Sociology and Social Policy

Book Review: Utopia for Realists By Rutger Bregman

Put on your utopic glasses, and get inspired… by Karen Stroobants Are we still able to think big, to imagine a better world than the one we currently live in? Rutger Bregman, a young Dutch historian, certainly thinks so. I have been following his activities for a while now, as he strongly believes in the concept of ‘a basic income for everyone’, and

Continue Reading →

Income Inequality and the Internet of Things: interesting links between ‘socially just’ and ‘environmentally sustainable’

“In these cases, what seems to be crucial is the connection between efforts to reduce inequality and to adopt technologies in sectors such as water and waste management, which are absolutely crucial for Climate Change policies. In terms of policy, it appears that ‘socially just’ is very close to ‘environmentally sustainable.’” By Nicolás Valenzuela-Levi Public interest on income inequality increased during the last decade. Among scholars,

Continue Reading →

Special Issue 2017: Science, Technology & Inequality

  The Special Issue 2017 is dedicated to the tensions between science, technology, policy and inequality. Inside we have articles by four wonderful authors covering gender, income inequality, solar panels, universal basic income, network technologies and much more. Look no further for a glimpse into the ongoing negotiation between society and science.   The Special

Continue Reading →

Empowering through Light: Women and Solar Home Systems in Rural Bihar, India

When researchers asked questions about life before and after access to solar home systems, they were struck by the fact that none of the answers centered on the women’s own needs in their life. by Shivi Chandna In rural India, women in poor households spend a large part of their day performing basic tasks such as

Continue Reading →

A Look at the Attrition of Women in STEM

The loss of skilled women from the STEM workforce in academia has not gone unnoticed…[but] even with policies in place, a change in broader culture will be necessary to precipitate the desired changes. by Sumana Sharma The underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is usually attributed to the ‘leaky

Continue Reading →

Policy in the Face of Uncertainty: The Smart Meter Dilemma

by Victoria Plutshack Smart technologies, which can communicate and share information, have been hailed as a panacea for a range of our energy problems. The possibilities for energy savings and greater energy efficiency are enormous. The first step in realizing the smart vision of the future is the humble smart meter, which is due to be

Continue Reading →

Caught in the Web: The Impact of New Communication Technology on Political Participation

by Declan O’Briain New forms of media, particularly social media, have been hailed as the great new-age tool of democratic participation while simultaneously being derided for facilitating arm chair politicking and ‘slacktivism’. Global movements such as Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring have utilized such technologies in what appears to be innovative and unique ways.

Continue Reading →

Escaping the Slippery Slope: Freedom of Expression and Cyberspace Regulation after the Delfi Case

by Konstantina Georgaki, Emmanuel Giakoumakis, and Alessandro Rollo In June 2015, the European Court of Human Rights delivered the final judgment in the Delfi case, where it upheld the decision of an Estonian court to fine a news portal for hosting anonymous defamatory comments. This controversial judgment has a chilling effect on freedom of expression in

Continue Reading →

Water as a Strategic Tool in Central Asia

by Hannah Smith Limited water resources, weak states and ethnic tensions across Central Asia lead many analysts to believe that the region will bear witness to the world’s first war over water. Through drawing on fieldwork, this study takes the example of the geographically isolated village of Barak (a Kyrgyz exclave) to demonstrate how water resources

Continue Reading →

Pathways for Academic Impact: Biased Towards Commercialisation?

by Tim Guilliams Given the current economic climate it is important to maximise academic impact on society. Measures of academic impact have been dominated by the commercialisation of academic discoveries, thereby failing to capture the complete spectrum of academic activities that lead to societal impact. In fact, universities do not appear to act as a significant

Continue Reading →