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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should:

  • understand why and how innovation is important;

  • recognise the benefits which innovation can confer on an innovating organisation.


Author(s): The Open University

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2.1 Introduction

'All experiences count and are valuable and no one should push those aside. It really doesn't matter where that experience was gained. It's about what you learnt from it… don't devalue yourself. Recognise the importance of what you've done.'

Ruth Stokes, KPMG on the vol
Author(s): The Open University

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1.3.1 Europe and the EU

Is there a Europe beyond the EU? This is a question that becomes more and more difficult to answer. It is quite common for example to hear of such or such a country wishing to ‘join Europe’, when what is meant is that they wish to apply to join the EU.

The criteria for joining the EU were laid down in the summit of Copenhagen, 21 and 22 June 1993. Candidates must have reached an institutional stability that guarantees democracy, legality, human rights, and the respect and protection
Author(s): The Open University

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1.4.1 Discourse involves work

If discourse is doing something rather than doing nothing, what kinds of things are being done? We can see that Diana's account in Extract 1, like all accounts, constructs a version of social reality. When we talk we have open to us multiple possibilities for characterizing ourselves and events. Indeed, there are many ways Diana could have answered Bashir's first question in the extract above. Any one description competes with a range of alternatives and indeed some of these alternativ
Author(s): The Open University

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1.7 Conclusion

Several concluding points are worth drawing attention to. First, it is clear that the general thrust of EU policy making, whether this be pushed by the Commission or the Council of Ministers, is one that embodies a neo-liberal, market-based liberalisation and de-regulatory agenda, though as with any programme of this kind, there are anomalies and reversals to this overall trajectory. Nevertheless, it is not one that has foregrounded the idea of a ‘social Europe’, even though this does fig
Author(s): The Open University

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1.6.3 Fiscal retrenchment?

If we turn to fiscal issues, at the time of entry to the EU in 2004, six of the ten entry countries had government deficits in excess of the SGP/ Maastricht Treaty 3 per cent of GDP rule: the Czech Republic (−5.9 per cent), Cyprus (−4.6 per cent), Hungary (−4.9 per cent), Malta (−5.9 per cent), Poland (−6.0 per cent) and Slovakia (−4.1 per cent). Thus these countries would be required to cut back on their public expenditures or increase taxes so as to move into a more or less bala
Author(s): The Open University

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1.5.4 Summary

  • The Euro has become an important currency of denomination for government and corporate bonds.

  • There is now emerging a two-currency world, made up of the US dollar and the EU Euro.

  • The advantages to countries of being able to borrow internationally in their own currencies have not been lost to them, so there will be an incentive for the east-Asian countries to develop their own ‘regional’ financial markets.


  • Author(s): The Open University

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1.4.3 Summary

  • EMU has been accompanied by fiscal rules embodied in the SGP.

  • An issue raised by this is the compatibility of a common single monetary policy target designed to defeat inflation with different fiscal policies ostensibly at the discretion of the individual govern ments.

  • When France and Germany contravened the SGP fiscal rule, it was effectively suspended and broke down. This was a case of the Council of Ministers asserting c
    Author(s): The Open University

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4.3 Summary

If social researchers are to be effective in understanding people, they need to be detached from common sense (the perspective of the person on the street). However, they should not be so detached that they fall into the trap of imposing their own categories upon the object without regard for the experience of those involved (the perspective of the expert).

The standpoint of the ‘stranger’ provides a way of mediating between the detached position of the scientist and the personal ex
Author(s): The Open University

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2 Personal lives

We start our exploration of the interrelationship of personal lives and social policy with personal stories.

Activity 1

Read Extracts 1, 2 and 3 below, and make notes on areas of similarity and difference. What questions are raised a
Author(s): The Open University

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5.4 Weaknesses of the regionalist project

In normative terms, as with empirical reality, regions are not necessarily more desirable than states, and in some respects could be distinctly worse. Despite the many shortcomings of existing states, it is by no means self-evident that regions would fare better in the face of global forces, and most regions, being significantly weaker than their states, would arguably be significantly less effective in delivering economic welfare, cultural and other rights. Such rights may be decreasing in e
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5.3 Origins of the regionalist project

The origins of the regionalist project can be traced back to Leopold Kohr's The Breakdown of Nations, first published in 1957 (Kohr, 1986). By ‘nations’, Kohr actually meant nation states and in particular big states, for his book was a polemic against the ‘bigness’ of states as the source of modern ills. Indeed he saw excessive size as the main cause of all social problems and his ideas would later be successfully popularised by E.F. Schumacher's slogan and best-seller Smal
Author(s): The Open University

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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • recognise the varieties of region and sub-state nations that exist within Europe;

  • explain the growth of regionalism;

  • critically assess the view that what is evolving is a ‘Europe of the Regions’;

  • engage better with debates about the future direction of Europe, and the place of your nation or ‘region’ within it;

  • improve your skills of academic reading and note taki
    Author(s): The Open University

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10.1 Overview

This unit has presented a variety of units that have been specifically developed to reflect the enormous interest in Scottish culture and society. The collection of units as a whole demonstrates The Open University's commitment to deliver a curriculum that is appropriate for the differing requirements of each of the countries in the United Kingdom.

These units have been collected and developed from across The Open University's catalogue, having been assessed as having particular relevan
Author(s): The Open University

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5.4 Dundee, jute and empire

This unit focuses on the economics of empire, and, in particular, of the British Empire in the second half of the nineteenth century. The theme of producers and consumers is central.

The unit starts by introducing some of the debates surrounding the economics of British imperialism. It then goes on to explore how empire and imperial trade shaped economic structures and urban society in late nineteenth-century Britain.

To access this material click on the unit link below. It leads
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5.3 Heritage case studies: Scotland

These case studies introduce various typologies of heritage and the methods used to study them. They help draw attention to the fact that the heritage traditions in England, Scotland and Wales are not the same and are enshrined in slightly different legislation. Every study of heritage requires an understanding of the legal context and the traditions and history governing the object of heritage.

The first case study, by Mary-Catherine Garden, involves public memories of two significant
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5.2 The origins of the wars of the three kingdoms

From Catholic rebellion to Civil War, what happened during the latter years of the reign of Charles I that caused people to take up arms against their fellow citizens? This unit looks at the background of the wars between England, Scotland and Ireland and how the King's actions led to the rift between royalists and parliamentarians.

To access this material click on the unit link below. It leads to a separate OpenLearn unit and will open in a new window.


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4.3 James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell produced a unified theory of the electromagnetic field and used it to show that light is a type of electromagnetic wave. This prediction dates from the early 1860s when Maxwell was at King's College, London. Shortly afterwards Maxwell decided to retire to his family estate in Galloway in order to concentrate on research, unhindered by other duties.

This unit presents Maxwell's greatest triumph – the prediction that electromagnetic waves can propagate vast distances
Author(s): The Open University

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1 Migrants and borders

These videos look at the issue of ‘gating’ in the context of border control policies and practices concerning international migrants. You will come across ideas of inclusion and exclusion, and how these relate to internal as well as external borders. The external border on which part of the video focuses is in southern Spain, where the experiences of African migrants are explored and forms of border control identified. These experiences are related to the UK where bordering is explored th
Author(s): The Open University

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References

Balibar, E. (2007) ‘Uprisings in the Banlieues’, Constellations, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 47–71.
Bradshaw, L. and Slonsky, L.B. (2005) ‘The real heroes and sheroes of New Orleans’, Socialist Worker (US, 9 September; also available online at http://www.socialistworker.org  (Accessed 5 Ju
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