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4.4 Discussion

In this second case study, I have described two different trends in energy use by cold appliances over the last few decades. On the one hand the efficiency with which appliances use electrical energy has improved but, in spite of this, their consumption of electricity has increased significantly in recent decades. Since 2000 consumption has started to decline, probably as a result of the introduction of minimum energy standards. The trend will only continue if we demand and use the most energ
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2.4 Changing environmental attitudes

So, from the start of the Industrial Revolution, people have been aware that the development of an industrial economy brings problems as well as benefits. But the benefits, in terms of productive capability, mobility, convenience, cheap consumer goods, and profits, were usually felt to outweigh the disadvantages, particularly by those in positions of power. Many of the accompanying negative factors, such as poverty and unemployment, or the creation of more destructive machines of war, if they
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2.2 We are part of nature

Take a few minutes to look around at your surroundings before you read on. What do you see? Obviously this depends on where you are at the moment: at home, at work, or perhaps travelling in between, or maybe you have the misfortune to be laid up in hospital. Possibly like me you are at home. I am fortunate to have a study where I do much of my writing and you won't be surprised to hear that I'm looking at a computer screen at the moment. What else can I see? Books and bookshelves, furniture o
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7 Conclusion

One might think of the different interpretations of internationally recognised notions of rights and justice as running along a spectrum, from which we shall now identify four different positions.

  • The first interpretation would argue that, overall, the extension of rights to the international sphere has been benign and effective. It has led and will lead to further successful claims for justice.

Evidence for the development of a globa
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5.7 Relating individual rights to state sovereignty

The fourth set of problems is really a specific example of the third set and relates to the ways in which individual rights relate to state sovereignty. The Millennium Conference of the UN in 2000 endorsed the need for people-centred changes to the institution and renounced its previous ‘state-centred’ structure. The human-centred logic of rights regards human rights as a value which places legitimate constraints upon the politics of national self-interest and interstate competition. Chan
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5.4 The influence of the Western perspective

With regard to the first set of problems – that the rights discourse is not universal but is deeply informed by a Western perspective – it is striking that many actors and commentators on the international stage now frame their arguments and assertions in terms of the language of rights and justice. Yet we need to ask to what extent this language of rights and justice really underpins shared understandings and values. There is a strong case for saying that if there are shared understandin
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Introduction

This unit is about rights and rights claims, and the idea of implementing justice in the international sphere based on the concept of rights. It is agreed by most people that ‘rights are a good thing’ and in many respects they are. However, this unit deliberately takes a critical view. It seeks to examine closely why rights are a good thing and highlights some of the problems associated with rights. In this way, we hope that the sense in which rights are still, ultimately, ‘a good thing
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3.3.4 Dispute settlement

The lack of expertise in the developing countries shows up at a subsequent stage as well. One of the undoubted plus points of the WTO, compared with its predecessor the GATT, is its streamlined mechanism for settling disputes between members – on the whole quite impartially. But although many of the larger developing countries have won cases against the most powerful members like the EU and USA, the smaller ones are hamstrung by their inability to field lawyers specialised in international
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • identify the economic issues faced by developing countries in mutilateral trade negotiations;

  • describe these issues from a developing country perspective;

  • explain how the economic power of nations impinges upon the ability of states to negotiate settlements that are beneficial to them.


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2.1 Systems thinking: the first step

The processes of analysis and synthesis in conventional thinking are based on the concept of an object. An object is something that can be clearly distinguished from its environment and can be characterised by its attributes. Attributes enable categorisation schemes that are the basis of our normal thinking. So when you look at a particular ecosystem, for example a pond, you find different animals and plants. And if you look at any ‘book of the pond’ you find each a
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4.3.3 Getting at the activation energy

The final trick I want to show you with Arrhenius's law is how to extract the constants r0 and Ea from experimental data. If the Arrhenius equation (Section 4.3.1) is ‘turned inside out’ by taking natural logarithms of both sides it becomes:


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4.3.2 Competing processes

Let's look graphically at the way the rate of a thermally activated process changes with temperature. Figure 16 shows two rates with different activation energies of 1.0 and 0.5 eV – which curve is which?

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4.3 Thermally activated processes

Thermally activated processes are those that get going not because of average effects, but because the fraction of particles in the tail of the distribution increases with temperature. This is a basic property of the thermal distribution we have been discussing. For instance, what would take 30 000 years at room temperature may happen in under one second at 1000 K if it depends on how many particles have an energy in excess of 1 eV.

The next step in the study of energy distribu
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6.4 Blogs

The founder of Technorati  claims that the number of ‘blogs’ doubles every five months and that the creation rate is approaching two per second. One estimate I read in July 2010 put the number at 400 million blogs. Because these online diaries offer instant publishing opportunities, you potentially have access to a wealth of knowledge from commentators and experts (if they blog) in a wide ra
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4.7 T is for Timeliness

The date when information was produced or published can be an important aspect of quality. This is not quite as simple as saying that 'good' information has to be up to date.

Activity 9

Here is an example of a news item from an on
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4.4 O is for Objectivity

One of the characteristics of ‘good’ information is that it should be balanced and present both sides of an argument or issue. This way the reader is left to weigh up the evidence and make a decision. In reality, we recognise that no information is truly objective.

This means that the onus is on you, the reader, to develop a critical awareness of the positions represented in what you read, and to take account of this when you interpret the information. In some cases, authors may be
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2.3.2 The project (single) team

The project, or single, team consists of a group of people who come together as a distinct organisational unit in order to work on a project or projects. The team is often led by a project manager, though self-managing and self-organising arrangements are also found. Quite often, a team that has been successful on one project will stay together to work on subsequent projects. This is particularly common where an organisation engages repeatedly in projects of a broadly similar nature – for e
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2.1 What is a group?

Our tendency to form groups is a pervasive aspect of organisational life. As well as formal groups, committees and teams, there are informal groups, cliques and cabals.

Formal groups are used to organise and distribute work, pool information, devise plans, coordinate activities, increase commitment, negotiate, resolve conflicts and conduct inquests. Group working allows the pooling of people's individual skills and knowledge, and helps compensate for individual deficiencies. It has been
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Learning outcomes

After completing this unit you should be able to:

  • describe the main features of work groups and teams;

  • discuss the main group processes that affect work group or team effectiveness;

  • describe the main features of projects, project teams and project management;

  • discuss some types of theories about effective leadership.


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7 Summary

Polymers are long chain molecules with properties dominated by their chain behaviour and the nature of their chemical make-up or constitution. The distinction between thermoplastics and thermosets has become rather blurred with the development of new materials for more demanding environments than previously. They include high performance polymers which are more resistant to high temperatures, possess greater moduli or strengths, and can be combined with additives to enhance their intrinsic pr
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