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Edited by Gian Luca Burci and Brigit Toebes

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Edited by David Levi-Faur and Frans van Waarden

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Edited by Ada Scupola and Lars Fuglsang

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Edited by Gerald A. Epstein

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Marc Hertogh and Richard Kirkham

This chapter provides a review of the state of ombudsman research past and present. It makes the argument that much has been achieved in ombudsman scholarship but suggests that as an overall body of work there are multiple gaps in our understanding, as well as our methodological and theoretical approaches to the subject. The claim is made that there is need for a more integrated and coherent approach to the study of the ombudsman, and internationally a greater awareness in the sector of the different studies already in place. The chapter additionally argues that there remains a relative shortfall in empirical research on ombudsman institutions and a need to connect that research back to our theoretical understandings of the role that the ombudsman plays. Finally, the chapters in the book are used to illustrate perhaps the main running theme of the ombudsman institution: the diversity in the way that it has evolved.

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Joe Williams and Erik Swyngedouw

The opening chapter of this book makes the intellectual and political argument for a more critical understanding of seawater desalination as an emerging phenomenon of water governance. Its purpose, in this sense, is to politicise seawater. The chapter provides an overview of the historic and contemporary development of desalting technologies and the global desalination industry. We argue that, rather than seeing desalination as a water management ‘solution’, it should instead be understood as a socio-technical and political ecological ‘fix’, which allows cities, regions and countries to overcome some of the hydrological barriers to growth and accumulation, while creating or intensifying other social and ecological contradictions. These contradictions, we demonstrate, revolve around the governance of water, privatisation and commercialisation, the water-energy nexus, and marine ecology. Finally, we summarise the substantive chapters included in the book.

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Jamison E. Colburn

Regulators empowered or required to consider the costs of their actions must make formative judgments about which costs to count, how to count them, and the intervals of time and space within which to do so. A range of institutional responses to these challenges has arisen in the modern risk-regulatory world, each one of which entails its own hard questions and often conflicting institutional roles and responsibilities. The US Supreme Court’s jurisprudence interpreting the statutory signals on the weighing of regulatory costs has oscillated over the years between various inducements toward standard welfarism, i.e., cost-benefit balancing, and other, subtler uses of compliance costs. Not surprisingly, what legislation even means when it references “cost” has become a deeply contentious matter with cross-currents and institutional obstacles getting in the way of any clear statement of the law.

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Paul Roberts

This chapter surveys the current landscape of forensic science and expert witness testimony, from the perspective of an English legal scholar. It attempts to ‘make sense’ of this massive, diverse, fragmented and somewhat contested terrain, which the author has studied for over two decades. Having listed no fewer than 20 different ways in which forensic science evidence has been viewed as problematic by commentators and critics, the chapter elucidates the epistemological grounds for rational reliance on expert evidence and considers the structural properties and resilience of the regulatory and procedural frameworks which govern this type of evidence in England and Wales. The chapter then turns its attention to the ‘intellectual resources’ of ‘forensic science’, understood expansively to include models of evidential interpretation and frameworks for structuring inferential reasoning (including ‘Bayesian’ approaches). The complexity and dynamism of the regulatory challenge of guaranteeing the reliability of forensic science evidence are stressed as central to fuller comprehension. Legal scholars have tended to focus on doctrinal issues, especially the task of formulating suitable evidentiary rules to regulate the admissibility of forensic science evidence in contested trials. Further reflection quickly demonstrates that admissibility is not the only doctrinal question posed by forensic science (and other expert) evidence; and moreover, doctrinal questions barely scratch the surface of the broader and deeper institutional, scientific, socio-legal and jurisprudential ‘problematic’ of forensic science sketched in this chapter.

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Chris Reed and Andrew Murray

Chapter 1 asks why any particular state’s law should have authority outside its geographical territory, and particularly in cyberspace. A state’s constitution is not binding on cyberspace users outside its territory and thus cannot give its laws any collective authority, as a legal system, in cyberspace. Law therefore must derive from acceptance by cyberspace users of a particular state law’s authority. But this does not confer general authority on the other laws of the state. This means that lawmaking authority in cyberspace has to be assessed at the level of individual rules of law, not at the law system level. Each rule derives its authority from acceptance by those it claims to regulate. It thus has authority over the members of the lawmaker’s extended community in cyberspace, but that community is dynamic and constantly changing. So a law has authority over a cyberspace user only whilst that user is a community member.

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Guðný Björk Eydal and Tine Rostgaard

The introduction by the editors Eydal and Rostgaard outlines the themes of the book and the central concepts applied as well as giving a short introduction to the focus and main findings of each chapter.