct from that of its members. The doctrine was established in Salomon (1897:30), where it was stated, ‘it seems…impossible to dispute that once the company is legally incorporated it must be treated like any other independent person with its rights and liabilities’. However, the courts are willing to lift the veil of incorporation and ‘set aside the separate legal personality of a company’ in certain situations (Birds 2009:62). As there are no general principles guiding the court in this area, the ad hoc nature of the practice has been criticised. This essay will consider whether the number of exceptions has fatally undermined the doctrine of separate legal personality.

Statutory provisions

Although the principles for lifting the veil of incorporation are not established, the circumstances under which the veil can be lifted are to a certain extent agreed. The separate legal entity doctrine will be discarded in cases of fraud or agency or where there is statutory provision (Case Comment 2012:3). Each instance will be considered in turn to explore whether they undermine the doctrine.

Under s.213 and s.214 of the Insolvency Act 1986 the veil of incorporation can be lifted and the separate legal personality of the company discarded. S.213 states that the veil of incorporation will be lifted in the event of fraudulent trading. Fraud is defined as ‘actual dishonesty, involving, according to current notions of fair trading among commercial men, real moral blame’ (Re Patrick and Lyon:790). Not only is this restrictive but the onus of proof is on the person seeking to rely upon it; suspicion is not sufficient. As this exception is hard to prove, it is not commonly used and cannot be said to fatally undermine the doctrine.

Under s.214, the veil of incorporation will be lifted if wrongful trading is proved. If the director knows that there is little chance of avoiding liquidation yet enters into new contracts, he will be held liable and cannot rely upon legal separation (Birds 2009:577-578). This is much to satisfy than s.213 and could be susceptible to claims that it undermines the doctrine of separate legal personality. Nevertheless, as directors are best placed to know the financial circumstances of the company, it seems right that they should not be able to rely on the doctrine of separate legal personality if they trade wrongfully and seek to hide behind the corporate structure.

Facade/Sham

The law will not allow a company to be used as a vehicle for fraud or illegality. If the company is being used as ‘a mere facade concealing the true facts’, the veil of incorporation will be lifted (Woolfson 1978:20). This principle was recently confirmed in Linsen v Humpuss (2012:682), where the CA stated that the veil will be pierced when it is being used as a facade.

In Jones v Lipman (1962), the defendant set up a company to try and escape current contractual obligations and similarly, in Guilford Motor Co v Horne (1933), the company was formed to breach a covenant (Mitchell:149). Consequently, the veil will be lifted where ‘the defendant company is the creature of the first defendant, a device and a sham, a mask which he holds before his face in an attempt to avoid recognition by the eye of equity’ (Jones v Lipman 1962:445). This is so, even if it is claimed that the ‘course of action is necessary to give legal effect to the “realities” of the business situation’ (Moore:194). It is clear that the court takes a strong approach against fraud, which is appropriate as it is important that the corporate structure is not used for unjust purposes.

Agency

In DHN v Tower Hamlets (1976), the court suggested that the doctrine of separate legal personality could be discarded between groups if the subsidiary and parent companies were a single economic entity. While the single economic entity argument has been praised by some, it has been criticised. The single economic entity argument would have seriously undermined the doctrine by making redundant the distinction between parent and subsidiary companies. It would also focus on economics to the detriment of legal doctrine (Bank of Tokyo v Karoon 1987:64). Consequently, Adams v Cape (1990:532) established that the separate legal personality of corporate groups can be disregarded only if a subsidiary is merely an agent of the parent company because ‘there is no general principle that all companies in a group of companies are to be regarded as one’.

Has separate legal personality been undermined?

It could be argued that the exceptions by their very nature undermine the doctrine because parliamentary intention to pierce the veil would have been clearly expressed (Dimbleby v NUJ 1984). However, as legislators cannot foresee every circumstance the courts must strive to prevent the doctrine from being used in a way that was clearly not intended by parliament.

A further argument is that the principles for lifting the doctrine are ad hoc and confused which undermines the doctrine. There is no consistency and subsequently, there is uncertainty as to when the doctrine will be disregarded. However, there are some principles the courts will adhere to. Firstly, separate legal personality cannot be ignored in the interests of justice alone (Adams v Cape 1990:536). Secondly, impropriety must be proven before the veil is lifted (Ord v Belhaven:457). Nevertheless, it is important to maintain an element of flexibility within this area, to equip the court to deal with novel situations.

The exceptions ensure that people cannot hide behind the company to commit what would otherwise be an offence. If the veil could not be lifted in these circumstances, the accusation would be that incorporation is being used as a cloak for wrongful behaviour, which fatally undermines the doctrine. Perhaps paradoxically, the exceptions appear to uphold the underlying principles of the doctrine rather than fatally undermine it.

References

Adams v Cape Industries [1990] Ch 433

Anon, 2012. Case Comment Chandler v Cape Plc: is there a chink in the corporate veilHealth and Safety at Work, pp.1

Bank of Tokyo v Karoon [1987] AC 45

Birds, J. Et al. 2009 Boyle and Birds’ Company Law 7th Edition, Bristol: Jordans Publishing Ltd

DHN Foods v Tower hamlets LBC [1976] 1 WLR 852

Dimbleby & Sons Ltd v National Union of Journalists [1984] 1 All ER 751

Guilford Motor Co v Horne [1933] Ch 935

Insolvency Act 1986 (c.45) London: HMSO

Jones v Lipman [1962] 1 All ER 442

Linsen International Ltd v Humpuss [2012] 1 BCLC 651

Mitchell, G. 2012. Piercing the corporate veil to impose contractual liability on a director. Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, vol.3, pp.149

Moore, M. 2006. “A temple built on faulty foundations”: piercing the corporate veil and the legacy of Salomon v Salomon. Journal of Business Law, pp.180

Ord v Belhaven Pubs Ltd [1998] 2 BCLC 447

Re Patrick and Lyon Ltd [1933] Ch 786

Salomon v A Salomon and Co Ltd [1897] AC 22

Woolfson v Strathclyde [1978] 2 EGLR 19

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SWOT Analysis and Porter’s 5 Forces analyses of John Lewis Partnership

Abstract

This paper looks at John Lewis, a top retailer in theUKand a very successful brand in the EU region as a whole. It scans the environment in which John Lewis operates while scrutinizing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the retailing industry in theUnited Kingdom(Porter’s Five Forces analysis). The SWOT analysis is done to bring in to light the retailer’s strengths and weaknesses and to expose any opportunities that it can capitalize on and the possible threats it may stumble upon in the process of further development.

Introduction

Since its inception in 1864, the John Lewis brand has grown in to one of theUK’s leading departmental stores and enduring brands. John Lewis boasts the only remaining traditionally English brand with a focus on quality, value-for-money and practicality (John Lewis, 2008). John Lewis specializes in selling food and drinks, clothes and household goods. In addition, John Lewis has recently diversified into financial services such as insurance and credit cards. During the early 2000’s, the company experienced serious financial crunches due to tribulations with its supply chain and poor product offerings with the worst time being at the year ending March 31, 2001 when its profits were recorded to be as low as ?2.8m on revenue of more than ?8bn (John Lewis, 2008).

However, the retailer managed to turn its fortunes in the preceding years following changes in the management and has since attained a remarkable growth in profits due to rigorous cost cutting, promotions, widespread store refurbishment and aggressive marketing (Economist, 2012). Thus, profit before tax (?997) and net profit (?860m) for the year ending March 31, 2011 were at their highest since 2001 (John Lewis, 2012). However, following the credit crisis in the US and the difficult trading environment in the UK over the 2010 Christmas period, the company’s sales growth saw a marked slow-down and its shares plummeted almost overnight (Economist, 2012). John Lewis has recently gained the title of “bell-weather” in theUKretailing industry, which means that if John Lewis is besieged, the whole sector is also struggling to stand on its feet. To this end, the SWOT analysis below looks at the environment in which John Lewis is operating, bringing in to light the company’s strengths and weaknesses while exposing the opportunities that the institution can capitalize on and the possible threats it may lurch in to in the process of further growth.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths
John Lewis enjoys a strong brand of embodying qualities, practicality and value-for-money promoting its customer loyalty (John Lewis, 2012).
John Lewis profits have been growing steadily since 2001 and the cash position was very strong as at the year ended 31 March 2011 marking a decade of enormous economic growth (M&S, 2011).
The highly qualified management team has being greatly praised for having reversed John Lewis fortunes in the last decade.
John Lewis aggressively markets itself and has recently used celebrities like as their brand ambassadors (John Lewis, 2012).

Weaknesses
John Lewis performance slipped over the 2010 Christmas period. While all retailers practically underperformed during this time, John Lewis was the most exposed. At the time of writing, the share price was 361p with the 52-week low of 367p and high of 759p, which means that John Lewis M&S had lost more than 50% of its value during the year (Sunday Times, 2011).
Similarly, the price/earnings ratio of 9.4 is very low as compared to that of its competitor’s i.e Mark and Spenser. The price/earnings ratio is the key indicator of investor assurance in a company (Arnold, 2002).
John Lewis has recently started cutting prices to match up the ever increasing competition. This may devalue the brand (The Economist, 2012).
The company has been recently criticized for fuelling accusations of poor managerial incompetence, corporate governance and lack of transparency infuriating many large investors (Nugent and Hawkes, 2012).

Opportunities
The idea of developing markets to Asiapresents large opportunities for John Lewis.
Designing of trendier clothes would attract young and potential customers to its stores.
Online sales provide a great opportunity since online margins are higher citing extensive growth from online companies like eBay (John Lewis, 2011).
The adoption of healthy lifestyles by customers presents an opportunity to sell healthy foods and sports gear.
Growing insurance and credit card industry. The industry has been on an upward trend over the past decade. Considering that John Lewis has a division that contributes over 23% of its total revenue dedicated to this segment, it is likely to reap significant benefits if this opportunity is fully utilized.

Threats
Currently, John Lewis target group are older customers usually over 45 years. This might pose as a risk in the future due to the fact that today’s 20-30 year olds will still stay trendy after 10-20 years and might be reluctant to shop in John Lewis, especially taking into consideration the desire for people to look younger nowadays (The Economist, 2012).
Jeremy Paxman shaped a storm of negative publicity when he criticized John Lewis underwear due to lack of support (Nugent and Hawkes, 2012). Even though it is considered that every third woman and fifth man in the UKbuys John Lewis underwear, the publicity may have an adverse effect on sales (John Lewis, 2012).
The stated poor corporate governance in the company might lead to a fall in the interest margins and reduced revenues accrued from the cash equity business. Such declines may lead to a situation whereby clients lose their confidence on the company’s ability to meet its financial obligations. In addition, a decline in returns indicates that the group lacks the ability to deploy its resources to profitable ventures.

Porter’s Five Forces

Level of competition
Competition in the retail industry sector is extremely fierce. Predicament to this problem is exacerbated by the fact that institutions are diversifying into non-core turfs thus creating extra competition.
John Lewis is particularly exposed to competition as it sells not only food and drinks but also apparel and household goods. This leaves it vulnerable to competition from giant supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and clothes retailers such as Next, Topshop, Marks & Spencer and Zara.
Porter (1985) wrote that “companies pursue one of three generic strategies: low cost, differentiation or hybrid”. In this regard, John Lewis has long tried to distinguish itself from competition by placing itself as a higher quality value-for-money brand. However, this has being greatly affected by the cuttings in apparel prices which poses a risk of de-valuing the brand in the market and losing the scope of specialization (Arnold, 2012).
However not a key business for John Lewis, the John Lewis credit cards and insurance face a lot of competition from banks and building societies.

Threat of Substitutes
Apparently, there are no major substitutes to food and clothes. This makes the threat of substitutes relatively low.
Notably, the key threat in substitutes in the food market is mainly Waitrose, while Peter Jones and Marks and Spencer offer high quality apparel. Asda and Tesco have also introduced less affordable alternatives and are even trading dinner jackets (Wilkes, 2012). In this regards, the threat of substitutes is relatively high.

Threat of New Entrants
The threat of new entrants is relatively low. This is due to the massive capital investments required in setting up a successful chain store. Also, the retail industry is mature and a new entrant in the market would consider offering something radically new, which is quite difficult to do in cloth retailing.
All key retailers have strong reputable brand names therefore benefits from customer loyalty, which becomes increasingly important in homogenous markets (Doyle, 2002).
The existing retailers are firmly clenching on to their market shares and would use all available methods to counter any new entrants i.e. litigation.
Importantly, the lack of market knowledge – particularly for foreign investors-possess as a barrier to new entrants.

Bargaining Power of Buyers
Is relatively high. The buyer’s concentration is high giving them an advantage in dictating tastes and rules.
The switching costs are low and there are plenty of alternatives.
The UKeconomy is prospected to slow down by mid 2013 forcing retailers to cut down prices and focus more on customer needs (BBC, 2012).
Bargaining Power of Suppliers
Is rather low. John Lewis being a large company listed with a huge turnover, suppliers always want their products on the retailer’s shelves in order to reach a large customer base enjoyed by John Lewis (Daveyand Laurance, 2008).
Unlike other stores, John Lewis is not overly dependent on suppliers as it mainly sells own branded products. This means that it largely buys raw materials and not finished goods, which is favourable for margins (John Lewis, 2012).
Conclusion

Although John Lewis managed to conquer its financial crisis in the early 2000’s, it now faces a slowdown in its profit gains. This has being partly contributed by the past economic crunch in theUnited Stateswhich spread to Europe and to theUKmainly (ABC News, 2008). As the spending power of consumers decreases, customers get more cautious and start to shop around more for cheaper products (John Lewis, 2012). Even though John Lewis has a lot of strength to help maintain its leading position in the UK retail market, it should also be on the verge of managing its weaknesses and be particularly cautious with regard to any form of bad publicity that may tarnish its name. John Lewis should consider all possible means of maintaining investor relations and consider reforming its executive management to improve its corporate image. Developing in to other markets and online sales present great opportunities and John Lewis should not vacillate in embracing them (BBC, 2012).

References

ABC News (2008). Buffet: US essentially in recession. 3 March 2008. www.acnews.go.com (Accessed 31/07/2012)

Arnold, G. (2012). Corporate financial management. 3d. ed.Essex: Prentice Hall.

BBC (2012). Darling signals economic slowdown. 8 March 2012. www.news.bbc.co.uk (Accessed 31/07/2012)

Davey, J and Laurance, B (2008). John Lewis under fire: how the City turned against Rose. The Sunday Times. 16 March 2008, p.12-13

Dess, G.D., Lumpkin, G.T. andTaylor, M.L. (2004). Strategic Management: Creating Competitive Advantages. McGraw Hill Professional, p. 75

Doyle, P. (2012). Marketing Management and Strategy 3d ed., Pearson Education.

Financial Times (2012). Market data. Information on oil prices. 24 March 2012. www.ft.com (Accessed 31/07/2012)

Legal&Medical (2008). Man loses M&S grape case. 14 March 2008. www.legal-medical.co.uk (Accessed 31/07/2012)

John Lewis (2012). John Lewis Annual report 2011. www.johnlewis.com (Accessed 31/07/2012)

Nugent, H and Hawkes, S (2012). George follows Jeremy Paxman as John Lewis faces another brief challenge. 20 March 2012. www.timesonline.co.uk (Accessed 31/07/2012)

Porter, M. (1985) Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance.New York: Free Press

The Economist (2012). The world in figures: industries. The world in 2012. p124, 126

The Economist (2012). A Rose by any other name. A retailing star ticks off investors at an awkward time. 13 March 2012, p58-60

The Sunday Times (2012). Top 200 companies indices. 16 June 2012, p.19

Wilkes, D (2007). Asda launches ?35 tuxedo in attempt to sew-up formal attire market. The Daily Mail. 14 November 2007. www.dailymail.co.uk (Accessed 31/07/2012)

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Free Essays

What role has been played by the media in US political contests?

