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This paper addresses the distinction, arising from the different ways the European Union and United States have come to adopt precaution regarding various environmental and health-related risks, between the precautionary principle and the precautionary approach in both theory and practice. First, this paper addresses how the precautionary principle has been variously defined, along with an exploration of some of the concepts with which it has been associated. Next, it addresses how the distinction between the precautionary principle and precautionary approach manifested itself within the political realm. Last, it considers the theoretical foundation of the precautionary principle in the philosophy of Hans Jonas, considering whether the principled-pragmatic distinction regarding precaution does or doesn't hold up in Jonas' thought.
Increasing numbers of female candidates are running for Congress in American national elections. Despite the rise in female candidates running for office, women are not significantly increasing their presence in the House and Senate. A much hypothesized influence over the electoral fates of female candidates is the role of gender stereotypes. However, political science scholars have struggled to pinpoint the effect of stereotypes on vote choice, if there is any effect. This essay compares the way social psychology and political science scholars theoretically, conceptually and empirically test for gender stereotype influence over evaluations of female candidates and politicians. Differences emerge in the theoretical assumptions made in the two disciplines, the types of measures used in research, and the empirical tests conducted to demonstrate the presence or absence of stereotypes in evaluations of women. The discussion explores how scholars studying female candidates and politicians can integrate insights from social psychology to clarify the role of stereotypes in candidate evaluation and choice.
In 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) officially declared rinderpest eradicated. This cattle virus, which has historically had significant political, economic, and social consequences, is only the second infectious disease to disappear from the face of the planet due to concerted human actions. This paper explores the effects that rinderpest has had historically, chronicles the actions of the Global Rinderpest Eradication Campaign (GREP), and discusses the lessons that GREP can offer for combating other infectious diseases. I argue that rinderpest's unique viral characteristics made eradication particularly feasible, but that GREP's activities offer important lessons for fostering international cooperation on controlling infectious disease outbreaks.
In this engaging talk given last February on a particularly cold and blustery day at Texas Tech University, Professor Gad Saad of Concordia University discusses his work in the area of evolutionary consumption. In making the case for understanding consumerism from a Darwinian perspective, Saad addresses several key tenets from his books The Consuming Instinct1 and The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption.2 In particular, Saad argues that: (1) many consumption acts can be mapped onto four key Darwinian modules (survival, mating, kin selection, and reciprocal altruism); and, (2) cultural products such as song lyrics and movie plotlines are fossils of the human mind that highlight a shared, biologically based human nature. In this wide-ranging inquiry, Saad summarizes several of his other empirical works, including the effects of conspicuous consumption on men's testosterone levels3 and how the ovulatory cycle in the human female influences consumption.4 Overall, Professor Saad contends that an infusion of evolutionary and biologically based perspectives into the discipline of consumer behavior and related government regulatory policies yields myriad benefits, notably greater consilience, more effective practices, an ethos of interdisciplinarity, and methodological pluralism.
Within the broader context of several related biotech developments, including the proliferation of GM food in American grocery stories, the recent decision by Whole Foods Market, Inc. to require the labeling of all genetically modified (GM) organism products sold in its stores by 2018, and the development of GM animals for consumption, this essay asks whether the United States is inching towards a policy of mandatory GM food labeling. The analysis highlights aspects of the biotechnology policy debate in the United States and European Union, and traces public opinion as well as grassroots and legislative efforts aimed at GM food labeling. Findings show that activities at the federal level do not suggest any major regulatory changes regarding labeling in the near future; however, a growing number of individual states are considering GM food labeling legislation and political momentum in favor of labeling has picked up in recent years. Voluntary labeling by food companies may also become increasingly common.