UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
 
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MOST Newsletter No. 9 - October 1998

Table of Contents



NEW PUBLICATIONS


Ukraine & Croatia: Problems of Post-Communist Societies

    Edited by Mislav Kukoc & Volodymyr Polokhalo
    Published by the Croatian National Commission for UNESCO
The Croatian National Commission for UNESCO has published a collection of papers presented at the MOST international conference on Problems of Post-Communist Societies held in Kiev in 1996.

This publication compares Ukrainian and Croatian perspectives on the current changes occurring in Eastern Europe. Using the paradigm of ‘post-Communism’, the authors undertake a comparative analysis of social transitions in Eastern Europe, and evaluate ideological tendencies in the region. The empirical contributions focus on the problem of state-formation in the Ukraine and Croatia. The authors contend that the newly independent states claim legitimacy by referring to a pre-Communist and ethnically rooted national symbolism, thus giving rise to multi-ethnic conflicts. Conversely, it is argued that the administrative structure in several countries in the region is still built on the power of the old nomenklatura, and that Communist elites have profited from the political reforms after the breakdown of Communism, transforming themselves into what can be called a new ‘mafiocracy’ or ‘kleptocracy’. The resulting system of ‘neo-totalitarianism’, which the authors trace back to persisting power dynamics of a dominating state and authoritarian attitudes among the population, is the cause of the weakness of civil society and serious deficiencies in the development of democracy.

On the basis of their analysis, the contributors outline policies to overcome ‘neo-totalitarian’ trends in the Ukraine and Croatia and to strengthen democratic institutions and a legal system based on civil liberties and a free, pluralist and tolerant political culture. Among other things, they call for close co-operation with religious institutions which, under Communist rule, provided opportunities to express political opposition, and suggest promoting integration into the political and legal system of the European Union. PdG


The Effect of HIV/AIDS on Businesses:
the Example of the Republic of the Côte d'Ivoire

MOST Discussion Paper (also available in French)

HIV/AIDS, like any other fatal illness, affects the way businesses function by significantly increasing cases of sickness and death amongst the personnel. Clearly this is a problem of particular importance for many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, home to 14 million of the world's 22.6 million people living with the HIV/AIDS virus (UNAIDS, 1996). Côte d'Ivoire probably has the highest incidence of HIV in Western Africa, estimated at between 12% and 15% of the adult population in the capital, Abidjan. The city itself is heavily industrialised and constitutes an important economic centre for Western Africa, which is why it provides an appropriate study site to evaluate the impact of HIV/AIDS on industrial businesses.

To evaluate this impact, the study sought to identify and measure the costs incurred due to HIV/AIDS infection amongst personnel in three industrial companies situated in Abidjan, over a 3 to 7 year period. Only employees infected with HIV and notified to this effect by the company doctor were considered, which means that an unknown proportion of HIV infected staff members are left out. Costs were calculated in terms of medical examinations and treatment, absenteeism for medical reasons, loss of productivity, funeral costs, redundancies and severance pay, recruitment and training, rises in the cost of medical insurance, employment of additional medical staff, sickness benefits and HIV/AIDS prevention, when organised by the company at the employer's request.

Although the unexpected nature of these direct costs constitutes a problem for less prosperous companies, a greater, although less visible, source of difficulty lies in the costs incurred through the disruption of work practices. In Côte d'Ivoire HIV/AIDS affects essentially the middle classes but cuts arbitrarily across all kinds of jobs, skill levels and lengths of service within companies. The rise in turnover frequency due to illness and death from HIV/AIDS is worrying for companies first because management can in no way control it, and second because it creates an imbalance between the proportion of experienced and inexperienced (or newly recruited) workers.

This imbalance proves particularly disruptive to the organisation of work practices. First the proportion of workers able to relay company-specific knowledge falls, which alters the quality of know-how within the company. Second, experienced staff have tacit rather than codified knowledge about the way the company operates and its routines. The loss of these routines disrupts work organisation making production operations longer and less effective. Third the social balance of company staff is based on a process of socialisation and integration of workers into a work team. The loss of experienced employees thus slows down the integration of new workers and indirectly affects their productivity. In addition, inner conflicts occur more frequently and take longer to resolve, which has repercussions on work quality and productivity, making companies even more vulnerable to external contingencies.