Abstract

In US political contests, the term media can apply to a range of items that vary from newspaper articles to attack advertisements. This essay examines the role played by the free press- television news and newspapers- and traces the role that free media has come to play in the results and courses of US Presidential elections, refuting, in the process, the position that free media, and the press, acts as passive intermediaries between candidates and the voters.

Introduction

Protected by The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which reads ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press’, free media, especially the press, through dissemination of opinions, facts and analysis of events concerning Presidential candidates and their campaigns, has come to play a large role in the results and courses of presidential elections. Although Dalton, Beck and Huckfeldt (2008:111) have argued that ‘the media’s role as an intermediary is most evident at election time, when the media are the primary conduits for information on the campaign’, the common recognition that the press acts as part of the ‘Fourth Estate’, a term originally coined by Edmund Burke (quoted in Carlyle, 1841) to acknowledge the noticeable influence of the media upon politics, suggests that the role of the press and media far exceeds the simple passivity of intermediation that Dalton, Beck and Huckfeldt suggest is media’s primary role during an election.

Role of Free Media and the Press in US Presidential Elections

Even in the initial stages of an election, prior to official party nominations, the press can begin to directly influence public knowledge of the candidates through the frequency and detail in which the candidates are mentioned. Name recognition, in the early stages of a campaign, is of vital importance and is directly effected by, and dependent upon, the media. Ramsden (1996) notes that the victor of the 1984 New Hampshire primary, the relatively unknown Gary Hart, succeeded because he convinced the press, through intense and unprecedented amounts of canvassing, that he was a more viable candidate for the nomination than his opponents John Glenn and Walter Mondale. As such, the media concerned themselves more with Hart’s campaign than with the campaigns of Glenn and Mondale, both established Democrats, and simultaneously increased Hart’s name recognition and the viability of his claim. This media attention added momentum to Hart’s campaign and ultimately allowed him to challenge for, but narrowly lose, the Iowa caucus, and to win the New Hampshire primary by ten percentage points. Although Hart eventually succumbed to the financial superiority of Mondale, and to questions concerning the vagueness of his policies, his victory in the New Hampshire primary, over an already established Democrat, is testament to the power of the media and to the influential role they play even in the early stages of election campaigns.

After candidates have officially received party nominations, the role of the media shifts slightly from effecting the nomination to effecting the course of the nominees’ campaigns. Although many believe that the bias of individual press and media networks can effect public opinion, Robinson (1996:101) instead argues that ‘whilst the media can play an important role in changing voters’ perceptions, information, attitudes, and even behaviour’, it is more often the case that media bias simply reinforces, rather than dislodging or replacing, preconceived notions and opinions. Further, Della Vigna and Kaplan (2007: 2) have observed that it is often the case that ‘right-wing voters are more likely to expose themselves to right-wing media, giving an impression that the right-wing media persuades them’ and as such, media-bias and the partisan opinions of the press, in terms of long term impact, has little contribution towards changing the political opinions of the public.

Instead, free press, to some extent, controls the course of the campaign and decides whether it become a horse-race or an issue based campaign. Whilst the media can turn campaigns into horse-races, reporting polling numbers and statistics, making the story less about the ideologies, policies and ideas of the candidates and more about their viability and chances of success, it can also, as Ramsden (1996) argues, act ‘as a spotlight’ for issues (66). Ramsden’s suggestion that media acts as spotlight for issues and ideology, which is itself more in keeping with the spirit of democracy than reporting election campaigns as horse races, argues that the media has the power to select, and cover, certain issues and topics that are not at the top of the campaign’s political agenda and to reposition them as central to the campaign. As Page (1996:22) notes, ‘a large body of evidence now indicates that what appears in print or on the air has a substantial impact upon how citizens think and what they think about: e.g., what they cite as important problems’, and it is this guidance towards ‘important problems’ that allows the media to shape the campaign paths of the candidates.

The public, in general, become more politically active and aware during campaign time (Riker, 1989), and, as Wood and Edwards (1999:328) note that “the public’s familiarity with political matters is closely related to the amount and duration of attention these affairs receive in the mass media”. In a sense, the press and free media are somewhat able to dictate and influence the agenda of presidential elections, and to choose which issues are central to the debates and campaigns. Ramsden (1996) cites President Jimmy Carter’s victory over the incumbent President Gerald Ford, in which Carter’s inexperience could, and perhaps should, have played a large role in deciding the outcome of the campaign but was largely ignored by the public because the media did not make it a concern, in order to demonstrate the control that free media can exercise over topics and issues during campaigns.

Conclusion

Therefore, whilst the media may hold a negligible amount of power to convert and transform the public’s political opinions, the real power of the media, or the free press at least, in an election, lies in its editorial, or ‘spotlight’ role. By choosing and highlighting which areas of policy, issues or character concerns receive attention, the free press are able to guide the public towards matters which could determine both their opinions and, as a result, the outcome of the election. Thus, within a political campaign, however undemocratic it may seem, the press and free media are strong and active political agents that can change and dictate not only the agendas and issues during an election, but to some extent, the result itself.

Bibliography

Andersen, K. (1984) A Wild Ride to the End, Time Magazine

Carlyle, T. (1841) On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History. The Echo Library, 2007

Dalton R.J, Beck P.A & Huckfeldt R. (1998), Partisan Cues and the Media: Information Flows inthe 1992 Presidential Election, American Political Science Review, Vol 92, Number 1, March 1998

DellaVigna, S & Kaplan E. (2007) The Fox News Effect, Media Bias and Voting, Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Gerges, Fawaz A. (1999) Shaping Opinion. Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 28, No. 2: pp. 104-106

Page, Benjamin I. (1996) The Mass Media as Political Actors. Political Science and Politics, Vol.29, No. 1 pp. 20-24

Ramsden, Graham P. (1996) “Media Coverage of Issues and Candidates: What Balance is Appropriate in a Democracy?” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 111, No. 1. pp. 65-81

Riker, W. H. (1989). Why Negative Campaigning is Rational. (Paper presented at the annualmeeting of the American Political Science Association, Atlanta, GA)

Robinson, John E. (1976) “The Press and the Voter.” Annals of the American Academy of Politicaland Social Science, Vol. 427. pp.95-103

The Constitution of the United States, Amendment I, (1791)

Wood, Dan B. and Edwards, George C. (1999) “Who Influences WhomThe President, Congress, and the Media.” The American Political Science Review, Vol. 93, No. 2. pp. 327-344

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7 Improvements That’d Benefit Customers

Hey,

It’s been a while. Hope you had a great summer.

We’ve been scratching our heads on the best way to really educate you this year, but unfortunately, the only genius ideas we could think of have been “how to sleep creatively in class” and “how to have social life while crying through your studies” – if you ever need these, please let us know.

Seeing as we could not really come up with better (and boring) education related suggestions for you, we decided to write about us (we’re vain… I know), and the 7 major benefits you’d get by using our services this academic year.

1. Better Review & Improvement Process

Previously, we relied on our writers to provide a good quality project, but due to cost restrictions, we could not get it externally reviewed. This caused a number of quality related issues that we’re not very proud of. Now we assess every written project using a rigid and thorough review process.

We started this on all projects written from August and the results so far have been really positive. We are confident that with this review process, the quality of written projects would improve substantially.

Now the only thing you need to worry about is getting high grades, and defending it. Wicked!!!

Read: The our site Order Process

2. Better Money Back and Refunds Policy

In line with changes to our Review Process, we don’t just want to make empty promises about our optimism and excelling services. We’re putting our money where our mouth is, which is why we’ve published our first ever Money Back and Refunds Policy.

Now you can get discount vouchers or refunds if we miss your deadline, plagiarise on your work, fail to follow your instructions or if your work returns with a lesser than desired grade. We hope this would help convince you and your friends that we are in this to make sure you graduate with outstanding grades, and we would like to improve the quality of service you receive from us.

In other words… you just got an insurance on our site…from our site… lol.

Read: our site Money Back and Refunds Policy

3. Better Referral Rewards

Significant portions of our customers come to us through referrals and repeat purchases. We believe it is because of the trust relationship already established and high levels of satisfaction that you come back again and still refer friends, colleagues, strangers and enemies to us (referrals are not just limited to friends that would be unfair and discriminatory. You could get sued.).

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Read: our site Referrals

4. Better Opening Times

We’re now open from 10am – 9pm on Weekdays, and for a shorter time period on weekends. To get in touch with a member of our team, call our main line: 0207 060 1205, or email us at [email protected]

In other words… well I shouldn’t have to spell this out!!! You’re a student. You should know!!!

5. Better Customer Service

In line with our promise to improve quality of service, we’re also introducing our site Rack. Rack means “Random Act of Kindness”, and applies to customers that need little things done for them, such as proofreading a short essay they wrote themselves, correcting something in a dissertation they wrote, or absorbing the extra writer cost if they made an error on their order.

We would do all these things for you because we care about you and your academic progress. Please don’t get all mushy mushy!

6. Better Dissertation Writing Service

Dissertations account for a large portion of your academic units, and also a large portion of the work we do at our site. To improve the quality of our dissertation service, we’ve published a couple of guidelines for our writers to follow.

The most important thing here is that you now receive a plan before we start writing, and are involved in every stage of the work. Furthermore, the final dissertation is reviewed before you get it, just so you know you have nothing to worry about.

7. Better Value for Money

So wait a minute. Your project is now reviewed. You get our site insurance from our site, Better Customer Service, Better Opening Times and a Much Better Dissertation Writing Service.

I guess we would both agree that it is rational for us to increase our fees from ?100 to ?1,000 per 1,000 words. I mean a 2,000 word undergraduate essay would only cost ?2,000. That’s a steal, especially considering ALL the additional benefits you’d get.

But then again, if we do that, we’d all be driving a Ferraris at our site and you’d be errr….. uhmm….. just fine I guess (and super broke).

So let’s show you a magic trick (again… Wicked)… We would do all these things for you (including Rack), and our fees would only increase by ?9 / 1,000 words. Even the VAT we have to pay is much more than ?9. And no, we’re not reducing our writer fees, we’re also increasing it to make sure they’re happy as well.

Finally… remember our slogan: We Write, You Pass. Simple.

That’s promise. We provide an easier way for you to pass and we want to fulfil that promise with you, your friends, colleagues, and enemies.

We’re professionals building the best writing service. We’re implementing better ways for you to pass and graduate with an outstanding grade, and it really gives me great pleasure to offer this 7 Better Benefits to you.

I wish you all the best in your academic year and would be happy to assist you whenever you call on us.

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What, in your opinion, are the causes of the obesity ‘epidemic’ in the UK?

Abstract

The aim of this essay was to explore the causes of the obesity epidemic in the UK. The prevalence of obesity among children and adults has reached epidemic proportions over the past two decades and is a major public health concern in the UK. The causes of the obesity epidemic are complex and include environmental, behavioral and physiological factors. These factors influence the balance of energy intake and expenditure. It is crucial for the scientific and policy-making government as well as the public to understand the multidimensional factors, which influence obesity in order to implement the actions needed to reverse the epidemic.

1. Introduction

Obesity has been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2012) as “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health”. The most frequently used measure of obesity and health is based on the body mass index (BMI), which is a single number that evaluates an individual’s weight in relation to height. Adults with a BMI of >30 kg/m2 are considered obese and those with a BMI equal to or more than 25 kg/m2 are overweight. Obesity increases the risk of a number of chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancers (Kopelman, 2007) and therefore is a major public health concern.

2. Overview of the obesity epidemic

In the UK, the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled in the past 20 years (OECD Health Data, 2011). The latest Health Survey for England (HSE, 2010) figures show that 37.3% of adults (aged 16 or over) are overweight and a further 24.5% obese. The prevalence of obesity in children aged 2-10 is similarly alarming by increasing from 10.1% in 1995 to 14.6% in 2010. Recently reported modelling indicates that by 2025 some 40% of the British population could be obese (Foresight, 2007).

Because the physiological and psychological consequences of obesity can lead to increased morbidity and mortality, researcher, clinicians and government policymakers have explored a number of different causes that may explain the obesity epidemic. Understanding the causes of obesity has important implications for the actions that are needed to tackle and reverse the epidemic.

3. Causes of the obesity epidemic

In simple terms, the cause of obesity is an imbalance of energy intake and energy expenditure for a period of time, leading to an accumulation of excessive body fat. This energy imbalance is determined by the complex interactions of biology and behavior, set within a cultural, environmental and social framework. An obesity system map (Figure 1) was constructed by Vandenbroeck et al. in 2007 from data from several different research disciplines to represent the most comprehensive view of the determinants of energy balance.

Figure 1: A simplified version of the obesity system map (Source: Foresight systems map, 2007)

Although the causes for the obesity epidemic are complex and multifaceted, research evidence has identified changes in two main areas of our lifestyles that have driven the obesity epidemic. The first is the level of physical activity in the population (energy expenditure). People are spending more time indoors in front of the computer and TVs and less time outside running around. The second is the quantity and different food types we consume (energy intake). People consume more energy-dense food and eat fewer healthy foods. Both areas of this complex system are greatly influenced by psychosocial factors and the environment in which we live and work.

3.1. Energy expenditure

Research has shown that physical activity undertaken in the workplace and in the home has declined significantly in the UK over the past 30 years (Foresight, 2007). For example, in England, the average distance walked and cycled per person per year for transport purposes fell nearly by half in the time period from 1975 to 2003 (Foresight, 2007). The proportion of the population in an occupation requiring substantial physical effort has also reduced (Lobstein and Jackson, 2007). In addition, we are increasingly becoming reliant on work saving devices from washing machines to cars. For example, car use has risen steadily over the past 30 years, which was accompanied by changes in land use patterns to accommodate increased car use (Davis, 2007). Sheldon H Jacobson, a researcher who specializes in statistics and data analysis states in 2011 that the surge in passenger vehicle usage in the US between the 1950 and today correlates with surging levels of obesity. Data from the UK may find a similar association.

In the home, physical activity has been displaced by the availability and attractiveness of more sedentary activities such as television and computer games (Pereira, 2005; Biddle, 2010). Evidence suggests that television viewing is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic (Hancox et al., 2004; Viner, 2005; Rey-Lopez et al., 2011). This contribution arises from a combination of sedentary behavior, unhealthy mindless eating habits (Temple et al., 2007) and exposure to TV advertising for palatable, highly processed, energy dense foods (Cairns, 2008; Boyland et al., 2011).

Over extended periods, this decrease in physical activity can make a substantial difference to the energy balance (positive energy balance), which results in weight gain.

3.2. Energy intake

The hypothesis that people are eating more in their daily life is problematic to measure outside the laboratory and is greatly confounded by under-reporting by obese subjects. However, data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs study (DEFRA, 2011) suggests that energy intake from food and drink in the UK population has been declining since the 1980 (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Trends in average energy intake from food and drink in 2009 (Source: Family Food in 2009, DEFRA

This is paradoxical, given that this is the period that has seen the most rapid increase in the prevalence of obesity. However, it has been shown that the type of food has changed. The consumption of cheap fast food and energy-dense food high in fat and/or sugar has increased (Stubbs et al., 1995), whilst more expensive healthy food such as fruit and vegetables has declined. Therefore it is the obligation of policy makers and businesses to ensure that healthy foods are readily available and promoted at affordable prices. This is an essential long term and large-scale commitment to reverse the obesity epidemic.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, it appears that the coupling between energy intake and energy expenditure is at the heart of the obesity epidemic, both of which are greatly influenced by psychosocial factors and the environment in which we live and work. Currently the evidence points to changes in the level of physical activity and food system, which is producing more processed, affordable, and effectively marketed high-energy food. These changes in my opinion have lead to a positive energy balance causing the obesity epidemic. Policies that encourage and promote physical activities and a change towards healthier food are needed to reverse the epidemic.

