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UDORA is the institutional repository of research produced by staff at the University of Derby, and an archive of our completed doctoral theses.
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Communities in DSpace
Conspiracy Theories, MIllennialism, and the Nation: Understanding the collective voice in improvisational millennialismThe following critical appraisal presents eight interlinked works that apply and extend Michael Barkun’s (2003) concept of ‘improvisational millennialism’. This body of work demonstrates that, as Barkun suggests, the concept is widely applicable to the online communities in which stigmatized knowledge is widely accepted. Moreover, it extends the definition to consider how improvisational millennialism provides ill-defined or dispossessed communities a means of articulating a collective relationship to historical time as well as a crude means of shoring up basic assumptions of group membership. Mythical pasts and millennial expectation provide the opportunity for shared eschatological orientation whilst the dualism of conspiracy theories demarcates between the communities and their outsiders. This critical review demonstrates how the journal articles and book chapters collected in the appendices provide specific examples of the application and extension of improvisational millennialism. The examples chosen are varied but a persistent theme drawn out through analysis is the role that national cultures – official and official – are articulated through improvisational millennialism. The examples include consideration of how the depiction of millennial beliefs in the mass media contribute to national cultural constructs but more typically focus on the use of improvisational millennialism in online communities. Of the latter, the greater number of examples are concerned with improvisational millennialism within the neo-fascist milieu. Mobilised by conspiracy theories with apocalyptic subtexts, the far right reliance on improvisational millennialism demonstrates the implicit danger of the increased incursion of stigmatized knowledge into the cultural mainstream. This critical review serves to show that despite being typified by a syncretic bricolage of unconnected ideas and traditions, improvisational millennialism is reflective of both social and political realities.
Competition and collaboration in the extractive industries in a world of resource scarcity using a Game theory approachSustainability has become one of the most important issues for businesses, governments and society at large. Increasingly, it features in all planning for future activity. The topic is under much debate as to what it actually is and how it can be achieved, but it is completely certain that the resources of the planet are fixed in quantity, and once used, cannot be reused except through being reused in one form or another. This is particularly true of the mineral resources of the planet. These are finite in quantity, and once fully extracted, extra quantities are no longer available for future use. In this thesis, it is argued that the remaining mineral resources are diminishing significantly and heading towards extinction. Once mined and consumed, they are no longer available for future use other than what can be recycled and reused. What is becoming important therefore – both for the present and for future sustainability – is not the extraction of minerals, but their distribution. Future scarcity means that best use must be made of what exists, as sustainability depends upon this, and best use is defined in this thesis as utility rather than economic value, and this must be considered at a global level rather than a national level. This thesis investigates the alternative methods of achieving the global distribution of these mineral resources and proposes an optimum solution. It does so by showing the efficacy of Game theory for such strategic decision-making, and by developing the theory with some extensions pertinent to the environment being described, before performing the necessary mathematical manipulations to evaluate this environment, and then applying this to real world data. The findings are supported by using linear programming and sensitivity analysis, and by using real world data. Application of the results obtained would raise a number of problems with market regulations and with the geopolitical situation, and these also are explored at length. In achieving this research, the main contribution of this thesis is through identifying the new environment and the extending of Game theory into this environment and in developing the necessary extensions. Previous research has only proposed methods to deal with this, but never actually developed and tested any model; therefore, this model itself, is a contribution. An additional contribution has been made through the application of those extensions into the practical global arena, and in the consideration of the role of regulation in the management of the market for resources in a way which is effective globally rather than locally. Essentially, this is through an understanding of the dichotomy between competition and collaboration, where this thesis argues that the conventional economic mode does not work to best results. Therefore, this thesis adds to the discourse through the understanding of the importance of the depletion and finiteness of raw materials and their use for the present and the future, in order to achieve and maintain sustainability.