Besides their obvious repercussions in terms of costs, the consequences of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on businesses are still difficult to identify and evaluate. The process is slow in Abidjan, but it is happening. The experience of countries with a high incidence of HIV/AIDS, such as Zimbabwe and Malawi, where several companies face bankrupcy or relocation, may provide an indication of the future consequences for businesses in other countries. Since the epidemic is receding in only a few African countries, there is every reason to fear that the effect of HIV/AIDS on the economic activity of the affected African countries will continue to worsen in the coming years. HIV/AIDS is currently becoming a serious new obstacle to economic and social development in Sub-Saharan Africa. NA
 
 

Social and organisational recommendations
for the fight against HIV/AIDS
in commercial companies

  1. Continue information and prevention activities within companies, eg by providing easier access to condoms (with vending machines on company premises).
  2. Train multi-skilled employees in each work team or department: this will limit the negative effects of sickness-motivated absenteeism, and ease the transition problems before the recruitment and training of new staff.
  3. Codify tacit rules and know-how to limit their disappearance with the departure or death or experienced employees.
  4. Develop or improve the company's medical services in order to increase the efficiency of treatment and early detection of illness, and to reduce absenteeism due to illness.
  5. Improve the availability of medical insurance for workers, eg by employer's contributions to staff insurance premiums, or the creation of a medical contingency fund within the company.
  6. Earmark sufficient budgetary resources to cover the unexpected consequences of HIV infection on business activity (small and medium sized businesses).
  7. Ensure the mobility of trained staff: members of a firm with operations in several countries should be able to respond to needs or emergencies at any one of the production centres.


Policy, Research and the New Zealand Immigration Service

    This volume by Debbie Lange explores the role played by research in a policy environment and assesses the opportunities for co-operation between the New Zealand Immigration Service and research networks and institutions.
East Asian New Zealanders: Research on New Migrants
    This volume includes two research papers "New Chinese New Zealanders: Profile of a Transnational Community in Auckland" by Wardlow Friesen and Manying Ip, and "‘Astronaut’ Families: A Contemporary Migration Phenomenon" by Elsie Ho, Richard Bedford and Joanne Goodwin. It examines the case of migrants from Hong Kong and the island of Taiwan who return home to work while the rest of the family remains in New Zealand.
These above two publications are by the MOST Programme's Asia-Pacific Migration Research Network (APMRN).

Sustainable Development and the Future of Cities

    Edited by Bernd Hamm and Pandurang K. Muttagi, Centre for European Studies, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1998.

International Social Science Journal
No. 156, June 1998

Social transformations: multicultural and multi-ethnic societies

This issue of the International Social Science Journal introduces the reader to some of the work being done under the auspices of the UNESCO Programe " Management of Social Transformations " (MOST).

The first section of the issue consists of three keynote addresses. They were made by Professors Alain Touraine, Neil J. Smelser and Stephen Castles at meetings of the Intergovernmental Council of the MOST Programme in 1994, 1995 and 1997 respectively. They provide three remarkable pespectives, by eminent social scientists, on the principal characteristics of social change in the twentieth century.

The second section contains a number of articles stemming from research activities under one of the MOST programme´s main research areas - multicultural and multi-ethnic societies. The articles deal with problems of multiculturalism in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Arab countries, and South Africa. A closely related article in the section "Continuing debate" examines the particular situation of the gypsies as a minority in Europe.

In addition, the issue carries two articles relating to policy makers - one discussing its complex and difficult relations with social enquiry, and the other on the particular role of history as a source of inspiration, information (and disinformation) conditioning political and social decision-making.

Finally, another article on the "Continuing debate" section resumes a discussion begun in issue No. 144 of the Journal, on multilateralism and the United Nations system.

In all, this issue of the ISSJ provides a rich harvest of material, which we hope will bring out clearly some of the roles of the social sciences for formulating national policies related to multiculturalism and ethnic diversity. It is anticipated that future issues of the International Social Science Journal will provide further glimpses of work of the MOST programme in other areas. A.K. and D.M.
 