5. References

Biddle, S., Cavill, N., Ekelund, U., et al. (2010) Sedentary Behaviour and Obesity: Review of the Current Scientific Evidence: Department of Health.

Boyland, E.J., Harrold, J.A., Kirkham, T.C., Corker, C., Cuddy, J., Evans, D. (2011) Food commercials increase preference for ?energy-dense foods, particularly in children who watch more television. Pediatrics, 128(1): 93-100.

Cairns, G., Angus, K., Hastings, G. (2008) The extent, nature and effects of food promotion to children: a review of the evidence to?December 2008. Prepared for the World Health Organization. Geneva: Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling ?& The Open University, United Kingdom, 2009.

Davis, A., Fergusson, M. and Valsecchi, C. (2007) Linked Crises on the Road to Obesity: Assessing and Explaining the Contribution of Increased Car Travel to UK Obesity and Climate Crises. London: Institute for European Environmental Policy.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (2011) Food statistics Pocketbook.

Foresight (2007) Tackling Obesities: Future Choices, Project Final Report

Hancox, R.J., Milne, B.J., Poulton, R. (2004) Association between child and adolescent television viewing and adult health: a longitudinal birth cohort study. Lancet, 364: 257-62.

Kopelman, P. (2007) Health risk associated with Overweight and Obesity. Obesity reviews 8 (Suppl.1), 13-17.

Lobstein, T. and Jackson Leach, R. (2007) International Comparisons of Obesity Trends, Determinants and Responses. Evidence Review. Foresight Tackling Obesities: Future Choices.

National Statistics. 2010. Health Survey for England (HSE).

OECD Health at a Glance 2011.

Pereira, M.A., Kartashov, A.I., Ebbeling, C.B. (2005) Fast-food habits, weight gain, and insulin resistance (the CARDIA study): 15-year prospective analysis. Lancet, 365: 36-42.

Rey-Lopez, J.P., Vicente-Rodriguez, G., Repasy, J., Mesana, M.I., Ruiz, J.R., Ortega, F.B., et al. (2011) Food and drink intake during ?television viewing in adolescents: the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence (HELENA) study. Public?Health Nutrition, 14(9): 1563-9.

Sheldon H Jacobson (5/11/2011) News Bureau, Illinois

Stubbs, R.J. et al. (1995) Covert manipulation of dietary fat and energy density: effect on substrate flux and food intake in men eating ad libitum. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 62, 316–329.

Temple, J.L., Giacomelli, A.M., Kent, K.M., Roemmich, J.N., Epstein, L.H. (2007) Television watching increases motivated responding for?food and energy intake in children. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85 (2): 355-61.

Vandenbroeck, I. P., Goossens, J. and Clemens, M. (2007) Building the Obesity System Map. Foresight Tackling Obesities: Future Choices.

Viner, R.M., Cole, T.J. (2005) Television viewing in early childhood predicts adult body mass index. J Pediatrics, 147(4): 429-35.

World Health Organisation (May 2012) Fact sheet No 311: Obesity and overweight.

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Free Essays

Does Therapeutic Touch reduce pain?

Abstract

Pain has a significant negative impact on those who experience it and is not always eased by analgesia. Complementary therapies such as Therapeutic Touch may provide an alternative solution for pain relief. While there have not been many studies into Therapeutic Touch, there is some evidence that it may reduce pain. Recent review articles that assessed Therapeutic Touch as a form of pain relief are discussed here.
Pain is a common symptom, which is estimated to affect nearly one in five adults in Europe (Fricker, 2003). There are many causes of pain, which can be acute such as following an injury or chronic as is the case in arthritis. Pain not only is a physical symptom, but can affect people’s psychological well being and can have a negative impact on quality of life, not to mention the economic consequences due to lost working days (Ventegodt & Merrick, 2005). However, even though the original source may appear to have resolved, pain can linger and does not always respond to conventional medical treatments (Ventegodt & Merrick, 2005). For these reasons it is important to explore other therapies as a means of providing pain relief. One such therapy is Therapeutic Touch.
Therapeutic Touch is where a therapist consciously uses their hands over a patient’s skin to help balance their energy fields (Rosa et al., 1998). It is based on the theory that there is a two-way flow of energy between any person and their environment and for good health the flows need to be in equilibrium. Tense feelings that can develop from a person’s emotional state can cause tension to build up in muscles, bones, joints and connective tissue, which can act as a blockage to the flow of energy and manifest itself as pain (Ventegodt & Merrick, 2005). Therapeutic Touch aims to provide a cure, not through working on individual tissues in the body, but through the person as a whole, enhancing their overall wellbeing (Ventegodt & Merrick, 2005).
While some hospitals in North America are already using Therapeutic Touch as part of their treatment programmes (So et al., 2008), the use of this complementary approach has not been widely studied. Embracing the concept of evidence based medicine, where therapies need to have demonstrated that they do indeed provide benefit and do not result in any harm, it is important that the effectiveness and safety of Therapeutic Touch is assessed.
A Cochrane Review in 2008 assessed 16 studies (either randomised controlled trials or clinical controlled trials) of Therapeutic Touch in relation to pain relief. It found that although a positive result was not seen in all studies, when considered as a whole there was a significant reduction in pain through this therapy, with one study highlighting that Therapeutic Touch may reduce the need for a patient to take analgesia (So et al., 2008). However, this review did highlight the need for further high quality studies in this area, particularly those involving children, as these were not well represented. It also emphasised that although Therapeutic Touch appears a safe therapy, it is still important that studies document any adverse effects.
Similar findings to the Cochrane Review were described by a literature review published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing (Monroe, 2009). While only five studies were deemed rigorous enough to be included, the results from four of them showed a significant positive impact of Therapeutic Touch on pain relief, particularly in the management of pain in
osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal pain and burns. However, again, further studies were recommended as necessary, including inclusion of a wider range of participants and investigating the effects of treatment frequency, duration and benefit for different types of pain. Little is known about the true mode of action of Therapeutic Touch, so this is another important avenue for further study. Despite not fully consistent results and calls for continued research, interestingly the author recommends that Therapeutic Touch currently be offered as a mode of pain relief, as it is considered to be a safe treatment.
Some studies of Therapeutic Touch and pain relief have also explored its benefit on emotional aspects such as depression and anxiety (Lin & Taylor, 1998; Marta et al., 2010; McCormack, 2009). While the results of studies have been mixed, some have shown a significant positive impact (Lin & Taylor, 1998; Marta et al., 2010), which might be evidence to link the mechanism of Therapeutic Touch for pain relief to its ability to improve emotional wellbeing. A Cochrane Review from 2009 investigating the benefit of Therapeutic Touch on anxiety was not able to conclude anything, as there have not been any well-designed studies for inclusion in an analysis, indicating the need for high quality research in this area (Robinson et al., 2007).
One area of Therapeutic Touch studies that has come under criticism is the placebo controls used (Rosa et al., 1998). Unusually the emphasis in Therapeutic Touch is that its efficacy is reliant on the intent of the therapist, so the argument is that the result is less likely to be influenced by the belief of the participant. So traditional placebo controls where the subject is not aware whether or not they are receiving the actual treatment would be inadequate without also the provision of treatment by a sham touch practitioner – they imitate the treatment provided by the true touch therapists but do not alter their state of consciousness (So et al., 2008).
While studies which have indicated positive results in relation to pain relief have often been with elderly participants (Lin & Taylor, 1998; Marta et al., 2010; McCormack, 2009), this may bring into question whether the benefits may be seen across other age groups. However, as we now live in a time where the demographics are changing towards an ageing population, with people living longer the incidence of chronic disease increases and with many of these pain can be a factor; finding a treatment which may benefit older adults is particularly important (Marta et al., 2010).
So in answer to the question posed, there is some indication that Therapeutic Touch aids pain relief, at least in certain patient groups. However, further research will be required before firm conclusions can be drawn and before Therapeutic Touch becomes a mainstream therapy.

References:

Fricker, J. (2003) Pain in Europe [PDF] Available at: http://www.britishpainsociety.org/Pain%20in%20Europ%20survey%20report.pdf – accessed on 29th April 2012.
Lin, Y.S. & Taylor, A.G. (1998) Effects of therapeutic touch in reducing pain and
anxiety in an elderly population. Integrative Medicine, 1 (4), 155-62.
Marta, I.E. et al. (2010) The effectiveness of therapeutic touch on pain, depression and sleep in patients with chronic pain: clinical trial. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP, 44 (4), 1100-6.
McCormack, G.L. (2009) Using non-contact therapeutic touch to manage post-surgical pain in the elderly. Occupational Therapy International, 16 (1), 44-56.
Monroe, C.M. (2009) The effects of therapeutic touch on pain. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 27 (2), 85-92.
Robinson, J. et al. (2007) Therapeutic touch for anxiety disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 18 (3), CD006240.
Rosa, L. et al. (1998) A close look at therapeutic touch. Journal of the American Medical Association, 279 (13), 1005-10.
So, P.S. et al. (2008) Touch therapies for pain relief in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 8 (4), CD006535.
Ventegodt, S. & Merrick, J. (2005) Clinical holistic medicine: chronic pain in the locomotor system. The Scientific World Journal, 5, 165-72.

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Free Essays

Does Therapeutic Touch Reduce Pain?

Abstract

Many dismiss Complementary and Alternative Medicines such as Therapeutic Touch due to a lack of physiological data accrued from trials (NCCAM, 2000). Therapeutic Touch is considered by those in the field to provide multidimensional effects, not only physiologically, but in thought, feeling, and also spiritually (Leskowitz, 2011). Conventional Controlled Clinical Trials and Randomised Controlled Trials do not consider these additional dimensions, and consequently the results from Therapeutic Touch trials may be severely limited (Fonnebo et al, 2007). If, however, trials conducted on a multidimensional level were to be considered, the evidence collated would suggest that Therapeutic Touch does reduce pain. Further research into trial methodologies may be required to further support this evidence.

Introduction

Within the approach of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Therapeutic Touch falls into the domain of energy or biofield therapies. Therapeutic Touch is a technique by which a practitioner’s hands are used to rebalance the energy field of a patient with the objective of encouraging healing (NCCAM, 2000). Widely practised by many professionals in the health care sector including nurses, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, Therapeutic Touch has been used to induce relaxation, as well as to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain (Winstead-Fry & Good, 2009). Conditions and illnesses in which Therapeutic Touch has been used to promote the previous outcomes include: Fibromyalgia Syndrome (Dennison, 2004); chronic pain (Marta et al (2010), Lin (1998); arthritis (Peck (1998), Gordon et al (1998)); cancer (Giasson & Bouchard (1998), Aghabati et al (2010), Kelly et al (2004)); Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Blankfield et al, 2001); post surgical pain (Frank et al (2007), McCormack (2009)). The success of these applications with regard to pain will be looked at in detail below.

Therapeutic Touch and Pain

Complementary and Alternative Medicine, of which Therapeutic Touch is included, is widely dismissed, due to its subjective nature and unconventionally scientific foundations (NCCAM, 2000). Trials such as those by Frank et al (2007) and Blankfield et al (2001) provide support for these claims as it was found that there was no measured decrease in pain felt by those participants receiving Therapeutic Touch therapy, and that Therapeutic Touch may be dismissed as placebo.

Contrary to this dismissal, (Fonnebo et al, 2007)argues that the conventional approach to achieving acknowledgement in new areas of medical science through controlled randomised trials, generally using a placebo as a control, is not suitable for generating evidence in this area of medicine. In this instance, practises are often simplified causing limitations in data available for collection and analysis, thus restricting any attainable conclusions.

Further to the case of (Fonnebo et al, 2007), Leskowitz (2011) argues that Complementary and Alternative Medicine not only promote physiological benefits, but can provide additional benefits in the form of emotions, thoughts, and also spiritually, all of which are dismissed in conventional medical trials. If trials incorporating these additional dimensions were, however, to be regarded as clear evidence for the case of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and hence Therapeutic Touch, a significant amount of data may be accrued, as shown below.

The following reputable electronic databases were searched to gather information including: The Cochrane Library, PubMed, JStor, Science Direct, and others. Examples of Randomised Controlled Trials, or Controlled Clinical Trials were used to evaluate the effect of Therapeutic Touch on pain. Further to this, trials using pain measurement tools and methods recognised and used in conventional medicine were similarly taken into consideration: visual analogue scales, numerical rating scales, verbal rating scales, McGill Pain Questionnaire, Brief Pain Inventory (Caraceni et al, 2002).

In 2010, Aghabati et al conducted a trial, consisting of 90 cancer patients, to evaluate the effects of Therapeutic Touch on pain. The results of this trial saw a significant reduction in pain of those participants receiving Therapeutic Touch in comparison to those participants in the control group who received customary care. In an equally sized trial of 90 patients experiencing post-surgical pain, McCormack (2009) found that Therapeutic Touch decreased pain in participants more so than in those not receiving Therapeutic Touch.

Two further trials of similar size also concluded a distinctly greater reduction in pain when compared to those in the control group not receiving Therapeutic Touch (Lin (1998), Turner et al 1998). Similarly, in smaller trials, significant improvements were felt as a result of Therapeutic Touch therapy (Dennison (2004), Marta et al (2010), Gordon et al (1998).

In addition to these trials displaying positive reductions in pain as a result of Therapeutic Touch, it can be argued that trials which consider pain on a broader plain may also be considered when evaluating the effects of Therapeutic Touch; for example trials measuring subjective feelings and thoughts associated with a reduction in pain, such as anxiety, tension, well-being, calmness, relaxation, and mood. Trials by Lafreniere et al (1999), Peck (1998), Giasson & Bouchard (1998), and Kelly et al (2004) using multidimensional measurements concluded that that Therapeutic Touch had a marked improvement in these feelings.

Conclusion

The scientific design and consequential limitations of conventional randomised clinical trials have resulted in the dismissal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine such as Therapeutic Touch as an effective treatment in the reduction of pain. However, if other dimensions (emotional, philosophical, and spiritual) were to be taken in to consideration then much more evidence, as the trials above illustrate, could validate the claim that Therapeutic Touch is effective in reducing pain. Therefore, considering the evidence gathered it is concluded that on a multidimensional level, there is sufficient evidence here to suggest that Therapeutic Touch can reduce pain, and that provision in clinical trials is required to further substantiate, or negate these claims.