The Meiji Legacy: Gardens and Parks of Japan and Britain, 1850-1914Meiji era (1868-1912) politics cast a legacy which extended beyond the Far Eastern nation. This thesis explores the relationship between Japan and Britain during this period, in relation to the cultural exchange of ideas around garden and park design. In contrast to previous studies which have emphasised Japanese style as consumed in Britain, it compares both Japanese and British appropriations of their respective native garden styles underlining the considerable interdependent factors in their developments that have been previously under-emphasised. Furthermore, it includes analysis of public Japanese gardens which have been under-represented in previous work that has tended to focus excessively on aristocratic gardens. The thesis research has utilised published works, archive collections and the large amount of digital material now available in order to systematically identify and examine park and garden sites in both nations which had foreign garden elements infused within them. By analysing such sources, the gardens, people and motivating factors in their creation are revealed. This study argues that there was a significant process of cultural exchange between Japan and Europe during the closed era or sakoku. The Asiatic Society of Japan and Japan Society of London were crucial in the transmission of elements of Japanese-style gardening to Britain as analysis of their members, their activities and publications demonstrates. In addition, the Edo/Meiji era gardening knowledge of self-styled experts in Japan known as niwashi strongly informed influential works on the subject such as Josiah Conder’s Landscape Gardening in Japan (1893), which in turn shaped how these gardens were understood in Britain. Another key finding was that King Edward VII played an important part in encouraging the adoption of Japanese gardening ideas amongst the British aristocracy and forging a strong relationship with Japanese royalty. This was cemented by the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902 with political motivation also crucial in shaping the design of gardens at the Japan-British Exhibition 1910. This thesis argues that in all British-Japanese style gardens, authenticity was ultimately unachievable despite a variety of steps taken by their creators such as employing Japanese gardeners. Furthermore, the study concludes that the extent of European elements in Japanese parks and gardens has been exaggerated in previous analyses. This thesis demonstrates how Meiji politics affected garden styles inside and outside of Japan stemming from sustained interaction with foreign nations, modernisation and a reaction against European imperialism. A rich study of the Meiji legacy to garden design, this thesis suggests that Japanese imperialism was successful in counteracting European advances and changing initial European perceptions of Japan as Oriental. This has significantly added ground-breaking new knowledge to the subject. This interdisciplinary research draws from a range of ideas and methods from fields including history, geography, horticulture, politics, cultural and Japanese studies providing a rich and interwoven examination of the factors involved in the formation of the relationship between Japan and Britain from its beginnings in the sixteenth century.
Alternative methods for assessing habitat quality in freshwater systems“Water, water, everywhere…”. 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, freshwater representing 2.5% of it, and only 1% being accessible. Due, largely to a number of anthropogenic activities (pollution, habitats modification) coupled with the impacts of climate change, a dramatic decline in biodiversity is occurring across all earth’s ecosystems. Surprisingly, freshwater ecosystems receive considerably less attention than many other habitats and therefore, effective biodiversity monitoring programs are urgently needed to assess the health and state of the endangered and threatened species in these aquatic systems. Further, current techniques utilised to survey freshwater ecosystems are often considered ineffective, invasive, time consuming and biased. As a result, the implementation of molecular-based detection tools are attractive options as they are often shown to be more sensitive and cost effective. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) detection is one such molecular tool which is showing promising results, due to its high reliability, sensitivity and non-invasiveness characters. However, recent studies have highlighted potential limitations associated with eDNA-based detection. Such limitations may lead to a decrease in the confidence of this method. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the use of eDNA-based detection across a number of species and a number of systems, all as a proxy of habitat quality. Stringent laboratory practices and validation guidelines were adhered to, allowing for reliable quality assessments of newly designed eDNA assays outlined in this thesis. Moreover, distinct controlled mesocosm experiments allowed the investigation of critical factors, part of the sampling method or analysis processes leading to an optimisation of eDNA collection and decreasing the rates of false negative results. Several comparison between traditional monitoring techniques and the novel assays were also performed aiding in the confidence of these new methods. Interestingly, the results obtained in this thesis shows a similar efficiency between traditional and eDNA-based methods for monitoring invasive species, but a higher efficiency of eDNA detection when detecting rare or low abundant organisms (i.e. those that are endangered or threatened). Furthermore, this thesis reports an extreme example where a species was found at a number of locations within a stretch of a river, yet undetected with the eDNA assay. In this chapter eDNA detection was only possible when I utilised ddPCR rather than qPCR (the more standard technique for assessing eDNA in any given system). Overall, eDNA detection was found to be an effective tool for assessing the presence of invasive and/or endangered species, increasing theknowledge on their distribution and the impact of future management plans. In this thesis, chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are organised as case studies, aiming to highlight benefits and limitations of species-specific detection using eDNA.
Save the student labour marketThe pandemic has created a youth unemployment ticking time bomb and we all have a role to play. ISE is championing government support for employers. What else can be done?