Editorial adviser: Steven Vertovec
 
Social transformations
Alain Touraine Social transformations of the twentieth century
Neil J. Smelser Social transformations and social change
Stephen Castles Globalisation and migration: some pressing contradictions
 
Multicultural and multi-ethnic societies
Steven Vertovec  Multicultural policies and modes of citizenship in European cities
Alisdair Rogers  The spaces of multiculturalism and citizenship
Stephen Castles  New migrations in the Asia-Pacific region: a force for social and political change 
Saad Eddin Ibrahim  Ethnic conflict and state-building in the Arab World 
John Sharp  " Non-racialism " and its discontents: a post-apartheid paradox
Continuing debate
Ali Arayici  The Gypsy minority in Europe: some considerations
W. Andy Knight  The study of change in the UN multilateral system: shifting from rationalist to reflectivist approaches
The social science sphere
Nadia Auriat  Social policy and social enquiry: reopening debate
Ruth Rennie  History and policy-making
Boxes Management of Social Transformations (MOST) 
Ethno-Net Africa
MOST Network on social and economic transformations connected with drug trafficking


World Social Science Report

In the preceding issue of this NewsLetter, we announced the planned publication by UNESCO of the World Social Science Report. We are pleased to be able to report that despite a very tight time frame, the preparation of the Report is proceeding according to plan under the guidance of the Co-Editors Ali Kazancigil and David Makinson. Completed chapter and box manuscripts are scheduled to reach the editorial office in October 1998. The entire text will be in the hands of the publishers in January 1999, for publication in time to be presented at the World Science Conference of June 1999.

The planned table of contents is as follows:

Foreword by the Director-General of UNESCO

Introduction: The idea of a World Social Science Report

Section 1: Retrospect and Prospect

    1.1. Social sciences in the twentieth century
    1.2. Social sciences in the twenty-first century
    1.3. The historical dimension in the social sciences
    1.4. The gender dimension in the social sciences
Section 2: Infrastructures and Data
    2.1. Global infrastructure in the social sciences
    2.2. A user's guide to social science sources and sites on the internet
    2.3. Data and statistics: empirical bases for the social sciences
    2.4. Statistical methods in the social science
    2.5. The use of qualitative data in the social science
Section 3: Institutional and Professional Issues
    3.1. Research-policy linkages in the social sciences
    3.2. Ethical issues in the social sciences
    3.3. Major national social science systems in Europe, N.America, Latin America
    3.4. Transnational and cross-national social science research
    3.5. Training the social scientist: what are the indispensable skills and tools?
    3.6. Teaching social sciences to other professions
    3.7. Communicating social science
Section 4: Themes of our Time
    4.1. Science and technology in society
      4.1.1. Social implications of new information and communication technologies
      4.1.2. Science, technology and the market
      4.1.3. Science and technology as issues of democratic debate
    4.2. Development
      4.2.1. The state and the market
      4.2.2. Economic growth and social development
      4.2.3. Globalization and national development
    4.3. Environment
      4.3.1. Global environmental change - challenges for the social science
      4.3.2. Environmental governance
      4.3.3. Environment and development
Section 5: The Behavioural Sciences
    5.1. The growth and future of the cognitive sciences
    5.2. The evolutionary sciences
    5.3. Social dimensions of public health
Section 6: Regional situations and concerns
    6.1. North America
    6.2. Europ
    6.3. Asia and the Pacific
    6.4. Latin America and the Caribbean
    6.5. North Africa and the Middle East
    6.6. Subsaharan Africa

MOST International Ph.D. Award (1998-1999)

An award is given every two years to a national from either a developing country or a country in transition who has successfully defended his/her doctorate on a subject that falls within the themes of the Programme. The winner will receive the sum of US$5,000, as well as having most costs paid by UNESCO to present the research findings to the Intergovernmental Council of the MOST Programme in Paris (next session is February 1999). The winner may choose to take either a paid internship at UNESCO or continue studies for four months at the Institut d´Etudes Politiques de Paris.

The purpose of this award is to encourage human resource development in both developing countries and countries in transition as well as to generate further knowledge in the field of contemporary social transformations. Companion to the competition is the establishment of a network of young researchers working on MOST themes that will become an integral part of a MOST Forum for Reflexion, helping in the design of new projects and their implementation in the field.

Conditions for admission:

  • The candidate must be maximum 32 years old, and a national from either a developing country or a country in transition;
  • Have defended a doctorate in 1996 at the latest;
  • Provide a 25-page summary of the thesis, translated into English, French or Spanish.
Admission procedure:
  • The complete PhD thesis should be presented to the MOST National Liaison Committee (NLC) or, in countries where there is no such committee, to the UNESCO National Commission who has responsibility for the first review;
  • The Committee/Commission will select one thesis and send it, together with the 25 page summary (in English/French/Spanish) to the MOST Secretariat. The 1999/2000 deadline will be announced by the MOST Secretariat;
  • Final selection is up to the MOST Scientific Steering Committee.
For information on participating countries, form and documents to be sent, as well as priority themes of the Award, consult the Internet CM


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