References

Aghabati, N. Mohammadi, E. Pour Esmaiel, Z. (2010) The effect of therapeutic touch on pain and fatigue of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine [online] 7(3):375-81. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18955319 [date accessed 15.05.12]
Blankfield, R.P. Sulzmann, C. Fradley, L.G. Tapolyai, A.A. Zyzanski, S.J. (2001) Therapeutic touch in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice [online] 14(5):335-342. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clcentral/articles/015/CN-00374015/frame.html [date accessed 15.05.12]
Caraceni, A. Cherny, N. Fainsinger, R. Kaasa, S. Poulain, P. Radbruch, L. De Conno, F. (2002) Pain Measurement Tools and Methods in Clinical Research in Palliative Care: Recommendations of an Expert Working Group of the European Association of Palliative Care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management [online] 23(3):239-255 Available from: http://www.masterpaliativos.com/ArchivosFTP/BackupXII/course_files/Taller_Dolor_Octubre_2010/Documentacion_complementaria/Pain_measurement_EAPC.pdf [date accessed 15.05.12]
Dennison, B. (2004) Touch the pain away: new research on therapeutic touch and persons with fibromyalgia syndrome. Holistic Nursing Practise [online] 18(3):142-51 Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15222602 [date accessed 15.05.12]
Fonnebo, V. Grimsgaard, S. Walach, H. Ritenbaugh, C. Norheim, A.J. MacPherson, H. Lewith, G. Launs, L. Koithan, M. Falkenberg, T. Boon, H. Aickin, M. (2007) Researching complementary and alternative treatments – the gatekeepers are not at home. BMC Medical Research Methodology [online]. 7(7) 239-255 Available from: http://www.masterpaliativos.com/ArchivosFTP/BackupXII/course_files/Taller_Dolor_Octubre_2010/Documentacion_complementaria/Pain_measurement_EAPC.pdf [date accessed 15.05.12]
Frank, L.S. Frank, J.L. March, D. Makari-Judson, G. Barham, R.B. Mertens, W.C. (2007) Does therapeutic touch ease the discomfort or distress of patients undergoing stereotactic core breast biopsyA randomized clinical trial. Pain medicine [online] 8(5): 419-424 Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clcentral/articles/928/CN-00610928/frame.html [date accessed 15.05.12]
Giasson, M. Bouchard, L. (1998) Effect of therapeutic touch on the well-being of persons with terminal cancer. Journal Holistic Nursing [online] 16(3):383-398. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9849260 [date accessed 15.05.12]
Gordon, A. Merenstein J.H. D’Amico, F. Hudgens, D. (1998) The effects of therapeutic touch on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The Journal of family practice [online] 47(4):271-277. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clcentral/articles/099/CN-00156099/frame.html [date accessed 15.05.12]
Kelly, A.E. Sullivan, P. Fawcett, J. Samarel, N. (2004) Therapeutic touch, quiet time, and dialogue: perceptions of women with breast cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum[online] 31(3):625-31 Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15146228 [date accessed 15.05.12]
Lafreniere, K.D. Mutus, B. Cameron, S. Tannous, M. Giannotti, M. Abu-Zahra, H. Laukkanen, E. (1999) Effects of therapeutic touch on biochemical and mood indicators in women. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. [online] 5(4):367-370 Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10471017 [date accessed 15.05.12]
Leskowitz (2011) Energy-based therapies in neurology: the example of Therapeutic Touch. Energy Medicine East and West [online] 283-288 Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780702035715000226 [date accessed 15.07.12]
Lin, Y. (1998) Effects of therapeutic touch in reducing pain and anxiety in an elderly population. Integrative Medicine. [online] 1(4):155-162 Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clcentral/articles/491/CN-00292491/frame.html [date accessed 15.05.12]
Marta, I.E. Baldan, S.S. Berton, A.F. Pavam, M. da Silva, M.J. (2010) The effectiveness of therapeutic touch on pain, depression and sleep in patients with chronic pain: clinical trial. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da U S P [online] 44(4):1100-1106. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clcentral/articles/880/CN-00778880/frame.html [date accessed 15.07.12]
McCormack, G.L. (2009) Using non-contact therapeutic touch to manage post-surgical pain in the elderly. Occupational therapy international [online] 16(1): 44-56 Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clcentral/articles/322/CN-00688322/frame.html [date accessed 15.05.12]
NCCAM (2000) Expanding Horizons of Healthcare Five-Year Strategic Plan 2001-2005. [online] US Department of Health and Human Services. Available from: http://nccam.nih.gov/sites/nccam.nih.gov/files/about/plans/fiveyear/fiveyear.pdf [date accessed 15.07.12]
Peck, S.D (1998) The efficacy of therapeutic touch for improving functional ability in elders with degenerative arthritis. Nursing science quarterly [online] 11(3): 123-132. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clcentral/articles/392/CN-00266392/frame.html [date accessed 15.05.12]
Turner, J.G. Clark, A.J. Gauthier, D.K. Williams, M. (1998) The effect of therapeutic touch on pain and anxiety in burn patients. Journal of advanced nursing [online] 20(1): 10-20 Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clcentral/articles/884/CN-00685884/frame.html [date accessed 15.05.12]
Winstead-Fry, P. & Good, R. (2009) Therapeutic Touch in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia Syndrome — A Practitioner’s Guide to Treatment [online] 279-288. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780443069369000123 [date accessed 15.07.12]

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Free Essays

The Role of the Media in US Political Contests

Abstract:

In contemporary US elections, the media is not only a disperser of information, but an active participant in the shaping of politics with an astounding influence on the outcome of political contests. With an increasingly partisan press it is important to understand the influence the press can exert on us, and we on them. In order to gain such understanding this essay explores the relationships between political candidates and the press, that relationship’s impact on election outcomes as well as the media’s ability to shape political agendas. The result is a circle of influence where all three; public, media and politician, can influence each other, but the media is the only player who swings both ways.

Introduction:

This essay will concern itself with the way in which the relationship between the agents of media and the political candidates themselves affects the role the media has played in US political contests after TV became a leading medium. It will also argue the extent to which this relationship has the power to set and change political agenda as well as shape the opinions of the voters.

The Media’s Role:

According to Cook (1998) the media is not only an intermediary in politics, but a political institution unto itself, and the reporter ‘a key participant in decision-making and policy making’ (1998, p.3). The impact of the media is most evident during election time when it becomes clear that the traditional view of the media as mere watchdogs and recorders of government (Cater, 1959) is not a sufficient label.

The media’s role in US political contests and how it has changed over the last decades can be traced through two main aspects that shape the presence of politics in the US media and vice versa. These are as follows:

1) Political commercials.

2) Political media consultants and subjectivity.

Firstly, let us look at the impact of political commercials. Gordon and Hartmann’s research suggests that ‘advertising is capable of shifting the electoral votes of multiple states and consequently the outcome of an election’ (2012). Advertisement thus becomes crucial to a political campaign, possibly at the expense of the political message.

During the 2008 presidential elections, Obama spent nearly twice the budget of McCain on broadcasting TV commercials during the presidential election (Scheinkman, Mclean and Weitberg, 2012). Similarly, in 2004, the Republican National Party outspent the Democrats by approximately the same margins (Federal Election Commission, 2005). At the beginning of the Democratic primaries in 2007, Obama’s TV advertisement budget exceeded that of Hilary Clinton’s by almost $2,000,000 (Healy, 2007). In all cases, the biggest spender on TV commercials won the election. In 1972 however, McGovern lost the Ohio presidential primary to Humphrey despite spending more on his media campaign (Weaver, 1972). This pattern suggests a link between the volume and quality of advertisement in the media in a majority of the cases, and the political message seems a secondary concern.

Not only commercials, but also the reporters and news themselves can be used to influence voters if fed the right information. Suskind claims that political consultants ‘have produced a new kind of candidate – attractive, well-connected and docile – attractive enough to come across on television, well-connected enough to bring in the kind of money needed to buy television time and docile enough to tailor words, and even ideas, to a consultant’s instructions’ (The New York Times, 1984). Suskind also argues that consultants limit the way the press can cover their candidate and thus manipulate the coverage to a certain extent.

Both in commercials and in the role of the consultant, TV is a central channel of communication because it is an ideal arena to present an image or political persona, rather than an ideology. Consequently, the politician himself can become more important than his politics. The image of the politician presented through the media can generate economic support, which in turn generates more press, with an electoral win as the ultimate outcome. In this way, the media is crucial to the economy of politics.

Diana C. Mutz argues that in addition to the impact of political advertisement, the sheer volume of information generated by the ever-expanding media machine can influence elections by increasing the risk of so-called “biased assimilation of information,” meaning that people end up choosing only news sources that reinforce their own preexisting political opinions (2006). Thus voters are not exposed to enough diversity in information to allow them a fully educated choice in who to vote for. Muntz’s argument suggests that the media was therefore more of an objective intermediary when it was a less influential one as it paradoxically accommodated the full picture better.

The pendulum of influence swings both ways however, and the issues the media chooses to focus on outside election time can shape the agenda and electoral platforms the candidates will run on during the political contest. According to research, the media focuses more on the elections themselves as a horserace and concern themselves less with political issues (Ridout and Smith, 2008).

What the news outlets report in the years between the political contests however, can hugely influence what the voters will deem important when deciding on their candidate. In the 1972 presidential election, McGovern ran on a platform of withdrawal from Vietnam, a huge issue devoted a lot of news coverage over several years. Obama’s 2008 campaign suggested more government involvement in the country’s welfare in the middle of a global economic crisis that saw a decline in capitalist ideology in the US. When Bloomberg was elected Mayor of New York in 2001, one of the key themes of his campaign was that with a city reeling economically after 9/11, it needed a mayor with business experience. Because big news is generally also big issues to the public at large, how much of the press is devoted to these stories can decide how much the public cares, and in turn how much the politicians should care.

Conclusion:

The perception of the media as an observer of the political world is still relevant to some extent, but the role of influencer and arbiter between the public and the politician has superseded it. Not only does the media provide an outlet for politicians to filter their agenda through, but the press can also contribute to shaping those agendas though selective news coverage.

Though political consultants are becoming increasingly important in controlling the media, the explosion of social media heralds a shift in the public consciousness. With more access to political figures and more bloggers outside the news institution opining about political candidates, the role of the media seems destined to change again, and according to Comscore the change is already upon us in the 2012 elections (Comscore Inc, 2012).

Reference List:

Cater, D., 1959. The Fourth Branch of Government. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Comscore Inc., 2012. The Digital Politico: 5 Ways Digital Media is Shaping the 2012 Presidential Elections. April 30 2012

Cook, T.E, 1998. Governing with the News: The News Media as a Political Institution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Federal Election Commission Press Office, 3 Feb, 2005. 2004 Presidential Campaign Financial Activity Summarized [online] Available at: http://www.fec.gov/press/press2005/20050203pressum/20050203pressum.html [Accessed on 20 August, 2012].

Gordon, B.R. and Hartmann, W.R., 2012. Advertising Effects in Presidential Elections. [PDF online] Available at: www.columbia.edu/~brg2114/files/AdEffects.pdf [Accessed on 20 August, 2012]

Healy, P., 2007. Iowa Saturated by Political Ads In 11th-Hour Bid for Undecided. The New York Times, 28 Dec. pp. A1, A21.

Muntz, D.C., 2006. How the Mass Media Divide Us. In: P.S. Nivola and D.W. Brady, eds. 2006. Red and Blue NationCharacteristics and Causes of America’s Polarized Politics. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press. pp.223-248.

Ridout, T.N. and Smith, G.R., 2008. Free Advertising: How the Media Amplify Campaign Messages. Political Research Quarterly [e-journal] Volume 61 (4),

pp.598-608. Available through: JStor [Accessed 20 August 2012]

Scheinkman, A., Mclean, A. and Weitberg, S., 2012. The Ad Wars. The New York Times Online [online] 23 May. Available at: http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/advertising/index.html

[Accessed 20 August 2012].

Suskind, R., 1984. The Power of Political Consultants. The New York Times, 12 Aug. p.SM32

Weaver Jr., W., 1972. Ohio Vote Will Test Value of Media Campaign. The New York Times, 2 May. p.30.

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What were the key drivers for equal opportunities for men and women during the 20th Century?

Abstract

At the beginning of the 20th century women in Britain were in an inferior position to men in virtually all walks of life.
The actions of individuals had a major impact on the development of equal opportunities for women.
The two world wars gave many women their first experience of ‘men’s work’.
The new ideas which developed during the sixties and seventies paved the way for our current conception of what equality of opportunity means.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the concept of equality of opportunity was virtually an alien notion in Britainand most of the rest of the world. Women, Gypsies, the elderly, Roman Catholics, those with disabilities and homosexuals, among others, all suffered from discrimination in different ways and to various degrees. The primary focus of this essay will be the drivers which have brought about the social, political and economic emancipation of women and the degree to which these goals have been achieved. These drivers can be identified as, firstly, those experiencing inequality, such as the Suffragettes and second stage feminists, with support, organising and challenging the status quo. Secondly, it is necessary to take into account the impact of the first and second world wars, the two most significant events of the century in terms of social, political and economic upheaval. The third driver has been cultural change from the 1960s onwards, with a focus on higher standards of living and more relaxed social and sexual attitudes. Lastly, it will be crucial to take into account the legal framework put in place by government to promote equality.

In 1900 British women could best be described as second class citizens, since they were politically unenfranchised and although the industrial revolution had brought ever increasing numbers of women into the workplace, they were not entitled to the same rights and privileges as working males.[1] In addition, regardless of work outside it, they were expected to care for their families and maintain the home. The prevailing Victorian attitude to women was well summed up by the poet and art historian John Ruskin (1864). ‘ Her intellect is not for invention or creation, but for sweet ordering, arrangement and decision.’

The earliest change came in the area of political power. Female suffrage in Britaincan be seen as both a part of a wider movement in the Western world and a product of the campaigning National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies and the more militant Women’s Social and Political Union, founded by Emmaline Pankhurst in 1903.[2] The early achievement of the suffrage movement’s goals elsewhere in the west undoubtedly encouraged it’s supporters in Britain, and close links were established between Pankhurst’s group and the American movement.[3] Between 1905 and 1914 the WSPU embarked on an increasingly violent campaign of civil disobedience which culminated in one of its members, Emily Davison, being trampled to death by a horse owned by King George V at Epsom races. After compromises were agreed with Lloyd George’s coalition government, the majority of the women’s suffrage movement agreed to work towards the war effort. (Cawood & Mackinnon-Bell, p.71) Whether the Representation of the People Act of 1918 can be seen as a form of reward or a means of enfranchising enough women to replace those men killed in the war without giving them a majority, is debatable. (MacCalman, pp.36-47 & Marwick pp.112-120). However, limited suffrage was achieved in 1918, followed in 1928 by the vote for all women over the age of 21, thereby achieving equality with men.

Between 1914 and 1918 an estimated two million women were employed in industries such as dockyards, munitions and transport, previously the sole preserve of men. Wages were higher than in employment such as domestic service but still lower than that of their male counterparts. In addition, many women found employment inFranceandBelgiumas nurses, ambulance drivers and in auxiliary roles in the newly-formed WRNS and WAAC. However, the claim made by the NUWSS president, Millicent Fawcett, that ‘The war revolutionised the industrial position of women – it found them serfs and left them free’, seems exaggerated. More accurate is the assessment made in 1919 by Beatrice Webb, that women’s economic and sexual status had not changed. ( Webb, p.334) At the end of the conflict, the numbers of women employed in the ‘war industries’ declined rapidly as returning servicemen replaced them. In a situation in which unemployment and labour unrest were rife, the backlash against the continued employment of married women in particular and promotion of their domestic role, was perhaps understandable.

