A conservation initiative in northwest British Columbia to protect salmon health illustrates the challenges and opportunities of scientific collaboration.
Ecologists, social scientists, and policymakers alike define “resilience” as the properties that allow complex systems to function in the wake of sudden shocks. While proponents treat these properties as empirical qualities that can be engineered into existence, critics have largely treated government-organized attempts to do so as consistent with the dismantling of the welfare state. This article offers an ethnographic account of a conservation policy initiative in northwest British Columbia designed to generate consensus-based quantitative indicators on salmon health. I examine how workshop organizers, emboldened by provocative metaphors of survival and systematicity, mobilize resilience discourse as a platform for social analysis, and urge other researchers to envision how their own work might allow them to transcend institutional attachments altogether. Resilience-based initiatives have wrought profound changes in experts’ everyday lives, in part by encouraging precariously employed researchers to reimagine their relationships to shrinking government institutions. In addition to naming an emergent political logic for legitimating downsizing and other organizational responses to disasters, I argue that resilience discourse provides the experts entrusted with designing these responses with new grammars for imagining the future viability of their own expertise.
The abandonment of China’s Grand Canal in 1826 caused a 117 percent increase in conflict in counties with canal access, relative to counties without access.
This paper examines the effects of the abandonment of China's Grand Canal—the world's largest and oldest artificial waterway—which served as a disruption to regional trade access. Using an original dataset covering 575 counties over 262 years, we show that the canal's abandonment contributed to the social turmoil that engulfed North China in the nineteenth century. Counties along the canal experienced an additional 117 percent increase in rebelliousness after the canal's closure relative to their non-canal counterparts. Our findings highlight the important role that continued access to trade routes plays in reducing conflict.
The as-if-random assignment of Catholic “spy priests” to local communities in Communist Poland reveals that Poland’s comprehensive use of surveillance facilitated antiregime collective action and decreased sabotage.
Does physical surveillance hinder or foster antiregime resistance? A common view holds that surveillance prevents resistance by providing regimes with high-quality intelligence on dissident networks and by instilling fear in citizens. We contrast this view using formerly classified data from Communist Poland. We find that communities exposed to secret police officers were more likely to organize protests but also engaged in less sabotage. To ensure that the relationship is causal, we use an instrumental variable strategy, which exploits the exogenous assignment of Catholic “spy priests” to local communities. To trace the underlying mechanisms, we draw on qualitative interviews and archival sources. We document that Poland’s comprehensive use of surveillance created widespread anger as well as an incentive for citizens to reveal their true loyalties, thus facilitating antiregime collective action. Once on the streets, protesters refrained from sabotage to signal their political motivation to bystanders and authorities alike.
Firms sued by the EEOC for discrimination increase the racial and gender diversity of their managerial employees, with larger gains at larger firms and firm headquarters.
Research on how discrimination lawsuits affect corporate diversity has yielded mixed results. Qualitative studies highlight the limited efficacy of lawsuits in the typical workplace, finding that litigation frequently elicits resistance and even retribution from employers. But quantitative studies find that lawsuits can increase workforce diversity. This article develops an account of managerial resistance and firm visibility to reconcile these divergent findings. First, we synthesize job autonomy and group conflict theories to account for resistance that occurs when dominant groups perceive non-dominant groups to be attempting to usurp managerial authority, in this case through litigation. Second, we integrate insights from organizational institutionalism, which suggests that highly visible firms seek to demonstrate compliance with legal and societal norms. Drawing on this theory, we predict that only large, visible firms will see increases in diversity following lawsuits, and, by the same token, that the most visible workplaces of those large firms, their headquarters, will see the greatest changes. We test our hypotheses with data on litigation and workforce composition from a diverse set of 632 firms that were sued by the EEOC between 1997 and 2006. This study shows that understanding the consequences of lawsuits across firms, and across organizations within them, is key to tackling workplace discrimination.
Bayesian estimates of population presence can enable the delivery of services to those who suffer from stigma, discrimination, and criminalization.
Certain subpopulations like female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), and people who inject drugs (PWID) often have higher prevalence of HIV/AIDS and are difficult to map directly due to stigma, discrimination, and criminalization. Fine-scale mapping of those populations contributes to the progress toward reducing the inequalities and ending the AIDS epidemic. In 2016 and 2017, the PLACE surveys were conducted at 3290 venues in 20 out of the total 28 districts in Malawi to estimate the FSW sizes. These venues represent a presence-only dataset where, instead of knowing both where people live and do not live (presence–absence data), only information about visited locations is available. In this study, we develop a Bayesian model for presence-only data and utilize the PLACE data to estimate the FSW size and uncertainty interval at a 1.5×1.5-km resolution for all of Malawi. The estimates can also be aggregated to any desirable level (city/district/region) for implementing targeted HIV prevention and treatment programs in FSW communities, which have been successful in lowering the incidence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Linked changes in climate and animal behavior may have influenced violence among whalers in the seventeenth-century Arctic.
In the seventeenth century, the climate of the Arctic cooled, warmed briefly, and cooled again, just as European merchants established new industries to extract the region’s resources. Few were larger or more violent than the whaling industry that exploited bowhead whales between Jan Mayen and Svalbard. This article argues that linked changes in climate and animal behavior influenced violence among whalers in different ways during three stages of the seventeenth-century industry. In the first, cooling discouraged violence by increasing the regional extent of sea ice, which led both whales and whalers to congregate in tight quarters, raising the cost of hostilities among whalers. In the second, violence provoked attempts to colonize fortified whaling stations year-round, leading to a shift in polar bear behavior and exposing overwintering whalers to some of the coldest weather of the Little Ice Age in the Arctic. In the third, sweeping changes in climate and whale culture helped doom whaling companies and their fortified whaling stations, while encouraging open-sea whaling that transformed where and how whalers could fight one another. This article reveals, above all, the potential of combining climate history with animal-human history to provide fresh perspectives on the past, present, and future.
Across a sample of 3.5 million patients and 50,000 providers engaged in mental health care through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs between 2017–2020, older and lower income patients, and older providers, engaged in less video care, suggesting potential inequities in access and uptake as telehealth services grow.
The current study examined patient and provider differences in use of phone, video, and in-person mental health (MH) services. Participants included patients who completed ≥ 1 MH appointment within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from 10/1/17–7/10/20 and providers who completed ≥ 100 VA MH appointments from 10/1/17–7/10/20. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) are reported of patients and providers: (a) completing ≥1 video MH appointment in the pre-COVID (10/1/17–3/10/20) and COVID (3/11/20–7/10/20) periods; and (b) completing the majority of MH visits via phone, video, or in-person during COVID. The sample included 2,480,119 patients/31,971 providers in the pre-COVID period, and 1,054,670 patients/23,712 providers in the COVID period. During the pre-COVID and COVID periods, older patients had lower odds of completing ≥ 1 video visit (aORs < .65). During the COVID period, older age and low socioeconomic status predicted lower odds of having ≥ 50% of visits via video versus in-person or phone (aORs < .68); schizophrenia and MH hospitalization history predicted lower odds of having ≥ 50% of visits via video or phone versus in-person (aORs < . 64). During the pre-COVID and COVID periods, nonpsychologists (e.g., psychiatrists) had lower odds of completing video visits (aORs < . 44). Older providers had lower odds of completing ≥ 50% of visits via video during COVID (aORs <. 69). Findings demonstrate a digital divide, such that older and lower income patients, and older providers, engaged in less video care. Nonpsychologists also had lower video use. Barriers to use must be identified and strategies must be implemented to ensure equitable access to video MH services.