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7 Conclusion

We have explored nations, national self-determination and secession as living political ideas. Perhaps the key points to emerge from the discussion are that:

  • the nation-state is the basic political community in the contemporary world, despite regional and global challenges;

  • subjective approaches to defining nations, prioritising awareness of belonging to a national group, have advantages over efforts to construct objective definitions;
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Acknowledgements

This free course is an adapted extract from the course DD203 Power, dissent, equality, which is currently out of presentation

This chapter is taken from Living Political Ideas (eds) Geoff Andrews and Micheal Saward published in association with Edinburgh University Press (2005) as part of a series of books which forms part of the course DD203 Power, Dissent, Equality: Understanding Contemporary Politics.

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6.7 What about alternatives to secession?

We have seen that in principle there are alternatives: cultural autonomy or a form of federalism. There are alternative ways to recognise 'national' identity apart from secession.

One conclusion to arise from this discussion of secession is that we are not cast adrift without any general principles or guidelines. We have also seen how the complexities of the real political world impinge upon poli
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6.4 Does one community seceding grant a similar right to others?

Consider the position of community C. If B secedes, it takes C with it into the new state. But does C then have the same right to secede from B? Consider the case of Quebec. Quebecois separatists have come very close to achieving the bare majority needed to achieve their goal. But if they gained the right to secede from Canada, would other groups who do not see themselves as a part of a francophone entity likewise have the right to a further independence vote for themselves? What about non-fr
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6.3 What size of majority vote should decide the issue?

In many types of democratic vote, a bare majority (technically, 50 per cent +1) is enough to decide outcomes. But often constitutional changes – changes which would affect the basic structures or political rules of the game – are regarded as needing ‘supermajorities’ of, say, 60 or 70 per cent. A basic change in the sovereign political unit would certainly count as a constitutional change. If the Bs get to vote, we might be concerned if only a bare majority favoured secession, especia
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5.3 ‘A positive valorisation is assigned to one's own nation, granting it specific claims ove

Just how a nation is prioritised over other communities will have an important impact on how the terms of this second element are played out. A nation that sees itself in pluralistic or liberal terms for example – which may celebrate cultural diversity as part of its very sense of a collective identity – is, on the face of it, less likely to make particular demands or to institute extensive controls on the behaviour of its members. On the other hand, a nation that is imagined in terms of
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7.2 On Britishness

Earlier in this course I considered how Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland came to be included in the UK. That incorporation was often not free from conflict, resistance, war and military intervention. Hence, as well as cooperation and a common fellowship, suspicion, lack of trust, sometimes hatred, expressed in various forms, have characterised the relationship between England, the leading power, and those nations which were annexed or conquered by it or amalgamated with it.

Modern n
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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying sociology. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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5.3 How devolution in Scotland differs from devolution in Wales

Devolution for Wales, rejected by the Welsh in a 1979 referendum, was also part of the constitutional reform package of the Labour government. However, in September 1997, the Welsh voted for the establishment of a National Assembly for Wales. The referendum result in favour was far narrower than in Scotland. On a 50.3 per cent turn-out in Wales, only 50.6 per cent voted in favour, indicating a far less entrenched sense of political identity and difference from the rest of the UK on the part o
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2.5 Summary of Section 1

  • England, Scotland and Wales are nations.

  • Wales was conquered by the English in 1282 and its parliamentary union with England took place in 1536.

  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain was formed by the Act of Union of 1707, although the term Great Britain had been in use since 1603, when James VI of Scotland became James I of England (including Wales). Later unions created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and,
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Internet of everything
The internet of everything (IoE) is the networked connection of people, process, data and things. As more people, data and things come online, we develop processes to harness the vast amounts of information being generated by all these connected people and things. The goal of this free course is to introduce you to fundamental concepts and technologies that enable the IoE and the internet of things. Author(s): Creator not set

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3.5.1 IPv4 Addresses

The allocation of addresses on the Internet is controlled by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), although authority is delegated to several local registries. IPv4 addresses may be interpreted in two ways. Initially, they were divided into distinct ranges of addresses called classes, but this proved to be inflexible and now a more flexible scheme, called classless addressing, dominates IPv4 internetworks. I shall describe both ways of interpreting IPv4 addresses because the limitat
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2.4 Examples of layer functions

There are several functions that can be performed at one or more of the OSI layers. Some of the more common ones are discussed below.

Connection control

For connection-oriented services, a connection must be established between peer entities. A connection has three phases: connection set-up, data transfer and connection clear. If the peer protocol supports connections, each protocol data unit type corresponds to a primitive type; for instance, a connection request primiti
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2.2 Vertical communication

Figure 6 shows the OSI view of adjacent layers. The interface between two layers in the same system is called a service access point (SAP). One of the features of a service access point is that it has an identifier, or an address, which allows each communication between adjacent layers to be uniquely identified. The processes that communicate across the interface are called entities. These are typically software routines, but may also be hardware components. The notation in Figu
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • evaluate technical descriptions of communication protocols and demonstrate an understanding of their operation

  • describe the characteristics of circuit-switched and packet-switched networks, and of connectionless and connection-oriented modes in packet-switched networks

  • describe the role played by primitives in the OSI reference model

  • explain how ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ com
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7 Crossing the boundary – a final word

The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do.

(B.F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement)

We feel the machine slipping from our hands

As if someone else were steering;

If we see light at the end of the tunnel,

It's the light of the oncoming train

(Robert Lowell,
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5.5.5 Summary

In this section I've briefly considered the very contentious question of what digital representations mean, but this debate must be left to another course. I have also described some of the devices that take digital information back into the analogue world of sight and sound, presenting it in a form that is meaningful to human eyes and ears.


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9 Conclusion

This course started with the idea that computers have become an important part of everyday life, especially when all the ‘invisible’ computers that surround us are taken into account – those embedded in objects such as kitchen scales and digital cameras.

Three fundamental ideas introduced in this course are:

  • computers comprise both hardware (the physical objects) and software (the programs);

  • computers receive data from th
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4.3 Representing moving images

A moving image is simply a series of still images presented at sufficiently short time intervals that the eye smoothes over the change from one image to the next. In practice, this means the images must change at a minimum rate of around 20 per second; if the rate is lower then the moving image flickers or is jerky. Each still image that goes to make up a moving image is known as a frame.

So far as computers are concerned, moving images are of two types. One type is animations
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16.2.2 Storing and retrieving data

As each item is scanned, the checkout computer looks up its price. The running total for each customer's purchases is stored temporarily in the checkout terminal. Other data may also be stored, such as the amount of money that has been taken at that checkout during the day.


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