During the second world war, under pressure from a small group of the 15 female MPs, the cabinet introduced the 1941 National Service Act, which recruited single women aged 20 to 30 as auxiliaries in the Armed Forces, Civil Defence or war industry. From 1939 to 1943 there was an increase in the percentage of women in the total workforce from 25.8% to 32.5%. (Summerfield) However, equal pay was not achieved. In 1945, demobilisation of women was not as sudden as in 1918 and in some industries where post-war demand was high, such as shipbuilding, many women remained in work. In addition, a late 1940s drive by the Labour government to expand the female workforce, led to many more women being employed as nurses, teachers and clerical workers, as well as in factories.(Summerfield)

During the 1950s, women made strides towards pay equality in teaching (1952) and the civil service (1954), due largely to pressure from female MPs such as Edith Summerskill and non-party pressure groups. (Pugh, pp. 144–62). The focus of second wave feminism, a term used to describe a movement which began in the U.S.in the 1960s and had strong support in Britainand Europe, was equal opportunities in employment and education as well as legal, social and reproductive rights. Against the background of greater prosperity, new ideas, art and music, together with the social and sexual change which characterized the sixties, feminist thinkers and writers, such as Simone de Beauvoir, Germaine Greer, Marilyn French and Betty Frieden, created a level of debate in British society and media. The Equal Pay Act (1970) and subsequent Sex Discrimination Act (1975), the underpinnings of British equalities legislation, prohibited the unequal treatment of men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment. The latter act also covers discrimination in training and education and the issue of harassment. [4]

As a result of a century of action by individuals, governments and the influence of monumental events such as two world wars and the cultural upheaval of the 1960s, Britainis undoubtedly a much more equal place at the end of the twentieth century than at the beginning. Margaret Thatcher remains the sole British female Prime Minister. There are currently 144 women out of 649 MPs at Westminsterand four out of twenty four cabinet members are women. (www.parliament.co.uk). In terms of business, in 2009 29% of the self-employed were women and 15% of the 4.8 million businesses in the UK were majority owned by women. (GROWE). In terms of elite sport, the success of team GB’s women in the London Olympic and Paralympic Games (82 out of 185 medals won) masks the lack of media coverage for women’s sport outside the Olympics and Grand Slam tennis events.[5] In terms of music and the arts, women such as J.K. Rowling, Tracy Emin and Adele are top earners in their respective fields. Thus it can be seen that, although women have made important advances towards equality in terms of political and economic power and their position in society, there are still significant battles to be won.

References

Harrison, J. (1991, Late VictorianBritain1875-1901 London

Cawood, I. & McKinnon-Bell, D. The First World War. Routledge (2001)

GROWE Greater Return on Women’sEnterprise. Women’s Enterprise Task Force (2009)

McCalman, J. Labour History No. 21 (Nov., 1971)

Maroula. J & Purvis, J. The women’s suffrage movement: new feminist perspectives.ManchesterUniversity Press, 1998).

Marwick, A. The DelugeLondon(1965)

Pugh, M.. “Domesticity and the Decline of Feminism 1930–1950.” In British Feminism in the Twentieth Century, ed. Harold L. Smith. (1990)

Report of the War Cabinet on Women in Industry, 1919

Ruskin, J. Lecture was given December 14, 1864, at the Town Hall,Manchester

Summerfield, P. Women Workers in the Second World War. Production and Patriarchy in Conflict (1984)

Women in Sport: The State of Play 2006; UK Sport,2006, p.24)

[1]Harrison (pp 157-183) states that in the 1901 census, 29.15 of women listed an occupation, generally badly paid. He lists the most common occupations for working class women as textile mill worker and domestic service whilst those from lower middle class backgrounds generally became teachers, nurses or clerks.

[2] Between 1893 and 1928, universal female suffrage was achieved inNew Zealand,Australia,Finland,Norway,Russia,Denmark,Canada,Germany,Holland,Sweden,U.S.A. and theUK.

[3] Pankhurst herself spoke at a rally in Conneticut in 1913.( Joannou and Purvis, p.157)

[4] The Act also created the Equal opportunities Commission, later the Equality and Human Rights Commission, to oversee its operation and bring prosecutions where appropriate.

[5] On average approximately 5% of all sports covers women’s sports.(Women in Sport: The State of Play 2006; UK Sport,2006, p.24)

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Sociology Dissertation Topics

1.0 Introduction
A number of issues that fall within the category of social science form the foundation of an in-depth and extensive research on any sociology topic. This article provides suggestions into a number of sociology dissertation topics covering ten areas of study under social science.

Contrary to other dissertation topics on our site Journal, we have presented these as suggestions for a topic you could use. That way you could frame the exact topic how you’d like based on the suggestions presented.

2.0 Categories and subsequent list of dissertation titles
2.1 Sociology of religion

2.1.1. Different genders have dissimilar relations on sexual and gender issues. Analyze the relation flanked by sexual issues and gender based on different religions

2.1.2. Cross religious beliefs in the world vary according to the customs and practices of a country. Provide an assessment into the cross religious values and beliefs with reference to the United Kingdom

2.1.3. Religion and educations are closely linked in modern studies of social science. Investigate the connection between education and religion emphasizing on the two aspects as a social institute

2.1.4. Advancement in technology and increased freedom of the media has created different perceptions on religion. Discuss the role of electronic and print media in the United Kingdom in creating different perceptions concerning different religions

2.1.5. Social change has taken over the world. Discuss this statement with reference to the link between social change and religion

2.1.6. Inter-faith accords are necessary for peaceful coexistence of different religions. With reference to the UK, explore grounds on which of reaching common religious grounds through inter-faith connections

2.1.7 The society’s social structure is rapidly changing in the modern world. Critically analyze the role of religious institutions in the UK and their effect on the social structure of the community

2.1.8 Discuss ways in which social interactions among people with dissimilar religious beliefs have orchestrated religious diffusion

2.1.9 Discuss the significance of religion and its impact on marriages in the modern world

2.1.10 Politics has a close relation with religion. Explore possible ways in which political behavior may be connected to religion with reference to the UK.

2.2. Sociology and education

2.2.1 Social exclusion of young people in schools has changed the structure of the education system. With reference to UK public school, analyze the education structure based on socially excluded people

2.2.2 Discuss the impact of sociological policies on education history after World War II with relevance to the UK

2.2.3 Explore the connection between academic performance and teacher’s motivation level with reference to public schools

2.2.4 Discuss the impact of social assistance and guidance in primary and secondary schools in the UK

2.2.5 Explore the effect of the school background on children’s acuity toward the larger society

2.2.6 With reference to UK’s scholarship policies on higher education, explore the effect of such policies on social stratification on the society

2.2.7 Compare and contrast sociological and economic outcomes of UK’s education curriculum on students

2.2.8 Analyze the educational environment by public UK public schools toward establishing inter-faith affiliations among students

2.2.9 With reference to Marx’s Conflict Theory on education, examine the UK public system and the sociology concept pin the conflict theory

2.2.10 Explore possible avenues through which the UK public school system can reduce the gap in education for marginalized groups

2.3. Cultural sociology

2.3.1 To what extent do foreign cultures brought in by immigrants affect the indigenous values and practices in the UK?

2.3.2 Provide a critical analysis into the aspect if cultural lags in the modern society with reference to the UK

2.3.3 Foreigners can have cultural upsets to places they are unfamiliar. Explore the types and scope of cultural distress that an alien from Asia of Africa may encounter in the UK

2.3.4 Social interactions among cultures are necessary for peaceful co-existence. Discuss the positive and negative facets of social interaction among sub-cultures in the UK

2.3.5 To what extent do you agree that Marx’s Conflict theory applies to societies in the UK?

2.3.6 Provide a critical analysis of the different subcultures existing in the UK. Limit your scope geographically

2.3.7 Examine the historical changes of UK’s popular culture today and 100 years ago

2.3.8 Analyze Marx Webbers rationalism theory and explain its relation to the social structure of the UK society

2.3.9 Critically analyze the changing trends in societal norms in the UK, making comparison UK’s culture decades ago

2.3.10 Examine the shifting fundamentals of counterculture with reference to the UK society

2.4. Comparative Sociology

2.4.1 Compare Japan’s culture as a capitalist state with the UK as a welfare state

2.4.2 Critically analyze the aspects of social inequality drawing comparisons on Communism vs. Capitalism

2.4.3 Examine the facets of determining the social development of an individual under the democratic and totalitarian systems

2.4.4 Compare and contrast the responsibility and impact of religion in shaping social aspects of the Arab and American societies

2.4.5 America and Britain have different education systems. Compare the two systems and their roles in shaping societal norms

2.4.6 Family is the basic unit of any society. Provide a comparative analysis of the family structure in the Arab and British societies

2.4.7 Compare marriage as an institution in the American and Indian societies

2.4.8 Immigration in the UK has diffused its culture. Explain whether the UK has maintained its providing a comparative analysis of various cultures in the modern British society.

2.4.9 Compare the practices and trends in labor markets in Asia and the UK

2.4.10 Focusing your research on Africa and America compare gender issues affecting these two societies and their impact.

2.5. Political Sociology

2.5.1 Examine the trends and dimensions of gender voting in the American and British political systems

2.5.2 Explore the impacts of increased globalization on the political landscape and state politics in the UK

2.5.3 Social issues mainly drive power politics in the America society. Discuss the extent to which this statement is true

2.5.4 Examine the power and influence of minority interests in mainstream UK power politics

2.5.5 Discuss the extent to which British power politics conform to Marx’s views on social class.

2.5.6 Discuss the effects of political power struggles among the society’s elite groups on the social welfare of the people

2.5.7 Critically analyze UK’s state welfare structure and its impact on social aspects and trends

2.5.8 Discuss the extent to which democracy can apply in a capitalist state society

2.5.9 Examine the link between religion and politics as the leading social institutions of the world today

2.5.10 Compare the balanced-legal and charismatic models of leadership in the UK and assess their suitability to the contemporary society

2.6. Economic Sociology

2.6.1 Evaluate capitalism and communism economic models and their effects on the social pecking order

2.6.2 Conduct an analysis into the sociological magnitudes and proportions of consumer spending in the UK

2.6.3 To what extent does the UK economy relate to Marx’s criticism of capitalism?

2.6.4 Explain the social transforms experienced in the UK during economic transition from the Agrarian revolution to the modern informational upheaval

2.6.5 Discuss the extent to which the informal economy can engender internal socio-economic growth in the UK

2.6.6 Provide a critical analysis explaining whether the communist economic model can suit the current UK society

2.6.7 Discuss the social effects of augmented worldwide labor immigration on UK’s society

2.6.8 Examine the effect of the professional (white collar) and manual (blue-collar) jobs on the social divide in the modern British societies

2.6.9 Discuss the family relationships of a contemporary UK household focusing on the intra family relationships and their effect on the society

2.6.10 Explore the negative effects of the recent global financial crisis on the UK economy and its impact on the social stratification of the labor markets.

2.7. Industrial Sociology

2.7.1 Social communication is an essential organizational aspect. Discus the social scope of basic communication within a corporation

2.7.2 Provide a detailed analysis of the social organization of an archetypal extensive corporation in the UK

2.7.3 Creating a balance between management and social requirements is necessary in any organization. Examine ways that managers can create this balance and argue whether the relationship should be based on organizational objectives or social requirements

2.7.4 Explore the connection between employee performance based on productivity and motivation

2.7.5 Trade unions play a critical role in the social well-being of workers. Discuss the shifting trends in the role of trade unions as champions of social well being of UK workers

2.7.6 Technology has necessitated automation of everything including workers. Discuss the effects of automation on the social well being of employees by UK organizations

2.7.7 Discuss the connection between culturally sensitive organizational policies and employee satisfaction and performance

2.7.8 Explore the possible ways through which organizations can handle cultural multiplicity and develop cultural synchronization

2.7.9 Explore the fundamental facets of modern UK industrial societies

2.7.10 Discuss the role of corporate social responsibility in influencing societal values and practices

2.8. Sociology of Criminology

2.8.1 Examine the historical background of social reasons behind the increased street gangs in the UK

2.8.2 Describe the aspect of increased alcohol consumption as a major social reason for augmenting crime in the UK streets

2.8.3 Discuss the social alternatives toward crime prevention arguing whether corporal punishment is the sole option for preventing crime

2.8.4 Criminal activities involving knives have been on the increase. Explain the social reasons behind augmenting knife felony in the UK society

2.8.5 Criminal agencies have been reported to abuse crime reporters. Explore whether there are any indications of cruelty in crime coverage or reporting

2.8.6 Provide an analysis examining whether there is a link between ethnical and gender magnitudes to criminal activities in the UK

2.8.7 Criminal statistics in the UK have been questioned and termed as not reflecting the status quo. Comment on the statistical collection methods of crime and the effect of untrue data on society

2.8.8 Deviance has taken a wider scope in the UK. Discuss the major scope of deviance in the modern UK society

2.8.9 Provide a critical analysis into the British government’s crime prevention and control policies

2.8.10 Explore the scope of Durkheim’s ideology on Anomie and whether the proposal is the major reason for augmenting criminal activities among the youth in the UK

2.9. Marriage and Family Sociology

2.9.1 Discuss the historical perspective of the family as basic societal unit, its structure and size in relation to the UK family

2.9.2 Explore the diversified sub-cultural marriages among various cultures in the UK

2.9.3 Discuss the shifting trends of women empowerment and fertility rates within the scope of marriage with reference to the UK

2.9.4 Explain the significance of child-parent relationships and its effect on family dynamics in modern UK societies

2.9.5 Discuss the impact of familial brutality on the functions and image of the family

2.9.6 Domestic aggressions have increased in recent years. Explain the social issues behind domestic aggression with reference to the UK

2.9.7 Explain the major reason for increasing divorce rates in America and the UK focusing on the social causes

2.9.8 Compare the family relations depicted by a nuclear and extended family focusing on their advantages and disadvantages

2.9.9 Analyze the effect of varying and periodical shifts in social trends on the basic structure of a UK family

2.9.10 Analyze the temperament and scope of UK’s residential trends and patterns and their effects on the societal values and practices

2.10. Gender Sociology

2.10. 1 Examine the changing gender roles, specifically women emancipation and autonomy on the role of women in the society

2.10.2 Media has a pivotal role in shaping gender roles. Discuss the media’s role in determining gender roles in modern societies

2.10.3 Examine the impact of increased participation of women in politics and its effects on their roles in society

2.10.4 Does religion have any role to play in influencing or shaping gender roleDiscuss the validity of this statement with reference to UK political system

2.10.5 Shifting trends in developing countries have equipped women with more bargaining power in the family. Discuss the extent of female bargaining power on the changing roles of women in society

2.10.6 Explore the possible social aspects that determine and influence societal gender relations

2.10.7 Discuss the historical reason behind the exclusion of women from education with reference to their roles

2.10.8 Contrast the roles and functions of the traditional woman with the increased autonomy and freedom of the modern woman focusing on gender equality in modern societies

2.10.9 Examine gender policies in workplaces and discuss the role of such policies in shaping gender quality and eliminating gender discrimination

2.10.10 Discuss the reasons and causes of increased gender discrimination against women in developing countries with specific attention to African countries

3.0 How to structure a sociology dissertation
Title page
Dedication
Acknowledgement
Abstract: This includes a precis of the entire dissertation
Table of contents
Introduction: This section introduces the research study and recaps the scope of the study. This section also recaps the objectives and aims of the study, problem statement and the methodology.
Literature review: This section covers an extensive research on previously published and unpublished information pertaining to the study topic. The rationale for including this section is to delve into the weaknesses and strengths of existing research and develop a framework for literature for the study topic. It must include exploratory model on relevant theoretical frameworks and conclude with the research questions that will be answered by the research
Methodology: This section outlines how the study was conducted with subtitles explaining strategies used, philosophical considerations, collection of data and analysis. The sections must also highlight the data reliability and validity, limitations of the research, as well as the ethical concerns.
Results: This section covers the results of the research stressing on raw data collected rather than elucidations and inferences.
Discussion: This section includes detailed discussions of the results drawing inferences from the literature review. The discussion must elucidate each study question while discussing whether the evidence presented support the research hypothesis
Conclusion: This section concludes the research based on discussed material. It may include any shortcomings of existing research and recommendations for future research.
References: Includes a list of material used in the research and must follow the format stated
Appendices: Includes interview scripts, questionnaires, research budget, work plan and any statistical outputs.

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Free Essays

Was the Labour party’s foreign policy under Tony Blair a success?

Abstract

Tony Blair’s foreign policy can be divided into two phases, the first broadly successful and the second a failure. The Labour government’sNorthern Irelandpeace settlement and the formation of Blair’s ‘humanitarian interventionist’ doctrine in Kosovo andSierra Leone, can be regarded as successful. A far less successful five years followed from 2002 as a result of the support provided for George Bush’s invasion ofIraqand for the whole ‘war on terror’ agenda. The early successes were overshadowed by the political costs associated with an unpopular war.

Introduction

The Labour Party’s foreign policy during the years of the Blair governments can be judged in a variety of ways, including the verdict of the media and the response of voters. Rather than seek an objective test, this essay will follow the line of Buller (2008) that political success is defined as the achievement of one’s own goals through politics. Labour trumpeted an ethical foreign policy in its early years, as elucidated by Foreign Secretary Robin Cook (1997). Security, promotion of trade and protection of the environment were the other three principles of the policy. I will show how this early vision, although difficult to fulfil within the constraints imposed by international power politics and economic self-interest, did achieve some successes. It will then show how this framework evolved into Tony Blair’s doctrine of ‘intervention’ as defined by Blair at the Chicago Economic Club (Blair, 1999).

Body

The ethical foreign policy was an attempt to bring New Labour’sThird Waydoctrine, evolved primarily for domestic policy, to the international arena (Wheeler and Dunne, 1998). A ‘Third Way’ foreign policy would break with both traditional realism and its opposite doctrine, idealism, by promoting human rights while at the same time recognizing that ‘terrible moral choices have sometimes to be made’ in international affairs (Hedley Ball 1983). Wheeler and Dunne (1998) raised the possibility that the pursuit of human rights could lead to action outside the accepted channels of deploying military force only with sanction of the UN security council. This issue would become paramount in the run-up to the war withIraqand lead to Cook’s resignation from the government.

Early successes of this doctrine had the effect of reinforcing Blair’s conviction that he, rather than Foreign Office advisors or other members of the government, knew the right course (Daddow, 2009). Blair led the charge of NATO to take military action againstYugoslaviato prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo. The success of this policy can be judged by the relative peace and security now seen in Kosovo and the Balkans. Blair later explained how he saw modern wars as being fought on television as much as on the ground (PBS, 2000). Blair was a successful propagandist and, as seen later in the run-up to theIraqwar, he became the public face of the new wars of intervention.

In Blair’s first term, the government could justifiably claim a historic success in theNorthern Irelandpeace process, which was concluded with the Good Friday agreement of 1998. The peace deal was achieved with the support ofDublinandWashington, as well as the republican and loyalist parties to the conflict in Northern Ireland (BBC).

In Europe, Labour broke with Conservative Euro-scepticism and sought greater influence forBritainwithin the EU. Bulmer (2008) describes the schizophrenia of what he calls Labour’s utilitarian supranationalism which was exposed in the two manifesto pledges on European policy: to hold a referendum on participation in the single currency; and to lead reform in the EU (Labour Party, 1997). At the Lisbon Summit in 2000 theUKhad considerable influence on the treaty document which set out to transformEuropeinto ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010’ (European Council, 2000). TheUK’s voting weight in the Council of Europe was also increased to 29. Chancellor Gordon Brown’s five economic tests forBritain’s participation in the single currency dominated Labour’s relations withEuropeduring the second Blair government (2001–5). However, theIraqwar caused a split betweenBritainand its key European allies, France andGermany, and made it much more difficult forBritainto maintain constructive relations with EU partners. Brown’s grip on the euro policy also pushed Blair further toward interventionist policies overseas where he had full control over policy.

Rasmussen (2003) describes Blair using a hegemonic western metanarrative about

security and peace-building and warning against letting dictators go unchallenged. While it can be argued that this idea worked successfully in the Kosovo intervention and when Blair sent British forces to fight rebels inSierra Leone, it was less successful inAfghanistan, and disastrous inIraq. InAfghanistanthere was broad international support for the war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Such a consensus was absent for the invasion ofIraq. The war aim was the removal of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. When the invading forces failed to find these, the occupation’s raison d’etre was changed to one of lifting the tyranny of the regime and bringing democracy toIraq. Plant (2008) argues that Blair misjudged the motivations of hisUScounterpart, seeing a liberal ally where there was really an economic realist concerned with national interest.

Blair set out five tests of intervention in his Chicago speech (1999): are we sure of our case, has diplomacy been exhausted, are we in for the long term, are national interests involved, can military operations be sensibly and prudently undertaken. One can argue that these tests were not met inIraq. Blair not only faced mass public opposition to the war, he also began to lose support within his own party. This culminated in a revolt over the government’s support forIsrael’sLebanoninvasion of 2006. It was following this crisis that Blair was compelled to commit to stand down as Prime Minister, making way for Gordon Brown.

Conclusion

After 9/11, Blair’s confidence in his own Biblical vision of intervention of good against evil (Seldon, 2005) led to an unshakeable alliance with George W Bush. This would tie the Labour government into support for a divisive and increasingly unpopular foreign policy. By associating so closely with aUSPresident widely seen as pursuing narrow party and economic interests against world public opinion, Blair’s foreign policy became a poison chalice for the Labour government that ultimately sealed his own fate as Prime Minister and overshadowed earlier foreign policy successes.

REFERENCES

BBC News (1998) On This Day, 10/04/98 http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/april/10/newsid_2450000/2450823.stm

Blair, A. (1999) ‘Doctrine of The International Community’, Speech to theChicago Economic Club, Chicago.

Tony Blair (2000) War in Europe, Frontline Interviews, PBS.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/kosovo/interviews/blair.html

Bull, H. (1983) ‘Justice in International Relations’, Hagey Lectures,University of Waterloo,Ontario.

Buller, J. (2008) ‘New Labour and the European Union’ in Beech, M. And Lee, S. Ten Years of New Labour. (Palgrave Macmillan,UK)

Bulmer, S. (2008) ‘New Labour, New European PolicyBlair, Brown and Utilitarian Supranationalism’ Oxford Journals, Parliamentary Affairs.

Robin Cook Speech on Ethical Foreign Policy, The Guardian, 12/05/97

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/1997/may/12/indonesia.ethicalforeignpolicy

Daddow, O. (2009) ‘Tony’s war’Blair, Kosovo and the interventionist impulse in British foreign policy’, International Affairs.

European Parliament (2000) ‘LisbonEuropean Council Presidency Conclusions’, 23-24 March 2000

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/summits/lis1_en.htm

Labour Party (1997) ‘New Labour: Because Britain Deserves Better’ (Labour Party,London)

Malmvig, H. (2006) State Sovereignty and Intervention: A Discourse Analysis of Interventionary and Non-Interventionary Practices in Kosovo andAlgeria. (Routledge,UK)

Rasmussen, M. V. (2003) ‘The history of a lesson: Versailles, Munichand the social construction of the past’, Review of International Studies.

Seldon. A. (2005) ‘Blair’ (Free Press, NY)

Walmer, N. and Dunne, T. (1998) ‘Good International Citizenship: A Third Wayfor British Foreign Policy’, International Affairs

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Free Essays

Law Dissertation Guide on Provocation as a Defence to Murder.

The following article is a dissertation guide produced for a our site client. The Working Title is: “The problems with provocation as a defence to murder: Has the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 provided the solution for those who suffer from domestic violence and battered women’s syndrome?

Part 1 My understanding of the topic

The problems with provocation have been well documented in recent years owing to the law commission’s two reports and consultation[1] which have ultimately led to the 2009 Act referred to above. Provocation is a partial defence to murder which reduces such a charge to voluntary manslaughter[2]. The old Homicide Act of 1957 utilised a two-part test: firstly was the defendant provoked into having a sudden and temporary loss of self-controlSecondly, would a reasonable person have been provoked to react in this wayThe first part was subjective and the second part was objective but there were myriad problems with the old Homicide Act which we must analyse and assess the 2009 Act: the “cooling-off” period introduced in 1949[3] which attempted to mitigate against calculated revenge discriminates against women who are not so prone to violent outbursts[4], the defence had no moral foundation where someone who was motivated out of compassion would not have the benefit of the defence whereas someone who had lost their temper suddenly was[5], the culture of blaming the victim for their own murder was insensitive[6], the definition of what was capable of provoking a defendant to kill was open-ended and was even stretched to a 17-day old baby crying[7] and finally the very divisive schism between the House of Lords[8] and the Privy Council[9] led to confusion on the objective standard: is it proper for the jury to weigh the provocation against a reasonable person who shares the characteristics of the accused?

The Law Commission recognised three specific problems:“In the first report, the three main problems with the existing law were identified as being that: provocation had become too loose so that a judge may be obliged to leave the issue to the jury where the conduct or words relied upon are trivial; the concept of loss of self-control had proved to be troublesome, giving rise to serious problems, to complaints of gender bias, and of the law having to be stretched in the “slow burn” type cases; and the objective, reasonable person test under the 1957 Act had become too subjectivised in the interpretation given to it in Morgan Smith, enabling a D to rely on “personal idiosyncrasies which make him or her more short tempered than other people”.”[10]

There was clearly a need for reform: of that there is no doubt. But is the Coroners Act 2009 and the new defence of “loss of self control” under s.56 the solutionNorrie points out that the three problems identified by the Law Commission have been addressed in the new law with the problem now the exclusive preserve of the judge[11], removal of the requirement of a “sudden” loss of control albeit qualified by a caveat to prevent revenge killing and upholding the Privy Council decision in Holley by in drawing a distinction between “control characteristics”[12] and “response characteristics”[13]. But these welcome changes mask some persistent problems such as only age and sex being retained as general characteristics: Norrie rightfully asks what of the immature adult?

The New Act just whitewashes this part however and considered that any such questions would undermine the objective test[14]. There is also the question of sexual infidelity which has been expressly disregarded[15]. The test of the reasonable person is now very restrictive, as it follows the Privy Council’s decision in denying factors such as alcoholism, which are extraneous to the object of the provocation, and will deny many the benefit of the defence where they might rightfully expect its protection:“Anything else that affects the defendant’s general propensity to be provoked, apart from age and sex, is ignored. Thus if a person suffers from alcoholism, this is irrelevant to the loss of self-control unless a taunt was levelled at the fact that the defendant was an alcoholic. If there is not that link, then the defendant must look to the defence of diminished responsibility, even though the characteristic in fact caused them to lose their self-control and to be provoked. This is a significantly narrower test, but an irrational one because it does not address the nub of the problem under the old law.”[16]

Norrie argues that the real stumbling block of the new legislation is the lack of moral progress in that there is no moral assessment of the provocatory conduct. Miles agrees and also points out that many who previously enjoyed the test will not now be able to be protected by it and specifically questions whether women with “battered wives” syndrome will be able to avail themselves of it despite concessions made towards fear as a motivation[17]. Now the Act has came into force and has been operational for 9 months[18]. As yet there are no cases which have made use of it but there have been a few cases which have commented upon it most notably R v Evans[19]which I propose to look at as extensive commentary is made upon the application of the new act which quite simply would have produced a different result.From my preliminary research my hypothesis will be that the new Act is a welcome step in the right direction but that much more work is needed if the proposals of the law commission are to be fully implemented and brought into line with international standards. To this end I propose examining the legal systems of Canada, Germany and America (which are composed of different legal systems with different traditions) to analyse our new law and see where it stands in comparison. I would also seek to address problems such as erotomania, honour killings and other problems such as provocation for a racist. From all the above research I would propose this structure as a first draft:

Part 2 The proposed structure of the dissertation

Introduction3

Chapter 1: Background, overview and hypothesis8

The defence of provocation and the Homicide Act 19578
The rupture between the Privy Council and the House of Lords 12
The Law Commission’s involvement in 2004,2006 and 200814
The Coroner’s and Justice Act 2009 15
Theories of provocation: justificatory and excusatory 16
Hypothesis 16

Chapter 2: The abolition of provocation16

Loss of self-control: The offence under the 2009 Act16
Case law involving the new test: R v Evans 18
Case law which has shaped the defence and the legislation 21

Chapter 3: Problems inherent in the new offence 27

The problems with objectivity 27
The omission of sympathetic psychological conditions 28
Discriminating against womenBattered Wives syndrome29
A narrower defence30

Chapter 4: The approach in other jurisdictions30

Germany30
Canada32
America 33

Chapter 5: The future of the defence 35

A case for further reform32
The case to keep the 2009 Act’s reforms34

Chapter 6: Recommendations 38

Reforming the reasonable man38
Psychological conditions: the balance to be struck 39
C. Should the defence be opened up again 39
D. Age and maturity40
E. Sexual infidelity re-established40

Conclusion 41

Bibliography 42

Part 3 Other comments

As I have mentioned above the subject is very challenging and interesting and merits a dissertation. The fact that there are no cases so far should allow me to propose some hypothetical examples of cases based on a century of old case law. In terms of research I could look at cases over a ten year period (say leading up to the enactment of the 2009 Act) to look at the success or otherwise of the provocation defence: ie was it truly too expansiveWere women, the victims of domestic violence, really too easily using the defenceFurthermore the latest statistics on domestic violence (2010) have tended to show that men are increasingly becoming the victims of domestic abuse: what are the implications of this?

[1] Law Commission, Partial Defences to Murder (2004), Law Com. No.290; Law Commission, Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide (2006), Law Com. No.304; Ministry of Justice, Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide: Proposals for Reform of the Law (2008), Consultation Paper CP No.19/08.
[2] Elliott, Catherine & Quinn, Frances (2006) Criminal Law Pearson Education: GB p.73
[3] R v Duffy (1949)
[4] As men are according to American research by Walker (1999)
[5] Elliott, Catherine & Quinn, Frances (2006) Criminal Law Pearson Education: GB p.85
[6] Herring, Jonathan (2005 4th ed) Criminal Law Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke p.221
[7] R v Doughty [1986]
[8] R v Smith (Morgan) (2000)
[9] Attorney General for Jersey v Holley (2005)
[10] Norrie, Alan (2010) ‘The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 – partial defences to murder (1) Loss of control’ Criminal Law Review 4, pp275-289
[11] s.54(6) Coroners and Justice Act 2009
[12] Those characteristics which merely have an effect on the defendants’ ability to control themselves and should not be taken into account for the objective test.
[13] These characteristics, such as a boy who is sensitive about his appearance is then taunted about that appearance, are relevant to the test. If, for example, a boy with big ears is teased about his football playing ability then the aspect of the big ears is not relevant as a boy with ordinary ears would be just as provoked to being teased about footballing ability.
[14] Norrie, Alan (2010) ‘The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 – partial defences to murder (1) Loss of control’ Criminal Law Review 4, p 283
[15] S.55(6)(c) of the 2009 Act
[16] ibid p. 283
[17] Miles, Jo (2009) ‘The Coroners and Justice Act 2009: A “Dog’s Breakfast” of Homicide Reform” Archbold News 10 pp6-9
[18] It came into force on October 4th 2010
[19] R. v Evans (John Derek) [2009] EWCA Crim 2243; [2010] Crim. L.R. 491 (CA (Crim Div))

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Free Essays

Main reasons for Drive towards Equality in Men and Women

Abstract

The 20th Century saw great advances in equality politics between men and women, particularly in the Western world. These reforms must have had political triggers, but what were the key drivers towards equal opportunitiesThis essay will argue that reform in Britain was the result of previous political action in the 19th Century, accompanied by the catalyst on extenuating circumstances during World War I and World War II. Precedents will be examined to determine what action preceded suffrage and prove that the war effort served to prove the capabilities and value of women in society.

The 20th Century was a significant turning point in the battle for equality of the sexes across the globe. Every country and nation has moved at it’s own pace in delivering equal opportunities to its citizens, but the 20th Century saw many breakthroughs, particularly in the Western world. This essay shall examine the key drivers and motives behind this equality reform with particular focus on British politics. I will argue that the key drivers towards reform were the building political pressure set in place in the 19th Century and the impact of the First and Second World War on society.

Although major reforms such as women’s suffrage took place in the early 1900’s these political amendments were not a brand new issue. The changes in the 20th Century were preceded by increasing political action throughout the latter half of the 19th Century. Women started to rebel against the double standard inherent in the “separate spheres” ideology which had been enforced for hundreds of years, excluding from public life and confining them to a more domestic existence.[1] However it is a fallacy that women remained completely absent from political life during these years, as middle class women often played supporting roles for their husbands.[2] Towards the end of the 19th Century women such as Josephine Butler, Lydia Becker and Elizabeth Wolstenholme paved the way for reform by breaking with traditional gender roles and becoming politically active in the public sphere.[3] Campaigns such as the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts 1860-1886 and for Married Women’s Property Rights saw great victories for women’s political activism which encouraged women to fight for their civil rights and influenced the suffrage movement.[4]

The women’s suffrage movement that took place in the first two decades of the 20th Century was arguably the most important step towards equality of the sexes. However the campaign launched by women such as Emmeline Pankhurst actually did very little to change the laws. Pankhurst held radical feminist views[5], describing herself in her autobiography as “militant” and her work as a “woman’s revolution.”[6] This militant behaviour did little to win over the favour of the government, but did succeed in keeping the issue of women’s equality in the public eye. It was the more endearing behaviour of women during the World Wars, especially the First World War 1914-1918, that proved the value of women and gained them additional rights and equality.

The First World War disrupted the campaigns of women greatly as supporting the troops took precedent. However new campaigns soon surfaced as women demanded the right to aid in the war effort. A large demonstration was held in Londonin 1915 as women protested for their “right-to-serve” in non-combat industries such as munitions factories.[7] Also in 1915 a certificate was issued to the ‘Women’s Land Army’, stating that any woman who laboured in agriculture during the war is “as truly serving her country as the man who is fighting in the trenches.”[8] Between 1915 and 1918 over one million women became employed in industries helping the war effort.[9] Some women were even brave enough to enter the battlefields as doctors, nurses and surgeons, risking their own lives for their country.[10] Women’s activities during the war not only proved their level of courage and loyalty through national service, but also showed that their abilities greatly outweighed that which had previously been attributed to them. An agriculture report from 1918 testified that women’s ‘shortcomings’ were “the result of want of training rather than that of zeal or capacity.”[11] In recognition of their toBritain women over 30 were given the right to vote in 1918. The law was extended to any woman over the age of 21 in 1928.

By the Second World War women had achieved suffrage and were now in a position to fight for more mundane but significant civil rights, which would not have previously been an option to them. In 1941 women fought against the poor quality of accommodation awarded to them when they were once again employed heavily in the war effort.[12] This demonstrates how far the rights of women had progressed to become equal with that of men: their value and contributions to the nation had become recognised, allowing them the power and right to fight for equality and better standards of living. Women also became skilled labourers due to the training they received in war-time occupation, allowing them to carve a niche for themselves in industry in times of peace and cementing an economic role for women.[13]

The pattern of revolution displayed by Britainthroughout the 20th Century is mirrored in other Western cultures. Canadian women won the vote in 1918 also, and women in the US won the right to vote in 1920. These achievements were also following years of preceding activism on behalf of women, during which time they campaigned for birth control rights[14] and took part in philanthropic movements. Yet it was the contribution of women to the war efforts that lead to the reform of civil rights at the end of the 1910s.

In conclusion the main drivers towards men and women’s equality in Britainin the 20th Century were the extenuating circumstances created by the First and Second World War. Women had begun to prove their worth in the public sphere during the 19th Century by implementing social reform, and they continued to display courage and ability when such qualities were desperately needed during the World Wars. Although other Western cultures were influenced by the war in similar circumstances there are still many countries worldwide in which women are treated as inferior to men.

Bibliography

Primary

Certificate issued to members of the Women’s Land Army, 1915 (PRO ref: MAF 42/8), sourced at ‘http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/britain1906to1918/pdf/complete_g4_cs4.pdf’, access date10/09/2012

Extract from the Report of the Board of Agriculture, October 1918, (PRO ref: MAF 59/2) sourced at ‘http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/britain1906to1918/pdf/complete_g4_cs4.pdf’, access date10/09/2012.

Extracts from the Report of the War Cabinet committee on Women In Industry, published in 1919, (PRO ref: MUN 5/88/342/18), ), sourced at ‘http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/britain1906to1918/pdf/complete_g4_cs4.pdf’, access date10/09/2012

Fawcett, Millicent G., What I Remember (London, 1925)

Hart, R A. (2009). ‘Did British women achieve long?term economic benefits from working in essential WWII industries?’. Stirling Economics Discussion Paper # 4006, sourced from ‘https://dspace.stir.ac.uk/bitstream/1893/797/1/SEDP-2009-05-Hart.pdf.’, access date10/09/12.

Pankhurst, Emmeline, My Own Story, (London, 1914)

The Illustrated London News, July 24, 1915.- 109, sourced at ‘http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/britain1906to1918/pdf/complete_g4_cs4.pdf, access date 10/09/2012

Secondary

Chalus, Elaine, ‘Elite Women, Social Politics, and the Political World of Late Eighteenth-Century England’, The Historical Journal, 43, 3 (2000)

Dawson, Sandra Trudgen, ‘Busy and Bored: The Politics of Work and Leisure for Women Workers in the Second World War British Government Hostels’, Twentieth Century British History, Vol. 21, No. 1 (2010).

Kennedy, David M., Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, (Yale University, 1970).

Purvis, June, Pankhurst: A Biography, (Routledge, 2002)

Roberts, M. J. D., ‘Feminism and the State in Later Victorian England’, The Historical Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Mar., 1995)

Smith, Angela K., Suffrage Discourse in Britain during the First World War, (Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2005).

Vickery, Amanda, ‘Historiographical Review: Golden Age to Separate SpheresA Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women’s History’, The Historical Journal, 36, 2 (1993)

[1] Amanda Vickery, ‘Historiographical Review: Golden Age to Separate SpheresA Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women’s History’, The Historical Journal, 36, 2 (1993), p. 401

[2] Elaine Chalus, ‘Elite Women, Social Politics, and the Political World of Late Eighteenth-Century England’, The Historical Journal, 43, 3 (2000), p. 670

[3] M. J. D. Roberts, ‘Feminism and the State in Later Victorian England’, The Historical Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Mar., 1995), p. 89

[4] Millicent G. Fawcett, What I Remember (London, 1925), p. 118

[5] June Purvis, Pankhurst: A Biography, (Routledge, 2002), p. 7

[6] Emmeline Pankhurst, My Own Story, (London, 1914), introduction

[7] The Illustrated London News, July 24, 1915.- 109, sourced at ‘http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/britain1906to1918/pdf/complete_g4_cs4.pdf, access date 10/09/2012

[8] Certificate issued to members of the Women’s Land Army, 1915 (PRO ref: MAF 42/8), sourced at ‘http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/britain1906to1918/pdf/complete_g4_cs4.pdf’, access date10/09/2012

[9] Extracts from the Report of the War Cabinet committee on Women In Industry, published in 1919, (PRO ref: MUN 5/88/342/18), ), sourced at ‘http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/britain1906to1918/pdf/complete_g4_cs4.pdf’, access date10/09/2012

[10] Angela K. Smith, Suffrage Discourse in Britain during the First World War, (Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2005), p. 78

[11] Extract from the Report of the Board of Agriculture, October 1918, (PRO ref: MAF 59/2) sourced at ‘http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/britain1906to1918/pdf/complete_g4_cs4.pdf’, access date10/09/2012

[12] Sandra Trudgen Dawson, ‘Busy and Bored: The Politics of Work and Leisure for Women Workers in the Second World War British Government Hostels’, Twentieth Century British History, Vol. 21, No. 1 (2010), p. 33

[13] Hart, R A. (2009). ‘Did British women achieve long?term economic benefits from working in essential WWII industries?’. Stirling Economics Discussion Paper # 4006, sourced from ‘https://dspace.stir.ac.uk/bitstream/1893/797/1/SEDP-2009-05-Hart.pdf.’, access date10/09/12.

[14] David M. Kennedy, Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, (Yale University, 1970)

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Dissertation Guide on Proteomic Data Analysis and Migraine Attacks

The following article is a mini dissertation proposal written on the effects and causes of migraine. You may use this in idea generation of a related dissertation on proteomic data analysis and migraine attacks.

Understanding of topic

A migraine is classified as a severe headache lasting 4-72 hours and is accompanied disturbances to the visual senses, which can occur with or without nausea and vomiting. A migraine attack can present in several ways being isolated or recurrent at varying intervals. Migraines are sub classified into two disciplines; migraine accompanied with aura, which exhibits as flashing lights with/without numbness and tingling, and migraine without aura. With the later class, the manifested headache slowly worsens, quite often located unilaterally, migraine without aura can also be accompanied by a nauseas feeling and vomiting [1]. The international headache society (I H S) defines the criteria for migraines, in the “IHS Diagnostic criteria”[2]. Further information is available concerning the subclasses of migraines; a complex system of classification and diagnosis has been outlined [3].

Proteomics is the tool used to identify and measure proteins such as metaloproteins during and outside of migraine attacks through use of ICAT labelling and relative peak area from ion chromatography [4][5][6].

Brief research of topic

[1] Illustrated medical dictionary. Second Edition 2007. British Medical Ass. Edited by Dr Michael Peters.

[2] http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1144656-overview

[3] www.migraine-auro.org.

[4] http://www.thermo.com/eThermo/CMA/PDFs/Articles/articlesFile_18078.pdf

[5] http://molneuro.kaist.ac.kr/pdf/husi_grant.pdf

[6] Ashinal. M, Tvedskov. JF, Lipka. K, Bileli. J, Penkowa. M and Olesen. I. Matrix metalloproteinases during and outside of migraine attacks without aura. Cephalalgia March 2010 vol. 30 no. 3 303-310****VERY IMPORTANT PAPER.

Core objectives which shall be covered:

1)What is a migraine. Definitive term, criteria for migraine, IHS diagnostic criteria (International Headache Soc), Pathophysiology incorporating two main theories (Vascular theory and neurovascular theory)

2)How and when is proteomic data collected, during and outside of the migraine attack (previous studies), using which tools of measurement, time constraints, variables between individuals, consistency of data analysis [5] .How this data has/ can be manipulated and used to enhance understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in past and in the future.

3)Previous studies, alterations to methods and techniques of proteomic analysis.

4)Integrate all this information providing a clear, informative style of writing to compliment data gathered by student. Discuss future directions of proteomic data analysis and migraine attacks.

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Dissertation Guide on Wireless Mobile Communication Technology in Nigeria

The following dissertation guide seeks to investigate how wireless mobile communication technology could be implemented in rural areas of Nigeria, to help assist Public Health concerns.

Background research

The history of Nigeria dates back to 9000 years BCE. Beyond the slavery, postcolonial British rule, instability and civil wars, a democratic rule is now at the centre of Africa’s most populated country [1]. With a population of approximately 140 million peoples and an area almost spanning 1 million kilometres squared, although English is the official national language, regional languages still remain and are spoken across Nigeria.

Languages including Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, reflect the four main groups of which the population of Nigeria are subdivided; inNorth Africa, Hausa and Fulani, in the southwest Yoruba and the Igbo in the southeast [2]. There are 37 federal states inNigeria, with Abuja as the State Federal Capital, situated at the epicentre of Nigeria[3]. A project of the public health foundation of Nigeria was set up with the primary objective to reenergise Nigerian Health communities and bridge relations with the health sector to improve health for Nigerians nationwide [4].

Numerous communication systems involving wireless communication for use in transmitting voice, video and data in local or wide areas have evolved within the last century including such things as wireless local area networks, multidirectional wireless cellular systems, wireless bridges and satellite communication systems [5]. Two companies Zain and the internationally renound Ericsson companies have collaborated with the United Nations into Nigeria, with the aim of alleviating poverty and bring a sense of autonomy to rural people in Nigeria. With the advent of the “Millennium Village Project” the future looks bright for the health of rural communities in Nigeria[6].

References

[1] Falola, Toyin; Heaton, Matthew M. A history of Nigeria. Cambridge University Press. (2008).

[2] http://www.trust.org/alertnet/country-profiles/nigeria/

[3] http://www.citypopulation.de/Nigeria.html#Land

[4] http://www.phfn.org/

[5] Encyclopedia of Wireless and MobileCommunications. Editor, Borko Furht. 2008. ISBN: 978-1-4200-4326-6 (hardback) 978-1-4200-5562-7 (electronic)

[6] http://www.itnewsafrica.com/?p=2678

Core issues that shall be addressed in the literature review:

Four main areas shall be the focal point of this review.

1) Federal Republic of Nigeria- country profile including; government, GDP, geography area, people; languages, population density, population growth, races/religions/tribes, poverty fraction.

2) Health system in Nigeria – with emphasis on Public health, history of public health inNigeria, how it was set up, development since, management programmes

3) Access to public health for remote and rural communities –, what is considered a “remote community” – choosing two/three regions, take an in depth look at the measures adopted to ensure patients in these areas have access to the health system. Is the health they receive different from that of other area such as the Capital Abuja, how is it different and what are the reasons for them.

4) Wireless Mobile Communication technology – What is itWhen was it invented, potential uses, how it has been utilised so far and in what circumstances. How will it be implemented into public health programmes, costs involved, what effects (positive/negative) will it have on the social and medical outlook for these remote regions.

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Dissertation Topics in Education [Updated 2018]

our site: Dissertation Topics in Education

1.0. Introduction

The aim of this guide is to aid in selecting Dissertation Topics in Education and to give practical assistance in how to structure said work. Education dissertations cover a wide range, from child development and early years education to the impact of government policy. Generally, writing an Education dissertation involves careful selection of the research question, how to design the data collection vehicle and how to interpret the results.

2.0. Categories and Dissertation Titles

2.1. The Influence on Achievement of Social Factors such as Class, Gender and Ethnicity

The degree to which Piaget’s concept of a fixed developmental sequence in children is a social construct: critically evaluate in relation to research into the developmental experience of ethnic minority children in the UK.
Has the ‘Narrowing the Gap’ agenda made a significant difference to the achievement of any underachieving group in UK schools. Evaluate in relation to the experience of one such group.
In what ways does the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ of gender differentiation influence classroom interactions in secondary school. A qualitative study.
The impact of financial cuts to local authority central support services for children from ethnic minorities: a qualitative study of the impact on primary schools.
Monolingualism and bilingualism; how do young children with a home language other than English fare in Early Years education: a qualitative study of Foundation stage.

2.2. Child Development

To what extent is Bowlby et al’s emphasis on mother-child attachment a product of its social and cultural backgroundEvaluate in relation to more recent research emphasizing the importance of significant others in a child’s development.
How important is play in promoting success in early literacy; a quantitative study.
The more limited a child’s experiences with language and literacy the more likely he or she will have difficulty learning to read. Evaluate this statement in the light of recent research.
Teacher knowledge, respect and support for the diversity of children’s families, cultures, and linguistic backgrounds are as important in early literacy development as high quality teaching: a qualitative study.

2.3. Parents and schools

Do activities which link home and school improve children’s achievement: a qualitative study.
How important is the link between supportive parental involvement and children’s early literacy development: a qualitative study/
Do primary school teachers view parents as assets: a qualitative study.

2.4. Curriculum

Should curriculum and assessment be more closely linked and what methods could be used to achieve this. Evaluate in relation to the experience of secondary school children.
Has the National Curriculum been a successCritically examine in the light of research into pupils perceptions.
Using IT for teaching for literacy, maths and science: a qualitative study of teacher’s perceptions.
Is the ‘dumbing down’of exams a reality or a media creation : a qualitative study of GCSE exam papers.

2.5. Teaching methodology

Should EFL/ESL teaching methods be used in teaching native speakers of English. Assess in relation to a particular group of primary school children.
What can teachers learn from the practice of problem-based learning and should these methods be more common in our schools : a qualitative study

2.6. Learning

In order for students to learn efficiently and effectively, it is essential for teachers to understand the different learning styles that they possess. A quantitative study of primary school children.
Can the concept of reflective practice be used to help children learn in UK schools: a qualitative study of secondary education
What methods, policies and strategies are in place in UK schools to improve the achievement of diverse learners: a quantitative study.
Do cooperative and collaborative learning methods have a positive effect on student achievement: a quantitative study
Teaching children to read: an overview of different methods used and evaluation of the ‘real’ books vs reading schemes debate

2.7. Politics and Policy in Education

Has Sure Start brought about improved outcomes for young childrenEvaluate in the light of recent research.
Do SATs create a curriculum where ‘teaching to the tests’ becomes the normEvaluate in respect of recent research.
Has Every Child a Talker improved language outcomes for young English language learners in inner city schools: a quantitative study.
Have 14-19 policies in the UK been a success: a qualitative study

2.8. Early Years Education

To what extent is the structure of early years education in the UK influenced by Piaget et al’s theory of a fixed developmental sequence. Critically evaluate in the light of childrens’ experience in ‘alternative’ forms of education.
In what ways has our understanding of the processes of learning and teaching been influenced by Vygotsky’s theoryCritically evaluate in relation to the experience of a group of primary school pupils.
How important is rich teacher talk in developing early literacy: evaluate in the the light of current research.
Teaching children to read; a qualitative study of the impact of phonological awareness on early readers.
Managing the transition from Foundation stage to Year 1: an evaluation of best practice.

2.9. Teacher Education

What knowledge about IT is taught in teacher education and how do teachers use it to support teaching and learning. A qualitative study.
The teacher as facilitator: a quantitative study of the weight given to the facilitator as opposed to knowledge provider in teacher education.
Is continuing professional development for teachers in the UK effective: a qualitative study based on teacher’s perceptions.

2.10. Primary Education

The impact of support staff in small rural primary schools: a qualitative study
Teacher or child-initiated: a qualitative study of best practice in the primary classroom

2.11. Home Schooling

How significant is the role of IT in home schooling: a qualitative study.
Motivational factors for choosing home schooling: a qualitative study.
Academic achievement and socialization amongst home-schooled university students: a quantitative study.
How well do home-schooled children perform when they return to school: a qualitative study.

2.12. SEN

Do learners with SEN benefit from personalized learning programmes: a qualitative study in primary school
Does inclusion in the mainstream classroom benefit pupils with SEN: a qualitative study of primary schools

3.0. How to structure an Education dissertation

The dissertation paper needs to consist of an abstract, introduction, review of literature, methods, findings, references and appendices.
The abstract section needs to include a summary of the research problem or purpose, summary of the research design, summary of the treatment(s), and summary of the results.
Introduction section – background of the study and significance of the problem in context
The Review of Literature Section – review of the relevant and related literature, including a theoretical rationale of the problem, need for the study, potential significance of the results, and the specific research hypothesis
Methodology Section – Identification and description of the subjects, instrumentation used in the data collection, any ethical issues involved and the procedures used to collect the data
Reference Section-alphabetical listing of all referenced text
Appendices

4.0. References

2.2 Child Development

Ainsworth, M.1985. “Patterns of Attachment.” Clinical Psychologist 38 (2):27–29.

Bowlby, J.. 1988. A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development. New York: Basic Books.

2.3. Parents and Schools

Epstein J, Sheldon S. (2002) Present and accounted for: improving student attendance through family and community involvement. The Journal of Educational Research;

Green CL, Walker JMT, Hoover-Dempsey KV, Sandler HM. (2007) Parents’ motivations for involvement in children’s education: an empirical test of a theoretical model of parental involvement. Journal of Educational Psychology

Izzo CV, Weissberg RP, Kasprow WJ, Fendrich M. (1999) A longitudinal assessment of teacher perceptions of parent involvement in children’s education and school performance. American Journal of Community Psychology

2.4. Curriculum

Lord, P. & Jones, M. (2006) Pupils’ experiences and perspectives of the national curriculum and assessment: final report for the research review; QCA

2.5. Teaching Methodology

Hedge, T. (2000) Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press,

Richards, J. & Renandya, W. (eds.). 2002. Methodology in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

2.6. Politics and Policy

Dockrell, J. ; Stuart, M. & King, D. (2010) Supporting early oral language skills for English language learners in inner city preschool provision ; British Journal of Educational Psychology

2.8. Teacher Education

Pedder, D. & Darleen Opfer, V. (2011) Are We Realising the Full Potential of Teachers’ Professional Learning in Schools in England Professional Development in Education

2.9. Primary Education

Blatchford, P., Russell, A., Bassett, P., Brown P. & Martin, C. (2004) The role and effects of teaching assistants in English primary schools (Years 4 to 6) 2000-2003

Sanders, D., White, G., Burge, B., Sharp, C., Eames, A., McCune, R & Grayson, H. (2005) A study of the transition from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1.

Sammons, P., Elliot, K., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj Blatchford, I. and Taggart, B. (2004) The impact of pre-school on young children’s cognitive attainments at entry to reception.

2.11. SEN

Dyson, A., Farrell, P., Polat, F., Hutcheson, G. and Gallanaugh, F. (2004) Inclusion and pupil achievement

Kalambouka, A., Farrell, P., Dyson, A. and Kaplan, I. (2005) The impact of population inclusivity in schools on student outcomes

Also review Free Dissertation Topics and let us know if you don’t find anything and our site can help you.

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2001 dot-com Bubble: its causes, effect, and lessons learnt

Abstract

This paper looks at the causes, effects, and lessons learnt from the 2001 dot-com bubble financial crisis. To support my statements I investigate a variety of sources, including recently published academic journals, newspaper articles, books, and market reports. I find that the so called “Get Big Fast” business model that many dot-com companies employed was fundamentally flawed, and after the bubble burst many companies have found it more beneficial to move to a more prudent model.

Introduction

The dot-com bubble was a historic speculative bubble in the stock market which occurred in the years on 1995 to 2000. As an indicator of the bubble, the NASDAQ composite index is often quoted. The NASDAQ composite index rose from 751.49 to 5,132.52, a 682% increase, from January 1995 to March 2000 (Appendix A, B).

In this work, I look at factors that may have caused the 2001 dot-com bubble to grow and then subsequently burst. I look into the role of the media, interest rates, venture capital, and finally the “Get Big Fast” business model. Next I look at the effect the 2001 dot-com bubble had on companies, considering measures of survival, levels of mergers and acquisitions, and changes in image to remove association with those times, but also on investor confidence. Finally, I look at what lessons may have been learnt from the dot-com era.

Cause

American publications such as Forbes and the Wall Street Journal encouraged the public to invest in risky companies despite many of the companies’ disregard for basic financial and even legal principles (Lowenstein, 2004). Buffett (2000) says “Equity investors currently seem wildly optimistic in their expectations about future returns.” However, not only can the media be argued to have caused the huge growth of investment, but it can, according to Niederhoffer and Kenner (2003), also be attributed to its demise. They speak in particular about Alan Green’s “irrational exuberance” speech in December 1996 setting of a chain of events that leads to an eventual “reaction against technology, optimism, and growth”.

In reality, of course, no financial crisis can be sensibly attributed to just one cause. It is more likely instead to be a combination of many. For example, the low interest rate in 1998-99 has been said to have helped increase the start-up capital amounts and lead to increased venture capital being offered (Metrik, 2007).

The coining of the “Get Big Fast” belief started during the dot-com era. The initial start-ups operated with a short-term loss business plan, insisting that by grabbing the market share and dominating their specific sectors they could then charge what they wanted at a later date. Recent research (Goldfarb, Kirsch and Miller, 2006) suggests that many companies would have had better success targeting smaller niche markets. In addition, they say that the “Get Big Fast” belief drove investor behaviour during the period leading to more stocks bought and companies became overpriced.

So, as a combination of a number of factors, the bubble burst and the effects were widespread.

Effect

The effects of the bubble bursting were that several companies went bankrupt. An example is WorldCom who admitted to billions of dollars of accounting errors (Tran, M., 2002), and as a consequence the stock price fell so drastically they had to file for bankruptcy.

Many other struggling companies became acquired or merged with other companies. Aharon et al. (2010) found that there was an increase in mergers and acquisitions during the dot-com bubble. Interestingly, they also found that the pricing of mergers and acquisitions did not change.

Mintel (2010) states: “The investment bond market was badly hit by the bursting of the dot com bubble in the early noughties and has been in perpetual decline ever since – in 2002”.

Many companies changed their names to remove any association as a dotcom company. Cooper et al. (2005) mention how during the bear market of the early 2000s “investors react positively to name changes for firms that remove dot.com from their name”.

Lessons learnt

Within the technology sector, Parsons (2012) argues that greater prudence is ensuring the “sector is financially solid and is currently the only one to have more cash on its balance sheet than debt”. There also seems to be an awareness of the damage to Initial Public Offerings by companies. Recent research (Pilbeam and Nagle, 2009) suggest that “the high-tech IPO market was dramatically affected by the Dot-Com Crash and that after the crash, the number of high-tech IPOs dropped considerably”.

Many companies moved away from the “Get Big Fast” belief that epitomised the dotcom era, seeing that it was not sustainable as business model. Eventually these companies would have to start to a get the fundamentals right and turn in a profit. So many were being started too quickly, all with the business plan of monopolising their particular market place, which inevitably not everyone could succeed and many as a consequence folded. Berlin (2008) says “Many of the companies that survived the dot-com bust did so by ignoring the prevailing “Get Big Fast” business model”. He talks about research by David Kirsch and the Dot Com Archive that found that they referred “micro niches” which were markets that did not offer huge profits quickly, but instead presented viable internet-based business opportunities. Companies that had learnt from the dot-com bubble were not believing that life-altering changes would happen over-night.

Many believe that lessons have not been learnt from the 2001 dot-com bubble financial crisis. Many think that we are in another social media bubble currently which has very analogous characteristics to the 2001 dot-com bubble (Vass, 2012; Foley, 2012).

Conclusion

In this essay I have looked at the cause, effect, and lessons learnt from the 2001 dot-com bubble financial crisis. The cause unsurprisingly does not seem to come down to one single factor. The media clearly played a large part in making investors over confident during the growth and then overly pessimistic leading to its eventual demise. However, I also found that an unsound business model of the time, “Get Big Fast”, played a major role too. I found evidence that more prudent business model based on modest profits had lead to the technology sector recovering. As always, history has a habit of repeating itself, and I also looked into the believe of some that lessons have not been learnt by Social Media companies and that we may be in another Social Media bubble right now with characteristics very similar to that of the dot-com crisis.

Appendix: Line graph illustrating the 2001 dot-com bubble

Figure 1: The close price of the NASDAQ Composite (Yahoo! ticker symbol ^IXIC) from 2nd January 1990 until the beginning of 2012. The graph clearly illustrates the 2001 dot-com bubble, where the value of the NASQAQ composite rises steeply up until its peak in February. Data is taken from Yahoo! Finance Historical Prices available at http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=^IXIC.

Appendix: Table showing the extreme of the NASDAQ Composite price

Table 1: Historical prices of the NASDAQ Composite (Yahoo! ticker symbol ^IXIC) at the start of its growth in 1995, to its peak in 2000, to its huge fall in 2002. Data is taken from Yahoo! Finance Historical Prices available at http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=^IXIC.

References

Aharon, D.Y., Gavious, I., Yosef, R., 2010. Stock market bubble effects on mergers and acquisitions. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 50(4), pp.456-470.

Buffett, W., 2000. Warren Buffet’s Letters to Berkshire Shareholders. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., 1 March

Berlin, L., 2008. Lessons of Survival, From the Dot-Com Attic. The New York Times, 21 November.

Cooper, M. J., Khorana, A., Osobov, I., Patel, A. and Rau, P.R. , 2005. Managerial Actions in Response to a Market Downturn: Valuation Effects of Name Changes in the Dot.com Decline. Journal of Corporate Finance, 11(1-2), pp. 319-335.

Foley, S., 2012. Is the dot com bubble about to burstThe Independent, 4 August.

Goldfarb, B.D., Kirsch, D., Miller, D., 2006. Was There Too Little Entry During the Dot Com EraRobert H. Smith School Research Paper No. RHS 06-029, 24 April.

Lowenstein, R., 2004. Origins of the Crash: The Great Bubble and Its Undoing. New York: Penguin Press.

Metrick, A., 2007. Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Mintel, 2010. Investment Bonds: Mintel marketing report. February 2010. London:Mintel International.

Niederhoffer, V. And Kenner, L. 2003. Practical Speculation. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Parsons, A., 2012. Tech firms learn lessons of dotcom bubble. The Share Centre, 10 June.

Pilbeam, K. and Nagle, F., 2009. High-Tech IPOs in the US, UK and Europe after the Dot-Com Bubble. International Journal of Financial Services Management, 4(1), pp.64-75.

Tran, M., 2002. WorldCom accounting scandal. Guardian, 9 August.

Vass, S., 2012. The new dotcom bubbleSunday Herald, 13 May.

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Surgical Care Practitioner Dissertation Guide

The following article is a guide on how to approach a dissertation about surgical care practitioners. This would be helpful for students looking to gain a perspective in the subject.

Background

Since its introduction there has been much hostility towards the new professional role of the surgical care practitioner (SCP) within the surgical community. However as the outlook of the NHS is rapidly being modified and European influence in the form of the European Workforce Team are being directed and beginning to have effect in the UK, it is evidently proving to have a huge impact on the UK workforce [1].

The introduction of the SCP role was created to alleviate the problems of unsustainable turnover and training of doctors. The role o SCPS both complements the government’s commitment to enhancing career opportunities within the field of healthcare and also develops a flexible training framework that is built on the competence of individuals’ rather than fixed traditional roles such those of doctors and nurses [1].

The SCP role is considered to be a nationally transferable role (NTR), a number of new roles, which emerged to reduce the waiting times across the UK. Consequently four groupings were created consisting of 30 new roles; amongst them the SCP is part of the “Advanced practitioner” group [2][3].

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust reveal the cost savings of some advanced practitioner roles which have for “each half-day session stated as saving ?10k per year in consultant time”. Additionally, the time saved by the consultant can be diverted to increased surgery time [3].

References

[1] Kneebone. R New professional roles in surgery. Would be effective in selected surgical settings and can offer benefits. BMJ 2005; 330:803–4

[2] Skills for health. Impact of Nationally Transferable Roles on Productivity – Building an Evidence Base, March 2010

[3] http://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/rethinking-roles-and-services/national-transferable-roles/advanced-practitioner.aspx

General Structure
When was the SCP role introduced within the UK and why
What can the SCP do in the operating theater (OT)
What evidence is there of time/cost efficiency thus far(E.g. cost of training, patient care, effects on surgeons etc)
Has the introduction of the SCP role reflected a great deal of improvement within the OT and if so – evidence to back this up.
What is the future for this new and emerging role within the NHS across the UKHave attitudes changedWhat are the effects on other professionals, which traditionally take up this role